"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.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Weekly Menu

Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Chimichurri Sauce
Vegetable Medley with Herbs

Grilled Salmon with Olive Oil and Red Onion
Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Butternut Crusted Meat Pie
Sautéed Tuscan Kale with garlic and Chile flake

Chicken Piccata with Spaghetti Squash
Sautéed Zucchini with Italian Herbs

Pan Roasted Cod with Lemon and Capers
Oven Roasted Asparagus
Summer Squash with Shallots and Dill

Grilled Beef Tenderloin wrapped in Bacon
Roasted Acorn Squash with a Citrus-Honey Glaze
Chopped Romaine Salad with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Out with Friends in the "D"

Butternut Crusted Meat Pie

I was taking a walk with the dog and thinking what I was going to make for dinner. We had some butternut squash in there and about a pound of ground beef in the frig. I decided to do a riff on a classic, Shepherds pie. I figured with the weather getting colder it would be a nice change of pace and the squash would go well with the beef.


1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1 1/2” chunks
1 tablespoon soften butter 
1–2 pinches of ground ginger
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Meat filling:
2 Tbsp. Olive oil 
1# ground beef 
1 medium onion, peeled and diced small
1 rib celery, washed and diced small
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
1 medium parsnip, peeled and diced medium

1 russet potato, peeled and diced medium
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp. Tomato paste
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 Bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme 
Tabasco sauce, to taste
A good hand full flat leaf parsley, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

 Preheat oven to 400° F

On a baking sheet put butternut squash chunks drizzle with some olive oil, salt and pepper; mix well. Please squash into oven and bake until soft 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in large skillet put 2 tablespoons of olive oil and warm over medium-high heat.  Add onions, carrots, & celery and cook until they start to get soft 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and ground beef. Season well with salt and pepper and using fork break up large pieces. Brown meat, 8-10 minutes then add tomato paste, mix well.  Continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes then add chicken stock, parsnips, potatoes, Worcestershire, thyme, bay leaf and Tabasco. Mix and let cook down a little for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and reserve.

By now, your squash is done. Remove from oven and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher or kitchen spoon mash the squash with a couple pinches of ground ginger and some butter. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Transfer the beef mixture to a casserole or pie dish. Take the squash mash and spread on top to create an even topping. Dot the top with soft butter. Place pie in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Top should be a nice golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fennel Rubbed Leg of Lamb with Carrots and Salsa Verde

(1) 4-5#  butterfly boneless leg of lamb, rolled and tied
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons fennel seeds
4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finally chopped
3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil
2 # small to medium carrots.

Salsa Verde 

1/2 cup finally chopped parsley
1/4 cup finally chopped chives
2 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 300°

Season lamb generously with salt and pepper. Let’s sit out at room temperature while you prepare the rub.  Using a spice mill or mortar and pestle coarsely ground fennel seeds and red pepper flakes. Transfer to a small bowl and mix in garlic and 3 tablespoons oil. Evenly rub lamb all over with spice mix, making sure to work it into every nook and cranny.

 Heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. As soon as oil is hot and shimmering, add lamb to skillet and sear. Remove and reserve.

Trim and peel carrots, scatter along the outer edges of the large rimmed baking sheet. Place seared lamb in the center. Drizzle olive oil over carrots, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast lamb and carrots until thermometer inserted into the center of the Leg registers 135° for medium rare, 75 to 90 minutes. Transfer Lamb to a cutting board and tent with foil, let rest 20 minutes. Leave oven on. 

Salsa Verde-

While the lamb is resting, transfer carrots to a platter and carefully pour any juices from the baking sheet into a small bowl. Transfer carrots back to baking sheet and pop into the oven. Roast 5 minutes to reheat.

Meanwhile, mix parsley, chives, lemon juice, pan juices, and 2 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper and more lemon juice if needed.

Remove twine from Lamb and slice about half inch thick (You can go really go as thick or thin as you would like) arrange on a platter and serve with warm roasted carrots and salsa verde along side.


