Thursday, July 16, 2009

Zucchini Parmesan

Anyone who gardens knows that Zucchini is the Italian grandmother of the vegetable world... "Eat, eat, don't you want more? But I made this just for you!" As usual, my zucchini is overproducing and I am coming up with as many different ways as I can to cook this stuff! Good thing everyone in my house likes it.

Zucchini Parmesan
Zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
Italian dressing of your choice
Breadcrumbs (I used a mix of seasoned and panko)
Tomato Sauce of your choice
Shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Marinate zucchini in Italian dressing for at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
3. Coat zucchini rounds in breadcrumbs (no need to dip in egg, the dressing will hold the breading on.) Place in one layer in a baking dish
4. Bake uncovered about 15 - 20 minutes
5. Remove from oven. Drizzle with sauce and top with cheese. Bake again 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

The Verdict
We made 3 trays of this... it was all gone within two days. We cut it up small for Julia and she loved it too! You could serve this with pasta as a side, over rice, in a sandwich, or as a stand alone dish. You can certainly use jarred sauce... I know, you're thinking, "But Puttanesca! You're Italian! Don't you make your own?" Yes, I do, but jarred sauce is very convenient, especially for parmesan dishes, pita pizzas, etc. I open a jar of sauce, pour it all into a saucepan, spice it up (extra garlic, onion powder, and oregano, usually) and return it to the jar. Stored in the back of the refrigerator, it will keep a few weeks.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Mess o' Produce" Stir-fry and a Yummy Meatloaf Glaze

Mess o'Produce Stir-Fry
Stir-fry oil of your choice
Minced garlic
2-inch piece of fresh gingerroot, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup fresh green beans, sliced in 1 inch pieces
1 head bok choy, chopped (reserve leaves for a salad!)
Vegetable stock
Soy and teriyaki sauces, to taste

1. Heat oil in a large wok or skillet. Saute garlic and gingerroot until fragrant.
2. Add green onions and saute until soft
3. Add carrots and stir fry 2-3 minutes
4. Add green beans and stir fry 2-3 minutes
5. Add bok choy and stir fry 2-3 minutes
6. Add enough vegetable stock to fill about halfway to top of veggies. Bring to bubbling. Cover and cook another 5-7 minutes.
7. Remove from heat. Stir in soy and/or teriyaki sauces to taste

The Verdict
Everyone loved this as a side dish! It was a big hit. I will try it with other vegetables. Just try to add the veggies in order of which needs the most cooking time, so nothing is over- or under-done.

Yummy Meatloaf Glaze
Equal parts brown sugar, ketchup, and pineapple preserves (1/3rd cup of each for 4 servings, 1/2 cup for 6 servings.)

1. Mix together well. Pour over meatloaf and cook for the final 20 minutes of cook time.

The Verdict
This is Josh and Jim's favorite way to eat meatloaf, though it makes leftover meatloaf sandwiches very messy...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The long lost Puttanesca!

I know, I know!

This blog is shifting focus slightly for the summer. We purchased a CSA from a local organic farm. We also planted 3 "square foot gardening" plots. So I'll be focusing on our recipes for xall our wonderful fresh produce!

Grandma's Cook-Any-Greens
1 bunch fresh greens of any kind (kale, swiss chard, collard greens, beet greens, mustard greens, rapini, etc.)
Olive Oil
Minced Garlic
Chicken or Vegetable Stock

1. Chop greens (1/2 inch pieces for stems, 1 inch for leaves)
2. Saute garlic in olive oil until fragrant.
3. Add stem pieces and saute 5 minutes.
4. Add enough stock to fill the bottom of the pan but not cover the pieces entirely.
5. Cover and braise stems about 10 minutes.
6. Add leaves, re-cover, and braise 5 more minutes.
Serves 6 as a side dish

The Verdict
What a great side dish! So far I've cooked chard, dinosaur kale, and beet greens this way. Josh didn't express an opinion but ate his whole serving. Good thing, because there's always TONS of dark greens in NJ gardens!