Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Slow Cooker Rosemary Turkey Breast

I've roasted turkey breasts in the oven, I've smoked turkey breasts in the smoker, I've grilled turkey breasts on the grill.  I had never cooked one in a slow cooker until today. It won't be the last one!

Granted there are many people who say they don't like the texture of slow-cooked turkey or chicken.   But there are some days when work comes first and roasting a turkey or turkey breast comes second.  On those days, this is a great alternative.

I didn't add any liquid to this slow cooker version and ended up with almost 3 cups of turkey dripping to make gravy!

I knew I was going to season with garlic, thyme, and onions.  Now which olive oil to use? The choices are numerous at King's Olive Oil Company. I selected Rosemary Olive Oil. Trust me, it was the perfect choice! 

Turkey is naturally a very lean protein. The coating of the turkey with the rosemary olive oil will allow the herbs and seasonings to adhere to the exterior and help to keep the turkey moist during the cooking process.

1 (5 - 5 1/2 lb.) turkey breast with bone
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
2 - 3 T. Rosemary Olive oil
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. onion powder
1 t. granulated garlic
1 t. paprika
2 t. salt
1 t. ground black pepper

Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray.

Rinse turkey and pat dry with paper towels.  Place sliced onion rings in bottom of slow cooker.

Rub rosemary olive oil over the entire turkey breast. Sprinkle thyme, onion powder, granulated garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper over and inside the turkey.

Place the turkey breast on top of the sliced onions. Cover and cook 3 - 4 hours on high or 6 - 7 hours on low.

Once the turkey is done, carefully remove it from slow cooker and place on a large plate or platter. remove skin and slice turkey.

Strain broth and discard solids.  Follow this link for the Easy Turkey Gravy.

Easy Turkey Gravy

Today's new recipe idea was to cook a turkey breast in the slow cooker. That experiment turned out wonderfully. Here's the link to the Slow Cooker Rosemary Turkey Breast.

Now let's make the gravy!

3 T. butter
3 T. flour
2 cups turkey drippings
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper

In a medium skillet, over high heat, melt butter. When the butter bubbles, add flour. Stirring constantly, let flour cook into the butter for 1 - 2 minutes. Slowly add turkey broth, stirring constantly. 

Reduce heat to medium-low, continue stirring until gravy thickens.

Serve over sliced turkey.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Baked Sweet Potato with Maple Balsamic Vinegar and Blood Orange Olive Oil Reduction with toasted pecans

Now you must admit, that is a gorgeous sweet potato. You can almost feel the beta carotene goodness jumping out at you! Instead of choosing to top with butter and brown sugar, I used these two wonderful products: Maple Balsamic Vinegar and Blood Orange Olive Oil . These are two wonderfully complimentary flavors. The toasted chopped pecans were the icing on the cake so to speak.

2 large sweet potatoes
2 t. Maple Balsamic Vinegar
2 t. Blood Orange Olive Oil
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place potatoes on a baking sheet and make several small slits with a knife to allow steam to escape while baking.

Bake potatoes for 30 minutes, turn over, and return to oven for another 30 minutes or so until cooked through.

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, add vinegar and olive oil and whisk to combine. Let simmer and reduce for about 5 minutes until it begins to thicken.  Add a dash of salt.

While vinegar and olive oil are reducing, place pecans in a shallow skillet over low heat. Let the pecans gently warm, stirring frequently.  When you smell the pecans, they're toasted!

Cut potatoes open, loosen pulp with a fork, and gently spoon half the reduction over one of the potatoes, topping with half of the pecans. Repeat with the other potato.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Baked Dover Sole with Sicilian Lemon, Caper, and Garlic Sauce

Tonight's dinner featured Publix's "this fish that's on sale this week," Dover Sole.  Dover Sole is prized for its mild, buttery, sweet flavor and versatility, and for its ease of filleting. These were very thinly sliced fillets and were extremely delicate in handling. A little thicker fillet would have made preparation easier.

1 1/2 lb. Dover Sole fillets
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
3 T. finely chopped shallot
1 cup dry white wine

For the sauce:
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 T. capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
3 T. olive oil
2 - 4 T. finely chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add enough olive oil to a baking dish large enough to accommodate all the fillets in one layer. Lay the fish in the baking dish(es) and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet and add the shallots. Cook, stirring, until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the wine to the pan, bring to a boil, and pour the wine and shallots over the fish. Return the skillet to the stove (make sure the heat is off) for later use. 

Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the oven. Bake 8 - 10 minutes, or 5 minutes for each 1/2 inch of thickness, until the fish is opaque and pulls apart easily with a fork.

While the fish is in the oven, whisk together the garlic, capers, lemon balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.

When the fish is done, remove it from the oven and carefully transfer it to a platter or plates. Cover and keep warm. Pour the liquid that's in the baking dish into the skillet and turn the heat on high. Reduce, stirring often, to about 1/4 cup. The mixture will be thick. Stir in the garlic and caper mixture and the parsley. Whisk together, taste and adjust seasoning, pour over the fish and serve.

Adapted from a recipe from Martha Rose Shulman

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Fried Rice

The recipe comes straight from the package of Sun Bird Fried Rice seasoning mix. Cook the rice the day prior to making the fried rice is possible and refrigerate so it is cold when you are ready to prepare this dish.

2 T. oil
3 cups cooked, cold rice (white, brown, or instant)
3 green onions, sliced
1 package Sun Bird Fried Rice seasoning
2 t. soy sauce
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup frozen green peas (thawed)

In a large skillet, heat oil. Stir fry rice and green onions.

Add seasoning packet and soy sauce, stir-fry 1 minute.

Push rice to side, add eggs, scramble, stir into rice.

Add peas and 1/3 cup chopped cooked chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp if desired.

Serve immediately.

Chinese Stir Fry Cabbage

I've never stir-fried cabbage, but this was a perfect side dish for our Chinese New Year meal. The red pepper flakes add a certain amount of heat and you can add more or less to suit your taste. Only use a knife to quarter the cabbage and remove the core. Tear the cabbage by hand into bite sized pieces. It adds a rustic touch and it seems to cook better as well!

3 T. peanut oil
1 - 2 dried red pepper flakes
8 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups hand torn cabbage
1 t. salt
1 T. soy sauce

In a large skillet, heat peanut oil over high heat. Add red pepper flakes and garlic.  Cook for 15 seconds.

Add cabbage and soy sauce and stir for 5 minutes.

Add salt just before serving.


Adapted from www.chinboo.com

Sticky Garlic Sesame Chicken

Happy Chinese New Year (The Year of the Rooster)! These bites of chicken breast are lightly breaded and quickly cooked in the wok then glazed with a mixture of honey, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce. The chopped green onions and sesame seeds finish this dish perfectly.  

1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 t. onion powder
1 t. granulated garlic
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground red pepper
2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 T. peanut oil
1/4 cup plus 2 T. honey
2 t. rice wine vinegar
3 T. low sodium soy sauce
1/8 t. red pepper flakes
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 t. sesame seeds
4 green onions, thinly sliced

In a large Ziploc bag, combine flour, onion powder, granulated garlic, black pepper, salt, and ground red pepper.  Add chicken bites to the bag and toss to coat completely.

In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Set aside while you cook the chicken.

Add peanut oil to a wok over high heat.  When oil shimmers, cook chicken bites in batches until well browned. When all the chicken has been cooked, place ALL chicken back into the wok.

Slowly pour sauce over chicken and toss to coat. Reduce heat to low. Allow a glaze to form on the chicken for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve over white rice or with fried rice. Top with sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions.


Adapted from www.swankyrecipes.com

Baklouti Green Chili Pepper Red Beans & Rice

Every now and then I get a literal craving for red beans and rice. The majority of recipes allow the heat level to come from the spiciness of the Cajun or Creole Seasoning that's added. And then there's always the bottle of your favorite hot sauce on the table when the meal's served. 

For the recipe, I used Baklouti Green Chili Oil to saute the vegetables at the beginning of the cooking process.  The onions, peppers, and celery definitely absorbed this oil while sauteing and carried the heat through the simmering of the red beans. This is my new favorite Red Beans and Rice recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as well.

1 lb. dried red beans
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 ribs celery chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. salt
6 cups chicken stock
1 T. Creole seasoning
1 bay leaf
3 T. butter
1 lb. Conecuh Sausage, browned
cooked white rice
sliced green onions

Rinse and sort the red beans. Place them in a medium-sized bowl and cover with water. Let soak 3 -4 hours. Drain.

In a 4 quart Dutch oven, add chili pepper oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, 5 - 7 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and cook for another minute or so.

Add chicken stock and increase heat to high to bring to a boil. Add beans, Creole seasoning, and bay leaf. Cover and reduce heat so that the liquid is at a gentle simmer. 

Let beans cook several hours, stirring occasionally, so they don't stick. Add more chicken stock or water if liquid reduces too much.

