Large Batch Homemade Pesto

fresh pesto sauce

I planted basil in our garden this summer and was super excited when I discovered that I have enough to make a large batch of pesto, and freeze for the winter! I purchase the bulk pine nuts and Parmigiano Reggiano from Costco, which is so much more affordable than Whole Foods (Paycheck).  It is key to have a great food processor. I have a new “Breville Sous Chef Food Processor” that I received from my mother-in-law, that I absolutely love! Anyway, so here are the ingredients and the instructions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound basil (9 oz leaves after removing stems)
  • ⅓ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ cup fresh Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano)
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 Tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cup pine nuts

Place the washed basil leaves, and oil in the food processor (using “S-Blade”), till minced, pausing occasionally to scrape in the basil on the sides. Add the cheese, garlic and salt and process until smooth. Add in the pine nuts at the end, you can make it as crunchy or smooth as you like. My son loves it chunky but my daughter likes it super smooth. You are now ready to place the pesto into ½ cup storage containers. Now you can freeze your batches. Thaw as needed, but please do not microwave. When you add to your pasta, please save some of the salted pasta water to thin out the pesto a little so it has a smooth and slightly liquid consistency.

Asian Cole Slaw

Asian Cole Slaw with Sesame Oil and Cilantro
Asian Cole Slaw with Sesame Oil and Cilantro

Okay, I’ve honestly had enough of this summer heat! With 90+ degree weather for the past couple of months, I thought I would share a light, refreshing coleslaw recipe, to cool you down. This dressing is a little sweet and pungent. Pairs nicely with a Panko Crusted Tuna.

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh pureed ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp Mirin*
  • 2 tbsp Toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup Organic Canola Oil

* Mirin is a rice wine, similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol and higher sugar content.

Directions: In a mixing bowl, place soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and Mirin and whisk until brown sugar dissolves. Slowly whisk in the oil to the mixture in a slow stream, waiting for the oil and mixture to begin thickening before adding a little more oil. This is to ensure emuslification. Add to the slaw and refrigerate, this can be made a few hours before serving.

For the Cole Slaw:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup thinly sliced napa cabbage
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 3/4 cup julienned carrots
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds

Directions: If you don’t have the patients to hand slice/chop all of the ingredients, you can use a food processor with the slicing or julienne blades. Mix the cabbages and carrots into a bowl, slowly add in the dressing, tossing to cover. Add in the cilantro and sesame seeds and toss. This can be served with a nice panic crusted seared tuna and sushi rice. You can also make a bit more of the above dressing and add it to the Tuna and rice.

Creamy Zucchini Pasta with Pecorino Cheese

creamy-zucchini-pasta

Yes, another pasta dish. Here is a simple pasta dish to make with some zucchini and pecorino. Makes 4 “european” size portions.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 small yellow onion diced approximately ¾” cup
  • 5 cloves chopped garlic
  • 4 small-medium zucchini chopped in ¼” pieces
  • ½ cup pecorino cheese
  • ½ cup cream
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 4 servings of pasta – I used spaghetti but I think Fussili or Farfale would have been better

Preparation:

In large pot, boil pasta water. Add pasta to salted boiling water. Zucchini takes about 15 minutes to time your pasta accordingly. In a large sauce pan, on medium-high heat melt the butter. Add in the onions and garlic until translucent. Add in the zucchini and cook until zucchini start to brown slightly.  Add in the cream and cook until it thickens. (If sauce gets too thick you can add in some of the pasta water). Add salt to taste and parsley and basil. Drain pasta keeping some water for reserve (to thin out the sauce if too heavy for your liking). Plate pasta onto each bowl, add the zucchini mixture. Add in the cheese to each plate. Toss before eating.

Ricotta Pasta with Tomatoes

 

Ricotta Pasta with Tomatoes, basil, garlic and mozzarella

Here is a fun, lighter spaghetti dish with ricotta, mozzarella, basil, garlic, cherry tomatoes and parmesan. My son loves ricotta and if he has his preference he would pretty much add it to anything.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • 6 cloves chopped Garlic
  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes (slices in half)
  • ½ cup chopped Burrata (or fresh mozzarella cheese)
  • ½ cup of whole milk organic Ricotta cheese
  • ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes (chili)
  • 1 cup Roasted tomatoes sliced
  • 1 box of spaghetti (barilla or other Italian brand)
  • salt as needed
  • 10 leaves of fresh basil sliced
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Boil pasta water (making sure to salt after boiling). In a small sauce pan, add the oil and garlic and cook at medium heat, making sure garlic does not brown. Mix together cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, ricotta, red pepper flakes, and roasted tomatoes. Add ¼ tsp salt and stir. Cook pasta. Strain pasta, saving some of the water. Add olive oil and garlic to ricotta mixture. Stir in pasta to mixture to coat spaghetti well, add additional salt if needed. Serve into shallow pasta bowls, sprinkle with basil and parmesan cheese and serve.   Makes 4 Servings.

