Archive for ‘Food Network’

May 16, 2012

Croque monsieur pockets

Food Network

Makes: 4

  • 1 cup grated gruyere cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 cup deli-sliced ham, chopped (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 11-ounce tube refrigerated French bread dough
  • 1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Mix the gruyere, ham, mustard, nutmeg and cayenne in a bowl until combined. Squeeze the mixture together with your hands to make it compact.

Brush a baking sheet lightly with vegetable oil. On a floured surface, roll out the dough and fill the dinner pockets. Step-by-step directions.

Place the pockets seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Beat the egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl; brush the pockets with the egg wash. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

*Chef’s note: My gosh were these good. And the hardest part was finding the seam in the dough to unroll it. Definitely spring for the gruyere here; it is perfect! A fancier, much better-tasting Hot Pocket. Mmmm.

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May 16, 2012

Shepherd’s pie

Food Network

Serves:6

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup canned low sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups Mashed Potatoes, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, optional
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms, garlic, half the salt, and oregano. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until mushrooms are soft and tomato paste has turned brick red, about 8 minutes more. Stir in the beef, the broth, the remaining salt, the Worcestershire, and some pepper, breaking up any large clumps of meat, cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the meat and vegetables to a 2-quart oval casserole dish and spread the mashed potatoes over the top, leaving a 1/4-inch boarder around the edge. Make a decorative pattern on the top of the potatoes, if desired. Sprinkle with cheese, if using, and dot with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Bake until potatoes brown and the juices bubble around the edge, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

MASHED POTATOES:

  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled quartered
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Put the potatoes in a saucepan with cold water to cover by about 1-inch and add the salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. At the same time, combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan and warm over low heat until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Drain the potatoes and return to the saucepan. Toss the potatoes over medium heat until dry. Add the heated milk mixture and mash the potatoes until just slightly chunky, then stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

*Chef’s note: Such a delicious, comforting meal! I left out the celery (weird.) and used 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire (and may recommend even more!). I loved the Parmesan, a nice change from the sharp cheddar I normally use. Noms!

May 15, 2012

Shrimp phad Thai

Food Network

Serves: 4-6

  • 4 ounces medium-thick flat rice noodles
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
  • 12 ounces peeled and de-veined medium shrimp
  • 3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cubed firm tofu ( about 6 ounces)
  • 5 scallions (white and green parts), 3 cut into 1/2-inch pieces, 2 chopped
  • 1  1/4 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 1/3 cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped, plus additional for garnish
  • Lime wedges
  • Sriracha sauce

Place noodles in a medium bowl, add enough hot water to cover, and soak until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Whisk sugar with fish sauce and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat until hot and add 1 Tbsp. of peanut oil. Pour eggs evenly into skillet; cook until set, about 45 seconds. Remove and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp. more peanut oil in skillet over high heat. Add shrimp and season with 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes and salt to taste. Stir-fry shrimp until pink and cooked through, about 1  1/2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. peanut oil over high heat. Add garlic, shallots, and remaining 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes and stir-fry until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add tofu; cook about 2 minutes more. Add noodles, toss to coat, and cook 1 minute. Add fish sauce mixture and large scallion pieces and heat through. Stir in cooked egg and shrimp, 1 cup of sprouts and peanuts; toss until hot. Divide phad Thai among plates and top with remaining 1/4 cup sprouts, additional peanuts and chopped scallions. Serve immediately with lime wedges and sriracha.

*Chef’s note: Very very tasty! I doubled the noodles, skipped the tofu, sriracha and sprouts, subbed soy sauce for the fish sauce and added the juice of the lime in the sauce. I also used veggie oil because I discovered my peanut oil had just expired, but USE THE PEANUT OIL. It would take this dish up a notch. I also wouldn’t have minded the addition of the sprouts. Mmm!

