Archive for November, 2011

November 15, 2011

Garlicky roasted shrimp, red peppers and feta

Woman’s Day

Serves: 4

  • 1 1/2lb large peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 12-oz jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • Flatbread, for serving

Heat oven to 425°F. In a 1 1/2- to 2-qt baking dish, combine the shrimp, peppers, scallions, garlic, wine, lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.

Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with feta. Bake until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve with the lemon wedges and flatbread, if desired.

*Chef’s note: Very good!! Great flavor, and I didn’t feel guilty eating it. Super easy, too. If you like shrimp and Mediterranean fare, this dish is for you.

November 15, 2011

Sour cream chocolate cake

Daisy Brand

Makes: 2  8″ round cakes

  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract , divided usage
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1-ounce squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder , divided usage
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/4 cup Daisy Brand Sour Cream , divided usage
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch baking pans; set aside. In a large mixer bowl add vegetable oil, egg, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Beat at medium speed until well mixed (1 minute). Add brown sugar and granulated sugar; continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (1 minute). Add the melted chocolate. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (1 minute). In small bowl stir together flour, 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to chocolate mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition. Add 1 cup sour cream; mix well. Pour into prepared pans and bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean (about 30 to 35 minutes). Remove cakes from the oven; cool 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans; cool completely.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl add ½ cup softened butter; beat at high speed until creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Add 2/3 cup cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon vanilla; continue beating, scraping bowl often, until mixture is creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the milk and ¼ cup sour cream; continue beating, scraping bowl often, until creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Place one cake, flat side up, on the bottom of a serving plate. Place about 1 cup frosting in the center of the cake. Spread to about ½-inch from the edge of the cake. Place the second cake, flat side up, on top of the frosted first layer. Frost the sides and top of cake with remaining frosting. Garnish if desired.

*Chef’s note: This. Cake. Is. Awesome. So moist and chocolatey! I didn’t use the frosting recipe but thought I’d include it anyway. I made this cake for my grandma’s birthday with store-bought buttercream (two 9″ round pans and a few minutes more bake time worked totally fine), and everyone loved it. Definitely a classic keeper!

November 15, 2011

Pan-roasted pork chops with apricot-ginger glaze

Coastal Living

Serves: 4

  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 4 (1 1/2-inch-thick) bone-in center-cut pork chops (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together first 5 ingredients and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Rub mixture over pork chops, and let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes or until softened. Stir in preserves, agave nectar, lemon juice, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops, and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Pour apricot mixture over pork chops. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 145° (medium-rare) or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from heat, and let stand 3 minutes. Serve with pan juices.

*Chef’s note: Also very tasty! A nice mix of sweet and savory. Made plenty of glaze. I used thick butterfly pork chops instead of bone-in, and the cook time still was appropriate.

November 15, 2011

Apple-honey drumsticks

Food Network

Serves: 6

  • 12 skin-on chicken drumsticks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Put the drumsticks on the rack and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Bake 30 minutes; flip the drumsticks and continue baking until golden and crisp, about 30 more minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Bring the apple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt to a high simmer in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the sauce is syrupy and coats the back of a spoon, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside until the chicken is done.

Stir the sesame seeds into the sauce, if using, and warm over medium heat, if necessary. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl. Add the sauce and butter and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken to a platter and drizzle with any remaining sauce from the bowl.

*Chef’s note: Delicious flavor!! The sauce didn’t thicken up for me quite like it was supposed to, but otherwise this recipe was great.

November 15, 2011

Pork, apple and cheddar meatballs with egg noodles

Rachael Ray


  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 small, tart apple, such as granny smith, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 small onion, grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt and pepper
  • One 12-ounce package egg noodles
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and grease with butter. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, cheese, breadcrumbs, apple, onion, 3 tablespoons parsley, the egg, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Shape into 16 meatballs and arrange on the baking sheet.

Broil the meatballs until golden and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.Meanwhile, in a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the noodles until al dente. Drain, then return to the pot and toss with the butter and remaining 5 tablespoons parsley; season with salt and pepper. Divide the noodles among 4 plates; top with 4 meatballs each.

*Chef’s note: I usually stay away ground pork because it weirds me out, but this recipe sounded too good to pass up; it didn’t disappoint! The apple flavor and texture was lost a little bit; I may finely dice them next time instead.

November 15, 2011

Tangy BBQ chicken

Good Housekeeping

Serves: 4

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/4 teaspoons smoked paprika
  •  Salt
  •  Pepper
  • 4  (3 to 3-1/2 pounds) bone-in chicken-breast halves, skin removed
  • 4  (1 1/2 pounds) chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  •  Coleslaw, for serving

Spray 6-quart slow cooker bowl with nonstick cooking spray.

In medium bowl, with wire whisk, stir together ketchup, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, smoked paprika, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; transfer half of sauce to slow cooker bowl.

Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; add to slow cooker bowl. Spoon remaining sauce over and around chicken to coat. Cover with lid and cook on high 4 hours, or until chicken is no longer pink.

Transfer 2 chicken breasts to container; refrigerate up to 3 days. Transfer remaining chicken to serving platter. Whisk cooking liquid until well mixed; drizzle over chicken. Serve chicken with coleslaw and any remaining sauce.

