Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Whole-Wheat Fettuccine With Arugula Pesto

I love, love, love arugula, so it is no surprise that I loved this dish.  My family, ate everything on their plate, but didn't rave like I did.  The only criticism I had was the tomatoes.  Tomatoes are another favorite of mine, but they seemed odd in the dish.  Maybe because they weren't part of every bite?  I would for sure cut them smaller next time.  The original recipe (which as always is linked from the recipe title) has homemade pasta.  My pasta machine has lost a couple parts and is not an option.  I know I need to replace it but since I hate dough making...  Oh and this dish is lightning fast!  I bought whole wheat spaghetti, oops:)  but despite the fact that the wider would have held the pesto better the spaghetti worked fine.

Whole-Wheat Fettuccine With Arugula Pesto

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 T  pine nuts
2    packed cups baby arugula (2 ounces)
1/4 c  freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1    garlic clove,chopped
1 c  halved cherry tomatoes
3/4 pound of whole wheat fettuccine
 In a small skillet, toss the pine nuts over moderate heat until
toasted, 1 minute; let cool. In the food processor, pulse the arugula,
pine nuts, cheese, garlic and the 1/3 cup of oil to a paste.
Season the pesto with salt and add to a large skillet.
In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta, stirring, until
al dente  Drain the pasta, reserving 1/3 cup of the
cooking water. Stir the reserved water into the pesto. Add the pasta
and tomatoes to the pesto, toss over moderate heat and serve.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Veggie Burgers With Pomegranate Ketchup

This was a huge pain to make.  Pre make the lentils and couscous. The patties were difficult to shape and cook. Lots of work for what I see as very little return.  I didn't care for how sweet the patty was; the raisin flavor dominated.  I will give it this, I'm sure it was healthy.  I will also give it that it was a new and unusual flavor.  I didn't hate it, but I don't plan on keeping the recipe.  I haven't had a lot of vegan food, but I have to believe that there are better vegan burgers out there.
Veggie Burgers With Pomegranate Ketchup

1/2 c  Raisins
1/4 c  roasted almonds,chopped
1/2 lb white mushrooms
1 c  steamed shelled edamame
2 1/2 c  cooked green or brown lentils
2 c  cooked Israeli couscous
2 1/2 t  curry powder
1 T  fresh lemon juice
2 t  ground dried porcini
Kosher salt
1 1/2 T  canola oil
3    burger buns,split and toasted
1/2 c  ketchup mixed with 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
Mesclun greens tossed with lemon juice and sautéed mushrooms,for serving
1.In a food processor, combine the raisins and almonds and process
until finely chopped. Add the mushrooms and process until coarsely
chopped. Add the edamame, lentils and half of the couscous and process
until coarsely chopped. In a small bowl, dissolve the curry in the
lemon juice and add to the processor along with the porcini and process
to a coarse paste. Fold in the remaining couscous and season with salt.
Form the mixture into 6 patties, about 1 inch thick.
2.In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the patties and cook
over moderate heat, turning once, until browned, 6 minutes.
3.Arrange the bun halves on plates and spread them with pomegranate
ketchup. Set the burgers on the buns, top with the greens and sauted
mushrooms and serve.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Scallion-And-Brie-Stuffed Burgers

These were just alright.  I love brie and the brie and burger was pretty good; the scallion paste was the best.  The burgers were a pain to make and really got the grill dirty because they leaked a bit.  I don't have a lot to say about it except the paste is good.

Scallion-And-Brie-Stuffed Burgers

1 1/2 lb ground beef
Salt and freshly ground  pepper
4    ounces Brie,rind removed, cheese cut into 4 slices
1/4 c  Spicy Scallion Paste (recipe follows)
Vegetable oil,for brushing
1/4 c  mayonnaise
4    hamburger buns,split
Tomato slices and lettuce for serving

1. Light a grill. Season the ground beef with salt and pepper and form
into eight 4-inch patties that are slightly thicker in the center. Top
4 of the patties with a slice of Brie and a scant tablespoon of the
scallion paste. Top with the 4 remaining patties, pinching the edges to
2. Brush the burgers with oil and grill over high heat, turning once
or twice, about 8 minutes for medium-rare meat.
3. Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise with the remaining scallion paste.
Grill the buns until toasted. Spread the mayonnaise on the bottoms of
the buns and top with the burgers, tomatoes and lettuce. Close the
burgers and serve.

Spicy Scallion Paste
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 fresh hot chile, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a small bowl, combine the scallions with the garlic, chile, lemon
zest and cayenne, mashing slightly with the back of a spoon. Stir in
the olive oil and salt.
Make Ahead: The paste can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.Notes Best
Uses Lightly brush the paste onto tofu, shrimp, steaks, chicken or pork
before grilling.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark

Evil!  That's the best description of this recipe.  It's easy to make.  Delicious and addictive!  And it lurks in the freezer, out of sight true, but it waiting.  It will surprise you with it's presence when you are weakest, and you can take just a little piece.  This morning when I was getting a pancake out of the freezer, (I always make a big batch of pancakes and freeze them of weekday mornings) it whispered,"you know you want me."  And damn if I didn't.  I hadn't even had my coffee yet; I couldn't be expected to have all my resistance yet.  Besides it's so good with coffee.  I saw a picture of this on pintrest and thought my husband would like it.  Everyone loves it.  I got a text from a friend I sent some home with and it read, "I just ate the last piece and already I'm going into withdrawals".  Evil! I wasn't sure if it was from a blog or not so just to be safe, I put a link to the easy directions!  I don't know if you will thank me or not for sharing;).

Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark
1/2    bag of mini pretzel twists
2 sticks    of butter
1 c  of brown sugar
1    bag of chocolate chips
Sea salt or table salt

Directions here

Friday, July 27, 2012

Progressive Dinner #4

Another progressive dinner in the neighborhood.  It was an around the world theme. (Olympic opening ceremonies was just a lucky coincidence;)  No recipes here just pictures.  Forgive the low lighting but it was a party:)

 We started with Spanish  Croquettas & Champagne Mojitos.

Then we had American bean, corn and spinach egg rolls
Then we had Vietnamese Bahn Mi

Then we had an English Sausage Roll and beer. And I have to note here, I hate beer but I had a lager and lime and it was really great! 
Then we had this lovely fruit salad with onions and cilantro.
Then we had a French Brie and Sidecar cocktail.

Then we had a Thai red curry

Then we had Italian Taramisu. No picture because I got there late and it had been devoured!

