Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pdoma Chicken

My husband named the dish. I will let you figure out what it means;).  I wanted to make something with goat cheese that would hopefully pair well with a sauvignon blanc I had lying around. I think my experiment turned out pretty well.  My only issue is that the goat cheese was a tad grainy; it might be because it cooked much faster than I expected and had to take it off the heat and wait for the boy to get home from karate. Other than that, yummy.  To go with it, we diced and roasted 1 potato and 1 sweet potato and an onion tossed in some olive oil with salt, pepper and garlic powder. The sweet potato, surprisingly, cooked faster than the potato.  Next time we will throw them in a little later.
Pdoma Chicken
1 pound chicken, boneless, skinless, thin cutlets
1 large spring onion, sliced including green tops
5 basil leaves, chiffonade
4 ounces Fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup beef broth (it was what was open)
2 Tablespoon Butter, unsalted
2 Sun dried Tomatoes, minced
Salt & Pepper
Heat the 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Put patted dry chicken in the skillet and brown on both sides
Add the broth and cover and cook about 5 minutes (until done)
Remove the chicken to a plate and cook until the both has evaporated
Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and saute the onion for about 2 minutes
Add the sun dried tomatoes and cook until the onions are very soft
Add the goat cheese and take off heat
Stir until cheese is melted.
Slice chicken, add any liquid on the plate to the sauce, stir and add the sliced chicken.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Arepas – Cuban Corn "Pancake" Sandwiches

Having an abundance of masa harina and having loved our last attempt at arepas, we figured tonight we would try another recipe for them, and return to the city of my childhood at the same time.  Small problem.  The first arepa recipe used the instant corn flour, and I assumed that arepa flour was that instant flour.  It couldn't have been.  We needed to add much more to get a workable dough; it was so wet it couldn't be cut or hold shape.  I also had forgotten how sweet they were; that is something I am generally not a fan of. Our "operator errors" aside, it wasn't too bad.  I did make a slaw like the last arepa recipe and sprinkled some crumbled feta cheese over the top.  It was great.  In retrospect, the original arepa recipe was Mexican and this arepa recipe is a Cuban one. They aren't the same.  We kind of took a Cuban arepa and dressed it in a serape. It was good but I think in order to make this properly we would need to use different corn flour next time. Arepas are a great way to use leftovers.  Anything can go inside (or between in the Cuban's case) the arepas and make use the remnants of meals gone by in the fridge:)

Arepas – Cuban Corn "Pancake" Sandwiches

1 c  milk
5 T  butter
1 c  ground frozen corn kernels
1 c  arepa flour or finely ground yellow corn meal.
1/4 t  salt
1/3 c  sugar
1 c  mozzarella cheese
1/2 c  water(approximately)
6    -8 slices Mild Swiss cheese sliced
The famous corn pancake sandwich served at fairs and exhibits in
Miami two cornmeal "cakes" with a layer of gooey cheese inside.
Bring the milk to a boil in a small pan.
Add the five tablespoons of butter. Let stand.
Grind one cup frozen yellow corn kernels in a food processor. In a
large bowl, mix the arepa flour, salt, sugar, ground corn, and
mozzarella. Make a well in the center and gradually add the hot milk.
Stir until there are no lumps.
Work the dough until it is smooth and sticky. Add water as necessary if
the dough is too thick. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough between
two sheets of wax paper to about 1/4" thickness.
Cut out arepas with a large cookie cutter-- about 3 inches in diameter.
(We've had good luck using a small straight edged bowl.)
Heat a lightly buttered griddle on medium. Cook the arepas in batches
until crispy and golden brown on each side. Immediately place a slice
of cheese on one arepa and cover with another to make a sandwich.
Heat on griddle until cheese melts. You can also make the pancakes only
and store them in the refrigerator or frozen until ready to serve. Just
lightly butter two pancakes, put a slice of cheese in between (on the
unbuttered sides) and heat on the griddle at low-heat until the cheese

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Vietnamese-Style Banh Mi Burgers

I like to vary our diet more than this, but the confusion over the meatballs has lead me to overstock on ground beef. (pork too but that is for another day)  I had everything else I needed for this recipe except the baguette.I had a small amount of pickled jalapenos too.  It is at this point that I begin quoting A team. "I love it when a plan comes together!" Not only was it a ingredient perfect storm, my family and I LOVE bahn mi so I figured this would be a good one to try. For no other reason, this spicy mayo makes the recipe a must have.  The burgers were tasty, but they are no Banh Mi.  For me the Banh Mi are in a class almost all by themselves.  The burgers were delicious, but they had all these little things that keep them from being world class in my book.  They WILL be made again.  They are very good, but for me I need to think of them as burgers not bahn mi or the will fall short of my expectations. Oh and I used red curry powder.  I was out of  'curry powder,' but I think this was the best possible choice for curry powders.

Vietnamese-Style Banh Mi Burgers

2    carrots,coarsely shredded
1/4 c  unseasoned rice vinegar
1 T  sugar
1/2 c  mayonnaise
2 T  Tabasco
2 t  tomato paste
1    garlic clove,minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 lb ground beef chuck
1 1/2 t  curry powder
2 T  vegetable oil
2 T  unsalted butter,softened
One 24-inch baguette  quartered crosswise and split
2    pickled jalapeños,thinly sliced
12    cilantro sprigs
[Note: .  Spicy, robust Washington Syrah.   Our Pairing Suggestion
Is this an American take on a Vietnamese classic or a Vietnamese take
on an American classic? Either way, these spicy burgers topped with
Tabasco-spiked mayonnaise, slivers of crunchy pickled carrots and
sprigs of cilantro are wonderful. ]
1. Preheat the oven to 400. In a small bowl, toss the carrots with the
rice vinegar and sugar and let stand for 10 minutes; drain.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the Tabasco, tomato
paste and garlic and season with salt and pepper.
3. Form the meat into four 6-inch-long oval patties, about 1 inch
thick. Season with the curry powder and salt and pepper. In a large
skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Cook the patties over moderate
heat, turning once, until medium, about 12 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, spread the butter on the cut sides of the baguette. Set
the bread cut side up on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes,
until lightly toasted. Spread the Tabasco-spiked mayonnaise on the
bread and top each baguette section with a burger patty, pickled
shredded carrots, pickled jalapeo slices and cilantro sprigs. Close the
sandwiches and serve hot.
Make Ahead The Tabasco mayonnaise and pickled shredded carrots can be
refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Asian Meatball Wraps

I made many more adjustments to this recipe than I normally do, (or like to do) to a first time I make a recipe.  First of all, I want to try it the way the recipe states because there is a reason the creator made it that way.  Also, even if it is something I think I wouldn't prefer, I want to see what works and doesn't for me. Well I don't do veal, so it was 1/2 beef and 1/2 pork. I am not a big fan of radicchio, and at $6 for a small head, I will just do double of my hydroponic butter lettuce.  The mint had died in the herb garden so none to garnish with, so I used cilantro. Since I wasn't following the recipe anyways, I made a quick dipping sauce similar to a Thai peanut sauce, but I used tahini.  The sauce needs work, but I think it will be a nice addition to the dish.  I also added some sliced cucumbers and onions so it would have a bit more veggies so I wouldn't have to make some to go with it.  I served it with plain white jasmine rice. I think it was very good and the boy loved it, but I'm still going to call it a fixable, since I want to play with it.

Asian Meatball Wraps

1 1/2 lb mixed ground beef,pork and veal
1    garlic clove,minced
1    shallot,minced
2 T  Asian fish sauce
1 t  grated lime zest
1/2 t  salt
1/4 t  pepper
2 T  vegetable oil
10    radicchio leaves
10    small butter lettuce leaves
Mint leaves,for garnish
Lime wedges and hot sauce for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 400. In a large bowl, mix the ground meat
with the garlic, shallot, fish sauce, lime zest, salt and pepper. Roll
the mixture into 2-inch balls.
2. In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat the vegetable oil until
shimmering. Add the meatballs and cook over moderately high heat,
turning occasionally until browned all over, about 7 minutes. Transfer
the skillet to the oven and roast for 7 minutes, until cooked through.
3. Set each meatball in a radicchio or lettuce leaf and garnish with
the mint. Serve the wraps with hot sauce and lime wedges.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mexi Pizza

Well, I was thinking of ways to use up the chorizo I had left from the shrimp dish and use up some of the cheese I bought way too much of for the mac and cheese.  I was thinking of whipping up some kind of mexi pizza.  So, I started out chopping celery and onion for my black bean recipe, only to find out that I didn't have a can of black beans.  I did, however, have some refried beans (vegetarian). I figured they would work too, so into the pot they were thrown. I am quite pleased with the result.  I think I put a but too much cheese so I reduced the amount in the recipe.  Also It is easy to put too much beans.  I think I did but didn't reduce the amount here.  Haven't gotten feed back from my husband yet, but the boy liked it too. It could easily be made meat free by omiting the chorizo.

