Onion Basil Bread

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? All the Buzz: Onion Basil Bread! You have got to try this! Tasty Vidalia onions are unbelievably sweet and mild. They are grown locally in the state of Georgia, yet recognized all over the world. You begin to see them pop up in the neighborhood markets from mid-April to mid-June. Their unique fresh taste makes them an outstanding option for eating raw or cooking in recipes. Packed with nutritional value makes them a bonus. Become a believer; discover why Vidalia onions are all the buzz!

ONION BASIL BREAD

Ingredients:

Loaf of sesame artisan bread

1/3 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon marjoram

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1 large size Vidalia onion, sliced

1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 cup Jarlsberg cheese, shredded

2-3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

Fresh basil

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut the bread in half, then length-wise, and quarters. Dredge the cut sides in 1/3 cup olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, marjoram, and sea salt. In a skillet on medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onion slices and seasoned salt. Cover and cook one minute. Stir, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the onions are caramelized, about 12 minutes. Watch carefully to reduce scorching and stir if necessary. Meanwhile divide Jarlsberg cheese equally over the face of the bread. Top with caramelized onions. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh basil.

Mandarin Orange Side Salad

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? All the Buzz: Mandarin Orange Side Salad! Whenever I serve this colorful side salad to my guests, they rave about the dressing. I create my own version of infused garlic oil, but it can be purchased at your local grocery. Dark, leafy watercress can also be found at the area Farmers Market this time of year. A little bit goes a long way in adding a surprisingly light peppery taste. When partnered with oranges and tomatoes, it refreshes the palate for the next course. If you like a tastier and fresher alternative to an ordinary garden salad, give this one a whirl.

MANDARIN ORANGE SIDE SALAD

Ingredients:

1/2 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

1/2 cup watercress

8 cherry tomatoes, halved

18 mandarin orange segments

1/4 cup bacon pieces

1/4 cup almonds, sliced

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved

Instructions:

Divide the romaine lettuce, watercress, cherry tomatoes, mandarin oranges, bacon, almonds, and cheese evenly between 6 salad bowls. Serve chilled with dressing. (See dressing recipe below.)

Dressing Ingredients:

1/2 cup garlic vegetable oil

3 tablespoons wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 cup red onion, chopped

Instructions:

Combine garlic vegetable oil, wine vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, sea salt, dry mustard, and onion. Whisk well until blended. Refrigerate one hour before serving.

Florentine Meatball Pasta

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food Junkie Favorites: Florentine Meatball Pasta! When you talk about a meal in minutes, this one ranks at the top of the list. After all, some days the family schedule runs tight between daily obligations and evening commitments. In the time it takes to cook the pasta, everything else can be thrown together. Utilize the microwave in conjunction with the stovetop for time-saving results. Ready-Set-Go!

FLORENTINE MEATBALL PASTA

Ingredients:

1/2 pound rigatoni pasta

6-8 Italian meatballs, pre-cooked

12 ounces spaghetti sauce, any chunky style

2 cups baby spinach

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved

Instructions:

Cook rigatoni pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, microwave Italian meatballs according to package directions. In a large skillet on medium heat, combine chunky spaghetti sauce and Italian meatballs. Cook until bubbly, then reduce heat to simmer, stirring gently. Add cooked rigatoni; toss to coat pasta. Turn off heat. Add baby spinach to the skillet. Toss to combine and cover. The steam will wilt the spinach. Right before serving, add Parmesan shavings.

Veal Parmesan

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Veal Parmesan! Actually, this recipe works really well with chicken, if you choose to substitute. Either way, it’s a gourmet dinner entrée that deserves a friendly nod of approval. By first browning the coated veal in a skillet, the crust seals in the rustic Italian flavor. Top it with Muenster cheese instead of mozzarella for a tangy smooth complement to the savory tomato sauce.

VEAL PARMESAN

Ingredients:

1 pound veal cutlets or chicken breasts

1/3 cup Italian dry bread crumbs

1/3 cup Panko seasoned dry bread crumbs

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 cups Italian tomato pasta sauce, chunky

2 cups Muenster cheese, sliced

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Between plastic wrap, flatten each cutlet to a disc. In a shallow dish, whisk egg and milk together to blend. On a sheet of waxed paper, combine Italian bread crumbs, Panko bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese. Dip veal into egg mixture, then coat with bread crumb mixture. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the veal 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. In a greased baking dish spoon half the pasta sauce on the bottom. Next layer the veal cutlets. Spoon remaining sauce over veal. Top with Muenster cheese overlapping the meat. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes until sauce is bubbly and cheese is golden brown in spots. Garnish with fresh basil.

Tilapia Macadamia Fillets

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Tilapia Macadamia Fillets! Tired of hum-drum meals? The crispy crunch of tropical nuts on the outside are a prelude to the moist flaky fish inside. Turning that taste into a healthy and delicious dinner option is spot on! The subtle hints of sesame, green seaweed, and Parmesan cheese add to the nutritional value making this a new favorite to try again and again.

