Friday, June 30, 2006

Chicken Kabobs with Grilled Vegetables and Potatoes

This meal was prepared entirely on the Weber. The chicken and potatoes were removed from the skewers for the purposes of the picture. Prepare the chicken and vegetables by cutting them into manageable sized pieces. The corn-on-the-cob, for example was cut into 3 pieces per ear. Coat the meat and veggies lightly with olive oil. Make a rub consisting of 1 part paprika, 1 part ground cumin, 1/2 part ground corriander, 1/2 part ground cardimom, and 1/4 part cayenne, salt and pepper to taste. Toss the chicken and vegetables with the spice mix. For the potatoes, again, coat them lightly with olive oil and toss with some thyme and salt and pepper. Skewer the chicken and potatoes, seperately. Place the potatoes on the grill first...They take the longest to cook, about 30 min. We have a basket to use on the grill for the vegetables. It is nice because various vegetables take different amounts of time to cook so they can be added to the basket in stages....First the corn, then the peppers, then onions, mushrooms and finally the tomatoes. The chicken goes on with the corn, about 20 min before serving.
We enjoyed our usual chilled dry white wine, like a savaugnon blanc.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Butter Beans (dried limas) with Collard Greens

This is another "beans-n-greens" meal similar to the Black-eyed peas meal that appears in another post. We they are tastey and a change of pace. Place 1 pound of dried limas in a slow cooker with 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 rib of celery and some fresh sage and thyme. We added a smoked ham hock for flavor but meatless works fine too espceially with the fresh herbs. Don't salt them until after cooking. Salting before cooking makes the beans tough. Cook the beans on low for about 6 hrs. Remove the onion, celery, carrot and sage. The grees in this case are collard greens but your favorite will work be it spinach, kale, turnip greens....whatever. Chop them and steam them until they are crisp/tender. We like them dressed with vinager and Tabasco sauce. Serving this with corn bread would be wonderful; we just used bread.


Monday, June 26, 2006

Soft-shell Crab Sandwiches with Carolina Style Slaw and Crispy Potatoes

The crabs were leftover from Joe's Crab Shack served on a toasted Kaiser roll. We made a cocktail sauce by adding 2T horseradish to 1/3C ketchup. The slaw as purchased at the local grocery but the difference basically, is that the dressing is vinegar based rather than mayonnaise based. The potatoes? Ore-Ida tater tots. All in all a pretty low energy dinner.....but tastey


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Coquilles St. Jacques - Adapted from Julia Child

The classic recipe is not served with rice, but it works well with the sauce. We used 7 scallops ( 1/2 pound), placing them in a sauce pan with some diced shallot and 1/2 pound of sliced mushrooms and a bay leaf. Add 1C white wine and enough water to barely cover them. Simmer gently for 5 min. then remove the scallops and mushrooms and set aside. Heat the liquid to boiling and reduce to 1C. In another sauce pan melt 3T butter and add 4T flour to make a roux. Add the reduced cooking liquid, stirring continuously. When it has reached the boil, cook for 1 min. Then slowly add 3/4C milk and return to the boil then remove from the heat. While the mixture cools, add 2 egg yolks to 1/2C whipping cream and whisk together. Drizzle the hot liquid into the eggs slowly so the eggs do not scramble. Return this mixture to the stove and heat to the boil. Arrange the scallops and muchrooms in a baking dish and cover with the liquid. Sprinkle on some grated swiss cheese and place under the broiler until nicely browned.
We served the scallops with a green salad and a dry white wine like those mentioned previously.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Asparagus and Carrot Salad with Poached Salmon - Adapted from chef Cal Stamenov

This recipe started out as the salad alone. we added the poached salmon. The salmon was poached for about 5 min. on a side in barely simmering herbed water (ban marie). We didn't have passion fruit juice so, as the recipe suggests we substituted 1C orange juice, the juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime. It was sweetened a bit with 2T honey. The mixture was reduced to about 1/3 C over low heat and set aside to cool. The carrots were cooked in water for about 10 min until barely tender then the asparagus was added for 2 min. The veggies were topped with 3T chopped mint, 2T chopped parsley, 2T chopped cilantro and 1/2 C crumbled feta cheese. The sauce was drizzled over the veggie mix and the salmon. We drank Lurton Tierra del Fuego white wine with it, $5.99


