Monday, April 30, 2012

"Outback" Honey Mustard Dressing

In  response to pleas from my family to have a recipe more than once, and to try and continue having new recipes daily for the blog, I have come up with a compromise.  I repeated a main dish, Pasta With Spicy Almond Pesto (http://ormonddinners.blogspot.com/2012/03/pasta-with-spicy-almond-pesto.html) but I made a different salad dressing. This is one of my favorite honey mustard dressings.  I got it from my MIL years ago which she got from one of those "copy cat" recipe books.  I don't know how close it is to the resturant's actual recipe, but I do know at least 10 years ago, they were using Grey Poupon in it.  They may not now.  I made 1/4 of the following recipe and there was plenty for 2 family size salads. I didn't bother with the electric mixer but if you make all 8 servings, it might make your life easier.



"Outback"  Honey Mustard Dressing
8 Servings

1 c  Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
1 c  Honey
2 t  Vegetable oil
1 t  lemon juice
Whisk ( in electric mixer if you have it) until the ingredients have
blended together well.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Vietnamese-Style Beef With Garlic, Black Pepper, And Lime

I enjoyed this $9.00 dinner very much.  You will have to stock your pantry with soy and fish sauce, but I use them in so many recipes, it is worth the addition to your pantry.  I bought sirloin cut in to thin steaks and I cut them in to slices.  I think it might be better with buying the whole steak and then cutting slightly thicker slices. (it would also be less expensive to have the meat not pre cut for you)  I made rice for everyone, but (not included in the cost because it was just for me) I splurged on a $3 head of hydroponic butter lettuce to wrap the beef in. (I only used about 1/6 of the head so, add $0.50 to my dinner)   I LOVED it. The meat was a tad chewy, but I attribute that to the fact that it was so thin.  Still not so tough that it was unpleasant.  My son didn't care for the peanuts in the meat, but I really liked the flavor and crunch.  A keeper and possible favorite!

Vietnamese-Style Beef With Garlic, Black Pepper, And Lime

2    Tbs. soy sauce
2    Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 1/2    Tbs. light brown sugar
1    Tbs. fish sauce
5 ea garlic,minced
3    Tbs. peanut or canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lb beef tri-tip steak or tenderloin,cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1    medium yellow onion,sliced into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
3    Tbs. chopped salted peanuts preferably toasted
2    Scallions,both green and white parts, thinly slice
[Note: Steamed jasmine rice is a good accompaniment to this sweet-
savory dish, but you can also serve it with lettuce leaves for wrapping
or on a bed of watercress.Serves 4   ]
In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, and fish
sauce; stir until the sugar dissolves. In another small bowl, stir the
garlic, 1-1/2 tsp. of the oil, and 1-1/2 tsp. pepper.
Season the beef with salt and pepper. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet,
heat 1-1/2 tsp.of the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering hot.
Swirl to coat the skillet. Add half of the beef in a single layer and
cook, without stirring, until well browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs,
turn the pieces over and brown on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more.
Transfer to a medium bowl. Add 1-1/2 tsp. oil to the skillet and repeat
with the remaining beef, adding it to the bowl with the first batch
when done.
Put the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. oil in the skillet and heat until
shimmering hot. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it
begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic mixture and cook,
stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return the beef
and any accumulated juices to the pan and stir to combine. Add the soy
sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the beef and onions
are coated and the sauce thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve
sprinkled with the peanuts and scallions.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Winter Squash Gnocchi With Brown Butter And Sage

Much like the souffle, gnocchi has a reputation for being easy to mess up.  This was my first gnocchi and I was a little nervous.  The dish does take a while, mostly because there is an hour of baking before you even begin to make the dough.  Also annoying,  I discovered as I was making it, it was a big sticky mess, and I was kind of hoping it would be the colossal failure I was worried it could be because it was so laborious and messy.  No such luck.  It was unbelievable!!!  The light fluffy pillows of pasta in a nutty, herby sauce.  They didn't look like much but they were yummy!  Another thing I liked about this recipe is that the recipe made enough to freeze half of the gnocchi for a future use.  After I ate some, I realized I could have made the entire recipe and we would probably would have eaten it all.  We may have felt ill after but it just might have been worth it.  If you make the entire recipe and eat it for dinner the recipe cost $7.67.  Add a salad and you have a very filling dinner for about $10.  We only ate half so that brings the cost down to $3.84 plus salad.  If you grow your own herbs, you can shave a bit off that cost.  Oh I forgot the parm; lets call it $8.00/$4.00.  I consider that part of a stocked pantry, but if you don't...  So I'm happy even thought I had a pretty big mess and a long cook time because I have as much as I had tonight for a future use.

Winter Squash Gnocchi With Brown Butter And Sage

1    head of garlic,top third cut off
Extra-virgin olive oil,for rubbing
1 lb baking potatoes
1    Two pound butternut squash—peeled,seeded and cut into 2-inch
2    large egg yolks,at room temperature
1/4 c  fresh ricotta cheese
2 T  minced flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt
1 1/4 c  all-purpose flour,plus more for dusting
1    unsalted butter
10    sage leaves,thinly sliced
1 T  fresh thyme,finely chopped
Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings,for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 375. Place racks in the lower and middle
thirds of the oven. Drizzle the garlic with olive oil, wrap it tightly
in foil and roast on the bottom rack of the oven for 50 minutes.
Lightly rub the potatoes with olive oil, prick them all over with a
fork and bake on the lower rack for 45 minutes, until fork-tender. Line
a large baking sheet with foil. Add the squash and rub with olive oil.
Bake on the upper rack for about 30 minutes, stirring once, until soft.
2. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins into a small
bowl and mash to a paste. Peel the hot potatoes and pass them through a
ricer into a large bowl. Add the hot squash to the ricer and pass it
into the bowl with the potatoes. Let cool slightly. Add the egg yolks,
ricotta, parsley, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of the mashed
roasted garlic (reserve any extra for another use). Stir until combined.
Sprinkle on the 1 1/4 cups of flour and gently stir it in. Scrape the
dough onto a floured surface and knead gently until smooth but still
slightly sticky.
3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dust with flour. Cut the
gnocchi dough into 5 pieces and roll each piece into a 3/4-inch-thick
rope. Cut the ropes into 1/2-inch pieces and transfer the gnocchi to
the baking sheet.
4. Lightly oil another baking sheet. In a large, deep skillet of
simmering salted water, cook half of the gnocchi until they rise to the
surface, then simmer them for 1 to 2 minutes longer, until cooked
through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the baking
sheet.    Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.
5. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat and
cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the sage and thyme and
cook for 20 seconds. Add the gnocchi and cook for 1 minute, tossing
gently. Season with salt and serve, passing the cheese shavings at the
table.
Make Ahead The gnocchi can be prepared through Step 3 and frozen on the
baking sheet, then transferred to a resealable plastic bag and frozen
for up to 1 month. Boil without defrosting

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lemon Barley “risotto” With Shrimp, Bacon & Spinach


