Thursday, April 9, 2009

Leftover Makeover: Tortellini

When I have to make dinner in a hurry, I turn to Buitoni's Three Cheese Tortellini, found in the refrigerated section at the grocery store. It freezes well (so I stock up when it's on sale), can go straight into a pot of boiling water (yes, even from the freezer), and has a nice toothy bite that the dried tortellini's just don't have. Dinner in 15 minutes: twice...

Our first tortellini dinner: Cheese tortellini with chicken and potabella mushrooms in a creamy pesto sauce.

Here's my leftover makeover: tortellini, spicy chorizo in saffron-tomato broth. Crumble in tortilla chips and YUM

Emory "Cooking 101" Recap

A big THANK YOU to Emma and Taylor from the Student Alumni Association at Emory for having me out to teach "Cooking 101," part of the "Life 101" Series for students.

You guys were a great group with fantastic questions and lots of energy. As promised here are the recipes from our class. If you guys have any questions while experimenting in the kitchen let me know!


Herb Roasted Chicken
1 Roasting hen
1 spring rosemary, stemmed and chopped
5 sprigs of thyme, stemmed and chopped
½ head garlic
4 bay leaves
black pepper
1 lemon thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Liberally season chicken with salt, pepper and herbs (including inside the cavity). Stuff garlic and bay leaves inside of the cavity. Pin wings behind the chicken and secure the legs. Place on a rack or perforated pan in a roasting pan. Cover breast and tops of legs with lemon slices. Bake at 400 degrees in center of the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning half way through cooking. Chicken is done when thick part of the thigh joint is pierced with a knife and the juices run clear, and none of the flesh is pink. Discard lemons, and slice chicken to serve.


Peach and Strawberry Cobbler Pie
1 lb frozen peaches, thawed
1 lb frozen strawberries, thawed
1 cup quick cooking oats
½ cup raw or brown sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp all spice
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
2 Tbsp butter
2 deep dish frozen pie crusts, partially thawed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients except crust and butter in a mixing bowl. Place berry-spice mixture into one pie crust. Break the second pie crust into pieces and arrange over the top of the fruit. Dot top crust with butter pieces. Bake 30-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.


Vanilla scented Jasmine Rice with cranberries and almonds
1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
2 cups water
pinch salt
5 cardamom pods
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup dried cranberries (or dried apricots or dried apples or golden raisins)
¼ cup slivered or sliced almonds

Combine water, salt, vanilla and cardamom in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Stir in rice, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Continue cooking for 5 minutes. Stir in cranberries and almonds, replace lid, and reduce heat to low. Continue cooking 10-15 minutes or until rice is tender.


Spicy Garlicky Green Beans
1 lb green beans, ends trimmed
¼ cup water
pinch salt
2 tbsp butter
pinch crushed red pepper
3 cloves garlic

Heat water in a large pot until simmering. Add salt and green beans and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until beans are bright green. Turn up the heat and continue cooking until most of the water has evaporated and green beans become slightly tender. Add butter, garlic, crushed red pepper and toss the green beans to coat thoroughly. Continue cooking until greens are crisp tender and serve immediately.


Herbed Pasta in Scampi Sauce
1 lb fresh herbed tagliatelli
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
½ yellow onion, diced
½ cup wine or 2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp oregano leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp thyme leaves, chopped
pinch crushed red pepper
Parmesan Reggiano cheese

In a large pot of salted water cook fresh pasta according to package instructions (or boil for about 5-6 minutes, less for thinner pasta, more for thicker pasta). Drain, rinse to stop cooking and set aside.

Meanwhile heat oil and butter in a large pan until melted. Add onions and cook for about 3-4 minutes, then add garlic and continue cooking until tender. Pour in wine or lemon juice and simmer until liquid evaporates by half. Stir in fresh herbs and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and toss in cooked pasta, stirring gently. Sever on a large platter with shaved parmesan reggiano cheese.