April 30, 2010
You remember Sara Moulton?
She used to have a show on the Food Network but her real job was Executive Chef for the now defunct Gourmet Magazine. I do believe shes the GMA Food Director or something like that.
I like Sara. She's unpretentious, shes sincere and shes very likable. She has a new cookbook being released this year as a companion follow-up to her Weeknight Meals book. I hope PBS does a new show on her new book.
Anyways........Micheal Psilakis was a guest chef on her show.
I really like him as a chef and personality and since I LOVE LOVE LOVE seafood I had to put this on the menu.
This is what the dish looks like when a professional chef and photographer collaborate. Mine is not like this at all. I bought what was on sale at the fish department of the local market (which was calamari, grouper and mussels) and they don't sell shrimp with the heads on it or scallops in the shell. We will see how mine turns out, I'm sure it will be delicious but it won't look like the pic here.........lol
April 28, 2010
I made brown basmati rice with the burgers tonight.
There is no filler in the salmon mixture so they were light and fluffy on the inside but crunchy on the outside.
I liked the addition of the lime-based soy sauce for topping. It added a nice sparkle to the salmon.
April 27, 2010
It was supposed to be shrimp but I feel like I have eaten my quota of that crustacean this month and the scallops were on sale so my arm wasn't twisted all that tight.
This recipe is definitely a KEEPER....and healthy too.
Today, after driving Hubby to the airport (yes, another road trip but only 2 days this time) I went to Home Depot because of a commercial I saw on TV. I usually don't pay attention to commercials, hell, I have trouble paying attention to the shows let alone the commercials, but for some reason this one caught my ear.
"5 perennials for $10.00"
I have been looking for cheap perennials to plant this year for next year and usually I wait for the end of the season sale but lately those haven't withstood the bad winters we have had so I decided to plant them now so they can get a good root ball going before the snow sets in.
Anyway....you know when they say "if it sounds too good to be true, usually is it?".......one of the choices was a plant I had my eye on for a few years so that was a a nice surprise, but the other choices...well, they were sorta too good to be true. Mostly low riders and if you are actually looking for border plants that grow only about 6-8" tall then this is a great deal. They were all in good shape, not leggy or under watered, so that's a good thing.
I am putting my plants around a huge terracotta planter that is upside down over my well pump and on top of that I screwed in the saucer and planted a grown cover type vine perennial that did come back this year.
I was looking for low riders. I was looking for cheap....
I got both.
Yay for me!!!
April 26, 2010
* 1/4" slice Pancetta, cut into 1/4 x 1/4" pieces
* 1 cup chopped onion, red or sweet white
* 3 cups chicken broth
* 2 packages (8 ounces each) fresh cauliflowerets or 1 small head cut into florets
* 1-1/2 cups shredded pepper-Jack cheese (6 ounces)
* 1/4 cup roasted red peppers
* 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
* 1/4 tsp 5-spice powder
* 1/16 tsp corriander & allspice
* 1 teaspoon sirracha hot-pepper sauce
* 1/2 tsp pesto, to swirl in before serving
* Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
I roasted everything. First the pancetta in a 400F oven for 12 mins. Remove from pan.
I then added the cauliflower florets and the chopped onion. If there isnt enough renderings from the
pancetta to coat the florets and onion add 1 tsp of olive oil. (I have a Misto Olive Oil Sprayer from
Bed, Bath & Beyond that works wonderfully in controlling the amount of olive oil I actually use.)
Return to oven for 30 mins.
Add garnishing tiny florets (about 1/4 cup) separate from already roasted veggies and roast 10 mins more.
Remove after roasting and combine with pancetta and parsley.
In stockpot bring 3 cups broth to a boil. Add roasted vegetables; return to boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low; cook about 6 minutes more. Stir in roasted peppers.
Remove soup from heat and puree with blender. Add cheese, and sirracha, stirring until melted.
Top with pancetta mix and serve.
Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Protein: 15 g
Fat: 15 g
Carbohydrates: 14 g
Exchanges: 1 Starch, 2 Medium-Fat Meat, 1 Fat
Oiled, salted and peppered vegetables for roasting.
Everything into the pool.
Finished pureed soup. It turned out tastier then I expected.
Birthdays where hubby works has this unwritten office tradition that you bring in bagels or Dunkin'. I just refuse to do that so every year I make 3 quiches and 2 pans of ooyie gooyie brownies.
Every year they hear it's his B-day and they all come a runnin'. I feel good that they aren't consuming empty calories so early in the AM and if there is enough left over after everyone gets a piece the smart ones can take a lunch to their desk. I remember when 1 quiche and a small pan of brownies were enough.
