"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, May 31, 2014

Grilled Chicken Tacos

When the weather turns hot, I turn to one of my favorite region's cuisine; Mexico.  Nothing beats a cold cerveza, good friends, and killer spicy Mexican food.  I'm a sucker for the smells, flavors, and heat.  Not to mention this time of year we never eat inside, everything is on the patio al fresco!   In this recipe I prefer to use chicken thighs.  They're fattier than breasts, which means they're more flavorful; plus, they're less expensive.

Makes 4 servings

1 medium onion, cut into wedges, keeping root intact
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, coarsely crushed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 corn tortillas, warmed (for serving)
2 avocados, sliced (for serving)
Charred Tomatillo Salsa Verde (for serving, recipe follows)
Cilantro sprigs, sliced radishes, and lime wedges (for serving)

Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Toss onion, garlic, chicken, cumin, oil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Grill onion and chicken until cooked through and lightly charred, about 4 minutes per side.

Let chicken rest 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with tortillas, avocados, Charred Tomatillo Salsa Verde, cilantro, radishes, and lime wedges.

Charred Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Makes about 2 cups

1/2 small white onion, halved lengthwise, keeping root intact
1/2 head of garlic, unpeeled, halved crosswise
1 jalapeño
1 pound husked tomatillos
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only and 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper

Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Toss 1/2 small white onion, halved lengthwise, keeping root intact, 1/2 head of garlic, unpeeled, halved crosswise, 1 jalapeño, 1 pound husked tomatillos, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large bowl. Grill vegetables, turning often, until tender and charred, 5-8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.

Squeeze garlic cloves into a food processor and pulse with onion, stemmed jalapeño, tomatillos, 1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only, and 1/4 cup fresh lime juice just until a chunky sauce forms; season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and more lime juice, if desired.

DO AHEAD: Salsa verde can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Creamy Avocado-Garlic Dressing

This dressing makes a super addition to any salad.  The avocado makes it very creamy while adding healthy fat and are packed with over 20 vitamins and minerals. It's a much better ingredient to add than mayo or sour cream.  I like to use this garlicky dressing to toss kale, carrots, and beets.  Add some chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, and some shaved Parmesan and you have a very satisfying, healthy lunch alternative. 

1/4 avocado
2 large cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 Tbsp Honey
1/4 C. White wine vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 C. Olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Kitchen equipment- hand wand mixer or blender

Put all ingredients in a 2 cup measuring cup.  Using wand mixer, set on high blend until smooth.  If needed adjust consistency with small amounts of water to desired thickness.  Serve and Enjoy!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pan Seared Whitefish with a Lemon, Caper, and Sweet Onion Butter Sauce

Makes 4 servings

4 mahi mahi or other firm white fish fillets, each 6 to 8 oz
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons capers
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 grated lemon, zest of
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place capers in a small bowl, rinse under cold running water, drain and pat dry.

Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Arrange the fish in the pan and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and opaque throughout, 6 to 8 minutes total. Using a slotted spatula or spoon, transfer the fish to a plate and reserve warm.

Add the shallots and garlic to the same pan you prepared the fish in and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and lemon juice, increase the heat to medium-high and boil until the sauce thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Optional, add another tablespoon of butter, turn off heat and swirl to incorporate.  Stir in the parsley, capers and lemon zest, and correct seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed.

Plate an individual fillet on a warm plate, spoon a serving of sauce over the fish and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

The Menu: May 25th- May 30th

Grilled Chicken With Lemon and Rosemary
Zucchini and Summer Squash with a Balsamic Glaze

Memorial Day - Party at Bob and Val's

Bison Meatloaf with Shiitake Mushroom Gravy
Mixed Greens Salad with a Creamy Chive Dressing

Pan Roasted Whitefish with a Lemon, Caper, and Sweet Onion Butter sauce
Carrot and Beet Slaw

Summer Vegetable and Brown Rice Stir-Fry

Skirt Steak with Chimichurri  Sauce
Kale Salad with Creamy Avocado and Garlic Dressing

Monday, May 19, 2014

Carrot and Dill Soup

This soup is super easy to make, delicious and healthy.  What more can you ask for?!  You'll get the kids (and adults) to eat their vegetables with this one.  Serve with crusty bread, a salad, and like magic you've got a terrific healthy lunch.

