"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, August 25, 2012

Weekly Menu Aug. 25th - 31st

Grilled Chicken with Mediterranean Spices
Tabbouleh with Quinoa

Turkey Burgers with Grilled Maui Onions, Mushrooms, and Avocado
Garden Salad with Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette

Pasta with Meat Sauce and Grilled Eggplant

Curried Red Lentil and Vegetable Stew
Basmati Rice

Mole Chicken Enchiladas
Spicy Black Beans
Chopped Salad with Roasted Corn and Lime Vinaigrette

Seared Salmon with Herb Butter, Shaved Fennel Slaw
Oven Roasted Red Potatoes with Thyme
Sautéed Spinach with Shallots

Dinner out with Friends

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Creole-Spiced Shrimp

This is always a crowd pleaser and fun to eat.  Easy to make and can be made in the oven or on the grill.  I like to serve this with southern-styled dirty rice and collard greens.

2# unpeeled shrimp (you can substitute peeled and deveined if desired)
1 small onion
1 lemon, thinly sliced
8 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
2 tsp. hot chili paste
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 C. Unsealed butter, cut into tablespoons

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Using a small kitchen scissors, cut shrimp along the curved backs.  Remove vein, keeping she'll intact.  Toss shrimp and next 9 ingredients in a large bowl.

Place four 16x12" sheets of heavy-duty foil on a work surface.  Divide the shrimp mixture among the sheets.  Fold all foil edges towards the center to accommodate the liquid; do not crimp.  Add 2 Tbsp. butter and 1/4 cup water to each.  Crimp tightly to seal.

Arrange packets on a rimmed baking sheet.  Place in oven and cook until shrimp are just opaque in the center, about 30 minutes.  Carefully cut open packets and serve with rice.  Enjoy!!

Pancetta Crisps with Goat Cheese and Figs

This is a fantastic play on a classic combination of savory and sweet.  I love to make these for a cocktail party or the starter for dinner.  These are just great anytime.

12 thin slices pancetta
12 arugula leaves
12 tsp. soft fresh goat cheese
Fig jam or preserves
6 fresh figs, halved
Chopped fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place pancetta in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake until crisp, 12-15 minutes.  Cool 15 minutes.  Transfer to platter.  Top each slice with one arugula leaf, 1 tsp. goat cheese, 1/4 tsp jam and top with one fig slice.  Sprinkle with thyme and freshly ground black pepper.  Serve and Enjoy!

Kale and Bean Bruschetta

1 1/2 C. dried cannellini beans
1 C. chopped onion
3 garlic gloves, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. salt
4 C. coarse chopped stemmed kale
6 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Dried crushed red pepper

1 garlic clove, cut in half
(12) 1/2 inch thick slices baguette, toasted
Parmesan cheese shavings

Place beans in a pot with enough cold water to cover by 3 inches.  Bring to a boil.  Continue to boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour.  Drain beans, return to pot.  Add 8 cups of water, onion the 3 cloves of peeled garlic, bay leaf, and sage.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat; cover and simmer until beans are tender, 1-1 1/2 hours.  Stir in salt, add kale and cook for 4 minutes.

Drain beans and kale, place in large bowl. (the liquid can be chilled and reserved for soup) Now, add oil, lemon juice, and red pepper to taste.  Toss and correct seasoning with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

Take each slice of toasted baguette and rub the cut side with the garlic clove that was sliced in half.  Top with bean mixture and cheese shavings.  Serve and Enjoy!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fish Fillets with Tomatoes, Squash, and Basil

2 C. very thinly sliced assorted summer squash, zucchini, and pattypan
1/4 C. thinly sliced shallots
1/4 C. thinly sliced fresh basil, plus 1/4 C. basil leaves
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 Tbsp. dry white wine
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
(4) 6 oz. skinless white flaky fish fillets (Atlantic Cod or halibut)
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Place four 4 x12" sheets of parchment paper (if grilling use tin foil), on work surface.  Divide squash among parchment sheets, arranging on one side of sheet in thin layers.  Sprinkle shallots and sliced basil over, dividing equally.  Scatter tomato halves evenly amongst packets.  Drizzle each packet with 1 Tbsp. wine and 1/2 Tbsp. oil.  Season each with salt and pepper.  Place a fish fillet atop each portion.  Season with salt and pepper, drizzle 1/2 Tbsp. oil over each.

Fold parchment over mixture and crimp edges to form a sealed packet.  (can be done 4 hrs. ahead and chilled.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place packets in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.  Bake until fish is just cooked, about 10 minutes.  Carefully cut open packets (steam will escape).  Garnish with basil leaves, serve and Enjoy!

Wasabi Salmon with Bok Choy, Green Cabbage, and Shiitakes

1/4 C. Mayonnaise
1 tsp. wasabi paste
1 (1") piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
(4)  6oz. skinless salmon fillets
1# baby Bok Choy, halved
2 C. Finely shredded green cabbage
4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced if large
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Place a a large rimmed baking sheet into hot oven and heat for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix mayonnaise and wasabi in a small mixing bowl.  Stir in half of ginger and garlic; set aside.  Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper.  Place Bok Choy, cabbage, and mushrooms in large mixing bowl, drizzle with oil and remaining garlic and ginger.  Toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper.

Scatter vegetables across one side of the hot baking sheet.  Arrange salmon on the other side.  Place into oven and roast, stirring occasionally until fish is cooked through; 10-12 minutes for medium rare.  Divide vegetables among plates, top with salmon and serve with wasabi mayo along the side.  Enjoy!

