Baked zucchini and mozzarella

Baked zucchini and mozzarella

Posted on December 6, 2011 by

There are few things as easy and delicious as this zucchini magic trick. Slice, sprinkle, bake et voila, deliciousness. The zucchini become soft and buttery, the garlic salt gives depth of flavor, and the cheese bubbles in to a golden brown crust.

Baked zucchini and mozzarella

2 medium sized (or about 5 small) zucchini
garlic salt
salt
olive oil
2 C shredded mozzarella cheese

Slice your zucchini up into 1/2 inch rings. Lay them out flat on a large cookie sheet. Sprinkle with garlic salt and a bit of salt. Bake in the oven at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or until crisp tender.

Take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle the zucchini with cheese. Turn the oven to broil and let the cheese get all bubbly and a bit browned. This should only take about 3-5 minutes.

Enjoy right out of the oven.

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Flower of the zucchini plant.
.

Crock❧Pot BBQ Beer Chicken

From:  http://www.howsweeteats.com/2011/10/crockpot-bbq-beer-chicken/

 

Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken.

October 5, 2011 · 207 comments

What is up with beer and me lately?

I can’t get enough of the stuff.

If I’m telling the truth, I really enjoy cooking with beer much more than I like drinking it. I do like to drink it on occasion, but it’s not always my beverage of choice. However, when it comes to cooking with it?

Best

flavor

ever.

Basically, I love replacing water with alcohol. Always and forever.

And now… a peek into what a mess my kitchen appliances really are.

You don’t even want to see my stand mixer. Or my toaster. Or my food processor. Or my fridge. Or my… everything. I’m a train wreck.

Look at that bun. (Or bum, since that’s what I really just typed.) Don’t you want to do a big trampoline jump on it? So puffy and fluffy and fat.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that this is the best chicken I have ever made in the crockpot. It might be the best chicken I’ve made, period. And… I make a ton of crockpot chicken. Like really, a ton.

People… I live with a man who seriously eats chicken at least five days a week for lunch and dinner. Sometimes I get insanely creative, but most weeks he gets the short end of the stick when I throw chicken in the slow cooker with, uh… nothing else, just so I don’t have to deal with making him something delicious only to stuff it in five giant tupperware containers. Maybe I do wish you could see my fridge.

 

So, I’m convinced it’s a combination of the perfect marriage between beer, spices (I freakishly love onion powder and smoked paprika together… give it a whirl) and sauce (Bone Suckin‘ is the best) that makes this so amazing. It’s a great meal for a crowd but if you’re smart, you’ll make a big crock for yourself and freeze a bunch for the days when wine drinking and pie eating takes precedence over dinner.

Or is that just me?

Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken

serves about 8-10

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 large)

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

8 ounces of beer (I used a classic amber)

32 ounces of barbecue sauce

Season chicken with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Add to crockpot, then add beer and 24 ounces of barbecue sauce. Cook on low for 8 hours, tossing once or twice if desired. After 8 hours, shred and add remaining barbecue sauce. Serve as desired.

Notes:

1. I’ve found that *thinner* barbecue sauce works better (such as Bone Suckin’ Sauce) than thicker sauce (like Sweet Baby Ray’s). If you choose to use a thicker sauce, you may want to add a little more beer (or liquid) in order for the sauce not to burn and thicken on the edges of the pot. This is also the reason I don’t use my homemade barbecue sauce.

2. If you don’t want to use beer, you can try a ginger ale, chicken stock, or even water.

3. This makes a ton of chicken and I usually freeze immediately freeze a container for later.

I wish I was sandwiched between those buns.

Tagged as: barbecue, beer, chicken, recipes

asparagus in phyllo dough

From Lynn on Google+:

Lynn Warren – I wrap asparagus in phyllo dough that’s been brushed with melted butter and parmasean cheese, you wrap the asparagus with it and bake. very easy, and can be eaten at room temp, etc.

