Tags: asparagus, asparagus vinaigrette, salad, vinaigrette
Maybe if we all “think” Spring on March 1, we can prove that bossy ole Ground Hog wrong. Denver has had it better than a lot of you East Coast folks, but nonetheless, I’ve had snow on the ground in my yard since October. I’m ready for Spring.
Before we talk about food, take a look at that Morning Glory photo. I did absolutely nothing to that photo. It was taken last summer in my back yard in the early a.m. with the sun coming up behind the flower. Doesn’t it look like the stamen is a light bulb illuminating the flower?
This is a great little salad that marinates over night in a lightly flavored vinaigrette. This made enough for two nights for the two of us and it’s a great side dish for any meat entrée, needing no other accompaniments. Here’s the recipe:
Asparagus Vinaigrette Salad
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs white wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar because I didn’t have white – I think I’ll change the recipe to always use red)
3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
salt/pepper to taste
2 5/8 tsp pickle relish — dill
7/8 tsp parsley — chopped
7/8 tsp chives — chopped
3 radishes, sliced
1 lb asparagus, cooked
1 bell pepper, sliced
2 whole eggs, hard-boiled and sliced
1 tomato, cut into wedges
1. In a bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients. Add radishes, bell pepper, relish, parsley and chives.
Place asparagus in glass baking dish; cover and cook in microwave about 7 minutes.
Pour dressing over asparagus. In a large bowl cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
Arrange asparagus vinaigrette mix on a plate. Garnish with hard-boiled eggs, bell pepper slices tomato wedges. Arranging the salad over a leaf of lettuce of your choice also makes a nice presentation.
This recipe is very tinkerable, adjusting flavors in the vinaigrette and evening adding any other salad vegetables that you wish.
Think Spring: Asparagus Vinaigrette Salad,
It’s Whats For Dinner.
Tags: Breakfast, eggs, toast
So tell me, are you a dipper or a smasher?
It seems there’s been a small revival of Dippy Eggs, and my friend Vickie in Montana is responsible. She recently went to California to stay with her Grandson for a week and posted a great piece about their daily breakfast, Mad Dippy Eggs. You can take a look at that post HERE.
Then Larry over at Big Dude’s Ramblings chimed in with his offering of Dippy Eggs. You can review Dippy Eggs ala Larry HERE.
I’ve never made Dippy Eggs, but I have enjoyed lots of Smashy Eggs. It’s somewhat the same concept. I just gently smash, which is not to be confused with mashing.
Dictionary.com tell us the definition of mash is: To reduce to a soft pulpy mass as by beating.
They go on to tell us the definition of smash is: to break to pieces from a violent blow or collision, to dash with a shattering or crushing force or with great violence; crash.
Ok folks, just cut out all the violence and noise and you’ve got a gentle smash. Let’s take a look:
As with Dippy Eggs, the key to this dish is a perfectly cooked sunny side up egg. To achieve this, I so gently flip the egg over for a few seconds at just the right time. And by the way, I use butter to cook the egg.
Clockwise from upper left:
- This egg is at just the right flipping time, almost free of any runny white part and the yolk still very runny.
- The egg after it’s been flipped for only just about 5 seconds.
- Pre-smash, next to a buttered piece of toast. Look at that egg, it’s perfect.
- Gently smashed, a bite full placed on the toast and ready for a creamy-eggie-toastie yum.
Smashy or Dippy.
It’s What’s for Breakfast.
Tags: citrus, Dinner, Lemon, lime, salmon
You want to know how easy this recipe is? It’s such an easy fix that you can prepare this at an altitude of 10,000 feet at a rustic Colorado campsite, after having three glasses of high alcohol content red wine, on an empty stomach…nuff said.
Of course I must admit I did some pre-prep at a home altitude of 5,280 feet, with no wine, before traveling to said 10,000 foot camping site. I mean you have to know the ins and outs of this high altitude, no oxygen camping business folks. (wink)
I really have no problem with recipes or meals that take a couple of hours of tinkering, fussing, adjusting, tasting, more fussing and tinkering…but you can’t beat a “quick middle of the week, I’m tired from working all day” easy meal. This is one of those.
I’ve had this recipe for too many years to count. I was watching a salmon demonstration one Saturday afternoon at a local supermarket. The fish counter guy was searing a chunk of salmon filet that had been topped with a sprinkle of cumin, some lemon zest, a slice of lemon and topped with a pat of butter. So over the years it’s evolved into this. Somehow I feel it’s not done evolving, but for now, here’s what we have.
