Friday, May 29, 2009

Potato and Asparagus Pirogis - Adapted from Jamie Oliver

This was a fun meal.  It started out to be a ravoli dish from Jamie Oliver but we thought we'd alter it a bit.  Start by making the pirogi dough: mix 2C flour, 1 slightly beaten egg, 1t salt and 1/2C sour cream.  Knead the dough until it is no longer sticky.  You may need to add a bit of flour or water depending on humidity etc.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1/2 hr. up to overnight.  For the filling first cut the heads off of 1/2 lb. of asparagus and reserve them.  Chop the rest of the asparagus and saute in 2T butter with 2 cloves of minced garlic.  Blend in 2C mashed potatoes (we used leftover twice backed potatoes).  Roll the dough until 1/8 in thick and cut into 3" circles.  Place 1t of the asparagus mixture in the center of the circle fold over and crimp.  Place the pirogies in boiling water and boil until they float (really!).  Remove them and dry and then saute them with the reserved asparagus tops until golden brown.  Top with cheese and serve.  We ate them with a salad as a main course but they would make a wonderful side as well.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Salmon Burgers with Grilled Onion, Tomato and Grilled Asparagus

These burgers are made from fresh salmon, not canned.  Start with a 3/4lb. skinless filet of salmon.  Place about 1/4lb. in a food processor along with 2T remoulade or dijon mustard or a combination.  Whir until the salmon is smooth and pasty.  Chunk up the remaining salmon, add to the processor and process only as long as it takes to break the salmon into dime or quarter sized pieces.  Remove to a bowl and stir in 2T capers, 2T chopped chives or scallions, 2T bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taset.  Check the mix for seasoning buy cooking a teaspoon or so in the microwave.  Form into 2 generous patties or 3-4 smaller ones.  Place the burgers on the grill along with slices of tomato and onion and grill for about 10 min.  Turn the food and add the asparagus which has been tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Grill for another 10 min.  We served them on toasted buns with remoulade sauce enhanced with some Tabasco sauce.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Grilled Whole Snapper with Fennel and Lemon

We had never done a whole fish on the Weber before so decided to try it when Costco had whole snapper for sale. The fish was scaled, rinced and the cavity was salted, peppered and stuffed with fennel tops and lemon wedges. The fish was lightly oiled and placed on the grill for 10 min. per side. (obviously, before and after)The vegetables were summer squash and fennel, salted, peppered, oiled and skewered. They were placed on the grill when the fish were turned. The fresh lemon pasta was purchased at our Sat. farmers market.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Sundried Tomato and Herb Chicken Sausage with Grilled Asparagus, Pasta and Cheese Sauce

This is another variety of chicken sausage we found at the store.  They were simply grilled on the Weber.  With about 5 min. to go, place the asparagus which has been lightly coated with olive oil, salt and pepper on the grill as well.  Prepare your favorite pasta.  The sauce was made by mixing 2T butter with 2T flour and heating gently until bubbly.  Add 1T Dijon mustard and enough milk to reach the desired thickness, 1-2C.  Stir in 2C grated chedder cheese.  Serve the sauce on the side.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hot Italian Sausage with Black Bean Salad, Green Chili Sauce and Roasted Onion

Start by roasting a whole onion, in its skin for about 1 hr or until tender. We skewered ours and put it right in a charcoal fire. Peel the onion and dice 1/2 of it. set the other 1/2 aside. Prepare the relish by mixing 1 can green enchilada sauce, 1 small can diced green chilies, diced bell pepper, diced tomatoes, the diced roasted onion, 1t ground cumin, salt and pepper to taste. The black bean salad has been here before. Drain and rinse a can of black beans. Additions can be choosen from your favorites. We used some diced celery, bell pepper, banana peppers and red onion and 1t ground cumin. The dressing is equal parts of olive oil and red wine vinegar or lime juice.
The sausages were a hot Italian variety and simply roasted on the grill. Serve with the remaining 1/2 of the roasted onion, bean salad and the green chili sauce.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Braised Pork with Pasta - via Greg from Food and Wine Magazine

Start by browning 1 lb. of country or western style pork spare ribs in 1/4C olive oil.  Remove the browned meat and add 1/3C each of diced onion, celery and carrots.  Cook until vegetables are soft.  Add 3 cloves minced garlic, 1T dry thyme and 1 bay leaf.  Deglaze the pan with 1C dry red wine and then add 1 14oz. can of diced tomatoes.  Simmer to reduce the volume by 1/2.  Add the meat back to the pan and add enough chicken stock to cover the meat.  Place in a 275 degree oven for 2-3 hours until the meat falls off the bone.  Skim excess fat from the pan and add 1/2 lb of a "shaped" pasta; we used orecchiette ("little ears" - a nice sturdy little pasta) top with grated mozarella and parmesan cheese.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15 min until cheese is brown and bubbly.  We served the dish with steamed green beans, sour dough bread and a dry red wine.


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Lemon Chicken and Artichokes with Dill Sauce - From Epicurious

Artichokes were on sale so we decided to try cooking fresh ones...a new exper-ience.  Start by trimming the artichokes and quartering them.  Put them in a large pot of salted water along with 2 lemons, halved.  Boil until the artichokes are tender, about 20 min.   Marinate two large chicken breasts in a mixture of 2/3C dry white wine, 1/3C olive oil and several minced garlic cloves. After 20 min., remove the chicken, reserve the marinade and place the chicken in a baking dish in a 375 degree oven for 30 min.  Meanwhile, add the artichokes to the marinade and toss to coat.  Allow them to marinate for 20 min.  Place the artichokes in the dish with the chicken and bake for an additional 10 min.  Pour the marinade into a sauce pan and add the juices generated by the baking chicken and artichokes.  Whisk in 3 egg yolks and heat slowly until the sauce thickens.  Stir in 2T chopped fresh dill.  Serve the sauce over the chicken and artichokes.  We also served Orzo with the sauce.  A very nice fresh tasting dish.

White Pizza with Ramps

We have been curious about ramps.  They are available at our farmer's market in the spring so we decided to give them a try.  We think they would be a good alternative green in our peasant pasta dish but here we made a "white" pizza instead.  We used pizza dough available at Trader Joe's and used some cooked diced chicken, minced garlic, mushrooms and olive oil and cheese.  Bake the pizza for 12-15 min at 400 degrees.  While the pizza is baking, chop the ramps and steam them until they are just wilted to maintain their crunchy texture.  Top the pizza with the ramps.  They have a very nice subtle onion flavor this way.  A nice alternative to "red" pizzas.  The salad was made by mixing vinegar and sour cream 1/2 and 1/2 and adding sliced red onion and cucumbers...salt and pepper to taste.