Friday Recipe Exchange: Pears and Grilling

Pears Pecorino Walnuts

Sometime contributor Michael Fallai shares a lot of terrific recipes on Facebook. The only hitch is they are often in Italian. Tonight’s featured recipe was one of those. If you ever want a laugh, let Google translate a recipe for you…and don’t let dissolve cheese in a water bath, or let your wine evaporate on flame lively intimidate you.

Perusing the weekly ads, I pulled together a few recipes based on what was on sale this week and headed out to the grill.

First up, Curried Turkey Burgers, recipe here. Great served on fresh pita and grill some fresh eggplant from the garden.

Collard greens were everywhere at the farmer’s market last weekend, so Collard Greens with Bacon seems timely, click here.

The dinner menu took advantage of the abundance of pears right now, Grilled Salmon in Dill Sauce with Pear Raspberry Salad. Click here for recipes and full menu.

20160825_155025(1600x1200)

JeffreyW and Mrs. J made some delicious looking Cream Horns (and to this Italian girl, seems the only difference between these and Cannoli is the filling). Purty pictures and directions can be found here.

What’s on your menu this last weekend of August? What garden fresh items are you enjoying right now? What are you grilling up?

Tonight’s featured recipe (pictured at top) became a poignant reminder of the earthquake in Italy. I had pulled it off the Italy site, translated it and put the ingredients on my shopping list just days before it hit.

Here is my version:

Pasta with Pears, Pecorino and Walnuts

  • 10 oz linguine pasta
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 3 large pears, very ripe, cored and cubed
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano (plus extra for garnish)
  • 4 oz cream cheese or Mascarpone, cut into small cubes
  • dash of white wine (opt)
  • salt and pepper to taste

skillet, large pot

Bring water to boil in large pot, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente.  Drain but do not rinse and add back to pot, off heat.

While pasta is cooking, heat skillet on medium heat, add walnuts. Stir constantly until lightly toasted, remove and set aside.

Add butter to skillet and melt before adding pears. Stir gently until well coated with butter. Cook until softened, gently stirring occasionally (you don’t want to break up the pears).

Add both cheeses and stir in completely. Let simmer on medium heat until lightly boiling. Add wine and let simmer away (about 5 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste.

Combine pasta, pear mixture and walnuts in large pot and mix well. Serve with extra Pecorino for garnish.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, enjoy fading days of August – TaMara



 

Advertisements

Sweet Olathe Corn Finally Arrives and Dinner Menu

DSC_2554 [1024x768]

Photo by JeffreyW

How is it Thursday already?

It was a big day today. Took a friend out to lunch at the new Tapas bar and Olathe Sweet Corn finally arrived in the store. Seems the rainy spring delayed the crop. I made a special trip to the store today to ‘stalk’ up.

Before that, we sampled the new Tapas bistro, SAMPLES. Really wanted to check out the roof top patio, but it was much too hot for that, so we settled for a sidewalk table. It was a pleasant experience. Good food, good beer and super nice staff. I think the consensus was that we would go back for more ‘samples’.

I had two completely new taste experiences (well four if you count the beer samples): truffle butter (on the bacon and grilled onions flatbread) and poutine (spare rib poutine to be exact). They were both fun and flavorful. I’d add spaetzle in brown butter, but my friend tells me it wasn’t true spaetzle, even though it was still delicious. Tasted like chicken mac ‘n cheese.

We finished down the road with Funnel Cake Strawberry Sundaes, offered in honor of county fair season. It was yummy.

Freddy's Funnel Cake Sundae

Freddy’s Funnel Cake Sundae

Later in the day I stopped at the grocery store, picked up a dozen ears of corn and steamed a few for dinner. I’ll prep the rest tomorrow and remove from the cob and serve cold on salads.

In honor of that arrival, grilled corn is on tonight’s Dinner Menu. It is one of the first menus I ever wrote.

