Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tortellini Pesto Salad

Dressing says a lot about a pasta salad.  Italian dressing, mayo-based dressing, you name it, the dressing makes the salad.  The most amazing ingredients can be incorporated into a salad but with bad or overpowering dressing, you never get the full effect of the salad elements.  And like potato salad, I am a picky pasta salad eater...then I discovered the use of pesto.

And since wonderful pesto is available in every grocery store, and unless you have plenty of time on your hands to make it from scratch, you can simply purchase it. I even purchased premade cheese tortellini.  The other ingredients were what I have on hand in my fridge.  So feel free to experiment with other additions.  

Couple words of advise on this recipe:
1.  The cherry tomatoes are fantasticly sweet and pair perfectly with the cheese pasta, so highly recommended.
2. With the garlic in the pesto and the cheese in the tortellini, additional cheese is not needed.

Perfect for pot lucks and brunches!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Parmesan Crusted Wild Salmon

If wild salmon was a gamey animal, it would probably be a bison.  While being tender, bison has an intense game flavor.  You either have to love the meat with a passion or have the perfect pairing of a topping or sauce to tame down the intense flavor.  Thus is the story with wild salmon...

 A simple lemon and caper sauce that usually pairs well with a light salmon fillet most likely isn't the right topping for wild salmon. Therefore, I created a crust that combines the strong flavors of parmesan, thyme, and garlic that works perfectly with the fish fillet. Baked till golden and paired with a mushroom and rice casserole, this dish made the perfect weeknight meal.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vegetable Paella

So many fresh ingredients and not enough dishes that incorporate everything! The grocery store, or if your lucky the farmers market, is filled with the most ripe varieties of produce.  Its all to enticing to pass up. 

I must admit that I am a novice at paella making.  I stood in the rice aisle for about 30 minutes trying to decipher the differences in the grains.  The recipe called for short-grain rice so that cut down my choices by 3000.  In the limited number of paella's I have seen, they usually have a yellow rice so "bingo", rice shopping was done.  

I also used this dish as opportunity to introduce my taste buds to some new veggies.  In case you were wondering, my taste buds do not like fennel.  Licorice must be an acquired taste...for which I do not possess. So bedsides that one ingredient, I loved everything else. 

A little time consuming but worth the effort.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pizza Bites

For those of you in the Northeast experiencing the heat wave of 2010...
...welcome to my life in Florida.  We know its hot and humid so lets move on to something more fun with the warm weather, cookouts!

I went in search of an easy appetizer to tempt our palates during a recent 4th of July get-together.  Voila! Pizza Bites seemed simple and delish enough.  And you might be surprised to find out that these pair particularly well with an alcoholic beverage. May I suggest a nice frozen margarita or twenty?

Premade dough stuffed with mozzerella cheese and pepperoni, the pizza possibilites are limitless. I even provided a marinara dipping sauce.  So if you have 20 minutes to spare, these are perfect for a party. Even on warm day, these bites hit the spot. In fact, they went so quickly, I wished I had made more.

And honestly, whats more American than pizza and fireworks?

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