Sunday, March 6, 2011

Portobello Veggie Sandwich

If you've spent any time reading this blog, you might have picked up on my obsession with mushrooms. I put them in just about any dish I can, and usually it works brilliantly... except one time I went too far and put them in chili... but that's another story. In this dish, the mushroom is the main event, and it's a beautiful thing. This recipe was inspired by a sandwich from Gratziano's, an Italian restaurant in Waco, but it was my great friend Anna who encouraged me to recreate it.  A couple of weeks ago, as we're both devouring these amazing sandwiches and talking about how delicious they are, Anna says, "You could totally make this." Well, here's my version, Anna - this one's for you!

You'll need:
1 portobello mushroom
2 tsp. French vinaigrette
Salt and Pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
4 sun-dried tomatoes
Provolone cheese, one slice
1/2 Tbsp. butter
French bread
Handful of spinach
Ranch, optional

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees - this is just to toast your bread later.

At Gratziano's, the mushroom was marinated in balsamic, but I used French vinaigrette for mine. Also, the pros say to clean mushrooms by wiping them with a damp paper towel, but look how dirty this big guy is!  I couldn't resist scrubbing it under running water.

Pop out the stem, and make sure your portobello is nice and clean.  Then, spread about a teaspoon of vinaigrette on each side and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  If you have time, let this hang out in the fridge and marinate for a few hours.  I'm impatient, so my mushroom went straight to the sauté pan.

Sauté your mushroom with olive oil on medium heat until it's soft and tender - about 8 minutes on each side.

I waited until it was time to flip my mushroom before adding the the bell pepper and sun dried tomatoes to my sauté pan because those will brown much quicker. You can add a splash of olive oil if your pan starts to get dry. Once those start to soften, top the portobello with cheese.

While the cheese is melting, drop little bits of butter on your bread and toast it in the oven for a few minutes... careful not to burn!

Now it's time to assemble your sandwich!

This also reminds me of the life-changing Veggie Sandwich at Elite Grill in Waco, except their version is dripping in butter so the nutritional value of the veggies sort of goes out the window.  Using olive oil to cook the veggies helps a little with that issue.  You can spread some ranch on the sandwich or have some on the side for dipping... because you'll definitely need a knife and fork to eat this bad boy.

Sending you love (with plenty of mushrooms) from my kitchen.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Breakfast Cups

Here's my spin on THIS recipe by Multiply Delicious.  I'm not exactly a morning person, but it sure does help to have these to start the day.

You'll need:
1 can (8 oz.) crescent rounds
1/2 cup sliced turkey sausage
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1/3 cup medium cheddar cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
Salt and Pepper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Slice and sauté the sausage until it starts to brown just lightly.

While that's cooking, flatten each crescent round with the palm of your hand until it's large enough to cover the sides of each cup when you fit it into the muffin pan.

Crack your eggs and egg whites into a small bowl.

Whisk together with salt, pepper, basil, and parsley.

Fill the crescent rounds with the browned sausage, and divide the egg mixture among the cups. Be careful not to overfill these bad boys.

Shred the cheese, and top each cup.

Bake for 12-14 minutes.


Sending you love (bright and early) from my kitchen.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chicken & Black Bean Nachos

February was a slow month for updating my food blog.  With mid-terms, work, and fun weekend guests,  I just haven't had any spare time.  March will (hopefully) be different!  I have a lot of recipes and pictures saved, so get ready!

Here are a few things that have happened while I've been neglecting this blog:
  • I catered appetizers for a baby shower last Sunday!  This was my first "catering gig," and it was so much fun cooking for 40 people!  Unfortunately, I was scrambling to get everything done in time and forgot to take pictures, but I made asparagus wrapped in prosciutto; phyllo shells filled with brie and raspberry or apricot jam; and balsamic chicken and tortellini pasta salad.  I heard afterward that the food was a hit - thank goodness! 
  • I got asked to recreate this red velvet cake with a layer of cheesecake in the middle.  And it was awesoooome.  Here's what mine looked like:
  • My blog surpassed 1,000 hits!  (1,043 as of today!)  How exciting is this?!?  Obviously it's not a thousand different people, but I'm still pretty ecstatic. :)
  • I also survived mid-terms, and my cohort has started the countdown to graduation... about 72 days, and even less until we're done with class!
Okay, let me tell you about this easy and quick dish!  (I borrowed this idea from Two Peas and Their Pod, so credit goes to those pros.)  I'm not giving you any exact measurements because it's more fun to add ingredients as you see fit.

You'll need:
Tortilla chips
Chicken, cooked and shredded
Diced green chiles
Black beans from a can, drained and rinsed
Cheese, shredded (I used medium cheddar and monterey jack)
Guacamole ( I made my own, but you can use store-bought.)

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

I seasoned my chicken with garlic salt, black pepper, and just a pinch of saffron... my mom's typical seasoning for poultry.  I haven't seen anyone else do it, but man, it works.  

Sauté in olive oil (about 7 minutes on each side depending on thickness of chicken) until cooked all the way through.  Mmmm just wait until you smell this...

In the meantime, shred the cheeses, rinse the black beans, and pop open your can of chiles.

When the chicken is done cooking, shred it with a fork.

Now, all there's left to do is pile on the toppings and bake.  I used a small glass dish to cook my nachos, but you could also use a baking sheet.

First pile on some cheese and black beans.

Then, add the chicken, chiles, and more cheese. :)

Pop it in the oven for 5 minutes... that's right, just 5 minutes will do the trick!

Top with guac, and devour.  So delicious!

Sending you love from my kitchen.