Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Weekly Menu #13 - Nathan

Special theme: AROUND THE WORLD!

Bombay Sliders with Garlic Curry Sauce

The were great. The sauce was fantastic. Since we didn't have any ground turkey on hand, we used beef. I'd make these again and again.

yield: Makes 4 servings

1 cup mayonnaise, divided
6 1/4 teaspoons curry powder, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced
pounds ground turkey
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup minced green onions
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon hot chili powder or Hungarian hot paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 small dinner rolls, cut horizontally in half, lightly toasted
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Mix 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 1/4 teaspoons curry powder, and next 3 ingredients in small bowl for sauce. Let stand at room temperature while preparing sliders.

Place turkey, next 6 ingredients, remaining 1/4 cup mayonnaise, and 4 teaspoons curry powder in large bowl. Mix with fork or hands just until blended (do not overmix). Divide mixture into 12 equal portions. Using wet hands, form each portion into patty about 1/2 inch thick.

Preheat broiler or heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. If broiling patties, brush rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil and arrange patties on sheet. Broil (or cover patties in skillet and cook in batches) until cooked through, pressing patties down lightly with spatula before turning over, about 3 minutes per side (or 4 minutes per side if cooking in skillet).

Place patties on bottom halves of rolls. Top each patty with sauce. Cover with roll tops. Place 3 sliders on each of 4 plates and serve.

Slow Cooker Mexican Breakfast Casserole
serves 8, easily.

The Ingredients.
corn tortillas (7-8)
8 eggs
2 cups fat free milk
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 (7-ounce) can green chiles, drained
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 tiny onion, diced
1 cup corn (fresh, or frozen would totally work)
1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

The Directions.

I used a 4 quart round slow cooker. Butter or Pam the inside of your stoneware. Put a layer of corn tortillas on the bottom---you may have to tear some to make them fit nicely.

In a very large mixing bowl, combine all of the other ingredients, and whisk together. Pour about 1/2 of the mixture into the slow cooker, on top of the tortillas. Put in another layer of tortillas, and top with the remaining egg/milk/cheese/other stuff mixture. Top with another layer of corn tortillas.

Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on high for 4-5. If your cooker seals well (my 4-quart has a plastic lid, and a lot of condensation builds up), uncover 15-20 minutes before serving and cook on high to release condensation and to firm up the top a bit. You know your breakfast is done when the eggs are fully cooked and the edges have begun to brown and the cheese gets a bit crispy on the sides.

If you have sausage or other meat you'd like to add, go for it, but take out the salt, and season to taste at the table.

Day 3:
Okok, I know it sounds time intensive; however the following 2 are recipes from our International cookbook. The authors of the book have a tasting panel in which they find the best versions of different international recipes. They had lots to say about spinach pie, and really recommend following their directions relatively precisely. That being said...here we go :)

"This is probably one of the best recipes we've had for our family recipes. The dill is what makes it taste so good, do not substitute. L"

serves 6-8
Make sure the phyllo is fully thawed before use; don't thaw it in the microwave, but let it sit in the refrigerator overnight or on the countertop for 4-5 hours.

4 cups Feta cheese, crumbled into fine pieces
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 bunch scallions, sliced thin
1/3 cup minced fresh dill leaves
3 Tbs. lemon juice
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
3 (10oz) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Phyllo layers:
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 lb (14x9inch) phyllo, thawed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. For the filling: Mix the feta, ricotta, eggs, scallions, dill, lemon juice, garlic, nutmeg, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Stir in the spinach until uniform. (The filling can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 24hrs.)
2. For the phyllo layers: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush a 13x9inch baking dish liberally with oil. Lay 1 phyllo sheet in the bottom of the prepared dish, and brush thoroughly with oil. Repeat with 7 more phyllo sheets, brushing each with oil. Spread half of the spinach mixture evenly into the dish. Cover with 4 more phyllo sheets, brushing each with oil.
3. Spread the remaining spinach mixture evenly into the dish. Cover with 7 more phyllo sheets, brushing each with oil and sprinkling each with about 1 Tbs. of Parmesan. Lay the final sheet of phyllo over the top and brush with oil (do not sprinkle the final layer with Parmesan).
4. Working from the center outward, use the palms of your hands to compress the layers and press out any air pockets. Using a sharp knife, lightly score the pie into serving squares but do not cut through more the top 3 sheets of phyllo. Bake until the phyllo is golden and crisp, 30-35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving.

