A Little About Me

New York, New York
As a newly married woman, it has become my mission in life to learn how to cook. Gone are the days of picking up sushi and ordering curries. In order to jump-start my education, I enrolled in the Institute of Culinary Education's Fine Cooking I course where I learned the basics, from roasting to boiling to mousse-making (ok, maybe not that basic)! I've attempted to replicate some recipes - somewhat successfully- and create a few of my own. This blog is for friends and foodies and is intended to document my cooking adventures (and occasional fiascoes). Enjoy the pictures and bon appetite!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mofongo, Beaches and more Local Fare

Luckily, I had the fortune of escaping this dreadful winter weather to visit my family in sunny Puerto Rico last week! Being home was wonderful, not only because I got to sit on the beach all day, but because I got to enjoy some of the local fare from my childhood. On our last day, we drove all the way to Rincon, a popular surfing spot on the west coast, to explore beaches that looked like this...

On our way, we stopped at a local restaurant that served typical Puerto Rican food...

We pigged out on rice and beans...

and mofongo, which consisted of mashed green plantains filled with savory chicken broth and pieces of shrimp...

or chicken...

Looking forward to our next trip already!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Arugula Pesto Pasta

About a year ago, I got an amazing grill pan as a gift at my bridal shower. Unfortunately, I've only used it a few times. Last night, my sister and I decided we were going to try and grill some chicken using my under-appreciated pan. I found a recipe for a pesto pasta dish, so we made a delicious dinner with a heaping of vegetables and juicy grilled chicken! Since we made the pesto ourselves, the flavors were really fresh and bright!

1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toastes
2 cups packed arugula leaves
1 cup basil leaves
1 1/2 lemons, juiced
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup parmesan, cut into small chunks
salt and pepper
3 chicken breasts
3/4 cup olive oil
whole wheat pasta (spaghetti, penne, etc..)
1 small head of broccoli
1 small package cherry tomatoes
1 small pack button mushrooms

Start by toasting the almonds in a dry pan over medium heat. Then, add the almonds to a food processor along with the arugula, basil, lemon juice, garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper. Pulse as you slowly drizzle in the olive oil, until a well combined, thick pesto has formed.

Lightly pound the chicken to thin it out, then spread a large spoonful of pesto over both pieces.

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray and cook the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from grill and slice into small chunks.

Add some olive oil to a pan and cook the broccoli, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and whatever other vegetables you feel like adding. While they are cooking, boil your pasta in a separate pot. When done, add the chicken and pasta to the vegetables and douse with a good amount of pesto.

Mix well, serve and enjoy!