Mexi Pizza
1 pound Pizza dough
1 1/2  tablespoons  Olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped, reserve about 1/4 of it
2 tablespoons tomato, crushed, puree, sauce or ketchup will work
2 small chorizo, dry kind, casing removed and diced
1/4 onion, thinly sliced
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 ounces Monterrey jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup, cilantro sprigs
24 pickled jalapeno slices

I get my dough from the deli section of the supermarket.  It needs to rise an hour before using so I take it out first. Put a pizza stone in the oven and preheat oven to 500
For the "sauce":
Saute the celery and onion, leaving the reserved part for later,  (sprinkle them with 1/2 tsp kosher salt) in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, until soft.
Add the refried beans and a can full of water, and stir until the beans are no longer solid.
Cook over medium low heat about 30 minutes.
Puree with an immersion blender until most of the chunks of veggies are gone.
For the Toppings
saute the chorizo in 1/2/ tablespoon olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, add the onion and cook until the onion is soft.  Drain the chorizo and onion in a strainer to remove as much oil as possible.  Let it drain until ready to use.
For the Pizza:
Roll out dough into a 14" round
Remove the stone and place on a heat proof surface
Place the dough on top of the stone and spread with about a cup of the "sauce" mixture. Reserve the rest for a later use or for dipping the crusts.
Sprinkle each cheese evenly over the top of the "sauce"
Sprinkle the chorizo and sauteed onion mixture over the top of the cheese
Sprinkle the raw onion slices over the top of the pizza
Put the stone and pizza back into the oven, on the bottom rack, and set timer for 5 minutes
After 5 minutes, check the pizza. If it isn't golden brown at the crust and the cheese nice and bubbly, add a minute at a time until done.  Mine usually take about 7 minutes, but ovens, thickness of crust and a million other things keep this from being a firm time.
Take out of oven and place on large cutting board.  Let cool 10 minutes.
Cut into 8 wedges and sprinkle cilantro over the top.  Place 3 jalapenos on each slice.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cheddar-And-Onion Smashed Burgers

Well. I was going to make these Asian meatballs wrapped in lettuce leaves, but the recipe called for ground beef, pork and veal (which I don't eat so it won't be in the recipe), but I only had the beef.  I figured I could have made it with all beef, but seeing as there aren't many seasonings, I think the mixed meats are pretty important.  A quick search of Food and Wine website found me this recipe by the same people who made the Stilton burgers with the port wine reduction.  I still had umami dust left from that one and all the ingredients on hand, so hey, it's what's for dinner.  I think this technique of cooking the burgers with the onions is awesome.  It makes for some tasty, juicy burgers and awesome onions.  I did not use the bread and butter pickles.  I would have tried it if I were buying ingredients for this meal, but our family is not a fan of the sweet pickles and they wouldn't have been in the house.

Cheddar-And-Onion Smashed Burgers

16    thin bread-and-butter pickle slices,patted dry
Four 4-inch potato buns buttered and toasted
1 1/4 lb ground beef chuck (30 percent fat)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2    small onions,sliced paper thin
4    ounces sharp cheddar cheese sliced
Umami dust,for sprinkling  (optional, see Note)
 1.  Heat a cast-iron griddle until very hot. Layer the pickle slices
on the bottom buns.
2. Without overworking the meat, loosely form it into 4 balls and
place them on the griddle. Cook the meatballs over moderately high heat
for 30 seconds. Using a sturdy large spatula, flatten each ball into a
5-inch round patty. Season the patties with salt and pepper and cook
for 2 minutes, until well seared. Press a handful of sliced onions onto
each patty. Using the spatula, carefully flip each burger so the onions
are on the bottom. Top with the cheese and cook for 2 minutes. Cover
with a roasting pan and cook just until the cheese is melted, 1 minute
more. Transfer the burgers with the onions to the buns and sprinkle
with umami dust. Top with the buns and serve.
Notes The Secret Seasoning To make simplified umami dust, use a spice
grinder to pulse 3 tablespoons bonito flakes, 1/2 ounce crumbled dried
kombu, and 1/2 ounce dried shitake mushrooms into a powder. Umami dust
will soon be available at umamiburger.com


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chicken Provençal

Well, as not the biggest  fan of chicken, I wasn't blown away by the meat.  Plus the whole on  the bone thing gives me the willies.  I had one tenderloin; the sauce was pretty great.  Not particularly hard to make, but it took much longer than the recipe said.  I didn't delete this recipe, but I an not anxious to make it again. I realized at the last minute I didn't have a starch, so I quickly made some star shaped pasta with butter and parm.

Chicken Provençal

1 T  cooking oil
1    chicken (about 3 to 3 1/2 pounds),cut into eight pieces
3/4 t  salt
1/2 t  fresh-ground black pepper
1    small onion,chopped
4 ea garlic,minced
1/2 c  red wine
1 1/2 c  canned crushed tomatoes with their juice
1/2 t  dried rosemary
1/2 t  dried thyme
1/3 c  black olives,such as Niçoise or Kalamata, halved and
1 t  anchovy paste
1. In a large, deep frying pan, heat the oil over moderately high
heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper
and put it in the pan. Cook the chicken until browned, turning, about 8
minutes in all. Remove the chicken from the pan. Pour off all but 1
tablespoon fat from the pan.
2. Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion and the garlic and
cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften, about 3
minutes. Add the wine to the pan and simmer until reduced to about 1/4
cup, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, olives, anchovy
paste, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Add the chicken thighs and drumsticks and any accumulated juices.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the
breasts and cook until the chicken is just done, about 10 minutes more.
Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Menu Suggestions: Simple roasted new potatoes or boiled green beans
would be excellent with the gutsy flavors here.
Wine Recommendation: There are lots of interesting wines from the
region of Provence that will be ideal with this dish. For a lighter,
summer wine, look for a ros from that region. If you prefer a red, try
a Ctes de Provence.
Food & Wine JANUARY 1997

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Zucchini-Ricotta Fritters & Spicy Tomato Soup

Well I was looking for a recipe that would use up the rest of the Crème fraîche I left.  I thought this sounded like a good use and I could finally try these amazing looking fritters.  Well the soup was a meh, but the boy loved it.  The fritters were AMAZING.  Love, love, loved them.  They were pretty easy to make too. Next time I make them, I think I might put the grated zucchini in a paper towel and squeeze a bit of the liquid out of them.  I only think this might help with how they hold together.  They were knife and fork food and I wanted finger food:) I think the lemon wedges were unnecessary, as there was plenty of lemon flavor from the zest, but it didn't hurt it either.  

Zucchini-Ricotta Fritters

2    medium zucchini (about 7 ounces each),coarsely shredded
2    garlic cloves,very thinly sliced
3    large scallions,very thinly sliced
1/2 c  fresh sheep-milk ricotta cheese
2    large eggs
2 t  finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
 3/4 c  all-purpose flour
 Olive oil,for frying
 Lemon wedges,for serving
[Note: Our Pairing Suggestion: Citrusy, spritzy Spanish Txakolina
(Mario Batali's ) ]
1. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, garlic, scallions, ricotta,
eggs, lemon zest and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir well,
then stir in the flour just until incorporated.
2. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels. In a large skillet,
heat 1/4 inch of olive oil until shimmering. Working in batches, add 2-
tablespoon mounds of the zucchini batter to the hot oil, spreading them
to form 3-inch fritters. Fry over moderately high heat, turning once,
until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain the fritters on the
paper towels and serve right away, with lemon wedges.
Make Ahead The fritters can be kept at room temperature for up to 2
hours and recrisped in a 325 oven.

