Monthly Archives: March 2012

Yellow Split Pea and Egg Curry

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Yellow Split Pea and Egg Curry

If you are short on funds but want something super tasty and pretty easy to make, it’s this dish.  South Asians refer to any kind of split peas, legumes and lentils as “Daal”.  We cook them in a variety of ways and in Bengali we even refer to “Daal” as the “poor man’s meat”.  When I went home to Bangladesh earlier this year, I visited a lot of Child Development Centers where kids get an awesome education and one meal per day. That one meal per day literally saves lives. Egg curries are included twice a week as a cheap source of protein  along with “Daal” of course, and the kids always love it.  I loved eating egg curries as a child as well.  I used to save the yolk until the very end, like a reward.  So I decided to combine “Daal” with a more traditional Egg Curry.  The result is twice the nutritional value and a very tasty dish.  This is delicious served with plain white rice or a vegetable rice palao or lemon rice.

This mixture is what Bengalis call "Gorom Mosla" meaning "hot spices" It lays the foundation of most savory curry dishes

Cumin, Turmeric and Chili powder. The trifecta of any good curry dish

Boil the yellow split peas with half a chopped onion, turmeric, cumin and salt

Cooked yellow split peas

Hard boil a dozen eggs

Saute onions in vegetable oil with crushed Cardamom pods, bay leaves, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks

Add Turmeric, Chili and Cumin along with the garlic and ginger paste and stir fry (make sure to add the salt)

Add the peeled boiled eggs to the sauce mixture

Stir fry gently for a few minutes

Add cooked yellow split peas and water and simmer for 4-5 minutes

Add coconut milk to the mixture and simmer for another couple minutes

Serve with plain white rice or with a vegetable rice Palao

Here’s the recipe:

Yellow Split Pea and Egg Curry

1 dozen hard-boiled eggs

1 1/2 cups of dried yellow split peas

1 large onion, chopped and divided

1/4 cup oil

5 Cardamom pods

2 Cinnamon Sticks

5 whole Cloves

3 bay leaves

2 1/2 tsp Turmeric

1 1/2 tsp Red Chili powder

2 1/2 tsp Cumin

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

4-5 whole garlic

1 inch piece of fresh ginger (combine the garlic and ginger together in a paste)

1 can of Coconut Milk

5 cups of water

Place the eggs in a large pan with cool water to boil.  In the meantime, in a medium sauce pan wash the yellow split peas and put 4 cups of water, half chopped onion, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp turmeric and bring to a boil.  After mixture is boiling, lower temperature to simmer and cover to cook in a back burner until tender and water is dried up (about 20 minutes or so).  Take the hard-boiled eggs, cool, peel the shells and set aside.

In a large 5-6 quart dutch oven style pan, heat oil.  Add the rest of the chopped onion, crushed cardamom pods, whole cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks.  Stir fry for a few minutes until fragrance is released.  Add in Cumin, Turmeric, Chili powder and garlic/ginger paste stir fry another minute or so.  Add the remaining salt and the hard-boiled eggs, gently stir to coat the eggs in the sauce.  Add the cooked split yellow peas and a cup of water.  Cover and simmer for about 5-7 minutes until all the flavors are incorporated.  Add the can of coconut milk and stir.  Simmer an additional 2 minutes.  Serve hot with  vegetable rice palao or plain white rice.

Vegetable Rice Palao

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Vegetable Rice Palao

Palao, Polao, Pilaf….whatever way you want to pronounce it, it basically means “yummy rice” (that’s my translation).  I’m Asian, which means I make a lot of rice, eat a variety of rice and think of ways to incorporate rice into stuff that probably shouldn’t have rice.  We love rice so much, we even make pasta out of it!  That’s good news for all those trying to eat Gluten-free.  This is a simple go-to vegetable rice dish.  It can stand alone as a main dish or is great eaten with any Egg Curry dish or even a Chicken Korma.

Ingredients at a glance

Wash the rice until the water runs clear

Saute onions with Cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves before adding the turmeric, cumin, chili and the garlic/ginger paste

After adding vegetables and golden raisins to the sauce mixture ~ add the cashews last

Add in the washed rice and stir gently to mix

Add water, cover and set the heat to low until all the water is absorbed and rice is cooked, about 10-15 minutes.

