Recipe: Vodka Penne with a Cream Sauce

So, I apologize  for how long it has been since I’ve posted a recipe.  I’ve been going through quite a lot of life recently – I went to Chicago for a wedding, worked every weekend, and have gone through a period of small change culminating in starting a new job.  Needless to say, I thank every single one of my fantastic contributors who have been keeping Dinners With Dan up and running!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve also run into a slight problem – I’ll make something, but completely fail to write down what I did or take pictures!  My close friend Meg had a barbecue at her place a couple weeks ago and I brought some chicken I marinated overnight.  I never wrote down what I did, as I honestly just looked around my kitchen and pulled a marinade together (I’m pretty sure it was a combination of soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, oregano, and Italian seasonings, but I honestly don’t remember), but after it was on the grill, that chicken just turned out magnificently.  I also still have pictures and need to post the recipe I promised everyone (a strawberry-stuffed French Toast) – and I meant to do that during the “International Week,” and I just never got the chance.  I plan on doing a breakfast-themed Dinners With Dan post soon instead.

However, for my first recipe back from my hiatus, a short while ago, two of my friends, Alix and Lauren, came over for dinner.  I didn’t know what I was going to make until I got to Trader Joe’s.  And even then, as Lauren can attest, I picked up quite a few things before setting them down again and going for something completely different.

I decided to make a Vodka Penne with a Cream Sauce.  I looked up a few recipes and then promptly ignored almost all of their advice and just went for it.  I don’t have any pictures of the final result because I wasn’t thinking about it (I just wanted to eat!), so you’re just going to have to take my word that this was absolutely fantastic =).  Enjoy!

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Recipe: Panko Fried Pacific Black Cod

Today’s recipe is brought to you by Eric and Brian, Dinners With Dan‘s newest featured contributor!  

Thanks again to all my friends and contributors who have kept the blog up the last few weeks.  I’ll have a delicious recipe of my own up tomorrow, and I’ll be back to posting regularly =)!  More on why the long pause tomorrow, but I’ll do my best to make up for lost time!

However, before then, I’m really excited to take Dinners With Dan from the land to the seas.  Eric and Brian, Dinners With Dan‘s newest contributors, come to us from Alaska where they have worked in the restaurant industry and can’t wait to share a lot of their experiences and fantastic recipes with us.  They’re starting with a recipe for Panko Fried Pacific Black Cod.  Please welcome Eric and Brian to the blog and give this delicious recipe a try!

Panko Fried Pacific Black Cod

Living life Alaskan involves an appreciation for proper cooking with seafood.  The delicate balance of seafood and seasoning is essential.  It is fairly easy to over-season a beautiful cut of fish and finding someone who knows how to perfectly balance the two deserves respect.  For tonight’s dish we have selected one of the easier species of fish to cook with in Alaska.  Pacific Black Cod is a delicious deep water fish that many people enjoy along with halibut.  I know most people consider halibut to be the coveted fish to catch but it can be very difficult to find a proper black cod that you can cook with.

For tonight’s dinner, we have chosen several 6 ounce filets that required us to filet the skin off in order to bread them.  In keeping with Alaskan tradition, we used an egg-based batter and Italian seasoning with a nice Panko breading.  To complement the fish: roasted potatoes and sautéed asparagus with garlic.

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Recipe: Geschnetzeltes Zürcher Art mit Rösti

Today’s recipe is brought to you by James, one of Dinners With Dan‘s featured contributors!  

Welcome to part 2 of Dinners With Dan‘s first “international” week.  Yesterday, Alex gave us her Poulet de Terre recipe, and today, James is sharing a traditional Swiss dish with us.

My mouth watered and my stomach growled as soon as I saw this, and I know yours will too.  Enjoy!

Zürcher Art

This is a traditional Swiss farmer dish, very hearty and the perfect meal after a hard day’s work. Every Swiss household has its own recipe, from the amount of sauce to the type of meat. For instance, traditionally one should use veal in this recipe, but I have opted to use chicken instead as it suits my tastes better.

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Recipe: Poulet de Terre (Le repas des Pauvres et Paresseux)

Today’s recipe is brought to you by Alex, Dinners With Dan‘s newest featured contributor!  

Are you ready?  This week, Dinners With Dan is going international.

First up we we have a wonderful recipe from my very good friend Alex who is currently studying abroad in France!  I hope you get as much of a kick out of this recipe as I did =).

Poulet de Terre

 

The most difficult part of being a college student is finding ways to eat healthy. I know my friends and I will go to events we don’t care about at all just because they had a flyer saying “Free Food”. It’s a real struggle, especially if you’re studying abroad in a country you have never been to before, and you can’t recognize the labels on the food that you buy. However, my philosophy is: if it tastes good, doesn’t make me sick, and is cheap, I’ll usually eat it again.

