Monday, June 20, 2016

Pesto veggie flatbread

As I mentioned last post, my brother left me with a bit of homemade pesto when he stayed with me in New Orleans*. As much as I love pesto, there's only so many times I can eat it with eggs, in a sandwich, or as dressing. So to finish the remaining pesto before it went bad, I used it as the sauce for a veggie flatbread! (it's not pizza because I bought a pre-made crust. I'm a strong believer in it's only pizza if you toss the dough)

*Much shout out to the community garden at the Green School and its bountiful herb garden. 

Pesto veggie flatbread (serves 2-4) 
1 pizza crust (you can make your own or buy pre-made / frozen) 
1/3 cup mozzarella (I used pearls, shredded works too) 
2 tbs parmesan, grated or crumble 
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced 
1 bell pepper, sliced
2 shallots 
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
olive oil
2 tbs white wine 
1 tbs balsamic vinegar 
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

1. In an iron skillet on high heat, brown shallots in olive oil. 
2. Add mushrooms. Sautee with white wine** and balsamic vinegar. 
3. Mix in peppers, galic powder, and Italian seasoning. Set aside. 
4. Preheat oven to 425F 
5. Brush pizza crust with olive oil, spread pesto generously. 
6. Top with sauteed vegetables. Evenly distribute mozzarella and parmesan.**  
7. Bake for 15-20 min or until cheese is browned and blistering. 
8. Top with fresh arugula and serve! 

**Rules of my fridge: always have 2+ cheeses and white wine stocked 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Case of the leftovers: Creole fried rice

Because my brother visited me for a week in New Orleans recently, we did a lot of fine dining out and ended up with surprisingly fewer leftovers than I expected considering how gluttonous we were. In addition to some delicious lemon herb roasted chicken from Emeril's (though sadly there's no more truffle fried chicken) and authentic Cajun shrimp and okra gumbo from Cafe de Amis in Beaux Bridge, I also brought home Shaya's roasted cabbage. It's been sitting in my fridge along with some rosemary roasted eggplant and sauteed garlic broccoli rabe, so I decided to heat it all up together with some of my leftover rice. And it'll all end with some leftover homemade blueberry and peach cobbler for dessert (I used leftover farmers market fruit from the trip before, recipe to come!). It's finally my weekend, and because I worked another six days in a row this week, I was in no shape to whip up a fresh hot meal. So thank goodness for leftovers! 

Because I still had tomatoes, scallions, and shallots to use, I decided to spruce up my rice and make it fried in the skillet! It's reminiscent of my chili lime fried rice, but boy has being in the south seriously influenced my cooking style. 

Creole fried rice
2 cups leftover cooked brown rice, cooked with 1 dz dried shrimp 
2 eggs, beaten
1 Creole tomato, diced 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 knob gingerm minced
1 shallot, minced 
3 sprigs scallion, diced
1/4 cup kimchi, chopped 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp tumeric 
1/4 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp sesame oil, lightly coated in corn starch 
2 tbs peanut oil
1/2 tsp sesame seeds

1 link Andouille sausage, chopped 
1 dz medium - large shrimp, peeled and deveined 

1. Brown scallion, ginger, shallot, and garlic with 1 tbs peanut oil in skillet or wok on high heat. Sautee with chopped tomato, kimchi, and optional sausage. 
2. Once everything is slightly browned, add the rice and stir-fry until rice is fragrant. Rice should be slightly harder to the bite, yet still retain some degree of moisture. (This should take 5-10 minutes depending on the heat of your stove top.) 
3. Season on salt, garlic powder, tumeric. 
4. Mix in the two beaten eggs and keep the rice moving in the wok until the eggs are fully cooked and dispersed throughout. 
5. On a separate pan, sizzle shrimp in 1 tbs peanut oil on high heat until browned. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. 
5. Finally, add the sesame shrimp and make sure all ingredients are mixed evenly. 
6. Remove the fried rice from the heat and add the sesame oil. Mix well.