Vegetable Rice Palao

So yummy with Egg Curry

Here’s the recipe:

Vegetable Rice Palao

3 cups uncooked Basmati Rice

6 cups water

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup raw cashews

1 pound frozen mixed vegetables

5-6 Cardamom pods

5 whole cloves

2 Bay leaves

2 Cinnamon sticks

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tsp Turmeric

1 1/2 tsp Red Chili powder

2 tsp Cumin

5 whole garlic cloves and 1 1/2 inch ginger – grate together into a paste (I usually make a large quantity and keep it in a mason jar in the fridge)

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Wash Basmati Rice until the water runs clear, this gets rid of the excess starch and makes a better end product.  Set aside.  Heat oil in a large 5-6 quart heavy bottom pan, add chopped onions and cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaves.  Stir fry until fragrance is released.  Add salt, cumin, turmeric and chili and stir fry a few more minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger paste last so that the garlic doesn’t burn.  Add frozen vegetables, golden raisins and then the  cashews (keeps the cashews from breaking into little pieces) and saute an additional 2-3 minutes to incorporate the flavors.  Add in washed Basmati rice and gently stir to incorporate all the spices without breaking any of the rice grains.  Add the water and bring to a gentle boil, turn down the burners on low and cover.  Let rice cook on low until all the water is incorporated and rice is tender, should be about 10-12  minutes.  Turn off heat and fluff gently with a serving spoon to incorporate all the vegetables evenly.  Serve warm.

Drink Up! Spiced Mango Lassi

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Drink Up! Spiced Mango Lassi

HMMMMM.  Mango Lassi, so tasty and so good for you (gluten-free, low fat and everything!).  Growing up when the summers were super hot and the Mangoes were ripe, it was a perfect combination for enjoying this refreshing drink.  The local yogurt was tart and the Mangoes sweet and my mom would add some spices to make the mixture just right.  We never got a big glass to drink.  It was always too small and we drank it slowly to make it last, tilting the glass all the way up and getting a Mango Lassi Moustache in the process.  I still love how it makes me feel just to take a long sip. And I still try to make my glass of Mango Lassi last, kind of like the last day of summer!

The cast of characters: Yogurt (I like Greek), Mangoes, Cardamom, Cloves and Cinnamon sticks, sugar

Make a spiced simple syrup by boiling water, sugar and the spices

Strain the spices and pour syrup into a little mason jar - this stuff is so wonderful, great for ice teas, regular teas....

To cut up the Mangoes: flip the skin down to pop the mango cubes "up"

Cut the cubes from the skin

Blend Ice, Mangoes, Yogurt and spicy simple syrup together

Serve immediately

Sip slowly and make it last

Here’s the recipe:

Spiced Mango Lassi

2 ripe Mangoes, cubed

1 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (I like Greek yogurt, but it will make it more tart)

5-6 ice cubes

2-3 tablespoons of the Simple Syrup with spices (you can add more or less, it’s up to you)

Simple Syrup with spices

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 sticks of Cinnamon

5 whole cloves

5-6 Green Cardamom pods, crushed (use skins and seeds for the syrup)

To make the syrup:

Place water, sugar and spices in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Boil a minute or so until all the sugar is dissolved and the spices release their aromas.  Strain the syrup and pour into a glass mason jar to store.  This syrup is fantastic.  I not only use it for this recipe but for making Peach ice tea, Ginger Peach Ice tea,  or just adding a little to my regular hot tea.  It’s a wonderful addition to keep in the fridge.  If you’d prefer not to use any processed sugar, you can make simple syrup with honey, just add a little lemon juice to the mixture to keep it from crystallizing.

To make the Lassi:

In a blender put the ice in first, then add yogurt, Mangoes and the simple syrup.  Blend for a few minutes until smooth and serve immediately!

Dinner part two – Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna in Sweet Soy Garlic Ginger Sauce

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Dinner part two – Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna in Sweet Soy Garlic Ginger Sauce

I made the Mango and roasted corn salad last night which was so fresh and wonderful tasting and made some Yellow Fin Tuna to go with it.  The Tuna turned out pretty great but my husband, Grantley, was not a fan.  He does not like anything that has a pink middle.  It has to be cooked to the death.  I refuse to cook Sushi-Grade fish all the way through because then you might as well eat it out of a can.  So we compromised and I made him another protein to eat with his salad.  But I thoroughly enjoyed my fish.  I thought you might like it too.