April 10, 2012

Low-fat scalloped potatoes

Food Network

Serves:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-fat milk (1%), at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup grated gruyere cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 3-quart baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the potatoes and cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon to make a paste. Cook, stirring, until the paste puffs slightly, about 1 minute. Graduallywhisk in both milks and simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and the nutmeg. Pour the sauce over the potatoes and gently toss to coat.

Transfer the potato mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the gruyere. Bake until heated through, about 10 minutes. Switch the oven to the broiler setting and broil the potatoes until browned on top, about 5 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

*Chef’s note: I think this definitely would taste low-fat if I hadn’t doubled the cheese and added a bit of cheddar, too. Be sure to season well with salt and pepper, and it still should satisfy a craving for traditional scalloped potatoes. I also would recommend boiling and baking the potatoes a few minutes more.

April 10, 2012

Classic lemon bars

Food Network

Makes: 24 bars

For the crust:

  • Vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 4 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 8 lemons)

Make the crust: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with vegetable oil and line with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; grease the foil with oil. Pulse the butter, flour, both sugars and the salt in a food processor until the dough comes together, about 1 minute. Press evenly into the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the sides of the prepared pan, making sure there are no cracks. Bake until the crust is golden, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Whisk the whole eggs and yolks, sugar and flour in a bowl until smooth. Whisk in the lemon zest and juice. Remove the crust from the oven and reduce the temperature to 300 degrees F. Pour the filling over the warm crust and return to the oven. Bake until the filling is just set, 30 to 35 minutes.

Let the bars cool in the pan on a rack, then refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Lift out of the pan using the foil and slice. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

*Chef’s note: These definitely have a pucker power to them, as they should! Very yummy. It took only 6 1/2 lemons to get the 1 c. juice for me after rolling the lemons and then juicing them with that handy hand squeezer thingy. I had problems with my food processor blade getting stuck and had to make the crust dough in my mixer and add a couple tablespoons of milk to make it come together, but it still turned out fine in the end — just a tad dense. The top of my lemon “liquid” was a bit frothy and it kind of baked in that way, but you can’t really tell when it’s dusted with powdered sugar. And it still tastes the same. Main concern. I wouldn’t worry about over-baking these, because they are very gooey. Definitely serve straight from the fridge, and wait until then to dust with sugar (the bars just soak it right up).

April 2, 2012

Oven-grilled bacon cheddar sandwiches

Food Network

Makes: 4 sandwiches

  •  6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 slices potato sandwich bread
  • 8 ounces sliced cheddar cheese
  • 8 slices crispy cooked bacon
  • 4 scallions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

Butter one side of each piece of bread. Place 4 slices, buttered-side down, on prepared baking sheet. Layer half of cheese slices on bread followed by bacon and scallions. Place remaining cheese slices on top. Cover each sandwich with remaining 4 slices of bread, buttered-side up.

Bake sandwiches until bottoms are a toasted golden brown, about 10 minutes. Flip and continue to bake until cheese melts and other side is toasted, 8 to 10 minutes more. Serve immediately.

*Chef’s note: These were a great accompaniment to some Whole Foods conch chowder. Mmmm. I used sourdough bread, which was tasty but probably a little too bready and crunchy; if you use a crusty bread like sourdough, be sure to use plenty of cheese to balance it out. I liked the new “grilled cheese” method! (I also used Publix lower sodium bacon, which tasted just fine with the salty cheese. Actually, cheese aside, it tasted the same to me…. Win!)

March 24, 2012

Orecchiette with spicy sausage

Food Network

Serves: 4

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces orecchiette pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 8 ounces fresh chorizo or other spicy sausage, casings removed
  • 2 spring onions (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced, plus more for topping
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the spring onions and cook until softened, about 3 more minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms start to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they soften slightly, about 3 more minutes.

Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. Add the broth to the skillet and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in the pasta and cheese, adding some of the reserved cooking water to loosen, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls, drizzle with olive oil and top with more cheese and spring onions.

