Mangia Questo!

No purists beyond this point.

Emergency Teriyaki Sauce July 10, 2009

Filed under: minimal effort — mangiaquesto @ 10:13 pm
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I’m not going to say this is true teriyaki sauce because, to be honest, I have no idea what goes into the real deal.  All I know is tonight I wanted salmon teriyaki, and I had salmon but no teriyaki.  If you find yourself in a similar situation, here is a recipe that will fill the teriyaki void and give you a similar look and taste.  For two salmon fillets or two chicken breasts, you’ll need:

1/4 cup of liquid honey

1/4 cup of light/low sodium soy sauce (if you don’t have light, use between 1/8 and 1/4 cup to ensure it doesn’t make your sauce too salty)

4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce (probably optional, or substitute 1 tsp. rice vinegar)

1 clove of garlic, grated, or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Put all ingredients in a microwave safe container or, better yet, build the sauce it in a pyrex measuring cup to avoid dirtying other measuring cups.  Microwave for 30 seconds to soften the honey then stir to combine.   Voilà!

For salmon, pour over fillets, turning to coat.  Bake 12-15 minutes in a small glass baking dish or other shallow baking dish, basting with sauce once or twice.  Serve over rice.


Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter September 18, 2008

Filed under: healthy,vegetarian — mangiaquesto @ 6:51 pm
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I was so excited to see the huge pile of beautiful Ontario squash at my local grocery store last week.  Like  Ontario corn, squash makes me feel better about the end of summer.  When choosing a squash, look for one that is heavy for its size and has no serious marks or gouges in the skin.  Try pressing your fingernail into the skin.  If it’s fairly hard, it’s ready.  If you can mark it easily, try to find a firmer one.  You can store the squash out of the fridge for a few weeks.

Spaghetti squash is easy to prepare and delicious.  This is just one of the many ways you can enjoy it.

You’ll need:

1 spaghetti squash

4 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon of butter (or margarine)

cooking spray (Pam?)

salt  & pepper to taste

First, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F (I made my squash in a big toaster oven).  Cut the squash in half the long way using the biggest, sharpest knife you have.  Take the loose papery skin off of the garlic but don’t peel it.  Spray a baking sheet with the cooking spray (you could also grease it with margarine or butter).  Place the squash halves cut-side down on the pan and slip two cloves of garlic under each squash half.  Bake the squash-garlic combo for about an hour, until you can pierce the skin easily with a fork.

When the squash is cooked, flip it onto its shell and butter each half.  Then squeeze the roasted garlic out of its peel and mash it slightly with a fork.  Spread the garlic onto both squash halves, then salt and pepper them lightly.  Using a fork, fluff the squash so the spaghetti strands come apart.  Taste and add more salt/pepper/butter as desired.  You can serve it right in the squash halves for a cute fall dish.


A Healthier Alfredo July 22, 2008

Filed under: Italiano,one-dish,vegetarian — mangiaquesto @ 4:13 pm
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If you’re like me, you may have wondered in the past who buys evaporated milk, and what they use it for.  I was watching TV the other day and Rose Reisman was doing some kind of cooking segment.  She said you can use evaporated milk in place of cream in any recipe!  I’ve been patiently waiting to try this out and tonight was finally the night.  The recipe that follows is for pappardelle (wider than fettucine and made with egg) alfredo with zucchini and mushrooms.  You need:

1 1/2 cups of sliced mushrooms or so

1 1/2 zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise and sliced in semi-circles

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/8 cup of butter

1 tablespoon of olive oil

250 grams of pappardelle pasta (long, wide egg noodles), or fettuccine, or whatever you have

1 can of evaporated milk (2% worked for me)

1/4 cup of grated parmesan or romano cheese

6 leaves of fresh basil, if you have it

3 tablespoons of salt

black pepper

pinch of nutmeg

Start with a big pan (you’ll end up tossing all of the pasta and sauce in it) and heat the olive oil.  Add the sliced mushrooms and zucchini and cook over medium heat.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  When the mushrooms and zucchini are a bit soft, add half of the butter and all of the garlic.  Salt the boiling pasta water (I use about a palm-full) and add the pasta.

Add the evaporated milk, parmesan or romano, and the rest of the butter to the veggies in the pan.  Turn the heat up to high and bring this to a simmer, stirring often.  The goal is to reduce it a bit so it becomes creamier.  Drain the pasta when it is al dente.

When the sauce is a little bit less runny (about the same time the pasta is done), add the pepper, nutmeg and basil (I think the nutmeg and basil are totally optional).  I have to say I thought my sauce was way too runny, but when I put it over the pasta it was perfect, so don’t worry.  Drain the pasta and toss it in the pan with the sauce.  Serve and feel good about yourself for using milk and not cream, and about half the butter called for in regular recipes.  This serves 2 very hungry people with a bowl of leftovers for lunch.