Whisk up the dressing and marinate the fish

Grill on a medium high grill to get a nice sear

Serve over a refreshing salad

Dinner was delicious!

Here’s the recipe:

Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna in Sweet Soy Garlic Ginger Sauce

2 pieces of sushi-grade Yellow Fin Tuna (about 3 ounces each)

1 tablespoon Sweet Soy Sauce (Kecap Manis, see Nasi Goreng recipe for pictures and explanation)

1 clove of garlic, finely minced

1/2 inch of fresh ginger grated

1/2 tsp Shiracha Chili sauce

Whisk all the sauce ingredients together and marinate the fish for about 30 minutes to 1 hour in the fridge.  Heat a grill to medium high heat and cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until nicely seared.  Serve with Mango and roasted corn salad

Roasted Corn, Mango and Lentil Salad with Red Chili Ginger Honey Lime Dressing

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Roasted Corn, Mango and Lentil Salad with Red Chili Ginger Honey Lime Dressing

It’s a long name, I know.  But It’s a great salad!!  I had a bunch of corn on the cob left over from a recent meal and I wanted to re-use them in something fresh.  I roasted up the corn over the burners, (that’s the wonderful thing about having a gas stove) and added in some lentils for protein and Mangos for sweetness and it was delightful.  Roasting the corn adds a slightly smokey flavor and the English cucumbers are crispy, crunchy and fresh….hmmmmm, it’s very tasty! I’m glad it turned out so good.  With the weather getting warmer and summer just around the corner, I know I’ll be making this salad a LOT!!

Ingredients at a glance

Roast corn directly over the burner (if you have a gas stove)

Using a Bundt cake pan really helps when cutting the corn off the ear

When cutting Mangoes, first slice on either side of the large seed

Cut squares into each of the slices

Flip the skin down to pop the mango cubes "up"

Slice the cubes off the skin

Cut all the Mango from around the seed

Whisk together the dressing

Toss everything together and serve

Here’s the recipe:

Roasted Corn, Mango and Lentil Salad with Red Chili & Ginger Honey Lime dressing

6 half ears or 3 whole ears of corn, roasted and taken off the ear

1/3 red onion, finely chopped

2 Mangoes, chopped

1 small English Cucumber

small bunch Cilantro (Coriander leaves)

1/2 cup dried lentils

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Dressing:

1 lime

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Red chili, seeded and minced

1 inch piece of ginger

1 tablespoon honey

In a medium size pan place the lentils with 1 1/2 tsp of salt and 2 1/2 cups of water and bring to boil, turn it down to a simmer and cover until they are tender (should take about 20-25 minutes).  In the meantime, roast the corn over a burner by holding it with a pair of metal tongs.  When roasted, cut the corn off the cob and place in a large bowl.  Cut both Mangoes into small cubes and add to the roasted corn.  Add the English cucumber and the red onion to the other vegetables as well.  Drain Lentils and rinse with cold water before adding it to the vegetables. Sprinkle with chopped Cilantro and get the dressing ready.

Preparing the dressing: 

Zest the lime in a small bowl using a microplane, also using the microplane grate the ginger to yield about 1 tsp.  Juice the lime and add seeded and minced chili, salt, pepper and honey and start whisking as you add the olive oil in a drizzle, this will turn the mixture into a nice and almost creamy emulsion.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss thoroughly.  Serves 4.  Great with Seared Yellowfin Tuna or by itself.

Masala Chai

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Masala Chai

Chai is the Bengali, Urdu, Hindi (and a lot of other Indian languages) word for TEA.  In Arabic or Farsi it’s pronounced “Shai”.  The word literally and simply means tea.  In most South Asian countries when we add spices to our tea, we call it “Masala Chai”  which means Tea with Spices.  In recent years, the western world has discovered this Tea with Spices and have marketed it with fervor in various formats calling it Chai Tea (which is like saying “Tea Tea”).  Growing up in Bangladesh, Chai is a quintessential part of everyday life.  It’s the most basic form of hospitality. It is always offered, everywhere.   You can walk into a bank to open an account and five minutes into the transaction Chai will be offered and poured.  You usually have to specify if you want Masala Chai or regular Chai.  Regular Chai is always prepared with milk and sugar while Masala Chai has a variety of spices which makes it delicious and fragrant.  This sharing of Chai is so cultural that no business is conducted without it nor any meaningful conversation.  The making, pouring and drinking of tea by nature slows things down.  You know that you cannot go anywhere without allowing some time for tea drinking.  I miss that living in the West.  We rush around so much everyday that often we miss making connections with each other in meaningful ways.