When beans are soft and completely cooked, remove bay leaf. Remove about 2 cups of the beans to a bowl. Using a potato masher, gently mash beans to help the mixture thicken. Put the mashed beans and butter into the reserved beans and stir to combine.  Remove from heat. 

Serve over white rice, with Conecuh sausage on the side. Top with sliced green onions.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Duke's Mayonnaise 100th Anniversary Recipe Contest

Last year, I entered Duke's Mayonnaise 100th Anniversary Recipe Contest. Regular readers of the blog know how much I love my Duke's mayonnaise.

I was selected as the winner! The recipe will be on specially printed labels of Duke's jars soon. In the meantime, here's the recipe!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Garlic Butter Mussels with Herb Noodles

Doesn't that look like a lovely dinner? Does it look like it may have taken some time to prepare? This has been one of those days in one of those weeks. You know the type. Those days when there's not enough hours or energy to go around. Those are the evenings where you need some secret weapons in your arsenal. 

By using these easy shortcuts, you will have dinner on the table in 15 minutes! 

Cook the noodles according to package directions.  (7 minutes cook time + 2 minutes rest time!)

The mussels are microwaved for 5 - 7 minutes.  (I cooked these for 6!)

While these are cooking, slice and toast some bread and slice some lemons for squeezing over the mussels.

When the noodles are cooked, pour into a large bowl. Top with the cooked mussels.**

Serve with the toasted bread and lemon wedges!

** Discard any mussels which don't open.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower with Rosemary Olive Oil

I love roasted vegetables. Roasted brings out the vegetables' natural sweetness. One of my favorite combinations for roasted vegetables is broccoli and cauliflower. While the Mediterranean Pork Tenderloin roasted in the oven on one rack, it was easy to roast these vegetables on another sheet pan at the same time. The cooking time was equal so the side dish was ready at the same time as the main dish.  That's always a plus!

The star of this recipe is the Rosemary Olive Oil from King's Olive Oil Company.

8 oz. broccoli florets
8 oz. cauliflower florets
freshly ground black pepper
1 - 2 T. Rosemary Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread broccoli and cauliflower onto baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat. 

Roast vegetables for 20 - 22 minutes. Sprinkle with a little lemon zest before serving if desired.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Mediterranean Pork Tenderloin

Regular readers of the blog know how fond (read: crazy) I am about lemon flavors. By using the Mediterranean flavor profile which includes lemon, garlic, and rosemary in the marinade, these delicious boneless pork chops baked in about 25 minutes.  

I had purchased a large whole tenderloin recently at Publix. The butcher was extremely helpful and gladly sliced the tenderloin into 1 inch thick slices. Pay attention to your local grocery sale ads and take advantage of buys such as this. For this recipe, I used about 1 1/2 lbs. of pork. You could also use a 1 lb. pork tenderloin and grill whole and slice before serving.

1/2 cup Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 T. whole grain Dijon Mustard
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. granulated garlic

In a medium bowl, whisk all of the marinade ingredients together until well blended. Place 1 1/2  - 2 lbs. sliced pork tenderloin in a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Pour marinade into bag and make sure bag is sealed completely.

Place in refrigerator for 1 - 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Using tongs, place pork tenderloin slices onto the baking sheet. Bake for 22 - 25 minutes or until instant read thermometer shows an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

If desired, place under broiler for a few minutes to brown.

Garnish with lemon zest. Serve immediately.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The St. Germaine Cocktail

I've always been intrigued when I see the St. Germain Cocktail listed on a drink menu. Imagine my delight when I recently saw the following bottle for sale. Not only the beautiful bottle of St. Germaine, but a beaker with the recipe for the St. Germaine Cocktail imprinted on the glass!

From their website:

The liqueur is made from elderflower, a small, white starry flower that blooms through the spring and summer. In Europe, the flower is used in many foods and drinks, but in the U.S. it’s gaining popularity in the form of this liqueur.

Saint Germain liqueur seems to bottle the taste of these warm floral notes. Still produced in an artisanal manner, the liqueur is made from flowers that are gathered from the hillsides in the French Alps during a short four-to-six-week period in spring. The picked flowers are bicycled to a collection depot (yep, bicycled) where they are immediately macerated to preserve the fresh flavors of the bloom. Extracting the flavors of this flower is not an easy process, and the Saint Germain company keeps theirs a family secret.
Each bottle of Saint Germain is individually numbered, reflecting the year in which the flowers were picked.
Cool, huh?