Spicy Tomato Soup

2 T  extra-virgin olive oil
1    small yellow onion,peeled,  halved, and sliced into 1/4-inch
1/2    to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2    (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes
1 1/2 c  water
1/4 c  loosely packed fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Crème fraîche,for garnish (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until
shimmering.  Add the onions and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring
occasionally, until the onions are translucent and very tender, about
10 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, plus the water, and bring to a
boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until
the flavors have melded, about 30 minutes. Add the basil, season with
salt and pepper, remove from the heat, and let cool briefly, about 5
Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large, heatproof bowl. Using a blender,
pure the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap from the
blender lid (the pour lid) and covering the space with a kitchen towel
(this allows steam from the hot soup to escape and prevents the blender
lid from popping off). Pour the blended soup through the strainer,
pressing on the solids with a rubber spatula or ladle; discard the
solids. Taste the soup and season with additional salt and pepper as
Return the soup to the saucepan and reheat on medium low until hot. If
you choose, serve topped with a tablespoon of creme frache.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chipotle Beef Tacos With Caramelized Onions (Tacos De Carne Asada Ench

Tonight we are trying another variation on tacos.  It was a little plain for my taste.  The recipe did not specify anything but hot sauce or salsa, but I would have liked cilantro at least.  We ended up putting the beans I made with it in the taco.  It was good.  I thought the meat would be too spicy, but it wasn't.  The onions were nice.  I used half a large red onion I had in the fridge and the rest white onions. I can't say I was wowed though.

Chipotle Beef Tacos With Caramelized Onions (Tacos De Carne Asada Enchiladas)

1    (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 lb skirt or flank steak (skirt steak should be trimmed of fat and white -silver skin)
3 T  vegetable oil
2    medium white onions,sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 t  kosher salt,plus more as needed
12    (6-inch) warm corn tortillas
Salsa or hot sauce,for serving
[Note: This recipe was featured as part of our No-Fail Mexican
Favorites for Cinco de Mayo. What to buy: For the greatest tenderness,
make sure to    choose thicker outer skirt steak and cook it medium.
(The thin inner skirt that most taquerías and street vendors use is
best cooked well-done and    chopped into small pieces.) Flank steak is
most tender when cooked medium rare and thinly sliced. Even without the
chipotle, this dish of warm    corn tortillas wrapped around slices of
seared beef and caramelized onions is Mexico   ]
Heat the oven on its lowest setting and arrange a rack in the middle.
Place the chipotles and adobo sauce in a food processor fitted with a
blade attachment or a blender and process until smooth. Using a brush,
lightly coat the steak with the chipotle pure (go a little heavier on
the flank than the skirt steak; youll have chipotle marinade left over-
cover and refrigerate for up to several weeks). Cut the steak crosswise
into 6-inch pieces.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high
heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently,
until golden but still crunchy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a
large heatproof bowl or dish, leaving as much oil as possible in the
skillet, and place in the oven to keep warm.
Return the frying pan to medium-high heat (or medium heat for flank
steak), add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and heat until shimmering.
Add the steak and brown on both sides, cooking until it reaches your
desired doneness (about 3 minutes per side for medium skirt steak,
about 5 minutes per side for medium rare for a 1-1/2-inch-thick flank
steak). Transfer the steak to a wire rack set over a plate to rest,
about 5 to 10 minutes.
Slice the skirt steak into roughly 3-inch lengths, then cut each piece
against the grain into 1/4-inch strips. For flank steak, cut it
straight down against the grain into 1/4-inch slices; on the thick end,
you may want to cut the slices lengthwise in half into thinner strips.
Place the meat in the bowl with the onions, add the measured salt, and
toss to combine. Taste and season with more salt as needed. Serve with
the warm tortillas and salsa or hot sauce.
Steak Taco Riffs from Rick Bayless: Ill bet youre already thinking
about firing up the grill for cooking the beef and onion, which will,
of course, make this fabulous dish Elysian. Red onions cook up sweeter
than the white ones, which many people preferbut not me. Boneless,
skinless chicken breasts make tasty chipotle-and-caramelized-onion
tacos; and dont overlook catfish.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Roasted Acorn Squash And Gorgonzola Pizza

I was looking for a recipe to use up the leftover Gorgonzola from yesterday.  I thought this looked interesting and it is from a chef I like. I enjoyed it, but I tend to pick apart new recipes and this one could have used work imo.  I thought the bites that had a bit of everything were great, but the way the squash was in chunks on top, made that intermittent.  I think it would be great with a small adjustment.
Next time, I would mash the squash and make that paste the "sauce" on the pizza.   I also didn't cook it the way she said to in the recipe.  I did my usual pizza cooking by heating the stone in the oven at 500.  Then putting the rolled out dough on the hot stone and then putting the toppings on it and baking at the bottom of oven at 500 for 5-10 minutes.  (tonight it was for 8) It is still an interesting dish worth making.

Roasted Acorn Squash And Gorgonzola Pizza
1    (1- pound) acorn squash
2 T  maple syrup
1 T  olive oil
1 t  red pepper flakes
1/4 t  salt,plus 1/4 teaspoon
1/4 t  freshly ground black pepper plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 lb pizza dough
1 c  shredded whole milk mozzarella
1/2 c  crumbled Gorgonzola
1 c  arugula
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Slice the squash in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds. Slice
the squash into 1/2 to 3/4-inch wide half moons and place in a medium
bowl. Toss the squash with the syrup, olive oil, red pepper flakes, 1/4
teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the squash on a parchment-
lined baking sheet. Bake the squash until tender and golden, about 20
to 25 minutes.

Keep the temperature on the oven at 375 degrees F. Roll out the pizza
dough on a flour dusted piece of parchment paper to a 13-inch diameter.
Place the pizza and the parchment paper on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the
mozzarella cheese and the Gorgonzola on the pizza dough. Bake in the
oven until golden and cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Peel the skins off the squash. Top the cooked pizza with the cooked
squash. Top with arugula and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
Slice and serve

Pre Arugula
Post Arugula :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Orecchiette With Brussels Sprouts, Gorgonzola, And Brown-Butter Pecans

Tonight I force my son to reevaluate his stance on Brussels sprouts.  I have already converted my husband when I sliced them thin, sauteed them in a little bit of bacon fat and olive oil, and added some sauteed garlic, chopped tomatoes and a splash of balsamic.  Tonight's dinner is something that I think could be great, but the dish we ate tonight tasted of one thing only: Gorgonzola.  If there were double the Brussels sprouts and half the cheese, I think it would be outstanding.  Also I wouldn't sprinkle any cheese over the top.  We thought some hot sauce would help. It didn't; it made it worse. My son, who entered the house when I was roasting the Brussels sprouts and asked "What STINKS?", did declare at dinner that while it stunk while cooking, it was much better than he thought.  I will count it as a success in my mission despite the fact he really couldn't taste much of the sprouts.  The mental battle is half the food battle so next time we have them he will try them with a more open mind.  I would like to fix this recipe, but in its 'as is' state, I wouldn't recommend making it. If anyone tries it with any alterations in the recipe with any success, I would love to know.

