Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pizza Vesuvio With The Works

No one was excited about these toppings but me.  I think I made some converts;).  One issue, the artichoke hearts.  I didn't squeeze them dry, and the layers of the artichoke hearts held some water.  I had to blot dry spots of the pizza.  Despite the excess of water, a really tasty combination of flavors.  We did NOT try to make it half calzone as stated in the recipe.  It was a geometrical conundrum that we said, fudge it and make it as a pizza only. I guess if we were making personal pizzas the part calzone would have made sense.  It was good with out it.

Pizza Vesuvio With The Works

1/2 c  frozen artichoke hearts thawed, sliced
 Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 lb pizza dough,thawed if frozen
 All-purpose flour,for dusting
1/2 c  fresh ricotta (4 ounces)
3/4 lb fresh mozzarella,cut into 1-inch cubes
2    ounces thinly sliced baked ham,cut into 1-inch  strips
2    ounces salami,cut into 1-inch strips
1/2 t  dried oregano
1/4 c  plus 2 tablespoons marinara sauce
2    large cremini mushrooms sliced 1/4 inch thick
4    pitted olives,sliced 1/4 inch thick
1. Set a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 500. Let
the stone heat for 30 minutes. In a bowl, lightly drizzle the artichoke
hearts with oil. Season with salt and pepper.
2. On a floured work surface, roll or stretch the pizza dough out to a
12-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Roll the edge on half of the pizza
1/16 inch thick. Generously flour a pizza peel. Transfer the dough to
the peel and lightly brush with oil. Top the thinner side of the dough
with half of the artichokes, mozzarella, ricotta, ham and salami, 3
inches from the edge. Sprinkle with half of the oregano and drizzle
with 2 tablespoons of the marinara. Lift the 3-inch edge of dough over
the filling and press to seal in the center of the round.
3. Spread the remaining 1/4 cup of marinara over the dough, leaving a
1/2-inch border. Arrange the remaining artichoke hearts, mozzarella,
ham and salami over the marinara. Spoon small dollops of ricotta over
the toppings, then scatter the mushrooms and olives on top. Sprinkle
with the remaining oregano.
4. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone and bake for 8 to 10 minutes,
until crisp and bubbling. Cut into wedges and serve.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Scallops with Savory Polenta

Another battle in the war of the over stocked pantry/freezer.  I had plenty of extra scallops from the progressive dinner, veggies I had accumulated with the intentions of loading our meals with them or only used part of them for a recipe, and cornmeal.  I thawed the scallops and you MUST pat them dry.  Really dry!  Heat some butter and oil in a skillet over fairly high heat. Put the scallops in the pan and let them cook about 2 minutes a side.  I then removed the scallops,put a good splash of veggie broth and scraped the pan clean, added a bit more butter and threw in sliced bell pepper and some broccoli florets that had been boiled about 30 seconds.  These veggies were sauteed until they were crisp but tender.  Add a splash more of broth if they need to steam a bit.  Remove the veggies and boil down any liquid left in the pan.  Throw in a large pat of butter into the syrupy liquid and remove from heat and let the butter just melt.  It had a lovely caramelized broccoli flavor and we drizzled it over the scallops and polenta. We used the polenta right away.  If you want it to be soft and almost grits like in consistency, you MUST use it right out of the oven. It begins to set up right away, but it is also good in a cake



Savory Polenta
2 T  olive oil,plus extra for grilling or sauteing if not serving immediately
3/4 c  finely chopped red onion
2 ea garlic,finely minced
1 qt chicken stock or broth
1 c  coarse ground cornmeal
3 T  unsalted butter
1 1/2 t  kosher salt
1/4 t  freshly ground black pepper
 2    ounces Parmesan,grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large, oven-safe saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add
the red onion and salt and sweat until the onions begin to turn
translucent, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add
the garlic, and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic does
not burn.
Turn the heat up to high, add the chicken stock, bring to a boil.
Gradually add the cornmeal while continually whisking. Once you have
added all of the cornmeal, cover the pot and place it in the oven. Cook
for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every
10 minutes to prevent lumps. Once the mixture is creamy, remove from
the oven and add the butter, salt, and pepper. Once they are
incorporated, gradually add the Parmesan.
Serve as is, or pour the polenta into 9 by 13-inch cake pan lined with
parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely.
Once set, turn the polenta out onto a cutting board and cut into
squares,     rounds, or triangles. Brush each side with olive oil and
saute in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, or grill.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Quick Tomato Macaroni And Cheese

I am undecided about this recipe.  It is a pretty fast way to make something from scratch.  I did bake it ahead of time, and reheated it.  I don't know if this compromised the quality any.  I made it even though we didn't eat it for dinner because the tomatoes needed to be used or they would go bad.  We had house guests and I didn't want to make them guinea pigs.  We had two family favorites, fish tacos and bahn mi, which pleased my husband to no end:) I think will keep the recipe but play with it.

Quick Tomato Macaroni And Cheese

12    oz macaroni
7 oz bread,preferably stale, for making breadcrumbs
1 3/4 lb super ripe tomatoes
1 ea of garlic,peeled
2    large handfuls of fresh basil
2 oz sun-dried tomatoes,chopped
2    anchovies
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3    handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pt single cream (half and half)
 1 T  red wine vinegar
1/2    a nutmeg,grated
14    oz cow’s milk mozzarella broken up
A handful of fresh thyme leaves picked (1/4 c)
Extra virgin olive oil
[Note: Yield : Serves 4  I think this is the best macaroni and
cheese recipe ever! This is a dish I make for the whole family, one
that we all love to eat. I  ]
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Get a pan of salted boiling water
going and cook your macaroni according to the packet instructions.
Meanwhile, break your bread up, place it in the food processor and
whizz up to form breadcrumbs. Set aside. Wash your tomatoes and place
them in the food processor with the garlic, basil, sun-dried tomatoes,
anchovies and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Whizz up for 30 seconds.
Then add 2 handfuls of the Parmesan, the cream (half and half), vinegar
and grated nutmeg. Whizz until smooth and season carefully to taste so
its really yummy!
By this time your macaroni will probably be cooked, so drain it in a
colander, saving some of the cooking water. Place the pasta back into
the pan and pour over every last bit of the cheesy sauce. You want it
to be quite loose because youll be surprised how quickly the sauce will
disappear inside the macaroni and will look dry. So add a few spoonfuls
of the reserved cooking water. Now you need to get yourself a baking
dish about 810 cm/3 or 4-inches deep  this could be an earthenware dish
or even a shallow ovenproof pan. Pour the pasta straight into your
baking dish and break the mozzarella into little pieces over the top.
Mix the last handful of Parmesan with the thyme leaves and breadcrumbs
and sprinkle evenly over the top of the dish. Drizzle generously with
good extra virgin olive oil  this will give you a lovely crunchy
topping.
Place in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until piping hot and
golden on top. Serve straight away, sprinkled with a little extra
Parmesan. Best eaten with a nice salad  and youll love it.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Al Forno Inspired Pizza

