Tag Archives: garlic

Sheet Pan Garlic Lemon Shrimp and Asparagus

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Sheet Pan dinners are a quick way to cook a full meal on one easy-to-clean pan. This shrimp and asparagus meal can be on the table in under 30 minutes.

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Line your baking pan with foil for an even easier clean-up.

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Chinese Chicken & Eggplant in Garlic Chili Sauce

Chicken & Eggplant

One of our favorite dishes at a Pittsburgh Chinese restaurant is their Chicken and Eggplant. Here in Baltimore, we haven’t yet found a restaurant that serves quite the same dish. But we do have a fabulous Asian grocery store not too far away, so I went about recreating it at home.

When using eggplant in a stir fry, be sure to use a small variety of eggplant.


Chinese/Japanese Eggplant (Nasu)

Sicilian striped eggplant

Sicilian Striped Eggplant

The skin on the larger eggplants is often too thick to chew in a quick stir fry. The texture of the eggplant in this dish will also be a lot better if you can cut the eggplant so that each slice has skin on one side. If all you can find are the large eggplants, you can use it, but you should peel it first.

Eggplant absorbs a lot of oil when it is cooked, so to keep this dish from being too oily, sear the eggplant with just a small amount of oil in a very hot pan until it just begins to char. Then remove it from the pan while you cook the remaining ingredients.

The sauce is a little spicier than a normal teriyaki sauce, but you can tone down the spice if you don’t like it quite soo hot. One special ingredient that I also bought from the Asian market is this Spicy Bean Sauce, which has a garlic chili base:

Spicy Bean Sauce


Chinese Chicken & Eggplant in Garlic Chili Sauce

Chicken & Eggplant

2 Tbs spicy bean sauce
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs rice wine or cooking sherry
2 Tbs garlic chili sauce or 2 tsp chili paste
1 Tbs sugar (or low-carb sweetener)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns

Other ingredients:
4 thinly sliced chicken breasts
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt
2 Tbs oil, divided
3-4 small Asian eggplants (or other small variety eggplant), cut into wedges
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
(use 6 cloves of garlic if using chili paste instead of garlic chili sauce)
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
6 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
Hot cooked rice

Combine sauce ingredients and set aside. In a Ziploc bag or small bowl, combine chicken, 1 Tbs oil, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.

In a large wok or skillet, heat 1 Tbs oil until very hot. Add eggplant to hot skillet and stir  over high heat until eggplant begins to char, about 5 minutes. Do not crowd the pan; cook in two batches, if necessary. Remove eggplant from pan and set aside. Add additional 1 Tbs oil to pan. Add chicken to pan and cook, stirring, until chicken is cooked through. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes, and then add green onions and cooked eggplant slices. Stir in sauce and heat through. Serve over rice.

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Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

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Surprisingly, cauliflower is one vegetable that everyone in our house loves doesn’t complain about when it shows up on the table. We especially enjoy this roasted cauliflower, flavored with garlic and a little lemon and garnished with toasted pine nuts and chopped fresh parsley.


Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

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¼ cup pine nuts
1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs melted butter
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
½ Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spread pine nuts in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 3-5 minutes, or until toasted (watch carefully-pine nuts burn quickly). Remove pine nuts from baking sheet and set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 475°F. In a Ziploc bag or bowl, combine cauliflower florets, garlic slices, olive oil and butter. Toss until well coated. Spread cauliflower onto baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast at 475°F for 20 minutes, or until tender. Toss cooked cauliflower with parsley, lemon juice and  reserved pine nuts. Taste and add additional salt, if desired.


Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa



Filed under Side Dishes

Thanksgiving: “Bacon Beans”


This side dish comes together really quickly for a great Thanksgiving vegetable. With all of the heavy items on the table: mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes- I like to have a vegetable that is crisp and tender and tastes fresh. These green beans are perfect for that.

