The Food That Sings

Tomato, Basil, and Fresh Mozzarella Pasta Salad June 1, 2010

Filed under: Pasta — alisonfsu @ 1:05 am
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As the weather heats up, I am always looking for quick and fresh meals that do not heat up the kitchen. If you like to eat caprese salad, then you will really enjoy this pasta salad. The flavors are clean and fresh and the meal is quite healthy. I took this pasta salad to a cook out at a friends house for Memorial day and it was a hit! Hope that you will try it as a stand alone meal or side dish!

Tomato, Basil, and Fresh Mozzarella Pasta Salad

Adapted from The Washington Post

16 ounces of penne (fusilli, bowties, whatever shape you like)

10- 12 ounces of fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces

1 container of cherry tomatoes, quartered

Fresh, caprese-style pasta salad

15 to 20 medium to large basil leaves, coarsely chopped

4 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped

2 handfuls of toasted pine nuts

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

4 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar- more to taste

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta until done. In a dry saute pan, toast two handfuls of pine nuts for approximately 2 minutes. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water until cool. When it is completely dry, transfer to a large bowl. Add the mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, scallions, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and toasted pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper and add additional balsamic to taste. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves 4-8.


Grilled Lemon Chicken with Mediterranean Tapenade April 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — alisonfsu @ 12:13 am
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Warm weather = grilling in our house! Since bathing suit season is around the corner, I wanted to find some healthy recipes that do not sacrifice flavor. I made the tapenade recipe and used the sauce for two grilled chicken breasts, even though the recipe is originally written for four. If you are looking for a light and tasty grilled weeknight meal, this is the one for you! Enjoy!

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Mediterranean Tapenade
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Tapenade waiting for the chicken.

1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup pitted kalmata olives, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of red onion, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup of crumbled feta
A splash of olive oil
2 pinches of dried oregano
Fresh lemon
Salt and pepper

2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Mix the tomatoes, olives, onions, feta, balsamic, olive oil, and oregano, in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and allow to rest. Prepare the grill to medium-high heat. Brush chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a healthy squeeze of lemon juice on both sides. Grill chicken until cooked through, approximately 7 minutes per side.

The final dish- really tasty!

Top chicken breasts with the tapenade and serve.


Fajita Marinade and Homemade Salsa March 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — alisonfsu @ 10:06 pm
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Anyone who has eaten dinner with me more than once, knows how much I love Mexican and Tex-Mex. I can eat Mexican multiple times a week, so I was happy to find a new fajita marinade and salsa recipe that were excellent! I used this marinade on boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but you could substitute any protein. The salsa makes a good size portion for dinner with enough left over for snacking! Enjoy!

Marinade ready for a blend

Marinade ready for a blend

Fajita Marinade
Adapted from Tyler Florence

1 orange, juiced
2 limes, juiced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 chipotles in adobo (sounds like a lot, but doesn’t add a lot of heat)
3 tablespoons of cilantro
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a 2 cup measuring cup, combine all marinade ingredients. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the marinade until smooth. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and add your protein of choice. Refrigerate protein and marinade for at least 2 to 4 hours.

Salsa- Restaurant Style
Adapted from The Pioneer Women Cooks

1 can 28 ounce whole tomatoes with juice
1 can Original Rotel
1 can Mild Rotel
1 small onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 chipotle in adobo, with 2 spoonfuls of sauce

Fresh and flavorful salsa

1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 small handfuls cilantro
1/2 whole lime, juiced

Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, chipotle in adobo, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime, and cilantro in a food processor. Pulse until salsa is smooth, approximately 12 pulses. Refrigerate for one hour before serving.


Crunchy Baked Coconut Shrimp with Tangy Marmalade Dipping Sauce March 14, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — alisonfsu @ 10:53 pm
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This week was Spring Break, and while I would have enjoyed basking in the sunshine, the weather did not cooperate. I wanted to bring a dish to the table that would remind me of the warm weather ahead! Coconut shrimp are one of my Mom’s favorite dishes, and I thought it would be nice to try a light version. The dish was easy to make and did not leave you missing the original deep fried version. It is important to toast the coconut until it is lightly golden, this helps with the crunch and the overall appearance of the dish. If you do not enjoy shrimp, this could easily be adapted to chicken tenders. The dipping sauce was easy and incredibly tasty. If you are a heavy dipper (which I am), I would double the dipping sauce for four people. I hope that this meal brings a bit of summer to your table!

Crunchy Baked Coconut Shrimp

Coconut Shrimp

Baked coconut shrimp waiting to be eaten!

Adapted from Boy Eats World

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails intact

2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

1/2 cup of all-purpose flour

1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

4 large egg whites

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the coconut evenly on an ungreased sheet pan (depending on size of pan, you may need to use two), and toast in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Coconut Shrimp 2

Can you find the hidden shrimp?

To prepare the shrimp, lightly spray a sheet pan with cooking spray. In a shallow dish, whisk together the panko, flour, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Place the lightly toasted coconut in a separate dish. Place the egg whites in a bowl and whisk until frothy. Pat the shrimp dry and dip into the egg whites, then the flour, back in the egg whites, and then roll in the toasted coconut.

Arrange the shrimp on one to two baking sheets and lightly spray them with cooking spray. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. If you desire an extra crunch, after baking, place your shrimp under the broiler for approximately 1 minute.

Tangy Marmalade Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup of orange marmalade (I used Smuckers Less Sugar)

2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

1 dash of salt

Combine four ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Dipping Sauce

Tangy dipping sauce