Weekly Menu Aug. 18th- Aug. 24th

Grilled Grass Fed Beef Ribeye Steaks
Pomme Frites with Rosemary and Sea Salt
Green Beans with Roasted Shallots

Dinner out in Northville

Wasabi Salmon with Bok Choy, Green Cabbage, and Shiitakes
Steamed Brown Rice with Green Onions

Brown Rice Pasta with Eggplant Ragu and Roasted Vegetables

Fish Fillets with Tomatoes, Squash, and Basil

Smorgasbord Night

My Birthday! Dinner at Joe Muer's Seafood

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Grilled Eggplant with Crushed Tomatoes and Capers

1/4 C. olive oil, plus 2 Tbsp.
2 Eggplant
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 sweet onion, peeled and sliced thinly
2 (15oz) can of crushed tomatoes
3 Tbsp. capers
4 Tbsp. fresh basil, sliced thinly (chiffonade)
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped fine
2 Tbsp. Italian flat parsley, chopped fine
2 roasted red peppers, sliced
1 tsp red pepper flake
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. Grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the stems off the eggplants and cut into 1" slices (skin on).  Lay on a sheet of paper towel and sprinkle a generous amount of salt on each slice.  Let stand for 15-20 minutes to draw out the liquid in the eggplant.  Using another sheet of paper towel brush salt and water off each slice.  This step with greatly reduce the bitterness in the eggplant. Place cleaned eggplant slices into a large mixing bowl.  Drizzle eggplant with 1/4 C. olive oil and add garlic, basil and oregano; coat well.

Heat a large skillet over high heat.  Sear eggplant on each side to a golden brown and reserve, once done, in a 9x13" baking dish.  To the hot skillet add remainder of the oil and heat until shimmering.  Cook onions to golden brown 5-6 minutes while stirring.  Add roasted peppers, red pepper flakes, capers, and crushed tomatoes.  Stir and add parsley.  Correct seasoning with salt and pepper.  Cook until hot 2-3 minutes.  Pour mixture on top of the eggplant.  

Sprinkle cheeses on top of eggplant and place baking dish in the oven for 45-55 minutes, until eggplant is soft and cheese is golden brown and bubbling.

Remove from oven and let rest for about 5 minutes.  Serve over pasta and Enjoy!

Creole Seafood Stew

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1# Seafood Blend (I like Trader Joe's mix of shrimp, calamari, and scallops)
1# Langostine tails (Trader Joe's)
1# cooked Andouille sausage (you can substitute any type of sausage you prefer, this can also be omitted)
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 medium sweet onion, small dice
3 celery ribs, small dice
1 green bell pepper, small dice
1/2C. White wine
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1C. Clam juice
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp. each of dried oregano, basil, paprika, and thyme
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

In a large heavy bottomed pot heat oil over medium high heat.  Once oil is shimmering; add onions, celery, and bell peppers.  Cook until they start to soften, about 4-5 minutes.  Add garlic, cook another minute.  Add tomato paste, stir and cook for about 2-3 minutes.  Add wine and clam juice, reduce by a third.  Add diced tomatoes with juice and bay leaf.  Heat to just under a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and add seafood blend and spices.  Cook until shrimps are just done, about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add sausage and langostine tails, stir and correct seasoning with salt and pepper.  Continue to cook slowly for 8-10 minutes.  Serve over rice and enjoy! 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Weekly Menu Aug. 11th- Aug. 17th

"Patio Party with the Neighbors"
Chili Rubbed-Marinated Skirt Steak Fajitas
Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad
Red Cabbage Slaw
Shredded Romaine Salad with Lime-Cumin Vinaigrette
Strawberry Tarts with Ginger-Nut Crust

Creole Seafood Stew over Rice
Southern Greens

Grilled Eggplant with Crushed Tomatoes and Capers
Roasted Potatoes with Oregano

Brown Rice Pasta with Italian Sausage
Garden Fresh Salad tossed in a Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Grilled Pork Loin with a Rum Barbecue Glaze, Caramelized Peaches
Green Beans with Shallots

Red Curry- Marinated Chicken
Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

Chef's night off- Dinner out with Friends

Chili Rubbed-Mainated Skirt Steak Fajitas

2# beef skirt steak (Flank Steak)
2 Tbsp. Ancho Chili powder
1Tbsp. Garlic powder
1Tbsp. Cumin
1 Tbsp. Oregano
Fresh lime juice from 3 limes, about 5 Tbsp.
1 bottle dark beer
1/4 C. Honey
3 Tbsp. Worchestershire sauce
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 C. + 2 Tbsp. Canola oil
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Marinating the beef  can be done a day ahead of time, minimum 3 hours prior to grilling.

Wash and pat dry beef.  In a small mixing bowl combine chile powder, garlic powder, cumin, and oregano.  Coat the side of beef facing you with 1 Tbsp. oil.  Rub 1/2 of spice mix onto beef.  Season with salt and black pepper.  Turn beef and repeat.  Reserve.

In another mixing bowl combine lime juice, beer, worchestershire, honey, green onions and the rest of the oil.  Whisk together.  Place beef in a large ziplock bag or in a 9x13" baking pan and pour marinade over.  Seal bag or tightly cover pan with Saran wrap.  Chill, turning half way through marinating time.

Preheat grill to high.  Brush grill with oil.  Remove beef from marinade and discard liquid.  Lay steak on grill and cook for 10 minutes, turning once for medium-rare.  Transfer cooked steak to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.  Thinly slice steak across the grain.  Lay slices on large platter.  Serve with warm tortillas, guacamole, your favorite salsa, fresh cilantro leaves, etc.  Enjoy!!