Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Here is a comforting recipe...
For the Sauce:
3 cups grated kaseri (similar to keskeval cheese)
2 ¼ cups milk
3 cloves of garlic (chopped finely)
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dried parsley
½ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp ground black pepper
½ tbsp salt
For Boiling the Pasta:
1 box Penne Rigate pasta (the pasta that is shaped like a cylinder and cut diagonally)
1 tsp oil
1 tsp salt
In a large pot, boil water. Add pasta to boiling water and follow cooking directions. Usually this kind of pasta requires about 12-13 minutes. Add a little of oil and a pinch of salt so that the pasta does not stick together while cooking.
In the mean time, heat olive oil on medium heat, in a deep pan. Add garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the milk, parsley, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes prior to adding flour. Stir the ingredients for a minute and add flour. Stir constantly so that the flour does not produce lumps. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens slightly.
Preheat oven to 350º F. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and spread in a Pyrex dish. Pour the white sauce over the pasta and mix. Sprinkle the cheese on top and place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top of the pasta starts to take a brownish color.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Happy New Year! I wish you all a healthy, prosperous and happy year.
2010 was a very eventful year for me limiting my time spent on my blog. Hopefully in 2011 Turkish Food Passion will be richer with more cooking and delightful recipes.
I wanted to start my first post for this year with a product review (actually two) sponsored by CSN Stores as mentioned in my previous posts. The two products I selected to review are Black and Decker Classic Toast-R-Oven in Silver and Calphalon Stainless Steel Skimmer.
One of the most attractive attributes of the Toaster Oven is being multifunctional. Most of the time, I use it to toast bread or bagel. In addition to toasting bread/bagel it can heat up leftover pizza, boreks, and other types of food. Baking or broiling small amounts of foods is also possible through the Toaster Oven. I was impressed with its baking/broiling capabilities as the temperature goes up to 450 F°. It comes with a bake pan in it. A crumb tray at the bottom of the Toaster Oven catches the bread crumbs falling and can be easily removed for cleaning purposes and placed back. The Toaster Oven is efficient when baking/broiling/heating small amounts of food; there is no need to turn on the regular oven and waste energy. This little Toaster Oven takes care of one or two-person portions.
In terms of esthetics, it’s a very good looking toaster oven with just the right size. The half black, half silver color makes it attractive and fits in with my other appliances in the kitchen.
The Toaster Oven fits four pieces of bread at once and makes the bread crispy on the outside and soft inside with golden brown color which makes it appealing to the eye. One need to be careful when removing bread as the toaster tends to get hot. An oven glove in one hand will solve this issue.
It is a great product for the price. I actually look forward to more bread/bagel toasting, baking and broiling in this little oven.
The other small, yet very functional product I tried is the Calphalon Stainless Steel Skimmer. I usually use this versatile skimmer when making broth or boiling lentils. This skimmer is the perfect size. Although a little on the heavy side, this is expected when using stainless steel products. I am not fond of using plastic utensils even though they are light. Not only does this skimmer skims the foam successfully, it can also be used in removing frying foods (i.e. fried vegetables) from the oil. The oil drips down while picking the cooked food. I have also used this skimmer when squeezing lemon on the salad to prevent the lemon seeds from falling in the salad. This is when I feel lazy to get the lemon squeezer out. The skimmer is in a reachable distance from my workspace and I use it for multi-purposes.
I look forward to using the toaster oven and the skimmer again in my future cooking which will be shared with you.