Orecchiette With Brussels Sprouts, Gorgonzola, And Brown-Butter Pecans

Kosher salt
20 oz Brussels sprouts,trimmed (4 cups)
3    -1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin-olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb dried orecchiette
1    -1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 c  coarsely chopped pecans
2    large shallots,minced (3/4 cup)
3/4 c  heavy cream
4 oz Gorgonzola,crumbled (1 cup)
1    Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, set a heavy rimmed
baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 500F. Bring a large pot
of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.
In a food processor fitted with the medium (4 mm) slicing disk, slice
the Brussels sprouts. Transfer them to a large bowl, drizzle with the
oil, sprinkle with 1-1/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper, and toss until
well coated. Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and spread the
Brussels sprouts on it in a single layer. Roast, stirring once about
halfway through the cooking time, until the Brussels sprouts are tender
and flecked with charred bits, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the orecchiette according to package directions until
just al dente.
In a medium heavy-duty skillet, melt 1/2 Tbs. of the butter over medium
heat. Add the pecans and cook, stirring frequently, until the butter is
deeply browned and the pecans are toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to
a plate and set aside.
Melt the remaining 1 Tbs. butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add
the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3
minutes. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Off the heat, add 3 oz.
(3/4 cup) of the Gorgonzola and stir until melted.
Drain the orecchiette and return it to the pot. Add the Brussels
sprouts,  Gorgonzola sauce, and lemon juice and toss well. Serve,
sprinkled with the pecans and the remaining Gorgonzola.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Marja's Mac-And-Cheese

My husband and I were having a date night.  I made this for the kids and my MIL.  It was quite rich but delicious.  It was also one of the easiest mac and cheeses I have ever made.  The only work involved was the shredding  the cheese.  I did that because it is cheaper but pre shredded would work too.  It was enjoyed by all.  As always, when available, clicking on the title will take you to the original recipe online.  I think I drizzled a bit too much oil on the macaroni.  It was sucked into the tubes and it looked like there wasn't much on the pasta.  Other than that it was great.  It didn't ruin the pasta but a little too much grease. The cream cheese on the top is brilliant. It makes the dish.

Marja's Mac-And-Cheese

3/4 lb elbow macaroni
Extra-virgin olive oil,for drizzling
1 1/2 c  heavy cream
1 c  half-and-half
1 c  whole milk
2    large eggs
1/2 t  freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 T  kosher salt
1/4 t  freshly ground white pepper
1 1/2 c  shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1 1/2 c  shredded sharp cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1 1/2 c  shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
4    ounces cold cream cheese cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1. Preheat the oven to 350. In a large pot of boiling, salted water,
cook the macaroni for 3 minutes (it will still be very chewy). Drain
the macaroni and return it to the pot. Drizzle lightly with olive oil
and toss well.
2. Butter a 10-by-15-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk the
heavy cream with the half-and-half, milk, eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Stir in the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses and the macaroni. Spread
the mac and cheese in the prepared baking dish and scatter the cream
cheese cubes on top.
3. Bake the macaroni for 5 minutes. Using the back of a large spoon,
spread the melted cream cheese cubes evenly over the surface. Bake for
40 minutes, until bubbling.
4. Remove the baking dish from the oven and preheat the broiler. Broil
the mac and cheese about 3 inches from the heat source until richly
browned, about 2 minutes. Let stand for at least 10 and up to 20
minutes before serving.
Make Ahead The assembled mac and cheese can be refrigerated overnight.
Bring to room temperature before baking, or add 15 minutes to the
baking time

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Turkey Burgers With Smoked Gouda

Now I am not the biggest fan of turkey burgers, but my family is.  I really have loved every Bobby Flay recipe I have tried so I figured I would give this one a go.  It is super quick and super delicious.  I used ground turkey not ground turkey breast.  Not only does it make a tastier burger but it is much cheaper. (bonus!) I made these with slightly less meat (1.3 pounds) and we didn't grill them.  My husband cooked the burgers in a cast iron pan.  (along with toasting the buns)  The onions he sauteed in some bacon fat.  (they tasted fine on the burger, but alone I was not a fan.  Not only did they add to the fat content (and not the flavor imo) but they tasted nasty if you ate one by its self. Last minute, I decided to make some potato wedges to go with them.  Found this Paula Dean recipe.  I didn't have cornbread dressing so I used some bread crumbs.  Not great, but an acceptable substitute.  I think there is some work to be done with it. (perhaps it is just the substitution) They weren't great alone with the dipping sauce made from the mustard mix and mayo they were pretty tasty.  I may be prejudice here; I don't like baked potatoes and wedges are reminiscent of them. I can't wait to make them again

Turkey Burgers With Smoked Gouda
4 Servings

1    red onion,cut into 1/3-inch-thick slabs
Vegetable oil,for brushing
4    hamburger buns,split
1 1/2 lb ground turkey
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 sl of smoked Gouda cheese (4 ounces)
3 T  Dijon mustard
2 T  whole-grain mustard
1 T  drained prepared horseradish
1 T  honey
[Note:  .  The nutty, smoky Gouda cheese on these turkey burgers,
together with the spicy horseradish and mustards, suggest a rich white
wine rather  than a red. Look for a luscious Viognier from Australia.
Our Pairing Suggestion  By adding two flourishes to a simple grilled
turkey burger, Bobby  Flay makes it fantastic. First he melts slices of
smoky Gouda cheese onto the meat, then he spreads toasted buns with a
sweet-spicy sauce of  mustard, horseradish and honey.  ]
1. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the onion with oil and
grill until charred and softened, about 5 minutes. Brush the cut sides
of the buns with oil and grill until toasted, about 30 seconds.
2. Form the ground turkey into four 1-inch-thick patties and brush
with oil. Season with salt and pepper and grill over high heat, turning
once, until nearly cooked through, about 10 minutes. Top with the Gouda,
close the grill and cook until the cheese is melted and the burgers
are cooked through, about 1 minute longer.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the mustards, horseradish and
honey and spread on the bottom half of the buns. Top with the burgers
and onions. Close the burgers and serve right away

Oven-Fried Potato Wedges

3    large baking potatoes
1/2 c  mayonnaise
1/2 t  hot sauce
1/4 t  onion salt
1/2 t  House Seasoning,recipe follows
1/8 t  black pepper
2 c  cornbread dressing mix
[Note: Needs some work]
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Wash the potatoes and cut each into 6 thick wedges. Mix the mayonnaise
with the hot sauce, onion salt, House Seasoning and pepper. Coat the
potato wedges with the mayonnaise mixture and roll them in the dressing
mix. Place in a greased baking dish and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or
until the potatoes are tender. Serve with your favorite dip.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Creamy Farfalle With Cremini, Asparagus, And Walnuts

I made this recipe for me. I am the only one in the house that loves asparagus or mushrooms.  I liked it very much.  I took it as a sign that it was a great dish when my son didn't gag when he ate a mushroom.  He loathes them and they are one of the two items he is allowed to veto off his plate.  They were mushrooms and peas; now he has switched the peas to cauliflower.  Even though he can veto them, I do make him try them occasionally.  I think it's only fair that he can opt to not eat some things.  We all have things we don't care for, but your taste evolves.  He has to buck up and eat them every once in a while. (even if it is just to reaffirm that he hates them:)

Creamy Farfalle With Cremini, Asparagus, And Walnuts
4 Servings

1 lb farfalle pasta
3 T  butter
1 lb cremini mushrooms,thickly sliced
1 lb thin asparagus,trimmed, cut crosswise into 1-inch piece
1 c  mascarpone cheese
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 c  walnuts,toasted
1/4 c  freshly grated Parmesan
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farfalle and
cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Drain,
reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat.
Add the mushrooms and saute until tender and most of the juices have
evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and saute until the
asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the farfalle. Stir in
the mascarpone and nutmeg and toss until the cheese coats the pasta,
adding the reserved cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time to moisten. Stir
in 1/2 cup of walnuts. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Mound the pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and
remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts. Serve.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Salmon "Satay"

While I am a HUGE fan of Publix, I have found myself becoming less enamored with their Apron meals.  They are not bad, but because they rely so much on pre made ingredients, they aren't as delicious as they once were, now that I am weaned off processed foods.  This is one I remembered liking very much.  I still do, but I tweaked the sauce to include a bit less of the bottled (low sodium) marinade because I thought it was still too salty.  Still, I think it is worth a try. I also didn't bother with the skewers.  I sliced it, but I think it would work with a whole fillet.
Salmon "Satay"
 1 1/2 lb salmon fillets (skin removed,thawed, if needed)
8    (10-inch) bamboo skewers
1/3 c  sesame ginger marinade
1 T  sesame oil
1 T  peanut butter
.Preheat oven to 450F.
.Cut salmon into eight equal pieces and thread lengthwise onto skewers
(wash hands). Combine in small bowl, marinade, sesame oil and peanut
butter; reserve one-third of the mixture for final step. Brush one-half
of the remaining mixture over both sides of salmon.
.Arrange skewers on baking sheet; bake 2 minutes. Turn skewers over and
brush with remaining one-half of marinade; bake 2-4 more minutes or
until flesh is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. (Discard any
marinade that has been in contact with raw salmon.)
.Use reserved marinade as a dipping sauce. .

