Fresh Basil and Pine Nut Pesto

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Fresh Basil and Pine Nut Pesto

Fresh Basil and Pine Nut Pesto

I think all of us have been tempted to buy the pesto sauce in the refrigerated sauce section at the supermarket. The one at the supermarket has things in it you will never find in fresh pesto, whey, milk, canola oil, water and 2% or less of garlic puree. Some brands do have pine nuts, others use walnuts. But, there is nothing like the real thing.

Pesto is one of the easiest sauces to make, and can be used on a variety of foods. Heck, it’s good just on a spoon!

When you make pesto, it’s important to have fresh ingredients. If you can find pine nuts in the refrigerated section, those are best. If not, look for nuts that are of a uniform pale cream color, with no spots. Pine nuts are the edible seeds of, yes, pine trees. Please use good Parmesan cheese as well, you don’t have to get Parmigiano-Reggiano, but at least get the cheese in the refrigerated section.

If you’re angry at someone and want to take your aggression out on something, you can use a mortar and pestle, and grind away for a very long time. Or, if you don’t have any aggression, then please use a food processor.

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Leftover Madness – French Onion Soup, Shrimp Scampi, Ham and Cheese Panini

The past few days have been full of left overs. That’s a good thing, and a good way to save money, but you have to get creative.

When I made the Veal Marsala Meatballs, I made enough to freeze some for another time. Spane and I were at the market on Thursday, and I was thinking of making enchiladas, but Spane didn’t seem to enthusiastic about it, so I asked him if he wanted spaghetti and meatballs, and he said yes.

I had everything I needed to make it, the veal meatballs, a large can of diced tomatoes, basil and garlic. The only thing I needed to make a good meal was a baguette of French bread to make garlic bread to go with our pasta, so I bought a long baguette. It was large enough that I cut it in half and made my garlic butter, intending to make another half on Friday. I bought some large frozen shrimp to have on Friday.

I served the meatballs separately from the pasta, and we ate all of those, and the garlic bread. There was still spaghetti and sauce left over. I had made enough garlic butter for both halves of the bread, and had left the left over in the refrigerator.

I took some of the garlic butter, put it in a pan, and heated the shrimp in that garlic butter. By doing that, I didn’t have quite enough garlic butter for the other half of the baguette, so I added a little olive oil and balsamic butter, whirred it around, spread that on the bread, topped it with a little Parmesan cheese, and threw it in the oven for a few minutes.

We ate all the shrimp Scampi, and all the spaghetti and sauce, and were a little to stuffed to finish the garlic bread.

So, now I had left over balsamic garlic bread. Today, Saturday, was cold and rainy, so soup sounded like the perfect meal. Originally, I was going to make macaroni and cheese as an excuse to turn on Bertha, but grilled cheese sandwiches sounded like a better idea.

What kind of soup could I make and use up the left over garlic bread? Why French Onion, of course. That is such a simple soup to make, and is really fool-proof.

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Veal Marsala Meatballs and Tomato Basil Cream Sauce with Mushrooms

Veal Marsala Meatballs atop Tomato Basil Cream Sauce with Mushrooms

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I love to find things on sale, especially things that would usually be expensive, like ground veal.

I love cream. Why do I love cream? I love cream because you only need a little, and it stays fresh in the refrigerator for quite a long time. I also like it for those occasions when I have run out of milk for my coffee. I prefer milk.

That’s what happened to me this morning, I ran out of milk last night, and not wanting to the store unwashed, I used a little cream in my coffee. I’ve had that cream in my house for quite a while, and I knew today was the very last day to use it.

When we were at the supermarket today, someone was buying red sauce for spaghetti. That almost sounded good, but I wanted to use up what I had in my refrigerator. No problem, I thought, I can make spaghetti and meatballs, but use the veal, and make the sauce with the cream.

Veal has very little fat, so these meatballs are a good choice for those watching their weight. Omitting the cream makes the sauce another good low calorie choice. If you have vegetarian friends, serve the meatballs separately.