I’m sharing with you my version of Masala Chai. Pull up a chair, relax and take a drink.  I’ll have my cup out too!

Ingredients at a glance

Add crushed Cardamoms with the pods to the milk and water mixture

Bring milk, water and spice mixture to a low simmer

Add tea bags and then sugar to taste

Use strainer when pouring to strain out the spices

Masala Chai

Making quilts and drinking Masala Chai with friends

Here’s the recipe:

Masala Chai

2 cups 1% or skim milk

3 1/2 cups of water

2 Cinnamon sticks

5 green Cardamom pods, crushed

4-5 whole cloves

1/4 cup sugar

4 tea bags

In a sauce pan heat milk and water together.  Add the spices (including the Cardamom pod skin and seeds) and bring to a low simmer.  Add in the tea bags until the color becomes a light, nutty brown.  Slowly add in the sugar (if you prefer more sugar add more or if you want to leave out the sugar you can as well).  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Using a strainer over each cup, pour tea and serve.  For a refreshing summertime drink you can serve this chilled or over ice.

Gluten-free Goat Cheese Garlic and Cheddar Herb Crackers

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Gluten-free Goat Cheese Garlic and Cheddar Herb Crackers

As a dietitian I get asked all the time about gluten-free recipes and food ideas since so many people it seems, either are diagnosed with Celiac Sprue or have developed wheat or wheat-related allergies.  One of the great things about food from different parts of the world, especially South Asia is that a variety of non-wheat based flours are used in cooking.  In any Indian, Bengali or Pakistani grocery store you will find “Besan” which is chickpea flour, split gram flour (a type of lentil), rice flours, potato flour and a myriad of other flours.  They are routinely used for everyday cooking in a variety of ways.  They are much less expensive to buy at an ethnic store than at a “specialty” or “health-food”  store. Not only are these delicious but they add a depth of nutritional content that is not found in traditional processed all-purpose wheat flour.  One of the complaints I hear about those having to go gluten-free is the lack of breads and crackers that taste delicious.  I recently made some homemade Thyme and Rosemary crackers http://kolpona.com/2012/03/21/thyme-and-rosemary-edam-crackers/ and decided that I could make a variation of that using non-wheat flour and the results were truly, truly delicious.  The rice flour adds a crunch to these crackers that make them so addictive that I must confess I ate most of the crackers by myself.  It was a little embarrassing.

Ingredients at a glance

Cream the butter and add the herbs, garlic and cheeses

Roll the dough into a log and wrap with plastic wrap - refrigerate at least 30 minutes

Slice refrigerated dough into 1/8 inch slices

Place about 1 inch apart on a parchment or silpat lined pan

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees

Here’s the recipe:

Gluten-free Goat Cheese Garlic and Cheddar Herb Crackers

1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature

1/3 cup of goat cheese

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1  tsp dried dill

1 tsp dried thyme

1 whole clove garlic, pressed through garlic press

1 cup rice flour

1/4 cup chickpea flour (Besan)

1-2 tsp water (use only if the dough is not coming together)

In a medium-sized bowl cream butter with an electric mixer.  Add in herbs, garlic and cheese and continue mixing until well incorporated.  Slowly add in both the chickpea and the rice flour, add the water if needed for the dough to come together.  I did not add any salt to this recipe since goat cheese is pretty salty.  You can add some kosher salt to taste if you’d prefer. Roll into about a 9″ log and wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and cut the log into 1/8 to 3/8 inch rounds with a sharp knife.  Place on a parchment or silpat  lined cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a cooling rack before serving.  Makes about 24-28 crackers but you can tell others it only makes 6 (which is what I had to do because I ate most of them myself)

No Knead Artisan Bread and Baguettes

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No Knead Artisan Bread and Baguettes

I discovered this wonderful recipe from a delightful food blog called www.whilehewasout.wordpress.com  There are great ideas and recipes in this blog so you need to check it out.   What caught my eyes was this artisan bread recipe because you don’t have to knead it and you can store it in the fridge until you need to bake it. It’s like bread for dummies.  Could it really be that easy?  So I decided to try out the recipe and make both bread and baguettes since I was getting ready to make some Bruchetta later as well.  The dough is so versatile you can make rolls, pizza, calzones, stomboli and a myriad of other bread type recipes.  If you let it rest in the refrigerator the flavors of the dough deepen and give it some delicious almost sourdough like qualities.

