Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Upside Down Pizza


I decided to think outside the pizza delivery box on this one. This recipe can be totally adapted to whatever pizza ingredients you and your family enjoy.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

8 oz. thick sliced mozzarella
3 links of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 T. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper
Chopped basil and oregano
1 t. granulated garlic
1 jar pizza sauce
1 Cup Kraft Italian 5 cheese blend
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1 tube Pillsbury refrigerated bread sticks

Spray bottom of a pie plate with non stick spray. Layer the mozzarella on the bottom of the pie plate, overlapping the slices. Brown the sausage and drain well. Sauté the chopped yellow onion and green bell pepper in a little olive oil until softened.

Layer the sausage and onion/bell pepper on top of the mozzarella. Sprinkle on the basil, oregano and granulated garlic. Warm the pizza sauce in a small saucepan and pour over these layered ingredients.

Now sprinkle on the cheeses. Open the bread sticks and carefully make the top crust.Bake for 14-16 minutes. The bread sticks have a small container of Parmesan "butter" spread. You'll definitely want to spread that on top of the bread sticks as soon as the dish comes out of the oven.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Provencal Vegetable Soup with Chive Biscuits




I've never made an Ina Garten recipe that didn't taste delicious and make everyone at the table happy. These two are definite keepers and will become a regular part of your meal rotation.

2 T. olive oil
2 cups chopped onions (about two onions)
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (3 - 4 leeks)
3 cups 1/2 inch diced unpeeled boiling potatoes (1 pound)
3 cups 1/2 inch diced carrots (1 pound)
1 1/2 T. kosher salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
3 quarts chicken stock
1 t. saffron threads
1/2 pound haricots verts (French string beans) ends removed and cut in half
4 ounces spaghetti, broken in pieces
1 cup Pistou*
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot, add the onions and saute over low heat for 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the leeks, potatoes, carrots, salt and pepper and saute over medium heat for another 5 minutes.


Add the chicken stock and saffron, bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Add the haricots verts and spaghetti, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 more minutes.

To serve, whisk 1/4 cup of the pistou into the hot soup, then season to taste. Depending on the saltiness of your chicken stock, you may need to add up to another tablespoon of salt. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and more pistou.

*Pistou
4 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup tomato paste
24 large basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup good olive oil

Place the garlic, tomato paste, basil and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor and puree. With the motor running, slowly pour the olive oil down the feed tube to make a paste. Pack into a container, pour a film of olive oil on top and close the top.

Chive Biscuits
2 Cups all purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1 t. kosher salt
1 t. sugar
1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
1 egg mixed with 1 T. water for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. With the mixer on low, add the half and half and beat until just mixed. Add the chives and mix until just combined.

Dump the dough out on a well floured board and knead lightly into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick. Cut out rounds with a 2 1/2 inch round cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with the egg wash.

Bake for 20 - 22 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are firm. Serve warm.

Strawberries and Peaches in Pink Champagne

  
I made this for a dessert for a Bastille Day meal a few years ago. If you don't know what Bastille Day is, stay tuned because it's coming up very soon and we'll have a Theme Meal to share!

This is really good on the hot summer evenings to just brighten up your mood AND taste buds. Enjoy!!

3 ¼ cups sugar
1 quart water
3 oz. strawberries, hulled
3 peaches
3 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 bottle pink Champagne, chilled
Fresh mint leaves for garnish

Prepare the syrup. In a saucepan, combine the sugar with the 1 quart water and bring to a boil over high heat. Whisk constantly until boiling. Boil without whisking for 1 minute. Set aside to cool.

Prepare the fruit. Quarter the strawberries lengthwise and place them in a large bowl. Peel the peaches and cut in half. Remove and discard the pit, and cut each half into 4 equal slices. Place the peaches in the bowl with the strawberries, add the lemon juice and syrup, and toss gently to combine. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend.

To finish, remove the peach and strawberry mixture from the refrigerator. With a slotted spoon, divide the fruit among 6 large Champagne glasses, allowing about 1 T. of syrup in each glass.

Just before serving, uncork the Champagne and pour enough into each glass to just cover the fruit. Garnish with mint leaves and serve.

