Tag Archives: sun dried tomatoes

15 Minute Meals: Scallop Fettuccine Tossed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Fried Capers

This past weekend was lazy. The kind of lazy that almost makes you more tired and gets into your bones, but is sometimes exactly what you need. Reading for hours, tucking in at nine o’clock, and considering laundry a triumph was what I was all about. Duke and Lou were oh-so-pleased to oblige.

Lou is growing like a weed…weighing in at 50+ lbs at 6 months. Looks like we’re going to have ourselves a heavyweight champion. Duke remains a saint of an older brother.

Come Monday though, all that changes. The week is filled with endless tasks, to-dos, demands, and delights. There’s work, dog walks, friends, food columns, blog posts, restaurant reviews, and frantic attempts to get in some much-needed exercise to preserve both my derrière and my sanity.

Incidentally, my boxing instructor (yes, I box…it’s a riot..and I love it..and someday I will be tough… and able to do a push up) scolded me the other day, “Erina…you’re very precise. But you’re also stiff. Very stiff. You have to feel it more. You have to loosen up.”

I’m still working on that one in the ring, but in the kitchen it’s one of my favorite ways to cook. This dish is the epitome of that, bringing together great ingredients and then getting out of the way. It takes only as long to make as the pasta does to boil and can be easily altered pending your desires and your pantry. The addition of the toasted panko simulates breaded scallops without all the trouble or the calories and the fried capers give each bite that little punch of “wow” you were looking for.

What’s your favorite 15 minute meal?

Scallop Fettuccine Tossed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Fried Capers
Serves 2 generously

Scallop Fettuccine Tossed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Fried Capers

1/2 lb fettucine

1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

2 TB Olive oil + a glug

1/4 cup capers, drained

1/4 lb bay scallops

2 TB Butter

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to instructions.
  2. Meanwhile toast panko bread crumbs in a dry skillet until golden brown. Remove to bowl and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet heat the 2 TB olive oil over medium high heat, and cook the capers until fried and crispy, occasionally tilting pan to mimic a deep-fryer, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain.
  4. Once the pasta is done, drain and toss with sun-dried tomatoes and corresponding oil + a glug of olive oil if it looks like it needs it.
  5. Just as the pasta is done add the 2 TB butter to the same skillet and melt over high heat. Add the bay scallops and cook until beginning to caramelize, about 3-4 minutes, turning once.
  6. Add the scallops and any remaining melted butter to the pasta and toss.
  7. Top with fried capers and toasted bread crumbs and serve.

Rainier…the perfect accompaniment.

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Filed under 15-Minute-Meals, Pasta, Seafood, Uncategorized

Day 1: Artichoke Hearts, Prosciutto, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Fettuccine

Artichoke Hearts, Prosciutto, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Fettuccine

Artichoke Hearts, Prosciutto, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Fettuccine

Day 1 of my self-imposed month of personal work (or what my dear friend Emma more generously calls “my month of exploration.”)

Doggedly determined to do (and enjoy) all those things I always swore I would do if I wasn’t sitting at my desk at 7a I slept in, albeit waking up at 6:30a on the dot and smugly noticing that the “on” button on my alarm clock was humbly dark. I lounged in bed in my PJs. I ate toffee for breakfast. I watched two (two!) episodes of The Office and I even thought they were funny.

I made it until 12:15p.

And then, I couldn’t take it anymore. I leapt out of bed, cleaned the house, tidied up the kitchen, walked the dog in the pouring ran (the long loop!), picked up cupcakes for book club, and began organizing my closets.

Looks like I’ve got a ways to go until I reach that highly enlightened and peaceful state. In the meantime though, there’s always pasta.

This is very simple, quite yummy, and adapts well to being a base from which you can throw random leftovers into and use them up.

Make it on a rainy Thursday when you realize it might take more work than you thought to slow down.

Artichoke Hearts, Prosciutto, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Fettuccine

14 oz can whole artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

1/2 small onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

1/4 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced

4 oz sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced (packed in oil)

8 TB Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Fettuccine for 4

1/3 cup heavy cream (optional)

Parmesan (optional)

  1. In a large non-stick skillet, add four TB olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the artichokes, season with salt and pepper, and cook until artichokes are softened and fully blended, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring large pot of water to a boil and cook fettuccine according to directions. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water before draining.
  4. Add the basil, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, and remaining four TB olive oil. Stir well and reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally, about another 5 minutes.
    Artichoke Mixture

  5. Add the artichoke mixture and pasta water to the cooked fettuccine and toss well. Like all things, this is better with a bit of cream, so if using that add now and toss to combine.
    Tossed
  6. Top with black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan.
    ArtichokeHeartsFinal

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Filed under Comfort Foods, Lactose Free, Month of Exploration, Pasta, Uncategorized

I dream of pizza: Zucchini Pizza with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Olive Tapenade that is…

I work with a tremendously impressive group of people who I know for a fact regularly stay up thinking about how to improve the human condition. They think about how to eradicate polio, how to improve the education system in America, and how to ensure that the poor in developing countries have access to the financial services they need to get ahead. The most interesting fact about these people, is that they’re actually doing it. They actually are finding ways to get vaccines to the people who need them most, developing ways to measure teacher effectiveness, and designing mobile banking programs that are helping people put their kids through school. They actually are making a difference. Which is incredible…and very humbling.