Lea Ann’s Lemon-Lime Salmon
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic — minced
1 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs butter — softened
2 salmon filets, total about 3/4 pound
Grate lemon and lime peel, thinly slice 1/2 of each. Juice the other halves. Combine 2 Tablespoons of the lemon/lime juice, cumin, garlic and olive oil. Place salmon on a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle with some of the lime and lemon zest, and pour the lemon-lime juice mixture over top. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper then arrange lemon and lime slices uniformly over the filet. Wrap up with the parchment paper. Place in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 8 – 15 minutes depending on the filet.
Mix butter, remaining juice and peel in a bowl. Microwave for a few seconds to melt.
Serve with lemon-lime butter for dipping.
This recipe is so easy that you have time to take photos of your goofy cat, who thinks she’s hidden and in a green plastic box that’s on the kitchen table and trying to figure out how to lunge for my throat checking my every move as I prepared the fish.
It’s What’s For Dinner.
Tags: beef; barbacoa; mexican
Did I ever tell you that we have a son who lives in Tucson that’s a trained Chef??? That’s right, about 20 years ago we loaded him up on Amtrak and sent him West to Portland, Oregon to Culinary School! Even though he’s not currently using his skills in the restaurant arena, he loves to cook and you can imagine some of the wonderful dishes that come out of his kitchen.
I’ve been nagging asking him to email me some of his creations for my blog and here’s the first offering, Barbacoa!
I’d like to introduce to you Mark Brown, guest blogger today. His words, his photos.
“Working on a batch of beef barbacoa today. Not using any smoking, my recipe is what I call…easy. Any tough cut of beef is O.K. but trimming out gristle before cooking is important. I start with about one pound of pot roast cut into one inch cubes. The beef is seared on all sides using a very hot pre-heated pan. Next onions and celery added just to soften. Then add the cumin and oregano. Have the wine on hand to stop the spices from getting too dark. Deglaze with the wine and tomato juice, add the vinegar and adobo sauce. Add just enough tomato juice to cover beef. Next bring the dish to a simmer and adjust the salt level by adding Wyler’s beef bouillon, also adjust heat by adding more adobo sauce.
Most of the work is done by now…. just slowly simmer for a few hours and test the meat for tenderness. Break up the cubes of beef to get the flavor of the sauce more dispersed. Another couple of hours simmering and the dish is ready.
Be aware that any high heat will scorch a tomato/meat stew quickly, so LOW AND SLOW. Keep covered to prevent drying out. Pork or dark meat chicken/turkey could be substituted for the beef .
You can serve it in taco shells, on salad, on nachos, with eggs, with potatoes.
And yes, like most stews it may actually be better after the second day
Lime juice works sooo good with this dish and sour cream to balance heat.”
1# beef cubed one inch by one inch
1 T veg oil for searing beef
1 64oz can V8 or tomato juice (may only use 2/3)
1 t ground cumin
1 t mexican oregano dry stems removed
2 T vinegar from a can of jalepenos in escabache
1/4 cup Chardonnay
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce small can (I usually just use the adobo sauce but if you want it HOT use some of the peppers cautiously). The adobo sauce is also available w/o the peppers .
Wyler’s beef bouillon 2 cubes
attached photos 3 hours into simmering supply of chipotles
This sounds wonderful and I’m so jealous of all of this Chipolte and Adobo stuff going on. It would take me months to find all of those brands here in Denver (if they’re even available here).
Beef Barbacoa, It’s What’s For Dinner
Tags: Pablano Meatballs, Soup, Spanish soup
One of my Christmas gifts this year was a subscription to Bon Appetit Magazine. I saw this recipe for Poblano Meatball Soup in the first issue I received and fell in love.
While this dish is incredibly delicious, it is somewhat of a production to make. This Saturday was cold and snowy in Denver, so I couldn’t think of a better time to spend a couple of leisurely hours in the kitchen with this recipe.
Pungent, earthy, cleverly spiced, complex, and just full of unexpected little delights, this soup will not disappoint. Not falling short in presentation, the brick-red color of the broth is really breathtaking. The meatballs are genius in many ways and the addition of grated zucchini adds a delicate moistness to their texture. So with all that said, here’s the recipe.
The gathered ingredients in advance. I’m a huge fan of poblano chilis.
2 large fresh poblano chiles (9 to 10 ounces total)
1 pound ground beef (15% fat)
1/2 cup coarsely grated zucchini
1/4 cup finely grated onion
1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 large egg, beaten to blend
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican), crumbled
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
For The Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, coarsely grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons pure ancho chile powder or pasilla chile powder* (do not use blended chile powder)
9 cups low-salt beef broth
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
1/4 cup long-grain white rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons (or more) vegetable oil
4 corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
Chopped fresh cilantro
*Available in the spice section of many supermarkets and at Latin markets.
