Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mustard-Crusted Salmon With Red Potatoes

My boy loves salmon!  He choose this recipe for dinner tonight and he loved it!  I am putting it in the fixable file. Why?  Well there was a ton of mustard to salmon ratio.  I think next time I would like whole grain mustard with the English powdered mustard I have. The recipe just says powered mustard, and perhaps the strong horseradish flavor in the English mustard coupled with the Dijon was what made it sinus cleaning!  :0. Once I scraped the mustard off the little girl's portion, she liked it. I ate my bites with the potatoes to help cut the mustard. (Giggle) The potatoes were another issue. I cooked them at least twice as long as recommended and they still were not done. I even bought the small "two bite" red potatoes and quartered those. Also, the crust didn't brown in the time allotted, so I turned on the broiler.  So, while not terrible, I think it could be fixed.  I liked this Salmon with Whole Grain Mustard much better.  The only think I think I liked better on this was the panko crust, but I wouldn't add it to the better recipe.  It is just awesome the way it is.

Mustard-Crusted Salmon With Red Potatoes

1 Lb (500 g.) red-skinned potatoes quartered
2 Tbs. olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 Cup (2 oz./60 g.) Dijon mustard
2 Tbs. dry mustard
4 salmon fillets about 6 oz. (185 g.) each, skin removed
4 Tbs. (1 oz./15 g.) panko or fresh bread crumbs
1/4 Cup (1/2 oz./15 g.) chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a large roasting
pan, toss the potatoes with the olive oil and season with salt and
pepper. Spread the potatoes evenly in the pan. Roast until the potatoes
are golden, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the Dijon and dry mustards.
Coat one side of the salmon fillets with the mustard mixture, then
sprinkle evenly with the panko, gently pressing to adhere.
Arrange the fillets in the pan, breaded side up, next to the potatoes.
Bake until the fillets are barely opaque, the topping is golden brown,
and the potatoes are tender, 15-18 minutes. Arrange the salmon fillets
alongside the potatoes on a platter or individual plates, sprinkle with
the parsley and serve. Serves 4.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rigatoni with Eggplant Purée

I loved tonight's dinner. We had our "Meatless Monday" tonight as we had guests Monday night and just swapped days we made meatless. I had an eggplant from Front Porch Pickings so yippee I get to make some even though the boys aren't fans.  Just one more great reason to use a csa or community sponsored agriculture.  (Although FPP is better than any other one I have used. I love that you can customize your baskets.)  Funny story my husband started singing "you down with FPP" so of course I answered "yea you know me". Your welcome for the ear worm.  But back to having a CSA, there are so many reasons I love and advocate for people joining one.  First and most important to the foodie in me is that the quality, flavor and variety can't be matched by a large grocery.  Secondly it is the healthiest option for your produce.  Local means more time to mature on the plant and more nutrients in your food.  The delivery of local and seasonal produce also forces you in to eating a variety of foods you might try or buy.  (like the eggplant I often avoid just to be kind to my boys:) Variety in produce means a variety in nutrients.    It is healthier for the planet too, as there is less of a carbon footprint because your food hasn't been shipped from around the world.  It is also the most economical way to get organic produce as it is always cheaper then organic in the big stores and is often the same price as the non organic stuff in the grocery.  Ok I'm getting off my soap box.  I loved tonight's dinner, and surprisingly so did the boys!  My son was less enthusiastic about it once he found out there was eggplant in it but he still ate it.  (he loved it before he found out what was in it;)  It is a great way to sneak some veggies in your kids.  The original recipe called for mint and pine nuts.  I wasn't going to buy $6 in pine nuts because I had plenty of nuts at home and I'm not the hugest fan. I love almonds and had some I needed to use up anyways.  I meant to put the mint in it, but had a senior moment and harvested the basil out of my garden instead of mint.  I realized this after we ate it.  I think it was great as is and would keep making it this was.

Rigatoni With Eggplant Puree
1 medium eggplant cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Pint cherry tomatoes
3 Clove garlic whole
3 Tbl olive oil
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 Cup almonds
1 Lb rigatoni pasta
1/4 Cup torn fresh basil leaves
3 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment
In a large bowl combine the eggplant, cherry tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and red
pepper flakes. Spread the vegetables out in an even layer on the baking
sheet. Roast in the oven until the vegetables are tender and the
eggplant is golden, about 35 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, place the pine nuts in a small baking
dish. Place in the oven on the rack below the vegetables. Roast until
golden, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring
occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and
reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid.
Transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor. Add the torn mint
leaves and extra-virgin olive oil. Puree the vegetables.
Transfer the pureed vegetables to the bowl with the pasta and add the
Parmesan. Stir to combine, adding the pasta cooking liquid 1/2 cup at a
time until the pasta is saucy. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top and

Monday, August 26, 2013

Papaya & Pear Juice

I love my juicer. We have a glass every day. My favorite is the "original v-8" but we often just destroy vast amounts of produce and alternate between sweet and savory juices, often leaning towards the savory.  This was a kind of fruit clean up juice I really enjoyed, so I figured I would save it to the blog.  The papaya make for quite a thick juice, I think it really can't be a single item in a juice unless you want it more like a shake.  Next time I think I might like to try a bit of ginger in the juice as well; not too much to overwhelm the flavor but just a smidge.

