Orzo “Greek” Pasta Salad

I don’t eat many sides from the grocery store deli but I will always be up for the various Greek pasta salads.

I make this pretty often but my produce usually just reflects what I have on hand. It comes together fairly easily and quickly. It also tastes better the longer everything marries.

Ingredients

Half a box of orzo

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cucumber, finely chopped

1/4 tomato, finely chopped

1/3-1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped

Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp lemon zest (optional)

1/2 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tsp chopped cilantro (optional)

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried mint

Salt and pepper, to taste

Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)

Chop your veggies

Boil and drain your orzo, rinse under cold water.

Combine dressing ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Combine all ingredients plus dressing. Toss with a wooden spoon or a spatula.

© 2019 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Kitchen Dump Thin Crust Pizza

Again, not a precise recipe. I just used what I had in my fridge and freezer. It’s an easily adaptable recipe. Just follow the pizza dough recipe and the crust-cooking-procedure. Easy peasy.

 

I had a ball of my simple pizza dough in the freezer. I had enough to roll out a thin crust. I played it a little fast and loose with the oven so my edges are kinda cajun lol. Be more careful than me. I was hungry.

 

Simple pizza dough

Seasoned ricotta cheese (herbs, garlic, parm, s&p)

Shredded cheese

Parm

Fresh mozzarella

Olive oil with italian herbs and garlic powder (for crust)

Whatever toppings you want (mine are as pictured)

 

Prepare the pizza dough ahead of time so you are ready to go.

Quickest way of attacking this is preheating your cast iron skillet, cast iron griddle, pizza stone, heavy bottomed pan. Whatever. Get it super hot. 475+ hot.

While that is preheating, slice and chop your toppings. You want thin slices, small dices. We want things to heat through evenly.

Prepare all of your cheeses.

Roll out your dough to suit your vehicle

Carefully place your dough in the pan or skillet or stone

Poke fork holes all over save for the ‘crust area’

Brush the ‘crust area’ with some of the seasoned up olive oil

Bake for a few minutes, just consider the thickness of your dough and its edges.

Remove and quickly paint dough with the ricotta.

Shredded cheeses

Spinach.

Parm.

Zucchini and squash slices

Fresh mozzarella dotted around

Sliced onions and peppers

Chicken

Chopped tomatoes

Whatever toppings you’re using

Baked at 475+ until the cheese is bubbling

Broil until there’s a little color on your cheese, mind your crust

Remove

Drizzle with remaining olive oil

Top with chopped herbs, crushed pepper

 

 

As always, use what you got. Any questions you know you can comment or hit me on IG (@nibblesandnom).

 

NOM!

 

 

 

© 2019 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Balsamic Gorgonzola String Beans

Hey y’all. This isn’t a precise recipe, but just a quick write up of this yummy side dish. Scale to suit your family’s needs.

 

1 bag of trimmed string beans

Chopped garlic

Butter

Olive oil

Cup of slice almonds

1/8-1/4 c balsamic vinegar

Sugar or honey (optional)

Gorgonzola cheese

 

(If you can multi-task, multi-task. Otherwise, do the reduction first)

In a sauce pan, bring the balsamic vinegar and like a little under a regular spoonful of sugar or honey) to a boil then reduce to a simmer.

Add chopped garlic.

Stirring frequently.

Keep an eye on this, you want it to coat the back of a spoon. If it goes too far it will taste pretty gross.

Remove from heat.

Melt a pad of butter into this and fin.

 

In a large tupperware, add the string beans and just a few spoonfuls of water. Microwave with the lid ajar for 3-4 minutes. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.

In a skillet over medium heat add olive oil and then melt butter.

Soften chopped garlic then remove.

Increase heat to medium high.

Add drained string beans ands season with salt and pepper.

Sautee until some start to brown up.

Remove from heat.

Add chopped garlic and some sliced almonds.

Drizzle with balsamic reduction.

Top with more sliced almonds and gorgonzola cheese.

 

© 2019 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Cauliflower Chicken Alfredo with Penne

1lb Penne Rigate

1 chicken breast (your preferred cooking method or rotisserie)

2 cup fresh spinach

1 small shallot (of ½ small red onion) finely diced

1 zucchini

1 squash

1 head of garlic

4 tbsp unsalted butter

½ head of cauliflower (cut into florets)

Buttermilk

Heavy Cream*

½ – 1C parmesan

1-2 C shredded Italian cheese

 

Salt

Pepper

Paprika

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Nutmeg (small dash)

 

Olive oil

Worcestershire sauce

 

 

Prepare your chicken. I chose to sous vide mine and began working on the other components.

Cut your garlic head at the top 1/3. Place in foil and cover in olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for about a half hour. It will become very fragrant.

Steam your cauliflower, remove.

Boil and drain your pasta, set aside.

 

I used an immersion blender in a large mixing bowl. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use your food processor or quality blender. You want this as smooth as possible.

 

Add in the butter, the buttermilk (I used both heavy cream and buttermilk because I needed to use up the cream. Feel free to use which ever you like but no lower than whole milk).

Add in the Worcestershire sauce, the spices and roasted garlic.  Blend until very smooth.

Taste and adjust your seasonings as necessary.

In a sauce pan, add olive oil and soften your onion or shallots. Add the spinach, salt and pepper. Add the zucchini and the squash. Cook until fork tender. Remove and set aside.

 

(At this point I had to sear off my chicken for some good ol’ Maillard)

I removed the chicken, add the sauce to the pan and stirred up on the brown bits. I added the cheese at this point. I added the chicken juices to this too.

 

I added the vegetables and the sliced chicken back to the sauce. Heat through.

 

Toss with pasta.

 

Listen.

This is the truth.

 

 

© 2019 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved