Tag Archives: sun-dried tomatoes

French Quesadilla

31 Aug

You know me… the Puerto Rican girl with a French fixation. 

After my French get-together, I had a lot of left-overs from the party.. . Gruyere cheese, lots of onions, bread…  I think I thought I was going to cook soup for a French Army or Navy 😉  So, I had to get creative in how I used up all of that without boring myself and that’s how the French Quesadilla came about.

This comes together really fast and has a nice flavor to it.  Perfect for a lunch or simple supper, it can even impress a date.

 

 

FRENCH QUESADILLA

1 whole-wheat flour tortilla
2 tbs caramelized onions – I’ll show you how to caramelize them, but you don’t need the whole batch for this – recipe follows
1 tbs sun-dried tomato jam
3 ounces of gruyere cheese, shredded
Canola oil spray

 

  1. In a large skillet sprayed with canola oil over medium- high heat, place the flour tortilla and heat up a bit, for about a minute.
  2. Place half of the cheese on the tortilla.  Fill half the tortilla with the onions and the other half with the sun-dried tomato jam.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Fold the tortilla, so you know have a ½ moon.
  3. Let the cheese melt on one side for about 2-3 minutes, then flip the quesadilla so the cheese on the over side can melt evenly too.

 

To caramelize onions:

1 medium onion, sliced thin
2 tbs butter
Drizzle olive oil
1 1/2 tbs white wine vinegar with tarragon
Salt and Pepper
  1. Follow the same procedure you might have used if you made my French Onion Soup.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter with the drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. 
  3. Place the onions and stir to make sure they’re all covered.  Let the onions get soft for about 6-7 minutes, stirring them occasionally. 
  4. Lower the heat a bit and cover the pot.  Let them cook over low heat for about 30 minutes.  Stir them occasionally. 
  5. Almost at the end of the 30 minutes, add the salt, pepper and vinegar.  The vinegar will help you scrape anything that might have stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. 

Allow to cool off and use in your favorite recipe…

Sun-dried Tomato and Roasted Garlic Breadsticks

31 Jul

This is another version of breadsticks… this was kind of an experiment in the sense that I wanted to create a French version of a breadstick but was drawing a blank.

What I did was to take ingredients that were already in my fridge and put them all together.  The results??  Les Francophones loved them!!!!  Noreniel even took the entire leftover breadsticks batch home with him.  He said they would be perfect in his toaster oven…  I totally agreed.

 

SUN-DRIED TOMATO AND ROASTED GARLIC BREADSTICKS

1 tub of refrigerated whole-wheat breadsticks dough – I use Pillsbury brand
3-4  roasted garlic cloves, mashed
2-3 tbs of Sun-dried Tomato Jam
2 tbs Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper

 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Take the breadstick dough and lay it flat on a cutting board.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper liberally.
  3. Take the mashed garlic and spread it all across the dough.  Do the same with the sun-dried tomato jam.  Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top of the garlic/tomato and pat it all down to make the cheese stick as much as possible.
  4. Separate the pre-cut dough of breadsticks and twist them And place them on a baking sheet sprayed with canola spray (I always forget this step… please do as I say and not as I do).
  5. Bake them in oven according to package directions… but I never read the directions, so I always check them after 10 minutes.  They take between 10-15 minutes, until they’re nice and puffed and golden brown.  They will smell delicious too…

 

Sun-dried Tomato Jam

6 Jul

Looking to develop new offerings for my itty-bitty food business, I decided to try a sun-dried tomato something.  In the same week, I ran across 2 tomato jam recipes and I considered it a sign.  The one I followed mostly was Giada’s recipe here…. of course, tweaked to make it vegetarian.

The results… delicious, but too time consuming and expensive to produce for a growing business so I decided then to share with you the fruits of my labor.

This jam tastes awesome spread on top of a crostini, over a goat cheese toast, or as a condiment for a sandwich, like an Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich.  I am sure you and I will be able to come up with many more uses.  Check it out!

