Thursday, January 31, 2008

Roasted Salmon with Smoked Paprika Glaze and Asparagus Risotto

Make the glaze for the salmon by mixing 1/4C fresh lemon juice, 1/4C olive oil, 2T honey, 1t ground coriander, 2T smoked Spanish paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Pour half of the glaze into a serving dish for use at the table. Place the salmon filets in the glaze and allow to marinate for 1-2 hrs. The salmon only takes 10 min to cook in a 400 degree oven so start the risotto while it marinates.
Add 1 small onion, diced to 3T olive oil in a sauce pan and cook gently until the onion is tender. Add 3/4C risotto and continue cooking until the rice begins to become translucent at the edges. Slowly, add hot stock to the rice by the ladle full allowing it to be absorbed before adding more. Continue this process, stirring continually until about 1 pint of stock has been added. The risotto should have a creamy texture when finished. Finish the risotto by adding chopped asparagus and 1/4C grated parmesan cheese just before serving.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Noodles

We made the stock from a leftover chicken. Simply simmer it for several hours with some carrots, celery, onions and 2 or 3 cloves of garlic. Pick the chicken off the bones at the end. We made the noodles from scratch as well. You can literally do it in the amount of time it takes to boil a pot of water. Mix 1C flour, 2 eggs and 1/2t salt until a dough ball forms. Knead for 10 min and then roll the dough into a thin sheet and cut the noodles to suit you. You can use them fresh as we did in this soup or you can dry them for later use. This recipe made enough for two soup recipes.
Serve with bread or crackers.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pasta with Greens and Smoked Chicken

This recipe has appeard before but we made a variation in the way the sauce was prepared which improved the dish, so, here it is again. It is also excellent meatless. Cook the pasta according to package directions. In a sauce pan, gently heat 1/3C olive oil with 4 cloves of minced garlic. When the garlic just begins to brown, remove from the heat. This amount of oil is right for 1/2lb pasta. In a large pan, steam 1lb of chopped rapini (broccoli rabe). Any green will work but it has a nice bitter edge that we enjoy. When the greens are tender, add 2C thinly sliced cooked chicken, if you wish. Drain the pasta, return to the pan containing the greens and pour on the oil and garlic. Preparing the garlic and oil this way keeps the garlic from burning and disperses it easily in the dish. We served it with sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese dressed with white balsamic vinegar and olive oil.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cupcake Eggs with Cinnamon Dusted Fruit

Here's an interesting easy egg dish for breakfast or brunch or light supper. Cut some circles of your favorite deli ham and put them in a cupcake pan. Break an egg into each and place in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 min, depending on the doneness you prefer. Serve them with apple and orange slices dusted with cinnamon. Variations abound...use scrambled eggs and top with salsa; make the cups with sausage rather than ham, serve with hashbrowns.....etc.


Pork Tenderloin with Cocoa Rub, Scalloped Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli

This is an interesting spice mix that sounds and tastes a bit like a Mexican Mole; very tastey. Rub a pork tenderloin with i mix of spices containing 1T white peppercorns, 1T coriander seeds, 4 1/2T ground cinnamon, 2t ground nutmeg, 1t ground cloves, 3 1/2T unsweetened powdered cocoa, 4T salt. Roast and grind the peppercorns and the coriander seeds, or, if you dont have a grinder, use preground spices. This makes enough to coat 2, 2lb tenderloins. Brown the tenderloins in an oven-proof pan. When the meat is nicely browned, place in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 min until the pork reaches an internal temp of 140 degrees.
For the potatoes: Slice 3 potatoes. In a sauce pan, melt 2T butter. Add 1t chopped onion, 1 small clove minced garlic and 2T flour. Stir until the flour and butter are well mixed and then slowly add 1 1/2C milk and stir until it reaches a boil. Layer the potatoes in a baking dish with 1/2C of your favorite cheese and pour the milk mix over them. Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 min.
We think you could make a nice pan sauce when the meat is finished cooking by deglazing the pan with a bit of white wine and finishing with a tablespoon of butter.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Smoked Chicken with Mushrooms and Pasta

We received a young smoked Arkansas chicken from my brother. We thought it would go well in a cream sauce. Dice or slice about 6 oz. of smoked, cooked chicken and set it aside. In a saute pan brown a slice of bacon, remove and put with the chicken. Saute in the bacon fat 8oz. sliced mushrooms, 4 sliced green onions including their tops, 1/2 bell pepper (we like to buy a few slices of various colors off the salad bar in the grocery; cheaper than buying a whold pepper when you don't need a whole one). When the veggies are crisp-tender add 4T white wine, bring to the boil and add 1/4 pint whipping cream. Simmer gently until the pasta is done. We like a "shaped" pasta for this kind of sauce. Just before serving add the chicken and bacon to the sauce and heat through. Garnish with a bit of green onion and top with parmesan cheese if you wish. We served it with green peas, crusty bread and a dry white wine.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Seven C's Chicken with Red Skin Potatoes and Broccoli

