lattice chicken pot pie
Mexican street corn pasta
chicken Ghiveci
creamy chicken tortilla soup, jalapeno jack popovers
butter basted ribeyes, twice baked potatoes, broccoli
brisket tacos, pinto beans
pork souvlaki, naan

Monday, June 30, 2014

Red Snapper with Bell Pepper and Tomato

Red Snapper with Bell Pepper and Tomato
This plate could have easily served two people. Except I ate the entire thing while watching the US defeat Ghana in the World Cup. Miss F had no interest in eating any of the snapper, so she enjoyed bean and cheese taquitos instead. This dish is entirely my own creation, based on the fresh vegetables we harvested from my parents' garden and the fresh snapper we got from the Kemah fish market. And it was completely amazing, most definitely enhanced by the garden fresh tomatoes, bell peppers and basil. The garden has had a great year so far, at last count there were nearly 20 bell peppers and over 60 tomatoes growing. This year has been much more successful than last. I am going to try and convince them to add a second bed this fall.
Red Snapper with Bell Pepper and Tomato

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large red snapper filets
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
½ cup white wine
1 tablespoon minced basil
white rice

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the snapper filets, saute a minute per side, remove from the pan and set aside. Saute the garlic for 30 seconds, add the tomatoes and bell pepper, saute for two minutes more. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and stir in the basil. Nestle the fish into the tomato and pepper mixture. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 to 7 minutes more. Serve the fish over rice with tomatoes and peppers spooned over top.
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Friday, June 27, 2014

Pork Tenderloin Fajitas

Pork Tenderloin Fajitas
Pork fajitas a my most favorite kind of fajitas, especially at El Tiempo. While we were in Colorado, I knew I wanted to attempt some on the grill and pork tenderloin seemed like the perfect cut for fajitas. This recipe was inspired by Food and Wine. The tip to half the pork tenderloin crosswise made it quite easy to cut into fajita strips and allowed for a really quick cook time.  Make sure to cut the bell pepper into rings so they are easy to grill without having to worry about them falling through the grate.  Any bell pepper color will work.
Pork Tenderloin Fajitas

Herb and Spice Rub:
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
juice from one lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pork tenderloin, halved crosswise
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into rings
8 tortillas

Whisk together the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, lime juice, and olive oil. Pour over the tenderloin and toss to coat. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Prepare the grill to medium-high heat. Brush the grate with vegetable oil. Grill the pork until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the tenderloin to a platter, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. While the pork is resting, grill the bell pepper for 3 minutes.

Slice the pork into strips, toss with the bell pepper and serve on warmed tortillas with guacamole.
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hot Pepper Noodles

Hot Pepper Noodles
I always prefer stir fries over noodles rather than rice, I hated rice as a kid. I remember my dad tormenting me saying "rice is nice" while I refused to eat even one grain of it. I now enjoy rice, but I love rice noodles. I used tomatoes, basil and bell pepper from my mom's garden for this dish, Miss F picked all the produce and was very proud to eat the harvest. Her favorite was the bell pepper and shrimp, she wasn't as big of fan of the noodles. The shrimp could be easily swapped out for chicken, pork or tofu. I adapted the recipe from Bon Appetit and used half green and half red bell pepper, but any color will work beautifully.
Hot Pepper Noodles

1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Asian chili-garlic sauce
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
10 ounces dried wide rice noodles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tomatoes, chopped
½ cup fresh basil leaves, preferably Thai

Stir oyster sauce, chili-garlic sauce, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl to combine; set sauce aside. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, run under cold water to cool, and set aside. Heat oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat; add garlic and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook, tossing often, until cooked through, 3-4 minutes.
Add bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, and half of the sauce to pan and toss to combine. Add noodles and remaining sauce and toss to combine. Add basil leaves and cook, tossing constantly, until noodles and vegetables are completely coated with sauce and heated through, about 2 minutes more.
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Monday, June 23, 2014