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood:).

Oh and one last shot of the mushroom bahn mi that was a really tasty alternative to the pork one!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Okra And Tomatoes

I have never cooked okra.  I have had it fried and didn't really like it, and I believe that if you don't like an item fried, you just don't like it.  This proved that to be untrue; I have found that it isn't true for a few things actually.  Scallops I love and not a fan of fried.  This okra was really great.  So, yet another benefit to my Front Porch Picking basket, second chances for veggies I wrote off.  I added a little more salt, and for the dredging in flour, I put the okra and flour in a bowl and put a plate over the top and shook to coat.  I thought it worked really well.  We also splashed a dash or two of hot sauce at the table.  My son thought it would make an excellent salsa.  I thought that was a pretty good idea:)

Okra And Tomatoes
4    bacon slices
1    (16-ounce) package frozen sliced okra,thawed
2 T  all-purpose flour
1    large onion,chopped
4    plum tomatoes,seeded and chopped
2 t  sugar
1/2 t  salt
1/2 t  pepper
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp; drain
and crumble, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Set bacon
Dredge okra in flour.
Saute onion in reserved drippings until tender. Add okra; cook,
stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in
tomato and sugar; cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8
minutes. Stir in salt and pepper. Sprinkle with bacon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Steak & Roasted Garlic-Parmigiano Broccoli

I saw some steaks on sale at Publix the other day, so I wrapped them in paper towels and did the Alton Brown aging of them.  Tonight we grilled them and topped them with a little blue cheese I had laying around.  For our side I made this broccoli dish.  It was perfect broccoli.  It was crunchy & yummy; I think the stalks might have even been the best part! (I know?!)  I attempted, yet again, to become a bread baker, but other than this brief mention, it will be never seen or even mentioned again.  My husband took great pleasure in stabbing it before we disposed of it in an unmarked grave in the compost bin.  I hate all things dough!!!!  Back to the tastys:)  The steak and broccoli were wonderful:)

Roasted Garlic-Parmigiano Broccoli

1  stick  unsalted butter,softened
2    large garlic cloves,very thinly sliced
3/4 c  freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 lb broccoli,cut into long spears and stems peeled
1/4 c  plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 425. Position a rack in the upper and lower
thirds of the oven. In a food processor, pulse the butter with the
garlic and cheese until smooth. Scrape the butter into a small bowl and
season lightly with salt and pepper.
2. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli spears with the olive oil and
season them with salt and pepper. Spread the broccoli spears on 2 large
rimmed baking sheets and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once and
shifting the pans halfway through, until the broccoli is crisp-tender
and browned on the bottom.
3. Preheat the broiler. Return the broccoli spears to the bowl and
toss with the garlic-cheese butter. Transfer the broccoli to the baking
sheets, scraping all of the butter in the bowl onto the spears. Broil
one pan at a time 6 inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the
butter is golden in spots. Transfer the roasted broccoli to a platter
and serve.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Penne With Eggplant, Tomato & Basil

Another beautiful bunch of eggplants from my Front Porch Pickings basket. One of the beautiful things about getting this basket (aside from the obvious fact that it is local, seasonal and fresh) is that variety is find of forced on you.  For example, I love eggplant, but the rest of the family doesn't.  Oh they eat it if I put an eggplant recipe on the menu, but it gets the cold shoulder.  Couple that with my mission of a different dinner every night, I get to enjoy veggies I like in new ways.  This recipe is one of those.  I loved my dinner.  (it had just a smidge too much garlic and heat for a perfect dish but easily tweaked and totally tasty as is)  I loved the fact that this recipe made the eggplant unrecognizable to my son whose attitude toward one of my favorite veggies is hostile.  We did the ingredient guessing game and he got all but eggplant.  The 1/4" dice made the eggplant break down into a sauce by the end of the cooking process.  I had Roma tomatoes I needed to use, so I used them instead of the juicer globe tomatoes.  It made for a drier sauce, but that was easily fixed by adding extra pasta cooking water.  I had an open box of tri color rotini, but other than that and the Roma tomatoes, I made no deviations.  It wasn't one of the prettier dishes, but it delivered on taste.

Penne With Eggplant, Tomato & Basil

1/4 c  plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil,more for drizzling
1    medium eggplant (1 lb.),cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 6 cups)
Kosher salt
1    small red onion,thinly sliced
1/4 t  crushed red pepper flakes more to taste
1    -1/4 lb. tomatoes,seeded and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3    medium cloves garlic,finely chopped
1 c  roughly chopped fresh basil
3/4 lb dried penne rigate
1/2 c  coarsely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or ricotta salata
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until
shimmering hot. Add the eggplant and a generous pinch of salt. Reduce
the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the
eggplant is tender and light golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to
a plate. Reduce the heat to medium, return the pan to the stove, and
add the remaining 2 Tbs. oil, the onion, red pepper flakes, and a pinch
of salt. Cook until the onion is tender and golden brown, about 6
minutes. Add the tomatoes and another pinch of salt, and cook until the
tomatoes start to break down and form a sauce, about 3 minutes. Add the
garlic and cook for 1 minute. Return the eggplant to the pan, add the
basil, and cook for 1 minute more to let the flavors meld. Taste the
sauce and add salt if needed.
Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Reserve a small
amount of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Put the pasta in a
large bowl and toss with the eggplant mixture. If the pasta needs a
little more moisture, add a splash of the pasta water. Taste and add
salt if needed. Put the pasta on a platter or divide among shallow
bowls and finish with a drizzle of oil. Sprinkle the Parmigiano or
ricotta salata on top and serve immediately.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mustardy Potato Pierogies

I had gotten some potatoes from my Front Porch Pickings basket.  I know that the potatoes were going to be the last thing that would spoil, but today is Sunday and I had more time to play with the dough.  Dough is my nemesis.  I hate making it, it is always too sticky and flour enjoys messing with my measurements and doughs.  I avoid dough making at all costs.  At least the dough that needs to be kneaded. (giggle)  I enjoyed this dish despite the fact that my kitchen looks like a flour and dirty dish bomb went off.  The boy was liking it, but said when he dipped it in some of his salad's balsamic vinegar it became a tasty favorite.  I could never count it as a favorite just because of my battle with the dough; also my Lithuanian great grand father always made pierogies with beef and mushroom filling and that is kind of what I think of when I think of pierogies.  All in all tasty if someone other than me makes it:).  This recipe is from  via Food & Wine magazine.  I gotta say that of my top five, wish I had the money and time to go eat at their restaurant, is 1,2 or 3 depending on my mood.  Until I become really rich, this is going to have to be a dream;)

