Category Archives: Dinner

Crepes Two Ways, Recipes

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Oh mon dieu.

I decided to make crepe batter a couple of weekends ago and things got a little away from me. A batch of crepe batter apparently makes about 122 crepes so found myself trying a few new recipes as well as just “snacking” on a little crepe with lemon and sugar here and there. Thank goodness there was no nutella in the house or I would have really been in trouble.

For the batter, I used Ms Stewart’s Basic Crepe Recipe. Don’t forget to refrigerate, the batter can last up to two days (I pushed it to three).

For the first meal, breakfast, I made a galette complète, sans recipe. Although I decided not to use a recipe for this, I’d suggest you do as I made a couple mistakes (here’s a good looking one for you).crepe 1

So what I did was make the crepes as the above recipe directs. I then laid them on a cookie sheet, filled the insides with ham, gruyere, and a raw egg, leaving room to fold over the sides about an inch. I then salted and peppered that shit. Using the egg as a glue, I folded over the sides an inch and carefully attempted to pop them into an oven at about 350 degrees. Can you imagine what might have happened? Well, the cookie sheet was a bit warped and had no frigging lip on them so my eggs were making a run for it and I was twisting and turning the sheet as if I was juggling trying to keep the eggs and galettes on it. Ultimately I lost the battle they ran onto the floor in a goopy mess so I had to start over, using a sheet with a lip. In the moment it was a disaster but in retrospect I wish it had been recorded as it was hilarious. Here is the finished product. The eggs ended up being overcooked so I’ll use the stove top method next time but overall – delicious. Pretty too, right?

And now… what to do with leftover crepe batter….? THIS.

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I came across this recipe and had no idea how amazeballz it would be. I’ve thrown this into the regular rotation so you betcha you’ll be seeing more of this one. The crepe was salty and creamy and the honey sauce’s sweetness was a perfect compliment to it. I could eat it by the spoonful.

Spinach Artichoke and Brie Crepes with Sweet Honey Sauce
From Half Baked Harvest

Filling:
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
    • 1 (8-12 ounces) bag fresh spinach
    • 1 (12 ounces) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
    • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
    • 1 (8 ounce) brie wheel, sliced into slices
Sweet Honey Sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet oven medium heat and add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and garlic. Add the salt, pepper and crushed red pepper if using, cook for 2 minutes. Stir in spinach and artichokes, cooking for 5-6 minutes until spinach is fully wilted. Reduce heat to low and stir in the parmesan cheese, then turn off heat. Remove from the skillet.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil and honey. Place in a small sauce pot and warm through. Keep warm until ready to use. You can also do this in the mircowave.
  3. Wipe the skillet clean and heat over medium-low heat. Working with one crepe at time lay it flat in the skillet. Lay a few slices of brie on one quarter (basically make a triangle) of the crepe. Layer on the spinach and artichoke filling and then top with a few more slices of brie. Fold over the bottom of the crepe and then fold it over again to make a triangle. Cook for about 2-3 minutes and then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes or until the brie is all melty and gooey. Repeat with remaing crepes until the brie and filling are gone. I was able to make six crepes. Remove the honey sauce from the heat and stir in the chopped parsley. Drizzle the crepe with the warm honey sauce and dig in!
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Spicy Shrimp Sandwich with Chipotle Avocado Mayo, Recipe

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Do you remember when you were really little your teachers showed you that flashcard with the witch made out of sand and convinced you that you sandwich was spelled “sandwitch”? You obviously didn’t believe that for long, right? I mean, it certainly wouldn’t have stuck with you until your late 20s, right? Yes, of course, me neither.

Its summertime here in Boston and sandwiches just belong. I stumbled across this recipe last summer and its been a favorite since. The shrimp are spicy, the mayo creamy and zesty, bread crunchy, and lettuce fresh. I think I ate these for two weeks straight. Hope you like them as much as I do!

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Spicy Shrimp Sandwich with Chipotle Avocado Mayo
From Life Ambrosia

Serves 2

1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 pound medium shrimp (about 20 shrimp) peeled and deveined
1 avocado, pitted and diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 chipotle pepper
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 french rolls
4 romaine lettuce leaves

Combine cumin, garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, chili powder and olive oil together in a bowl. Place shrimp in the bowl and toss to coat.

Combine avocado, mayonnaise, chipotle pepper, lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.