Sounds ridiculously excellent & easy.  If you’re a fan of asparagus, you may enjoy it steamed, grilled, roasted, or even nuked.  I love the stuff if it’s prepared well.  This sounds like it would go over quite well.  Parmesan cheese is always a win.  Maybe some Romano… and I may add garlic.  If we wanted to get really nuts, we could wrap ’em in bacon & and the dough.

Found a recipe from Paula Deen that says to bake at 375° for 15-18 minutesGoogle for ideas!

Goofy noodles, fancy bacon, & squash? I’m in.

Bought some Campanelle because boxes of pasta were cheap, and it looked neat.

I looked for a campanelle recipe online, & this popped up:

http://www.barillaus.com/Recipes/Campanelle-with-Butternut-Squash-Crispy-Italian-Pancetta-and-Balsamic-Vinegar.aspx

I love all of these ingredients, but I may lose the onion or substitute garlic…
Campanelle with Butternut Squash, Crispy Italian Pancetta and Balsamic Vinegar
INGREDIENTS

  • 1 BOX Barilla Campanelle
  • 1/3 CUP Italian Pancetta, Julienne
  • 1/4 CUP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 CUP White Onion, Chopped
  • 1 POUND Butternut Squash, Peeled, Cubed
  • TO TASTE Salt
  • TO TASTE Black Pepper, Freshly Ground
  • 1 SPRIG Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 1/2 CUP Chicken Broth
  • TO TASTE Balsamic Vinegar

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

  1. SAUTÉ pancetta in a large skillet over medium- high heat until crispy. Drain excess fat.Set aside.
  2. HEAT olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add onions and rosemary, sauté until golden.
  3. ADD the butternut squash and the chicken broth. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the squash gets soft.
  4. DISCARD the rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Process half of the sauce in the blender until smooth. Thin sauce with more chicken broth if desired. Return sauce to pan.
  5. COOK pasta according to directions and toss with the sauce.
  6. TOP the pasta with pancetta , drizzle with Balsamic vinegar.

Visit BarillaUS.com for more delicious Italian recipe ideas.
©2010 Barilla. All Rights reserved.

Campanelle with Butternut Squash, Crispy Italian Pancetta and Balsamic Vinegar
Campanelle with Butternut Squash, Crispy Italian Pancetta and Balsamic Vinegar

Homemade Pizza with Pillsbury Crust

The other night, the wife & I were in the mood for pizza, but not for any of the plethora of local pizza places.  We decided to make our own.  We were going to get one of those pre-made Boboli crusts, but while at the grocery store my wife came across one of those cardboard tubes of pizza dough by Pillsbury.  We decided why not try that?  I like a puffy doughy not quite fully cooked crust.

Well, this wasn’t that… but it was tasty.  It seemed to be pretty thin, but it was flavorful.  We bought the Giant Eagle brand jar o’ pizza sauce because it was way cheaper than the real brands.  I added some brown sugar ’cause I like sweet sauce… but I’m getting ahead of myself.

My wife spread out the dough and I brushed on some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled on some garlic powder.  Then we put down the sauce & brown sugar mixture, and a 2-cup bag of “4-cheese Italian” shredded cheese.

We put diced green peppers, turkey pepperoni, and canned mushrooms on the whole thing… and I put diced Canadian bacon & chopped olives on my half.  I topped it off with a little leftover taco cheese, and put some crushed red pepper flakes on my side.

We baked it according to the instructions on the weird cardboard roll, and it turned out great.  We need to do homemade pizza night more often!  I think we’ll skip the EVOO step though… I don’t think it was all that necessary.

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Homemade pizza FTW!

Ciabatta Chicken Carb Overload Sandwiches

A while ago, I saw some Ciabatta buns in a 2-pack at my local Giant Eagle, and I thought that they were perfect for  my wife & I because we didn’t have to buy 6 or 8 at a time and let some go bad by the time we got around to eating them all.  Around that time, we had some leftover chicken breasts that had been prepared Shake ‘n Bake style the night before.  Out of that, my favorite new sandwich was born.

