Well Dined

5Sep/161

Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls

Well Dined | Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls

Shrimp and Strawberry?  Do you think I sound crazy right now?  Trust, young padawans, and learn the ways of combining sweet and savory.  Rice noodles, pickled veg (and mango!), basil, mint, scallions, shrimp, and strawberries are combined in a rice wrapper for the ultimate summer freshness.  Served with a delicious peanut sauce for dipping - get in my face!

Well Dined | Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls

I had seen a blog photo ages ago that I loved on this site, but I was scared to try it because I had never made summer rolls before and it seemed finicky.  Then I was over at a friend's house for dinner and that is what we made!  It was a bit tricky, but not as scary as I had imagined.  She was a pro, so I asked her to help me make my shrimp and strawberry rolls.  Then I looked at the recipe for the photo I loved, and wasn't a big fan of the ingredients.  I wanted noodles instead of cabbage, and mango instead of bell pepper.  So I switched some things around.

Well Dined | Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls

Then we got to work!  She was skeptical of my flavor combo, but ended up loving it.  You can see the progression here from back to front where I put the ingredients on in the wrong order so the pretty parts didn't show, then exploded one, then finally got some decent rolls.  The good news is - it doesn't matter if you don't get the best looking rolls, they still taste amazing!

14Oct/150

Caramelized Onion and Burrata Pizza

Well Dined | Caramelized Onion and Burrata Pizza

I love homemade pizza, you know this.  And I really love burrata on homemade pizza - it is so creamy and gooey and just heavenly.  It's great with tomatoes in the summer, but when paired with caramelized onions it becomes this luscious and sophisticated fall combination.

Well Dined | Caramelized Onion and Burrata Pizza

The onions are caramelized slowly with butter (this takes time and patience), and finished with balsamic vinegar.  They are piled on pizza dough and topped with torn burrata, no sauce needed.

Well Dined | Caramelized Onion and Burrata Pizza

Then it is baked and topped with fresh basil.  Oh. My. Gosh.  It is just so good - rich and creamy and perfect.

Well Dined | Caramelized Onion and Burrata Pizza

My thanks to Melissa from Smells Like Brownies, for suggesting that we make this and for teaching me to stop rolling my pizza dough out so dang thin!

25Aug/150

Grilled Vegetable Flatbread

Well Dined | Grilled Vegetable Flatbread

This week Melissa and Sarah take their vegetarian lunch adventure to the grill!  Woohoo!  We've been meaning to grill all summer, but for some reason every time we pick a day it starts to rain.  This time was no exception - rain was forecasted starting in the afternoon - but we decided to try and grill before it started, and we succeeded!  Finally!

Well Dined | Grilled Vegetable Flatbread

This flatbread had been kicking around in our minds for a while, the product of brainstorming, and I am so pleased with the way it turned out!  Crispy grilled flatbread topped with pesto, grilled and fresh veggies, feta, and fresh basil - the epitome of Summer.

Well Dined | Grilled Vegetable Flatbread

First, we made the flatbread dough - which is very easy and requires no yeast or rising time!  Just flour, salt, baking powder, water, milk, and oil mixed together.

11Jun/150

Fish Tacos with Chipotle Mayo and Coleslaw

Well Dined | Fish Tacos with Chipotle Mayo and Coleslaw

You know what is very summery?  Tacos.  Especially fish tacos.  Melissa and I were looking for something light and fresh, with a lot of flavor and texture.  So we cobbled together a bunch of different ideas and came up with these gorgeous tacos!

Well Dined | Fish Tacos with Chipotle Mayo and Coleslaw

We started out by marinating mahi-mahi with tequila, lime juice, garlic, red onion, and cumin.  Yum, yum, yum!  We chose mahi-mahi because it is a mild white fish that will take on a marinade and stand up to searing.

Well Dined | Fish Tacos with Chipotle Mayo and Coleslaw

We wanted a good sear on the outside, so we sauteed it at high heat for a short time, let it rest, and then flaked it into big pieces with forks.

Well Dined | Fish Tacos with Chipotle Mayo and Coleslaw

We also wanted to make our own condiments, and came up with a lime and crema (Mexican sour cream with tons of flavor) coleslaw and a chipotle mayo, along with avocado, pickled onions, cotija cheese, and cilantro (or parsley for me).

