Saturday, September 7, 2013

Mini Pesto Lasagna Stacks

Who knew you could use wonton wrappers to make lasagna? Well, you can and with a few minor tweaks, I will again for sure.

The stacks were easy to assemble and make it possible to throw together a "lasagna" on a week night. I worried that there would be too much liquid by using both the sauce and the pesto, but it actually could have used a little more. Next time I'll put some sauce down on the bottom of the dish first.

Since there is no such thing as a meatless any-day-of-the-week in our house, I grilled up some hot sausages to go along with these. Much to Brian's dismay (and he knew it IMMEDIATELY), they were chicken sausages, but they were delicious regardless.

Delicious and easy: what more can you ask for?

  • 1 package of wonton wrappers (like the original recipe recommended, my grocery store also carries Nasoya - they come 50 to a  package)
  • ¾ C pesto (if using prepared, make sure you drain off some of the excess oil)
  • 1-1/2 C marinara sauce
  • 1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • freshly ground pepper 
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Prepare either a baking dish or four small gratin dishes by spraying with a little nonstick cooking spray. 
  2. Layer the four lasagna stacks by starting with a square of pasta, spreading about a teaspoon of marinara sauce on top and then about a teaspoon of pesto on that.  
  3. Add another square of pasta and repeat.  I did every other layer after that - pesto then marinara, etc. Repeat layers until you have used 12 squares for each stack.  
  4. Top with marinara, some pesto and a sprinkling of the mozzarella.  Add a few pine nuts on top of each stack and then a pinch of the oregano and some freshly ground pepper. Cover tightly with foil.
  5. If using individual gratin dishes, place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake the lasagna for about 20 minutes and then remove foil. Bake for an additional 7 -10 minutes, or until cheese on top has melted to your liking. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes to set up a little before serving.

Source: The Italian Dish

Monday, September 2, 2013

Portabello Stroganoff with Goat Cheese

When I first saw this recipe prepared on TV, it was presented as a meat-free alternative to beef stroganoff. While it sounded delicious to me, I couldn't really see it being "the" meal, so I halved the recipe - thank god, otherwise we'd have eaten it for an entire week - and served it along side pork schnitzel.

It turned out just as I expected. And, it heated up beautifully the next day for lunch. The only thing I'd change: I would have liked just a little more sauce - easy enough to remedy next time with a bit more stock and an extra dollop of goat cheese.

We both really like how this turned out and I'll definitely be making it again!

  • 12 ounces extra-wide egg noodles
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 portabella mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced and white bottoms and green tops separated
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 14 ounces beef stock
  • 8 ounces plain fat free Greek yogurt
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground, plus more for garnish
  1. Cook the noodles according to the package directions.
  2. Melt the butter in a 12-inch straight-sided saute pan set over medium-high heat. Increase the heat to high, add the mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Saute until they darken in color, soften and give off their liquid, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Add the white bottoms of the green onions and saute 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to combine. Cook until the flour disappears and the bottom of the pan turns dark brown, about 1 minute. Deglaze with the beef stock.
  5. Bring to a simmer and decrease the heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, and then add the yogurt, cheese, and black pepper. Stir to combine, and then partially cover and bring to a simmer to warm through, 2 to 4 minutes.
  6. Drain the noodles, add to the pan and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Source: Food Network

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Antipasti Stuffed Chicken

Antipasti plates always seem so...messy...  Or something. Finger food is great, but when it's a little oil and vinegar-y, it's drippy. Messy.

So, while I love every single thing on the plate, I have never ordered one. So when I saw this recipe, with all of the things that make an antipasti plate delicious chopped up and stuffed into baked chicken, I had to try it. The pepperoncini give it a nice bite and cheese gets nice and melty. The dressing is an Italian dressing-like compliment and I basted the chicken with it while it was baking. Juicy and delicious.


