Archive for September, 2007

The new stove is officially broken in. I decided to go all out and make a real meal on/in it. I knew I was going to make talapia and asparagus, but couldn’t figure out what else to make. I didn’t have enough potatoes to mash them, I had some leftover mushrooms, but wasn’t sure what to do. It was then that I found a recipe for a potato/mushroom gratin…ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. I will post the recipe as found though I made some changes to accomodate my ingredients.

3 tbls of butter

1/2 pound of shitake or portabello mushrooms sliced thickly (I had portabello)

2 cloves of garlic minced

1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley (I did not have this so omited it – seemed fine to me)

5 large waxy white potatoes, brown, or red (I had red) unpeeled, boiled in salted water until tender, drained and thickly sliced

1 cup of chicken stock (I used veggie stock, its what I prefer)

1/3 cup of parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a medium size gratin dish. Melt 2 tbls of butter in skillet – add mushrooms, saute until golden brown – add garlic and parsley (if you have it). Saute for 2 minutes – remove from heat and set aside. Arrange half the potatoes in one layer inthe prepared dish – layer mushrooms on top. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange remaining potatoes on top. Dot with butter and pour in stock. Sprinkle with cheese. (I had a mixture of ricotta and parmesan left over from the stuffed zucchini the other day so I threw that in too). Bake until dish is bubbling and golden brown approx. 30-45min.


For the talapia I made a paste from two fresh garlic cloves, salt and olive oil (about a tsp.) I rubbed it on the fillets and let them sit for about an hour. I then dredged them in a beaten egg and breaded with seasoned bread crumbs. I baked the fillets on a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes (I just put it in the oven about 15 minutes before the gratin was done).  To top it off I sauted asparagus with olive oil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar. The end result was very tasty indeed.



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turkey burgers

Okay -so nothing glamorous for the first meal on the new stove – I figured I would try to get used to it first – the best news is that the kitchen is not 1000 degrees! yay!!

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So – no cooking yet this weekend, but I the landlord did finally come and remove the original 1956 stove and put in something from at least the last 10 years.

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I am sure that my cooking times will vary like crazy for a while – I already managed to cook the ever-living crap out of a grilled cheese sandwich, but it was still tasty because lets face it – butter, cheese, bread – how can you really mess that up! So…I went to the grocery store for the 5 things on my list and $123 later, I am home and wondering how best to break in the new stove. The old one worked fine, except it wouldn’t broil so I am tempted to do something that requires broiling, but not sure about that yet – I also bought a bunch of talapia so – fried fish is always a nice way to break in a stove – whatever I decide – I will be sure to blog about it later…the old stove went out in a flourish with a batch of french toast this morning – which I thought a nice and fitting send off.


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Everyone knows how much I love weekend breakfasts.  I like to take my time and make something I would never be able to pull off during the week.

This morning I decided on a really big breakfast.  I made toast, hash browns and put out sliced tomatoes.  I scrambled Dev’s eggs, but decided to fry my own.  I love fried eggs, but hardly ever make them because Dev is not a runny yolk person.  People tend to fall into 2 camps when it comes to eggs.  Some, like me, love the little pool of liquid sunshine to dip our toast in.  Other people feel faint at the sight of a slightly warmed egg yolk.  Now I will admit that there are times no one wants to see a runny yolk (like when you are still buzzed/hungover from your friend’s bachelorette party and you show up at the bridal brunch only to be greeted by eggs benedict, oozing out of the middle of your plate), but as long as I’m sober, I love ’em.

I think tomorrow I am going to attempt some sort of hash with the leftover hashbrowns…..stay tuned!

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Friday Dinner Yumminess

It’s definitely getting fall-like around here.  The days are still warm, but the nights are dipping below freezing. 

Diane has already blogged about how much she loves fall cooking.  I agree with her whole-heartedly.  Dev and I have already had the first fall pot of chili, and Friday night I made another dish that I’m certain will become a cool-weather favorite-  Chicken Tamale Pie.

I got this recipe out of a book called “365 Easy Mexican Recipes,”  so I suppose authenticity could be a little suspect.  I really don’t care- cuz this was just good.

It took forever, but that’s just because I didn’t have any leftover cooked chicken lying around.  I had to roast 4 chicken thighs (skin on, with lemon slices, garlic and onions stuffed under the skin- then slathered in olive oil) at 400 degrees til they were at175 degrees.   Then I shredded the meat and continued with the recipe as it is written (my changes are in parenthesis). The recipe actually called for 4 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped.

