"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, June 30, 2013

Lobster Rolls

Being in Cape Cod during the summer makes me want to eat seafood, drink great wine and picnic by the water.  Some of the best clams I've ever had are right here at Nauset Beach.  But, nothing can compare to the lobster rolls that are served at Sesuit Harbor Cafe in Dennis, MA.  Here is my take on this classic.  Pair with a good white Burgundy, Chardonnay from California or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and you have the perfect seaside picnic lunch (breakfast or dinner too). I've substituted shrimp for the lobster and also loved them.

Kosher salt
3 1 1/4-pound live lobsters
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
2–3 tablespoons mayonnaise
Freshly ground black pepper
6 New England–style split-top hot dog buns
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Pour water into a large pot to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a boil and salt generously. Add lobsters, cover, and cook until bright red, 8–10 minutes. Transfer lobsters to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool.
Crack lobster shells, pick meat from tail and claws, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Mix lobster, celery, lemon juice, chives, and 2 tablespoons mayonnaise in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper and add more mayonnaise, if desired.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spread flat sides of buns with butter. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side; fill with lobster mixture.  Serve and Enjoy!

DO AHEAD: Lobster meat can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Toss with remaining ingredients just before serving.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Herbed Chicken with Honey-Lemon Glaze

You never know where you might find a great recipe.  This one came from the local paper.  It sounded good so I gave it a go and it's fantastic.  I served it with a roasted corn and edamame medley.

1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 medium cloves, garlic, peeled, minced
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 C. Honey
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp. water
1 tsp. lemon zest

(I prefer fresh herbs over dried, but dried are fine)
1 tsp. Marjoram
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
8 bone-in chicken thighs with skin

Prepare charcoals or preheat the gas grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium heat.

For the glaze, in a small saucepan, warm the oil over med-high heat.  Add garlic and ginger, cook about 1-2 minutes or just until they start to turn golden.  Add honey and bring to the boil, stirring.  Reduce heat, add lemon juice and cook another minute.  Stir in cornstarch mixture, raise heat and bring back to the boil until glaze thickens, about a minute or two.  Stir in lemon zest and remove from heat, let cool.

Combine all rub ingredients.  Season chicken thighs on both sides evenly with rub.  When grill is ready, brush grates with a little oil and heat another 5 minutes.  Grill chicken, skin side down at first, directly over the coals or heat source.  Cook until skin is a nice deep golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.  Move chicken away from coals or heat and turn to other side.  Brush each thigh with some of the glaze.  Cover  the grill with the lid and continue to cook chicken until done, about 25- 30 minutes.  Brush with glaze again and remove from grill.  Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Weekly Menu June 7 - June 14th

Dinner out with Jim and Debbie Sue

Dry-aged Porterhouse Steaks
Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette
Wedge Salad with Gorgonzola
Red Bliss Potatoes with Rosemary

Corn Pasta with Parsley Pesto, Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Summer Vegetables
Garden Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Herbs
Cucumber, Tomato, and Onion Salad
Quinoa with Saffron

Peach Glazed Fire Roasted Pork Chops
Garden Salad with an Apple & Sweet Onion Vinaigrette

Traditional Caesar with Seared Salmon

Dinner out in the "D"- Marianas Trench Concert at the Fox

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette

I just found this recipe in Bon Appétit and its fantastic.  Served over steaks it's a total rock star!  I'm sure it would be great with crumbled feta on a fresh salad or with eggs in the morning.  Enjoy!

1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon (or more) red wine vinegar
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Cut half of cherry tomatoes in half. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes.
Add halved and whole tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to release juices, 4-6 minutes. Mash some of tomatoes with a spoon.
Add 1 tablespoon vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or room temperature; add chives just before serving.

DO AHEAD: Vinaigrette can be made (without chives) 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature and stir in chives.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lamb Patties braised with Eggplant, Peppers, and Tomatoes

Lamb patties:
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (from crustless French bread ground in processor)
1/4 cup water
1 1/4 pounds ground lamb
1/2 cup finely grated pecorino cheese
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Eggplant mixture:
1 large eggplant (1 to 1 1/4 pounds), unpeeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Coarse kosher salt
1 large red bell pepper, halved, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/3 cups dry white wine
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped seeded peeled red heirloom tomatoes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram

4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)*
Grated pecorino cheese

For lamb patties:
Combine breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup water in small bowl. Soak 5 minutes. Squeeze all water from crumbs. Place crumbs in large bowl. Add lamb and remaining ingredients; mix gently to combine. Shape into 12 oval patties, each about 2 1/2 inches long and 3/4 inch thick.

For eggplant mixture:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine cubed eggplant and 4 tablespoons oil in large bowl and toss to coat. Spread eggplant out on rimmed baking sheet; sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Bake 12 minutes. Turn eggplant over and bake until soft, about 12 minutes longer.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb patties and sauté until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer lamb patties to plate. Add bell pepper strips to drippings in skillet; sauté until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Transfer bell pepper to plate with lamb.
Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and chopped onion to same skillet. Cover and cook until onion is soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add wine and garlic. Cook, scraping up browned bits, until wine is reduced to glaze, about 7 minutes. Return lamb and bell pepper to skillet; add eggplant, tomatoes, and marjoram. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until lamb is cooked through and vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. If sauce is thin, simmer uncovered until thickened to desired consistency. Season sauce to taste with coarse salt and pepper.

Bring 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until polenta is very thick, whisking often, about 20 minutes.

Spoon polenta into shallow bowls. Top with lamb and vegetables. Sprinkle with pecorino cheese.

Beef Kofta

Here is a different take on the traditional recipe that calls for ground lamb.  I had some beef in the freezer and just switched it up, also swapping pistachios for the pine nuts.  Still an excellent preparation and makes me long for the warm shores of the Aegean.

1 pound ground beef (can use lamb)
4 teaspoons following Spice Mixture;
2 teaspoons plus a pinch coriander
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon clove
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg
1/2 onion, grated on the large holes of a box grater (1/2 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup pistachio nuts, toasted and chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a small mixing bowl combine all the spices for the mixture above, reserve on the side.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, except the oil.  Make sure to include the spice mixture you just made. Mix thoroughly with your hands or a wooden spoon. Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls, and flatten the balls into ovals or football shapes, about 1/4 inch thick.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add half the patties. Cook until the first side is golden brown, about 3 minutes; flip the patties, and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Wipe the skillet with a paper towel; heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Repeat the process with the remaining patties. Serve warm or at room temperature with yogurt sauce on the side.

Tzatziki Sauce

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 cup greek yogurt, strained
1 cup sour cream
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
1 tsp. chopped fresh dill

Combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Using a whisk, blend the yogurt with the sour cream. Add the olive oil mixture to the yogurt mixture and mix well. Finally, add the cucumber and chopped fresh dill. Chill for at least two hours before serving.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Weekly Menu June 1st - June 7th

"Crust-less" Chicken Parmesan, Spaghetti Squash
Grilled Eggplant

Patio Dinner Party
Kona Rubbed Ribeye Steaks
Morel Cream
Fingerling potatoes with Shallots and Wild mushrooms
Green Goddess Chopped Salad
Fresh Strawberries with Brown Sugar and Sour Cream
Artesian Chocolate Shards

Grilled Ahi Tuna drizzled with a Garlic Balsamic Dressing
Baby Arugula and Radish Salad, crumbled Goat cheese

Curried Red Lentil and Vegetable Stew
Basmati Rice

Grilled Chicken, Rum Barbecue Sauce
Sweet Baby Corn
Green Beans

"Clean out the Frig Night"

Lamb Patties Braised with Eggplant, Peppers, and Tomatoes