Place shrimp in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Toast rolls, if desired. Spread chipotle avocado mayonnaise on the roll. Place lettuce leaves on the bottom half of the roll and place 10 shrimp on each sandwich.

EAT.

Homemade Gyoza, Recipe

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Gyoza. Dumplings. Pot Stickers. What ever you want to call them I am obsessed. For years I relied on gyoza, broccoli and rice as my go to quick weeknight dinner. Filling, healthy and easy. Well, easy when you have an amazing Japanese grocery store down the street that sells frozen gyoza for cheap. Not so easy when said grocery store closes and the American supermarket variety just don’t stack up. So whats a girl to do but learn to make her own, from scratch, by the dozen and freeze them?

After having made homemade ravioli this didn’t seem very intimidating to me as the concept is pretty similar.

For the wrappers, you can find them in most supermarkets in the produce section (by the refrigerated salad dressings) but I made my own from La Fuji Mama’s recipe. I was having a hell of a time rolling out the little circles so I actually ended up rolling out (with my pasta machine) a thin sheet of the gyoza dough and then cutting out circles with a biscuit /cookie cutter, as she suggested. A little nontraditional but it worked really well for me! Fuji Mama has great step by step photos that I can’t reproduce so check out her site for the recipe!

Now for the filling, I used this recipe found on the Darling Baker’s website. I omitted the water chestnuts though as I wasn’t particularly interested in them. Delicious.

Shrimp Filling for Gyoza
1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb ground pork
3 stalks green onions, minced
1/4 cup ginger root, minced
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp corn starch

Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two).

Once you have made your gyoza with the filling of your choice you can pan fry or steam them. I prefer the pan fried method of course…

Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.

To freeze: Assemble dumplings on a baking sheet so they are not touching. It helps to rub the base of the dumpling in a little flour before setting on the baking sheet for ease of release. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until dumplings are no longer soft. Place in ziploc bag and freeze for up to a couple of months. Prepare per the above instructions, but allow extra time to ensure the filling is thoroughly cooked.

I love the gyoza dipping sauce from Whole Foods but any will work (or make your own)!

Spinach Avocado Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette and Fried Egg, Recipe

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You had me at Bacon Vinaigrette…

I was looking for a salad to make for a Saturday lunch and thought this was perfect. Indulgently rich and salty and yet it is a salad so it gives the impression of being healthy. Yes, sneaky deliciousness.

The bacon vinaigrette was delicious and everything worked really well together. The only thing I will do differently the next time is cook the bacon a little longer as, although it looked very cooked and brown while frying it, it got soft and a lighter in color once it had been made into a dressing. This is a keeper – how great would it be as part of a brunch?

I’ve posted the recipe below the photo for your pleasure!

Spinach Avocado Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette and Fried Egg
From the Tastespotting Blog

makes 4 salads (yeah right)

Ingredients
4 very large handfuls of baby spinach, washed and completely dried
1 large or 2 medium/small avocados, peeled and sliced
Bacon Vinaigrette (see below)
4 eggs, cooked sunny side up
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
In each salad bowl or plate, place a large handful of spinach. Divide and arrange avocado slices on one side, then fried egg. Drizzle generously with Bacon Vinaigrette and hit with fresh cracked black pepper.

Bacon Vinaigrette
makes about 1 cup

Ingredients
6-8 slices of bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon cooking oil (I used grapeseed)
1 clove garlic finely minced
1 shallot, finely minced
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste (about ½ teaspoon each)

Directions
Heat cooking oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook until cooked through but still soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and shallots and cook until garlic is fragrant (but doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through), about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and drain off as much of the bacon grease as you can.

Pour the cooked bacon, garlic and shallots in a bowl. Whisk in vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Green Monster Smoothie, Recipe

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Its Monday and you ate like crap all weekend. What do you do now? Make a Green Monster Smoothie! Ok, it doesn’t reverse all the weekend damage you’ve done but it sure makes me feel like I’m doing my body some good.

I don’t know about you guys but I definitely have weeks where it seems as though I have eaten every meal out and consumed more bottles of wine than any one person should. I have a few go-to “recovery” meals I try to stick to after a period like this to try to avoid packing on the lbs. This one, although hard to call a meal, is now a part of that rotation.

I wasn’t sure about this smoothie when I first read through the ingredients list but decided to give it a whirl and, boy, am I glad I did. I was afraid I wouldn’t feel full or satisfied with just this but having had a healthy, filling lunch this did the trick for dinner. I even skipped my usual oreos and milk dessert without feeling deprived.

