"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, April 28, 2012

Weekly Menu April 28th - May 4th

Smorgasbord Night - "Clean out the Frig. Night"

Fish Tacos with a Creamy Citrus Slaw
Garden Fresh Salsa
Yellow Rice and Beans

Veggie Burger Salad
Sweet Potato Spears tossed in a Bacon Vinaigrette

Red Curry Lentil Stew
Basmati Rice

Roasted Vegetable Ragu with Multi-grain Pasta

Turkey Meatloaf with Wild Mushroom Gravy
English Peas with Pearl Onions, Vermouth Cream

Family Dinner Out

Thursday, April 26, 2012

French Yogurt Cake

Ok, I found this awesome, lemony version of a pound cake recipe from Andrew Knowlton and it's to die for.  I coupled it with fresh homemade strawberry jam to make an excellent light, spring-time dessert.  Enjoy!!

1 1/2 C. All-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 C. Sugar
1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
3/4 C. Whole-milk Greek yogurt
1/2 C. Vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
vegetable spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a standard loaf pan with vegetable sray.  Dust with flour; tap out excess.  In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl rub the sugar and lemon zest together using your fingers until the sugar is moist.  Add to this the yogurt, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla.  whisk to blend.  Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and fold just to combine.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top.  Place pan in oven and bake until the top of the cake is golden brown and a teater inserted into the center comes out clean, 50-55 minutes.  remove from oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Invert cake onto rack and let cool completely.  This can be made 3-4 days in advance and stored airtight at room temperature.  Serve and Enjoy!

Business Dinner Menu

Fork and Knife Caesar Salad
Dry-Aged Ribeye Steaks with a Five Onion Confit
Wild Mushroom Mac-n-Cheese
Oven Roasted Asparagus
French Yogurt Cake with Homemade Strawberry Jam

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weekly Menu: April 21st-27th

Seared Tuna with Lemon Aioli Sauce
Red Quinoa Pilaf
Spring Greens Salad with a Zinfandel Vinaigrette

Pork Carnitas with a Tomatillo Salsa
Red Beans and Rice

Orange-Ginger Tofu with Fried Rice
Cucumber Salad with Miso Dressing

Oven Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Root Vegetables

Pasta Florentine with Grape Tomatoes
Garden Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Thursday- (Business Dinner at home)
Fork and Knife Caesar Salad
Dry-Aged Ribeye Steaks with a Five Onion Confit
Wild Mushroom Mac-n-Cheese
Oven Roasted Asparagus
Individual Apple Crisps with Black Walnut Ice Cream

Dinner Out

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Weekly Menu: Apr. 14th - Apr. 20th

Dinner out with Elizabeth- "Barrio" in Birmingham

Chicken Hash with Sweet Peppers and Onions
Butter Lettuce with a Buttermilk Green Goddess Dressing

Shrimp Pad Thai
Green Beans with Garlic and Chiles

Asparagus Frittata with Serrano Ham
Arugula Salad with a Garlic, Oregano, and Lemon Vinaigrette

Seared Salmon with Warm Bacon-Mushroom Vinaigrette
Green Onion Mashed Potatoes

Spagetti and Meatballs
Romaine Salad with a Creamy Roasted Garlic Dressing

"Smorgasbord Night" - Fancy name for left-overs

Warm Bacon-Mushroom Vinaigrette

4 oz. bacon
2 C. sliced mushrooms
3 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
1/4 C. + 3 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. flat-leaf parsley
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Cut bacon into 1/2" wide strips.  Cook bacon with the 3 Tbsp. water in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Stir often, until bacon starts to crisp.  Add mushrooms, cook, tossing occasionally until tender, 5-6 minutes.  Add vinegar and rest of the water; simmer until reduced by half, about 1 minute.  Stir in oil and season with salt and pepper.  Stir in parsley.  Can be made a day ahead and then rewarm before serving.

Garlic, Oregano, and Lemon Vinaigrette

2 cloves garlic
2 anchovies, drained
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 seeded lemon, chopped with peel
1/4C. fresh oregano leaves
1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Place garlic, anchovies, and red pepper flakes in a mini processor and finely chop.  Add lemon (with peel) and oregano, pulse a few times to coarsely chop.  Add oil and process until smooth.  Season with salt, pepper and additional lemon juice if needed.
Can be made 2 days ahead of time and chilled.

Buttermilk Green Godess Dressing

This is an easy great tasting dressing.  It's terrific with a crudite, poached shrimp, or over butter lettuce.