 

 

SUN-DRIED TOMATO JAM

4oz sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil and finely chopped
About 1 tbs of the sun-dried tomato oil in the jar
½ tbs olive oil
½ medium sized onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbs brown sugar
3 tbs apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
¼ cup vegetable stock
Kosher Salt and cracked Black pepper to taste

 

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, onions and garlic.  Stir together and cook until the onions have softened and reached a consistency similar to the tomatoes.  This will take about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar, vinegar, water, vegetable broth, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and bring to a simmer covered for about 30 minutes. 
  3. Uncover and cook some more for about 20-30 minutes, allowing for the liquid to evaporate and the mix to attain the consistency of jam.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool off.
  4. Use right away or keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  Believe me, it won’t last longer than that…

 

I know the color in the pictures looks not-so-appetizing, but the flavors ROCK!!!!  It’s sweet and savory all at the same time.  This has become one of my go-to condiments…

Food for Love – Goat Cheese and Almond Pasta

14 Feb

It’s Valentine’s Day – the day to celebrate everything and anything romantic…  so why not celebrate by cooking something to stir all your senses, including that aphrodisiac part of you.  Reading about aphrodisiac foods, I was amazed to learn how many of them I have in my pantry and fridge:

Almonds
Sweet Basil
Avocados
Arugula 
Bananas
Strawberries and Raspberries
Nutmeg

So I decided to make something that will contribute to the loving theme of the day using almonds and sweet basil…  I adapted this dish from a Martha Stewart Living magazine.  Enjoy!!

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GOAT CHEESE AND ALMOND PASTA

1/4 lbs whole wheat pasta -penne, rigatoni or any other tubular pasta would work
Small handful sun-dried tomatoes – the dry ones… not the ones packed in oil
1/3 small log of goat cheese
Small handful toasted almonds – I used marcona almonds
About 10 Fresh Basil leaves, torn or cut in strips
Salt and Pepper to taste
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  1.  Boil pasta in salted water until al dente.  During the last 3 minutes of boiling the pasta, throw in the sun dried tomatoes to rehydrate.
  2. Drain the pasta well, reserving some of the pasta cooking water.  Return pasta to the pot.
  3. Drizzle pasta with a bit of olive oil.  Add goat cheese in small pieces, basil leaves, pepper and almonds.  Add a bit of the pasta water to create a sauce.  Toss to combine.  Add more water if you feel it’s too dry.
  4. Garnish with added almonds on top. 

There are other several recipes I have created for you already that might help you to create romance any day you are in the mood:

Coquito – Nutmeg

Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes – Basil

Arugula-Red Onion Salad – Arugula

Quesadilla Caprese – Basil

Strawberry Banana Smoothie – Strawberries and Bananas

Strawberry Kanten – Strawberry

Baked Pasta and 4 Cheeses – Basil

White Lasagna with Spinach and Almonds – Nutmeg and Almonds

Pink Mac & Cheese

1 Feb

A good friend of mine reminded me I always talked to him about my blog and my recipes, but that I had NEVER cooked for him.  So I immediately invited him to lunch and made this impromptu comforting pasta dish.

I love pink pasta sauces… I think they’re super tasty and combine the best of both worlds – cheese sauce and tomatoes. 

pink-mac-cheese.jpg

PINK MAC & CHEESE

1/4 pound whole wheat pasta – penne, rigatoni, macaroni would all work
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs sofrito
8oz heavy cream
4 oz cottage cheese
3/4 cup shredded Italian cheese mix, divided
2 oz. Laughing Cow cheese or 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/4 cup crushed tomatoes
5 or 6 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
10-12 basil leaves
Salt, Garlic salt and Pepper to taste
  1. In a medium pot, boil water, season with salt liberally and cook pasta until al dente… approximately 10-12 minutes.  While pasta cooks, make the sauce. 
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil.  Add sofrito and saute for a few minutes.
  4. Add cream cheese and whisk together with sofrito until it melts.  Add heavy cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the Italian cheese blend.  Whisk together until all cheeses are melted and well blended.
  5.  Add crushed tomatoes and season with garlic salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add sun-dried tomatoes and basil leaves.
  7. Drain cooked pasta and add to saucepan with sauce.
  8. Transfer pasta and sauce to a baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup shredded cheese blend.
  9. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes until the cheese on top is melted and creates a golden crust.

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Not too light, but delicious and comforting… my friend is a convert and now he wants me to cook for him all the time.  I should have taken a photo of his amazed face. 

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