Papaya & Pear Juice
1 papaya
1 red pear
1 green pear
1 Granny Smith
1/2 lemon

Put items in the juicer and serve over ice. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pancetta Fried Rice

Another pin from Pinterest tonight. It turns out it is a recipe from the same blog that I got one of my all time favorite recipes: Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Cream. The sriracha cream is quite possibly the most perfect sauce ever!  The blog is called Damn Delicious. I am going to have to have a good look through it, soon. This pancetta fried rice was really great. A solid 4.5 from me, the boy was hovering between 3.5-4. The hubby wasn't home so we don't have his rating, and except for the scallions the girl liked it too!  Not only did it get high marks from everyone, it was easy to make, and inexpensive. The hardest part was the chopping/grating before the cooking. That could always be done ahead of time and then dinner would take like 15 minutes. I made extra rice when we make the poblano chicken so I had the 3 cups of cooked rice already cooked and measured out. Even with the chopping and egg cooking, it came together really quick. I adore the fact that the regular scrambled eggs in fried rice was replaced with an over medium egg!  Mmmmm runny yolk! I am looking forward to having it for breakfast. (2 eggs??)

Pancetta Fried Rice

 olive oil divided
pancetta diced
Clove garlic minced
onion diced
frozen corn
frozen peas
carrots peeled and grated
grated fresh ginger
cooked rice
soy sauce
Green onions sliced
Fried eggs for serving
Sriracha for serving

Recipe and instructions here
In the pan

In the bowl

with egg

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cheese Gilded Linguine With Smoky Tomatoes

My husband loves NPR and as a result, I do too.  I adore the Splendid Table and that is where this recipe came from.  The only issue I had with this recipe is the cheese did not guild the pasta, more like clumped a bit and stuck to the bowl and utensils but in the end it was yummy so I forgive them for having me picture each noodle being sheathed in a cheese coat.  The kids really dug it too.  The  boy ate a monstrous portion and, adjusting for size, so did the girl!  The girl also punctuated her bite with phrases like "this is my favorite pasta," " can we have this for breakfast."  You get the picture.  It was also pretty easy to make.  They said that the sauce could sit on the stove for a hour before using, so I had it working and done before the boy was home from karate, and had the water at a simmer covered, so when he was home, all I had to do was cook the noodles.  It was also economical.  The huge portion of pasta, which we could all eat two meals out of, and a salad was less than $10.

Cheese Gilded Linguine With Smoky Tomatoes
5 Qt salted water in a 6-quart pot
Good tasting extra-virgin olive oil
6 thick slices bacon sliced into 1/4-inch sticks
1 medium to large onion chopped into 1/4-inch dice
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to -taste
1/4 Tsp hot red pepper flakes or to taste
5 large garlic cloves minced
2 -1/2 to 3 pounds delicious ripe -tomatoes, cored and fine chopped (do
-not peel or seed), or a 28-ounce can -whole tomatoes with their liquid, plus
-a 14-ounce can, drained
1 Lb imported linguine
1 generous cup fresh-grated Parmigiano -Reggiano cheese, plus more for the table
 1. Have the salted water boiling.
 2. Lightly film a straight-sided 12-inch saut pan with oil, add the
bacon, and set over medium-high heat. Saut until the bacon is golden.
Remove it with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all
but about 3 tablespoons fat from the pan.
 3. Return the pan to the heat, stirring in the onions, salt, pepper,
and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to medium. Saut the onions until they
soften and start to color, 5 to 8 minutes.
4. Blend in the garlic, cooking for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes. If
using canned ones, crush them as they go into the pan. Blend in the
cooked bacon. Bring the sauce to a lively bubble and cook until it is
thick, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir the sauce to keep it from sticking. Remove
from the heat, taste for seasoning, and cover the pan. The sauce can
wait on the stove top up to an hour. Bring it to a bubble before adding
to the pasta.
 5. Drop the pasta in the boiling water, cook until tender but still at
little firm to the bite, drain, and turn it into a serving bowl. Toss
with the 1 cup of cheese until it clings to the noodles, then toss with
the sauce. Serve hot with additional cheese at the table if desired.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Roast Pork For Cuban Sandwiches

Well, shoot!  I lost another post because of the blogger app!  GRRR  Not only was this a frustrating recipe, but a frustrating post!  Ok I will paraphrase what I had written.  The end of the recipe's instructions says "cook until the meat is soft and you can pull it apart easily with a fork."  I should have realized that it would have needed to be a very long cooking time, but for some reason I was thinking only an hour.  After an hour it was still raw inside.  We cut it in to 5 pieces or so and cooked it hours more until it was finally done and we could put it away and go to bed!  The end result was that it wasn't as tender it should have been, but the flavor was good.  I am looking forward to doing this again but with an all day cooking time.