Crab Melts

Crab Metls
I love Crabbies. Ever since I first had them at a shower years ago, I have been obsessed.  What I do not love is the jar of Old English cheese that the original recipe calls for, so I decided to change it up and attempt to make some without it.  and it was a total success.  I like this version even better and I am not stuck tracking down a jar of cheese from the 1970s whenever I want to make them.
Crab Melts

¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Old Bay
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
8 ounces of crab meat, picked free of shells
6 English Muffins, split and lightly toasted

Stir together the cheese, mayonnaise, Old Bay, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce together. Gently fold in the crabmeat. Spread the crab mixture onto each of the English Muffins and place on a baking sheet. Broil for 2 to 4 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Serve.
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Friday, June 20, 2014

Grilled Flank Steak with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Grilled Flank Steak with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
I had never grilled flank steak before making these fajitas.  And I don't know why, it is such a perfect cut for the grill and it cooks up perfectly every time.  C was not a fan of the cucumber yogurt sauce, he thought it was too chunky, I think he was wanting something more like the tsatiki sauce served at Niko Nikos.  I loved the sauce, next time I make it I am going to toss the tomatoes in the sauce as well, since C won't be eating it anyhow.  I adapted this recipe from Fine Cooking.
Grilled Flank Steak with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

½ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
½ teaspoon oregano
4 garlic cloves, peeled
juice from one lemon
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound flank steak, trimmed of excess fat

1 cucumber
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch cayenne
Freshly ground black pepper

8 pitas, warmed
1 tomato, chopped

Add the parsley, rosemary, oregano and garlic to a food processor and pulse until chopped. Add the lemon juice, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Stream in the olive oil with the processor running. Add the flank steak to a large Ziploc bag, pour the marinade over and refrigerate overnight.

Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and remove the seed core. Cut each half crosswise into 1/8 inch-thick half moons and toss with salt in a medium bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes to release excess liquid. Rinse, drain, and pat dry.

In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber with the yogurt, garlic, lemon zest and juice, and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to cooking. Prepare the grill to medium-high.
Remove the flank steak from the marinade, wipe off any excess, and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill the steaks, covered , 5 to 7 minutes. Flip the steaks and grill for 5 to 7 minutes more. Cover with foil and let rest 15 minutes.

Cut the flank steak across the grain and serve on warm pita with the cucumber yogurt sauce and sliced tomato.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Spaghetti Carbonara with Asparagus

Spaghetti Carbonara with Asparagus
Is there anything that doesn't taste better when added to carbonara? There were gorgeous asparagus stalks at the market and I knew they were destined for a big plate of carbonara. Miss F refers to them as "celeragus," I have no clue where she got that, but at least she eats them!  I love how quickly carbonara comes together and it tastes like you have been working in the kitchen all day.  I also like that it is a one dish meal, you cannot get any easier than that. 
Spaghetti Carbonara with Asparagus

6 slices bacon, cut into lardons
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
3 egg yolks
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup cream

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 to 12 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Drain all but one tablespoon grease from the skillet. Saute the asparagus for 3 to 5 minutes.

Prepare the spaghetti per package instructions.

Meanwhile, in a two cup measure, whisk together the eggs, Parmesan and cream. Drain the spaghetti and add it to the pan with the asparagus. Pour the egg mixture overtop and toss well to coat. Stir in the bacon and serve.
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Monday, June 16, 2014

Ranch Chicken Sandwiches

Ranch Chicken Sandwiches
We moved into a new condo in Snowmass and there is a great gas grill out on our patio that I would be happy cooking on every single night if I could. Miss F disagrees, she thinks that everything from the grill tastes burned (except corn on the cob.)  We had grilled chicken sandwiches twice during our last trip and those nights were battles at dinner time.  I thought these sandwiches were amazing, messy as can be, but it was a delicious mess.  They were inspired from these Cobb Salad Sandwiches.
Ranch Chicken Sandwiches

2 large chicken breasts
2 cups water
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar

1 tomato, sliced
1 cup baby spinach
1 avocado, sliced
½ cup ranch dressing
4 sandwich rolls

Cut each chicken breast into two sandwich sized pieces. Add the chicken to a tupperware container, pour over the water, salt and sugar. Cover and refrigerate for four hours.