I figure this dish cost about $14 dollars.  That is a little higher than I figure my cost is because I had several ingredients that I needed to use.  I did use slightly less than a pound of shrimp.  I think our society eats too much meat and I always go a bit light on the amount of meat called for in any recipe. I also try to go heavier on the vegetables.  For instance in this dish I doubled the spinach. This is one that my husband really liked.  The shrimp don't look too pretty because of cooking in the bacon fat, but they taste great.
Lemon Barley “risotto” With Shrimp, Bacon & Spinach
6 sl bacon
1 lb large shrimp(21-25 count) peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c  chopped shallots or onions
1 1/3 cups quick-cooking barley
1    Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 cups homemade or low-salt chicken broth
1/4 lb (4 cups loosely packed) baby spinach,washed and spun dry
1/3 c  freshly grated Pecorino Romano
3 t  finely grated lemon zest
Cook the bacon in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until
browned and crisp. Remove from the skillet, drain on paper towels, and
crumble into small pieces.
Increase the heat to medium high. Sprinkle the shrimp with 1/4 tsp.
salt and a few grinds pepper. Working in two batches to avoid crowding,
cook the shrimp in the bacon fat until lightly browned and opaque, 1-
1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the shrimp to a plate.
Add the shallots or onions to the skillet and cook until they start to
soften, about 1 minute. Add the barley and stir until coated with the
bacon fat, about 30 seconds. Add the lemon juice and cook, stirring,
for 15 seconds. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil, scraping
up any browned bits in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover,
and simmer until the barley is tender, 12 minutes. Uncover the pan,
raise the heat to medium high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until
most of the liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the spinach
and cook until wilted, 1 minute. Stir in the bacon, shrimp, Pecorino,
and lemon zest and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with
salt and pepper and serve immediatly

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Five-Spice-Glazed Salmon With Sesame Green Beans

I liked this dish.  There are a few things I would have done differently.  The salmon was a bit overcooked but the green beans were perfect.  Next time, I would start the green beans 2-3 minutes earlier than the fish; say at the point where you toss the beans in the middle of the cooking, I would then add the fish.  I thought the glaze/marinade was great and loved the method of it. I didn't need a starch, but at least the boy did, so I made some rice and added the rest of of the spicy Korean dipping sauce to it.  It was pretty good. Cost of the meal $4.50 per person and I bought expensive wild salmon and french green beans.  I was a little light on the salmon, but 2 packages would have been way more than I needed.  Farmed salmon and regular green beans would have made this about half price per person.

Five-Spice-Glazed Salmon With Sesame Green Beans
1/4 c  honey
4 t  reduced-sodium soy sauce
1-1/2 tsp. five-spice powder
2    large cloves garlic,minced
4 Six-oz. skin-on salmon fillets (preferably wild),pin bones and scales removed
Nonstick cooking spray
1 lb slender green beans,trimmed
2 t  canola oil
1 t  Asian sesame oil
 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
 2    Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
1 t  lemon juice
In a small bowl, whisk the honey, soy sauce, five-spice powder, and
garlic. Put the salmon skin side down on a large plate and pour the
honey mixture over it. Flip the fillets so they are skin side up. Let
the fish marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, toss the green beans with the canola and sesame oils.
Arrange the beans on one half of the prepared baking sheet and season
with salt and pepper. Arrange the salmon skin side down on the other
half of the baking sheet. Brush the salmon with any remaining marinade
from the plate.
Broil the salmon and green beans for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from
the oven, toss the green beans with tongs, and reposition the salmon
pieces as needed so that they cook evenly. Continue to broil until the
salmon is just cooked through and the beans are crisp-tender, 2 to 3
minutes. Toss the green beans with the sesame seeds and lemon juice and
serve.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Glazed Pork Tenderloin With Cumin-Spiked Corn Puree

My darling father is in town tonight, so I decided to pull out a recipe that I thought looked worthy of company, particularly company that was totally coming to my rescue.  It did not meet those expectations.  That being said, the corn puree totally rocked; it looked bad, dirty almost, but tasted wonderful.  My husband and I loved it, my dad said he thought it was good, and I had to practically force feed it to the boy.  The pork tenderloin's wonderful character was ruined by the "poaching"  It was not juicy.  It lacked most flavor.  It was beyond well done, not slightly pink inside after the 20 minutes, but I have to admit I still have a hard time with slightly pink.  The pan sauce was good, but needed to reduce a lot more to be more 'glaze' like and a glaze would have made this a much better dish.  The salad was the star for me.  My husband asked if he made the salad pretty enough, would it earn a place in the blog:). I said of course and I think he really out did himself.  My husband also said he didn't like the "math" I had been doing in the blog, so in the future I will just do the dinner total.  Not tonight.  Company and a thank you dinner for my dad is priceless.


Glazed Pork Tenderloin With Cumin-Spiked Corn Puree

3    large tomatillos or 1/2 pound cape gooseberries,husked and chopped
3    jalapeños,seeded and chopped
2    scallions,chopped
1/2 t  chopped rosemary
4    garlic cloves,minced
7 T  extra-virgin olive oil
1 T  plus 1 teaspoon honey
2 One-pound pork tenderloins
3 c  fresh corn kernels (from 6 ears of corn)
1/2    yellow bell pepper,chopped
1    medium red onion,cut into 1/3-inch dice
1/4 lb smoked ham,cut into 1/3-inch dice
1/4 c  plus 2 tablespoons pisco or other brandy
2 1/2 c  vegetable stock
2 T  chopped parsley
1/4 t  ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1.In a food processor, puree the tomatillos with the jalapeos,
scallions,   rosemary, one-fourth of the garlic, 2 tablespoons of the
olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the honey. Pour the puree into a sturdy
resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloins, coat well and
refrigerate overnight.
2.In a medium saucepan of boiling water, cook the corn until just
tender,   about 3 minutes; drain. In a food processor, puree the corn
with the yellow pepper.
3.In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the
onion, ham and remaining garlic and cook over moderate heat until the
onion is softened, about 7 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the pisco and
light carefully with a long match. When the flames die down, add the
corn and pepper puree and 1 cup of the stock and simmer over low heat
for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the parsley and cumin and
season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.
4.Remove the pork tenderloins from the marinade; reserve the marinade.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Season the tenderloins with salt and pepper, add them to the skillet
and cook over moderate heat until browned on every side, about 1 minute
per side. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of pisco and light carefully with a
long match. When the flames die down, add the reserved marinade and the
remaining 1 1/2 cups of stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer
over moderately low heat, turning occasionally, until the pork is pink
in the center, about 20 minutes.
5.Transfer the pork to a carving board and cover loosely with foil.
Boil the pan sauce over moderately high heat for 3 minutes. Set a fine
sieve over a small saucepan and strain the sauce, pressing on the
solids. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of honey and season with salt and
pepper. Gently reheat the corn puree. Thickly slice the pork and
transfer to plates. Pour the sauce over the pork, spoon the corn puree
alongside and serve.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Crispy Noodle Cakes With Hoisin Chicken

