Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
One thing I did do different this time, was to pre-salt the pork tenderloin 1-1/2 days ago, then removed the plastic wrap from the meat, and keeping it refrigerated, let it 'air dry' for several hours before cooking per the advice of Ann of Thibeault's Table. The meat was even more tender and juicier than usual. I will definitely try this technique on other cuts of meat and poultry!
This is another great mid-week meal. You can have a hot meal on the table in 45 minutes from the time you walk in the door after work and have often done that. Today the side consisted solely of a tomato salad made with 2 types of tomatoes, fresh basil, salt & pepper, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. Normally I would make some mashed or smashed potatoes and a salad or other green vegetable, like roasted asparagus or broccoli sauteed with garlic and olive oil, drizzled with fresh lemon juice. It's a great meal that tastes like it took a lot longer than it does!
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 chipotle pepper, minced fine (chipotles are readily available from the supermarket and come in a small can with adobo sauce - use just one pepper, not a whole can of them)
2 limes—save 1/2 of 1 lime for sauce and slice the rest into small wedges for serving
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound peeled, uncooked medium shrimp, cut into smallish pieces
1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning
10 corn tortillas
1/2 cup purple cabbage, shredded fine
In a small bowl combine sour cream, chipotle, and juice from 1/2 a lime, mix well and set aside.
Heat skillet really well and then add oil. Add shrimp and stir fry quickly—the shrimp will cook within 2 - 3 minutes. When almost cooked, sprinkle with the all purpose seasoning then squeeze juice from half a lime on top—give a final stir and you're done.
Warm the tortillas in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat (flour tortillas: about 30 seconds per side; corn tortillas: 1 minute per side). Serve by putting some of the chipotle cream on a tortilla, add a little cabbage, some shrimp and a final fresh squeeze from a lime wedge.
Source: Sam Zien from Just Cook This/ Discovery Health Channel
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
2 pounds large, unshelled raw shrimp
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
Rinse shrimp; shell and devein, leaving tails on. Wash under cold running water. Drain; pat dry with paper towels.
Melt butter in 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking pan. Add oil, 2 tablespoons parsley, the minced garlic, salt, cayenne, and lemon juice; mix well.
Add shrimp, tossing lightly in butter mixture to coat well. Arrange in single layer in pan. Broil, 4 - 5 inches from heat, 3 minutes. Turn shrimp; broil 1 to 2 more minutes longer, or until shrimp are pink.
Using tongs, remove shrimp to heated serving platter. Pour garlic mixture over all, or pour it into a small pitcher, to pass.
Sprinkle shrimp with remaining chopped parsley. Garnish platter with lemon slices, if desired.
Makes 8 servings.
Source: The New McCall's Cookbook, copyright 1973
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I must confess: dinner after work often consists of a bowl of Cheerios. So when my friend Linda of How To Cook a Wolf fame clued me in to this recipe of Jacques Pepin's, I had to try it. Few ingredients, few steps, and a delicious hot meal is on the table in less than 1/2 hour. How can you beat that? Thank you, Linda!
Chicken Breasts with Garlic and Parsley
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (each about 7 ounces), cut into 1- to 1-1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon Wondra flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lemon, quartered
Dry the chicken cubes with paper towels and toss them with the flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until very hot but not smoking, add the cubed chicken, and cook in one layer, turning occasionally, for about 3-1/2 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the garlic and parsley in a small bowl. Add the butter and the parsley mixture to the skillet and saute for 1 minute longer, shaking the skillet occasionally to coat the chicken.
To serve, divide among four plates, add a wedge of lemon to each plate, and serve within 15 minutes.
Source: Jacques Pepin Fast Food My Way, copyright 2004
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Cassata Cake (Sicilian Ricotta Cheesecake)
1 cup unsalted butter
1 pound ricotta cheese
2 ounces of liqueur (Orange, Cognac, Amaretto, your choice)
2 cups whipping cream
For dinner, I made manicotti. Start by making crepes, filling them with the same ricotta mixture I use for lasagna. I also made a pot of sauce, meatballs and sausage (we'll save that for another post!) Salad consisted of greens, orange, yellow & red tomatoes, and a balsamic vinaigrette of minced shallots, Dijon, salt & pepper, balsamic vinegar, tangerine and traditional extra virgin olive oil. Of course, garlic toasts rounded out the meal. The house smells great when there's a pot of sauce simmering away on the stove!!
Combine all ingredients in medium bowl with electric mixter. Let stand 1/2 hour or longer.
Slowly heat a crepe pan or 8-inch skillet. Add about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of crepe batter, swirling batter to cover bottom of pan. Cook over medium heat until top is dry but bottomis not browned. Stack with waxed paper as they cool.
2 pounds ricotta cheese
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Combine ingredients. Spread about 1/4 cup of filling down the center of each crepe; roll up. Spread bottom of 12 x 8 x 2 inch baking dish with marinara sauce. Place filled crepes in single layer over sauce. Cover filled crepes with sauce; sprinkle with additional grated mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Bake, uncovered, at 350 F. for 1/2 hour.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Roast Pork with Sagey Onions
4-pound boneless pork top loin roast (double)
2 pounds yellow onions, peeled and quartered
1-1/4 teaspoons ground sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Gravy (recipe to follow)
Place pork roast fat side upon rack in shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. Do not add water. Do not cover. Place in oven and roast at 325 F. for 1-1/2 hours.
