Archive | January, 2012

Rosemary and Garlic Pulled Chicken Lasagne

11 Jan

 I’m totally obsessed.

Well I’m always obsessed with something, but my obsession of the week is twist on classic lasagne. I’ve been pinning my face off.

There are just so many flavor combinations, although I love the classic with its red sauce and beef, I think for a while I will be trying different twists on the basic lasagne.

Here’s just a few of the different varieties that I found on Pinterest:

Zucchini Lasagne

Chicken and Cheese Lasagne Rollups

Polenta Lasagne

Spaghetti Squash Lasagne

and these freakin’ delicious looking Lasagne Cups

It’s official, I’m crazy for lasagne.

Especially this little number that just magically popped into my head.

Rosemary and garlic pulled chicken….check! Cream sauce….check! Cheese….triple check!

Hey! Have you guys ever used these?

They’re fresh pasta sheets and it seems you can buy them at most grocery stores in the fresh pasta section. They worked out perfectly for this lasagna and you don’t have to boil them!

Woah. Things just got real.

You guys absolutely, positively, MUST try this recipe. It’s quite a few steps but they’re easy steps and it’s soooo worth it in the end.

Hop aboard the lasagne train!

Choo choo!

Rosemary and Garlic Pulled Chicken Lasagne
Makes one 9×13 pan

For the chicken:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp rosemary, minced finely

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with foil.

Place the chicken breasts on to the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Drizzle with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with the garlic and rosemary. Using your hands, massage the chicken breasts to get them evenly coated with the seasonings. Bake for 30 minutes or until juices run clear. Remove and let cool for a few minutes before shredding with two forks. Set aside.

For the Spinach and Ricotta mixture:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bag (about 250g) fresh spinach
2 cups Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large saute pan with a tight fitting lid, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the spinach and cover. Allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes before removing the lid. The spinach should be almost completely cooked down. Season with salt and pepper to taste and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Remove and let cool in a bowl.

Once the spinach is cooled, mix it with the ricotta and Parmesan. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the Garlic Cream Sauce:
2 tbsp butter
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp salt

In a medium pot, heat butter over medium high heat until melted and bubbly. Add garlic and saute until softened and fragrant, add cream and salt and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium low and allow to simmer for 10-12 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat.

To assemble the lasagne:
7 sheets of fresh pasta (you can buy these in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores)
3 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese
Extra rosemary for garnish

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and make sure your oven rack is in the center position.  Grease a 9×13 glass baking pan.

Start by pouring about 1/4 cup of the cream sauce on the bottom of the pan, followed by 2 of the pasta sheets. Next layer the pulled chicken, the remaining cream sauce and then another layer of 2 pasta sheets. Next spread the spinach and ricotta mixture evenly over the pasta sheets. Top with the last 3 pasta sheets and then cover with all of the mozzarella. Sprinkle some rosemary over the top.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Allow to cool slightly before cutting.

Crispy Tzatziki Chicken

9 Jan

You know what I like to do? Crispify things. Yes, crispify is a word. It means to take something non-crispy and make it crispy with the help of a delicious coating.

Ingredients love to be crispified. Trust me, you’re doing the chicken a favor.

Look at all that crispification!

Crispy Tzatziki Chicken
Serves 6

6 chicken thighs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup tzatziki sauce (you can use store bought or use my easy recipe)
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup butter, sliced into 6 pieces

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place the oven rack in the center position. Butter a 9×13 baking dish.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and then dip in tzatziki sauce and follow with a coating of Panko, make sure to press the Panko onto each piece of chicken to make sure it is thoroughly coated. Place the chicken into the prepared baking dish and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Top each piece of chicken with a piece of butter and cover the baking dish with foil.

Bake for one 45 minutes and then remove the foil and baste the chicken pieces with the juices in the pan. Bake uncovered for another 20 minutes to brown the chicken.

Serve with extra tzatziki sauce.

Quick and Easy Penne and Meatballs

4 Jan

You guys are in for a treat.

I did my first step by step recipe post. Well its not so much step to step as it is step…woops missed a step…woops forgot to show me chopping the onions and garlic….step….woops…

Yeahh. Needless to say I won’t be doing this again anytime soon.

Ready? Ready for the madness and confusion? OK let’s go.

So this is a SUPER easy and awesome weeknight recipe because it takes about half an hour to make. It’s perfect for those nights when you’d rather laze around in your sweatpants and watch reruns of Teen Mom (1 & 2) than cook a time intensive meal.

Here’s what you need:

  • Penne or your favorite pasta shape
  • Sausage meat (I used mild italian sausage)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Bottled or tinned marinara sauce 
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese

 And that’s it folks!

Start by putting some water on to boil for your pasta.

Then you’ll move on to your meat-a-balls (I like saying it like that cause I’m a huge dork.) I used to just buy sausages that were in casings because that’s all I could find. Then I’d take ’em home and squish the meat out of the casings and roll them into meatballs. Fortunately for me, just recently I noticed my grocery store had Italian sausage meat without the casings! Wee. Grocery products excite me.

