Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lemon Asparagus Salad

In an attempt to change things up I came across this recipe for a lovely lemon dressing for a cold asparagus salad.  I feel like every time I have asparagus my automatic response is to roast it, and don't get me wrong I LOVE roasted asparagus but sometimes I just need different flavors and textures.  I made this salad to go with a lovely roasted chicken that my parents made and it was a very nice combination.  On another note I am looking for good beef tartare recipes.  This is a dish that I have been curious about and really want to make, but I want to make sure to have a really good recipe so that I don't create a half-ass version of beef tartare.  So if you like beef tartare you will be getting a recipe from me in the next couple weeks!

Serves 3

The Ingredients
1 bunch of asparagus, with bottoms snapped off
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

The Process
1.  In a medium salad bowl mix together oil, lemon juice, green onions, Dijon mustard, sugar, and salt.  Whisk well with a spoon and set aside.

2.  Blanch asparagus the same way as I did in my Cold Sesame Asparagus Salad.

3.  Then add the asparagus to the salad bowl with dressing.  Mix well and store in fridge until ready to eat.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Steak Taquitos

With not much left in the cupboards and looking at a recipe on this blog, I decided to adapt and create some steak taquitos of my own.  I love using corn tortillas and I usually always make tacos or enchiladas when trying to use them up so I decided to change it up for once.  Again I do have to admit this isn't the healthiest recipe because there is a fair amount of cheese and the tortillas are fried a little in oil.  I ate them with a simple hot sauce but I would suggest making some sort of yummy salsa yogurt blend to dip them in.  Also I used onions for this recipe but I could see substituting the onions for shallots to give the taquitos a little different but delightful flavor.  While I am going to tag this recipe as a Mexican dish it was actually first create in San Diego, CA.  Enjoy.

Serves 2-3

The Ingredients
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 large petite sirloin steak (about 1 pound)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
8 small corn tortillas
1 cup colby cheese (or whatever you prefer), shredded
Olive oil

The Process
1.  In small bowl combine salt, cumin, garlic salt, chili powder, and paprika and stir well.  Then rub onto both sides of steak and let sit for 20 minutes.

2.  In the mean time take a medium size skillet and heat some olive oil in it and when hot add onions and cook for about 15 minutes or until onions are soft and start to caramelize.  Then take onions out of pan and set aside.

3.  Using same pan over medium-high heat cook your steak.  For medium to rare cook for about 4 minutes each side.  When done cooking set steak aside to rest before cutting.

4.  While steak is resting turn oven to 350 degrees.  Then heat up some oil in pan (2 tablespoons) over medium-high heat and fry each tortilla 30 seconds per side or until the tortillas get soft and bubbly, and make sure to keep them warm.

5.  Cut up steak into small bite size pieces.  Then assemble taquitos by putting some onions, steak, and cheese on the left side of the tortilla and then roll it up.  Repeat with the other seven tortillas.

6.  Place rolled taquitos on a greased pan and put in preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the tips start to slightly brown.  Make sure to serve hot. 


Monday, February 27, 2012

Spinach and Bacon Strata

I sure do love strata, hence this being the second one featured on my blog.  It is a really nice gourmet breakfast dish that can feed a lot of people for not a lot of money.  Plus it is really nice to make it the night before and then just pop it in the oven in the morning.  It definitely isn't a healthy meal but everyone needs a little bacon and cheese in their life sometimes.  My boyfriend and I made this during our last trip to the coast with his family and we didn't hear any complaints :)  The strata kept us nice and full so we were able to take HWY 101 home and hit up the Oregon Coast Aquarium, the jellyfish were the coolest by far!  I found and adapted this recipe from this blog

Serves 8-10

The Ingredients
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups yellow onion, finely chopped
1 bag fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
8 cups cubed French bread, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
2/3 cup Italian blend or Parmesan cheese, shredded
10 eggs
3 cups milk

The Process
1.  In pan skillet melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until soft.  Then add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and spinach and cook for 2 more minute.  Take off heat and set aside.