  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 slices Genoa salami (2 ounces), chopped
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto, chopped
  • 4 slices provolone cheese (4 ounces), chopped
  • 4 large pepperoncini, stemmed, chopped
  • 1 whole roasted red peppers, chopped
  • Four 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kitchen twine
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a heavy baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk the red wine vinegar, oregano, fennel seed, mustard, salt, pepper and garlic. Gradually whisk in the oil.
  3. For the chicken: In a medium bowl, combine the salami, pepperoncini, prosciutto, provolone and peppers with 1/4 cup of the dressing; toss to blend evenly.
  4. Butterfly chicken and pound to about 1/4" thick. (There are explicit instructions in the original recipe.) Lay over 3 pieces of kitchen twine.
  5. Mound a fourth of the stuffing onto the chicken then roll firmly. Tie with twine.
  6. Place the chicken breasts on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of the dressing.Roast until the chicken is cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes. (Be careful not to overcook the chicken. Don't ask how I know that.) Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a sheet of foil. Let rest 5 minutes.
Bad day at work?  Nothing like cooking and a glass of wine.
Pound chicken to 1/4" thickness and lay over three pieces of kitchen twine.
(This exercise helps with the really bad day, too.)
Mound each piece of chicken with a quarter of the stuffing.
Roll and tie, then trim the excess twine.
Don't forget the wine!

Source: Food Network

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Swiss Patty Melt

Six onions make a LOT of caramelized onions. So when the recipe for Caramelized Onion and White Bean Dip called for just one cup of cooked onions, I wondered why in the world the recipe instructed you to caramelize six onions. But thank god it did!  They are SO good. And, if you're taking the hour and a half to let them get the perfect color and sweetness, why not make extra?

A Swiss patty melt is one of Brian's favorite sandwiches to get out. They are like a burger and a grilled cheese all in one - what's not to love?! I never thought of making them at home until I saw an episode of The Pioneer Woman. It doesn't take much more effort than regular grilled burgers and doesn't require any fancy ingredients or tools. And it's a great way to use up some of those leftover onions.

In the time it took Brian to grill the burgers, I had put the melt part of the sandwiches together. The official recipe has more detailed instructions, but I think you'll get the picture.
  • 2 grilled burgers - whatever size and doneness you like (they aren't on the griddle long enough to cook any more than they did on the grill, so pull them off when they are perfect)
  • 4 slices good rye bread
  • 1 Tbsp. softened butter
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 C caramelized onions
  1. While burgers are grilling, heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat.
  2. Start like you would any grilled cheese: Butter two slices of rye and place butter side down in the pan. Top each with a slice of cheese and top each with half the onions.
  3. Top each with a cooked burger, then another slice of cheese. Finally, top that with another piece of buttered bread, butter side up.
  4. When the bottom bread is nicely grilled, flip and grill until done.
  5. Serve immediately.

(Honestly, this is the first Pioneer Woman recipe that I've wanted to make. But I follow her blog religiously. She has a great way with words and takes incredibly beautiful photos of her family, pets, and ranch. I think I secretly wish I lived on an enormous cattle ranch in the mid-West, too.)

Source: Food Network

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Red Wine Sangria

This week seemed to last about a month and half. Our prize for the craziness is an absolutely outstanding late-summer weekend visiting with friends near and far. And this refreshing sangria.

Oranges, limes, lemons, and apples give it a nicely balanced sweet-tart taste and the Prosecco adds the perfect amount of fizz. Whip up a pitcher now and it'll be waiting for you once you're through with all your Saturday chores.


  • 2 bottles (750 ml) chilled dry red wine
  • 1 cup peach schnapps 
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup (or to taste)
  • 2 oranges, cut into thin rounds
  • 2 lemons, cut into thin rounds
  • 3 limes, cut into thin rounds
  • 2 apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 bottle chilled Prosecco
  1. In a large pitcher, add the wine, schnapps, orange juice, and simple syrup. Stir gently to combine.
  2. Add the fruit and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.
  3. Serve in glasses over ice and top with chilled Prosecco.

8 cups of's practically health food! ;-)

Source: Food Network