Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Corned Beef Dinner with Veggies

One of my favorite holidays to celebrate and cook for is St. Patrick's Day.  But who says you should only have corned beef at that holiday?  When the first cool snap occurs, this would fit the bill for a lovely warming supper on a cool Fall evening.

Corned beef dinners aren't just for St. Patrick's Day.  This is another delicious "one pot" meal.

1 corned beef brisket (about 5 pounds)
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
4 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1/2 t. rosemary, crushed
1 quart water
6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup celery, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 medium head green cabbage, cut into wedges

Place beef in large Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid.  Add onions, peppercorns, bay leaf, rosemary, and water.

Bring to a boil; simmer covered for 3 1/2 hours or until meat is fork tender.  Add potatoes, carrots and celery to Dutch oven.

Place cabbage on top of meat.  Cover and cook for 1 hour or until tender.

Remove from heat and arrange on large serving platter.

Serve with grated horseradish if desired.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Red Onion, Sour Cream and Smoked Salmon Quesadillas

Made as the recipe calls for, consider these appetizer portions.  If you want to move this up to main course status, you're going to have to increase the filling size proportionately.  It's nice to try something a little different in the quesadilla department.

2 6-8 inch flour tortillas
4 T. sour cream
2 T. finely chopped red onion

2 T. sour cream
4 T. smoked salmon
Red onion slivers
Small dill springs
6 thin lemon slices

Working with one at a time, toast tortillas over high heat in large dry skillet.  Place tortillas, toasted side down, on work surface.  Divide 4 T. sour cream and 2 T. red onion between tortillas.

Fold tortillas in half and cut each quesadilla into 3 wedges.  Garnish with the additional sour cream, salmon, onion slivers, dill and lemon slices.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Time for the Beach!

Getting ready for a trip to the beach this weekend.  To help us get in the mood for the trip (who am I kidding, who needs help to get in the mood for a beach trip?), I made up the dining room table with a beachy theme.

And not to be out done, the kitchen table needed a little beach theme as well.....

Hot Slow-Roasted Pork, Peppers & Onions and Mozzarella Sandwiches

Tailgating afternoons will soon be here!  This is the perfect Feed a Football Crowd recipe.  Enjoy!

For the pork:
4 large garlic cloves
1 1/2  t. coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 t. dried basil
2 t. dried oregano
2 t. dried rosemary
1 t. dried rubbed sage
1 t. fennel seeds, ground in mortar with pestle or spice grinder
1 t. ground black pepper
1 9-pound whole pork shoulder with bone
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. red wine vinegar
For the vegetables
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound onions, halved, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 pound red bell peppers, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1/2 pound green bell peppers, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
10 crusty rolls, split, toasted
1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Preparation for Pork:
Chop garlic on work surface.  Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and mince until paste forms.  Transfer paste to small bowl; mix in parsley and next 7 ingredients.  Using small sharp knife, make 20 evenly spaced 1-inch-long, 2-inch-deep slits in pork.  Stuff seasoning mixture into slits.  Sprinkle outside of pork with salt and pepper.  Let stand 1 hour for seasonings to penetrate.
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 325°F.  Place rack in large roasting pan; place pork on rack.  Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 170°F, about 4 1/2 hours. Let pork rest 30 minutes.  Transfer to work surface.  Maintain oven temperature; reserve roasting pan.

Thickly slice pork off bone. Coarsely chop or tear slices and place in large baking dish; cover with foil.  Pour juices from roasting pan into 4-cup measuring cup.  Spoon off fat.  If necessary, add enough water to degreased juices to measure 2 cups.  Stir 2 tablespoons juices and cornstarch in small saucepan until cornstarch dissolves; whisk in remaining juices and vinegar.  Whisk over medium heat until sauce boils and thickens, about 2 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preparation for Vegetables:
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions and all peppers; sauté until vegetables are tender and brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Arrange roll bottoms on work surface; mound with warm pork and drizzle with sauce.  Cover with cheese, vegetables, and roll tops.  Serve warm.