Stir everything with a wooden spoon

Mix until all the flour is incorporated, cover and let rise

Dough will double in size after 2 hours

If making loaves, shape into two round loaves (or whatever shape) and let it rise another 1 1/2 hours

If making Baguettes the recipe will make four

Bake the bread with a cup of water underneath to create a steaming effect

The last 5-10 minutes bake directly on the rack

Baking directly on the rack gives a nice even crust all the way around

The round loaves

Cool completely to room temperature before slicing

The recipe makes four baguettes

Here’s the Recipe:

No Knead Artisan Bread and Baguettes

6 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons of active dry yeast

1 1/2 tablespoons of kosher salt

3-4 tablespoons of olive oil (a little more or less won’t hurt, I like a bit more)

3 cups warm water

In a large bowl (about 5 – 6 quart size) add water, yeast, salt and olive oil.  Add all the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until incorporated.  Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for about 2 hours.  You can use this dough right after the two-hour rise time or stick it in the refrigerator for use later.  It can be stored for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator (make sure it’s covered well but with a little venting).  When ready for use, dust dough lightly with flour, take out amount of dough that you want and shape it into any shape, place it on a cookie sheet or pan lightly dusted with corn meal, cover and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until double in size.  Right before putting the bread in the oven score it with a knife (this makes it look all fancy and professional).  Pre-heat oven to 440 degrees Fahrenheit or 230 degrees Celsius.  Place a small oven safe bowl or cup with warm water in the bottom rack and place the bread on the rack above it to bake.  Bake for 20 -25 minutes until it is a deep golden brown color.  Take the bread off the pan and place it directly on the rack and bake for another 5 -10 minutes to give it a nice even crust all around.  Cool completely to room temperature before cutting and serving.

Recipe courtesy of http://www.whilehewasout.wordpress.com

Baklava

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Baklava

Who makes Baklava on a beautiful, Spring, Thursday afternoon?  I guess I do.  In today’s Cultural Aspects of Food class at the University of Utah we enjoyed a bounty of Fillo- filled Greek delicacies.  We made Spanakopita http://kolpona.com/2012/03/21/spanakopita-greek-spinach-triangles/ and Baklava and talked about hydrogenated fats, cholesterol and even “pink slime”.  We also talked about how we can indulge in a decadent dessert like Baklava every once in a while because it’s rich in Mono and poly unsaturated fats, a high source of protein from the nuts and has less fat and calories than the average chocolate cupcake with a mile high frosting tower.   While we talked about nutrition, food chemistry and science there was also the exclamations of “This is SOOOOO GOOOOD”, a lot of “mmmmm” and “ahhhhhs”.  That’s what learning should be don’t you think?  Amid all the scientific information there should also be the connections of culture, history and stories of  people and places.
This recipe is from my friend Kathy Paras who is a second generation Greek-American.  She’s been making this Baklava recipe for years, passed down to her from her mom and aunts.  I love recipes like this because it’s been around orally for more than one generation so you know it’s time-tested.  I also love knowing that in the middle of a busy university we talked about science and food while enjoying a dessert that someone’s mom made up in her kitchen in Greece years ago.

Baklava Ingredients

I use Almonds, Walnuts and some Pistachios for garnish

Coarsely chop the nuts in a food processor

Add freshly grated nutmeg, orange zest and other spices to nut mixture

Brush the bottom and sides of a 17x2x2 pan

Layer Fillo dough one at a time and brush each one with melted butter

Layer nut mixture in thirds, with 4-5 layers of Fillo in between

Cut Baklava into diamond shapes

Place a clove bud in the center of each diamond shape

Pour cooled syrup over hot Baklava

Let Baklava rest for at least 7 hours

Serve at room temperature

Here’s the recipe:

