"What's for Dinner?!" I'm always thinking about it, thought I'd share.

"What's for Dinner?!" I'm always thinking about it, thought I'd share.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette

1 red bell pepper
1 green onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Agave syrup (Can substitute honey)
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Oregano
Juice of one lime
1/4 C. White vinegar
1/4 C. Olive oil
1/2 C. Canola oil
Kosher Salt and pepper

First, roast the red pepper.  This is easily done by turning one of the eyes on your range top to high.  Using tongs, place the whole red pepper directly onto the burner and let the skin char black.  Make sure to char the entire outside of the pepper.  This will take about five minutes. Make sure you rotate the pepper to blacken all of the skin. Once complete, remove from burner and place in bowl, cover tightly with saran wrap. Set aside and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.  Once done remove pepper and in the sink under a light stream of water, using a small utility knife (or fingers) remove all the charred skin, leaving the red flesh.  (This technique will allow you to very easily remove the skin and gives the pepper a beautiful smoky quality.) 
Now remove the stem, seeds, and ribs out of the pepper.  (I make all my dressings in a 4 cup Pyrex mixing cup and use a mixing wand to incorporate all ingredients.  Other than my 8" chef's knife and pans, it's the most used tool in my kitchen, I love it!!)  Assuming you don't have a wand, you can use a blender or food processor also.  If so, add all ingredients and process until fully emulsified.  Season with salt and pepper, Enjoy!
If you don't have any of these tools, just chop pepper finely and add to a clean mixing bowl.  Add all other ingredients EXCEPT the oils, salt and black pepper. Mix together.  Take a kitchen towel, twirl to make kind of a rope and place on the counter in a circle (looks like a towel ring).  Place the bowl in the center, so towel acts as a sort of base.  This will stop the bowl from rocking or moving as you are now going to do a whole lot of whisking.  Once ready, using your whisk (a fork can work too), very vigorously start whisking as you very slowly stream the oils into mixture and emulsify your dressing.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

Mexican chicken casserole

This casserole is very easy to put together and quick enough to do (because of the cooked chicken) during the week. It was an instant hit with the family. I served it with mashed avocados and a simple salad tossed in a roasted red pepper vinaigrette. I’m sure it’ll be a hit with yours, Enjoy!

1 cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded (I love Costco for these, very large birds and you can't beat the price)
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 medium white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn kernels
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded Mexican style or taco cheese
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Coriander
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp. Cilantro
1 Tbsp. chipotle in adobo sauce (some may find these very hot, use to taste)
1 Jalapeño, seeded and ribs removed, diced finely
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Sliced green onion to garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients. Mix well until cheese and mayonnaise is fully incorporated. Lightly grease a casserole dish and add mixture to it. Cover and place in hot oven for 30 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted.  Garnish with green onion, serve and Enjoy!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Jalapeno and Cheddar Corn Muffins

These beauties are easy to throw together and delicious.  I made a chicken white bean chili last week and made these as a go with.  Can't get your hands on fresh tender corn, no problem, frozen will do.  Just make sure to fully thaw before you add them to the batter.  Enjoy!

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter plus more to grease muffin tin
1 C. tender raw corn kernels (use frozen (fully thawed) if fresh is unavailable)
1 jalapeno chile, chopped finely
Kosher salt
White pepper (use fresh cracked black if don't have)
1 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. white or yellow cornmeal
1 1/s tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C. buttermilk
4 oz. grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Using soften butter grease muffin tins and reserve off to the side.

Put 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet and heat over med-high heat.  Add corn and jalapeno and cook for 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and reserve off to the side.  Melt remaining 4 tablespoons in a separate pan.

In a large mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients plus 1 teaspoon salt (except cheese).  Beat in buttermilk and eggs to make a thick batter.  Add corn, chiles, cheese, and melted butter.  Mix to incorporate.