I started to make tonight's soup and while the veggies were roasting, it reminded me that soon soup would be too warm to make and I got involved searching the web for non-lettuce salads. Usually in May I switch from Monday Night Soup to Monday Night Salad, but lately I just haven't been in the mood for lettuce-based salads.
I will be growing grape tomatoes so I can do a caprese once a month and when we will finally get a 75 degree Saturday we traditionally have my famous Bruschetta Day.
I get to buy a new bottle of very good EVOO and roast some garlic and grill some bread and open up a bottle of Markam Sauvignon Blanc and enjoy the best bruschetta you will ever eat. Not talking about just chopped tomatoes, basil, garlic and onions.....we are talking about
......the Ultimate Bruschetta.
April 23, 2010
April 21, 2010
I had leftover sauces from the Chicken with Smoky Tomato Sauce so I added that to my basic polenta recipe.
Once it cooled I used a biscuit cutter to make three discs per gratin dish. I topped that with sauteed broccoli di rabe and Cojito cheese, then baked them for 20mins until they were GB&D.
I marinated 1 breast (for hubby) and 2 thighs in Rick Bayless' Mojo sauce. I will then pour the chili sauce I made on Saturday over the chicken and bake in in a 400F oven for 30-35 mins. It was a big breast but if it was smaller I would have taken it out 7-8 mins before the thighs would be done.
I always wanted to try to make sweet potato buns, I had a baked sweet potato that was hanging out in my fridge, I found a recipe in Southern Cooking Magazine to make a yeast biscuit with sweet potato puree.
I'm waiting for it to rise so I can bake them.
I was able to make 16 biscuits and they were very moist and tasty. I would make them again but not often, it was more work than they were good.
Today I'm starting May's Menu Calendar.
I have decided that I would cook from 1 cookbook or magazine for a week using 1 or 2 main ingredients.
First week of May, I have 2 meals using potatoes and I will probably use up the last of them as a side dish for the following week.
April 20, 2010
I spent the morning making ravioli using the left-over white bolonese I made last week. I added ricotta and some grated cheese, a beaten egg and a pinch of nutmeg.
For the pasta, I used equal parts Whole Weat Pastry Flour and Spelt Flour along with 1 egg and enough water to make a dough. I have the Kitchen Aid pasta roller attachment (which is the best thing ever) and I rolled to a #4 width.
I'm in the process of freezing them individually and then putting them in a Zip bag.
April 19, 2010
We all know that the reason why it's called Wedding Soup is because in the Italian translation it says it's a marriage of flavors not a soup served at weddings.......lol.
This soup is exactly that.... a marriage of healthy wonderful flavors.
The meatballs look strange because I use pumpernickel bread crumbs that I make myself. Pumpernickel is one of the lowest GI breads besides Rye and I don't think rye would make a good bread crumb. (Remember, if you want the recipes to any of these meals just click on an April Calendar day and you get a recipe).
Saturday night I made a tamale casserole from Cooking Light Magazine site. It was better then I expected. What I thought was going to be the usual "Campbell's Soup-like" casserole turned out extremely tasty and it baked GB&D. I think making my own Red-Chili Sauce made the big difference.
I seeded 2 New Mexico dried chilies and placed them on my flat cast iron skillet along with 3 garlic cloves and half an onion. I browned them, removed the chili's to a bowl of hot water to soak for 15 mins, then placed everything in the blender with a little of the soaking liquid.
I added 2 small cans of basic tomato sauce along with 2 cans of water (fill the sauce cans with water for measuring) and 1 cup of homemade chicken stock.
I simmered that for 30-40mins until it was rich and thick and used that in place of the canned enchilada sauce the recipe called for. I never use processed tomato products of any kind. I always make my own.
Since next Saturday is Chicken in an Ancho-Chili Sauce I made enough for this recipe and that one. Now all I have to do is bake the chicken in the oven with the sauce. Easy enough.
April 16, 2010
Last night I marinaded eggplant slices in the Mojo and grilled them, baby bok choy and a roasted red pepper...chopped them and added orzo, capers, champagne vinegar and fresh lemon juice for a great little salad. I will feast on that all week for lunch.
Tonight hubby arrives home and I'm not in the mood for cooking at all. That's all I did this week. I think a night out at the Macaroni Grill is called for. I love their salmon and its good for you too.
April 13, 2010
I have watched him make it 2x and finally found garlic worthy. Super simple but......oh so Divine. Just knowing I have a jar of this in my fridge makes me happy, happy, happy. If you love garlic and garlic olive oil then you have to, no you MUST make this.
* 3-4 heads of stiff neck garlic
* 3-4 cups fruity olive oil
* 1 tsp salt (I used sea salt)
* 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
That's it. You peel & crush the cloves.
