Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What's Cooking

I got off my lazy bones and actually used my camera instead of my phone.  What a difference it makes!!  Here's what's been cooking in our neck of the woods lately.

Barbeque Pizza

Packaged baboli crust + Trader Joe's Pulled Pork + quickly sauted onions and mushrooms + pre- shredded cheese = easy week night meal!  I assembled the cast of characters, and baked at 425 for probably 15 minutes until the cheese was bubbly.  This was a fun change of pace from our average pizza.  For that reason, I liked it, but it wouldn't be my go-to every pizza night.  I'm on a white pizza with arugula kick these days!

Ranch Panko Chicken

Same old song, but it's a fail safe.  Have I told you about the roasted tomatoes?  Even if so, they are worth repeating.  They are a hit every time!

Roasted Tomatoes:
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 (approx) T EVOO
1 (approx) T balsamic
dash of sugar (if out of season)
salt and pepper

Roast 425 for 15 minutes until the tomatoes start to caramelize and burst.  

When I was getting the panko out of the pantry, I knocked over my brand new bottle of truffle oil onto our tile kitchen floor and the top shattered, spewing the beloved contents alllll over the floor.   What an expensive mistake!! :( As you can see, Lash was a good spot helping me clean up but I had to mop twice to get the truffle oil smell out.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Roasted Green Beans

Y'all.  This deserves a post on its own.  I was home alone (duh, its test week), and wanted a comforting classic. This was so good I was literally saying OMG out loud ... to myself.  Please, try this.  And don't skimp on the lemon and lemon zest, it makes it.

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto:
2 pieces bacon, chopped
1 shallot, diced
1/2 c arborio rice
1/2 c white wine
3-4 cups chicken stock, simmering
1/2 c parmesan, parmesan reggiano, or pecorino cheese
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
roasted butternut squash*

 In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp and remove with a shallotted spoon.  Add the shallots to the pan and saute until translucent about a minute or two.    Add the rice and stir, cooking a few minutes until it barely is toasted and glossy. 

Pour in the wine and stir of medium to medium low heat until the wine is nearly all absorbed.  Add about a cup of the stir and stir continously until the stock is almost absorbed.  Add another cup of broth, continuing the process, until the rice is tender and creamy, about 25 minutes.  Stir in the squash, lemon zest, cheese.  Top with crumbled bacon.

*To roast the butternut squash, peel, seed, and dice into 1 inch chucnks.  Roast on a sheet pan with 3 tablespoons EVOO, 1 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and a pinch of thyme (optional) at 400 for 25-30 minutes until the squash is tender, turning once.

*Deal with the squash first, and start the risotto once its in the oven.  They will finish around the same time.  I put about half of the roasted butternut squash in the risotto and left half in my fridge for another use.

Look at this beauty after several hours in the oven, and you better believe our house smelled divine!! I love doing this kind of slow and low cooking on Sundays.  It makes the week so easy.  Lash has been taking this to the library for dinner over cilantro lime rice with corn salsa, and I plan on making tacos with avocado, sour cream, and salsa.  I cooked a 3 lb boston butt, and we'll eat what we can and freeze the rest for a rainy day.

What's been cooking in your kitchen lately?  Anything special I need to try?? I'm always looking for fun things!


  1. I am in love with that pizza. I need to make it immediately. I LOVE the TJ's pulled pork so much flavor!!

  2. I've never cooked butternut squash, but that looks amazing! The pizza too, although I joke all the time that I could eat pizza 7 days a week and never get tired of it...

  3. Mary, so glad to hear you've been enjoying the Roasted Green Beans!


    Can not wait to try to Butternut Squash Risotto - that just might be making its way to our table tomorrow night.

    Thanks, again!!