Friday, September 28, 2007

Late Summer Veggie Plethora with Rice

We had company for dinner last weekend and I was at a loss for what to make (my sister was supposed to come and her allergies can make things complicated). I went to Rosedales and wow was there alot of great stuff! I decided to get a bunch of veggies and make them with brown and wild rice into a one-dish meal. The prep was time consuming but it was easy to do ahead, and put in bowls.

1 small butternut squash, seeded, peeled, chopped into 1 inch pieces

2 Portobello Mushrooms, chopped

1 pint grape tomatos, halved

1 red onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, smashed

1 yellow bell pepper, in 1 inch pieces

a good handful of green beans chopped into thirds

3 ears of corn, kernels sliced off

1 cup long grain rice

1/2 cup wild rice

about 2 cups of stock

Ground ginger (about 1-2 T)
kosher salt

white pepper

Cumin Seeds

Saffron threads

splash of cream


2 Pounds shrimp thawed, deveined, shelled (I used cooked because it is what I had on hand but I prefer to use uncooked shrimp since it is easier to control it - to cook through without overcooking I think)

In a large stock pot, heat EVOO with onion, garlic, Cumin Seeds until onion and garlic are soft. Add rice, squash, pepper, beans and stir to toast, about 2-3 minutes. Add stock, ginger, salt and pepper, saffron thread, and remaining veggies (reserve 1/2 tomatos). Simmer until most of liquid is absorbed and rice is almost done through. Add Shrimp and remaining tomatos and heat through. Finish with a splash of cream and serve.
This was really good, hearty and healthy!

Balsamic Turkey Breast

This is something I just threw together and it was good and a different twist on the usual chicken breast. I got a pair of turkey breasts at the store (they were huge, I couldnt finish mine) and grilled them on the stove, brushed with EVOO and sprinkled with Kosher salt and white pepper. I seared them and then covered and cooked until done. In another pan, I reduced the remaining Balsamic we had (about 1/2 to 1/3 cup) until thickened with some frambois liquor we had on hand (I was going to do berries but its a little late in the season now). I caramelized an onion sliced thinly and served the turkey topped with the onions and drizzled with the Balsamic reduction. Yum!

HomeGrown Gourmet: Round TWO

Look at me Im a WINNER! :) My sandwich entries were picked as the round one winner of HomeGrown Gourmet so that means I am the host and official picker of the new challenge food!

First the rules:

  • Anyone can play!

  • A theme will be picked by the host. Participants will make a dish that follows the theme and that somehow represents their home region- town, state, area. Representation can feature a local ingredient, be a traditional dish from your area, or be a creative twist.

  • Participants will have 3-4 weeks (host discretion) to complete their recipes and post them to their blog (or email the pics and text), and notify the host. The host will then post the results and then let everyone know via email or message board the results are up!
    An explanation of your dish is required; it can be a story about the local custom or ingredient, how you came about eating/ making the recipe, or an explanation about how your creative dish fits the theme.

  • Fresh and local foods are encouraged!

  • When the round is done, the host will announce their favorite dish by updating their blog. Favorite is completely subjective to the host- no one expects the host to make and taste test all the dishes, it is just something that strikes the host's fancy! The creator of the fave gets the honor of hosting the next round, if they so choose!

Round Two:

For this round, I had a hard time choosing. THere are so many good ideas... ! I wanted to try and have it be something perfect for fall, so I decided to go with:


I am new to soup making and am a convert! I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with! Please leave a message on this with a link to your blog with your entry or email by October 22nd.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cara's Coconut Pumpkin Rice

I saw this on Cara's blog and thought it looked really good and different. I was really excited to cook with an actual pumpkin for the first time ever! It was great too! I think I put too much lime in though, it kinda overpowered the other flavors but Ryan really liked it as did I, next time I would use less lime though. I definitely need to get this cookbook - all pumpkin, year round! It IS a super-food after all :)

Creamy Shrimp and Rice, from DeeDee Stovel's Pumpkin

1 tbsp canola oil

1/2 cup finely chopped shallots

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp peeled and minced fresh ginger

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 cup brown basmati rice

1 pound fresh pumpkin, seeds and fibers removed, cut into chunks

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2" chunks

1/2 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2" chunks *I only had red so I juse did 1.5 red peppers