On the board tonight:

But wait, there’s more! Click to read full menu

Dinner Menu: Crispy Pecan Fish, Broccoli in Wine Sauce, and Shortbread

I thought I might post a grilling recipe this week, but our weather has been unsettled with thunderstorms, hail and tornado warnings that means grilling is out at the moment. This is a good menu if you’re stuck inside. I’ll have a grilling theme for the recipe exchange tomorrow. On the board tonight:

  1. Crispy Pecan Fish
  2. Hearty Bread
  3. Broccoli w/Garlic Wine Sauce
  4. Shortbread

Crispy Pecan Fish

  • 4-6 oz fish fillets –you’ll want a firm fish such as: red snapper, catfish, tilapia or haddock
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ to 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp thyme, crushed
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

2 bowls, skillet Mix together in a bowl: flour, ½ of each: cayenne, thyme, paprika, salt & pepper in large bowl. Heat oil in skillet. Put milk in separate bowl. Dip fish in milk, dredge in flour mixture and add to pan. Cook over med-high heat, turning once until golden brown on both sides. About 5-6 minutes. Remove fish, keep warm. Drain oil and then add butter to skillet, melt and add pecans, remaining half of spices, cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until pecans are lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Add lemon juice, spoon evenly over fish portions & serve.

Broccoli w/Garlic Wine Sauce

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 16 oz broccoli crowns
  • 1 cup dry white wine (non-alcoholic ok)
  • salt & pepper to taste

skillet w/cover

Heat oil, add garlic & broccoli, sauté 3-4 minutes. Add wine and let it boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover, lower heat to medium-low and cook for 2-3 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium and let remaining liquid simmer away, about 5 minutes more. Keep a close eye; you don’t want it to scorch. What you’re doing with this method is reducing the liquid until it is absorbed completely by the vegetables. Salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Shortbread

  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour

baking sheet

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in flour. Chill for an hour. Divide in half. Place each half on baking sheet and pat each into approx. 7 inch circle. Prick each with a fork to make 16 wedges (total of 32). Bake for 30 minutes at 300°

==============================

 

Dinner Menu: Crispy Potato Chicken and Banana Foster Ice Cream

Shredded Potato Packet Final A while back I played around with Potato Encrusted Chicken and Fish. It is fairly easy to prepare, tastes great and looks very pretty on a plate. But it can be challenging and tonight’s menu offers a simpler version of the same style of chicken.  Perfect for a quick week night dinner. On the board tonight:

  1. Crispy Potato Chicken
  2. Steamed Carrots in butter
  3. Banana Foster Ice Cream

This recipe originally called for Dijon mustard, I am not a fan, so I always omit it, but I kept it in for this incarnation.  You can also add grated Parmesan or shredded cheddar to the potato mixture if you want to change things up a bit. Crispy Potato Chicken

  • 2-3 large potatoes, peeled
  • 4 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard (opt)
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • ¼ tsp ea. salt & pepper
  • ½ tsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ice water

2 bowls & baking dish (8×8), lightly oiled Shred potato, transfer to bowl of ice water. Rinse & dry breasts, place in baking dish and spread with garlic and optional Dijon mustard. Drain potatoes, pat dry and mix with oil & seasoning in bowl. Spread mixture over the top of the chicken pieces. Bake at 425° for 35-40 minutes, until potatoes are golden brown and chicken’s internal temperature is 185° This is a quick and alcohol-free banana foster, if you want the real deal, try this Alton Brown recipe Banana Foster Ice Cream

  • 2 large,firm bananas, sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp orange peel
  • dash cinnamon & nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp orange juice or pineapple juice
  • 6 oz sliced almonds
  • 4 cups vanilla ice cream

skillet and 4 dessert bowls Melt butter in saucepan, add bananas, sauté quickly until lightly brown. Add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel and juice. Boil until syrupy, stirring constantly to keep from burning. Add ice cream to dishes, top with ¼ of banana mixture each and garnish with almonds. Shopping List:

  • 1 lb carrots
  • 3 large potatoes
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 large, firm bananas
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange juice or pineapple juice
  • 6 oz sliced almonds
  • 1 quart premium vanilla ice cream

Also: butter, garlic, salt & pepper, fresh parsley, dried rosemary, olive oil, orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, optional: Dijon mustard, Parmesan or cheddar cheese

Friday Recipe Exchange: Mix and Match

DSC_4055 [1600x1060]

Just when I needed some inspiration, it arrived via email. Frequent guest recipe contributor, Joshua D. sent along a terrific idea this week, so it will be the featured recipe tonight.

Next week I think I have a real treat in store, with some very, shall we say, unique recipes.

Until then, JeffreyW made some awesome looking slaw (ingredients pictured above) this week, with a some great photos and a simple recipe, click here for the whole show.

He’s also been harvesting his tomatillos and making some good looking sauce, click here and here. I love tomatillos and can’t wait to grow them again myself, because JeffreyW is making my mouth water with these.