Using a spoon put batter into each greased tin, fill 3/4 way.  Place into over and bake for 10 minutes (if using larger muffin tins you may need to cook longer, use toothpick to test doneness) until golden brown and a toothpick comes out cleanly.  Let cool 15 minutes.  Serve and Enjoy!

weekly Menu 3/3 - 3/9

Dinner out with Paul and Robbie

Brined Pork Chops stuffed with Apples, Bacon and Mushrooms
Pan Gravy
Roasted Butternut Squash with Walnuts and Cranberries

Spaghetti Squash Primavera
Baby Greens Salad with Citrus-Herb Vinaigrette

Mexican Chicken Salad
Roasted Corn with Cilantro
Smashed Avocado

Pan Roasted Steelhead Trout with Shallots and Lemon Butter
Sautéed Spinach with Garlic
Roasted Carrots with Honey and Chiles

Chicken Piccata
Caesar Salad

Kona Rubbed Ribeye Steak
Wild Mushroom Braise
Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan and Lemon Zest

Saturday, February 24, 2018

White Chicken Chili

2 cans white beans
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium jalapeño pepper, minced
2 medium poblano peppers, chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
4 garlic clothes, peeled and minced
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon and show chili powder
4 cups chicken broth
2 limes, juice, plus lime wedges for serving
1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Sour cream, for topping
Tortilla chips, coarsely crushed, for topping
Drain and rinse the canned white beans. In a medium bowl, mashed half of the beans with a potato masher until chunky. Reserve the beans until needed.
Add oil to a large Dutch oven and heat over medium – high. Add the peppers, onions, and garlic. Sauté until soft about 5 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the cumin, coriander, and chili powder and continue to sauté for a minute or two, toasting the spices. Stir in the chicken stock and lime juice, bring to a simmer. Add the beans and continue to simmer for 20 more minutes.
After, taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary. Stir in the shredded chicken and cilantro, simmer until heated through, about 5 more minutes. Serve the chili and individual bowls top with a dollop of sour cream, crushed tortilla chips and lime wedges. Enjoy!

Menu 2/24 - 3/2

Saturday –
Baja style fish tacos with pickled red onion
Roasted corn Mexican salad with lime and cilantro dressing
Refried beans

 Sunday –
Slow roasted Barbecue ribs
Southern style collard greens
Chopped salad with sweet-onion vinaigrette

Monday –
Butternut squash loaf with cranberry glaze
Asparagus with grated egg, capers, and shallots

Tuesday –
Asian chicken stir-fry
Sticky rice with green onions and ginger

Wednesday –
White chicken chili
Broccoli and red onions
Garden salad with lemon-honey vinaigrette

 Thursday –
Chicken tiki masala
Roasted cauliflower with curry and chilies

 Friday –
Grilled Porterhouse steak with caramelized shallot and herb butter
Oven roasted asparagus with lemon zest and Parmesan
Roasted carrots with ginger and honey

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Carrot Bacon

Last night I was doing a vegetarian dinner of creamy lemon pasta with asparagus and thought a bacon component would be a nice touch, sort of like a carbonara.  I love carrots and thought why not carrot bacon?!  Slice it thin, marinate in some liquid smoke, roast it off and viola!  Having thought I was a pioneer of this idea, I went to google and found out I wasn't even close.  Leave it to those vegans.  Countless versions already done.  So, while not original, it was delicious.  Have fun and Enjoy!

6-8 large carrots
1/2 cup vegetable broth (could use chicken stock too)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Sliced carrots into thin strips using either a mandolin or food processor to keep them uniform. In a small bowl, whisk together broth, soy sauce, olive oil, liquid smoke, and paprika. In a shallow dish, mix carrots with broth mixture until carrots are completely coated. Arrange carrot slices on a foil wrapped baking sheet, making sure they don’t overlap. 

Put in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove baking sheet from the oven and flip carrots. Put baking sheet back in the oven to bake for another 10-15 minutes. (It might take more less time depending on how thick or thin you slice your carrots.) You’ll know you’re  bacon is done when the edges are crispy and the center of each looks dry. 

Carefully move the bacon to a plate with a paper towel to soak up any extra oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Let cool to room temperature before crumbling over a salad or putting on a sandwich. Store in airtight container in the fridge.