Monday, June 29, 2009
I had such a great time cooking with my uncle! I learned a few really clever tricks (like actually using the olive oil that the sun-dried tomatoes are packed in) and was so happy to share this time with him. He's a great man and a great cook that makes me proud to call him Uncle. I hope he had as much fun sharing recipes and stories as I did.
Below you will find the list of dishes and recipes that we decided to cook. There really wasn't any rhyme or reason, just dishes that we enjoy and wanted to share.
Uncle Tom's Dishes:
Blue Cheese and Carmelized Onion Galette
BBQ Chicken Pizza with Carmelized Onion
Pasta with Sausage, Artichokes, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Sweet 'N Spicy Asian Pulled Pork
Israeli Couscous with Apples, Cranberries, and Almonds
Honey Balsamic Chicken Satay
2 C. Lemon-lime soda
1 package flour tortillas (12 tortillas, 6-inch round)
BBQ Chicken Pizza
(from my Uncle Tom)
1 pizza crust (we used Boboli)
1/2 C. (or so) BBQ sauce
1 C. chicken, shredded (we used chicken from a store-bought roaster)
1/2 C. Carmelized onions
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded cheese
Assemble the pizza crust with the BBQ sauce, chicken, onions, salt and pepper. Top with shredded cheese. Bake in a 500 degree oven until the cheese melts and begins to brown.
Monday, June 22, 2009
1 banana, slightly frozen
1/3 C. coarse sea salt
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
2 Tbs. dried thyme
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Use a fork or your fingers to break up any brown sugar lumps. Store in an air-tight container up to 6 months.
4 tsp. paprika
In a small saucepan, whisk together all ingredients. Summer, whisking occasionally until sauce is reduced and thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are softened, about 4 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes.
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 40 minutes.
3/4 C. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1/4 C. Romano cheese, grated or shredded (can subsitute parmesan)
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
Cut the stem off the bottom of the artichokes and peel off the very bottom leaves. Cut the very top off the artichokes to create a flat top. Using kitchen shears, trim away the sharp points on the remaining leaves. Whack artichokes on the counter a few times to help them open up. Go on, get that agression out - whack 'em!
In a small bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients together. Carefully separate/ spread the leaves of the artichokes. Fill with bread crumb mixture. Drizzle each artichoke with a little olive oil. In a large pan, place artichokes. Add enough water to the pan to just barely rise up the side of the artichoke, about 1/4 inch. Cover pot and simmer until the leaves in the middle pull out easily - about 40 minutes.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
1 Dash crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. garlic salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, pressed/minced
Marinate fillets at least 30 minutes, but the longer the better. Heat grill to medium-high. Cook the fish about 6 minutes per side until it is fully cooked, white, and flakey.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I always think of my mom when I make this dish and it makes me realize that what truly makes a house a home is the love and laughter that fills it.
Cut in half to show meatball filling
Stuffed Sweet Peppers
(adapted from Mom's Stuffed Green Peppers)
Makes 4 large portions
2 Peppers (green, red, orange, etc. - whatever you like and have on hand!), cut in half, seeded
1 lb. meatball mixture (recipe below)
2 cans (14.5 oz) tomato sauce
water, if needed
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
Heat oil over medium heat. Generously fill pepper halves with meatball mixture. Any unused mixture can be rolled into extra meatballs. Place the peppers meat-side down in the oil and fry until meat has browned. Drain grease. Add tomato sauce and water (if needed) until the peppers are almost covered. Salt and pepper to taste (typically just a dash or two will do). Cover and simmer over low heat about 45 minutes or until meat is cooked through.
Serve over rice or egg noodles.
1 lb. ground turkey (use beef for traditional meatballs, but the turkey is a great substitute!)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 C. seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 C. Romano cheese (can substitute Parmesan if that's what you have)
1/2 tsp. basil
1 lg. clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 onion, finely diced
garlic salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Couscous with Apples, Cranberries, and Herbs
(by Giada De Laurentiis)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Israeli couscous (or barley or orzo)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 medium green apple, diced
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted, see Cook's Note
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
For the couscous: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly browned and aromatic, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to12 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the cooked couscous to a large bowl and set aside to cool. Add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, apple, dried cranberries, and almonds.
For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Pour the vinaigrette over the couscous and toss to coat evenly.
Cook's Note: To toast the almonds, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before using.
