Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
a friendly face in the garden
- Preheat oven to 450-degrees.
- Slice bread in half horizontally. Spread pesto evenly over each cut slice.
- Layer ham, turkey, and provolone evenly over bottom half. Top with remaining bread and wrap in foil.
- Bake 10 minutes. Uncover top of loaf and cover with fresh basil leaves. Slice into 6 wedges.
MEDITERRANEAN GREEK SALAD
1/2 lb. halves crosswise sliced green beans
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 clove crushed garlic
1 chopped shallot
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. fresh oregano
1 tsp. fresh thyme
3 large fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt & freshly ground pepper
1 lb. halved grape tomatoes
1/2 thinly sliced red onion
1 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese
- Blanch green beans in boiling salted water until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, pat dry and set aside.
- Combine vinegar, garlic, shallot, mustard, oregano, thyme and basil in a blender. Slowly add olive oil. Season with salt & pepper.
- In large salad bowl, combine green beans, tomato halves, sliced onion and crumbled feta cheese. Toss with vinaigrette.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
- While pasta water is cooking, melt butter in large skillet. Add leeks or shallots, mushrooms, and garlic. Saute until moisture evaporates.
- Add sherry to pan and cook until liquid almost evaporates. Pour in cream and heat gently until hot.
- Add parsley, thyme, and salt & pepper.
- Drain pasta and add to mushrooms, tossing to coat.
- Serve in large pasta bowls. Sprinkle with additional herbs and top with shaved Parmesan cheese.
Friday, May 25, 2007
- Cook bacon in saute pan until almost crisp. Drain and set aside.
- Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in pan and add wild onions. Saute until translucent and set aside.
- Melt 1 Tbsp. butter. Add a batch of mushrooms and saute just until tender. Set aside.
- Repeat with remaining mushrooms, adding 1 Tbsp. butter for each batch.
- Roll Pate Brisee into a circle. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate, trimming and fluting the edge. Pierce with fork tines and brush with egg white.
- Layer bacon, onions & mushrooms in pastry. Sprinkle with cheese. Whisk half & half into eggs in a mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour over the cheese. Bake at 375-degrees for 35 minutes or until top is golden brown. Serve warm. (6-8 servings)
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. Line bottom and sides with waxed paper.
- Combine brown sugar and oil in large bowl and beat well. Mix butter, milk, egg, vanilla, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Add to brown sugar mixture and blend thoroughly. Gently fold in flour, rhubarb and nuts. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.
- Combine sugar, orange peel and butter in small bowl and blend well with fork. Sprinkle over batter.
- Bake until tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in pans, then turn onto racks. Remove waxed paper before serving.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
- Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
- Place fish in baking dish. Whisk together wine & mustard and pour over fish. Sprinkle with salt, white pepper, and fresh thyme. Cover fish with wild leeks , morels, and fiddleheads. Cover loosely and bake for 20 minutes.
- Carefully remove fish and keep warm.
- Pour fishing liquid into saucepan and heat on high. Reduce heat and whisk in butter. Add remaining fiddleheads and chive blossoms. Cook 1 minute.
- Arrange fish on hot serving dish. Pour rich sauce over fish.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
- Soak skewers in water while preparing salad.
- Combine ingredients for Basil Vinaigrette, whisking in olive oil a bit at a time until blended.
- Combine shrimp with 3/4 cup of vinaigrette in plastic bag and chill for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
- Meanwhile, blanch asparagus (or green beans) in boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Drain and plunge into ice water. Remove, pat dry and chill.
- Remove shrimp from marinade and thread onto skewers.
- Grill over medium-high with lid down for 2 minutes on each side or until shrimp turn pink. Remove from skewers and toss with asparagus (green beans), bacon, feta or Parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts and remaining 3/4 cup Basil Vinaigrette. Sprinkle with additional cheese and toasted pine nuts. Serve on chilled plate surrounded by spring flowers from the garden.
