Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Artichoke Spinach bake

I loosely followed this Artichoke Spinach Bake recipe (see recipe at bottom) to create a full meal instead of just a side dish. Let me tell you it was fantastic! I don't measure much but I used approximately the ingredients from Kat's recipe. I added some feta, and Queso Fresco to the cheese mixture. Instead of frozen spinach I used fresh from our garden spinach that I chopped (I left some whole leaves to layer in. I added fresh chives and boxwood basil from our garden. I also added a zucchini from our garden. I sauteed the zucchini with the onion to make sure that it would be fully cooked. I meant to add olives, but I forgot (had a partial can open that I wanted to use up). I seeded four Roma tomatoes and diced them up and into the cheese mixture along with 4 chopped mini sweet peppers and 4 chopped jalapenos. I used mini lasagna noodles. I mixed the sauteed veggies with some of the noodles for the first layer into the casserole dish. Then I spread half the cheese mixture in, added more noodles on top of that. Put in the layer of spinach leaves. Added some more of the cheese mixture, then more noodles. At this point I realized that I had forgot the Artichokes! so I chopped those up and put them on the top, added more mozzarella and Parmesan. I typically don't use the oven so I fired up the grill and put the whole thing in the bbq. Took about 15 minutes at right around 425* This can be prepped in advance and refrigerated until you are ready to bake.

Cheese mixture ready for mixing in spinach, basil, and chives.

Sauteed zucchini, onion, garlic, and mini sweet peppers mixture.

Was in a hurry so didn't get many layering shots. This is the second layer of cheese mixture.  More noodles went on after this. Then the rest of toppings.

So tasty!!!

The final layer! Look at all that good cheese and the forgotten artichokes!

Onto the grill. Was a bit higher than 425* and I left it in for about 15 minutes.

Knowing that I wouldn't be able to get the top browned I whipped out the one thing that I knew could get the job done.

Just not used for blow torch nachos!

This recipe is super versatile you could add just about anything to it. Smoked Prawns would be a nice addition. I could see chicken, pork, ground beef. My fiancee suggested mushrooms, but I have to draw the line somewhere!


Original Recipe:

  • 14 oz of Orecchiette Pasta ( or short pasta)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup of Chopped Onion
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic ( Minced)
  • 1 Cup of Sour Cream
  • 4 oz of Cream Cheese ( Room Temperature)
  • 3/4 Cup of Parmesan Cheese (I used a 1 1/2 cup pkg)
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice + Zest
  • 10 Oz of Spinach ( Make sure to squeeze excess moisture, after it has been thawed of course)
  • 13.5 Can of Artichoke Hearts rinsed and chopped
  • 1 Cup of Mozzarella (I used a 2 cup pkg)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Pepper
  1. Preheat Oven To 425
  2. Cook pasta according to the box. Keep 1/4 Cup of the Pasta Water before you drain the cooked pasta.
  3. Heat oil in pan and cook onions for 8 – 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute.
  4. In a large bowl – Mix Sour Cream, Cream Cheese, Parmesan, Lemon (juice and zest), onions, and garlic. Add Pasta and mix.
  5. Stir in spinach, artichokes, 1/4 cup of cooking liquid from the pasta, salt, pepper, and 1/2 Cup of Mozzarella
  6. Place mixture into greased 2.5 – 3 qt casserole dish and place the rest of mozzarella cheese on top
  7. Place in the oven till golden brown on top – about 10 – 15 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Buffalo Blue Pulled Chicken Sandwees

The other day I injected some quarters, ala Scarbelly style with the idea that we would make some pulled chicken buffalo blue sandwees!

Three quarters yields enough for 3-4 sandweees. One quarter I injected with BBQ sauce for the boys as they don't care for spicy.


Add some Frank's, foil and onto the grill to reheat.

BBQ Sandwee for the boys

Grilling some garden fresh zuch and chipotle buns!

Add the Blue

Add some garden fresh lettuce, YUMMM!

Might as well have a home canned pickle!