Friday, September 30, 2016

FAREWELL SWEET SEPTEMBER ~ 'SIMPLE SEPTEMBER ONE PLATE SUPPER' APRICOT DIJON GLAZED SALMON & HONEY SRIRACHA ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

"September: It was the most beautiful of works, he'd always felt, evoking orange-flowers, swallows, and regret."

~  Alexander Theroux



Orange Mum


APRICOT DIJON GLAZED SALMON

Yummy autumn 'Simple One Pate Supper' - Salmon baked in apricot dijon glaze with ginger and lime compliments of Kevin Lynch at Closet Cooking

4 (6-oz) salmon filets or  one large filet
1/4  cup apricot preserves
1  Tbsp. grainy mustard
1  Tbps. Dijon mustard
1  Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce (or tamari)
1  Tbsp. lime juice (added to recipe) 
1  tsp. grated lime zest
2  tsp. grated ginger
2  tsp. grated garlic


  • Place salmon on baking dish.
  • Brush with mixture of apricot preserves, mustards, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, and garlic.
  • Bake in preheated 400º oven until salmon just starts to flake easily, about 10 minutes. (4 servings)
  • (Option: marinate salmon in glaze 30+ minutes before baking.) 



Apricot Dijon Glazed Salmon & Honey Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts


HONEY SRIRACHA ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Spicy roasted Brussels sprouts 
compliments of Shared Appetite

1 1/2  lbs. Brussels sprouts
2  Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt
1  Tbsp. sriracha 
3  Tbsp. honey
1  juiced lime

  • Preheat oven to 400º.
  • Cut off stem end of sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Cut in half.
  • Place sprouts in large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season generously with Kosher salt. Toss to coat. Place  in single layer on aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Roast for 35-40 minutes, shaking pan a few times throughout cooking process, until crisp and golden brown on the outside and tender on the inside.
  • Meanwhile, combine srircha, honey, and lime in small bowl. Season with Kosher salt.
  • Remove sprouts from oven, transfer to large bowl, and drizzle with sauce. Toss lightly to coat and serve immediately. (Serves 4)


Thursday, September 22, 2016

AUTUMNAL EQUINOX ~ CHEERS TO THE FIRST DAY OF AUTUMN! (MUSHROOM SPINACH EGG MUFFINS)

"Lord it is time. 
The summer was very big. 
Lay thy shadow on the sundials,
and on the meadows let the winds go loose. 
Command the last fruits that they shall be full; 
give them another two more southerly days, 
press them on to fulfillment 
and drive the last sweetness into the heavenly wine."
~ Rainer Maria Rilke





AUTUMNAL EQUINOX (Hubbard Lake, MI)


MUSHROOM SPINACH BREAKFAST MUFFINS
~  Super easy ... super good 

12  oz. favorite mushrooms thinly sliced (save 12 nice slices for top)
1  10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
6  organic eggs
1/4  cup milk, sour cream, or cottage cheese
2  cups grated favorite cheese (cheddar, triple Mexican mix, feta, etc.)
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1  cup grated favorite cheese (Parmesan is good ...)

  • Heat olive oil in large skillet and add sliced mushrooms. Saute about 10 minutes or until mushrooms juices released. Add thawed spinach and combine well. Season with salt & pepper.
  • In large bowl beat eggs until smooth. Add milk, sour cream, or cottage cheese, 2 cups of cheese and mix. Add cooked mushroom spinach mixture into egg mixture. Ladle into greased muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle top with remaining cup of cheese and top with a mushroom slice. 
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until puffy and beginning to lightly brown. Cool 10 minutes in pan before removing. (Good alone or squeezed between 2 slices of toast, pretzel bun or small slider roll. Additional small slice of cheese can be added.) 


Mushroom Spinach Breakfast Muffins

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

FAREWELL SWEET SUMMER ~ SIMPLE ONE PLATE SUMMER SUPPER: ROASTED SHRIMP COCKTAIL & STRAWBERRY BALSAMIC GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD

"But now in September the garden has cooled, and with it my possessiveness. The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head ... The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on."

