Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, and Asparagus

Okay you are probably thinking that the title of this post is pretty boring.  Well let me tell you dinner tonight was anything but boning.  My husband had errands to run today so I asked him to do me a favor.  I asked him if he would go to the grocery store while he was out and pick up some ingredients for dinner.  I told him to pick up a protein and then whatever else he wanted.  I would then do my own version of the show Chopped in my kitchen.  If you have never seen this show, it is where they give you a basket with some crazy ingredients and you have to make something from it.

Here is what he brought home:
Chicken Breasts
New Potatoes
Sliced Baby Portabella Mushrooms
As you can see it was a lot of different things.  When it was time to make dinner he said okay it is time, pulled the ingredients from the refrigerator, laid them on the counter and said okay here you go.  I stood back and took each ingredient in and thought, What in the world am I going to do with this?  After thinking for a little bit I started to do some things.  I decided I was going to mash the potatoes and cook the asparagus in water.  Other than that I had no idea.  It took me a little bit of time to finally come up with my game plan as I was thinking and as I had started to cook.  Everything came into place.  As I give the recipes for tonight's dinner I will highlight in bold where the purchased ingredient was used.
Here is what I did:

Sauteed Chicken Breasts
2 split chicken breasts, pounded to about 1/2 inch
bread crumbs
Lime Juice 
Spice Mixture (I used a spice mix called One Spice, it contains: Parsley flakes, pepper, lemon seasoning, garlic, onion powder, spices, sage, thyme, salt, cornstarch, paprika, sugar and canola oil)
Olive oil
Squeeze lime juice over chicken and make sure that each side of the chicken is coated with lime juice. In a small bowl add some bread crumbs and spice together (add just enough to add flavor, don't over do it).
Dredge the chicken breasts in bread crumb mixture and place on a platter.  In a skillet over medium high heat, heat butter and olive oil. Add chicken, cook on both sides until done.

Mashed New Potatoes
2 New potatoes, cut into small chunks
1 Leek
1 package Portabella mushrooms
Coconut milk
2 Tablespoons butter
Salt and Pepper
Cut the root end off of a leek as well as the top.  Cut the leak in half longways and rinse under water.  The leek has many layers and you want to make sure that all the dirt is gone from each little section.  Dice the leek into small bite sized pieces.  In a skillet heat some butter over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and cook until soft and browned.  Transfer to a bowl to keep warm.  Add a teaspoon of butter to the same pan as the mushrooms and add leeks.  Cook leeks until just soft.  Remove from heat and set aside to keep warm.  In a saucepan add potatoes and water.   Place over high heat and cook until tender.  Remove from heat, drain cooked potatoes.  Add cooked potatoes back into pan and set over low heat to remove any excess moisture.  Add butter and mash, add cooked leeks and a small amount of coconut milk.  Continue to mash until smooth and the consistency you want.  Remove to a bowl and stir in cooked mushrooms.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cooked Asparagus
Asparagus, washed and snapped
Sea Salt (I used a bamboo scented sea salt)
Add asparagus to a pan of water and cook over high heat until asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove from water to a dish, add a tablespoon of butter and some sea salt.

Roasted Blueberries and Figs
Ginger, very small piece peeled
Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Rinse and sort blueberries, add to a small roasting pan. Rinse figs.  Remove stem, cut in half and then in half again, add to roasting pan.  Grate ginger over fruit, only add enough to give some flavor, add a small amount of sugar (maybe 1 teaspoon) Stir fruit lightly with a spoon to incorporate everything.  Place pan in oven.  Cook for 5 minutes, stir and cook for 5 minutes more.  It won't take very long to get everything nice and soft.  Remove from pan to a serving dish.  Serve warm.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Standing Rib Roast with Horseradish Crust

Last Saturday we traveled to our local farm Mountain Run Farm to get some meats to fill our freezer.  When getting the items we wanted I found this magnificent looking rib roast.  We were having company this weekend and my thought went immediately to hum I think I could make this for our guests.  This is the meal I made last night.