We all enjoyed this pizza.  The boy had 4 slices! 4!  OMG  Needless to say, he pronounced it a favorite.  My husband was leery of the pizza, but when he saw it come out of the oven he declared that the thought it looked great.  I was worried that it is supposed to be grilled at first and finished on a pizza stone. I loved it too, but I think next time, if I don't start it on a grill, I would put a drop or two of liquid smoke in with the olive oil (or maybe knead it in to the dough) just to try and replicate the smoky flavor you get on a grill.  I think that really would have added to the overall taste.  Even without it, it was a very tasty pizza and I am a little pissed that the boy ate so much of it because I want to have leftovers of it.  There are only 2 slices and I kinda feel like I should save them for him but I also kinda want to just have them myself;)
I also didn't make the dough, I got mine from the Publix bakery.
Al Forno Inspired Pizza


1/2    recipe Basic Pizza Dough   recipe follows
2 T  olive oil
4    ounces shredded mozzarella
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1    green onion,sliced
1 T  minced garlic
2 T  chiffonade fresh basil
Preheat a grill to medium-high. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and,
if you have one, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven.

Place the rolled out pizza dough onto the preheated grill. Brush oil on
the surface of the pizza dough. Add shredded mozzarella and salt and
pepper, to taste. Once the mozzarella begins to melt, add green onion,
garlic and basil. When the crust begins to puff up, transfer to the
pizza stone in the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until pizza crust is
cooked through.

Slice into 6 to 8 slices, and serve immediately.
Basic pizza dough:
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
Pinch of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating bowl
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more, if necessary
Cornmeal, as necessary for dusting pizza peel

In a large bowl combine yeast with water and sugar and stir well to
combine. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, olive
oil,   and half of the flour and mix well to thoroughly combine. Add
all remaining flour except 1/2 cup and mix well with your hands,
working to incorporate the flour little by little. The dough should be
slightly sticky to the touch. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work
surface and knead dough for at least 5 and up to 7 minutes, adding
enough additional flour, as necessary, to form a smooth and elastic
dough that is not sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled 2 or 3
quart bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let
rise in a warm place until doubled in size, usually at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and if you have one, place a pizza stone
on the bottom rack of the oven.

Divide dough into 2 portions for 2 (12 to 14-inch) pizzas) and form
into balls. (See note below for calzones.) Place on a lightly oiled
baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then
transfer to a lightly floured surface, shape as desired and roll out to
a 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer dough to a pizza peel (sprinkle with
cornmeal to help facilate moving dough) and top with toppings of choice.
Transfer to the preheated pizza stone and bake until crispy and golden
brown, usually 12 to 18 minutes (depending on the toppings and the
thickness of the crust). Remove from the oven with a metal peel or
spatula and serve immediately.

Yield: 2 (12 or 14-inch) pizzas or 4 calzones, serving 4 to 6

Note: For calzones, divide the dough into 4 equal portions and form
into 4 balls. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a
damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured
surface and roll out into 4 (8-inch) circles. Place filling of choice
in the center of 1 side of each circle, then fold dough over filling to
meet edges of filled side. Crimp edges with a fork or your fingers,
then cut a small slit in the top of the calzone to allow steam to
escape while cooking. Cook on a preheated pizza stone in a preheated
475 degree F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until well-browned.
Remove from the oven with a peel or spatula and serve immediately.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Red Curry Shrimp

I am fighting the urge to go to the grocery.  I have plenty in the house, but not everything I need for recipes I want to try.  I am determined to use up what I have before I start new recipes.  I do have two recipe ingredients, but I need to use up leftovers too. So, I made a red curry shrimp.  There was a small portion of frozen shrimp I "cleaned up."  I had some random veggies that I could use up and I had half a can of coconut milk in the freezer.  I also had some plain orzo pasta that I used in place of rice.
Basically I put the coconut milk with some vegetable broth and heavy whipping cream (to make up for the part of the can of coconut milk I had used) with some red curry paste. (about a 1 1/2 tsp)  I simmered that for about 5 minutes.  I then threw in (all diced): 2 stalks of celery, 1/2 bell pepper, a hand full of baby carrots, a hand full of onion, and the stalk of a broccoli floret (peeled). I also put a about a tablespoon of fish sauce and brown sugar.  I cooked the veggies over medium heat for about 8 minutes; I then added the peeled and deveined shrimp.  I cooked it until the shrimp were just done.  It was not bad for a "clean out the fridge" dish.  It was no red curry from a Thai restaurant, but not bad.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Buttery Crab Bread Pudding

Pretty? Yes.  Labor intensive? Yes. Fattening? Yes. Delicious? Maybe.  I am pretty annoyed that I popped for the expensive crab from the seafood department from Publix, ($26) and the crab tasted weird.  I did get it in a container as opposed to the legs in the case, but I didn't want to have to crack crabs as part of making the dinner and I figured this would taste better than the canned stuff.  I think the canned would have been better.  I think this combination of butter, eggs and crab would have been a stellar meal, but the crab here really killed it. I think I will put this in to the fixable file, but I don't know when I will make it again. Maybe one day?