     So while I am not trying to do tasty meals for $70 for the week, I am starting to figure what do the meals actually cost.  I figured: rice sticks: 2.55, chicken 5.35, sherry 0.35, hoisin sauce 0.52 , Shiitake 7.00 , spinach 2.25, meal total 18.02.  Almost half of  the cost are the shiitakes which you could sub out regular mushrooms for $4 less.  I still think not too bad for a meat, veg and a starch for 4.  I happen to adore mushrooms and shiitakes are one of my favorites so I totally think they are worth the splurge.  Bonus for me, mushrooms are one of the two items my son is allowed to veto eating, so I get his portion.  YAY!  I would count having hoisin sauce as part of my pantry, but since most wouldn't I have figured it into the cost.
     So the good news, you could shave another buck twenty five off because there is no need to make so many rice noodles because there was too much noodle cake.  The bad news, the whole dish sucked!  The noodles were flavorless except where the sauce from the chicken got on them; where the sauce go on them they became  soggy and texturally unpleasant.  Even my beloved shiitakes didn't taste great and couldn't help the dish.  We all kind of gave a collective grimace, plowed through our food and decided not to make it again.

Crispy Noodle Cakes With Hoisin Chicken

8 ox dried rice sticks (vermicelli)
2    Tbs. plus 2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
4    small boneless,skinless chicken breast halves (about 3/
2 t  dry sherry
Kosher salt
4    Tbs. hoisin sauce
2    Tbs. soy sauce
4 t  rice vinegar
6    Tbs. canola oil
6 oz. shiitake mushrooms stemmed and thinly sliced (1-1/2 cups)
8 oz baby spinach (8 lightly packed cups)
Asian chile sauce,like Sriracha (optional)
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat,
add the noodles, and soak them until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain,
transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels, and pat dry. Toss
the noodles with 1 Tbs. of the sesame oil.
Toss the chicken with the remaining 1 tsp. sesame oil, the sherry, and
1/4 tsp. salt.
In a small bowl, mix the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and vinegar.
Heat 1-1/2 Tbs. of the canola oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over
medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the mushrooms and cook,
stirring, until softened and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the
chicken and cook, stirring, until it just loses its raw color, about 2
minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until it wilts, about 1
minute. Add the hoisin mixture and cook, stirring, until the chicken is
cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl.
Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Heat the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs.
oil over medium heat. Divide the noodles in half and spread them in the
pan, forming two oblong cakes (if they become entangled, just cut them
apart with scissors). Sprinkle lightly with salt and cook until the
bottoms are lightly browned and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip, sprinkle
lightly with salt, and cook until the second sides are browned and
crisp,   about 4 minutes more. Transfer to serving plates, top with the
chicken,  and serve with chile sauce, if using.
http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/crispy-noodle-cakes-hoisin-chicken.aspx

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kimchi Fried Rice


     Before I started cooking this, which I did pick because of the leftovers I had from Friday night's meal, I figured the cost of the entire dinner.  Ham 1.65, Scallions .60, Kimchi 2.00, Rice, .51,  Eggs  .42 Total= $5.16 but kimchi and rice was leftover so they would have been wasted if not used so I almost don't want to count them.  Complete the meal with even a fancy bag of mixed salad greens $3.00 and make your own dressing. Oil, vinegar and salt and pepper are considered part of a stocked pantry.  Meal total $8.16.  I have a bit, not much mind you, of the pork left too.  I could have used it in place of the ham.  Instead I thought I would either serve as a lettuce bundle for each of us or mix it into the rice.  I decided to save it and eat it as lunch because it is just too darn good to throw in with something else.
     The rice was good.  I had made it once before and didn't really remember it.  That is not a great sign.  The rice was good made according to the recipe, it was great with the addition of some of the spicy dipping sauce I made for Friday's feast. The acid in the sauce really brightened it up.  I think the kimchi liquid was supposed to serve that purpose, but it wasn't enough.  Next time the sauce will be a must with this dish!

Kimchi Fried Rice

1    Tbs. canola oil
4    scallions,finely chopped
1    garlic clove,minced
4 oz ham,cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 c  kimchi,drained (1Tbs. liquid reserved) and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
3 c  cooked white or brown rice at room temperature
2 t  soy sauce
2    large eggs,beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the canola oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat for
30 seconds.
Add about three-quarters of the scallions and the garlic; stir-fry with
a spatula for 10 seconds.
Add the ham and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the kimchi and continue to
stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set
aside.
In the same wok or skillet, heat 1 Tbs. of the sesame oil over medium
heat for 30 seconds.  Add the rice and stir-fry, tossing the rice until
it is completely coated with the sesame oil. Continue stir-frying until
it begins to get crisp, about 2 minutes more.
Add the kimchi mixture and combine thoroughly. Drizzle the kimchi juice
and the soy sauce over the mixture and continue cooking for another
minute.
With the spatula, push the fried rice mixture in the front of the
skillet to the center, leaving an empty space closest to you in the
skillet. Pour in the remaining sesame oil and heat for 10 seconds. Pour
the beaten eggs into the oil and let cook for about 1 minute until the
egg just begins to set. With the spatula push the egg into the fried
rice mixture, little by little, and distribute it throughout the rice.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Put the rice in a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining chopped
scallions.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kale-Chorizo Frittata

I decided to make this to use up the rest of the kale from the lentil stew.  I cooked off the kale when I made the stew because I was afraid that it would get funky in the fridge uncooked.  I was worried about this recipe when I started sauteing the onion and chorizo. They really filled the pan 10" pan called for in the recipe and I didn't see how with the kale and eggs it would fit in an already full skillet.   So I bust out my 11.5" pan and get it ready to cook the frittata in, oil and all.  I test my theory by slowly adding the egg mixture to the 10" pan. It was a perfect fit. Doh!  So I dump out the 10" pan into a bowl and wipe it out.  Add the oil from the 11.5" pan to the 10' one and follow the recipe.  I set the timer for 8 minutes when I was cooking it on low and added one minute at a time until the required 1" border was set.  It took 11 minutes on my stove. I then baked it for about 17 minutes and it was set.  I liked it; the boy requested I not ever make it again.;)  My husband will eat it later when he gets home.  I would have liked less chorizo and more kale.  I am not deleting it but will make it with different proportions.