Pour the oil over. Heat oven to 325F and mix in salt. Bake for 45 mins, then add the lime juice and bake an additional 20 mins. Cool & pour into a jar. As Rick suggests you can skim off some of the oil into a separate jar for when you only want garlic infused oil.
Oh, I do, I do !!!!
Will last for 3 weeks (probably not in this house) in the refridge because its roasted garlic and not raw. Never store raw garlic in olive oil for more than a day or 2.
I actually bought shrimp for dinner tonight to make the best garlic shrimp over polenta.
I set up my slow cooker for tomato sauce to cook all night. I roasted pork & beef neck & marrow bones. Sauted 2 onions, 5 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup basil, 1 tbls red pepper flakes, 1 grated carrot, 3 cans of crushed tomatoes, 2 tbls tomato paste, oregano and white wine. I usually get 6 pint jars and I will can them tomorrow.
I like to do this in the spring when it's not too warm to can.
Shop-Rite was running a special on chicken breasts so I bought a package & am looking forward to making parmesan chicken and eggplant with the new sauce. I will freeze them for future use. I bought 2 striped eggplant's at Whole Foods and I will use one for the Eggplant & Shrimp recipe next week and the other will be breadcrumbed with the chicken, coated with Parmesan cheese, sandwiched between the chicken and the sauce & mozzarella. Baked till GB&D.
April 12, 2010
This soup will start my day with something warm in my belly, something extremely healthy with a low GI and I can eat my yogurt for a late lunch and not get hungry before I do.
Now that's a "Good Thing".
I'm not sure what's for dinner tonight, it depends on how many boring chores I get through to see what I feel like making. I bought spinach tortoloni and some ground white meat turkey at Whole Foods so I might make a quick white bolognese sauce.
* 1/2 lb ground white breast turkey or chicken
* 1 slice pancetta or 2 slices of bacon
* 1/2 cup chopped onions
* 1 minced garlic clove
* 1/4 cup dried mushrooms of choice or 1/2 cup fresh
* 1 tbls tomato paste
* 1 cup milk
* 1/4 cup romano cheese
* 2 cups cooked al dente pasta (homemade egg best, Dreamfields 2nd choice)
Brown the pancetta (or bacon) add the onions & garlic, saute for 3 mins. Add the turkey. Saute until browned.
Add tomato paste, mushrooms and milk, cover and simmer for 30mins. Uncover and simmer until liquid is thick.
Adjust seasonings, add cheese and serve over pasta.
April 7, 2010
This was very good. A lot of different flavors going on but they worked well together. I would use this technique again, especially the sauce.
April 6, 2010
This is what it looks like before you boil to thicken.
I used a short cut and pureed some of the sauce with my hand blender and added some agave nectar to add some sweetness and another teaspoon of adobe sauce. I like heat.
Someone gave us a basket at Christmas and it included a bottle of flavored bread dipping oil. I'm not a big fan of dipping bread into a flavored oil, I prefer to dip it in the leftover salad dressing that coats your plate when your done. Somehow they never can bottle that freshness of the dressing and juices from the vegetables that you get with a salad. I saved it because I know I would eventually use it as a marinade.
Last year the market was selling those Cajun injector sets in that table of discontinued items that they hide in an obscure part of the store. (Any shopper worth their weight will always know where that table is, even on a first time visit).
I'm sorry but I refused to pay $5-$6 for it but at $2.00 it was reasonably priced. I tucked it away in my pantry and now that grilling season is here, it was the perfect thing to use with my dipping oil.
For my free Easter meat I chose the Kosher Chicken Roaster at 4 1/2 lbs. The perfect size for 2 people + lunches. I will make stock from the carcass. Now......to flatten (spatchcock) that free bird for grilling tonight's dinner.
Cut out the backbone with your kitchen shears, break the breastbone with your chef's knife and inject both breasts, legs and thighs with the oil, rub in the excess, put in a zip bag and in the fridge, taking it out right after you light the coals on your Weber.
I bought a box of Bobby Flay's wood chips for smoking and I combined a handful of the apple wood and the cherry wood, soaked them in water for 30mins and added them in the beginning of the grilling process because I didn't want a heavy smoke, just a touch.
Grilled, smoked chicken roaster. It looked perfectly grilled and smelled even better.
Long grain & wild rice and sauteed garlic spinach under the sliced breast meat. Corn sauce on top and smokey tomato sauce dripped on the side. It was a good combination of flavors but I think that if I did this again I wouldn't use the corn sauce. I would probably go with a roasted poblano chili or ancho chili sauce from Rick Bayless.