Ciabatta Chicken Carb Overload Sandwich
Ciabatta Chicken Carb Overload Sandwich

We made some the other night, making he Shake ‘n Bake chicken exclusively for the sandwich, saving leftovers to top a salad the next day.

Here’s what you need to make two sandwiches…

  • 1 2-pack of ciabatta buns
  • a few sprays or a spread of butter or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter or whatever passes for butter in your house
  • a sprinkle of garlic salt or your favorite spice(s)
  • a pack of your favorite chicken breasts
  • Shake ‘n Bake
  • Meunster Cheese
  • Your favorite barbecue sauce  (I generally like most BBQ sauces, so I go with whatever I’m in the mood for, or whatever’s on sale. – This time we used Bullseye, I think.)

All you need to cook it is your oven.

  • Prepare the chicken according to the Shake ‘n Bake directions.
  • Pull it out to cool, and get a cookie sheet ready with your buns.
  • Cut the buns in half, prepare like you would garlic bread, placing the Meunster cheese on the top half.
  • Pop that in the over at around 357° for less than 10 minutes or so… until it’s to the crispiness you desire.
  • Dice the chicken and place into a bowl… mix with desired amount of barbecue sauce.
  • Pull the bread out of the oven, top with BBQ-laced super-carby chicken and it’s the most awesome sandwich you’ve had in a while.

We served these with sautéed zucchini and yellow squash, and it was a nice compliment.  Is the Shake ‘n Bake overkill?  Probably.  I like to think that it helps the sauce stick to the chicken, and prevents it from falling out all over your shirt or lap.  Maybe you need to heighten your carb intake because you’re running a marathon or something.  Maybe you just like being fat like me.

If they still made the Yuengling barbecue sauce, I’d totally use that for this.  The Bob Evans Wildfire sauce is pretty awesome too.  At any rate, if you’re not making these and you’re a fan of bread, breading, chicken, Meunster, and BBQ… then you don’t know what you’re missing.

Oh yeah, I think I put some Parmesan/Romano shake cheese and some Hot Shot pepper on mine this past time too.

Enjoy some photos…

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Oven Roasted Peppers

Directions from a variety of sources, until I come up with my own preferred method.

From:  http://allrecipes.com/howto/roasting-peppers/detail.aspx

Roasting Peppers

By: Allrecipes Staff

Enjoy the succulent sweetness of a freshly roasted pepper prepared at home.

Roasting peppers at home is remarkably easy. The whole process takes less than 40 minutes, uses very few kitchen tools, and is nearly foolproof. Both sweet and hot peppers can be roasted in this manner.

1. We have opted to roast two sweet bell peppers, one red and one green. We recommend using two teaspoons of vegetable oil for each pepper. Avoid extra-virgin olive oil as its smoke point is low and will burn when broiled. Preheat your oven’s broiler.

2. Coat each pepper evenly with oil. A pastry brush is a useful tool to use when coating the peppers, but fingers will work in a pinch if a pastry brush is not on hand. Make sure to coat inside the folds of each pepper.

3. Arrange the peppers on a baking sheet and place the baking sheet on the highest rack in your oven.

4. Keep a watchful eye on the peppers to ensure that they do not become too scorched. When dark splotches begin to appear on the peppers, remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully turn each pepper over.

5. The peppers will be very hot, so use tongs or some other kitchen utensil to do this. Once all of the peppers are turned, return the sheet to the oven.

6. When the tops of the peppers begin to darken again, remove them from the oven and place them into a bowl large enough to accommodate all of the peppers. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, making sure that it is sealed all the way around. It is important that the peppers are in an air-tight container for this step of the process in order for them to be steamed. The trapped hot peppers generate the steam necessary to loosen their skins.

