Zucchini Pasta Sauce

Zucchini Pasta Sauce Close

Got a few hundred zucchini laying around? This Zucchini Pasta Sauce is the answer.

This sauce is not only awesome tasting, but it uses three whole zucchini in the recipe. Because (as the wife says) there’s nothing worse than when you’re searching for a way to use up 10 huge zucchini that you have from your garden (or thankfully in our case a friend’s garden) and you finally find a recipe and it calls for a half of a cup of shredded zucchini.

This recipe came from our friend’s at Family Kitchen Ravioli and again, it’s outstanding. You could use this sauce on any pasta, tossed with a little parmesan cheese – dinner in 10.

You can easily adjust tis recipe to your liking, too. We added a little crushed red pepper flakes to our sauce for a little heat in the background, and you could definitely cut back on the cream if you wanted too…we did not, but if you wanted too.

And just because we had a few more zucchini left after making the sauce, we roasted some up in a sheet pan with some salt and pepper and a little olive oil to add to our plates. Zucchini overload but in the best way!

 zucchini roasting

So have your friends keep growing their zucchini and handing it over when they’re overflowing, you can give them back a batch of this sauce for all their hard work!

 zucchini pasta sauce3

  

Zucchini Pasta Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 3 medium zucchini, chopped
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped
  3. 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  4. 4 T. butter
  5. 1/2 c. heavy cream
  6. 2 c. chicken broth
  7. bay leaf
  8. 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  9. 2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
  10. 2 T. fresh basil, chopped
  11. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan and cook the onion, garlic and zucchini for 15-20 minutes until the zucchini is soft.
  2. Add in the cream, stir and simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then puree with s stick blender until smooth.
  4. Add in the parsley and basil, stir to combine.
Notes
  1. You can also puree the sauce in a blender, just let the sauce cool then work in batches, only filling the blender 1/3 of the way full each time.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/

Family Kitchen Ravioli

FKR-Logotype

 

While I was running some errands a few weeks ago, I came across Family Kitchen Ravioli in Flanders, NJ.

I go by this place all the time and I had never been in before so I decided to go in and take a look. And I was glad I did.

I met the owner, Paul, who was one of the nicest business owners that I’ve run into. You can tell this guy really loves what he’s doing because the ravioli he makes is amazing.

paul

The wife and I went for a behind the scenes look at his ravioli making process, hair nets and all. It was amazing how much quality product they were turning out in a small space.

They were making the cheese ravioli while we were there which Paul says is probably the most popular.

ravioli machine

He gave us a fresh sheet to take home, right off the line, so we could sample it that night. Cheese ravioli is fine, not usually my most favorite thing since a lot of times you order it and it can just be bland. I have to tell you, there was zero blandness about these cheese ravioli. The filling was well seasoned and the ricotta they use is top of the line. It’s called Impastata, which I had never even heard of (Christie hadn’t heard of it either so I didn’t feel so bad).

They have tons of specialty flavors to choose from too. Smoked Mozzarella and asparagus, Chipotle Shrimp, Lump Crab Meat with dill and cracked pepper…just to name a few. And of course the standards, cheese and meat.

One of the flavors we did take home was the Mac N Cheese Ravioli. This I had to try. So what did I do with them?

Fried ‘em.

Unbelievably good. Fried Mac N Cheese ravioli, what could be bad about that?

They were pretty easy to make, especially when you buy the Mac N Cheese ravioli already done!

Boil up the ravioli…

Chill them…

Bread them with flour, eggs and panko…

ravioli breaded

Then fry them up!

All 12 ravioli were gone in an instant. I mean, an instant. The kids were dipping them in marinara sauce which was good, but I liked them plain. Just the fried, crispy Mac N Cheese Ravioli for me. You could easily do this with cheese ravioli, too, just in case you don’t live near Family Kitchen Ravioli!

