Friday, April 28, 2006

Hoisin Salmon with Asparagus Couscous - From a recipe by Martha Stewart

Tonight we had dinner with our friends Marsha and Myron and Marsha did the cooking.
For the salmon: Mix 2T hoisin sauce with 2t of honey and set aside. In the broiler, or on the grill, I think, place 4 salmon filets, skin side down. Squeeze on the juice of 1/2 lime and salt and pepper to taste. Broil the salmon for 5 min then remove and brush with the hoisin sauce mixture and return to the oven for 2-3 min until the salmon is done.
For the Couscous: Place 1C couscous in a heat proof bowl along with the zest of 1/2 lime. Heat 2C of water to the boil and add 1/2 pound of asparagus sliced in 1/4 inch pieces. Cook for 2 min. and then add the asparagus and the water to the coucsous. Cover and let stand for 5 min. Fluff with a fork and serve.
We had a dry white wine with it.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Creamed Chicken with Capers and Green Peas

The origin of this recipe is lost in the mists of time, as they say. We think it is an interesting combination of flavors. "Creamed" is a bit misleading because there is no cream or milk in the dish. In a saucepan, melt 3T butter. Add 1/4C flour to make a roux. When the flour and butter are combined, cook gently for a minute or two to cook the flour. Slowly add one 14 1/2 oz can of chicken stock. When the mixture thickens, add 1C dice chicken ( we use leftover), 3T capers and 1/4t vanilla extract. Heat through and serve on bisquits. The vanilla lends an interesting and unusual flavor.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

French-dip Beef Sandwiches, Broccoli with cheese sauce and Crispy Potatoes

This is one of the things we do with left-over Outback steaks.
In a sauce pan, melt 1T butter and stir in 1T flour. Stir for one minute after the mix becomes bubbley. Add 4 oz. of shredded cheese; in this case we used a sharp white chedder. Keep warm while you steam the broccoli until just tender.
In another sauce pan, heat a 10 oz. can of good beef stock, or, you could use your own. We like to add some herbs to the canned stock such as rosemary. Also we add a bit of onion or powdered onion. When this mixture boils, pour it over the thinly sliced beef. Serve the beef on a roll and dip the sandwich into the broth.
A quick, easy and tastey dinner.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Grilled Pork Chops with Asparagus and Tomato Salad

This is a pretty simple dinner. The pork chops were seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil and Five-spice. These are pretty thick chops, about 1 1/2" thick. They went on the Weber for 10 min., turned and cooked 7 min more. The asparagus was grilled as well, after tossing with olive oil, salt, pepper and tarragon. It was then dressed with Hollandaise Sauce. Tomatoes, red onion, and blue cheese were mixed with oil and vinegar.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Baked Hard-cooked Eggs with Citrus

This is one of our favorite breakfasts but could be adapted to dinner as well.
Hard-cook 3 eggs and remove the shells. Slice them thinly; we have a device for this purpose. Set the eggs aside. Melt 3T butter in a small mixing bowl. Add 1/2C bread crumbs and mix until the breadcrumbs are coated. Divide the breadcrumb mixture between two oven proof ramikins, spread over the bottom and press to form a crust. Set aside. In a bowl, mix 8oz. sour cream, 1T paprika, 3 strips of cooked crumbled bacon, 1t tarragon ( thyme, dill or your favorite herb), salt and pepper to taste. Spread the egg slices on top of the breadcrumbs and cover with the sour cream mixture. Top with gratted chedder cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.
The orange slices are topped with cinnamon. A green salad would be good for the dinner version.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Scotch Eggs with Kidney Bean Ragout

For the eggs: Hardcook 5 eggs and peel them. Divide 1 pound of bulk sausage into 5 parts. Both spicey and mild sausage works in this recipe. Flatten the sausage parts into thin patties, about 1/4 inch thick. Rap the eggs in the sausage and roll in bread crumbs. Deep fry the sausage wrapped eggs in oil until they are browned.
For the Ragout: This is one of those recipes that can be varied depending on your tastes. Any kind of bean will work; we chose dark kidney beans. Blanch 3 medium tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute. Peel the tomatoes. This step isn't really necessary but we think removing the skins makes a prettier dish. In a sauce pan combine the tomatoes which have been diced with a small diced onion, 1 diced jalapeno pepper and 3T tomato paste. Simmer until the tomatoes are cooked. Top with chopped fresh cilantro.
Beer is a good beverage to serve with this meal.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Macaroni and Cheese with Kielbasa