Update:  My husband ate it reheated later that night and loved it:)

Kale-Chorizo Frittata

 3    Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
 1/2 lb chorizo,cut into small dice
 1    large onion,thinly sliced
 8    large eggs
 1/2 c  whole milk
 1    Tbs. all-purpose flour
 1    -1/2 tsp. kosher salt
 Freshly ground pepper
 1/2 lb kale,trimmed, cooked until tender in salted water
1/2 t  Spanish paprika (pimentón)

In a 10-inch ovenproof anodized aluminum or nonstick skillet, heat 1
Tbs.   olive oil over medium heat. Add the chorizo and onions and cook,
stirring frequently, until the chorizo is browned and the onions are
tender. Let the mixture cool slightly (it can be warm when added to the
eggs, but not piping hot).
Heat the oven to 350F. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the whole milk,
flour (dont worry if the flour forms small lumps), salt, and several
grinds of pepper. Combine the chorizo, onions, kale, and pimentn with
the egg mixture, folding them in gently.
Wipe out the skillet, add the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil and return it
to medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the egg mixture, spreading
everything evenly. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the
eggs are set about 1 inch in from the sides of the pan, 8 to 12 minutes.
Uncover the pan and transfer the frittata to the oven. Bake until the
top is puffed and completely set, 15 to 25 minutes more.
Remove the pan from the oven and run a rubber spatula around the sides
of the pan to loosen the frittata. Slip it out of the pan and onto a
cutting board. Let the frittata cool for at least 10 minutes before
cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Korean Feast

My MIL and her husband were passing through town on their way north.  Since my son and his friend are going to stay with them for a week in the summer, we thought we would invite our friends to meet my MIL's husband.  My friend requested the Korean Pork BBQ recipe.  (Gratefully obtained from another friend)  Now my BBQ is a pale approximation of the way it is made by the friend I got the recipe from, but it is still yummy!  Since we were having a large gathering, I decided to try and make more Korean dishes to accompany the pork.  My friend that gave me the BBQ recipe recommended a Korean pancake to go with it,  Boochimga.  I couldn't find anything with that spelling, but I found 2 recipes for a Korean Pancake.  I made both.  The scallion one was the better of the two.  I also make some quick pickles that I LOVED! I didn't use the kirby cukes recommended, and I didn't seed the ones I did use and they were great. I did use a mandolin to make them super thin. I figured since the pork does have a bit of heat I would also make some chicken .  Since we are eating the pork in lettuce wraps, and we would have chicken too, I decided to make the peanut sauce and noodles that goes with my chicken lettuce wraps. (even though it isn't Korean)  I made some white rice and  a spicy dipping sauce and bought some kimchi to go with it. I enjoyed it all very much and am looking forward to trying more dishes in this cuisine.

 Korean Pork BBQ recipe
 Lettuce Bundle Recipe

Korean Pancake Wrap Recipe

1 c  Water
1 c  Flour
1/2 t  salt

Mix flour, water, and salt together to make the pancakes.
Heat a saute pan over medium heat and coat with olive oil.
Using a tablespoon, drop a full spoonful of pancake batter onto pan,
smoothing to a 3-4" diameter. The pancakes should be about the
thickness of crepes (thinner than American pancakes).
They cook quickly, so flip when the top starts to dry.
Remove quickly before they brown, less than a minute is needed on the
other side.
Finish all the batter, trying to make pancakes all the same size.
Serve with dipping sauce. They can be served warm or at room
temperature. (Serves 4)

Korean Quick Pickled Cucumber Recipe

4    small Korean or kirby cucumbers*
3 T  sugar
1 T  salt
1/4 c  vinegar
[Note: You can use 1 long English cucumber if you don't have access
to small pickling cucumbers, but first cut the cucumber in half, scrape
out most of the seeds, and then drain the cucumber on paper towels.  ]
1.Cut cucumbers into uniform strips or round slices (use mandoline for
thinner strips)
2.Sprinkle cucumbers with sugar and salt and toss gently to combine.
3.Add vinegar, stirring to coat all cucumbers.
4.Let sit about 20 minutes before serving.


Korean Scallion Pancake
2 c  flour
2    eggs,beaten
1.5 c  water
1 bn of scallions,halved and cut into 2-3 inch lengths
1 t  salt
Oil for cooking

1.Mix all ingredients together and let sit for about 10 minutes. Check
consistency before cooking  batter should be a little bit runnier than
American pancake batter, so that the Pa Jun cooks quickly and evenly.
2.Heat a saute pan over medium heat and coat with a thin layer of oil.
3.Pour batter to fill pan in a thin layer (about 1/3 of your batter
should fill a regular saute pan).
4.Cook for 3-4 minutes until set and golden brown on bottom.
5.Turn over with help of spatula or plate (or flip it in the air if you
are good at that) and finish by cooking 1-2 more minutes, adding more
oil if necessary.
6.Serve with soy or spicy dipping sauce.
(Serves 4 as an appetizer or a side dish)
*You can also make these using the ready-make Korean Pancake Batter
(Buchimgae) from the Korean of Asian grocery store. You just add ¾ cup
water to every 1 cup of dry mix and add whichever vegetables you wish.


Spicy Dipping Sauce

1/3 c  soy sauce
1/3 c  rice wine vinegar
1 T  sesame oil
1 T  chili pepper flakes (kochukaru)
1 T  scallions,thinly sliced
1 t  finely chopped garlic
Mix all ingredients together and use as a dipping sauce for
dumplings, scallion pancakes, mung bean pancakes, and tempura dishes.
*Can make in large batches and store in refrigerator for a couple
weeks.
**If you don't have Korean chili pepper flakes (kochukaru), you can
use cayenne pepper or sriracha sauce in the mix.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Beef Fajitas

This one was alright.  We weren't hating it but I plan on deleting it.  I thought the meat was a bit tough.  Flavors were ok, but I did add some smoked paprika at the end and some hot sauce in addition to the salsa and sour cream..  Truth be told, we haven't found many fajita recipes that really wowed us.  Generally I have found chicken to be better than the steak also.
Beef Fajitas

For marinade
2 T  canola oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 t  chili powder
1/4 t  garlic powder
1/4 t  salt
1/4 t  pepper
3/4 lb chuck steak or top round sliced into 1/4 inch strips
For fajitas
1/2    medium onion,sliced
1    medium sweet red pepper sliced into thin strips
2 T  canola oil,divided
8    flour tortilla shells,warmed
Salsa
Sour cream
Combine marinade ingredients and add beef. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
and up to overnight. Remove beef from marinade. In a large skillet,
heat 1 tablespoon oil and saut onion and pepper until tender, remove
from pan. Add remaining oil and saut meat until no longer pink, about 4
minutes. Add vegetables to pan and heat through.
To serve, place a spoonful of meat/vegetable mixture on a warmed
tortilla and top with salsa and sour cream.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sausage And Lentil Stew

Another good one!  It was quick (except for the hour of simmering) and easy.  My biggest issue with this recipe is that the point of these meals is that they are inexpensive, and they are, but many of the ingredients come in much bigger packages, and what isn't used will go to waste unless there is some planning.  For example, the kale comes in a 10 cup bag, but the recipe only needs 2 cups.  I cooked off the rest and am making a kale and chorizo fritatta next week.  The kielbasa comes in 14 ounce portions but I only needed 8 for the recipe.  These are parts of the ingredients that had to have money spent on, but they have no use in the week and they are not figured in to the cost.  If they go to waste, then the cost of the meals goes up.  I suppose there are markets out there that you can by a different size, but not my grocery store and I think it's a fairly good one. Ok enough complaining.  My darling and wonderful friend who recommended this site with the week of meals for under $50 to me reads the blog and I don't want her to think she needs to talk me off a ledge (LOL:*)  This is one we will be keeping. 

