Archive for September, 2011

September 24, 2011

New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp

Food Network

Serves: 4

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed (about 1 head)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 pound large shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 3 lemons, cut in wedges
  • Crusty bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat olive oil, butter, garlic, bay leaves and thyme in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat until butter melts and garlic and herbs are fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Toss shrimp, Worcestershire sauce, salt, paprika and cayenne in a bowl. Add to skillet along with sherry and transfer to oven. Bake until shrimp curl and are pink, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with lemon wedges and bread.
*Chef’s note: This was pretty good! A bit salty; it could have used a little sweetness, like a tablespoon of brown sugar maybe? Otherwise delicious. I skipped the cayenne because I didn’t have any. Boy, is that crusty bread good soaked in this sauce. Mmm.
September 24, 2011

Lemon-thyme biscuits

Food Network

Makes: about 18 biscuits

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, plus more for sprinkling
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, wheat germ, salt, lemon zest and thyme in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until it is in pea-size pieces. Gently stir in the buttermilk with a wooden spoon until just moistened. The dough will be loose.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3 to 5 times, just until it comes together. (Don’t overknead or the biscuits will be tough.) Roll out to 1/2 inch thick, then cut out biscuits using a floured 2-inch-round cutter. Arrange on an ungreased baking sheet. Reroll the scraps and cut out more biscuits. Brush the tops with water and sprinkle lightly with salt and thyme.

Bake the biscuits until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.

*Chef’s note: These were very tasty. Mine came out a bit tougher than I would have liked, but I didn’t use a fancy pastry blender. Don’t skip the salt and thyme on top! We served these with my mom’s homemade chicken soup (with the juice of half a lemon-yum!)

September 24, 2011

Ravioli with sauteed butternut squash and thyme

Woman’s Day 


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium butternut squash (about 1 lb), peeled and cut into 1/2-in. pieces
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp small fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 16-oz pkg cheese ravioli (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the squash, season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, uncovered, tossing occasionally, until the squash is tender and beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes more. Meanwhile, cook the ravioli according to package directions. Transfer the ravioli to plates, top with the squash mixture and sprinkle with the Parmesan.
*Chef’s note: This dish was simple and delicious. I added a link of mild Italian sausage, my favorite pairing with butternut squash, which turned it into a satisfying, complete meal for us meat-eaters. You could sub your favorite pasta for the ravioli.
September 24, 2011

Apple pound cake

Sunny Anderson

Makes:16-20 slices

  • 5 jumbo-sized eggs (or 6 large eggs), separated
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 sticks butter, plus 1 tablespoon, for pan
  • 3 cups cake flour, plus 2 tablespoons, for pan
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced into 1/8-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Let the eggs, milk and butter come to room temperature on the counter before beginning. (Butter goes on the counter last.)

Butter the Bundt pan with 1 tablespoon of butter, then add 2 tablespoons of flour and shake and tap to coat the interior of the pan; set aside. Put the diced apples in a bowl with the cinnamon and lemon juice. In a large bowl or stand mixer add the butter and 2 cups of sugar and beat until smooth. Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, and blend to completely incorporate before adding the next. The mixture will become very light in color. Add the buttermilk and the extracts and mix to combine. Stir in 3 cups of flour along with the baking powder and stir until incorporated.

In a separate clean dry bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy, then add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and whisk until shiny and soft peaks form when removing the whisk from the whites. Gently fold this into the cake batter. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the apples in the center of the ring all the way around, being sure they don’t touch the outer or inner edge of the pan. Pour in the remainingbatter and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely. Put a large plate or cake plate on top of the pan, then holding both together, flip them so that the curved bottom of the Bundt pan is on the top and the plate is resting on a flat surface. Slowly remove the pan from the cake by lifting it straight up. Slice and serve.

*Chef’s note: Soooo gooood. I obviously didn’t grease my bundt pan the best, as you can tell by the pieces missing from the edge of the cake. Otherwise, it would have been beautiful, and it still tasted awesome. Super moist, full of flavor, smelled divine. Great alone or with ice cream.

September 24, 2011

Ginger-scallion sauce

Rachael Ray

Makes: 1/2 cup

  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients; let sit at least 15 minutes. Serve over chicken, stir into rice or use as a marinade.
*Chef’s note: Yum! I doubled the recipe and used half as a marinade for a beef stir fry, adding mushrooms and broccoli to the beef and stirring in the reserved half to warm through just before serving (over brown rice).
September 24, 2011

Zucchini-corn fritters

Food Network

Serves: 6-8

  • 2 medium zucchini, coarsely shredded
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 ears corn, kernels cut off 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Toss the zucchini with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Wrap the zucchini in a kitchen towel and squeeze dry.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk the buttermilk and egg in a large bowl, then stir in the corn-onion mixture and zucchini. Add the cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined.