But if you are in the North Jersey area and have a chance to visit Family Kitchen Ravioli, tell them Dan sent you – and buy a whole bunch of ravioli to take home with you. You’ll be glad you did!

fried mac n cheese ravioli2

 

Fried Mac N Cheese Ravioli
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 12 Mac N Cheese ravioli (can substitute plain cheese)
  2. 1 c. flour
  3. 2 eggs beaten with a tablespoon of water
  4. 1 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
  5. canola or vegetable oil for frying
  6. grated parmesan cheese for garnish
  7. marinara sauce for dipping
Instructions
  1. Boil the ravioli for 3-4 minutes. Drain and lay out on a plate to cool so they don't stick together. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Bread the ravioli in the flour first, then the egg wash, the the panko breadcrumbs. Lay out on a plate and repeat with remaining ravioli.
  3. Chill the breaded ravioli for another 30 minutes.
  4. While the ravioli is chilling, pour enough oil in a deep sided pot to come up about half way. Heat on medium heat to 375 degrees.
  5. Fry the breaded ravioli in batches for 4 minutes, turning over after 2, then drain onto paper towels.
  6. Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve with marinara sauce if desired.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/
 

Watermelon Cosmo

watermelon cosmo2 This Watermelon Cosmo is a fresh summer twist on the classic cosmopolitan!

My wife and her family are always drinking cosmso’s, my father in-law has become an expert at making them in assembly line fashion. Every holiday at their house it seems like that’s all he’s doing is making more comopolitan’s.

Since it’s watermelon week, I added fresh watermelon juice to a cosmopolitan in place of the cranberry juice – and it was a success! Not as tart as the cranberry juice so I held back a little on the triple sec which is also sweet and added a little more fresh lime juice instead.

You could totally make these up ahead of time, too. Like in large amounts so you don’t have to play bartender all night! Then when you’re ready just add a serving to your shaker with ice and shake them up individually.

I used Three Olives Watermelon Vodka for these Watermelon Cosmos, of course, but you can use plain vodka if you don’t have any, it’ll just be a bit stronger tasting. Not that that’s a bad thing at all…

 Three Olives Watermelon shadow

 

If you’re only making one or two, all you have to do is take about a half a cup of fresh watermelon cubes and place it in the bottom of your cocktail shaker. Muddle the watermelon until it’s almost all liquified and then add your ice and the booze. Shake it up well then strain into a martini glass.

If you’re making a pitcher of these for a crowd you can add the watermelon into a large pitcher, muddle it, add the booze and then just stash it in the fridge. Then when you’re ready, pour about a cup into your martini shaker and serve individually.

For our family though, there no point in making one or two – the pitcher will be coming out for sure! WaterCosmo

Watermelon Cosmo
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 2 oz. Three Olives Watermelon Vodka
  2. 1/2 oz. triple sec
  3. 1/2 cup of fresh watermelon cubes
  4. 1 large wedge of lime
Instructions
  1. Muddle the fresh watermelon in the bottom of a cocktail shaker until it's mostly liquified. Add in some ice, the vodka, the triple sec and then squeeze in the lime wedge.
  2. Shake well and then strain into a martini glass.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/
 

LaBamba by Hornitos®

 hornitos-Black-Barrel-Bottle-Image

Let’s start happy hour a little early…it’s National Tequila Day!

I was reading up on National Tequila day, trying to see how other parts of the world celebrate this day. Most of the articles I came across, of course were from Mexicao. Like this one from the LaCapilla Bar in Tequila, Mexico…

In the town of Tequila is the bar LaCapilla which is considered to be one of the world’s best tequila bars. The bar’s owner, Don Javier, is 90 years old and is the creator of their famous drink LaBatanga. It’s made with tequila, coke, sea salt and lime and always stirred with Don Javier’s knife, then served. Kind of scary but cool? I wonder what else he’s done with that knife…hopefully just stirring lots of tequila.