From Bon Appetit magazine February 2006

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Coq au Vin Blanc

There are about as many versions of Coq au Vin as there are types of wines.  If you come across a recipe with "blanc" in the title, you use white wine instead of red.  This is not a dish to be entered into after a busy day at work.  This will be a labor of love that your guests will remember. 

Originally, this recipe was designed to cook a tough old rooster until it was tender enough to eat.  The classic Coq au Vin recipe calls for cognac to be flamed at the end.  Not this time, however. 

I made this version for our Bastille Day meal last month.  I combined about three recipes for this recipe.  It was delicious.

1 chicken (3 - 4 lbs.) cut into 8 serving pieces
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, cut half crosswise across the bone
1 T. canola oil
1 T. salted butter
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
about a dozen or so pearl onions, outer skins removed
8 ounces white mushrooms, quartered
3 cups Riesling
1 cup reduced salt chicken broth
1/2 t. dried thyme or several springs of fresh
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 T. all purpose flour
1 T. fresh lemon juice

Heat the canola oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.  When sizzling, saute the chicken, seasoned with the salt and pepper, in batches, until golden brown on both sides, 3 - 4 minutes per side.  Remove to a large Dutch oven, arranging the breast meat on top of the legs and thighs.  Add the pearl onions to the skillet, saute until tender, 3 - 4 minutes.  Add to the Dutch oven along with the mushrooms and the Riesling.

Add the broth the skillet, bring to a simmer, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet, 1 - 2 minutes.  Stir in the thyme, pour into the Dutch oven.    Bring to a boil over medium heat. 

Reduce the heat to low and simmer with the cover slightly ajar until the chicken is tender and the thighs are no longer pink in the thickest portion.  This will take 45 - 60 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a platter; cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.  Increase the heat to high  and boil the liquid until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.  Add the cream.  Whisk the flour with 3 T. of water in a small bowl.  Slowly whisk into the liquid.  Boil until slightly thickened, 2 - 3 minutes.  Stir in the lemon juice.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, return the chicken to the Dutch oven and simmer briefly to rewarm, 1 - 2 minutes.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hashbrown Egg Cups - Three Ways

Saw a similar recipe online the other day and it's been hanging in the back of my mind ever since.  After dreaming last night that I was making these (insert eye roll....I even dream about cooking), I decided this morning was the morning to experiment.

The basic shape is shredded potatoes formed in muffin tins and then baked.  Then fill with whatever fillings you like, eggs poured in, top with cheese and baked.  I went with bacon/american cheese, chorizo/jalapenos/mexican cheese and canadian bacon/green bell peppers/mozzarella.  Your mileage may vary.  Pick and choose whatever sounds good to you and your family and what you have on hand.

Here we go.

3 - 4 large potatoes coarsely shredded
(after shredding wrap shredded potatoes tightly in a clean dish cloth and wring dry)
4 slices bacon, diced (fry and drain on paper towels)
3 slices Canadian bacon (diced)
3 slices Chorizo (diced)
1 small green bell pepper (minced)
1 t. jalapeno (minced)
1 green onion (white and some green) minced
salt & pepper
5 eggs (beaten)
1 slice American cheese
1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese
1/4 cup shredded Mozarrella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray muffin tins well.  Gently form shredded potatoes to regular size muffin tins.  Lightly salt.

Bake 10 - 12 minutes until beginning to brown.

Meanwhile, brown bacon

Then saute Canadian Bacon and green bell peppers....

Now it's the Chorizo and jalapeno and green onions turn....

Now fill up the hashbrown cups and top with cheese.

Pour in the beaten eggs (add a little salt and pepper), dividing equally among the muffin tins. 

Bake for an additional 12 - 14 minutes until the eggs are set.  Insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean, you're ready to go!

Let rest for a minute or two before removing from the tins.  You may need to gently slide a thin bladed knife around the edges to loosen. 

