Sunday, June 30, 2013

Peach Pineapple Crisp with Coconut & Ginger Crumble

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Peach Pineapple Crisp w/ Coconut & Ginger Crumble
Ok so, it's in the 80s in Seattle… I know, it's crazy and wonderful. I also know that the last thing anyone in Seattle wants to do on an 80 degree day is turn on the oven. A lot of our apartments and houses don't have AC, so it can be pretty miserable indoors on beautiful Seattle days. And, I mean, who wants to be inside when it's so amazing outside? 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Peach Pineapple Crisp w/ Coconut & Ginger CrumbleLoves Food, Loves to Eat: Peach Pineapple Crisp w/ Coconut & Ginger Crumble

That being said, if you happen to find yourself in an AC equipped home, or you don't live in Seattle, or you just love amazing tropical tasting desserts…then you should make this crisp. 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Peach Pineapple Crisp w/ Coconut & Ginger Crumble
Peaches and pineapple together is such a winning combo. It reminds me of a tropical drink. And then if you top that with a buttery crumbling oat topping that has gingersnaps and coconut in it… c'mon guys. Turn on the AC. Blast the fan. Do what you need to do. Just make this dessert happen. 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Peach Pineapple Crisp w/ Coconut & Ginger Crumble
And then go outside and enjoy this amazing summer weather.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Peach Pineapple Crisp w/ Coconut & Ginger Crumble

Peach Pineapple Crisp with Coconut & Ginger Crumble 

I wanted to keep this really light and fresh tasting, so I didn't add a thickening agent to the fruit. It comes out a little runny and less set up this way, but I happen to think that it works. If you do want a firmer filling, add a tablespoon of cornstarch to the fruit and sugar mixture. 

2.5 cups cubed fresh pineapple (about half a large pineapple)
3 large peaches, cubed (no need to peel)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons melted butter (1 stick)
10 gingersnap cookies, crumbled
1/2 cup desiccated coconut 
1 tablespoon turbinado (course) sugar

Preheat oven to 425, with rack in middle. Stir together pineapple through vanilla. Place in a buttered 2.5-quart baking dish (or two 1-quart dishes). 

Stir together oats, flour, brown sugar ,and salt. Blend in butter with your fingers until mixture is thoroughly moistened. Stir in gingersnaps and coconut. Press over fruit and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. 

Bake until juices are bubbling and topping is golden brown, about 25 minutes. 

Cool slightly, and serve with ice cream.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas
So, you know that no-fish-and-cheese rule? The one that says not to mix fish and cheese? Well, it’s a thing. And sometimes I agree with it. I mean, fish is so fresh and light and…fishy. And from the sea. Well, from water. And cheese is heavy and creamy and rich, and from the land. From a cow. There are plenty of times where I would say absolutely no seafood and cheese together.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas

But I mean, rules are made to be broken. Right? Right. Case in point: smoked salmon and cream cheese. Classic combo. And how about clams on pizza? I’ve had that plenty of times, and ps. it’s awesome. Also, the good old fashioned tuna melt…ammiright!? These reasons, and many more, are why I’m perfectly comfortable sharing shrimp quesadillas with you.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas

Pesto shrimp quesadillas. Yep. Sweet little shrimpies, super herby homemade pesto, melty mozzarella, and salty crumbled cotija. Inside a crispy tortilla. If you ever doubted the shrimp + cheese combo, this will change your mind.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas
Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas
Also, did you know that you can throw pretty much anything in pesto? It’s not just basil and pine nuts anymore, my friends.  Parsley? Yes, please. Pumpkin Seeds? Do it. Garlic scapes? Yessiree. Carrot tops? Yep, throw those green carrot tops in there! Chocolate cake? Ok, now maybe we’ve gone too far. But maybe… ok, maybe not.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas
Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas

Peeled and deveined shrimp, cooked
Fresh mozzarella, grated
Fresh cotija, crumbled
Parsley & carrot top pesto (recipe below)
Oil for cooking

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a drizzle of oil, and place the tortilla in the skillet. Flip a few times until the tortilla is warm (but not crispy) on both sides. Spread a thick layer of pesto all over the inside of the tortilla, sprinkle mozzarella on one side, top with shrimp, and top with cotija. Fold tortilla over, and cook on both sides until tortilla is crispy and cheese is melty.