Sausage And Lentil Stew
2 t  olive oil
1/2    large onion,diced
1    large carrots,diced
1    celery stalks,diced
1    bay leaf
5    ounces French lentils
1/2 lb Kielbasa sausage,cut into 1/4-inch thick diagonal slices
2 c  fresh kale,coarsely chopped
1 Twenty eight-ounce can whole tomatoes,with juices
4 c  water
2 t  salt
1/2 t  freshly ground black pepper
METHOD:
In a large, heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion,
carrots, celery, and bay leaves to the pan. Turn the heat to medium-low
and cook the vegetables, stirring frequently, until very tender, about
7 minutes.
Stir in the lentils, sausage, and kale. Add the tomatoes, crushing the
tomatoes with your fingers as they are added to the pot. Add the water,
salt, and pepper. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Then
reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, covered, until lentils
are tender. Stir and add more salt and pepper to taste, as desired.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Baked Spinach And Cheese Ravioli

Yay!!!  This recipe was good!  I am so glad this one was tasty as we had friends over for dinner.  I did deviate a bit from the original recipe.  I thought it looked a bit small for the 5 of us so I used my second bag of ravioli I had but this one was beef.  I also used the really good marinara (the $8 kind I only buy when it is bogo, so that makes it about the same as the other marinara).  I "thawed" the ravioli for a few minutes in boiling water.  It was quick, easy and could be made ahead of time.  We all agreed it was the best thing we had all week.


Baked Spinach And Cheese Ravioli

1 1/2 lb frozen cheese ravioli,thawed
1    Ten ounce package frozen chopped spinach,thawed and squeezed dry
1    24 ounce jar marinara sauce
1 1/2 c  shredded mozzarella
1/4 c  Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350F. Use nonstick cooking spray to grease a 2 quart
baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine ravioli, spinach, and marinara sauce. Transfer
to greased baking dish. Top with mozzarella and parmesan. Bake 35 to 40
minutes, until cheese is bubbly.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Broccoli & Chicken Calzones

Well of all the recipes of the week, we had the highest hopes for this one, but it was a total failure.  I even had about half a small tub of ricotta that was going to be thrown out soon and I put it in there too.  The ricotta helped but it was not good.  My family feels like they are on some kind of weird punishment detail.  There wasn't even salt or pepper in the calzone mixture.  I am determined to come up with a menu that will feed my family for a week for $70.  I would say $50, but I figured I would start with an easier goal in mind.  Not next week; I promised my family we would have a regular week, but I am going to just buy the meal stuff and not paper towels, soap etc in that trip to the store.  That way I can see how much a regular week of just dinners cost. (just for a frame of reference) I really don't think it is that much more.  I was averaging $150 but that included paper towels, cleaning supplies, breakfasts and lunches and beer.  While I would love to spend less, I think I am doing pretty good.


Broccoli And Chicken Calzones

1 pk frozen whole wheat pizza dough,thawed
1    Ten ounce package frozen broccoli florets,thawed and finely chopped
1 c  leftover chicken,chopped
1/4 t  garlic powder
1/2 t  dried oregano
1 c  shredded mozzarella
1/2 c  grated Parmesan
2 T  extra-virgin olive oil divided
Jarred tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 500F.
In a medium bowl, combine broccoli, chicken garlic powder, oregano,
mozzarella, parmesan, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.
Divide pizza dough into four sections. Roll each piece into a six-inch
circle. Evenly divide broccoli mixture onto 1/2 of each circle, leaving
a 1/2 inch border. Fold the unfilled side over the filling. Crimp the
edges with a fork.
Place the calzones onto a lightly-greased baking sheet. Using a pastry
brush, coat each calzone with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake
for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve
with prepared tomato sauce.\

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Salmon Cakes With Dilled Orzo And Beet Greens

Well another meh for the week of $50 for dinner.  The issue began as soon as I opened the can of salmon.  One would assume that canned salmon was boneless and skinless.  WRONG!  On the can is a teeny tiny asterisk with the note that soft bones and skin are completely edible and a great source of omega -3's  Now, while that is true Chicken of the Sea, I would appreciate that your company put that in larger letters in the future.  At least the can was full of fillets that had been pressed in to a tube shape.  I was able to remove the skin and most of the bones including a rather large spine!  Ewww.  I think I wasted about 1/3 of each can. Ok that being said, the salmon cake was probably the tastiest thing in the recipe.  I love beet greens and these were not so good.  Orzo was ok but pretty bland. I reheated the beets from last night and they were good.  I love roasted beets, but I also think they could have used something more.  If I were try and fix the salmon cake, sauce of some sort.  They were pretty dry and that made them easy to make patties of the mixture and cook, but too dry when it came to eating them.  So a sauce would do wonders: a seasoned mayo, a pesto, heck even a compound butter, would all have vastly improved the dish.


Salmon Cakes With Dilled Orzo And Beet Greens

Two 14 ounce cans boneless skinless salmon
1    egg,lightly beaten
1/3 c  unseasoned breadcrumbs
2 T  scallions,thinly sliced
1/4 t  kosher salt
1/4 t  freshly ground black pepper
1 T  olive oil

In a medium bowl, combine salmon, egg, breadcrumbs, scallions, salt,
and pepper. Use your hands to form 4 patties, about an inch thick.
Place a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate about 20 minutes.
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add patties and
cook 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Dilled Orzo
1 cup orzo
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dill
Salt and pepper
Cook orzo according to package directions. Toss with oil and dill and
season with salt and pepper.
Sauted Beet Greens
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
Beet greens
Salt and pepper
In a large skillet, heat oil. Sauté onions until translucent. Add beet
greens and cook until wilted and tender. Season with salt and pepper

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lemon Chicken With Roasted Beets And Quick Polenta

Another underwhelming meal from the week of under $50. (http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500172_162-6910676.html )  Not bad really, but not a wow either.  The chicken was pretty good.  The beets never made it to the plate; Forty minutes to cook my foot!  After the 40 minutes, they were still very hard, so we kept cooking them until they were fork tender, which was an hour after we had finished eating.  I will eat them with lunch or add them to dinner tomorrow.  I added a salad instead.  I made the mistake of using a bottled dressing,  I bought a bottle in what can only be a fit of madness.  I saw green goddess dressing and thought yum and that is a bit of work to make, why not.  I will tell you why not; it will make a great salad taste flat.  We all ate the salad, but it lost something in the process of dressing rather than gaining.  I couldn't find instant polenta at the store so I made the basic polenta recipe I found on line instead and added some chives from our garden and shredded up some leftover guyere in it as well.  I liked it the best of everything on the plate.


Lemon Chicken With Roasted Beets And Quick Polenta

One 3 pound chicken,cut -into 10 pieces
 4    garlic cloves,smashed
1    lemon cut into quarters
1 t  oregano
1 T  olive oil
2 bn beets,scrubbed clean
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 450F.
On a large baking sheet, toss chicken with garlic, oregano, olive oil,
and lemons, squeezing the juice from each quarter.
Roast until chicken is golden and cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Drizzle beets with oil. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 450F (in the
same oven as the chicken) for about 40 minutes, until fork tender. When
cool enough to handle, remove peels and cut into slices. Season with
salt and pepper and serve.