Chicken Pomodoro


This is a tasty chicken dish that comes together very quickly.  Use the "mis en place" method and you'll have this on the table in no time.  What is "mis en place"?  In Lolly Terms it means "get all your ingredients ready to go before you start cooking"!

4 chicken breast cutlets
2 T vegetable oil
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
2 T heavy cream
1/3 cup scallions, minced

Season cutlets with salt and pepper then dust with flour.  Sauté cutlets in oil.  Transfer to a platter; pour off fat from pan.  Deglaze pan with vodka and cook until vodka is nearly gone.

Add broth and lemon juice.  Return cutlets to pan and cook each side 1 minute.  Transfer cutlets to warm plate.

Finish the sauce with tomatoes and cream. Heat through, then pour over cutlets. Garnish with scallions.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pimento Cheese

When I think of Southern food, a few always immediately come to mind. BBQ (the type that oinks of course!), catfish, grits and PIMENTO CHEESE. Any true Southerner would just as well do without than buy that goop that's sold in the plastic container at the grocery store.

This recipe makes about four cups and will last a week in the fridge. Yeah. Right. I was in a Pimento Cheese craving mood this afternoon so here's the result.


1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (only Duke's in my kitchen!)
1 (7 oz.) jar diced pimento (drained)
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. finely grated onion
1 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 (16 oz.) block extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (shredded)

Stir together the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in cheese. 

Now make a nice sandwich, eat with some crackers or do like me and just get a bowl and a fork. Seriously....how easy is that for simple goodness that makes you smile?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Green Chile Enchiladas



1 - 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, poached and shredded
8 oz. cream cheese
Small can diced green chilies
Chili powder and cumin, to taste
2 – 3 cloves minced garlic
Three small cans of green enchilada sauce
Shredded jack cheese
Flour tortillas

After cooking and shredding chicken, heat a small amount of olive oil in large skillet. Add chicken and garlic and then when mixture is heated through, cube cream cheese into 8 equally sized pieces, add to chicken mixture and stir constantly until cheese is melted.  Add seasoning and diced chilies and 2/3 can of sauce.  Remove from heat. Pour a small amount of sauce into bottom of greased 9 x 13 casserole dish and spread evenly.

Pour one can of sauce into shallow dish. Take tortilla, dip in sauce and coat both sides thoroughly.  Add a couple of spoons of chicken mixture, then add amount of cheese you want and roll tightly.

Place seam side down in casserole dish. Repeat until you've used up all the chicken mixture. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and top with cheese.  

Cover with foil and cook in a 350 degree oven 25 - 30 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove foil 5 minutes before cooking is completed to allow cheese to brown a little.

Top with sour cream, black olives, cilantro, diced green onions or whatever makes you happy.  Serve with chips and black bean/corn salsa if you like.  Ole!

Black Bean and Corn Salsa


Adapted from an Emeril Recipe

3 vine-ripened tomatoes (chopped)
1 large can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 large can Mexicorn (drained)
1 can Rotel Mexican tomatoes (with lime juice)
1 cup small diced red onion
1 large fresh jalapeno, seeded and diced
½ cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 clove garlic (diced)
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ tablespoon Cumin
2 tablespoons Chili Powder
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Crispy corn tortilla chips
Combine first 9 ingredients.

Season with salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder. Add more or less to taste.   Add the lime juice and olive oil. Mix well.  Spoon into a serving bowl and serve with the chips.  Best if made the day before and kept in fridge.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sausage & Rice Stuffed Peppers

 
It's that time of summer for our garden to give us tons of bell peppers.  I came up with this recipe a few years ago and decided it was definitely a keeper.  If you prefer you can use jarred marinara sauce, but it's so simple to make your own. 

4 medium green, yellow or red bell peppers
8 ounces ground pork sausage
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup diced celery
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice
1 T. Creole seasoning, plus more for seasoning bread crumb topping
16 oz. marinara sauce
1/4 cup chopped green onions, green part only
1 T. chopped parsley leaves
2 T. fine dry bread crumbs
2 T. grated Parmesan
4 t. unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut off the top quarter of each bell pepper and reserve. Remove the seeds and veins from the inside of each pepper and discard. Set bell pepper shells aside. Remove and discard the stems from each bell pepper top. Dice enough of the bell pepper tops to make 1/2 cup. Set aside.