Roast Pork For Cuban Sandwiches

4 - to 6-pound pork shoulder roast
1 head garlic – about 10 to 15 cloves
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp black peppercorns
1 Cup sour orange juice (If you can't get -sour oranges in your area, use two -parts fresh orange to one part fresh
-lemon and one part fresh lime)
1 Cup minced onion
2 Tsp oregano
1/2 Cup Spanish olive oil
Mash garlic, salt, and peppercorns into a paste, using a mortar and
pestle. Stir in sour orange juice, onion, and oregano. Let sit at room
temperature for 30 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan until hot, but NOT deep frying
hot! We're looking for something in the neighborhood of 220 degrees F.
Remove the oil from heat and quickly whisk in the garlic-orange juice
mixture until well blended. Let cool before using as a marinade!
Pierce pork roast as many times as you can with a sharp knife or fork.
Pour garlic mixture (save a little for basting while roasting) over pork,
cover and let sit in refrigerator for two to three hours.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Using a suitable roasting pan, sprinkle remaining marinade over pork and
cook uncovered at 375F for 20 minutes. Immediately reduce temperature to
225 degrees F and cook until the meat is soft and you can pull it apart
easily with a fork. Baste occasionally while roasting.
Bring the pan juices to a boil and simmer until the juice is reduced by
half. Sprinkle some juice onto the pork when you put it in the sandwich.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lime Chicken With Poblano Sour Cream

This dinner started off as a bit of a miss, until we added more crema and chopped everything and mixed it all together.  Individually it was kind of meh, but all together it was a whole new dish.  The boys say solid 4.  The boneless, skinless thighs were on sale, so we used those even though I am sure we sacrificed a bunch of flavor.

Lime Chicken With Poblano Sour Cream

4 large poblano chiles
1 large lime
1/2 Cup sour cream or Mexican Crema
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro plus a few sprigs for garnish (optional)
2 Tsp kosher salt more to taste
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1 Tsp ground cumin
1/2 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 medium (5- to 6-oz.) bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Position an oven rack 5 to 6 inches from the broiler element and heat
the broiler to high. Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil and
replace the perforated top part of the pan. Broil the poblanos, turning
3 times, until blackened, 12 to 15 min. total. Put the poblanos in a
medium bowl, top with a dinner plate, and let stand for 5 min.
Meanwhile, cut the lime in half. Cut one half into wedges and squeeze
the other half to get 2 tsp. juice. Measure the juice into a small bowl
and stir in the sour cream or crema and the chopped cilantro.
Transfer the poblanos to a cutting board to cool a bit, then peel away
the burned skin, discard the stems and seeds, and cut into 1/2-inch dice.
Add to the sour cream mixture and stir to combine. Season to taste
with salt.
In a small bowl, combine the 2 tsp. salt with the coriander, cumin, and
pepper. Coat the chicken with the oil and season on both sides with the
spice mixture. Put the chicken skin-side down on the broiler pan, and
broil until well browned, 7 to 10 min. Turn the chicken over with tongs
and continue to broil, checking frequently, until the chicken is dark
brown and cooked through (an instant read thermometer should register at
least 165F), 4 to 6 min. more. If the chicken threatens to burn before
Its cooked through, move the pan to a lower rack.
Transfer the chicken to serving plates, spoon the poblano sour cream on
the side, and garnish with cilantro sprigs, if using, and the lime
wedges for squeezing over the chicken. Serve hot.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Heaven And Hell Shrimp And Sweet Potato Chipotle Grits

First of all I have a bit of a dilemma.  Problem one, I did make a couple changes, the biggest of which was the red sauce.  So, I want to note the changes in the recipe, but since they are from a blogger, I want to put the link.  Problem two, the original pin seems to be from a blog that copies other blog posts but they talk about the Saucy Gourmet, a blog I love, but this doesn't seem to be her recipe but I want to link to that original post to not only give her a well deserved plug, but that was my original source for the recipe.  However, I felt I should look up the original blog post and put a link to them, right.  Well I found what I believe was the original, and it seems idenicle.  So in the most cowardly way, since it is really a Bobby Flay recipe, I am including the recipe, as I cooked it, and links to the two posts and the Saucey Gourmet.  Make me feel better and click on them all ok?  At least tell me you did;).

It was good.  We had a few issues.  I didn't see red jalepenos in the store, but they had these red chili peppers that looked like red jalepenos.  They weren't very spicy and I would have liked a bit more heat.  I also, didn't make the sauce as is.  I knew with the peppers I had, I would be bland, so I used half the oil and added some cream (The recipe below is how I made it) in the mini blender and it was like peppery whipped cream!  I also added salt.  We like this sauce a lot; we just wanted more heat.  The cilantro sauce was a bit vinegeray for me, but still tasty.  I also didn't use all the honey that was called for and I thought it was pretty sweet.  On to the good bits, yes it was tasty, (but only about a 3-3.5) and it looked wonderful.

The Pin was from the erecipe blog.
The, what I believe, was the original post here.

Heaven And Hell Shrimp And Sweet Potato Chipotle Grits

For the Shrimp and Grits:
1 large Sweet Potato
2 Tbl Canola Oil
1/2 Shallot finely diced
4 Clove Garlic smashed and minced
2 1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
1 Cup whole Milk
2 Tsp pureed Chipotle Chile in Adobe Sauce
pinch Kosher Salt
1 1/2 Cup quick cooking Grits
2 Tbl Butter
2 Tbl Honey
6 Tbl Olive Oil
1 Lb large Shrimp shelled and deveined
Fresh ground Black Pepper to taste
For The Green Onion Cilantro Sauce:
1 Cup sliced Green Onions (white and green -parts)
1/4 Cup coarsely chopped fresh Cilantro
1/4 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tbl Dijon Mustard
Pinch Salt and Pepper
1/2 Cup Canola Oil
For the Red Chili Oil
2 red Jalapeño Pepper
roasted, with the skin, seeds and white
1 Cup Canola Oil
To prepare the shrimp and grits:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Roast the sweet potato in the oven until tender when pierced with a  knife (about 45 to 60 minutes)
Peel the sweet potato and puree the flesh in a food processor (or mini
Heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan, add the shallot and cook until
soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
Add the stock, milk, chipotle puree and salt... bring to a boil.
Slowly whisk in the grits. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for
10 minutes.
Stir in the sweet potato puree, stirring frequently for 5 to 10 minutes,
until smooth and thickened.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and honey to taste. Cover
and keep warm.
Saut the shrimp in preheated olive oil for just a few minutes. DO NOT
OVERCOOK. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon the grits on a plate, top with the simple sauted shrimp and serve
with sauces.

