Thursday, June 16, 2011

Brats with Verde Sauce

This is a fairly simple sauce which is a bit different than the red salsas or sauces you usually see on brats or hot dogs. The brats were grilled on the Weber. For the sauce, start by rough chopping 1/4 of a large onion. We like to leave nice big chunks of onion in the sauce. When the onion has softened, add 3 cloves minced garlic, 1t ground cumin, 1/2t ground cardamom, 1/2t ground coriander, and as much heat as you like in the form of hot pepper powder. Bring the sauce to a slow simmer and cover until ready to serve. It is excellent used with a Dijon mustard.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pasta with Pancetta and Peas

This is one that we made up on the spur of the moment. We bought the mushroom pasta and the fresh peas at our farmers market. Start by boiling the pasta until al dente, drain and set aside. Brown the diced pancetta, drain it and set aside. Some of the peas were shelled and some were too young so we just used the entire pod. Rinse the peas and mix them with the drained pasta. Add the pancetta and toss. The dressing is a vinaigrette made my mixing 3 parts olive oil with 1 part red wine vinegar and 1t Dijon mustard. Whisk together and add 1T fresh dill. Pour over the pasta mix and top with some freshly grated parmesan cheese. We chilled the salad and served it with sliced tomotoes and a dry white wine. Nice quick and easy summer meal.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

400th Post!!! Flatbread Beef Sandwiches with White Bean Puree and Sundried Tomato Chutney - Adapted from Bobby Flay

This recipe calls for grilled beef tenderloin but we had some leftover roast so we thought we would try it. Slice the beef thinly and mix with some chopped garlic cloves while you prepare the other parts of the recipe. In the bowl of a food processor mix 1 14oz can of slightly drained white beans; we used Great Northerns, 3 cloves of garlic, 1T fresh lemon juice and 1T chopped fresh thyme leaves. Puree the mixture and chill until ready to serve. If you start with dry beans and cook them yourself, add 2T olive oil to the drained beans. Remove the sun-dried tomatoes from their packing and julienne them. Mix them with 2T olive oil, 2T Balsamic Vinegar and 1/4C chopped parsley. We made the flatbread using a Pillsbury Pizza Dough which was rolled out and some chopped spring garlic was added. The dough was then folded and rolled 4 time and baked according to package directions. Place the meat and the toppings on the bread and eat as a sandwich, if you can. They are messy and delicious; truly deserving of rare beef tenderloin. We served the dish with a simple salad of diced tomatoes and cucumbers dressed with vinegar and oil.


Monday, June 06, 2011

Thyme Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Smashed Redskin Potatoes and Asparagus

Here is a fairly easy grilled dinner featuring a pork tenderloin. We made a rub consisting of 1/4C chopped fresh thyme, 1T sea salt, and 1/4t cayenne pepper. Rub the mixture on the meat and allow it to sit for an hour or two before cooking. The redskins were boiled until fork tender and then smashed into a "grill proof" dish. We made one out of aluminum foil. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and place on a HOT charcoal grill at the same time as the meat. The Weber thermometer read 400 degrees. It is surprising how fast the meat cooked to an internal temp of 145 degrees...just slightly pink. The asparagus was cooked on the grill while the meat rested before carving...perhaps 5 min or so. It is fun to prepare a meal like this outside in the summer so you don't heat up the kitchen. In addition we enjoy the smoky flavor.


Thursday, June 02, 2011

Beef, Tomato, Green Bean and Potato Salad with Horseradish-Dill Vinaigrette

Here's another easy summer salad using left-over roast beef. Slice the beef thinly and combine with blanched green beans, boiled new potatoes and cherry tomatoes. A red onion is a nice addition if you like. Make the vinaigrette by combining 1T horseradish, 1t mayo, 2T olive oil and 1T red wine vinegar. Whisk together and add some fresh dill and a big grind of black pepper just before serving. You could use the prepared "horsey sauce" - mayo and horseradish if you wish. Serve on a bed of lettuce including James' favorite, arugula. You can vary the zing by adjusting the amount of horseradish. The combination of horseradish and dill is very nice.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Curry Chicken Salad with Red Grapes

This is a nice recipe for left over chicken. Start by cubing 2C cooked chicken. Prepare your pasta according to package directions. (By the way, there is a very good article on pasta preperation in the May 2011 Bon Appetit, link at the bottom). Cut 1/2C red seedless grapes in half and add to the chicken. While the pasta is cooking prepare the dressing by mixing 1/2C mayo, 1/2C plain Greek-style yogart, 1T fresh lemon juice, 1-1/2t curry powder (we are fans of Penzey's spices). We used 1t of hot curry powder and 1/2t sweet. You could vary the proportions as you see fit. Drain the pasta and add the the chicken and grapes. Toss in 1/4C diced celery and mix with the dressing. We served the salad on a bet of arugula which gave a nice bitter contrast to the sweetness and the curry. Enjoy on the patio with a glass of chilled, dry white wine...or a rose` perhaps.