Here's the recipe from the St. Germain website:

2 parts Brut Champagne or dry white wine
1 1/2 parts St. Germain liqueur
2 parts sparkling water

When one puts one’s name on something, that something must be perfect. This something is. Fill a tall Collins glass with ice. Add Champagne first, then St-Germain, then Club Soda (the order is essential, not arbitraire). Stir completely and garnish with a lemon twist. And, if you have done all of the above perfectly, feel free to put your name on it, as well.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Spicy Cayenne Baked Catfish

If you're looking for a meal that can be on the table in less than 30 minutes, I'm going to share another one with you.  

I know there are those blog readers who do NOT like spicy food. I understand. However, there are those of you who LOVE and ADORE spicy food. So even though the catfish fillets are lightly coated in a very hot cayenne olive oil, these are not mouth burning hot. More of a gentle heat that sneaks up on you one bite at a time.

This Red Cayenne Chili Oil is made by crushing 12 pounds of fresh, whole, ripe cayenne chilies for each gallon produced.  The oil and chilies are fused together for two hours before decanting and filtering. 

1 lb. catfish fillets
Granulated Garlic
Chili Powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse catfish fillets and pat dry with paper towels.

Place catfish on baking sheet and lightly drizzle with the chili oil. Spread the chili oil evenly over the catfish with a brush.

Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and chili powder.

Bake for 18 - 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.  

Serve immediately with lemon slices.

Sunday Afternoon Snack

The unseasonably warm January weather continues. We both needed a little something to hold us over until suppertime. There's no need to grab that bag of chips, the jar of salsa, the junk food. Get into the habit of buying a little cheese to have on hand, some specialty crackers, a nice jar of jelly or jam, fresh fruit, some nuts.  Voila!  

Imagine if you have unexpected guests drop by. Five minutes in the kitchen to plate your delicious snack items and your guests are sure to feel very special.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Surf and Turf: Grilled T-Bone Steaks and Broiled Lobster Tails

We had an out of the ordinary warm January afternoon yesterday and planned a supper on the deck. Grilled T-bone steaks and broiled lobster tails were the main event for the surf and turf portion. A side dish of steamed green beans and a crescent roll rounded out the meal.

Follow these links for the recipes!



Espresso & Blood Orange Grilled T-Bone Steaks with sauteed garlic and mushrooms

Sometimes you need to go big! T-Bone steaks were on sale at Publix this week, so you know what happened don't you? Friday night's meal was planned around grilling! And when steaks are on the menu, a marinade is on the prep list. The lovely owner of King's Olive Oil Company was extremely helpful in helping me choose a combination of oil and vinegar.  I carried over the flavors when I prepared the mushrooms. The recipe for those will follow the steak recipe.  

If you're not a fan of coffee or espresso flavor, don't worry. The flavors are so subtle you'll never know there is espresso. BUT, this olive oil and vinegar combo add such a depth, you'll be sure to impress your family and friends. I can honestly say this is the best steak I've ever grilled!

For the marinade:
2 T. Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, grated
1 medium shallot, grated
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 T-bone steaks (total weight 2 lbs.)

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Pour into a Ziploc bag large enough to hold your steaks.

Place steaks into Ziploc bag and seal carefully. Place in refrigerator for up to 3 hours.

Remove steaks from refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling. Preheat gas grill or prepare charcoal grill.

Remove steaks from marinade and grill until steaks reach your desired temperature. 

Place on serving plate and cover loosely with foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes.

While steaks are resting, prepare the mushrooms.

1 garlic clove, grated
1 small shallot, grated
8 oz. sliced white mushrooms

In a medium skillet, over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, and shallot. Allow olive oil to heat for a minute or so and then add mushrooms.

Stirring frequently, continue to allow mushrooms to cook and soften for 5 - 7 minutes.

Lightly salt and pepper the mushrooms and add the vinegar just before serving.  

Top steaks with mushrooms and serve immediately.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Broiled Lobster Tails with Browned Butter

Now before you think you can't afford lobster tails on a Friday night in January, let me stop you. If you have gone through a drive through this week or ordered one of those fancy coffees, you can afford a $3.99 lobster tail from Publix!  The 3 oz. lobster tails were on sale last week and since the temps today were actually in the low 70s in JANUARY, we decided to have Surf and Turf night on the deck.

But before we dig in, let's make our browned butter. Here's the link for the recipe for Browned Butter. Trust me when I tell you it's worth the 10 minutes or so to make it!

If the lobster tails you purchase are frozen, let the thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or place in a bowl of cold, salted water for 30 minutes or so.