Bacon with American Cheese

Chorizo with Jalapeno and Mexican Cheese

Canadian Bacon with Bell Peppers and Mozzarella

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Savory Shrimp Cheesecake

The original recipe is for a Crawfish Cheesecake from the Crescent City Collection: A Taste of New Orleans, The Junior League of New Orleans.  I changed it to shrimp and feel the need to warn you, this is RICH.  Beyond rich.  It also makes a huge cheesecake.  I served it with crackers and toasted bread slices.  It's much easier to eat as a spread .  My opinion anyway.

This is a perfect, impressive dish to serve during the Holidays when you have guests or an open house.  This will go a long way and I promise your guests will love it.

1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled, devined and rough chopped
2 t. minced garlic
2 - 3 T. Creole seasoning
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes Tabasco
2 tablespoons lemon juice
28 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded smoked Gouda

Mix the parmesan, breadcrumbs and melted butter in a bowl.  Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Add the onion and bell peppers and saute for 2 minutes. Add the crawfish, garlic, Creole seasoning, Worcestershire, Tabasco and lemon juice.  Saute for 1 1 /2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Beat the cream cheese and eggs with an electric mixer for 5 minutes or until thick and frothy.

Add the heavy cream, Gouda, and chopped shrimp.  Beat for 2 minutes or until well mixed and creamy.  Pour the filling into the crust and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until firm.

Cool to room temperature.  Carefully remove the sides from the springform pan.  Place on serving platter.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Salt and Pepper Rib Eye

My daughter requested this for her birthday dinner this year. She was well pleased. A bone-in rib eye requires nothing more than salt, pepper, and a hot grill. To make it even better, serve with scallions that have been tossed in olive oil and salt and given a quick char.

These steps can be applied to most cuts. You'll need to cook a thicker steak for a longer time and a thin one for less. The principles are the same:  Build a two-zone fire so you can sear it over hot embers, then finish cooking over medium-low heat to keep it juicy. Tips and recipe from July 2011 Bon Appetit.

Serves 2
1 1/2" - 2" bone-in rib eye (about 2 lbs.)
2 t. kosher salt, divided
1 t. coarsely ground black pepper
Coarse sea salt

Put steak on a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet. Pat dry with paper towels. Season with 1/2 t. salt per side. Chill uncovered for up to 3 hours. Remove steak from refrigerator 1 hour before grilling to come to room temperature. Pat dry with paper towels. Season again with 1/2 t. salt; press in 1/2 t. pepper per side so pieces adhere.

Build a two zone fire in a charcoal grill for direct (medium-high coals) and indirect (medium-low coals) heat. Alternatively, heat a gas grill to high just before cooking, leaving one burner on low.

Sear steak over direct heat, flipping once, until nicely charred, 3 - 4 minutes per side. If a flare-up occurs, use tongs to gently slide the steak to a cooler part of the grill. Move steak to indirect heat and continue grilling, flipping once, 3 - 4 minutes per side. Using tongs, lift steak and sear both edges (the bone side and fat cap side) for 1 - 2 minutes per side to render out some of the fat. Grill steak to desired temperature, 14 - 18 minutes total or until an instant read thermometer registers 120 degrees for rare (steak will carry over to 125 degrees or medium-rare as it rests).

Transfer steak to a carving board; let rest for 10  minutes. Slice across the grain, season with coarse sea salt and serve. Top with a nice slice of butter if desired.

White Sauce Chicken Asparagus Lasagna

This is a completely different take on regular red sauce lasagna. This one incorporates layers of white mushroom sauce, lasagna noodles, chicken, asparagus, roasted red peppers and cheese. This is a great dish to layer in a casserole dish a few hours ahead of time and refrigerate until time to bake.