This is a delicious chicken recipe with a definate mid-east character. We are always amazed using spices, like cinnamon and cloves that we associate with sweets, in a savory dish. Start by soaking 1/4C dried currents or raisins in cognac for several hours or overnight. Mix 2t ground cinnamon, 1t ground cardamom, and 1/4t ground cloves and rubbing it on 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts. Allow the chicken to rest as well for several hours or overnight. Dredge the chicken in flour and repeat. Saute the chicken in 4T butter until it is nicely browned, remove from the pan and finish in a 200 degree oven until done, about 20 min. In the meantime put the currents/raisins into the saute pan and heat to the boil. Stir until slightly thickened and then add 4 oz. of heavy cream. Stir until the sauce is uniform. Serve the sauce over the chicken and potatoes and garnish with some cashews, if you wish.
The potatoes are smashed redskins seen here before but pasta or rice would work as well. It is obvious we are big fans of steamed broccoli.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Indonesian Beef Curry with Coconut Rice - Adapted from Cooking Light

This is a won-derfully tastey dish with definate heat. Start by browning 1-1 1/2lbs of stew meat in 2T olive oil. When the meat is browned, remove and add 1/2 sliced shallots, 2T peeled minced fresh ginger, 6 cloves minced garlic, 2 serrano chilies, thinly sliced (we used jalapenos) to the pan and cook gently for 4-5 min. Add 2t ground coriander, 3/4t salt, 1 1/2t ground cumin, 1/2t ground cloves, 1/2t freshly ground black pepper, 1t ground cardamom, 1 cinnamon stick. Saute for another 1-2 min then add 1C stock. Add the beef back to the pot, cover and simmer for 30-35 min. Remove the lid and allow the mixture to thicken or add an agent such as cornstarch in water to achieve the desired thickness. Just before serving stir in 1T fresh lime juice.

During the cooking of the beef, cook 1C rice in 1C coconut milk 1 1/4C water and 1/4t salt. The coconut rice is a nice counter-point to the spicey beef.

Obviously, the heat can be controlled by the amount and the kind of peppers you use.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Homemade Cream of Tomato Soup with Spiced-up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches - Bon Appetit via Karen

For the soup: Quarter 2lb. of tomatoes, place in an oven proof pan along with 2 carrots, 1 rib of celery and 2 cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 min. Remove the skins from the tomatoes. In the same pan, saute a chopped small onion. Return the tomatoes to the pan and stir in 3T flour. Add 2T tomato paste and 2C stock. Stir the mixture while bringing it to the boil. Transfer the mix to a food processor; add 1t dry thyme, and 2T fresh chopped basil and process to the desired consistancy. We prefer the soup to be chunky rather than smooth. Add a bay leaf and simmer over low heat while you prepare the sandwiches.
For the sandwiches: Prepare a mix of 1/2t chipotla pepper in adobo sauce with 4T tomato paste. Butter the outside of 4 slices of sourdough. Spread the inside of slices of the sourdough bread with the tomato paste mixture. Layer on sharp chedder cheese, thinly sliced red onion and sliced tomatoes. Garnish with fresh basil. Grill the sandwiches until golden.
Just before serving stir 3/4C cream into the soup and remove the bay leaf.
A nice light winter supper.


Monday, January 07, 2008

Curry Veal with Couscous and Broccoli

This dish can be prepared with any meat you choose and, in fact, could be made vegetarian by using something like cauliflower to replace the meat. Start by browning 1lb of beef or veal or chicken or lamb stew in an oven proof pan. Add 2 medium onions chopped and one large carrot, chopped. Add 2T of your favorite curry powder, 1t ground allspice, 1/4t cayenne pepper, 14 oz. of stock and one jalapeno pepper, whole. The amount of pepper and the heat in the curry powder is a matter of personal preference. Cook in a 250 degree oven for 2-3 hours until the meat is fork tender. Remove the pepper and serve over couscous or rice or with potatoes. As you know, we are a big fan of steamed broccoli, which appears with many dishes here.


Hot Cheddar Mushroom Eggs

This is another of the "Hor d'Ouevre to breakfast or light dinner" recipes. Our friend Connie makes the Hot Cheddar Mushroom Spread by mixing 2C mayo, 2C shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 2/3C grated Parmesan cheese, 1 envelope of ranch salad dressing mix and either 1 lb of sliced sauted mushrooms or 16oz. canned mushrooms. The mixture is spread in a pie plate and baked at 350 degrees for 20-25 min until the cheese melts. The dish is sprinkled with chopped parsley and served with crackers.
We used the leftover to make an omlet, simple as that.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Years Eve 2007

Here's our dinner from 12-31-2007. The roast was a standing rib on the weber which has been here before. The salad is a mix of radicchio, spinach, kalamata olives and grapefruit dressed with a vinigrette of red wine vinegar, olive oil and 1/4t ground fennel. The yams were made by our friend Marsha. Dice three medium to large unpeeled yams (not sweet potatoes) to meduim size chunks. Coat diced yams with olive oil and add about 1T of minced garlic. Sprinkle with onion powder and cayenne pepper to taste. Seal all of this in a storage bag and refrigerate until time to cook. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Stir and bake for another 15 mins. or until tender.