Saturday, August 23, 2014

Garlic Carrots? Oh so simple... oh so good!

How can adding simple ingredients to steamed carrots makes these carrots oh so very good? These are great with roast chicken or beef dishes. Never endure boring carrots again!

Garlic Carrots
1 lb carrots, peeled
Flat leaf parsley
Minced garlic
Pat of butter
Salt & pepper

Steam carrots till tender-crisp, add minced parsley, garlic and butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Source: family member David Paul


Carrots with Garlic-Ginger Butter

 (Read recipe REVIEWS)




Steamed Carrots with Garlic-Ginger Butter

1 lb carrots, peeled
1 Tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp HOMEMADE SWEET GINGER
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp lime zest
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Salt & pepper, to taste

Steam carrots, covered, 10 minutes or until tender. Heat butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in carrots, cilantro, and remaining ingredients.

Source: Cooking Light

Easy sides to enjoy!

Warmly,
Sharon Anne


Picnic Potato Salad (now... say that three times)

Very old photo (well before i.e.) hard-boiled eggs page. LOL!
However, as soft-boiled... the ones above are just perfect.
Soft-boiled eggs, little known ingredient for softer breads!
Salad:
6 med russett potatoes
2 hard-boiled eggs
2 celery ribs
1/2 cup red onion (OR)
3 green onions
1/3 green pepper
1/3 red pepper
3 Tbsp cucumber pickles, chopped
(variation: dill pickles or relish)

Dressing:
1 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
2 1/2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp pickle juice
1/2 tsp salt, or added to taste
Coarse ground black pepper, added to taste

Salad: Boil potatoes (uncovered) until fork tender. Drain (see tips) and rinse with cold water. Peel, as desired. Cube cooled potatoes, place in a large bowl. Meanwhile, cover raw eggs with cold water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and time 17 minutes. Rinse with cold water, before chopping eggs and adding to potatoes. Dice veggies and fold into potatoes and eggs.

Dressing: Mix ingredients together in a small bowl and then fold into potatoes and veggies. Best, after chilled several hours, so flavors mingle together.

(Tips & Techniques...)
  1. Cooled potato water is a very well known ingredient great for tender, flavorful homemade breads.
  2. My mother had an amazing green thumb; I remembered she reserved her water to water her beautiful house plants! Who knew?

Monday, August 18, 2014

How To Make Fresh Marinara Sauce






I love TOMATOES picked fresh from the GARDEN...


Then when they come on, WOW... THEY COME ON! So you've got to come up with IDEAS for all these TOMATOES!
 

Related Recipe: 
"Zoodles" of Squash Noodles (Gluten Free)





Well, I have a recipe BELOW that's WONDERFULlY FRESH, but it also freezes great too! So, if you have an abundance of fresh GARDEN TOMATOES... you can make some now, and then even freeze some sauce for later.
  
If not, YOU might GO SHOPPING for TOMATOES & RED PEPPERS, and then make fresh marinara any time you like!

Red Peppers: ROASTING TIPS - Preheat oven to 500°F. Core and cut peppers in half. In a glass bowl, oil pepper skins and flesh with olive oil. Oil a small, foil-lined baking sheet, and roast skin-side up for 30-45 minutes, until peppers until charred. Remove from oven, and place under the glass bowl (to steam) and loosen the skins. Once cool, the skins will come off easily. Reserve until needed.
 

Skinning Tomato Tip: 
Meanwhile, core the tomatoes and score each little bottom with a 1-inch-sized X. Scald in hot water. Plunge the tomatoes in cold water and the skins pull right off - slick. 

Cut in half and be sure to REMOVE the acidic juice and seeds. Don't forget*



Serving Suggestions: To preserve the freshness, simply warm through and DO NOT OVER-COOK or OVER-HEAT the sauce, thus retaining the fresh flavors. Serve over hot pasta and meatballs, even "Zoodles" of Squash Noodles (Gluten Free) or lasagna. Makes a great dipping sauce for bread sticks. 


(Years ago) The Olive Garden's Venetian Chicken, USED to be marinated, grilled & topped with a fresh RED MARINARA sauce.

Plus they ALWAYS served this secret fresh sauce to dip your bread sticks in little tin cups; remember that years ago?

It was always sooo delicious! The sauce the chicken, the whole shebang! So OKAY... if you already KNOW ME (or MAYBE you've just met ME), well then let me say this...

Even though their Venetian Apricot Chicken of (today's menu) is of no secret, however...

I've cloned their secret MARINARA SAUCE recipe
(back from twenty years ago!)

Note: Didn't photograph the cracked pepper, and chose to blend in xanthan gum later.
Fresh Marinara Sauce

Makes: 12 servings (3 quarts)

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 sweet red peppers, pre-roasted
2 1/2 lbs fresh tomatoes
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
4 (15-oz) cans crushed tomatoes
in puree, or 2 (29-oz) cans
2 Tbsp quality balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp sweet fresh basil,
or 5 tsp dried basil
3 tsp ITALIAN SEASONING MIX
2 tsp sugar, (depends on tomatoes) more needed 
or Whey Low Granular
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked pepper, freshly ground

1 tsp xanthan gum, helps with runniness

Marinara Sauce: In a large stockpot, pour in the tomato puree, balsamic vinegar and add the peeled fresh tomatoes, plus prepared onions and garlic; blend until smooth with my favorite stick blender until smooth, by Cuisinart. 

Using my handy-dandy mini-food processor attachment for my onions and garlic (not pictured). Blend into sauce.


Mini-food processor, add roasted pepper, basil, seasoning mix. Pulse until chunky and STIR into the pot. Otherwise chop and mince by hand. 

Next, stir in the sugar, salt & cracked pepper, to taste. Finally, we prefer the sauce just warmed through, retaining the fresh flavors.



This sauce freezes beautifully in (zip-bags) label and date.

*Both the SEEDS & JUICE are very acidic and so your sauce would be too, if you forgot to remove them. Worse it will separate and be runny too. Don't worry, I've forgotten to remove the seeds and juice myself too - and it's MY RECIPE, hahaha!


You NEED NOT fret (simply get your pantry stocked!) 

  



  1.     Counteract the acidic flavor, by adding 2-Tbsp sugar to balance it out to taste.
  2.     If there is LOTS of separation and runniness, did you forget to remove the juice and seeds? (Yes, I've even forgotten and it's MY RECIPE.) So you can blend in a bit more xanthan gum, to see if that helps
  3.      Also, a sure fire fix is to SLOWLY sprinkle a small amount of Ultra Gel - Instant, Gluten-Free Thickenerhttps://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fir-na.amazon-adsystem.com%2Fe%2Fir%3Ft%3Dkneanyins-20%26l%3Das2%26o%3D1%26a%3DB00910LUQS&container=blogger&gadget=a&rewriteMime=image%2F*, stir and wait 5 minutes for it to reach it's full thickening power. 
Ta Da! All that work & LOVELY SAUCE is now PERFECTLY saved, (now no one will have ever known!)

For more Info on this blog, click on this link GREAT Thickeners.
Plus check out my old website: http://sharonanne.com/mfs_chart.htm 

Warmly,
Sharon Anne

So what do you think? How do you serve your favorite Italian red sauces and what with?

You're welcome to share your comments.



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