*Chef’s note: A nice solid dish. I love all the components, and they came together nicely. Next time I’ll add a splash of white wine! I used spicy Italian sausage (not a huge fan of chorizo), and I didn’t need the reserved pasta water or think it needed the added EVOO at the end. Any short pasta would go nicely in this dish, but I found those little orecchiette to be too darn cute not to use. And yes, I pretty much always use this bowl for pasta.

January 25, 2012

Spaghetti with sausage-mushroom sauce

Food Network

Serves: 4

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 pound sweet or spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 8-ounce package sliced mixed mushrooms
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Shredded parmesan cheese, for topping (optional)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil to the skillet and increase the heat to medium high. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and rosemary and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Return the sausage to the skillet, then add the cream and 1 cup water; bring to a gentle simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the spaghetti to the skillet and toss with the sauce, adding some of the reserved cooking water to loosen, if needed. Top with shredded parmesan, if desired.

*Chef’s note: Pretty good! I used wheat spaghetti and three large sweet Italian sausage links, but the sausage seemed a lot milder in flavor than usual. I would add a bit more tomato paste and rosemary and some crushed red pepper flakes next time.

January 25, 2012

Skillet rosemary chicken

Food  Network

Serves: 4

  • 3/4 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved, or quartered if large
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 2 lemons (squeezed halves reserved)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved

Preheat the oven to 450. Cover the potatoes with cold water in asaucepan and salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 8 minutes; drain and set aside.

Pile the rosemary leaves, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and the red pepper flakes on a cutting board, then mince and mash into a paste using a large knife. Transfer the paste to a bowl. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon and the olive oil. Add the chicken and turn to coat.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, cover and cook until the skin browns, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken; add the mushrooms and potatoes to the skillet and drizzle with the juice of the remaining lemon.

Add the rosemary sprigs and the squeezed lemon halves to the skillet; transfer to the oven and roast, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.

*Chef’s note: I had made this before, and I think it turned out better before. Still a great dish. I think my rosemary could have been fresher, it could have used a bit more seasoning, and red potatoes are a bit bitter to begin with. I used a Dutch oven instead this time; this may be why the skin didn’t crisp up like it should have. Very important with a dish like this to let your protein come to room temperature before baking.

January 8, 2012

Baked tilapia with herb butter

Food Network

Pottery: Jim Rice

Serves: 4

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or basil
  • 8 ounces sliced mixed mushrooms (about 4 cups)
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 6-ounce tilapia fillets

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the butter and tarragon until combined; set aside.

Lay out 4 large pieces of foil. Layer the vegetables in the center of each piece of foil, starting with the mushrooms, then the celery and scallions. Dot the vegetables with some of the herb butter (use about half) and season each portion with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Lay the tilapia fillets over the vegetables; dot with the remaining herb butter. Sprinkle each fillet with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste.

Bring the foil ends together, fold over and crimp closed on all sides to make sealed packets. Place the packets on a baking sheet and bake until the fish is cooked through but still moist, 18 to 22 minutes. Remove the packets from the oven and let sit 2 minutes before opening. Transfer the fish and vegetables to plates and drizzle with the cooking juices.

*Chef’s note: First, please note my beautiful dishware by Naples, Fla., potter Jim Rice. We also use this platter every time we serve appetizers or hors d’oeuvre (often for crab dip-yum!), and the sauce dish is great for so many things. All his pottery is super versatile, a lot for in the kitchen. Stay tuned for mugs and more from the Naples Clay Place! But really, check out his website for some awesome, durable Florida flair (and visit his studio/shop for many more choices).

The tilapia: Good. Not great, but fine. I used basil in place of tarragon (you’ll probably never see me use tarragon again). It was an easy meal that I felt good about eating, but it needed a little pizzazz. Maybe some fresh lemon juice squeezed over at the end would do the trick. As usual, do not skimp on the seasoning or you’ll have a pretty bland dish.  An advantage to this method of cooking fish is that it stays very moist even if you were to overdo it on the cooking time; you know you’ll get a cooked-through piece but not a dry one.