Friday, April 29, 2016

Herby Cheesy Goodness

I've been a gardener for quite some time now (check out my gardening posts!) and that includes growing my own herbs each year, as well.

Herbs are one of the easiest things to grow, outside, inside, in pots, in the ground. Many are really rather hearty and do well no matter what. You just need to give it a try. You can start with a tiny little pot that has soil and seeds already inside - just add water and sun and watch them grow. You can buy a small pot, add some soil and seeds, find a sunny windowsill and wait for beautiful little green things to pop up. Once you have herbs grown, you'll be so happy you did it. There's nothing like fresh herbs for flavoring dishes.

Check out Gardener's Supply for lots of ideas and tools for growing your own garden, even if it's only a windowsill garden of herbs. They have what you need!

Now, once you have those herbs, here are three delicious and easy recipes for you to use them in, each pairing with a delicious Cabot cheese!

The first is cheesy herb-y rolls perfect for an appetizer or to serve with a meal. These are so easy you won't believe it!


Pesto Cheese Rolls
Pesto Cheese Rolls

Pesto Cheese Rolls
Makes 24

Ingredients:

2 sheets puff pastry - thawed
4 Tablespoons prepared pesto*
1/2 cup shredded Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar
2 Tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and very lightly grease two 9-inch round baking pans.
2. Unfold pastry and spread 2 Tablespoons pesto on each sheet.
3. Sprinkle each pastry sheet with 1/4 cup of cheese.
4. Roll up tightly from the long end and cut each log into 12 even pieces.
5. Arrange rolls in prepared pans and top with Parmesan cheese.
6, Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.


Pesto Cheese Rolls
Pesto Cheese Rolls


*Homemade Pesto:

Pesto
Makes about 1 cup

Printable Recipe

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (you can also use a combination of your favorite herbs)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts, walnuts or almonds
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
salt as needed

Place basil leaves in small batches in food processor and blend until well chopped (do about 3/4 cup at a time). Add about 1/3 the nuts and garlic, blend again.
Add about 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese; blend while slowly adding about 1/3 of the olive oil, stopping to scrape down sides of container.
Process basil pesto until it forms a thick smooth paste. Repeat until all ingredients are used, mix all batches together well. Basil pesto keeps in refrigerator one week, or freeze for a few months.




Zucchini-Cheese Squares
Zucchini-Cheese Squares


Zucchini-Cheese Squares
Makes 36 Appetizers

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons olive oil
5 medium green onions - sliced thinly
1 clove garlic-minced
2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
6 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Kosher salt,
1/4 t pepper
1 Tablespoon each fresh basil and oregano - finely chopped
3 cups shredded Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar or other flavor

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and zucchini;
cook until all liquid is evaporated and zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes.
2. In a bowl, mix eggs and remaining ingredients and add zucchini mixture.
3. Spread into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake in a 325° oven for 30 minutes or until set when touched in center.
4. Let cool for at least 15 minutes and cut into small squares.




Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers
Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers
Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers
Makes 24 mini peppers

Ingredients:


24 mini peppers
8 ounces Cabot cream cheese 
2 cups finely shredded Cabot Garlic and Herb Cheddar

1/2 cup Cabot sour cream
1 Tablespoon each finely chopped fresh basil and flat leaf parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:


1. Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Set aside.
2. Set cream cheese in a bowl and allow to soften at room temperature.
3. Add cheese, herbs, salt and pepper and sour cream to cream cheese. Blend well.
4. Spoon or pipe cheese into pepper halves. Garnish with whole herbs if desired and serve immediately or chill, covered,  several hours until serving time.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chicken Panko Romano

Chicken Panko Romano
Chicken Panko Romano

Panko is a Japanese bread crumb that provides a crunchy coating like no other. Combined with Romano cheese, the result is divine. A thick and hearty tomato sauce offsets the crunch and makes this a perfect meal for company or special dinners at home.