Mustardy Potato Pierogies

2 1/2 c  all-purpose flour
1 c  sour cream
1    large egg,beaten
1    large egg yolk,beaten
4 T  unsalted butter,melted
1/2 t  salt
3/4 lb medium Yukon Gold potatoes
3 T  sour cream
1 1/2 T  Dijon mustard
4 T  unsalted butter,softened
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil,for coating
1 T  chopped parsley
1. MAKE THE PIEROGI DOUGH In a large bowl, mix the flour with the
sour cream, egg, egg yolk, butter and salt. On a lightly floured work
surface,   knead the dough briefly until smooth. Cover the dough with
plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
2. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING In a medium saucepan, cover the
potatoes with water and boil until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain the
potatoes and peel them as soon as possible. In a bowl, mash the
potatoes with the sour cream, mustard and 2 1/2 tablespoons of the
butter until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. On a floured work
surface, roll out the pierogi dough 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3 1/2-inch
biscuit cutter, stamp out 20 rounds. Brush off any excess flour and
moisten the edge of each round with water. Place a level tablespoon of
the potato filling on one side of each round, leaving a 1/4-inch border.
Fold the dough over the filling to form half-moons and press the edges
firmly to seal.
4. Cook the pierogies in the boiling water until tender, about 5
minutes. Drain well and transfer to a large, shallow dish. Add a little
vegetable oil and toss to coat lightly.
5. In a large skillet, melt the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter.
Add the pierogies and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until
browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the pierogies to a platter.
Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.
Make Ahead The pierogies can be prepared through Step 4 and
refrigerated for up to 3 days

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tomato, Basil, And Cheddar Soup

This recipe is from the blog More Fruit Please.  I have no problem copying recipe from big food sites like F&W or the Food Network. They get plenty of traffic and if you google the recipe there's is usually the first link or two that shows up.   I give a link to the original when I know it, I don't want to do that to my fellow bloggers.  I think I first saw this on pintrest (or it could have been food buzz).  I gave you a list of  the ingredients so you will know what is in it and to give you an idea of what it's like, but for the recipe and amounts, you will need to click the link to the blog I got the recipe from.  I enjoyed this.  The boy ate two bowls.  (He really loved it!) My daughter like it too.  The husband was working.  It was quick and easy to make too. (bonus!)  It isn't a favorite, but that's just me.  I, personally, thought the yogurt and tomatoes together were a bit too... tangy for lack of  a better word.  Not bad mind you, just not a home run for me.  Oh I did make one deviation, I didn't feel like grating parm for the top, I used some cheddar I had for the soup. 

Tomato, Basil, And Cheddar Soup

cans of diced tomatoes
yellow onion
olive oil
vegetable broth
plain Greek yogurt
cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

For the directions, click here

Friday, July 20, 2012

Veronica's Veggie Meatloaf With Checca Sauce

I wasn't sure what to expect from this.  We all like lentils and Giada has always delivered on her recipes.  I have been holding off on trying this also, since the long list of ingredients seems like it might be an ordeal to make.  It was delicious and surprisingly easy.  I did use 2 oz more spinach since it came in 6 oz bags, and I'm sure I used a bit more cheese.  My veggie broth was unsalted, so I needed a bit more salt too.  I couldn't fit it all in one pan, so I split them between 2 pans.  It was really, really good and really filling.  It was a bit more liquid than I expected from "meatloaf" but it so didn't matter.  Even the boy, who had been snacking while waiting for dinner to be done, ate heartily.  I think this is a must for any vegetarian and a should have for everyone else. I really liked the raw tomato in the sauce too.  I'm glad I skipped making a salad;  it really filled you up!
Veronica's Veggie Meatloaf With Checca Sauce

Checca Sauce
1 pt cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups,or 12 ounces), halved
3    scallions (white and pale green parts only),coarsely chopped
3 ea garlic,chopped
8    fresh basil leaves
3 T  olive oil
Pinch salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Lentil Loaf
3/4 c  lentils (about 5 ounces)
3 c  reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 c  uncooked short-grain brown rice,rinsed well
1/2 c  finely chopped white onion
1/2 c  shredded carrots
1    celery rib,sliced
1/2 c  frozen corn kernels
2 T  butter,divided
10    ounces fresh baby spinach leaves (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 c  cubed whole milk mozzarella cheese,divided (about 8 -ounces total)
2    eggs,lightly beaten
1/4 c  freshly grated Parmesan cheese,plus 2 tablespoons
1/3 c  chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 t  salt
1 t  freshly ground black pepper
1    tomato,sliced

For the Checca Sauce: Combine the cherry tomatoes, scallions, garlic,
basil, and oil in a processor. Pulse the tomatoes until they are
coarsely chopped, being careful not to puree. Set aside. Season the
sauce with salt and pepper.
For the Lentil Loaf: Place the lentils in a large saucepan of cold
water. Bring the water just to a boil over high heat. Carefully drain
the boiling water and rinse the lentils. Meanwhile, in a heavy large
saucepan over medium heat, bring the broth to a boil. Add the rice and
return the liquid to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover the rice,
and gently simmer without stirring for 10 minutes. Stir in the lentils,
onion, carrot, and celery. Cover and continue cooking without stirring
until the rice and lentils are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about
30 minutes longer. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the corn over the rice
and lentils and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff
the rice with a fork. Cover and let stand for 5 more minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread 1 tablespoon of the butter over a 10 by 4 1/2 by 3-inch loaf pan.
In a heavy, large skillet, cook the spinach over medium heat until the
spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. Drain and squeeze the excess liquid
from the spinach. Transfer the spinach to a work surface and coarsely
In a large bowl, gently mix the lentil mixture, spinach, 1 cup of the
mozzarella cheese, eggs, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, basil, salt,
pepper, and half of the checca sauce. Spoon the mixture into the
prepared pan. Arrange the sliced tomatoes in a row over the lentil
mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 2
tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Dot the top with the remaining 1
tablespoon of butter.
Bake uncovered until the loaf is heated through and the topping is
melted and starting to brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.
Slice the loaf into 2-inch slices, arrange on plates, and serve with
the remaining checca sauce.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

$4 Spaghetti That’s Almost As Good As $24 Spaghetti

The title lies. I made the recipe for Scarpetta's Spaghetti With Tomato And Basil I got off the web and it was a million times better than this one.   I thought it would be at least similar, but even after an hour and a half of cooking it was still pretty thin and the oil was a pale imitation of the original.  I hate to be so down on it but it promised the world and didn't even deliver a city.  If they hadn't raised my expectations, I probably would have liked it more.  I see no reason to keep the recipe.  I will give it this, it is much easier than the original.  I like the idea of using a rich mushroom broth to help boost the flavor, but I didn't see the results I expected.

