Well Dined

17Jun/161

Smoked Salmon Tartines

Well Dined | Smoked Salmon Tartines

These started off as peanut butter and jelly, I'm not even kidding.  Melissa (Smells Like Brownies) and I had been having a bit of a rough week and hadn't planned anything for our weekly get together.  So that morning we just wanted to keep things simple and focus on getting our cats to be friends (long story).  We were thinking - let's just make PB&J or store-bought ravioli.

Well Dined | Smoked Salmon Tartines

But then - she said she was craving salmon, and I said smoked salmon and goat cheese with crackers was easy and good, she said what about nice bread and an egg.  Then there were herbs and kale and shallot and good lord we can't keep it simple!  And I wouldn't have it any other way.  Fresh, gorgeous ingredients (including some from Mel's garden) turned into a lovely lunch for us, even while wrangling a baby, a toddler, and 2 kitties in an un-childproofed house (mine).

23Aug/142

Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Roasted Red Peppers, Fresh Tomatoes, and Grilled Artichoke Hearts

Well Dined | Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Roasted Red Peppers, Fresh Tomatoes, and Grilled Artichoke Hearts
Last month, I signed up to bring pasta salad to a potluck.  In typical me fashion, I decided that I had to make it myself.  After cruising the internet for a bit, I came across a recipe with smoked gouda, which was all I needed to be sold.  Roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts?  Total bonus.
Well Dined | Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Roasted Red Peppers, Fresh Tomatoes, and Grilled Artichoke Hearts
I choose to use gemelli for my pasta because it is my favorite and it is really structurally sound - it holds up to anything.  While that was boiling, I diced up my roasted peppers and artichoke hearts (I was lucky to find grilled ones at the store).  I had a couple of tomatoes hanging around, so I chopped those up and threw them in too.  After I rinsed the pasta in cold water (normally a big no-no, but good for pasta salads), I tossed it with the veggies and the cubed gouda.
Well Dined | Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Roasted Red Peppers, Fresh Tomatoes, and Grilled Artichoke Hearts
Then came the dressing, where I inexplicably decided to take the opposite route and go quick and easy.  I used mayonnaise and bottled Italian dressing and it came out just right - light and flavorful.  You are of course welcome to make your own dressing from scratch.  Top with fresh herbs and go!  This is hearty and fresh and super yummy - it was very popular at the potluck, thank goodness!

19Mar/140

Grown Up Tuna Noodle Casserole

Well Dined | Tuna and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Okay, I am not a huge canned tuna fan.  But I saw this recipe for stuffed shells with tuna, spinach, and roasted garlic topped with bechamel and buttery bread crumbs and I had to try it.  I even had a couple of tins of really nice smoked albacore (pretty much the only canned tuna I like).  You guys, this is not your grandmother's casserole.

Well Dined | Tuna and Spinach Stuffed Shells

The first thing that makes this dish special is the roasted garlic, which is super easy to make.  Just chop the top off of a whole head of garlic, place it on a sheet of foil, drizzle it with olive oil, wrap it up, and roast away.  When it's done it becomes creamy and sweet and is delicious spread on bread, but we will be using the whole thing in this recipe.  Just squeeze to pop out all the cloves - I find this to be creepy but fascinating.  All that sweet roasted garlic goes into a creamy bechamel sauce.

Well Dined | Tuna and Spinach Stuffed Shells

The filling is tuna, spinach, and breadcrumbs - simple, but good.  After it is all mixed up, half of the garlic bechamel goes in to make it nice and creamy.

Well Dined | Tuna and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Then that mixture gets stuffed into cooked pasta shells.  I tried to find whole wheat shells, but no luck.  Then you are going to frantically lick the bowl, and the spoon, and your fingers - because this filling is soooooo good.