Friday, July 13, 2012

Balsamic Vinegar Addiction, and other great recipes...

Here are some of the foods I've made in the last week or so. I'll post the recipes below each of them, as well as a link to where I found them/adapted them from. I don't normally adapt recipes unless I don't have all the ingredients, so don't assume that I have any skill at that whatsoever! I just like to cook new things and am trying desperately to get better at it. 


Homemade Onion Rings
Ingredients: 
1 onion
1/4 cup cornflakes (I spun them in the food processor for a minute)
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 1/4 buttermilk (I used the Greek yogurt drink Kefir)
Salt

1. Slice your onion and pull apart the rings.
2. Soak all the rings for 30 minutes - 2 hours in the buttermilk/Kefir
3. Roll in breadcrumbs and crumbled cornflakes 
4. Bake at 450 for 12 minutes until crispy

VERDICT:
These were REALLY good. Definitely way better than expected. And since they are baked, there is no  oil or deep frying involved. The cornflakes provide a good crunch, and the breadcrumbs functioned like normal breading that you would get on onion rings at a restaurant. You could probably play with some herbs in the mix, but these were perfect in my opinion. Original recipe here.

Balsamic chicken
Ingredients:
Chicken breasts
Mozzarella
Red pepper
Olive oil
Crushed garlic
Balsamic vinegar (or balsamic glaze which I couldn't find)
Basil leaves

1. Marinate chicken breasts in balsamic vinegar and crushed garlic for as long as you have time for. I did 2 hours and that was sufficient, but I can only imagine what this would be like after 24 hours.
2. Bake the chicken with sliced peppers on top for 15 or so minutes. 
3. Then add a basil leaf and a slice of mozzarella underneath the peppers, and continue baking until chicken is done.
4. Drizzle with balsamic glaze or balsamic vinegar when finished (that part not pictured).

VERDICT:
Killer. I'd make these a million times over. VERY flavorful and moist. Recipe here.

Fudge with marshmallow cream
Ingredients:
3 cups chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Vanilla
Marshmallow fluff

1. Boil water, and place a heat-proof bowl on top of the pan.
2. Melt chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. I stirred a good bit to keep the chocolate from hardening/burning on the bottom of the bowl.
3. Take off of heat, add a splash of vanilla.
4. Pour into pan. Spread with cream.
5. Put in fridge for a few hours to harden. OR put it in the freezer for 30 minutes. :)
Tip: line your pan with foil, so the fudge will be easy to dump out and slice. 

VERDICT:
Great. This was VERY easy, not the least bit healthy, but fun to make. I had high hopes of adding peanut butter at some point, but the process was so quick I didn't have time to get my act together. The only tricky thing with the cream is that at room temperature, it tends to melt and drip off the fudge. That of course makes it all the more delicious, but definitely messier. Especially if you want to transport it to take somewhere. But with the dark chocolate chips, the marshmallow was a nice touch. No link for this one, I combined a few recipes I found. :)

Homemade spicy balsamic pizza
Ingredients:
(I used homemade dough, but you could easily buy dough for this)
1 cooked chicken breast (seasoned however you like it), chopped/shredded
1 onion
1 pepper
Handful of cilantro
Pepperjack cheese
Sliced/Crushed garlic
Spaghetti sauce or salsa (I used Vodka sauce from Trader Joes)
Balsamic vinegar (sorry, I'm on a kick here)

1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Put some olive oil in a pan, and cook the onion, peppers, cilantro, and garlic until very soft. 
3. Spread the salsa or sauce on the crust.
4. Add cheese, veggies, chopped chicken
5. Drizzle balsamic vinegar on top (just for fun)

VERDICT:
Pretty good. But honestly it was better the second day when all the ingredients sat together all night. I combined two recipes for this based on what I had on hand, and was overall pretty pleased with the outcome. Check out this and this for inspiration. 

Cucumber salad
Ingredients:
1 chopped pepper (red or orange)
Handful chopped cilantro (recipe called for parsley, but who eats parsley?)
Thinly sliced cucumbers (1 used 5 small Persian cucumbers)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind (this would have been great had I known how to do it)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
*I added a little bit of honey because it was pretty tart

1. Slice cucumbers.
2. Mix everything together, and let soak until you're ready to serve.
*Some people add sugar or substitute rice wine vinegar.

VERDICT:
This was good as a side item for a bigger meal. Its colorful, very light, and refreshing. It would compliment a lot of other foods because it is pretty tart. I thought it might taste more like pickles, but it really just tasted like cucumbers with some other flavors. You can add red pepper flakes or chili powder for a kick. The recipe did also call for radishes, but I'm pretty sure I've never bought/eaten a radish in my life. So I left those off. :)

Happy cooking everyone! 

1 comment:

freshlifefindings.com said...

Umm Yum!! Love this post! I've seen your instagrams and have been drooling and waiting for recipe posts :) Thanks for sharing!