I’d love to take this into work for lunch some days if anyone has any suggestions on how to keep it tasting like a smoothie hours later!

 

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Green Monster Spinach Smoothie
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:
1 frozen sliced banana
1 Tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup 0% Vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt
1 cup low fat milk
3 cups baby spinach

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Serves 1. Nutritional stats: 350 calories, 10g fiber, 21g protein

Fettuccine with Prosciutto and Orange, Recipe

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Back in December I posted about this Linguine with Prosciutto and Orange recipe I made. It was before I had my fancy new iPhone with flash so my photos were extra terrible but as the dish is extra delicious I had to remake it so here’s an updated photo (and recipe is re-posted below for you)! I love this recipe, its so easy, quick, and requires so few ingredients and tools. Its a great weeknight meal  as well as special enough to share.

Obviously, you can make it with whatever pasta you would like but I prefer a fettuccine or linguine myself. Buon appetito!

Linguine with Prosciutto and Orange

12 oz linguine (or tagliatelle or fettuccine)
1.5 tbsp unsalted butter
2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into small pieces
zest and juice of one orange
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Cook pasta according to directions, drain about 1 minute before al dente. Reserve 1/4cup of the cooking water.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add prosciutto, saute until browned, about 3 minutes. Add reserved pasta water, orange juice, half of zest, and cream. Bring to a boil. Add pasta, cook stirring until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper (taste first, the cheese and prosciutto already make it very salty – I didn’t need to add any). Stir in cheese, serve and garnish with remaining zest.

Leek and Potato Purée, Recipe

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I came across this recipe while looking for a side dish to serve with roast beef. It was a nice alternative to plain ol’ mashed potatoes but not too much so that the roast beef was no longer the star of the dish. These potatoes were creamy, rich, and flavorful – I’ll definitely be making them again, especially with red meat. Delicious!

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From Eat Live Travel Write

1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
1 leek, white and light green part, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1 1/4 lb (625 g) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup (125 mL) 35% whipping cream, heated

Leek and Potato Puree: In nonstick skillet heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the butter over medium heat and cook leeks for about 10 minutes or until soft and golden. Stir in parsley and salt; set aside. Bring potatoes and thyme to boil in large pot of salted water for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well and mash until smooth. Add cream and remaining butter and stir until smooth and creamy. Add leek and parsley mixture into potatoes and stir to combine well. Set aside and keep warm.

Roast Tenderloin of Beef, Recipe

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I had never made a roast beef before but with an old friend in town visiting I wanted to try something new. I was so pleased with the week’s worth of chicken sandwiches that I was able to make out of leftover roasted chicken that I wanted to do something similar. I wanted to make something that would give me a week’s worth of lunches.

The recipe I used, below, called for “1 whole beef tenderloin” which is a little vague so I headed to Whole Foods and let them know what I needed. They didn’t have any beef tenderloin behind the glass but they said they had some in the back and would be happy to trim one up for me. They were very helpful and asked all sorts of questions about my dish so that they would best help me.  I explained that I have never made a roast beef before and wanted to feed about 6 people (between dinner and leftovers for sandwiches) so trusted them to cut what they thought was the right size. A few minutes later they came out with this huge slab of meat. Ok, sure, whatever you guys say. I glanced at the price and saw $29.99 which was fine as it would feed me for a week. When I got to check out I quickly learnt that the beef was $29.99 per pound and that giant slab of meat was almost five pounds! Yes, that’s about $150.When they rang that up I almost fainted. Although I was mortified for being so ignorant about the price I asked them to take it back and popped across the street to Trader Joe’s and got about 2 pounds of it for about $14. Score.

The roast beef came out really nicely and was very simple to make, as you can see. I served the roast beef with a side of Leek and Potato Puree which went really nicely with it. With the leftovers, I sliced the roast beef as thin as I could and made sandwiches with arugula, cheddar cheese, and mustard horseradish sauce on wheat bread – now there is a bagged lunch to look forward to! Do you guys have any any good suggestions for leftover roast beef leftover?

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Roast Tenderloin of Beef
From Marcia’s Kitchen

1 whole beef tenderloin, trimmed of fat
1/2 cup olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
several sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2-3 cloves of garlic- mashed- you don’t have to peel
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 T unsalted butter- room temp

Combine the olive oil, vinegar,parsley,thyme, bay leaf, and garlic in a glass dish large enough to hold the beef- with some space around the roast. Rub the beef all over with the mixture and marinate for at least an hour- if longer than an hour refrigerate it. (Remember to remove it from the fridge about an hour before roasting)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry. Place it in a shallow roasting pan and rub the butter all over- top, bottom and sides.