Green Onion Cilantro Sauce
1 cup sliced Green Onions (white and green parts)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Cilantro
1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1 TBS Dijon Mustard
Pinch Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup Canola Oil
Combine everything except the oil in a food processor and pulse until
smooth. With the motor running, add the oil slowly until emulsified.

Red Chili Oil
2 red Jalapeo Pepper, roasted, with the skin, seeds and white parts
1/2 cup Canola Oil
1/3 cup heavy cream
Salt to taste
Puree in a mini blender

Pasta alla Bambina

Ok so it is the kids first day back to school and its meatless Monday. I did not have the mimosa in the driveway moment after they were off to school that I was dreaming about so I was feeling less than motivated when it came to dinner. I also want to toss everything in the fridge and start over as back to school is like New Year's Day to me.  In the end, I focused on the ricotta I needed to use. I'm sure this dish has been done a thousand times over, but I don't think I have ever made anything similar. (Other than lasagna). I decided today was the perfect day to bust out the pricy, all natural, marinara I buy bogo for just such an occasion. So, that + ricotta was the start of the dish. I had angel hair on hand do I called it a dish and skipped the grocery. The ricotta would need at least salt. I decided to add that in the form if Parmesan. So, any tired moms, bad day having, or slackers, this is a dish for you! Fast, easy and zero work!  Oh and I called it pasta alla Bambina because the little girl adored it. I also could have named it for the boy as he ate 2 huge portions in record time:).

Pasta alla Bambina

24 oz marinara sauce
2/3 cup ricotta
1/4 cup Parmesan
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1 lb box angel hair pasta (you could use any but angel hair cooks the fastest)

Set a pot of salted water on to boil. In another pot, add the rest of the ingredients (well not the pasta!  thats what the water is for giggle!) and heat over medium low.  Stir well to mix thoroughly. When the water starts to boil, turn the heat on the sauce to medium. Add the pasta to the water and cook according to instructions. Stir the sauce occasionally while the pasta cooks. Drain pasta and toss in the sauce. (Use one of the pots you already dirtied. I used the pasta pot as it was the larger of the 2). Top with more Parmesan if desired.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Buttermilk Caramel Syrup for the Last Day of Summer Breakfast

So, it's the Sunday before the kids go back to school.  I want it to be an awesome, laid back kind of day before the early morning tomorrow.  (well laid back for them since I'm doing the work;)  I also let them have a repeat for dinner tonight and my son choose the Ultimate Sriracha Burger.  (good choice)  I saw this syrup on pinterest and said I have buttermilk I need to use, why not?!  I know the kids were clamoring for my famous sprinkle pancakes.  (actually a friend of mine made them first, but my son's friends and cousins adore them and I have to make them if they are here for breakfast.  It's only as taxing as regular pancakes, which for some reason I find very taxing.  Perhaps it is because I'm most emphatically not a morning person and I feel there is something obscene about working that hard with a cup of coffee in hand.  Now huge amazing breakfasts I have no issue with, just so long as someone else is cooking and cleaning that whole thing up.  Now how do I make the sprinkle pancakes.  Well I add sprinkles,  Duh!  I add some the batter and give it a stir.  The sprinkles instantly dissolve into strings of color.  Don't mix too hard.  I was running low on sprinkles so I went light on this batch but you can see them in this picture.

Once they are poured on the grill, give a good shake of the sprinkles over each pancake.  I often have quite a few sprinkles, colored sugars, etc, and let each kid kind of design their own.  I know I'm such a cool mom.  lol

So on to the new syrup.  I think it tasted great and was easy to do, even with coffee in hand.  It wasn't as thick as I would have liked, but boy was it sweet!  So, if you are looking for a way to switch up the morning pancake/waffles, give this a go.
forgive the blurry picture, but that was most likely how I was seeing it:)

Buttermilk Caramel Syrup

brown sugar
baking soda

Recipe and instructions here.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Portobello And Leek Carbonara

There were many issues with tonight's dinner, but in the end, it was really delicious!  The idea of mushroom, leeks and bacon is a trifecta in my book!  Even the boy who really dislikes mushrooms, ate well and said they even tasted good!  My issues were mainly because I always want to follow a new recipe exactly. I feel like I am learning about ingredients and/or techniques I haven't tried. In this case, I was concerned with some vagueness. The leeks say "trimmed and patted dry".  Surely they were cut, but how?  The picture showed them sliced fairly thickly, but when I told my husband to slice them for me, ours were thinly sliced.  Sounds like no big deal right? However, I was worried how that would affect the cooking time and their doneness.  Another issue we had personally was my husband likes things a certain texture. He likes a little of everything in every bite and doesn't like big chunks. However, personal preferences aside, the flavor was there. I did add a good bit of freshly ground black pepper too. In the end it was a winning dish,  despite the fact I was concerned that I was messing it up;).

