Goat Ricotta with Fresh Caramelized Figs

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for the caramelized figs:

  • 7 figs
  • 1 pat butter
  • 2 tsp honey
  • splash balsamic
  1. cut tops off figs and cut them into 1/4 inch pieces (or somewhere around there)
  2. in a small sauce pan over medium temp melt butter then add figs, honey and balsamic
  3. stir occasionally and gently, taking care not to break down the figs
  4. when figs have absorbed the honey and balsamic and are are looking glazed, remove from heat

for the ricotta:

  • 4 cups goat milk
  • 3/4 kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 tbsp distilled white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 4 sprigs thyme (optional)
  1. bring milk and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice or vinegar; stir gently until mixture starts to curdle. let stand 5 minutes.
  2. pour mixture into a fine-mesh sieve lined with 2 layers of cheesecloth set over a medium bowl. chill until cheese is spreadable, at least 20 minutes and up to 12 hours (the longer it strains, the thicker it will be).
  3. mix thyme in later if desired
    Original recipe: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/fresh-ricotta*you can also make ricotta with plain old cows milk and it’s delicious

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Chicken Meatballs with Quinoa and Middle Eastern Spices

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These were inspired by some whole foods chicken meatballs I tried that had quinoa in them. The quinoa keeps them moist and gives them an interesting texture. Using quinoa also makes the meat go much further so it’s a very affordable and healthy way to go about making meatballs.

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp cooked quinoa (preferably cooked in chicken broth)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp ras el hanout
  • 1/2 tsp za’tar
  • 1/4 tsp salt/pepper (each)
  • 10 leaves mint
  • 5 sprigs parsley
  1. pre-heat oven to 350ºF
  2. in a large glass bowl combine ground chicken and the cooked quinoa
  3. mince garlic and chop herbs finely (mint and parsley)
  4. add garlic, mint and parsley to the bowl along with the ras el hanout, zatar, salt and pepper, stir to incorporate
  5. add egg, tahini and breadcrumbs and continue to mix until everything is evenly distributed
  6. roll into balls and spread evenly on baking sheets
  7. bake for 15 minutes then turn with tongs and continue baking for another 15 minutes

*especially great served with garlic-dill yogurt sauce

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Use-Everthing-in-the-Fridge-Before-Spring-Break Quiche

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I embrace having perishables when I’m about to go out of town. It’s the ultimate motivator to use only things you have/things you have open.  This week is spring break and last weekend I realized we still had quite a bit of perishable items that needed to be attended too. Luckily they were all things that lent themselves swimmingly to a Mediterranean quiche. And it worked out quite well if I do say so myself.

  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • olive oil (optional if pesto is oily)
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • salt (truffle salt if you have it!)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1/2 cup soft herb-garlic goat cheese
  • 1/2 cooked sausage (I used garlic-gruyere)
  1. line a baking dish with parchment and pre-heat oven to 350°F
  2. drain and rinse garbanzo beans
  3. dice tomatoes roughly and mince garlic
  4. pour garbanzo beans, tomatoes, garlic, salt, pesto and olive oil (if using) into the prepared dish, stir well then bake for 20 minutes, taking out and turning occasionally
  5. once garbanzo beans start browning, mash them with the back of a fork and add goat cheese in globs and mix in until incorporated
  6. in a separate bowl, whisk eggs
  7. slice spinach and add to eggs
  8. pour the egg mix over the garbanzo bean mix and return to oven
  9. bake for about 25 minutes or until it starts to separate from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Eggplant and Sardine Greek Yogurt Dip

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My friends and I went to the Monterey Bay aquarium last week and got completely transfixed by the schools of sardines that swim in sync. Since then I’ve been craving sardines. Kind of messed up but hey, there are a lot of fish in the sea, especially sardines.

Sardines are not only tasty little guys but swimming in health benefits. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, they promote heart, bone and cell health leading to “optimal health”. They’re also packed with vitamin D, omega 3s, protein and low in calories AND cheap.