Line large rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Char chiles over direct flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag and steam 10 minutes. Stem, seed, and peel chiles, then chop finely (should yield about 3/4 cup).
Place chiles in large bowl. Gently mix in beef and all remaining ingredients. Using moistened hands and scant tablespoonful for each, roll meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs. Arrange meatballs on sheet.
Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion with any juices and garlic. Sauté until onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add chile powder and cumin; stir 1 minute. Add broth and oregano; bring to rolling boil. Reduce heat to very low, just below bare simmer, and cook 10 minutes.
Stir zucchini and rice into broth. Increase heat to medium and drop in meatballs, 1 at a time. Return soup to simmer. Cover and cook gently until meatballs and rice are cooked through, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat to avoid boiling, about 20 minutes. Add 1/4 cup cilantro and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Season soup with salt and add more lime juice by teaspoonfuls, if desired.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat 1 minute. Add half of tortilla strips. Cook until crisp, gently separating strips with tongs, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer strips to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining tortilla strips, adding more oil if needed.
Ladle soup and meatballs into bowls. Top with tortilla strips and cilantro.
Fabulous. Can’t wait for leftovers tonight and I’m sure as with most soups, it will be better the 2nd time around.
Tags: Hoosier, Pork Tenderloin, Sandwich, sliders
The search led me to make these little Hoosier Pork Tenderloin Sliders.
There ended up being so much food at our Super Bowl party that my halftime plans to serve Hoosier Pork Tenderloin Sliders just didn’t happen. Instead I just threw the whole bag of marinating pork (side note, spell check suggessted that I change this to urinating pork, I silently thanked them for their help and ignored the option) into the freezer, poured a glass of wine and watched The Who instead. We just last night cooked these up and good grief are these good.
As you know, I served Muffaletta Sliders and wanted an Indiana-themed sandwich just in case we had Colts fans in the group. There was one, and sorry Tom that these sandwiches didn’t make an appearance.
It seems breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches are revered in Indiana so I hit the web running to find a recipe. I found several, each a little different. I just did what I thought sounded best.
The original sandwiches are huge pieces of thick pork loin pounded to be about a half-inch thick, and coated with a coarse, crumbly, cracker crumb style breading that is golden brown and not overly crunchy. The meat is unbelievably tender, but still firm enough so you have to actually bite into it. Tradition dictates that the hunk of breaded and fried tenderloin extend well beyond the bun.
This is not my photo. Credit goes to Michael Stern of Roadfood.com
I purchased a pork tenderloin and just sliced the meat about 2 inches thick and pounded the little disks to tenderize and flatten. I placed all the slices into a Ziploc bag and poured in buttermilk to cover. The originator of these sandwiches puts some secret seasonings in, so I didn’t really know what to do, so grabbed the Tabasco bottle and added about 8 shakes. All instructions said to marinate in refrigerator over night.
I pulled out the slices of pork, salted and peppered and then coated the slices with Panko crumbs. I saw one recipe use a mixture of flour and corn meal, another did an additional coat of egg and then flour and another used saltines. I had Panko on hand.
Sautee until golden brown. Towards the end I placed a lid over the pan for about 30 seconds just to steam everything up a bit.
Place on the slider buns. Top with a chunk of iceberg lettuce and mustard. Since I was serving mini versions of this sandwich, I thought the pickle looked cute toothpicked on top of the bun.
I’m telling you, these things are good. I’ll be making a full-sized version soon. Anyone else ever had a Hoosier Pork Tenderloin Sandwich?
Tags: Black Foresst Cake, Valentines Day
Our Valentines Day, by choice. was very low-key. Quiet and relaxing. I can give or take the pomp and circumstance and am also perfectly happy just to go out for a good burger as long as I’m with Bob This year I was going to make steak and shrimp, but that Chipolte Buffalo Chili from Saturday night was so good, we decided to have it for leftovers.
I did however, surprise and impress him with this cake. Not only is it cute as the dickens, but it is extremely luscious, rich and delicious.
It’s Black Forest Upside Down Cake. I saw mention of it coming out of the Martha Stewart camp, but couldn’t find it. So, found a Black Forest Cake over at All Recipes, and a Plum Upside Down Cake over at Martha Stewart and just winged it.