Portobello And Leek Carbonara

thick-cut bacon chopped
baby portobello mushrooms quartered
whole wheat linguine
large eggs
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Recipe and instructions here (it is from a fellow blogger)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Seared Scallops With Bacon-Braised Chard

Well I didn't  have/couldn't find/couldn't afford the size scallops the dish recommended.  12 scallops equaling 1.5 pounds would have cost way more than the $25 I spent on the 1.5 pounds that had about 30 scallops, so I didn't cook the second side as long, but other that that, I followed the recipe.  If you make this do not use a nonstick pan!  Oh and one other thing, the amount of scallops I had made for some tricky timing and the they cooled off the pan and gave off a bit more liquid than I would have liked.  Both those problems would have been solved with the pricier, larger scallops.  I found that there really wasn't any need to salt the chard mixture at the end as the bacon and soy added plenty salt, but I did give it a good dose of pepper. I loved it!  My husband, who normally isn't a fan of greens/ chard, liked the chard a lot.  The kids still aren't fans of chard:(.  The scallops were perfect.  Well there were a few that didn't develop the golden crust, but again, that's because they weren't big enough.  Don't try this with the tiny bay scallops.  I like them well enough but this recipe won't work for their size.  The way I cook the small ones, if you want to make this with them, and make it more economical, is to get a skillet (no non stick people!) get it over moderately high heat, add some oil, add the scallops, let cook for 2 minutes and do not touch them once!  Reduce the heat to medium, give the scallops a quick stir, and cook 1-2 more minutes.  They may not even require the additional 1-2 minutes.  You just have to use you're eyes and see if they are done.

Seared Scallops With Bacon-Braised Chard

2 thick slices of bacon cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
1 small onion cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 garlic cloves minced
1 medium tomato seeded and diced
1 3/4 Lb rainbow chard—stems sliced crosswise -1/2 inch thick, leaves cut into 1-inch strips
2 Tsp soy sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
12 large sea scallops (1 1/2 pounds)
2 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbl unsalted butter
1. In a large, deep skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until
crisp, 4 minutes. Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add the
onion to the skillet and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, 3
minutes. Add the garlic and stir until tender but not browned, 2 minutes.
Add the tomato and cook until it begins to break down, 2 minutes. Add
the chard stems and cook until crisp-tender, 4 minutes. Add the chard
leaves and cook over moderately high heat, tossing, until wilted, 5
minutes; drain off any liquid. Add the soy sauce and cook until the
leaves are tender, 2 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper and
keep warm.
2. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. In another large skillet,
heat the oil until just smoking. Add the scallops and cook over high
heat for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook until golden
on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the scallops and add the butter.
Cook, spooning the butter on the scallops, until just white throughout,
about 3 minutes. Spoon the chard onto plates, top with the scallops and

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Chicken Milanese With Sage-And-Lemon-Butter Sauce

We all enjoyed this dish very much.  My husband, who was not hungry, ended up eating quite a bit and said he wanted to rate it a 5;  my son and I were hovering between 4-4.5 with myself leaning towards the lower end, but I have chicken issues.  It was a great breading and I do like chicken pounded thinly; the sauce was a tad lemony for me but still really amazing!  It wasn't the fastest meal, but it wasn't particularly hard to make. We halved the recipe since we are just 4 people.  Even the three year old loved the chicken and occasionally dipped hers in the sauce.

Chicken Milanese With Sage-And-Lemon-Butter Sauce

6 Tbl cold unsalted butter cut into tablespoons
2 medium shallots minced
1 Cup heavy cream
1 Cup dry white wine
1 Cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
2 Tbl chopped fresh sage
2 Tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 Cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 Cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/4 Cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 Tsp dried thyme
2 large eggs
Eight 6-ounce chicken breast cutlets pounded 1/4 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
1/4 Cup chopped parsley
1. PREPARE THE SAUCE In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the
butter. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat until softened, 4
minutes. Add the cream, wine and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over
moderate heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, 20 minutes. Remove from the
heat and whisk in the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon at
a time. Add the sage, lemon juice and cayenne. Season with salt and
white pepper and cover.
 2. MEANWHILE, PREPARE THE CHICKEN In a shallow bowl, combine the bread
crumbs, panko, cheese, lemon zest and thyme. In another shallow bowl,
beat the eggs. Season the eggs and chicken cutlets with salt and black
pepper. Dip each cutlet in the egg mixture and let the excess drip off,
then dredge in the bread crumbs. Transfer the breaded cutlets to a
baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
 3. Preheat the oven to 325. In each of 2 large skillets, heat 1/4 inch
of oil until shimmering. Working in batches, add the breaded cutlets and
cook over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Lower the heat to moderate
and fry, turning once, until the cutlets are browned and crisp, 4
minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then keep warm in the oven
on another baking sheet while you fry the rest.
 4. Rewarm the sauce over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Arrange
the cutlets on plates, sprinkle with the parsley and serve with the

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Family-Style Pork Tacos

Well other than the cutting of the pork in to cubes, which my wonderful husband did for me, this recipe was super easy!  It was tasty and fast, but not a wow.  I had run out of mozzarella, but I had this Mexican Quesadilla melting cheese that tasted like mozzarella, and worked great.  It wasn't nearly as good as Soft Pork Tacos I made on 11/11/11, but it was way faster and not a bad dinner.  It doesn't look too pretty as the spice blend and the melted cheese made for a brown slop like splat on the tortilla, but it tastes way better than it looks ;). 

