"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.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Weekly Menu July 23rd - July 29th

E's got a sleep-over so, I'm taking J out for a date

Stir-fried Rice with Tofu and Vegetables

Pasta with Eggplant, Roasted Vegetables, and Sun-dried Tomato Ragu

Indian Curried Lentils with Rice

Grilled Pork Loin with Roasted Corn and Potato Hash

Bean and Cheese Quesadillas with Garden Fresh Salsa and Avocado

Dinner out in the "D" after E's Performance of "Princess Ida" at the Detroit Opera House 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mahi-Mahi Fajitas with Fresh Citrus Slaw

1 # Mahi-Mahi
Rub Mix-
1 Tbsp. Chili powder
1/2 Tbsp. Onion powder
1 Tsp. Granulated garlic powder
1 tsp. Cumin
1 Tbsp. fresh minced oregano
kosher salt
ground black pepper

4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium Sweet Onion, thinly sliced
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, sliced lengthwise, 1/2" slices
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, sliced lengthwise, 1/2" slices
1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper, sliced lengthwise, 1/2" slices
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of 1 fresh lime
2 green onions, sliced thinly
Corn or flour tortillas
favorite salsa
ripe avocado, sliced (a little trick to keep the slices green is to keep the sliced avocado in a bowl of cold water.  they will last for up to 6 hours without turning.)
Citrus Slaw- recipe below.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a mixing bowl combine all rub ingredients.  Coat fish generously with the rub mixture.  Heat skillet over medium high heat, add  2 Tbsp. oil and let get hot. (You can just as easily prepare the fish on the grill) Once slightly smoking, carefully place fish in pan and sear both sides to golden brown.  Transfer fish to baking sheet and put into the oven to finish cooking, approximately 6-8 minutes depending on how thick a cut of fish.  Once done remove and reserve warm.
Meanwhile, while fish is in oven put the same skillet you prepared the fish in back on high heat.  Add remaining oil and let get hot.  Add onions and peppers and rapidly saute.  Add garlic for the last 1-2 minutes, do not burn.  Add lime juice and correct season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and reserve warm.  Warm tortillas in the microwave or on the grill and serve with fish, bell pepper mixture, green onions, salsa, avocado, and Citrus Slaw.  Enjoy!

Fresh Citrus Slaw- (can be made 8 hours before and refrigerated)
4 C. green cabbage, sliced very thin (I use my food processor or mandolin)
2 carrots, grated
1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly
1/2 C. flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. sour cream
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. fresh grated lemon zest
2 tsp each (4 total) of fresh lemon and lime juice
1 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

In a mixing bowl whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, zest, celery seed, lemon and lime juice, water, and sugar.  Add the remaining ingredients and coat well.  Correct seasoning with salt and pepper.  Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to let flavors develop.  Serve and enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Coffee Rubbed Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Peach Glaze

2 Pork tenderloins (trimmed)
1 C. Hickory or Mesquite chips, soaked for 1 hour and drained
4 Tbsp. fine ground coffee
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. peach preserves
1 shallot peeled, shaved thin
1/4 C. cognac
1 bulb fennel, tops removed and shaved thin
2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 ripe peaches, pitted and halved

Preheat charcoal grill.  While waiting for coals to get hot, mix coffee, brown sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.  Rub tenderloins generously with mixture, season with black pepper and let sit until grill is ready. 
Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan melt butter over medium high heat.  Add shallots and fennel, cook until fennel is tender.  Carefully add cognac (best to remove pan off of the heat, add liquor and then return to heat).  Reduce by half and add preserves, thyme and season with salt and pepper.  Mix well and divide glaze equally into two bowls, reserve. 
Once coals are hot add wood chips.  Using one of the bowls of peach glaze, brush some onto the tenderloins and place both on grill atop of coals, cover.  Smoke/cook pork until done, approximately1 hour turning every 15 minutes.  Each time you turn the tenderloins, brush on more glaze and then turn.
Once pork is done remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.  While waiting for meat to rest place peaches, cut side down, on grill to warm.  Slice pork and serve with reserved portion of glaze and grilled peach halves.  Enjoy!

Weekly Menu July 17th - July 22nd

Coffee Rubbed Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Peach Glaze
Garden Salad with Sweet Onion Vinaigrette

Mahi-Mahi Fajitas
Dirty Rice with Red Beans
Marinated Slaw

Roasted Vegetable Pasta
Chopped Italian Salad with Parmesan Dressing

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Avacado
Roasted Carrot "Fries"

"Left-over Night"

Steak & Martini Night at the Lake
Bone-in NY Strip Steaks with a Cabernet-Shallot Butter
Roasted Baby Red Skin Potatoes with Bacon and Chives
Asperagus with Lemon Zest

Friday, July 1, 2011

Chive Dressing

I made this dressing tonight and served in on some of Jeanne's fresh baby greens out of the garden; it was awesome.  A very light, fresh note to some of the peppery arugula and herbs we mixed together with the baby lettuces.  It would also work well as a dip for a crudite or grilled vegetables.

