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Dinner Menu: Ravioli w/ Rosemary Basil Cream Sauce

A little bit of comfort food (at least Ravioli is in my house) for what has been a very cold and busy week. I make fresh pasta for special occasions – my spinach lasagna being one of them. I have only made fresh ravioli once, and once was enough. Much like making my own steamed dumplings, effort vs. reward is definitely unbalanced. Especially when with a little bit of experimentation, you can find really good fresh or frozen ravioli at a reasonable price. I usually stick with the cheese or cheese & spinach ravioli – most of the meat ones I find taste like mystery meat.

On the board tonight:

  1. Ravioli w/ Rosemary Basil Cream Sauce
  2. Tomato-Zucchini Confetti
  3. Tossed Salad
  4. Sorbet or Gelato

Ravioli w/ Rosemary Basil Cream Sauce

  • 1 cup heavy cream*
  • 1 tsp crushed dried rosemary (or one sprig fresh)
  • 4 – 6 fresh basil leaves, minced
  • 20 oz frozen cheese ravioli
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp green onion tops, chopped
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 saucepans

Combine cream & spices in saucepan, bring to a boil, stirring constantly, reduce heat and simmer until reduces to ½ cup, about 15 minutes. Cook ravioli according to package directions. Drain and return to pan. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper & cream sauce. Toss. Add scallion tops and parmesan.

*You can absolutely substitute whole or non-fat milk for heavy cream and mix well with 1 tbsp flour

Tomato-Zucchini Confetti

  • 1 tbsp + olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, cubed
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cubed
  • 4 mushrooms, cubed
  • 4 green onions, chopped (set greens aside for Ravioli)
  • 2 tbsp chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp dried basil, crushed (or 2 tbsp fresh)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano, crushed (or 2 tsp fresh)

skillet

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in skillet, add vegetables and garlic, sauté for 2 minutes, add chicken broth and spices, and simmer vegetables until tender. Remove, toss with olive oil and serve.

Shopping List:

  • Tossed Salad fixins
  • Salad Dressing
  • Sorbet or Gelato
  • 8 oz heavy cream or milk
  • 4 – 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 20 oz frozen cheese ravioli
  • 6 oz parmesan cheese
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 4 mushrooms
  • 4 green onions

Also: rosemary, lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, chicken broth, garlic, basil, oregano

Originally posted December 2009

cropped-snowman-on-blue-background.jpg

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Mmm…summertime pasta salad

 

Marinated New Potatoes

Talked with my dad this weekend, seems his potato hills are producing a bumper crop, unlike his green beans which my mom says have been ravished by bunnies – she emphasized it was a large brood of bunnies, not full grown rabbits, who ate every bean down to about 3 inches of stalk. So in honor of his bumper crop of potatoes, thought I’d post a quick and easy recipe.  I’m just walking right on by the whole green bean debacle and hope my mom did not see JeffW’s excellent green bean salad.

Marinated Potatoes

  • 6 small red potatoes, scrubbed & quartered
  • 1 cup Italian dressing (good quality gives the best results)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 slices thick cut bacon, cooked & crumbled
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives

saucepan

In saucepan boil potatoes until tender (about 20 minutes). Drain well. Toss with remaining ingredients, serve hot or chilled.

Next up: Basil Grilled Chicken

 

Thursday Night Menu: Farm Stand Edition

Photo: Rebecca Hallas

Time to start the Farmer Stand editions of Thursday Night Menu.  Most of the produce tonight can be found locally.  So if you haven’t visited your local farm stand or farmer’s market, now’s your chance. I went to a local stand this past weekend and was surprised how small the tomato selection was. I shouldn’t have been, since my tomato plants, which are usually bent over with red fruit by now, are host to medium-sized green tomatoes which are slowly ripening.

I bought a few things and experimented with varieties of peppers I’d never even seen before. Some I really liked, some had surprisingly little flavor, though they smelled wonderful, it didn’t translate to the flesh.

Peach season is in full swing in Colorado, so we have sliced peaches tonight and hopefully if things slow down a bit for me, a week’s worth of peach inspired recipes all next week. My plan is to head to another farm stand this weekend and stock up on peachy goodness.

On the board tonight:

  1. Basil Grilled Chicken
  2. Marinated Potatoes
  3. Yellow Summer Squash
  4. Sliced Peaches

Basil Grilled Chicken – marinate overnight

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 to 6 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup white wine (non-alcoholic ok)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic

zip-lock bag or sealed container

Wrap one breast in plastic and pound with flat side of meat tenderizer. Repeat with each breast. In zip-lock bag, add all ingredients and marinate overnight. Remove chicken from marinade and grill, approximately 15 minutes for each side, until cooked through. Don’t let dry out – sear 5-minutes each side, then move away from direct flame for remainder of cooking time.

Marinated Potatoes

  • 6 to 8 small red potatoes, scrubbed & quartered
  • 1 cup Italian dressing
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives

saucepan

In saucepan boil potatoes until tender (about 20 minutes). Drain well. Toss with remaining ingredients, serve hot or chilled.

