Monday, August 29, 2016

Grilled Mushroom and Zucchini Carbonara


I love pasta.... most anything made with pasta is delicious! I saw this recipe on the internet, on Facebook maybe? or pinterest? It was made with Asparagus and mushrooms, but since asparagus season was mostly over and my garden was springing forth with zucchini... I substituted.  Love a good Carbonara pasta and this was yummy for sure! Enjoy with a side salad and Crusty french bread or bread sticks!

Grilled Mushroom and Zucchini CarbonaraServes 6 to 8Total Time: 50 minute

INGREDIENTS:
2 Zucchini, sliced into bite size pieces
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound dry spaghetti
4 large eggs
6 slices bacon,  cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Parmesan, grated
Salt and Pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS
Preheat  your outdoor grill and turn to medium heat
Place the zucchini and mushrooms into a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss gently to evenly coat. Spray a grill tray for veggies with a non stick cooking spray. Place tray on the grill and spread your prepped zucchini and mushrooms over it. Close grill lid and let cook for 10 - 15 minutes until crunchy tender. Stir every 5 minutes so they cook evenly.
While the vegetables are roasting, bring 6 quarts of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, add the bacon to a large sauté pan and cook over medium heat. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden and crispy, and most of the fat has rendered off. Turn off the heat and drain all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, Parmesan and a generous amount of the pepper until well-combined, set aside.
Return the sauté pan to medium heat. Add the garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add ¼ cup of the reserved cooking liquid to the sauté pan. Toss in the spaghetti and heat for a few minutes until the bubbling has subsided and much of the water has evaporated.

Temper the egg mixture by whisking about 1/4 cup of the hot pasta water into it. 
Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg mixture to the pasta while quickly stirring. Continue stirring until the egg mixture has thickened, adding additional cooking liquid if the sauce is too thick.
Season with black pepper and salt to taste. Gently toss the spaghetti with the grilled zucchini and mushrooms, and serve immediately. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.  

NOTE
Stirring while mixing the eggs and pasta is very important! If the pasta and eggs are not mixed quickly enough, the eggs will scramble and the sauce won’t be creamy. It helps to temper the egg mixture with the pasta water before stirring into your pasta.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Veggie Saute

I love a good stir fry kind of dish. I have been trying to eat healthier lately and love putting quinoa in with my rice ... I make 1 cup rice cooked according to package directions and 1 cup quinoa cooked according to package directions them stir them together before serving. Love the little pop quinoa gives each  bite. I watched a "good eats" episode one day and they were cooking with oils... one kind Alton Brown used was sesame oil! LOVE the stuff but a little goes a long way, so when he did this recipe on his show I had to give it a try. BUT I tweaked it just a titch and paired it with my asian meatball recipe (click here for the meatball recipe) and served over my rice and quinoa mixture. Delicious!

Veggie Saute
adapted from Alton Brown's Vegetable Saute recipe

Ingredients:
4 teaspoons sesame oil (found with the other asian foods on the asian aisle)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon minced ginger (love the stuff you can get already minced in a tube)
8 to 10 baby carrots,  julienned (or you can cheat and buy the already julienned carrots and use 3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly ground Black pepper
2 cups sugar snap peas
half of a bag of Cabbage / cole slaw mix (I like the tri-colored kind, it had carrots and purple cabbage too)
2  or 3 green onions, chopped (both the white and green parts)
1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar (found in the asian aisle)
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro (*or you can use the chopped in the tube if you like--see note below)

Directions:
Place the Sesame oil in a large skillet and heat on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger and julienned carrots and sauce for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper while they cook. Next add the sugar snap peas and cook for another minute. Next comes the cabbage / cole slaw mix and the green onions, continue to sauce for another minute or two.
Remove the skillet from the heat and drizzle the rice vinegar over the mixture. Toss to combine.
Now you can garnish with chopped Cilantro.
I served mine on a mixture of Rice and quinoa and topped with my hoisin meatballs and sauce.
Enjoy!

**If you are using the Cilantro in the tube, add with the cabbage and green onions so it gets mixed around with everything.