And finally in between a busy week of work and helping friends, I posted this week’s menu: Grilled Salmon with Orange Glaze and Grilled Tomato and Bell Pepper Soup.

I haven’t forgotten about the gluten free recipes everyone sent me, either. I’ll be using those in an upcoming recipe exchange. Since most of the recipes involve baking, I thought I’d wait until the weather was a bit cooler.

How about you? Is it still to hot to cook? What’s your go-to meal when it’s too hot to be in the kitchen? And what are you looking forward to making  when the weather cools down? For me, it’s always soups. Cool weather means soup in my house.

Okay, now for Joshua D (you may know him as Yutsano):

After months of teasing…here it is! This is great for when you have leftover chicken and biscuits or bread in the house and need to use it up. Since this is a French-inspired dish there are two ways to enjoy it: either over toasted croutons or biscuits. Both are equally delicious! Italian kale is available in most supermarkets, but if you can’t get it use adult spinach.

Chicken Provence

  • 1 lb cooked chicken
  • 2 shallots
  • 8-10 crimini mushrooms
  • 6-8 leaves Italian kale
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (I use pinot grigio)
  • 1 tbsp herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp parsley, divided
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 4-6 biscuits or 2 cups croutons from day old French bread

Shred chicken and set aside. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Slice shallots and mushrooms thinly and throw into the pan. Season with some salt and pepper and cook 2-3 minutes. While those are cooking, chop kale into 1/2 inch thick ribbons including stems, then add to pan. Cook another 2-3 minutes with another pinch of salt. While that happens, slice garlic very thin and chop tomato. Add garlic to pan and cook another minute, then add tomato and as much juice as you can that came out. Give one final pinch of salt. Sauté for another minute, then add wine, chicken, and herbs. Reduce until the wine is almost but not completely gone, then stir in heavy cream. Reduce for about 5 minutes, then test for final seasoning. You may need a bit more herb or salt at this point. Slice open biscuits and spoon sauce over the top. You can re-heat or toast your biscuits or croutons as you’re cooking everything else, it takes about the same amount of time!

Thank you Yuts! It sounds delicious.  If anyone else wants to share a recipe for the exchange, send me an email, I’d love to post them. See you next week.  Until then…

 

X-Posted at Balloon-Juice

===========================================

Dinner Menu: Fruit Juice Marinated Grilled Chicken

DSC_2554 [1024x768]

JeffreyW grills up some corn

I’m still on the road, travelling through Nebraska, where corn is king. We had some great grilled corn this weekend and made the fruit salad for a family get-together yesterday. Both always go great with marinated chicken breasts. This marinade works best on the grill because it caramelizes well over an open flame and that gives its signature flavor.

Enjoy!

On the board tonight:

  1. Fruit Juice Marinated Chicken Breasts
  2. Corn on the Cob (pull husks back, clean off silk, wash, pull husks up & grill-yum!)
  3. Grilled Potatoes
  4. Ambrosia

Fruit Juice Marinated Chicken Breasts

  • 4 chicken boneless breasts
  • ½ cup grape or cranberry juice
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup wine (non-alcoholic is ok)
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • zip lock bag

Add all ingredients into zip-lock bag and thoroughly coat & let marinate overnight. Grill (or roast in the oven at 375° in a large baking dish). 15 minutes each side, 185° internal temp. When grilling, to avoid drying chicken out, sear for 5 minutes each side, cook additional 10 minutes, then move away from high heat for rest of cooking time.

To make ahead, add chicken and marinade ingredients together and freeze. Pull out and thaw in the refrigerator the night before.

Grilled Potatoes

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 to 2 tbsp butter
  • parsley or chives
  • salt & pepper
  • foil

Thinly slice each potato, layer one on each piece of foil, then layer sliced onion and parsley or chives. Melt butter and add garlic, drizzle equally over each potato. Wrap and seal foil. Grill, turning halfway through (about 15 minutes each side). Cook until potatoes are tender and onions crispy.

Ambrosia

Mix pineapple, sliced banana, orange slices, grapes & shredded coconut with 4 oz ginger ale.