Shopping List:

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 to 6 basil leaves
  • 8 oz white wine
  • 6 to 8 small red potatoes
  • 8 oz Italian dressing (I really like Newman’s Own)
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 bunch fresh chives
  • 2 to 4 small to medium yellow summer squash
  • 4 to 6 fresh peaches

Also: crushed garlic, dried oregano, salt, pepper

Thursday Night Menu: Let’s Grill

I had some chipotle peppers left over from the Baby Back Ribs with Citrus Glaze last week, so I thought I’d pull this marinade out for this Thursday’s menu. Since it’s a 3-day holiday for many, I figured grilling would be a safe bet. I love 4th of July, that and Thanksgiving are my favorite holidays. Time to break out 1776, do some grilling, have a picnic and enjoy the fireworks. Really, what’s not to love? All week long I’ve been posting 4th of July recipes, so check them out if you’re looking for ideas. I’ll be making the Drunken Chicken Appetizers for sure (and I’m pretty sure I’m soaking more than the skewers in bourbon). What plans do you have for the holiday?

On the board tonight:

  1. Adobo Sirloin
  2. Garlic Roasted Potatoes
  3. Cucumber & Zucchini Spears tossed with Italian dressing
  4. Summer Fruit w/Mint

Adobo Sirloin (marinate overnight)

  • 4 oz chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 to 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 cup cilantro (not packed – about ½ bunch)
  • ½ cup orange juice concentrate
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 lb (or more) sirloin, cut into 4 pieces

zip-lock bag

In a blender, mix together all ingredients, except sirloin, and puree. Add to zip-lock bag with sirloin and marinate overnight (do not freeze). Remove steak from marinade, grill for 3 to 5 minutes each side for rare, basting with marinade.

Garlic Roasted Potatoes

  • 4 large potatoes, well scrubbed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic

Cut each potato into 4 wedges. Combine oil, melted butter and garlic. Dredge potatoes in mixture and place on either baking sheet and bake at 425° for 15-20 minutes, turning frequently or put in vegetable basket, grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning frequently until potatoes are tender.

Summer Fruit w/Mint

  • 1 ¼ cups white grape juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/2 ripe cantaloupe, seeded, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 8 oz fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 oz chopped walnuts

bowl & saucepan

Heat grape juice & sugar in saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Add fruit, mint & nuts to bowl, pour warm mixture over and toss. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Menu serves 4

Shopping List:

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 small zucchini
  • Italian dressing (or other favorite)
  • 4 oz chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 6 oz can orange juice concentrate
  • 1 lb (or more) sirloin
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 16 oz white grape juice
  • 1/2 ripe cantaloupe
  • 8 oz fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • 2 oz chopped walnuts

Also: chili powder, crushed garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar, butter

Thursday Night Menu: Ravioli w/ Rosemary Basil Cream Sauce

A little bit of comfort food (at least Ravioli is in my house) for what has been a very cold and busy week. I make fresh pasta for special occasions – my spinach lasagna being one of them. I have only made fresh ravioli once, and once was enough. Much like making my own steamed dumplings, effort vs. reward is definitely unbalanced. Especially when with a little bit of experimentation, you can find really good fresh or frozen ravioli at a reasonable price. I usually stick with the cheese or cheese & spinach ravioli – most of the meat ones I find taste like mystery meat.

On the board tonight:

  1. Ravioli w/ Rosemary Basil Cream Sauce
  2. Tomato-Zucchini Confetti
  3. Tossed Salad
  4. Sorbet or Gelato

Ravioli w/ Rosemary Basil Cream Sauce

  • 1 cup heavy cream*
  • 1 tsp crushed dried rosemary (or one sprig fresh)
  • 4 – 6 fresh basil leaves, minced
  • 20 oz frozen cheese ravioli
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp green onion tops, chopped
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 saucepans

Combine cream & spices in saucepan, bring to a boil, stirring constantly, reduce heat and simmer until reduces to ½ cup, about 15 minutes. Cook ravioli according to package directions. Drain and return to pan. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper & cream sauce. Toss. Add scallion tops and parmesan.

*You can absolutely substitute whole or non-fat milk for heavy cream and mix well with 1 tbsp flour

Tomato-Zucchini Confetti

  • 1 tbsp + olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, cubed
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cubed
  • 4 mushrooms, cubed
  • 4 green onions, chopped (set greens aside for Ravioli)
  • 2 tbsp chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp dried basil, crushed (or 2 tbsp fresh)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano, crushed (or 2 tsp fresh)

skillet

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in skillet, add vegetables and garlic, sauté for 2 minutes, add chicken broth and spices, and simmer vegetables until tender. Remove, toss with olive oil and serve.

Shopping List:

  • Tossed Salad fixins
  • Salad Dressing
  • Sorbet or Gelato
  • 8 oz heavy cream or milk
  • 4 – 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 20 oz frozen cheese ravioli
  • 6 oz parmesan cheese
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 4 mushrooms
  • 4 green onions

Also: rosemary, lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, chicken broth, garlic, basil, oregano