Weeknight Dinners

Spring Carbonara

If you saw me on IG live cooking, you certainly got a nice preview of this dish, Spring Carbonara, inspired by Cooking Light Magazine! Also, that was Neuskes Bacon in my mouth while I was talking, sorry about that. Sometimes you need to sample as you cook! Actually, I encourage it!

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This recipe sets up really quick, perfect for weeknight cooking. There are no short-cuts on this one, just super fast and easy. It’s almost asparagus season, and that makes me so happy because it’s a flavorful vegetable! Asparagus season reminds of when I was in Stuttgart, Germany, for work a few years ago. EVERYTHING had asparagus in it, and it was so fresh and tasty.

Spring Carbonara

  • 8 oz uncooked whole-wheat linguine (half of a regular box of pasta)
  • 4 center-cut bacon slices, chopped (Neuskes)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped asparagus
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced (or 1 tbsp powdered)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated (use your microplane), divided
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup Kim Crawford to deglaze the pan

Directions

  1.  Cook pasta according to package omitting fat and salt. Drain in a colander, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid (to use later on in your frying pan)
  2. while you’re cooking the pasta, add bacon to a large skillet over low; 6-8 minutes or until crispy. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towel to rest. Add the asparagus to the pan full of bacon fat. Yes. Sautee the asparagus in bacon fat, it’s amazing.
  3. I added a little Kim Crawford at this point. It’ was 5:10, and it seemed right. Mostly, my pan was getting sticky and dirty and I needed to get the crunchy bits off the bottom. White wine goes well with this dish, so why not?! Just a splash, no more than 1/4 cup and use your scraper to get the bacon off the bottom of your pan. If you are using a non-stick, this probably wont be an issue, and you should use bamboo utensils if you’re scraping the bottom of your pan 🙂
  4. Add garlic; cook, stirring often. About 3 minutes then transfer to the same plate as the bacon to rest.
  5. Whisk together three egg yolks, salt, pepper and 2 tbsp parmesan in a medium bowl.
  6. Add oil, drained pasta, 1/4 cup mixture to skillet and toss to coat. Heat skillet over medium and cook, stirring constantly until sauce has thickened, about 1 minute.  Add bacon, asparagus, garlic, peas and 1/4 reserved cooking liquid (pasta water, from pasta). Cook until heated through, about 1 more minute. Stir in more cooking liquid if your mixture looks too dry.

ANNNNDDD!!  Something happened to my photo of my meal, so here’s what it looks like in the magazine! Enjoy! We loved it!

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Weeknight Dinners

Potato Bacon Soup

When it’s 7 degrees and dark outside, its hard to de-quilt and get the day going. Add two additional humans on to the morning routine, and it’s no wonder I need a cup of jet fuel to begin my winter mornings.

Jet-fuel consumed, today we were all craving creamy, comfort food. We’ve had a Swanson’s (Campbell Soup Company) Potato Soup Mix in our pantry and thought it would work perfect on this uber cold day!

Going into it, expectations were very low. Premixed soup bases can be overly salty, high in calories, or lack overall flavor.

This mix NAILED IT. Fair sodium, no msg, low 90 calories and hearty. Taste was SPOT ON!

Have you ever had creamy potato soup at a restaurant and thought, “If I could make this at home….mmmmmm.” This mix is THAT soup. Amazing.

Prep time was about 8 minutes including pulling out the dutch oven (or 10 cup large kettle), cubing the potatoes and rendering the fat off the bacon. Easy and fast. Then the soup just simmers for 30 minutes until the potatoes are soft. You can use whatever potato you have, I used russet baking potatoes since I have a whole big bag of them right now.

Ingredients:

We would make this again. It fed the 4 of us tonight, plus we have about 3, one cup servings left. Each serving is 90 calories. If you want to lighten it up, use milk instead of cream, although your consistency will not be as thick. You could also omit the milk and cream altogether. I sampled it before I added the cream, and it was delicious without it.

Enjoy! Clean bowl club tonight!
 

Uncategorized, Weeknight Dinners

White Cheddar & Bacon Risotto

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It’s the night before the first day of school and our house is all a buzz. The kids have been busy getting their outfits ready, shoes out, backpacks packed (although pretty empty since we did the ship-directly-to-my-school-awesomeness this year). Exciting day in our household. Last minute haircuts, too! (Did you notice the Ninja Turtle jammies in the photo above? That was a last minute Amazon Prime purchase since poor buddy didn’t have any that fit :))

For dinner tonight, I wanted something cozy since the nights have been getting cooler. Something I gladly welcome. I love this time of year. Football, chai tea lattes, light jackets, snuggly sweatshirts, mums, pops of color from brightly changing leaves, new school, new conversation, new friends, and comforting food. Essentially, a new chapter.

As I was flipping though this months Cooking Light Magazine for meal inspiration, I found this recipe and immediately I had to make it.

Risotto.

If you’re stressed, make this recipe. If you’re not stressed, make this recipe.

Risotto requires lots of stirring, and the bonus, it’s made WITH wine, so you have to sample along the way, of course!?

We had clean plate club all around. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. It was DELISH. Probably my favorite recipe for all of 2017 so far….and that says a lot!

If you can, pick up this month’s Cooking Light Magazine, its worth it. Many excellent quick recipes.

White Cheddar and Bacon Risotto

  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bacon slices
  • 1 1/4 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup Arborio rice (make sure you check your manufacturing facility, not all rice is safe)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine ( used old stand by Kim Crawford)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 ounces white cheddar cheese,shredded (3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

Directions

  1. Bring stock and thyme sprigs to a simmer in a saucepan over medium; keep warm over low.
  2. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven (or large kettle or big frying pan with high sides) over medium for 4 minutes or until crisp. Remove from pan; crumble. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring to coat. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Stir in 1 1/2 cups stock; cook 4 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring frequently. Add 2 1/4 cups stock, 3/4 cup at a time, stirring frequently until each portion is absorbed before adding more. Reserve remaining 1/4 cup stock; discard thyme sprigs. Stir in salt and pepper.
  3. Stir in peas, chopped thyme, and cheese; cook 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir in reserved 1/4 cup stock. Divide rice mixture among 4 bowls; top with green onions and bacon.