My cousin gave me a little Polish hand painted heart-shaped baking dish earlier this year and it worked like a charm. I used a round cake pan for the rest of the batter.
Here’s the Black Forest Cake recipe I found and several of the comments on the site mentioned that it was the best Black Forest Cake ever. I’ve never had Black Forest Cake before, so can’t chime in on that claim, but I do know it is really really good. So moist and luscious and those cherries molded perfectly to the cake. The cake ended up performing like a super model for the photo shoot, not one cherry fell off and had to be replaced.
- 2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups white sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup milk (I used 1/2 c. whole milk and 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream – just cuz)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 (20 ounce) cans pitted sour cherries
- For the Fruit: (the part I winged)
- 8 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch, round, cake pans; cover bottoms with waxed paper.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, 2 cups sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil, and 1 tablespoon vanilla; beat until well blended.
- Divide melted butter and brown sugar into the bottom of pans. Pat in drained cherries and then pour cake batter into prepared pans.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cakes on wire racks about 30 minutes. Loosen edges, and turn upside down to onto plate.
- Serve with whipped cream
Thrown in a highly rated and delicious Washington State Cab.
And we had a great Valentine’s Day.
Tags: Buffalo, Chili, Lime Crema
I’m starting off this post with a photo of the Lime Crema. This mixture of sour cream, lime zest and lime juice is key to the uniqueness of this chili. Michele, who originally posted this recipe and judge at the chili cookoff contest noted that she was unimpressed with the stand-alone flavors without this Crema. I agree, it is a fabulous addition.
I saw this recipe over at Cooking with Michele and couldn’t resist giving it a try as this took 2nd place in a chili cookoff here in Denver. I also found this recipe on another food blog, weeknightgourmet.com who indicates the recipe comes from Bon Apetite.
Anyway, the combination of ingredients just sounded too interesting to pass up. So if you’re looking for something different here’s a new Chili Recipe for you.
Chipotle Bison Chili with Lime Crema
Adapted from Nora Neureiter, Second Place Winner of the 2009 Leyden Street Chili Cookoff
3 pounds ground bison (I used two pounds. You can use ground beef, as well.)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, optional (see instructions)
Salt and pepper
3 cups chopped onions, about 2 medium onions
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I used four large.)
1/2 cup chili powder
2 14-ounce cans beef broth
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes with juices
1/2 cup stout or dark beer (Didn’t have any stout, so used plain old Coors.)
4 minced canned chipotle chiles (These things are H-O-T, so I removed veins and seeds.)
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
2 15 1/2-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup sour cream
1 lime, zested and juiced
And my very own secret ingredient addition to this recipe, revealed below.
Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat. If your ground meat is very lean, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the pot before adding the ground meat. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook until meat is completely browned, using a spoon to break up meat. Remove cooked meat to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
Add onions and garlic to the meat drippings and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Return beef to the pot and add chili powder, broth, tomatoes, beer and chiles. Bring to a boil, reduce to low, cover partially, and cook until very thick, about 1-2 hours.
When chili is thick, stir in cornmeal and add black beans. Let simmer together for 10 minutes before serving. Combine sour cream with lime zest and juice of one lime and serve chili in bowls with a spoonful of lime cream on top.
To serve, ladle a large dollop of Lime Crema in the middle of your chili, and you know me well enough to know that life isn’t complete with a sprinkling of chopped Cilantro.
My secret ingredient is two Kiefer lime leaves. I added these when I added the tomatoes and broth and fished them out before serving. I think it added a subtle sweet lime flavor to the overall dish.
This recipe is a keeper and DEElicious. Enjoy.
Tags: Louisiana Salad, New Orleans, Palace Cafe
As promised, I’m posting the recipe for the salad our friend Teri brought to our Super Bowl Party. Wanting to contribute a Louisiana-themed salad she turned to our friend Google and came up with this tasty recipe from the Palace Cafe in New Orleans.
Wanting to learn more about the restaurant, I found their website. It reads: “Located at the foot of the French Quarter, Palace Café serves contemporary Creole cuisine in an upbeat and lively grand café. As bearers of the torch keeping Creole cuisine alive and vital, Dickie and Palace Café’s culinary team are constantly evolving traditional Creole dishes and creating a few new favorites. The restaurant, housed in the historic Werlein’s music building, has earned local and national critical acclaim since it opened in 1991 including: Best New Restaurant from Esquire magazine and USA Today; the prestigious Ivy Award from Restaurants and Institutions magazine, and Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence.
