- Olive Oil & Butter
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced
- Chicken Stock, heated
- Laughing Cow Cheese- 4-5 triangles
- Ham- deli or thick cut is fine, rough chopped
- Frozen Peas, defrosted
- S & White Pepper
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Toasted Macaroni with Ham, Peas and Swiss
Parpadelle with Sweet Sausage and Spinach
- 2 Sweet Italian Sausages, removed from casing & broken up
- 2 tbs Tomato Paste
- 2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Frozen Spinach, defrosted and strained
- 1/4 tsp Fresh Nutmeg
Friday, June 25, 2010
Heirloom Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Pasta with Sardine Butter Serves 4
My grocery store has started carrying these beautiful baby heirloom tomatoes and while they are expensive ($6.99 for a small container), when they are the star of the dish I don't mind indulging!
- Basil, chiffonade
- Mozzarella, cubed
- Unsalted Butter
- 1 tin Sardines
- Lemon Juice
- Pasta of Choice (tubini or ziti work well)
- Fresh Ground Pepper
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Monorail to the Seattle Center, International Fountain, Space Needle and hanging out with Tara at the LiveStrong Challenge Kids ZoneThanks to Caitlin for filling in while I was traveling and working like crazy! I had a lot of success last week with eating healthy and spending no money, which was quickly ruined when I traveled to Seattle over the weekend. Luckily I was working so I didn't have to feel too guilty about treating myself and the clients nicely. Below are a few pictures from my adventures... First stop, Top Pot Doughnuts. I loooooved the Old Fashioned Cinnamon & Sugar, glazed was quite sweet but still delicious.
Next, Pike's Place Market. I had oysters the Athenian Inn, followed by salmon jerky from the fish tossing fish mongers, and chocolate covered cherries from Chukar
Later that night we went to The Crab Pot for their "Alaskan" Seafeast- very much a tourist trap but fun all the same!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Everything's bigger in Texas. Like these igneous rock formations...
and these bugs.
We had a heck of a weekend. Friday we stayed in, ate a healthy dinner, and went to bed at a reasonable hour in preparation for Saturday's adventure to Enchanted Rock. Enchanted Rock is a big bubble of granite rock out in Llano, TX. We hiked to the top of the main rock, then along some gorgeous trails speckled with some of the biggest boulders I have ever seen. Things are not only bigger in Texas; they are way cooler too.
Rewind to Friday's dinner. What a meal! I met Steamy Kitchen blogger Jaden Hair back in March of this year though regrettably I had yet to try one of her recipes. This salmon looked too good to pass up, 1) Because it literally looked too good in the photos, and 2) You cook it for a long time over low heat, so there is a HUGE margin for error. You really can't screw this up unless, as Jaden says, you leave it cooking in the oven for a week.
I bought 1.5 lbs of farm-raised Salmon from our grocery store and bedded it on thinly sliced ginger, scallion, and garlic. I seasoned the salmon with salt, pepper, and brown sugar and let it cook for about 35 minutes in a 260 oven. I cooked the piece of fish whole vs. cut into individual filets, hence my slightly sloppy fish in the above photo. This is the perfect recipe for a really special piece of fish because it tastes... like fish! (N.B. If you're the kind of person that likes their fish battered, fried and dipped in sauce, this is not the recipe for you.)
I served my fish with a side of whipped sweet potatoes and some quick pickled vegetables. See recipes below!
Simple Sweet Potatoes
Two sweet potatoes, rinsed, peeled and cut into roughly 2'' cubes
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon brown sugar
A healthy sprinkling of salt and a healthy grating of pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon soy sauce, sesame seeds/sesame oil (optional)
Preheat oven to 375. Place a large piece of foil on a baking sheet. Put potato cubes, garlic, brown sugar, S&P and orange juice in the center of the foil, then seal into a pouch. Bake for about 25 minutes, until potatoes are soft and steamy. Mash or blend with an immersion blender or food processor, adding butter as needed. For an Asian twist, season with a hit of soy sauce and a drizzle of sesame oil and/or sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Quick Pickled Veggies
1 zucchini, cut into a small dice
1 carrot, peeled and cut into a small dice
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Several tablespoons-1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Thai Chili Garlic Sauce
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
drizzle of sesame oil
Combine ingredients and stir well. Place in refrigerator to chill for 20-30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Serve as a garnish with Slow n' Low Salmon (although Trevor liked mixing his pickled veggies with his sweet potatoes!)