4Sep/140

Caprese Paninis

Well Dined | Caprese Panini

Melissa and I have been going through our recipes to see what areas we are lacking in, and sandwiches are definitely one of them.  She has been growing tomatoes and basil in her yard, which just beg to become caprese.  But instead of just making a salad, we tried to figure out how to turn it into a sandwich.  Melted cheese is clearly superior to un-melted cheese, so of course we made a panini!

Well Dined | Caprese Panini

We spread slices of Italian bread with basil mayonnaise, then layered in fresh mozzarella and balsamic marinated tomato slices (our attempt to get balsamic flavor without adding too much liquid) with fresh basil (you can't have enough basil).  Then we placed them on a panini grill and cooked until the cheese was melted and the outside was golden.

Well Dined | Caprese Panini

The sandwiches were so gooey and yummy - I loved it!  But the bottoms did get a little soggy, so next time I will toast the bread on one side before spreading the mayo on the toasted side, then putting the sandwich together and grilling as usual.  I think that this will help keep it from getting soggy.  I also might put basil mayo on the outside of the sandwich to help brown it up and because it is delicious.

6Aug/141

Zucchini Pizza with Burrata and Anchovy

Well Dined | Zucchini Pizza with Burrata and Anchovy

Fast, easy, simple, and perfect for summer - this pizza is creamy and fresh and super yummy.

Well Dined | Zucchini Pizza with Burrata and Anchovy

All pizza starts with dough, and I highly recommend the Jim Lahey no-knead recipe.  It comes out tender and crisp and full of air pockets.  You can see some bubbles in the dough in the photo above - that's the good stuff!  I do need to try and remember not to stretch it out too much, though.  I think I made the pizza a little too large this time.

http://welldined.com/2013/08/summer-pizzas.html

Top the dough with minced garlic, bits of anchovy, and a drizzle of olive oil.  The anchovy adds little pops of salty and umami flavors.  Along with the garlic, this richness is what elevates this pizza from being boring, do not skip!  Melissa (who I made this with), said that she might make it with capers instead of anchovies next time.  I think that is a really good suggestion for vegetarians who don't eat fish, but still want to get that briney flavor.

11Jun/143

Farmer’s Market Pastas

I'm really trying to be better at waking up early enough to get to the Farmer's Market.  I love the scene with all the booths and crowds of people, all the adorable puppies and babies.  The Mosaic Market even has live music and food trucks.  But I am not very good at cooking by the seat of my pants, so after I pick out some yummy looking veg, it usually ends up getting tossed into a pasta.  Even more so when the market offers amazing artisan pasta from Pappardelle's Pasta.  C'est la vie!

Well Dined | Farmer's Market Pasta with Asparagus, Tomato, Leek, Lemon, and White Wine

My first batch of veggies (asparagus, tomato, and leek) went into a white wine, lemon, and butter sauce with the garlic chive artisan pappardelle.  I cooked the leek down in butter and olive oil, then added some white wine, lemon juice, and pasta water along with chopped tomatoes.  When that had cooked to a good sauce consistency, I tossed in blanched asparagus and the cooked pasta (1 minute shy of al dente).  I finished it off with lemon zest, Parmesan, and black pepper and served it with salmon.

Well Dined | Farmer's Market Pasta with Roasted Eggplant, Tomato, and Basil

 

I still had tomatoes and a random eggplant that I picked up for no reason, so I decided to do a riff on this pasta.  I really should have used a whole wheat pasta, but I just love gemelli and I can't find it in whole wheat anywhere.  It's the perfect short shape because it has good structural integrity (meaning it cooks evenly and doesn't get mushy edges).

Anyway, I roasted the eggplant while I caramelized an onion (I really wish I had a red onion, but I didn't).  After adding garlic, a splash of sherry, and a splash of balsamic vinegar, I added some chopped tomato and a pat of butter (trying to get the essence of the Marcella Hazan sauce without cooking it for 45 minutes).  Then I added in the eggplant, cooked pasta (1 minute shy of al dente), and a splash of pasta water and let it come together.  Then I topped it with fresh basil and black pepper and served it with some hanger steak from the market (one of the few places where I can find it - there's only 1 per cow and they sell fast).

