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

Friday, February 27, 2015

Veal Strips in White Wine and Cream Sauce

Veal Strips in White Wine and Cream Sauce
This sauce was incredible, rich and smooth, I could have put it on everything on my plate (and I did.) Miss F enjoyed the veal, but she wasn't a fan of the sauce. As a kid, I had the same creamy sauce aversion. My waistline would probably be a lot smaller if I had kept that aversion into adulthood. This is a really easy quick meal, I serve it with potato Rosti and peas, the whole thing was ready in 30 minutes.  The recipe came from
Veal Strips in White Wine and Cream Sauce

3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¾ pound veal scallops, sliced ¼ inch thick and cut into strips about 2 inches long and ¼ inch wide
1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped shallot
¼ cup dry white wine
½ cup heavy cream

In a 10 to 12 inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with the oil over high heat. When the foam subsides, drop in the veal, tossing constantly for two minutes. Transfer to a sieve set over a bowl. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan, when melted, add the shallots and cook for two minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the cream and the veal juice from the bowl, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Salt and pepper to taste. Return the veal to the skillet, simmer over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes and toss to coat in the sauce. Serve.
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Potato Rosti

Potato Rosti
This was way easier than I thought it would be to make. Yes, there was lots of grating and squeezing, but in the end, it was all worth it. At least I thought so. Miss F stood firm in her no potato stance, even though she has recently started eating tator tots, and this is just like one big tator tot. I had the perfect little iron skillet to accommodate the rosti, but it could be easily made in a larger skillet, just don't fill the whole thing with grated potatoes. Thanks to Fine Cooking for the recipe.
Potato Rosti

1 pound potatoes (Yukon Golds or russets are best)
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable for frying; more as needed

Peel the potatoes and grate them, using the large holes of a box grater or the food processor. Put the grated potatoes in a large bowl, stir in the salt and pepper. Let the potatoes rest for five minutes. Working in small batches, squeeze out as much liquid as possible and transfer them to a second bowl.

Heat an 8 inch skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil, about 1/8 inch deep. Add the potatoes to the center of the pan by the fistful, squeezing out more liquid if possible before dropping them into the oil. Work quickly to cover the entire pan with potatoes, making about a ½ inch thick layer of potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are golden brown, about 12 to 16 minutes. Flip the rosti in the pan or onto a plate and return to the pan. Cook for another 6 to 8 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Cut into wedges when ready to serve.
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Rigatoni Bolognese

Rigatoni Bolognese
We were lucky to be in Aspen on Valentine's Day, which meant a romantic meal out to Casa Tua, my most favorite restaurant in town. Only one hiccup, we had a six year old Miss F with us. We had an early reservation and low expectations. Miss F did amazingly well and thoroughly enjoyed her rigatoni Bolognese. She couldn't get enough of it! Though her favorite part of the meal was both the bread selections (she had one of every type) and an amazing chocolate dessert. She proclaimed it her new favorite restaurant and wants to return next time we are in town. I decided to try and recreate the pasta at home, using Martha Stewart's recipe for Bolognese as a basis. Miss F didn't think it was as good as Casa Tua, but she still very much enjoyed it.
Rigatoni Bolognese

1 slice bacon, finely chopped
½ onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground beef chuck
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup milk
Pinch of ground nutmeg
½ cup dry white wine
1 cans (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
1 ½ to 2 cups water
1 pound rigatoni, prepared per package directions

In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon, onion, celery, carrot and garlic over medium heat until softened, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Add the beef, season with salt and pepper. Break up the meat with a spoon, cook until browned, 8 minutes more. Increase the heat to high, add the milk and nutmeg. Cook, stirring, until the milk is evaporated, 8 minutes more. Add the wine, cook, stirring for 8 minutes more. Stir in the tomatoes, reduce heat to medium-low, simmer for two hours, adding water as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the rigatoni and serve.
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Friday, February 20, 2015

Chicken Milanese with Sage and Lemon Butter Sauce

Chicken Milanese with Sage and Lemon Butter Sauce
Breaded chicken topped with a rich lemon sauce? Sold! This was a huge winner for me, though C complained of the strong sage flavor, shocking, I know. I really liked the mix of Panko, parmesan and breadcrumbs as the chicken breading, it was very delicious. The sauce was equally delicious and I really enjoyed dipping my roast potatoes and broccoli in it.   Miss F had her chicken plain, no sauce for her, I couldn't convince her, even with how much she loves lemon. This amazing recipe is from Food and Wine.
Chicken Milanese with Sage and Lemon Butter Sauce

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 shallot, minced
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper

½ cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
¼ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, split and pounded 1/4 inch thick
Vegetable oil, for frying

In a small sauce pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the cream, wine and broth; bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir in the sage, lemon juice and a cayenne; salt and pepper to taste.

