"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.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Caramelized Onion and Tomato Jam

This recipe will make about 4 cups.  I'm using it to top turkey burgers, but this will go great with all fowl, fish, and meat.  It's especially good with a roasted pork tenderloin.  Spread on a slice of french bread and top with some goat cheese, add a great glass of wine and viol, instant cocktail party!  In the refrigerator, it'll keep for about a week.

2 Vidalia onions, sliced thinly
good olive oil
2 1/2 # ripe plum tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
1 C. dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
1 Tbsp. fresh minced garlic
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

In a heavy medium sauce pan, heat 3-4 Tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat until rippling.  Add onions and cook until they become caramel brown, stirring often.  This will take about 20-25 minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and bring to a boil, stir often.   Reduce heat and simmer stirring occasionally.  Cook until mixture thickens and becomes the consistency of jam, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Taste and correct seasoning with salt and pepper.  Cool mixture completely in a water bath.  In the refrigerator this will keep for about a week.  Serve and Enjoy!

Easy Mexican Chicken Soup

So, my 13 yr. old  daughter recently came to me and declared that she's decided she will be cooking one of our weekend meals.  I come to find that her motivation for this is that one of her recent heart throbs, a British boy band member (that's another story), loves to eat.  So, in her words, "she needs to learn so, when they get married she'll be able to take care of him."  What's a father to do?  Just roll with it.  

I have to say, she found this terrific recipe from Ina Garten, who just happens to be one of my absolute favorites.  She did an amazing job putting it together with very little of my help.   I am so very proud of her, no matter what the motivation.  

It will feed 8 people easily.  We used a precooked chicken from the local deli to speed things up, rather than cooking one from scratch.  We also added a can of white hominy to the mix and served the soup with a side of tortilla chips, fresh guacamole, and spicy black beans.  The end result was fantastic.  This recipe is a keeper and great for a cold day, excellent comfort food.

Whole Roasted Chicken, skin removed and meat shredded
Good olive oil
1 large white onion, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 can white hominy, drained
2 1/2 Qts. Chicken stock
1 jalapeño pepper, diced with seeds
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1/4 C. cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat.  Add a good measure of olive oil, about 3 Tbsp.  Heat until ripples form.  Add onions, celery, and carrots.  Cook, stirring frequently until onions turn golden brown.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Add shredded chicken, tomatoes, chicken stock, hominy, jalapeño, cumin, and coriander.  Bring to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 20 minutes, stir occasionally.  Add cilantro and correct seasonings with salt and pepper.  Dish hot soup into bowls and serve with tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weekly Menu Oct. 27th - Nov. 2nd

Saturday- "Elizabeth's in the Kitchen Night"
Mexican Chicken Soup
Fresh Guacamole
Spicy Black Beans
Warm Corn Tortillas

Roast Beef with a Dijon and Horseradish Crust
Sautéed Spinach
Roasted Carrots with Ginger and Curry
Yukon Gold Potatoes with Sea Salt and Rosemary

Garlic Shrimp Sauté with Spaghetti Squash
Mixed Salad with Mixed Herb Vinaigrette

Chicken and White Bean Stew

Wednesday- "Halloween Night"
Terrifying Turkey Burgers Dripping with Caramelized Onion and Tomato Jam
Slashed Romaine Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
Hacked "Old Bay" Sweet Potato Fries

Smorgasbord Night, clean out the Frig!

Dinner out with Friends

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Thai-style Curry Stir Fry

Recently we had some leftover steak and chicken, so I whipped up this Thai inspired dish and served it over basmati rice.  You could easily substitute fish, seafood, tofu, vegetables, whatever was in your frig.