$4 Spaghetti That’s Almost As Good As $24 Spaghetti

4    ounces white button mushrooms,thinly sliced
3/4 c  peeled garlic cloves (4 ounces,from about 4 heads)
2/3 c  extra-virgin olive oil
Two 28-ounce cans peeled Italian tomatoes with their juices
Freshly ground pepper
1 lb spaghetti
1/4 c  torn basil leaves
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese,for serving
1. In a saucepan, bring the mushrooms and 3 cups of water to a boil.
Simmer over moderate heat until the broth is reduced to 1 cup, 1 hour.
Strain and discard the mushrooms.
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the garlic and olive oil to a
boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring, until the garlic is
very tender and golden, about 30 minutes.
3. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole or Dutch oven, bring the
tomatoes and the garlic and oil to a boil. Add the mushroom broth and,
using an immersion blender, puree the sauce until smooth. Bring the
sauce back to a boil, then simmer over moderately low heat until
thickened, about 1 hour. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
4. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water until al
dente. Drain the spaghetti and return to the pot. Add 2 cups of the
sauce and cook, tossing, for 1 minute. Transfer the spaghetti to bowls,
top with the basil and serve with grated cheese.
Make Ahead The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for
up to 3 months.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pomegranate-Glazed Salmon With Armenian Rice

Having pomegranate molasses from last night's recipe, I decided to pull out this one from my to try file that has been passed up because I didn't have the molasses.  I hate to get an ingredient with only one use for it.  Well unlike in school house rock, it seems two was the magic number.  This one was vastly superior to last night's dinner.  My only complaint was with mother nature.  I did not enjoy the woody aspect of the pomegranate arils.  Loved the tart pop but that woody crunch after was a texture issue for me.  I kept thinking that I was getting a fish bone.  I learned to work with it and over the course of dinner, I found myself enjoying it more and more.  The flavor of the fish was awesome.  I even enjoyed the mint.  I usually have an issue with mint in savory dishes.

Pomegranate-Glazed Salmon With Armenian Rice

2 T  soy sauce
1 T  extra-virgin olive oil
1 T  fresh lemon juice
1 T  fresh lime juice
1 T  agave nectar
2    garlic cloves,smashed
1 1/2 tsp  finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 t  kosher salt
1/2 t  freshly ground white pepper
4   Six-ounce skinless salmon fillets
2 Tbsp  pomegranate molasses
1 T  agave nectar
1 T  soy sauce
1    garlic cloves,minced
1 1/2 tsp  finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp  finely grated lime zest
1/2 c  shelled edamame,for garnish
1/4 c  pomegranate seeds,for garnish
Armenian Rice,for serving

1. PREPARE THE SALMON: Combine the soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice,
lime juice, agave nectar, garlic, ginger, salt and white pepper in a
large, shallow dish. Add the salmon fillets and turn to coat. Cover and
refrigerate for 1 hour, turning a few times.
2. MAKE THE GLAZE: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the pomegranate
molasses with the agave nectar, soy sauce, garlic, fresh ginger and
lime zest.
3. Preheat the broiler. Transfer the salmon fillets to a large rimmed
baking sheet. Season with salt and brush with half of the glaze. Broil
4 inches from the heat for about 3 minutes, until the fillets begin to
brown. Brush the fillets with the remaining glaze and broil for about 3
minutes longer, until richly glazed and the fish is just cooked through.
Transfer the fillets to plates. Garnish with the edamame and
pomegranate seeds and serve with Armenian Rice.

Armenian Rice
3/4 stick    unsalted butter
1 1/2  ounces vermicelli or angel hair pasta,broken into 2-inch lengths (1
1/4 c  pine nuts
2 c  long-grain white rice
4 c  chicken stock,warmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 T + 2 t  thinly sliced mint leaves

1. In a large pot, melt the butter. Stir in the vermicelli and pine
nuts and cook over high heat until golden brown, 3 minutes. Stir in the
rice. Add the chicken stock, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of white
pepper.  Cover and cook over low heat for 25 minutes, until the rice is
tender and the stock has been absorbed. Uncover, fluff with a fork and
cover again. Let stand for 20 minutes. Stir in half of the mint; season
with salt and pepper. Transfer the rice to a bowl. Garnish with the
remaining mint and serve right away.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sayoudeiah: Lebanese Fried Fish With Tarator Sauce And Rice

This dinner was a split decision.  I liked it somewhat and thought it was good enough to try and fix the issues we had with it.  My son loved the fish, but my husband didn't.  My husband thought the rice was the star, the carbohydrate kid, not so much.  The little girl liked the fish too.  I loved that this recipe was a real challenge on the ingredient guessing game.  The boy beat the husband by one.  I will admit when it came to the spice blend, I gave hints;).  I just want to advocate again that the ingredient guessing game is a great meal time activity.  It can be played by any age, it's fun (really it is, not just for food geeks:) and connects the diner with the meal and the process of cooking it. Ok back to the meal...
It was a bit of a laborious pain.  The pomegranate molasses took way longer thant AB said it would in his recipe.  You can buy it, but why? It's $$$$ and hard to find.  I did it the day before.  I didn't make my own thahini but other than that, I followed the recipe.  I am hoping my other recipe using the molasses turns out better.  If you are wanting to try it, I would next time, lightly dust the fillets with the spice mixture and then flour.  It was light on seasoning the way the recipe says to do it.