Peanut Butter Blondies
(adapted slightly from Good Things Catered)
4 Tbsp butter, almost melted
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/8 c. milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/3 c. honey roasted peanuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 pan with foil and lightly grease. In a small microwave safe mixing bowl melt the butter for 20-30 seconds until melted. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
In bowl of stand mixer, add oil, peanut butter and butter and mix until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar to the peanut butter mixture and stir until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the egg and stir to combine thoroughly. Add milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the peanut butter mixture and stir just to combine (will be quite thick). Gently fold in chocolate chips and peanuts.
Place into prepared pan and use a greased spatula to evenly spread mixture in pan and level the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set in the middle. Cool completely and cut.
Pina Colada Cupcakes
(from Good Things Catered)
2 1/4 c. sifted cake flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 C. sugar
1/3 c. oil
2 large eggs
1/2 c. canned pineapple, diced and patted dry
1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
Splash (or two!) of dark rum
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Whipped vanilla frosting
1/2 bag of shredded coconut
Maraschino cherries, drained and dried
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan with baking cups. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine rum and coconut milk in small bowl, mix to combine and set aside.
Place sugar and oil in mixer and mix until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and coconut milk mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla and fold in pineapple. Spoon batter into prepared pans. Sharply tap the pans once on counter top to remove air bubbles.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. When cupcakes are completely cool, frost with whipped vanilla frosting and roll tops in shredded coconut. Top each with a cherry and a cut straw.
BBQ Shrimp Skewers
50 Large shrimp, peeled and deveined
10 kabob skewers
4-6 Tbs. BBQ dry rub of your choice (I used Coffee BBQ Blend from Galena Garlic Co.)
2 Tbs. Lime juice, plus some for garnish
2 Tbs. cilantro, chopped, plus some for garnish
1 tsp. olive oil
Soak the wooden kabob skewers in water for about 20 minutes to make sure they do not burn on the grill. Skewer 5 shrimp on each kabob. (To make the appitizer go a little further, you can always cut each kabob in half and skewer 3 shrimp) Place all skewered shrimp in a 13X9 pan. In a small bowl whisk together the rub, lime juice, cilantro, and olive oil. Pour over the shrimp and let marinate 30 minutes or up to overnight.
Heat grill to medium high. Cook shrimp on one side until there are grill marks, about 3 minutes. Flip and finish cooking, about 4 minutes more. Remove from grill, sprinkle with fresh cilantro and lime juice.
Brie and Almond Tartlets with Fruit Preserves
1 puff pastry sheet
3/4 lb. Brie cheese
1/3 C. sliced almonds
Fruit preserves/jam: I used blackberry, apricot, and raspberry
Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the sheet into a 14-inch square (doesn't have to be exact). Cut into 36 (2 1/4-inch) squares. Gently place each square into mini muffin tins.
Cut the Brie cheese into 36 pieces. Spoon about 1/4 tsp. of preserves into the bottom of each pastry square. Sprinkle with almonds, saving some for the tops of the appetizer. Top the preserves and almonds with one piece of cheese. Top with any remaining almonds.
Bake the tartlets for 15 minutes or until golden. Let cool on a wire rack, but serve warm.
(adapted from Uncle Tom)
4.3 oz. package of REAL crumbled bacon (I suggest Hormel Real Crumbled Bacon)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 medium tomato, chopped
3/4 C. grated Gruyere cheese (you can substitute regular swiss, but the gruyere really makes it tasty!)
1/2 C. Miracle Whip (or mayo if you're not a Miracle Whip person like me!)
1 Tb. fresh basil, chopped
1 large can of refrigerated biscuits, flaky style
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine bacon, onion, tomato, cheese, mayo, and basil. Separate each biscuit into 2-3 layers. Flatten slightly with your hands and press each layer into one well of a mini muffin pan. Spoon the filling mixture into each muffin.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until hot and biscuits are lightly browned.
These are great hot but are also just as good at room temperature. :)
Green Olive Dip
1 1/2 cups green olives (I used Spanish Manzinilla with pimento)
1 1/2 Tbs. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In your food processor, combine the olives, parsley, garlic, lemon juice and pepper. Pulse to combine roughly. Add the olive oil and pulse, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The dip will be chunky, not smooth.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
(from Amy Haar and Abby Litteken)
3 chicken breasts (you can also use canned chicken here)
8 oz. cream cheese
2 C. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
¾ small bottle of Frank’s Hot Sauce
¾ small bottle Ranch dressing
*You can adjust the hot sauce and ranch to taste.
Mix all ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. You can also put all ingredients into a small Crockpot and heat until warm.