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

Truffle Brownie

I finally have started playing around with the iphoto program on my computer so I've saved a bunch of food images that were on my camera and will therefore be playing some posting catch-up. This is the truffle brownie I made for Valentines Day (that's right...as in February...sigh). It was unbelievable. A rich chocolate cake topped with a chocolate ganache. I would eat this any day of the year. The recipe comes from my Martha Stewart Baking Book, but can also be found on her website.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Cornbread

I mentioned in my post below that I was not sure of the origin of our family cornbread recipe. Well my Mama saw that and promptly emailed me to let me know where it's from. Apparently she found the bones of the recipe in a Craig Claiborne cookbook. The recipe was for a "diet" cornbread (Claiborne had survived a heart attack and after that most of his recipes appeared without salt and generally low in fat). Mama thought the proportions in the recipe were perfect so she took that and added back in butter, salt, sour cream, and half and half! Hahaha...so much for Mr. Claiborne's dietary suggestions. In her email she states that she thinks had he seen her recipe tweak he would have been, "horrified and honored".

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Simply a Good Dinner

Last night I wanted a very simple and easy dinner. I had also received a bag of cornmeal in my CSA box this week and I was curious to try it. I have to admit I am somewhat of a cornmeal connoisseur. If it's organic and stone/water ground I will buy it and try it. Hi my name is Tina and I'm a cornmeal addict. So I had gotten some cornmeal and I always have some chicken on hand because according to the nutritionist it is the great and easy source of high protein that is low in fat(blah blah blah). I also had it in my head to make a ratatouille of sorts. So here is the dinner that ended up one my plate: chicken breast, corn bread, ratatouille(ish). Now I have a moral dilemma. Do I share my beloved corn bread recipe on the internets or be greedy and hold it close. I'm not sure where this recipe came from originally, but it's the one my Mama makes and it is delish. A double batch of it goes in our Thanksgiving dressing. It is so good. Now if you are one of those yankees who likes their corn bread full of sugar then you can stop reading now because this ain't it! This is a traditional savory, rustic bread. If you want a little something sweet you can do what I do and slather some (more) butter on it and douse it in sorghum syrup. If you don't know what sorghum syrup is I'm gonna go ahead and say you are missing out. Google it and buy some (mine comes from the Buckners in Junction City, Ga - also a pretty good source for cornmeal and grits although I have to admit I have not bought from them in a couple years while I have been on my corn meal holy grail search). Ok on to the recipes. I am going to give out the corn bread recipe, but for the record the ratatouille was really good too and you should also make that.
Ps. Today for lunch I'm going to eat the left over ratatouille on top of some quinoa with a little crumbled goat cheese (also from the CSA www.moorefarmsandfriends.com)

Corn Bread

pre-heat oven to 350
1 Cup white or yellow, organic, stone ground cornmeal
1/4 all purpose white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
mix dry ingredients in a bowl
in a wet measure cup:
1/3 cup sour cream
add in enough 1/2 and 1/2 or whole milk to bring up to 1 cup (i don't say 2/3 cup bc when you are basically putting spoonfuls of sour cream in a wet measure it's just easier this way)
beat 1 egg into the milk and sour cream mixture
add wet into dry
in an 8 inch cast iron skillet melt 4 tablespoons of butter
pour half of melted butter into batter and mix in well and leave other half of butter in skillet
pour batter into skillet and bake in 350 oven until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean

Ratatouille (sort of)

heat a non-stick skillet over med high
add 2 tablespoons olive oil
saute: 1/2 sweet onion, 1 small zucchini, half a small eggplant, and 1 fresh tomato all chopped
add one clove of garlic minced before tomato goes in
season with Italian seasoning or herbs de provence, salt and pepper
Like I said you could add some fresh goat cheese, some mozzarella like in my pasta recipe, top it with fresh herbs, you could eat it with an egg on top or with some quinoa. Endless possibilities I tell you. Go forth and cook!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring has sprung!

Make this! Make this NOW! It is so very yummy and barely even counts as cooking. The inspiration of this recipe comes from a dish they serve at Bistro Niko, a French Brasserie here in Atlanta. They serve a paillard of chicken that is pounded so thin that it is the size of a dinner plate. It is browned on each side until cooked through and then topped with a salad of endive, arugula, halved cherry tomatoes, and asparagus. My take on it uses a pre-thinned chicken cutlet and incorporates some more veggies. I had been to the farmers market over the weekend and came home with some beautiful, crisp watercress, radishes, and carrots that were a deep orange and tinged with red on the outside. It is such a nice combination of flavors and textures. Crunchy and fresh! Oh Spring, I love you so.