Sayoudeiah: Lebanese Fried Fish With Tarator Sauce And Rice

1/2 c  tahini,recipe follows
1/4    to 1/2 cup water
2    to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 t  minced garlic
1/2 t  salt
1/2 t  ground cumin
Pinch cayenne
2 T  chopped parsley
Fried Fish
1/4 t  ground black pepper
1/4 t  ground ginger
1/4 t  ground cumin
1/4 t  allspice
1/4 t  cinnamon
1/4 t  ground cloves
1/4 t  grated nutmeg
1/4 t  ground fenugreek
1/2    to 1 cup olive or canola oil
3 T  pine nuts
1 1/2 c  thinly sliced yellow onions
1 t  salt
1/2 t  turmeric
1 1/2 c  long grain white rice
3 c  water
1/2 c  all-purpose flour
4    (6-ounce) mild,firm white fish fillets
Chopped fresh parsley garnish
Pomegranate molasses
Chili oil
Lemon wedges,garnish

For the tarator: Place the tahini, 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons lemon
juice, the garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in a blender and process on
high speed. With the machine running, continue adding more water 1 to 2
tablespoons at a time until it becomes a smooth sauce with the
consistency of mayonnaise. Add the parsley and process to incorporate.
Adjust seasoning, to taste, with additional lemon juice or spices.
Transfer to another container.
For the Fried fish: In a small bowl, combine the black pepper, ginger,
cumin, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and fenugreek. Stir to
In a medium pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat.
Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring, until golden brown and fragrant.
Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the onions and fry, stirring, until
golden. Add the rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, turmeric, and 1/4 teaspoon of
the mixed spices. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and the rice is coated
with oil, 1 minute. Add the water. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and
simmer without stirring until the water is absorbed and the rice is
fluffy, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit without
stirring for 10 minutes. While the rice is cooking, cook the fish.
In a large saute pan, heat enough oil to come 1/2-inch up the sides of
the pan over high heat until hot but not smoking.
In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, remaining spice blend, and
remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Dredge the fish fillets in the seasoned
flour to coat on both sides, shaking to remove any excess. Add to the
hot oil in batches, if necessary, and cook until golden brown, about 2
minutes per side, shaking the pan to prevent the fish from sticking.
Remove and drain on paper towels.
Fluff the rice with a fork and add the fried pine nuts, stirring to
incorporate. Divide among 4 plates and top with the fish. Spoon the
sauce over the fish, garnish with parsley and drizzle with pomegranate
molasses and chili oil. Serve with lemon wedges, and serve immediately.

Homemade Tahini:
4 cups sesame seeds
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the sesame seeds on a shallow baking tray and bake, shaking
frequently, until fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Do not brown. Cool. Put the
sesame seeds in a blender or food processor fitted with the metal blade.
Add 1/4 cup of the vegetable oil. Process to a smooth paste, about 3
minutes. Add more oil as necessary to bring the paste to a thick
pouring consistency. (Tahini will keep, refrigerated, in a tightly
covered container for several months.)
Yield: approximately 4 cups

Pomegranate Molasses
4 c  pomegranate juice
1/2 c  sugar
1 T  freshly squeezed lemon juice

Place the pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice in a 4-
quart saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally,
until the sugar has completely dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved,
reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the mixture has reduced to
1 cup, approximately 70 minutes. It should be the consistency of thick
syrup. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the saucepan for 30
minutes. Transfer to a glass jar and allow to cool completely before
covering and storing in the refrigerator for up to 6 months

Monday, July 16, 2012

Beef Brewat

OMG, what a total pain in the butt, and dang it if it wasn't really delicious.  We were trying out this recipe we had at Restaurant Marrakesh in EPCOT and got from their cookbook.  I was a bit annoyed at it's vague instructions.  (it's an ounce by volume not weight FYI) and no instructions on how to substitute phyllo dough for the bastilla leaf but my annoyance faded at the tasting.  It was great.  Super great!  I have never been a fan of sweet and savory, but this recipe makes me a believer.  The sweet, cinnamony meat in the crisp shell is perfect.  I love Moroccan food and this is a perfect example of why it is so wonderful.  The rolling of it is fraught with annoyance and curse words but all is forgotten by the time you taste it! YUM

Beef Brewat

1 lb Ground Beef
1/2 md Onion,Diced
1 oz Cilantro,Chopped
1 oz Parsley,Chopped
1/2 t  Cinnamon
1 pn Ginger
1 pn Saffron
1 t  Salt
2    Egg,Whipped
1 oz Peanut Oil
Bastilla Leaf,Or Phyllo Dough
Powdered Sugar And Cinnamon For Dusting
[Note: Epcot's Morocco cookbook]
Mix the beef, onion, cilantro and parsley and brown in a skillet
add the cinnamon, ginger, saffron, salt,m eggs and oil
Cook fully and let cool
Wrap 1 ounce of the meat in the dough and deep fry
dust with cinnamon and sugar

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Green-Chile Burgers With Fried Eggs

I think this is the first of the F&W staff favorites that disappointed us a bit.  It was alright but not particularly memorable.  We did alter it a bit.  I only used a pound and a half of meat.  The burgers were plenty big with less meat.  The only blue cheese at the market was  danish style and probably stronger than what was recommended, but the burgers weren't overwhelmingly blue cheesy.  I don't care for brioche and we had some buns already.  And lastly, there weren't the right peppers at the market and a quick search on my phone suggested cubanelles as a substitute.  It was tasty but I can't see us making it again.  Maybe we have become a bit too picky, but we have plenty of recipes we love so... It was different and that is something:)
Green-Chile Burgers With Fried Eggs
2 1/4 lb ground chuck,preferably organic
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 lb mild American blue cheese such as Maytag Blue Cheese, cut into 4 slices
4    large eggs
4    brioche buns,split
4 T  unsalted butter,melted
Vegetable oil
1 c  Green-Chile Relish,warmed up
1. Light a grill. Gently form the beef into 4 thick patties and
season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat until
lightly charred on the outside and medium-rare within, about 5 minutes
per side. Just before the burgers are done, top each one with a slice
of cheese and let it melt.
2. Meanwhile, heat a large cast-iron skillet and brush it lightly with
oil. Crack the eggs into the skillet and cook sunny-side up over
moderate heat, about 4 minutes. Spread the cut sides of the buns with
the melted butter and toast on the grill. Transfer the burgers to the
buns. Top with the Green-Chile Relish and the fried eggs and serve.

Green-Chile Relish

1 lb long green New Mexico or  Anaheim chiles
3    garlic cloves,minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Roast the chiles over a gas flame or under a preheated broiler,
turning often, until charred all over. Transfer to a large plate and
let cool. Discard the charred skin, seeds and stems and cut the chiles
into 1/2-inch dice. Transfer the chiles to a bowl and stir in the
garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
Make Ahead The green chile relish can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Coconut Pops

I decided to make some Popsicles to beat the heat after a swim.  We love coconut so these sounded ideal. My son and daughter loved them.  My husband and I didn't.  They were too strong with the lime.  Also we can't eat anything sweet, cold and coconut without comparing it to the most amazing coconut ice cream from Hershey's.  It has ruined us for anything else!  I don't see me making this recipe again, but I am totally happy that I invested in some Popsicle molds because I am looking forward to trying out all kinds of flavors.