As for me when tossing and turning late at night? I dream of pizza.

This morning, while laying awake having been woken up by both dogs who were now promptly snoring away, I couldn’t fall back asleep. At 4a I began thinking about what to make for dinner tonight. Doing a mental checklist of what was in my fridge, I came up with the perfect idea. Grilled pizza with an olive tapenade base topped with grilled zucchini, buffalo mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and homegrown basil.

This one may not save the world…but it certainly will make it more enjoyable in the meantime.

Make this when your garden is exploding with zucchini and you don’t know what to do with it. The smokiness from grilling it makes it much more complex and paired with the mozz/basil/tomato/olive combination is quite delicious.

Zucchini Pizza with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Olive Tapenade

Serves 4. Pair with a moderate red wine such as a Moltepulciano

1 pizza dough, store-bought is fine. I like Trader Joes

6 ounces red pitted olives

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil + 3 TB

1 garlic clove

Salt and Pepper

1 large zucchini (about 1 – 1.5 lbs)

1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, thinly sliced

1/2 cup packed fresh basil, coarsely chopped

Tapenade -Add the olives, garlic, and lemon juice to a food processor, and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil in a steady stream while pureeing the mixture, and continue until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Zucchini – Thinly slice the zucchini lengthwise, with a mandolin if you have it. You want pieces to be fairly thin. Brush with remaining 3  TB of olive oil, and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Grill the zucchini over high heat for about 5 minutes or until tender and slightly charred. Set aside.

Zucchini, Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Basil

Zucchini, Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Basil

Pizza Dough – On a floured surface, stretch out the pizza dough to about a 10-12 inch circle. If you like, you can divide the dough before spreading it and make two smaller pizzas which will render it easier to manage on the grill. Brush one side with the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Add the dough to the grill, oil side down, and cook over high heat with the lid closed until dough has set and is beginning to bubble. Note: You’ll want the grill quite hot when you add it so that it immediately starts puffing up versus falling through the grates. Once the first side is crisp and golden, add remaining sun-dried tomato oil to top side (the un-cooked side) and flip over. Cook 2-3 minutes, just until firm enough you can pull it off the grill.

Assembly – Spread the tapenade on the pizza (the side you cooked first). Layer with the grilled zucchini, mozzarella slices, and sun-dried tomatoes. Return to grill and cook another 5-7 minutes or until dough is completely set and cheese is bubbling. Allow to cool 3-5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with fresh basil.

With toppings, before being returned to the grill

With toppings, before being returned to the grill

Voila

Voila

Note: You’ll see in these admittedly mediocre pix that I did fresh tomatoes the first time I tried this. They over-powered the smokiness of the zucchini, so I made it again with sun-dried which I think were much more successful.

The postings on this site are my own and do not represent the positions, strategies or opinions of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

 

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Filed under Vegetarian

Cupcakes Make My Butt Big

Warm Mushroom Salad

Warm Mushroom Salad

My friend’s 20-month old daughter came home from daycare the other day and declared, while having a snack, “Cupcakes make my butt big.” Half an hour later while sipping a juice she made a similar proclamation: “Juice make my butt big.”

Now, all women have clearly thought these things to themselves occasionally, and have maybe confessed these thoughts to a good friend, but the fact that they were coming out of the mouth of a child not yet even two was understandably shocking and upsetting. A quick call to the daycare determined that the staff there had undertaken a “Biggest Loser” challenge and weight was very much on the minds of the caretakers. Admittedly, weight and body image are things that everyone struggles with, and some more than others, but the demonizing of food is something I vow to try to avoid in my children, for as long as possible.

Food should be celebrated and enjoyed. A chance to get people together, where they may share the mundane reports of the day coupled with the big dreams of the year.

Which is not to say that every now and then a few low-cal additions to the meal plan isn’t a good thing.

This Warm Mushroom Salad is a wonderful mix of indulgent and healthy. Easy to make and very pretty to serve it makes both a great lunch or a pretty salad when entertaining.

Warm Mushroom Salad (adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten)

1 lb cremini mushrooms

2 TB butter

6 TB olive oil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

4 bunches fresh arugula

8 slices prosciutto

3 TB sherry wine vinegar

Chunk of Parmesan

8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and julienned

Remove the mushroom stems and slice the caps to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

In large saute pan heat the butter and 2 TB of the oil until bubbly. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper to pan and saute for 3 minutes over medium heat, tossing frequently. Reduce the head to low and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes, until cooked through.

Meanwhile, arrange the arugula on 4 places and cover each portion with 2 slices of prosciutto. When are mushrooms are cooked, add the sherry vinegar and the remaining 2 TB oil to the hot pan. Spoon the mushrooms and sauce on top of the prosciutto. With a vegetable peeler make large shaving of the parmesan cheese and plan on top of the hot mushrooms. Sprinkle with sun-dried tomatoes. Serve warm.

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Filed under Health Conscious, Salads, Uncategorized