Archive for June, 2011
The local ice cream truck drove past my house yesterday when I was out watering my flowers and I immediately had an itch for a fruity and cold treat. Fortunately, my kitchen was stocked with all the ingredients I needed to create this easy, healthy and delicious recipe. I chose not to freeze the entire batch of yogurt into popsicles and had the remainder on granola this morning for breakfast which was also delightful.
- 3 cups fresh berries (I made a batch of raspberry, blackberry and blueberry)
- 6 tablespoons water
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 cups 2% Greek yogurt
- ¾ cup half and half
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 vanilla beans
Place washed and berries in a medium sized saucepan over medium- high heat. Sir in the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook until the berries have broken apart and begin to thicken into a sauce- this takes about 5 minutes. Remove the berries from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, half and half and honey in the bowl of a standing mixer. Cut a slit down the length of the vanilla beans and remove the seeds from the interior with a spoon. Add the vanilla seeds to the mixing bowl along with the cooled berries. Mix on low speed until the berries are well incorporated into the yogurt. Spoon this mixture into your popsicle mold. Place the popsicle sticks into the center of each popsicle mold and transfer to the freezer. Freeze for 2-3 hours before serving.
This dish was the first real meal I had after weeks on not eating much of anything thanks to our little one due in December. You have probably been wondering where I have been these past few months. When the time came for me to jump back in the kitchen my first thought was pulled pork and my second thought was egg rolls. Closely adhering to pregnancy cliché’s I combined these cravings together to make this dish. What a delightful introduction back into the world of the eating- crunchy, flavorful and filling!
- 1 whole pork shoulder, about 3-4 LB’s
- ¾ cup ketchup
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons roasted red chili paste (available in the Asian food section of most grocery stores)
- 1 teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice powder
- 5 cups beef broth
- ¼ cup canned coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon peanut oil
- 2 medium sized Portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup snow peas
- 1 cup baby corn
- 8 sheets pre-made egg roll wrappers
In a medium size bowl whisk together the ketchup, sugar, red chili paste, Chinese Five-Spice and the broth. Place the pork in a crock-pot. Pour the mixture over the pork. Turn the crock-pot on and set to high heat. Cover and let cook on high for 3 hours then reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 4 hours or until the pork is tender and pulls apart easily.
Remove the pork from the crock-pot and let cool at room temperature until it can be comfortably handled with your hands.
While the meat is cooling, ladle one cup of the cooking liquid into a small saucepan. Discard the remaining liquid. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and quickly reduce to a simmer. Whisk in the coconut milk and continue to cook until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 425°.
Return to the meat and shred apart with two forks.
Heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat in a large wok. Stir in the vegetables and sauté for 4 minutes. Add the shredded meat and the sauce and cook for 3 more minutes.
Lay the egg roll wrappers over a shallow ramekin. Gently push the wrapper down into the mold of the ramekin, allowing the excess wrapper to fall over the edges. Fill with a few spoonfuls of the meat mixture. Bake for 5 minutes or until the egg roll is crispy and browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving. I suggest 2 ramekins per person.
- 1 cup chopped pineapple
- 1 egg yolk
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- ½ cup olive oil
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 4 lobster tails, shelled and cleaned
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 4 hoagie rolls, cut in half
- Lettuce for topping
Start with the aioli. Combine the egg yolk and the salt in a food processor. While mixing, slowly add the olive oil through the feeder tube until the ingredients thicken. Add the cream cheese and the pineapple and continue to mix until smooth. Pour the ingredients into a bowl, cover with cellophane and refrigerate for 30 minutes before use.
Pre-heat your grill to medium heat. Place the lobster tails on a plate and top with the lemon juice. Transfer the tails to the grill and cook for 5 minutes per side, brushing occasionally with the melted butter. Towards the end of cooking the lobster place the rolls directly on the grill and cook until crispy on both sides. Assemble one lobster tail on each roll and top with the aioli and lettuce. Serve immediately.
“What a great date we are having.” That is what my husband said last night when we were both snacking on the dates that were about to go into this dish. His food jokes get worse as they increase in number, but indeed, we did have a great date and a great meal. Here I used one of my favorite cooking cheeses, pecorino, with dates and a simple balsamic reduction. Quick, easy and pretty much fantastic.
- 4 chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
- ½ cup roughly chopped fresh dates, seeds removed and discarded
- 6 slices thick cut bacon, diced
- 4 slices pecorino cheese
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup green apples, diced
- 3 cups steamed greens, such as pea shoots or spinach
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until slightly crisp.