Buttery Crab Bread Pudding

10    ounces lump crabmeat,picked over
1 T  finely chopped parsley
1 T  finely chopped chives
2 t  fresh lemon juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1    unsalted butter,softened, plus more for greasing the dish
1    24-inch day-old baguette—ends trimmed,bread cut into 3/4-inch  slices
4    large eggs
1 c  milk
1 c  half-and-half
[Note: .  Concentrated white Burgundy.  Our Pairing Suggestion   ]
1. Preheat the oven to 350 and butter a 9-by-13-inch ceramic baking
dish.  In a medium bowl, toss the crabmeat with the parsley, chives,
lemon juice and cayenne. Season with salt and black pepper.
2. Butter each baguette slice and stand up the slices in the prepared
baking dish. Using a spoon, tuck the crab mixture evenly between the
slices of bread.
3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, half-and-half, 1 teaspoon
of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Pour the custard evenly over
the bread and let stand for 10 minutes.
4. Bake the bread pudding for 30 minutes, until the top is lightly
browned and the custard is set. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Frita Cubana – The Original Cuban Hamburger

Well it wasn't the best burger ever, but it was pretty good.  Because the amount of effort put into a dish often negates some of its tastiness, this dish may have lost some points for the shoestring potatoes.  The potatoes were a bit of an ordeal. (next time Steak n Shake or the crispy ones you can buy in the grocery!)  The first batch of the potatoes were like nest.  My husband managed to keep them pretty much separated on the next batch. However they all cook at different times and had to be taken out one at a time. Long story short, while they came out tasty, the potatoes took 3 times as long as the burger.  I liked the texture of the burger that processing it gave it; my husband not so much.  The real winner of the dish was the "not so secret" sauce. Its basically a homemade ketchup with some Latin flavors.  LOVED it.


Frita Cubana – The Original Cuban Hamburger
Burgers
1 lb ground beef
3/4 lb ground pork
4 ea garlic,mashed and finely minced
1/3 c  onion,grated
2 T  ketchup
3/4 t  ground cumin
1 1/2 t  sweet Spanish paprika
Salt & pepper cooked patties to taste
6    -8 American-style hamburger or steak buns
Topping
6    -8 cups freshly fried shoestring  potatoes
raw onion,sliced(optional)
Glenn's Not-So-Secret Sauce (MANDATORY see recipe below)
Enjoy this authentic Cuban recipe for the ultimate Cuban hamburger
Use a food processor with a chopping blade to grind together the meats,
the minced garlic, and the onion. Blend in the ketchup, cumin, and
paprika.
Remove the meat mixture from the food processor and form by hand into
round thin patties. Cook on a flat griddle or in a frying pan.
Fritas should be cooked to medium well done, but don't overcook - they
should still be nice and juicy. When the frita is just about cooked
through, reduce heat to medium low, squirt on some secret sauce, and
let the patties cook just a minute longer.
While the fritas are frying, use a deep fat fryer or frying pan with a
couple inches of vegetable oil to fry the shoestring potatoes. Drain on
paper towels and lightly salt. Keep warm.
Serve each frita on a traditional American hamburger bun.
IMPORTANT:
Splash plenty of "Glenn's Not-So-Secret Sauce" on the bun and the patty.
The sauce is an ESSENTIAL ingredient in this recipe!
Place the patty on the bun, cover with some sliced onion (if you like),
and pile high with fresh, hot, shoe-string style fried potatoes - yes,
inside the bun, ON TOP of the meat! Splash a little extra secret sauce
on the fries, you'll be glad you did!
Serve with additional fries on the plate.

Glenn's Not-So-Secret Frita Sauce

INGREDIENTS:
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Mix all of the ingredients together in a two-quart saucepan.
Bring to a boil stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15
minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool. Use generously in the Frita Cubana
recipe above.

Monday, February 20, 2012

North African Fish Stew

I was excited to be able to bust out my ras el hanout.  I happen to have liked this dish better than my family. My husband thought it too sweet.  I don't think that it was sweet so much as the cinnamon made you think of sweet.  I pureed the veggies for my husband, and halved the fish because there were only three of us eating the dinner and I didn't want the fish to go to waste.  The recipe says it's for six, but it was really more for 8.  The couscous alone could have fed 6.  I am not deleting the recipe but most likely wont make it except for an occasion that it might fit. (like a belly dance evening) I may even delete it.

North African Fish Stew

1/4 c  extra-virgin olive oil
2    medium red onions,thinly sliced
2 T  golden raisins
1/4 c  salted roasted cashews
1    red bell pepper,thinly sliced
1    yellow bell pepper,thinly sliced
4    medium tomatoes—peeled seeded and sliced crosswise 1 inch thick
1 T  ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend)
1 1/2 c  vegetable stock
1 1/2 lb catfish or tilapia fillets cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 c  couscous
1/2 t  cinnamon
1/2 t  ground cumin
1 T  unsalted butter
2    scallions,thinly sliced
[Note:       Cat Cora ]
1. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add half of
the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until browned, 8
minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Add the raisins and
cashews to the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to the plate.
2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet along with
the remaining onion and both peppers. Cook until softened, about 7
minutes. Add the tomatoes, ras el hanout and stock, cover and cook over
low heat for 10 minutes. Season the fish with salt and pepper and add
to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat until the fish is cooked,
5 minutes.
3. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Put the couscous in a heatproof
bowl and toss with the cinnamon and cumin. Pour the boiling water over
the couscous, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in the butter
and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the couscous into bowls and top
with the fish stew. Garnish with the onion, raisins, cashews and
scallions.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Shrimp-And-Chorizo Pizza With Escarole And Manchego

Another new pizza tonight.  I did not try the dough recipe.  I have recently been inspired to try baking breads, so maybe next time.  However, getting dough from the deli or a local pizzeria is a HUGE time saver.  So dough aside, everything else was the same save the escarole.  There were only very small heads available, so I used the whole head but it was most likely the same as a half of a normal size head. I happened to love the escarole, chorizo and manchego combo, but found the shrimp superfluous.  They didn't detract from the pizza, but I didn't notice them adding either.  The boy, who has proclaimed that he loved escarole in the past said he didn't like it tonight.  I'm not buying it;).