Preheat grill to medium high heat and prep the rest of the ingredients. Grill the chicken for 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Remove chicken from grill.

Split the sandwich roll, top with the chicken, a slice of tomato, ¼ cup of spinach, ¼ of the avocado and 2 tablespoons of ranch dressing. Top with the sandwich bun and repeat with the remaining rolls.
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Friday, June 13, 2014

New Orleans Style Shrimp and Rice

New Orleans Style Shrimp and Rice
Shrimp Creole is one of the first "fancy" dishes I remember making after I graduated from college. It is a comforting dish and it can be prepared relatively quickly. This recipe, heavily adapted from Martha Stewart, is very reminiscent of Shrimp Creole. The sauce is rich with flavor, though Miss F would disagree. She ate everything separately, a scoop of rice, a couple of shrimp and a few bell peppers, all neatly placed on her plate. She said she didn't like the sauce, but she had no problem eating the shrimp and bell pepper that had been cooked in the sauce. I tried explaining to her that the sauce was much like tomato pasta sauce, but she wasn't hearing it.   I ate a ton and I may have gone back for seconds a few hours later. 
New Orleans Style Shrimp and Rice

¼ cup butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
14.5 ounce can stewed tomatoes
½ cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
1 ½ teaspoons Cajun seasoning
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco, or to taste
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups cooked white rice, for serving

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add flour, and stir until light brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add bell pepper and onion, cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, parsley, spices, salt, and hot sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are soft and mixture is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir in shrimp, and cook until pink and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve over rice.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Beef Fajitas with Corn Salsa

Beef Fajitas with Corn Salsa
I will order pretty much any kind of fajitas before I will order beef fajitas. Pork, shrimp or chicken are my usual go tos, or some combination of those three. I will even throw in lobster when we are eating at El Tiempo. This fajita recipe may change my mind. The rub provides the perfect fajita flavors and the flank steak is tender and delicious with the overnight marinade. What really stands out is the corn salsa. It is sweet, crunchy and tastes like summer. I am so thrilled to have a grill at our new condo in Colorado. I would grill on it every night if I could. And these fajitas are going to be in regular rotation this summer.  The salsa would also be fantastic on pork, shrimp or chicken fajitas, but I think I prefer it best on beef.
Beef Fajitas with Corn Salsa

1 pound flank steak
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil
1 cup corn kernels
1 avocado, cut into a small dice
1 tomato, cut into a small dice
1 small onion, cut into a small dice
juice from half a lime
dash of hot sauce

shredded cheese
sour cream

Trim the fat from the flank steak, set aside. Whisk together the oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder, pepper and salt together. Pour over the steak and let marinate overnight.

Heat the oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Saute the corn for 5 minutes or so. Set aside to cool. When cool, toss with the avocado, tomato, onion, lime juice and hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Remove the steak from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the grill to medium, grill the steak about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Cover the steak with foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice the steak into ¼ to ½ inch-thick strips and serve with warm tortillas, corn salsa, cheese and sour cream.
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Monday, June 9, 2014

Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita
This pizza was all Miss F's creation. She spooned out the sauce, scattered the cheese and artfully arranged the basil. She also made a plain cheese pizza for herself because she didn't want green leaves on her pizza. Her loss. Pizza Margherita is one of my most favorite ways to have pizza, especially with fresh basil from my mom's garden. I like the simpleness of plain crushed tomatoes and shredded mozzarella to top this pizza.  The dough was perfect, just the right amount of chewiness.  The pizza dough recipe is adapted from Feeling Foodish.
Margherita Pizza

3 cups flour
½ teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
1 ½ teaspoons olive oil

1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 cup shredded mozzarella
handful of basil leaves

Mix together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour the warm water into the flour mixture, stir until all the flour is incorporated. Add the oil and use the dough hook attachment to knead the dough for five minutes. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and place in sealed quart-sized container or freezer bag and refrigerate overnight or up to 72 hours.

