Saturday, October 31, 2009
We are FINALLY going to be making the pork tenderloin recipe from the Vera Bradley cookbook that I picked up while in North Carolina this evening for the game. I opted not to marinate it for the whole 24 hours, but hopefully, 10 hour will be plenty of time. I'll definitely be blogging about it tomorrow.
This morning, we were debating what to do for breakfast. I was trying to talk Rick into making me breakfast in bed, but unfortunately, I was unsuccessful. On the fortunate side, however, I was too tired to make the pork chops that he brought over last night so we decided to fry them up, put them on biscuits, and have a pork-filled day! Being from the South, frying is a part of life. I'm not a huge fryer, but over the past year or so, I've become more comfortable with it. Pork is another stable in any good Southerners diet (albeit a bad one). My home state of North Carolina is known for its fabulous barbecue, and I was converted to the vinegar-based style during college. I'll have to post my crock pot "barbecue" recipe here at some point.
So here is the goodness (and badness for the waist line) that we called breakfast this morning. Rick put the whole pork chop on his, but I halved mine and ate the other half on the side (pictured in a wee-bit blurry picture below).
Saturday Morning Pork Chop Biscuits
2 Frozen Grands Biscuits
2 pork chops
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup panko
Preheat oven to 375F. Once oven is preheated, place biscuits on a ungreased baking sheet. Cook for 16-22 minutes.
Heat oil (about 1/4 inch deep) in a heavy skillet.
In a bowl, whisk together egg and milk. In another bowl, mix together bread crumbs. Place on a plate to coat pork chops. Place flour on the plate to dredge pork chops. Dredge a pork chop in the flour and shake off the excess. Dip the pork chop in the egg-milk mixture, and the coat with bread crumbs and panko. Repeat with the other pork chop.
When the oil is heated, place the pork chops in the oil. Cook for around 4-5 minutes per side for a total cooking time of around 10 minutes. Use a knife to cut the chop to check for doneness. Cooking time will vary based on thickness of the pork chops. Place the pork chops on a plate covered with paper towels to drain. Once drained, place the pork chop in the biscuit.
Rick likes to put a little mustard on his. Enjoy!!!
Friday, October 30, 2009
The first time that I made it was just prior to my starting this blog. We had gone out to dinner a couple of weeks before that, and Rick had ordered Chicken Parmesan. I left the restaurant with dinner-envy as I wished that I had ordered that instead of what I had. Don't you hate when that happens? Something wonderful came out of it, though: I started scouring the internet for the perfect Chicken Parm recipe. Luckily for me, foodnetwork.com provided a couple that I was able to combine and tinker with to create this one.
While I was taking the pictures for this blog entry, Ty kept trying to get to see what I was up to and get to the food. I thought I'd include the picture with him peaking up from the chair, too. Enjoy!!
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups of Italian bread crumbs
1 cups of panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Fresh ground black pepper
All purpose flour (for dredging)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons of reduced fat milk
Vegetable oil for frying
6 Cheese Blend grated cheese
Marinara sauce (recipe to follow)
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Put each chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them out to a uniform thickness (around 1/3 inch).
In a large bowl, mix together salt, Italian bread crumbs and panko. Season with fresh ground black pepper.
Place flour on a large plate. In another large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Dredge a chicken breast in flour and shake off excess. Next, dip the chicken breast into the egg mixture, and then dredge in the bread crumb-panko mixture, shaking off an excess. Transfer to a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
In a large skillet, pour vegetable oil to a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat the oil over medium heat until it registers 400F on a deep frying thermometer. Fry one breast at a time until golden brown on each side (around 6 minutes total). Using tongs, remove the chicken from oil and place on a paper-towel covered plate.
Lightly brush a baking dish with olive oil. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with half of the marinara and place the chicken over the sauce. Cover with remaining sauce. Scatter 6 cheese blend on top, and sprinkle a little bit of cheddar cheese on top of it. Bake until sauce is bubbling and the cheese is brown (around 30 minutes). Serve immediately over the pasta of your choice.
1 jar of store bought marinara sauce
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 green pepper chopped
3 gloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh basil
Extra virgin olive oil
Italian seasoning grinder
In a medium sauce pan, heat sauce over low heat. Add basil. Stir occasionally.
In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, and green pepper and season with Italian seasoning. Stir until vegetables are tender (around 5 minutes). Transfer to the sauce and raise heat under sauce to medium. Cook (stirring occasionally) for another 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Monday, October 26, 2009
I have made them using all different kinds of cheeses including Gruyere, Parmesan, Provolone, Cheddar...basically whatever I have had on hand and sometimes I have even combined different types. They are really quick and simple to make and delicious warm. This is the original recipe that I used, but over the years, I've made a couple of changes. In the picture, I didn't half the puff pastry. Rick actually likes it better this way!