Monday, May 21, 2007
- Cut chicken into thin strips.
- Combine soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and cornstarch. Pour over chicken while prepping vegetables.
- Heat wok or large skillet. Pour in oil and heat. Remove chicken from marinade and carefully add to pan. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Pour marinade over chicken. Add carrots, peppers, sprouts, snow peas, and onions. Cook 3 minutes or until sauce slightly thickens, stirring often. Add almonds.
- Spoon 1/4-1/2 cup chicken mixture into lettuce leaf and roll up.
~ Bleeding hearts
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
PAN-ROASTED SALMON with DANDELIONS & SHERRY VINAIGRETTE
~ Jimmy Schmidt's (Rattlesnake Club in Detroit) springtime favorite
featured in the Detroit Free Press (4/22/98)
1/4 cup virgin olive oil (a little extra to saute in), divided
1/4 cup diced thick-sliced slab bacon
2 boneless, skinless salmon fillets (about 6-7 oz. each)
coarsely ground black peppercorns
salt to taste
4 paper-thin slivered cloves of garlic
1/2 lb. cleaned dandelion leaves
1/2 cup cream sherry
2 Tbsp. aged sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp. grained mustard
2 Tbsp. fresh-snipped chives
1 Tbsp. toasted mustard seeds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
- Heat medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with a few drops of olive oil. Add diced bacon, cooking until very crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove, drain, and reserve.
- Clean skillet and return to heat. Add a few drop of olive oil. Heavily season salmon fillets with pepper and a pinch of salt. Place salmon into pan and sear until starting to brown, abut 3 minutes. Turn over and cook one minute on other side. Remove from pan.
- Wipe skillet and return to heat. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and slivered garlic, cooking until tender, about 2 minutes.
- Add dandelion leaves and cook until just beginning to wilt, abut 2-3 minutes. Add reserved bacon and season to taste. Form dandelions into 2 mounds with in the pan. Remove pan from heat and position salmon fillets atop dandelions. Add cream sherry over the fish and dandelions. Cover all with a circle of parchment paper.
- Place skillet on lower rack of oven, cooking about 8 minutes for medium or to your liking. Carefully remove pan from oven.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine sherry vinegar, mustard and remaining 3 Tbsp. of olive oil. Season as necessary with salt & pepper.
- To serve: Position salmon atop dandelion mound in the center of a warm serving plate. Drizzle any pan juices around plate. Spoon sherry vinaigrette over fish and onto plate. Sprinkle with chives & mustard seeds. Serve immediately. ( 2 servings )
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
CREAMY MOREL SOUP
~ A delicious soup if you are fortunate enough to fine spring's elusive, most sought-after mushroom.
1 lb. finely chopped morels
juice of 1 lemon
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 chopped clove garlic
2 cup wild leeks
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
pinch of coarse salt & freshly cracked pepper
2 Tbsp. flour
3 cups organic chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
- Clean morels (do not wash but gently wipe dirt away). Sprinkle with lemon juice.
- Melt butter in large pan over high heat. Add morels, leeks, garlic and parsley. Reduce heat and saute until juices evaporate.
- Stir in flour, remove from heat and blend in broth. Bring to boil, and simmer gently 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
- Blend in batches, returning to pot. Gently whisk in cream and taste for seasoning. Reheat and serve.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
GRILLED VIDALIA ONION & STEAK SANDWICH
~ Delicious spring combo from Cooking Light
3/4 cup cola
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground chipotle chile pepper
4 crushed cloves garlic
1 crushed bay leaf
1 (1 1/2 lb.) trimmed flank steak
3/4 cup minced arugula
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
6 (1/2-inch thick) slices Vidalia onion
6 (2-oz.) Kaiser rolls
12 (1/4-inch thick) slices tomato
- To prepare steak, combine first 7 ingredients in large zip-lock bag. Add steak, seal and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours, turning occasionally. Remove steak, reserving marinade. Pour marinade into microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil. Set aside.
