Today’s …

 

 

 

Today’s Featured Recipe: Patty Pan Summer Squash Stuffed with Risotto, Zucchini, Spring Onions and Carrots

I made this for a couple’s celebration of their sixth anniversary.  It played a co-starring role with my champagne-pomegranate glazed prime rib.

2 large Patty Pan Summer Squash

Vegetable Stuffing:

1 C Shredded Carrots

1 C Shredded Zucchini

1/2 C Spring Onions

1 pinch of salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1TBS. olive oil

Risotto: 

1 C Risotto

1 TBS. Butter  or Olive Oil

1/4 C Dry White Wine

1 1/3 C Boiling Water

Grated Parmesan Cheese

 1tps. butter

Cover Patty Pan Squash with water and boil for 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove and let cool.

While Patty Pan is boiling, heat the butter or olive oil in a pan.  Add the risotta and stir to coat.  Add wine and allow it to boil off, stirring frequently. Add boiling water, do not cover, and cook for 15 minutes stirring occassionally.  It is done when tender but firm to the bite.  Remove from heat and add parmesan and butter.

Heat 1 TBS. olive oil in a pan.  When the oil is hot, saute carrots, zucchini and finely chopped spring onions for 5 minutes or until tender.  Add the salt and pepper and stir for one more minute. Add to finished risotto and mix together.

When the squash has cooled, but the top off — put the top to the side and use as a pretty “lid” when stuffed.  Hollow out the core of the Patty Pan making a space for the risotto mixture.  Place risotto inside the hollow and place the “lid” on top. 

Bake the squash in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 

 

Baked, Whole Red Snapper with leeks, spinach and limes

Holy, Whole Fish – Snapper – Heads and Tails

Cooking a whole fish can seem a bit intimidating. It’s so much to manage — the head, the tail, the scales, the cleaning. In reality, there are resources available at grocery stores that have invested in their fish departments. Ask the fishmonger to scale and clean the fish for you. Filets are easy to get, if you prefer to have it from the whole fish rather than just whats on display. I went to Whole Foods today and the whole fish all looked so fresh and inviting, One in particular caught my eye. A red snapper with a yellow stripe. The fish from head to tail was about 16 inches — perfect for me and my best friend and official taste tester Ramon. I decided to bake the fish. Much more healthy and a great way to really taste the fresh fish. I seasoned it inside the cavity and on the skin. Slitting the skin on both sides, I placed sliced fresh garlic inside. I seasoned the inside and outside with lavender pepper and salt. Stuffing the fish with thin lime slices, a bit of leeks and spinach. Then I scattered the remaining leek and spinach under and around the fish, drizzled some olive oil over the top and placed in the oven at 400 degrees.

Tip: Set your timer for 10 minutes. Then every four minutes after. Check the fish and you’ll know it’s done when all the “red” from the red snapper is gone. Every oven is different. I had mine on convection bake. It took a total of 22 minutes — with the last four with the fish flipped on it’s underside. This is the BEFORE cooking pic.

 

This One’s for Gayle

Chicken Breasts with Creamy Leeks and Red Peppers

The beauty of the internet and facebook and all of this social media stuff — is that it allows for long-separated friends to re-connect.  It sounds a little silly to those in their 20s, but it’s true.  As a result of FB, one of my dearest friends from college and I have been able to share our post-college, post-clove cigarette smoking, post-Smith’s (no, that can never happen, right Gayle?!  The Smith’s will always be part of us) lives.  Recently, Gayle posted she’s looking for easy, healthy recipes.  So here goes Snakey K!

Adapted from The Splendid Table’s “How to Eat Supper” by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift

2 cups sliced leeks – white and light green parts

1 Tbs. chopped garlic (either fresh or the pre-chopped store-bought)

2 cups chicken broth (tetrapak, organic)

2 Tbs. unsalted butter (I’ve reduced the butter, it’s plenty creamy with this amount)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 red bell pepper, chopped fine (I add this for color and crunch)

Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper

(The original recipe calls for tarragon — I love it, but it’s not necessarily kid-friendly)

1. Put 2 Tbs. of butter in a large skillet, let it melt over medium heat and add leeks and garlic.  Once the garlic is golden, add the chicken broth.  Finish sautein leeks until somewhat soft and whites are translucent. 

2. While the leeks are cooking, salt and pepper the chicken breasts.  Place the chicken on top of the leeks — spooning some leeks on top of the chicken. Cover tightly with lid and reduce heat to to low. 