Shrimp-And-Chorizo Pizza With Escarole And Manchego

Dough
1/2 t  honey
1/2 c  warm water
1 1/4 t  active dry yeast
1 1/2 c  bread flour
1 1/2 t  extra-virgin olive oil,plus more for brushing
1/2 t  kosher salt
Toppings
2 T  extra-virgin olive oil,plus more for brushing
1    large garlic clove,minced
1/2    head escarole,cut into 1-inch pieces (4 cups)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6    ounces Manchego cheese shredded (2 cups)
1/2 lb medium shrimp—shelled deveined and halved lengthwise
1 1/2    ounces firm chorizo,thinly sliced
1. MAKE THE DOUGH In a large bowl, dissolve the honey in 2
tablespoons of the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let stand
until foamy, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons of water, then stir in the bread
flour, the 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil and the salt until a lumpy mass
forms. On a floured work surface, knead the pizza dough until smooth.
Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand
in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 500 and set a pizza stone on the bottom of the
oven to heat for at least 30 minutes. On a floured work surface, divide
the dough in half and roll each half into a ball. Flatten each ball
into a 6-inch disk and transfer to a large, floured baking sheet. Cover
with plastic wrap and let stand until puffed, about 15 minutes.
4. MEANWHILE, PREPARE THE TOPPINGS In a large skillet, heat the olive
oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until golden, about 1
minute. Add the escarole and cook, tossing, until wilted, about 2
minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5. On a floured work surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to an 11-inch
round. Transfer to a floured pizza peel. Lightly brush the edge of the
dough with olive oil. Scatter half of the Manchego over the dough,
leaving a 1/2-inch border at the edge, then top with half of the shrimp,
chorizo and escarole. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone and bake for
5 minutes, or until the crust is browned on the bottom, the shrimp is
cooked through and the other toppings are sizzling. Cut the pizza into
wedges and serve immediately. Repeat with the remaining dough and
toppings.
Make Ahead The pizza dough can be prepared through Step 2 and
refrigerated overnight. Let the dough return to room temperature before
proceeding.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Progressive Dinner

Well I have to start by saying, I live in the best neighborhood.  My cul-de-sac of 6 houses is full of great people with awesome cooking skills.  We get together now and then for parties; we all like to cook and entertain.  Last night we had the first of (what I forsee) many progressive dinners.  A progressive dinner is where each course takes place at a different house.  There was a suggestion of a French theme which was taken and ran with.  Unfortunately two of our neighbors were unavailable for the feast, but lucky for us because we got to enjoy the culinary talents of a friend of the cul-de-sac. (see her recipes at http://www.saturdaynightsuppers.com/)  We had a wonderful evening.  My recipe is one that was already on the blog (1/16/12) if you are interested.  The others I don't have the recipe for, so this will just be pictures of our feast.  I tried to have two pictures of each, but some pictures came out too blurry.

My course was the appetizers: Scallops with Potato Pancakes and Caviar Sauce.  I served it with a prosecco.



Next we went to Angel's house were we had a wonderful cheese course consisting of a goat cheese rolled in herbs, enotki (spelling?), cheddar and a brie baked in pastry with caramelized onions.  To accompany the cheeses we had a perfect bread baked by Elaine, crackers, olives, strawberries, grapes and dried cranberries.  She served a French Chardonnay by Fat Bastard with it.




After there, we went to Christine's house for a salad.  It was wonderful combination of spinach, prosciutto and cantaloupe in a vinaigrette. She served it with a Sauvignon Blanc.



Then we went back to Angel's house for our main course provided by Elaine.  It was a delicious cassoulet. She served it with a French red I don't remember the name of but enjoyed very much with another of her amazing breads.  This one was with rosemary.




And to end our feast, we went to Gwynne's for dessert. It was a chocolate bavarois, a chocolate mouse type desert with fresh raspberries and two kinds of pastries from a local French Bakery. (La Gourmandise) The pastries were apricot and black forest.  She served these with a rose sparkling wine and a pinot noir.



It was a great night friends, thank you for all you did to make it special. I can't wait to do it again.  I leave you with Gwynne's napkins that perfectly reflect the correct attitude!








Thursday, February 16, 2012

Peanut-Crusted Tilapia With Frizzled Ginger And Scallions

Well this one is going in to the fixable file.  The peanut crusted fish was quite good and the rice vinegar was really nice with it.  We enjoyed the ginger and scallion topping, but not enough to make it worth the massive labor involved in making the matchsticks. It was tasty, and it does need a sauce or vegetable garnish, but fine matchsticks are a pain in the butt and take a lot of time. We want to play with it but most likely will not make it in this form again. I think next time cashews;) We served it with an Asian inspired vegetable and noodle soup.

Peanut-Crusted Tilapia With Frizzled Ginger And Scallions

1/3 c  vegetable oil
3    medium scallions,cut lengthwise into fine matchsticks
1    2x1-1/4-inch knob of fresh ginger,peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
Kosher salt
2    Tbs. all-purpose flour
1    large egg
1/2 c  salted peanuts,finely chopped
2    skinless tilapia fillets (about 4 ounces each)
4 t  seasoned rice vinegar,or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
In a 10- to 12-inch, heavy, nonstick skillet, heat the oil over
medium- high heat until hot. Add the scallions and ginger and cook,
stirring occasionally, until theyre just golden, with some green still
visible on the scallions, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the skillet from the
heat, and with a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to paper towels
to drain (leave the oil in the skillet). Toss the ginger and scallions
lightly with salt.
Line up three wide shallow dishes. Put the flour in the first; beat the
egg in the second; put the peanuts in the third. Season the tilapia
fillets with salt. Dredge one fillet in the flour, shaking off the
excess. Dip the fillet in the egg, then coat it with peanuts. Set the
fillet on a plate and repeat with the second fillet.
Reheat the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tilapia
fillets and cook until golden on each side and the flesh is opaque and
cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes on each side (reduce the heat if they
brown too fast). Put the tilapia on dinner plates, sprinkle with the
rice vinegar and pepper to taste, top with the frizzled vegetables, and
serve immediately.
Variations
Alternative coatings: Instead of peanuts, try coating the fish with
cashews or sesame seeds. Or just season the fillets with salt and
pepper and sear them with no coating at all.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Creamy Coconut Chicken

Tonight's dish is one of every one's favorites.  (like lick your plate good) It is super easy and quick too. The one thing I think is essential is to use fresh lime juice.  I think the bought juice doesn't taste right.  I also went a little lighter on the adobo but I thawed some chicken and wasn't sure how much it weighed and I think it was a little less than a pound. This is a must make dish. I loved the rice I made but the boy didn't.  It was just rice with some leftover roasted poblano and golden raisins made with some chicken bullion.