Prosciutto and Cheese Pinwheels
3/4 cup packed, grated cheese (such as Gruyere, cheddar, Parmesan, Provolone)
2 tablespoons of fresh basil, chopped
1 thawed puff pastry sheet (1 from a 17 1/4 oz package of frozen puff pastry)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 oz of thinly sliced prosciutto
In a bowl, combine cheese and basil. Lightly flour a cutting board and place puff pastry on it. Cut pastry to make two rectangles. Arrange one half of the sheet with the long side facing and brush the edge of the far side with some eggs. Put 1/2 of prosciutto on the pastry (avoiding the egg-brushed edge. Top with half of the cheese-basil mixture. Starting with the side closest to you, roll the pastry jelly-roll fashion into a log, pressing gently to seal long edges. Wrap the log in plastic, and repeat with the other half of the puff pastry. Chill the pastry logs, seam side down for at least 3 hours and up ot 3 days.
Preheat oven to 400F and lightly grease 2 large baking sheets.
Cut logs crosswise into 1/2 inch thick pinwheels and arrange with the cut sides down, 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Bake pinwheels in batches in the middle of the oven for 14 to 16 minutes, until golden brown. Use a metal spatula to transfer pinwheels to a rack and cool. Serve warm.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Nevertheless, Rick is over, and we're doing ribs again today! We haven't done them since the last time I blogged about them, and I'm really looking forward to it! This time around, we are doing baby back ribs. I'm hoping that we will be finishing them off with Option 2 (on the grill) after two hours in the oven this afternoon. We are about an hour in as I type. I'll be mixing up the cole slaw soon, too.
Part of the reason that I'm blogging today since I don't have a new recipe to share is to sing the praises of Emeril's Essence Bayou Blast. I added a little bit of it to the chicken and veggie marinade that we had last night. You can find the marinade here, by the way. Another thing that I have used from the pork chop night is the liquid crab and shrimp boil (Zatarain's). We boiled some shrimp on Thursday, and I don't think that I'll ever go back to using anything else! It just amazed me how just a little bit of that stuff can make for the perfect boiled shrimp. I can't wait to try it with crab legs. Thank you, Emeril!!!!
I am also happy to announce that my friend Kim gave birth today to her daughter Chloe! I'm so happy for her!!! Congratulations, Kim!!! I can't wait to see the pictures!!!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
After several of the recipes that I wanted to do from the cookbook required long (ie 3 + hours) of marinating, I decided to go on foodnetwork.com to see if I could find something to do. I guess I had pork on the brain because I started looking for pork chop recipes. Rick is a big fan of pork chops, but we so rarely have them that I decided to make them for a change. The recipe that I found had a side dish of Cheese Potatoes Au Gratin which would kill two birds with one stone. I was drawn to the pork chop one because it allowed me to expand my pantry purchasing liquid crab and shrimp boil and Emeril's Bayou Blast. I've never purchased Emeril's Essence before, and I was out of Cajun seasoning so I thought I'd give it a try. It's a little bit more expensive than the larger containers of it, but I liked it. The pork chops did require some marinating time, but I shortened it to just shy of 2 hours, and they were still great! They were definitely a hit!
Emeril's Shake 'Em Up Pork Chops
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons liquid concentrate crab and shrimp boil (recommended: Zatarain's)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 bone-in center-cut pork loin chops, about 12 ounces each
- 1 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup masa harina
- 1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon Essence Bayou Blast
- 1/3 cup olive oil
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the wine, 1/4 cup of the oil, the crab boil, pepper, cayenne, garlic, and bay leaf. Add the pork chops and marinate, refrigerated, turning occasionally, for 2 to 4 hours.
In a clean, large plastic bag, combine the bread crumbs, masa harina, Parmesan, and Essence. Shake to mix.
Remove the pork chops from the marinade and shake to remove any excess. One at a time, add the chops to the dry mixture and shake until evenly coated. Remove, place on a large plate, and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
In a large skillet or saute pan, heat the remaining 1/3 cup of oil over medium-high heat. Add the chops and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side.Remove from the pan and serve immediately on top of portions of the Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin
Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin
2 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces Cheddar, grated
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a medium gratin dish with butter.
Cover the bottom of the pan with an overlapping layer of potatoes. Lightly season with salt and pepper and top with a sprinkling of cheese (about 2 tablespoons). Continue layering potatoes, seasoning, and cheese, ending with the remaining cheese on top. Pour the cream over the potatoes, pressing lightly with your hands to cover the potatoes with cream.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the cheese is absorbed into the potatoes and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the mixture is bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before cutting into portions.