This is not your blue box mac and cheese

In a sauce pan melt 3T butter and add 1/4C flour, still until bubbley; Add 2C milk and stir until thickened. The mixture will not reach its maximum thickness until it reaches the boil. Add 1T prepared mustard and 8oz. of sharp chedder cheese. Sometimes we subsitiute 2oz. of of the chedder with another cheese such as blue cheese or goat cheese. Cook the elbows until barely tender so that they will finish cooking in the sauce. Mix the sauce with the macaroni, sprinkle on 1/4C of breadcrumbs, drizzle with olive oil, place in a baking dish and bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 30 min. Remove the cover and place under the broiler to brown the breadcrumb topping.
We like to serve this with a piece of kielbasa.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Grilled Salmon, Poached eggs with Hollandaise, Asparagus and Potatoes

This was brunch on Easter Sunday. The salmon and the asparagus was grilled on the Weber. The salmon was brushed with olive oil and lemon, the asparagus with olive oil and dill. Top with a poached egg.
Hollandaise sauce: In a double boiler, combine 3 egg yolks and 1/4 pound of butter. Stir continuously until the eggs thicken. The trick is to heat slowly so that the eggs don't scramble but thicken smoothly. At the end, add the juice of 1/2 lemon.
For the potatoes: We have made these before. Combine a bag of Or-Ido frozen hashbrowns with 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 pint of sour cream and 1/2 cup of milk. Add 4-8 oz. shredded chedder cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Zesty Shrimp Salad

We cooked about 1/2 pound of shrimp and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Then, we mixed 2C prepared salsa (this one was a "medium"), 1/4C chopped carrots, 1/4C chopped celery, 1/4C artichoke hearts, 2T fresh lemon juice. The shrimp were added to the salsa mixture and chilled. We served it with avocado wedges, hard cooked eggs and a crispy potato product.
Wine: Haywood Chardonney mentioned here before; $5.99


Friday, April 14, 2006

Shish Kebab with Rice, Orzo and Green Peas with Tomato and Cucumber Salad - Adapted from N. Saunders

This is one of our favorite summer grill meals.
For the Kebabs: In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2C olive oil, 6T fresh lemon juice, 3 cloves of garlic minced, 1/2t salt, 1/2t freshly ground black pepper, 1T crushed rosemary and set aside. Cut 2 pounds of meat into about 1" chunks (traditionally lamb is used but pork, chicken or beef will work). Quarter and "flake" a red onion. With chunks of green pepper also add 8 oz. whole fresh mushrooms and plum tomatoes that have been quartered. Place all of the above into the olive oil mixture and toss. Allow the mixture to marinade for 1-4 hrs. Place on skewers and cook on the grill for 20 min, turning periodically.
For the rice: Cook 1/2C rice until almost tender. Add 1/4C orzo and just minutes before serving add 1/2C frozen peas and 1T dry thyme.
For the salad: Mix 1/2C sour cream with the juice of one lemon. To this add slices of cucumber and tomato. Garnish with herbs, if you wish.
We enjoy a big red wine with this meal; a Cabernet, Merlot or Shiriz.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Double Cheese and Prosciutto Calzone with a Green Salad- Adapted from Bon Appetit

For the Calzone: In a bowl mix 2C grated mozzarella cheese, 4oz. fresh, soft goat cheese, crumbled, 2oz. prosciutto slices, chopped, 3t thyme and 1 garlic clove minced. Mix together well and set aside. Spread about 14 oz. of pizza dough on a baking sheet. The dough may be your favorite recipe or you can use a prepared dough such as Pillsbury, as we did. Place the cheese mixture on 1/2 of the dough, leaving a 1 inch border around the edge. Fold the dough over to cover the cheese and pinch the edge firmly. Brush with some olive oil to help browning. Bake at 425 degrees for about 18 min. Slice into serving pieces.
For the salad: Mix your favorite greens and added ingregients and add your dressing. We prepared one my whisking together 1/4C good olive oil, 3T red wine vinegar, 1t Dijon mustard, pepper to taste, plus fresh herbs, if you wish.
We served dinner with a dry white wine, but beer would work as well.
Note: Adapt the calzone filling as you wish; pepperoni, different cheeses, no meat at all....experiment.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Grilled Chicken with Twice Baked Potato and Broccoli

For the chicken: In this case we mixed 1/4C William-Sonoma Provincal Grilling Paste with 1/4C olive oil. Rub the chicken with the mixture and set aside for from 1 hr up to 12 hrs. The longer it rests, the stronger the flavors of the Paste.
For the potato: Bake the potato until it is done; about 60 min at 350 degrees. Allow it to cool enough to handle. Slice the potato in half and scoop out the skin into a bowl. Add 1/2C sour cream, herbs ( We like tarragon), and salt and pepper to taste; minced garlic is a nice touch as well. Mix using the same method you would to mash potatoes and then return the mix to the skin. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 min; finish under the broiler to brown the chedder cheese you have added as a topping.
For the broccoli: We made an aluminum pouch and place the broccoli with 2T butter and 2T water in it and sealed it.
Both the broccoli and the chicken went onto a charcoal grill for about 30 min. We are long time Weber grill fans, as you will see. The cooking was done with the lid on, turning the chicken and pouch after 15 min.
As usual, we served dinner with a dry white wine such as the Canyon Road Sauvignon Blanc mentioned before.