Heat about 1/8 inch vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, scoop scant 1/4 cupfuls of the batter into the oil and use the back of the measuring cup to flatten the scoops. Cook until the fritters are golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Serve warm or at room temperature. (You can make the fritters up to 2 hours ahead; reheat in a 375 degrees F oven on a rack set on a baking sheet.)

*Chef’s note: Delish! No secrets to this one. I served this with simple baked chicken.

September 24, 2011

German potato salad

Food Network

Serves: 6-8

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt
  • 2 pounds boiled sliced russet potatoes

Fry the bacon; cook the onion in the drippings. Add the flour, sugar, mustard, vinegar, water and salt; Cook two minutes. Toss with the potatoes. Crumble the bacon on top and serve warm.

*Chef’s note: This was pretty yummy! If you like all the things going into it, you’ll dig the finished product.

September 24, 2011

Peanut butter banana bread

Joy the Baker blog (recipe originally adapted from Cooking Light magazine)
Makes: 1  9″ x 5″ loaf
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla fat free yogurt
  • 1/3 cup creamy all-natural peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal (Joy the Baker says: I’ve also baked this bread without the flaxseed meal because I forgot to add it, and the bread was still moist and delicious)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, flaxseed meal, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon and ground allspice.

In a medium bowl, whisk together  mashed bananas, yogurt, peanut butter and melted butter.  Whisk in eggs and sugars.  Blend mixture until no sugar lumps remain.

Pour the wet mixture into the larger bowl with the dry ingredients.  Fold together with a spatula until no more flour bits remain.  Fold in the chopped nuts as well.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and cake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before running a butter knife along the edges of the pan and inverting the bread onto a wire rack to cool completely.

This bread lasts, well wrapped at room temperature,for up to 4 days.  It is also great to store, well wrapped, in the freezer.

*Chef’s note: I was a little disappointed with this recipe; I think I was expecting more of a peanut butter taste. I substituted crunchy peanut butter (and a couple tablespoons more than the recipe calls for) for the peanut butter and dry roasted peanuts. I came up just a 1/4 cup short on the mashed bananas, so I added natural plain applesauce to make up the difference. I also added just a dash of vanilla and left out the allspice and flax because I was all out. Be sure to test with a skewer all the way to the bottom, not just with a toothpick (it took 60 minutes for me).

September 11, 2011

Mushroom-stuffed pork tenderloin

Food Network

Serves: 6

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 pork tenderloins (2 to 2 1/2 pounds total), trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs and all but 2 tablespoons parsley. Let cool.

Soak 10 to 12 toothpicks in water to prevent them from burning. Rinse the pork and pat dry. Butterfly the pork: Make a 1-inch-deep incision down the length of each tenderloin; do not cut all the way through. Open the meat like a book so the tenderloins lie flat.

Cover the pork with plastic wrap; pound with the flat side of a meat mallet until about 1/2 inch thick, starting from the middle and working outward. Spread the mushroom mixture over the 2 tenderloins. Starting with a long side, tightly roll up each tenderloin. Secure the seams with the toothpicks.

Preheat a grill to medium high; brush the grates with olive oil. Brush the pork rolls with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning, until a thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 140 degrees F, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to rest, about 10 minutes.

Mix the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons parsley, the lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Remove the toothpicks and slice the pork rolls. Top with parsley oil.

*Chef’s note: This recipe is a little more involved but totally worth the effort. Tasty stuff. It would be impressive for company; it’s so pretty when sliced! Do NOT skip the olive-oil topping! It definitely brightens up the dish, and the lemon makes it perfect. White mushrooms were fine. I thought I’d add the photo with the toothpicks still in the meat because it looked a little scary and fun.

September 11, 2011

Peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies

Rachael Ray

Makes: 16 cookies

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1  tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

Beat first 4 ingredients in mixer. Stir in chocolate. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart on 2 parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool on pans.

*Chef’s note: These no-flour cookies are delicious! There couldn’t be a cookie simpler to make, either. As with a lot of cookies, these taste best completely cooled when they have a chance to set and the flavors really come out. The dough was a bit crumbly, but I also used crunchy peanut butter because we came upon 2 massive jars by mistake (stay tuned for peanut butter banana bread!). But the peanuts didn’t take away any moistness. I also subbed some leftover chocolate chips for the more fun chunks. Give these a try! You most likley already have everything on hand.