Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fennel-stuffed Cod with Fennel Grapefruit Salad - Adapted from Taste of Home

For those of you who like fennel, here is your meal. We like it both cooked in things and thinly sliced in salads. We use a mandolin to shave the bulb.Its mild anise flavor is different and refreshing. Start by making the sauce for the fish; it should be refrigerated for a couple hours before serving. Mix 1C plain yogurt, 1t fresh lemon juice and 1/4C of the chopped fronds. For the stuffing saute a small diced onion, and 1/2C thinly sliced fresh fennel in a pan with 2T butter. Add 1/2C chicken stock and 1 beaten egg. Salt and pepper to taste. Place 1/2 of the cod in a buttered baking dish and pile the stuffing on top. Cover with the other half of the cod. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 min, until the fish is firm and flakey. For the salad, make a dressing by whisking together 1/3C olive oil, 3T orange juice and 1t honey. Toss with 1/2 grapefruit, sectioned, one small sliced onion and 1C shaved fennel. Serve the sauce on the side. We had a chilled, barrel aged Chardonnay with the meal.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cuban Pork Hash and Black Beans - Adapted from Saveur

This dish combines a wonderful and unusual assortment of flavors, for us anyway. We didn't have any ground pork so we started with a diced pork chop. Heat 2T of oil in a skillet. Add a cinnamon stick, 1 large diced onion, and 1 diced green bell pepper. Heat until the vegetables are softened. Remove the cinnimon stick and add 1T ground cinnamon, 1 1/2t oregano, 1/8t cround cloves, 4 cloves minced garlic and 2 lb of pork. Add 3/4C raisins, 3/4C green pimiento stuffed olives, 2- 14 oz. can diced tomatoes and 1T red wine vinegar. Simmer slowly until the liquid is mostly evaproated.
For the beans we used canned black beans rather than dried ones. Place 1- 14 oz. can of black beans in a sauce pan and add 1 bay leaf, 1t oregano, 2t olive oil 1t ground cumin, 6 chopped scallions, 4 cloves minced garlic, and a diced green bell pepper. Heat through and serve with the pork. We don't know if tortillas are traditional in Cuba, but we served them with the dish. Very tasty.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Salad with Pears, Fennel and Prosciutto and Mint with Sole Meuniere

It's a bit unusual for us to have a two course meal but we decided to for Valentine's Day. Both dishes go together very easily. For the Salad ( Adapted from Weeknight Cooking), plate thinly sliced pears, and shaved fennel and Prosciutto. Whisk together 1T olive oil, 2t pear nectar and 1t Sherry vinegar. Garnish with finely chopped fresh mint. For the sole (adapted from dredge the fish in bread crumbs and saute in 3T butter until the flesh of the fish is firm. Remove the fish and immediately add 2T parsley and 1T fresh lemon juice. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve. We also had our favorite smashed redskins (boil the redskins and then smash them with a fork, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and brown them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 min) and steamed brussel sprouts. A chilled dry white wine is the perfect accompaniment.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Pasta with Sausage - Adapted from Nigel Slater

We got some basil pasta and sausage at the Westside Market (link at the bottom, if you haven't been there, you should go) and looked around for a sauce idea without tomatoes. Cut the sausage into bite size pieces, brown them and remove to a plate. Add about 4 oz. of sliced mushrooms to the same pan and saute them briefly. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic being careful not to burn it. Add 1C white wine to deglaze the pan and then add 1T of a good Dijon mustard and 1T Szechuan pepper corns. Simmer until the volume is reduced by half and then add 1/4C heavy cream. Return the sausage to the pan and keep warm until the pasta is done. Drain the pasta and place in the sauce pan tossing to coat the pasta. Serve with some garlic bread, green salad and your favorite wine, red or white.


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Dinner with Lois

As you may have seen here before, our friend Lois makes this wonderful dip that we like to use for other things (prev-iously it was a breakfast egg topping). We have never asked her for the recipe...surely it is a complicated recipe with many family secrets. But, it TASTES like it is made from the meltable cheese product, diced green peppers, sausage or perhaps ground beef and cream cheese. JalapeƱos could be added for heat. In any event, for the Super Bowl this year we used a topping for brats, a dressing for potatoes and deviled eggs. We simply scooped out the yolk and mixed it with her dip. It was a very tasty version of the deviled egg. Here's to Lois!


Saturday, February 05, 2011

Salmon Loaf with Shrimp Sauce and Spinach Souffle

The salmon loaf is an old family recipe. The souffle is adapted from Lori Hanson.
Flake a 1 lb. can of salmon into a bowl and add 1/4C minced onion, 1/4C chopped parsley, 2T fresh lemon juice, 1/2t dry thyme, 1C bread crumbs and 2 well beaten eggs. Mix the ingredients well and place in a loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
For the souffle, mix 3 slightly beaten eggs, 8 oz. fresh, chopped spinach, 8 oz. chedder cheese, and 12 oz. cottage cheese. Pour into a baking dish and bake for the same time and temp as the salmon loaf. While the dinner is baking mix together 1-14 oz. can of Campbell's cream of shrimp soup and 1/2C milk. Serve warm over the salmon loaf.


Thursday, February 03, 2011

Chicken with Prosciutto Roasted Red Peppers and Cheese - Adapted from

Here's a dish that goes together as fast as you can fix the pasta. So, start by putting the water on to boil. I got two large slices of Prosciutto at the deli; enough for two pieces per serving. Pound out 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts until they are about 1/2 in. thick. Dredge them in seasoned flour and saute them until they are golden brown in 2T butter and 2T olive oil. In a separate pan saute 4 oz. sliced mushrooms in 2T butter. When they are browned, set them aside. When the chicken is browned add 1C dry red wine to the pan, cover, and simmer for 8 to 10 min. Cook the pasta (we used some fresh roasted red pepper pasta). Layer onto the chicken Prosciutto, slices of roasted red pepper and Fontina cheese. Actually, we didn't have Fontina so we use some slices of Gruyere. Add another layer and then put into a warming oven. Reduce the wine sauce to about half and spoon over the chicken. Divide the mushrooms between the two plates. Serve with the pasta and some steamed green beans. We drank the same dry red wine we used to make the sauce.


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Negroni Chicken with Braised Blood Oranges (not pictured) -Adapted from Bon Appetit

This is a fairly com-plicated dish but well worth the time and effort. It requires an overnight marinade. Start by brining 4 chicken breasts in 4qts of water with 1/2C salt and 1/4C sugar for 2 hrs. or so. While the chicken brines, prepare the marinade by mixing 1/4t ground cloves, 8 minced garlic cloves, 1/4C sweet vermouth, 1T dried thyme, 1t ground cinnamon and 1/2t cayenne pepper. Mix the spices with 3T olive oil. Add the chicken to the mix cover and refrigerate overnight. Braise the sliced orange in 1C of chicken stock 1t dried thyme for 1 hr. in a 350 degree oven. We couldn't get blood oranges so used just regular orange slices. The sauce can be made in advance while the chicken is marinating. Slice 2 large onions and caramelize them in a saute pan with 2T of butter. Take your time and do this slowly, over moderate heat until the onions are light brown in color. Add 6 crushed juniper berries, or as we did, 3T gin. Add 1C of the braising liquid from the oranges and stir until it is incorporated. Set the sauce aside. Remove the chicken from the marinade and brown in an oven proof skillet and then place in a 450 degree oven for about 20 min. Place the onions under and on the chicken and serve with the braised orange slices. Garnish with minced green onions. We served the dish with rice pilaf. Delicious mix of flavors. We also think the same recipe would be wonderful with a pork tenderloin.