~ Robert Finch




(SEPTEMBER SUMMER END)


ROASTED SHRIMP COCKTAIL

( Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten) 

2  lbs. (12-15 count) shrimp
1  Tbsp. good olive oil
1/2  tsp. kosher salt
1/2  tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Sauce:

1/2 cup chili sauce (recommended Heintz)
1/2  cup ketchup
3  Tbsp. prepared horseradish
2  tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2  tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4  tsp. hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)


  • Preheat oven to 400º F.
  • Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails on. Place on sheet pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread in 1 layer. Roast for 8-10 minutes, just until pink and firm and cooked through. Set aside to cool.
  • Sauce:  Come chili sauce, ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Serve as a dip with the shrimp. 



Roasted Shrimp Cocktail



STRAWBERRY BALSAMIC GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD

( Light, crisp and perfect for warm weather dining. Recipe, slightly adapted, from love & zest  )

For each person:

2  cups mixed salad greens
4-6  oz. grilled chicken breast
(my recipe BELOW ... easy to cut recipe in half) *
1 tsp. olive oll
1/4  thinly sliced red onion
4 sliced strawberries
1  Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4  sliced avocado
3  Tbsp. toasted pecans


  • In cast iron skillet sauté onions in olive oil.
  • Add stawberries and balsamic vinegar to pan to gently warm and blister the strawberries.
  • Build the salad with greens, chicken breast, balsamic onions and strawberries, avocado, and top with pecans.
  • Drizzle salad with remains balsamic vinegar from the pan.

Note:  If not enough dressing for your taste, here is a wonderful Balsamic Vinaigrette to spash on ... Whisk together - 1 clove minced garlic, 1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard, 3 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Rally which in 1 cup extra-virging olive oil. 





Strawberry Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad



MEDITERRANEAN GRILLED CHICKEN

~ Tuck this easy grilled chicken recipe away. Spring, summer, autumn and winter ~ it is very versatile for sandwiches, salad, atop pasta or showcased alone with rice, orzo, etc.

Marinade:
juice of 1-2 lemons (depending on size) and zest
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
12 halves boneless chicken breasts

Combine marinade ingredients and pour over chicken (the longer the better). Before grilling, bring to room temperature. Place chicken on grill and cook 7 minutes. Flip, baste with marinade and cook an additional 7-10 minutes, depending on thickness. Bring remaining marinade to boil and simmer 5 minutes. Spoon over cooked chicken. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. (For an earthy flavor, grill over soaked mesquite chips).


Grilled Mediterranean Chicken Breasts 

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

SPRING IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER! (CRUSTLESS ASPARAGUS/FRESH BABY SPINACH QUICHE)

"You needn't tell me that a man who doesn't love oysters, asparagus, and good wines has got a soul, or a stomach either. He's simply got the instinct for being unhappy."

~ 'Saki', pen name of Scottish writer Hector Hugh Munro (1870-1916) 



CRUSTLESS ASPARAGUS/FRESH BABY SPINACH QUICHE

~  Little effort delicious Breakfast/Brunch treat slightly adapted from LowCarbYum.com 




8  oz. or more fresh asparagus 
2  cups baby spinach leaves
6  beaten organic eggs
2  1/4  cup grated mozzarella cheese
2  Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2  cloves mined garlic
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  • Grease 9-inch pie/quiche dish.
  • Combine eggs with 2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese and garlic.
  • Reserve about 1/3 cup of egg mixture.
  • Sir spinach leaves in remaining egg mixture and our into prepared dish. Layer or arrange asparagus on top of egg mixture. 
  • Pour reserved egg mixture on top. 
  • Top with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella and 2 Tbsp. parmesan. 
  • Bake at 375º for about 30 minutes or until edges start to brown.  


Tuesday, February 09, 2016

SIMPLE ONE PLATE 'Mardi Gras' SUPPER: OVEN CEDAR PLANKED BOURBON SALMON & WHIPPED SOUR CREAM WHITE CHEDDAR CHIVE CAULIFLOWER

“How well I remember my first encounter with The Devil's Brew. I happened to stumble across a case of bourbon -- and went right on stumbling for several days thereafter.”

~ W.C. Fields



OVEN CEDAR PLANKED BOURBON SALMON 

2  pound salmon fillet
2  Tbsp. vegetable oil
1  Tbsp. soy sauce
3  Tbsp. bourbon
1  tsp. ground ginger
1  Tbsp. brown sugar
Lemon slices

  • Combine oil, soy sauce, bourbon, ginger and brown sugar. Pour over salmon fillet an let sit 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, rub cooking oil on cooking surface of cedar plank. Heat plank in 350º oven for 15 minutes. 
  • Place salmon (reserve marinade and heat in saucepan until thickened glaze) on hot plank and cook 15-20 minutes depending on thickness. 
  • Pour thickened glaze on cooked salmon. 
  • Serve with steamed brussels sprouts, steamed red skins, or favorite vegetable.   





