Monday, May 24, 2010

May 24th, 2010

Summer Vegetable Hash
Grilled Barbecue Chicken

I love making this Summer Vegetable Hash. It reminds me of making potato packets when we are camping, but with fresh summer veggies.

Serves 6

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound small red potatoes, quartered
fresh corn kernels from 2 ears
2 scallions, thinly sliced (1/4 cup)
1 jalapeno chile, stem, ribs, and seeds removed, finely chopped
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chicken stock (or veggie stock if you are vegan/vegetarian)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add potatoes, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the corn, onions and the jalapeno to skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn turns dark brown in spots, about 2 minutes (some kernels may pop). Add stock and cook until potatoes are tender. Add tomatoes, and cook until skins just begin to soften, about 1 minute.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

May 23rd, 2010

Spinach Salad
Peanut Butter Blondies

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 19th, 2010

Green Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Corn on the Cob
Beef Brisket

First, a few words about brisket...
There are thousands of recipes on the internet for making brisket. They all basically consist of the same thing:
1. beef brisket (cooked for a very long time)
2. chili sauce/ketchup
3. onion soup mix
4. braising liquid
Some variation have everything homemade and some use all packaged ingredients. Some use beer or water as the braising liquid (I am liking the beer idea!) I combined several different recipes and some old jewish tips. Of course I didn't really measure, but it should be really close to what I list. This makes A LOT!!! It will feed at least 8-10 people.

Beef Brisket

8 - 10 pound beef brisket
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions, sliced
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
2 cups beef stock
1 cup ketchup
1 cup chili sauce (I used Heinz)
2 cups brown sugar

In a heavy skillet heat olive oil and cook onions until caramelized. Add garlic and spices and cook until garlic begins to soften. In a large bowl stir together stock, ketchup, chili sauce, and brown sugar. Place brisket fat side up in a large slow cooker (you could do this in the oven in a roasting pan too, just cook it at a low temperature like 325˚.) Cover with onion mixture and pour sauce over top. Cook on low for at least ten hours. (It is very handy to do overnight!) At this point you should remove the fat from the brisket. It will peel off very easily. Place the meat back in the sauce and "rest" by chilling for at least several hours (this is the old jewish tip.) About an hour before serving skim the fat from the sauce and strain. Slice the meat in about 1" slices. Careful place in a large baking dish (I used my roasting pan) with sauce and bake at 300˚ until the sauce is bubbly and the beef is warm.

The leftovers make really good sandwiches!

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12th, 1010

Mixed Greens Salad with Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette
Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart

1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 pound), cored, cut into 1-inch florets
1 tablespoons olive oil

1 pie crust

1 large onion thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 cup white wine

1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
2 large eggs
1 (7- to 8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is deep golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Deglaze the pan with white wine and cook until evaporated. Set aside to cool slightly.
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 425°F. Toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil in large bowl. Spread on large rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes; turn florets over. Continue roasting until tender, about 15 minutes longer. set aside to cool cauliflower slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Press pie crust onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Line pie crust with foil; fill with pie weights. Bake crust 20 minutes. Remove foil and pie weights; bake until crust is golden, about 5 minutes, pressing crust with back of fork if bubbles form. Set aside to cool crust slightly (about 5 - 10 minutes.) Maintain oven temperature.
Brush bottom and sides of crust with mustard. Spread onion in crust. Arrange cauliflower evenly over. Set tart on rimmed baking sheet. Whisk eggs and next 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Stir in Gruyère. Pour mixture over filling in tart pan; sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until tart is golden and center is set, about 40 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool 15 minutes before serving.

This recipe is from Bon Appétit March 2007. I did make a few slight changes, making it a little easier. They have you cooling each ingredient in the process and slicing the cauliflower and I don't think it is really necessary. Plus, I added the white wine. They also use truffle oil. I also found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen's blog and she substituted truffle salt for the truffle oil. I like that idea. You can go to or to compare recipes.

Ellie said this was one of the best tarts I have ever made. Matt loved it. Sally and Missy stopped by tonight and each tried a little slice and said it was awesome. So there you have it.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 11th, 2010

Pineapple Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
Spicy Noodles with Snow Peas
Grilled Chicken and Pineapple
Chocolate Chip Cookies

This salad is so beautiful and delicious. I did not measure my ingredients, but I'll do my best to guesstimate. This really complimented the marinade for the chicken.