I have to admit that I was disappointed a few weeks ago when Rick finally admitted to me that he wasn't a fan of this recipe...or as he put it, it wasn't one of his favorites. He said that it was too lemony which sent me into the kitchen to try to make it something that he loves as much as I do! Adding a pinch of sugar definitely takes care of the tartness from the lemon, and I like to add a couple of tablespoons of white wine to the lemon juice to make a more complex.
I've been making this recipe for years, and I've been known to add thinly sliced onions and tomatoes to the salad. I serve it as a main course and use 10-12 sea scallops when I'm making it for two.
Here is the recipe with my adaptations.
4 paper-thin slices prosciutto
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
10 sea scallops
All purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons white wine
Parmesan cheese (shredded)
Brush each prosciutto slice on 1 side lightly with some of oil. Heat heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 slices prosciutto, oiled side down. Cook until bottom is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Turn prosciutto over and cook until bottom is browned, flattening with spatula, about 1 minute longer. Using tongs, transfer prosciutto to paper towels to crisp. Repeat with remaining 2 slices prosciutto. Reserve skillet.
Place lettuce and basil in large bowl and mix together. Set aside.
Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper; dust lightly with flour. Heat remaining oil in reserved skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops and cook until brown and just opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plate.
Saute garlic in pan. Add white wine, lemon juice and lemon peel to drippings in skillet. Bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Pour pan juices over greens and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide salad among 2 plates and top with scallops. Garnish with prosciutto chips and serve. I like to tent them around the center of the salad and surround them with the scallops. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Tomorrow is the Student Nurses' Association Bake Sale. Normally in these situations, I open up a box of Ghiradelli Brownie Mix and call it a night...especially considering that I spent the weekend in North Carolina for my cousin's wedding. Yesterday while I was out shopping with my stepmom and Vicki, I purchased a new cookbook and a Taste of Home magazine. As soon as I got them, I envisioned myself on the couch with them in my hand in the kittens on my lap as I searched for something new and exciting to make. I was flipping through the Taste of Home magazine this afternoon when I came across this little recipe for Chocolate Chip Raspberry Bars. It seemed easy enough, and I'm a sucker of anything chocolate! I decided to do the Ghiradelli brownies and try out this new recipe.
I have a confession, though. After all the fun this weekend, I am rather tired which can make me rather forgetful. It wasn't until I took the raspberry bars out after the initial 5 minutes of baking that I realized that I forgot to put the egg in! Needless to say, I had to start over. Rick got a good laugh out of it when I told him about it. I ended up using almost the whole 18 oz jar of the seedless raspberry jam because it was a little difficult to spread. It wasn't until I started to try to cut them that I realized that sometimes, less is a better thing! The end result was very delicious albeit a little sweet and rich (and messy!!!). And yes, I did save a couple for Rick to enjoy.
Here's the recipe:
Chocolate Chip Raspberry Bars
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup cold butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
- 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chip
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in egg and extract just until moistened. Set aside 1 cup of crumb mixture for topping.
Press the remaining mixture into a greased 11 inch by 7 inch baking pan. Bade at 350F for 5 minutes. Spread the jam and sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake 35-40 minutes longer or until golden brown.
Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Return to the oven for 30 seconds or until chips are glossy. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Well, sort of anyway!!!
As I've lamented here before, Rick is not a fan of mushrooms, and since he is out of town this weekend, I decided that my meal tonight would include mushrooms. For some reason, I was craving Korean Beef. Maybe it was the fact that I was in West Ashley yesterday but wasn't there around dinner time so that I could swing by Red Orchid. Ever since Rick and I went there with Nick and his girlfriend, Haley, I have occasional longings for their Korean Beef. Unfortunately for me, that is quite a drive for food so I've been trying my best to duplicate their dish! This version is somewhat similar to bulgogi. Honestly, I pretty much just use it for the sauce/marinade.
Tonight, I had to do something that I've never done before: I had to toast sesame seeds. Unfortunately for me, Publix does not sell toasted ones. It was actually pretty simple to do. I just preheated my oven to 325F, put them in a small cast iron skillet, and toasted them until they were a golden brown. The total time was around 18 minutes. In the picture of the meal that I posted, I think I got a little bit carried away with them, though!
Of course, I had to tinker with the sauce a bit. On its own, it is a wee-bit salty (even when I use low sodium soy sauce). To cut that a bit, I added 2 tablespoons of Mirin (which can be purchased at the grocery store near the soy sauce). Since I didn't have any fresh ginger, I used ground (and 1/4 tsp = 1 tsp fresh). I also doubled the amount of garlic.