Monday, January 16, 2012

Scallops with Potato Pancakes and Caviar Sauce

Well I wanted to use up the caviar I had left over from the pizza I had made.  I found this one and thought well, I love, scallops, potato pancakes, creme fresh and butter, how could this be bad.  During the prep, I was worried that the end result wouldn't be worth the investment of the ingredients.  I was so very wrong.  It was not a simple recipe, but it was very tasty.  The butter is worth making, even alone.  The potato pancakes as well.  The scallop method was not perfect, but still alright. The recipe did call for slightly larger scallops, so that may have made a difference.  I will say that I made one small deviation, I used lime as I didn't have lemon for the juice. We all really liked this a LOT! I am excited to make it again for guests.  It is technically an appetizer (2 pieces as a portion for each), but we just ate more and added a salad. Yummy!

Scallops With Potato Pancakes And Caviar Sauce
Yield: 10 Servings
1 lb baking potatoes,peeled
1    large egg,lightly beaten
1/4 c  matzo meal
1/4 c  grated onion
Vegetable oil,for frying
Scallops and Caviar Sauce
1 1/2 c  Champagne
9    black peppercorns
3    thyme sprigs
1    bay leaf
1    large shallot,thinly sliced
1 t  fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 T  crème fraîche
1 1/2    (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter,cut into tablespoons
1    ounce caviar
Vegetable oil,for frying
20    medium sea scallops (1 pound)
2 T  minced chives
[Note: The pancakes and caviar sauce can stand at room temperature
for up to 2 hours. Rewarm the caviar sauce over low heat, stirring
constantly. . Make Ahead   ]
1.Coarsely shred the potatoes and squeeze out any excess liquid.
Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the egg, matzo meal, onion and a
large pinch of salt. Shape the mixture into 20 scallop-size cakes,
about 1/2 inch thick; press the cakes to compress them.
2.In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil until shimmering.
Working in batches, fry the pancakes over moderately high heat until
browned and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Lower the heat if the
pancakes brown too quickly and add more oil if necessary. Transfer the
pancakes to a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
3.Preheat the oven to 325. In a small saucepan, combine the Champagne
with the peppercorns, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, shallot and lemon juice
and boil over high heat until reduced to 1 tablespoon, about 15 minutes.
Strain the sauce into another small saucepan. Stir in the creme frache
and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Remove from the heat and stir
in the softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir in the caviar and
season lightly with salt. Cover the sauce and keep it warm.
4.Wipe out the skillet and heat 1/4 inch of oil in it until shimmering.
Season the scallops with salt and add half of them to the skillet. Cook
over high heat until richly browned, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
Transfer to a plate and keep warm while you cook the remaining scallops.
5.Rewarm the potato pancakes in the oven. Arrange the pancakes on a
platter and set a scallop on each one. Add the chives to the caviar
butter sauce and spoon over the scallops. Serve right away.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Buttermilk Dressing

Well I had made the second (frozen) portion of the Stuffed Shells (12/7/11) It was still tasty even after a month frozen.  I did put it in the fridge last night. (it really should have been put in the fridge a couple of days ago) Since it wasn't totally thawed, I put the entire baking dish on an aluminum pan for 2 hours before baking.  I covered it with foil and baked it 350 for an hour. (this contradicts the original recipe's instructions)  Then I took off the foil and baked until the top was starting to brown.  I looked around for a use for some leftover buttermilk I had from the chicken and dumplings.  I found this recipe.  I didn't make the salad, I just made my usual lettuce, tomato, onion and cuke salad, but it was still pretty good.  I didn't think it was too tasty at first, but my husband suggested some honey and it was much improved.

Bibb-And-Radish Salad With Buttermilk Dressing

3    large heads of Bibb lettuce leaves torn
8    radishes,thinly sliced
1/3 c  snipped chives
2 T  mayonnaise
1/3 c  buttermilk
2 T  red wine vinegar
1/4 c  extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
[Note: Chef Jason Travi thinks of this as an everyday salad because
it's simple enough to accompany just about any main course. The
dressing can be made in large batches and kept in the refrigerator]
1. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the radishes and chives. In a
small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the buttermilk and vinegar.
Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Just
before serving, drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss well.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Spicy Seared Chipotle Shrimp With Zucchini & Chorizo

Another emailed recipe from Fine Cooking.  I LOVED it.  I was afraid it would be too spicy because I didn't (and really couldn't) seed the chipotle so  I only used about 3/4 of the called for adobo, but it was not really spicy at all. It had an amazing rich and complex flavor that was really surprising.  It smelled fabulous when cooking too. The actual time involved with the cooking process was small  (I want to say like 8 minutes), but the prep time with the chopping and slicing took at least 20.  So, if everything was cut ahead of time, (oh and I had frozen shrimp, so them thawed too), you are looking at a 10 minute meal.  Really great.  Its a real shame that my husband is working and not getting to eat this fresh. (reheated shrimp are never as good) The rice, which was not so great, was leftover rice warmed with some broth and I stirred some of the salsa verde we had left.  Not terrible but nothing compared to the entree!

Spicy Seared Chipotle Shrimp With Zucchini & Chorizo

1/2 c  low-salt chicken broth
1/2    small chipotle,seeded and minced, plus 2 Tbs. adobo sauce
1    Tbs. tomato paste
1 t  light brown sugar
1 lb shrimp (21 to 25 per lb.)peeled, deveined, rinsed, and patted dry
3/4 t  kosher salt,more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c  extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 lb chorizo,cut into 1/4-inch dice (scant 1 cup)
1    medium zucchini,cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)
1    small yellow onion,thinly sliced (1 cup)
1/2    small red bell pepper sliced into strips about 1/4 inch wide a
1/4 c  chopped fresh cilantro
2    Tbs. fresh lime juice,more as needed
In a measuring cup, whisk together the chicken broth, chipotle,
adobo sauce, tomato paste, and brown sugar.
Sprinkle the shrimp with a scant 1/4 tsp. salt and a few generous
grinds of black pepper. Put a 12-inch skillet (not nonstick) over
medium-high heat for 1-1/2 minutes. Add 2 Tbs. of the oil and once its
shimmering hot, add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook undisturbed
until the shrimp browns nicely, about 2 minutes. Flip and brown the
second side, about 1- 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. The
shrimp should still be a little undercooked.
Add the remaining 2 Tbs. oil and the chorizo to the pan and cook,
tossing, until it starts to brown, about 1 minute. Add the zucchini,
onion, and pepper, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt, and cook, tossing often,
until the zucchini browns in places and is just tender, about 4
Add the broth mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the
heat to medium low. Stir in the shrimp, about half of the cilantro, and
the lime juice. Cook, stirring often, until the zucchini is tender and
the shrimp are opaque throughout (cut one in half to check), 2 to 3
minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lime juice. Serve
immediately, sprinkled with the remaining cilantro.

Serving Suggestions
Serve with white rice that picks up the flavor of the sauce or a rich
Arroz Verde (Green Rice).