1-2 jalapeno chiles or 1 hot red dried Chinese chile, seeded and minced

2 cups chicken broth1 can (14oz) coconut milk

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp saffron threads

1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro

Heat oil over medium eat in a pot. Cook shallots for 2 minutes, or until they begin to wilt. Add garlic, ginger, and cumin. Stir. Add the rice and continue cooking and stirring for several minutes.Place the pumpkin chunks i a covered microwave-safe dish with 1 tbsp water and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1/2" chunks.*Meanwhile, add the peppers and chiles to the shallot mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the broth, coconut milk, salt and saffron. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, until rice is almost tender.Add the shrimp and lime juice and cook 5 minutes longer or until shrimp are thoroughly cooked. Top each serving with a sprinkle of cilantro.

*The original recipe did not state where to add the pumpkin; I added it during the rice cooking.

Giada's Citrus Chicken

I have never made a roasted chicken before. Crazy, huh! I have only in fact cooked a whole bird once before, when we hosted Thanksgiving for us and my in laws 2 years ago in Louisville. So, I somehow got it in my head that I wanted to make Roast Chicken, what can I say, the change of leave got me excited for fall weather! It was recommended to me that I try Giada from the Food Networks Roasted Chicken.

1 (5 to 6-pound) whole roasting chicken, neck and giblets discarded

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 orange, quartered

1 lemon, quartered

1 head garlic, halved crosswise, plus 3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 (14-ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves

Kitchen string or butcher twine
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the orange, lemon, and garlic halves. Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen string to help hold its shape. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
Place a rack in a large roasting pan. Place the chicken, breast side up, on the rack in the pan. Roast the chicken for 1 hour, basting occasionally and adding some chicken broth to the pan, if necessary, to prevent the pan drippings from burning. Whisk the orange juice, lemon juice, oil, oregano, and chopped garlic in a medium bowl to blend. Brush some of the juice mixture over the chicken, after it has baked 1 hour. Continue roasting the chicken until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the innermost part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F, basting occasionally with the juice mixture and adding broth to the pan, about 45 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Tent with foil while making the sauce (do not clean the pan).
Place the same roasting pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in any remaining broth and simmer until the sauce is reduced to 1 cup, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Strain into a 2-cup glass measuring cup and discard the solids. Spoon the fat from the top of the sauce. Serve the chicken with the pan sauce.

I forgot to get the frozen OJ so I used plain old juice and I didnt bother with the sauce - we were too hungry at that point! Even without, the chicken was very yummy and nice and juicy and flavorful. And WOW did it make the house smell fab!

Sorry for the pics, again we were too hungry and I had to take my pics of the carnage, the leftovers! Oops! It sure did look pretty out of the oven though - brown and crispy!

Fingerling Potatos, roasted

OK I swear I found this on FOod Network but can't locate it anymore to source.

We had a bunch of fingerling potatos from our farm share with Rosedales and I decided to roast them along side the chicken. I washed them and then dredged in a mixture of kosher salt, and dried: thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano. Put them aroudn the chicken roasting on the roasting pan and waiting till they were done through (a knife goes through the potato easily).

Served with butter and the remaining herbed salt for dipping. Yum!

Butternut Pear Bisque

As I mentionned before, we had a ton of pears and neither of us are big plain pear eaters but the challenge to find recipes incorporating them was a success! This soup was fabulous, combining the pears and butternut squash from the farm.

I loosely based the soup on this recipe from Food Network.

Swirl some EVOO in stock pot and add 2 medium onions, diced, Saute to soft. Add 1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces, then 4 pears, peeled and chopped into roughly 1-inch pieces.

Add 1-quart low sodium chicken stock, or enough to cover (I just did enough to cover, did not measure). Add a pinch of nutmeg, a tablespoon or so of ground ginger, and a healthy dose of white pepper. I am not a pepper fan, but the white variety is more mild and helped to counter the sweetness of the pear and butternut. Also toss in a little salt. Let the soup simmer until butternut is soft (approx 15 min). Put solids in blender and blend to smooth. Add back to broth and stir. Add a little cream for color.

Add more ginger/pepper/salt/nutmeg to taste as needed and serve.

