Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pasta Salad with Grilled Sausages and Peppers


This recipe incorporates the grilled sausages and peppers from the following recipe. 

1 pound gemelli pasta
6 T. extra virgin olive oil
3 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 t. finely grated lemon zest
1 T. tomato paste
2 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 large shallot, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1 1/2 t. chopped thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
sausages from the Mixed Grill recipe, thinly sliced
2 large celery ribs, thinly sliced on the bias
grated parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped basil

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente.  Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.  Transfer the pasta to a large bowl.

Drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to coat.  Let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir the lemon juice with the lemon zest, tomato paste, garlic, shallot and thyme.  Stir in the 6 T. olive oil and the reserved pasta cooking water.  Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

Add 1/4 cup of the dressing to the pasta and toss.  Add the sausages, peppers, radicchio, celery, parmesan and the remaining dressing and toss well.  Season the pasta salad with salt and pepper, sprinkle with basil and serve.


Sausage Mixed Grill with Balsamic Vinaigrette


Sometimes I just crave grilled meat. Doesn't really matter what kind....I just want it. Food and Wine offered up the solution this past weekend. A sausage mixed grill. The best part is they provided a recipe to use the leftover (if you have any!) sausage in a completely different dish. 

Sausage Mixed Grill
1 pound Conecuh County Hickory Smoked Sausage, sliced diagonally about 4 inch lengths
8 bratwursts
4 hot or sweet Italian sausages
1/2 pound Andouille sausage
Multi colored bell peppers
1 medium head radicchio or red cabbage, cut into wedges
Olive oil for brushing
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Light a grill. Poke the sausages all over with a knife. Thread each type of sausage onto a pair of skewers. Using a pair makes it much easier to turn.

Thread the peppers and radicchio onto separate paired skewers as well. Brush the sausages and vegetables with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

Grilled the sausages over moderate heat, turning, until cooked through.  Grill the peppers turning, until lightly charred. Grill the radicchio until crisp, about 2 minutes per side.

Vinaigrette:
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 t. chopped thyme
3 T. balsamic vinegar
5 T. extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, combine garlic, thyme, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the sausages, peppers and radicchio.

Fennel Garlic Grilled Chicken


Food and Wine Magazine continues to hit them out of the park. I've never had a bad experience with any recipe I've tried. Tonight's standout addition to the recipe collection began with last night's marinade. It ended tonight with a delicious quick dinner.

1 1/2 T. chopped garlic
1 1/2 t. ground fennel seeds
3/4 t. dried oregano
3/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt
1 1/2 T. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
4 chicken leg quarters or a mixture of legs and thighs

In a mortar, pound the garlic, fennel seeds, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes with 1 1/2 t. of salt until a coarse paste forms. Add the 1 1/2 T. of oil.

Make four 2-inch slashes on the skin of each piece of chicken, cutting to the bone; make two slashes on the underside. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Light a grill. Brush the chicken with oil and season with salt. Grill over moderate heat, turning, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 25 minutes.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Kentucky Derby Day


It's always been a dream of mine to go to the Kentucky Derby.  I enjoy the excitement of the actual race, usually pick "my" horse weeks ahead of time and, of course, I LOVE hats.  One day I'll go even if I have to stand in the mud of the infield and wear a hat from Nelson's.  But anyway.....on to the food.

The Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich was originally created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, by Fred K. Schmidt in 1926.  Simply put a Kentucky Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich of turkey and bacon, covered in Mornay sauce and baked or broiled until the bread is crisp and the sauce begins to brown.  Sweet Harold has declared this his favorite sandwich (for the moment at least!).  Some recipes call for the tomato slice to be layered in with the turkey and cheese sauce.  I decided to make a "salad" of sorts to be served alongside.  If you even remotely like turkey and cheese sandwiches, you'll love this one.



Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich
8 slices thick cut bacon
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 slices sourdough bread
3 T. butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 cup grated white Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. roasted turkey breast (ask the deli to slice it about 1/4 inch thick)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Lay the bacon on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle each slice of bacon with a thin, even layer of brown sugar.  Bake until the bacon is beginning to brown and crisp, but is not completely done about 8 - 10 minutes.  It will continue to cook with the hot browns a little later.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Toast the bread in a toaster until lightly browned.  Cut each piece of toast diagonally into triangles and overlap 3 triangles into each of 4 individual oval shaped baking dishes.  Or, hot browns can be assembled and baked on ovenproof dinner plates.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and cook until bubbling ceases.  This means the water in the butter has evaporated.  Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to form a roux, cooking and stirring constantly for 2 - 3 minutes.  Be careful not to let the roux brown.  Add the milk all at once, and continue to stir with a wooden spoon or whisk.  Bring the mixture to a simmer.