Friday, January 13, 2012

Lettuce Bundles

Originally this recipe came from a Martha Stewart magazine. The first time I made it was over a decade ago.  My lovely dinner guest raved about them.  I did diverge a bit from the recipe.  I added extra ginger, chili paste and garlic because I like extra spicy and it was well received by everyone.  Even those who haven't tried them before. With the exception of the peanut butter, it is actually a pretty healthy meal too.  I decided to finally make this now again since we recently found out that the blood test came back as a false positive for a peanut allergy for my daughter.  Yay peanuts are back in the house:)! It is a good dish to make when company is coming because most can be pre made.  Everything but the chicken was ready ahead of time. (and since the chicken need not be hot, I guess even the chicken could be cooked ahead a of time)  My chicken didn't cook fast enough so I marked the outside at 4 minutes a side then put the chicken in an oven proof pan with some stock and covered them and put them in a 300 degree oven for 15 more minutes.
Lettuce Bundles
2    Boneless Chicken or Duck Breasts
1/2 c  plus 3 TBSP Soy sauce
1    Lg Clove of Garlic
1 3/4    inch piece of ginger peeled and halved
2 1/4 t  chile paste
7 T  of Peanut butter
3 T  sugar
4 1/2 T  oil (peanut is called for but I have always used canola)
Juice of 1 lime
6 oz thin noodles (raman to angel hair)
1/2 c  chopped toasted peanuts
2 oz scallions or chives
1    thinly sliced cucumber
2    heads of Boston (or other-butter head)lettuce
1.Marinate meat in ½ cup soy sauce for a half hour in fridge. Heat
lightly oiled skilled over med/high heat until hot. Grill meat until
cooked through. (4-6 minutes a side for chicken usually) Let cool and
either slice into pieces or pull into shreds
2.In a food processor  pulse garlic and ginger until chopped add the
chile paste, peanut butter, 3 TBSP soy sauce, Sugar, oil (peanut if you
got it), lime juice, 4 ½ TBSP water (or stock) Blend
3.Cook Noodles as per instructions on package and rise under cold water
to chill. Dress the noodles with a little of the sauce.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Roast Chicken With Italian Salsa Verde & Caramelized Broccoli withGarlic

We have made this before, the salsa verde came out a bit different but tasty.  The real treat was the broccoli.  I thought it was delicious.  The boys complained that the floret part wasn't crunchy. (and it wasn't) but the stems were perfect.  I will be making it again soon!

Roast Chicken With Crispy Skin
4    Chicken Breast,Skin On Boneless
1 T  Olive Oil
Salt And Pepper
[Note: This base can be used to create a variety of pan sauces  ]
1.Preheat the oven to 400. Season the chicken breasts with salt and
black pepper. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the
chicken breasts, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat
until they are richly browned, about 3 minutes. Turn the chicken
breasts and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast for about 10
minutes, until just cooked through. Transfer the chicken to warmed

Italian Salsa Verde  from Bon Appétit
(First One I've Tried)
4    (3 1/2 x 3 1/2-inch) slices white-sandwich bread,crusts removed
2 T  white wine vinegar
4 c  (packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves (from about 2 large bunches)
1 1/2 c  extra-virgin olive oil
15    cornichons* (scant 1/2 cup)
5    anchovy fillets
1/4 c  drained capers
Fine sea salt
[Note: *Tiny, brine-packed French pickles; available at some
supermarkets and at specialty foods stores. This classic "green sauce"
(not related to the Mexican tomatillo salsa of the same      name) can
be used as a dip for crudités, grilled shrimp, or focaccia; or spooned
over grilled fish, chicken, or lamb.       ]
Place bread slices in medium bowl. Pour vinegar over and let stand
until bread softens, about 15 minutes.
Transfer bread mixture to processor; add next 5 ingredients and process
until almost smooth. Transfer salsa to medium bowl. Season with sea
salt and freshly ground black pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead.
Cover;      refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour; rewhisk
before using.

Caramelized Broccoli with Garlic
3 T  extra-virgin olive oil
2    heads of broccoli (1 1/4 pounds total),stems peeled and heads hal
1/2 c  water
3    garlic cloves,thinly sliced
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T  fresh lemon juice
[Note: Chef David Gingrass swears broccoli haters will love the
polarizing green vegetable when it's prepared this way, because it is
slowly caramelized to bring out its sweetness, then enlivened with a
squeeze of lemon and a pinch of crushed red pepper. ]
1. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add
the broccoli, cut side down, cover and cook over moderate heat until
richly browned on the bottom, about 8 minutes. Add the water, cover and
cook until the broccoli is just tender and the water has evaporated,
about 7 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil along with
the garlic and the crushed red pepper and cook uncovered until the
garlic is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Season the broccoli with salt
and black pepper, drizzle with the lemon juice and serve.

The First Breakfast Post

Well I have limited my recipes to dinners because breakfast and lunch would triple my work, and most breakfasts and lunches are pretty straight forward. (who needs a recipe for fried eggs or a sandwich) However, I am so happy with myself, I have got to share. :) I had a couple of everything bagels that my husband was going to put into the compost bin since the had become slightly less than as hard as a rock.  I said I had a plan for them.  They bagels were cut into small cubes and mixed with some beaten eggs (4 I think) and milk. ( a cup I want to say)  I then added a bit more of each just until it looked like enough liquid to really soak in the bread.  Add some cubes of cream cheese, sliced scallions and minced sun dried tomatoes, gently mix, and top with some slices of muenster cheese.  I covered it and let it soak overnight.  Next morning I baked it at 400 for a half an hour.  (this is all based on the ham and cheese strata recipe from 10/24/11) It was pretty good.  I didn't add any seasonings as I threw in all the toppings that had shaken loose in the bag and figured that would be enough.  It wasn't.  I would also have like more cream cheese.  Not a bad beginning point.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Black Beans and Rice

Well I  had presoaked some black beans in anticipation of tonight's dinner.  I had some Coke and ham drippings from the ham cooked in Coca-Cola (11/28/11).  I froze the cooking liquid in two batches for future use.  (Nigella Lawson the chef whose cook book I got the recipe from said it made the most fabulous black bean base)  It was pretty tasty.  Yes it was sweet, but not too sweet, and with the addition of some salt and some of the liquid from some pickled jalapenos it was just right.  I still prefer my original recipe for black beans, but its very good.  I deviated from the recipe in that I used dried black beans and the ham/coca-cola liquid rather than canned black beans; I omitted the chipotle and used some of the pickled jalapeno juice instead.  I also cooked it much longer and topped it with sliced scallions and cilantro.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Côte D'azur Cure-All Soup & Souffle Aux Blanc D'oeufs

I loved Julia's Garlic soup, and this is similar so thought I would try it. (also my boy has been begging for the garlic soup again)  It came in one of my many email recipes.  I got the souffle recipe from Julia's iconic cookbook.  I have been wanting to try it so I can have a use for saved and frozen egg whites.  (other than royal icing that is)  I thought making these together would be perfect as  each recipe requires either 6 egg whites and 6 egg yolks. So I embark on my 3rd souffle, but a new recipe that I haven't made.  I am not quite sure what happened with the "bechamel" part, but it was a solid chunk when I went to do the boiling part. So what solves everything?  MORE CREAM!  I added more until the whole solid mess was a semi liquid bubbling mess. Now I am waiting and praying and thinking, hey at least the soup will be OK right?  Well the soup was very good, but I think the first garlic soup was better.  The souffle was tasty but too rich and consistency wasn't right.  I cooked it longer than recommended but still very runny even though the eggs were set.  Also it was SO rich we are all feeling a bit ill but that is probably because we ate so much of it.   Next time, I will just have the soup or the souffle but not both.  I am looking foreword to perfecting the souffle:), but I will most likely not be making this version of the soup next time but the Julia version.

Côte D'azur Cure-All Soup
10    medium garlic cloves (about 1 large head),peeled
6    fresh sage leaves
2    bay leaves
2    large thyme sprigs
6 c  water,or 3 cups water and 3 cups chicken or veal stock
1 t  kosher salt,plus more as needed
6    large egg yolks
1 c  finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil,for serving
[Note: (with egg white souffle?)]
Halve each garlic clove and remove the germ in the center; discard the
germ. Thinly slice the garlic and place in a large saucepan.
Tie the sage, bay leaves, and thyme together with butchers twine, or
bundle them in a piece of cheesecloth tied closed with twine. Place the
herb bundle in the saucepan, along with the water (or water and broth)
and the measured salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat
to low, and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Discard the herb bundle,
keeping the broth at a simmer.
Place the yolks and cheese in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add a
few ladlefuls of soup to the cheese mixture and whisk until smooth.
While whisking the soup in the saucepan, gradually add the cheese-soup
mixture in a steady stream (the yolks will thicken the soup somewhat).
Remove the pot from the heat and whisk for 1 minute more (if you keep
it over the heat too long, the yolks may curdle). Taste the soup and
season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately, with a
drizzle of olive oil over each portion.