Fill a medium pan with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Add onions. Cover and bring back to a boil. Cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes; drain. Chop onions coarsely; stir in sage, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove pork and rack from pan; pour off drippings, reserving 1/4 cup. Mound onion mixture in center of pan and place pork on top. Continue to roast until meat thermometer registers 165 F., about 45 minutes - 1 hour.
Mix reserved 1/4 cup drippings and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in 2 cups water. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Source: Betty Crocker's Cooking American Style - A Sampler of Heritage Recipes, copyright 1976
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Lasagna Cheese Filling
2 pounds ricotta
8 ounces mozzarella, cubed (plus additional for topping)
1/3 cup grated parmesan (plus additional for topping - Parmigiana Reggiano is my favorite)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all ingredients.
Spread your favorite marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish. Layer lasagna noodles over sauce, then spread one-third of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Repeat noodle/ricotta layering two more times. Over last layer of ricotta mixture, place another layer of noodles. Pour sauce over lasagna so that it completely covers last layer of noodles. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan over top of sauce. Bake at 350 F. for 35 - 40 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Having to beach it in landlocked Dallas, Texas took a little imagination (and several trips to places like Ross, Tuesday Morning, Pier One, etc...) So, I layered the table with a beach blanket first to get me in a beach frame of mind. A few little shells, some pretty little flip-flops, a sand bucket & pail, and a few other things really got my juices going!
On to the food!
The main course was Chilled Lobster and Asparagus with a Shallot-Tarragon Vinaigrette. Evidently there was a run on fresh tarragon in the Dallas area this week as there was none to be found ANYWHERE. So, I substituted minced, fresh chives and a pinch of dried tarragon. To add to the summer-at-the-beach feeling, Sparkling Lemonade with Fresh Raspberries was the beverage of choice. Ahhh...
For dessert, I tried a new recipe for Ricotta Pots with Raspberries. Very light, very souffle-like, the perfect ending for the meal.
Thanks to the Darling Bakers for coming up with such a fun idea. It was a great way to spend a chilly weekend!
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
salt & pepper
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 egg, beaten
2 cans minced clams, drained
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons bread crumbs, divided
Saute the onion, pepper, celery, and mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of the butter until tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in the beaten egg, the minced clams, and 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs.
Separately, mix together 1/2 cup of bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
Spoon clam mixture into shells. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixtgure over the top. Bake at 350 F. for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are dark golden brown.
Sparkling Lemonade with Fresh Raspberries
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
1/2 cup sugar syrup (recipe below)
6 splashes of club soda or seltzer
1 cup fresh raspberries
6 lemon slices for garnish
In a pitcher, combine the juice, sugar syrup, and 1 quart of cold water. Mix well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Pour the lemonade over ice-filled glasses, adding a splash of club soda or seltzer to each glass and stir. Garnish with raspberries and lemon slice.
Makes about 2-1/2 cups
In a heavy saucepan, bring 4 cups sugar and 2 cups water to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring to dissolve sugar completely. Remove from heat, cool, and refrigerate in a covered container. Will keep for up to 3 weeks.
Source: The Beach House Cookbook, copyright 2005
Chilled Lobster & Asparagus with Shallot-Tarragon Vinaigrette
4 quarts water
2 tablespoons salt
2 (1- to 1-1/4 pound) live lobsters
1/2 pound fresh asparagus
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 shallot, minced
3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 small head Bibb lettuce
Garnishes: fresh tarragon sprigs, lemon wedges
Bring 4 quarts water and salt to a boil in a large stockpot. Plunge lobsters, head first, into boiling water; return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes; drain and cool.
Remove meat from claws and tails. Chill lobster meat.
Cook asparagus in boiling water to cover 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain and pat dry. Set aside.
Combine olive oil and next 7 ingredients in a jar; cover tightly, and shake vigorously.
Arrange lettuce leaves, lobster, and asparagus on plates; drizzle with dressing. Garnish, if desired.
Source: The Coastal Living Cookbook, copyright 2004
Ricotta Pots with Raspberries
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1-1/3 cups fresh ricotta
1/4 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (see note below)
7 ounces (about 1-2/3 cups) fresh or frozen raspberries
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 4 1-cup capacity ramekins or souffle dishes.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Beat in the vanilla sugar.
In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks and superfine sugar until thick and pale. Add the ricotta, pistachio nuts, lemon rind, and juice and mix together well. Fold the ricotta mixture into the beaten egg whites, stirring gently until just combined.
Divide the raspberries among the ramekins and spoon the ricotta filling over top. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned. Dust with confectioners sugar to serve.
Note: To make vanilla sugar, split a whole vanilla bean in half lengthwise and place in a jar of superfine sugar (about 2 pounds). Leave for at least 4 days before using.
Source: The Quick Recipe Cookbook, copyright 2000