WHIPPED SOUR CREAM WHITE CHEDDAR CHIVE CAULIFLOWER



1  large head cauliflower
4  garlic cloves
1/3  cup sour cream
3  Tbsp. unsalted butter
6  oz. grated white cheddar and some also for garnish
fresh or dried chives to taste and for garnish
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Place steam basket over large saucepan filled with several inches of water.
  • Cut/break cauliflower into florets and rinse. Place in steamer with garlic and steam until tender, about 8-10 minutes or until soft enough to mash.
  • Drain from steamer, pat dry, and place in bowl of food processor (or can use immersion blender) and puree until smooth. 
  • Return to pot and add sour cream, butter, cheddar, chives, and salt & pepper. Stir until crazy and smooth.
  • Correct seasoning and serve sprinkled with additional grated cheese and chives. 


Oven Cedar Planked Bourbon Salmon & 
Whipped Sour Cream White Cheddar Chive Cauliflower 

Monday, February 08, 2016

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR! (SIMPLE ONE PLATE SUPPER: SPICY SZECHWAN PEANUT NOODLES


Good luck for this monkey year!


SPICY SZECHUAN PEANUT NOODLES




1  cup peanut butter
1/4  cup soy sauce

1/4  cup sesame oil
3  Tbsp. rice vinegar
2  Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
2  Tbsp grated ginger root
1  1/2 tsp. Asian chili sauce or 1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes or to taste
1  Tbsp. hoisin sauce
2  Tbsp fresh lime juice
3/4  cup water
1/2  tsp. coarse salt
1  lb. noodles of choice
finely chopped scallions
chopped roasted peanuts

  • Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth
  • Boil noodles un al dente. Toss with 3/4 of sauce or to taste.
  • Top with chopped scallions & chopped peanuts. 




Spicy Szechuan Peanut Noodles

Sunday, February 07, 2016

SUPER BOWL 'SUNDAY FUNDAY' ~ SIMPLE ONE PLATE SUPPER: 'FOOTBALL' MEAT LOAF & 'SPIRAL' SWEET POTATOES

"You have to play this game like somebody just hit your mother with a two-by-four."

~ Dan Birdwell


'FOOTBALL' MEAT LOAF 

~  Fun 'football' shaped meatloaf ... twist on Ina Garten's Meat Loaf recipe

2  Tbsp. virgin olive oil
4  cups chopped yellow onions (about 4 onions)
1  Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
2  tsp. kosher salt
2  tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3  Tbso. Worcestershire Sauce
1/3  cup white wine
2  Tbsp. tomato paste
3  lbs. ground lean chuck
heaping 1/2 cup plain panko crumbs
3  extra-large beaten eggs

Mozzarella sticks (cut for football laces)

Piquant Sauce:

1/2  cup ketchup
3  Tbsp. brown sugar
1  tsp. dry mustard
1/4  tsp. grated nutmeg

  • Preheat oven to 325º.
  • Heat olive oil in medium saute pan. Add onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until onions are translucent but not brown. Off heat, add Worcestershire sauce, wine, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly.
  • In large bowl, coming ground chuck, onion mixture , panko crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with a fork. Don' mash or meat loaf will be dense. 
  • Shape mixture into football shape (or rectangle if not wanting football shape) on a parchment lined sheet pan. Spread Piquant Sauce every on top.
  • Bake for 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours, until internal temperature is 160º and meat loaf is cooked through. (A pan of hot water in the oven, under the meat loaf, will keep top from cracking.) Serve hot.




SPIRAL SWEET POTATO FRIES




For each large scrubbed sweet potato
2  Tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4  tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2  tsp. garlic powder
coarse salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 450º. Spiralize sweet potatoes (Paderno Spiralizer) or cut into slender wedges. 
  • Toss sweet potato with oil and seasonings.
  • Spread fries in a single layer on large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil - try not to overlap or they will steam instead of bake.
  • Bake on top rack of oven for 20-25 minutes, flipping half way in between baking.
Note: I have a 4-blade Paderno Spiralizer from Williams-Sonoma






Tuesday, February 02, 2016

FEBRUARY is 'HEART MONTH' ~ HEALTHY 'SIMPLE ONE PLATE SUPPER': BAKED ALMOND LEMON SOLE with GRAPES & STEAMED LEMON BRUSSELS SPROUTS

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."

