Saturday, July 5, 2008

30 Minute Shepherd's Pie

This is a Rachel Ray recipe. Need I say more?
2 pounds potatoes, such as russet, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons sour cream or softened cream cheese
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup cream, for a lighter version substitute vegetable or chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 3/4 pounds ground beef or ground lamb
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock or broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire, eyeball it
1/2 cup frozen peas, a couple of handfuls
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Combine sour cream, egg yolk and cream. Add the cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth.
While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet
over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with beef or lamb. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. If you are using lamb and the pan is fatty, spoon away some of the drippings. Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables. Stir in peas.
Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned. Top casserole dish with chopped parsley and serve.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Tips for fabulous corn on the cob

Boiling Corn on the Cob:
1 Husk the corn and remove the silk.
2 Boil corn on the cob for 6 minutes in briskly boiling sugared* water.
*Use about 1/4 -1/2 Cup sugar in the water. Never use salt. The salt makes kernels tough.

Grilling Corn on the Cob:
1 Prepare your grill, gas or charcoal, with direct, high heat, about 550°F.
2 Remove just the visible silks from the tips of the corn. Place the corn in their husks on the hot grill. Cover. Turn the corn occasionally, until the husks are charred on all sides, about 15 to 20 minutes.
3 Remove corn from grill. Let sit for 5 minutes. Use a hand towel to protect your hands while removing the silks and charred husks from the corn.

Microwaving Corn on the Cob:
Wrap each ear of corn (without husk) in wax paper twist ends - for 2 minutes - enjoy!

Flavored Butters:

Fresh herb butter
1 cube butter - softened
2 Tb minced fresh parsley
4 Tb minced fresh chives
1 tsp lemon zest
pinch kosher salt

Curry Butter:
1 cube Butter- softened
1 Tb curry powder
1/2 Tb lemon juic
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Pesto Butter:
1 cube butter- softened
4 Tb minced fresh basil
4 Tb grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic

Citrus Butter:
1 cube butter- softened
1 Tb Frozen Orange Juice concentrate,thawed
1 Tb Lime Zest
Pinch of ground Nutmeg

For all flavored butters- Blend together soft butter with ingredients. Wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

My favorite thing on corn is a spray of lime juice. Nothing else. It is refreshing and healthy.
You can also sprinkle it with a little cayenne pepper- yeow!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Summer Squash and Couscous

This is a Martha Stewert recipe. I substituted summer squash for the zucchini.
8 chicken thighs
2 summer squash (about 1 pound total), halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
1 cup couscous
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in upper third. Season chicken with salt and pepper; place, skin side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes.
Remove sheet from oven, and turn chicken, skin side up. Scatter squash around chicken, and season with salt and pepper; toss with pan juices. Return sheet to oven, and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of a thigh (avoiding bone) registers 165 degrees, 7 to 10 minutes more.
Meanwhile, bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan; season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, and stir in couscous. Cover, and let stand until all the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork. Stir in parsley, vinegar, roasted squash, and 2 tablespoons pan juices; season with salt and pepper. Serve chicken with squash and couscous.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Panzanetta Salad

3 Cups Corn Kernels
4- 5 Heirloom Tomatoes (or 1 lb grape tomatoes, cut in half)
2/3 Cup Finely chopped Red Onion
1/3 Cup Finely chopped Green Onion
1 lb. Fresh Mozzarella Balls
1/2 Loaf Crusty Italian Bread
Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 400. Cut Italian bread into cubes. Put bread cubes in a bowl and drizzle 1/4 cup of olive oil over them. Toss until evenly coated. Put on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until crispy.
In large bowl, combine salad ingredients.
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/8 Cup Fresh Cilantro
1/8 Cup Fresh Basil
2 Tb. Fresh Mint
2 Tb. White Wine Vinegar
1 Tb. Lime Juice
2 tsp. Light Brown Sugar
1 Garlic Clove
Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine dressing ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Pour over salad, toss and serve immediately.
May garnish with freshly torn basil and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, if desired.

Menu for 7/2-7/15

Recipes are on the blog, posted for the day it states. Just go to the blog archive for all the past recipes!
7/2- Chicken Skewers & Panzanetta Salad
7/3- Roasted Chicken Thighs w/ Cous cous and Summer Squash
7/4- Baked Potato Bar, Corn on the Cob, Deviled Eggs, Watermelon
7/5- Shepherd's Pie
7/6- Thai Lettuce Wraps
7/7- Pineapple Stuffed Jerk Chicken, Buternut Squash Gratin, Green Beans & Mango Cream Puffs
7/8- Goat Cheese Ravioli
7/9- Soy Glazed Beef w/ Rice and Asian Vegetables
7/10- Grilled Pork and Apricot Kebabs & Greek Salad
7/11- Ham Au Gratin and Scrambled Eggs, Sliced Oranges
7/12- Magic Chicken, Brown Rice & Broccoli
7/13- Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes & Corn
7/14- Orange and Thyme Grilled Shrimp w/ cherry, pistachio and feta salad
7/15- Grilled Cheese Sandwich & Broccoli