- Prepare grill.
- Combine arugula and mayonnaise for dressing; set aside.
- Coat grill with cooking spray. Grill steak 8 minutes or until steak is medium-rare or desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Grill onions for 4 minutes on each side, basting occasionally with marinade. Grill rolls, cut side down, for 2 minutes.
- Slice steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Spread 2 Tbsp. dressing on bottom of each half of roll. Divide steak, tomato, and onion evenly. Top with remaining half. ( 6 servings )
Monday, May 14, 2007
- Carefully sort for stones or discolored beans. Wash well and soak in cold water overnight.
- Drain beans and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and simmer, skimming off foam, until skins begin to burst when blown upon. (Time varies depending on freshness of beans.)
- Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Transfer beans to baking dish and cover with bean juice, reserving remaining juice if needed during baking. Combine beans with sugar, Crisco, dry mustard and salt. If desired, cover with salt pork.
- Bake 3-4 hours, adding additional bean juice if needed to keep beans from drying out. Enjoy as is or top with homemade chili sauce.
Friday, May 11, 2007
GRILLED TUNA with AVOCADO SALSA
~ two delicious complimentary flavors
4 (6-oz) 1/4-inch thick tuna steaks
pinch sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
2 Tbsp. lime juice & zest for fish
juice of 1 lime & zest for salsa
1 cup chopped and seeded Roma tomato
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 pitted and diced avocado
1 seeded and chopped jalapeno pepper
fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
- Sprinkle fish with salt, pepper, lime juice & zest.
- Combine remaining ingredients for salsa.
- Grill fish over hot coals about 7 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Serve topped with salsa, chopped cilantro, and a pitcher of margaritas.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
~ as close a recipe as you might find to Ray Bradbury's ...
compliments of EDIBLE FLOWERS (From Garden to Palate)
- Add dandelion flowers to a large stone crock or jar. Cover with sugar, Add boiling water. When water had cooked to lukewarm, add lemon juice and orange juice. Break up yeast cake and add to the liquid. Stir well. cover loosely and let stand for 24 hours.
- Strain through cheesecloth and discard solids. Return liquid to crock, loosely cover and let stand for 3 days.
- Strain through several layers of cheesecloth. Return liquid to crock and allow to ferment. Bottle when all fermentation action stops. Keep at least 3-4 months before drinking. (Makes 1 1/2 gallons of wine)
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
GARDENING NOTE: The Mediterranean herb, Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), has graced gardens for centuries, its decorative appearance rivalling its culinary and medicinal value. Regrettably, it is not hardy where winters are severe. For year round use, dig, pot, and place inside near a sunny window.
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease with butter 2 8x4x2-inch loaf pans. Set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar on medium speed about 6 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in honey. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition.
- Combine cake flour and baking powder. Gradually add to beaten mixture on low speed only until combined. Gently stir in snipped rosemary, lemon extract, lemon zest and lemon juice.
- Pour into prepared pans. Bake 45 minutes or until cake tests done with toothpick. Cool 10 minutes before removing. Drizzle with Lemon Glaze. Garnish cake with sprigs of rosemary and scatter with flower petals (like rose, violets, pansy, etc.)
Tradition says that rosemary will grow for thirty-three years, until it reaches the height of Christ when he was crucified, then it will die. Sprigs of rosemary were placed under pillows at night to ward off evil spirits and bad dreams. The wood was used to make lutes and other musical instruments. "
Monday, May 07, 2007
- Early in the day, marinate chicken breasts in lime juice, zest, olive oil, garlic, cumin, cayenne, cilantro and freshly ground pepper. Refrigerate until grilling time.
- Preheat oven to 450-degrees. Remove chicken from marinade and grill over medium coals until done, about 7-10 minutes, depending on thickness, flipping once. Allow to rest 3 minutes before slicing into bite-size pieces.
