Wednesday, October 29, 2008

French Dip Sandwich with Brussel Sprout Hash - Adapted from Tyler Florence

The French Dips have been here before.  They are a good use for leftover roast beef, we think.  Just slice it thinly and serve in a crusty roll with beef stock on the side.  For the brussel sprouts; start by browning 3-4 strips of bacon cut in small pieces.  Remove the bacon and add to the pan 1/2 lb. of brussel sprouts that have been sliced lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces, 3 redskin potatos cut into wedges (the original called for fingerling potatoes, which we dont get...they taste like potatoes and are expensive), 12 peeled, pearl red onions, and 2T chopped fresh thyme. Stir in the pan until slightly brown and then add 1C chicken stock, cover the pan and steam until the potatoes are just tender.  Remove the lid and continue to stir while you add 2T basalmic vinegar.  Add the bacon back and toss with chopped fresh parsley.  The combination of flavors is great for those who are not great fans of brussel sprouts.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Braised Pork Shanks - Adapted from William-Sonoma

We were unable to find pork shanks and so used veal.  Roll the shanks in 1/4C seanoned flour and saute them in 2T of olive oil until nicely browned; then remove them to a plate.  Add 1 chopped onion, chopped carrot and celery to the same pan and cook gently until softened; add 4 cloves minced garlic at the end being careful not to burn the garlic.  Add 2T tomato paste, 14 oz. chicken stock and 1C dry white wine and bring to a boil.  Return the meat to the pan, cover and place in a 275 degree oven for about 3 hrs.  Crush one can of cannellini beans (actually, any white bean will work) and add to the pan after it has cooked for about 2 hrs.  When the meat is fork tender, remove to a warming plate, place the pan on the range and heat to boiling.  Boil the mix until it reaches the desired thickness and add another can of whole beans.  We served the dish with some sliced, sauted brussel sprouts, which have appeared here before.


White Bean Chili

This dish is good from dusk to dawn if you are like me and like chili for breakfast.  Start by soaking and simmering 1 lb. of dried navy beans ( or use canned ones if you are in a hurry).  Heat 1T olive oil in a large soup pan. Add 2 large diced onions and saute until soft.  Add 4 cloves minced garlic, 8 oz. chopped canned, mild green chili peppers, 2T ground cumin, 2T oregano, 1/4t cayenne pepper (more or less to taste).  Saute 2 min. more.  Add the drained beans and 6C chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 1-1/2 hrs.  Add about 2 lbs of cooked diced chicken and 1C jack cheese.  Stir until the cheese is melted.  Just before serving stir in 1 can of green enchilada sauce.  Serve with chopped cilantro, green onions and/or sour cream.  A wonderful change from "red" chili.  We served the chili with jalapeno corn muffins made from the recipe on the cornmeal box.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Green Beans with Beets

This dinner is mostly repeats of grilled London Broil and baked potato wedges, both have appeared many times.  The Beens and Beets make a very attractive dish with a nice "earthiness" from the beets.  Start by baking the beets in a dish with a little butter until they are fork tender, about 45 min at 350 degrees.  When they have cooled, peel and dice them.  Blanch the green beans by placing them in boiling water for about 2 min.  After you have drained the beans, place them in a saute pan along with the diced beets and 2T olive oil.  Saute until everything is warmed through and finish with 2T fresh lemon juice and some chopped fresh parsley.  


Sweet Potato Soup

This dish represents a com-pilation of several recipes.  One major variation was the addition of peanut butter to some recipes.  We chose to leave it out.  The potatoes were precooked.  We prefer more "rustic" soups, so the potatoes were not pealed.  Add 14 oz. of chicken stock (or vegetable stock). Simmer with 2 cloves minced garlic for about an hour.  Puree the mix to the consistancy you wish.  Finish the soup by adding 1C coconut milk and curry powder to taste. (you can use mild or hot in any amount that you wish).  We served the soup with cole slaw.  A nice use for leftover sweet potatoes, if you ever have any.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Caramelized onion and Cauliflower Tart - Bon Appetit

Start by prebaking a 9" pie crust.  Peel, cut in half and slice thinly a large white onion.  Cara-melize the onion by heating it over medium heat in a saute pan with 3T olive oil.  Cook until the onion developes a light golden brown color, about 20 min.  While the onion is cooking, divide a 1 lb head of cauliflower into small flowerettes.  Place them on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 425 degrees for about 30 min, until slightly browned.  You will have to turn the cauliflower occationally over the 30 min cook time.  When the pie crust is done, brush it with 2T Dijon mustard.  Spread the onions and then the cauliflower over the bottom of the crust.  Pour on a mix of 1/2C whipping cream, 2 beaten eggs, 1 C grated Gruyere cheese and salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 min and then allow the tart to cool for 10 min before slicing.  Serve with a green salad and a dry white wine.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Pasta and Lobster Salad

We started by making a dressing consisting of 1/3C olive oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic and 2T chopped fresh basil.  Allow the mixture to sit for an hour before dressing the salad.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain.  We used about 1/3 lb. of penna for 2 generous servings.  Dice one whole lobster and mix it with 1/4C diced celery, 1/4C diced cucumber, 1/4C diced bell pepper, and 1 diced scallion.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Mix with the pasta and dressing while the pasta is still warm.  Chill the salad and serve with sliced tomatoes, a crusty bread and a chilled dry white wine.  An especially nice summer salad.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Stuffed Baby Eggplant with Arugla, Fennel and Tomato Salad - M. Simon

Chef Simon served the stuffed baby eggplant on his show "Dinner Im-possible".  Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise then salt them and drain them on paper towels for about an hour.  Scoop out the seeds and fill them with your favorite bulk sausage; we used spicey.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 min. then top with maninara sauce and cheese and return to the oven for 10 min.  We served them with a salad made of arugla, sliced tomatoes and thinly sliced fennel, dressed with good olive oil.