Palace Café is owned and operated by Dickie Brennan, Steve Pettus and Lauren Brennan Brower. Executive Chef Darin Nesbit and Chef De Cuisine Ben Thibodeaux lead the culinary team.”
So there you have it. This explains it all. A member of the legendary Brennan family is responsible for the fabulous and elegant flavors for this salad. The addition of cinnamon in the dressing makes this very unique. Teri, I’m officially putting you in charge of Googling theme recipes for all parties from here on out. GREAT find.
Thanks to Teri’s husband Dan for sending this recipe along so I could share it with you.
LOUISIANA SUNBURST SALAD
24 oz mesclun mix (mixed baby lettuces like mache, frisee, radicchio, spinach)
2 oz dried cranberries
2 oz almonds, sliced and toasted (Dan burns them a little bit on purpose)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ounce vegetable oil
2 oz crumbled Stilton cheese (or blue cheese)
2 oz ruby port wine
2 oz raspberry vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 oz water
5 dashes of Tabasco (I’m with Dan on this one – 10 or 12 dashes suites me just fine)
Salt & pepper to taste
Soak the cranberries overnight in the port.
In a large mixing bowl, add the oil, water, vinegar, tabasco, cinnamon and sugar. Whisk until emulsified (Dan don’t make me do an emulsification demonstration). Add the lettuce and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the greens on a plate and garnish with the crumbled cheese, cranberries, and almonds.
Trust me, bookmark this one and give it a try. Thank you Brennans. I’m interested to know, have you been to the Palace Cafe?
Before you get too impressed with me, I did NOT spend 30 minutes to perfectly cut out this design in a slice of pineapple! Wednesday night I hosted a Business After Hours event at our office for about 150 South Metro Denver Realtors and Real Estate related vendors. They devoured the large trays of meatballs and tortellini in marinara sauce. They destroyed the beautiful trays of sliced chocolate cake scattered with gorgeous bright red raspberries. There was hardly anything left of the huge display of sushi. And the two beautiful edible fruit bouquets that I ordered from a local company were hardly touched. Figures. So I’ve been munching on the wonderful fruit left overs and couldn’t resist taking a picture of this beautiful slice of pineapple with a little melon ball to complete the center of the flower.
The first part of this week was spent enjoying leftovers from my Super Bowl party. Man was that jambalaya good. Thursday demanded that I try to use some things lingering in the fridge. I found this recipe over at Foodandwine.com. I had everything on hand. Don’t you love it when that happens?
With a chicken breast in the freezer, feta cheese that I keep on hand for salads, a tomato that’s been basking in the sunshine on the kitchen counter, black olives from the relish plate from the Super Bowl party and some corn tortillas in the freezer, I was able to throw this super easy recipe together for dinner.
Here’s the recipe and an absolutely horrible photo. I mean look at that – Tastespotting would reject that photo so fast those olives would spin. If you’d like to see a professional photo over at Food and Wine, here’s the link to the recipe. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chicken-and-feta-tostadas
Chicken and Feta Tostadas – Food and Wine Magazine:
3/4 pound plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup black olives, such as Kalamata, pitted and chopped (I used plain old ripe black olives)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (you know me well enough by now that Cilantro was on that tostada)
1 roasted chicken, bones and skin removed, meat shredded (about 1 pound boneless meat) (1 chicken breast from my freezer, cooked and shredded)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
3 tablespoons cooking oil, plus more for brushing tortillas
8 small or 4 large flour tortillas (all I had was corn tortillas, so I briefly sautéed them in olive oil until they were crisp – I actually think this would have been better with flour tortillas)
1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled (about 2 cups)
1.Heat the oven to 450°. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, parsley, chicken, salt, pepper, vinegar, and the 3 tablespoons oil.
2.Brush the tortillas on both sides with oil and then put on baking sheets, overlapping if necessary. Bake the tortillas until starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the tortillas and brown the other side, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
3.Remove the baking sheets from the oven and top each tortilla with an equal amount of the feta cheese. Return the baking sheets to the oven; cook until the cheese is just melting, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Top the tortillas with the chicken mixture. (oops, I didn’t notice this part, I put the whole kit-and-caboodle under the broiler)
This is a really easy and delicious recipe that will become a staple around our house. And of course with tostadas, there are so many variations available if you don’t have all the exact items on hand.
And speaking of Tastespotting. Remember when I said I’d faint if they actually accepted a photo of mine? Well they did accept the photo of my little Scallop Sandwich appetizer and I didn’t faint. https://highlandsranchfoodie.wordpress.com/2010/01/02/a-gallery-of-new-years-food/