TILAPIA MACADAMIA FILLETS

Ingredients:

2 tilapia fillets, boneless and skinless

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon furikake seasoning (sesame seed and green seaweed)

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon milk

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425°. Rinse tilapia fillets and pat dry. Mix together all dry ingredients and spread on a sheet of waxed paper. Using a wire whisk, combine egg and milk in a shallow bowl. Dip one fish fillet at a time into the egg bath, coating both sides. Once wet, dredge in bread crumb mixture to fully cover both sides. Set aside and repeat for the second fish fillet. (For a crisper crust, repeat process in egg bath using all coating mix.) Place fish fillets in a nonstick pan and place to oven. Bake 8 minutes, gently turn over and bake 4 minutes longer. Do not over cook. Garnish with cilantro, lemon slice, and whole macadamia nuts.

Peppy Parmesan Egg Toast

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Peppy Parmesan Egg Toast! What do you get when you morph a Croque Madame with a BLT? The end result is a spot on open-faced healthy start for the day that will keep you energized for hours. Challenge yourself. Resist the temptation to take a fork and pierce the luscious center of the egg. The silky golden yolk may find you practically licking the plate clean. I won’t tell.

PEPPY PARMESAN EGG TOAST

Ingredients:

4 slices thick bacon

2 slices rustic sesame bread

2 pats butter

4 slices Parmesan cheese

2 large eggs

2 green onions

Sriracha Sauce to taste

Instructions:

Fry bacon to crisp. Drain on paper towels. Toast bread slices to golden brown. Butter each piece. Slice Parmesan cheese with diagonal pieces to cover toast. Later crispy bacon on cheese. Crack eggs into a small skillet treated with nonstick spray; cook until whites are set, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip without breaking yolk. Reduce heat for one minute longer. Remove from burner and carefully transfer fried eggs to Parmesan toast. Drizzle with Sriracha sauce to taste. Garnish with green onion snips.

Lasagna Lovers

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Lasagna Lovers! Move over, ho-hum lasagna; Baby Kale Lasagna Roll-ups are here. This dish is fast and easy to prepare, while managing portion-control at the same time. If you are looking for a meatless meal, simply adjust the recipe to suit your needs. The taste is unbelievable and leftovers will have you looking forward to a savory dinner later in the week. Mama Mia, that’s amazing!

LASAGNA LOVERS

Ingredients:

1 pound Italian sausage, bulk

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fennel

1/8 teaspoon basil

1/8 teaspoon oregano

1/8 teaspoon marjoram

4 ounces mushrooms, sliced

24 ounces pasta sauce

1 cup water

2 cups ricotta cheese

2 cups mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

2 eggs

1 tablespoon parsley flakes

16 ounces lasagna noodles

Baby Kale Leaves, stems removed

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet brown Italian sausage until crumbly. Drain. Add onion, garlic, fennel, basil, oregano, marjoram, and mushrooms. Mix well. Add pasta sauce and water to the browned meat mixture. Simmer 10 minutes. Set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, and parsley. Prepare lasagna noodles per package directions. Drain. When cooked, place the noodles lengthwise in a single layer on two sheets of aluminum foil. This makes it very easy to fill and roll up. Grease a 9″x13″ baking dish. Spread one half of the meat mixture on the bottom of the dish. To assemble lasagna rolls, spread 2-3 heaping tablespoons of ricotta cheese filling along noodle. Top with baby kale leaves. Beginning at one end, roll the noodle up. Transfer to baking dish. Repeat until all ingredients are assembled and arranged. Finish by pouring the remaining pasta sauce over lasagna rolls. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese over top. Cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes longer until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Nigella Seed Cheese Bites

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Appetizers to Desserts: Nigella Seed Cheesies! One of the benefits of making friends in the blogosphere is meeting other foodies who share the same love of cooking….and eating! This recipe comes directly to you courtesy of Lyn at http://lynzrealcooking.com/2015/10/28

She posted this wonderfully cheesy snack and it went viral! Because it is called “Cheesies”, you can use a wide variety of cheese options, including your own personal favorites. Thanks, Lyn!

NIGELLA SEED CHEESE BITES

Ingredients for Dough:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup butter, softened

1-8 ounce Neufchâtel cheese, room temperature

Ingredients for Filling:

2 cups Nigella seed string cheese

1/2 cup Colby cheese, finely shredded

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine Neufchâtel cheese and butter. Mix well. Add flour and stir until smooth. Cover in plastic and refrigerate for one hour. Remove and divide into four equal-sized balls. Roll one ball at a time into a flat shape larger than a pie plate. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll up and fold ends to seal. With seam side down, transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough balls. Using a knife, slit each loaf where it will be cut into serving pieces. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Slice and serve.*

*As a garnish, I sprinkled a mixture of Parmesan cheese and dill weed over the top during the last 5 minutes of baking.

Taffy Apple Salad

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Joy of Eating: Taffy Apple Salad! Wait a minute….is this allowed?! I can’t resist a sweet caramel apple this time of year. Or two. So to balance the blend of flavors ranging from sweet to tart to salty, I threw in some healthy greens, cheese, and cinnamon. Make sense? The old fashioned taste of ooey-chewy caramel turns an ordinary salad into an autumn festival. Join the party.

TAFFY APPLE SALAD

Ingredients:

Leaves of Romaine lettuce

1 caramel apple with nuts

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded

1/4 cup Spanish peanuts

Cinnamon to taste

Instructions:

Gently tear romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Cut the caramel apple into wedges to remove the stick and eliminate the seeds. Add to the salad. Top with Parmesan cheese and Spanish peanuts. Sprinkle cinnamon over apples.