Parsley & Carrot Top Pesto
Adapted loosely from this recipe

A little variety gives the pesto a fresh, less over-bearing flavor. And using garlic scapes definitely mellows out the garlic taste. If you can’t get your hands on scapes, I would recommend just starting out with one clove of garlic, see how you like it. Then add more if you really have some vampires to scare off.

3/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds, shelled and lightly toasted)
2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley (about 1 bunch)
2 cups carrot tops (from one large bunch of carrots)
4-5 large basil leaves
4-5 garlic scapes, chopped
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to thin if necessary
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Juice from 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Additional salt and pepper, to taste

Blend pepitas in a food processor until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth. Add more olive oil, salt, and pepper, as needed.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Corn Kernel Sugar Cookies

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Summer Corn Kernel Sugar Cookies
SUMMER!!! It's here! You know what that means? Sweet, juicy nectarines! Bright red tomatoes (on rustic bread with a schmear of mayo, please!)! Crunchy carrots that actually have flavor! Crisp, sweet corn on the cob! 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Summer Corn Kernel Sugar Cookies
I'm obsessed with corn right now. I just can't seem to get enough. Grilled on the cob, in salads, in salsas, in cookies. Wait… in cookies? Yep, you heard me. You read me. In cookies. I love when sweet little kernels of corn pop up in cornbread, so I thought "hey, why not in a sugar cookie!?" And you know what? It works, people, it works! I mean, you can eat these cookies as a vegetable side dish. You're welcome. 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Summer Corn Kernel Sugar Cookies
I used a tried and true chewy sugar cookie recipe, and just folded in some fresh-from-the-cob white corn kernels. When the cookies are warm, the corn is a little weird and like "why is there cooked corn in my cookie?" But once they cool, the corn adds a perfect little pop of sweet freshness. 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Summer Corn Kernel Sugar Cookies
Summer Corn Sugar Cookies
Adapted from this recipe

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla 
1 egg
1.5 cups + 1 tablespoon flour 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 ear of sweet white corn, kernels cut off cob
3/4 cup turbinado sugar (for rolling)

Preheat oven to 375. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg, and beat until combined (about another minute). 

Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to wet mixture, and mix until combined. Gently fold in corn kernels. 

Put turbinado sugar in a small bowl. Scoop about 1.5 inch balls of dough and roll in turbinado sugar to coat. Put balls on cookie sheet about 1.5 inches apart. Don't flatten!

Bake for 8 - 10 minutes (no longer). Cool on cooling rack. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fried Egg Caprese Sandwich

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Fried Egg Caprese Sandwich
I love breakfast sandwiches. More often than not, if a brunch menu is sans the bfast sammie, I'll order toast, a fried egg, and a side of bacon, and I'll make my own damn breakfast sandwich. 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Fried Egg Caprese Sandwich
Amanda taught me that trick. She's pretty smart like that. I mean… she just got her Master's degree over the weekend… talk about brains, that gal's got em! 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Fried Egg Caprese Sandwich This breakfast sandwich is super fresh tasting…that's the basil. It's basically a caprese salad (um, yum!) but on a ciabatta roll. With a fried egg. It's got all the right fresh & tangy & creamy stuff goin' on. And it comes together really fast (no Master's degree required). 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Fried Egg Caprese Sandwich
PS. Doesn't that fried egg look like a steak? Why is it shaped like that? 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Fried Egg Caprese Sandwich

Fried Egg Caprese Sandwich
Serves 1

1 ciabatta roll, sliced open
Olive oil 
1 tablespoon mayonaise 
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2-3 thick slices fresh mozzarella 
2-3 large basil leaves
1-2 thick tomato slices (I used a big, meaty heirloom)
1 egg
Salt and pepper

