Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Stop and think about what today commemorates. Believe it or not, the holiday is not about hamburgers.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pan roasted potatoes

Taking a cue from the other roasted vegetables that we've been doing lately, I decided to try fingerling potatoes in a tiny bit of bacon grease.  Oh my!   They are shown here served with grilled chicken with Macadamia Nut Sauce and crushed pineapple. 

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Fingerling potatoes
Bacon grease
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 450.  Cut the potatoes lengthwise.  Melt some bacon grease in a roasting pan or skillet.  When the pan is hot, add the potatoes in a single layer.  Roast for 20 minutes, turning after 1 minutes and adding salt and pepper.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Greek cod cakes

Cooking Light had an interesting recipe for Greek Cod Cakes.  I halved the recipe, and that fed three of us nicely!  As one reviewer wrote, it dirtied up every pan in the house (seemed like, anyway), but they were good.  I can't stomach mayonnaise, so I made the sauce with yogurt, which seemed more appropriate for something Greek anyway.  It was very tasty. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon

I found a recipe for Brussels sprouts that used pancetta, but I'm just not a big fan.  We used hickory smoked bacon instead and loved it.  Doesn't bacon just make almost anything taste better?

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Brussels sprouts
Cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 450.  Steam the Brussels sprouts for about 5 minutes in the microwave.  Meanwhile, heat a cast iron skillet and cook the bacon.  Remove the bacon, leaving some of the grease behind.  Slice each sprout lengthwise and place in the skillet.  Roast for 15 minutes, flipping them over after 10 minutes.  Before serving, add crumbled bacon and sprinkle with cider vinegar. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dani's birthday cake

For Dani's birthday, she asked for a chocolate cake, really really chocolately, but not a torte or a brownie.  So I turned to the Mississippi Mud Cake for inspiration.  I used almond extract instead of whiskey, no particular reason.

But what's a birthday cake without some sort of icing or glaze?  A mud cake isn't designed to be frosted, so I decided to make the glaze that I use on the Chocolate Torte.  Still, I didn't want to lose the wonderful crackle pattern, so I tried pouring on the glaze while the cake was still warm.  What happened was that it soaked in, but formed a crunchy topping like what you'd find on a premium muffin!  We really liked it.  It's unconventional, but you might want to try it sometime too.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Roasted carrots

I've done roasted spring carrots before, with butter, cumin, and lime juice.  Here's a different method with a different spice: paprika!  Slice the carrots lengthwise to make them really look special!

Roasted Carrots

Olive oil
Carrots, sliced lengthwise
Salt and pepper

Preheat a shallow roasting pan on the bottom rack of a 450 oven.  Oil the bottom lightly and add the carrots.  Roast for about 20 to 25 minutes, turning once and sprinkling with spices.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Red grilled chicken

Recently, I mixed up a small batch of Red-Cooked Chicken marinade to see how well it would do with grilled chicken.  The verdict?  Pretty darned good!

There it is on the plate, served with Green Beans and Mushrooms in Sherry sauce and some asiago cheese bread. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fresh trout, thanks to Mike!

In a recent fishing derby, my sweetie won third place and brought home some gorgeous (and delicious) trout!

We cook them by gutting them first, and then just grilling them on foil.  As soon as the flesh is cooked well enough for the skin to stick to the foil and pull away clean, we flip them over and let the other side cook too.  The backbone pulls out easily just before serving.  But there are always bones left!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day feast

I didn't make it, so I can't give you all the particulars!  Dani looked up how to do beer can chicken somewhere online.  I know she added garlic to the beer and she rubbed the chicken with McCormick's Montreal Chicken Spice.  It was done on the grill by her Dad.  She also created stuffed portobello mushrooms, a crispy salad, and an amazing Bailey's Irish Cream cheesecake. 

I sat and read!  Lucky me :-)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Onion and bacon tart

Here's a dinner tart for you, courtesy of Cooking Light magazine.  It's a fussy and time consuming recipe, but the flavor is incredible, so only make it when you won't have to rush.  I prefer to make my own flakey pie crust over the new style that seems to be cropping up everywhere.  The kind suggested by Cooking Light and others is moister and has more uniform texture, reminding me too much of pre-made or roll-out pie crusts. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cauliflower with Feta

Tasty tasty, and really easy too!

Cauliflower with Feta

Fresh cauliflower
2 to 3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 c black olives, chopped

Break up the cauliflower head and steam it in the microwave for 5 minutes or more until softened.  Stir in crumbled feta and olives.  Sprinkle with nutmeg.  That's it!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pasta with antipasto!

Ok, it may seem kind of silly, but if you chop up all the ingredients for a great antipasto platter, it makes an equally great pasta dressing!

Pasta with Antipasto

2 red peppers, roasted
1 c pitted olives, chopped
2/3 c basil pesto
6 oz prosciutto, chopped
14 oz sun-dried tomatoes, oil packed, drained and chopped
14 oz artichoke hearts, oil packed, drained and chopped

1 lb penne pasta

4 oz (about 1 c) Parmesan cheese, grated
Pine nuts

Put flattened peppers on foil under the broiler for about 7 to 9 minutes.  Peel and chop.  Combine in a large bowl with the olives through the artichoke hearts.  Prepare the pasta and drain.  Add pasta to the bowl along with half the grated cheese.  Serve, sprinkle with additional cheese and pine nuts.  

Monday, May 3, 2010

Panini with roasted red peppers

Even though it takes a few extra minutes, it's so worthwhile to roast the red peppers fresh so that the heat from them helps to melt the cheese! 

Panini with Roasted Red Peppers

Red peppers, sliced in half with seeds and membrane removed
Whole wheat bread
Basil pesto
Slices of prosciutto
Slices of smoked gruyere cheese

Place the red pepper halves on foil and push them down hard to flatten, skin side up.  Stick them under the broiler for about 7 or 8 minutes.  While they are broiling, spread one slice of bread for each sandwich with pesto.  Layer on a slice of prosciutto.  When the peppers are nicely burned, remove them and peel off the skin.  Cut and place a slice on each sandwich.  Add the cheese and another slice of bread.  Grill or use a panini press.