Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chicken and Vegetable Pasta Salad

I served this at a beautiful bride-to-be's lingerie shower last weekend. It makes a large amount so feel free to either half the ingredients or plan on leftovers and lunches for the next few days.

1 lb. small seashell pasta (cooked according to package directions, drained and rinsed in cool water)
2 chicken breasts (poached and shredded)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup diced carrots
1 small can shoepeg corn (drained)
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
6 T. olive oil
4 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. hot sauce

Combine the first seven ingredients together in a large bowl. Combine the dressing ingredients in a separate, smaller bowl and whisk until combined. Pour dressing over the salad ingredients and toss gently to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rum House - New Orleans

This is a very cool restaurant on Magazine Street in New Orleans.  A perfectly fun, loud, crowded spot to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Click the link for directions, their menu and information.  http://www.rumhousenola.com/

My lovely plate of tacos filled L - R 
Fried oyster: Cornmeal dusted Louisiana oysters, caper relish and spicy remoulade

Grilled shrimp, black beans, roasted peppers and onions, queso and pico de gallo

Pulled rib, simmered in our spicy creole tomato bbq sauce. Garnished with cilantro and a roasted poblano pepper

The side order of black beans was the best I've had outside Lolly's Kitchen!

Two other sides included mac and cheese and perfectly fried plantians.

Sweet Harold enjoyed L - R:  Chopped jerked chicken topped with our mango salsa; Beer battered Mahi Mahi with jalapeƱo coleslaw; and Duck Duck Goose with Snow pea and carrot slaw, Clement creole shrub rhum sauce and crispy duck crackling.  His side was mashed potatoes with ancho pepper sauce.

My son's plate included the fried plantains, a Jamiaican beef pie and tacos L - R: 

Scallop: Scotch bonnet onion marmalade and fried leeks; 

Flaked Fish: Grilled Mahi Mahi, asparagus, creole tomato chutney and a fresh dill tarter sauce; 

Duck, duck, goose: Snow pea and carrot slaw, Clement creole shrub rhum sauce and crispy duck crackling; 

Rib Meat: Pulled rib, simmered in our spicy creole tomato bbq sauce. Garnished with cilantro and a roasted poblano pepper

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ernst Cafe in New Orleans

On a recent trip to New Orleans, we lunched at Ernst Cafe, established in 1902. 

The walls are covered with embossed tin with a fleur de lis pattern.  I LOVED that!

The ceiling was just as beautiful!

I had a roast beef AND oyster po-boy.  I know some would consider that sacrilege, but I really enjoyed my sandwich.  The fries were delicious!

Sweet Harold went with his all time favorite, Shrimp.  We swapped halves so we could each enjoy the different textures and flavors.  Both were excellent.

Happy 100th Birthday Julia!

In honor of Mrs. Child's 100th Birthday here's a few of my most favorite quotes from her.

Remember, 'No one's more important than people'! In other words, friendship is the most important thing--not career or housework, or one's fatigue--and it needs to be tended and nurtured.”

“I don't believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. When one's hostess starts in with self-deprecations such as "Oh, I don't know how to cook...," or "Poor little me...," or "This may taste awful...," it is so dreadful to have to reassure her that everything is delicious and fine, whether it is or not. Besides, such admissions only draw attention to one's shortcomings (or self-perceived shortcomings), and make the other person think, "Yes, you're right, this really is an awful meal!" Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed -- eh bien, tant pis! Usually one's cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, as my ersatz eggs Florentine surely were, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile -- and learn from her mistakes.”

“Just speak very loudly and quickly, and state your position with utter conviction, as the French do, and you'll have a marvelous time!”

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tomato Cobbler

This is a tasty, savory side dish that gives you a great dose of anti-oxidants and lots of flavor.  We enjoyed this alongside meatloaf and mashed potatoes. 

For the filling:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large tomatoes (about 1 3/4 pounds), cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
Kosher salt
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, thinly sliced
2/3 cup milk, plus more for brushing
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Make the filling:
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly golden, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, thyme and cayenne and cook 1 more minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, brown sugar and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the tomatoes just begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat, then gently stir in the cherry tomatoes and flour.  Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish and dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter.

Make the topping:
Whisk the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste in a medium bowl.  Add the butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse meal with pea-size pieces of butter.  Add the milk, mustard and thyme and gently mix with a fork just until a sticky dough forms, being careful not to overwork the dough.