Chalupa - Adapted from D. Forsberg

In a slow cooker (you can also do this on the stove in a Dutch Oven or heavy kettle) mix 1 lb. pinto beans, 3 lbs. boneless pork roast ( We used boneless country style ribs), 7C water, 1 onion diced, crushed garlic to taste, 2T chili powder, 2T ground cumin, 1T oregano, 14 oz can of diced tomatoes with jalapeno, 2oz. diced green chilies, 1T chipotla in adobe sauce. Cook until the beans are tender and the meat fall apart on a fork; remove the lid and continue cooking to desired thickness. At the end, we removed the meat and briefly "whirred" the bean mix with a blending stick. Serve on warm tortillas with condiments such as green onions, tomatoes, shredded cheese, avacado and cilantro.


Friday, April 07, 2006

Pasta with Chicken and Greens

This is a favorite from lunch at The Lincoln Inn in of many a wonderful "power lunch". They are also the inspiration for hambergers with blue cheese and red onion. For the pasta: In a large skillet with a lid, fry a strip of bacon in 2T of olive oil. Remove the bacon and set aside. In the remaining oil, saute a boneless, skinless chicken breast until done and set aside. Add 5 or 6 large cloves of garlic, minced. Chop the greens into bite-sized pieces. We like to use rapini because it has a nice bitter edge to it, but your favorite green will work. Steam the greens until just tender. Cook the pasta according to package directions. When the pasta is done, drain it and mix in the pan with the greens. Place the entire mixture in a bowl drizzle with some good olive oil and garnish with the sliced chicken breast and crumbled bacon.
Any dry white wine would work well; like those mentioned above.

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Pizza and Green Salad

For the pizza: Brown 1/2 pound of your favorite bulk sausage in a frying pan. We like a spicey sausage, but any will work. Add 1 diced green pepper, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1T oregano and 1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes. Simmer the mixture until all but 1/4 C of the liquid has evaporated. Spoon the mixture onto a Boboli Pizza Crust, or, if you prefer make your own crust. Top with 1/2 C sliced black olives and 8 oz of shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 min or until the cheese is golden brown.
For the salad: Whisk together 1/4 C good olive oil, 3T Red wine vinegar, 1T oregano, 1t dijon mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Toss with your favorite salad mixture.
We like beer with this meal.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Blackeyed Peas with Ham Hocks and Greens

I have roots in the south. I think that is part of why I like things like this....and biscuits and gravy for breakfast.
For the Peas: Place 1 lb of dried blackeyed peas in the slow cooker with 7 C water and an onion and a ham hock. Actually, any kind of pork will work; salt pork, bacon, etc. The legend goes that you should not salt beans and peas until they are done because salting when they are raw makes them tough. Cook the peas until tender. Remove the ham hock, shred the meat and add it back to the peas.
For the greens: Pictured is Swiss Chard, which is my favorite but I also like Collard and Beet greens. I steam the gently so they don't get overdone and serve them with vinegar and Tabasco.
Cornbread makes a nice combination. In this case I had rye bread.
I like beer with this although iced tea is nice too.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Favorite Beer

Our favorite beer is still Strohs. We both learned to like it, at of all places, Ohio University in Athens, OH.


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Hot Pork with Grilled Onions and Mozzarella Sandwitches (Adapted from Bon Appetit)

For the pork: In a food processor, combine 4 cloves garlic, 1/4C fresh parsley, 2t dried basil, 2t dried oregano, 2t dried rosemary, 1t dried rubbed sage, 1t ground fennel seeds, 1t ground black pepper. With the processor running, drizzle in 3T olive oil. Prepare a port shoulder or butt by cutting slits about 1" wide and 2" deep all over the roast. We had about 24 slits. Push the paste created above into the slits. Use a 4-5 lb. roast. Place the roast on a rack in a pan and bake uncovered at 325 F for about 4 hrs or until the pork is very tender. When the pork is done, let is rest for about 30 min while you prepare the sauce by deglazing the cooking pan with a enough water to make 2 C. Seperate the fat from the water. Thicken the water by boiling it and stirring in a mixture of 1T corn starch and 1T red wine vinegar. Slice and chop the pork and serve with the sauce, sauted onions and a slice of mozzarella cheese.
For the vegetables: Make a dressing by mixing roasted garlic, 1C sour cream, 1/2C buttermilk, 2 1/2T chopped chives, 1T fresh lemon juice, 1 1/4t cerery salt and 1t ground pepper. Toss the vegetables, 18 oz. torn and chopped romaine lettuce, 1 pint grape tomatoes, 1 1/2C broccoli ( We prefer to blanch the broccoli), 1 sliced cucumber, 8oz thinly sliced mushrooms. Toss with the dressing.
We served it with potato chips with beer as the beverage.
A wonderful meld of flavors.