Coconut Pops
Puree a 14-ounce can of coconut milk with the grated zest of 1 lime, the juice of 2 limes, 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and 1/4 cup shredded coconut. Pour into small Popsicle molds or 3-ounce paper cups; insert wooden Popsicle sticks. Freeze several hours, or until firm

Friday, July 13, 2012

Miso Sesame Vinaigrette

I have finally used up the last of the miso paste.  We all really loved this dressing.  My biggest issue was that I thought it was a bit sweet.  I think that next time I will halve the sugar.  It was really worth it even when though it was too sweet, but for my taste, I would like to tweak it towards the savory next time.

Miso Sesame Vinaigrette

2 T  Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
3 T  Water
2 T  Miso Paste,Red Or White
2 T  Sugar
2 T  Fresh Ginger,Finely Grated
4 t  Tahini,Well Stirred (or Nerigoma) Japanese sesame paste
3 T  Vegetable Oil
Sesame Seeds,For Garnish

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until smooth
Dressing can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.  Bring to room
temperature before serving

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

I have been slacking on the recipes as we are in Tennessee enjoying the mountains. While we have been cooking dinner every night, they have been recipes that were already on the blog.  I have cheated a bit by scheduling posts of sides and snacks I made before we left.  I am not sorry, I am loving my vacation. (can you say white water rafting!!!)  However, tonight we are making this grilled pork tenderloin that we love but somehow neglected to make during the blog era. This is an Alton Brown Recipe.  (always good)   We are having it with my black beans recipe and rice and a salad. The post marinade is genius; the combination of pork and lime, sublime.  We all ate way too much.  This was the first time we actually cooked it on a grill.  (Usually we just cook it under the broiler). Yummy! It was also nice that our salad had lots of local veggies we got from a road side stand.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

1    whole pork tenderloin approximately 1 pound
1    lime,zest finely grated
1/2 c  freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 c  honey
1 1/2 t  kosher salt
1/2 t  garlic powder
1    chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce
1 t  vegetable oil
1 T  chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Trim the pork tenderloin of any excess fat and silver skin.
Place the lime zest, lime juice, honey, salt, and garlic powder in a
small, lidded jar and shake to combine. Pour half of the marinade
mixture into a 1-gallon resealable bag, add the chipotle pepper, and
move around to combine. Add the pork tenderloin to the bag and seal,
removing as much air as possible and place in a container to catch any
leaks. Marinate in the refrigerator for 6 to 24 hours, rotating the bag
halfway through the time. Place the remaining marinade in a covered
container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Remove the tenderloin from the bag and allow to sit at room temperature
while preparing the grill. Remove the reserved marinade from the
Grill Instructions
Fill a large chimney starter with natural lump charcoal and light. Once
the charcoal is ashy and white, approximately 30 minutes, dump the hot
charcoal onto the lowest grate of the grill and spread into an even
layer using extra-long tongs. Place the cooking grate back on the grill
and cover with the lid; heat the grate to medium heat for 2 to 3
Brush the grill with vegetable oil. Remove the tenderloin from the bag
and place in the center of grate. Discard bag with marinade. Cover and
cook for 12 to 15 minutes, turning every 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until the
tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.
Remove the tenderloin from the grill and place on a large piece of
heavy-  duty aluminum foil folded at the edges to create a basket, and
pour on the reserved marinade. Wrap tightly and rest for 10 minutes.
Remove to a cutting board and slice. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Broiler Instructions
Preheat oven to 500
Turn Broiler to high and prop open the oven with a wooden spoon
Cook the pork 4-6 inches from the heating element turning every 2 minutes and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 140-150
Remove the tenderloin from the oven and place on a large piece of
heavy-  duty aluminum foil folded at the edges to create a basket, and
pour on the reserved marinade. Wrap tightly and rest for 10 minutes.
Remove to a cutting board and slice. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

White Bean Dip

It may not be pretty, but it's good:)
I love this versatile dip.  This is the "bare bones" recipe.  From here you can build it to your taste or occasion.  I like adding cumin, curry power or Greek seasoning(just be mindful of the salt.  add seasonings with salt before you add salt).  You can even add some tahini if you want it to be more hummus like, but I happen to like it this way, not just for flavor, but it is a little lighter with out the fat and calories of tahini.  It is simple to make and fast.  I often whip up a batch before the beach or pool and take it as a snack.  I like to use it as a dip for veggies and as the "meat" in a sandwich in addition to the bread or crackers. I usually don't add the hot sauce to the dip, (ok maybe just a dash or two)  I sprinkle it over each portion.  It lets you adjust heat for every one's preference.

White Bean Dip

2 cn of cannellini beans [white kidney beans] drained and rinsed
2 ea of garlic,put through a press or minced fine
Olive oil,(about 1/2 A Cup)
1 T  Lemon Juice
1 ounce water (if needed)
[Note: variation: add a teaspoon of anchovy paste ]

1.In a food processor add the beans, lemon juice and garlic and process
2.While it is still running drizzle the oil until it reaches a dip like
consistency (you can use a little water if after 1/2 cup oil it's still too thick or use the water to replace 1 ounce of oil.
3.Season it with salt and taste.  Adjust salt as needed.  Add hot sauce
instead of pepper if desired
4.Serve with crackers, pita and/or baguettes

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Easy Thai Grilled Eggplant

I had a variety of gorgeous eggplants from my Front Porch Pickings basket.  I decided rather than puree these beauties into Baba Ganoush, which everyone would eat, I was making them all for me.  I had been wanting to try this recipe anyways.  The sauce was good but very garlicky, so go light.  The biggest issue with the dish was totally my fault.  Some of the eggplants in the basket were babies and not ideal grilling fodder. That kept the recipe from being great.  I also hate to not to do justice to a great product so that's a double grrrrr for me.  Oh added bonus, the high sugar content of the sauce make it quite a chore to clean up the grill. (or grill basket as in my case)
Easy Thai Grilled Eggplant

