Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sauteed Chicken Salad

Kept it super simple tonight.

2 boneless chicken breasts, pounded flat
Dried Spices (I use this spice called brushetta, you can use in on and in almost anything.  It contains, parsley, oregano, dried red pepper, and dried tomato)

Take chicken breasts, sprinkle with salt, pepper and spice.  Place in a skillet that has been drizzled with olive oil, heated on medium high.  When skillet is ready, add chicken breasts and cook until browned on both sides and cooked through.  Let chicken rest (for about 5 minutes) on a plate covered with paper towels.  Slice each breast and place on  a salad consisting of lettuce, tomato, carrots, cucumbers and dried cranberries.  I served this salad with Asian Dressing.

Asian Dressing
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons tamari
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place everything in a small jar and shake until mixed.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Steamed Salmon with Soy Lime

As I mentioned from my previous post that I would be doing more steamed recipes, well here is another.  I searched the internet looking for a tasty recipe for salmon but couldn't really find one to suit me.  I instead decided to make a combination of the last recipe and some ideas I got off the internet.

3 cups water
2 limes (take 1 lime and thinly slice, the other cut in half)
3 scallions (2 sliced in large chunks, 1 sliced thin)
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 - 4 inch section of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
3 - 4 ounce pieces of salmon (this salmon came from www.seabear.com)
In a wok add 3 cups of water, add slices from 1/2 of a lime, add lime juice from the other half of the lime, add half of the diced ginger, scallions that have been cut into large chunks, and garlic.  Bring to a boil.  In a small dish (I used a pie plate) that is able to sit into the bamboo steamer.  Add a couple of lime slices to the bottom of the dish, add a little bit of ginger.  Place salmon on top of each lime slice, add a slice of lime on top of each piece and squeeze half of lime juice over top, remaining ginger and thinly sliced scallions.  Drizzle with a little bit (don't want to use too much) of tamari.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place dish into steamer, place lid on steamer and place basket on top of wok.  Let steam for about 8-10 minutes until cooked.  It may take a little longer depending of the thickness of the salmon.  Serve with lime and juices from dish.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fresh Tomato Sauce

We have an abundance of tomatoes coming from our garden and of course we need to do something with them.  I chose to make a tomato sauce to be used later.  I put the cooked sauce in mason jars which  I then placed in the freezer.

This recipe came from my Vitamix blender.  I feel that you can certainly make this recipe using a regular blender or a immersion blender (when using a regular blender, cut vegetables into much smaller pieces).

6 roma tomatoes, quartered
1 small onion, peeled, halved
1 small carrot, halved
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients into the blender and blend for 2-3 minutes until smooth.  Place sauce in a saucepan and simmer for 35-40 minutes.

I figure that I can use this sauce for future recipes.  Pop it out of the freezer and it will be just like the day I made it.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Steamed Black Cod with Soy-Chile Sauce

This recipe is a Bon Appetit Test Kitchen Recipe, I found it in some of my 10 million (or what seems like that many) recipes.  Out of all the kitchen equipment I have I did not have a bamboo steamer.  I had always thought about getting one but never did.  You can pick one up for about $30.00 which is a really great deal.  The one I purchased is a 2 tier steamer, so look for other recipes to come.  The fish we get from a company called www.SeaBear.com, which has outstanding seafood.

This recipe can be somewhat confusing and I am hoping to break it down to better understand.  I also attached pictures as I went along to help.

1 head of garlic (remove 3 cloves, peel and slice and cut the remaining head in half crosswise)
6 scallions, trimmed (take 2 scallions and cut into 2 inch sections, take 4 scallions and thinly slice)
1 - 5 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into matchstick size slices
1/2 of a lemon
4 - 4 ounce filets of black cod (I used just 2 for this recipe)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher Salt
2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
2 Thai chiles or 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced (I used a serrano chile because the store was out of the thai chiles.  A note the serrano chile can be spicy, to reduce the spiciness remove the seeds)
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

Combine the cut head of garlic, the cut 2 inch sections of scallions, 1 tablespoon of ginger, and 4 cups of water into a pot large enough to fit a steamer basket (I used my electric wok).  Squeeze lemon on top of the water, add the lemon half to the pot and bring to a boil.  Once water boils, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.   Transfer 1/4 cup of the liquid from pot to a small bowl; set aside for sauce.  Add 2 cups hot water to pot and bring to a boil.

