Friday, February 22, 2013

Grilled Chicken with Green Olive Salsa Verde

I found another awesome recipe from my favorite cooking blog, Closet Cooking. This would make a great topping for chicken or fish, or just use as salsa for chips.
Makes 1 cup
½ lb tomatillos, husks removed
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and deveined
¼ cup green olives
½ small onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove
Juice and zest from one lime
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
½ cup cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the tomatillos on a baking sheet under broil until skins blacken and bubble. Remove from oven and place in a covered container for 15 minutes; remove skins. Add tomatillos and remaining ingredients in a food processor and puree.
Served over grilled chicken with rice and beans, or enjoy as a dip for chips.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Grilled Pork Loin with Mustard Sauce with Capers and Parmesan

I found this sauce recipe from one of my new favorite cookbooks, At Blanchard's Table. I served it warm over a grilled, sliced pork loin.

1 lb pork loin
Italian salad dressing (for marinade)
Mustard Sauce with Capers & Parmesan:
(Sauce is enough for about 3 servings)
2 Tbsp drained capers
2 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
½ Tbsp Dijion mustard
Salt and Pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp sour cream
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
In a bag or bowl, marinate pork loin in Italian salad dressing overnight. Start grilling over high heat, to get good grill marks and crispies going on, then turn heat to low and continue cooking until pork reaches 160 degrees in the middle. Let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. 
In a small food processor, combine all ingredients for the sauce. Transfer to a small sauce pan over low and heat until warm.
Serve sliced pork with wild rice and steamed broccoli. Drizzle sauce over sliced pork.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chimichurri Salmon with Roasted Cauliflower

Chimichurri Sauce & Marinade:
½ cup firmly packed fresh flat leaf parsley, remove stems
3 garlic cloves
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes

In a food processor add parsley and garlic; process with a few pulses. Stir in EVOO, vinegar, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

Use half of the sauce to marinate the salmon filets for at least 30 minutes. Save the rest to use as a topping once fish is grilled.

Roasted Cauliflower:
2 cups of cauliflower florets
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Salt and pepper
Fresh lemon juice
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place cauliflower on a baking tray, drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast cauliflower for 15 minutes. Using tongs, flip florets over, spinkle with lemon juice and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until florets are browned and just fork tender. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Serve grilled fish over a bed of rice with cauliflower. Drizzle fish with extra chimichurri sauce.

If you like this recipe, try these:

Chimichurri Chicken Pita


Saturday, February 16, 2013

NY Strip Steak Hash with Eggs

I created this breakfast using all the leftovers from our Valentine’s Day feast … and then added two eggs! Yum … and Valentine’s weekend continues!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
2 large red skinned potatoes, steamed or boiled, cubed
½ cup diced cooked steak
½ cup chopped steamed cauliflower
½ small yellow onion, diced
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
In a frying pan over high heat, drizzle EVOO. Add potatoes and cook until all sides are browned and crispy. Turn heat to medium, add steak, cauliflower and onion; mix together.
Create two holes in the hash mixture and crack an egg into each hole. Cover pan and let egg cook until the whites are settled, but the yolk is still soft (or cooked to your liking). Season with salt and pepper.
Enjoy with a few dashes of hot sauce and a side of fresh fruit.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Feast featuring a 3-Cheese Fondue

Our Valentine's Day feast. It was a lot of work to prepare, but fun to enjoy this hands on meal together.
Our menu, except I forgot to add the fondue to the main course! :-(
To start, a mixed greens salad with sliced apples, spicy candied pecans and blue cheese.

Ben's signature NY strip steaks...cooked to a medium rare perfection!
Let the cheesy fondue fun begin!
3-Cheese Fondue

About 4 servings

½ Tbsp butter
½ Tbsp flour
½ cup white wine
½ tsp Dijon mustard
3-4 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
3-4 oz sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
3-4 oz Swiss cheese, grated
½ Tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter and whisk in flour. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Slowly whisk in wine. Add mustard. Add cheese and stir until melted. Stir in lemon juice.

Before transferring to a fondue pot, rub a raw garlic clove on the inside of the pot.

Enjoy with your favorite steamed veggies and cubed bread.

Check out my NY Strip Steak Hash recipe that I made with the leftovers for breakfast the next morning!

Honey Lemon Chicken

I found this recipe on a blog that I follow – Closet Cooking. It was so easy to make and super tasty. I look forward to making it again.

2 chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 lemon (juice and zest)
2 Tbsp honey
¼ cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 green onion sprigs, chopped (for garnish)
Cut chicken breasts into cube sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper. In a frying pan over med-high heat, drizzle EVOO and brown all sides of chicken; cook until almost done. Remove chicken from pan; set aside. 
In the same pan, add ginger and cook for about one minute. Add lemon juice, zest, honey, stock, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and allow to thicken. (NOTE: if sauce is too thin, whisk in a tablespoon of cornstarch.) 
Add chicken breast, coat with honey lemon mixture and let chicken finish cooking all the way through.
Serve over rice and sprinkle with chopped green onions.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Kung Pao Chicken

In the spirit of Chinese New Year, I decided to make this spicy Asian dish. I always enjoy a trip to the Asian market because there are so many different things to check out (and they have cheap veggies!). On this visit, I had to pick up the dried red chilies for this dish. You can also pick up some fortune cookies for a fun, festive dessert.