Family-Style Pork Tacos

1 1/2 Tbl ancho chile powder
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp dried oregano
1/4 Tsp ground cumin
1/8 Tsp freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of allspice
1 1/2 Lb pork tenderloin cut into 1/3-inch cubes
1 medium white onion chopped
2 Tbl cider vinegar
5 Tbl minced cilantro
3 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Sixteen warmed 6- or 8-inch flour or corn tortillas, mashed avocado,
-shredded or leaf lettuce, salsa and lime wedges, for serving

1. In a large bowl, mix the ancho powder with the salt, oregano, cumin,
pepper, cinnamon and allspice. Add the pork, onion, vinegar and 1/4 cup
of the cilantro and mix well.
 2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the pork and stir-fry
over moderately high heat until browned outside and just cooked through.
Transfer the pork to a colander to drain, then sprinkle with the cheese
and the remaining 1 tablespoon of cilantro. Transfer the pork to a
serving bowl and serve with the warmed tortillas, mashed avocado,
lettuce, salsa and lime wedges.
just the meat

with the avocado, lettuce and salsa

Monday, August 12, 2013

Linguine With Butter, Pecorino, Arugula And Black Pepper

Looking through my meatless recipes for tonight's Meatless Monday dinner, I decided to try this pasta dish I have been looking at and putting off because it is just so simple, I was afraid we wouldn't enjoy it as much as some if the more complicated dishes. I was right and wrong. We all liked it a lot, but we didn't adore it. I did make one change. The original recipe called for only one cup of arugula, I doubled that and used 2 cups.  Personally I think I would like even more, but two cups were a pretty good amount.  It was strong on the black pepper flavor which was nice, as everything else in the dish (well except the arugula) was in the plain side. Oh the plus side, fast and easy. Down side not an omg dish. I liked it better than some dishes I have rated a 3.5 but that's still what I'm going with.

Linguine With Butter, Pecorino, Arugula And Black Pepper

1 Lb linguine
1/4 Cup (1/2 stick) butter room temperature
1 1/4 Cup very finely grated Pecorino Romano
1 1/2 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Cup coarsely chopped arugula
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the
linguine and cook until it is al dente, stirring frequently, about 8
minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
Immediately toss the hot pasta in a large bowl with the butter to coat.
While tossing the linguine, gradually sprinkle the cheese, pepper, and
enough of the reserved cooking liquid evenly over the linguine to
moisten. Add the arugula and toss to combine. Season the pasta, to taste,
    with salt. Divide the pasta among 6 plates and serve.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Lamb Or Beef Tagine With Onions And Tomatoes

I thought I would surprise my husband with another tagine tonight.  He could not stop raving about how awesome the Lamb Tagine with Dates, Almonds and Pistachios was, so I thought another was in order.  I wanted to do one that wasn't quite as sweet.  I picked this one.  I happened to really like it, as much as the last one, my husband thought it was good, but preferred the sweeter first one.  I did have one small issue, I didn't have any couscous!  Now it was recommended to eat this with a bread for scooping up, but as I am not a baker, and I assumed I still had couscous, I didn't shop or plan for anything beyond the tagine itself.  Fast forward to the end of the cooking time for the tagine, and I am getting ready to make the couscous that I discover I don't have.  My husband suggests that we throw in the butternut dumplings we had earlier in the week.  So, I throw those in for about 15 minutes just to heat them up.  It worked, but next time I will bake the bread and double check my pantry before cooking;).

Lamb Or Beef Tagine With Onions And Tomatoes
1 1/2 Lb (700 g) lamb or beef cut into 2" or 3" pieces
3 or 4 large white or yellow onions thickly sliced
3 Clove garlic finely chopped or pressed
1/4 Cup chopped fresh parsley and/or cilantro
3-4 Tbsp Ghee
1 1/2 Tsp salt or to taste
1 1/2 Tsp ginger
1 Tsp black pepper
1/4 Tsp white pepper
1/4 Tsp Ras el Hanout
1/4 Tsp turmeric
1/4 Tsp cinnamon
1/4 Tsp saffron threads crumbled
2 large tomatoes sliced
1/4 Cup golden raisins

Clay or Ceramic Tagine Method

Mix the meat, onions, garlic, parsley and spices in a bowl. Pour the
olive oil into the base of tagine and add the onion and meat mixture,
placing the meat in the center on top of the onions. Arrange the tomato
slices (and raisins, if using) all around.
Swirl 1 1/2 cups of water in the bowl to clean it of the spices, and add
the water to the tagine. Cover, and bring the tagine to a simmer over
medium-low heat. (It's best to use a diffuser between the tagine or
burner.) Be patient, as it may take awhile for the tagine to reach a
Reduce the heat to the lowest temperature necessary to maintain the
simmer, and cook for 3 hours or longer, until the meat is very tender
and can be broken apart by your fingers. If excess liquid remains,
continue cooking the tagine, uncovered, to reduce the liquids to a thick
sauce. Serve directly from the tagine.