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, crumble and brown the sausage until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the onions, 1/2 cup diced bell pepper, and the celery. Sauté for 4 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the rice and mix well. Season with Creole seasoning. Cook for about 1 minute. Stir in half of the marinara sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the green onions and parsley.


Season the insides of the bell pepper shells with salt and pepper to taste. Loosely spoon the rice mixture into the bell pepper shells.


In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and cheese. Season with a pinch of Creole seasoning and mix well. Sprinkle the mixture over each pepper. Top each pepper with 1 teaspoon of butter and place the peppers into an 8-inch baking dish or pan. Add just enough water to remaining marinara sauce to thin it a little and pour in to cover the bottom of the casserole dish.


Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are brown and warmed through. Serve hot.



Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Redfish Courtboullion


This recipe was given to me by a dear friend in New Orleans.  I'm going to post it exactly as he provided it to me.  Thanks BayouBQ!

"This is a true Creole classic boiled fish dish.  It is not prepared often enough in my opinion.  I use shrimp stock in mine and occasionally even add a few peeled shrimp.  I also generally serve courtbouillon with steamed rice on the side.  You can use any firm white-fleshed fish, but redfish, snapper, grouper, sheepshead, and drum work best.  Do not anger the fish-gods by making this dish with tilapia.

1/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup flour
1 ¾ cups chopped onion
1 cup thinly sliced green scallion tops
¾ cup chopped green pepper
1 T. finely minced garlic
1/3 cup chopped celery
2 ¼ cups coarsely chopped canned tomatoes
1 T. finely minced parsley
3 whole bay leaves, quartered
½ t. dried thyme
¼ t. dried marjoram
6 whole allspice
2 t. salt
½ t. fresh ground black pepper
1/8 t. cayenne
½ t. dried basil
2 ½ T. lemon juice
¾ cup dry red wine
2 ½ cups water
Redfish fillets cut into 2 inch slices
8 slices of fresh lemon

In a heavy pot, heat the oil.  Add the flour, stir, lower the heat and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until a roux the color of rich peanut butter is formed (about 25 minutes). 


Add the onion, scallion tops, green pepper, garlic, and celery and brown for another 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the chopped tomatoes, parsley, bay leaves, thyme, marjoram, allspice, salt, pepper, cayenne, basil, lemon juice, and red wine.  Stir to mix thoroughly, then slowly add water (stock!), mixing well.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for 35 minutes.  Stir frequently and scrape the sides and bottom with a wooden spoon or spatula to prevent scorching and to allow the sauce to thicken evenly. 


Rinse the redfish steaks under cold running water and shake them dry.  Add them to the courtbouillon along with the lemon slices.  Cook at a low simmer for exactly 10 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat. 


Serve 2 pieces of redfish per person with about 1 cup of sauce poured over."

Eggplant Parmigiana


I love Italian food. I love the process of making a marinara sauce that cooks for half a day. The aroma of garlic and onions and basil and tomatoes.....it makes for a happy kitchen. For a great eggplant parmigiana you need a good base which is your sauce. Before you even start thinking about what to do with those eggplants sitting on the counter, let's get the sauce simmering away on the stovetop.

Marinara Sauce
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 T. olive oil
Splash of red wine
3 – 28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
1 t. each basil, oregano, thyme, finely chopped

Heat olive oil in Dutch oven on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until the onion begins to brown, about 3 – 4 minutes. Deglaze with a little red wine. Then add crushed tomatoes. Season with basil, oregano and thyme. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Simmer for about 4 hours to thicken up. Give it a stir about every 20 minutes or so. Taste each time your stir. Not that there's a reason to, but it's so good you'll want to taste each time your stir. However, adjust seasonings to your liking.


Once the sauce is happily bubbling away, let's move on to the eggplant!