1 chicken breast or cutlet, pounded so that it is even across
olive oil
salt and pepper

watercress or arugula
endive, thinly sliced
asparagus, broken into thirds, bottom third discarded, then blanch the edible pieces
6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved
optional: carrots, radishes (sliced very thinly, I used my mandoline)

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 small clove garlic
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper

heat olive oil and a sliver of butter if you like over med-high heat
season chicken with salt and pepper
brown on both sides until cooked through

while chicken is cooking and resting prepare the salad and dressing
prepare veggies as described in ingredients list

in the bowl of a blender add lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and mustard and blend
season with salt and pepper to taste

Toss the salad in some of the dressing (you will have extra dressing so just save it for your next salad) and serve with the cooked chicken.

Tuscan Bean Soup

I did not take a photo of this soup because to be perfectly honest it's not very pretty. My photo skills are just not that great and it's hard for me to make this humble, putty colored soup look beautiful. My hope though is that you'll try this anyway and see first hand how delicious and easy it is to make. This is a variation of a soup found in Frank Stitt's "Bottega Favorita" cookbook. His is truly wonderful, but a bit more large scale and more time consuming to make. My version takes advantage of canned beans and has the addition of kale. I have it for lunch pretty often and it freezes well. Give it a try!

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3-4 slices pancetta (approx 1/4 inch thick), diced
1 small sweet onion diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 leek, white and light green part only, halved and thinly sliced
1 sprig rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
approximately 2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper
4-6 leaves lacitano kale (also known as Tuscan, Black, or dinosaur kale), de-stemmed and sliced thinly crossways

Heat Olive Oil in dutch oven over med-high heat
add pancetta and saute until fat renders and meat begins to turn golden
add onion and then carrot, and leek and stir all together so everything gets well coated in the fat in the pan, turn heat down to med
add the rosemary and salt and pepper and let the mixture cook and soften for about 7-10 min, stirring occasionally
add garlic and incorporate to other vegetables
add beans and broth and stir well, use a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan scraping up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot
bring to a simmer and add strips of kale
continue light simmer until the kale is wilted
adjust the salt and pepper
eat immediately or save to reheat later, also freezes well

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Basic Green Salad

I have no photo, but this is one recipe you should have in your pocket. It is essential if you ask me and in my family it appears on every single dinner table. Always. Guess what? It goes great on the side of things like pasta bake! A little healthful greenery without making a serious side dish.

What you'll need:
lettuce - bibb, boston, or butter - i like the "living" lettuce
honestly you could stop there. Just lettuce.
Cucumber - European seedless or Persian (otherwise known as "mini" or "baby")
green onion - the hardcore will use real onion, but i am an onion wimp
salt and pepper
good quality extra version olive oil
good qual white wine vinegar
(optional - dijon mustard and a garlic clove)

Wash and tear your lettuce into bite sized pieces
peel and slice your cucumber - i use my mandolin for this and it is super fast and makes nice thin slices
Thinly slice your green onion - again i use the mandolin
put all in a bowl and drizzle on a little olive oil and toss, you just want to lightly coat everything
now drizzle on the vinegar and toss to coat (science note: you put the oil on first bc the vinegar will break the tender lettuce down to much and the texture will be off aka soggy lettuce)
salt and pepper to taste
I admit this combo takes a few tries to perfect and i think a lot of that is just personal tastes. You've got to get your oil to vinegar ratio down to where you like it.
Make a quick vinaigrette and dress the salad with that
in the bottom of a small bowl put
1/2 teaspoon french dijon mustard
1 teaspoon vinegar
i small clove of garlic, crushed with the back of a knife
stir together with a fork or small whisk
slowly drizzle in, whisking as you go, approximately 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil
pull the garlic out and dress the salad
salt and pepper taste

ps. for lunch today i will be having this salad with the addition of roasted beets and some goat cheese

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

I have named this creation "pasta bake". See pasta bake should have never been born. Pasta bake was supposed to be beef enchiladas prepared lovingly for my husband who had been gone hunting for almost a week. However, somewhere between Birmingham and Atlanta dear husband decided that enchiladas were gross and he could not stand them. Sigh. So I needed to figure out what to do with my 3/4 of a lb of beef and little else in the fridge/pantry (besides enchilada sauce and tortillas). There was an onion, some different pasta shapes, a can of crushed tomatoes, and a small handful of mozzarella cheese. Something Italian was brewing, but what? I had hoped to make lasagna which is a husband favorite, but I had no noodle sheets and no ricotta. So I made pasta bake. The beef and onion was cooked with some of the crushed tomato and reduced down into a tomato-y beef filling. To get that creamy element I was looking for I went for a simple white sauce which is actually what you'll find in many traditional lasagnas. Now this pasta bake may not look like too much in the pan, but let me tell you it was delish! And a certain picky husband ate it up. Crisis averted.