Just grab a small handfull of the sausage meat and roll it into a meatball, repeat. I think I ended up with about seven meatballs, don’t be like me, seven is a horrible number for meatballs. Seven meatballs will cause fights dude, don’t try it. Make eight, then everyone can have two. When you’re done with all your rolling and mathematics, they should look something like this:

You don’t need to season them at all because they should be fairly flavorful on their own.

Heat up a skillet over medium high heat and toss in a tablespoon or so of olive oil, just to get the party started. Once the oil is heated, add the meatballs and fry them for 3-4 minutes on the first side.

Flip them over and let them cook on the other side for about 3-4 minutes longer, until they are all nice and brown on both sides. They will be nowhere near cooked through, we’re just browning them right now.

While your meatballs are browning, chop up a small onion and a couple of garlic cloves.

Remove the meatballs to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb some of the excess oil.

To the same pan you used to cook the meatballs and over medium high heat, saute the chopped onion and garlic.

Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits from the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened and translucent.

Ooh steamy!

Pour in your jarred marinara sauce followed by about 1/2 cup of water and stir. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Once simmering, add the meatballs back into the sauce.

Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Let these simmer for about 10-12 minutes until cooked through. While the meatballs are cooking its the perfect time to make the pasta.

I just put my pasta back into the pot and threw in some butter (woops) so it doesn’t stick together.

Grate up some Parmesan cheese, and by some I mean an inappropriate amount.

Once your meatballs are all done…

Grab some of your pasta, and top it off with a meatball or two and some sauce.

And don’t you dare forget the Parmesan.

Oops. I’m hungry again.

Here’s the printable:

Quick and Easy Penne and Meatballs
Serves 4

1 lb Mild Italian sausage meat
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 Small onion diced
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
1 15-16oz jar of marinara sauce (I used a basil flavored one, but use whatever is your favorite)
1/2 cup water
1 package (one pound) penne pasta
1 cup grated Parmesan

Put a large pot of water on to boil for your pasta.

Form your sausage meat into 8 meatballs of the same size. Heat a large pan or pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Once the olive oil is hot, cook the meatballs about 3-4 mins per side until nice and brown on both sides. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil.

With the meatball pan still on the heat, saute the onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 3-4 mins. Add the jarred sauce along with the water, season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, once simmering, add the meatballs back to the pan, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook for 10-12 mins until cooked through.

While the meatballs are cooking, make your pasta according to the package directions. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and set aside. When the meatballs are done, serve the meatballs and sauce over the penne. Top with grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Greek Shrimp Pitas with Homemade Tzatziki and Greek Salad

2 Jan

Christmas is over…boo hoo.
It seems like so much time and energy go into getting ready for Christmas and then it’s over before you know it. Running around shopping for gifts and groceries, cooking, baking, wrapping and decorating for weeks on end. Then its over in, what feels like, only seconds. Despite all the work that goes into making Christmas what it`s all about, I still think all the work is entirely worth it in the end. 
Mr. Delish and I spent time with both of our families over the holidays. We ate lots of delicious food and drank lots of delicious drinks. I even have this week between Christmas and New Years, off work! I`m having a stay-cation. My stay-cation has consisted of shopping (for myself,) watching a million episodes of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, eating all my Christmas chocolate, and just general laziness.
I also just happened to buy myself a little gifty! I finally upgraded my camera. I know, I know, I’ve been yammering on about it forever. Luckily for you, I can finally shut up about it. I will just ask you to be patient with me while I learn how to use it properly. I am camera inept and I expect it to take a while for me to figure out how to use the manual mode.

Going back to what I’ve been up to these last couple weeks, lets just say that it hasn’t been cooking. I’d say that 95% of the meals I’ve eaten in the past 3 weeks have been made by someone other than myself, whether it be at a restaurant or family and friends houses.  However I have whipped up a couple of things, one of them being these shrimp pitas.

Marinated shrimp…

Creamy, dreamy, tzatziki sauce…

And all the fixins…

Make these tonight, you won’t be sorry!

Greek Shrimp Pitas with Tzatziki Sauce and Greek Salad

Serves 6 

½ cup olive oil
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp dried basil
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsp onion powder
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 lbs raw peeled and deveined shrimp
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 cup grated cucumber
Juice of half a lemon
6 Roma tomatoes, cut into cubes
1 long English cucumber, cut into cubes
Half a medium red onion, chopped
1 cup feta cheese
6 Greek pitas
**Extra cucumber, tomato, lettuce and red onion for serving**
In a medium bowl or measuring cup, whisk together, the olive oil, vinegar, basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, Dijon mustard, and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set aside.
Add your shrimp to a bowl; add half of the dressing/marinade mixture you just made. Add about half of the minced garlic and toss to coat the shrimp completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.
In a medium bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt, remaining garlic, grated cucumber, lemon juice and remaining teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.
Just before you’re ready to eat, combine the cubed tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta cheese in a large bowl. Add enough dressing to coat, and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste, only if needed. Set aside while you cook the shrimp.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. When hot, add the shrimp along with all the marinade left in the bowl. Saute until the shrimp are hot and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Grab a pita and tear open a hole so you can stuff the pocket. Add some lettuce, tomato, red onion, and top with about 5-6 shrimp. Top with some of the tzatziki sauce. Repeat with the remaining pitas.
Serve the pita with a big scoop of Greek salad on the side.

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