Saturday, July 14, 2012

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Broccoli

Sounds simple, right?

Well, it is.

But it also has a pretty impressive presentation and a great taste. Since my grandmother's birthday, she has called me four times to tell me how great it was and ask me questions about how I prepared it.  Usually side dishes get overlooked or overshadowed by the main dish. The main dishes for her dinner were marinated steak tips (to DIE for, I swear they melt in your mouth) and baked shrimp scampi (recipe to coming soon!). So the fact that the broccoli made such an impression on people really says something.

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm currently obsessed with roasting vegetables. I grew up with steamed frozen vegetables. When I'm running low on time or energy, frozen veggies are still my go to side dish. But if I have any fresh vegetables and a little time before dinner, I just cannot resist roasting them. Is it just me or does roasting give everything a wonderful nutty flavor? I might be making that up but I love it.

The addition of parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs makes the roasted broccoli look a little fancier and taste richer. The preparation is just as easy as simply roasting the broccoli with olive oil but the additions make it seem more appropriate for a special occasion.

Try this for a semi-elegant twist on roasted broccoli!

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Broccoli (4 servings)
  • 1 lb fresh broccoli, broke up into large florets
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the breadcrumbs in a 9x13 pan for 2 minutes. Transfer into a bowl and set aside. 
  3. Toss the broccoli with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix in breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
  4. Transfer to the 9x13 pan. Sprinkle pieces of butter evenly over the top of the broccoli. Roast for about 15 minutes or until the broccoli reaches the desired tenderness.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Roasted Rosemary Red Potoates

I love roasting vegetables for so many reasons. It's so easy. Basically you just have to chop your favorite veggies, toss them in olive oil and some seasoning, and put them in the oven at around 400-450 until they are cooked to your desired tenderness. Easy peasy!

I also love that it really brings out the natural flavors of the vegetables and the herbs that you choose to use. The vegetables aren't smothered in a rich sauce that overpowers them. Now don't get me wrong... I'm a HUGE fan of thick, creamy, cheesy sauces but we're trying to keep it light for summer, remember? Rosemary has a wonderful aroma. I got mine straight from my grandfather's garden, which makes it even better because it's completely fresh. And free :)

Roasted. Rosemary. Red potatoes. I love alliteration almost as much as I love roasting ridiculously remarkable raw red potatoes.

Ok, I'm done.

This recipe is so simple. The combination of fresh rosemary and potatoes is a classic combination for a side dish to accompany meat main dishes. The leftovers would be reheated in a skillet to make home fries and covered with drippy eggs.

I'll be sharing the other two dishes that I made with these potatoes for my grandmother's birthday later in the week so stay tuned!

Roasted Rosemary Red Potatoes (8 servings) 
  • 3 lbs red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp rosemary, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Toss the red potatoes with the olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper. 
  3. Place the potatoes the prepared pan in a single layer to ensure even roasting. Roast for 30-40 minutes (I did around 40 because I had other items in the oven and we like our potatoes a little browned on the outside.)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Patriotic Trifle

I was looking through my camera and I realized that I forgot to post my 4th of July recipe! Food blogger fail. Especially for me because I get really excited about making themed food. And parties. And outfits. I blame my love for all things themed on my four years of sorority life <3

I made this patriotic trifle to bring to a family friend's barbeque. I had to whip something up really quickly because I was soaking up the sun all day and did not feel like being cooped up in the kitchen. I threw together this trifle in about 30 minutes so it was perfect!

This dessert is easily adaptable. I used angel food cake, strawberry puree, vanilla pudding, and blueberries and strawberries for the layers. You can use any flavor of cake, fruit puree/alcohol (to moisten the cake), pudding, and fruit/candy topping that you'd like. The possibilities are endless! My mom makes a boozy version with chocolate cake, Bailey's, chocolate pudding, and Heath Bar pieces. Everyone goes absolutely crazy for it. The important thing to remember is the order of the layers:

  1. Cake
  2. Fruit puree/alcohol
  3. Pudding
  4. Cool whip
  5. Toppings (fruit/candy)
  6. Repeat!
I cannot wait to experiment with more flavor combinations!  I will definitely be making plenty of other versions because: it's so easy to put together; it tastes great; and it's very pretty if the layers are carefully assembled. This is perfect for a party because it's cheap and makes a ton of servings!

So happy belated 4th of July! I'm within a week so it's still acceptable to celebrate, right?

Patriotic Trifle
  • 2 angel food cakes
  • 2 boxes instant vanilla pudding (I used sugar free)
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 large container Cool Whip (I used fat free)
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 16 oz containers strawberries, sliced
  • 2 pints blueberries
  • 1 banana, sliced
  1. Prepare the instant pudding according to the directions on the back of the package (I used 1 quart of whole milk for two packages of pudding mix). Chill in the refrigerator for about a half hour.
  2. Puree 1 cup of strawberries with the sugar and water. Set aside.
  3. Tear up one angel food cake into bite-sized pieces. Place in an even layer at the bottom of a large, clear serving bowl.
  4. Pour half of the strawberry puree over the cake layer. 
  5. Spread half of the pudding evenly over the cake. Make sure the pudding goes all the way to the sides of bowl so the separation of layers can be seen from the outside of the bowl.
  6. Spread half of the Cool Whip over the pudding layer in the same manner.
  7. Reserve enough strawberries and blueberries for the flag decoration. Combine the rest of the blueberries and strawberries. Make an even layer of fruit. 
  8. Repeat steps 3 through 6.
  9. Create an American flag out of the remaining fruit, as shown in the pictures below.

look at those layers!
Happy 4th of July, America!
yeah, that's a themed dessert and a matching outfit :)
diggin' in!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Crab-Stuffed Baked Cod

Happy July 1st! July is my favorite month. I generally don't have work or school. I get to lay in the sun all day. And it's my birthday month. Yay!

Anyway... onto the food! I really want to try to eat more fish. I think I have always just assumed that I don't like fish because I don't like plain baked salmon. It's just too fishy and it's ugly and it smells weird. Not for me. So I never bother trying, ordering out, or cooking any other kind of fish. Well, that's silly so I'm making a change.

I decided to try crab-stuffed cod because it's something that I always contemplate ordering when I'm out to eat but then I chicken out. I'm glad that I finally tried it because it was great! The cod was thick and flaky. I think the sauce was a perfect combination of olive oil, butter, lemon juice, and parsley because you can really taste each ingredient. The stuffing made the fish more filling and was really tasty. The only change I might make is to decrease the bread crumbs and to use fresh crab rather than canned for a more crab-y and less carb-y stuffing.

This recipe definitely changed my mind about fish and I CANNOT wait to try more. So be on the lookout for more seafood recipes on the blog. And in the meantime, give this a try :)

Crab-Stuffed Baked Cod (4 servings)
  • 1 ½ lbs cod
  • ¼ cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • salt and pepper
Crab Meat Stuffing
  • 4 oz Crabmeat (I used canned)
  • 3/4 cups Italian style bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½  Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp parsley
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • salt, pepper and paprika to taste
  • bread crumbs
  • parsley
1.       Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.       Combine all the sauce ingredients and pour into an 8x8 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.
3.       Make a cut into the fillet length-wise, almost all the way through (almost as if butterflying it). Peel back the top layer of the fish and put stuffing on the bottom layer of the fish. Put the top layer of the fish back over the stuffing (see the picture below, if this is confusing).
4.       Place stuffed filets in the baking dish. Drizzle olive oil on the filets. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes or until bread crumbs are browned and fish is flaky. Garnish with parsley.

the sauce
the stuffing
stuffing the fish!
ready to be baked
all baked!