2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 - 1 lb ground beef (sirloin)
1 small, sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
Italian seasoning - fresh basil and parsley would be great - I used my McCormick's grinder
1/2 cup crushed tomato from the can - try to use low sodium or unseasoned, organic is good
pasta shells
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk - i used 2%, but by all means use whatever you have
mozzarella cheese - enough to top the 8x8 baking dish
pre heat oven to 350 degrees

1. Get your pasta going
2. heat the oil in a big pan over med high
3. saute onion until golden
4. add in beef and garlic and cook until beef is no longer pink
5. season with herbs/spice grinder + salt and pepper to taste
6. add in tomato and let cook down - you want the mixture to reduce and thicken, not be soupy
7. make your white sauce by heating butter and flour to make a roux, once pasty smell goes away whisk in milk and let bubble up and thicken, season with salt and pepper, if you have some grated parm cheese throw a couple tablespoons of that in too.
8. fill your shells with meat mixture and lay in 8x8 dish
9. pour white sauce over shells and top with mozzarella
10. bake at 350 for about 30 min until sauce is bubbly and top is golden

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Coastal Treats

Our first night visiting my mama and her husband on the Georgia barrier island where they live we had some fresh, local oysters. They were so wonderful and we were able to bring a few home and share with some friends on Sunday night. We just scrub them clean, put them on the grill until they open up a little and then eat them with cocktail sauce or melted garlic butter (my preferred way).

Star Provisions Farm Stand

Aren't these carrots beautiful?! They came from the farmstand at Star Provisions. They were tasty too. We ate about half of them raw and unadorned, standing around in the kitchen and the other half was mixed in with a bunch of other root veggies (Japanese turnips, sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts - all from farmstand with exception of sprouts) and roasted as a side for some delicious pork.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fresh Tomato Pasta

This is usually something I make in the summer when I have lots of yummy tomatoes in hand. Right now it's cold and it's rainy and I miss summer! I miss it so much I've been cooking some "summery" dishes because I honestly am sick of all the winter food. No more roasts and casseroles....I'm over it! Again this is going to be one of those recipes with out exact measurements. It's actually something I tend to cook when it's just me so I'm usually just grabbing a handful of everything. Just enough to feed me! This is truly one of my favorite things to eat. It's pretty good for you yet unbelievably decadent and comforting to eat. Something about the warm, fresh tasting sauce mingled with the cold, creamy cheese is just too good.

Pasta - angel hair nests are my favorite for fast cook time, but a spaghetti or like shape and size will work well
Sweet onion - for just me I use about a quarter of an onion, chopped into about a 1/4 inch dice
Eggplant - 1 small Italian eggplant per person or approximately 1/2 cup, chopped into 1/4 inch dice (i remove the skin too. It makes for a better end texture)
Tomatoes - In the summer 1 or 2 regular garden tomatoes, this time a handful of cherry tomatoes (the same gourmet blend as I used for roasted vegs)
Garlic - one small clove per person, minced
Olive oil - approximately 4 tablespoons per person, it should coat your saute pan and have a tiny bit of depth in the pan

Boil salted water for pasta and then cook pasta when water boils. Go ahead and get this part started first so the pasta is cooking at the same time as the sauce. Both will cook very quickly

1. heat olive oil over med heat
2. add onion to pan and let begin to soften
3. once onion has gotten soft and turned a bit golden, add eggplant
4. once eggplant has cooked down a bit and softened and turned golden, add in garlic
5. let garlic become fragrant and then add tomatoes
6. season with salt and pepper
7. you don't need to cook very long, you just want to tomatoes to heat through and burst so they release their juices a bit
8. top the cooked pasta with the sauce and add fresh basil and mozzarella cheese (Buffalo Mozzarella is superior in this dish, but regular fresh, cow does the trick)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lemony Pork Tenderloin

I think I would consider this a well balanced meal. You've got your protein (pork), a starch (roasted potatoes), and a green veggie (spinach) even though I did make it creamy. This lemony pork tenderloin is super tasty and ridiculously fast to cook. The potatoes are my standby roasted recipe which I make all the time. They just can't be beat. Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. I think this is my favorite way to have taters. The spinach was inspired by a delicious creamed spinach my friend, Anne, brought over a couple weeks ago. Hers was so good! Mine is a quick and simple version of the classic dish and I was very happy with how it came out.