REALLY good. This made plenty of soup for freezing as well.

Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I think if I could marry a food, it would be this bread. WOW! Amazing. Sadly it isnt the healthiest and I do try to eat and cook and bake as healthy as I can.

I amde Anadama Bread a few weeks earlier and was somewhat disappointed in the firmness of the bread and was determined to make a nice soft loaf. Somehow, I got the idea to make an apple bread, like raisin but with apple instead, since we had piles of apples from Rosedales. I was trying to find ways to make a soft bread online, recipes, tips and then that morning, I saw a new recipe that Melany posted (a fellow Nutmegger by the way!) for a raisin swirl bread and it looked perfect! The recipe is originally from William Sonoma. I subbed the raisins for apples and used 3 cups of apples instead of the 1/5 cups of raisins the recipe calls for.

1 Tbs. active dry yeast
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (105° to 115°F)
1 cup warm milk (105° to 115°F)
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbs. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 to 6 1/4 cups bread flour, plus more as needed
3/4 cup golden raisins i used 3 cups of peeled, cored, diced apples instead of raisins
3/4 cup dark raisins
For the filling:
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar mixed with 4 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of the granulated sugar over 1⁄2 cup of the water and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the remaining 3/4 cup water, the milk, butter, the remaining granulated sugar, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour. Beat on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the yeast mixture and 1⁄2 cup of the flour and beat for 1 minute. Add the raisins, then beat in the remaining flour, 1⁄2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Switch to the dough hook. Knead on medium-low speed, adding flour 1 Tbs. at a time if the dough sticks, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased deep bowl and turn to coat it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours.
Lightly grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide the dough in half and roll or pat each half into an 8-by-12-inch rectangle. TIP: using flour for my first loaf didnt really work - this is a very sticky dough. For my 2nd loaf, I sprayed the wax paper with non-stick butter spray and my hands a little on my hands and it worked like a charm. Lightly sprinkle each rectangle with half of the filling, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Beginning at a narrow end, tightly roll up each rectangle into a compact log. Pinch the ends and the long seam to seal in the filling. Place each log, seam side down, in a prepared pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough is about 1 inch above the rim of each pan, 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours.
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and pull away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Turn the loaves out onto wire racks and let cool completely. Makes two 9-by-5-inch loaves.

Change I would make in the future: my swirl was almost too cinnamony... I would play around wiht the swirl some for sure, and maybe mix a little cinnamon into the batter itself.

This was TRULY FABULOUS though. YUM!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

I got this recipe from my friend Christy, they are a take-off on the Starbucks muffins. Really, these are so sweet they are more of a cupcake than a muffin I think! I followed her recipe exactly this time, but in the future I would add in some whole wheat flour and use less sugar. Also, Ryan liked it but I found the cream cheese has a weird flavor from the cooking, more mild and not tangy like I like :) But he loved them!
Makes 24 Muffins
3 cups flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp ground Cloves
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I didnt have the blend but I had all the elements to it (ginger etc)
1 pinch cardamon, optional (did not have any, omitted)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin (I used 1 can, close enough)
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
8 oz cream cheese
chopped pumpkin seeds, pecans, or walnuts (optional) I omitted
Preheat oven to 350.
Put the entire brick of cream cheese on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and shape it into a long log. Put it in the freezer while you mix and fill the pans, up to an hour. Unwrap and cut with a sharp knife so each cream cheese disk equals 1-2 teaspoons. If the cream cheese disks are too big around, cut thick slices and then cut them in half. This lets you push it down into the batter easier.
Mix all ingredients together (except cream cheese and nuts). Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) half full. Put cream cheese disc in the middle, pressing down. Sprinkle with 1 tsp chopped nuts. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the muffin part (do not touch the cream cheese!). Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. Do not touch the cream cheese until it cools

Whole Wheat Pear Muffins

A few weeks ago (yes its been awhile...!) we had a ton of pears. Neither Ryan nor I are big fans of plain pears, usually how we eat our fruit. Something about the grainy texture bugs me. So I set out to find some recipes to use the pears in and the first one I did were these pear muffins.

