"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.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Potato-Leek Soup

I've been making this healthy version of "Vichyssoise" for years.  It couldn't be easier and very tasty.  You'll never miss all those calories.  If you feel like you want to "fatten" it up, you can easily add some cream at the same time you add the stock and whisk in some butter at the end.

2# Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into equal sized pieces
4 leeks, cut down white part only, washed and sliced thinly
1 large onion, peeled and sliced thinly
2 stalks celery, washed and sliced thinly
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 qt. Beef stock (can use chicken as substitute)
3 Tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

Place a large soup pot over medium high heat.  Add oil and allow to get hot.  Add leeks,onions, and celery reduce heat and sweat vegetables until tender about 10 minutes.  Do not allow vegetables to brown.   Add potatoes and mix.  Add stock and thyme, increase heat and bring to a boil.  Immediately reduce heat and simmer soup until potatoes are tender (10-15 minutes).  Very carefully puree soup in blender.  This will need to be done in small batches.  I like to remove about half of the potatoes before I puree the soup and cut them into bite sized pieces.  After I puree the soup, I return them back in to the mixture. It makes for a more chuncky soup.  Correct seasoning with salt and pepper.  Serve and enjoy!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sweet Corn Hash

4 fresh ears of corn, hushed and kernels removed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 strips of bacon, diced fine
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 C. diced red bell pepper
1 C. diced sweet potato
1/4 C. chicken stock
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste

In large pot heat 1 tbsp. oil to shimmering.  Add bacon and brown.  Remove bacon and reserve.  Add remaining oil, heat until just smoking, add onions and celery. Cook for 2-3 minutes until onions are translucent.  Add garlic, cook 1 minutes.  Add potatoes, mix well and cook for 5-6 minutes.  Add corn, bell pepper, stock, and thyme.  Cook until corn and potatoes are tender, about 10 more minutes.  Correct seasoning with salt and pepper, add bacon bits, serve and enjoy!

Weekly Menu Sept 24th - Sept 30th

Oven Roasted Chicken with Sweet Corn Hash
Green Beans with Red Onion Straws

Mahi-Mahi Burgers with Tartare Sauce
Garden Salad with Dijon-Honey Vinaigrette

Vegetable Fried Rice with Spicy Eggplant

Turkey Nacho Salad with Pico de Gallo

Rosh Hashanah Dinner with the Wegeners "L'Shana Tova!"

"Smorgasbord Night"

Dinner out

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pan Seared Salmon with Indian Spice

1# Salmon fillet, skinned and deboned
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. tumeric
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
pinch red pepper flakes

Juice of one lemon
1/2 C. water

Preheat oven to 400°F
In a bowl combine cilantro, onion and garlic powder, cumin, curry powder, tumeric, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Place saute pan over medium high heat.  Cover fish liberally on both sides with seasoning mix.  Add oil to pan and let it start to smoke.  Add fish skin side up and sear to golden brown, turn and add lemon juice and water.  Place pan in oven and cook fish to a medium rare (about 7 minutes, depending on how thick the fillet is).  Remove from oven, let sit for 5 minutes.  Serve and enjoy.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chickpea Salad with Raisins and Walnuts

2 large red bell peppers
2 flatbreads (such as pita bread)
1 15 1/2-ounce can chickpeas, drained
1 cup diced seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons drained capers
3/4 C. Charmoula

2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. whole white peppercorns
1/2 C. coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 C. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 C. chopped fresh mint
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 C. olive oil

For charmoula:
Combine first 5 ingredients in spice grinder and process until finely ground. Transfer to blender. Add parsley and next 4 ingredients to blender. With blender running, gradually add oil and blend until coarse puree forms. Season to taste with salt. Do ahead Charmoula can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer to bowl and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before using.

For Salad:
Char bell peppers directly over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides.

Transfer to paper bag and seal tightly; let stand 15 minutes. Peel, seed, and chop peppers. Toast flatbreads directly over gas flame or in broiler until crisp and charred in spots on both sides. When cool enough to handle, tear into bite-size pieces.

