This week’s meal
I’ve been trying very hard lately to stay on a food budget and a good part of that is taking the time to plan my meals. Most of this is so that I don’t just waste tons of money on eating out and I make the best use of the food that I buy. This week is Italian themed. That is, however, a very loose theme.
I made a broccoli salad with dried cranberries, sun flower seeds, onion and bacon tossed in homemade mayo. The mayo did not turn out quite as expected. I think I added the oil into the blender a little too quickly so the emulsification did not quite take.
Then I made a summer pasta salad with bell pepper, tomato, onion, and roasted broccoli tossed in an Italian vinaigrette.
Lastly, I made a creamy tossed pasta with peas and asparagus and some more bacon. The sauce was an experiment that I am happy to say, turned out pretty damn well. So let’s get rolling with recipes!
I got the broccoli salad from here. I followed the recipe pretty exactly. The mayo, however, came from here. Take your time very carefully pouring the oil into the blender. I have learned from this, don’t rush it! What I got tasted just like mayonnaise but did not quite have the right consistency. It was a little watery and prone to separating.
The Summer Pasta Salad was a great success. I replaced the mushrooms with a second bell pepper and the Roma tomatoes with grape tomatoes cut in halves. Super tasty, even when I left off all the garnish.
My creamy pasta toss was loosely based on this recipe. I did not have any creme fraiche or heavy cream to make a good thick cream sauce so I thought a good deal about how to proceed. I thought well, something like mayo is creamy like what I am looking for, so I based the sauce on I made on that idea and the idea for Cesar dressing.
Creamy Pasta Sauce
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 cups olive oil
salt and pepper
Place the yolks, lemon juice and salt and pepper into the blender and process for about 30 second or so until the mixture starts to thicken. Then slowly add the olive oil into the blender in a thin stream. The whole mixture will thicken up into a very creamy consistency.
I boiled the pasta (medium shells) and strained them. Then I cut the asparagus into bite sized pieces, tossing all but the tips into boiling water. Next I tossed in a bag of fresh frozen peas. Just before this mixture was tender I tossed the tips into the mix. Finally I strained the veggies and tossed them with the cooked pasta. I poured the creamy sauce I made over this and stirred in some crisply cooked bacon pieces.
Next time, you’ll see a recipe for Parmesan herb snack mix and lemon pepper chicken tenders with roasted potatoes.
Creamy pasta toss, broccoli salad, and parmesean herb snack mix.
Back into the swing
So I’ve been out of the food blog game for…. well months and months. A lot has happened in that time. We celebrated the new year, a couple birthdays and a few more holidays. This post has nothing to do with all of the special occasions but is a recipe for just a nice and tasty weeknight meal.
Pasta in a white wine garlic sauce served with Kielbasa and oven roasted Parmesan green beans. What a mouthful! It was a great meal that ended up lasting us a couple days.
2 packages of Kielbasa sausages (I wait until they go on sale and then keep them in the freezer until I am ready to use them.)
1 cup of a light white wine
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
1 box of thin spaghetti
1 lb package of green beans
salt and pepper
1-2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Trim all of your green beans into bite sized pieces and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and your Parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. You should see a little crisping around the edges and the beans are tender.
Slice your sausage into about 1/4 inch thick rounds and pan fry over medium heat until a little crispy on each side.
Meanwhile, boil your pasta according to package directions. When pasta is done, reserve one cup of the pasta water, and then strain the pasta.
Once you have cooked all of your sausage rounds, set them aside. Deglaze the pan you cooked the sausage in with your pasta water and the white wine. Add the minced garlic and stir until all the crispy bits come off the bottom of your pan. When your sauce begins to bubble turn the heat to low and add the strained pasta into the pan. Toss to coat. Add your sausage slices and your roasted green bean pieces and serve!