The following day, remove the dough balls within two hours of baking to allow the dough to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a pizza stone inside. Open each dough ball and transfer to parchment paper. Top with the crushed tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves. Transfer the parchment paper to the pizza stone and bake for 5 to 7 minutes. Serve.
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Friday, June 6, 2014

Red Snapper with Basil Vinaigrette

Red Snapper with Basil Vinaigrette
Snapper is one of my favorite fish to purchase at the fish market. It is $3 a pound, fresh and easy to prepare. This snapper dish from Gourmet magazine is a perfect summer dish. The fish is light and the vinaigrette adds a nice brightness to it. And as an added bonus, the vinaigrette worked beautifully as a dip for the artichoke leaves.  I love eating steamed artichokes, they were always quite a treat as a kid.  Miss F doesn't agree.  She tried it, but she hated it.  She instantly made a disgusted face.  How can anything dipped in melted butter taste bad?
Red Snapper with Basil Vinaigrette

4 red snapper fillets
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Preheat broiler and grease a large shallow baking pan.

Season fish all over with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, then put in the baking pan. Drizzle the fillets with ½ tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon oil.

Broil fish 6 inches from heat until just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a platter.

While fish broils, whisk together remaining ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and 2 ½ tablespoons lemon juice in a small bowl, add the remaining 5 tablespoons oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Stir in basil and spoon vinaigrette over the cooked fish.
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Apricot Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Apricot Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Pork tenderloin is such an easy cut of meat to prepare. There are so many great recipes for it, but this recipe for Apricot Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin from Kitchenette looked amazing. I love apricot preserves on nearly anything and add in some acid from the balsamic and you pretty much have perfection. The glaze also worked great for dipping the rosemary roasted potatoes into.  And I might have dipped my broccoli in it as well.  I do love apple cider vinegar on my broccoli, so this is just a little fancier. 
Apricot Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin

½ cup apricot preserves
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon herbes de provence
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat & silverskin

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small sauce pan, stir together the preserves, vinegar, lemon juice and herbs. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, until thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve 1/3 cup of the glaze for serving.

Season the tenderloin with salt and pepper. Place on a greased baking sheet and coat the pork with the glaze, using a brush, on all sides. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a meat thermometer registers 140 degrees. Let the pork rest 10 minutes before slicing, serve with reserved glaze.
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Monday, June 2, 2014

Sriracha Lime Chicken Kebabs

Sriracha Lime Chicken Kebabs
I loved kebabs when I was a kid. It was a special treat to be able to thread the kebabs. I always made mine with chicken, mushroom and potatoes. And then I ate them over ramen noodles. I still prefer kebabs to be served over noodles, but I now love bell pepper added on. Miss F was equally impressed with making the kebabs, she is all into making patterns at school and this provided the perfect chance for her to work her pattern skills in the kitchen. I made these under the broiler, but they would be fantastic on the grill. Thanks to TasteFood for the inspiration.
Sriracha Lime Chicken Kebabs

1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha
½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 pound chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red or green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces (I used half of each)
1 pound of whole mushrooms
1 onion, cut in 1 inch pieces

Pre-soaked bamboo skewers

Whisk together the garlic, oil, lime juice, soy sauce, Sriracha and ginger together in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to thoroughly coat. Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours or cover and marinate overnight. Thread chicken on skewers alternating with the bell pepper, mushroom and onion. Brush the vegetables with some of the excess marinade. Grill over medium heat, turning every few minutes, for 8 minutes or until cooked through. Alternatively, broil on high for 8 minutes, turning half way.
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