Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tuna Melt Calzone

1 can of tuna, drained
tsp of mayonnaise
fresh herbs
diced onion
salt and pepper
pizza dough
grated parmesan

Preheat the oven to 500. Combine everything but the pizza dough and cheese. Roll out the the dough into a 10"x5" oblong. Put cheese on one half, leaving a half an inch all around the edge. Put the tuna on top of the cheese. Fold the dough over and press the edges together firmly. Fold the edges over again and press firmly. Cut vent holes in the top, brush it with olive oil and sprinkle it grated parmesan. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until brown.


Once again, I wrap something in pizza dough. This one is pretty obvious, but wicked good. I've been doing it for a while now, but usually at night so I can't get a decent picture. It's what I make when I get home from work after ten and need something quick.

First, the dressing. This is some mayo, basil, oregano, parsley, sweet onion, some of that Emeril spicy mustard that Foodbuzz sent me, salt and pepper. I like to mix it up before adding the tuna, it makes it incorporate more evenly. Like this. I accidentally put in a bit more mayo that I normally do, but you work with what you've got. Then you just follow standard calzone making procedure. Roll it out into an oblong, plop some cheese on there. I used mozzarella, since I had it, but any cheese would be good really. And then the tuna. Make sure to leave about a half an inch of space around the edges so you can seal it up. Then you just fold it it overand pinch it shut. I like to then fold the fold over and pinch it again, I've had some bad experiences with exploding seams on calzones. Then brush it with olive oil and sprinkle on some grated parm. That adds some nice texture. Don't forget to stab some vent holes in there. Forgetting that doesn't help stop your calzone from exploding. Bake it in a preheated 500 degree oven for ten minutes or so, until it's nice and brown. And there you have it, tuna melt calzone. It's weird, I'm not very into fish in general, but I love canned tuna. Go figure. You could clearly make this with any tuna salad, depending on how you like it. How do you like your tuna salad?
Tuna on Foodista

Monday, October 26, 2009

Italian Fried Rice

-2 Italian sausages (~1/3 lb)
-1/2 cup chopped onion
-1/2 cup chopped pepper
-2 cups leftover rice
-1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
-1/2 tbl chopped fresh basil
-2 tbls fresh parsley
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-1/4 tsp ginger, minced
-2 tbls parmesan cheese, grated
-pinch of red pepper flakes
-salt and pepper

Heat up a nonstick wok, stir fry pan or saute pan over medium/medium-high heat. Brown the sausage breaking it up into small pieces as you do. Once it's cooked transfer it to a paper towel lined plate, leaving a little of the fat in the pan. Add the onions and cook them until slightly soft and browned. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30-40 seconds. Add the peppers and cook them until they are as soft as you like. Transfer the vegetables to the same plate as the sausage. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, let it get hot and add the rice. Stir it around to coat it with the oil and then let it sit for a minute to get crispy. Stir and repeat until it's as crispy as you want. Add the oregano, parsley, basil, parmesan, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Mix it to combine then add the vegetables and sausage. Mix it up again and let it cook for a little bit to make sure every thing is hot.


When I made the garlic pan fried noodles last week there was quite a bit of interest in some Italian/Asian fusion. Sure, a lot of the interest was from me, but that's fine. I'm going to explore the idea anyway. Heh. We got some Chinese take-out the other day and ordered extra rice so I would have some leftovers to play with. I decided to Italian it up, see how it went. It went quite well. Quite well, indeed. I basically just used an asian method of using leftover rice with Italian style stuff. Like standard fried rice you could use anything you want, really. It's like stew or casserole, clean out the fridge.