Quick Polenta
4 cups water
1 cup instant polenta
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
Bring water to a boil. Whisk in polenta and reduce heat to low. Stir
occasionally, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add butter, salt and
pepper. Any herb or cheese can be added as well. (I like fresh chives
or rosemary.)


Basic Polenta

6 c  water
2 t  salt
1 3/4 c  yellow cornmeal
3 T  unsalted butter
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a heavy large saucepan. Add 2
teaspoons of salt. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to
low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender,
stirring often, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the butter,
and stir until melted.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pork Milanese

So I decided to try the feed a family of four dinners for a week for under $50 menu I got from a friend.  http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500172_162-6910676.html  I left my husband in charge of finishing up the dinner while I went out to the monthly wine tasting at my home away from home, The Ormond Wine Co.  I'm kinda glad I missed this one.  The boy liked the pork, my husband not so much and they both agreed that the salad was just way too lemony.  I plan on deleting it. Oh and they had some of the leftover bulgur as a starch.

Pork Milanese

4  Four ounce boneless pork chops,trimmed of fat
3/4 c  dry bread crumbs
2 T  grated Parmesan
1/4 t  garlic powder
1    egg,lightly beaten
3 T  extra-virgin olive oil
4 c  baby arugula
2 T  lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F. Place each pork chop between two pieces of
plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, pound to about 1/4-inch thickness.
Season each side with salt and pepper.
In a shallow dish, mix bread crumbs, cheese, and garlic powder. Put the
egg in another shallow dish. Dip each chop in egg, allowing excess to
drip back into bowl, then dredge in bread crumb mixture. Place on a
baking sheet.
In a large skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.
Place chops in pan and brown for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer back
to baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes.
While chops are baking, place arugula in a large bowl and toss with
lemon juice and remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons oil.
Plate chops and serve with arugula salad.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tenderloin Steaks with Bulgar and Salad

Still on my mission to clean out what we have rather than shop, I have decided to cook the steaks we cut off the tenderloin we were using for the Beef Wellington.  They were vacuum sealed so no freezer burn. (yay)  I guess this is a bit of a rift on my steak salad in that the salad is pretty much the steak salad without the steak on top of it and with a starch.  I opted for bulgar.  Bulgar is such a neglected side dish.  It works like rice but it has this wonderful nutty and chewy texture that makes rice just seem sad.  (sorry to rice but you know it's true;)  It cooks quickly (about 15 min) and just like rice, you sub out the water for broth and some butter and MAGIC.  I added some raw finely chopped onion.  Yes I was lazy; I should have sauteed it first but I'm tired and wanted tonight's dinner to be quick and easy.  No recipe here, just a recommendation for eating bulgar:) I am also happy to report that those yellow tomatoes came out of my garden.  That is the first food plant (that wasn't herbs) that I have managed to grow!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Clean Out The Fridge Soup

It happens from time to time; there are too many remnants in the fridge to justify going out and cooking a nice new tasty meal.  Soup can be a tasty way to clean all those remnants because lends itself to so many ingredients.  I have no recipe.  I wasn't even going to try but figured I would use this post to advocate the occasional leftover soup to help prevent waste and clean out that fridge.  What did I use that was lurking in my fridge?  Well I had some: pancetta, prosciutto, clam juice, chicken broth, v8, the dregs of a jar of marinara, parsnips, red cabbage, red onion, carrots,celery, pimentos, mushrooms, Parmesan rind and heaping tablespoon of jarred pesto sauce.  I just sauteed the pancetta in some olive oil and added the rest of the non liquid ingredients and sauteed them a bit.  Added the liquid ingredients and some water and the rind and let it cook about a half an hour on low.  It was pretty good.  Not 5 star but hey pretty tasty way to clean out the fridge. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sea Scallops With Peas, Bacon And Carrots

I was looking for a scallop recipe because I had some in the freezer and I desperately need to clean out the clutter from the fridge and freezer.  I am repeating the mantra, do not go shopping for new food, yet!  The only thing I didn't have on hand was the butter lettuce, so I thought that was pretty good.  I have to say, while bacon and scallops are amazing, I still was as excited as you would think for this dish.  I really loved it.  I did mess up the scallops, but I tried to cook them all at once to save time and get us all eating together.  They were edible, but hardly my best.  I took the leftover white rice and salsa verde from last night and mixed them for the starch.  Meh.  It was no where near as good as the previous night.  And of course a salad.  The boy didn't like mixture under the scallops, but my husband and I really did.


Sea Scallops With Peas, Bacon And Carrots

4 sl of thick-cut bacon,cut into 1/4-inch matchsticks
3 T  unsalted butter
1/2    small Vidalia or other sweet onion,cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 c  frozen baby peas,thawed
1/4 c  chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 c  packed shredded Boston lettuce (6 leaves)
1 t  fresh lemon juice
2 T  finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 T  extra-virgin olive oil
16    large sea scallops (about 1
           -1/2 pounds)
1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until
browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the
bacon to paper towels to drain.
2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet and
add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and carrot and cook over
moderate heat, stirring, until the carrot is crisp-tender, about 5
minutes. Add the peas and cook just until heated through. Add the
chicken stock, cover and simmer until the carrot is tender, about 3
minutes. Stir in the shredded lettuce, lemon juice, parsley and bacon
and cook just until the lettuce wilts. Season the vegetables generously
with salt and pepper and keep warm.
3. In another large skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter
in the olive oil. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and cook
over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes.
Transfer the vegetables to warmed plates, top with the scallops and



Saturday, April 7, 2012

Salsa Verde

Well we have family in town for Easter.  We roasted chicken legs and breasts for the picky eater visiting.  To go with it, I made the second of the recipes for salsa verde I have collected.  I think this one might be a bit better, but that is hard to say since it has been a while since we made the first recipe.   To go with it, I cooked white rice with chicken stock and butter, salad and a Tuscan roasted garlic loaf from the Publix bakery. 

Salsa Verde 
2    garlic cloves,finely chopped
1/2 c  tightly packed fresh basil   -leaves
1/2 c  tightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 sl of white bread,such as Pepperidge Farm, crusts removed
1/4 c  white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 T  Dijon mustard
3 T  drained capers
6    cornichons
1/2 c  extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Combine the garlic with the basil and parsley leaves, the bread slices,
and the vinegar in the bowl of a food processor. Puree the herb/bread
mixture for about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the food
processor with a rubber spatula every 10 or 15 seconds. Add the mustard,
capers and cornichons and chop for about a minute more, until the
mixture is granular but smooth. Put the mixture in a bowl, work in the
olive oil with a wooden spoon, and stir in the salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Salmon In Lemon Brodetto With Pea Puree

I was apprehensive about the mint in the pea puree but other than that I was excited to try this dish.  The pea puree blew me away.  I couldn't believe that I liked it as much as I did.  My husband thought it was a bit sweet on its own.  However, when you put it all together it was, incredible.  Each bite that had some salmon, puree and lemon sauce was better than the sum of its parts.  If I were to make any criticisms of the dish, it would be that I thought the sauce was a bit thin, like broth.  The consensus is that it was DELICIOUS!