Chicken Panko Romano

Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Ready In: 30 - 40 minutes
Makes 8 filets


Ingredients:

4 large chicken breasts - boneless and skinless
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
4 Tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups Panko
1/2 cup finely shredded Romano cheese
2 cups of your favorite primavera sauce - homemade is best!
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

Directions:

1. Clean chicken breasts of all visible fat and cut each in half horizontally, making 2 filets from each breast.
2. Combine Panko and Romano cheese in a bowl. Put flour into another bowl and mix the egg and water in yet another bowl until well blended.
3.Coat each piece of chicken in flour - shaking off excess, and then in egg wash and lastly in Panko and Romano coating. Make sure there are no bare spots on each breast. Set aside or refrigerate up to 1 hour before frying.
4. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat and add several tablespoons of oil to the pan. When the oil 'shimmers', it is ready for the chicken. Oil that is not hot enough will absorb into the chicken and oil that is too hot will smoke.
5. Fry each coated filet in the heated oil until golden brown, turning once during cooking - 5 minutes on each side.
7. Drain well on paper toweling and serve immediately with warm sauce.

You can also bake these on a rack on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced and crumb coating is golden brown.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Earl's New American at Peddler's Village

I had the immense privilege of attending the media event for the re-opening of Earl's New American at Peddler's Village this weekend. As we rarely get away from the kids, we decided to make a night of it.
Peddler's Village has been one of my favorite places since I first went way back when I was around 8 years old (that's 1976 for anyone counting!) and I took my kids when they were young (some of them still are) and they all fell in love, too.
We don't get there as often as we'd like, but I feel that makes each trip that much more special. The Golden Plough is now one of my fiancees places to stay, as well after a birthday stay there a couple years ago.
If you haven't been to Peddler's Village, please DO take a day and go and explore.
As for Earl's, I'll let the photos speak for themselves. It's a truly beautiful restaurant and Chef Bill Murphy is an all around nice guy and so easy to talk to. My fiancee and I were lucky enough to have our tour given by Chef Murphy. If he's out and about during your dinner, make sure to say hello!
The food is perfection and the waitstaff was very accommodating and helpful. You won't be disappointed in any way.
Please check out the media release below!

My photos from Earl's Media Event. Beautiful lighting, food and decor. 


Ribbon Cutting and Cocktail Reception Launched Exciting Arrival of Earl’s New American   

Bucks County community members and local charity, A Woman’s Place, celebrated new restaurant, opening today.


LAHASKA, PA – (April 12, 2016)  -- Earl’s New American had plenty cause for celebration this past weekend, April 9 and 10. On Saturday, the Peddler’s Village restaurant hosted a fabulous afternoon social event with a floral ribbon cutting ceremony and cocktail reception for media and members of the Philadelphia and Bucks County food scene. During the reception, Executive Chef Bill Murphy and the ENA culinary staff, along with ENA General Manager Louis A. Torres, Jr., cut the ribbon, which was created from spring flowers provided by The Living Earth, a florist in New Hope.

On Sunday, attendees included the Earl’s New American team, notables from the Bucks County community, as well as honorees from A Woman’s Place (AWP), the county’s only domestic violence organization. The AWP staff invited some of their most generous donors to the special event as a show of appreciation for their support.
Guests enjoyed the restaurant’s polished, casual ‘farmhouse’ feel, mingling and chatting over signature drinks like the Ruby-Tini and the Sparkling Pear with Rosemary. Among the delicious small bites were Lobster Dumpling with Shaved Carrot Slaw and Sweet SoyGrilled Salmon with Locally Milled Faro and Morel Mushroom Vinaigrette, and Crab Cakes with Old Bay Aioli.


Earl's Reception
A Ribbon Cutting was held at the April 9 reception of Earl’s New American at Peddler’s Village. Executive Chef Bill Murphy cut the flower ribbon welcoming the opening of Earl’s New American on April 12! Left to right: Stephen Herndon (Assistant GM of Earl’s), Richard Slutter (Peddler’s Village Director of Hospitality Operations), Louis Torres (GM of Earl’s), Chef Bill Murphy of Earl’s, Blaine Llewellyn and Lemar Ellis (Earl’s Kitchen staff).


Earl’s New American will open to the public today, April 12, for dinner. The 140-seat restaurant will be serving dinner, Tuesday – Sunday, and lunch, Friday – Sunday. Guests will enjoy the restaurant’s full bar, private banquet facilities, and outdoor patio seating. Reservations available now! For more information on Earl’s New American, visit EarlsNewAmerican.com. Follow Earl’s New American on Facebook: Facebook.com/EarlsNewAmerican.