First things first get those potatoes in the oven.
Preheat to 425 degrees
I like the baby potatoes for this because (of course) they are fast and easy!
Rinse the potatoes and then either halve (for the little guys) or quarter length wise (for the bigger ones)
Put all your potatoes in a baking dish (a 8x8 if you're cooking for two, probably a 9x13 if you are cooking the whole bag of potatoes)
drizzle them with olive oil (enough to coat them all lightly)
sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat
now pour a little chicken broth in the bottom of the pan, maybe a 1/4 cup
if you are feeling indulgent you can go ahead and dice up a tablespoon or two of cold butter and place it evenly across the potatoes
Roast until crispy and brown, stirring a couple times during cooking, about 30-40 minutes

The Spinach
1 bag baby spinach, washed and dried (in a salad spinner if you have one)
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon four
1 cup milk (i was a good girl and used 2%, but by all means feel free to live it up with whole or 1/2 and 1/2)

Take washed spinach and set in pan over med heat (it is good if the spinach is still a little wet because this will help it steam)
Let the spinach wilt down and then remove it from the pan and set aside while you cook the shallots
heat tablespoon of butter in same pan and saute shallots. I let mine get browned, but that is a personal preference. You can just sweat them out a bit if you like.
add T of flour and move it around in the pan so it mixes in with the shallot and let it cook for about a minute
slowly whisk in the cup of milk and let the mixture bubble and thicken
now add back in the spinach and season with salt and pepper. I also like a touch of freshly grated nutmeg.

Lemon Pork

1 pork tenderloin, take a sharp knife and make bias slices about 1/2 inch thick, pound slices to about 1/4 inch (you'll have even, thin rounds)
olive oil and a sliver of butter
lemon sliced into rounds (about 1/4 inch)
salt and pepper

In a skillet over med high heat olive oil and sliver of butter
salt and pepper pork paillards
brown pork in skillet
once you turn pork over set lemon slices down in pan in between the pork slices
as the pork finishes cooking, the lemon with brown and release its juices.

That's it! Hope you enjoy!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Roasted Veggies with Mozzarella

Oh wow! This was so simple and good. I made it for lunch the other day, but you could easily serve this for dinner along side a roast of pork or chicken. I got some nice little Italian eggplants from Whole Foods that were the perfect size, but you can cut down a normal sized eggplant too. I used my handy little Japanese mandolin on the zucchini and eggplant, but if you are good with a knife and have a sharp blade that will also work. I'm not going to give exact measurements of the veggies here. Just think about how much you want and buy and slice accordingly.

Small (think yellow squash sized) Italian Eggplants
Small Zucchinis
cherry tomatoes (I got the "gourmet/heirloom" mix)
Olive Oil
Garlic clove
Italian Herbs Blend (I use a McCormick's Grinder Italian Blend and I love it! It includes herbs, fennel seed, garlic, and red pepper flakes)
Fresh Mozzarella
Salt and pepper

In a small sauce pan heat a few tablespoons of olive oil, a few grindings of the herb blend, and the clove of garlic either grated on a microplane (i am lazy) or minced.

Slice eggplant and zucchini longways using mandolin or sharp knife and lay on baking sheet
trim asparagus and add to baking sheet
Brush vegetables with warm olive oil mixture
once you have coated the vegetables on the sheet, add the tomatoes to the remaining seasoned oil and toss around to coat
then add the seasoned tomatoes to the baking sheet
salt and pepper everything
broil the vegetables, monitoring closely to prevent burning - because everything is sliced so thinly it should cook very quickly

To serve place vegetables on a bowl or plate and add torn up pieces of cheese, drizzle with some more olive oil, and season with a little more salt and pepper.
Torn up basil would be nice too if you had it on hand, but it was awesome with out.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pot Pie

Here is a chicken pot pie I made recently. It is such an easy all in one dinner to make. In order to make this a super quick dinner I slice all the vegetables using a mandolin. I needed a vent for the crust so I used that funny little pig cookie cutter.

1 package of chicken tenderloins
half and onion, quartered and then thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, halved and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup (or as many or as few as you like) frozen petite peas, rinsed with cold water
3 Tablespoons Butter
3 Tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
salt and pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, dethawed

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper
heat a little olive oil and a sliver of butter in a large skillet or saute pan
brown chicken and let it cook through
remove and set aside and in same skillet add a little more oil and butter and saute onion, carrot and celery
season vegetables with salt and pepper
let vegetables cook for 5-7 minutes until soft, they should cook pretty quickly depending on how think they've been sliced
add garlic towards end
*now sometimes at this point I add maybe another tablespoon of butter and let it melt in and then add flour, let it cook and then the milk and make the sauce right there in the pan
OR you can make a proper white sauce in a sauce pan by melting the 3 T of butter, adding the 3 T of flour, cooking several minutes then whisking in the milk.
Bring to a boil then turn down the heat a little and let it cook and thicken
Chop the chicken tenders so they are bite sized
Have sauce, veggies, peas and chicken (including any of the chicken juices) mixed together
test for salt and pepper
pour mixture in a baking pan (9x13 or 8x8, whatever it fits in best)
lay puff pastry sheet over the mixture like a pie crust (other crust alternatives are refrigerated biscuits, biscuit batter or cornbread batter, but you will need to adjust baking temp accordingly)
Bake until the crust is brown and mixture bubbly