Shopping List:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 oz grape or cranberry juice
  • 4 oz soy sauce
  • 4 oz wine (non-alcoholic is ok)
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 ears of corn
  • 8 oz fresh pineapple
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 cups grapes
  • 2 oz shredded coconut
  • 4 oz ginger ale

Also: crushed garlic, butter, parsley, chives

Menu originally posted July 2009

=============================================

Beef Stew in Wine: Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker Methods

We had a bit of snow last night and there’s a chill in the air. When I was at the market I found a nice cut of chuck and decided I wanted to make stew for dinner. It was about 4 pm, so it was time to break out the pressure cooker. In 30 minutes I had a great stew that tasted like it was cooked all day in the slow-cooker. Below is the recipe, you can use in with both.

Originally posted 1/2012

Temperature is supposed to drop by 50 degrees between today’s high and tomorrow’s high. Seemed like a good time to break out the slow-cooker.  I’ve also included a variation of the instructions for a pressure cooker, in case my gadget post made you decide to dig yours out of storage.

We’ve done beef stew before here, this is just a variation on the basic recipe.

The thing to know about beef stew is the flavors really come from the meat and vegetables.  Seasoning is better if kept light for the best experience.

Beef Stew in Wine

  • 1 lb lean stew meat
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 4-6 small potatoes, quartered
  • 8 oz baby carrots, halved
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 4 button mushrooms, washed and quartered
  • pinch of rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)
  • ½ tsp ea. salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup of dry red wine
  • 3 tbsp flour as needed

slowcooker, skillet

In skillet, heat oil.  Add salt and pepper to flour, dredge meat in flour and add to hot oil.  Cook until evenly brown.

Place meat, onion, vegetables & spices into the slowcooker, add 5 cups water and wine,  cook according to slowcooker directions, (usually 8 to 10 hours on low).

I like my stew thick, so about 2o minutes before serving, I turn the slow-cooker heat to high, bringing stew to a boil, mix 1 cup water and flour completely, add to stew, stirring constantly (works best with a fork), and cook until thickened, reduce heat and let simmer additional 20 minutes.

For Pressure Cooker:

Heat oil in pressure cooker.  Dredge meat in flour, salt & pepper mixture and cook in oil until evenly brown.  Add onions and sweat for a minute.  Add vegetables, spices, 5 cups of water and wine to pressure cooker, cover and bring to pressure.  Reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes.  Turn heat off and let depressurize naturally (as opposed to the cold water method).  For a thicker stew follow directions above.

Thursday Recipe Exchange: Grilled Chicken

Photo by JeffreyW

I had a request to do some grilling and picnic recipes for the next few weeks (thanks Yutsano). We’ll traverse the table: meats, vegetables, side dishes and desserts. By July 4th we should be covered.

Tonight we’ll start with grilling chicken. I have a stockpile of marinade and grilling recipes for chicken breasts. I may be in the minority, but when it comes to many chicken dishes, including bbq and fried chicken, I prefer thighs. They have more flavor and are moister. The introduction of boneless thighs was like a culinary miracle as far as I was concerned.

When I am using marinades, though, I actually prefer boneless breasts. Similar to pork loin, they take on whatever flavors are introduced and cook up quickly. When using a marinade, I think their blandness proves more of an asset than a deficit; they are kind of like a blank canvas for introducing flavors.

And for busy weeknights, nothing is quicker and easier than pulling marinated chicken breasts out of the refrigerator, doing a quick stir-fry or grilling them and serving with rice and a salad. I have three recipes to get us started:

Cranberry Grilled Chicken (recipe here) is one of my favorites and anyone who has read this blog, knows I LOVE cranberries.

And Sunrise Chicken (recipe here) is a great citrus based marinade.

Tonight’s feature recipe is a marinade that is meant for grilling. Grilling gives the marinated breasts a nice crust. It can also be used on pork loin or boneless pork chops, though I prefer apple cider or cranberry juice to the grape juice in that case.

So what do you look forward to the most at a picnic? What’s your favorite thing to grill?

Fruit Juice Marinated Chicken Breasts

  • 4 chicken boneless breasts
  • ½ cup grape or cranberry juice
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup wine
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic

zip lock bag or sealed container

Add all ingredients into zip lock bag and thoroughly coat & let marinate overnight. Grill 15 minutes each side, 165 degrees internal temp.

When grilling, to avoid drying chicken out, sear on each side (about 5 minutes each side), cook 5 additional minutes for each side, baste with marinade if desired, then move away from high heat for rest of the cooking time. The thickness of the chicken breasts makes a difference here, so adjust accordingly.

You’ re on your own tonight. I’ve been asked to film a drumming on Sunday and tonight is going to be a trial run. Should be fun.