Creamy Coconut Chicken
1 lb boneless chicken cutlets
1 t  adobo seasoning
1/8 t  pepper
2 T  unsalted butter
2 t  minced garlic
1/2 t  ground cumin
1/2 c  pre-sliced green onions
2 T  lime  juice,Half A Lime
3/4 c  coconut milk
1/2 t  Kosher Salt
1. Preheat large saut pan on medium-high 2-3 minutes. Season both
sides of chicken with adobo and pepper (wash hands).
2. Place butter in pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken (wash hands); cook 2-
3 minutes on each side or until browned and internal temperature
reaches 165F. Use a meat thermometer to accurately ensure doneness.
Remove chicken from pan.
3. Place garlic, cumin, and green onions in same pan; cook 1 minute.
Add lime  juice into pan; stir in coconut milk and salt. Cook 1-2
minutes or until sauce begins to boil.
4. Return chicken to pan; turning to coat. Serve sauce over chicken.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chicken With Lemon, Oregano, And Feta Cheese

My issues with chicken keeps me from raving about the dish, but despite its 'fowl' nature, I did like it. (groan;)  I loved the melty feta and the liberal dose of oregano.  The boys loved it; they are unabashed carnivores that happily gnawed on bones while I asked for some to be cut off for me. It is going into the repertoire.  It was pretty easy.  The hardest part, the cutting up of the chicken, is never done by me and therefore I did very little to get this dish done. I always find that the chicken takes a bit longer than the recipe states; I cooked it for about 10 minutes longer. We had it with buttered orzo and a tomato, cucumber and watercress salad.

Chicken With Lemon, Oregano, And Feta Cheese

1    chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds) quartered
1 T  olive oil
1 1/2 t  dried oregano
1 T  lemon juice
1/4 t  salt
1/8 t  fresh-ground black pepper
1 T  butter,cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2    ounces feta cheese,crumbled (about 1/3 cup)
[Note: Chicken with Lemon, Oregano, and Feta Cheese Pairing
Suggestion This Greek-flavored dish will go nicely with a number of
rustic, spicy red wines. Try finding a bottle from the  Greek island of
Paros or Santorini. Another alternative would be a Syrah-based wine
such as a Crozes-Hermitage from the northern Rhône Valley in France.
]
Heat the oven to 375. Coat the chicken with the oil; arrange the pieces,
skin-side up, in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle the chicken with the
oregano, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Top each piece of chicken with
a piece of the butter.
Cook the chicken until the breasts are just done, about 30 minutes.
Remove the breasts and continue to cook the legs until done, about 5
minutes longer. Remove the roasting pan from the oven; return the
breasts to the pan. Top the chicken pieces with the feta cheese. Press
any cheese that rolls off into the pan back onto the chicken. Baste the
chicken with the pan juices.
Heat the broiler. Broil the chicken until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Serve with the pan juices.

Serve With
Balance the tanginess of lemon and feta with a mild side dish such as
orzo tossed with a little olive oil or sauted zucchini.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Shrimp-Stuffed Triple-Baked Potatoes

I found this dish a bit too rich, but the boys loved it.  It was simple to make, but had a lot of inactive time.  Its a pretty economical dish too.  There were just a few shrimp, potatoes are practically free;), and the creme fraiche was $6 but it can be made at home.  I haven't yet because I don't know if I can eat cream that hasn't been refrigerated for like 12 hours.  (I know I am eating it when someone else does it but it makes sense in my mind)  I'm keeping the recipe, but I would make it a smaller part of my meal next time.

Shrimp-Stuffed Triple-Baked Potatoes
6    medium white potatoes (about 5 ounces each),scrubbed
1 c  crème fraîche
2    garlic cloves,minced
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
3 1/2 T  unsalted butter,softened
2/3 c  heavy cream,warmed
12    medium shrimp—shelled deveined and halved lengthwise
[Note: Shrimp-Stuffed Triple-Baked Potatoes  Pairing Suggestion An
intense, concentrated Chardonnay from Napa Valley that is flamboyant
enough to stand up to the crème fraîche  topping of these potatoes.   ]
Preheat the oven to 400. Prick the potatoes a few times with a fork and
bake on a rack in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until tender.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, blend the crme frache with the garlic;
season with salt and white pepper and let stand for at least 15 minutes.
Increase the oven temperature to 450. When the roasted potatoes are
cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh
into a medium bowl, leaving a thin wall around the skins. Reserve 8 of
the potato skin halves; set aside the rest for another use or discard.
Mash the flesh well with a potato masher, then gently mash in 2 1/2
tablespoons of the butter and the warm cream and season with salt and
white pepper.
Rub the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter all over the outsides of the 8
reserved potato skins and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the
potato skins, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Bake in the upper third
of the oven for about 3 minutes, or until the skins are lightly crisp.
Spoon the filling into the potato skins and continue baking for about
10 minutes, or until heated through and glazed on top.
In a medium saucepan, heat the crme frache. Add the shrimp and cook
over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until pink and starting to
curl, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a
plate. Increase the heat to moderately high and simmer the crme frache
until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Return the shrimp to the sauce.
Set 2 baked potato halves on each plate. Spoon the shrimp and crme
frache sauce over the stuffed potatoes and serve immediately.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Red Curry Peanut Noodles

This was in the folder of my son's favorites.  It was made a long time ago and quite frankly neither my husband nor myself remembered it, so how good could it be? It was pretty good.  Not a rave review but good, fairly healthy and quick.  It could have easily been made vegetarian by switching the stock for vegetable broth.  I think it needed a good dose of lime juice, soy sauce and hot sauce, but that made it quite good.  It is not a hot dish which wasn't the best idea on a cold night,but hey we have heat:)

Red Curry Peanut Noodles

3/4 lb whole-wheat spaghetti
1/2 c  smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 T  fresh lime juice
1 T  red curry paste
1/3 c  chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/4 c  plus 2 tablespoons packed cilantro leaves
Kosher salt
1 c  mung bean sprouts (2 1/2 ounces)
2    scallions,white and green parts quartered and thin
1    carrot,coarsely grated
1/3 c  salted,roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Lime wedges,for serving
1.In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until
it is al dente. Drain the spaghetti and rinse under cold water until
cool. Drain very well.
2.Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the peanut butter with the
lime juice, red curry paste, stock and 1/4 cup of the cilantro leaves
and puree. Season the sauce with salt.
3.In a large bowl, toss the spaghetti with the peanut sauce, bean
sprouts, scallions and carrot until well coated. Season with salt.
Transfer to bowls and sprinkle with the remaining cilantro leaves and
the peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Green-Chile Bacon Burgers With Goat Cheese

Another yummy burger by Bobby Flay.I did mess up the bacon a bit.  It was too thin and burnt in many spots, but the non burnt parts were good. I also made the burgers a little smaller than indicated.  (too much meat for me) I also did not cook them on a grill to medium rare.  I want to make this again and NOT screw up the bacon.  Mmmmmm...