Baklava

1 pound box of Fillo Dough

1 pound of Walnuts

1 pound of Almonds

3/4 pound (3 sticks) of unsalted butter, melted

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1/4 tsp Cloves

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp orange zest

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Whole cloves

ground Pistachios for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

Take out Fillo dough and place it on a cookie sheet and cover with a damp towel, this is very important so the dough does not dry out. In a food processor coarsely chop the nuts.  Place the ground nuts in a large mixing bowl and add all the spices (except whole cloves), vanilla extract, sugar and orange zest.  Mix well.  Melt butter in a glass bowl and brush 17 x 2 x 2 (or an approximate sized) dish with melted butter.  Make sure to brush the sides as well.  Place a sheet of Fillo on the bottom of the pan and brush it with butter then layer another piece and repeat with 10 layers of Fillo.  Layer one-third of the nut mixture on the Fillo then layer with 3-4 pieces of dough, buttering each layer.  Layer the next third of the nut mixture and repeat with another 3-4 pieces of Fillo.  On the very last layer add about 7-9 sheets of Fillo dough (butter each one well).  Brush top of the last Fillo dough with butter and cut into diamond shapes.  Place a clove bud into the center of each piece.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 1 hour, until golden brown.  While the Baklava is baking prepare syrup so it has time to cool by the time the Baklava comes out of the oven.

Syrup

2 3/4 cup water

2 cups Sugar

Boil slowly for 15 – 25 minutes then add 1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice (this helps it NOT to form crystals) and 2 tablespoons of honey and let simmer an additional 10-15 minutes.  Let cool completely.

Pour over hot Baklava and cover for 30 minutes with wax paper.  Uncover and let the Baklava set for 7 hours at room temperature before serving.  This ensures that all the syrup has soaked in without making the pastry soggy.  Serve at room temperature.  Try not to refrigerate this dish because it affects the texture and taste.  Makes about 36 diamond-shaped Baklavas.

Roasted Sweet Pepper Pesto and Chicken Pasta

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Roasted Sweet Pepper Pesto and Chicken Pasta

There are days when things get super hectic.  Today was one of those days.  Time got away from me and I had to prepare dinner quickly.  This is one of those dishes that packs a punch nutritionally along with exceptional taste and all that under 30 minutes.  I had picked up some great food bargains at the grocery earlier which included gorgeous red, yellow and orange bell peppers and fresh flat leafed parsley.  Armed with all these colors and textures I was ready for a quick meal of pepper pesto.  “Pesto” in Italian  means to pound or crush, basically what you’d do with a mortar and pestle.  You can make a “pesto” out of a myriad of combinations not just the traditional Basil Pesto.  Roasting the vegetables intensifies the flavors and makes the pesto a rich and delicious delicacy.  This one was definitely a winner!

Sweet multicolored bell peppers

Chop up the peppers and onion and season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil

Add a ramekin with garlic and olive oil to the pan and roast at 375 for 20 minutes

Roasted peppers, onions and garlic

Blend pepper mixture, garlic, parsley and olive oil together

Saute blended peppers in reserved garlic flavored olive oil along with cooked chicken

Toss with pasta and serve

Dinner was a success!

Here’s the recipe:

Roasted Sweet Pepper Pesto and Chicken Pasta

5-6 variety of red, orange and yellow bell peppers cut into large chunks

1 large red onion, cut into chunks

6 whole cloves of garlic

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tsp kosher salt

fresh ground pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

1/2 cup rough chopped flat leafed Parsley

16 oz Fuscilli, bow tie or a curly noodle

1 cup cooked chicken, cut into small pieces

In a large 5 quart pan bring water and salt to boil for the pasta.  In the meantime cut the bell peppers and onion into large chunks, toss with salt and pepper and  a little drizzle of olive oil and place in a large cookie sheet.  In a small ramekin or oven safe bowl, place the whole, peeled cloves of garlic and pour in 1/2 cup of olive oil.  Place ramekin in the corner of the cookie sheet filled with the peppers and onions and roast at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Take out the roasted peppers and onions and place them into a food processor, add the whole garlic cloves and the Parmesan cheese.  Turn on the food processor and drizzle in the garlic flavor oil, reserving a couple of tablespoons.  The peppers and onions should get blended well.  Add in 1/2 cup roughly chopped flat leafed parsley and pulse a few times to incorporate.

In a large skillet heat the reserved garlic flavored olive oil and add the pesto mixture and stir for a few minutes.  Add in chicken  and cooked pasta and toss together.  Serve immediately and enjoy.