*Chef’s note: Yum! This was a nice alternative to sweet barbecue sauce, and the slow-cooker process made the chicken so tender I ate it off the bone with a fork. Nice vinegary sauce.


November 2, 2011

Pan-roasted sausages with apples, onions and sage

Coastal Living

Serves: 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 sweet Italian sausages (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 8 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 (8-ounce) package baby portobello mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350°. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausages, and cook, turning occasionally, 6 minutes or until browned. Remove from skillet, and set aside.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add mushrooms, and cook 1 minute. Add bell pepper and apples, and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until mixture is slightly softened. Stir in sage, salt, and pepper; cook 1 minute. Stir in broth and sausages. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until sausages are cooked through and vegetables are tender.

*Chef’s note: This was a great fall dish, and without the apples and maybe sans sage it’d be a great summer dish. I actually just used a Dutch oven. Best when piping hot! Yum!

November 2, 2011

Chocolate-dipped key lime pie pops

Food Network (featuring a chef, Kermit, from Key West Key Lime Shoppe)

Makes: 10 pops

  • 1 frozen 9-inch Key lime pie
  • 2 pounds semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Carefully remove the pie from the aluminum tin and place it on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Lay another piece of parchment paper over the pie; place your hand on top of the pie to stabilize it. Insert 10 wooden pop sticks into the side of the pie at equal intervals, sticking them through the crust and about 2 inches into the filling. (If the crust starts to crack, pierce it first with a knife before inserting the sticks.)

Cut the pie into 10 wedges, with a stick in the middle of each wedge. Return to the freezer until rock hard, about 1 hour.

Melt the chocolate: Bring a deep saucepan of water to a boil over medium heat. Set a heatproof bowl on top (do not let the bowl touch the water). Once the water boils, turn off the heat and add two-thirds of the chocolate to the bowl. Stir constantly with a rubber spatulauntil the chocolate is melted. Transfer the melted chocolate to a quart-size container, such as a clean large yogurt or takeout container. Add the remaining chopped chocolate and puree with an immersion blender until smooth and shiny, 5 to 7 minutes. (You can also stir vigorously with a whisk.)

Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty foil (shiny side up) or plastic wrap. Working quickly, hold a wedge of pie by the stick and dip it in the chocolate. Let the excess drip off, then lay the pie pop on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining wedges. Freeze the pops at least 15 minutes, or until ready to serve.

*Chef’s note: Uber decadent! A pain in the arse to make, but fun and delicious to eat. The chocolate seized up on me after only a couple pops, and I had trouble reheating it. I read you can add shortening to the chocolate to make it more “dipable,” but I don’t know. I think it would be best to do the chocolate in batches, and you may need a bit more than it calls for to dip the entire pie piece.

November 2, 2011

Scallion and cheddar popovers

Some magazine I can’t remember; Google has failed me.

Makes: 8

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and chopped.

Spray muffin pan and heat oven to 450. In bowl, whisk together flour and salt. In second bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Add to flour mix; stir until just combined, blended. Fold in cheese and scallions. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake 10-15 minutes, until browned and puffed. KEEP OVEN CLOSED UNTIL END OF BAKING TIME. Remove popovers from oven and immediately remove from pan. Pierce sides once with knife to release steam. Serve warm.

*Chef’s note: Sometimes simple is best. These are so so good. This was my second or third time making them and still they didn’t really pop for me, but it doesn’t matter! They are still cute and delicious. Be sure to grease the pan very well. They also would be good with chives instead of scallions and some white cheddar in place of the yellow!

November 2, 2011

Beef brisket

Tyler Florence

Serves: 10

  • 4 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, needles striped from the stem and chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (4 pound) beef brisket, first-cut
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 large carrots, cut in 3-inch chunks
  • 3 celery stalks, cut in 3-inch chunks
  • 4 large red onions, halved
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes, hand-crushed
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

On a cutting board, mash the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt together with the flat-side of a knife into a paste. Add the rosemary and continue to mash until incorporated. Put the garlic-rosemary paste in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil; stir to combine.

Season both sides of the brisket with a fair amount of kosher salt and ground black pepper. Place a large roasting pan or Dutch oven over medium-high flame and coat with the remaining olive oil. Put the brisket in the roasting pan and sear to form a nice brown crust on both sides. Lay the vegetables all around the brisket and pour the rosemary paste over the whole thing. Add the wine and tomatoes; toss in the parsley and bay leaves. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for about 3 to 4 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender.

Remove the brisket to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes. Scoop the vegetables out of the roasting pan and onto a platter, cover to keep warm. Pour out some of the excess fat, and put the roasting pan with the pan juices on the stove over medium-high heat. Boil and stir for 5 minutes until the sauce is reduced by 1/2. (If you want a thicker sauce, mix 1 tablespoon of flour with 2 tablespoons of wine or water and blend into the gravy).

Slice the brisket across the grain (the muscle lines) at a slight diagonal.

*Chef’s note: SO good! I used white onion instead of red and used only 2. It was good enough without going through the gravy-thickening process, and it definitely wouldn’t serve 10 people between it’s tastiness and how much it shrinks when cooked.