Makes 6 servings

3 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and rough chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3# carrots, trimmed, scrubbed, and cut into 1" pieces
2 zucchini squash, trimmed, washed, and cut into 1" pieces
3 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1 Qt. Chicken stock or low sodium broth
1/2 C. Coconut milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
Garnish- dill fronds

Kitchen tool- Food processor

In a large pot bring oil to temperature over medium high heat.  Add onions, mix and cook until starting to soften, about 5-7 minutes.  Add carrots, mix and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes.  Add squash and herbs, stir and add stock and coconut milk.  Raise heat and bring to a boil.  Immediately reduce heat and simmer until carrots and squash are soft, about 10-12 minutes more.  Remove soup from heat.

Carefully remove solids with a slotted spoon, reserving the liquid.  Then, in batches, purée the solids in a food processor.  Once all the solids are puréed carefully return them to the reserved liquid.  Correct seasoning with salt and pepper.  Ladle I to warm bowls, garnish each with a small frond of dill, serve and enjoy!

The Menu: May 18-May 23

Bison Burgers with Caramelized Onions
Kale and Carrot Salad with Lemon-Honey Dressing
Broccoli with Roasted Shiitake Mushrooms

Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder
Chopped Salad with Maple-Lime Dressing

Grilled Chicken with Dill and Tzatziki
Carrot and Beet Salad
Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic and Thyme

Whitefish with Parmesan Crust
Zucchini "Pasta" with Garlic Butter and Parsley

Thai Chicken with Coconut-Curry and Broccoli
Brown Rice with Spring Onions and Soy Sauce

Oven Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Cabernet Demi-glacé
Sweet Potato Pancakes with Chives
Baby Lettuce Salad, Creamy Garlic and Herb Dressing

Whitefish with Parmesan Crust

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 C. Panko breadcrumbs
grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 C. grated parmesan
2 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper, to taste
4 skinless fillets of firm white fish
2 Tbsp. butter
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat broiler.

In a medium bowl combine the breadcrumbs with the grated lemon zest, grated Parmesan, chopped parsley, salt and pepper.

Put  olive oil in a sauté pan and heat over medium high heat.  Pan fry the fish, skin side up, for 2-3 minutes until fish just starts turning translucent. Turn over, sprinkle with the crumb mixture and place the pan under the a hot broiler for 2-3 minutes until breadcrumbs are a deep golden brown. Add the butter to the pan with the juice of 1 lemon. Melt around the fish and serve, making sure to spoon lemon butter over top of fish.  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Generous pinch of salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices fresh rhubarb (from about 2 pounds)
2 cups halved strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon (scant) ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Sweetened whipped cream

For topping:
Mix first 6 ingredients in medium bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until moist clumps form.

For filling:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 9 x13 baking dish and reserve on the side.  Combine all ingredients except whipped cream in large bowl; stir to blend. Let stand until juices form, about 15 minutes.

Put rhubarb mixture into buttered dish and sprinkle topping evenly over mixture. Bake until topping is golden brown and crisp and filling is bubbling thickly around edges, about 45 minutes. Serve warm with sweetened whipped cream and Enjoy!

Shrimp, Cucumber, and Mango Salad

Makes 6 servings

3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 large pickling cucumbers, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
1 large mango, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 pound cooked medium shrimp
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Hot pepper sauce
12 Bibb lettuce leaves

Mix vinegar and sugar in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Whisk in mustard and mayonnaise. Cover and chill. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.)

Combine cucumbers, mango, shrimp, and dill in large bowl. Pour dressing over; toss to coat. Season with salt and hot pepper sauce. Arrange 2 lettuce leaves on each of 6 plates. Top with shrimp salad. Serve with sparkling wine and Enjoy!