Monday, June 30, 2014

Healthy Faux Mashed Potatoes - OMG Drive These Around the Block!

I've heard about making mashed potatoes from cauliflower.  I've heard they were delicious and I've heard about the health benefits.  None of this swayed me or made me the least bit interested in trying them.

But then I read and article and decided to take a gamble and try these.  Summer is here and the heat is making us crave light foods.  This is a two-fer...veggies and a faux starch side dish.  The flavor is fantastic and if you're trying to get veggies in your little sous chefs, this is the real deal.

1 medium head of cauliflower washed and chopped
1 tablespoon plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 clove of garlic, rough chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Chopped chives for garnish
Kosher salt
Black Pepper

Heat a large pot of water to boiling, add a tablespoon of salt and the chopped cauliflower.  Boil until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain in a colander and blot with a paper towel.  

Place the drained cauliflower in the bowl of your food processor, add in the garlic, chicken stock, yogurt and Parmesan cheese.  Pulse until smooth.  Stream in the olive oil,  Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste.  Garnish with chopped chives.

Now you have a healthy, delicious, figure friendly side dish you prepare in a blink of an eye!

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Fusion Tasso Pasta

We recently traveled to New 92 year old mother-in-law decided to give up driving and sold us her car that barely had 9,000 miles on it.  So now each of the homegirlz have their own vehicle, finally! 

Have I mentioned our oldest has been accepted to nursing school and she's also made the Dean's list all four semesters she's attended college?  Can you believe she's even in college?  I can't!  Can't brag on one homegirl without mentioning the baby.  She's in college too...I know, be still my heart!  She made the Dean's list her first semester and missed it by .3 points last semester.  Yes, I'm proud of my babies.

Don't even think they don't think of ways to lure me up there to cook for them during school. Yes, they are tricky littler girls and I fall for it EVERY TIME. 

While we were visiting, I stocked on up essentials like tasso, andouille, shrimp and crabs.  So here's my latest and wonderfully delicious fusion of Cajun and Italian ways of enjoying two of my favorites, tasso and pasta.

1 lb. Tasso, sliced thin
Extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta diced
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/3 cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
1 lb. bow tie pasta (or your favorite shaped pasta) cooked al dente
1 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes 
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons sliced scallions for garnish

Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Cook the pancetta until golden and crispy.  Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel lined plate.  Leave the pancetta fat in the pan, this is liquid gold!

Return the saute pan to the stove and add 1 more tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and add the onions.  Saute for about 2 to three minutes, then add the sliced tasso and continue sauteing for another 3 to 4 minutes.  Add in the garlic saute for one minute and then add the wine.  Allow the wine to cook off for about a minute, then add the diced tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce and crushed red pepper flakes, stir to combine and then add in the heavy cream and 1/2 of the grated Asiago cheese.

Lower the heat and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce as thickened.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and maybe a little cayenne (optional).  Once the sauce is the desired consistency and seasoned well, add in the cooked pasta.

To serve, place a generous helping on your plate, garnish with the crispy pancetta, sliced scallions and grated Asiago cheese.


Now this the way to start off the weekend!!


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