Brush the insides of the roll with a little bit of olive oil, and broil until lightly golden and crispy (or grill!). Whisk together the mayo & balsamic, and spread on half the ciabatta roll. Add tomato on top of mayo, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add cheese then basil to other half of roll. Fry an egg to your liking (I prefer over-medium….the yolk is still runny, but the white is fully cooked everywhere), and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put egg on tomato, and combine sandwich halves. That's it!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Nutty Tropical Breakfast Quinoa

I'm not immune to kitchen failures. I rarely use recipes, so it’s a lot of trial and error. Like a few nights ago, when I decided to roast some rhubarb, and somehow ended up with crispy, charred, inedible little rhubarb cracklins. My five beautiful, giant stalks of ‘barb were reduced to a tiny handful of garbage.

Nutty Tropical Breakfast Quinoa Sometimes, though, I manage to throw together just the right flavors, and get a home run. Those are the ones I usually share here. Like this breakfast quinoa. I make fruity, breakfasty quinoa fairly often, but it’s usually nothing to write home about.

Nutty Tropical Breakfast Quinoa This breakfast quinoa—sort of tropical and nutty—this one is a winner, my friends. I used almond butter, because it’s what I had on hand, but I bet any nut butter would be delish… try cashew or macadamia! I used half a peach and half a mango, which leaves you with half a peach and half a mango for tomorrow’s quinoa, too! I would recommend just making a big batch of quinoa and keeping it in the fridge for this very purpose, but you can also toss it with salads, make burrito bowls with it, or even add it to cookie dough.

Nutty Tropical Breakfast Quinoa

Nutty Tropical Breakfast Quinoa

1 tablespoon chunky unsalted almond butter
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon almond milk
1/2 cup cooked quinoa, warm
pinch salt
1/2 peach, diced
1/2 mango, diced
1 T shredded coconut
Dash of cinnamon

Whisk together almond butter, honey, salt, and almond milk until smooth. Stir into warm quinoa. Mix in peach, mango, coconut, and cinnamon. Add a splash more almond milk if desired. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Tuna & White Bean Salad with Tomatoes & Kalamata Olives

 Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Tuna & White Bean Salad
It's that time of year when I just can't seem to find a second to catch my breath. Birthdays, happy hours, work events, and softball games. Sunny sun time, graduations, trips, visitors, outdoor runs. I love being busy and doing so many fun things with so many great people, but sometimes a girl just needs to sit at home and eat a salad. Know what I mean?

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Tuna & White Bean Salad

Last week I ate out, bar food and restaurant food, every single night. By Friday I was pretty much dying for some fresh vegetables, and something homemade. There's just something about putting simple, fresh ingredients together in your own kitchen, and sitting on your own couch, in front of new streaming episodes of your favorite guilty pleasure (um, Pretty Little Liars… don't judge) that just feels so right. 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Tuna & White Bean Salad
This salad is awesome for those times when you desperately need to make something at home, but also have very little time to actually make something. A handful of cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives, peppery fresh arugula, salty capers, white beans, and good quality tuna. There's very little chopping involved. You don't even have to halve the toms and olives if you're really pressed for time. Some quick can opening and tossing, and you can be you again. It's that simple.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Tuna & White Bean Salad
Tuna & White Bean Salad

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can good quality tuna (bonus points for smoked!), drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon capers
2-3 big handfuls arugula
Juice from 1 lemon
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Combine beans, tuna, tomatoes, olives, and capers in a large bowl. Add lemon juice, just a drizzle of olive oil, s&p to taste. Toss together, gently breaking up the tuna. Toss in the arugula, or serve on a bed of arugula. 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Tuna & White Bean Salad

