April 2009


Earlier this week, I came home to a goodie box from the folks at Buitoni. In this box, there was a package of one of their new Riserva pastas. After much pondering, I narrowed it down to two sauces for this pasta. My all time favorite, roasted tomatoes and garlic marinara (home made of course!), and leeks and prosciutto in a light sauce. I figured I had enough pasta to try both, so that’s exactly what I did. Before I go on to talk about which paired best with the pasta, I must say that the pasta itself, sans sauce, was simply delicious. The mushroom filling had such depth that it tasted as if the pasta had just been rolled and filled. Tossing this pasta in a simple butter/garlic/parsley concoction will make for a nice easy weeknight meal.

Topped with roasted tomato and garlic marinara

Topped with roasted tomato and garlic marinara

In a leek and prosciutto creamy sauce

In a leek and prosciutto creamy sauce

Hubby and I both preferred the marinara over the leeks and prosciutto. The latter was a little too strong and almost overwhelmed the pasta. Recipes for both sauces coming later this week, just a little short in time right now!

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Granted, this would be even better using fresh apricots, but in early spring, jarred apricot does the trick!

Goat Cheese Stuffed Apricot Chicken

Goat Cheese Stuffed Apricot Chicken

Ingredients:
1 jar apricot preserves
2 TB soy sauce
2 teas creole mustard
2 boneless skinless chicken breast, split in half
salt, pepper and oregano
4 tablespoons of crumbled goat cheese
2 TB extra virgin olive oil

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a small sauce pan, mix together the apricot preserves, soy sauce, and creole mustard. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Set aside.
3. In the meantime, pound chicken breasts with a meat mallot to a 1/4″ thickness. Season with salt pepper, and oregano.
4. Sprinkle one tablespoon of goat cheese on each chicken breast, roll, and tie with butcher’s twine.
5. In a medium sized skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and sear the chicken breasts; 2 minutes per side.
6. Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish, cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil, top with half of the apricot mixture and bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes.
7. Plate and top with the remaining apricot glaze.

A simple dish of cook orzo tossed with roasted tomatoes, black olives, garbanzo beans and feta cheese is a great side dish choice!

Yogurt Cup Cakes

Yogurt Cup Cakes

Just in time to greet the Easter bunny (and the forecasted snow flurries that I am ignoring) I made these today.  I had a recipe for a French Yogurt Cake that I have been wanting to try, but I was really in the mood for cupcakes, so with a few tweaks, I ended up with super moist yummy cupcakes.  A simple butter cream icing put them over the top.

Ingredients:
1 cup of cake flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 teas baking powder
pinch of salt
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of yogurt
1/2 teas vanilla

Method:
1. Set the oven at 350.
2. In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients listed through the salt. Set aside.
3. In a larger bowl, using a whisk, mix together the eggs, butter, yogurt, vanilla and sugar until combined. Do not over mix.
4. Mix in the dry ingredients until combined, again, do not over work the batter.
5. Pour in a muffin pan that has been lined with aluminum muffin cups.
6. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Buttercream icing:
For the butter cream icing, combine 5 TB of whipping cream, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 3 cups of sifted confectioner’s sugar and 1 stick of butter, melted. Combine well using a whisk.