SWASHBUCKLED! (S2E6): Italian-ish

This week, we go deep into Marie’s Italian roots to make something, kind-of, Italian-ish? None of the ingredients that were provided were very Italian-y, but they all were delicious to eat on their own, and in the dish!

Watch this week’s episode here:


Ingredients Featured in This Week’s Episode:


 

This week, we dive deep into Marie’s “non-white girl” roots, and make some vegetarian stuffed peppers and take a fun twist on a traditional caprese salad.

The stuffed peppers are full of fiber from the veggies, whole wheat cous cous and black beans, while being packed with flavor from the jalapeño artichoke dip and fragrant cheeses. We both loved the stuffed peppers and preferred the green ones over the yellow (which was a surprise to us both!)

The caprese salad was a slam dunk…if you removed the chocolate. Cherries with Mozzarella and Basil was a delicious flavor combination. The dark chocolate pretzels made things a little weird, so when you make this at home (which you should!) we recommend just saving the pretzels on the side to eat on their own (a perfect dessert!)

 

Black Bean Cous Cous and Veggie Stuffed Peppers.png

Black Bean, Cous Cous and Veggie Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 3 Bell Peppers
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • Cous Cous, cooked according to package directions (1 cup water + 1 Cup Cous Cous + 1 Tbsp butter + Salt)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 zucchini quartered and sliced
  • 1 package of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 Can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup Artichoke and Jalapeño Dip
  • 12 Tbsp Quatro Fromaggio (divided so each bell pepper gets 2 tbsp)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Rinse bell peppers and slice in half. Remove seeds. Rub all sides with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place bell peppers skin side up on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper or foil). Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add diced onion, celery and carrots. Let cook for about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook for a few more minutes. Then add mushrooms, butter, salt, pepper and oregano.
  3. Add 1 1/2 cup of the cooked cous-cous mixture (can save the rest to use as a salad topper), can of black beans, and tomato sauce. Let cook down for about 5 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked through. Mix in artichoke & jalapeño dip thoroughly.
  4. Remove roasted bell peppers from the oven. Turn over. Place 1 tbsp of Quattro Fromaggio cheese at the bottom, fill with 1/6 of the filling mixture, then finish with another tbsp of cheese.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.


Cherry Caprese Salad

Cherry Caprese Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 18 Reinier Cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 package mozzarella balls (about 12), halved
  • Large handful of basil (about 20 leaves), Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Fresh Ground Salt and Pepper (about 1/4 tsp each)
  • Balsamic Glaze
  • Optional (and not recommended): Chocolate covered Pretzels

Directions

  1. Rinse cherries, pit and halve them, Combine in a bowl with mozzarella balls and basil. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Garnish with balsamic glaze on top.
  2. We added the chocolate covered pretzels as the challenge for this dish, but it definitely didn’t do this beautiful and delicious salad any flavors. We made it again without the pretzels and it was so great. But the pretzels were fantastic on their own!


 

 

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SWASHBUCKLED! S2E1: Jessie Spano Special

Welcome Back!

We’re SO EXCITED! We’re SO EXCITED! And unlike Jessie Spano in Saved by the Bell, we are NOT scared to bring you SEASON TWO of SWASHBUCKLED!


“Never Enough Thyme” Burgers

Ingredients featured in this week’s episode include:

The reasons behind the choices? Marie chose ground beef because she just loves a good cheeseburger. The chèvre cheese, because, why not? In our Simpler Wines Facebook Live Event, our friend, Ryan, suggested we use “Palm of Heart” in one of our recipes. And last, she brought thyme as a way to pay homage to one of our favorite 90’s TV shows, Saved By The Bell.

20180511_075542_1526051659649Really wanting to impress Marie for the season premier, Amanda decided to go for the cheeseburger, even though there wasn’t any buns in the house. We made this awesome 40-minute Hamburger Bun Recipe from Taste of Home. It was quick and easy, and had a biscuit-like quality to it. We replaced 1 cup of the flour with White Wheat Flour for an earthier flavor and improved nutrition profile. Make sure you watch the episode for extra tips on making yeast bread from scratch.

However, if you don’t want to make your own bread and have an opportunity to go to the store, these Parm-Iago Rosemary Rolls (pictured to right) make excellent slider buns and would work well in this recipe.

We started out by “blooming” our thyme, which releases more flavor than just sprinkling into whatever you are preparing. Since some flavor compounds in some herbs and spices are fat soluble, you can extract more flavor when they are cooked (over low heat) with a fat source. We chose a mixture of oil and butter for this recipe, but you could easily just choose one or the other. Remove the herb before adding other ingredients.

(SPOILER ALER) We loved this meal and would definitely do it again. Highly recommended!

'Never Enough Thyme' Burgers

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 85% lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 10 sprigs of Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Bag Hearts of Palm (or Palm of Hearts), sliced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
  • Chèvre with Honey
  • Glaze (Balsamic Glaze)
  • Your favorite bun (we love THIS RECIPE)

Directions

  1. Infuse thyme into oil and butter: over medium-low heat, melt butter and add olive oil and 8 sprigs of thyme. cook on low for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove thyme and discard. Turn heat up to medium or medium-high, and add sliced onion and sautée for a couple minutes, then add heart of palm. Cook for 5 minutes then add spinach, garlic, mustard and 2 additional thyme stems (chopped). Cook until spinach has cooked down. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Make burger patties: Preheat grill to medium-high. Combine ground beef, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper with hands. Mix well. Form into 6 balls and squash them into thin patties. Set aside (and don’t forget to wash your hands with warm soapy water!) Cook for about 4 minutes per side, until internal temperature of 165˚F is reached.
  4. To assemble, slice bread in half, butter each half and cook on griddle for a couple minutes, until golden brown. Place a tablespoon of goat cheese on top bun, burger patty on the bottom, topped with 1/4 cup mixture of onions, spinach and heart of palm. Top with “GLAZE” (balsamic reduction or balsamic glaze).