For the sauce:
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup minced sweet onion
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1/2 t. salt
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 (14 ounces) can chicken broth (or 1-3/4 cups homemade)
1-1/2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
Freshly ground black pepper
1/8 t. ground nutmeg
5 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 t. fresh thyme leaves, removed from stem

For the lasagna:
8 ounces oven-ready lasagna noodles (or standard lasagna noodes, pre-cooked to firm al dente stage)
2 cups cooked diced chicken
2 cups fresh asparagus, cut into 2-inch lengths
1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper (canned or jarred is fine, but not the pickled variety)
2 cups finely-shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese, divided
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 5-quart glass baking dish or two loaf pans with vegetable spray.

For the white mushroom sauce:
In a large heavy pot, sprinkle onions and mushrooms with salt and saute in butter over medium heat until lightly browned. Add chopped garlic and saute 1 additional minute. Sprinkle with flour and continue cooking another 2 minutes. While stirring, carefully add the white wine and cook until flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. Continuing to stir, add chicken broth. Simmer until sauce begins to thicken, then add half-and-half, pepper, and nutmeg. Simmer another 5 minutes, then stir in sage and thyme. Taste for salt and add more if needed. (Remember that the pasta will absorb the salt, so be generous.) Let sauce cool slightly before assembling lasagna.

For the lasagna:
Remove 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese and set aside for the topping. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, then begin layering the lasagna in the following order: lasagna noodles, chicken, asparagus, roasted red peppers, sauce, and mozzarella cheese. You should have at least 4 layers, ending with the reserved 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese on top. Finish by sprinkling the Parmesan on top of the mozzarella. (May be made in advance to this point, covered, and refrigerated up to 1 day. Add 15 minutes of covered baking time if going from refrigerator to oven.)

Cover and bake 30 minutes. Remove the lid or covering and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let rest at least 15 minutes before cutting to serve.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Italian Sausage Pizza

Fleischmann's Pizza Crust Yeast
1 3/4 - 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 t. sugar
3/4 t. salt
2/3 cup very warm tap water (120 - 130 degrees)
3 T. oil
olive oil
Roma tomatoes
roasted red peppers. thinly sliced
kalamata olives, chopped
red onion, thinly sliced
green bell pepper, chopped
garlic, minced
Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese "pearls"
Hot Italian Sausage
Pepperoncini Peppers, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Rough chop roma tomatoes and simmer over medium heat with a little salt, the minced garlic cloves and some of the oregano leaves until cooked down to about half of their volume.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add water and oil. Mix together until well blended; about 1 minute.

Add gradually, 1/2 cup flour until soft dough ball is formed; will be slightly sticky. Add additional flour if needed to form dough ball.

Knead on a flour surface adding additional flour if needed until smooth and elastic; about 4 minutes. With floured hands, press dough out to fill greased pizza pan or roll dough to a 12 inch circle and transfer to a greased pizza pan. If you don't own a pizza stone, spend about $20 and get one. They make all the difference in baking pizzas and they are excellent to use to warm leftover steaks or chicken in the oven.

Brown the sausage and drain well.

Spread a thin layer of the sauce on the crust.  See the herbs in the sauce?  Yum. Another layer of flavor.

And then top with the cooked sausage.

Now the fun of layering on the remaining toppings.

Bake on bottom oven rack for 12 - 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and the crust is nicely browned .

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chicken with Shallots

I've stated before that I've never made an Ina Garten recipe and been disappointed.  This one will continue the trend.  I used bone-in chicken and therefore had to adjust the cooking time by about 10 minutes, but it was well worth it.  I served the chicken over rice.  On the last picture, I should have waited about five more minutes before spooning the sauce over the chicken.  It was hot and hadn't thickened just the little bit it needed to.  Therefore, it ran off the chicken down into the rice.  Now trust me, it made the rice out of this world, but didn't do too much for showing y'all a good picture.  Take my word for it.  : )

4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
1/4 cup minced shallots (1 large)
3 tablespoons heavy creaam
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick)unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and sprinkle them generously on both sides with salt and pepper.

In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, until it begins to smoke.  Place the chicken breasts, skin side down, in the skillet and cook for 4 to 5 minutes without moving, until golden brown.