Here’s a fun fact; sardines were the first canned fish and Napoleon Bonaparte was the genius behind this. They were a convenient way to feed his people. Thanks Napoleon

  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 of a large eggplant
  • 2 large sardines packed in oil
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt/pepper
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 medium sized shallot
  • 1/4 of a lemon
  1. in a small pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat and chop eggplant roughly
  2. add the eggplant to the pan with 1/4 cup water and generous sprinkles of salt and pepper, cover and let cook until fairly mushy
  3. let cool and add to food processor
  4. slice shallots and heat another tablespoon of olive oil in the pan, add shallots and cook over medium heat until they’re just starting to brown
  5. add them into the food processor, squeeze the lemon in and add the mustard and yogurt then blend until smooth
  6. break the sardines into chunks and add to the mix then blend until incorporated

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Pumpkin and Black Bean Stuffed Poblanos

summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad

  • 1/2 can pumpkin purée
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/4 of a yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 poblanos
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco
  • 1 tbsp chili lime seasoning (or substitute 1 tsp cumin and 1 tbsp lime juice)
  1. in a medium skillet, heat olive oil and diced onion over medium high heat
  2. add black beans, pumpkin puree and seasoning
  3. turn heat down to medium low and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. pre-heat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet or pan with parchment paper
  5. cut stems out of poblanos and remove centers with seeds
  6. take the bean/pumpkin mixture off heat and mix with queso fresco and cottage cheese
  7. stuff the poblanos with the mixture and put in lined pan or baking sheet
  8. bake for 25 minutes until peppers are starting to blister and cheese is melty

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Caramelized Shallots and Apples

  • 1 large apple
  • 1 very large shallot
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 sprig thyme
  1. slice shallot and dice apple
  2. heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium low heat
  3. add shallot, apple, salt, thyme and vinegar
  4. let cook down, stirring occasionally, until shallots are opaque and apples soften
  5. serve with soft cheese and good crackers

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Baked Brie and Broccoli

  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 sm head broccoli
  • 1/2 cup brie
  • 2 tbsp grated asiago
  1. pre-heat oven to 350°F, dice broccoli florets into small pieces
  2. mix with greek yogurt in a large ramekin or other oven proof vessel
  3. slice brie and stir it in
  4. bake at 350° F for 30 minutes, stirring occasional, until all cheese is completely melted and starting starting to brown
  5. sprinkle asiago on top and broil for 4 more minutes, until golden brown on top

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Green Papaya Salad


My friend/roommate/platonic partner went on a South East Asian adventure this summer and brought back this recipe along with 10 pairs of those comfy Asian pants.

  • 1/2 large green papaya
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/2 cup each; fish sauce, raw sugar, lime juice
  • 1/4 cup each; garlic, red chili
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  1. squeeze lime juice into a jar and add fish sauce, sugar, minced garlic and finely chopped and seeded red chili
  2. grate papaya and carrots and chop or grind peanuts
  3. pour lime sauce over the carrots and papaya
  4. slice basil and tomatoes and add to mix

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Persimmon Goat Cheese Toasts

      I adapted this recipe from the Persimmon Bruschetta on Food52. I decided to use a tangier cheese to juxtapose the sweet persimmons we got in our CSA box this week. My parents were on their way up to visit so I made this as an appetizer to have when they arrived. Not surprisingly, they had stopped at a winery and were toting a chilled white that went perfectly with the toasts. They were a hit, I’m probably going to have to make more tonight.

      • 1 persimmon
      • 1 cup goat cheese/bleu cheese (i made half with goat cheese and half with bleu cheese.
      • 3 sprigs rosemary
      • 2 sprigs thyme
      • 2 tbsp honey
      • slivered almonds
      • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
      • 8 slices of nice crusty bread
      1. slice persimmon, bread and rosemary
      2. spread goat cheese or bleu cheese on each piece of bread
      3. put persimmon slices on top of cheese then sprinkle herbs and almonds over
      4. drizzle balsamic vinegar and honey over top and put under the broiler until bread turns golden and cheese starts to melt

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Zucchini, Jalapeno, Asiago Bread

Last week we had excessive amounts of jalapenos and I was going  to visit my grandpa (Nonno) who is jalapeno’s number one fan so I decided to spice up some zucchini bread with jalapenos and add some cheese in for good measure. He approved.

  • 4 jalapenos
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup grated asiago
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  1. pre-heat oven to 350°F and line a bread pan with parchment paper or butter or cooking spray
  2. whisk eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until smooth
  3. whisk flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg
  4. make a well in center of dry ingredients, add egg mix and slowly combine, then fold in zucchini
  5. de-seed jalapenos and dice them, then add them into dough along with grated cheese
  6. bake for about 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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