Roast for 20 minutes. Check with a meat thermometer- in at least 2 places- when it’s 120 degrees it’s medium rare. The temp goes up fast so if you need to return it to the oven check every few minutes- this is one expensive cut of meat that you don’t want to over-cook.

Let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing into thick- about 1/2” slices- serve with the sauce of your choice. I added a splash of wine and cooked down the juices and finished it with a little butter which turned out great. Bearnaise or Bordelaise would work well too!

Roasted Chicken, Recipe

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Here’s a little secret you may not have know about me… Until a couple weeks ago I had never roasted a chicken. I KNOW!! Its kinda crazy but I just never had the occasion and it always seems like a whole lot of chicken for one person. So I decided enough is enough and I had to do it.

I was given some good looking recipes from some friends but really needed to start at the basics so filed those away and decided to try this one titled “How to Roast a Chicken”. Its like a dummies’ guide to roasting chicken which is exactly what I needed, at least for this first run.

My chicken came out lovely! He (it?) was moist and tender and flavorful, I’m very pleased with him and myself. The one thing I am confused about is why he was ripping out of his skin like the Incredible Hunk… Anyone know? I don’t mind but just thought it looked a little funny that his skin looked like the Hunk’s shirt once he started transforming. Super chicken!

What did I learn from this experiment? Lets see… 1) Chicken is easy and delicious, 2) I need a larger roasting pan, 3) Watching me trying to tie his legs was like watching someone a man try to braid hair (confusion and light panic), 4) One chicken is enough meat for 2 people to live off of for about a week, 5) I am happy to eat chicken sandwiches for a week (with homemade mayo to boot).

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From Cooking & Eating from Away in Maine

Ingredients:
1 5 lb chicken
1 tablespoon butter
Bunch of rosemary
3 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper

Method:
Slice garlic. Bash rosemary to release oils. Cut butter. Remove the innards. Rinse the bird in cold water, inside and out. Pat dry really, really well with paper towels, so the chicken won’t steam.

Sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper, stuff it with garlic and rosemary.

Tuck pieces of butter under the skin, and rub some all over the chicken’s outside.Truss and tuck. Wings are pinned behind the bird, as if it were relaxing.

Use kitchen twine to cinch the chicken, so that it cooks evenly and retains juices. Center the string over the neck, cross over legs and tie in a knot. Rain salt and grind black pepper over the bird.

Roast the chicken in a preheated 425 degree oven, for about an hour an a half. Let it rest for ten minutes before you carve.

Thai Shrimp Bisque, Recipe

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We finally got some snow here in Boston! It sure is a big change from last year’s winter when the term “Snowpocalypse” was overused for good reason. I’m sure our snow bunnies still aren’t happy since it didn’t stick but I am just fine with it.

Anyways, an inch or two of snow is more than enough to drive me into the kitchen to try a new soup recipe. I found this recipe for a Thai Shrimp Bisque through My Recipes (which searches Cooking Light, Food & Wine, and a few other food magazine sites) and, although long, the list of ingredients weren’t too intimidating for someone like me who doesn’t have a lot, if any, experience cooking Thai food. I love the flavors of Thai food and how they combine citrus, spice and creaminess all into one well rounded dish. This soup is really filling just on its own and has a burst of lime that makes it feel very fresh and light even on a cold snowy-ish Boston day.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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From Cooking Light, 2000

Ingredients

Marinade:
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lime rind
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Shrimp stock:
2 cups water
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Soup:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1 tablespoon grated lime rind
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation

To prepare marinade, peel shrimp, reserving shells. Combine shrimp and next 8 ingredients (shrimp though garlic) in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.

To prepare the shrimp stock, combine the reserved shrimp shells, water, wine and 1 tablespoon tomato paste in a large Dutch oven. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until the liquid is reduced to 1 cup (about 10 minutes). Strain mixture through a sieve over a bowl, and discard solids.

To prepare the soup, heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and sauté 8 minutes or until browned. Add 1 cup shrimp stock, coconut milk, and 1 tablespoon tomato paste, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour and reduced-fat milk in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add to pan; reduce heat, and simmer until thick (about 5 minutes). Add shrimp and marinade, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon lime rind, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and salt.