Set aside 1/4 cup of sliced scallions and 1 tablespoon of ginger.  Line steamer basket with parchment paper (I cut mine down so that the steam holes would show on the sides).  Scatter half of the sliced garlic, half of the remaining sliced scallions, and half of the remaining ginger, on top of parchment spreading evenly.  Rinse fish, pat dry, place fish skin side down on top of parchment paper that had been scattered with garlic, scallion and ginger.  Brush fish with oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.  Scatter remaining garlic, scallions and ginger over fish.  Set steamer over pot, cover and steam fish for 12  to 18 minutes until fish is flaky (timing depends on thickness of fish).

While fish is steaming, Stir the scallions and ginger that you set aside, add tamari, chile, cilantro and reserved liquid to make sauce.

Transfer fish to plate and drizzle with sauce.

Steaming Liquid

Fish ready to be steamed.  Sitting on top of parchment paper, scallions, ginger and garlic.

The fish finished drizzled with sauce served over rice. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Grilled Flank Steak Salad

It was nice to come home from work to find my husband in the kitchen getting things set for dinner. I love to cook and it is a way for me to decompress after work, a way to sink into the kitchen and think about nothing else but what I am going to fix for dinner.  Well tonight my husband took care of that for me.  He chose a flank steak to cook and serve over a salad.

Flank Steak with Cumin Cinnamon Rub
The rub recipe comes from the Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook
1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1-1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1-1/2 tablespoons coarse salt (I don't usually use this much salt when making this rub, adjust to your taste)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mix ingredients together and rub on steak.  This rub will make more than you need.  Place steak on a preheated 500 degree Fahrenheit grill and cook for 5 minutes, flip and cook for 3 minutes more.  Remove from grill, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.  This will cook the steak to medium-rare.

The salad consisted of green leaf lettuce, cucumber (fresh from the garden), green pepper (ours aren't doing very well), tomato (it was a cherokee purple tomato from our garden and it was delicious, it was the first one of these we have gotten).

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pickled Beet Eggs

I love pickled eggs, it is one of those things that I had as a kid and loved.  I don't make them very often and in fact I don't think I have made them in years.  I had a taste for them so I thought I would make some.  The beets give the eggs a nice purple pink color.   I will do my best with the recipe because so much of it is by taste.

Pickled Beet Eggs
2 cans of beets (regular beets, they can be whole or sliced - I prefer whole)
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup Sugar
2 dozen Hard cooked eggs, peeled
In a large saucepan add both cans of beets (juice and all), add vinegar and sugar.  Cook until sugar has dissolved.   Add eggs to a large glass jar (do not use plastic or stainless), and the beet vinegar mixture.  Keep in refrigerator.

The longer you leave the eggs in the juice the more flavor that will seep into the egg.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Salmon with Fresh Peach Salsa

I really wanted to have something light for dinner so I opted to have salmon with a small side salad.

Salmon with Fresh Peach Salsa
2 - 4 ounce pieces of salmon
3 peaches
2 small tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped
1/4 of a spring onion (or a small onion), diced
fresh basil, finely chopped
Remove the skin off the peaches.  Place peaches into a pan of boiling water blanch them for about 30 to 90 seconds.  Remove from water and drop into a bowl of ice water.  Pinch skin to see if it will start to come off.  It should remove easily, if it doesn't place back into boiling water and cook some more.
Cut peaches in half and remove the pit.  Dice peaches into small sections, place into a small bowl.  Add tomatoes, onion and basil to the peaches.  Stir.
Place the salmon on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, fresh ground salt and pepper and a little bit of seafood seasoning.  (I use a seasoning from Blue Crab Bay Company)  Place into a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven, cook for about 15 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.  Serve peach salsa over cooked salmon.

A side salad with fresh dressing was a side to go along with the salmon.  It contained lettuce, tomato, and cucumber.

French Dressing
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup olive oil

Mix together

Friday, July 13, 2012

Simple and Easy Dinner

Ever have those nights were you really want something fast and easy?  That was tonight for us.