First, I cooked up a couple Italian sausages. I like nonstick for making fried rice. You don't get quite as good a texture but you don't have to use anywhere near so much oil, making it less heavy. Once the sausage was browned, cooked through and broken up I moved it to a paper towel lined plate. I left about a half a tablespoon of fat in the pan to cook the vegetables in. Which is what I did next. First the onions, then I added the garlic and ginger, then finally the peppers. I just heated the peppers through, pretty much, since I don't like squishy peppers. I moved the veggies to the plate with the sausage and heated up some olive oil in the pan. You want to use just enough to lightly coat the rice, but not so much that it gets all oily. I used about a tablespoon, I think. Maybe a little less. Should have measured it, sorry about that. Then I tossed the rice in there and stirred it to coat everything. I let it sit for a minute, then stirred it and let it sit again. I did that a couple times until there was some browning on the rice. I know you can't see it, but I assure you there was some. Then I added the sausage and veggies back in, as well as the herbs and cheese. Stirred it around to combine and make sure everything was hot and that's it. Italian fried rice. It was wicked good. Next time I will be making some changes, of course. I liked the ginger in there, it added some nice flavor, I might add a little more. But I'm not sure, I don't want it to become overpowering. A splash of white wine would have been good, so would some tomatoes somewhere in there. I was thinking maybe a little balsamic vinegar, maybe some broccoli and chopped spinach. Chopped prosciutto or salami would be good too, I expect. Maybe some of those pickled hot peppers whose name I can't remember. What do you kids think, what else would be good in Italian fried rice?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Cats

The real Bob likes to sleep on my girlfriends flip flops. He also likes to sleep on notebooks. It would have been almost impossible to pry him away from them. Notice the protective limbs flung across both of his nap aids and the "don't even think about it" glare. It's pretty amusing when he tries to be tough.

Noodles likes to lay right underneath wherever wires are going to be. Don't let her placid demeanor fool you, if I had picked up that SNES controller and tried to play she would have attacked the cord and caused some damage. So we just sat there, both of us kind of bored, wishing the other would just let us play.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hoisin Glazed Carrots

1 tbl hoisin sauce
1 tbl soy sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp honey
pepper to taste
2 cups baby carrots

Mix together everything but the carrots and garlic. Put the carrots in a med-hot nonstick pan and cook for a minute. Add the garlic and cook till fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the hoisin mixture and cook till it clings to the carrots, about another minute. If you like the carrots more soft you can blanch them first or leave them in longer in the initial cooking.


A wicked quickie for you guys today. Also it's a side dish, I don't post about those much. Mostly because I cook for two almost exclusively and any side we have is a quick sauteed veggie. Kind of like this, only there's a sauce so I figured I'd share. I don't have step by steps for it, but it's really easy. In fact the sauce is almost exactly the same as my chicken with cashews , which is also very easy. Other than the directions up top the only thing I would advise is to taste the sauce before you add it, in case it's too sweet or not sweet enough. Other than that I suggest you just whip these bad boys up, they are a good time. They go with pretty much anything too, they are sweet, salty and crunchy. Unless you cook them till they're squishy. Then they're not crunchy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Garlic Pan Fried Noodles

There is a Chinese place around the corner from me that has garlic pan fried noodles on the menu. I've ordered them several times, the first they were spectacular, garlicky and rich (but not greasy) with some bits of noodle crispy and some still soft. Every other time they have been greasy and tasted like burnt garlic. This angered me. So I decided I would try to make them myself, as I have a wont to do. I'm not going to post a recipe since I don't have one yet as this is really a work in progress. But it's a sound concept and makes a good side dish, so I figured I'd share the idea with you folks.

First I cooked up a package of ramen, no seasonings. I love this stuff. Then I heated up some olive oil (next time I'm going to use my garlic/ginger infused stir fry oil) over medium high heat and pressed a clove of garlic in there. I also love my garlic press. Heh. I let it cook for just a minute and then tossed in the noodles. I added a pinch of salt and a twist of fresh black pepper and gave it a good stir. I tasted it and it didn't have as much garlic flavor as I wanted so I minced up another clove real fast (I had already put my garlic press in the dirty sink, of course, and really didn't feel like washing it) and tossed it in there. This wasn't the best choice. Even though I added it off to the side and gave it a quick saute it still added some raw garlic flavor. It also needed more oil so there was enough to lightly coat the noodles so I added a bit. The noodles got some nice texture and the end product was good, if not great. I also wound up tearing that basil I used as a garnish into bits and adding that in. That was a nice touch. Maybe next time I'll do a total Chinese/Italian fusion thing. One thing I think I'm going to do is make a quick garlic infused oil to use instead of pieces of garlic. That way I won't have to worry about burning it. And I'm going to sprinkle some sesame oil over it at the last. Because it smells awesome.