Continue to cook until smooth and thick, using a whisk to break up any lumps that form.  Turn off the heat and add the Cheddar and Swiss cheeses, stirring gently until melted and combined.  The cheese will thicken the sauce, so you may need to add a little more milk.  Season with salt and pepper.

Cover the toast in each dish with about 1/4 cup of sauce.  Then top with a layer of turkey, then sauce and add 2 strips of bacon on top.  Sprinkle each sandwich with Parmesan and and bake until bubbly and brown about 8 - 10 minutes.  During the last few minutes of baking, turn on the broiler to allow the bacon to crisp a little.


For the tomatoes, simply halve about a cup of grape tomatoes and mix with about 2 t. of olive oil, a little salt and pepper and 2 - 3 T. of shredded basil. I served some 4 cheese grits alongside.  

Now on to dessert!



Run for the Roses Pie
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
1 T. bourbon
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1 prepared 8 inch pie crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread chocolate chips and nuts in bottom of pie crust.  In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together.  Mix in flour.  Beat the eggs slightly and mix into the creamed mixture.  Stir in bourbon.  Pour filling into pie crust over the chips and nuts.  Bake for 35 - 40 minutes.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

French Style Grilled Potato Salad



 If you're not a fan of mayo based potato salad, give this one a try.  This one is better served warm or a room temperature instead of chilled.  If you can't find Chervil, use an equal mix of tarragon and parsley. 
2 1/2 pounds small new potatoes, preferably a mix of red and yellow, scrubbed
Kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
6 small sweet pickles, finely diced
2 T. capers, drained
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh chervil leaves
Put the potatoes in a pot of salted cold water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 8 - 10 minutes.  Drain and let cool slightly before slicing in half.
Heat your grill to medium.  Brush the potatoes with 1/4 cup of the oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place the potatoes on the grill, cut side down, and grill until just cooked through, about 4 minutes longer.
While the potatoes are grilling, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, and the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a large boil.  Add the garlic, red onion, pickles and capers, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Remove the potatoes from the grill, immediately add to the bowl with the other ingredients and gently stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.  Let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.  Stir in the chervil before serving.  Adapted from Bobby Flay's Grill It!

Chicken & Sausage Grande




I received this recipe from a friend of a friend of a friend who lives in New Orleans. I've altered it slightly for our taste and it remains a family favorite. I'll give you the basic ingredients and you can adapt for your own taste.

1 whole chicken cut up or mixture of legs and thighs
1 pound of either Italian sausage or our favorite Conecuh Sausage (cajun flavored) sliced diagonally about 3 - 4 inch slices
Olive Oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
At least two heads of garlic separated and skins removed from cloves
Lots of fresh rosemary
1 cup of white wine or chicken stock

First you'll need to rinse off the chicken and pat dry. Salt and pepper the chicken and place in a large resealable plastic storage bag or a large glass bowl. Add sliced sausage and garlic gloves and several sprigs of fresh rosemary. Coat well with olive oil and make sure everything has a nice coating of oil. Cover and place in refrigerator for a few hours. 


Next, a few pieces of either chicken or sausage at a time, brown in a large skillet over medium high heat. You're not going to cook it all the way through, just get a nice brown on all the pieces.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and as the pieces are browned, place in a 13 x 9 baking dish. When all the chicken and sausage have been browned, deglaze the skillet with the wine or chicken broth. As the liquid bubbles away, gently scrape the browned bits up from the bottom of the skillet. Pour the wine/broth with all those wonderful browned bits into the baking dish. Add the garlic cloves and rosemary on top. Cover with foil and cook for an hour or so until the chicken reaches 180 degrees on a meat thermometer.


When the meat reaches the 180 degrees, the garlic will be soft and creamy. Serve this dish over noodles or rice. For this meal, Sweet Harold made Grilled Potato Salad. I'll post that recipe as well.