I searched for recipes to make.  There are several out there but I came across this one done by Tyler Florence and it a Food Network recipe.

This is the recipe as written, I will leave my notes on the side of what I did)
Standing Rib Roast with Horseradish Crust
1 - (3-rib) prime rib beef roast, about 6 pounds.  (My roast was a 4 rib and was over 7 pounds)
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
Needles from 2 fresh rosemary sprigs (I used 3 large sprigs)
Leaves from 4 fresh thyme sprigs
1/2 cup sea salt
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks (I used 3 large carrots)
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks (I used 3 parsnips)
1 red onion, halved (I used 3 small ones)
1 head garlic, halved
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lay the beef in a large roasting pan with the bone side down.  (The ribs act as a natural roasting rack).
In a small bowl mash together the garlic, horseradish, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil to make a paste. Massage the paste generously over the entire roast.  Scatter the vegetables around the meat and drizzle with a 2-count of oil.  Put the pan in the oven and roast the beef for about 1-1/2 hours to 2 hours for medium-rare (or approximately 20 minutes per pound).  Check the internal temperature of the roast several place with an instant read thermometer; it should register 125 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare.  Remove the beef to a carving board and let rest for 20 minutes.  The internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise by about 10 degrees.  Remove the the vegetable and set aside.
(I used a probe thermometer to help me keep track of how the roast was doing as it was cooking, I didn't want to continue to open the oven door.  Once the roast was close to the temperature, I used the instant read thermometer).  I served the vegetables with the meal, they vegetables had a nice caramelized quality.
Another Note: This is a great recipe to place into the oven and have fun with your guests.  I then got our guests involved in the rest of the cooking process which was a lot of fun for everyone.

Mashed Japanese Sweet Potatoes
2-1/2 pounds of Japanese sweet potatoes
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup coconut milk mixed with 1/4 cup water or 1/2 cup half and half (I went with the coconut milk)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into large cubes and drop them into boiling water.  Cook until tender, about 20 minutes; drain and return to the pan.
Shake the potatoes in the pan over medium heat until the excess moisture evaporates.  Reduce heat to low and add the butter to the potatoes; mash light with a potato masher.  Gradually add the coconut milk, mashing lightly between additions, until the potatoes are smooth and creamy.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
This is the same recipe I made the other night but I decided to leave the vanilla out of the recipe and just opt for salt and pepper.

Steamed Green Beans
We still have some green beans coming out of our garden so I made some steamed green beans to go along with this meal. 
Place green beans into a steamer and cover.  Place steamer over a pan with about 1 inch of water.  Place on stove and bring to a boil.   Cook until beans are tender.  Remove from heat, place beans into a bowl, add a little bit of butter and some sea salt.  Serve

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Citrus Glazed Black Cod with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Steamed Green Beans

I went searching the Internet for dinner recipes and ideas.  I found two recipes for tonight's dinner on the Internet, not the ton of cookbooks I have on my shelf (which I really need to use more often).  The first recipe for the Black Cod came from Martha Stewart and the second for the mashed sweet potatoes came from a fellow blogger, blog name Jan's Sushi bar.  I knew that I wanted to bake the cod and was looking for ideas when I came across the recipe.  The other, you know how we love Japanese sweet potatoes, so I looked for mashed recipes and saw this and thought this is perfect.

Citrus Glazed Black Cod
4 - 6 ounce black cod filets
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (I used the juice from the whole lime)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce (I use Tamari)
Thinly sliced mint leaves, for garnish
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish (I didn't actually have any fresh scallions so I chose to use some dried chives)
Coarse Salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray baking dish with cooking spray.  Season fish with salt and pepper and place in prepared dish.  Meanwhile, add brown sugar, lime juice, vinegar, soy sauce, and a pinch of salt to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Simmer until thick and syrupy, 4 to 5 minutes.  Spoon about 1 teaspoon of glaze evenly over each cod filet; reserve any remaining glaze.  Transfer baking dish to oven and bake until opaque and just cooked through, about 12 minutes.  Garnish with mint and scallions; serve with reserved glaze.
***I only used 2 pieces of fish but made the entire amount of glaze.