1 Chinese eggplant (other types of eggplant will work too)
4 T soy sauce
4 T oyster sauce
2 T fish sauce
2 T brown sugar + 1-2 more tsp.
7 -8 cloves garlic,minced
1 fresh minced red chili,OR 1-2 tsp. chili sauce (optional)
2 T white wine or cooking wine (or sherry)
squeeze of lime juice
1.In a bowl or cup, mix together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish
sauce, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, garlic, and chili (if using). Stir until
the sugar dissolves.
2.Wash and dry the eggplant. Slicing lengthwise, thinly cut the
eggplant (about 1/4 inch thick is good). You can then cut these slices
into smaller sections, if you wish, but I like to keep mine whole, so
that they look like eggplant "cellos". Also, they will stay on the
grill easier if they remain wide and flat
3.Place the eggplant slices in a long, flat dish (like a glass lasagna
casserole dish). Pour the garlic sauce you made earlier over the slices,
turning them to cover with sauce (You will have to pile the slices on
top of each other).
4.Allow eggplant to marinate at least 10 minutes, or up to 24 hours
ahead of grilling time (cover and refrigerate for longer periods).
5.Barbecuing eggplant is very easy. Simply place the eggplant slices
on a hot grill, allowing 5-10 minutes each side (this depends on how
thick the slices are), or until the eggplant has turned golden-brown
and is soft when tested with a fork.
Eggplant Cooking Tips: Note that all of the eggplant is eaten,
including the seeds and skin (the skin is where you'll get most of the
nutrients). I also leave on the top (stem) of the eggplant when
grilling, so that some of the largest pieces have a "handle", making
turning easier. When grilling, be sure to turn the eggplant often, as
it can easily burn.
6.While the eggplant is cooking, pour the remaining sauce from the
bottom of the casserole dish into a sauce pan. Place over medium heat,
adding a few Tbsp. wine plus a squeeze of lime juice and 1 tsp. brown
7.Bring to a near-boil, then reduce heat to minimum. Taste-test the
sauce - it should be garlicky and slightly sweet. Adjust the sweetness
according to your taste, adding up to 1 more tsp. sugar. If you'd like
it more garlicky, add a little more fresh or pureed garlic. If it's too
salty for your taste, add another squeeze of lime juice. Note that the
sauce should be quite strong - this will complement the mild taste of
the eggplant.
8.To serve, place eggplant on a platter, and either pour the sauce
over, or serve it on the side.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Butter Bean Hummus

With the lovely butter beans I got from my Front Porch Pickings basket, I decided to try a butter bean hummus recipe.  My son, who would have turned his nose up at the beans themselves, really liked it.  My husband and I did too.  The only thing I found, for me, was it kind of like taking a big swig of what you thought was Coke only to find it Root Beer.  Both taste good but it flavor difference was hard to get over at first.  Now that I expect it, no problem, but in the beginning it some getting use to. We had a cocktail hour with some friends and I served the hummus with some garlic hot sauce, olives and wasabi almonds.  Mmmmmm. 
Butter Bean Hummus

1 lb dried butter beans (Lima beans)
4    garlic cloves
1/3 c  tahini
2 t  kosher salt
1/2 t  black pepper,freshly ground
1/2 t  cayenne
1 c  olive oil
1/4 c  lemon juice,freshly squeezed
1Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water.2Drain and discard the
soaking water.3Put the beans in a pot and cover with cold fresh water.
4Bring to a boil and then simmer, partially covered, until they are
very tender but not mushy.5Remove from heat and drain, reserving the
cooking liquid.6Put the beans in a food processor fitted with a steal
blade.7Add garlic, tahini, salt, pepper, and cayenne.8Puree this
mixture, and with the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil and
lemon juice.9If the puree is too thick, pour in a little of the
reserved cooking liquid until the puree is silky smooth, I use up about
one cup of the cooking liquid.10Taste for seasoning and add more salt
and cayenne if desired.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mesa Hot Sauce

We have family in town.  They are all gathering here before we all take a  trip to the mountains. It has been strongly suggested we have our famous (and secret recipe) Fish Tacos.  Well, as we can't share that recipe and technically it is a repeat, so I thought I would make a hot sauce for them. I got this sauce out of the free iBook from the iTunes store.  It's called Bobby Flay's Bold Flavors. It is an amazing hot sauce.  It's funny, every member of my household (ok not the 2 year old) has their own hot sauce.  My son loves the Chipotle Tabasco, my husband Crystal and Sriracha for myself, however everyone loves this sauce.  If pureeing an entire can of chipotles for 2 tablespoons worries you, and you think there won't be another use for it, do what I do with tomato paste.  Portion it out (1 Tbsp for tomato paste, and 1 tsp for the peppers unless you like spicy) and freeze it. Then put your little frozen nuggets in a ziploc bag and viola.  No waste and easy portions for future use.  And, as hot sauce doesn't make for stunning photography, no picture;).

Mesa Hot Sauce
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons Chipotle Chile Puree*
1 1/2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Teaspoon salt

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl and let sit at least 30 minutes

*Made by pureeing a can of chipotles in adobo in a food processor

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Oatmeal Cookies

Well we are getting ready to go on vacation and I need to clean out the produce in my fridge that won't make it the week.  I am, again cheating, by baking cookies as my "dinner" and making clean out the fridge black beans.  While they were tasty, they are too similar to my black bean recipe to count as a new dinner so.... cookies.  This is a recipe I made for some of my Husband's employees when we were first married.  It is from a Martha Stewart magazine.  Everyone loved these cookies, and as I am not a baker, I was super pleased that they were well received.  I know they were a favorite of my husband's but I haven't made them in a long, long time. So, while he often curses the blog because he will have to wait too long before he can have a favorite meal again, he can thank it too for unearthing some old favorites. I made half the batch with raisins(for my mom) and half with chocolate chips (for me;)

Oatmeal Cookies
1 c  packed light brown sugar
1 c  granulated sugar
1/2 lb (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter at room temp.
2    large eggs at room temp
1 t  Vanilla extract
3 c  Rolled oats
1 c  plus 2 TBSP AP Flour
1 t  Baking soda
1 t  baking powder
1/2 c  wheat germ
12 oz Raisins,chocolate chips etc whatever you want in them*

1.Heat oven to 350F
2.Cream the butter and the sugar
3.Add the eggs and vanilla and mix
4.IN a separate mixing bowl mix the dry ingredients (everything else
except the chips or whatever you are using)
5.Add the dry mixture to the wet and just mix though
6.Fold in the Chips you are using
7.Bake at 350 about 14 to 18 minutes

*if you use chocolate chips, I like a good dash of Cinnamon in it as well

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sliders With Chipotle Mayonnaise

I know I said no more burgers for a while.  Its a long, boring story, so sufficed to say I had some ingredients I needed to use.  This Bobby Flay recipe was, as expected, very tasty.  Even my husband didn't complain that we were having burgers again after a bite.  The recipe is really for the chipotle mayo.  The rest of the slider was kind of up to the individual.  We diverged from the recipe by replacing salt and pepper with adobo seasoning. Also, because my chipotles in adobo were frozen, I didn't have much of the adobo once thawed, so I added a dash or two of chipotle Tabasco and some garlic powder.

