Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Poached Fish with Spinach, Basil and Ricotta Puree - Adapted from Bon Appetit

For the fish (we used Tilapia filets), prepare a poaching liquid by simmering celery, carrot, garlic and a few basil leaves in water for 20-30 min. Set aside. Boil 2C of water and add to it 2-10 oz. bags of fresh spinach. The spinach cooks down drastically. This recipe would serve 4 at the most. When the spinach wilts, drain it and squeeze as much water from it as possible. This is important because the dish will be watery if you don't. Place the spinach with 3/4C basil leaves and 3/4C ricotta cheese in a food processor and blend. Saute 1 clove of minced garlic in a sauce pan and then add the spinach mixture along with 1/4C whipping cream. Heat until bubbly. Add the fish to the poaching liquid and simmer for 5 min or until the fish is just flakey. Serve the fish with fresh lemon slices. We also served a salad of fresh tomatoes. Very nice with a chilled white wine.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Stuffed Chicken Thighs with Noodles - Adapted from Bon Appetit

Use 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. Start by making the stuffing. In a bowl, mix 1/4 lb bulk sausage either sweet or spicy, 1/4C bread crumbs, 2T grated Parmesan cheese, 1T chopped parsley, 1T chopped thyme, one egg, salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and divide into six portions. Place the stuffing in the thigh where the bone would have been, wrap the meat around the stuffing and secure with some twine. Set the thighs aside. Cut 2 strips of bacon into small pieces and brown in a dutch oven. Remove the bacon and brown the thighs in the bacon fat. Remove the chicken and add 1 med. chopped onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic with 3T olive oil and saute until tender. Deglaze the pan with 1C dry red wine and 1C chicken stock. Return the chicken and bacon to the pan, add 1 bay leaf, cover and place in a 275 F oven for about 90 min. The chicken should be very tender. Remove the chicken to a warming oven and reduce the cooking liquid to about 1C. Serve the sauce on the side. We served the chicken with pasta but rice or potatoes would work as well. Serve with the same wine you used in the cooking liquid.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pasta with Tomatoes, Olives and Cheeses - Adapted from Bon Appetit

Start by boiling your favorite shaped pasta until it is just under-cooked. This will allow it to absorb some of the juice created without becoming overdone. Saute 3/4C chopped onion and 1 minced garlic clove in 3T olive oil. Add about 3C chopped plum tomatoes, 2T chopped fresh basil (in our view you can't use too much fresh basil), 1T crushed red pepper and bring to a boil. Then add 1C chicken stock. Return to the boil and continue heating until volume is reduced to about 3C. Toss the pasta with 3T olive oil and mix with the tomato mixture in an oven proof bowl. Mix in 1 1/4C grated Havarti cheese, 1/4C grated parmesan cheese, 1/3C shiced kalamata olives. Top with more chopped fresh basil. Place in a 375 F oven for 30 min. We served it with a tossed salad, garlic bread and a dry red wine. A very nice meat-free main course.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Creamed Tuna Fish on Toast

This is a variation on "SOS" or the famous creamed dried beef but using canned tuna instead of the beef. It can be a quick dinner, or, as my daughter and I prefer, breakfast. Especially good on a tender stomach. Place one can of drained tuna in a frying pan. I prefer oil packed because the oil helps make the roux to thicken it but if you prefer water packed tuna, it works as well. Add 4T flour and stir the mixture until the tuna just begins to brown. Slowly add milk until the consistancy you wish is reached. Serve on toast garnished with some fresh parsley.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Breakfast with Lois Steckel's Stuff - Originally from Judy Scott

For many years our friend Lois has brought a wonderful dip to bridge. I, in par-ticular love it. I have often told her that I would eat it on toast for breakfast. Well, I finally got the chance. I reheated some and served it on poached eggs for Sunday breakfast. It was delicious. Mix 2 cans of chili without beans, 1 can diced green chilis, 1 1/2 lb. diced velveeta cheese and 1/4C diced onion in a microwave bowl. Cover and heat in the microwave until the cheese melts. Serve with tortilla chips......or, for breakfast.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Braised Short Ribs with Onions, Carmalized Vegetables and Mashed Potatoes

Brown 2 strips of diced bacon in an oven proof covered pan. Remove the bacon and brown 2 lb. beef short ribs in the bacon fat. When the meat is browned, add 2 sliced onions, 1/4C dry red wine, 1/4C beef stock. Return the bacon, cover and cook in a 275F oven for about 3 hrs, until the meat is very tender. Melt 2T butter in a sauce pan and add root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, cabbage, etc.) which have been cooked in boiling water until just tender. Add a pinch of sugar and cook until the vegetables are gloden brown. We served them with mashed potatoes and the gravy created by cooking the meat. Serve with the rest of the red wine you opened to cook the meat.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Grilled Daeji Bulgogi (Spicy Korean Pork BBQ) - Adapted from Cooking Light

Prepare a marinade consisting of 2T brown sugar, 2T soy sauce, 2T Thai chile paste, 1t minced ginger, 1t sesame oil, 1/2t crushed red pepper, 3 cloves minced garlic. Place the pork ( we think chicken would work too) into the marinade. We used a small pork shoulder but tenderloin or even chops would be good too. Allow the meat to marinate for a couple hours, then grill over charcoal until the internal temperature is 140F. We used the indirect cooking method on the Weber and a 1 lb. roast took about 1 hour. We served the pork with green peas and a salad. It is a very tastey and spicy meat dish....good with a dry white wine or a good rose`.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

5 - Hour Beef Stew

Here's another old, old recipe that goes together very easily. It is done at low temp-erature in the oven but could probably be adapted to the slow cooker. Into a 3 qt. dutch oven place 2 lb beef stew meet, 6 carrots peeled and chunked, 3 potatoes peeled and cubed, 3 onions chunked, 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes, 1/4C tapioca, 2T salt, 1/4C dry red wine, 1 bay leaf. Bake at 275 F for 5 hours, stirring occationally. The tapioca thickens this tastey dish. Serve with a salad and the dry red wine used in cooking.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tortellini with Tonnato Sauce

This is another old favorite the source of which is long forgotten. Start by cooking 16 oz. of your favorite tortellini according to package directions. We like to use a "neutral" flavor such as cheese or mushroom. While the pasta is cooking, combine in a food processor 1/2C whipping cream, 1/2C chicken stock, 3/4C olive oil, 1 6 oz. can of tuna fish, 6-8 anchovie filets and 2 egg yolks. This is a bit different than other Tonnato sauces which may contain mayo, capers and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Drain the pasta and pour the sauce over it immediately. We served it with a green salad and a dry white wine.