3. Allow about 15 minutes for breasts to cook. 

4. To check for doneness, press the chicken — it should feel firm. 

5. Place the chicken on plates, pour leeks and sauce over them and serve. 

6. This is especially nice with a fresh baby spinach salad and Brianna’s French vinaigrette.

 

Thai Shrimp and Papaya Salad

Shrimp:
10 large, raw prawns
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¼ teaspoon red pepper or black pepper

Salad:
6 C spinach, other mixed greens
¼ tsp. salt
¼ C freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ C olive oil

Papaya Salsa:
½ C cilantro
1 C cubed papaya*
¼ C cubed red pepper
¼ C diced red onion
1 small habanero, seeds out and minced
2 Tbs. lime juice

Preheat broiler for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the prawns in a medium bowl and add the sesame oil and pepper. Toss to coat the prawns completely and evenly. Lay the seasoned prawns on a baking sheet and broil until pink and done — 2 to 3 minutes.

Toss the salad greens with salt, lemon juice and oil.

Pinch the leaves off the cilantro stems. Put them in a small bowl with the remaining salsa ingredients and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Toss the shrimp into the papaya salsa and stir until they are coated. Put the salad on a each plate and lay the prawns on top.

*My son is allergic to papaya. Mango is a good substitute.

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It’s Prime Time with Omaha Steaks Chateaubriand-Cut Prime Rib!

Ready-for-Prime-Time Champagne-Pomegranate Glazed Boneless Prime Rib — Recipe follows below. A Great Menu for Father’s Day, June 17, 2012

5 teenage boys, 1 man and me for a summer Saturday night dinner after a day at the pool, playing hoops, riding bikes, jumping on the trampoline.  What to serve? Of course, the Chateaubriand Boneless Prime Rib Roast from my fav — Omaha Steaks — never fails to satisfy the hunger of growing boys.  The sides were greens I gathered from my backyard veggie patch including kale, collards and savoy spinach.  I cut them into ribbons and sautéed with garlic and chicken broth with a  squeeze of fresh lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Classic potato salad was the perfect complement.  I put a twist on mine by using unpeeled and diced yukon potatoes, finely chopped celery, hardboiled eggs, salt, pepper, cider vinegar, pinch of unprocessed sugar and the clincher — The Ojai Cook Lemonaise (which I could and have eaten straight out of the jar)!  Here’s the recipe for Champagne-Pomegranate Glazed Boneless Prime Rib.

Champagne-Pomegranate Sauce

2 Cups Champagne (Sparkling Wine)

1/2 C Pomegranate Vinegar

1/4 C Pomegranate Molasses (available at ethnic stores and Whole Foods Markets)

1/4 C Pure Clover Honey

Bring to boil in sauce pan, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Sauce will thicken as it cools.  This makes 2 cups.  Brush 1 cup one the prime rib.  Then salt and pepper to taste (approximately 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper per side).  Reserve other cup of sauce for tomorrow’s chicken  or pork tenderloin dinner.

Prime Rib:  Follow the instruction on Omaha Steak website.  Or my slight modification. Heat oven to 450 F.  Place PR on a rack in a shallow roasting plan.  Roast uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes uncovered for a four pound roast. When the roast reaches 10 degrees below your desired doneness (145 rare, 160 medium, 170 well), take the roast out and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes as it continues to cook.

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Thank you Bobby Flay — Bobby + Amy = Smokin’ Hot Tropical…..

Fruit and Citrus Marinade

I did something today that I NEVER, EVER do.  It was a guilty pleasure.  One that I didn’t think I’d have to admit, share or confess.  It was around lunch time.  I had finished all my planned tasks.  And a thought popped into my head.  No one was around.  Who would ever know.  I’m an adult.  It’s not going to hurt anyone.  I made my way downstairs, pressed the button, and voile……Bobby Flay appeared on my television screen.  And what was he doing?  Grilling.  Big deal, right?  Bobby is always grilling.  But this time, he was grilling something different.  Lemons and oranges were roasting in anticipation of a smokey, citrus marinade.  I fell in love.  So, tonight for our family dinner — I tried to replicate Bobby’s marinade AND add my own little twists (pineapple, habenero, mango).

Here goes:

3 lemons, 6 mandarin oranges, 2 cups of cubed pineapple, 2 mangoes and 1 habanero

Slice the lemons, oranges and mangoes in half.  Brush with canola oil and place on ready-to-go grill (I did this on my indoor grill which is part of my GE Monogram dual-fuel range with grill and griddle).  Add the habanero chili, cubes of pineapple (no need to brush with oil) and roast until all the fruit has nice grill marks and the flesh is softened.

Place all the ingredients in a blender including the de-seed (or not) the habanero, the pulp from mangoes, pineapple cubes and juice from the lemons and oranges.  Be sure to strain the citrus fruits through a sieve to avoid seeds falling into the blender.  Throw in a pinch of  salt and a 1/2 cup of canola oil.  Blend the mixture until smooth.  Serve over steak or chicken or fish.  Store the extra in a mason jar and refrigerate.

