Monday, April 28, 2008

Spicy Grilled Beef Kabobs - Adapted from Alton Brown

Start by cutting beef top sirloin into 1 1/2 in. cubes.  Our experience is that you can use cheaper cuts of meat such as beef stew with recipes that are marinated like this one.  Place 3 chopped garlic cloves, 2t smoked paprika, 1/2t ground turmeric, 1t ground cumin, 1t kosher salt, 1/2t fresh ground pepper and 1/3C red wine vinegar in a food processor.  Blend and slowly drizzle in 1/2C olive oil.  Pour the marinade over the meat and refrigerate for 2-4 hrs.  Skewer the meat and grill to your preferred doneness.  We served the skewers with mushroom risotto and asparagus which was also grilled.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Roast Beef Pasties - Adapted from a Newspaper Recipe

We started with leftover roast beef but believe that browned hamburger could be used as well.  Start by pressing out 8 "grand" size biscuits into 5" circles.  Saute 1/2 med. onion, chopped, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/4C kalamata olives, 1/4C pepperonicini, chopped in 2T olive oil.  Add 6oz. thinly sliced roast beef, 2T red wine, 1T Worchestershire sauce and heat until most of the liquid is gone.  Spoon the mixture onto 4 of the biscuits, cover and seal the edges with the other 4 biscuits.  Bake at 450 F for about 15 min. or until the biscuits are nicely browned.  
We served the pasties with a cold asparagus salad made by blanching some asparagus (we like ours on the crispy side) by wrapping it in moist paper towel and cooking on high in the microwave for 1 min.  Mix it with thinly sliced mushrooms and dress with a balsamic vinaigrette made with 1/4C olive oil and 4T balsamic vinegar.  Mix in some chopped basil or oregano and top with shards of parmesan cheese.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chicken Roll-ups with Swiss Cheese, Asparagus and Mushrooms

Start by sauteing 4-5 oz. sliced mushrooms and set them aside.  Wrap asparagus spears in a damp paper towel and cook in the microwave for 2 min.  Pound the boneless skinless chicken breasts until they are about 1/16th in. thick, pretty thin in other words.  Season them with salt and pepper.  Put a slice of cheese, 3 asparagus spears and some of the mushrooms on each breast, roll them and secure them with a skewer.  Rub the outside lightly with olive oil and cook on the grill for about 20 min, turning them once.  We served them with a green salad and roasted red skin potatoes.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mahogany Glazed Salmon with Oven Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli - A Healthy Appetite Recipe

Make the glaze by mixing 1C balsamic vinegar, 2/3C honey, 1T Dijon mustard, 2T soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste.  Heat to the boil with stirring and allow the mixture to boil gently until a "syrup" is formed.  Remove from the heat.  The potatoes are red skins which have been cut in wedges, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic.  They cook longer so put them in a 350 F oven about 15 min before the fish. Baste salmon filet with the glaze during baking at 350 F for about 15 min.
  The broccoli is steamed as usual.
We think this glaze could be used on chicken, pork tenderloin or even a burger.  In fact, we are using some leftover salmon with a poached egg for breakfast.  Look for it soon.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Chicken Au Gratin with Asparagus Risotto

Start by browning some boneless skinless chicken breasts, in this case, three.  Set them aside while you prepare the au gratin sauce.  In a sauce pan melt 3T butter and add 3T flour.  Stir until flour and butter are uniform and bubbly.  Slowly add about 2C milk until the sauce is creamy and bubbly.  Add 1C diced or shredded swiss cheese and stir until it is melted.  Pour the sauce over the chicken in an oven proof dish.  Bake at 350 F for about 20-30 min until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of about 170 F.  Finish for 5 min under the broiler.
The risotto has appeared here before.  Saute the risotto in 2T of olive oil.  Slowly add 14 oz. hot chicken stock, allowing the rice to absorb it.  At the end, add some asparagus and onion which has been sautéed and finish the dish with 3T grated parmesan cheese.  The dishes are very rich so serve them with a bone dry white wine.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pork Chops with Chipotle Adobo and Tomato Sauce

We don't often mention the raw materials here, but we are convinced that Costco has the best meat around; these pork chops are an example.  Make a marinade by mixing in a pie plate 4T olive oil, 3T vinegar ( we used some thyme vinegar made by Mina and Greg), 1T chipotle in adobo sauce (this stuff is hot so be careful), 1/4t each of cumin, coriander, and cardamum, and 1 clove of garlic, minced.  Coat the pork chops and allow them to marinate for 3-4 hrs.  Remove the chops (reserve the marinade)  and brown with 2-3T olive oil in an oven proof pan.  Place them in a 400 degree oven for about 20 min. ( internal temp. of 140 F; cooking time will depend on how thick your chops are).  Remove the chops to a plate and add the reserved marinade along with two chopped roma tomatoes and 1/4C dry white wine to the pan.  Bring to a boil while scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan.  Pour over the chops and top with chopped cilantro.
For the bean salad, mix one can of drained and rinsed black beans, 1/2C chopped bell pepper of various colors, 1/4C chopped banana peppers, 1/4t cumin, 3T olive oil, juice from 1/2 lime.  Chopped red onion is a nice addition as well.  Mix and serve.  We served dinner with a Spanish Rose`.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Buffalo Chicken Omelet