3 Tbsp. minced fresh chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tsp. fresh lemon  juice
3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. Olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

I make my dressings in a measuring cup that has a 2 cup capacity.  I just put all the ingredients in except the salt and pepper and then use a wand burr mixer to emulsify the dressing.  The last step is to correct the  seasoning with fresh cracked black pepper and salt.  This dressing can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.

Eggplant Ragu

3 Tbsp.+ Olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large eggplant, skinned and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2C. white wine
1 28oz. can San Marzano crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp. chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
2 tsp. sugar
salt and peppper, to taste

1/2 C. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1# favorite type of pasta, cooked

Place a large heavy bottomed pot over med-high heat.  Add oil and heat until shimmering; add onions and cook until translucent.  Add eggplant and a little salt, you may need a little extra olive oil, reduce heat and cook until very well done, about 20-25 minutes.  Stir often.  Add garlic, cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Increase heat to high and add wine, reduce by half.  Reduce heat to medium and add tomatoes and sugar, cook covered for 3-4 hours, stirring often.  Add chopped herbs for the last 20 minutes and correct seasoning with salt and pepper.  Serve over pasta, sprinkle a good measure of grated cheese.  Couple with a good couple glasses of red wine and enjoy!

Red, White, and Bleu Potato Salad

1 cup chopped green onions, divided
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pound unpeeled small or baby red-skinned potatoes

1 pound small purple or blue potatoes, peeled
1 pound unpeeled small white creamer or White Rose potatoes

2 cups cooked fresh peas, or one 10-ounce package frozen, thawed
1 1/2 cups crumbled blue cheese (about 6 ounces)


Whisk 1/2 cup green onions and next 7 ingredients in medium bowl. Cover and chill dressing.
Do ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
Place all potatoes in large saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and boil until tender, 10 to 15 minutes (time will vary depending on size and variety of potatoes). Drain and cool to room temperature.
Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch-thick slices and place in large bowl. Add dressing, peas, and blue cheese; toss gently. Cover and chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
Sprinkle potato salad with paprika and remaining 1/2 cup green onions.
Serve and enjoy!

Weekly Menu July 2nd - July 8th

Crab, Chile, and Mint Crostini
Grilled Kona Rib-eye Steaks
Asparagus with Julienne of Red Bell Pepper
Wedge Salad with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
Vegetable Thai Gyozas in a Mizo Broth
Jasmine Rice with Green Onions and Baby Peas

Monday- Happy Independence Day!
The All-American Burger with Smoked Bacon and Cheddar
Red, White, and Bleu Potato Salad
Garden Salad with Balsamic-Honey Vinaigrette
Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with a Pernod-Shallot Butter
Shaved Fennel and Sweet Onion Salad
Angel Hair Pasta with Olive oil, Fresh Basil, and Parmesan
Spice Rubbed Barbecue Chicken
Fresh Grilled Corn with Cilantro Butter
Arugula Salad with Warm Onion Vinaigrette
Grilled Vegetable and Beans Fajitas
Freah Guacamole
Shredded Red Cabbage Slaw

Family Dinner out

Fingerling Potato Salad with Smoked Bacon

2# Fingerling potatoes, cut into fork sized pieces
1/2# smoked bacon, cooked golden brown and crubled
2 Tbsp. finely chopped chives
2 Tbsp. green bell pepper, finely diced
2 Tbsp. celery, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. sour cream
salt and blk. peper, to taste

Fill large pot half full of water.  Place potatoes in the pot and put over high heat.  Bring to a boil and salt the water.  Cook potatoes until the are done (about 12-15mins).  Drain and cool under cold water.  Drain and reserve on the side. 

In a mixing bowl combine the rest of the ingredient except the salt and pepper.  Fold in the potatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Can be served cold, at room temperature or warm, enjoy!

Crostini with Crab, Chile, and Mint

(12) 1/2" slices of good French bread
Olive oil
8 oz. jumbo lump crab meat
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, cut in half
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint (slice some and reserve for garnish)
1 stemmed, seeded and minced red jalapeno
kosher salt and blk. pepper, to taste

In a mixing bowl gently combine crab, mayonnaise, lime juice, mint, and jalapeno.  Season with salt and pepper.  Brush each slice of bread with some olive oil and grill until golden brown.  As you remove each slice rub with garlic and set aside.
Spoon some of the crab mixture onto each slice of grilled bread and top with thinly sliced fresh mint for garnish.  Serve and enjoy!