Monday, June 21, 2010
There's a sandwich chain in Austin called Thundercloud Subs. Not only do they boast a very catchy jingle, but they also make one of the best tuna sandwiches I've had in a long time. The hallmarks of Thundercloud's "Texas Tuna" sandwich are spicy pickled jalapenos and cool wedges of avocado. I reinterpreted the recipe at home using a secret I learned from another sandwich shop. A former co-worker whose brother worked at Jimmy John's told me that the secret to their tuna is a few hits of soy sauce. I added soy sauce to my tuna, along with mayo and a good dose of veggies. Wow! This tuna is fresh, bright, and perfect for the more seasoned adult palate. Try on a sandwich or as a salad on a bed of mixed greens.
Caitlin's Texas Tuna
1 large can tuna, in water, drained
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 carrot, peeled and finely grated
1-2 green onions, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, chopped *
1 teaspoon soy sauce
black pepper, to taste
Avocado, cheese of choice (I like mild cheddar or American)
Mix all ingredients together. Season to taste with black pepper and soy sauce. Serve on bread of your choice, with a few slices of avocado and cheese.
* We like ours spicy, add more or less jalapeno depending on your preference.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Trevor and I really loved the Slow Roasted Short Ribs with Moroccan Spices that I made a few months back. I wanted to make short ribs again but this time with a more Asian flair. For this recipe you need a somewhat deep, ovenproof, lidded dish. I used my blue Le Creuset soup pot. If I were to double or triple this recipe, I would have used my larger red Le Creuset. I adapted my short rib recipe from an Emeril Lagasse recipe that I found via googling "Asian Braised Beef Ribs". I added water chestnuts and peas because they were the vegetables that I had on hand, and fortunately they worked very nicely with the dish! This dish was so good, and really quite simple if you have the time.
Asian Braised Beef Short Ribs (SEE PHOTOS HERE)
1 lb Boneless Beef Short Ribs (about 4 pieces)
2-3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 carrots, grated
2 cloves garlic, smashed
3 green onions, white and light green parts only, sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 cup orange juice
4 cups water
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp Thai Chili Garlic Sauce
1/2 tsp lime zest, juice of one lime
1 can water chestnuts
1/2 cup frozen peas
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat peanut oil in braising pot until just smoking. Pat short ribs dry, season lightly with S&P, and brown well on all sides. Remove from braising pot and lower heat. Add garlic, carrot and green onion to braising pot, let cook for about a minute while stirring. Add all other ingredients with the exception of the water chestnuts and peas. Bring to a simmer, then place short ribs back in the braising pot. Cover with lid and place in oven to braise for about an hour and a half. When ribs look quite tender, stir in water chestnuts and peas and cook for another ten minutes. Serve over rice and top with chopped cilantro and green onion.
Sarah recently made burgers with a combination of ground beef and lamb. My recipe was inspired by the Greek "hamburgers" known as Bifteki, which are seasoned meat patties often stuffed with feta cheese. My tzatziki is somewhat untraditional with the addition of feta and the exclusion of cucumber. I decided to keep my cucumber on the side as a topping for the burger, vs. an ingredient in the sauce. We grilled potato wedges along with the burgers which were great for dipping in the extra tzatziki.
Lamb Burgers with Feta 'Tzatziki' (SEE PHOTOS HERE)
1 lb ground lamb
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 small shallot, minced
(Alternately, use 3/4 teaspoon curry powder in place of cumin, coriander and turmeric)
(see below photo, I find it easier to cut with a knife, some think a veggie peeler works just fine!)
Mix meat, spices and shallot together. Form into four 1/4 lb patties and season with salt and pepper. Grill until medium to medium rare. Serve on lightly grilled buns with cucumbers, tomatoes, and Feta Tzatziki.
1 cup greek yogurt
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon each dill, oregano and mint, chopped
juice 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Mix together and serve with lamb burgers. Also great for dipping pita chips/wedges, grilled potatoes, and cucumber slices.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
bff Megan's wedding. I have pretty good genes and like to eat healthfully but as a result I am extremely lazy about working out. So to avoid working out, I'm focusing instead on eating well and avoiding weekday drinks and sweets (ahhhh!). As an added obstacle, I'm trying to do it with in-house ingredients...I smell a challenge. Weekday Veggie Stir Fry
- Yellow Squash, cut into sticks
- Asparagus, cut into 2" pieces
- Red Onion, thickly sliced
- Garlic Scapes, cut into 2" pieces
- Cilantro Stems, cut into 1" pieces
- Scallions, sliced into 2" pieces
- Dandelion Leafs (or any bitter green)
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 cup rice cooked to package directions
- Cilantro Paste- combo of ginger, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice & olive oil (optional)
Monday, June 14, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
We did it... we cooked a whole fish! I was worried it was going to be difficult and messy. Gory and smelly. Quite the contrary. It took all of five minutes to prep the fish: first rinsing, then patting dry, then seasoning with garlic, rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper. I stuffed some of the aforementioned ingredients and thinly sliced lemons in the cavity and we grilled the 2.6 lb fish about 8-9 minutes per side. Trevor, Cindy and I ate the whole fish, from cheek to tail, enjoying every crisp of crunchy brown skin and each flake of moist, white flesh.