Souffle Aux Blanc D'oeufs
The whole souffle looked alright.
2 1/2 T  Butter
3 T  Flour
3/4 c  Light Cream,Simmering
1/2 t  Salt
1/8 t  Pepper
pn Nutmeg
6    Egg White
3/4 c  Swiss Cheese,Coarsely Grated
3/4 c  Swiss Cheese,Cut Into 1/4"Dice
[Note: ( with cote soup?)]
Pre heat over to 400
Butter a 6 cup souffle mold and sprinkle with grated cheese
Measure out your ingredients
Cook butter and flour slowly together in a sauce pan for 2 minutes
without coloring them
Off heat, beat in cream and seasonings
Boil, stirring for one minute and remove from heat
Beat egg whites with a big pinch of salt until stiff
Stir 1/4 of them into the souffle mixture
Stir in all but one tbsp of the grated cheese and then the diced cheese
Fold in the rest of the egg whites
Turn mixture in to prepared souffle mold and sprinkle with the
remaining cheese
Set mold in the middle of pre heated oven and immediately reduce heat
to 375
Bake 25 to 30 minutes until souffle has puffed and browned
Serve immediately

Monday, January 9, 2012

Fillets Of Sole Bercy

This is from the amazing book 'Sauces' by James Patterson.  The book is organized into a starting sauce with many variations on that sauce. This is one of  those starting sauces. The dish is super easy and quick.  The final broil is by no means necessary.  It adds more time than flavor IMO. I couldn't find fish bouillon, so I used some bottled clam juice instead.  It was fine. I think any broth would work in a pinch.  I used the rest of the clam juice in the rice I cooked with some water.  For a veggie, I had some zucchini. I have seen zucchini noodles or ribbons before, and I thought I would play with that.  It took a little time to shave the zucchini with a vegetable peeler, but with practice, I think I could become quite speedy.  I sauteed some onion and the ends of the zucchini that I couldn't use the peeler on in some butter and salt.  Then I just tossed the noodles in the butter off the heat and just warmed them but didn't cook the zucchini.  It was pretty tasty.

Fillets Of Sole Bercy

1    medium shallot chopped
1 T  fresh parsley chopped
4    Sole Fillets or any lean white fish (I use tilapia a lot)
1/4 c  white wine
1/4 c  Fish stock (there is fish bouillon which is the easiest)
 Cold Butter (unsalted)
1.Pre heat oven to 400F
2.Sprinkle the shallot and parsley over the bottom of a saut pan. Add
the fillets with the white, bone side up. (The fillets are supposed to
cover the entire pan but I have only used f fillets and it turns out ok)
Cover loosely with foil or parchment paper
3. Put pan over high heat until the liquids start to simmer then
immediately put the pan into the oven and cook until the fish is done 2
to 7 minutes.  (my fish takes longer) remove fish fillets from the pan
and keep warm
4.Reduce the liquid in the pan until slightly syrupy
5.Whisk in the cold butter
6.Brush the fish with the sauce and run under broiler to glaze
This is a base recipe there were 50 things to add to this to make it
different. A short list: mushrooms, tomatoes, carrot puree, Dijon

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Holy crap! I don't care for nachos or chili for that matter but my mind has been changed! My lovely friends invited me to watch a football game; while the game disappointed, the food didn't. While all was delicious ( as expected) the nachos blew me away. No, I don't have the recipe, and no I would never ask. I have enough recipes that are my forte, I love that they have a recipe I will dream about and never try to recreate. How to describe it? Meaty, cheesey, lettucy chip goodness:)  I don't usually put a post without a recipe, but I not only wanted to honor a delicious dish, but remind myself that never think the jury is out on a dish.  You may have had something hundreds of time and not care for it, but there very likely one version out there you will!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Black-Eyed Pea Vegan Burgers

I was looking for a use for the second of  my bogo fresh black eyed peas.  The first of which was cooked with escarole for new year's day.  My boy loves burgers, so I was hoping that this would be a dish he'd like. I was worried, despite his love of burgers because of the mushrooms in the burger. As I am serving it to him, he made several nice remarks about how everything I cook is delicious. Oh except the stuff with mushrooms he declares. Oh crud I think. Will he see the mushrooms? I chopped them rather than sliced them to disguise them. However he is a positive super sleuth when it comes to ferreting out his two forbidden 'veto' ingredients I allow him to opt out of. (they have changed, but right now they are mushrooms and cauliflower)  It seems my worries were for naught; he declared it a favorite. The burgers held together fairly well during the cooking but fell apart completely when eating.  It was a delicious mess. I didn't use the vegan rolls, I had some buns on hand, so I used them.  It was pretty quick too.
Black-Eyed Pea Vegan Burgers

3 T  vegetable oil
6    medium cremini mushrooms (about 4 ounces),cleaned, stemmed, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1    medium shallot,finely  chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1    medium garlic clove,minced
1    (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas,drained and rinsed
1    medium scallion,thinly sliced (white and light green part
2 T  finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems
1/2 t  tamari,plus more as needed
1/4 t  Tabasco Sauce,plus more as needed
4    toasted vegan ciabatta or burger rolls,for serving
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat
until shimmering. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and
cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add
the shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant and softened, about 2
minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a small bowl and wipe the pan
clean with paper towels; set aside.
Place the peas in a large bowl and mash with the back of a spoon or a
potato masher, leaving a few of the peas intact. Add the mushroom
mixture, scallion, cilantro, tamari, and Tabasco and mix until combined.
Taste and season with more salt, pepper, tamari, and Tabasco as needed.
Using your hands, form the mixture into 4 (3-inch-wide) patties (about
1/3 cup each).
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the reserved frying pan over
medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the patties and fry until the
outsides are browned, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. Serve on toasted
ciabatta or burger rolls with your favorite toppings

Friday, January 6, 2012

Grilled Loaf

This recipe is an OLD one I haven't made in a very long time.  It came out one of those (I now think horrible) little cookbooks you find in the grocery checkout line. Despite it's origins, this is a tasty and quick meal.  The original fillings lost in time, but this is ours:)
Grilled Loaf

1    loaf of fresh bread not cut
1/4 c  of pesto sauce (or more if you like)
1/2 lb Sliced deli turkey
1/4 lb Salami
1/2 lb Provolone Cheese
1    Onions,Caramelized
1/4 c  Roasted Red Pepper,Sliced And Patted Dry

1.Slice top off of the bread
2.Hollow out the loaf leaving a ½" wall
3.layer the fillings starting with the meat, then cheese, then sauce,
then veggies. Repeat ending with cheese

Wrap in foil and bake in a 250 oven for about an hour
Can also be thrown on a grill and cooked that way over indirect heat
for about 30 minutes
Cooking time will vary based on size and shape of bread.  Even a cool
center wouldn't be dangerous to eat, but you want warm melted cheese
You can vary all the ingredients as long as you make sure that the
veggies and other 'wet' ingredients aren't going to release a lot of
liquid (ie precooking them) and not having only meat and cheese (ie
include pesto, mustard etc...)
I have made these with Ruben ingredients,  Cuban ingredients, roast beef
and horseradish, and many others.
[Note:  I like Cuban and Ruben fillings the best ]

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mignons De Porc à L’ail

Tonight's dinner is one that I have been wanting  to try for so many reasons.  First of all, 2 whole eads of garlic?!  (yes I halved the recipe)  I was drooling at this point.  Secondly, I haven't tried any Anthony Bourdain recipes yet, and because he says it is one of the most popular at Les Halles.  I was multitasking too much while making it and am positive I ruined it beyond anything edible, yet here I sit unable to breathe as if it was thanksgiving dinner.  I made mashed potatoes (use a ricer please! it makes the best mashed potatoes!) and sauteed escarole to go with it.  I can't wait to make it again,  I didn't think the picture looked too pretty but hey it's in the tasting right? Oh and I didnt' have a demi glace, I reduced a bit of the fancy chicken stock (not broth) to replace it.  I know it wasn't the same but not too terrible:)

