Friday, August 28, 2009

Easy Beef Stroganoff

The origin of this recipe is long lost.  It is a tasty recipe that goes together quickly.  In an oven proof dish with a lid, mix 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 can of cream of celery soup and 1 can of french onion soup.  Add 1 lb of beef stew meat and stir to mix completely.  Cover and place in a 300 degree oven for about 2 hrs; until he meat is fork tender.  Finish with 1C sour cream and serve over noodles.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Halibut Brochettes Provencale - Adapeted from Bon Appetit

We followed the recipe pretty closely but just grilled the halibut filet rather than skewering brochette style.  First prepare the herb (all fresh in our case) mix which consists of: 1 1/2 T basil, 2t marjoram, 2t thyme, 1t rosemary, 1t sage, 1/2t fennel, 1/4t lavender blossoms.  Next, chunk some vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant and onions.  Mix the veggies with 3T olive oil and 1/4 of the spice mix.  Rince the halibut, pat dry and sprinkle with 1/4 of the spice mix.  Grill the halibut and the skewered veggies over charcoal.  We simply placed the fish filet on the Weber, skin side down and cooked for about 5 min before adding the vegetable skewers.  In the meantime make a sauce by mixing 2T fresh lemon juice, 2 cloves garlic minced, the rest of the herb mix and 1/3C dry white wine.  Simmer over low heat until the grilling is complete.  We served the tomatoes, which could be grilled, simply sliced with some fresh basil and basalmic vinegar.


Braised Rabbit with Olives - Adaped from Epicurious

We got the rabbit at the West Side Market.  If it isn't accessable where you are, you could use chicken or pork both of which resemble rabbit in flavor although not the same.  We used 1/2 the rabbit for two of us.  Start by browing the meat in 3T olive oil in an oven proof dish.  Remove the rabbit and add a large red onion, thinly sliced, a bell pepper, chopped, 2 large tomatoes, chopped, 1C pitted and diced olives (we used kalamata), 2 celery ribs, chopped, 3T drained capers, 2 large cloves garlic, minced, 1/4C cider vinegar and 3 sprigs of fresh time.  When the vegetables have softened, return the meat, cover and cook in a 275 degree oven for 2-3 hrs, until the rabbit is fork tender.  Remove the rabbit and veggies to a warming plate and reduce the sauce to the desired thickness.  We served the sauce over pasta but potatoes would work as well.  Delicious with a chilled Spanish Rose`.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lobster Bisque with Caesar Salad

There is a product line called Better than Bouillon which includes Lobster Base.  We decided to make a lobster bisque as a main course and served it with a traditional Caesar Salad.  We bought a live lobster and cooked it seperately in order to enhance the bisque.  For the bisque, mix 2C Half-and-half, 1C water, 1C white wine, 1T Lobster Base, 3T flour, 2T tomato paste and 1/4t paprika.  Whisk until smooth and simmer for 20 min. or so.  Chop the lobster and add it just before serving.  We garnished the bisque with some chives and pieces of claw meat.
For the Caesar Salad: Make some crotons by first browning a garlic clove in 3/4C olive oil.  Brown some thin slices of French bread and remove to drain.  Reserve the oil.  Put 2T olive oil in a wooden salad bowl and rub 1/2 of a garlic clove all around to flavor it.  Using 2 forks, mash 4 anchovie filets in the bowl.  The whisk together in the bowl 1 raw egg, 2T fresh lemon juice.  Slowly drizzle in the reserved oil, whisking vigorously until smooth.  Toss in 1 large head of romaine lettuce and toss with the dressing.  Top with the crotons, anchovie filets and some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.  The bread was made by rolling pizza dough, brushing with olive oil and topping with your favorite fresh herbs.  The meal is very rich so serve it with a bone dry cold white wine.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Carla's Rum Cake

The cake was made by Carla Stichler who works with our financial advisor.  Start by mixing 3 eggs, 1/2C rum, 1/2C vegetable oil and 1/2C water in a large bowl.  Add the contents of a box yellow cake mix and beat until smooth.  Spray a bundt ban with pam and place some chopped walnuts and/or cherries in the bottom.  Pour in the batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.  Prepare a sauce by mixing 1/2C rum, 1/4C water and 1/2C sugar in a sauce pan.  Pour the sauce over the cooled cake before removing it from the pan.  The sauce will flow into the space around the edge of the cake.  Turn out onto a plate and serve.

Panini Sandwich with Spinach Salad

We started with a large loaf of garlic bread which we sliced in half long way.  We grilled some thick slices of onions and eggplant and toasted the bread on the grill after brushing with olive oil.  Assemble the sandwich by placing the grilled onions and eggplant on the bread, topping with roasted red peppers, salami and provolone cheese.  Put the sandwich back on the grill until the cheese begins to melt.  Slice the sandwich crosswise to serve.  The salad was a simple spinach salad with tomatoes and cucumbers dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette.  


Monday, August 10, 2009

Grilled Pork Chops with Verde Sauce, Cucumber/Tomato Salad and Wax Beans

The pork chops were simply salted and peppered and grilled on the Weber for about 7 min on a side.  For the verde sauce, we first sauted a coursely chopped onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic.  Mix the onions and garlic with a can of green enchalada sauce, a small can of diced green chilies, 1t ground cumin, and 1t ground coriander.  We added a little diced red bell pepper for color.  The sauce can be served cold or warm and is excellent on all sorts of meats, hot dogs, chicken, etc.  The salad is a mix of diced tomatoes and cucumbers with some diced tomitillos added.  They were mixed with plain yogart and salted and peppered to taste.
The wax beans started out a lovely puple and yellow mixture but lost the purple color during steaming.