1.5 t salt

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 green pepper, chopped

3/4 canned mexican style tomatoes (I used a whole can of store brand)

1/2 cup chicken stock

2.5 T chili powder (I used 1 T freshly ground dried ancho chilies because it was quite spicy)

1.5 c yellow corn meal (I used white cuz it’s what I had)

3 T butter

grated parmesan cheese

In a large non-stick skillet with some olive oil, saute the onion, green peppers and garlic.  Add the chicken to re-warm it.  Add spices and 1 T corn meal (to thicken).  Then add the can of tomatoes.  Bring it to a boil, then let it thicken a little.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 13×9″ casserole dish.  In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups water (I used chicken stock for more flavor), remaining corn meal and 1 t. salt to a boil, whisking frequently.  Reduce heat and cook til thick and smooth, maybe 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in 3 T butter.  Southern people will recognize this as making grits.

Spread 1/3 of the cornmeal mixture in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.  Then pour on the chicken filling.  Finally, slather remaining corn mixture on top.  Sprinkle with cheese and bake til bubbly and brown- maybe 30 minutes.

I served this with sliced tomato, avacado and a little dollop of sour cream the first time.  The second time I made a green salad.  The leftovers are even better after they fester overnight.

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Di and I have decided to enter this bake-off.  All the profits from the voting go to breast cancer research.  Please Please Please go to this link and read up on the info.  We will post our entries, and hopefully you can go to this site and see them by the end of the month!

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Tonight was sort of a collaboration with inspiration from Curtis Stone of Take Home Chef.  We watched a re-run last night and he made stuffed zucchini and shrimp with roasted tomatoes and pesto linguine. We adapted that; My sister Suzanne made the stuffed zucchini – stuffed with ricotta, mozarella and parmesan cheese – baked at 350 degrees on top of a marinara sauce (baked for about 10 minutes); I made shrimp with garlic and pesto sauce. It was quite a tasty meal and pretty easy to put together.



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Free Weekend!!!!

This weekend, Dev had a ton of homework to do.  That meant that I had plenty of time to wander the apartment and cook stuff- oh, and sleep. 🙂

So I started with a batch of cinnamon rolls.  I decided to throw a twist in and make whole wheat dough instead of plain white.  Here’s the dough after the first rise….

They turned out well, but I think the plain white are better. Besides, how nutritious are they after you slather them in all the cream cheese glaze???

For dinner, I moved on to grilled lamb chops. I marinated them for 4 hours in a mixture of olive oil, fresh sage, fresh thyme and fresh rosemary. Here they are soaking up all the love….

I had Dev grill them 4 minutes on each side, and they were delicious. Actually, he threw his back on the grill for another 5 minutes, because he doesn’t appreciate wonderful rare meat.
I served the chops with sugar snaps and parmesan polenta. Very yummie.

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Yeah – this was a great dinner. I have started a new job and I had a wicked cold so I haven’t cooked in a while. My sister is on vacation and she was nice enough to pick up 2 sushi grade tuna steaks – yum! So…I marinated them in a bit of soy with some ginger and olive oil.

The spinach souffle was a great compliment to the meal:

Saute 3/4 cup of chopped onion; add salt and pepper (1/2 tsp. each); and 2 tbls of flour; slowly add 1 1/2 cups of milk; whisk together and let simmer for 1 minute then remove from heat; add thawed and drained 10 ounce package of chopped spinach 1 egg and 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup of feta and 2 cups of cooked rice.  Add all to a greased caserole dish sprinkle with parmesan and put in 400 degree oven for about 35 minutes. My Grandmother loves this and she claims to dislike both spinach and feta so…you know it has to be good!

I served this with a couple slices of bread and the put a dollop of rosemary butter on the steaks – the butter is easy – I just mixed fresh chopped rosemary into butter – let it sit and then formed it into a ball and added to the top of the steak.

I cooked the tuna to about medium rare – I like it pinker, but my sister likes it a bit more done – you can use your judgement there – it was delicious and not that hard – so…get in the kitchen and cook!


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Southern Comfort

No, no, not the booze…food! I have been battling a cold this week – this typically happens soon after the start of school as I am exposed to many, many more germs than normal. So when my sister decided she wanted fried shrimp for dinner, I thought – yes…that will be a good comfort food and perhaps the cure for the common cold. You can have your chicken soup and your hot tea and sure, those things help, but what can be better than a plate of fried shrimp and a baked potato to heal the body and the soul?

Easy enough to achieve too – just dust the shrimp in flour, dredge in eggs and then coat in Panko bread crumbs (you can use other bread crumbs, but the Panko gets nice and crunchy).


Heat oil to medium high – you’ll know its ready if you put a drop of water in it and it sizzles. Serve with a baked potato (I trust you need no recipe for that) and a we had a green salad. Make a mixture of ketchup and fresh horseradish for dippin’ and you have a yourself a heapin’ helpin’ of good ole Southern Comfort.


Cheers! I’ll make this for you when you come home for the holidays Mimi. 

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