Archive for July, 2008

This was a nice dinner and really colorful so that was good. The chicken idea came from watching Emeril’s new show – Emeril Green.
Step one –
Roast one head of garlic – when it cools – make a paste from the roasted garlic -add chopped rosemary and juice of 1/2 a lemon
Step two
Salt and pepper a chicken thigh/leg and roast in 400 degree oven until almost done.
Remove the chicken and cover with the roasted garlic paste – return to oven until done – YUM. The chicken was super juicy and the lemon and roasted garlic added a nice tang to both the skin and the overall flavor of the chicken.

For the quinoa
Cooks like rice – 2 to 1 water to quinoa – For 2 people – boil one cup of water (or stock) – add 1/2 cup of quinoa – reduce heat, cover, let simmer for about 25 minutes.

I also steamed some snow peas – just about 5 minutes of steaming is plenty.

I’ll try this recipe again with Chicken Breasts and see how that works – it might be a nice way help the meat stay really moist and juicy.

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food 363

Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

This was Sunday dinner this week. Salmon is always good in the summer because really no matter what you do to it, it has a nice refreshing quality. I got the raviolli from our local organic store. It was delicious.

For the Fillets:

Salt and pepper the filets – add about a tbls of olive oil and rub into the flesh of the salmon.  Put about a tsp of spicy brown or your favorite mustard on each and rub into the flesh. Sprinkle with about for glugs of soy sauce and again rub into the flesh. I let it sit for about 45 minutes in the fridge.  When you are ready to cook, heat about a tbls of olive oil in a pan – add the salmon (skin side up) and reduce heat to medium and let the salmon cook for about 3 minutes (depending on thickness). Turn salmon over – add a couple of glugs of white wine to the pan, reduce heat again to medium low and cover – the fish will steam the rest of the way (about 3 more minutes until flaky and opaque).  It will be quite tender and moist, not to delicious.

The raviolli, I said, was bought from Brighter Day Health Foods here in Savannah. It was really nice spinach pasta raviolli, stuffed with garlic and gargonzola. I boiled it as directed and then tossed it with about a tbls of olive oil and parmesan cheese. I am glad I didn’t make a sauce for it, the simplicity of the olive oil and parmesan was just the right combination and it went really well with the salmon.

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Originally uploaded by All Things Mimi

Birthday Crab and Shrimp Au Gratin!

Admittedly, this is not how I would prefer to use premium seafood. However, it is my sister’s birthday, and she gets to pick the menu for her dinner- and this is one of her favorites. So I made it. Or she would have beat me up (and I’m sure she still can).

Crab and Shrimp Au Gratin

2 c. milk
4 T. AP flour
1/3 t. salt
1/3 t. pepper
1/8 t. Tabasco sauce
2/3 c. cheez whiz
8 oz cooked shrimp (I poached mine in water with lemon, coriander, black peppercorns and salt)
4 oz cooked crab (I used a full pound of claw meat)
1 T. butter
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 sleeve ritz crackers, pulverized and mixed with half a stick of melted butter

Mix flour, salt, pepper and hot sauce with part of the milk in a jar; shake well. Add Cheez Whiz with the rest of the milk and 1 T. butter in a double boiler; cook until cheez has melted. Add flour mixture; stir until smooth and thickened.

Add seafood and pour into casserole dish. Top with grated cheese and buttered cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

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Birthday Brownies!!


Originally uploaded by All Things Mimi

I decided instead of making a cake for my sister’s birthday, I’d make brownies. Unfortunately, I was also making the rest of the dinner, so from scratch brownies weren’t really possible (well they could have been- but it’s freakin’ hot in that kitchen!).

Just as I was wondering how to make a brownie mix more appealing, my Mom hands me a recipe for “Brownie Supreme.” Basically, this is a glorified brownie mix. Perfect! And it was pretty easy, although by the time I got finished doing the extra steps I probably could have made brownies from scratch….Oh well!

Brownie Supreme

Dump contents of brownie mix in a medium bowl and add ¾ c. of sifted all purpose flour. Put all liquid ingredients called for by the recipe in another bowl. Add 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to the wet ingredients.

In a double boiler, but one stick of butter and 2 squares (2 oz) of unsweetened chocolate. Melt it, then add 1 cup of sugar. Mix together.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, then add the chocolate mixture. Stir everything together- but don’t over stir.

Pour into a large pyrex dish and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, or until set in the middle.

After they cooled in the pan, I stacked mine on a cake plate and stuck candles in them. In my opinion, this is way better than a cake! (Unless you make me a homemade red velvet cake with homemade cream cheese frosting.)

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Originally uploaded by All Things Mimi

I have already blogged about the impending demise of one of my favorite restaurants in Savannah- the Middle Eastern Cafe.
This is my attempt at making the hummus served there. I tried to include as many measurements as I could, but as you will see when you read the recipe, it was very difficult.

Hummus from the Middle Eastern Café

2 cans chick peas, drained- liquid reserved
5 cloves garlic roughly chopped (the food processor will do the rest)
2 lemons worth of juice
½ jar of tahini or to taste (but it will take more than you thought it would)
Lots of olive oil (again, more than you thought it would take)
Pinch of sugar
½ cup of white vinegar- but add a little at a time and taste til you have it right

This recipe was hard to figure out because the man who described it to me used no standard measurements. Everything was hand motions and portions of his palm.