~  Ralph Waldo Emerson



Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectacles 'Gold Heart')


BAKED ALMOND LEMON SOLE with GRAPES
(recipe compliments of All-Fish-Seafood-Recipes.com who stated recipe was created by King of England - Edward VII)

6  sole fillets, (about 6-oz. each) skinned
2  Tbsp. butter
1/2  cup slivered almonds
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1  cup seedless green grapes
1/4  cup freshly finely chopped parsley
1/2  cup dry white wine, sherry, or Marsala
coarse salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 400º.
  • Arrange fish fillets into a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with coarse salt & freshly ground pepper. Dot with butter bits.
  • Combine slivered almonds, lemon juice, green grapes and chopped parsley. Spread mixture all over fillets. Pour in dry white wine, sherry or Marsala. 
  • Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 15 minutes our until just tender.



STEAMED LEMON BRUSSELS SPROUTS


 2  lbs. trimmed brussels sprouts
Lemon
coarse salt & freshly ground pepper


Fit a large pot with a steamer insert; fill with water to bottom of insert. Cover and bring to boil. Add Brussels sprouts and steam until bright green and just tender, 6-8 minutes. Transfer to serving bowl and season with salt and pepper.




Sunday, January 24, 2016

JANUARY FAMILY 'BIRTHDAY' FEAST (LEMONY CAESAR SALAD, SOUP A L'OIGNON GRATINEE, WHITE CHEDDAR MAC & CHEESE with PARMESAN PANKO CRUST, and MOCHA VELVET TORTE

When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. 

~ Joyce Brothers



LEMONY CEASAR SALAD with PUMPERNICKEL CROUTONS

1 large head romaine lettuce
Large chunk of Parmigiana Reggiano
Pumpernickel Croutons 

Caesar Vinaigrette:

12 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tin drained anchovy fillets
freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Pumpernickel Croutons:  Preheat oven to 400º. Toss 2 cups (1/2-inch cubes) pumpernickel bread with 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle heavily with cracked pepper. Spread on baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes, stirring often, until crisp. (Can make ahead)
  • Caesar Vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients (but olive oil) in blender. Gradually add olive oil and process until creamy. 
  • Add bite-size pieces of crisp Romaine to large salad bowl. Toss gently with Caesar Vinaigrette to taste. Add Pumpernickel Croutons and toss again. Serve topped with grated Parmigiana Reggiano. 




(LEMONY CEASAR SALAD with Croutons)



SOUPE A L'OIGNON GRATINEE
(adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking)


“Onion soup sustains. The process of making it is somewhat like the process of learning love. It requires commitment, extraordinary effort, time, and will make you cry."
~ Ronni Lundy

(FRENCH ONION SOUP)
6-8 pounds thinly sliced yellow onions
6 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
6 heaping Tbsp. flour
3-4 quarts good beef stock
3 cups dry white wine
coarse salt and cracked pepper
few glugs of Kitchen Bouquet
12 Tbsp. Cognac
1 pound Swiss cheese*
1 - 1 1/2 pound cheese like Gruyere or assorted shredded cheddar, Colby and Swiss or Parmesan
Cook onions slowly in butter and oil in covered stockpot for 15 minutes. Uncover, raise heat to moderate, and stir in salt and sugar. Cook for 30-40 minutes stirring frequently until onions have turned deep golden brown. (Long slow cooking develops the deep, rich flavor). Sprinkle in flour and stir 3 minutes. Off heat, blend in liquid. Add wine and season to taste. Simmer partially covered for 30-40 minutes, skimming occasionally. Correct seasoning. Add Cognac and set aside until ready to serve. (*the Swiss cheese is a surprise. Place a big hunk in the bottom of the soup before assembling.)
CROUTES
(hard crusts of French bread for topping)
Slice several 3/4 - 1 inch pieces of French bread. Brush tops with cut garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in 325 degree oven about 30 minutes or until crusty brown.
~ Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place hot soup in oven-proof crocks. Slip in hunk of Swiss cheese. Top with croutes and finish with shredded cheese. Bake 20 minutes and finish browning under broiler. (Be careful serving ~ the 'lava soup is very hot 