Vanilla Mashed Sweet Potatoes
2-1/2 pounds of Japanese sweet potatoes
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup coconut milk mixed with 1/4 cup water or 1/2 cup half and half (I went with the coconut milk)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into large cubes and drop them into boiling water.  Cook until tender, about 20 minutes; drain and return to the pan.
Shake the potatoes in the pan over medium heat until the excess moisture evaporates.  Reduce heat to low and add the butter and vanilla to the potatoes; mash light with a potato masher.  Gradually add the coconut milk, mashing lightly between additions, until the potatoes are smooth and creamy.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
***Since I was only cooking for 2 I cut this recipe in half.

Steamed Green Beans
We are still getting green beans out of our garden and so there is nothing better than fresh beans.
Place green beans into a steamer and cover.  Place steamer over a pan with about 1 inch of water.  Place on stove and bring to a boil.   Cook until beans are tender.  Remove from heat, place beans into a bowl, add a little bit of butter and some sea salt.  Serve

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Spinach Tomato Quiche

Who doesn't love quiche?  Well okay there may be a few people out there that don't.   This is what I decided to make for dinner tonight.  

Spinach Tomato Quiche
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
1 - 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1 - 9 inch refrigerated pre-made pie crust (makes it quick this way)
1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
12-14 grape tomatoes, sliced thin
5 eggs
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon dill weed
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  
Melt butter in skillet over medium heat, add onion and cook until soft.  Add spinach and stir until spinach is dry, about 3 minutes.  Cool slightly.  
Sprinkle both cheeses over bottom of pie crust.   Top with spinach mixture and layer the tomatoes over the spinach.  Beat eggs, cottage cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg and dill weed in a large bowl to blend.  Pour over spinach.  Bake until filling is set, about 50 minutes.   Cool slightly, cut into wedges and serve.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Baked Salmon and Shredded Brussels Sprouts

I saw the Brussels sprout recipe one day when I was flipping channels and decided that I had to make them.

Baked Salmon
We had 4 ounce salmon filets and decided to cook three filets for the two of use.
Place filets onto a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  I used a sea salt that was infused with garlic. Place into a 275 degree Fahrenheit oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts 
This is a Jamie Deen Recipe that I got off the Food Network
1 strip of bacon, sliced into thin strips
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
6 ounces Brussels sprouts (2 big handfuls)
Pinch brown sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Cook the bacon until crisp in a large skillet.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.  While the bacon is cooking, cut off the ends of the Brussels sprouts.  Then chop the Brussels sprouts in half.  Lay them cut-side-down and finely chop until they are all shredded.  Add the garlic and shallots to the skillet and saute until fragrant and the shallots are soft, 1 to 2 minutes.  Stir in the Brussels sprouts and saute until tender crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add a pinch of brown sugar.  Season with salt and pepper and add lemon juice.  Saute for 1 minute more.  Toss with the chopped parsley and bacon.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pot Roast with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus

Finally remembered to pull a roast from the freezer to thaw.  I have wanted a roast for a while but kept forgetting to take it from the freezer.  Decided to make a recipe from the Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook.