And I'm submitting it to Presto Pasta Nights! Hosted by Girlichef

Monday, October 19, 2009

Repost: Chicken With Cashews

1 1/2 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breast
3 tbls hoisin sauce
2 tbls soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sherry or 1/2 tsp of rice wine vinegar
1 tbl cornstarch
1 can water chestnuts
1/2 - 1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
sesame oil

Cut up the chicken into bite sized chunks. Toss it with the cornstarch and sherry or vinegar. Mix together the hoisin, sugar and soy sauce. Heat up a nonstick stir fry pan or skillet over med/med high. Cook the chicken in batches if you want browning or all together if you don't care. When the chicken is almost done add the sauce mixture. Cook over med/med-high for a minute or so, then add the water chestnuts. Cook till the chicken is done then add the cashews. Stir it up and serve over rice, sprinkle a little sesame oil over the top right before eating.


Stuff has been wicked busy lately so you kids are getting a repost. I originally did this way back at the beginning of my blog and it wasn't very well done. The post, I mean. The dish hasn't changed a bit, it's awesome, but the pictures I put up make me want to cry. If you really want to see it, it's here. Anyway, I don't have step by step shots this time around but it's so easy I don't think they are needed. Which is convenient since I don't have them. Heh. This is one of the easiest and simplest stir fries I make and also one of my favorites. It's great over rice or noodles or even by itself, if you aren't feeling it for carbs. Put it in a wrap with some carrots and lettuce, that would be good too. Or toss some chow mein noodles on there for some additional texture.

Speaking of texture, the water chestnuts are key to this. They lighten up the flavor a bit and give a great contrast to the tender chicken. But then, I love water chestnuts. It's another one of those things I've noticed people either love or hate, where do you folks stand?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Smooth and Thick Potato, Caramelized Onion and Chicken Soup

2 lbs red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in 2" pieces
1/2 medium sweet onion
1 tsp dried rosemary
3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dry mustard
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups (or more) cooked chicken
2 tbls fresh parsley
2 tbls flour
salt and pepper

Dice the onion and
caramelize it. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for another 30-40 seconds. Add the stock. Add the potatoes, rosemary, mustard and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are soft. Use a wand mixer or blender to blend the soup until it's smooth. Add the chicken, parsley and salt and pepper. Eat it.

You folks may have noticed I don't do a lot of soups here. Well, that's because I don't make a lot of soup. I'm not a big fan of thin, brothy soups (although I don't turn up my nose if someone serves it to me). I like my soups thick and rich, meals in and of themselves. And usually you just call that stew. The only other soup I have here is very similar to this one, although it's full of milk. This here is actually dairy free, by accident more than design. Now since there isn't any dairy in this you really want to use stock, not broth. Stock gives it a thicker, richer mouth feel that broth just wouldn't. If you don't have stock you can use broth, but it won't be as good. You could always add some butter and/or cream, but then it wouldn't be so lactose-intolerant friendly. Course, you could always use both cream and stock and have it be even better. Heh. So, let's do this.

First you need to caramelize the onion. I knew that post would come in handy. Heh. Add the garlic and saute it just for thirty seconds or so. When that's all set sprinkle the flour on there and stir it around for about a minute. Don't let it burn though, turn down the heat if you have to or add the liquid early. It's better to have it under cooked than burned. Next add the stock. I freeze mine in half cup measurements in those little plastic cups. Course, I forgot to thaw it, but that just makes it take a bit longer. Once that's all set, add the rosemary and dry mustard. Then the potatoes, which have been scrubbed and cut in big chunks. Don't worry about them being too even, they're getting blended. Once they're cooked hit 'em with the wand mixer. I love this thing. Use it like a masher at first, it makes it easier to blend them. This is the goal. At least, it's how I like it, you could leave chunks if you want. Then just add the parsley and the chicken. This is the leftovers from that half chicken I roasted the other day. Stir it up, add salt and pepper to taste and that's it! This was really good. Simple and hearty, with a nice earthy taste from the potato skins and a hint of sweetness from the caramelized onion. I'll definitely be making it again.
Sweet Potatoes on Foodista


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