In order to save some time, I purchased a little over a pound of pre-sliced, stir-fry beef and marinated that for around 30 minutes or so while the rice cooked. I doubled the marinade so that I could also marinate one chopped green pepper, 1/2 of a sweet onion (also chopped) and 4 oz of sliced mushrooms. I actually halved the marinade and marinated the veggies and the meat separate. I like doing the veggies instead of bothering with the lettuce boats. Use whatever vegetables you'd like!
I stir-fried the veggies in my wok and then added the beef. They would've been good on the grill, but it was damp out after the evening rain. Before serving it, I made another batch of my doctored marinade to serve over the food when I plated it. Delicious!!!
Here is the original recipe:
Korean-Styled Grilled Flank Steak
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
- 1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha (Southeast Asian chile sauce)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
- 1 to 1 1/4 pound flank steak
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- Accompaniments: white rice; soft leaf lettuce
Stir together soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, Sriracha, sugar, and sesame oil.
Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-high heat.
Oil grill rack, then grill steak, covered, turning over once, 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare.
Transfer steak to a cutting board and drizzle with 2 tablespoons sauce, then let stand, uncovered, 5 minutes. Thinly slice steak across the grain. Serve with remaining sauce, scallions, and sesame seeds.
Changes that I made to the marinade
- added 2 tablespoons of Mirin
- used low sodium soy sauce
- used two cloves of garlic
- substituted ground ginger for fresh
- doubled it in order to use with vegetables
- Stir-fried 1/2 onion, green pepper (both chopped), and 4 oz of sliced mushrooms
- Also stir-fried meat due to weather
- Used stir-fry meat instead of flank steak
- Made another batch of the sauce/marinade to put over meat
Preheat oven to 325F.
Place untoasted sesame seeds in a small cast iron skillet, and toasted them in the oven until they were a golden brown. The total time was around 15-20 minutes.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Here is the original recipe:
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, and deveined
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
- 1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/3 cup clam juice
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Monday, October 05, 2009
Cooking has become somewhat dangerous with the kittens playing in the kitchen floor. As I sit here and compose this post, little Ty is "chasing" the little squares in the kitchen tile...and then in a flash, he and Weezy are off to terrorize some other part of the condo. What amazes me about the pets that I have had in my life is that the smell of sauteing garlic can bring them in the kitchen within seconds. Can someone please explain that to me???
Here are the recipes for your culinary enjoyment....
- One baguette of bread (I like to get my cut at Publix, but if your grocery store baker won't do it, cut to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick)
- 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
- olive oil (extra virgin)]
- Parmesan cheese, shredded/grated
- Italian seasoning grinder
- Garlic powder
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Balsamic vinegar
- A splash of white wine
- Cooking spray
Add drained can of diced tomatoes, minced garlic, diced onion, fresh basil, three-four twists of the Italian seasoning grinder in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan with cooking spray. In a small plate, pour some olive oil. Add two to three twists of the Italian seasoning and garlic powder to taste and stir.
Place pieces of baguette on the sprayed pan (you may have several pieces left over). Brush pieces of bread with olive oil mixture and place back on the pan. Toast bread for 4-5 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove from oven.
Change oven setting to broil.
Spoon a little bit of balsamic vinegar on each piece of baguette toast. Next, add a spoonful of the tomato-onion mixture to each piece of baguette toast. Sprinkle each piece with Parmesan cheese. Broil until cheese melts about 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.
Here is the original recipe for Lemon Chicken with Parmesan Crostini
- 12 1/4-inch-thick French bread baguette slices, toasted
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 12 thin slices plum tomato
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 4-ounce skinless boneless chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (white and pale green parts only)
- 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
Place bread on baking sheet. Spread tomato paste over. Top each with 1 tomato slice. Sprinkle cheese atop.
Pound each chicken breast between sheets of plastic to 1/4-inch-thickness. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place flour in bowl. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Lightly coat 2 chicken with flour; shake off excess. Transfer to skillet and cook until brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate and tent with foil. Repeat with 1 teaspoon oil, flour and remaining chicken.
Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in same skillet over low heat. Add green onions and garlic; sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth and wine scraping up any browned bits in skillet. Add lemon juice and 2 tablespoons parsley. Increase heat to high; boil until liquid is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Mix in lemon peel. Season with salt and pepper. Return chicken to skillet; simmer until heated through, turning to coat.
Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Broil crostini until cheese melts, watching closely, about 1 minute.
Transfer chicken to plates. Spoon pan juices over chicken. Sprinkle with remaining parsley. Serve with crostini.
The only change that I made was breading the chicken in my favorite mix: Parmesan cheese, panko, and Italian bread crumbs.