California Pot Roast
1 - 4 to 5 pound rump roast (can use chuck or round roast)
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup water
2 cups tomato sauce, fresh or canned (I used fresh)
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
Rub roast with salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil over medium high heat, brown roast for about 3 minutes per side.  Place the meat in a slow cooker with the water, tomato sauce, onion and garlic.  Cook on low heat all day, for about 5 or 6 hours.
About 1-1/4 hours before you are ready to eat, combine brown sugar, dry mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.  Pour over meat, and continue cooking for another hour until fork tender.
Remove meat, slice, and place on a warm platter.  Meanwhile, let the sauce thicken by simmering on the stove for a few minutes; pour over sliced roast and serve.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
olive oil
clove of garlic, peeled
Place cut sweet potatoes and garlic into a ziploc bag, add just enough olive oil to coat the potatoes.  Pour potatoes and garlic onto a cookie sheet.  Spread sweet potatoes out so that they have enough room and are not over lapped.  Cook in a preheated 450 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 30 minutes.  The time will depend on the size of the chunks of potatoes.  You want them slightly browned and tender.

Cooked Asparagus with Citrus and Caper Aioli
I got this recipe out of a magazine at a doctors office or somewhere there was a waiting room.  I find when I am looking at magazines in a waiting room I find all kinds of wonderful sounded recipes.  I use my cell phone to photograph the recipe.  Sometimes you have to photograph it in parts but as long as you have it you are good to go.  I wish I knew what magazine this came out of so that I could give it credit (if anyone knows please comment and tell me).
For less heat, omit the Calabrian chiles and add a pinch of dried crushed red pepper.
2 large eggs
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2-1/4 cups olive oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
1 Calabrian or other hot chile pepper, stem removed (I used crushed red pepper since I didn't have the others)
1 teaspoon capers
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine first 3 ingredients in a food processor or blender, and process until well blended.  With processor on, slowly pour in oil; process until smooth.  Add chile and next 3 ingredients, pulsing until well mixed.  If aioli is too thick, stir in water until it reached the desired consistency.  Makes 3 cups.
The recipe uses this over grilled asparagus.  Since we were not grilling out I decided to use this over cooked asparagus.  Place wash and snapped asparagus into a pot of salted boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.  The time make change depending on the diameter of the asparagus.  Drizzle aioli over cooked asparagus.
One note about this aioli:  I used extra virgin olive oil which has a strong taste so you may want to adjust your seasonings to your liking.  Also this aioli would be great for sandwiches.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chef Salad

I want to apologize for not posting for a while.  Last week we lost our home Internet for about 4 days and our mobile devices couldn't get a good enough signal to post anything.  It was very frustrating.  I was also away at a GFWC VA Conference over the weekend.  I didn't cook much of anything in the kitchen during that time, so you didn't miss anything.

The other night my husband roasted a ham in the oven so tonight I decided to use that ham in a large chef salad.  Here were the ingredients:

Ham (nitrate free)
Yellow bell pepper
Cheddar Cheese
Swiss Cheese
Ground pepper
French Dressing

Homemade French Dressing
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup olive oil
Place all ingredients into a jar and shake until mixed.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Summer Relish and Cataloupe Feta Salad

Last night we had a pot luck supper at a local farm.  It is where like minded people can get together, have good quality food to eat, share ideas, sell vegetables, jams, jellies etc.  The food is always great at these gatherings and last night was no exception.  I like to take things that can be easily transported and what I chose for dinner was just that.

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Summer Relish
1/4 cup while wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved (Used Juliet tomatoes from our garden)
1 cup corn kernels (from about 2 ears)
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chives
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayeene
2 pork tenderloins, trimmed (we had a over 3 pound tenderloin that was used for this recipe)
Preheat grill to medium
Combine vinegar and sugar for the relish in a large bowl, whisking until sugar is dissolved.  Add tomatoes, corn, onion and herbs to the vinegar mixture; season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.  Cover and chill relish until ready to serve.
Combine brown sugar, salt and cayenne; rub mixture over tenderloins.  Lightly coat each with nonstick cooking spray.  Grill tenderloin about 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit, turning to brown all sides.  Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.  Serve with relish.