(Classic French Onion Soup)


WHITE CHEDDAR MAC & CHEESE with PARMESAN PANKO CRUST

(National Pasta Association & Mom 100)

Panko Topping:

3  Tbsp(1/2 . unsalted butter
2-3 Cups Japanese Panko Crumbs
1/2  Cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Pasta & Cheese Sauce:

4  Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus butter for greasing baking dish/dishes
4  Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2  tsp. red pepper falkes (optional)
4  1/2  Cups 2 % or whole milk
1  Cup heavy (whipping) cream
5  Cups coarsely grated flavorful cheese, such as sharp cheddar or Gruyere, or mix
1/2  cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4  tbsp. Dijon mustard
1  1/2  tsp kosher or coarse salt or to taste
1/2  tsp. freshly ground black pepper or to taste
1  1/2 packages (24 oz.) dried cavatelli, ziti, penne (or what I used, tortiglioni)


  • Preheat oven to 400º. Butter shallow 4-5 Quart baking dish (or 2 smaller ones or individual ramekins)
  • Bring large pot of water to boil, salt generously, and let return to boil.
  • Meanwhile, make panko topping. Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat or place in medium microwave-safe dish and heat in microwave 15 seconds or until melted. Add panko and Parmesan and stir until combined. Set topping aside.
  • Make pasta and sauce:  Melt butter in large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and red pepper flakes (if used). Cook, stirring until flour is blond in color, about 4 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, Increase heat to medium-high and let simmer until it starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Add cream, grated cheese, Parmesan, mustard, salt & black pepper, stirring until smooth. test for seasoning, adding more salt & pepper as needed.
  • Add pasta to boiling water and cook until barely al dente (follow package directions but stop a minute or two before pasta is completely tender). Set aside 1 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain pasta.
  • Whisk reserved pasta cooking water into cheese sauce, combining thoroughly. Add pasta to cheese sauce and stir to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into prepared baking dish. There will appear to be a lot of sauce. Some of it will be absorbed into pasta as it cooks. (Better saucy than dry)
  • Sprinkle panko topping evenly over pasta and bake until golden and bubbly, 30-40 minutes.Ket pasta sit for a few minutes before serving.



(White Cheddar Mac & Cheese with Parmesan Panko Crust)


MOCHA VELVET TORTE
Heavenly rich, truffle-like EASY dessert and, like clouds, always a delight
(from a December 1992 issue of Southern Living)
*
1 Tbsp. instant coffee granules
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1 1/2 cups melted unsalted butter
6 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Ganache Cream
  • Preheat oven to 225-degrees. Grease bottom of 9-inch springform pan; line with greased waxed paper and set aside.
  • Dissolve coffee granules in boiling water. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved; set aside.
  • Position knife blade in food processor bowl; add chocolate morsels. Process 1 1/2 minutes or until finely chopped, stopping once to scrape down sides. Pour coffee mixture through food chute with processor running, stopping once to scrape down sides. Pour butter through food chute with processor running. Add eggs, one at at a time, through food chute, pulsing after each addition. Add vanilla and pulse once again.
    Pour into prepared pan and bake at 225-degrees for 2 1/2 hours or until slightly firm to touch. Cool completely on wire rack. 
  • Run knife around edge; release sides of springform pan. Invert torte onto 8-inch cardboard round and place on rack over shallow pan. Pour Ganache Cream over top and sides, covering completely. Chill 8 hours. Garnish with chocolate leaves (if you feel the need) and chocolate-covered coffee beans (from Trader Joe's). 
GANACHE CREAM:
1 cup whipping cream
2 (4-oz) packages bittersweet chocolate, chopped and divided
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter, divided


Combine whipping cream and two-thirds of chocolate in double boiler. Bring to boil & reduce heat to low. Cook until chocolate melts, stirring often. Remove from heat. Add remaining chocolate, stirring until melted and smooth. Add one-third of butter, beating until butter melts & mixture is smooth. Repeat procedure with remaining butter. Let cool until mixture is slightly thickened and of pouring consistency. If mixture becomes too thick, reheat in double boiler over simmering water.



(Mocha Velvet Torte)