Kuster Dental: Food & Wine

Posts Tagged ‘basil’

A Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce

Posted on: October 22nd, 2013 by James No Comments

The other night I was craving pasta.  More specifically, I was craving the taste of fresh, crushed tomatoes combined with basil and oregano.  Not having a tomato sauce handy I did what anyone with an Internet connection and a tablet would do and I surfed for a recipe.  I came across this one and it sounded both delicious and something I could tackle with limited time (I didn’t get my craving until 6:00 p.m. on a Saturday night and knew I’d still have to go to the grocery.)

The sauce was delicious, but be warned, the red pepper gives it more of a “bite” than I’d anticipated.  I put this over whole wheat spaghetti, garnished it with fresh basil, oregano, and shaved parmesan cheese, and served it with a simple salad.  Unfortunately, as a result it didn’t satisfy my craving for the flavor of fresh, ripe tomatoes, but I’ll make it again regardless.

 

Yield

Makes about a quart of tomato sauce.

Active Time

30 minutes

Total Time

45 minutes

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Ingredients

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
3 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 28-ounce can crushed red tomatoes
zest of one lemon

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Instructions

  1. Combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and garlic in a cold saucepan.
  2. Stir while you heat the saucepan over medium-high heat, saute just 45 seconds or so until everything is fragrant – you don’t want the garlic to brown.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and heat to a gentle simmer, this takes just a couple minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and carefully take a taste.  If the sauce needs more salt add it now.
  5. Stir in the lemon zest.

Tomato-Basil Emulsion

Posted on: May 14th, 2013 by James 1 Comment

This is absolutely amazing! The incomparable Chef Kris Dews prepared this as the starter for a dinner I had at Brad & Vicki’s lovely home near Sundance, Utah when I was there for the first ever Green Dentistry Conference.  When paired with a crusty, rustic bread, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven.  It is no wonder this is Kris’ most sought after recipe!

Tomato-Basil Emulsion

Active Time

15 Minutes

Total Time

15 Minutes

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Ingredients

3 tomatoes (medium size)

1 cup basil (10-13 large leaves)

2 cloves garlic (peeled)

2/3 cup olive oil

2 teaspoon kosher salt

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Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor or
    blender and blend for 30-seconds.
    Should be the consistency of a cream dressing.
  2. Serve with rustic bread.

 

A Refreshing Twist to the Martini

Posted on: May 29th, 2012 by James No Comments

I love basil.  I use it all the time in my cooking.  I was at a friend’s for a cookout over the holiday weekend and he served this amazing basil martini.  It was so crisp and refreshing, especially on a very hot day, that I just had to share.  This will definitely become a summertime favorite!

Lemon Basil Martinis

Yield

7 servings

Active Time

20 minutes

Total Time

1 hour 20 minutes

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Ingredients

1 ¼ cups superfine sugar

¾ cup loosely packed fresh lemon basil leaves, torn into pieces

1 ¼ cups fresh lemon juice

¾ cup fresh lime juice

1 ¾ cups vodka

Crushed Ice

Garnishes: Lemon Zest Curls

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Instructions

  1. Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Boil, stirring often, 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is clear.  Remove from heat; add torn basil, and cool completely (about 1 hour).  Remove and discard basil. Stir in juices; pour into a pitcher or glass jar.  Cover and chill thoroughly.
  2. For each martini, combine ½ cup chilled sweet-and-sour syrup mixture and ¼ cup vodka in a cocktail shaker; fill with crushed ice.  Cover with lid, and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled (about 30 seconds).
  3. Strain into a chilled martini glass.  Garnish, if desired.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Burgers – Yum!

Posted on: May 15th, 2012 by James No Comments

Yesterday was a beautiful day and late in the afternoon I received a text from my roommate asking if I wanted to grill some turkey burgers on the patio for dinner.  Since I love turkey burgers and I always think food tastes better al fresco, I said, “Sure!”  Little did I know he had a bit more in mind than mere turkey burgers.  He came home with this recipe from Eating Well for some fancy little burgers that are as amazingly delicious as they are healthy, but beware, they require a bit more work than simply throwing patties on the grill!

Yield

4 servings

Active Time

50 minutes

Total Time

50 minutes (I think it took us about 1 1/2 hours to get everything together)

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Ingredients

Marinara Sauce

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups chopped plum tomatoes, with juices

6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Burgers

1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey

1/4 cup finely chopped scallions

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 4-inch-square slices foccacia bread, (about 2 ounces each), toasted

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Instructions

To prepare marinara

1.Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in fresh tomatoes and any juices, sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in basil and remove from the heat. Transfer to a food processor and pulse to form a coarse-textured sauce. Return to the pan and set aside.

To prepare burgers

1.Place turkey, scallions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Gently combine, without overmixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 8 thin patties about 4-inches wide and 3/8 inch thick.

2.Combine 1/4 cup cheese and basil and place an equal amount in the center of 4 patties. Cover with the remaining patties and crimp the edges closed.

3.Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat (see Grilling Variation). Add burgers and cook, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes total.

4.Warm the marinara on the stove. To assemble the burgers, spread 3 tablespoons of marinara on each toasted focaccia, top with a burger, about 3 more tablespoons of marinara and 1 tablespoon of the remaining cheese. Grilling Variation: To grill the turkey burgers, preheat a grill to medium-high. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the patties, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes total.

Caprese Salad – One of My Favorites

Posted on: May 8th, 2012 by James 1 Comment

Caprese Salad ready for Derby Party!

My friends and I first had this salad in 1995 at a small restaurant just outside of Rodi Garganico on Italy’s Gargano peninsula.  After we ordered the proprietor walked over to the garden we had passed as we entered the courtyard and picked the tomatoes and basil he used in our salads.  After carrying them inside to the kitchen he reemerged with one of the most delicious salads I’d ever eaten.

While these have become more popular at Italian restaurants in the U.S. since that first trip to Italy, I still have very fond memories of that first experience, and honestly, I don’t think I’ve had one quite as good.  However, when I needed something quick and easy to take to a Derby Party this past weekend, I immediately thought of this recipe.

Yield

4-6 servings

Active Time

20-30 minutes

Total Time

20-30 minutes

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Ingredients

4-6 medium tomatoes

3-4 balls mozzarella fresca, bocconcini size

1 bunch fresh basil

Fresh ground pepper (to taste)

Balsamic Vinegar

Olive Oil

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Instructions

  1. Wash and slice the tomatoes.
  2. Slice the mozzarella.
  3. Wash and dry the basil
  4. Arrange the tomato slices, cheese slices, and basil on a serving plate, alternating between the three ingredients.
  5. Grind fresh pepper over the surface to taste
  6. Drizzle the arrangement with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
  7. Serve immediately.