Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wild Rice Chicken Salad

I make this once a week all summer long. It's delicious and comes from Kate's cookbook and from a fellow Boston Gourmet Group member (embarrassingly, I can't find Saydi's contact info anywhere...anyone have it?). It requires a few hours to marinate before dinner. And, it gets better the next day when we like to scoop it onto pita bread. Kate's notes are in ()'s and mine are in italics. This is one of the BEST top-8 allergy free recipes I've found.
Saydi Eyre Shumway

1 box (Uncle Ben’s) long grain and wild rice
juice of 1 lemon
3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced--I sprinkle grill seasoning on chicken breasts and grill them
2 avocados, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 oz Chinese pea pods, ends removed (I usually skip these even though they taste good)
1 c toasted, chopped pecans optional

2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 c olive oil
1 Tb Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp sugar
1/3 c seasoned rice vinegar

Prepare rice mix according to directions. Blend all dressing ingredients well in blender. Add oil last, slowly, to thicken (But I just press my garlic and shake the dressing in an old jam jar). Mix all salad ingredients except avocados and pecans. Refrigerate 2 to 24 hours (better if 24). Add avocado and pecans immediately before serving. I love this without the chicken; I think the advocado and pecans make it a perfect vegetarian dinner.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

From my handy Gourmet cookbook. I have wanted to make these for a while. These, like the Gourmet banana bread, definitely have "more goodness."

6 T unsalted butter
1/3 c whole milk all I had was half and half--darn!
1 egg
1 egg yolk
3/4 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
2 c (12 ounces) blueberries I used 2 cups of frozen wild blueberries--much cheaper

3 T cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 c all purpose flour
3 1/2 T sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter muffin cups. I used paper liners instead.

Melt butter in small saucepan over moderately low heat; remove from heat. Whisk in milk, egg, yolk, and vanilla until well combined.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Add milk mixture and stir until just combined. My dough was really tight, and I knew folding in blueberries, even frozen ones, would be difficult. I added 3 T more of half and half to loosen the dough. Gently but throughly fold in blueberries.

Divide batter among muffin cups and spread evenly.

Combine all topping ingredients in bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over batter in cups. I might make an additional half recipe of the topping; I'd love to have more crumbs on top.

Bake until golden and crisp and a wooden pick or skewer inserted into center of muffin comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Cool in pan on rack for 15 minutes. Then, remove from cups. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Rachael Ray's Sirloin Burgers with Garlic-Black Pepper-Parmesan Sause and Roasted Tomatoes with Basil and Balsamic Drizzle

I still don't have a job for the summer, so I've been watching Rachael Ray in the morning. Since I have so much time I've been able to try some new stuff in the kitchen. We really liked this one!

2 vine-ripened tomatoes (for 4 burgers) sliced about 1/4 in. thick
4 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
salt and ground black pepper
2 lbs coarsely ground sirloin
3 Tbs. butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
2 Tbs flour
1 c. milk
1/2 c. grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
4 Kaiser rolls, toasted (or your favorite hamburger bun)
1 head red leaf romaine lettuce, shredded
8-10 leaves basil, thinkly sliced, for garnish (I forgot to buy basil, but I thought it was good without it)
1/4 c. balsamic drizzle**

Preheat oven to 325

Arrange tomato slices on a screen set over a sheet pan and drizzle with about 2 Tbs. EVOO, some salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes until tender and carmelized, about an hour, reserve. (I like fresh tomatoes better, so I didn't roast them, but you could)

When the tomatoes are ready, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 Tbs. While the pan is heating up, combine the sirloin with some salt and pepper, and form into 4 patties. Cook the patties in the hot skillet until seared and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. (We used our Mean Lean Grilling Machine to cook the burgers, and it was delicious!)

While the patties are cooking, place a small pot over medium-high heat with the butter. Add the garlic to the melted butter and cook for about 1 minute. Add the flour to the pan and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk the milk into the butter-flour mixture and bring up to a bubble. Simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt, lots of pepper (about 1 tsp) and stir in the cheese. Reserve the sauce warm.