Green-Chile Bacon Burgers With Goat Cheese

8    thick-cut slices of bacon (about 1/2 pound)
1/2 c  mango chutney,preferably Major Grey brand
1    poblano chile
Vegetable oil,for brushing
4    hamburger buns,split
1    large tomato,cut into 4 thick slices
1 1/2 lb ground beef chuck
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3    ounces fresh goat cheese cut into 4 slices
Watercress sprigs or lettuce,for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 375. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with
parchment paper. Arrange the bacon slices on the paper and brush both
sides liberally with the chutney, leaving any chunks in the jar. Bake
the bacon for about 30 minutes, turning once, until caramelized.
Transfer the glazed bacon to a rack and let cool.
2. Meanwhile, light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Rub the chile with
oil and grill until charred all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a
bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 10 minutes. Peel the
poblano and coarsely chop it.
3. Brush the cut sides of the buns with oil and grill until toasted,
about 30 seconds. Brush the tomato slices with oil and grill just until
lightly charred, about 1 minute. Place the grilled tomato slices on the
bottom half of the buns.
4. Form the beef into four 1-inch-thick patties and brush with oil.
Season with salt and pepper and grill over high heat, turning once,
until nearly medium-rare, about 6 minutes. Top with the goat cheese and
chopped poblano, close the grill and cook until the cheese is
completely melted and the burgers are medium-rare, about 1 minute. Set
the burgers on the buns, top with the glazed bacon and watercress
sprigs and serve right away.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Slow Cooker Glazed Pork Ribs With White Beans

Us girls are going out tonight, so I thought I would have something easy and that I don't usually care for that the boys like.  So ribs came to mind.  I didn't eat this but the husband pronounced it pitchy:/.  I did make one deviation, I used tomato sauce rather than diced.  Its because my husband isn't a fan of tomato chunks. He also said it was too vinegary. He said it wasn't bad but I don't plan on making it again.  The boy loved it.

Slow Cooker Glazed Pork Ribs With White Beans

1 c  dried Great Northern beans (8 ounces)
2 c  low-sodium chicken broth
1    15-ounce can diced tomatoes drained
1/4 c  dry white wine
3    garlic cloves,smashed
One 6-inch rosemary sprig plus 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
2 T  tomato paste
2    racks baby back ribs (about
4 pounds),cut into 3-rib sections
2 T  balsamic vinegar
1 T  honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1.In a slow cooker, combine the beans with the broth, tomatoes, wine,
garlic, rosemary sprig and 1 tablespoon of the tomato paste. Nestle
the ribs into the beans, cover and cook on low until the ribs are
tender, about 3 hours. Transfer the ribs to a rimmed baking sheet and
cover with foil. Continue to cook the beans on low for 3 hours longer,
until tender.  Discard the rosemary sprig and skim off as much fat as
possible.
2.Shortly before serving, preheat the broiler. In a small bowl, mix the
remaining 1 tablespoon of tomato paste with the balsamic vinegar and
honey. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and set them on a baking
sheet, meaty side up. Brush with the balsamic glaze and broil the ribs
about 3 inches from the heat for about 3 minutes, rotating if necessary,
until browned and heated through. Cut into individual ribs.
3.Stir the chopped rosemary into the beans and season with salt and
pepper. Spoon the beans into shallow bowls, top with the glazed ribs
and serve.

Make Ahead
The ribs and beans can be refrigerated separately for up to 2 days.
Bring both to room temperature, then rewarm the beans and glaze the
ribs just before serving. .

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Korean Beef Stir-Fry

I knew that this won't compare to the Korean Pork BBQ recipe that I got from my friend, but was eager to try it none the less.  It was not an OMG recipe, but it had several things going for it.  One it is a fairly light dish. (it is from eating well, click on post title to go there site) It is also a fairly quick dish.  The thing that took the most time was slicing the steak thinly. (the freezing helped expedite it)  I know that the butcher at Publix would do this for me; that would shave a lot of time off the recipe.  The other thing that could slow someone down it chopping the veggies, but if you have one of those 'slap chop' type things, it will be really fast. I did make one change; I didn't use as many mung beans as called for.  I doubled the recipe so it would have required EIGHT cups of bean sprouts.  It looked like I had 3 cups, but the package said it was only 2.  I think that was plenty. I made a half a box of linguine for it and mixed it in with the beef. Just make sure your noodles are really dry as the sauce was a bit liquid already.
Korean Beef Stir-Fry

3 T  mirin (see Note)
2 T  reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 t  cornstarch
1 T  canola oil
8    ounces flank steak,trimmed of fat and very thinly sliced ag
1 T  chopped garlic
2 t  chopped jalapeno pepper,or to taste
1 1/2 t  chopped fresh ginger
4 c  mung bean sprouts
1    6-ounce bag baby spinach
1/4 c  chopped fresh cilantro
1 t  toasted sesame oil
2 T  toasted sesame seeds (see Tip),optional
Combine mirin, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spread
steak out in the pan and cook until seared on one side, about 1 minute.
Add garlic, jalapeno and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant,
about 30 seconds. Add bean sprouts and spinach (the pan will be very
full). Pour the mirin mixture into the pan and stir gently until the
sauce thickens and the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in
cilantro and sesame oil. Serve topped with sesame seeds (if using).
Note: Mirin is a low-alcohol rice wine essential to Japanese cooking.
Look for it in the Asian or gourmet-ingredients section of your
supermarket. An equal portion of sherry or white wine with a pinch of
sugar may be substituted for mirin. Tips: If you have a little extra
time before dinner, put the steak in the freezer for about 20 minutes
to help make it easier to slice thinly. To toast sesame seeds, heat a
small dry skillet over low heat. Add sesame seeds and stir constantly
until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl
and let cool.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chickpeas In Spicy Tomato Gravy

This is a dish from Food & Wine that didn't wow us.  I think the flavors were ok. (really spicy!) However there was something missing.  I swear, based on the picture of it on line that the recipe really calls for crushed tomatoes.  The gravy was more of a soup too.  I will file it under fixable, but probably won't work on it.  I enjoyed it more as I ate it but still eh. :/