7. Once the peppers are cool enough to handle (probably about 15 to 20 minutes), pull the stems out of each pepper.

8. Hold one end of the pepper down on a flat surface and gently peel the skin off of each pepper. The skin should slide off fairly easily.

9. Lift each pepper up and hold it with one hand, while using your other hand to squeeze down the pepper’s length. The bulk of the seeds and pulp should drop out the bottom when this motion is completed.

10. With the backside of the knife, slit open the side of each pepper and spread them out (ribbed side up) on your work surface. With the dull side of your knife, scrape off any of the ribs or membrane that remains in the pepper.

11. Use these juicy, tender peppers to enliven sandwiches, spice up Mexican dishes, add to an antipasto platter, or toss with a crisp salad.

Use fresh roasted in these recipes:

From:  http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/oven-roasted-peppers-and-onions-recipe.htm

Oven-Roasted Peppers and Onions

by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Oven-Roasted Peppers  and Onions Photo

Oven-Roasted Peppers and Onions
Yield: Makes 6 servings
Providing more than five times the daily RDA for vitamin C, this flavorful, eye-catching side dish adds variety to ordinary vegetable fare.

Ingredients:

Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
2
medium green bell peppers
2
medium red bell peppers
2
medium yellow bell peppers
4
small onions
1
teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2
teaspoon dried basil
1/4
teaspoon ground cumin
Preparation:
1.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 15X10-inch jelly-roll pan with cooking spray.
2.
Cut bell peppers into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Cut onions into quarters. Place vegetables on prepared pan. Spray vegetables with cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes; stir. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, basil and cumin.
3.
Increase oven temperature to 425°F. Bake 20 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and edges are lightly browned.
Nutritional Information:
Serving Size: 1/6 of total recipe
Sodium 4 mg
Protein 3 g
Fiber 4 g
Carbohydrate 20 g
Saturated Fat <1 g
Total Fat 1 g
Calories from Fat 6 %
Calories 84
Dietary Exchange:
Vegetable 3-1/2
This recipe appears in: Italian

From: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/roasted-peppers-garlic.html

Annie B. Bond

Roasted Peppers with Garlic Recipe

posted by Annie B. Bond Nov 18, 2000 12:03 am
filed under: Food & Recipes, Entrees

Adapted from The Onion Harvest Cookbook by Barbara Ciletti (Taunton Press, 1998).

This dish is impossible to resist: tender roasted peppers topped with creamy cheese simply burst with summery colors and flavors. Olives and basil combined with the peppers and healthy garlic give this dish a visual appeal that matches the great taste and nutrition.

The best of the Italian garden on a plate.

INGREDIENTS
1 head garlic, garnish
2 large red bell peppers
2 large yellow bell peppers
1 clove elephant garlic, peeled and minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Juice of 1/2 lemon
6 slices Bel Paese cheese, 1 inch in diameter
1/2 cup mixture of opal and green basil, thinly sliced, garnish
Kalamata or green Cerignola olives, garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1. Break the garlic into cloves and roast covered in an ovenproof baking dish 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, then when the garlic is cool enough to handle, gentle squeeze the cloves out of their skins. Cut the cloves in half vertically and set aside.

2. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Place the peppers, with their stems intact, on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan, and roast 20-30 minutes, or until the skins darken and blister. Remove the peppers from the oven, and place them in a paper bag. Close the bag by folding over twice. Set the peppers aside to cool.

3. Place the elephant garlic, oil, salt, cloves, and lemon juice in a blender and mix 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture becomes a smooth sauce. Pour into a small bowl.

4. Take the peppers from the bag and remove the skins, stems, and seeds. If necessary, rinse the peppers to make peeling easier. Cut the peppers into vertical quarters and arrange on a serving dish. Top with the cheese rounds. Whisk the oil mixture 1 minute, then pour over the peppers and cheese. Garnish with basil, roasted garlic, and olives. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6.

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