Radicchio with creamy tahini dressing and salted sesame seeds

3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Flaky sea salt
1/2 small red onion, very thinly slice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon tahini
2 medium or 4 small heads of radicchio, leaves separated, large leaves torn
Olive oil, for drizzling

Lightly crush sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle and transfer to a small bowl. Add a few pinches of sea salt, toss to combine. Set aside.

Toss onion and lemon juice in a large bowl, season with kosher salt and pepper. Let’s sit 5 minutes to lightly pickle. 

Meanwhile, mix yogurt, tahini, and 2 tablespoons water in another small bowl until smooth. Season dressing with kosher salt and pepper. 

Add radicchio to bowl with onion and drizzle with oil. Toss to coat, season with kosher salt and pepper. Transfer salad to a platter and drizzle with tahini dressing. Sprinkle reserve salted sesame seeds over salad. Serve and enjoy!

Sous Vide Tuna

I absolutely love my Sous Vide machine ("Sous Vide", French for cooking under vacuum).  The technique poaches the food slowly using very precise temperatures and circulating water while the food is in a vacuum sealed plastic bag.  The result is the most moist, flavorful fish (or whatever you are cooking)!

2 Sashimi grade tuna steaks
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 slices lemon
1 green onion, sliced thinly
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat water bath to 115° using sous vide machine. 
Place tuna steaks in medium mixing bowl. Add all ingredients and gently toss. Transfer each steak into its own plastic Ziploc bag, Making sure that each steak gets two sprigs of thyme and two slices of lemon.  Vacuum seal and place in water bath, making sure each is fully submerged.  Cook for 45 minutes.  Once done, remove bags from water bath and then remove tuna from their bags. Remove thyme sprigs and lemon discard. 

In a skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat. Once hot, quickly sear each steak on each side, 1-2 minutes. Remove and let rest for five minutes, served With fresh thyme sprigs and very thin slice of lemon for garnish.  Enjoy!

Pork Tenderloin with Golden Beets

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
2 coarsely chopped medium onions
3 medium golden beets, scrubbed and cut into small wedges
4  garlic cloves, minced
2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots, chopped

Kosher salt and Fresh ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium – high. Season the pork tenderloin with salt and black pepper.  Once oil starts to smoke place pork in pan and cook until browned on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter and reserve. 

Add onions and beets to the same skillet and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic, sauerkraut, vinegar, chicken broth, white wine, and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Cooking till beats or fork tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Return pork to skillet and push down, nestling into liquid. Increase heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, turning the meat from time to time. Cook until thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the loin registers 150°, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer port to a cutting board and let rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, mix olive oil, mint, parsley, toasted walnuts, apricots, and rest of lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.  Slice pork into 1/2” slices.  Spoon beat mixture onto plates, arrange pork on top. Spoon walnut mixture over. Serve and enjoy!

Plum cake - Zuetschge Kuchen

Kim's mother learned this from her mother in Germany and has passed the recipe down.  If you can find the prune plums (mid-end of summer) it will be well worth the hunt.  One of the best cakes I've had in a long time!
1 1/4 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup butter
1egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
3 cups. Purple plum (prune plums)

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons softened butter
Crumble all ingredients together in separate bowl and reserve

Preheat oven to 375° F.

In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer, blend butter till smooth and then slowly add dry ingredients. In their own bowl beat egg yolk, add milk and mix. Add this to butter mixture and combine well.

Transfer dough to a greased 11 x 7 pan and press down on bottom and sides. Press plum slices into dough overlapping plums. Sprinkle on topping. 

 Put the pan in preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes.  Let cake cool for a minimum of 30 minutes before slicing.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

We recently went to a friend's house  in Cincinnati for a long weekend and brought this for an item to serve with breakfast.  It was very moist and delicious. It can easily be converted to a gluten-free bread by switching out the AP flour for your favorite GF one.

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups white sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 pound fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 2 loaf pans. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar. Fold in zucchini. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries. 

Transfer to the prepared loaf pans. Bake 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until knife inserted in the center of the love comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in the pans, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.  Serve and Enjoy!