Sliders With Chipotle Mayonnaise

Chipotle Mayonnaise
1 c  mayonnaise
2    chipotles in adobo sauce
1 T  adobo sauce
1/2    lime,juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and puree. Season, to
taste, with salt and pepper.

1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck,80/20
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cheese slices,your choice
Mini burger buns
Chipotle Mayonnaise
Red onion slices

Preheat grill over medium-high heat.Form the meat into 2 to 3-ounce
portions, packed tightly. Season with salt and pepper.Place the sliders
on the grill. Wait until they are nice and crusty on the first side,
about 4 to 5 minutes and then flip and cook another 4 minutes. When the
sliders are about done, top with desired cheese and close the grill,
allowing the cheese to melt.Place the slider on mini burger buns and
top with chipotle mayonnaise and any other desired toppings.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Guest Chef: Joe's Shrimp Sauce

My friend's husband is a wizard at the grill.  I don't know if it is the sauce or the fact that he stokes this monster fire of different woods to get that amazing smoke flavor, or even that he had just caught the shrimp himself.  All I know is I didn't have enough room for all I ate but I didn't get enough! On the menu tonight was: grilled shrimp, grilled veggies, steak, kielbasa, baked beans, coleslaw, watermelon and mojitos.
The Famous Mug!
 I was having too much fun to ask for all the recipes, but as I didn't want to neglect the blog completely, I got the recipe for his sauce.  He starts with an old and beloved mug with Garfield on it.  He adds 1/2 c of butter, 1/2 cup of toasted sesame marinade and about 10 drops of lime juice.  He then fills the rest of the mug with some water.  (about a 1/2 cup)  He microwaves it for 30 seconds or so and them brushes them liberally over the shrimp skewers.  He also makes a similar sauce I love but instead of the sesame he uses honey mustard dressing.
I still think that the secret is in his fire.  I don't want to even try to replicate the process.  All I know is that at the end of it all, there is this yummy, smokey, delicious (insert the protein here) that you can't get enough of.
After gorging ourselves, we went out on the dock and set off the fire works that didn't get set off the night before.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Chicken Burgers With Spicy Peanut Sauce

Well yet another burger.  My husband has strongly requested we back off the burgers for a while.  I can't promise it.  I get a bit obsessive.  I have found so many amazing variations of the classic burger and I want to explore it's many infinite possibilities until I feel I have attained some mastery.  My husband argues that we have many we have mastered and that is true but by no means equals burger mastery.  And here is the thing, I love variety and we could eat all manner of "burgers" and the only thing that lumps them in to the same category is the  bun. (if that see the Crunchy Kimchi Burgers) I have just seen that we have had 20 different kinds of burgers this year.  Most of these have been in the last few months.  Ok, honey I will try to back off but I can't promise:). 
These burgers were really good.  I did have a little mistake that I made that I think ending up making the burger better.  When I saw chile I read chili.  So in the burger I used the cumin based chili powder.  When it came to the  sauce, I realized my mistake and busted out the chile powder.  I was worried it might be too spicy for the children so I did half chili and half chile powder.  The garam masala was great in it. I also put a slice of raw red onion on the burger. I think it needed it.

Chicken Burgers With Spicy Peanut Sauce

1 1/4 lb ground chicken
1/4 c  plus 2 tablespoons very finely chopped red onion
2 T  vegetable oil,plus more for brushing
2 t  chile powder
1 t  garam masala
1/4 c  unsweetened coconut milk
2 T  creamy peanut butter
2 T  hot water
2 T  chopped salted peanuts
4    round ciabatta rolls,split and toasted
Lettuce,for serving

1. In a medium bowl, combine the ground chicken with 1/4 cup of the
chopped onion, 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon of the
chile powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and the garam masala. Using slightly
moistened hands, form the ground-chicken mixture into four 4-inch
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable
oil. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of chopped onion and 1 teaspoon of
chile powder and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is
softened, about 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the peanut butter and hot water. Stir
in the peanuts and season the sauce lightly with salt.
3. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the chicken burgers
with vegetable oil and grill over moderately high heat, turning once,
until they are golden and crusty and just cooked through, 8 to 10
minutes. Spread the peanut sauce on the rolls. Top with the burgers and
lettuce, close and serve.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Grilled Romaine Salad

My husband thought I was nuts.  I told him repeatedly that I have seen grilled romaine many time on cooking shows, but he thought I was just being silly.  But as we were grilling tonight and had romaine in the fridge, I insisted.  I loved what the grill did to the lettuce.  It gave it this slight smoky char that was really something.  The dressing was great too.  The boy devoured his and the husband had to admit that he was wrong and that it was really great.  That was almost better than the meal;).

Grilled Romaine Salad
2    heads romaine lettuce
Extra-virgin olive oil
Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Rinse and pat dry the lettuce. Cut the 2 heads in half lengthwise.
Brush surface with olive oil and grill about 4 to 5 minutes total,
turning occasionally. Place each wedge on a salad plate and drizzle
with Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette or your favorite Caesar dressing. With a
vegetable peeler, shave some pieces from a wedge of Reggiano-Parmigiano
over each salad and serve.

Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette:
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons anchovy paste
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients in a pint jar with a lid. Secure the lid, then
shake to blend. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Liebster Award

I am so happy and honored to be nominated for a second award.  Thank you so much Marie at Citron Limette for the nomination.  I am so happy to find the warm supportive community of food bloggers.  I have not only made the acquaintance of so many lovely people but I am also overwhelmed with recipes I want to try.  I clicked on the link to Our Earth Land who nominated Citron Limette to find out some more information on the award.  Again I am forced to try and select a few from so many bloggers I have come to like.  After much thought I nominate the following:

We Are Not Foodies
The Saucy Gourmet
Our Dinner Table
How Do You Cook

Thank you again Marie and everyone check out these wonderful bloggers!