I really, really wanted to love this soup. It has all the right ingredients. But there was something missing. It was too light for an entree and there wasn't enough "mouth feel".

There was one great technique in this recipe. The method of cutting the chicken very thin and dropping it into the soup at the end. It made for very tender, moist pieces of chicken.

serves 4 as a main course

1 tsp. vegetable oil
3 stalks lemon grass, bottom 5 inches only, trimmed and sliced thin
3 large shallots, chopped coarse
8 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped coarse
3 Tbs. fish sauce
4 cups chicken broth
2 (14oz.) cans coconut milk
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2lb. white mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise and sliced on the bias into 1/8inch thick pieces
3 Tbs. lime juice
2 tsp. Thai red curry paste

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 fresh Thai, serrano, or jalapeno chiles, seeds and ribs removed, chiles sliced thin
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 lime, cut into wedges

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until just shimmering. Add the lemon grass, shallots, chopped cilantro sprigs, and 1 Tbs. of the fish sauce and cook, stirring frequently, until just softened but not browned, 2-5 minutes.
2. Stir in the chicken broth and 1 can of the coconut milk and bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the flavors have blended, about 10 minutes. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the solids in the strainer.
3. Return the strained soup to a clean saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in the remaining can of coconut milk and the sugar and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium, add the mushrooms, and cook until just tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until no longer pink, 1-3 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat.
4. Whisk the lime juice, curry paste, and remaining 2 Tbs. fish sauce together, then stir into the soup. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and garnish with the cilantro leaves, chiles, and scallions. Serve with the lime wedges.

Weekly Menu #12 - Darla

1 15 ox can black beans drained and rinsed.
1 15 oz can mexican corn (i used frozen corn and used 1/2 package
cooked for couple minutes and cooled I like the taste better
1 avocado diced
2/3 cup cilantro chopped
3 green onions sliced thin
3-4 roma tomatoes chopped I used grape tomatoes cut i fourths
1 bell pepper chopped I used red
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 t pepper
1 Tablespoon cumin

This green bean-laced potato salad is hearty enough to serve as an entree, but you could pair it with grilled vegetarian sausages for a bigger meal.If you don't have any white balsamic vinegar in you pantry, use any mild variety such as white wine or rice vinegar.(From vegetarian times)

8 oz baby red potatoes
4 oz green beans cut ino 2 inch pieces
3 T olive oil
3 green onions chopped
2 T white balsamic vinegar
2 T chopped parsley
1 T chopped fresh tarragon or dill
4 cups loosely packed spinach leaves.

1. Cook potatoes in pot of boiling salted water until tender. Add green beans during last minute of cooking.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over med heat. Add green onions.
Cook 3 - 4 min or until tender but not browned. Remove from heat and add vinegar
3. Drain potatoes and green beans toss with olive oil mixture, parsley and tarragon or dill. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm on a bed of spinach

A new variation on roasted red bell pepper soup I found in vegetarian times looks good

This soup boasts a smooth texture and deep, rich flavor that comes fromslow roasting bell peppers. It's allso high in beta-carotene and lycopene,2 antioxidants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease

2 large red bell peppers (1 lb)
2 T olive oil
1/2 t curry powder
1 bay leaf
1 large onion
large carrots (1/2 lb)
4 cloves garlic
1 t salt
2 T lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 F Place bell peppers on baking sheet and roast 1 hour or until skin is wrinkled and blackened all over, turning peppers occasionally with tongs. Transfer to bowl and cover with plastic wrap 10 minutes to steam. When peppers are cool enough to handle, rub off blackened peel and remove seeds.
2. Heat oil in 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat Add curry powder and bay leaf and stir 10 seconds. Add onion, carrots, garlic, and salt. Cover cook 10 minutes or until onion is translucent.
3. Add 4 cups water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer, covered 25 minutes.
4. Transfer carrot mixture to blender, add bell peppers and puree until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, Garnish servings with thin bell pepper slices 1 cup serving

when we were in Wells, England we had pasties which were so delicious. Bill and I were recently in Nevada City, CA and went to a place where they had pasties. They weren't that good so I went looking for a recipe. This looks good havn't tried it yet.