I basically started by putting the chickpeas and the garlic in my Mom’s food processor and whizzing them around for a few pulses. I then added about half the lemon juice, a pinch or two of salt, a pinch of pepper and about ½ cup of tahini. I let the processor run for about 30 seconds and began streaming in olive oil. After about ½ cup, I put in a few capfuls of white vinegar. Then I tasted it- it was nowhere near the flavor or texture of the good stuff. So I turned the processor back on, put in a generous pinch of sugar, more vinegar, more tahini, more salt and more lemon juice. I ran the processor until it broke (sorry Mom!). The flavor was great, but I still had not processed it smooth enough.

Luckily, Mom had another smaller food processor- so I began processing it in small batches, adding a little of the reserved chick pea liquid and more olive oil to each batch until it was smoother (like almost completely emulsified). This took much more oil and much longer in the processor than I ever imagined.

I really don’t think it’s as good as the good stuff, but it is pretty dirn close. My sister requested this for her birthday dinner- so I guess she’ll be the final judge!

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Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

Its been a while since I blogged – several reasons for this I won’t get into, one of which was that my stove quit working – but it is now fixed and this was the inagural dinner (made blueberry pancakes this morning).

2 Tuna Steak
Blend together 3 tablespoons of butter and a handfull of rosemary
Salt and Pepper both sides of the Tuna
Slit Tuna Steaks
Spread butter mixture over top and top with panko crumbs
Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until done

For the veggies

Chop Zuchinni, summer squash, onion and tomato
saute with garlic and olive oil.


The butter melts down into the tuna and not only flavors the fish, but keeps it very moist.

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Baked Talapia

Baked Talapia

Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

It was clean out the fridge night and I had some fresh talapia so I decided to bake it. First I coated it in olive oil and then pressed in a mix of panko, garlic and parmesan cheese – I baked in a 350degree oven for about 15 minutes. The veggies are left over from a party the other night – I stir fried these with olive oil, garlic and a bit of balsamic vinegar and threw in some feta at the end for good measure. The other is a left over orzo with some black beans – always a favorite! Now that the fridge is nearly clean, I can restock and get ready for some more fun in the kitchen with Mimi.

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Country Bob Cook-Off

These are the pork kabobs I made for the Country Bob Cook-Off.

I made the sauce from about 3 glugs of Country Bob’s sauce, 2 glugs of soy sauce, a dash of pineapple juice and a clove of minced garlic. The pork pieces marinated for about 2 hours in the marinade, then I skewered the pork with red pepper, onion, pineapple and canteloupe.

The pork had a pretty good flavor- a little sweet, but that was the point.

Diane made grilled chicken using Country Bob sauce as a marinade and baste. I thought the chicken turned out well.

Both dishes tasted good- but I think Diane probably was a little truer to the premise of the contest because the Country Bob sauce was the dominant ingredient in her dish, whereas I only used it as a background flavor in mine.

We both agree that the sauce makes a great addition to a recipe, but probably not as a stand alone sauce or baste. This comes mainly from our avoidance of high fructose corn syrup- and the Country Bob sauce contains a pretty hefty amount of it.

We enjoyed preparing our dishes, and I’m sure Suz enjoyed being our unbiased taste-tester. Of course, in true Suz fashion, she didn’t really pick one dish over the other.

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Trust me; this tastes much better than it sounds. This admission may get me into trouble, but I am a fan of Bravo’s Top Chef. This season the chefs were asked to run a steak house and prepare special dishes. One of the contestants, Lisa, made peanut butter mashed potatoes and the judges really wanted to hate them but all loved them. I could not find any recipe for these anywhere, so this is my version and I make no illusions to them being anything like the Top Chef finalist. So…that’s where the crazy idea to combine these things came from. I boiled redskin potatoes until they were soft enough to mash. I added about 2-3 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter, about 2 tablespoons of butter and enough milk to make the potatoes soft. I worried that the potatoes were going to be too sweet so I aslo added a chopped chipotle pepper. The combination of nutty, creamy, spicy was really really good! I was just as surprised as the judges, but in my search for a recipe I came across many recipes for an Irish candy which is made from mashed potatoes and peanut butter so I guess you can throw in this flavor combination along with Guiness as something the Irish perfected.
If you’re curious, I served this along side a fillet of wild caught sock-eye salmon which was delicious and some lovely bread from a local bakery here in Savannah called Back in the Day.

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Mimi and I completed our Country Bob cook-off. I’ll let her blog about her meal, but will let you know hers is on the right – the pork kabobs. I chose to cook chicken. We also chose very different applications of the sauce and again I’ll leave hers to her. I took about a 1/2 cup of the country bob sauce, and about a 1/2 bottle of beer, and a good glug of honey, I also added a dash of pineapple juice. I heated the sauce and let it thicken and reduce down and I used it as a marinade and then a sauce for the chicken. Before adding the country bob concoction I salted and pepperd the chicken and rubbed it with a bit of olive oil. I let the chicken marinate for about 45 minutes and then threw it on the grill. The sauce made for a pretty tasty chicken I must admit, though I must also say that I won’t add country bob to my shelf if for no other reason than the second ingredient is high fructose corn syrup and I have eliminated that from my diet. I’d have to describe the sauce as something between A1 and Worsteshire sauce -so you wouldn’t want to use it straight. We enjoyed the contest and as usual thought of totally different and equally viable uses for the sauce. We served this along side a nice spinach salad and some quinoa that Mimi brought me from Colorado.

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