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. buttermilk
1/4 C. chopped fresh chives
1/4 C. coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
1 chopped garlic clove

Put all of the ingredients in a processor and puree until smooth.  Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Can be made 2 hours ahead and chilled.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Caramel Apple Crisp

Without  a doubt, this is my favorite dessert.  Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and it's perfection!  Easy to make and always a crowd favorite.

1 C. Flour
6 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract
1/2 C. almonds

2/3 C. sugar
1/4C. unsweetened apple juice
3 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Pinch of salt
4# Gala apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1" thick slices
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, rack in middle.  Butter 2 quart baking dish.

For the topping:

Pulse togehter, flour, sugar, butter, salt, and extracts in a food processor until some large clumps form.

Set aside 1/4C. for filling and transfer remaining topping to a bowl.  Stir in almonds.

For the filling:

Cook sugar in a dry 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt.
Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until sugar is melted into a deep-golden caramel.

Remove from the heat and carefully add apple juice, butter, and salt (caramel will harden and stem vigorously).  Cook over low heat, stirring until caramel is dissolved.

Put apples in a large bowl and toss with reserved topping mixture and caramel, then spread in baking dish.

Scatter clumps of topping over apples, squeezing small handfuls of topping into clumps when necessary.

Bake until apples are tender and top is golden and crisp, about an hour.  Cool to warm or room temperature.

Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and Enjoy!

Weekly Menu- April 7th - April 13th

Saturday- Dinner with Friends
Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Kona Rib Eye Steaks
Green Onion Mashed Potatoes
Baby Asparagus with Warm Shallot Vinaigrette
Arugula Salad with Creamy Honey-Dijon Dressing,
Chopped Egg and Parmesan
Crème Brulee with Butter Crisp Wafers

Sunday- Easter Dinner/ Masters Celebration
Crab Salad with Mint and Chile Crostini
Roasted Rack of Lamb with a Cabernet Shallot Demi
Daulphinoise Potatoes
Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots
Warm Apple Crisp with Cinnamon Ice Cream

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
Baby Greens Salad, Shallot vinaigrette

White Bean and Turkey Cassoulet
Baby Green Beans with Roasted Garlic

Chopped Salad with Ribeye Steak, Gorgonzola Vinaigrette

"Clean out the Frig Night"

Dinner out

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Baby Arugula Salad with Creamy Honey-Dijon Dressing

This salad is one of my favorites.   It just says "spring has arrived" to me.  It works really great with asparagus as well.  I sometimes add a measure of lemon zest to this just to bump it up.
1/4 C. White wine vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 Tbsp. minced shallot
2 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/3 C. Olive oil
1-2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise
water (to thin to desired consistency)
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a 2 C. measuring cup and mix with a wand burr mixer.  Correct seasoning with salt and pepper.  Adjust consistency with water.

4 C. arugula, washed and spun dry
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped finely
1/4 red onion, sliced very thinly
1/2 C. chickpeas
3/4 C. grape tomatoes
Shaved Parmesan cheese, to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and toss with dressing.  Top with extra cheese and fresh cracked black pepper, serve and Enjoy!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Shrimp Curry with English Peas

2 Tbsp. Flour
1# large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, cut into 1-2" pieces
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 Tbsp. minced, peeled fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 serrano chile, minced with seeds
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes with added puree
1/2 C. water
1 tsp. turmeric
1 1/2 C. shelled fresh peas, can substitute frozen if you can't find fresh
1 tsp. garam masala*
1/2 C. chopped cilantro
Steamed basmati rice

*if you can't find this spice mixture, here's how to make your own: In a bowl, combine 1 1/2 Tbsp. of coriander, cardamon, and ground pepper.  To that add 1 Tbsp. ground cumin, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp ground clove and nutmeg.

Place onion pieces in processor, using pulse setting, chop finely, but not watery.  In a large heavy skillet heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium high heat.  Add cumin seeds and stir until aromatic, about 1 minute.  Add chopped onions and cook until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.  Add ginger, garlic, coriander, and chiles; stir 1 minute.  Add crushed tomatoes, water and turmeric and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until mixture has thickened slightly and flavors marry, about 15 minutes.
While curry is cooking; place another large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add remainder of oil and heat to shimmering.  Place shrimp in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Dust shrimp with flour, shaking off the excess.  Flash-fry the shrimp in the hot skillet until all sides are golden and shrimp is just cooked, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove from skillet and reserve warm on a plate with paper towel to drain excess oil.
Once curry has thickened; add peas and shrimp, gently fold to incorporate evenly.  Cook mixture over medium-low heat until peas are tender, folding occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Fold in gram masala and cilantro.  Correct seasoning with salt and pepper.  Serve with steamed basmati rice and Enjoy!