Of my five children, only one of them thought that they liked green beans. Until I added bacon. It is amazing what a little bit of bacon will do! Adding some nuts and garlic didn’t hurt anything either. This is the one vegetable I cook where there are NEVER leftovers. They go back for seconds on this dish before anything else on the table. What a change! Whenever they smell bacon cooking around dinner time, the first question out of their mouths is, “Are you making bacon beans?”


I love to use these skinny French green beans, sometimes called filet beans. They are super tender and very flavorful; not at all stringy. They cook very quickly, less than 5 minutes. Be sure not to overcook, or they will be mushy. Both Costco and Sam’s Club carry French beans (different brands, however). I think the one below is from Costco. You can also use regular green beans, but I really love these skinny ones. Bonus: they come with the ends already snapped. No advance prep necessary!DSC02693-1


Garlic Green Beans with Bacon and Pine Nuts


1 lb French green beans (or regular beans, snapped)
6-8 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts or sliced almonds
scant 1/8 tsp garlic powder (optional)

In a skillet, combine beans and about 1/2 cup water. Add a small amount of salt to the water, if desired. Bring to a boil; cover pan and cook beans for 3-5 minutes, or until beans are crisp-tender. Do not overcook. Drain water and place beans in a serving dish.

Cook bacon in the same skillet until almost crisp. Drain excess grease, leaving 1-2 Tbs of drippings. (If you are using precooked bacon, and there are no drippings, add 1-2 Tbs butter to pan). With bacon still in the pan, add pine nuts or almond slices and cook until nuts are lightly toasted (about 2 minutes). Stir in garlic powder, if using.

Add green beans back to the pan and stir to combine and warm beans.



Filed under Side Dishes

Pesto Stuffed Flank Steak with Garlic Roasted Broccoli

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If you are not going with the traditional baked ham for Easter, this makes a great alternative. We had this for Brian’s birthday a couple of weeks ago, and it was a big hit!

It is easy to prepare, and only uses two ingredients: a flank steak and prepared pesto. I used this Basil Pesto that has been hanging out in my freezer since the end of last summer. Still tastes great! You could use any prepared pesto; next time I would like to try a sun-dried tomato pesto in this.

The only tricky part of this recipe is butterflying the flank steak, and even that is not too tough. A large knife really helps. To butterfly the steak, cut almost all the way through the thickness of the flank steak, keeping the steak intact on one side.

021910 011-1 To reduce mess, place your flank steak on a foil lined baking sheet and open it up flat. Spread with the pesto.

Optional step: Sear steak in a hot skillet on all sides. I did not do this and it turned out fine.

Roll up the flank steak and secure with kitchen string or toothpicks.

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Spread top of steak with some of the pesto drippings (some are sure to have leaked out). Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Roast at 425°F for 30-40 minutes, or until thermometer reaches 130-140°F (for medium rare). If you sear the steak first, it will need slightly less time.

Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

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I served this with some sautéed mushrooms and this Garlic Roasted Broccoli. Roasting vegetables with garlic is definitely our favorite way to eat veges around here. See the recipe below for some alternate roasted vege ideas.



Pesto Stuffed Flank Steak

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1 flank steak
1 cup prepared Basil Pesto
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Butterfly flank steak: Cut almost all the way through the thickness of the flank steak, keeping the steak intact on one side. On a foil lined baking sheet, open up butterflied steak and lay flat. Spread with pesto.

Roll up flank steak. Secure with kitchen string or toothpicks.

Optional step: Sear steak in a hot skillet on all sides.

Spread top of steak with some of the pesto drippings (some are sure to have leaked out). Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Roast at 425°F for 30-40 minutes, or until thermometer reaches 130-140°F (for medium rare). If you sear the steak first, it will need slightly less time.

Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Garlic Roasted Broccoli


1 pound fresh broccoli
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
5-6 large cloves fresh garlic
salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Smash garlic slightly with edge of knife or cut each large garlic clove into 3-4 slices. Put cut broccoli, garlic, and olive oil into large Ziploc bag and let marinate 30-60 minutes. (This is optional, but marinating will make the broccoli more garlicky.)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place mixture on a foil-lined baking sheet and season with fresh ground black pepper and salt. Roast until vegetables are slightly softened and edges are starting to brown slightly, about 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.


Alternate Preparations:

Roasted Broccoli with Sesame Seeds:
Follow recipe above, adding 1 Tbs soy sauce, 1 Tbs toasted sesame seeds, and 1 tsp sesame oil to marinade (use less garlic, if desired).

Other Roasted Vegetables:
Try this cooking method with: asparagus, brussel sprouts (cut in half), green beans, carrots, cauliflower. Adjust cooking time based on thickness of vegetable.

This post was entered into the “Grow Your Own” roundup, created by Andrea’s Recipes and hosted this month by House of Annie.



Filed under Main Dishes, Side Dishes

Fettuccine Alfredo with Garlic Breadsticks

FEB 6, 2010 044-1 Okay, technically this is linguini. But if you close your eyes, it all tastes the same anyway.

This is one of Big J’s favorites. It ranks in his top 5 meals (maybe even higher), and is the only non-Asian based meal on the list. It is easy enough to put together that when I’m looking to score some “Good Mom Points”, I will even make it for him for lunch. He definitely counts this as one of the homeschool perks: hot home-cooked lunches instead of soggy PB&J.

I didn’t get any prep pictures of the the Alfredo Sauce, but it is basically a wonderfully rich blend of  chicken broth, cream, cream cheese and Parmesan cheese. There is no need for added thickeners (flour, cornstarch, etc). The cheeses make it plenty thick all on their own! It can easily be put together while your pasta is cooking.

You can serve it on its own, but I usually have several “toppings” on hand as well: chopped grilled chicken, cooked & crumbled bacon, steamed or roasted broccoli, barely-cooked baby peas (these are my favorite!).

Garlic Breadsticks

This is an easy to work with dough (very similar to the Cinnamon Twist dough, just without the egg and sugar).

Divide dough in half and roll out into rectangles. Use a sharp knife to cut dough into strips (a pizza cutter works great).

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Melt butter in a jellyroll pan (here I have half of a batch of dough in a 9×13” pan). Place strips in pan, and turn each strip over to coat both sides with butter. Cover pan and let rise 30-60 minutes.

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Sprinkle with garlic powder and cheese and bake for 10-12 mins.

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Serve with your favorite pasta or soup dish.

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Fettuccine Alfredo

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¼ cup butter
1 clove garlic, minced
4 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken broth
1-2 Tbs white wine, optional
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
¾ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Fettuccine (or other pasta)

Optional Toppings:
Grilled chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
Bacon, cooked and crumbled
Roasted or steamed broccoli
Baby peas, cooked until just tender

In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter slowly. Add garlic and cream cheese and stir until melted. Add cream, chicken broth, white wine and pepper. Stir in Parmesan. Stir with a whisk as it heats to get a smooth sauce. Cook until sauce is smooth and heated through.

Prepare fettuccine as directed on package. Serve fettuccine with alfredo sauce and desired toppings.

Garlic Breadsticks

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1 ½ cups warm water
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs yeast
1 tsp salt
3 ½ – 4 cups flour
½ cup melted butter
Garlic powder
Parmesan cheese, optional

Mix water, sugar, yeast, salt and flour. Add more flour, if needed, to make a soft dough. Knead.

Melt butter in a jellyroll pan. Set aside.

Divide dough in half. Roll dough into 2 rectangles. Cut into 1-inch wide strips. Place dough strips ½ inch apart in pan, turning over to coat both sides with butter. Let rise 30-60 minutes (until doubled). Sprinkle with garlic powder and Parmesan, if desired. Bake at 400°F for 10-12 minutes.

Makes about 18 breadsticks.



Filed under Breads, Main Dishes