Drop balls of dough over the tomato filling and brush the dough with milk.  Place the cobbler on a baking sheet and bake until golden and bubbling, 50 minutes to 1 hour.  Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

From Food Network Magazine

Monday, August 6, 2012

Vanilla Custard

It never ceases to amaze me how something as simple as egg yolks, sugar and milk can combine to make a dessert that is both comforting and elegant.  Eaten while still warm or cold, this simple custard will make you lots of new friends.  I can see little ones enjoying this custard and always remembering that this is definitely a comfort food.

1/2 cup sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1/2 t. salt
4 egg yolks lightly beaten
3 cups whole milk
2 T. butter (NO MARGARINE)
2 t. pure vanilla extract

Whisk egg yolks into milk to thoroughly combine.  Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil, whisking constantly until thickened.

Remove from heat.  Stir in butter and vanilla.  Divide into small serving bowls.  Enjoy immediately while warm.  OR if you prefer, refrigerate until cold.  If you refrigerate, place plastic wrap directly against the custard to keep "skin" from forming.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Stuffed Eggs with Colman's English Mustard

A little history lesson on Colman's Mustard before we get to the recipe.

Jeremiah Colman began making mustard at a water mill near Norwich.  To create a tangy flavour, he blended brown mustard with white mustard.  Jeremiah founded Colman's of Norwich in 1814.  From 1855 the firm introduced its distinctive yellow packaging and bull's head logo, and in 1866 was granted the Royal Warrant as manufacturers of mustard to Queen Victoria.  Her Majesty’s household still uses Colman’s today.  A word of caution:  this is a ZIPPY mustard.  Try a taste before adding to the egg mixture.  Adjust amount to your taste level.

When I make deviled (or stuffed) eggs, I always boil an extra egg to finely chop to assure there's lots of filling for the egg halves. 

7 eggs, boiled, peeled and halved, yolks removed to a medium sized bowl
1/4 cup mayo (more or less)
1 T. Colman's Mustard
2 T. sweet pickle relish
salt & pepper

Mash the yolks and the extra egg until smooth.  Blend in mayo, mustard, pickle relish and S and P to taste.

Fill egg whites and garnish with parsley. 

Beverage Selection for the Olympic Game Themed Meal

Newcastle Brown Ale is an English beer which was introduced in 1927.  Newcastle Brown Ale was originally created by Lt. Col. James ('Jim') Herbert Porter (b. 1892, Burton upon Trent), a third generation brewer, in 1925. 

Boddington Brewery was a regional brewing company that owned public houses throughout the North West of England around Manchester, England. It was famous for a bitter beer, Boddingtons Bitter. With its distinctive straw-golden body and hoppy aroma, it was one of the first beers to be packaged in cans containing a widget, giving it a creamy, draught-style head.

Pimm's Cup made with ginger ale:

Pimm's is a liqueur first produced in 1823 by James Pimm.  Pimm, a farmer's son from Kent, became the owner of an oyster bar in London.  He offered the tonic (a gin-based drink containing quinine  and a secret mixture of herbs) as an aid to digestion, serving it in a small tankard known as a "No. 1 Cup", hence its subsequent name.  Pimm's No. 1 Cup is based on gin and can be served both on ice or in cocktails.  It has a dark-tea colour with a reddish tint, and tastes subtly of spice and citrus fruit.  It is often taken with "English-style" (clear and carbonated) with lemonade. Ginger ale is a common substitute for lemonade.  Pimm's can also be mixed with Champagne (or a sparkling white wine), called a "Pimm's Royal Cup".   Garnish with a cucumber slice or lemon wedge.  It's also famously served at Napoleon House in New Orleans.

Gin and Tonic

This cocktail was introduced by the army of the British East India Company in India.  In India and other tropical regions, malaria was a persistent problem.  In the 1700s it was discovered that quinine could be used to treat the disease, although the bitter taste was unpleasant.  British officers in India in the early 19th century took to adding a mixture of water, sugar, lime and gin to the quinine in order to make the drink more palatable. Since it is no longer used as an antimalarial, tonic water today contains much less quinine, is usually sweetened, and is consequently much less bitter. 

Thanks to Wikipedia for our beverage history lesson.

Strawberry Fool

A fruit fool is a simple dessert made of cream blended with sweetened fruit puree.  The dish is decidedly British in origin, but it has become popular throughout much of the world as an easy and often refreshing summertime treat. 

The word “fool” in the fruit fool context is most likely derived from the French verb fouler, which means “to press.”  Early English cooks, dating to the 1500's, by some accounts, made fools by pressing ripe fruits into a pulp, combining that pulp with sugar, then pouring the mixture into freshly whipped cream.

The food history books may tell us that the name comes from the French word to press, but after making this light, airy dessert, I would say it's aptly named because even a fool can make this. 

Try this and let me know how much you loved it!

