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Posts Tagged ‘Martha Stewart’

I am always on a lookout for easy dinners. Recently, I have discovered a new dish… One Pan Creamy Tuna Pasta.

I have been subscribed to the Martha Stewart Living magazine for a super long time. Over the years, the magazine has evolved; however, recipes have always been spotlighted throughout. In recent editions, towards the back of the magazine you can find four recipes that are printed on a perforated page, which can be torn into four small recipe cards. I have discovered a bunch of good finds over the years. The pasta dish is one of them and is definitely a keeper!

The recipe is simple… shallots, pasta, broth, water, a couple of veggies, tuna, lemon zest and juice, and cheese. What I really like about it is that you make the entire dish in one pot! Super easy cleanup! You simply add the shallots, broth, water, pasta, and salt and pepper and boil until the pasta is tender. Next you add your veggie. Once the veggie is tender, you remove the pot from the stove and add the tuna, cheese, and the lemon zest and juice. That’s it!

The first time that I made the dish, it came out very dry and I had to keep adding water to it while cooking the pasta. I later realized that the recipe required 8 oz of pasta and I used 16 oz. It made perfect sense why my version was so dry. Since I like to make enough to have leftovers, I adjusted the amount of water. I usually add enough to cover the pasta, which I think that it is somewhere between 4.5 or 5 cups of water, depending on the pasta.

Speaking of the pasta, I used gemelli and penne and both worked. One thing that I would like to mention is that my version has never had a sauce. If you look at the recipe photo, it includes the clear sauce on the plate. Not sure how that is realized. I just made the dish using penne and this is the first time that I have actually had some sauce, but definitely not enough to add it to the plate. Not sure if the gemelli absorbs more liquid during cooking or not, but when I used it, I never had a sauce.

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The recipe requires asparagus and arugula. The first time that I made the dish, I did not have either, so I used peas and spinach since I did have both. I have also used peas and kale. All worked! I am sure that you can also use green beans or any other veggie such as corn and broccoli. As far as the greens go, I am sure that swiss chard or any other greens would work as well.

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Another adjustment that I have made is the required cup of shallots. I tend not to like a lot of onion in my dishes, so I have cut it to 2 small shallots and it was plenty. Same goes for the cheese… the recipe requires a 1/2 a cup of Paremsan. I used about 2 tablespoons of Romano cheese and that also seemed plenty. But if you are a big onion fan, use the full amount. Same goes for the cheese.

One last thing that I would like to mention is the salt. I use the Better Than Bouillon (which really is better than any bouillon) for the broth and it is a bit salty, so I never add salt to my dishes until the very end. Most of the time it is plenty salty.

I hope that you will enjoy the dish as much as we do! It is one of Julia’s favorites!

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I am very excited to tell you about my Passover dinner. It was just delicious! Every year I find myself asking the same question… “What should I make for Passover dinner??”. Of course the traditional dish is brisket, but I cannot get myself to make it. After searching a few of my trusted food related sites, the menu was set:

The Seder plate was the easiest and simplest item to create. It contained horseradish, hard boiled egg, parsley, and ḥărōset, which are all traditional items. A shank bone is also traditional, but I omitted it. Also, I used grape juice instead of wine for the ḥărōset and it worked just as well.

The kugel is the traditional recipe, which Joel’s mom shared with me a long time ago. It is super simple to make. It contains dried prunes, dried apricots, raisins (I used currants since I like them more), diced apple, matzo (of course), which is soaked and squeezed dry, fresh orange juice, eggs, a bit of sugar, and cinnamon. You simply mix all the ingredients and then bake it. YUM!

When I was questioning Joel what to make for dinner, he requested matzah ball soup, so I could not let him down. I usually make his mom’s traditional soup, which is super delicious but the recipe requires lots of vegetable chopping, so I did not feel up to making it. Also, cooking onion and garlic still smells appalling due to my food aversion, so that was another reason why I did not want to make it. I opted for a simple soup, which included broth, matzah balls, thinly sliced carrots, and fresh dill. The matzah balls were from Joel’s mom’s soup, except that I omitted the sautéed scallions. For the broth, I used my favorite stock called Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base. This is the best stock that I have ever used! They also make a vegetable stock, which is just as delicious. The soup was super! I am excited that I now have a more simple soup recipe.