When the burgers are ready, assemble them by placing some lettuce on the bun bottoms and topping it with a burger patty, some Parmigiano sauce, a couple of roasted tomatoes, som basil, and balsamic drizzle.

**Balsamic drizzle:
1 c. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. brown sugar

Combine vinegar and sugar in a small pot over medium-high heat and bring up to a bubble. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the liquids until they've reduced by about half and are thick and syrupy, about 10 minutes.

Click here to watch the Rachael Ray video clip

I really like the balsamic glaze on top, but Dave said he would have liked it better without. So if you think you would like a little bit of sweet on your burger, then use the drizzle. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Granda's Hootenanny

This is the breakfast I remember waking up to when we went to visit my grandma (we call her "Granda") in Utah growing up. It's neat to have a grandma who can bake cookies while explaining the state of higher education and then, going on to give a feminist critique of the Old Testament. I don't know why we call this dish a hootenanny, but it's just about the easiest breakfast ever. It tastes and sort of looks like a puffed pancake but with less work.

Blend 6 eggs and 1 cup milk

Add 1 c flour
1/2 t salt

Melt scant 1/2 c butter in 13X9 pyrex dish. Add egg, milk, flour, salt mixture (don't stir).

Cook 25 minutes at 425 degrees.

Nate's Chicken Fajitas

This dinner is quite a production; Nate only does it maybe once or twice a year, but boy, is it good!

Nate’s Fajita Mix

1/4 C Oil
3 T Cider Vinegar
1/4 C Lime Juice
1 Clove Garlic
2 T green chilies
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Oregano
1 T Cilantro
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 T Worch sauce

Make a marinade of the above ingredients
Chop 1 pound of beef or chicken for the marinade.

For a crowd that enjoys extra spice add a package of pre-made fajita seasoning or double garlic, chilies, mustard cilantro, and chili powder ingredients.

Combine and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Cut one yellow pepper into 1-2 inch strips
Cut one green or red pepper into 1-2 inch strips
Cut one onion into 1-2 inch strips
Spanish onion for authenticity
Red onion for color
Vidalia onion for sweetness (recommended)

Turn skillet on high, let heat build. Pick meat from the marinade and cook in the skillet on high until cooked through.

Remove meat and add remaining marinade.

Cook down the marinade for 1-2 minutes and add one

Sauté peppers and onion in skillet for 1-2 minutes on high.
Push peppers and onions to the perimeter of the skillet and add back the meat.
Cover for 30 seconds and serve immediately to the table.

Serve with fresh tortillas, avocado or guacamole, diced tomato, sour cream, lettuce, refried beans and a mild cheese.

Caution: This recipe has high oil content and is cooked at very high temperatures. Fires in the skillet can occur.

Nate's Salsa

My new recession-friendly budget has curtailed my recipe experiements lately. So, I'll be pulling old favorites from my recipe binder for a while. When Nate and I were dating, I learned that Nate makes the best salsa and chicken fajitas ever, so guess what we're having for Mother's Day tomorrow? The salsa is more like a pico de gallo, and both recipes are very mild.

6 roma tomatoes
1 red onion (small to medium)
1 2 oz can green chilies
1 t sugar
1 lime juiced
1 t lime zest
1/4 c cilantro
dash of red pepper
1/4 t paprika
salt to taste

Chop, combine, refridgerate for at least 1 hour before eating.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Creme Brulee with Chocolate

5 egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 cups whipping cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped, divided

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In large bowl whisk egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar. In small, heavy saucepan, heat cream to simmering over low heat. Add to yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Add vanilla, whisk to blend, and set aside.

Divide chocolate among four 3/4 cup custard dishes or ramekins. Ladle cream mixture over chocolate. Place cups in baking pan and add enough hot water to pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Bake until just set in center, about 55 minutes. Remove cups from water and cool. Cover and chill overnight.

Preheat broiler. Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon sugar over top of each chilled mixture. Broil, watching carefully, until sugar melts and browns slightly, about 2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings

Copied from The Junior League of Denver's cookbook entitled Colorado Collage