1 pound Stew meat cut into 1/2 in pieces (could use that morning star vegie beef strips)
3 medium potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 in cubes
1 cup carrot chopped
1/2 cup onion chopped
2 T parsely finely chopped
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/4 cup butter melted

3 cups all purpose flour
1 t salt
1 cup shortening
8 T water iced
1 whole egg beaten
1. In a bowl, combine meat, poptatoes, carrots, onion, parsley, salt and pepper; mix well. Add butter and toss to coat
2. For pastry, combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl Cut shortening until mixture forms pea size crumbs. Sprinkle with cold water 1 T at a time. Toss lightly with a fork until dough forms a ball. Do not over mix.
3. divide dough in fourths Roll out one portion iot a 9 inch circle; transfer to a greased baking sheet. Mound about1 1/4 cups of meat filling on half circle.
4. Moisten edges with water; fold dough over mixture and press edges with fork to seal Repeat with remaining pastry and filling
5. cut slits in top of each pastry. Brush with beaten egg if desired. Bake at 375 degress F for 50 - 60 minutes. or until golden brown.

Recommend making smaller pasties.

I was listening to splendid talbe podcast and heard one guest talk about cuban Christmas and how he loved his mother's black beans.I have attempted to make cuban black beans and eat them over rice before and it was good but this looks more authentic.
1 lb dried black beans
3 qts water
2 bay leaves
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large red bell peppers seeded and chopped
2 shallots minced
1 T ground cumin
2 T ground oregano
2 T chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 1/2 T sugar
2 T salt
1 red onion diced for garnish
8 oz sour cream for garnish (optional)
1. place beans in nonreactive pan. Cover with 3 qts water, add bay leaves and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer the beans for 2 1/2 - 3 hours,stirring frequently and adding more water if necessary to keep them covered.
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saute pan or skillet. Saute the bell peppers, shallots and onions over med heat until onions are translucent about 15 min
3. Add garlic, cumin, dried and fresh oregano and saute for an additioal 2 minutes. Remove from heat ad cool slightly Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.
4. When beans are almost tender, add the pureed misture, sugar, ad salt to beans and cook until tender, 20 - 30 min. Adjust the seasonings, garnish with the red onionand sour cream and serve.

i serve them over brown rice, Quinoa would be a good complement also.

AVOCADO SALAD (Yield 4 servings)
3 ripe but firm haas avocadoes, pitted and peeled
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
1 large red bell pepper seeded and cut into 1/2 in slices
1 red onion cut into 1/2 in dice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 cucumber peeled, seeded and halved lengthwise and cut into half-moons
1 small tomato seed and finely chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
2 T extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

cut avacado into bite size chunks and place in large bowl. Add the scallions, bell pepper, onions, cilantro, cucumber, tomatoe, and lime juice toss gently.add olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently stir and serve.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Seth Grahame Smith

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I loved Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The author’s choice of descriptions is priceless. “The Sorry Stricken”, “His Most English Parts”. So funny. The integration of Zombies into Jane Austen’s work was seamless. If you like Pride and Prejudice and if you like satire, you’ll love this.

View all my reviews >>

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Beer Braised Beef Shanks with Garlic Grits


3 lbs. bone in beef shank
1 yellow onion, rough chopped
2 celery stalks, rough chopped
2 carrots, rough chopped
1 10.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juices
12 oz. beer, preferably amber
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
32 oz vegetable broth
1 tsp beef bullion
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 sprigs rosemary.

Garlic Cheese Grits:
3 cups water
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup quick grits
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Season beef shanks well on both sides with salt and pepper. Place meat in hot pan and brown well on both sides. Transfer beef to a roasting pan or deep baking dish. Add celery, carrots and onion to the roasting pan. Combine all other ingredients except rosemary in a large bowl and pour over beef and vegetables. Toss rosemary in roasting pan and cover well with foil.
Place in oven and cook for 3-4 hours, or until beef falls apart easily. Serve over Garlic Cheese Grits.

Bring water and salt to a boil over high heat. Slowly stir in grits, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for 6 minutes.
Mix in butter, olive oil, garlic and cheese, stir to combine. (Add a tbsp. of water at a time if grits are too thick.)

Serve immediately, topped with beer braised beef.

What I would have done Differently had I thought of it at the time:
I think next time I’ll cook the grits in chicken stock, rather than water for a bit richer flavor. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing.