Recipes

“Cleaning out the Fridge” Pasta

By | Pasta | One Comment

Today I was pressed for time and ingredients when I got home from work so I started my rummage through the fridge and pantry and found the following:

-left over bell pepper
-half a sweet onion
-zucchini
-pepperoni
-pasta
-pasta sauce
-shredded mozzarella
-olive oil
-salt & pepper

So I decided to concoct (sp?) a meal using those 10 things and it turned out delicious! Here’s what I did:

Start off with boiling the water for the pasta and following the package directions

Then you preheat enough olive oil to lightly cover the bottom of a pan at medium high heat (probably 1 tbsp but I usually just eyeball it) and then add to it any chopped up veggies you like and cook until desired doneness. Be sure to season the veggies with salt and pepper to your liking.

Once the veggies are cooked, add your favorite pasta sauce and chopped up pepperoni.

Put a lid on it, and lower the temp to low and simmer until sauce is heated through (usually about 5 minutes or until it starts bubbling). By this time, your pasta should be ready to drain and place in a bowl. Top it with your sauce mixture and sprinkle mozzarella on top. Cover your bowl with a lid to get the cheese all melty.

Enjoy!

Creme Brulee with Strawberry

My version of the Top Chef Creme Brulee

By | Desserts | No Comments

Lately I’ve been on a creme brulee kick and I wanted to share with you the best variation I have found so far for a simple basic vanilla creme brulee.  I used Jeff’s Lavendar Creme Brulee as my model from How to Cook Like a Top Chef
and I simply left some things out (like lavendar leaves, where would one find such things? I’m not sure…).  I’ve had rave reviews so far, so you tell me what you think!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Optional: berries for serving (I LOVE strawberries but you could use any combo of fresh fruit on top)

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Over medium heat on the stove, bring cream to a gentle simmer stirring often with a wooden spoon.  In a medium bowl or mixer, whisk egg yolks and vanilla extract with the sugar until frothy.  Temper the yolks by adding 1/4 cup of the heated cream to the bowl that contains the yolks and sugar.  Make sure you constantly are whisking during this process to make sure it doesn’t curdle on you.  Repeat this process but use a 1/4 cup of the mixture in the bowl and whisk that into the cream in the pan.  I usually do this one more time before I pour the remaining mixture into the pan on the stove and I lower the heat to low (because you don’t want this to boil on you) and stir constantly until the custard is thick and coats the spoon, usually this takes 15 minutes.

Pour the custard into four 1/2 cup ramekins and place the ramekins in a large baking pan.  I love to use my pyrex for this so I can see what’s going on while it’s in the oven.  You will then fill the pan with 1 inch of hot water and then cover the whole dish with aluminum foil.  Bake it for about 4o minutes or until it is set and not liquidy in the middle.  You want to have a little jiggle to it. Transfer the ramekens out of the pan, and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Then place the custards in the fridge for at least 2 hours but I like to leave it in overnight.  When you are ready to serve them, sprinkle sugar on top (enough to your liking) and use a blowtorch to melt it on top.   I’ve also read other people like to put the broiler on and melt the sugar that way, but my husband loves to play with the blow torch, so it’s his favorite part 🙂

After it’s nice and carmelized, I put cut up fresh strawberries on top and serve.  It’s soo yummy!

You can find  a creme brulee set with a torch and ramekins usually at the grocery store, but usually these sets don’t come with the butane you need to get the torch working, so we ended up finding our butane on amazon.com.  If you already have the ramekins and just need a torch, we got ours from Crate and Barrel.

Here’s the finished product:

You can also serve with a variety of toppings:

Creme Brulee with Strawberry