Conventional Pot Method

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, mix together all ingredients except the
tomatoes and raisins. Cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat,
stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned. Add 2 cups of water,
cover, bring to a simmer and cook for about an hour, checking
occasionally to be sure there is adequate liquid.

Add the sliced tomatoes (and the raisins, if using), cover, and cook for
another 45 minutes to an hour, or until the meat and tomatoes are very
tender. Reduce the liquids to a thick sauce, and serve.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Original V-8 Recipe

Another week in the summer that I haven't been able to blog, so I share with you my favorite of all the juices we have made so far, this "Original V-8 Recipe".  I know it can't be exactly like V8 for several reasons, not the least of which is that V8 has watercress in it or that it doesn't taste the same, but still really great!  I often up the amount of spinach; it still tastes good but looks very green. The picture is made the way the recipe says to.  I also like to add a splash of soy sauce for salt and a squirt of sriracha for some heat.  The glass pictured is less than half of what the recipe makes.  I either split it with my husband or drink it when I am hungry and have a lot of room.  You can refrigerate it for later, but the color looked unpleasant to me after some time in the fridge.

Original V-8 Recipe
Carrots - 2 large (7-1/4" to 8-/1/2" long)
Celery - 3 stalk large (11"-12" long)
Cucumber - 1/2 cucumber (8-1/4")
Parsley - 2 handful
Pepper (sweet green) - 1/2 medium (approx 2-3/4" long, 2-1/2" dia)
Spinach - 1 cup
Tomatoes - 3 medium whole (2-3/5" dia)

Process all ingredients in a juicer, shake or stir and serve.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mozzarella Enchiladas with Spicy Beans

I was thinking of doing cheese enchiladas for meatless Monday. I had some tortillas, all I needed was a recipe for the red sauce. I spent at least an hour sifting through recipe searches on the computer before I gave up and went to bed. There seemed to be 2-3 different base recipes, and many involved lard or chicken stock. (Which I wanted to avoid to keep it meatless). There was one that I thought looked good and could work but "red chili powder" was in it. What the heck is that?  Cayenne?  I didn't think so and the Internet failed me. But I digress....  The next morning, Monday, I make a quick search of vegetarian enchiladas on Food and Wine and I thought this one sounded good and it totally cheats by making the enchilada sauce out of marinara!  The preparation of it wasn't difficult. The hardest part was mincing the onion and jalapeño. If it didn't require a 30 bake time, it would be pretty fast too. I did do some alterations. 1) I had puréed a can of chipotles in adobo and frozen what I didn't use. I opted to use 2 tablespoons if this in place of the "3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, seeded and minced". It had a nice kick so I'm glad I didn't go with the 3 tablespoons I had originally planned. If you adore super spicy then go for it. If you are a complete wimp, go for 1.5 but the 2 tablespoons were perfect for us. 2) I had about 2 cloves of roasted garlic in the fridge that needed to be used up so I threw them in with the beans just before they were done cooking. 3) I had flout tortillas on hand that needed using so I made dinner with them rather than buy the corn tortillas just for this. My husband thought the sauce smelled a bit like pepperoni but I assured him it was meatless. We all loved it!  I hate to be free with the 5 stars but it totally was, especially for meatless recipes since my boys are die hard carnivores!

Mozzarella Enchiladas with Spicy Beans
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
1 small red onion, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
One 19-ounce can red kidney beans, drained
One 28-ounce jar marinara sauce
3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Ten 8-inch corn tortillas
1 pound fresh mozzarella—4 ounces shredded, the rest cut into ten 3-by-1 inch rectangles
1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
2 scallions, thinly sliced 
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and jalapeño and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the beans are flavored with the onion, about 5 minutes. Season with salt.
In a medium bowl, stir the marinara sauce with the chipotles and cumin and season with salt. Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
On a baking sheet, brush both sides of the tortillas with oil. Bake the tortillas for 30 seconds, until just pliable. Set a slice of the mozzarella in the center of each tortilla, and top with about 3 tablespoons of the beans. Fold the tortillas to enclose the filling. Arrange the enchiladas in the baking dish and pour the remaining chipotle marinara sauce on top. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the enchiladas, then sprinkle on the pecorino.
Bake the enchiladas in the upper third of the oven for about 30 minutes, until crisp on top and bubbling. Scatter the scallions on top and serve.
Make Ahead The unbaked enchiladas can be refrigerated in the baking dish for up to 2 hours.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Inside Out Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

It was one of those moments where you think the universe is telling you to do something!  I had on deck for this week, and indeed scheduled for today, this grilled ham and cheese sandwich with a mustard/ apricot jam dipping sauce that I saw on an article of grown up grilled cheeses on Yahoo. Yesterday, I got my latest issue of Food and Wine, and under the heading '7 minute dinners' here was this recipe for the inside out grilled ham and cheese. It also had an apricot/mustard sauce but the main difference was that you press a layer of grated Parmesan cheese in to the buttered bread before grilling. Brilliant!  Genius!  The result, even without all the other tasty ingredients, was this crispy perfect, ultra thin Parmesan frico. Now figure in the apricot/Dijon sauce and the pickles and you have one heck of an awesome sandwich. I don't know why I don't want to give it a 5 star rating, but I'm going with 4.5. Perhaps it was my son not digging it quite as much as we did. That is easily fixed. Next time he gets a sandwich sans sauce.

