Monday, October 22, 2012

Portabella + Fall Veggies Panini

Simply a Bite| Sauteed Portabella Mushroom Open Faced Panini with Fall Veggies, Arugula, Goat Cheese and Pesto
Serving Size| 2
1 portabella mushroom
1 medium yellow squash
1 red bell pepper

Handful of Arugula
2 oz herbed goat cheese (or plain)
tuscan whole wheat bread (Trader Joes)
4 tbsp homemade pesto (use my recipe below!)
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1tbsp butter
Time to assemble!
--Heat a large pan on stove to medium temperature. Coat with 2 tbsp olive oil. Slice mushroom, yellow squash and red bell pepper to same thickness-- about 1 cm. Add bell pepper to pan and saute on medium for 1 minute. Next add in your mushroom and yellow squash.-- Handle the veggies carefully and try to keep each slice on the pan instead of layering. Season veggies with your salt and pepper. Keep sauteing until all are evenly cooked and soft. -- about 15 minutes.
--Meanwhile in another large pan heat to medium temperature and add butter. Once butter has melted place sliced bread on top and let cook on medium to high heat until you have a perfect crust and bread is fully heated. Do not flip slices over. The end result should be one crisp toasty side with the rest heated and moist.
--When bread and veggies are done add your pesto, goat cheese, fresh arugula and veggies.
--I chose to use only 1 slice of bread.

Pecan + Basil Pesto

Simply a Bite| Pecan Basil and Parmesan Pesto
1/2 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
5 cups packed basil leaves
1tsp salt
1tsp ground pepper
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan
Time to assemble!
--You will need a food processor for this rather than a blender--in my case I have a processor add on that I put on top of the base of the blender.
--Add your chopped walnuts and garlic to the processor and blend for 15-20 seconds. Then add in your basil, salt and pepper. Slowly pour in olive oil while blending until it is fully pureed. Add your Parmesan and blend for 1 minute.
--The trick to keeping your pesto from browning is not allowing air contact. When storing use saran wrap and press it onto the surface of the pesto.
--The flavors are best after resting, plan on making it the night or morning before your meal.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Flatbread + Fig, Rosemary, Basil, Goat Cheese

Simply a Bite| Fig Rosemary Basil and Goat Cheese Flatbread
Serving size- dinner for 2
8 oz. Trader Joe's herb pizza dough

1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 sliced figs
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup chopped basil
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 tsp. kosher salt
Balsamic reduction-
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey

Time to assemble!
--Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare a clean flat surface and dust with flour. Roll out dough with your flour dusted rolling pin. Try to make dough as even of thickness as possible. Move rolled dough onto flour dusted baking sheet. Brush olive oil evenly over dough coating the entire surface. Sprinkle with salt and rosemary. Place into oven until and let bake until the edges are hardened but not browned.
--While the dough is baking place a small pan or pot onto stove and set to medium high heat. Add balsamic vinegar and honey. Bring to boil and then simmer. Reduction should take 2-4 minutes depending on the consistency desired. Stir occasionally. Once reduced turn off heat and let sit. It will continue to thicken and reduce. Set aside.
--Take dough out of oven once edges are hardened. Reduce oven heat to 350F. Add crumbled goat cheese to dough and place in oven for 2 minutes. Pull flatbread back out of oven and top with sliced figs. You are looking for the goat cheese to slightly melt and dough to be crispy and a nice toasted crust.
--When ready pull pizza out of oven and top with freshly chopped basil. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and honey reduction

Pear, Fig, Goat Cheese Salad

Simply a Bite| Fig Pear and Goat Cheese Salad
Serving size- dinner for 2
4 figs
1 pear

2oz goat cheese
4 handfuls of arugula
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
clover blossom honey
extra-virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
Time to assemble!
Place about 4 handfuls of arugula in serving bowl. Add four-5 sliced figs and 1 sliced and quartered pear. Crumble 2-3oz of goat cheese. I use about 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 2 teaspoons of ground pepper for an extra bite of flavor. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a topping of honey. For extra crunch you can add walnuts or pecans.