Pineapple Salad with Lime Vineaigrette
Spring Salad Mix
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
6 green onions, sliced
juice from 1 lime
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/8 cup sugar*
generous pinch kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

In the bottom of your salad bowl whisk together lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk in green onion. If making ahead you can refrigerate this. Toss lettuce, peppers and pineapple in dressing right before serving. Add any pineapple juice that has accumulated.

*If your pineapple is very ripe and sweet you will need less sugar. Mine was a little tart.

The marinade for the chicken was the juice of 3 limes, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 4 smashed garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 5 sprigs fresh cilantro and all the pineapple scraps.

The sauce I made for the noodle dish was 2 tablespoons of butter melted in the pot with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 minced clove garlic and 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes. Just toss with angel hair pasta and steamed snow peas.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 6th, 2010

Cheesy Ham Tetrazzini

If you are wondering what to do with leftover Easter dinner here is a twist on my Chicken Tetrazzini (which is one of Matt's favorites.) This will make a huge dish and serve at least 8, or you can make 2 - 2 Quart dishes and freeze one. If you are freezing just let it cool and tightly cover with foil.

4 cups diced ham (or chicken)
1/2 cup flour
6 tablespoons butter
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup chicken stock
3 cups milk
1/2 cup white wine
1 pound linguine
1 - 10 ounce box frozen peas
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated Asiago cheese*

Preheat oven to 400°. Cook pasta 2 minutes less than instructions on package for al dente.
In a large saucepan on high heat melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add mushrooms and cook until brown and just tender. Remove from pan and set aside in a big bowl (big enough to toss pasta.) Add chopped onion to pan and cook until tender. Add garlic and cook a minute more. Add to mushrooms. In the same saucepan melt remaining butter and whisk in flour. Cook about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in chicken stock, milk, wine and thyme (I just put the whole sprigs in and let the leaves fall off then remove stalks later.) Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and fresh ground pepper. In the large bowl toss pasta with mushroom/onion mixture, ham, peas, 1 cup Parmesan, Asiago and sauce. Pour into baking dish(es) and top with remaining Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

If you are baking after freezing thaw in fridge overnight and then bake covered at 400° for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes until browned.

*I normally use Jarlsberg cheese in this recipe, but I had Asiago left from another recipe. You can really use any cheese that you like. You will have to adjust your salt according to how salty the cheese is.

I also make this with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. If you would like to make it vegetarian use veggie stock and sub out meat with some oven roasted veggies of your choice. Any squash would hold up well. Perhaps zuchini and tomatoes. Soooo good!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Dinner 2010

Roasted Lemon Broccoli
Southern Style Macaroni and Cheese
Orange, Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Ham
Mini Éclairs with Strawberries and Cream

I normally make the Martha Macaroni and Cheese 101 recipe. It is VERY good, but very expensive to make. I thought I'd change it up and make Southern Style Macaroni and Cheese. This is how my friends from Georgia taught me to make it, with a little twist from me. I think it is much easier, it is cheaper, and Matt said he likes it better. It is more like a casserole and is great for when you have to bring a dish 'cause it's still great at room temperature y'all. The recipe I am giving you has been halved and will still serve 6. If you want to make a big baking dish full, just double the ingredients and bake about ten minutes longer.

1 egg
1 - 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces grated jack cheese
1/2 box Barilla Elbows macaroni*
3 Tablespoons butter (plus more for baking dish)
2 slices white bread, torn into course crumbs
1/8 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 Tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375°.
Butter an oven safe baking dish (I use a 8"x8"x3" glass baking dish.)
Beat egg, evaporated milk, milk, and seasoning together. Set aside.
Mix grated cheese together and set aside.
Boil large pot of water and cook pasta with a pinch of salt for 7 minutes. Drain and place pasta back in pot and toss with 3 Tbls butter.
Layer 1/3 of cooked pasta, then 1/3 cheese and continue with layers until done.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Mix bread-crumbs with remaining tablespoon of butter and 1/8 teaspoon seasoning salt and top macaroni. Bake ten minutes more or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let set for 10-15 minutes.