I used 2 pears and I used 100% whole wheat flour. They are a little dry when not eaten warm though so in the future I would add more liquid to them when using all whole wheat. They were very good, and different. THe spices were different from what I normally bake with (ginger for example) and they were a nice way to highlight the pear flavor.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup non-fat milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp canola oil
1 large, ripe pear, peeled, cored and chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper muffin cups.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and spices in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine milk, egg and canola oil.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add milk mixture. Stir until just moist. Fold in chopped pear. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling them 2/3 full, and bake for 20 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.
Per Serving: Calories 148, Calories from Fat 26, Total Fat 3g (sat 0.3g), Cholesterol 18mg, Sodium 233mg, Carbohydrate 27.2g, Fiber 1.4g, Protein 3.4g

Friday, September 7, 2007

Rosedales Farm Share: Final Take

Wednesday I picked up our last farm share. It was 10 weeks, paid in advance, of a variety of local produce. What a wonderful treat it was all summer to get to try new fruits and veggies, and get a surprise every week of local farm fresh produce! If the Epsteins do this again we will definitely participate!

Anyone near Simsbury, definitely check out Rosedales - best corn out there!

This week we got: 2 baby pumpkins, a butternut squash (hmmm roasted? soup? decisions decisions!), 8 ears of corn, a bunch of scallions, a green pepper and 2 of the long skinny ones, lots of fingerling potatos (never had these before and am excited to try!) and red potatos, 3 tomatos, 2 plums, 4 apples (apple cake?), 4 pears (maybe pear soup!) and an orange. Whew!

And I bought some other stuff including the last blueberries of the season and what I expect are the last gorgeous raspberries too... goodbye summer!

Cole Slaw

For the challenge I am participating in, I needed to make cole slaw. I wanted something light and easy! I am not a big fan of it usually so I didnt want to kill myself. Most of the recipes I found were either full of mayo or required the sauce to be cooked. Then, I stumbled on a rachael Ray recipe, which I used. Yum-o! It was actually GOOD - even to this non-slaw eater. And was just right for my sandwiches.

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil, eyeball it
1 sack, 16 ounces, shredded cabbage mix for slaw salads
1 teaspoon salt Salt and pepper

Mix vinegar and sugar. Add oil. Add cabbage to dressing and season with salt and pepper. Toss with fingers to combine. Adjust seasoning. Let stand 20 minutes. Re-toss and serve.

Homegrown Gourmet: SANDWICHES!

This is a new challenge I am participating called Hometown Gourmet. For the rules, click the link.

The general idea is that the host picks a type of dish and then everyone makes a version of that dish that somehow represents their area. This first dish is the SANDWICH.

I ended up making two. One is my take on a Pittsburgh tradition: the Primanti's Sandwich.

Primanti Brothers Restaurant, founded in 1934, is a chain of sandwich shops found throughout Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and its suburbs, with an additional two locations in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its signature items are its sandwiches, which consists of grilled meat, a vinegar-based cole slaw, tomato slices, and French fries between two pieces of Italian bread.[1]

The sandwich is said to have its origins in the city's steel days when blue collar workers needed a hot meal mid-shift that would keep them full all day long. However, the workers had neither the time nor the utensils for such a meal. By combining the sides with the sandwich, a Pittsburgh staple was born. Of course, the restaurant offers a slightly humorous take on it, offering the explanation that the Primanti brothers simply forgot the plates and forks one day. According to the restaurant, Joe Primanti invented the sandwich during the Great Depression. His brothers, Dick and Stanley, later joined him along with John DePriter who was the cook. The Primantis opened their hole-in-the-wall restaurant on Smallman Street in the Strip District of Pittsburgh and served the late-night and early-morning workers who were unloading fish, fruits and vegetables.[2]
The restaurant has evolved to become a casual neighborhood restaurant with 13 Pittsburgh locations, including those found in PNC Park and Heinz Field. There are also two locations in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.[3]
The restaurant was featured in an article in the August 2003 edition of National Geographic Magazine.[4]

I decided to make this because, though I am not from Pittburgh, my husband is from the area and we both went to college and grad school there. And it seemed like a perfect fit for this challenge! The sandwiches at the restaurant while good are not the best for you. They are greasy, with white bread and fries. I decided to make a healthier version.