Saturday, June 1, 2013

BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies
Since it's almost my birthday, we're going to focus on two of my favorite things. Evan and Biscuit. Just kidding. I mean, they are two of my favorite things. Not things, people. I mean... well, you know what I mean. But no, we're gonna focus on two of my favorite food things: pork and butter.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies
And not just any pork... today we're talking about sweet and spicy BBQ pulled pork. With pineapple. And we're not just talking about dipping that saucy pork in butter. This isn't the Paula Deen show for cryin' out loud. Side note, my favorite Paula Deen moment ever is when she dips a bite of her sandwich in a melty stick of butter and says "Oops, y'all, my bite fell in the buttah!" Amazing. 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand PiesLoves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies
But anyway, we were talking about pork and butter. Buttery, flakey pie crust, that is. Wrapped around BBQ pulled pork. In adorable, individual hand-pie form. Then dipped in butter. Just kidding. About the hand pies. No, I mean, about the butter dipping. Not about the hand pies.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand PiesLoves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies
My birthday dream food: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies. Can I just have a stack of these with a candle in it for my birthday? Actually, that would be really cute, and I wish I had done it.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies

Plan ahead for this recipe (and read ahead). The pork takes less time than a whole roast (because I cut it into several smaller pieces) but still takes about 3 hours (to cook and cool), and the pie dough needs a few hours to chill. Also, so that my kitchen isn't all warm and toasty from the oven, I prepare the dough and stick it in the fridge prior to starting the pork (cold butter = good pie dough). This pork recipe will leave you will a bit of extra pork at the end. You can either make more pie dough, eat on sandwiches, or freeze for later. There's no such thing as "too much pork" in my book! 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand PiesLoves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies

BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies
Makes about 13 two-inch hand pies

1 recipe double-crust pie dough, chilled (see below)
1 recipe Sweet and Spicy BBQ Pulled Pork, cooled to room temp (see below)
1 cup shredded jack cheese
1 egg, whisked

Preheat oven to 425, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Roll the dough into a 18" by 18" square. With a pastry wheel (or pizza cutter!), cut out 13 3X2 inch rectangles. You may have a bit of extra dough, just roll that out into additional rectangles.

Add a bit of cheese to half of a rectangle, and top with about 1.5-2 tablespoons of pork, being sure to leave an edge. Dip your finger in water, and lightly wet the dough edges of the rectangle, and fold the top half over the meat mixture. Using a for crimper, press along the edges to seal. With a sharp knife, gently and a vent slice to the top of each pie, and brush with the whisked egg. 
Bake in 2-3 batches for 15-18 minutes, until golden. Cool on a cooling rack for a few minutes before serving. Can be eaten hot or cold
Pie Crust
Use your favorite pie dough recipe for a double crust pie. I used (and love) the all-butter crust from Smitten Kitchen. Prepare the dough and chill for at least 2 hours (while pork is cooking).

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Pulled Pork
5 lb pork roast (shoulder or butt)
3 slices smokey bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bottle of hard cider (12oz)
1/2 apple cider vinegar
6 oz tomato paste
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup crushed pineapple pieces or chunks
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

Trim fat off pork, and cut into 3-inch pieces. Pat each piece dry with a paper towel, and salt and pepper each side. 

Heat a large dutch oven on the stove top, over medium heat. Add bacon, and cook until just crispy. Remove bacon and set aside, leaving grease in pot. Turn heat up to medium-high.

Add 2-3 of the pork pieces, sear each side, and remove. Don't overcrowd the pot, or you  won't get a good sear. Repeat with all the pork pieces. 

Once pork is cooked, turn heat back to medium, add onion and cook for a couple of minutes, until just starting to brown. Since the pot will be pretty hot from the pork, this won't take long. Pour in a splash of the hard cider (you'll get a lot of steam) to deglaze, and scrape the bits from the bottom of the pot.

Remove pot from the heat. Add bacon, pork, and remaining ingredients to pot, cover, and put in oven. Cook for 2-3 hours, until pork falls apart with a fork. Remove from oven, and with a fork, shred pork (right in pot) and mix together with the saucy mixture in the pot. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes to an hour. 

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