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 # shredded cooked chicken
1/2 # sliced cooked steak
2 cloves garlic, minced
2" inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 lime, cut in half
1 small can coconut milk
1/2 C. shredded fresh thai basil (regular basil can be substituted)
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, washed and sliced thin
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
1 C. fresh green beans, trimmed
2 Tbsp. Thai fish sauce
1 tsp. red chili flakes (add more or less to taste)
1 Tbsp. red curry paste
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat.  Add oil and heat until smoking; add onions, celery and peppers.  Stir fry until onions start to soften, about 4-5 minutes.  Add garlic and ginger, stir and cook another minute.  Add green beans, stir.  Squeeze both halves of lime into mixture.  Add chili flakes, fish sauce, curry paste, soy sauce, basil and coconut milk.  Cook for 10 minutes until mixture has thickened and beans are tender.  Add chicken and beef, toss well to coat.  Correct seasonings with salt and pepper.  Serve over basmati rice and enjoy!

Caramel, Sea Salt Brownies

1 # unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups sugar
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet.
Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into 20 large squares.  Serve and Enjoy!

Bacon Cheeseburger Stew

2 oz. vegetable oil
8 oz. bacon
1 1/2# ground beef
1 large onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 C. chopped tomatoes
6 red potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
1 large carrot, washed and peeled
2 ribs of celery, washed and peeled
2 C. beef stock
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Place the beef in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Form into small meatballs and reserve on the side.

Place a large pot over medium high heat, add oil and heat until shimmering.  Add bacon and cook until golden brown, 7-8 minutes.  Remove browned bacon, chop and reserve warm.   To the pot add the meatballs and brown on all sides.  Remove and reserve warm on a plate.  To the pot add onions, carrots, and celery, cook until onions soften, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Add tomato paste, stir mixture well and cook paste for 6-8minutes.  Add chopped tomatoes, stock, worcestershire, mustard, meatballs, and potatoes.  Stir and cook for 30 minutes.  Correct seasoning with salt and black pepper.

5 minutes before stew is ready pre-heat broiler.  Once stew is done, spoon portions into shallow bowls, sprinkle bacon and cheese on top of each.  Place bowls under the broiler to melt cheese.  Serve and enjoy!

Weekly Menu Oct. 21st - Oct. 26th

Mahi-Mahi Tacos with Honey-Lime Slaw
Spicy Black Beans

Chicken and White Bean Cassoulet

Bacon Cheesburger Stew
Chopped Salad with Sweet Onion Vinaigrette

Fisherman's Stew
Spaghetti Squash with Olive Oil, Parmesan, and Black Pepper

Curried Red Lentils with Vegetables
Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Dinner Out with Friends

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mexican Bean and Vegetable Lasagna

24 soft corn tortillas
1 medium yellow onion
1 medium green bell pepper, small dice
1 bunch green onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, fine chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, fine chopped
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 small can chopped green chiles
1(15oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1(15oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1(15oz.) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 summer squash, shredded (flesh only, discard seeds in the center)
2 zucchini squash, shredded (flesh only, discard seeds in the center)
1 C. frozen corn, defrosted
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 large can enchilada red sauce
1 C. plus shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses (50-50)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, green chiles and sour cream, reserve on the side.

In another bowl combine summer squash and zucchini with the corn.  Reserve.

In a medium sauce pan sauté onions until soft, about 3-4 minutes add bell peppers and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic, cook for a minute or two.  Add cumin and oregano cook another minute.  Add enchilada sauce and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat immediately and add beans, green onions, and cilantro.  Stir well and remove for heat.  Reserve.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-strick spray.  Lay down a layer of tortillas overlapping the edges to form a base in the dish.  Spoon a third of the green chile cream onto the tortillas and spread to form an even layer.  Sprinkle a third of the cheese over the cream layer.  Sprinkle a third of the vegetable mixture over the cheese.  Ladle a third of the bean mixture over the vegetable layer.  Lay down another layer of tortillas and repeat layering until the dish is full and all ingredients have been used.  Using the extra cheese, top the "lasagna".

Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet and place into the hot oven.  Cook for 40-50 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and golden brown on top.  Remove from the oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting serving.  Serve with a chopped salad and Enjoy!