4Jun/142

Spring Fruit Jam – 3 Ways

Well Dined - Spring Fruit Jam 3 Ways

Now that we are nearing the end of Spring (that never really felt like Spring, dangit) - it's time to preserve some of that delicate seasonal fruit.  I'm talking strawberries and rhubarb, people.  I tried out three different jam recipes in the same day, because I am a crazy person (and because I bought way too many local strawberries at the farmers market).

First up is my mother-in-law's fresh strawberry syrup recipe (pictured in front and in the bowl on the right) - if only I had access to Oregon berries like her!  Jasper loves this recipe, so I make a TON and freeze it to use all year (if it lasts that long).  He loves to put it on sourdough pancakes and vanilla ice cream, I like it swirled into plain Greek yogurt.  This is a raw fruit jam recipe (with more berries and less sugar to make it more of a syrup than a jam), so the taste of the fresh berries really comes through.

Next is a Raspberry and Rhubarb Jam with Cardamom (pictured in the middle and in the jar on the left) that was supposed to use apple juice, but I had cranberry on hand so I subbed that and it added a lot of cranberry flavor.  It tastes very fall like to me because of the cranberry and spices.  This is the only jam that I canned, so I will probably save it for the fall.  If you want more of the rhubarb flavor to come through, use the apple juice instead.

And last is a Rhubarb, Raspberry, and Strawberry Jam thickened with Chia Seeds (pictured in the back and in the jar on the right).  This is touted as a healthy recipe because the fruit is raw and it uses raw honey as sweetener.  Because you use chia seeds to thicken it, instead of pectin, you can use much less sugar than you could for a traditional jam.  This one came out pretty tart for me, but Jasper really likes it.  The concept works really well, so I will probably be trying out different fruits.  This recipe actually said to just puree the raw rhubarb, but I was pretty skeptical about that, so I simmered it in a little bit of cranberry juice first (since I was already doing that for the other jam).

Well Dined | Spring Fruit Jam 3 Ways

Let's get jammin!  I really crack myself up...

16May/140

Sweetgreen

Well Dined | Sweetgreen

I have an obsession... with a salad shop.  This must be what being an adult feels like.  I never used to like salads AT ALL, and then I tried Sweetgreen and now a salad is my treat to myself after working out.  Not like, "oh don't wanna ruin that workout, so here's a salad;" but like "good job, now you GET to eat this salad."  Weiiiiiiiiird.  Who am I?

Well Dined | Sweetgreen

Anywho, Sweetgreen is awesome.  It's like any fast food joint (Chipotle, Subway, etc...) where you travel down the line and build your meal, in this case - a yummy salad made with local ingredients (check the blackboard to see which vendors they use).

Well Dined | Sweetgreen

They have a number of pre-designed salads (my favorite is the District Cobb) and one seasonal salad per month (above photo is the May 2014 salad), or you can go custom.  You can also customize a menu salad.  For example, I like to get the District Cobb but swap sweet potatoes in for tomatoes and change the dressing to balsamic vinaigrette (which is super good).  You get to choose how much dressing you want (light, medium, heavy) and also if you want bread (the bread is really good, but I try to resist).

5May/142

Pea and Ricotta Tart

Well Dined | Pea and Ricotta Tart

 

Hello, Spring!  I am so glad that you have finally come to stay!  I'd like to welcome you with this lovely little tart made with fresh peas, creamy homemade ricotta, scallions, herbs, and lemon.  Please stick around for a bit.

Well Dined | Pea and Ricotta Tart

Well, Spring, I know that fresh English peas are kind of your thing, so I used them two ways just for you!  I pureed some peas and ricotta together with lemon juice, mint, and basil to make a creamy spread.  Then I mixed some whole peas with scallions, more mint and basil, and lemon zest.

Well Dined | Pea and Ricotta Tart

I baked some puff pastry until golden, puffed, and crispy; then I spread the creamy ricotta mixture over the top; and sprinkled the whole pea mixture over that.  Look at all that green!