Waste not…

October 5th, 2008

A challenge to living alone is the inevitable problem of leftovers. It seems that no matter how hard I try to half, third, or fourth recipes, I always end up with too much food. Not wanting to waste any food, I find that I am eating the same thing for the next couple days. It gets so boring! This quiche was born out of this problem…

Last week, I had some italian parsely going bad in the fridge so I made some pesto. For those “How I Met Your Mother” fans out there, you will notice that I added peanuts just like Ted did a few episodes ago. It is a really different and interesting twist. I liked it alot. After having pasta and pesto for three days, I still had so much pesto left. What was I going to do?

I decided upon this Italian inspired quiche using more leftovers from my fridge…onions, cheese and tomatoes. Overall, I liked it. The pesto and cheese worked well together without being too over powering. Next time, I would add more vegetables. Of course, now I have an entire quiche to eat…and I still have more pesto! Ah, so this is why freezers were invented?

Ginny’s Pesto Quiche
(based on a recipe from Joy of Cooking)

1 pie crust
3 tablespoon pesto (see below for a recipe)
8 oz. of cherry tomatoes, sliced in fourths
1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup Five Italian Cheese mix, Shredded (or you cheese of choice)
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1. Heat oven to 375°F.
2. In a prepared pie crust, spread the pesto on the bottom of the crust.
3. Sprinkle with the tomatoes, onions and cheese.
4. In bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together.
5. Pour over the other ingredients in the pie pan.
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the center is set.

Italian Parsley Pesto
1 bunch of Italian Parsley (about 3 cups)
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup Peanuts
1 cup Parmesan
3 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1. Place all ingredients in the food processor and mix until smooth.
2. Add more olive oil as needed.

Two Hot Women and a Quickish Dinner

March 3rd, 2008

Yes, this post is about two hot women with a delicious dinner thrown in to keep your interest. The first hot woman is me, as LyB of And then I do the dishes tagged me with a meme and so I must tell you 7 things about myself. I say hot because after cooking I am normally sweltering. Coming up with seven things is alot harder than I would have thought, so here goes (they are very random):

1. I love art! I tend to crave art exhibits almost as badly as I do chocolate. Thankfully, I live in DC and can see many wonderful exhibits downtown. After my JD, I hope to get my Masters in Art History.
2. I hate Ketchup, which makes me feel very un-American. But I love peanut butter on hot dog buns, so that slightly redeems me.
3. I bite my nails. It is a horrible habit that is only stopped if I get regular manicures, which you know my wallet and time allow frequently. haha!
4. I am not very big into reality tv (although, I will watch it occasionally) but I will not miss Project Runway or Top Chef. They are both fabulous. I love the creativity and ideas to come out of them
5. I cartwheel and do handstands often! Cartwheels express my excitement and happiness, while handstands calm me.
6. I am desperately afraid of serving undercooked chicken and so I am very anal when cooking it. Regardless of the meat temperature, I must always slice it open to check it and cover the cut with lots of sauce.
7. I love making souffles, as in, it is quite the obsession. I prefer chocolate ones, which I eat with a glass of champagne…there is something about the bubbles of the champagne and the fluff of the souffle that I just love. (My roommate added this one when I was struggling to come up with more).

“7 Things” Meme How To:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their Blogs
5. Have fun!

Laura of Lazy Susin
Kevin of Closet Cooking
Mandy of Fresh from the Oven
Ilva of Lucullian Delights
Deborah of Taste and Tell

And now for that good dinner and the other hot woman. Santa brought me Padma Lakshmi’s Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet: A World of Recipes for Every Day. In honor of Top Chef starting next week, as she is the host of the show, I decided it was time to tackle a recipe from her. I tried Chicken A La Nueces De La India. It was delicious! I substituted peanuts for cashews and made it for two people. It only took about 45 minutes to make and served with rice and wilted spinach made an excellent meal. The cookbook is beautifully written, the recipes are easy to follow and her cooking philosophy is very similar to my own. She also gives tips, which are helpful (for example, see step 1). I cannot wait to try something else from her cookbook like, Curried Butternut Squash Soup.

Chicken A La Nueces De La India
(adapted from Padma Lakshmi’s Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet: A World of Recipe for Every Day)

5 tablespoon olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup flour for dusting on a dinner plate
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, pureed into powder
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme (I used dry not fresh)
1 cup chicken stock (we ran out and a chicken bouillon dissolved in water worked well)
1 1/2 tablespoon honey

1. Pound chicken breast flat and thin into cutlets, to about 1 inch thickness. Do this by using plastic wrap to cover the chicken and pound with a mallet or meat tenderizer, even the back of a heavy metal ladle or large serving spoon will work.
2. Lightly sprinkle each side of the cutlets with salt and pepper.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium heat in a skillet.
4. Lightly dredge each side of all chicken pieces in flour to coat with just a light dusting. Shake off any excess.
5. When oil is hot, sauté chicken single file, don’t crowd the pan until lightly browned on both sides and cook through. When chicken is done, transfer to a large platter, and keep warm and covered.
6. Puree peanuts in a blender or processor to form a powder and set aside.
7. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil on medium heat in another skillet. When oil is hot, sauté garlic and shallots for 2 minutes. Add crushed red pepper and thyme and cook for 1-2 more minutes, just until shallots are glassy.
8. Pour in chicken stock. Add honey and stir until this comes to a gentle bubbling boil.
9. Turn heat to a medium low and carefully stir in powdered peanuts, stirring vigorously so no clumps are formed. Now turn heat to low, and let the sauce become a gravy-like consistency. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper if needed. Keep the sauce warm on low heat, adding a bit more stock if needed so it doesn’t become too thick.

10. Return chicken to skillet on medium low just until meat is heated through. Now pour sauce over the chicken and serve hot. The chicken can also be plated and the sauce can be poured over that just before serving.

P.S. This is such a long post, I have nothing more to say. Enjoy!