Now for the fun stuff, let’s start tonight’s happy hour by making this LaBamba by Hornitos® Tequila today in celebration of the big day! It’s made with their exceptional Black Barrel Tequila, lime juice, agave, chile liqueur (or you can use some hot sauce) all topped off with ginger beer.

Hornitos® created a tequila unlike anything else in the tequila category with their Black Barrel®. The ground-breaking way that it’s aged in the fashion of whiskey makes it a hit with both tequila and whiskey crowds. That combined with an affordable price makes it a premium tequila that anyone can enjoy.

So in honor of National Tequila Day you should whip up a few (or all) of these drinks and start the celebrating! Start with some Lime Shots, maybe move on to the LaBamba, or try my Tequila Lime Crush made with Hornitos® Plata.

Any way you serve it up, you’re gonna have a great time celebrating with Hornitos® Tequila.

La Bamba

LaBamba
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 2 parts Hornitos® Black Barrel®
  2. 1/2 part lime juice
  3. 1/2 part agave
  4. 1/2 part chile liqueur (or a dash of hot sauce)
  5. ginger beer
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except the ginger beer into a cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain over ice and top off with ginger beer. Serve in a coupe glass.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/
 

Fish Tacos with Watermelon Slaw

 fish tacos

It’s fish taco time! So tonight we’ve made them fit into our watermelon week by making these Fish Tacos with Watermelon Slaw.

You guys are going to love this- even I did. We all did. The kids and my in-laws were over for a taste testing dinner and these fish tacos were a solid hit – and I don’t even like fish tacos! Big shocker, I know. But after trying these I guess, now I do…

I’d never go out to a restaurant and order a fish taco before, not before we made these -no way. But I might consider it now if I could find some that are half as good as these.

Even though they might look like they take some time to make, these Fish Tacos were really easy to put together. I’d even call them a dinner in under 30.

All you have to do is combine all the ingredients for the watermelon slaw together in a bowl and stick it in the fridge while you cook up your fish.

You can grill your fish, bake it in the oven or pan-fry. I chose pan-frying just because it was quick and easy at the time.

If you have a gas stove, you can char the corn tortillas right on top of the burner, or you can warm them in the oven but I like the charred flavor that you get from doing them over a flame.

All that’s left to do is put them together! Put a platter out of your fish, the shredded lettuce, sliced avocado and the watermelon slaw. Everything for these fish tacos can be made and prepared ahead of time too, then just cook up the fish and dinner’s done.

 Fish tacos watermelon slaw

 

Even if you think you don’t like fish tacos – or fish even – try these Fish Tacos with Watermelon Slaw, they just might change your mind!

  

Fish Tacos with Watermelon Slaw
Serves 4
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For the Fish
  1. 2 lbs. catfish
  2. 1 t. cumin
  3. 1 t. chili powder
  4. 1 t. garlic powder
  5. 1/2 t. salt
  6. 1/2 ground black pepper
  7. 2 T. olive oil
For the Watermelon Slaw
  1. 4 cups watermelon, chopped into a small dice
  2. 1/2 thin sliced red onion, soaked in ice water for 10 minutes then drained
  3. 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
  4. juice of 2 limes
  5. 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  6. 1/2 t. salt
  7. 4 radishes, sliced thin and then chopped into matchsticks
For the Tacos
  1. 8 corn tortillas
  2. 1 romaine heart, finely shredded
  3. 1 avocado, sliced
Instructions
  1. Start by making the watermelon salsa. Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the fish with the cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add the seasoned fish, top side down first and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook another 4-5 minutes until the fish is opaque.
  3. Warm the tortillas by placing them in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes or char them on the gas burner of your stove.
  4. Place a piece of fish in the center of a corn tortilla then top with the watermelon slaw, shredded lettuce and a slice of avocado.
  5. Serve with additional lime wedges.
Notes
  1. You can substitute cod, halibut, tilapia or flounder in this recipe.
Adapted from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/fish-tacos-with-watermelon-salsa-recipe.html
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/