I grow a lot of what I cook, I freeze for the winter, and there is always a healthy meal just waiting to be discovered in my pantry. I will share with you a variety of simple recipes that are either made to be frozen for future use, made from ingredients you most likely already have on your shelf, are so delicious that they are worth (just a little) trouble, or are simply as easy as pie. These recipes are the beginnings of a book I think I will call COOKIE.
I'd love some post-roast feedback!
NAN'S BESTO PESTO
This is my baby. I'd say don't screw it up, but it's easy, you won't! Why not grow your own basil - it's easy, just needs a sunny place and some water (this is called "planning dinner way ahead") - put it in a pot outside, grow it in the window, whatever. I take branches off all summer long, helps it grow full and keeps you in pesto. Best way is to take the whole top off of several branches, six or eight inches worth. Wash and dry leaves in a salad spinner. Two packed down cups of fresh basil leaves will make one pound of pesto sauce.
IN YOUR BLENDER add one cup olive oil. Start it on LOW. Add, alternating: 2 cups Basil leaves, 1/3 cup Pignoli (pine) nuts, 1/2 cup grated ROMANO cheese and 4 large cloves of garlic. Once you have it all in there you can put the blender on high and let it go for a short time. You're done!
Freeze it, fridge it, it lasts a long time either way. Use it on grilled chicken, or on pasta like this: You don't heat pesto sauce, just put it in a bowl and let it get to room temperature. Boil the pasta (el dente is best!) but right before you dump the water, save a small ladle-full and add it to the pesto sauce. This will make it super creamy without adding cream. Put cheese on top. I steam broccoli and add it in. I steam red peppers and add them in. I add fresh frozen peas. Try different crap in there.This is so freakin' good.
FUN WITH BREADCRUMBS
For Sauteed Onions...fry onions in butter (slice them in circles) quickly over a high flame. When they are nice and brown, add seasoned bread crumbs just to cover and toss around over the high heat a bit to brown. Great with steak.
For Cauliflower...melt butter in frying pan, then add plain bread crumbs evenly until the bread crumbs start coming up dry. Add a little more bread crumbs, continue heating, then stir to brown all. Serve on top of steamed cauliflower. Trust me.
Mock Lobster Oreganata (for those special occasions when you drop them screaming into boiling water at home): heat butter like above, but add seasoned bread crumbs until they come up dry. Dip lobster meat in breadcrumbs after dipping in butter. Then do 30 minutes on the tread mill.
A secret for years, unveiled here for the first time since Nana put the vermouth in her Grape Nuts and spilled the beans in her chicken soup.
You will need: Interesting salad greens Colorful vegetables Fresh pepper Chunk of Danish Blue cheese Croutons For dressing: Flaxseed or olive oil, balsamic vinegar, yellow mustard, honey, Worcesterhire sauce.
Here we go: Wash and dry lettuce, veggies (use a salad spinner!). I use a combination of greens: romaine, red leaf, green leaf one, two, three. Cut up scallions or thin rinngs of onion, grate carrots with the cheese grater (2nd finest), cherry tomatoes look great, or try thinly sliced sweet red or yellow peppers for color. Add dressing.
DRESSING It's a honey/mustard combo, and I've never really measured, but this is the way I mix it up: I use high lignan flaxseed oil but you might want to use good old fashioned extra virgin first pressing olive oil, both are soooo good for you! Fill a cruet, mayonnaise jar, something that size, 1/3 full. Add a nice balsamic vinegar so that you've got it 2/3 full - equal amounts of oil & vinegar. Add yellow mustard, a big long squirt (maybe four tablespoons?). Add honey, between a quarter and a half a cup, depending on your taste. Add two long squirts of Worcestershire sauce. Shake up, add to salad but don't drown the greens, of course. Grate fresh pepper over the salad, lots. Crumble Danish Blue cheese (I freeze it, makes it easy to grate or slice), try different amounts, start with less as opposed to more. Mix it into salad. Add croutons! Open-minded? Add a small handfull of dried cranberries and/or sliced almonds. You now hava a' beautiful a'Sirianni Salad, mange!
Coming Soon... The "Universal Soup" recipe Simple homemade croutons Red pepper pesto