I love the dinners I make and I think, overall I am very successful in the kitchen, but I definitely have a “menu” from which I draw my ideas. I think part of that is that pretty much the same ingredients are available at each store in town – nothing really different from the next except more expensive mushrooms and good sushi quality seafood and the local Fresh Market, but still – the ingredients remain fairly unchanged throughout the year. That is perhaps the blessing and the curse of living in such a temperate climate. So – what I am looking for is things to expand my current menu of foods I keep lodged in my brain. Seafood is easy to get as are most fresh vegetables. I am not a big sweets eater and don’t have red meat or pork in my diet. Browse the blog for my cooking tendancies and help me get out of the bubble. Granted, its a well fed and satisfying bubble, but its a bubble none-the-less. I’m going out tonight, but will hit the grocery store tomorrow…inspire me!
Archive for June, 2008
Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo
I made the first pesto of the summer today. My basil plant has been growing like crazy lately so I knew it time to make a batch of pesto. I decided to make it extra special so I made the pasta from scratch as well. To top it all off I roasted tomatos, mushrooms, scallions and garlic in olive oil – added shrimp and for good measure a pitch of feta. To sop up all the goodness I made ciabatta bread on the side. It was enjoyed with a nice Italian wine – YUM! This is sure to be the first of many pesto adventures of the summer.
For the pesto:
Blend together basil, olive oil, garlic, a pinch of salt, pine nuts and parmesan cheese. (I have no idea the proportions I use – I do it by eye now – but you can find an million pesto recipes on line I am sure)
For the roasted veggies:
I put chopped scallions and garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil in a 400 degree oven – roast for about 8 minutes – add tomatoes and mushrooms – roast for another 10 minutes – add the shrimp roast until the shrimp are pink.
For the pasta:
I happen to be lucky enough to have a Kitchen Aid mixer with the pasta attachment – I used 1/2 cup of all purpose flour; 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour, 1 egg; Start the mixer – add moisture as necessary. Form into a ball and let rest for about 10 minutes – divide ball into 4ths – flatten and run through pasta machine in gradually thinner widths – let dry for about 20 minutes and then run through the fettuccini attachment. It will need to boil for only about 3 minutes.
Mix all the indgredients together and enjoy.
I am so thankful that Di has been able to single handedly keep this blog going. I don’t even remember the last time I posted. I’ll save you the long version of the story and just say that I have not been feeling well since right before school got out.
Hopefully I’m on the road to recovery, and I’m going to post 2 experiments Dev and I have been working on this last week.
I didn’t really know what to call this – its not so much a stir fry as a one pot meal that’s not stew…call it what you will. It was a nice mixture of yellow and orange peppers, fresh spinach, onion and chicken. It was flavored with an Indian spicy sauce I bought from World Market. I had to cut the spice with about a cup of plain yogurt, but it was still too spicy for my sister. I served it over rice with bread to sop up the good gooey sauce. It went marvelously with a dry Italian red wine I had too.
I took advantage of a cloudy day with relatively low temps to sneak in one last pot of chili before it gets hot as blazes here for the summer. Nothing too special here – I used ground turkey, onion, chili beans, tomatos and lots of spices. I couldn’t honestly tell you the recipe for my chili as I make it so often I just sort of go by memory. It is good chili though and something to keep in mind if you are in a cooler climate or you want some early ideas for fall. I didn’t actually eat any of it yet as I made something else for dinner and part of the reason I made this was so that my Grandmother can put some in her freezer since she was nice enough to give me her perfectly seasoned cast iron dutch oven…its the least I could do really.
Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo
This was a GREAT meal. I used chicken leg quarters, roasted red potatoes on a bed of rosemary and sprinkled with sea salt and then grilled eggplant.
For the chicken:
Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and rub with olive oil.
For the potatoes:
Soak a couple of good handfuls of rosemary in water – I halfed the red potatoes and put them on top of the rosemary to weight it down so it would stay under the water.
Heidi did the eggplant, but I am guessing from the flavor that she
marinated it in garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
When you are ready to grill:
Remove potatoes and rosemary – make a bed of rosemary on the top rack of the grill, place potatoes cut side down and then sprinkle with sea salt…these can go on the grill about 10 minutes before the chicken goes on.
Place on the grill thick side down – let it get a nice crust and then turn over to cook the rest of the way. If you use leg quarters keep in mind that they are darker meat so there will be a bit of flaming up from the fat dripping down. Cook the chicken for about 15 minutes and then put the eggplant on the top rack – close the lid and let everything cook for another 5-7 minutes.
It was VERY yummy and we dinned al fresco to make it even better.
Easy, easy, easy – and so yummy. You can make a pie crust, but I just bought mine – I had to look through several, but managed to find a graham cracker crust without high fructose corn syrup.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix together until blended.
3 egg yolks
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup of key lime juice
Pour into pie crust – bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes and then refrigerate.