Archive for August, 2011

August 14, 2011

Double bacon beer-braised cheeseburgers

Rachael Ray

Serves: 4

  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 10 slices smoky bacon, 2 of them chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3/4 pound ground chuck
  • 3/4 pound ground sirloin
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • A few hearty glugs stout beer, such as Guinness, half a bottle
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 3 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 1/2 pound sharp white aged cheddar, sliced
  • 8 leaves red leaf lettuce or red leaf romaine
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 4 Kaiser rolls or crusty rolls, split open

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Chop 2 slices of bacon. Arrange the remaining 8 slices of bacon on a slotted broiler pan and bake until crisp, 15-20 minutes. Place a large skillet over medium heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. While the pan is still cold, add the chopped bacon. Cook the bacon as the pan heats up until crispy and golden brown, 3-4 minutes.

When the bacon is crispy, add in the onion and continue cooking until tender, 5-6 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon to drain off the excess oil, transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and let cool. Reserve the pan drippings.

Reheat the skillet to medium-high heat. Combine ground meat with cooled bacon and onions, Worcestershire, salt and pepper and form 4 large patties, thinner at center and thicker at edges for even cooking.

Add patties to hot drippings and cook 8 minutes for medium-rare, 10 minutes for pink centers, and 12 minutes for medium-well, turning once. Once flipped, add beer to burgers about a minute later, in the last minute top burgers with cheese and tent with foil to melt.

While the burgers cook combine sour cream, horseradish and mustard into small bowl.

Set cheeseburgers on bun bottoms, top with criss-cross of bacon, lettuce leaves, red onion and special sauce, set bun tops in place.

*Chef’s note: Mmmmm. I used only sirloin, and it still tasted “delish,” as Ms. Ray would say.

August 14, 2011

Easy mustard pork

Food Network

Serves: 4

  • 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 2 small pork tenderloins, totaling about 1 3/4 pounds

Preheat the broiler. Mix the first three ingredients in a bowl and rub over the pork. Broil on a foil-lined broiler pan under golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes; flip and broil until cooked through, 2 to 3 more minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

*Chef’s note: This obviously is a very simple recipe, but its a nice go-to meal with lots of flavor. I didn’t have a broiler pan, so I coated a rack with cooking spray and placed that on a foil-lined baking sheet. I also broiled the pork for another five minutes on the second side than the recipe calls for, then another 10 minutes at 400 degrees after that, for a center with almost no pink.

August 14, 2011

Oven-fried chicken

Food Network

Serves: 4

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/3 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 2 1/4 cups bagel chips or Melba toasts
  • 5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon hot paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt (2%)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 4 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs or halved bone-in breasts (about 6 ounces each)
  • 2 bunches scallions
  • Harissa, chili sauce or ketchup, for the sauce

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Set a rack on a foil-lined baking sheet and generously coat the rack with cooking spray.

Finely grind the cereal and bagel chips in a food processor and transfer to a large resealable plastic bag. Add 3 teaspoons olive oil, the paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste and toss.

Whisk 1/2 cup yogurt and the mustard in a shallow bowl. Add the chicken and turn to coat, then transfer to the bag; seal and shake to coat. Place the chicken on the rack and mist with cooking spray.

Toss the scallions with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and place alongside the chicken. Bake until the chicken is crisp and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 160 degrees F, about 30 minutes.

Make the dipping sauce: Mix the remaining 1 cup yogurt and harissa to taste in a bowl. Serve the chicken and scallions with the sauce.

*Chef’s note: A tasty, guilt-free way to enjoy “fried” chicken! This recipe always takes longer than it says, for me. I used bagel chips and Chex rice cereal, and I didn’t have a food processor. Using a Ziploc and rolling over it with a rolling pin to crush the cereal works fine, and I’m sure a meat pounder would, too. I think I like this better than my similar post of unfried chicken.

August 14, 2011

Shrimp scampi with garlic toasts

Food Network

Serves: 4

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 8 1/2-inch-thick slices crusty bread
  • 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine or low-sodium chicken broth
  • Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives

Preheat the broiler. Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes and cook 1 to 2 minutes; remove from the heat. Brush both sides of the bread with some of the garlic mixture and arrange on a baking sheet. Broil the bread until toasted, about 1 minute per side. Divide the bread among 4 bowls.

Place the skillet with the remaining garlic mixture over high heat. Add the shrimp and toss to coat, then stir in the wine and lemon zest and juice. Transfer to the broiler and cook until the shrimp are pink, about 3 minutes. Transfer the shrimp with a slotted spoon to the bowls.

Return the skillet to high heat and boil the cooking liquid until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley and chives. Whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and simmer 1 to 2 more minutes; pour over the shrimp. Serve with lemon wedges.

*Chef’s note: If you follow my blog at all, you probably already know that I love the garlic/lemon/white wine combo (as does my family). So, for me, it’s kind of hard to go wrong, but I still recommend this to anyone who likes shrimp! I used a rosemary sourdough bread from Publix, which went really well. Also, I take the tails off; even though it doesn’t look as pretty, it still holds up well and is a whole lot easier to eat.