Salmon In Lemon Brodetto With Pea Puree

Lemon Brodetto
2 T  olive oil
1    shallot,diced
2    lemons,juiced
1    lemon,zested
2 c  chicken broth
1 T  chopped fresh mint leaves
Pea Puree
2 c  frozen peas,thawed (about 10 ounces)
1/4 c  fresh mint leaves
1 ea garlic
1/2 t  kosher salt
1/2 t  freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c  extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c  grated Parmesan
Salmon
1/4 c  olive oil
4    (4 to 6-ounce) pieces salmon
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1.To make the Lemon Brodetto, warm the olive oil in a medium
saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until tender,
about 7 minutes. Add the lemon juice, zest, and broth. Bring to a
simmer, and keep warm, covered, over low heat.
2.To make the Pea Puree, combine the peas, mint, garlic, salt, and
pepper in a food processor and puree. With the machine running, add the
olive oil in a steady drizzle. Transfer the pea puree to a small bowl
and stir in the Parmesan. Set aside.
3.To make the Salmon, warm the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over
high heat. Season the salmon pieces with salt and pepper. Sear the
salmon until a golden crust forms, about 4 to 5 minutes on the first
side. Flip the fish and continue cooking until medium-rare, about 2
minutes more depending on the thickness of the fish.
4.To assemble the dish, add the tablespoon chopped mint to the Lemon
Brodetto and divide between 4 shallow dishes. Place a large spoonful of
Pea Puree into the center of each bowl. Place a salmon piece atop each
mound of Pea Puree. Serve immediately.
-

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spaghetti With Mushroom Cream Sauce

Well I was so happy to have a mushroom extravaganza, I may be overlooking some flaws, but I loved it.  I would have liked it better if I had spent $$$ and had all shiitake and other fancier mushrooms but it just wasn't in the budget.  Not bad with the button mushrooms but, all of the more expensive variety would have been stellar.  It was very rich and creamy.  I cut the mushrooms smaller than indicated so my son wouldn't have big pieces of mushroom to make him gag.  He ate it all but he wasn't very happy about it.

Spaghetti With Mushroom Cream Sauce
12 oz dried spaghetti
Kosher salt
1    Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1    Tbs. unsalted butter
1    large shallot,finely chopped
1 lb mixed mushrooms,cleaned, trimmed, and sliced 1/4 inch th
Freshly ground black pepper
2    Tbs. tawny port
1/2 c  heavy cream
1/2 c  sour cream
3    Tbs. chopped fresh parsley or 2 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving
Over high heat, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted
water according to the package directions until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-
high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until it just begins to
color, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, 3/4 tsp. salt, and a few
grinds of pepper and stir constantly until the mushrooms begin to
release their liquid, about 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and
cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 5
minutes more.
Add the port and stir to deglaze the pan. Add the cream and sour cream,
bring to a simmer, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring
frequently, until the liquid reduces to a saucy consistency, about 2
minutes.
When the spaghetti is al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water
and drain the spaghetti. Add the spaghetti and the reserved water to
the sauce. Toss over low heat, sprinkle with the parsley or tarragon,
and toss again to combine. If the sauce seems thin, continue to toss
until it has thickened a bit. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.
Serve,  sprinkling with the parmigiano at the table.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mini Tamale Pies

I had such hopes for this one.  Meh...  Even the boy couldn't really find something nice to say.  He did like the meat part, which I thought was just alright, but we all really disliked the "tamale" part.  It was so not tasty.  So another deleted recipe unless someone out there tries this and finds the magic bullet that makes this one tasty.  Oh added bonus, it was a total pain cleaning the pampered chef stoneware muffin pan. I made a quick salad dressing by seasoning some sour cream and adding some medium salsa.  And damn if I didn't just realize as I'm typing the dressing recipe, I forgot to top them with sour cream and cilantro.  While that would have helped a lot, I don't think it would erase the crust travesty.

Mini Tamale Pies

 For the crust
1/2 c  masa harina
1/2 c  low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 c  vegetable oil
For the filling
1 T  vegetable oil
1 lb ground beef
1    medium yellow onion,small dice (about 1 cup)
2    medium garlic cloves,finely chopped
2 T  cider vinegar
1 t  paprika
1 t  dried oregano leaves
1/2 t  ground cumin
1/8 t  cayenne pepper
1    (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 c  low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 t  kosher salt,plus more as needed
1/4 t  freshly ground black pepper plus more as needed
To assemble,:
1 c  shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)
1/4 c  sour cream
1 T  coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
For the crust:
Heat the oven to 350F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well with your
hands until combined (the dough should hold together when squeezed in
your hand).
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside.
For the filling:
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until
shimmering. Add the beef, season with salt and pepper, and break the
meat into small pieces with a spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until
browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted
spoon to a medium bowl and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring
occasionally, until the onion softens, about 4 minutes.
Add the vinegar and stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits from
the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle in the paprika, oregano, cumin, and
cayenne and stir until incorporated. Cook until the spices are fragrant,
about 1 minute.
Return the beef to the pan, add the tomatoes, broth, and measured salt
and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook until the mixture simmers, about
3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally,
until the sauce thickens slightly, about 7 minutes more. Remove the pan
from the heat, taste, and season with additional salt and pepper as
needed; set aside.
To assemble:
Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl of masa. Divide the masa evenly
among the wells of a 12-well muffin pan (about 1 rounded tablespoon per
well).  Using your fingers, press the masa evenly into a thin layer on
the bottom and up the sides of each well (the mixture may feel dry to
the touch).
Evenly divide the filling among the masa-lined wells.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and evenly sprinkle
the shredded cheese over the filling. Return the pan to the oven and
bake until the cheese is melted and the filling is bubbling, about 10
minutes more.
Remove the pan to a wire rack and let it cool for 5 minutes. Run a
small knife around the perimeter of each well to loosen and remove the
pies. Top each tamale pie with a dollop of sour cream, sprinkle with
cilantro, and serve.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Michelle's Turkey Burgers With Lemon Mayonnaise

Another installment in my burgers for the boy quest.  I know how much he loves burgers.  It might be genetic since I craved them when I was pregnant with him.  Since I want to try to not repeat recipes for a year, this has made for some interesting burgers.  I think the lamb one from 3/1/12 has been my favorite so far, but there has been some heavy competition!  This one was really good and should have been "light", but I used full fat mayo and added the Swiss cheese that the original recipe said the chef does when serving it in his restaurant.  I loved it, the boy wolfed his down so fast, I was amazed, but my husband (who I expected to fall in love with it) was not that impressed.  He kept saying there was an odd smell he couldn't get past.  Being a bit stuffy still, I couldn't smell it, but that is a good thing since I don't like the smell of raw, cooking or cooked poultry. I loved the smokiness the chipotle lent it. ( I did go a little light because of the baby, but I needn't have done so. )  It was so good:)