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Fried Green Tomatoes with Basil Garlic Mayonnaise

Recipes in this postFried Green Tomatoes

I remember when the wonderful movie Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe came out in 1991, and I wanted to try fried green tomatoes. It was not until 1993 that I was able to get a hold of green tomatoes to make the dish, and again in 2009.

When I was at the corner store, there was a big box of beef steak sized beautiful green tomatoes. I bought two, and I’m going back for more. Those tomatoes were wonderful!

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First Holy Communion Reception – No Bake Recipes!

Spane standing near the Baptismal fountain waiting in the Sanctuary

Spane standing near the Baptismal fountain waiting in the Sanctuary

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Spane’s First Communion was on Sunday, May 15, 2011 at the 9:30am Mass at Holy Family Catholic Community Church in Glendale, California.

When I had Spane on November 21, 2003, I started thinking about what his First Holy Communion was going to be like. When he was Baptized at Holy Family Catholic Community Church on May 17, 2007, I started counting down the days. There were 1460 days, or 3 years, 11 months, 29 days until his First Holy Communion. In case you wondered, yes, I am counting down the days until his Confirmation, which should be about 2192 days, about 6 years from now.

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50 Again? Great Northern White Chicken Chili

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  • Great Northern While Chili

    Well, it’s that time of year again. Until I was in my late thirties, it always rained on my birthday, then it stopped raining on my birthday. I was rather amused when I looked a the weather forecast and saw that it was supposed to rain on the 16th of February, 2011 in Los Angeles.

    As we have just moved in, and some things are still not completely organized, I thought I would make a simple dinner and a simple cake. It turned out I did not have to make the cake, my friend Adel brought a great cake from the bakery for me. But what to make for dinner on a cold, wet day?

    Chili, of course, was the answer – but not any chili – no I wanted something special for my birthday, and I remembered that I used to make Great Northern White Chili. I had not made it for years.

    The like this chili because it’s not too hot, so it’s perfect for people who don’t tolerate heat very well. I love a lot of heat, but I know a lot of people don’t. This chili is also rich because it has cream in it. This chili also does very well in the crock pot, just precook the ingredients and let the beans cook in the Crockpot.

    Recipe: Great Northern White Chili

    Summary: This is a great change from the usual bowl of red

    Ingredients

    • 1 package Great Northern Beans
    • 2 Pasilla Chilies
    • 1 Green Pepper
    • 1 Onion
    • 2 Garlic Cloves
    • 1 Chicken Breasts skinned and boned
    • 3 cans Chicken Stock
    • 1 tablespoon Oregano
    • 1 teaspoon Basil
    • 1 teaspoon Thyme
    • 1/4 cup Cream

    Instructions

    1. Rinse beans. Fill a large pot with beans and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and boil for 5 minutes. Cover and remove from heat, let sit, covered for 2 hours. Drain beans and set aside.
    2. Char and peel chilies and green pepper.
    3. In food processor with chopping blade:
    4. 1. Chop charred peeled chilies and pepper.
    5. 2.Chop onion and garlic.
    6. 3. Chop cut up chicken breast.
    7. Reheat the pot and add oil. Add chilies, pepper and onion and sauté until the onion is translucent.
    8. Add chicken and break up with a spatula as you sauté, about 5 minutes.
    9. Add beans and broth.
    10. Add seasonings.
    11. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour or until the beans are almost tender. Remove the cover and allow some of the broth to reduce.
    12. Add the cream and reduce further, stirring to prevent scorching.
    13. Serve with sour cream and cilantro.

    Quick notes

    This is also a very good dish for a Pot Luck.

    Variations

    You can make this in the Crockpot as well. Sauté the onions, pepper and chicken separately, then add them to the beans and liquid and cook for 8 hours.

    Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

    Cooking time: 8 hour(s)

    Number of servings (yield): 6

    Culinary tradition: USA (Southwestern)

    My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 10 review(s)

    Copyright © The Good Plate.
    Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
    Microformatting by hRecipe.