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Tag Archives: garlic

Roasted Asparagus

This was one of the side dishes from last weeks dinner, and was also very and economical to feed a crowd.  I got a 2.25 pound bag at Costco for about $6.  You have to do very little prep work to the asparagus, so it’s perfect for a dinner party.

Asparagus (figure on 4-5 spears per person)

Olive Oil

Garlic Cloves

Salt

Pepper

Parmesan Cheese

Wash the asparagus and prep by taking the stalk firmly in your hands and snap at the lower end.  The asparagus naturally snaps at the point that should be discarded.  You can normally just use where it snaps as a guideline and cut the remaining spears around the same place.  I like snapping, so I just do them all that way!

Line a jelly roll pan with foil and arrange the spears in a single layer.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with the salt and pepper.  Crush garlic cloves with the side of your knife and arrange around the asparagus.  Roast at 400 degrees in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until they appear a bit wilted and are tender.  Place on your serving dish and sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese.

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Herbed Cream Cheese Log

I found this recipe in my trusty “Finger Foods” cook book.  I made it for a friends house warming/ graduation party over the weekend.  It was very tasty.  I was pleasantly surprised with how easy actually making the log was, but if you want to go with an even easier appetizer you could mix in the parsley, tarragon and dill with the cream cheese form a ball and roll in the chives.  The log did make a very presentation though!

2 blocks cream cheese

2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 clove garlic

1 container fresh chives

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

2 tablespoons fresh tarragon

2 teaspoons dill (I used dried, but fresh would be better)

Make a paste with the garlic.  I used minced garlic and then pulled a knife sideways across the garlic until it breaks down.  This helps spread the flavor throughout the whole thing and eliminate a potent bite.

Mix the cream cheese (dong this at room temperature is best), lemon juice and garlic with an electric mixer.

Cover a jelly roll pan with tin foil.

Snip the chives in small pieces and spread evenly over the foil.  Spread the cream cheese over the chives.  I ended up using my hands, because it kept sticking to the spatula and knife.  Chop the parsley and tarragon.  Sprinkle the herbs (including the dill) across the top of the cream cheese.

Pull the short end of the foil up and fold the cheese a few inches in.  Keep rolling into a log with the help of the foil.  Use your fingers to smooth any sections.  Once you reach the other end and it’s a lovely log.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours or over night.

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Pasta with toasted breadcrumbs and broiled cheesy tomatoes

I was recently checking one of my favorite blogs, Noble Pig,  to find new recipes and inspiration.  I saw her recipe with a simple pasta dinner with basil and parmesan broiled tomatoes, and had to try it.  I combined that idea with another recipe for pasta with toasted bread crumbs I had found in my Quick Fixes cookbook.

I don’t think I will ever have pasta without the tomatoes broiled cheese, it was really delicious.

Whole wheat pasta

Olive Oil

Plum Tomatoes (figure on about 3 or 4 slices per person)

Mozzarella cheese

Parmesan cheese

Breadcrumbs (I used panko)

1/2 TBS minced garlic

Fresh lemon juice

Boil water and cook the pasta in salted water according to the directions.  Cut the tomatoes in thick slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven at 375 for about 5 minutes to soften.  While the tomatoes are roasting, heat olive oil in the skillet.  Add the garlic and cook for just a minute.  Add the bread crumbs and sprinkle with the lemon juice.  Toast the breadcrumbs until they are golden.  Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss with the breadcrumbs.  Add the basil and let it wilt slightly.  Remove the tomatoes from the oven and sprinkle with the cheese and put under  the broiler for 2-4 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly.  Top each plate with a few slices of the tomato and a leaf of fresh basil.

Garlic Parmesan Orzo

This recipe was based on something I found on http://www.allrecipes.com and thought it was fantastic!  The only real change that I made was adding a little more milk than the recipe called for, because it was done a bit before everyone was over for dinner, and I didn’t want it to dry out too much.

This recipe is definitely a keeper!  Beyond easy and very yummy.  It could easily be made into the star of the meal by adding chicken or shrimp and/ or scallops to it.

2 cups uncooked orzo pasta

3 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook orzo according to package directions; drain. In a large skillet, saute garlic in butter until tender. Add the orzo, Parmesan cheese milk, parsley salt and pepper. Cook and stir until heated through.

I forgot to take pics of sauteing the garlic, but I’m sure you can figure that part out!

Herb Crusted Pork Roast

This is adapted from a recipe that I found on http://www.crockpot.com  It turned out to be tender and yummy!  (I need to start keeping a thesaurus nearby to find synonyms for delicious).

3 to 3 1/2 pounds center cut boneless pork roast
10 to 12 cloves garlic, left whole, removed from skin
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 to 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, (I used Italian seasoned)
1/2 to 3/4 cup dijon mustard
3/4 cup fresh herbs, such as tarragon, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, minced (I used some thyme and rosemary)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chicken stock
I couldn’t find a pork roast big enough, so I actually used 2 smaller roasts (one a little over 1 pound the other of a little over 2 pounds).
In a bowl, mix the bread crumbs, mustard and herbs. Mixture should have the consistency of a wet paste. Add more bread crumbs or mustard if necessary.
Pat the mixture onto the pork. With remaining ¼ c of crumbs, dust the pork.
Pour olive oil into bottom of slow cooker and swirl to coat. Place pork in slow cooker.
Cook on low for 8 hours. Transfer pork to cutting surface and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing into ¾ – 1 inch pieces.
Return stoneware to Crock Pot and turn up to high. Using a whisk, add ¼ c chicken stock (and additional 1T of mustard if necessary) to pan juices. Pour over sliced pork.
I actually thought that the bread crumbs turned out too soggy and didn’t look appetizing to me.  So, I broiled the roast for about 10 minutes which got the crust so nice and crisp and it still kept the pork nice and moist.
And, I did forget about the sauce until we were started to eat, but we didn’t think we need it.  But, I did taste a bit of the drippings while I was cleaning up and it was delish!  So, I did add the chicken stock and will definitely be eating that with leftovers!  And, lucky for me (and my coworkers) there are lots left!  I need to learn that recommended serving sizes are wayyyy too much.