I made mine with whole wheat bread, pork, homemade cole slaw, and sweet potato fries (simply tossed with olive oil and kosher salt and baked at 450 until done - about 15 minutes, turning once). Pepperjack cheese for Ryan and cheddar for me. They were really great! Yummy enough that we may just ahve them again sometime!

I needed to represent MY roots too though. After some brainstorming with my husband, I came up with the:

Whalers Melt

Ryan jokingly said something about making a whalers sandwich when I told him that the foods we chose could represent a local team colors. Well. 10 years ago, the Hartford Whalers hockey team left CT to go to NC (hockey in NORTH CAROLINA?!?! puh-lease). They have been sorely missed by many here, and we are left with no pro teams.

So, my entry for a Connecticut / New England Sandwich consists of:

Anadama Bread: According to Wikipedia: Anadama bread is a traditional bread of New England made with white flour, cornmeal, molasses and sometimes rye flour. There are several popular myths about the origin of the name, which mostly take this form:"A fisherman, angry with his wife, Anna, for serving him nothing but cornmeal and molasses, one day adds flour and yeast to his porridge and eats the resultant bread, while cursing, 'Anna, damn her.'"

This Anadama recipe also included Nutmeg (since we CT natives are called "nutmeggers")
For fun, the story of nutmeg and CT: Connecticut gets its nickname ("the Nutmeg State", "Nutmegger") from the legend that some unscrupulous Connecticut traders would whittle "nutmeg" out of wood, creating a "wooden nutmeg" (a term which came to mean any fraud)

I put a slice of bread on a buttered skillet with thin slices of apples which came from my local farm, Rosedales. many many apples are grown on orchards here in CT. I topped that with cheddar cheese (the best cheddar is from Vermont) and let the cheese melt a little while the bread toasted. I topped that with:

Tuna made with chopped dried cranberries (cranberries are famously grown in Mass) and miracle whip

The some slices of local Rosedales tomatos, and a second slice of bread.

The end result, my Whalers Melt, was really good! The cranberries were a nice alternative to the usual relish in tuna.

Anadama Bread

According to Wikipedia: Anadama bread is a traditional bread of New England made with white flour, cornmeal, molasses and sometimes rye flour. There are several popular myths about the origin of the name, which mostly take this form:
"A fisherman, angry with his wife, Anna, for serving him nothing but cornmeal and molasses, one day adds flour and yeast to his porridge and eats the resultant bread, while cursing, 'Anna, damn her.'"

Sins I was working on a challenge to make a sandwich that represented where I am from, i decided to try my hand at this. Plus, I had been wanting to try a yeast bread for a while! Maybe not the best sandwich bread, I think its better for toast since its a fairly stiff bread, it was so good!

I used a recipe I found online here. Very yummy! I loved that it had a little nutmeg too (since we CT natives are called "nutmeggers")

For fun, the story of nutmeg and CT: Connecticut gets its nickname ("the Nutmeg State", "Nutmegger") from the legend that some unscrupulous Connecticut traders would whittle "nutmeg" out of wood, creating a "wooden nutmeg" (a term which came to mean any fraud)

2 packages yeast

2 cups lukewarm water

3 tablespoons blackstrap molasses (I used a little more than this)

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup yellow cornmeal

¾ teaspoon nutmeg (I used a little more than this)

3 ½ to 4 cups unbleached white flour

1 ¾ to 2 cups whole-wheat flour

2 teaspoons salt

1. Combine yeast, warm water and molasses in a large bowl. Let stand until the yeast dissolves and bubbles, about 10 minutes.

2. Stir in oil, cornmeal, nutmeg, 3 ½ cups white flour and 1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour.

3. Beat with a wooden spoon until dough is sticky. Knead dough thoroughly on a clean, floured surface, for about 5 minutes, adding more flour if needed, but not too much as this should be a somewhat sticky dough. (I used the dough hook on my kitchenaid) Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Punch down and allow dough to rise a second time, about 45 to 50 minutes, again until doubled. (apparently there is no step 4...)

5. Punch dough down a third time and divide it in half. Form into loaves and place in sprayed 9 x 5 x 2 ½-inch loaf pans. Let rise a third time, covered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until almost doubled in bulk. Towards the end of this rising, preheat oven to 350 F.