*You don't have to use Barilla "Elbows," but as far as dried pasta goes, Barilla is the best. It holds up well texturally in this dish. Also the cooking directions given are specifically for Barilla Elbows, so you should just cook your macaroni until al dente.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 31st, 2010

Braised Beef Cannelloni

I recently went to Maggiano's Little Italy and had this dish for the first time. It was so great that I couldn't wait to try and make it at home. I went online to see if I could find Maggiano's recipe, alas, I came up empty handed. I did, however, find an article about the dish, which gave me the ingredients. I made my own recipe tonight and Matt said it was better than Maggiano's. I need to change a few things, but it was really good and way less salty than what I had in the restaurant. Here's my recipe which serves six:

For the beef:
3.5-4 pound pot roast
3 carrots, peeled
2 onions, peeled and halved
6 stalks celery
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 whole peppercorns
32 ounces beef stock*
4 ounces grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

*veal stock would be preferred here but it is very hard to find and beef stock worked fine. Changes I will make for next time are I would only use 16 ounces and then use 1 cup of red wine. I also forgot the tomatoes, so I would add a can of whole tomatoes.

Place all of the ingredients, except cheese, in a dutch oven or a slow cooker. If using a dutch oven place covered in a 350 degree oven or place in a slow cooker (which is what I did) and cook for 6 hours. After beef is cooked remove and place in a bowl. Shred beef with two forks. Chop carrots and half of one onion (and tomato) and place with beef. Pour 1/2 cup strained braising liquid over beef to keep moist. Stir in cheese and set aside.

For the sauce:
1 1/2 cups strained braising liquid
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup cream
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon flour*
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

*My sauce was too runny, so I would use 2 Tablespoons of flour.

In a medium saucepan melt butter and cook flour until golden and bubbly. Whisk in stock and vinegar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened (a little thinner than gravy.) Remove from heat and whisk in cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook 18 cannelloni shells according to the directions. (Next time I hope to make my own sheets of pasta!) Make sure when they are done cooking that you don't let them dry out or get sticky. Cold water helps with that.

1/4 cup italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

I used a large baking dish, you could also use individual gratin dishes. They just need to be oven safe. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place just enough sauce to coat the bottom of the baking dish(es.) When beef is just cool enough to handle stuff each pasta with about 2 Tablespoons of beef mixture. They should be full, but not over-stuffed or your pasta will tear. You should end up with about 1 cup of beef mixture left over. If you are using individual servings I would make 3 cannelloni per person. Pour remaining sauce evenly over filled pasta. Top with remaining beef. Cover and bake about 10 minutes. Uncover and set oven to broil. Mix breadcrumbs and cheese and even top cannelloni. Broil on high until golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Buon appetito!

Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29th, 2010

Steamed Asparagus with Lemon Butter
Roasted Paprika Chicken and Potatoes
Rice Pudding

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 23rd, 2010

Italian Sausage Lasagna

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March 20th, 2010

Linguine with Spicy Pancetta Tomato Sauce

I used real Italian canned tomatoes and it made this sauce extra delicious!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St Patrick's Day 2010

Corned Beef with Cabbage, Potatoes, Carrots and Onions
Apple Pie

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 14th, 2010

Green Beans
Thick Cut Potato Chips
Pork Roast Glazed with Honey and Mustard

Friday, March 12, 2010

March 11th, 2010

Spicy Sausage Ravioli* Baked in a White Cheddar Bechamel and Topped with Seasoned Bread Crumbs

*Note: I only list things I make for dinner if I've made everything from scratch. The ravioli was an exception. I used Buitoni brand Spicy Beef and Sausage ravioli. I will make this again with homemade ravioli for sure!

March 8th

Potato Soup with Cheese and Green Chiles

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1st, 2010

Green Salad (I didn't make any homemade dressing)
Bucatini in White Wine Tomato Sauce with Hot Italian Sausage

we are eating left over Mary Todd cake for dessert.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

February 28th, 2010

Steamed Asparagus
Orzo with Parmesan, Lemon and Parsley
Baked Chicken Thighs Marinated in Olive Oil and Lemon and Glazed with Dijon and Honey
Mary Todd Lincoln's Vanilla Almond Cake

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

February 24th, 2010

Green Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Mashed Potatoes with Buttermilk and Chives
Grilled Strip Steaks with Red Pepper Flakes
Peanut Butter Blondies