2.  Grease a 3-quart baking dish.  Layer the bottom of the dish with 1/3 of the bread, top with 1/3 of spinach and onion mixture, and 1/3 of the cheeses.  Repeat these layers twice more with bread, spinach, and cheese.

3.  Then in a medium bowl combine eggs, milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Whisk together until well blended.

4.  Then pour the mixture over the layers of bread, cheese, and spinach.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 8 hours or up to 1 day.

5.  Remove dish from refrigerator (and remove plastic wrap) after these 8 hours and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake uncovered until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through about 45-55 minutes.  Then let stand for 5 minutes and serve.

<---Cutting up the bread and watching the cooking onions.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Caramelized Chicken Drumsticks

This recipe came about when my two best friends and I decided to make a post Valentines, girl time dinner to show each other how much we love each other...cheesy I know, but it was awesome!  I found this recipe and slightly adapted it.  If you are looking for a simple and easy dinner this is the one, while it takes a while to cook it is so worth the wait.  Also on a side note can we talk about how rad these posters are?  It is the entire book printed on a poster and the words create some sort of picture or scene depending on the book.  I originally found these posters from a site that was charging over $100 for them, but now they are cheap and still just as rad!  On to the recipe.

Serves 3

The Ingredients
6 chicken wings  
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
2/3 cup honey
3 cloves garlic pressed
Pinch of salt and pepper
Sesame seeds

The Process
1.  Mix together oil, soy sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and add chicken.  Let chicken marinate in bowl for about an hour, tossing often.

2.  Turn oven on to 375 degree and put chicken and marinade in a deep pan or glass dish (as you can see we used a heart shaped pan for the holiday).

3.  Cook chicken for an hour turning once, at end sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

We served this with cheesy orzo and an amazing salad. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Filet Mignon with Cabernet Sauce

This adapted recipe was another one from our lovely Valentines day meal, I must say we ate like kings.  Not only was the sauce delightful I cooked the filets absolutely perfectly, and I personally like beef to be rare and they were juicy and very pink.  As for the sauce, like I said it was tasty but of course (it being french) was full of butter so once again this would technically be a fat kid recipe.  As a recent development in my media life I have finally given into and opened an account in I doomed?  Will I ever do anything productive ever again in my life?  Between all of the different entertaining medias on the internet these days I find myself more and more bored with doing one thing at a time, I am now addicted to multitasking.  Not sure if that is a bad thing but I do know my eyes and posture are suffering from this computer addiction...oh well.  As our veggie my lovely man made another French dish Asparagus with Creamy Mushroom and Tarragon Sauce which was also damn good!  On with the yummy food!

Serves 2

The Ingredients
2 filet mignon steaks, about 4 ounces each
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup shallot, chopped
1 large tablespoon capers, drained
2/3 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

The Process
1.  In a heavy and large skillet melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat.

2.  Rub each side of the steaks with salt and pepper.  Then add to skillet and cook for about 3-4 minutes each side for medium-rare.  Then put steaks on a plate and keep warm, foil tents can help with this, or put a lid over the plate.

3.  In same pan melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat.  Add shallots and cook for about 1 minutes.

4.  Then add wine, capers, and mustard to pan.  Simmer for about 2 minutes or until slight thickened.

5.  Then stir in parsley and turn stove to medium-low and whisk in last 2 tablespoons of butter.  Season with salt and pepper and serve spooned over steaks. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sherried Chicken Pate

I love pate, and I have been wanting to create it for a long long time.  I don't have much experience with French cooking so when I began this process I was a little weary but hopeful.  This chicken pate was the appetizer for the lovely French meal that my boyfriend and I made on Valentines day this year.  After a long and difficult day it was very nice to walk into his house and be greeted with a glass of wine and a dozen roses (blush), not to mention cooking always helps me relax.  I found and adapted this recipe after looking at many versions of pate, this was one of the most simple ones and it turned out VERY tasty!