Goat Cheese and

“Never Enough Thyme” Burgers, featuring Balsamic Glaze, Chèvre with Honey, Hearts of Palm, and Spinach.

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Rosemary Salmon with Balsamic Green Beans and Tomatoes

Rosemary-Salmon

My daughter can eat salmon any time, any where. For my last birthday, we were at Disneyland and had lunch at The Blue Bayou, a nice restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Little Miss O orders salmon, of course. When it arrives, she grabs it off of her plate and hoofs it down in 2 minutes flat, and eats it just like it is a burrito.

Needless to say, salmon is probably the most popular dinner in the Fearless Flying Kitchen.  This is also the dish that means I will always have a rosemary plant growing somewhere at my house. I don’t know what my family would do if salmon just up-and-disappeared one day.

I have made other (very delicious) versions of salmon, some with pesto and tomatoes, others with a miso glaze, but the hubs always tells me that this very simple preparation is the best. And I would have to agree! it is easy, simple and delicious.

We usually alternate the veggie that gets served along side. This time, I decided to fancy up a bag of green beans with a little balsamic glaze and grape tomatoes.  In the past, I have also added some chunks of goat cheese, which is always a plus in my book.

Now, I don’t think you can talk about salmon without bringing up the different types you can purchase and their overall controversial nature.  (Didn’t know salmon was controversial?! Now you do!) These two articles (one from The Cleveland Clinic, the other from The Washington State Dept of Health) do a great job with taking the research that is out there and outlining the pro’s and con’s to consider when choosing between wild or farmed salmon. In a nutshell, farmed fish is more readily available, costs less, has slightly more omega-3’s, and to some (self included) it taste better. But it also has a bit more saturated fat and calories, and with that extra fat, it stores more pollutants and carcinogens (such as PCBs). Either type of salmon is not considered to be high in mercury, with farmed salmon being lower in mercury than wild. Regardless of which option you choose, salmon has a lot of health benefits, such as omega-3 fatty acids (great for your brain, eyes and heart and just keeping inflammation down in general) and it is a great source of muscle building protein. So, I would recommend including salmon in your healthy diet, try the wild first, and if that isn’t possible, farmed is fine…but keep it to a weekly meal as opposed to a daily occurrence.

Rosemary Salmon and Balsamic Green Beans

Getting this salmon party started!

Start by pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees, and then prep your salmon. I always purchase salmon that has the skin still on, but it really doesn’t matter what type you purchase. If you do purchase the “skin-on” salmon, just make sure you discard the skin prior to eating. Most of the salmon is already de-boned that you purchase from Trader Joe’s, but I have, on occasion, come across some tiny bones, so I always rub my finger across each fillet to make sure I can’t find any hard spots.

Prepare your baking sheet. You can place the fillets directly on the sheet, or if you want an easier clean-up, place fillets on top of foil or parchment paper. Pour a little drizzle of Olive Oil over each fillet, and rub in. Then sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and sea salt. As I previously said, I always have a rosemary plant (originally purchased in the Garden department of TJ’s) that I can go raid, but you can also purchase organic rosemary in a small package from the refrigerated section. Pop that bad boy in the oven for 15-18  minutes (depending on the size of the fillet). You’ll know it is finished if you insert a fork in the fillet and it flakes and will not appear “raw.” Know that there will be some carry-over cooking in the few minutes after it is removed from the oven, so if it is still slightly pink, that is ok. You will also notice that the white fat starts to appear on the top and sides of the filet.

While your salmon cooks, prepare your side items. For these green beans, I simple sautéed them in a little bit of Olive Oil for a few minutes, then added tomatoes and the Balsamic glaze. If you are following a low-carb diet, then your dinner would be done at this point. If you are a member of my family, you love your carbs, so we always have microwave brown rice in the freezer to serve alongside meals like this. Easy peasy.

Voila! Gourmet dinner that will impress, with minimal effort!

Rosemary Salmon

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 Salmon Filets
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary, chopped fine
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Place salmon filets on a baking sheet, skin side down (if there is skin). Run finger along the meat to make sure no bones are present. Drizzle a tsp of olive oil on each filet. Then adorn with rosemary, salt and pepper. Place in oven for 15-18 minutes, or until it no longer appears pink and “raw” on the inside. Remove from oven and let rest for about 3-5 minutes before serving.

Balsamic Green Beans and Tomatoes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 Bag of Organic Green Beans
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp (approx) Balsamic Glaze

Directions:

Add a small amount of olive oil to a skillet and turn heat to medium-high. When hot, add green beans and sauté until they start to soften. Throw in cherry tomatoes and a squirt of balsamic glaze. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, until tomatoes just barely start to break down. Add more or less balsamic glaze to taste.