I grilled garlic bratwurst on the grill.  Served it wish canned sauerkraut and grilled sweet potatoes.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes
Take 2 Japanese sweet potato, slice super thin.  Place slices onto a piece of foil, overlap the slices slightly.  Add a couple of slices of butter; place the slices throughout the top of the sweet potato slices.    Place another piece of foil on top and turn up the ends so that you are sealing the potatoes into a foil packet.  Place the packet onto the grill over high heat, cook for 5 minutes, turn packet over and cook for another 5 minutes.  Removing to warming rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Baked Chicken, Green Beans and Noodles

I don't know about you but at some point during the summer I have to turn to some kind of comfort food.  That is what I did tonight.  We just picked a whole bunch of green beans from our garden and since they were fresh they had to be cooked.

Green Beans
I cooked the green beans in a crock pot.  Wash beans, cut ends off and cut in half if needed.  Add to a crock pot and add water to just cover them.  Add a few pieces of bacon or fatback to the crock pot.  Turn crock pot on low and cook for about 8 hours.  Test the green beans from time to time, you want them soft.  At this point add a little bit of salt if needed.  Use a slotted spoon to serve with.

Baked Chicken
Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons paprika
Salt and Pepper
2 Eggs
Take flour, paprika, salt and pepper and add to a small dish and mix.  In another dish add the eggs and beat.   Take a chicken breast and lay it between 2 pieces of plastic wrap.  Use a flat edge of a meat tenderizer to flatten the breasts to about 1/2 inch.  Dredge breasts in egg and then into flour mixture.  Add to a large baking dish that has been oiled.  Place chicken into a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven and bake for about 30 minutes.

To add to this meal I found a partial bag of noodles.  I cooked them and added a little butter.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Grilled Beef Tenderloin, Green Beans and Sweet Potatoes

What could be better than steak that has been marinated and then grilled.  I can't think of a single thing. The green beans came from our garden which is really doing fantastic.  The garden is my husbands project, I will make something out of whatever he decides to plant (I am okay with that).

Steak Marinade 
This recipe came from a co-worker of mine.  I have enjoyed this recipe for many years.
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup soy sauce (I used tamari)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
Combine all in a jar.  Cover and shake well. Marinate meat for 1 hour or overnight.  Grill steaks over high heat for about 5 minutes per side (we like ours medium rare)

Green Beans with Walnuts
Clean green beans, remove ends if needed.  Steam green beans until tender. To a skillet add 1 tablespoon of butter, melt over medium heat.  Add a handful of walnuts and saute (just till they warm up), then add green beans and toss until coated.  Serve.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes
Take 2 Japanese sweet potato, slice super thin.  Place slices onto a piece of foil, overlap the slices slightly.  Add a couple of slices of butter; place the slices throughout the top of the sweet potato slices.  Sprinkle the top with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.  Place another piece of foil on top and turn up the ends so that you are sealing the potatoes into a foil packet.  Place the packet onto the grill over high heat, cook for 5 minutes, turn packet over and cook for another 5 minutes.  Removing to warming rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Strawberry Lemonade

I had a picnic to go to yesterday evening and would have posted this last night but I forgot to take a picture.  I had to use my cell phone camera but the area where we were had the picnic did not have fantastic cell service so I couldn't post the picture last night.  The other day at the grocery store I picked up a beautiful container of strawberries.  At the time I did not have any ideas or thoughts of what I was going to do with them, but I had to have them.  Since it is going to be a hot evening I thought a lemonade might be nice and then I remembered that I have 2 pounds of strawberries in the refrigerator.  What if I add those and made a strawberry lemonade, I thought.

I looked for a strawberry lemonade recipe to make and found one on a blog called My Baking Addiction.

Strawberry Lemonade
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and capped
1 cup fresh lemon juice (strain to remove seeds)
6 cups cold water
Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan.  Place over medium heat and heat until the sugar in completely dissolved; stir occasionally.  Let cool.  Place strawberries into a blender with 1/2 cup water.  Blend until smooth.  In a large pitcher or jar add simple syrup, strawberry puree, lemon juice and water.  Serve over ice.  I froze some extra strawberries to float in the lemonade and to help keep the lemonade cold without watering it down and also added a few lemon slices for contrast.

We had leftover lemonade so this evening we took a tall glass filled it with crushed ice, add vodka (we keep our vodka in the freezer) then add lemonade and stir.  Add a few of the strawberries and a lemon slice. YUM!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Green Salad with Vegetables

It has been so hot where we live on the East Coast that we have not wanted to really eat anything let alone cook anything.   All we have been doing this week is snacking.  The temperatures that we are having now in July are closer to our August temperatures.  Who knows what kind of temperatures we will have for August.  So we finally decided to make something to eat that was fitting for the temperatures.  A salad of all kinds of vegetables.

