Archive for August, 2009

Stir Fry

Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

I always forget about stir fry – its so easy and beautiful and a great way to get many vegetables into your meal. This one was from last week sometime and I am re-creating it tonight, but with tofu instead of chicken.
saute the chicken (or tofu) in spicy sauce
remove chicken and add chopped vegetables (I used an orange pepper, snow peas and a tomato)
add chicken with the veggies are done
Toss in the rice and add more sauce – I added a peanut sauce to mine and will do that again tonight….its yummy.

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Tuna with Pesto Butter

Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

I am catching up on food blogs since school has started, I remember to take pictures, but it takes me a few days to get them actually posted. Sometime last week, I made these tuna steaks. I simply:
salted and peppered both sides and put in the saute pan
add about a tablespoon of olive oil and a clove of chopped garlic
cook on each side for about 3 minutes
while still cooking, add the butter mixture to the top of the steaks and let it melt into the steak as it finishes cooking.

For the butter mixture;
about 2 tablespoons of butter (a little more or less, whatever feels right to you)
chopped basil (about 6-8 leaves)
1 clove chopped garlic
mix it all together and put in the fridge until you are ready to top the fish with it.

I served this along side some pasta with a simple pesto sauce and some fresh steamed broccoli.

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Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

So – sometime last week Mimi blogged about nachos and pictured her beautiful nachos with yummy leftovers and yes, they sounded good, but I wanted ooey gooey nachos – yes we differ on our likes and dislikes when it comes to food. Here are my nachos loaded with vegetarian refried beans; colby jack cheese, plain yogurt, and tomatillo sauce. So – while they are ooey gooey, really not too much in here that is bad for you….you could do much worse and I enjoyed the messiness of these nachos very much.

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Saturday Dinner


Originally uploaded by All Things Mimi

This dinner was good. I mean really good.

I’ll start with the roasted cauliflower cuz it was the easiest.

I defrosted a bag of frozen cauliflower florets. Yes- I said frozen. I was skeptical about the outcome, but it was fine. Actually, it was better than fine. After it was completely defrosted, I dried it on paper towels. I spread it out on a foil lined baking sheet and drizzled it with olive oil, then salted and peppered it. It roasted in a 400 degree oven for probably about 30 minutes. I roasted it while I was grilling the chicken. I wanted it to get a really deep, roasted color.

It tasted really good, and I think using frozen cauliflower was easier than cutting up a fresh head. But if you want to use fresh, I’m sure it will be even better!

Now…on to the mac and cheese…

I found a recipe in the Apr/May 2008 issue of “Cook’s Country” magazine for skillet mac and cheese. It did not require boiling the macaroni separately- meaning one pot start to finish. I like that- and Dev likes it even more, since he usually does the dishes.

Here’s the recipe:

Skillet Macaroni and Cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups fresh bread crumbs (I used panko)
salt and pepper
3 3/4 cups water, plus more as needed
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
3 cups elbow macaroni
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar
2 cups shredded monterey jack

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add bread crumbs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and wipe out skillet.
Bring water, 1 1/4 cups evaporated milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt to simmer in skillet over medium high heat. Add macaroni and cook, stirring often, until macaroni is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.
Whisk remaining evaporated milk, cornstarch and hot sauce in small bowl, then stir into skillet. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Off heat, stir in cheeses, one handful at a time, adding water or milk as needed to adjust consistency. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Serve.

You could get away with much less than 2 cups of bread crumbs. I think a cup would be plenty.

The flavor was really great, especially since I used the sriracha hot sauce. I could really taste the chile/garlic mixture.

Last but not least, let’s talk about the chicken. I defrosted 4 leg/thigh quarters. I put a very simple blackening rub on them and grilled them. Actually, I incinerated them. They were on fire several times. I guess I need to brush up on my grilling skills. Anyhoo…
When the internal temp reached 170 degrees, I glazed them with the following mixture:

2/3 cup hoison sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon veggie oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 small piece fresh ginger, skinned and sliced thin
2 medium garlic cloves, rough chopped
6 scallions, rough chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Take everything for a spin in the food processor til smooth.

After brushing the chicken with the glaze, I let the meat coast to 175 degrees before pulling it off the grill.

I put additional glaze on my chicken after it went on my plate. The sauce is excellent! It would also be good over slaw or noodles.

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ham and cheese waffles

ham and cheese waffles

Originally uploaded by All Things Mimi

These were Sunday breakfast.

I blogged about my usual waffle recipe earlier this week, bemoaning the work involved. I found this recipe in the September 2009 issue of Rachael Ray’s magazine, and it sounded much simpler- not to mention it added a savory element that sounded good to me. So- I got out my waffle iron again and made a batch this morning.

They came out really well, and I’ll be making them again soon!

Sausage, Potato and Cheese Waffles

1 link sweet Italian Sausage, casing discarded (I subbed ham)
1 baking potato, grated and excess water removed (I used frozen hash browns)
4 tablespoons butter
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 c. shredded cheddar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 c. milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

In a medium skillet, cook the sausage over medium high heat, breaking it up with a spatula, for 5 minutes. Add the potato and butter, lower the heat and simmer until butter melts, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir in the milk and eggs until smooth. Stir in sausage potato mixture.
Using a waffle iron, cook the waffles according to manufacturer’s directions.

