"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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

"Giambotta" - Vegetable Stew

  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Italian fryer peppers, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, small diced
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and sliced
  • 1 can (28 oz.) San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 3 medium potatoes, diced
  • 1 bay Leaf
  • 1/4 C. basil, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 C. pecorino cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper

In a saute pan, heat a small amount of olive oil. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add all the remaining vegetables, bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir well and cover the pan. Let cook on a low flame for about 20 minutes, stirring often. Remove cover and continue to cook vegetables until tender and no cooking liquid remains in the skillet, about 15 minutes more. Adjust seasoning, add cheese and serve hot, or cool down.

Sweet Potato and Chive Pancakes

I recently served these with a brined turkey breast with maple-bourbon glaze, but they go equally as good with pork chops or roast.

2 medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 large Russet Potato, peeled and shredded
1/2 medium Onion, shredded
1 bunch Chive, minced
2 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In large saute pan heat a generous amount (1/2-3/4") of oil over medium high heat.  Combine all ingredients well in a large mixing bowl.  Once oil is hot, take enough potato mixture to form a 2" pancake and carefully place in oil.  Repeat until you have a few pancakes in the pan, do not over crowd the pan.  Fry each side golden brown.  Once done transfer pancakes to a baking sheet lined with paper towel to remove excess oil.  Continue frying pancakes until all are done.  Transfer pancakes to an unlined baking pan and put in oven to finish, 12-15 minutes.  Serve immediately.
The pancakes can be fried off a day or two ahead and finished in the oven before serving.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup

3 Bacon slices
1 C. chopped Onions
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2/3 C. chopped Celery
4 C. (3/4")cubed peeled Butternut Squash
1/4 C. Dry white wine
4 C. Chicken Stock
1 Tsp. Cumin
1/4 Tsp. Red Pepper flake
1/8 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/8 Tsp. Clove
1/4 C. whipping cream
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 (15 oz.) cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained well
3 Tbsp. Unsalted pumpkin seeds, toasted

Cook bacon in pot large enough to eventually hold all ingredients until crisp.  Remove bacon, reserve 2 tsp. drippings in pan, crumble bacon and reserve on the side.
To the pan add, onion, celery, and garlic.  Cook until tender, about 3 minutes.  Add squash, cook for 3-5 minutes.  Add wine and continue to cook until almost dry.  Stir in stock, cumin, red pepper, cinnamon, and clove.  Bring to the boil and immediately reduce the heat; simmer until squash is tender 7- 10 minutes.  Stir in cream, oregano, beans and bring soup back to a boil to thicken slightly.  Remove from heat and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Serve in bowls and sprinkle each serving with bacon and toasted pumpkin seeds

Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Peas

  • I found this recipe in Gourmet (1/07) and it's really excellent

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large chicken thighs with skin and bone (2 pounds total)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas (not thawed)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Put flour in a shallow bowl. Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then dredge, 1 piece at a time, in flour, shaking off excess. Transfer to a sheet of wax paper as coated.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté chicken, skinned sides down first, turning over once, until deep golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate (chicken will not be fully cooked).
Add onion with remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden brown around edges, about 6 minutes. Add wine and boil, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, 1 minute. Stir in broth, artichokes, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Return chicken to skillet along with any juices from plate and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover skillet and reduce heat, then simmer until chicken is tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in peas and simmer, covered, 5 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a shallow serving dish. Stir parsley and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper into artichoke mixture, then spoon over chicken.

Weekly Menu Feb. 26th-Mar. 4th

Roasted Veal Chop with Porcini Mushrooms
Pan Sauce Glazed Potatoes 
Asparagus with Lemon zest
Oven Roasted Turkey with Bourbon-Maple Glaze
Baby Arugula Salad with Pears, Champagne Vinaigrette
Sweet potato and Chive Pancakes
Flounder with Crab Stuffing
Rice Pilaf
Chopped Salad with Grainy Mustard Dressing
Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup
"Giambotta" - Vegetable Stew
Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Peas
Quinoa and Vegetable Salad tossed in a Lemon Dressing
Trader Joe's- "Surprise Dinner" (No idea, I'll just wing it at the store)
Dinner Out with Friends  - Helgemo's