ABOUT EARL’S NEW AMERICAN

Located at Peddler’s Village in the scenic countryside of Bucks County, Pa, Earl’s New American offers a polished, casual dining experience with creative, contemporary cuisine using the freshest, seasonal ingredients. The 140-seat restaurant has a full bar, private banquet and meeting facilities, and outdoor patio seating. 

ABOUT PEDDLER’S VILLAGE

Founded by the Jamison family in 1962, Peddler’s Village is a countryside resort destination with a graceful 18th-century architectural style, 42 acres of lush gardens and winding brick walkways, five diverse eateries, a family entertainment center, 65 distinctive retail shops, and seasonal festivals and events. Peddler’s Village is the third most visited travel destination in the Greater Philadelphia region with more than 1.6 million annual visitors, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. For more information, call 215-794-4000 or visit PeddlersVillage.com.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Huli Huli Chicken

Huli Huli Chicken


So, it's not that warm out yet, but some of us like to fire up the grill as soon as temps reach 55. This chicken is a beautiful reason to get your grill heated up! Huli Huli Chicken is authentic Hawaiian cuisine and highly coveted, spurring Hawaiians and vacationers alike to spend weekends seeking out Huli Huli stands. Make your own at home and savor the taste of the islands in your own backyard. It's said the the real deal is grilled only, but I've included broiler instructions for year-round enjoyment.

Huli Huli Chicken

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 40 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

2 whole chickens, split in half

Marinade:

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup pineapple puree
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 1/2 inches ginger root - minced to a paste
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar


For Grill:

1. Combine marinade ingredients and stir until well blended.
2. Brush chicken halves with marinade and grill over medium-hot coals, turning once every 5 minutes and basting with marinade each time.
3. Grill for a total of 40 minutes.


For Broiler:


1. Preheat broiler and put broiler pan on the lowest setting.
2. Broil chicken halves for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.
3. Brush chickens with marinade and continue broiling, turning once every 5 minutes and basting with marinade, for another 20 minutes - 40 minutes total.


Friday, February 12, 2016

Veggie Lasagna Rolls

Veggie Lasagna Rolls
Veggie Lasagna Rolls

Oh my goodness, it's COLD out there! I mean, really chilly for us in Eastern PA. Temps look to drop to negative teens in wind chill, so we're battening down the hatches and staying near the stove.

Nothing warms you from the inside out like a hearty baked pasta dish, and this one, even though it's meatless, does the trick just fine. You get a great serving or two of veggies and even the kids won't notice them with all that cheesy goodness surrounding them.

Cottage cheese is a great sub for ricotta - it's full of tiny cheese curds that melt beautifully and add a little more texture. Use jarred Alfredo if you like, but the real-deal Béchamel is divine! 


Veggie Lasagna Rolls
Veggie Lasagna Rolls


Veggie Lasagna Rolls

Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 40 minutes
Yield: Makes 8 lasagna rolls

Ingredients:

1- 15-oz container ricotta cheese or 16 ounces drained cottage cheese
1 clove garlic - minced
1 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
1 large egg lightly beaten
2 teaspoons Kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup broccoli florets, cooked until crisp-tender, drained well and chopped fine
1 small carrot, peeled and grated - about 1/2 cup
1/2 large red pepper - diced fine - about 1/2 cup
8 cooked lasagna noodles
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 jar (15 ounces) prepared Alfredo sauce (or 2 cups homemade *Sauce Béchamel )

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Spray a medium baking dish with cooking spray and spread 1 cup of Alfredo sauce on the bottom.
2. Mix ricotta (or cottage cheese), egg, Parmesan, 1 cup mozzarella,  garlic, salt and pepper well. Fold in vegetables.
3. Lay out lasagna noodles and spoon filling evenly onto each-spreading to the ends.
4. Roll up and place in the sauced pan making sure the seam is facing down.
5. Top each roll with the remaining Alfredo sauce and mozzarella.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
7. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.



*Sauce Béchamel (a.k.a. white sauce):

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups room temperature milk (I use whole milk)
salt and pepper to taste
freshly ground nutmeg - a pinch or so

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan and add flour. Stir together and add milk,  stirring over a medium flame until thickened.