This is another appetizer left-over used for break-fast.  This time our friend Marsha made Buffalo Chicken Dip for an appetizer.  Warm 11 oz. cream cheese to room temperature.  Mix it with 1C ranch dressing, 2/3C Franks Buffalo hot sauce (you can make it hotter if you wish), 1 1/2C Monterey Jack shredded cheese, 3 cooked boneless chicken breasts, shredded, 1/2C chopped celery.  Place the mixture in a greased baking dish.  Just before serving, bake at 350 F for 20 min until hot and bubbly but don't let it brown.  Serve with corn chip dippers.
I simply used some of the leftover in an omelet.  Very tasty....


Monday, April 07, 2008

Oyster Po-Boy with Aleppo Pepper-Garlic Mayo

First, make your mayo dressing.  We used 3/4C mayo, 2 cloves minced garlic and 1T Aleppo pepper flakes.  Set it aside.  The oysters were first dredged in flour, then egg and finally in a mix of corn meal and Old - Bay, about 1C corn meal to 1/4C Old - Bay.  Fry the oysters in oil at about 375 F.  Slice hoggie rolls and remove some of the bread to make a "well".  Place the oysters in the "well", spread with the dressing and garnish with chopped cilantro.  We served them with a brown rice salad but cole slaw would be wonderful as well.  Great hardy lunch as well as dinner.


Lamb and Apricot Stuffed Onions - Adapted from Saveur

We started with large Vadalia onions that are great this time of year.  Cut off the top of the onion and enough of the bottom so they stand firmly.  "Core" the onions by pushing some of the layers out the top from the bottom opening, leaving 2-4 of the outer layers.  Set them aside.  Dice the insides you have taken out and saute them in 5T of butter.  When the onions are soft, add 1/3 lb. ground lamb and brown.  Add 1t gound cinnamon, 3T fresh parsley, 3T fresh mint and 1t lemon zest. While the onions saute, bring 3/4C chicken stock to a boil and add 8 diced dried apricots.  Simmer about 10 min. or until the apricots are soft.  Add this mixture the the lamb and onions and mix.  Place the onions in an oven proof dish and fill with the lamb-onion-apricot mix.  Top with bread crumbs and place in a 400 F oven.  Baste with the liquid twice in 20 min. then cover the dish and return to the oven for 20 min.
This was a delicious dish and many variations come to mind.....ground turkey, perhaps Thanksgiving left-overs, ground beef with rosemary...substitute dry cranberries...etc, etc.


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Chicken Legs Puttanesca - Adapted from Silver Palate

This is not quite as quick as the famous puttanesca sauce but very nice.  We also think it would be good with pork or even fish.
Start by browning your chicken legs and thighs in olive oil.  This recipe will cover 2 legs and 2 thighs nicely.  Remove the chicken and set aside.  Saute 1 med. chopped onion and 6 cloves of minced garlic in the same pan until the onion is softened, about 5 min.  Add one can of diced tomatoes and their juice and stir, scraping the bits of browned chicken off the bottom of the pan.  Add 2-3 anchovie filets, chopped, 1/4C chopped kalamata olives, 3T capers, 2T Italian herbs such as oregano and thyme, 1T balsamic vinegar, cayenne pepper to taste (we used about 1t) and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well and bring to a boil.  Return the chicken to the pot, cover and place in a 275 F over for about 2 hours or until the chicken is fork tender.
Cook some pasta according to package direction, drain and mix with the sauce just before serving.  This dish can handle a big red wine, if you wish.


Friday, April 04, 2008

"Easy" Pork Cassoulet - Adapted from Epicurious

This is easy compared to the classic cassoulet, but still complicated enough to be fun to cook together and very tasty.  Start by making Winter Tomato Sauce, also from Epicurious.  Add 1 14 oz. can of chopped tomoatoes, 1C chopped onions, fresh thyme, 6 cloves garlic quartered, fresh rosemary, fresh basil, 1 bay leaf, 1 anchovie filet, 1t salt, 1t sweet paprika to a skillet with 3T olive oil.  Bring to a boil, simmer until reduced to 2C.  Remove the bay leaf and set the sauce aside.  
Make a wine sauce by sauteing 2C chopped onions in 2T olive oil until the onions are soft.  Add 2C dry white wine and reduce the mixture by half.  Add this to the winter tomato sauce.
To finish the cassoulet, brown 1lb bulk sausage.  We used canned beans, 2-14 oz cans of great northern beans.  Layer the beans, sausage and sauce in an oven proof covered dish. Top with bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake uncovered at 400 F for 1 hr.  Delicious with a crusty bread and dry white wine.