Mignons De Porc à L’ail
4    heads of garlic confit
4    pork tenderloins,about 10 -ounces (280 g) each
2 sl of bacon
1 T  (14 ml) olive oil
3 T  (42 g) butter
Salt and pepper
2    shallots,thinly sliced
1/4 c  (56 ml) white wine
1/2 c  (110 ml) strong,dark chicken or veal stock
1    sprig of flat parsley finely chopped
[Note: This is one of the most popular dishes at Les Halles. Yet
another dish that would really benefit from a stash of good demi-glace.
Use the fork to mash half of the garlic cloves. Reserve the remaining
cloves separately in the small bowl. Lay two of the tenderloins down
across the cutting board. Lay some plastic wrap across them and give
them a light pounding with the heel of your hand. You're looking to
flatten the tenderloins ever so slightly on the fatter end. Remove and
discard the plastic wrap.
Top the tenderloins with the mashed garlic, spreading the paste like
substance evenly along the length of the tenderloins. Lay the bacon
slices across the garlic the long way. Now lay the other two
tenderloins on top of the first two, the fatter ends pointing in the
opposite direction from the ones on the bottom, so that they nestle
together in a yin-yang sort of a way, creating a fairly even-shaped
tube. Using kitchen string, tie each double tenderloin together tightly
and evenly at several points along the tube (that way it can be sliced
into medallions without cutting the string). Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Remove the tenderloins from the
refrigerator. In the saute pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add 1
tablespoon (14 g) of the butter. When the butter stops foaming, season
the pork, then add it to the pan, working in batches so as not to
overcrowd the pan. Cook the pork over high heat for about 6 to 8
minutes per side, after which the meat should be nicely browned. Place
the meat in the roasting pan and finish cooking in the oven for about
20 minutes. When cooked through, but still moist in the center, remove
from the oven and allow to rest on the plate.
If you're in a hurry, you can slice the pork into medallions when raw,
then individually sear each medallion. That way you wont need to use
the oven.
Discard the fat from the saute pan and add 1 tablespoon (14 g) of the
butter. Heat over medium-high heat, then add the shallots. Cook for 2
minutes, or until the shallots are soft. Stir in the wine with the
wooden spoon, scraping the bottom to dislodge the good stuff. Cook over
high heat until the wine is reduced to a glaze consistency, then stir
in the stock. Cook over high heat until its reduced by half. (At this
point you should, if you can, whisk in a spoon of that good demi-glace
from your stash.) Add any drippings from the plate that's holding your
cooked pork. Whisk the remaining tablespoon (14 g) of butter into the
sauce, as well as the remaining cloves of garlic confit and the parsley.
A little splash of raw wine at this point is nice, too.
Slice the pork into 1½-inch (4-cm) medallions, arrange them around the
platter, and spoon over the sauce. This dish is very good with mashed
potatoes, in which case, you might want to arrange the medallions on
and around the potatoes, with the garlic confit-studded sauce also
poured over and around. Delicious.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Roasted Pork Tenderloin With Raisin-Ginger Pan Sauce

Well I wanted to try a pork tenderloin recipe from Anthony Bourdain, but pork tenderloins come in two packs.  I wasn't going to cook both for dinner for just the four of us, so a quick search of food and wine and I found this.  I was a little leery, ground ginger and raisins.  Neither are some of my favorite things.  Top that off with the use of apple juice.  I know there are pork chop and applesauce lovers out there, but I am not one of them.  I am getting over my reluctance to try anything that mixes sweet and savory but I still am not a fan.  Well I prepped the Bourdain recipe for tomorrow and trimmed the tenderloin for tonight's dish.  (I'm proud of myself; this is another (one of many) issue of mine.   It was good.  We all liked it better than we thought we would.  The ginger was unmistakable, but not overpowering. It suggested steamed greens with it, but my boys wouldn't be too happy with greens in general so I opted for creamed spinach.  After a quick scan of the ingredients, I saw I had them and didn't look too closely until after I started cooking it.  I had assumed that the amount of spinach was a bag's worth (9oz).  WRONG, it was 48 ounces.  Well I was already simmering the cup and a half of cream for the 48 ounces.  Now, I love cream, I think I could drink it, but 5x's too much for the spinach was going to be soup. (hey soup that might have worked?) So I poured about 3/4 of the cream/onion mixture into another pot and reheated some rice in it.  Then I added the spinach to the remaining cream and cooked both rice and spinach over medium high heat until each pot had lost  the excess liquid.  A good dinner, but nothing we want to open a restaurant over;D

Roasted Pork Tenderloin With Raisin-Ginger Pan Sauce

1    one and 1/4-pound pork tenderloin
2 t  vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 c  naturally sweetened apple juice
1/2 c  low-sodium chicken broth
1 T  low-sodium soy sauce
3 T  golden raisins
1/2 t  ground ginger
1/4 t  cornstarch dissolved in 1 teaspoon of water
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Coat the pork with the oil; season with
salt and pepper. In a large, nonstick ovenproof skillet, cook the pork
over moderately high heat until browned all over, 3 minutes per side.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for about 18 minutes,
turning twice, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the
thickest part of the meat registers 140.
2. Transfer the pork to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.
Add the apple juice, broth, soy sauce, raisins and ginger to the same
skillet and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid has reduced by half,
4 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook, stirring, until
thick enough to coat a spoon, about 30 seconds; remove from the heat.
3. Carve the pork and arrange on plates. Stir any carving juices into
the pan sauce. Spoon the sauce over the pork and serve.

Creamed Spinach
1/2 c  finely chopped onion
1 1/2 c  heavy cream
48    ounces baby spinach,washed
Cayenne pepper
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the onion and cream.
Let simmer until the cream is thickened and reduced by half and the
onion is soft, about 10 minutes.
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add about a quarter
of the spinach. Cook in the dry pot, stirring occasionally, until
wilted. Add more spinach to the pot and repeat until all of the spinach
is wilted.
Drain off all the excess liquid released by the spinach and return the
pot to the stove. Add the reduced cream mixture and stir to combine
with the spinach. Season well with salt and cayenne pepper. Serve.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Spaghetti With Tomatoes, Black Olives, Garlic, And Feta Cheese

Well tonight's dinner, while tasty, was a bit of a misstep in two ways.  First of all, the tomatoes are raw, (didn't notice that) and my husband doesn't like to eat tomatoes raw.  Secondly, it is really a summer dish and tonight was one of the coldest of the year. It wasn't a cold dish, but not really hot one either.  Still, it was thoroughly enjoyed by all but my husband, who ate leftover chicken and dumplings and was a very happy camper.  I will make this again, but I will, next time, throw in a pinch of red pepper flakes in with the oil and garlic.  No salt was needed, I left it out along with the pepper.  Oops, but  I think I would like the red pepper better:)  I also wanted to use up the Stilton from the other night, and viola, a quick search of the web and we have bread sticks with our pasta.
Spaghetti With Tomatoes, Black Olives, Garlic, And Feta Cheese
4 Servings

1 1/2 lb tomatoes (about 3),seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 c  Kalamata or other black olives,pitted
1/4 lb feta cheese,crumbled
3 T  drained capers
3 T  chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 t  salt
1/4 t  fresh-ground black pepper
3/4 lb spaghetti
6 T  olive oil
3 ea garlic,minced
1. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the tomatoes,
olives, feta, capers, parsley, salt, and pepper.
2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until
just done, about 12 minutes. Drain.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium frying pan, heat the olive oil over
moderately low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the cooked pasta and the garlic oil to the tomato mixture and toss.
Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Black Olives, Garlic, and Mozzarella Use 3/4
pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch pieces, in place of
the feta.
Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Olives, Garlic, Feta, and Fresh Herbs Use 1/4
cup chopped fresh basil or 3 tablespoons mixed chopped fresh herbs,
such as tarragon and chives, in place of the parsley

 Stilton Twists 48 Pieces

1 pk puff pastry sheet
4 oz Stilton Blue Cheese,grated
1. Thaw puff pastry sheet per package instructions. Unfold on a
cutting board and dust with paprika. Turn over and sprinkle with grated
2. Place second sheet on top and roll lightly with a rolling pin. Dust
with paprika.
3. Cut sheet in half and the separate halves into 3/8" strips and give
each three twists.
4. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper; place
twists pressing ends firmly to anchor. Cook at 425 degrees F or 225
degrees C for six to nine minutes.
Makes 48 twists