Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes

While watching Food Network this a.m., Sweet Harold noted that "Wow, that really looks good!"  For a second I was puzzled whether he meant the dish that was being prepared or Nigella, but it didn't take long to realize he was drooling over the recipe.  He gave me The Look and asked in that Sweet Harold voice, "Do you think we could have that tonight?"  You betcha!

I added some baby carrots and garlic to the recipe and I don't think Nigella would have minded at all.  YUM, YUM and YUM!

2 tablespoons regular olive oil
12 chicken thighs (bone in, with skin) (For tapas plates, you can use boneless and go ahead and cut into bite sized chunks)
1 3/4 pounds chorizo sausages, whole if baby ones, or cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks if regular-sized
1 1/4 pounds baby white-skinned potatoes, halved
2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 teaspoons oregano
1 orange
***I added a few handfuls of baby carrots and about 6 whole cloves of garlic.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Put the oil in the bottom of two shallow roasting pans or quarter sheet pans, 1 tablespoon in each.  Rub the skin of the chicken in the oil, then turn skin side up and put 6 pieces in each pan.

Divide the chorizo sausages and the baby potatoes between the 2 pans.  Sprinkle with the onion and the oregano, then grate the orange zest over the contents of the 2 pans.

Bake for 1 hour, but after 30 minutes, swap the top pan with the bottom pan in the oven and baste the contents with the orange-colored juices.  Transfer the chicken mixture to a large serving platter and serve.

Butternut Squash Soup in Pumpkin Bowls

Happy Halloween! Today was the perfect day to make a comforting bowl of soup. And what better day than to use a pumpkin for the bowl!

This recipe comes from Food Network Magazine October 2010. You'll need:

4 small baking pumpkins, acorn squash or sweet dumpling squash
2 t. sugar
kosher salt
3 T. unsalted butter
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 sprigs thyme
1 medium butternut squash about 2 pounds, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 t. sugar
3 T. heavy cream (optional)  but why WOULDN'T you want to use heavy cream??
Freshly ground pepper

Pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds)
Sunflower seeds
Sourdough or pumpernickel croutons
Crumbled bacon
Fried onions
Fried sage or parsley leaves

Make the bowls: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use a paring knife to cut a large circle around the stem of each pumpkin. Remove the lid and scoop out the seeds and fibers. Sprinkle the inside of each pumpkin with 1/2 t. each sugar and salt. Place the pumpkins and lids on a baking sheet; roast until tender 20 - 35 minutes, depending on their size.

While they roast, make the soup: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and 1 t. salt. Strip the thyme leaves into the pot, increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and sugar and cook, stirring, until glazed, 3 - 4 minutes. 

Add 3-4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the squash is tender, 15 - 20 minutes.

Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender, crack the lid to let steam escape and puree until smooth; return to the saucepan (or puree directly in the pan with an immersion blender. Add cream and stir gently.

Remove pumpkins from oven.

Taste to add salt and pepper if desired. Ladle the soup into the pumpkin bowls and add whichever toppings you desire.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Corned Beef Burger on Potato Bun

Here's yet another burger variation.  If you like corned beef sandwiches you'll love this one.  Be sure to use 90/10 ground sirloin.  The corned beef will add the additional fat you need to make the burgers juicy.  An interesting twist is to layer the hashbrowns onto the bun instead of serving alongside!

3/4 lb. thick sliced corned beef (from deli)
1 lb. ground sirloin (90/10)
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 T. ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
Thick sliced Irish cheddar cheese
Whole Grain Mustard
Potato Rolls

Coarsely grind corned beef in food processor.  Mix corned beef mixture lightly with ground sirloin along with salt and pepper, mustard and mustard seeds.  Don't pack the burgers tightly. 

Shape into 6 patties.  Heat grill or grill pan until very hot and place patties onto grill.  Let patties brown and release from grill before attempting to turn.  Grill until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Top with thick sliced cheddar cheese.

Serve on toasted potato rolls with lettuce, whole grain mustard and hash browned potatoes.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sloppy Toms

It's getting to be that time of year! Well the calendar says it's Fall, but today the high here is 86. Anyway...here's a good recipe to get in the Thanksgiving Turkey Time Season groove. Ground turkey tends to be dry so you need to add some distinctive seasonings and spices to get the butterball rolling. Okay, that wasn't that funny, but it sorta is. I am not a fan of raisins, so I left them out and it was perfectly delicious. 

I served these nice little sammies with baked sweet potatoes and some cranberry relish on the side.   

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 ¼ pounds ground turkey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 – 6 oz. tomato paste
1/3 cup golden raisins (ugh)
½ cup chopped pimento stuffed olives, plus 2 Tablespoons olive juice
4 soft sesame buns, split

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until slightly soft, about 2 minutes.

Add the bay leaves, cumin, chili powder and allspice; toast 1 – 2 minutes. Add the turkey, 1 t. salt and pepper to taste. Cook about 5 minutes, breaking up the meat.

Add the tomato paste and stir until brick red, 3 – 4 minutes. Add 2 cups water, the raisins (ugh), olives and olive juice. Bring to a simmer, cover and cover over medium heat until thickened, about 15 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring 3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle the cut sides of the buns with olive oil, place on a baking sheet and warm in the oven (350°) about 5 minutes. Fill the rolls with the turkey mixture.