While the bacon is cooking, butterfly the chicken breasts and fold open on a clean surface. Place a piece of cheese and 2 tablespoons of chopped dates on one half of the breast. Fold the other half of the breast back over the filling.
Push the bacon to the sides of the skillet and place the chicken in the middle of the pan. Cook for two minutes on each side or until nicely browned. Pour in the balsamic and the water and cover with a lid for 5 minutes. Uncover, flip the chicken, stir the sauce and recover. Cook for another 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm. Continue to cook the sauce on medium-high heat and stirring frequently until thickened. Once thickened, stir in the apples. Plate the chicken on top of a handful of steamed greens and drizzle with the sauce.
Serves 4 -6
- 1 LB ground buffalo
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 red onion, cut in half and sliced into thin slices
- 2 cups roughly chopped Brussels sprouts
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 2 avocados, skin removed and thinly sliced
- 12 taco shells
- Salsa, crème fraiche and shredded sharp cheddar cheese for toppings
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the meat and use a wooden spoon to break up the chunks. Stir in the cumin, paprika, jalapeño, salt and cilantro. Continue to cook until the meat is slightly browned. Cover and remove from the heat.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in another large sauté pan. Add the onions, Brussels sprouts and garlic and toss together. Cook for 5 minutes until the onions are slightly tender. Remove from the heat and fold in the avocado.
To assemble, spoon some of the meat mixture in a taco shell. Top with the Brussels sprout and onion mixture, the salsa, a dollop of crème fraiche and a sprinkle of cheese. Serve immediately.
A lot has happened since my last post, well at least a lot outside of the kitchen. I admit I have been lazy of late. Perhaps I simply needed a break from cooking or perhaps I was consumed with the birthday marking me as the official Thirty Year Old Housewife. I like to believe it is a combination of both. My thirtieth birthday came and went two weekends ago at the Calistoga Ranch in Napa. Spa treatments, multiple course meals and the company of family helped me welcome a new decade. The weekend was perfect despite a fear that once I turned thirty I would instantly find a hint of grey within my not entirely natural blonde hair or that I would find myself speaking like my mother saying things like, “oh sugar,” instead of a more youthful swear word.
While I reveled in the cuteness of my blogs name at the beginning, the reality of thirty did not set in until the last three months. It started with a health scare that resulted in an endoscopy which resulted in a diagnosis of a Tums overdose. People old and young have endoscopies, so that did not make me feel old. What did make me feel old, however, was when the nurse thought I was in for different type of “scopy” that is mostly reserved for patients beyond their thirties. She said something along the lines of, “so how was last night?” Unaware that she thought I was having a colonoscopy I said, “It was fantastic. Never felt better.” She looked at me with disgust and concern. Later on when I was about to be put under for my ENDOSCOPY, a different nurse told me I looked like a freshman in college. I will now shelf the earlier nurses comments in a never to be visited again compartment of my brain and always refer to the latter nurses compliment.
Let’s move on to the next self pitying I feel old moment. Two words, Melrose Place. My husband and I hosted a friend from my hometown and his girlfriend for dinner. The friend is 7 years my junior and happens to now live in Chicago. Somehow I referenced Melrose Place assuming they would relate and instantly conjure up images of Amanda and Dr. Peter Burns. Not so much. They sat with blank faces and said, “What is Melrose Place?” My husband’s response, “I guess that was well before your time.” 90210 and Melrose Wednesdays started to seem like a very long time ago.
I guess you could say I have started to realize that I am not the young co-ed that I used to be, but I am fairly sure I am okay with that. I will now just focus my fear of aging on the big 4-0 and enjoy my thirties until then.
- 12 eggs
- ¼ cup cream
- ¾ cup milk
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 8 pieces cinnamon raisin bread
Use a 2” round cookie cutter or the top of a glass to cut a whole out of the center of each piece of bread. Discard the circle cut out.
In a large bowl, whisk together 4 eggs. Stir in the cream, milk salt and vanilla.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Add the butter to coat.
Dip the pieces of bread in the batter then transfer to the skillet or griddle. Brown quickly on each side. Now crack the remaining eggs and place in the whole cutouts. Cook until the eggs are firm on the bottom, flip and continue to cook until the egg white is cooked but the yolk is still slightly runny. Serve with maple syrup.