In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, panko, Parmesan and thyme. In another shallow bowl, whisk the egg and water. Dredge each chicken piece in the egg, then bread crumb mixture. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Heat ¼" oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the chicken breasts cooked through, about 3 minutes a side. Serve topped with the lemon butter sauce.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Easiest Ever Lemon Bread

Easiest Ever Lemon Bread
Miss F has been obsessed with lemon bread, but the recipe I usually use calls for sour cream, which I didn't have. This might be even tastier than my usual recipe and it was certainly easier. No mixer needed, everything was stirred in by hand.  And the best part was no wasting time waiting for butter to soften, much like my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, it calls for melted butter. We enjoy it for breakfast, a snack or even dessert.  It's a fantastic use for winter citrus. 
Easiest Ever Lemon Bread

½ cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup milk

1 cup confectioners' sugar
juice from one lemon

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs and lemon juice; mix well. Stir in the salt, flour and baking powder. Stir in the milk until well combined. Grease a loaf pan with cooking spray and pour the prepared batter into the pan. Bake for one hour. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

Whisk together the confectioner's sugar and lemon juice, pour the glaze over the bread. Allow the glaze to set, then slice and serve.
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Monday, February 16, 2015

Crockpot White Chicken Chili

Crockpot White Chicken Chili
I have to confess I have never eaten chili. I find it revolting. Miss F and C love it, whenever I am out for the evening, they usually have chili (from a can, it's so gross.) When I read through this recipe, I was intrigued.  I knew I would enjoy it, I didn't realize how much.  And Miss F and C agreed.  Miss F devoured three bowls and both requested it in their lunch the next day, which meant no leftovers for me.  This is definitely going into our usual dinner rotation, it was quite a hit.  I still refuse to try regular chili, especially from a can. I adapted this recipe from Budget Bytes.
Crockpot White Chicken Chili

1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 16 ounce jar salsa verde
1 15 ounce can cannellini beans
1 15 ounce can pinto beans
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
4 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
1 avocado, diced

Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno to the bottom of the crockpot, top with the chicken breasts. Add the beans, cumin, oregano, chili powder, pepper and chicken broth. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours. Remove the chicken from the crockpot, shred with two forks and return to the crockpot. Serve topped with cheese and avocado.
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Friday, February 13, 2015

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
C proclaimed this his second favorite vegetable I make, only broccoli is better. Miss F was not as thrilled to have Brussels sprouts, but after some bribery, she ate two. And I think she didn't mind them, but at that point, she had put up such a fight, she had to stay strong in her grouchiness. I had originally planned on using fresh Brussels sprouts, but the only ones available were a nearly $10 stalk full of them. I opted for the $1 frozen variety instead, since they were being doused in bacon grease anyhow. They did not disappoint at all, this side will go into regular rotation at our house.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 package frozen Brussels sprouts, thawed and halved
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, drain on paper towels, reserving the grease in the pan. Add the brussels sprouts, salt and pepper to the pan and saute for 10 minutes, until brussels sprouts begin to brown. Serve topped with the bacon.
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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NY Strip Steaks with Peppercorn Cream Sauce

NY Strip Steaks with Peppercorn Cream Sauce
This is a true special occasion dish, the sauce quite possibly could be one of the best things I have ever made. It is amazing. I did set off a smoke detector making it, but it was totally worth it. I got quite a flame going when I added the cognac. Thank goodness C was in the living room to fan the smoke detector. I had the stove exhaust fan going the whole time, but we have a pop up vent and it isn't the strongest.  Miss F loved this meat.  I will add that she did not have any of the sauce, but did top hers with cheese that I had out for the baked potatoes.  Thanks to Cooking with Leah for the recipe.  I will try coffee crusting the steaks next time I make it, per C's suggestion. 
NY Strip Steaks with Peppercorn Cream Sauce

2 boneless New York strip steaks
Salt, to taste
3 tablespoons cracked multicolored peppercorns
2-3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons cognac
¾ cup heavy cream

Bring the steaks to room temperature and pat dry. Season each side with salt. Spread peppercorns out on a cutting board and crack them - the easiest way to do this is with the underside of a heavy frying pan. Then press each side of the steaks into the peppercorns, lightly coating them.

Saute the steaks in the butter over high heat for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cognac. Return pan to heat, turning slightly to allow the flames to reach the pan and flambé the meat. When the flames die down, remove the steaks from the pan and reserve, covering with foil to keep warm.