The salad contained the following ingredients:
Green Leaf lettuce
Cucumber (fresh from the garden)
Cherokee Purple Tomato
Salad Beans (Comes in a can and contains, kidney, pinto and garbanzo beans)
Blue Cheese
Dried Cranberries
Banana Peppers
Black Olives
Fresh Ground Pepper
Asian Dressing

Asian Dressing
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons tamari
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Put everything in a small jar and shake until mixed.

Also made a drink called a Sonoma Cooler.  Saw Guy Fieri making them on the Food Network one day and thought wow those really look delicious and refreshing so I decided to whip some up.

Sonoma Coolers
8 Sonoma-variety grapes, plus more for garnishing (I used seedless white grapes)
4 fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnishing
3 ounces vodka
2 ounces grapefruit juice (I used pink grapefruit juice - no sugar)
2 ounces Meter lemon juice (It is really hard to find Meyer lemons so I used regular instead and feel that it worked well)
2 ounces Orange Blossom Honey syrup
California sparkling wine, as needed
Make two cocktails at once using this method: In a cocktail shaker, muddle the grapes and basil.  Then add the vodka, citrus juices, orange blossom honey, ice to fill and shake.  Serve in 2 big wine glasses over fresh ice cubes.  Top off with California sparkling wine and garnish with 3 grapes on a skewer and a fresh basil leaf.
Orange Blossom Honey Syrup
1 ounce orange blossom honey
1 ounce water
Add the honey to hot water together.  Mix well.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Pork Barbecue

My husband decided to smoke a bone-in pork butt today.  It smoked for 5 hours over hickory.  He used a rub on it as well.

Barbecue Spice Rub
From the Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook
1/2 cup chili powder
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons paprika
Mix together and rub onto meat.  This rub can be used for pork, beef or chicken.

The sauces are the sauces that we used the last time we smoked some meat.  I froze what was left over in mason jars.  All I did was thaw them out to use this time.

North Carolina Vinegar Sauce
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you wanted it hotter you could also add some cayenne pepper or your favorite Tabasco sauce)
Mix all ingredients.  I mixed it into a mason jar so that you could just shake the ingredients to mix them.

Tomato Vinegar Sauce
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1-1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you wanted it hotter you could also add some cayenne pepper or your favorite Tabasco sauce)
Mix all ingredients.  I mixed it into a mason jar so that you could just shake the ingredients to mix them.

Mustard Sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
6 ounces yellow mustard
1/4 of a onion, minced
8 tablespoons of water
8 tablespoons of tomato puree
1/2 tablespoon paprika
3 cloves of garlic, minced (I use a garlic press)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for about 20-25 minutes.

1/2 head of cabbage
1 carrots, shredded
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup dried cranberries
salt and pepper to taste
Cut the cabbage by slicing it.  Chop the slices into smaller pieces.  Place cabbage into a large bowl.   Add remaining ingredients, mix well.  Every time I make cole slaw I can always hear my grandmother leaning over my shoulder telling me to use my hands to mix the slaw up.  By using your hands it makes it easier to get the ingredients to incorporate.  So of course I used my hands to mix the slaw.  Add more or less mayonnaise as needed.

Some beans. sliced onion and a slice of bread were added to each plate to finish this meal.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sausage Egg Burritos

Don't you just love breakfast?  There are always so many things that you can make for breakfast and the great thing is that you can eat it any time of day.

Take 1 pound of ground pork sausage.  Place in a heated skillet over medium high heat.  Cook sausage breaking it into smaller pieces.  Cook until sausage is no longer pink and cooked throughly.  Drain fat and add to a bowl.  Wipe fat from the skillet (doesn't have to be perfect).

For the scrambled egg part:  Break 6 eggs into a large bowl, add a little milk and beat until smooth and mixed.  Add eggs to skillet and mix with a rubber spatula.  Cook until done.  Add eggs to sausage bowl.  Mix together.

Place egg sausage mixture onto a heated flour tortilla.  Add some shredded cheddar cheese and salsa, fold up and serve.  You can add a lot of extra toppings.  Some ideas are cook some hash browns and add to tortilla.  Cooked chopped green peppers and onions are another option.  I kept this one simple.