Chickpeas In Spicy Tomato Gravy

8    garlic cloves,chopped
2    jalapeños,chopped
1 two-inch piece of fresh ginger,peeled and chopped
1/4 c  vegetable oil
3    onions,cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 T  ground cumin
1 T  ground coriander
3/4 t  cayenne pepper
1 1/2 c  canned diced tomatoes
2 fifteen-ounce cans chickpeas drained and rinsed
2 c  water
Salt
2 T  cilantro leaves
1. In a mini food processor, combine the garlic, jalapeos and ginger
and process to a paste. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add
the onions and cook over moderately high heat until sizzling, about 3
minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally,
until the onions are browned, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic paste and
cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the cumin,
coriander and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the
tomatoes and simmer over moderate heat until thickened, about 6 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and water and simmer until the chickpeas are
flavored with the gravy, about 8 minutes. Season the chickpeas with
salt, garnish with the cilantro and serve.
Serve With Yogurt and naan.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Well I decided to make a dinner for me.  Mushrooms!  I love them, husband indifferent, son loathes and is allowed to veto them. (But not tonight!)  My MIL asked about this recipe that she had with her sister who got it at Whole Foods. Quick search on line found this one; she made it and said it was delicious.  I agree.  Everyone said they loved it too; although I am doubting that my son loved it as he gagged a few times lol! It is quick and easy.  I think it could be made ahead up to the point where you would add the sour cream.  It says don't boil and serve immediately, so I think upon reheating, it will break. It could easily be made vegetarian with a different stock.  I love the better than bouillon mushroom base which sounds idea for this recipe.

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

4 T  unsalted butter
2 c  chopped onions
1 lb fresh mushrooms,sliced
2 t  dried dill weed
1 T  paprika
1 T  soy sauce
2 c  chicken broth
1 c  milk
3 T  all-purpose flour
1 t  salt
ground black pepper to taste
 2 t  lemon juice
1/4 c  chopped fresh parsley
1/2 c  sour cream
1 Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onions
in the
butter for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 more minutes.
Stir in
the dill, paprika, soy sauce and broth. Reduce heat to low, cover, and
simmer for 15 minutes.
2 In a separate small bowl, whisk the milk and flour together. Pour
this
into the soup and stir well to blend. Cover and simmer for 15 more
minutes,
stirring occasionally.
3 Finally, stir in the salt, ground black pepper, lemon juice, parsley
and
sour cream. Mix together and allow to heat through over low heat, about
3 to
5 minutes. Do not boil. Serve immediately

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Baked Meatballs

It is super bowl Sunday, and we are going to a friend's house.  We alternate who's house we go to.  Our hostess had the brilliant idea to have a pasta bar, and as her husband is a vegetarian, I am going to do a meat that can be added to the pasta dishes.  My husband did not like that I wanted to do a dish we hadn't made before; I said that we can blame the blog;).  He decided he liked this new dimension to the blog, blame for bad new recipes.  I'm not too worried. It is an Alton Brown Recipe and at worst it will to just ok. I have wanted to try this recipe for a while as I am a fan of meatballs.  I did find one that I thought was pretty great (9/1/11), but I still am looking for the OMG recipe. This one was a good one.  I like the cooking technique, but I thought the meatballs were a tad dense.  That is most likely my fault and I am going to try them again.  The star, among many gems, was the hostess' Gorgonzola sauce.  I liked it much better than the one I had made the ni8ght before.  A ladle of that sauce made the meatballs taste 100x's better than they did alone:) I need that recipe!

Baked Meatballs

1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground lamb
1/2 lb ground round
5    ounces frozen spinach thawed and drained thoroughly
1/2 c  finely grated Parmesan
1    whole egg
1 1/2 t  dried basil
1 1/2 t  dried parsley
1 t  garlic powder
1 t  kosher salt
1/2 t  red pepper flakes
1/2 c  bread crumbs,divided
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, lamb, ground round, spinach,
cheese, egg, basil, parsley, garlic powder, salt, red pepper flakes,
and 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs. Using your hands, mix all ingredients
until well incorporated. Use immediately or place in refrigerator for
up to 24 hours.
Place the remaining 1/4 cup of bread crumbs into a small bowl. Using a
scale, weigh meatballs into 1.5-ounce portions and place on a sheet pan.
Using your hands, shape the meatballs into rounds, roll in the bread
crumbs and place the meatballs in individual, miniature muffin tin cups.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Penne with Spinach, Gorgonzola and Walnuts

This was a quick and easy dish to make.  It was pretty tasty too.  I may have been a little light on the Gorgonzola, (I had a scant 1/2 cup in fridge)  but it was nice that the cheese didn't overwhelm the dish. It is a personal thing, but I would chop the spinach next time.  I knew we would prefer it chopped but didn't for fear that it might go through my colander.  The one with the big holes was clean, the other was dirty and I do like to make the recipe exactly as written the first time through.  This is one we will keep and make again.  I think I would like more spinach just for more veggies and remove the need for a salad.  I forgot to reserve pasta water (Arrrrghhh!) so I used a couple of teaspoons of beef broth that was in the fridge to help loosen the sauce up.  Bottom line: FAST!, EASY and tasty.
Penne With Spinach, Gorgonzola, And Walnuts

Kosher salt
8 oz fresh baby spinach leaves (10 lightly packed cups)
1/4 c  coarsely chopped walnuts
12 oz dried penne (3-1/2 cups)
3/4 c  heavy cream
2    -1/2 oz. crumbled Gorgonzola (1/2 cup)
Freshly ground black pepper
3    Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
[Note: Chopped nuts are unusual in pasta, but they pair brilliantly
with the earthy Gorgonzola in this creamy fall dish. Toasting the nuts
deepens their  flavor, so don ]
Tip: To wilt the spinach perfectly, put it in a colander and drain the
pasta over it.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350F.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Put
the spinach in a colander in the sink.
Toast the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven until dark
golden- brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
Cook the penne according to package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup
of the cooking water and drain the pasta in the colander over the
spinach.
Put the cream, Gorgonzola, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and a pinch of salt in a 12-
inch nonstick skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook,
stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce
the heat to medium, add the pasta and spinach, and 2 Tbs. each of the
walnuts and chives. Cook, stirring constantly, until some of the sauce
is absorbed by the pasta, about 2 minutes. If necessary, add some of
the cooking water to moisten the pasta. Season to taste with salt and
pepper.  Transfer to serving bowls, sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tbs.
walnuts and 1 Tbs. chives, and serve.
Serving Suggestions
Serve with a simple green salad dressed with homemade Balsamic
Vinaigrette.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Grilled Turkey And Cheddar Sandwiches With Mango Chutney

Having the ingredients for last night's dish still not completely used up, and my husband having later hours tonight, I thought this panini would be a good solution. It uses the ingredients and it is quick to make late when he gets home.  It was very tasty, not as good as last night's dinner, but a very fast, tasty, and somewhat different dinner.  I think  the use of naan as panini bread is a fabulous idea, and I am now in love with Major Grey's Mango Chutney.  Paninis are a great way  to have a fast hot meal that can be varied almost infinitely.