The Ingredients
4 strips bacon
4 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon allspice, ground
3/4 cup dry sherry
1 1/4 lbs chicken livers, rinsed
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup bacon fat

The Process
1.  Place a large skillet on the stove and turn to medium-high heat and cook bacon until crisp.  Take bacon out of pan and throw away or use for something of your choice) and then pour all the bacon fat (except for a tablespoon) into a container and set aside for later use. 

2.  Reduce heat to medium-low and add shallots, garlic, and thyme to skillet and cook for about 5 minutes or until shallots are soft, but not browned.

3.  Then stir in sherry and allspice, increase heat to medium-high and cook for 4 minutes stirring often.

4.  Then add chicken livers and cook for about 5 minutes, until the outsides are cooked and the insides are still pink in the middle.

5.  Remove from heat immediately so you don't over cook the livers, and transfer everything into a food processor.

6.  Add sugar, salt, and cream to the food processor and then blend on low until the mixture is smooth.

7.  Transfer mixture to a glass dish and smooth the top out, then take the bacon fat that you set aside and pour over the top of the pate.

8.  Then put in fridge and let set until the bacon fat solidifies, about 3-4 hours.  It will last about a week, enjoy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ramen with Ginger Roasted Squash and Crispy Pork Belly

I found this recipe in one of the newest Sunset magazines, and knew just from looking at the ingredients that I had to make it.  The amount of food and time and effort that go into this ramen may be more than it is worth, but it is fun attacking big cooking projects like this sometimes.  This was part of a lovely dinner with my parents and boyfriend and they absolutely loved it, so if you have time and want to impress some people I definitely recommend making this yummy soup.  Also Infocamp PDX was a couple weekends ago and it was a great hit!  All the attendees seemed to have very positive things to say and enjoyed themselves, so all in all after much planning I think Infocamp PDX was a huge success!  Here is the link to this recipe because it is just too complicated to rewrite, enjoy the pictures below.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Scallion Pancakes

Once again long overdue recipe, I have many more to give, as do most people who blog...they just don't admit the time frames.  BUT this was from the weekend at the beach about three weeks ago?  I definitely don't care to count, but here we go.  So during that trip my car broke down, AGAIN...dumb anyways it is back in action and that is all that really needs to be said at this point in time, and who wants to hear about cars? ...mmm..not me.  So lets talk Scallion Pancakes, so yummy and delicious. EAT.  Well and the last group of wonderful people I made this for was nine, so I doubled the recipe and it worked very well.  So here is the original recipe that I assume feeds four to five, but the link doesn't tell otherwise....OK now eat.

Serves 4-5
The Ingredients

For Pancakes:
1 cup boiling water
Olive oil for frying pan
2 cups flour
2 cups scallions, thinly sliced
Toasted sesame oil

For Dipping Sauce:
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pressed or grated garlic
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
2/3 cup mirin
1 teaspoon lime juice

The Process
1.  Whisk together the dipping sauce and set aside.
2.  Combine the boiling water and flour until smooth, if you have a fancy mixer use it, but i found that hands and a wooden spoon worked best.

3.  Grease a bowl and form dough into a ball, place ball in the bowl and cover with a damp towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

4.  Then take dough and knead several times on a floured flat surface.  Then separate dough into four parts.

5.  Using a rolling pin, flatten out the first sphere into the thinnest, roundest shape possible. Place about a tablespoon of the toasted sesame oil in the center. Using a pastry brush, distribute the oil so it covers the top of the pancake, adding more oil as needed.

6.  Roll up the pancake tightly, so it forms one long, thin cylinder. Coil the cylinder into a round shape, like a snail shell. Taking your rolling pin, flatten it out again and shape into a thin round pancake.

7.  Then take a handful of the chopped scallions and scatter them evenly across the surface of the pancake.
Roll up the pancake tightly, so it forms one long, thin cylinder again. Coil the cylinder into a round shape again, like a snail shell. Taking your rolling pin, flatten it out again and shape into a thin, round pancake. Set aside and make the other three pancakes.

8.  Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a flat-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Place one of the prepared pancakes in the skillet and fry until golden brown (about 4-5 minutes) on each side, re-greasing the skillet as needed.