Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dinner + Dessert

Usually when I bake, I use a recipe and when I cook, I don't. Either I modify recipes or I pull together my own recipe. Since I don't usually write down my exact ingredients - most of my recipes (non-dessert) are approximate.

Tonight I made a fresh, chunky style tomato sauce and ravioli, with roasted vegetables. Since dinner was so easy, I decided to try out an apple recipe (we went apple-picking last week and I have about 2-3 dozen apples on my counter, but that's for another post).

Fresh Tomato Sauce
1 1/2 sweet onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4-5 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt/freshly ground pepper
Splash of chicken broth
Handful of fresh basil/parsley, chopped

1. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent
2. Add tomatoes; bring mixture to boil, then reduce heat to low-medium
3. Add chicken broth and allow sauce to reduce approximately by half
4. Add chopped herbs and season to taste
5. Sauce takes about 1/2 hour to cook; the consistency should be chunky and not too liquidy

Roasted Vegetables
This recipe is a standard in our house - we make it with every kind of vegetable. It's very easy - almost a "set it and forget it"-type recipe.
Vegetables (whatever you prefer; the best ones that I've found to use are asparagus, red onions, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, potatoes, red peppers, tomatoes, etc)
Few cloves of garlic, crushed
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt/freshly ground pepper
Grated parmesan (optional)

1. Preheat oven to ~400-425 degrees
2. Cut up veggies (not too small or they will crisp too soon) roughly the same size and put on parchment-paper lined sheet pan (I prefer a jelly roll type pan but any baking sheet with a lip will do)
3. Add olive oil to veggies - amount depends on size of pan, how many veggies, etc - the oil should lightly coat or be touching some part of each piece. No need to go crazy with the oil - during baking, you can always add more if it seems as if the veggies don't have enough cooking liquid
4. Add s/p - this is key to bring out the flavor. I usually just lightly sprinkle each on all areas of the baking sheet
5. Bake approximately 30 minutes - or until the vegetables are tender and the edges are brown and a bit crispy. Time is very approximate - really based upon what you use (e.g. asparagus is usually much less than this - more like 15-20 minutes).
6. Sprinkle with grated parmesan - optional (but tasty!)

Apple-Oatmeal Bars (Recipe: Cooks.com; my changes are in yellow)
Ingredients (I halved the recipe and fit into an 8x8 pan)
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/2-3 cup chopped apples (I used Golden Delicious)

1. Sift flour, salt and soda together.
2. Add brown sugar and oats. Work in butter.
3. Grease a 8x8 inch pan and spread mixture on the bottom.
4. Spread apples on and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mix.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
6. Cut into squares and serve warm with cream or ice cream, or cut and serve like brownies.


Patrick said...

Hi Jade, what a fun fresh blogspot you have! I love this simple summer/ early fall fare. Going to have to try these recipes myself. Look forward to reading more your culinary adventures in the future.


Lani T said...

I just made these and they were SO good. Love them...thanks for the new recipe!

Jade said...

Lani - so glad you liked them! Thanks for the feedback.