For Chicken Marinade:
2 ½ tsp soy sauce
1 tsp corn starch
½ tsp sesame oil
1 lb chicken breasts, cubed
For Sauce:
1 ½ Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp chicken broth
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp oil
½ cup diced red bell pepper
½ cup diced yellow onion
10 dried red chilies
1 Tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
4 green onions, sliced
¼ cup peanuts
In a small bowl , whisk together ingredients for the chicken marinade. Marinate chicken cubes in sauce for at least 30 minutes.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together ingredients for the sauce; set aside.
In a large frying pan over high heat, add oil and cook chicken until almost done and all sides are browned. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
In the same frying pan, sauté peppers and onions for about 3-4 minutes. Add dried chilies, pepper, garlic and ginger. Sauté for about 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Mix in sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Add chicken, green onions and peanuts, turn heat to low and mix together. Continue to cook until chicken is cooked all the way through.
Serve over rice.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Shrimp Etouffee

Happy Mardi let's eat!
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
1 cup diced onion
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced bell pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups shrimp stock (If you don’t have this just boil the shrimp tails in vegetable broth for about 20 minutes)
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 Tbsp Creole or Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp Worcestersire sauce
1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
Tabasco sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp lemon juice
½ cup green onions, sliced
½ cup minced flat leaf Italian parsley

In a large pan over medium heat, melt butter until it starts to brown and then sprinkle and mix in flour; mix and simmer. Add onion, celery and pepper and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Whisk in stock, tomatoes, creole seasoning and Worcestershire sauce; simmer for 20 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for about 5 minutes, until pink or heated all the way through. Season with hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Mix in lemon juice, green onions and parsley. Serve with rice.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup with Pasta

A tasty and healthy soup to enjoy on a chilly day. 

5 cups of broth
½ cup dried pasta (I used Ditalini pasta)
1 can of diced tomatoes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
2 large carrots, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
2 cups chopped fresh kale
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 precooked Chicken sausage links
Dash of Tabasco
A few dashes of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot, bring broth to a boil and add pasta. Cook for about 8 minutes.

In a large sauce pan over med-high heat, drizzle EVOO and add veggies. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.

Once pasta is al dente, add a can of diced tomatoes and sautéed veggies. In the same sauce pan, add sliced sausage and brown both sides. Then add to soup. Season with Tabasco, pepper flakes and salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve with a nice crusty bread.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Stuffed Pork Loin

I hope you enjoy this pork on pork action as much as we did!
1 pork loin (about 2 lb)
¾ cup frozen, chopped spinach (defrosted and water squeezed out)
¼ cup chopped sundried tomatoes (jarred in oil, drained)
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
About 4 oz goat cheese crumbles
4 slices of thick bacon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut horizontally through the center of the pork, but not all the way through. Open flat, like a book. Place between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to about ½” thick using a meat mallet. Season with salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients (except bacon). Leaving a 1” border, spread filling over pork and roll up pork like a jelly roll. Cover pork roll with bacon slices. Secure with cooking twine at approx. 2” intervals.
Move pork loin to a casserole dish and bake uncovered for about 45 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the middle registers 138 degrees. Remove pork from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing. 
Serve over couscous with sautéed veggies.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chorizo Chili Stuffed Potatoes

I made these tasty little guys for a Super Bowl party. They were a hit with the crowd, but unfortunately they didn't help the 49ers win!

Chorizo Chili (recipe here)

Or a quicker version of the a Chorizo Chili:
1 link of chorizo sausage, removed from casing
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 can of your favorite chili
10 small red skinned potatoes
Grated cheddar cheese

In a large pot, cook chorizo over medium heat. Add jalapenos; cook for 2-4 minutes. Add a can of chili. Mix together and cook until chorizo is cooked all the way through.

Cut potatoes in half and boil or steam until fork tender; drain. Using a melon baller or a small spoon, scoop out centers of potatoes. Do not pierce potato skins. Fill with chili and top with cheese.

Place filled potatoes on a baking sheet and under broiler for 2-3 minutes.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Key Lime Bars

When life gives you limes....make key lime bars!
1 1/4 cups of cinnamon graham crackers crumbs (pulse in food processor)
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
pinch salt
4 Tbsp melted butter (allow to cool slightly)
½ cup pecan pieces (add to crust after baked)

2 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 Tbsp grated lime zest
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup juice

3/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted until golden brown
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8” square baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.

To make crust, in a food processor, pulse cinnamon graham crackers into crumbs. Add brown sugar and salt; pulse to combine. Drizzle butter over crumbs and pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened with butter. Press crumbs evenly and firmly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until deep golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Evenly sprinkle crust with pecan pieces. Do not turn off oven while making filling.

To make filling, in a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, zest and salt until thoroughly combined. Whisk in condensed milk until no lumps of cream cheese remain; whisk in egg yolk. Add lime juice and whisk gently until incorporated.

Pour filling into crust, over pecans; spread to corners and smooth surface with spatula. Bake until set and edges begin to pull away slightly from sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack, about 1 1/2 hours. Cover with foil and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled at least 2 hours.

Cut bars into squares and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Refrigerate leftovers.