Place peppers, torn bread pieces, chickpeas, and next 4 ingredients in large bowl. Add 3/4 cup charmoula; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.  Serve and enjoy!

Saffron-Cardamom Rice

3 teaspoons butter
1/4 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 cup basmati rice
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Melt 1 teaspoon butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Cool.

Melt remaining 2 teaspoons butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water, raisins, sugar, salt, saffron and cardamom. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand covered 10 minutes. Stir in pine nuts, serve and enjoy!

Weekly Menu Sept 17th - Sept 23rd

Pan Seared Salmon with Indian Spice
Kale Salad tossed in a Sesame Dressing
Quinoa with Cipollini Onions and Mushrooms

Moroccan Lamb and Fig Sausages
Chickpea Salad with Raisins and  Walnuts
Saffron-Cardamon Rice

Vegetable Chili
Warm Corn Bread with Scallion Butter
Romaine Salad with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Bean and Barley Stew with Chicken
Baby Greens with Heirloom Yellow Tomatoes tossed in a Lemon-Honey Vinaigrette

Mexican Rice and Beans with Carnitas
Chopped Salad tossed in a Tequila-Lime Vinaigrette

Spaghetti and Meatballs in Marinara with fresh Parmesan
Garden Salad, Balsamic Vinaigrette with Garlic Crostini

Dinner Out with Friends

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Corn Chowder with Pancetta Crumbles

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, small dice
8 oz. pancetta, small dice
4 ears fresh corn, kernels removed (about 2 cups)
1 C. white potatoes, medium dice
1 1/2 C. chicken stock
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. Italian parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

In a heavy bottomed pot heat oil over med-high heat until shimmering.  Add pancetta and cook until crisp.  Remove pancetta and reserve.  Add onions and celery and sweat until onions turn translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add corn, mix well and cook for 5-6 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another two minutes.  Add stock and thyme.   Increase heat and bring soup just to the boil and then turn heat down.  Add potatoes and simmer until potatoes are tender (about 10 minutes).  Correct seasoning if needed with salt and pepper and add parsley.  Mix and plate in a bowl, top with some of the pancetta crumbles, serve and enjoy!

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Salsa

1 C. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/2 C. minced shallots, divided
6 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, divided
1/4 C. vegetable oil
2 pork tenderloins, about 2 1/2 pounds total
1/2 # fresh cherries, stemmed, pitted,halved
1 fresh Fresno chile, red jalapeño, or Holland chile, thinly sliced crosswise
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Combine 1/2 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup minced shallots, 4 tablespoons lime juice, and vegetable oil in a resealable plastic bag. Add pork; seal bag and turn to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/2 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup shallots, 2 tablespoons lime juice, cherries, chile, and olive oil in a medium bowl. Season salsa lightly with salt and pepper and set aside to let flavors to meld.

Remove tenderloins from marinade and season generously with salt and pepper.

Grill tenderloins, turning frequently, until a thermometer inserted into meat registers 145°F, about 15 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes. Cut into thin slices and serve with salsa, Enjoy!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekly Menu Sept 12th - Sept 16th

Our Anniversary - Dinner at "The Root"


Roasted Corn Chowder with Green Onions and Crumbled Pancetta
Garden Salad with a Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette

Vietnamese Chicken Sausage
Spicy Sesame Noodles with Chopped Peanuts and Thai Basil
Chopped Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

Dinner out- "The Ted Lindsay Charity Dinner"

"Smorgaasbord Night"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Weekly Menu Sept 7th - Sept 11th

Mahi-Mahi Tacos
Pickled Onions
Red Cabbage Slaw in a Cilantro-Lime Dressing
Pico de Gallo

Stir-fried Tofu with a Sesame Seed Crust
Szechuan Vegetables
Jasmine Rice with Sweet Peas

Dinner out with Friends

Broiled Cedar Planked Salmon with a Dijon-Brown Sugar Glaze
Quinoa Pilaf
Vegetable Hash

Dinner at Bob and Val's