I’ve been studying literature in France for the past month and there is a small grocer down the street from my dorm. Basically, once a week I go to the grocer with an empty backpack, grab whatever looks good, and hope I live to see the next day. In keeping with my newest tradition of “trying new things” (which is a phrase middle-aged women use as an excuse to date 20-somethings) I decided to use our disgusting kitchen for more than just swallowing spoonfuls of Nutella with milk and actually cook something!

 

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Recipe: Asian-Roasted Chicken

Today’s recipe is brought to you by Simmy, Dinners With Dan‘s newest featured contributor!  

Up to this point, the recipes that have been posted on Dinners With Dan have been relatively quick – they have been recipes you can put together easily at night when you come home at the end of the day.  Well, there are plenty of recipes that take a lot more time and preparation, and that are quite rewarding to make!  Once a month, Simmy is going to be posting a recipe that takes a little bit more time, or a little bit more work – as Simmy likes to call it, “Your Monthly Food Project.”  For her first recipe, she’s kept the concept and ingredients simple, but she’s added in the added dimension of time.  I can’t wait to try this recipe, and I hope you can’t wait to either!

Asian Roasted Chicken - Pre-bake

On a recent Sunday, as I was scouring the internet for my next food project, I decided I wanted both roasted chicken and something with Asian flavors. So I decided to make my own Asian roasted chicken.

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The First Dinners With Dan Dinner Party!

Dinners With Dan Dinner Party!


Last Thursday was the first Dinners With Dan Dinner Party, and it was a great success!  I’m already looking forward to the next dinner party this month!  (And I learned a lot from this first one, like make sure to get recipes the day of or right after so I’m not posting this a week late =).)

My friend Simmy hosted the evening and it ended up being a small and intimate gathering as my friends Meg, Ashley, and Kristen also joined in the festivities.  The recipe for the evening was simple: bring a dish to share (anything was fair game!) so we could all enjoy a great dinner and I would post pictures and the recipes after!

I made my All-Vegetable Lasagna for the dinner party, but read on to find out about the other amazing dishes we all enjoyed!

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Recipe: James’ Junk Salad

Today’s recipe is brought to you by James, one of Dinners With Dan‘s new featured contributors!  He is sharing one of his go-to meals and it looks absolutely delicious, so keep reading!

James' Junk Salad

The following recipe is my twist on a pasta salad resulting from far too many leftovers, a desire for something simple yet delicious and a love of pasta. It’s a recipe that came from my own taste buds and those of my friends and family.

This recipe originally came about from my need of a food source that would get me through engineering exams I had 24 hours to complete and that usually took between 12 and 18 hours of solid work. There were therefore a few requirements that had to be met:

1)    It had to be something simple, containable and not messy. I wanted something I could snack on without it getting all over my books, notes or computer, yet was easy to make and versatile enough that I could substitute a variety of ingredients, without compromising taste. I was terrified I would finish a design, only to see it covered with pasta sauce, so I had to think of an alternative.

2)    There had to be a steady supply. Although taking a break during a long exam period is highly suggested, you don’t want to be forced to take a break and perhaps spend 20-30 minutes cooking a meal. You should have the flexibility to take a break when your BRAIN needs one, not when your stomach needs filling!

3)    It had to be something I wouldn’t tire of. Obviously I would have other snacks and meals planned, but when I got a hankering for food, I wanted to be able to turn to something that I knew I would enjoy time in and time out. As you will find out, I am a huge fan of pasta.

In the end pasta salad seemed like the only reasonable choice.

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Recipe: All-Vegetable Lasagna

 

This past Thursday I got together with a few friends for the first Dinners With Dan Dinner Party.  It was an absolute blast!  I will post about all of the dishes in a little bit, but I wanted to at least share with you the dish I made for the evening, and that I think turned out extraordinarily well: an all-vegetable lasagna.  I had never made the recipe before, and I’ve adjusted it below to how I made it, but I definitely recommend this!

 

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Recipe: Mushroom and Parmesan Chicken

Mushroom and Parmesan Chicken

The initial recipe I made and shared for Dinners With Dan was a chicken dish close to my heart as it was the first recipe I made when I had a kitchen of my own, and it was a recipe I got from my late Aunt.  The recipe was also a nice, easy, and simple dish which was perfect to start with on this blog.  Tonight I’m going to expand on the foundation I laid in that recipe by adding an additional step to the process, and hopefully take you to the next level of baking chicken with my Mushroom and Parmesan Chicken.

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Recipe: Garlic & Tomato Spaghetti

Garlic Tomato Spaghetti

When I got off work today, I felt like coming home and having something fairly light and fresh.  I had a craving for tomatoes, but I didn’t know quite what I wanted to make.  I started looking around to see what I had available.  Garlic? Ok, that’s always a good start.  Pasta? Now we’re getting somewhere…  An idea hit me and after a quick run to the store, I came back and made a Garlic & Tomato Spaghetti.

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