First things first....let's cut the shell. Using kitchen shears, carefully cut along the back side of the lobster tail down to the last joint. Do not cut through to the end.

Turn the lobster over in your hand and squeeze tightly. You'll hear and feel the shell crack.

Next, flip the lobster tail over and gently loosen the lobster meat from the underside of the shell all the way to the last joint.

Turn the lobster shell side up in your hand and carefully pull the loosened lobster meat up through the shell. Pinch the lobster shell together and gently place the lobster meat on top of the shell.

Brush with some of the browned butter (please tell me you've made the browned butter!), and lightly salt and pepper.

Preheat the broiler on high. Place lobster tails on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Do not use parchment paper on the baking sheet.  Do not ask me how I know this.

For 3 oz. lobster tails, you'll need to broil for about 3 minutes. For 6 oz. lobster tails, 6 minutes. Watch carefully, you don't want them to burn!

Plate and serve with the browned butter and lemon wedges.


Browned Butter

It only takes a few minutes and the flavor that you'll have to enjoy with lobster is unbelievable. Brown butter adds nutty, toasted flavors to sweet and savory dishes. Trust me, there is nothing to it!

www.seriouseats.com provides great written step by step instructions which I'm sharing with you here.

First of all, melt your butter in a light-colored saucepan so you can check the degree of brownness you're getting.

Butter consists of clear yellowish butterfat, water, and milk proteins. When browning butter, those proteins are what's actually browning. The heavy bottom ensures the butter heats evenly while the light color allows you to monitor the butter's color as it browns. Heat the butter gently over low heat it has melted completely.

Butter contains a good 13 to 17% water, which has to go before the fat's temperature can rise enough to brown the milk proteins. Once the butter reaches a temperature of 212°F, the water in the butter starts to evaporate much more quickly. As a result, the butter will start to bubble and splatter dramatically. I usually place a splatter screen over the pan at this point, though swirling the pan and stirring constantly to make sure any and all bubbles get released will work as well. 

If you're confident, you can raise the temperature to medium or medium-high at this point, though higher temperatures means your butter will go from perfect to burnt much faster. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan to prevent the butter from catching and burning.  

After about five minutes the butter will start to foam. This is when you want to watch the butter like a hawk, stirring it around with your spatula to prevent the milk solids from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

You can tell the butter is browning because dark golden flecks (browned milk solids) will appear in the melted butter, which will start to smell nutty and toasty.

The foam can make it hard to see if the butter is browned to your liking, so to check the color, try clearing away some of the foam with a spoon or take the pan off the heat and spoon a little of the butter onto a white plate.

Once you're happy with the level of browning, pour the butter—browned milk solids and all—into a heatproof bowl and stir it for one or two minutes to cool it down. If you were to leave the butter in the pan, the residual heat would continue to cook it, and the butter might scorch from a perfect brown to a burnt-tasting black.  Also, keep in mind that only the milk solids turn a dark golden brown, not the butter itself. The fat will be darker as well, but not as dramatically as the milk solids. 

The last step is to let it cool slightly and pour (or spoon it through a fine mesh strainer to remove most of the solids.

Now you are ready to spoon over steamed vegetables, cooked pasta, or as we're going to use it tonight, spooned into dipping bowls for lobster tails!


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Rosemary and Black Truffle Oil Potatoes


Sometimes in the middle of a hectic week, you want simple comfort food. Tonight was going to be hot dog night. But I wanted it to be a little special, you know? So instead of chips or french fries, I cubed up 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, brought out one of my favorite cast iron skillets, and browned them up for about 10 minutes. Still sounds ordinary, right? This is where we raise them to another flavor level.  How you ask? With a light drizzle of these two specialty oils: Rosemary Olive Oil  and  Black Truffle Oil.

A light drizzle is all you'll need to transform plain potatoes to a new family favorite.

4 - 5 medium Yukon gold potatoes (peeled or unpeeled, your choice)
2 - 3 T. Rosemary Olive Oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary chopped (stem removed) 
Drizzle of Rosemary Olive Oil and Black Truffle Oil

Cube potatoes. I hope you've entered to win the chopper (just like the one shown below) over on my Facebook page!  The contest ends on Thursday night (1/12/17) at 8:00 p.m. CST!

Heat rosemary olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes and spread in a single layer. Let potatoes cook, stirring occasionally, until browned.

Remove potatoes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Sprinkle with salt. Transfer potatoes to a serving plate, sprinkle with chopped rosemary and drizzle with additional rosemary olive oil and black truffle oil.  Serve immediately.