Michelle's Turkey Burgers With Lemon Mayonnaise

3 T  canola oil
1    onion,halved and thinly sliced
1/2 c  finely chopped celery
1/2 c  finely chopped Granny Smith apple
2    scallions,thinly sliced
1    small canned chipotle in adobo,minced
1 1/2 lb lean ground turkey breast
1 T  minced flat-leaf parsley
2 t  finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c  reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 1/2 t  fresh lemon juice
1/4 t  chopped thyme
4    whole-wheat hamburger buns split and toasted
4    iceberg lettuce leaves
4    tomato slices

1. In a nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil. Add the
sliced onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until
golden and softened, about 25 minutes. Transfer the onion to a bowl.
Wipe out the skillet.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in the skillet. Add the celery,
apple and scallions and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 8
minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add the chipotle; let cool. Stir in the
turkey, parsley, 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest, 2 teaspoons of salt and
1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Shape the mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick
patties.
3. In the skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Add
the burgers and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until no
longer pink inside, 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the remaining 1
teaspoon of lemon zest, the lemon juice and chopped thyme and season
with salt and pepper. Spread the lemon mayonnaise on the top halves of
the buns; set the burgers on the bottom halves and top with the
caramelized onions, lettuce and tomato. Close the burgers and serve.




Monday, April 2, 2012

White Bean and Ham Stew

This was a fairly easy recipe.  There was the prep work which involved chopping a lot of veggies, but it wasn't too bad.  The cooking time is like three hours, but largely unattended so that it nice.  We all weren't sure what we would think of it.  My husband and I were pleasantly surprised, my son was not a fan.  The liquid part he was ok with but the rest... He even didn't like the cheese toast.  Most likely he didn't like the soggy bottom nor the Swiss; I happened to love it.  It makes a huge portion; next time I will be halving the recipe. I had a large bit of ham on hand so I used it rather than go out and buy the ham hocks.  As a result, I think the broth was a little watery tasting, so I put a spoonful of ham bouillon in the stew at the beginning of the third hour. I think this dish would lend itself to using up all kinds of leftovers.

White Bean and Ham Stew  

4    meaty smoked ham hocks (about 3 1/2 pounds)
1/2 lb dried cannellini or borlotti beans (1 1/4 cups),picked over and rinsed
3 qt water
2    medium red-skinned potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1    large leek,white and pale green parts only, cut int
1    large celery rib,cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1    large carrot,cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1    large parsnip,cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 lb Savoy cabbage,cut into 2-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 one quarter inch-thick slices of peasant bread,lightly toasted
2 c  shredded Gruyère or Comté cheese
Pairing  Suggestion Bright, juicy Beaujolais
1. In a large pot, combine the smoked ham hocks with the cannellini
beans and water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for
1 hour. Add the potatoes, leek, celery, carrot, parsnip, cabbage and
1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover the stew and simmer over low heat for 1
hour.
2. Transfer the ham hocks to a plate. Simmer the stew uncovered over
moderate heat until thickened and the beans and vegetables are very
tender, about 45 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, discard the skin and bones from the hocks and cut the
meat into bite-size pieces. Add the meat to the stew as it simmers.
Season the stew with pepper.
4. Preheat the broiler. Ladle the hot stew into 8 heatproof soup bowls
and place the bowls on a large cookie sheet. Cover each bowl with a
toast and spread the cheese on top. Broil 4 inches from the heat,
rotating the bowls as necessary, until the cheese is lightly browned,
about 3 minutes. Serve right away.
Make Ahead The stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat
thoroughly, adding a little stock or water if necessary, before topping
and broiling.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spiked Apple Galette

Well tonight we ordered pizza.  It was a long day and I wasn't feeling well.  I actually made this on April second, so April fools!  I just wanted to have each recipe have it's own post as often as possible, so I figured it would be better to but Galette recipe for the day before I made it.  It was my personal least favorite of all the desserts I have made so far, but that in no way means I didn't enjoy it. The slightly alcoholic taste to the sauce was nice and different, but hardly strong.  The residual heat from the sauce cooked some of it out.  I couldn't find sanding sugar so just used regular sugar;  you can't see it but I figured there would be some flavor.  The sanding sugar would be better.  I forgot to take the picture until after I had my one small piece and my husband had his two large ones, so it's only half there:)

Spiked Apple Galette

For the crust
2 1/2 c  all-purpose flour,plus more for rolling out the dough
1/4 c  granulated sugar
1/8 t  fine salt
1 3/4  Sticks  (7 ounces) cold unsalted butter,cut into small pieces
2    large egg yolks,lightly beaten
4    to 7 tablespoons ice water
For the filling
3 lb Gala apples,peeled, cored, and cut into large dice
1 c  granulated sugar
2 t  freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 t  finely grated lemon zest
1/2 t  ground cinnamon
To assemble
3 T  unsalted butter,cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Water
1 T  coarse sanding sugar
1/4 c  Calvados or other apple brandy
[Note: This galette is best served warm. To reheat, place in a 350°F
oven for 15 minutes; slice and serve. Game plan: The dough can be made
up to a day in advance; let it sit on the  counter a few minutes before
rolling out. What to buy: Sanding sugar is sometimes labeled pearl
sugar and can be found in gourmet grocery and cooking stores. If you
can ]
For the crust:
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a medium bowl. Using a
pastry blender or your fingers, mix the butter into the dry ingredients
until it is in pea-size pieces, about 5 minutes.
Add the egg yolks and 4 tablespoons ice water and mix just until the
dough comes together. (Add an additional 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
if necessary, but do not overwork the dough or it will become tough.)
Shape into a flat disk, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at
least 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the filling.
For the filling:
Combine all of the ingredients in a large frying pan over medium heat.
Cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the apples have begun
to release their juices, about 4 minutes. Simmer until the apples are
tender on the outside but still firm when a knife is inserted into the
middle, about 15 to 20 minutes more.
Remove the pan from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the
apples to a shallow dish to cool for at least 10 minutes. Set the pan
with the reserved juices aside for later use.
To assemble:
Once the dough has chilled, place it on a lightly floured surface and,
using a floured rolling pin, roll it into a 16-inch circle (about 1/4
inch thick). Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Loosely fold
in the edges of the pastry as needed to fit on the baking sheet,
transfer to the refrigerator, and chill at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile,
heat the oven to 425F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unfold any edges. Spread the
cooled apples in the center of the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border.
Fold the edges of the dough over the filling, covering about 1 inch of
the apples and pleating the dough every 2 inches as you go.
Dot the apples with the butter, then brush the pastry edge lightly with
water and sprinkle with the coarse sanding sugar. Bake the galette
until the pastry is golden and the apples are tender, about 40 to 45
minutes.
While the galette is baking, return the frying pan with the apple
juices to medium heat and reduce to 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Remove
from heat,  stir in the Calvados, and set aside.
Transfer the baked galette to a rack and pour the Calvados mixture over
the apples. Serve warm with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.