Posts tagged ‘pesto’

July 22, 2011

Food: Pesto and Ham Breakfast Sandwich.

I have a problem with pesto lately. It is a good problem though.

I put it on everything!

I can’t stop.¬†

The summer of 2011 is the summer of pesto.

I used it the other night¬†with frozen corn –¬†cooked it and added a dollop of pesto, mixed and dug in. De-lish! ¬†

In an afternoon snack with cheese and crackers…and pesto.

Of course the usually pasta and pesto recipe here!

And breakfast this morning… what’s a breakfast sandwich without pesto?

I made this just for me. It can be doubled, tripled and made for a large crowd. Here is the recipe for just one.

Pesto and Ham Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • english muffin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk or half-and-half
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon almond pesto¬†
  • 2 slices of black forest ham
  • 1/2 slice of baby swiss cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

1. Toast english muffin. While toasting, heat small non-stick pan to medium heat. Add beaten eggs and milk Рmix in some salt and pepper too. About 1 minutes before eggs are done, move them to one side of the pan. Add ham to empty side to saute/brown/heat up. Sprinkle thyme on top of cheese, then add slice of swiss cheese to the top of eggs to begin to melt.

2. Take pesto and spread on both sides of warm toasted english muffin. Add half egg mixture to one side of english muffin. Then follow with half the ham, then the remaining eggs and then ham and of course top with other side of english muffin. Dig in while it’s hot.

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June 22, 2011

Food: Pesto Pasta with almonds and zucchini.

This was/is my first pesto making of the summer. I was looking for a quick meal just to serve one person, myself. And it just happens that our basil plants are growing like crazy so it was time for me to trim off some of the larger leaves. I had enough leftovers for another single serving to freeze for another time.

I don’t buy a lot of pine nuts – love the flavor but I’m not too crazy about the price tag. I have a very large bag of sliced roasted almonds in my pantry so I tossed them into the mix. The combination of basil, garlic, almonds and olive oil creates such a fresh¬†simple sauce that melts and spreads when it hits the hot pasta.

Sprinkle a little freshly grate Parmesan over the top and you have yourself a meal.

Oh, wait, I can’t forget the zucchini. I have to be honest, the zucchini is kind of lost in this dish but I felt better incorporating it in than throwing it away. It is not¬†essential but I ended up eating less pasta because the zucchini was in the mix and added some filler and balance – without that I probably would have eaten 4 bowls of pasta instead of the 2 with the zucchini.

This recipe is so easy. I mean with a few fresh ingredients this can be made in a snap. Like I said, it’s easy….

Pesto Pasta with almonds and zucchini

made for 1 but can easily be doubled, tripled, etc…

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups basil leaves, washed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2-3 tablespoons sliced roasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini, patted dry with paper towel.
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method:

1. Combine basil leaves, garlic, almonds and olive oil in a food processor. Mix until everything is incorporated and it forms a paste – add more oil if it is too chunky. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, then taste. Add more if desired.

2. Cook pasta according to package. When the pasta had 3 minutes remaining cooking time, add shredded zucchini to a dry saute pan that has been preheated on medium/high heat. Cook until the moisture has evaporated. Drain pasta. Add zucchini to draining pasta. Stir/toss (using tongs) to drain all water and incorporate zucchini and pasta together.

3. Add desired serving size to bowl and add 1 tablespoon of pesto at a time. I added 3 tablespoons to mine – I like pesto! Sprinkle cheese on top. Add salt and pepper if needed. Serve as quickly as possible!


March 29, 2011

Food: Sundried Tomato stuffed chicken breast.

Remember when I posted the Almond Pesto recipe? Yep, it was posted way back last week.

This is what I used it with. Spring on a plate.

It was a winner. Mr. A approved with a helping of seconds.

This was super quick since the pesto was already made and the ‘filling’ takes 30 seconds to make. But I don’t tell anyone that. Well, wait I just did. Oh well. Go make this!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-sized bone in chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs*
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped*
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted*

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. On a roasted pan with drizzled olive oil, place chicken breasts. Make a pocket in between the skin and the breast meat Рusing two fingers separate the skin from the meat. Place half the sundried tomatoes under the skin. Move around so that the tomatoes are flattened and not bunched together and cover most of the breast under the skin. Drizzle a little olive oil on top of breasts and liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on top of oil and breasts. Place in oven and cook for 40 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, I cooked some pasta and thawed some almond pesto. Mixed together with a little pasta water and serve alongside the chicken! Enjoy!

*optional: since we were having garlic bread and Mr. A had requested Chicken¬†Parmesan, I decided to mix together 1/4 cup of Panko bread crumbs, garlic and melted butter together. When there was 10 minutes of cooking left, I put this mixture on top of each chicken breast – more bread crumbs for Mr. A. That’s my dish in the picture.

March 24, 2011

Food: Homemade Basil Pesto with Almonds.

So this pesto was made last year. Doesn’t it look so fresh? I have a few secrets, that I’ll share with you.

First, use tons of fresh basil. If it’s from your garden, even better.

Second, line an ice tray with plastic wrap. Put spoon-fulls of pesto in each ice-cube spot. Cover with plastic wrap. When they are frozen, put all the cute little pockets of pesto in a zip lock bag. Grab the ‘ice’ when you need them.

Lastly, don’t mix in the cheese until you are ready to use it. Cheese and fresh pesto = not so good pesto.

So the ice tray trick is great. Now you don’t have to thaw a whole batch of pesto and only use a tablespoon and then throw it back into the freezer. Genius, I know.

Giada De Laurentiis’ Everyday Italian cookbook is great for the basics. I use her pesto recipe but change it a bit.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup raw or roasted almonds – no salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • About 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

*note, there isn’t a lot of salt added, because the Parmesan that you will add later is salty to the max.

1. In a blender or Cuisinart, pulse the basil, almonds, garlic, salt and pepper until finely chopped.

2. With the blender/Cuisinart on, gradually add enough oil to form a smooth thick consistency.

3. And you are done. Add to plastic lined ice trays or put into a bowl for 2 days, covered in the refrigerator.

*Remember to add 1/2 freshly grate Parmesan cheese when you are ready to use.

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