Cantaloupe Feta Salad
1 large cantaloupe, seeded, removed of outer peel and cut into bite sized pieces
4 to 6 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled
Juice from 1 lime
Fresh Mint, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.  Add enough mint to add flavor but don't add too much.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Roast Chicken and Vegetables

The chicken finally thawed which allowed me to cook it tonight for dinner.  Here is everything I did.

Roast Chicken
Whole Chicken, rinsed off, patted dry (This chicken came from a local farm IdleWild Farm which I purchased at my local farmers market)
1 lemon, cut in half
2 heads of garlic, cut in half
a large bunch of fresh thyme
Sea Salt
Olive oil
Bottle of Chardonnay
1 cup chicken broth (I make my own so all I had to do was pull it out of the freezer)
Place chicken in a roasting pan.  Place the lemon inside the cavity along with half of the garlic, and half of the thyme.  Tuck wings under the bird (looks like you are bending them the wrong way but it will keep the tips from drying out).  Place the rest of the garlic and thyme along side the chicken. Drizzle olive oil over top of chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place chicken in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven.  Cook for 1 hour.  Add some wine and the chicken broth to the chicken, return to oven to continue to cook.  It will depend how long to cook the chicken for based on its weight.  You want the internal temperature to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.  I used the whole bottle of wine while the chicken was cooking.  Once in a while baste the chicken so that it will stay nice and juicy.  At some point I put the lid on my roasting pan.  Once chicken is done, remove chicken to a platter and cover with foil.  Place the roaster over the heat on the stove top to heat up.  With a slotted spoon remove the garlic and thyme.  In a small bowl add about 1 tablespoon of arrowroot with about 1 tablespoon of water (you want to create a thick paste).  With a whisk, whisk in the arrowroot mixture to the broth wine mixture.  Continue to whisk and let the mixture come to a boil.  It should be thick like a gravy.  Add salt and pepper as needed. Serve over sliced chicken.

Roasted Vegetables
1 zucchini
2 small yellow squash
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Olive oil
Slice the zucchini and squash in half, in half again and then slice in to chunks.  Place both into a ziploc bag along with fresh rosemary, add some olive oil (enough to coat the vegetables).  Dump out the contents of the bag onto a cookie sheet.  Place cookie sheet into a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven and cook for about 30 minutes until vegetables are tender.  Flip and stir often to insure even cooking.

Side Salad
Bell pepper
Leftover bacon from last night's dinner (crumbled)
All served with homemade french dressing.

I got to thinking about this meal as we were sitting down to eat.  Everything about this meal with the exception of the lettuce, carrots and lemon came from local sources.  The cucumbers, tomatoes, thyme, and rosemary came from our garden.  All the other ingredients came from the local farmers market.  I should note that the wine is from Virginia.

I want to apologize for these picture, they are not the best.  I was in a hurry to sit down and eat and was having an issue with my camera. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Eggs with Sweet Potato Hash

The chicken I have thawing wasn't ready yet so I had to come up with something else for dinner tonight.  Breakfast for dinner is always good.

Sweet Potato Hash
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped small
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped (this is what I had on hand but a green bell pepper will work as well)
Salt and Pepper
In a large skillet heated over medium high heat add some oil, add onion and sweet potatoes.  Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often.  Add  bell pepper.  Place lid on skillet and cook for another 5 minutes or so.  You want the sweet potatoes to be soft.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hash with fried eggs and bacon.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Right now we have tomatoes galore.  They are coming in from the garden faster than we know what to do with them.  Tonight my husband wanted me to make spaghetti.  I thought sure why not and why not do a fresh sauce to go along with it.

Fresh Tomato Sauce
This is a recipe from my Vitamix.  I am sure that you can do the same thing with a good blender.
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 everything in the blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into a saucepan and simmer for 35-40 minutes.

I made regular spaghetti pasta, served it with a ground beef sausage (grassfed of course) and a side salad with French Dressing.

French Dressing
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup olive oil
Put all contents into a jar and shake until mixed.