Add the cream to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce for 5-10 minutes, or until sauce reaches a smooth, creamy consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Spoon sauce onto the plate, then slice steaks on the bias and fan over sauce.
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Monday, February 9, 2015

Chocolate Heart Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate Heart Sandwich Cookies
This is another Miss F recipe, she made these cookies from start to finish, it is definitely kid friendly. I am still working on being confident enough to let her deal with the oven in any way, I know she can do it, but I am so scared of her getting burned, so I handle that part myself. These cookies are perfect for a Valentine treat.  The cookie recipe is from All Recipes and I added an easy ganache to make them a decadent sandwich cookie.  I used several different sizes of heart cookie cutters, be sure to make an even number of each side so you are able to make sandwiches of them all.  Miss F and I may have snuck a cookie or two right out of the oven.
Chocolate Heart Sandwich Cookies

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter, softened
1 ¼ cups white sugar
1 egg

1 cup chocolate chips
¼ cup heavy cream

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg. Stir in the flour mixture to form a soft dough. Divide into two pieces, flatten and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness, use heart cookie cutters or desired shape to cut out the cookies, re-rolling any scraps. Line cookie sheets with Silpat or parchment paper. Place cut out hearts on the cookie sheets one inch apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then cool on a wire rack completely.

Stir together the chocolate chips and cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until the chocolate chips have melted completely. Spread the chocolate mixture on the bottom of one cookie, then sandwich another cookie on top. Repeat with all the cooled cookies.
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Friday, February 6, 2015

Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Prosciutto and Spinach

Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Prosciutto and Spinach
I had spinach and prosciutto left over from my dinner party, so I thought I would incorporate them into our favorite pasta dish, Carbonara. Bad idea. Very bad. Apparently, C and Miss F cannot stand the smell of prosciutto cooking. They both were whining and turning up there noses as soon as I served dinner. Both picked around the prosciutto, happy to eat the spaghetti and spinach, but neither one willing to touch the prosciutto. Now, I have seen C go to town on prosciutto when served as part of a charcuterie plate. I have no idea what sautéing it in oil does to make it so offensive to him, but it does. At least I was able to use up some leftovers and I enjoyed my meal, except for all the complaining.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Prosciutto and Spinach

1 teaspoon olive oil
6 ounces chopped prosciutto
4 large eggs
¼ cup cream
¼ cup grated Parmesan
½ teaspoon Kosher sale
¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1 pound thin spaghetti, prepared per package instructions
1 cup baby spinach

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the prosciutto and saute until crisp, a minute or two, then reduce heat to low. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, parmesan, salt and pepper. Add the prepared pasta to the pan with the prosciutto, pour the egg mixture over top, toss well to coat. Add the spinach and cook for one minute more. Serve, topped with additional parmesan.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wolfgang Puck's Pizza Dough

Wolfgang Puck's Pizza Dough
Miss F has visited Disneyland several times, which means we are quite familiar with LAX and it's lack of food options in the United terminal. The one place she loves there is Wolfgang Puck's, she can eat a whole pizza on her own. This recipe makes two pies, she ate six of her eight pieces of pizza (pepperoni.) The only reason she stopped eating was because she wanted to take a slice in her lunch the next day. I would say this was by far and away her favorite pizza dough I have ever made, she loved it and so did I.  I topped mine with basil and tomatoes from my mom's garden, I had an abundant supply and was thrilled with the results.
Wolfgang Puck's Pizza Dough

2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees )
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing the pizza crusts
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of the stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the water. Add the honey and stir together, let sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the olive oil, then the flour and salt. Use the dough hook to knead at low speed for 2 minutes. Turn up the speed to medium and knead 5 minutes more. Turn out onto a clean surface and knead by hand for 3 minutes more. Oil the mixing bowl and return the dough ball to it, tossing well to coat with oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes to an hour in a warm spot. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, shape each by gently pulling the dough and tucking it underneath the bottom of the ball. Roll the ball on a smooth surface until it is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover with a towel and let rest for 30 minutes more. The dough can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 1 to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a pizza stone inside. Press out the dough on a lightly floured surface, gradually spreading it into a circle 12" across. Form a slightly thicker rim around the edge of the circle. Brush everything but the rim with olive oil. Place the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Top the pizza with tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese and any desired toppings. Transfer the prepared pizza to the pizza stone, including the parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Slice and serve.
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Monday, February 2, 2015

Sweet Mini Lemon Muffins

Sweet Mini Lemon Muffins
Miss F has a snack bag to be filled every day for school. I usually go with some sort of baked good (lately, she has been on a lemon bread kick) with a squeeze yogurt or applesauce. My mom mentioned making mini lemon muffins for a luncheon she was hosting and I knew they would be perfect for Miss F's snack. Bite sized and sweet for the kid who is always starving, no matter how much she eats.  So these also work well as an afternoon snack with some fresh fruit.  Or an after dinner treat.  Or with breakfast.  My kid eats a lot.
Sweet Mini Lemon Muffins

½ cup butter
½ cup Sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter; gradually. Add ½ cup sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon juice. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture, beating well.

Spoon batter into greased miniature (1¾ inch) lined muffin pans, filling ⅔ full. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons sugar over the muffins. Bake for 15 minutes, cool 5 minutes in the pan, then cool completely on wire racks.
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