I really liked these. I think I will use the leftovers to build breakfast sandwiches during the week.

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green chile corn muffins

Originally uploaded by All Things Mimi

I had several projects for Sunday, and this was the first one.

I saw this recipe in the September 2009 issue of Rachael Ray’s magazine. I had all the ingredients on hand, so I decided to give it a whirl. I’m glad I did, because these turned out really well!

Here’s the recipe:

Chile Cheese Corn Muffins

2 1/3 cups flour (I used 2 1/3 cups white and 1 cup whole wheat)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 c. frozen corn, thawed (I used fresh off the cob)
1 can diced green chiles (I used frozen chiles)
1/2 c. plus 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1 c. milk
1/2 c. mayo

Preheat the oven to 425. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne. Stir in the corn, chiles and 1/2 c. of the cheese. Stir in the milk and mayo. Spoon the mixture into a non stick, 6 cup jumbo muffin pan (I used my 12 muffin pan).
Bake for 15 minutes, then sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes more.

I needed a little extra liquid, so I used the juice from the frozen chiles.

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For dessert Saturday night I asked Dev to grill some fresh peach halves, so I could serve them with a slice of blueberry poundcake- then I drizzled the whole mess with warmed honey.

Geezumpetes was it good! Had I known it was going to be this good, I’d have made this cake months ago!

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blueberry poundcake

blueberry poundcake

Originally uploaded by All Things Mimi

This was my main Saturday project. I have yet to make a poundcake at high altitude, and I decided to wait no more.

I found this recipe in an issue of Paula Deen’s magazine. I know. I have said so many times I can’t stand to watch her, but everytime I pick up an issue of her magazine, I want to cook every dirn thing in it!

So when I saw this recipe, I could not resist. And it turned out beautifully. I think my Mom would be proud!!

Blueberry Poundcake from Paula Deen

2 c. (4 sticks) butter, softened
3 c. sugar (I subtracted 6 tablespoons for altitude)
6 large eggs
4 c. all purpose flour
1 T. baking powder (I subtracted 3/4 t. for altitude)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (I added 3 tablespoons for altitude)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen)

Preheat oven to 350 (I used 375 because of altitude). Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed, blending well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
Fold in blueberries, and pour into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until a wooden cake tester comes out clean. Shield top of cake loosely with foil halfway through cooking to prevent excess browning. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack.

This was yummie!! My next post will show what I did with it for dessert Saturday night!

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thai chicken soup

thai chicken soup

Originally uploaded by All Things Mimi

I’m gonna confess right up front that this recipe is a total cheat. But it is so fast, and so good, that I will do it many, many more times!

I found this recipe in the January 2009 issue of “Real Simple” magazine. The article was about short cuts to quick meals using things you probably have in your pantry.

There was a section on chicken noodle soup- things you can make using canned chicken noodle soup. I decided to give one of the ideas a try. I’m not sure how the soup got in the pantry, because I don’t like canned chicken soup, but it was there, nonetheless.

Here’s the recipe:

Thai Coconut Soup

2 14 oz. cans of chicken noodle soup
1/2 c. coconut milk (I used more)
2 t. fresh lime juice
Chopped cilantro

You bring the soup and coconut milk to a simmer, then stir in the lime juice. Ladle it in bowls and stir in chopped cilantro. I wanted mine to have more kick, so I also added a healthy dose of Sriracha hot sauce.

I was using store brand, regular chicken noodle soup. Next time I will find an organic, lower sodium type, and it will probably be even better. But really- this was good. I expected it to be ok, but it was really good. Even Devin liked it, so it must have hit the mark!

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pecan pie bar

pecan pie bar

Originally uploaded by All Things Mimi

I sent a batch of these to school with Dev today…insuring his instant popularity with his fellow teachers!

They were simple to make (but not simpler than a real pecan pie). I guess the only reason to do these instead of the pie is you get more pieces. If you cut them in teeny weeny pieces, you get 36. I got 12. Nuff said. 🙂

Here’s the recipe- as usual I will follow with my substitutions (cuz there are always substitutions):

Pecan Pie Surprise Bars

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/3 c. butter, softened
1 egg

½ c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 ½ c. dark corn syrup
1 t. vanilla
3 eggs
1 c. chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350. Grease 13×9 pan. Reserve 2/3 c. dry cake mix for filling. In large bowl, combine remaining dry cake mix, butter and 1 egg at low speed until well blended. Spread in prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.

In large bowl, combine reserved cake mix, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and 3 eggs at low speed until moistened. Beat at medium speed about 1 minute or until well blended. Pour filling over base; sprinkle with pecans. Return to oven and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until filling is set. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

36 bars.

Alrighty- the only substitution I made this time around was the corn syrup. I didn’t have dark, so I used light. I’m not sure if it affected the flavor- but these were pretty dirn good, so I don’t care!

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