And then there were the Salmon Cakes. Oh my! These are the best fish related dish that I have ever made! And the best thing about it is that the cakes were super easy to make! You simply sauté some carrots and leeks. You cube the salmon and whirl it in the food processor. You then combine the salmon and the sautéed vegetables with eggs, matzo meal, salt, and pepper, form them in a bunch of small patties, and pan-fry them for about 3 minutes on each side. That’s it! Aside from the actual cakes, the accompanying sauce was also super! The sauce includes cucumber, mayo, horseradish, fresh parsley, fresh chives, and salt and pepper. The two together created a delicious mélange! I served them with a side of simple salad. The recipe is definitely a keeper!

Chocolate Cake with Espresso Glaze… need I say more?? I found the cake on the Martha Stewart web site. Passover dishes cannot contain flour, so the cake was flourless. This was also a simple recipe. You melt the butter and chocolate chips in a double boiler. You then beat the egg yolks with some sugar until fluffy and thick and then add instant espresso, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture. Then you beat the egg whites with a bit more sugar until stiff peaks form. Lastly, you fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. That’s it.

The accompanying sauce also made this dish even more delicious. The sauce was just as easy to make. You simply boil some milk (I used almond milk), with a bit of sugar, instant espresso, and salt and then pour the milk mixture over some chocolate chips and butter, whisking until the chocolate and butter are melted. And voilà, you have a super delicious chocolate sauce! We ate ¾ of the cake and almost the entire bowl of sauce. Yes… it was that good!

Happy Passover!

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Last night I participated in the Fast Friends Bakeoff. My cycling group, Fast Friends, decided to have a pie bakeoff, after a few of us bragged about our pie making abilities. My friend Cindy organized the whole thing. She opened her home to the party, created categories, ballots, and signs, purchased prizes, and even recruited celebrity judges to come judge it (thanks Scott and Kim!). The four categories were Appetizer, Main Dish, Desserts, and Unusual. I decided to enter the dessert category.

I don’t bake pies very often. The only pie recipes that I do have are Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Pecan Pie. I decided against making them, since I thought for sure that others would make them. Nevertheless, I was up to the challenge! I baked two recipes that I found in my search, but I did not think that they were worthy of a pie bakeoff. After countless reminder emails from Cindy (sorry Cindy!), I searched the Gourmet site one more time and decided to make the Pear Butterscotch Pie. Since it was already Wednesday and the bakeoff was on Saturday, I did not have time to make a test pie. But I figured, it was a Gourmet recipe and most importantly one of Ruth Reichl’s favorite recipes, so it was bound to be delicious!! :)

The recipe required Anjou or Bartlett pears (I used 3 Anjou and 1 ½ Bosc pears), cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, a little flour, lemon juice, salt, and vanilla. I decided to add some pecans, because I really love the flavor of pears with pecans. I also had some orange zest leftover from a pie that I baked last week, so I decided to add some of it into the pie. For the crust, I made my trustworthy Pate Brisee recipe instead of the provided pastry dough recipe. My trustworthy recipe is actually Martha Stewart’s Perfect Pate Brisee recipe. :) Also, instead of the traditional top crust, I decided to cut leaves using a cookie cutter, score the leaf veins using a knife, and then place them on top of the pie as if they fell off of a tree. It looked so beautiful!! I was very pleased. :) It smelled really great too.

Pear Butterscotch Pie

All the pie entries looked and tasted delicious!! Some of my favorites were the Greek Pie (a spin-off on Spanakopita), the Tomato Pie, the Sawdust Pie, the Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Pie, and the Lemon Shaker Pie. After careful deliberation, the results were in. The winners were as follows:

Appetizer: Cindy’s Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Pie
Main Dish: Sara’s Shepherd’s Pie
Unusual: Donna’s Orange Pie
Dessert: My pie!!! :)

Also, the grand prize went to… my pie! I could not believe it!! I was really surprised.

My Pear Butterscotch Pie

I would like to thank everyone who voted for it. I had a lot of fun making it. Also, a special thanks is in order for Cindy for organizing the event! I look forward to next year’s bakeoff.

Bakeoff Grand Prize

The bakeoff grand prize: a professional grade pie pan with an engraved cover. :)

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