Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sesame Seed Pasta Salad

This is a great salad to take to a picnic or family pot luck. The sesame seed oil gives the salad a slight Asian flavor without being too strong or foreign. My sister gave me this recipe awhile back. I love using fresh cilantro in this recipe, but my husband doesn't like the taste of cilantro. Did you know that about a fourth of the population thinks cilantro tastes like soap? I heard that on the radio awhile back. I substitute dried cilantro. My husband says it's not so overpowering when it's dried. Fresh shredded chicken tastes best, but sometimes I substitute canned chicken without complaints from the family.


1/4c. sesame seeds
16 oz bow tie pasta
1/2c vegetable oil
1/3c soy sauce
1/3c rice vinegar
1t sesame seed oil
3T sugar
1/2t ginger
1/4t black pepper
3c shredded chicken
1/3c cilantro, chopped
1/3c green onion

Boil pasta and rinse until cold. Toast sesame seeds in skillet. Combine oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame seed oil, sugar, ginger, and pepper in a jar and shake well. Pour dressing over pasta and toss to coat evenly. Mix in chicken, cilantro, and green onions.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Garlic Press

I bought my first garlic press a few years ago. It was a cheap thing that only cost a few bucks. I had no idea what I was doing. I tried to press a clove of garlic with it and the darn press wouldn't work. It turns out that I got what I paid for: a cheap piece of trash. I tossed it away and used minced garlic in a jar for a few more years. Secretly, I wondered what was wrong with me that I couldn't figure out how to press garlic. A few months ago, not to be defeated by a kitchen utensil, I decided to try again. Only this time I spent a little more (twelve bucks). I love my garlic press! I just peel the garlic and press it through. No mincing, no guessing how many teaspoons of garlic from the jar equals a clove of garlic, but more importantly, no bite of pasta that contains a bit of garlic that wasn't quite minced small enough. (Willard, it's safe to eat at my house again!)

There is a bit of a difference in the taste of pressed garlic and minced garlic. Pressed garlic is a little stronger. When you press the garlic you break up more of the garlic cells so there is a burst of flavor. Minced garlic is a little more subtle. If you don't really care for the taste of garlic the garlic press is probably not for you. But if you are looking for a more even flavor of garlic throughout your recipe, the garlic press is the way to go.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hot Artichoke Dip

1 (14oz) can artichoke hearts, drained
1/3 c. grated Romano Cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 t. minced garlic
1 (10oz) package Spinach (thawed and drained)
1/3 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. sour cream
1 c. shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350F, Grease 9X13 in baking dish
Chop and mix artichoke hearts, Romano, Parmesan and Garlic
Mix Spinach, heavy cream, sour cream, and mozzarella. Stir in artichoke mix. Spoon into dish.
Bake for 20-25 mins--until cheese is melted and bubbly

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rosemary-Sage Kebabs

3T red wine vinegar
1/2c olive oil
3/4T dijon mustard
3T chopped fresh parsley leaves
3/4t dried rosemary
1/4t dried sage
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2t salt
1/4t black peppers

For Kebabs:
1 1/2lb cubed chicken breast
1 pint cherry or grape tomatos
1 container small mushrooms
1 red pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 red onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
8 skewers

Mix all the ingedients for marinade and put into quart sized ziploc bag. Add chicken and marinate overnight. Alternate chicken and vegetables (except tomatos) on skewers. Grill until chicken is cooked. Add tomatos to end of skewer before serving.