 

Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Perfect wood planks background with nice studio lighting and beautiful vignetting to draw the eyes into the picture

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2-3 pork tenderloins

Directions:

In a mixing bowl whisk brown sugar with soy sauce until brown sugar dissolves. Slowly add in the olive oil, whisking to prevent emulsifying. Add in the garlic and ginger. Place all ingredients into a large ziplock bag and add the tenderloins to the bag. Make sure all parts of the tenderloins are covered with the marinade. Marinate in the fridge for up to 2-3 days (but not longer than 3, as the pork will get too salty). Remove Pork from the bag and place the reserve the sauce in a sauce pan. Grill the pork on high heat (on BBQ Grill) or broil the pork, to get a nice crust on the outside. You can also sear the pork in an iron skillet to get a nice crusty outside, then bake at 350 degrees until internal temperature reaches 140. I like my pork medium rare, so I normally pull it out at 135 (internal temp), and let rest 5-10 minutes until it reaches 140. This is great served with Asian Slaw and Sesame Sushi Rice with Cucumbers and Avocado, or sautéed ginger carrots. Optional – Slice meat on to each place and sprinkle with apples (instructions below).

Sauce:

  • remainder marinade from above
  • 1 cup chicken stock/broth
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp water

While the pork in cooking, cook the marinade on medium-high heat, so you cook down any of the raw pork juice. Add in the broth, and cook down till reduced by half. In a cup combine the flour and water, mixing so it turns into a paste, making sure there are no clumps. Slowly whisk in the flour to pan, making sure there are no clumps. Your sauce will be come thicker, if it becomes too thick, add some more chicken broth. Pour over sliced pork loin.

A little added accouterment: Sautéed apples with butter and brown sugar.

  • 1 apple chopped into ½” cubes
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Place butter in iron skillet until it bubbles, add in the apple and toss in pan for 4 minutes, add in the brown sugar until melted and covering apples. Add the apples to the pork.

 

Crème Fraîche Pea Puree

 

Perfect wood planks background with nice studio lighting and beautiful vignetting to draw the eyes into the picture

This is a great Sauce you can serve with Roasted Potatoes, Peas and Salmon.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked frozen peas
  • ⅓ cup chopped shallots
  • ¼ cup chopped dill
  • ⅛ cup EVOO (olive oil)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 oz. Crème Fraîshe

Using a food processor, add the cooked peas, shallots, dill and salt. Slowly add in the oil so that all ingredients become a smooth puree. Then simply add the pureed mixture to the Crème Fraîshe, stirring in gently with a spoon so it does not separate or turn to butter. You can now add this under your potato and pea medley (just a dollop on the plate), or add on top of a nice sautéed salmon.

 

Large Batch Homemade Pesto

fresh pesto sauce

Our family LOVES pesto! I have tried different kinds of store bought pesto and really never discovered one I love, so I decided to make my own. We are fortunate enough to have access to large 1 lb. bags of basil, which I usually buy in 5 lb. increments. We also purchase the bulk pine nuts and Parmegiano Reggiano  from Costco, which is so much more affordable than Whole Foods. When I make pesto, I like to make it in large batches then freeze in 2 portion Tupperware containers (see photo). It is key to have a great food processor. I have a new “Breville Sous Chef Food Processor” that I received from my mother-in-law, that I absolutely love! Anyway, so here are the ingredients and the instructions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound basil (9 oz leaves after removing stems)
  • ⅓ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ cup fresh Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano)
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cup pine nuts

Place the washed basil leaves, and oil in the food processor (using “S-Blade”), till minced, pausing occasionally to scrape in the basil on the sides. Add in the cheese, garlic and salt and process until smooth. Add in the pine nuts at the end, you can make it as crunchy or smooth as you like. My son loves it chunky but my daughter likes it super smooth. You are now ready to place the pesto into ½ cup storage containers. Now you can freeze your batches. Thaw as needed, but please do not microwave. When you add to your pasta, please save some of the salted pasta water to thin out the pesto a little so it has a smooth and slightly liquid consistency.