- Spray pizza pan with Pam. Place Boboli on pan and smooth over with olive oil. Sprinkle with cracked pepper. Spoon drained salsa over crust. Cover with thinly sliced onions, pepper strips, and chicken. Top with shredded cheese and fresh chopped cilantro. Bake about 14 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Slice and let rest a tad before serving. (4 servings)
Sunday, May 06, 2007
SIMPLE SUNDAY NIGHT SUPPER ~ PISTACHIO PENNE PASTA with ASPARAGUS, PEPPERS & CREAM / HERB-TOPPED BREAD
~ simple one plate spring supper
1 lb. penne pasta
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 julienne sliced red onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 lb. blanched diagonally cut asparagus
2 julienne sliced peppers (one yellow & one orange)
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/3 cup white wine
1 1/2 cup half & half
coarse salt to taste
1/2 cup toasted pistachio nuts
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- While pasta is cooking, saute garlic and onion in olive oil until limp. Add asparagus and peppers and cook until tender crisp. Pour in wine, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes.
- Pour in half & half, white pepper and salt. Simmer 2 minutes.
- Drain pasta and combine with asparagus sauce. Add Parmesan cheese, toss, and serve in large pasta bowl, topped with toasted pistachios. Pass additional grated cheese. Serve with Herbed Topped Bread.
Combine 1 egg white & 1 Tbsp. water. Brush egg wash over French baguette. Secure herbs (e.g. dill, thyme, chives, rosemary, parsley, etc.) decoratively over bread and secure by gently brushing with additional egg wash. Bake in 350-degree oven for 5 minutes or until dry.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
- Combine above ingredients, reserving 1/2 of chopped green onions for garnish. Sprinkle tenderloin with cracked pepper and marinate several hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
- Let set at room temperature. Remove from marinade and place in roasting pan. Bake at 500-degrees for 30-35 minutes or until thickest portion of tenderloin registers 145-degrees (medium rare) or grill fillets over hot coals until desired doneness. Loosely cover tenderloin and let stand 15 minutes before serving.
- Bring marinade to boil and simmer 5 minutes. Serve sauce over sliced tenderloin and sprinkle with additional chopped green onions.
Friday, May 04, 2007
- Combine brown sugar, bourbon, soy sauce, olive oil and chopped green onions. Pour over rinsed and patted dry salmon fillet. Marinate several hours.
- Remove salmon and reserve marinade. Grill salmon over hot coals until opaque or until oil breaks through surface ( 9-15 minutes depending on thickness and outdoor temperature).
- While salmon is cooking, bring marinade to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes (sauce should be thick and coat spoon). Add reserved green onions to sauce or pour sauce over salmon and garnish with green onions. Delicious surrounded with tri-colored julienne sliced peppers (red, orange & yellow) sauteed in a touch of extra-virgin olive oil seasoned with a pinch of coarse salt & freshly cracked pepper.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease 9-inch springform pan and line with greased parchment paper.
- Place ground cookies in large bowl.
- Microwave chocolate pieces at MEDIUM (50% power) in glass bowl for 2 minutes or until melted, stirring after 1 minute.
- Process butter, sugar, and eggs in food processor until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides. Add bourbon and chocolate; process until blended. Fold into ground cookies. Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake for 1 hour. (Torte will appear cracked and dry but won't test done.) Cool in pan for 30 minutes. Cover and chill overnight or for at least 8 hours. Remove from pan and sprinkle with powdered sugar and cover with sprinkled Candied Violets. Surround the cake with red rose buds. Slice and serve with Bourbon Cream Sauce on the side.
- Combine egg white with water in small bowl. Whisk lightly until white shows a few bubbles.
- Place sugar in shallow dish.
- Hold flower petal in one hand, dip paint brush into egg white with the other and gently paint the flower on both sides (don't overdo). Sprinkle with sugar on both sides. Place flower on waxed paper to dry until completely free of moisture, flipping over occasionally. This usually takes 12-36 hours depending on humidity. (Can place in 150-degree with oven with door ajar for a few hours.)