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Holy, Whole Fish – Snapper – Heads and Tails

Cooking a whole fish can seem a bit intimidating.  It’s so much to manage — the head, the tail, the scales, the cleaning.  In reality, there are resources available at grocery stores that have invested in their fish departments.  Ask the fishmonger to scale and clean the fish for you.  Filets are easy to get, if you prefer to  have it from the whole fish rather than just whats on display.  I went to Whole Foods today and the whole fish all looked so fresh and inviting,  One in particular caught my eye.  A  red snapper with a yellow stripe.  The fish from head to tail was about 16 inches — perfect for me and my best friend and official taste tester Ramon.  I decided to bake the fish.  Much more healthy and a great way to really taste the fresh fish.  I seasoned it inside the cavity and on the skin.  Slitting the skin on both sides, I placed sliced fresh garlic inside.  I seasoned the inside and outside with lavender pepper and salt.  Stuffing the fish with thin  lime slices, a bit of leeks and spinach.  Then I scattered the remaining leek and spinach under and around the fish, drizzled some olive oil over the top and placed in the oven at 400 degrees.

Tip:  Set your timer for 10 minutes. Then every four minutes after.  Check the fish and you’ll know it’s done when all the “red” from the red snapper is gone.  Every oven is different.  I had mine on convection bake.  It took a total of 22 minutes — with the last four with the fish flipped on it’s underside.  This is the BEFORE cooking pic.Image

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30-Minute Chicken and Creamy Leeks — For Gayle

This One’s for Gayle! Chicken Breasts with Creamy Leeks and Red Peppers

The beauty of the internet and facebook and all of this social media stuff — is that it allows for long-separated friends to re-connect.  It sounds a little silly to those in their 20s, but it’s true.  As a result of FB, one of my dearest friends from college and I have been able to share our post-college, post-clove cigarette smoking, post-Smith’s (no, that can never happen, right Gayle?!  The Smith’s will always be part of us) lives.  Recently, Gayle posted she’s looking for easy, healthy recipes.  So here goes Snakey K!

Adapted from The Splendid Table’s “How to Eat Supper” by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift

2 cups sliced leeks – white and light green parts

1 Tbs. chopped garlic (either fresh or the pre-chopped store-bought)

2 cups chicken broth (tetrapak, organic)

2 Tbs. unsalted butter (I’ve reduced the butter, it’s plenty creamy with this amount)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 red bell pepper, chopped fine (I add this for color and crunch)

Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper

(The original recipe calls for tarragon — I love it, but it’s not necessarily kid-friendly)

1. Put 2 Tbs. of butter in a large skillet, let it melt over medium heat and add leeks and garlic.  Once the garlic is golden, add the chicken broth.  Finish sautein leeks until somewhat soft and whites are translucent. 

2. While the leeks are cooking, salt and pepper the chicken breasts.  Place the chicken on top of the leeks — spooning some leeks on top of the chicken. Cover tightly with lid and reduce heat to to low. 

3. Allow about 15 minutes for breasts to cook. 

4. To check for doneness, press the chicken — it should feel firm. 

5. Place the chicken on plates, pour leeks and sauce over them and serve. 

6. This is especially nice with a fresh baby spinach salad and Brianna’s French vinaigrette.

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30-Minute Gourmet Chicken and Creamy Leeks

30-Minute Gourmet Chicken and Creamy Leeks

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Fear not the brussels sprout! Bacon serves as an incentive in this dish.

I was afraid.  Very afraid.  The stench of childhood torture-by-brussels sprouts pervading our home.  My mother, who was a wonderful cook, just couldn’t manage the brussels sprouts.  How many of you have that same smelly memory emblazoned in your brains?  The over-cooked miniature cabbages have developed a bad rap and for good reason.  But this recipe ain’t your mamma’s brussels sprouts.

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Ingredients:  Brussels sprouts; bacon, feta cheese, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, olive oil (for roasting)

Pre-heat oven to 400 F

12 brussels sprouts; 1/2 Cup crumbled bacon; 1 Cup crumbled feta cheese,; 4 eggs; 1/4 Cup 2% milk; olive-oil for roasting the sprouts.

1.  Bring a pot of salted water to boil; and place brussels sprouts in the water for approximately 8 minutes

2.  Drain sprouts and cut in half; brush with olive oil, as well as pouring a small amount (2Tbs.) of oil in the pan, and roast in the oven for 10 minutes or until they develop a nice toasty brown color on the cut side.  

3.  Mix eggs, milk and feta cheese together; season to taste with pepper, lots of pepper.

4.  Place sprouts in a glass dish (square/round/pie tin) and pour the milk/egg/cheese mixture over them.

5.  Place in pre-heated 400 F degree oven for 25 minutes or until the egg mixture is firm and well cooked.  

This dish makes for a great brunch or lunch main course.  Serve with chopped salad of tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers with a vinaigrette such as Brianna’s French-style vinaigrette.

 

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