Canola Oil
2 large eggplants
All-purpose flour
5 eggs
Italian Style bread crumbs
1 quart marinara sauce
16 ounces sliced dry mozzarella
8 ounces grated Romano/Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350º F and heat oil in a skillet or deep-fryer. Peel the eggplant and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices lengthwise. Place a double layer of paper towels down and arrange slices. Sprinkle with salt and place a double layer of paper towels on top of the eggplant. Weigh the eggplant down with some of your LeCreuset (or any of your cast iron skillets...you do have a cast iron skillet don't you?) to help press out the moisture. The eggplant will fry better if you take out some of the moisture first. Change the top layer of paper towels after about an hour.

Coat each side of the eggplant with the flour. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and dip the eggplant into the egg to coat both sides. Then take your bread crumbs and do the same to coat each side.

Once the oil is hot, put the eggplant in the hot oil and fry until golden brown. You can also use a deep-fryer and leave in for about 2 to 3 minutes.


Once all of the eggplant has been fried, grease a 13 x 9 baking pan and start the layering by adding enough marinara sauce to cover the bottom of the pan, then a layer of eggplant, more sauce, fresh mozzarella, Romano/Parmesan cheese, and continue to layer until you have reached the top of the pan. Top off with sauce, mozzarella, and grated Romano.


Place the eggplant into the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until all browned and bubbly.


Serve to your happy family and friends around the table.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rustic Potato and Green Pie

I am thoroughly enjoying Sarah Moulton's new cookbook. This is my first attempt at a from scratch pie crust. Amazingly simple. I added some mushrooms and chopped broccoli to the filling. A little chopped oregano and basil jazzed up the pie crust.




Basic Butter Pastry or store bought pastry for a single crust pie
3⁄4 pound small boiling potatoes, such as Yukon gold or Red Bliss
1 medium onion
2 pounds cooking greens, such as chard, spinach, collards, mustard, or a mixture
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 ounces Gruyère cheese
1 ounce Parmigiano- Reggiano
1 cup ricotta
1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs

Prepare the Basic Butter Pastry. Chill half while you make the filling. (Freeze the remaining half for another use.) Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Scrub the potatoes and cut them into 1-1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups); place them in a medium saucepan. Add cold salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low and simmer the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with a knife.

Meanwhile, finely chop the onion (about 1 cup). Thoroughly rinse and spin dry the greens, remove the tough stems, and coarsely chop the leaves (about 24 cups). (If using chard, the stems will be tender; reserve them to stir-fry for another meal.)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium-low; add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until it has softened. Press in the garlic (about 2 teaspoons) and cook for 1 minute. Add half the greens and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they have wilted. Remove the greens with tongs to a medium bowl. Repeat with the remaining half of the greens. Return the first batch of greens to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes more, or until any liquid that collected in the skillet has evaporated.

When the potatoes are done, drain and mash them with a potato masher. Combine the potatoes and the greens mixture in a large bowl and set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, roll out the pastry between lightly floured sheets of wax paper to make a 12-inch round; pat the edges of the pastry to make the round even. Fit the pastry into a 9-inch pie plate; press against the sides of the plate, allowing the excess to hang over the edges. Put the pie plate in the fridge while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Grate the Gruyère (about 1/2 cup) and Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 2/3 cup Microplane-grated or about 1/3 cup grated on the fine side of a box grater); fold the cheeses into the potato mixture along with the ricotta, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly beat the eggs; reserve 1 tablespoon. Stir the rest of the eggs into the potato mixture and spoon the filling into the pastry lined pie plate. Gently lift the overhanging pastry over the filling, pleating as necessary to make it fit. (It will make a 1- to 1-1/2-inch border covering the edges of the filling, which will be uncovered in the center.) Brush the pastry with the reserved 1 tablespoon egg.

Bake the pie for about 40 minutes, or until the filling is heated through and the pastry is golden. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Thai Food

We had fun celebrating my son's birthday with a variety of Thai dishes. A trip to the International Market is always fun.

How do we decorate a table for Thai food?  With ties!
Won Ton Bundles
Thai Green Salad with Cilantro Mint Dressing
Fiery Grilled Chicken Wings
Thai Styled Corn Fritters with Red Chile Relish
Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce

Fun day spent with family celebrating and making memories.