Food Network Magazine – December 2009

Friday, October 22, 2010

Coquille Saint-Jacques

This recipe is traditionally served on little scallop shells, but ovenproof ramekins are a great substitution. Coquilles Saint-Jacques is most often eaten as a first course, or appetizer, but can be used as a delicious seafood entrée.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
4 tablespoons butter
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons Cognac
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Mix the flour, salt, curry powder, and cayenne pepper together in a large bowl. Add the scallops to the bowl and toss the mixture together until the scallops are completely coated in the spiced flour mixture.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops to the butter and sauté them, turning once, until they are golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes; transfer the scallops to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Add the mushrooms and onions to the skillet and sauté, stirring frequently, over medium-high heat for 4 minutes, until they start to turn light brown. Add the white wine to the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan with a metal spatula to get all the brown bits off the pan and into the sauce. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer until the sauce has reduced by half. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Cognac and scallops.

Preheat the oven broiler. Divide the scallop and sauce mixture between 6 scallop shells or small ovenproof serving dishes. Mix together the bread crumbs, melted butter, and Gruyere cheese; divide and spoon the mixture evenly over each dish of scallops. Place the dishes about 5-6 inches from the broiler and cook until the scallop mixture is hot, bubbly, and browned on top. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve immediately.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jagerschnitzel (breaded pork cutlets) served over wide egg noodles in a mushroom & sour cream sauce.

The following recipe was the main event at last year's Oktoberfest at our house. My son proclaimed these pork cutlets as the best pork (chops) he's ever had.  High praise indeed.

1 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 pork steaks or cutlets, pounded thin
1 egg, beaten
1 medium onion, diced
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups water
1 cube beef bouillon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup sour cream

In a shallow dish, mix together the bread crumbs and flour. Season with salt and pepper. Place the egg in a separate dish. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dip pork steaks in egg, then coat with the bread crumb mixture. Fry in the hot oil until browned on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

Remove the pork to a platter and keep warm. Add onion and mushrooms to the skillet and cook until lightly browned. Pour in water and dissolve the bouillon cube. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir together the cornstarch and sour cream; stir into the skillet. Cook over low heat until thickened but do not boil. Spoon over the pork cutlets and serve immediately.

Supporting cast includes onion pie and sauteed spinach with onions, garlic and capers.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blueberry Poundcake

I adore poundcake.  It's just fun to try new types.  My son loves a poundcake with blueberry sauce.  For a recent bake sale, I knew that wouldn't be practical so I found this one that includes the blueberries IN the cake.  Thanks to  http://www.allrecipes.com/ for this new version.

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup white sugar
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease a 10 inch tube pan with 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle pan with 1/4 cup sugar.  Mix together 2 3/4 cups flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together 1 cup butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.  Gradually beat in the flour mixture.  Dredge blueberries with remaining 1/4 cup flour, then fold into batter.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 70 to 80 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Last year canned pumpkin was in short supply. Thankfully, this year's crop is bountiful and I've already made a pumpkin cheesecake for our church bake sale. The texture has the familiar smoothness of the cheesecakes you're used to and the pumpkin puree sends the taste to a new level. 

2 - 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
a dash each cloves and nutmeg
2 eggs
1 graham cracker pie crust

Mix cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla and spices at medium speed with electric mixture until well blended. Add eggs; mix until blended. Pour into crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Top with either whipped cream or chocolate dipped pecans.  Or candy corn!

From Philadelphia Cream Cheese Cheesecake Cookbook

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore

It was one of those rare Sunday afternoons when I have the house all to  myself. I've been dreaming of an afternoon to spend some time cooking some Italian comfort food. Chicken Cacciatore fit the bill perfectly. 

Cacciatore means "hunter" in Italian. Cuisine wise this would refer to a meal or dish prepared hunter style with tomatoes, onions, some bell pepper and herbs. You can use a mixture of chicken pieces, such as thighs and breasts, but I made this one with all breasts cut horizontally into two pieces.

This recipe comes to us courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis. 

4 chicken thighs
2 chicken breasts with skin and backbone, halved crosswise
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 ( 28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons drained capers
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper.  Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.

In a large heavy saute pan, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute just until brown, about 5 minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, saute it in 2 batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes for the breast pieces, and 20 minutes for the thighs.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat from atop the sauce. poon the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with the basil and serve. Serve over noodles or polenta.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Semi-Texas Chili

My basic recipe for chili always includes beans (dark red and light red kidney beans and black beans), ground chuck and tomatoes.

I decide to venture out of the comfort zone this time and use a chuck roast and no beans and no tomatoes.  I tried.  I honestly and truly tried.  Just couldn't.  This pot of chili is a mixture of about three different recipes and a little bit of Lolly's imagination.  I wasn't sure I was going to like this version, but after eating a few bowls over the course of several days (and yes it's better after it has a chance to "fester" a little bit), this may be my go to recipe from here on out partners......Yee-haw.

2 pound chuck roast, cut into ½" cubes, all white removed
1 small onion, chopped fine
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and black pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons blended chili powder
1 - 2 dried ancho peppers, softened in hot water and chopped fine
1-2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
2 cans chili beans with sauce

In a heavy skillet, saute the meat in a small amount of oil until nicely browned.  You'll want to do this in batches to get a nice brown crust and not simply steam the meat. Transfer the meat to a stew pot and discard the juices.

In the same skillet, heat a teaspoon each of oil and butter and add the onion and garlic, salt and black pepper to taste.   Let cook on medium heat until the onions have softened and become translucent.

Add enough water to cover the meat.  Put in the spices and peppers and bring to a simmer. Cook until the meat is tender. You may have to add more water if the mix becomes too dry.  Add the tomato sauce and simmer another 20 minutes.  Add the beans, stir to thoroughly combine and simmer another 15 minutes or so.

If the chili is not spicy enough for your taste, add a small amount of cayenne.  Mix 2 tablespoons flour with one half cup of water.  Raise the heat under the chili until you get a good boil.  Stir in the flour/water mixture and continue stirring until mixture thickens. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 more minutes.  Serve with saltines or tortillas.