Inside-Out Grilled Ham-and-Cheese Sandwiches
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
8 slices of bakery Pullman bread
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 pound sliced Swiss cheese, preferably Gruyère
8 ounces thinly sliced ham
Dill pickle slices (optional)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup apricot preserves 
Butter each slice of bread and sprinkle with Parmigiano, pressing to help it adhere. Invert the slices onto a work surface, cheese side down. Top 4 of the slices with the Swiss cheese, ham and pickles. Mix the mustard and preserves and spread on the remaining 4 slices of bread. Close the sandwiches and griddle over moderate heat, turning, until golden, crisp on the outside and melted inside, about 3 minutes. Cut in half and serve right away.

Yummy crisp parmesan crust! 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Leek-And-Pecorino Pizzas

I gave my husband a list of possible dinners for tonight and he chose this one.  I, for one was totally happy he did!  I couldn't find truffled pecorino cheese.  My local wine and cheese shop, The Ormond Wine Co. had one at one time, but they said they had been having trouble getting it in so, I did the next best thing.  I used truffle oil in place of the olive oil that got brushed on the dough as the "sauce" layer.  We only had one issue, and it was my fault.  It said season with salt and pepper, and I was thinking that as the leeks and lamb would be the only place with seasoning, I should season liberally.  I forgot to take into account that the pecorino is very salty, so the end product was a bit salty.  Even with the over seasoning, it was really great. I cooked the pizza a bit longer and only made one pizza rather than the small ones.  I also only used a pound of pizza dough, so I had some leftover toppings.  The toppings come off easily, so a little care is needed to eat with out a meat and tomato shower on your plate, but still totally worth it.  4 stars!

Leek-And-Pecorino Pizzas
All-purpose flour for dusting
1 1/2 Lb pizza dough
cut into 8 pieces
1/4 Cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 large leeks sliced 1/4 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 Lb ground lamb
32 cherry tomatoes halved
1/4 Lb truffled pecorino cheese thinly sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 500. Heat a pizza stone on the bottom of the oven
for 45 minutes. (Alternatively, heat a large inverted baking sheet on
the bottom rack of the oven for 5 minutes.)
2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each piece of dough to a
7-inch round. Oil 3 large baking sheets and place the dough rounds on
the sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add the
leeks, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until
softened, about 8 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the 2 tablespoons of
olive oil to the skillet. Add the lamb, season with salt and pepper and
cook until no pink remains, about 5 minutes.
4. Generously flour a pizza peel. Place a dough round on the peel and
brush with olive oil. Top with some of the leeks, lamb, tomatoes and
pecorino cheese. Slide the dough round onto the hot stone or baking
sheet and bake for about 4 minutes, until bubbling and crisp. Repeat
with the remaining ingredients and serve.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Thai Ground Pork Salad

We loved dinner, despite the fact that just now, I am realizing I omitted the peanuts by mistake.  It was fast, easy and a great dinner on this hot summer night.  The only thing I think you should take care to do, is to make sure to really break up the pork in to small pieces.  Not only does that insure cooking it all the way through, but the size works best in the fragile lettuce leaves.  I made the boys rice to go with it, but I didn't need it.  My son and I both rated it 4 stars, and my husband, who ate it reheated, loved it but wouldn't rate it as he tried it reheated.  It would make a great appetizer too.   It was a super simple take on the more laborious chicken lettuce wraps.

Thai Ground Pork Salad

2 Lb ground pork
2 garlic cloves minced
2 small shallots minced
1 large jalapeño seeded and minced, plus sliced jalapeño
Juice of 1 lime plus lime wedges, for serving
2 Tbl Asian fish sauce
1 Tsp light brown sugar
1 Tsp Sriracha (chile sauce) plus more for serving
1 Tbl vegetable oil
1/2 Cup chopped cilantro
1/2 Cup chopped mint
1/2 Cup chopped basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Cup chopped salted peanuts
1 large head Boston or other leafy lettuce, separated into leaves

1. In a bowl, mix the pork, garlic, shallots and minced jalapeno. In a
small bowl, whisk the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and the 1
teaspoon of Sriracha.
2. In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the pork mixture and cook over high
heat, stirring to break up the meat, until no pink remains, 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice mixture. Let stand for 5
minutes. Transfer the meat to a bowl; stir in the herbs. Season with
salt and pepper. Top with the peanuts and sliced jalapeos. Serve with
lime wedges, Sriracha and lettuce for wrapping.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Better Than A Salad (Juicer Recipe)

A plethora of lefotvers and my desire to play with the juicer prevented me from acutally cooking dinner tonight, so instead I share the juice we made today.  It was good, better than the veggie alternative to red bull I made previously!  I think I will try the "V8" recipe on the site I'm getting these recipes from next.  Based on the ingredients, I think I will like it even better.

Better Than A Salad

Cucumber - 1 cucumber (8-1/4")
Lemon - 1 fruit (2-1/8" dia)
Onion (spring/scallion) - 1 medium (4 1/8" long)
Parsley - 1 handful
Pepper (sweet red) - 1/2 medium (approx 2-3/4" long, 2-1/2 -dia.)
Tomatoes - 3 small whole (2-2/5" dia)

Process all ingredients in a juicer, shake or stir and serve.