August 14, 2011

Crispy Parm-crusted fillet of fish and buttery bow ties with peas

Rachael Ray

Serves: 4

  • Salt
  • 1 pound bow tie pasta
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 6-ounce filets of tilapia or sole
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup plain, fine breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 lemons
  • 7 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup mint, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Place a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt water and cook pasta to al dente. Heads up: you need to reserve a ladle of starchy cooking water for pasta and peas just before draining.

While water comes to a boil, set up three dishes for breading the filets: In the first, combine the flour with the Old Bay. In the second, beat the eggs with a splash of water. In the third, combine the breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup Parmigiano, thyme and lemon zest. Dip each fish filet first in the flour mixture, then the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Place the coated filets on to a sheet try and reserve.

While the pasta is cooking, preheat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat with 1/4 cup of EVOO, 4 turns of the pan. Saute 2 filets at a time 6-7 minutes until golden, turning once. Place the first batch in low oven on cooling rack over baking sheet to keep crisp. You’ll need to add 2 tablespoons more EVOO to pan for next batch and let oil get hot again before cooking second batch.

While fish cooks, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, 1 turn of the pan to a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook to tender, 5-6 minutes. Add the peas and butter to the skillet with the onions and garlic and heat the peas through. Add starchy cooking water, drained pasta. Turn off the heat, toss with mint, parsley and a couple of handfuls of cheese, season with salt and pepper.

Serve fish alongside pasta. Cut lemon into wedges and serve for topping fish.

*Chef’s note: My girl Rach delivers again! Aside from leaving out the mint, I followed the recipe as listed (using bread crumbs, not cracker crumbs). Yum!

August 14, 2011

Scallops Charleston

Paula Deen

Serves: 4

  • 1 1/2-pounds fresh sea scallops
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Flour, for dusting
  • 3/4 cup sherry or dry white wine
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere

Season scallops with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and basil. Dust scallops with flour. Saute in a pan that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray and a small amount of olive oil. Cook scallops on both sides until browned. Remove scallops from pan.

To the drippings in the pan, add sherry, shallots, and mushrooms; cook for approximately 3 to 4 minutes.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons flour. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly. Pour shallots, mushrooms and liquid from scallops into flour mixture. Mix well. Stir scallops into sauce. (If too thick, you can thin with clam juice or fish or chicken stock.)

Transfer to 4 individual baking dishes, top with cheese, and broil for 1 minute, until browned. Serve with wild rice.

 *Chef’s note: This dish may not make the prettiest picture, but it couldn’t be easier and tastes great! I substitutued Parmesan for the Gruyere because it was half the price, and it turned out fine. Also serves it with pasta instead of rice, but I’m sure you would enjoy either :)

August 14, 2011

Strawberry and apricot hand pies

Oprah magazine

 

Makes: 8 hand pies

  • 8 Tbsp. (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/3 cup strawberry or apricot jam
  • 3/4 cup strawberries (6 to 8) or chopped apricots (about 2)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. raw (turbinado) sugar

Note: The dough can be made up to a day ahead; remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before rolling it out so it has time to warm up slightly.

In a food processor, pulse together cream cheese, butter, cream, granulated sugar and salt until smooth. Add flour and pulse until a sticky dough forms. Cover dough snugly in plastic wrap; chill until firm, 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Working on a floured surface, roll out dough into a 10 x 20 rectangle. Using a bowl or glass, cut out 8 (4 1/2″) circles.

Drop about 2 tsp. jam onto 1 side of each circle and top with 1 Tbsp. strawberries or apricots. Brush the outer edge of each circle with egg, and then fold over to make half-moons. Press the edges together firmly, and then seal with the tines of a fork. Place on a parchment-paper-lined sheet tray and cut 3 (½) slits in each top. Brush with egg, sprinkle with raw sugar, and bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.

*Chef’s note: !!! These little pies pack a big punch of flavor. My parents, brother, uncle and grandparents all enjoyed these. I made both flavors and couldn’t choose a favorite. I had a little dough trouble at first; be sure to use a LOT of flour on your workspace, and don’t skimp on the refrigeration time. Everything else was “easy as pie.” ;)

August 5, 2011

Penne with butternut squash and goat cheese

Giada De Laurentiis

Serves: 4 to 6

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 (2-pound) butternut or kombucha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (To toast the walnuts, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes Cool completely before using.)
  • 1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan

Put an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Spray a baking sheet, liberally, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.

Mix the squash and onion together and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for to 40 to 45 minutes until the vegetables are golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

While the squash mixture is cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water. Put the pasta, goat cheese and 1 cup of pasta water in a large serving bowl. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy sauce. Add the squash and onion mixture, the walnuts and the basil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Parmesan and serve.

*Chef’s note: This dish is a winner. I also added two links of browned mild Italian sausage; I had made this dish at least twice before without and loved it, but now that I’ve tried it with the sausage I never will leave it out! Definitely a dish great for fall, but I recommend it for any time of year. Also, don’t leave out any ingredients! Each has its place to perfect the meal.