I served the fish with a gratin of patty pan squash that we picked up at a farmstand outside of Fredericksburg, TX. I cut the squash into roughly 1/2 in discs and baked it in a buttered casserole with cream, parmesan cheese, butter, salt, pepper and breadcrumbs. This was a simple dinner with simple ingredients that tasted rich, fresh, and utterly delicious!
Napa Cabbage and Dumplings in a Spicy Broth
A few weeks ago I made pork dumpling soup with a chicken stock base flavored with cilantro paste. I liked the soup but wanted the paste to have a stronger flavor so this time around I added in more cilantro, chili oil and sriracha. I happened to have garlic scapes on hand and I think the mellow garlic flavor provided a great element to the paste.
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- Garlic Scapes, rough chopped (optional- could use more regular garlic)
- 1 bunch Cilantro, leaves
- 2 inches Ginger, peeled and rough chopped
- 2 tbs Fish Sauce
- 1 tbs Rice Vinegar
- 1 tbs Chili Oil & 1 tbs Sriracha (or to taste)
- 1 tsp Miso Paste (optional, adds more salt to dish)
- 4 cups Chicken Stock & 2-3 cups Water
- Napa Cabbage, sliced
- Frozen Dumplings
- Tofu, semi-firm (much fluffier then firm tofu- more moisture)
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Yellow Squash Ribbons with Red Onion and Parmesan. It was a light summery recipe that I thought would make a great dinner tossed with parpadelle.
Parpadelle with Yellow Squash Ribbons, Red Onion and Parmesan
- 2 Yellow Squash, peeled into ribbons
- 1 Small Red Onion, sliced
- 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Chives, minced
Monday, June 7, 2010
My goodness, where have I been? Traveling, working, camping and I confess... ordering a good amount of takeout Thai food. I have started working more in the evenings, which means 1) I am not home cooking dinner, and 2) I have less material for my blog! Texas has also hit the triple digits for temperatures, so I am less motivated to spend time in the kitchen unless I'm slicing watermelon or cracking open a Lone Star ;)
Scrolling through my photos I noticed that two of my most stand-out recent dinners involved couscous. I buy whole wheat couscous in bulk from the bins at our grocery store, and I always keep a big bag handy. It is very versatile and quick to prepare, and I find it to be much lighter than other starchy sides like pasta or potatoes. To cook most couscous you simply bring a cup and a half of water to boil, add a cup of couscous, cover for 5 minutes and voila, the couscous is cooked. I generally season my couscous with salt and a bit of butter and olive oil and then stir in whatever other ingredients I might want to add. To complement a gorgeous rack of lamb (grilled by Trevor and seasoned with fresh herbs from our garden) I made a couscous with thinly sliced zucchini, carrots, golden raisins, green onion, black olives and a bit of cumin and served the couscous on a bed of baby spinach. To complement a spice fried chicken breast I served couscous with butter, salt, olive oil, lemon juice and green onion along with a simple salad of diced tomatoes and feta drizzled with more olive oil (see above photos).
Today I bought a red snapper at the grocery store and I am going to read some of Sarah's recipes to come up with a game plan for roasting it whole in the oven. I will post the outcome tomorrow!
Cindy the Adventure Dog in her new pack at Lost Maples State Park.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Last night I wasn't all that hungry so I decided to make a simple eggplant tower with goat cheese, pesto and watercress (tossed with lemon juice). I simply roasted the eggplant rounds then layered the ingredients. The roasted eggplant with the fresh watercress was a great flavor/texture contrast. I would recommend going easy on the pesto and extraneous olive oil as the eggplant is quite rich and has enough moisture for the whole dish. This would make a great appetizer or light lunch served with french bread.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
R and I had a great time in VT visiting my mom. The beautiful weather lent itself to tanning, hiking and a lot of relaxing. We enjoyed meals (and cocktails) at local spots Mio Bistro, Equinox Falcon Bar, The Barn and the Dorset Inn. We also visited the local farmers market to pick up regional ingredients for cooking at home. Here are a few pictures from our fabulous weekend!
Lamb & Beef Burgers with Vermont Cheddar - the lamb made these burgers extra juicy Hiking to Lye Brook Falls- we felt like very obvious New Yorkers in our running shoes!
Duck with Mashed Potatoes (local German Butterball) & Peas
Lunch at Home: Romaine Salad with Spring Vegetables, Gorgonzola and Pine Nuts
Back in NYC: Nicky's Classic Vietnamese Sandwich- Pate, Vietnamese Ham and Roasted Ground PorkHappy Memorial Day!