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pork Fajitas

Our apologies to the purists readers here. These may not be the classic fajita, but ....... The pork is a shoulder left over from the Chalupa recipe listed here earlier. We mixed it with a chopped jalapano and sauted it in 3T of olive oil. Refried beans are the canned variety found in any grocery. We prefer the traditional ones although low fat and other varieties are available. The other condiments include green onion, tomatoes, avacado and shredded cheese. We are a mixed tortilla family; I prefer corn, Deanna likes flour; they are warmed before serving. The condiments of your choice are placed on the tortilla, rolled and eaten barehanded.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Individual Beef Wellington with Steamed Broccoli and Sliced Tomatoes

The beef is prepared in four steps. First, sear the filets in a bit of oil for 2 mins. per side. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Second, in the same pan, add 4 oz. chopped mushrooms, 1 clove of minced garlic and 2T chopped shallot. Saute until the mushrooms have given up their liquid. Third, roll out a pie crust to about 1/8". Forth, spread some pate`on the crust, add some of the mushroom mix, place the filet on top, spread pate` on the top and add more mushrooms and seal the filet in the crust. Brush with some egg so that it will brown nicely. Place in a 450 degree oven for 10 for medium rare.
The broccoli is simply steamed until crisp tender. The tomatoes are served with sliced avacado and red onion and dressed with plain balsamic vinager.
Serve a big red wine like a cabernet sauvignon or merlot with this meal.


Saturday, June 17, 2006

BBQ Spare Ribs with Grilled Potatoes and Cole Slaw

As is usually the case, we dry rubbed the ribs, this time with a com-mercial rub (Char Crust brand; Spicey Smokey Southwest), slow cooked them (4 hrs at about 275 degrees) in the Weber and sauced them at the end of cooking. We used the same sauce as is mentioned here in the Beef BBQ recipe. The potatoes were redskins coated with olive oil, salt, pepper and ground thyme. They were skewered and grilled for about 45 min. The Slaw is a recipe we found in Bon Appetit and has a lime based vinagrette rather than a mayo based dressing. You mix 7C of shredded cabbage and carrots with 1C chopped cilantro. Whisk together 3T Canola oil and 3T fresh lime juice, salt and pepper to taste and pour it over the slaw mixture. This doesn't sound like much dressing and it isn't. The slaw has a nice limey taste but is not dripping with dressing.
Beer or a nice Rose' wine to drink makes a good combination.


Friday, June 16, 2006

Chicken with Marsala Mushroom Sauce and Carrots - Adapted from Self Magazine

For the chicken, mix 4T Five Spice with 1/2t hot pepper flakes, 1/2t salt and 1/2t pepper. Rinse and pat dry 2 boneless-skinless chicken breasts. Then, rub the spice mixture onto the chicken and prepare the grill for cooking. The original recipe called for ground fennel, but we didn't have any so we used Five Spice which also has a nice anisey flavor. The carrots were cleaned and parboiled for 5 min and set aside. We didn't have any Marsala wine either so we used Sherry. Put 1C Sherry in a sauce pan along with 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 1T chopped shallot and 6 or 7 of your favorite mushrooms and simmer until the wine has reduced by 1/2. Add 4T light cream and serve with the chicken which has been grilled along with the carrots. The total grilling time was 15 min. We also served some pasta finished with a bit of olive oil and fresh parsley. To drink, we had a dry white wine like the Canyon Road Sauvignon Blanc mentioned before.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Marinated Chicken Thighs with Bean Salad and Potatoes

This is one of those meals where we were in a rush so we used a packaged marinade mix. This one was "Grill Creations" by Durkee called Smokey Chipotle. It is a good enough product although not as much fun as making up your own.....but in a pinch it will do.....a little salty perhaps. Anyway, we followed the package directions and then grilled the thighs on the Weber. By the way, we think thighs are a nice piece of chicken for general grilling. The salad is a mix of chick peas, black beans, bell peppers, red onion and jicama; dressed with red wine vinager and olive oil. The chrispy potato product was prepared in the oven according to package directions.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Chicken Curry with Edemame

We had some leftover chicken and decided to try a packaged curry mix. This particular one was called "Taste of Thai" and required the addition of Thai Fish Sauce and Coconut milk. We would describe it as medium hot, realizing that heat is different to different people. The curry is served over rice in this case. The Edemame is becoming one of our favorite vegetables. It is similar to a lima bean but does not tend to get as "mushy" if you happen to leave them in the water too long.


Grilled Swordfish with Cucumber-Tomato Fennel Salad

This is another of our no fuss meals. The swordfish was brushed with lemon and butter and grilled on the Weber. The salad was made from cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, fresh fennel, kalamata olives and feta cheese. The dressing was 1/4 C olive oil, 3T fresh lemon juice with some fresh tarragon added. We drank a chilled Sauvignon Blanc with it.