Using tongs, turn the chicken breasts skin side up.

Place the skillet in the oven, and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan, combine the white wine, lemon juice, and shallots and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until only 2 tablespoons of liquid remain in the pan.

If it reduces too much, add an extra splash of white wine or water.  Add the cream, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to a full boil.

Remove from the heat, add the diced butter, and swirl the pan until the butter is incorporated.  Don't reheat or the sauce will "break"! Sprinkle with salt and serve the chicken hot with the sauce spooned over it.

Like I stated earlier, if I had waited 5 minutes longer, you could have enjoyed a picture with the nice buttery, creamy, lemony sauce.  But it smelled sooooo good, we couldn't wait. 

Baked Zucchini

I happened to catch Sunny Anderson on Food Network make this one recently.  If you're tired of zucchini bread, fried zucchini, etc. this is a nice alternative.

1 t. olive oil
1 pound zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick, at an angle
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of Hungarian paprikia

For the Topping:
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (Japanese)
1/4 cup grated Paremesan cheese
8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped from the stem, lightly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush 1 teaspoon olive oil on the bottom of an 8 by 8-inch baking dish. Arrange the slices of zucchini in the dish with an overlapping pattern in rows or a spiral in a pie dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika.

To make the topping: In a bowl, stir together the panko breadcrumbs, thyme, Parmesan cheese and season with a sprinkle of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and stir until all the breadcrumbs are soaked with the yellow tint of the oil. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the dish.

Bake until the top is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

My friend BayouBQ from New Orleans is always, without fail, a consistent source for delicious Cajun/Creole recipes.  He's also an accomplished sausage maker.  Here's his recipe for Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya along with a little history and explanation of the dish.  I've added in my pictures from today with his recipe instructions.  Thank you Bayou!  I hope to see you soon.

According to John Folse, the word Jambalaya comes from "Jambon a la ya-ya", Jambon being French for pork and Ya-ya from an African word for rice.  Jambalaya is derived from the Spanish dish paella.  There are two basic styles of jambalaya, Cajun and Creole.  I would like to discuss the difference between them.  If you travel the Louisiana countryside, you are not likely to find tomatoes, bell pepper, or celery in the jambalaya.   The Cajuns call this brown jambalaya.  Cajun jambalaya is generally made with chicken or pork with sausage and onions.  In New Orleans, jambalaya almost always contains seafood, onion, bell pepper, celery (known as "The Trinity") and tomatoes.  This is known as Creole, or red, jambalaya. Creole jambalaya often has shrimp or crawfish instead of chicken.  The debate over whether red or brown jambalaya is "real" jambalaya rages on.  I generally prefer the Cajun style, but am perfectly happy with either one.
Here is my basic recipe for Cajun style:
1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
1 1/2 lb. boneless chicken, cut in small strips
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1-3 T. chopped garlic
1 can of chicken stock
2 1/2 cups of rice
thyme, parsley, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt

Brown sausage in a large iron pot.

When thoroughly browned, remove and add chicken. Allow chicken to stick to the bottom of the pot before stirring.  Scrape bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen browned bits.

Remove chicken and add bell pepper, celery, onion and garlic. Wait about 2-3 minutes before stirring.  As the vegetables begin to sweat, scrape bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen browned bits.

Return chicken and sausage to pot.

Add 5 cups of water and all remaining ingredients except rice.  Cover and bring to boil.  Add rice and reduce heat to simmer.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes.  Do not lift lid until time is up, then remove lid and stir.  If jambalaya is a little soupy, let it stand uncovered for a few minutes to thicken.

(Note: It is important to brown the meats and vegetables fully. This is what gives the jambalaya its color and rich flavor.)
Variations:  Substitute Pork, Shrimp, or Crawfish for Chicken and Sausage

Note from Lolly:  Just because I had about a half pound of shrimp, yearning for a recipe to be added to, I added them to the pot after the jambalaya was cooked.  Simply turned off the heat and let the heat from the dish cook the shrimp.