1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 cup heavy cream
1 t. vanilla extract

Toss the strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar int a medium bowl. Let rest for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they give up their juices.

Place strawberries and juice into a blender (or use an immersion blender in the same bowl they're resting) and puree. 

Whip the cream with remaining 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla until cream is stiff and holds peaks easily. Carefully fold berries into the cream. Serve immediately or refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

Jamie Oliver's Favorite Coleslaw

I'll be honest, I was a little hesitant when I read over the ingredients.  After having second helpings, I don't know why.  The addition of apple slices, red onions and Coleman's mustard assured this coleslaw of a place on the regular rotation at Chez Lolly.

1 green cabbage, finely shredded
1 small red onion, quarted and thinly sliced
3 carrots, shredded
2 red apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 - 1/2 cup mayo (depending on how "wet" you like your slaw)
1 heaped teaspoon of Coleman's English Mustard
sea salt and black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a salad bowl.  Adjust seasonings.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Fish and Chips Jamie Oliver style

This dish was just lovely.  Lovely to look at and even better to eat!  Jamie Oliver delivered with this recipe.  The addition of the whipped egg whites transformed the run of the mill heavy batter we're used to into a light, fluffy coating for cod. 

We'll start with the "chips":

2 pounds russet potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into strips 
Vegetable Oil
Sea Salt

Soak the potatoes in a large bowl with cold water for an hour or so.  Drain the water and carefully pat the potato slices dry.  Pour the oil into a deep fryer to the fill line and heat to 300 degrees.  In batches, blanch the potatoes in the oil until soft, but not colored, about 4 minutes.  Remove and drain on a rack positioned over a baking pan.

While the potatoes rest, we'll cook the fish!

1 cup plain flour
1 cup beer (I used Newcastle Ale)
2 egg whites, whipped to soft peaks
4 (8 - 9 oz.) cod or haddock fillets (rinse and pat them dry)

Mix together the flour and beer.  Fold in egg whites.  Increase the heat in the fryer to 350 degrees.  Dip the fish in the batter and fry for a few minutes until golden brown.  Drain the fish fillets on a rack over a baking pan.

In batches, finish frying the potato slices until until brown and crunchy. 

Season with the fish and potatoes with salt and serve.

And we enjoyed some nice Malt Vinegar with the fish as well!

Olympic Games!

We enjoyed having friends over to watch Phelps' last race and a lot of the track and field events of the London Olympics.  I went with a British food theme and lots of red, white and blue.  Go Team USA! as well!

Orange Marmalade Croissant Bread Pudding with Creamy Orange Caramel Sauce

With a few semi-stale croissants and a little orange marmalade plus a few other ingredients, we enjoyed this lovely dessert.  And added bonus is the house smelled like heaven while it was baking.

Let's start with the bread pudding and then we'll make the sauce!

4 croissants, split
3/4 cup orange marmalade, divided between the croissants
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 t. orange zest
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. ground cinnamon

Spread each croissant bottom with the orange marmalade, replace the tops.

Cut each croissant into 4 pieces, fit closely together into a 9 inch lightly buttered pie dish

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk cream, brown sugar, orange zest, vanilla and cinnamon.  Slowly pour mixture over croissants allowing the bread to soak up the liquid.  Cover and place in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.

Remove from fridge about 30 minutes before baking.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  To be on the safe side and to catch any boil overs, place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. 

Bake uncovered for 45 - 60 minutes until a knife inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. 

Now for the sauce:
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup jarred caramel sauce
dash of salt

Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Pour a few spoonfuls over each serving of the pudding.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Beans and Greens a/k/a Cannellini Beans & Kale

This was a wonderful comfort food meal incorporating Kale: The Wonder Food!

1 lb. Great Northern or Cannellini Beans
1/2 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Bay Leaf
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 1/2 oz. Prosciutto, chopped
1/2 bunch Kale, coarsely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
6 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkle of Parmesan cheese
Soak the beans overnight in cold water. Drain and rinse the beans and put in a large Dutch oven and cover again with cold water. Over medium high heat, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook until beans are tender, 1 - 2 hours. Add salt to taste and then add the chopped kale. Cook for 15 - 20 minutes.

Add olive oil to an iron skillet and over medium heat add Prosciutto and let brown and remove from skillet and drain.
Put in the Onion and Garlic and cook until tender. Add Prosciutto back to the skillet and add the Cayenne, Sage, and Lime Juice.
Now add the Prosciutto back into the bean pot and reheat, then plate. Drizzle with Olive Oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Serve with a thick slice of Grilled Rosemary Bread and a glass of nice Red Wine.