6. Bake loaves about 45 to 55 minutes or until brown and crusty on both tops and bottoms. Remove loaves from pans and let cool on a rack. (I sprinkled a little cornmeal on top before baking)

Makes two loaves, 12 slices per loaf.

By Cresecent Dragonwagon, "Relish the American Table," February 26, 2006 Nutritional Information
Per slice: 120 calories, 2g fat, 4g prot., 25g carbs., 2g fiber, 200mg sodium.

Christy's pork

For the newest cooking board challenge, I needed to make a really good sandwich and my husband suggested pork. I remembered that we had gone to a dinner at my friend Christy's where she made some awesome pork and had shared the marinade on email. Thanks to the gmail search option, I was able to find it and make it and it was AWESOME! SO good - so Wyst - thanks! :)

Marinade (worked perfectly for 2 tenderloins totalling about 2.5 pounds) Combine:

1/2 cup canola oil

1/3 cupe soy sauce

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

3 T lemon juice

2 T worcestershire sauce

1 clove garlic

1 T parsley

1 T Mustard

1 tsp pepper

Let the pork marinate in the liquid for 4+ hours. She cooked it on the grill but our grill is out of commission so I replicated that by cooking it on med high on a pan on teh stove (then dropping heat) until it reached the proper temp (155 degrees). It took maybe 30 min or so.

We are definitely adding this as our pork marinade, and it tasted great in the sandwiches (entry to come)

Cookie Dough Brownies

This recipe (by LizzyTish) has been floating around my local board on the nest and I decided to try it when I was slated to being dessert to a cookout at my parents.

I just used Ghiradelli box mix (really good as far as the boxes go). You make the mix as directed and bake it and let cool.

In a mixed cream: 1 stick of softened butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup sugar

Beat in 3 TB Milk, 1 tsp vanilla

Gradually add 1 cup of flour and beat until smooth. Mix in one cup of chocolate chips.

Smooth on top of cool brownies and put in fridge until ready to serve (it doesnt have to be in the fridge but will help it keep its shape)

These were very yummy and definitely perfect for a cookie dough lover, minus the raw eggs! Maybe a little on the sweet side though. Might be better suited to larger pan of brownies than the 9x9 I made so the layer isnt quite so thick.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Mom's Chicken Pasta Salad

This is a go-to summer meal that I grew up with. We went to a cookout at a friend's this weekend and she asked me to bring a pasta salad, and this is so easy it was a no-brainer! Plus, its yummy!

1 box of spiral noodles cooked according to box (I used whole wheat). Let cool.

1 chicken breasts, cooked and let cool enough to handle. Shred or cut into bite sized pieces into bowl with pasta.

2 red bell peppers, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 small bottle of Ken's Light parmesan peppercorn salad dressing.

Mix to combine. This is great for summertime (chicken can be cooked in microwave) and is also good topping salad with italian dressing over it all.

Ratattouie! The food... not the movie

I got an eggplant in our Rosedale's Farm share this week and got the idea to make ratattouie from my mom.

I just sauteed some garlic, onion and EVOO in a large skillet. Added chopped eggplant, chopped yellow summer squash, chopped tomatos (both also from Rosedales), and half of a tiny can of tomato paste. Just let it simmer together till we were ready to eat. I topped it with a little but of italian cheee crumbles by kraft, and serves with wheat bread to dip. Yum!

Lamb Chops with Garlic-Parsley Crust

Another winner from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food mag. It isnt on their website but they have other great stuff - check it out!

This recipe serves one - I tripled it.

1 T Plain Dried Breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat Panko)

1 T chopped fresh parsley

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 T grated lemon zest plus wedge for serving (I used the zest of one lemon and then the slices from it to serve with teh lamb)

2 tsp olive oil

coarse salt and pepper

2 loin lamb chops (nice thick ones)

In med bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, zest, and 1 tsp oil, salt pepper. Divide evenly, pressing into one side of each lamb chop.

In medium skillet, heat remaining oil over medium, Place chops in skillet, crumb side down, carefully. Season with S&P. Cook until crust is browned about 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook an addl 4 to 6 minutes (my chops were thick so I did 4 and 6 minutes) for medium rare.

Transfer to a plate and cover with foil until ready to serve.

