Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Shrimp Po Boys

Last night I made shrimp po boys for dinner. Not only were they super tasty, they were so fast and easy to make. In the interest of saving time I bought shrimp that had already been peeled and deveined. I made a sauce similar to the one I'd make for fish sticks and put it all on a soft baguette with some shredded romain lettuce. You could add a tomato slice or whatever else you want, but they were great as is.

1/2 lb peeled and deveined shrimp (i got 31-40 count and 1/2 lb was perfect for 2 sandwiches)
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
peanut or sunflower oil for cooking shrimp

mayo and sour cream plus any of the following:
grated garlic, grated dill pickle, hot sauce, horseradish, whole grain mustard, parsley, dill, or whatever else your little heart desires

mix up sauce and set aside to let flavors develop
heat oil in large frying pan
mix crumbs, flour, and seasoned salt in a bowl
pat shrimp dry and toss to coat in bread crumb mixture
fry shrimp until just browned on each side

fill baguette with sauce, shrimp, and shredded lettuce

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Roast Chicken Round 2

I made the roast chicken again over the weekend and again it did not disappoint. I had fingerling potatoes from the CSA so they went in the pan with the chicken and cooked along side it. I have been reading lots of Patricia Wells cookbooks lately and made a recipe for Zucchini Crepes from her book Bistro Cooking. They were wonderful and although I don't have a photo I will share the recipe because the crepes were so easy and yummy.

2 medium zucchini, shredded on box grater and then layered in a colander with salt in between the layers. Let the zucchini drain for 30 min, pressing out the liquid every so often. Before proceeding make sure as much liquid as possible has been squeezed out.
in a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons of cream or 1/2 and 1/2, 1 egg beaten, 1 small clove of garlic that has been minced, and 1 tablespoon of flour
although the recipe doesn't call for it some finely chopped fresh herbs could be good
add in the zucchini to the egg mixture and stir to coat
heat a crepe or saute pan over med heat and heat a combination of butter and olive oil (just enough to coat the pan
put tablespoons of the batter in the pan, spreading them into about 3 inch rounds
saute until golden on each side

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Roasted Chicken

I really should have photographed this bird while it was still whole and I hadn't eaten the skin off that entire breast half. I think it was the incredible yumminess of the skin though that made me think that I should really take a photograph and post this recipe. It was truly the best roast chicken I've ever made and the house smelled amazing. I think the number one factor that made this chicken that much better was that I had the butcher remove the backbone (butterfly) the bird and then I marinated it for an hour. Since it was without a backbone and laying flat the marinade was really able to permeate the chicken giving it great flavor throughout when cooked.

1 small, organic chicken, backbone removed so that it lays flat

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
3 cloves of garlic pressed (you could also mince if you are more ambitious than I)
1 small handful fresh parsley, chopped
mix all together and pour over chicken in a large ziplock bag and let marinate for at least and hour

heat oven to 425
lay chicken, breast side up, in roasting dish and pour remaining marinade over
sprinkle salt and pepper over top of chicken
lay thin pats of butter over chicken (this will help it brown and butter makes everything better)

Roast for approximately 30-45 min depending on size of bird.
About 20 min in to roasting time pour some chicken broth on the bottom of the pan to help prevent remaining marinade from burning and also this will make a yummy sauce to pour over rice or mashed potatoes

note: The first time I made this I had white rice and a green salad with green onion, blanched asparagus, and thinly sliced radish, however I got a small chicken and some fingerling potatoes from my CSA this week so I plan on making this again and roasting the bird and the taters in the same baking dish

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fish Sticks! And some darn good sauce.

My husband kept asking for fish sticks...like the nasty frozen ones in the box (no offense if you're into that kind of thing. I'm not). So this was my compromise. I was thinking I'd make them just once to appease him, but oh my gosh they are so good! As in make them once a week good. I have to say I think the homemade dipping sauce does put them way over the deliciousness edge. It is crucial.

2-3 tilapia fillets, sliced longways into strips (each fillet should yield 3-4 strips)
1/3 cup flour, mixed with 1 tablespoon seasoned salt (Lowry's is great)
1 egg beat with 1 tablespoon water
Panko bread crumbs, start with about a cup and add more if you need
Olive oil for frying

set up three shallow bowls in this order: seasoned flour, egg, panko
do an assembly line with your fish sticks by first coating them with the flour (shake off excess), then dip them in the egg, then roll in panko
Fry in olive oil over med-high heat until browned all over
remove to paper towel lined plate and season with some coarse salt while still hot

1/2 cup mayo (home made or good quality like Hellmans)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 green onion chopped
1 small clove garlic, finely minced or grated on microplane
minced fresh parsley and or dill
small squeeze of lemon juice
chopped capers or grated pickle
salt and pepper to taste
mix all together in small bowl and taste to adjust to your liking

Friday, May 28, 2010

Vegetable Gratin

Here is the finished product from the photos below. This gratin was made with shallot, zucchini, and tomato, however eggplant is a good addition/substitution as is yellow squash, bell pepper, or fennel. Really whatever sounds good to you can be thinly sliced and layered in this easy dish. Here are a few more ideas for this recipe; fresh basil, mozzarella layer, roasted garlic, yummy.

1 zucchini, very thinly sliced (I used the good ol' mandolin)
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, you guessed it...very thinly sliced
salt and pepper
heavy cream
parm cheese
panko or fresh coarse bread crumbs
herbs de provence

heat oven to 400
layer shallots in baking dish (ok I may have snuck a little bit of butter on top of this layer)
salt and pepper
make a layer of zucchini and sprinkle salt and pepper, and a little cheese
now the tomato layer, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle on some cream
one more zucchini layer, salt/pepper, cream, and cheese
this is where I stop layering either because I am out of veggies or I am impatient, but you could plan ahead and keep going to your hearts desire
the very top layer should be finished with bread crumbs and herbs de provence
in the microwave or stove top heat 1 teaspoon olive oil and a small pat of butter until melted
drizzle over top of crumbs and bake at 400 until golden on top
cut into wedges or squares and serve

Order in the Kitchen

I honestly don't think there is much compulsive French chef in me. I don't keep my kitchen super well organized (organized chaos is probably closer), I'm not all that good at cleaning as I cook, and I tend to shy away from trying complicated sounding recipes that include fine knife work or pastry making. However, my inner French Chef does appear occasionally like when I'm making this lovely vegetable gratin. I really love laying the tomatoes and zucchini in perfect, concentric circles. I will follow later with the recipe.

Rack of Lamb

I hope these photos are somewhat appealing because this is a delicious lamb recipe. For so little effort it comes out feeling and tasting like a special, fancy dinner.

pre-heat oven to 500
1 rack of lamb, trimmed of extra fat
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, plus salt for seasoning meat before searing
1 small sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
black pepper
olive oil for pan and for drizzling

make a paste with the blunt side of your knife with the garlic, teaspoon of salt, and rosemary
heat a skillet over med-high (on the high side - you are searing meat) with a little olive oil
season rack with salt and pepper
sear meat on both sides until you have a crispy brown crust
remove rack to a baking sheet and use a fork (so as not to burn your self) to press paste evenly over top side of meat
season with pepper and drizzle a little olive oil on top
put in 500 degree oven for 7-10 min depending on desired degree of doneness
let meat rest 10 min before slicing