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Shrimp Quesadillas

1# Shrimp, I used small salad shrimp
2 Green Onions, sliced thin
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 C. Shredded Mexican Cheese mix
1/4 C. Black Beans, washed and drained well
1/4 C. Pinto Beans, washed and drained well
2 Tbsp. Cilantro, fine chopped
Cumin, Chili powder, Oregano, Paprika - To Taste
Salt and Pepper, to taste
optional 1 Serrano Chili, minced
Flour tortillas
Vegetable Oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a mixing bowl combine first seven (7) ingredients.  Season to taste with spices, salt and pepper.  Set aside.
In a large saute pan heat 2-3 Tbsp. oil over med-high heat.
On cutting board, lay one tortilla and place some of shrimp mixture over the top, spread to the edges and cover with another tortilla.
Once oil is shimmering, use a spatula and carefully place quesadilla in pan.  Cook for 2-3 minutes or until tortilla is golden brown.  Again, using a spatula flip the quesadilla and cook other side.  Once done transfer to baking sheet.
Repeat process, you will need to add additional oil to pan, until you have made desired amount of quesadillas.
Place sheet with quesadillas in oven and cook for 7-8 minutes.
Serve with salsa.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cornmeal Crusted Cod with Curried Lentils

2# Cod or any firm white fish
1/4C. Flour
1/4C. Corn Meal
1 egg, cracked in bowl and whisked well
4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Onion Powder
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Ginger powder
1/4 Tsp. Cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper, to taste

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 med. Onion, diced fine
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2" piece of fresh Ginger, minced
1 med. Carrot, peeled and diced small
1 C. French Green Lentils
2 C. Chicken Stock, hot (can substitute water)
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tbsp. Curry powder
1 Tsp. Tumeric
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Heat heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat.  Add the 2 Tbsp. olive oil and heat until shimmering.  Add onions and cook until translucent.  Add carrots and ginger, cook for 2 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Add curry and tumeric stir and cook for a minute.  Add bay leaf and lentils, stir well, heat lentils for 2 minutes.  Add stock, season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat and cover.  Cook until liquid is fully absorbed and lentils are tender, about 20-25 minutes.

While lentils are cooking prepare fish.  In separate bowls put corn meal, flour, and beaten egg.  Season fish fillets well with seasonings, salt and pepper.  First dust in flour (shake excess off), then coat well with the egg, and lastly coat with corn meal.  In a saute pan heat oil over medium high heat, once shimmering carefully place fish in pan, do this in batches so oil remains hot.  Cook until each side is golden brown.  Place browned fish on cooking tray, once all the fish is browned, place in oven to finish, about 6 minutes.

Once lentils are done, place a spoon of lentils on a warm plate and top with fish, serve and enjoy!

Weekly Menu Feb. 18th-Feb. 25th

Grilled Wild Turbot with a Shallot Compound Butter
Wild Rice Pilaf
Baby Greens Salad with a Garlicky Dressing
Carolyn's 40th Birthday Party (Dinner out) 
Cabernet Pot Roast
Sweet Potato Fries
Grilled Asparagus
Chicken and White Bean Chili
Chopped Salad with a Honey-Lime Vinaigrette 
Traditional Lasagna with Marinara Sauce
Wedge Salad with Red Onion & Tomatoes with a Creamy Parmesan Dressing
Veggie Burgers with a Basil Aioli sauce
"Clean out the Frig" Salad, Balsamic Vinaigrette
Turkey Meatballs with a Michigan Dried Cherry Glaze
Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables
Sushi Night -  The Cherry Blossom, Novi

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Weekly Menu Feb. 5th - Feb. 11th

Oven Roasted Chicken with Herbs
Medley of Roasted Vegetables tossed in a Balsamic glaze
Fingerling Potatoes with Rosemary and Sea Salt
Super Bowl Sunday 
Steak & Cheese Primanti Bros. Sandwich (Steelers)
Beer Brats (Packers)
Hot Wings with Blue Cheese dressing
Fresh Vegetable platter, aged Wisconsin Cheddar and Apples
Tex-Mex Carnitas Salad
Tortilla Chips and Salsa
Pan Seared Shrimp with Pasta, Garlic and Parmesan
Romaine Wedge Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
Classic Beef Stew
French Baguette
Falafil with Hummus in Pita
Tabbouleh Salad with Quinoa
Chef's night off - Dinner out (TBD)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Seared Salmon with a Red Pepper, Citrus-Ginger Glaze

1/2 med. Onion, fine diced
3 gloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Red Pepper, small dice
1" piece of Ginger, minced
Juice of 1 Orange
2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 Tsp. Red Pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 Tsp. fresh Thyme
Salt and Pepper, to taste

1 side of Salmon, skinned and deboned
Olive oil

Preheat Oven to 400°F.
In a small sauce pan heat olive oil to shimmering over med-high heat.  Add onions and cook until translucent.  Add peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes, add ginger and garlic, cook for 2 minutes.  Add orange juice, pepper flakes, honey, vinegar, and brown sugar.  Increase heat and reduce liquid until mixture thickens (7-8 minutes).  Add butter, remove from heat and add thyme, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. 

Season salmon with salt and pepper.  Heat a large saute pan over high heat, add some olive oil and heat until just smoking.   Sear fish, flesh side first, until golden brown, turn to skin side and top with glaze.  Put into oven to finish.  Cook fish to medium rare (6-7 minutes).
Serve and enjoy.