These were really yummy! The crust was easier to deal with than I expected (it stayed put pretty well). Lamb is something we both like, though not enough to have all the time. Only problem is they are hard to eat (getting the meat out from the center bone) and they are kinda greasy - so my hands were a mess by the end. It tasted great though!

Sesame and Pepper Crusted Tuna Steak

One of Ryan's favs, I make this for him and salmon for myself pretty often. Super easy!

Get a piece of good sushi-quality tuna, pat dry

Brush with olive oil and pepper heavily. Coat with sesame seeds and press in.

Put on a HOT pan, cook for 1-2 minutes per side for rare seared tuna.

Pasta with Turkey Meatballs and Bocconcini

This recipe came from Everyday Food (a Martha Stewart mag that is really awesome!) Click the link to get to the orig recipe.

Wow! I LOVED this dish. Ryan didnt like it as much as I did since he said it was werid that they were made with turkey not beef but I LOVED them. I really liked the mild flavor from the turkey. And the Mozz balls... YUM. Seriously, this is a definite make-again for me (maybe some night ryan isnt home though :) )

Coarse salt and ground pepper
3/4 pound ground turkey (93 percent lean, dark meat) *I just used regular since its all Stop n Shop had
1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs *I used whole wheat Panko
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons butter
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
8 ounces orecchiette or other short pasta *I used whole wheat spirals
1/2 pint bocconcini (about 20 balls) *bocconcini were pretty big looking at our olive bar so I got the smaller ones and therefore, more.

Set a large pot of water to boil. In a large bowl, combine turkey, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, 1/4 cup parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; mix to combine. Using a level 1-tablespoon measure for each, form mixture into meatballs (you should have about 24). *I had more meat and therefor rounded measurements up and eyeballed the balls by hand
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Add meatballs, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water; simmer, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through and liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook until they begin to soften, about 1 minute.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, return to pot, and place on the still-warm burner. Add mozzerella, meatballs and sauce, remaining 1/4 cup parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and remaining tablespoon butter. Season with salt and pepper, and toss until combined.

Chicken Salad Times Three

For the Kansas Concert that my fam went to, we did a picnic dinner and I brought 3 different kinds of chicken salad (the 3rd small dish being for my sister with allergies).

Mustard Apple Chicken Salad

About 3 chicken breasts, cooked and cooled enough to handle. Tear into bite sized pieces, discarding any gross parts
2 tart apples like granny smith, diced (I just leave the peel on)
1/2 white or yellow onion, diced
Spicy Brown Mustard (about 1/3 cup?)
Light Miracle Whip (to taste)
I just add the wet ingredients slowly and mix so there is just enough to coat.

Rosemary Cherry Chicken Salad

About 3 chicken Breasts, cooked and cooled enough to handle. Tear into bite sized pieces, discarding gross parts.
about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of dried cherries
1 bag almond accents (basically sliced almonds)
1/2 white or yellow onion, diced
chopped fresh rosemary, to taste (maybe 2-3 T)
Light Miracle Whip (enough to just coat all the chicken)

Double Tomato Basil Chicken Salad

1 chick breast, cooked and cooled to handle, tear into bite sized pieces and discard gross parts
handful of sun-dried tomatos, chopped
1/2 pint of cherry tomatos, halved
1/4 onion, diced
Chopped Fresh Basil

Mini Pavlovas

Not a bad pic for being taken outside when it was pitch black out eh!

Last week I went to see Kansas play in Simsbury and we did a big picnic dinner. I wanted to make a light summery dessert and have been wanting to make pavlovas all summer and this seemed like the perfect chance. I used teh directions from Nigella Lawsons How to Eat since I wanted to get the time/temps right. Makes 18 mini pavlovas.


8 egg whites
white vinegar

For specific quantities and baking instructions, see Nigella Lawsons cookbook!

After baking, leave in the oven until ready to serve (so they dont get soggy or dry out).

Top each pavlova with whipped cream (quart of whipping cream, powdered sugar to taste, and I used vanilla beans but vanilla extract would be fine) whipped unitl very stiff. If travelling, pack on ice and wrap in plastic or tight lid.

Top with fresh fruits (I used strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries).

These were really very easy and SUCH A HIT. Yummy. And bonus, my food-allergy-ridden sis could eat them, minus the fruit :)