Grilled Turkey And Cheddar Sandwiches With Mango Chutney
2 c  grated sharp Cheddar
1/4 c  finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 c  Major Grey’s mango chutney
4    naan breads
12 oz sliced turkey breast
1    Tbs. unsalted butter,melted
1/8 t  ground cumin
[Note: Indian flavors meet panini sandwiches with delicious results.
Naan is slightly puffy Indian-style flatbread. Other substantial
flatbreads may be  substituted, but avoid super-thin tortillas and
lavash, which won ]
Tip: If you dont have a panini or sandwich press, you can use a
nonstick grill pan or skillet. Put a heavy pan on top of the sandwiches
as they cook to press them, and flip once.
Heat a panini or sandwich press according to the manufacturers
instructions. (Alternatively, heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-
high heat.)
While the press is heating, combine the cheese and cilantro in a small
bowl and stir until well blended. Spread the chutney on one half of
each of the naan breads. Top with the turkey. Spoon the cheese mixture
over the turkey. Fold the naan in half to cover the sandwich filling.
Combine the melted butter and cumin; brush on both sides of the
sandwiches.
Put the sandwiches on the press, pull the top down, and cook until
browned and crisp, 3 to 6 minutes, depending on how hot your machine is.
(If using a grill pan, put a heavy pan on top of the sandwiches and
cook,  turning the sandwiches over once.) Carefully remove from the
press and serve.
Serving Suggestions
For a salad with complementary flavors, try Spinach Salad with Apple,
Dried Apricots & Pappadam.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Best Ever Chicken Balti

This was so AMAZINGLY tasty.  I can't recommend enough trying this dish.  I plan on making and freezing the sauce just to have it on hand.  I can see it working with all kinds of proteins.  I know Indian food can be daunting, but this one is not only easy, but doesn't require lots of hard to find ingredients.  We ate it with naan and broccoli.  I can't stop thinking about it! I plan on giving some of the jars of sauce as a gift.

Best Ever Chicken Balti
 4 Servings

4    -6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 t  chili powder
1 1/2 t  garam masala
1 t  minced garlic
3 T  tomato puree (I used a very plain jarred tomato sauce I had in the fridge)
2 T  Greek yogurt (10% milk fat!  Heck ya!)
2 T  chopped fresh coriander (that is cilantro to us in the US!)
2 T  mango chutney (I used major grey's mild)
1 t  salt
1/2 t  sugar
4 T  oil
2    green chilies,chopped (I used one jalepeno and one poblano with seeds and ribs removed)
2 T  single cream (I used heavy whipping cream:)
1Blend together the tomato puree, yogurt, garam masala, chili
powder, garlic, mango chutney, salt and sugar.
2Heat oil and add tomato mixture-cook for approx 2 minutes-stirring
occasionally.
3Add chopped chicken and a little cold water,and continue to cook until
chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally
.4Add chilies, coriander and cream, stir in well and cook for a few
minutes more. If the sauce is a little thick just add water to achieve
your preferred consistency
.5Serve with boiled rice and/or naan bread.
6N.B-This freezes well-sometimes I just make the sauce up and freeze
little tubs of it.
Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/best-ever-chicken-balti-277765#ixzz1klf9Z1DZ

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pot Stickers & Veggie Fried Rice

We love pot stickers.  They are not diet, easy, fast or healthy, so they are an occasional meal.  I choose this to use up our left over ground pork, veggies and Asian meatballs.  It was tasty and enjoyed by all, but I cooked from 4:30 until 7:00. Whew!  The reviews made it all worth while:)

Pot Stickers
3/4 pound of ground pork
1 teaspoon of umami powder (see 12/31/11)
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 package of won ton wrappers
1 cup Beef broth (more or less as needed)
Canola oil

Mix well all the ingredients except the wrappers in a bowl and let sit 30 minutes. Get a small bowl of water and a plate.  Place one wrapper on the  plate, put one teaspoon of the filling in the center of the wrapper, dip you two index fingers in the water and lightly wet the edges of the wrapper.  Fold the wrapper in half to make a triangle. Press the two sides of the wrapper together, carefully make sure to get all of the air out, and crimp.  Place the tightly sealed pot sticker on a baking sheet and cover with a lightly damp tea towel. Repeat until the filling is all used up.  (this took 3/4 of the package of the won ton wrappers. You can save the others for another use)
Heat a not nonstick pan over medium heat. Put just enough oil in the pan to give it the barest film.  Add the pot stickers to the pan, as many as can fit without crowding.  Cook 2 minutes.  Add 1/3 cup of the broth and cover.  Cook 3 more minutes.  Shaking the pan to loosen the dumplings.  Remove the lid and cook until the liquid is almost evaporated.  Test one of the pot stickers to insure that they are cooked through. If they are done, remove from the pan and continue with the remaining ones following the same procedure.  If for some reason they are not cooked through, add a bit more broth and cover and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.  They should be done now.  With the next batch, just add to the cooking time when covered.

Fried Rice
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 zucchini, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, grated
2 wood ear mushrooms, dehydrated and cut into thin slices
1 small can of water chestnuts
1 egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups cooked rice
(I also diced 2 leftover Asian meatballs and threw them in with the water chestnuts)

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add one tablespoon of the oil.  Cook the onion until almost soft.  Adds the carrots and cook until almost soft.  Add the ginger and the zucchini and cook 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook 1 minute.  Make a hole in the center of the skillet to make room to cook the egg.  Add the other tablespoon of the oil to the empty spot in the middle of the pan.  Crack an egg in to the  oil and scramble with a spatula,  Add the rice and stir.  Add the water chestnuts and soy and stir. Keep warm until time to serve.