Friday, May 21, 2010

A little inspiration from Julia...

So I recently watched Julie & Julia which was quite entertaining to me because I love Julia Child. I also love that someone got famous off of a blog. You go girl!
Anyway, this movie had me recently browsing through my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and realizing that I need to dust it off and make something out of it. So I went with the whole artichokes.

These were pure indulgence!

Julia Child's Lemon Butter Artichokes

- serves 2 -

2 globe artichokes
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and chilled
Juice of two lemons to make 1/4 cup
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch of white pepper (optional)

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

2. Trim the artichokes for boiling: lay each on its side and cut off about an inch or so off the top, break off the small leaves near the base, and cut off all but an inch or so of the stem (you can also snap it off where it naturally breaks, like an asparagus). Snip off the ends of the leaves all around the artichoke with scissors to rid it of any sharp points. Rinse it well under cold water.

3. Boil the artichokes, uncovered, for about half an hour. They are done cooking when the leaves pull out easily and the bottoms are tender when pierced with a knife.

4. In the meantime, prepare the lemon butter. Gently reduce the lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan until about one tablespoon. Over low heat, whisk in the chilled butter pieces, one at a time, until creamy. Remove from heat, and, when ready to serve, whisk in 2-3 tablespoons dribbled hot water to warm.

5. Serve the artichokes with the butter for dipping, and a large bowl for unused stems. The edible parts of each leaf are nearest their base. Bottom teeth are especially good for scraping off the flesh.

My Favorite Chef

Most people would go with Emeril, Julia Child, Rachel Ray, etc. But me I prefer someone local. Someone that loves to measure and pour and scoop and does it with passion. Someone that likes to sit and watch cooking shows on Food Network with their momma.
Me and my son have countless amounts of fun together in the kitchen and its finally getting him to venture out of his picky mode a little bit...

Here's my favorite chef sporting my old chef's hat from culinary school.

It makes me grin from ear to ear when he says he wants to be a chef when he grows up. Of course he also says he wants to be a doctor, a painter and a
It's good to have goals, right?

Fondue Night!

What is more fun than fondue for dinner? Seriously? And it is so cheap and easy to do at home with so many different options. This time around we did a little surf and turf and asparagus.

I marinated my steak all day and then cut into cubes. And then thawed, peeled and deveined some shrimp. Broke the ends off the asparagus. Made my dips. And let the fun begin.

I made a dill dip for the shrimp consisting of sour cream, fresh dill, capers with a bit of juice and lemon juice.

Dill Dip

For the steak I made a french onion dip. Sour cream, dry french onion soup mix, a little worch. sauce and merlot.

French Merlot Dip

Heat the oil in the fondue pot. Sizzle up your goodies, dip and enjoy!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Japanese Chicken Tenders

I recently bought a big bag of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) at the local Asian store, so have been trying to come up with a few original ideas to make with them. This was tonight's dinner.

Japanese Chicken Tenders

-boneless, skinless chicken tenders
-1 egg, beaten
-ground ginger
-black and white sesame seeds

Mix panko, ginger and sesame seeds in one bowl. Egg in another. Dip tenders in egg and then coat with crumb mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through. Drizzle with honey before serving.

I served this up with some Jasmine rice and a simple stir fry of long beans, grape tomatoes, black Chinese mushrooms and garlic.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Asian Beef Bundles

These turned out really good. Next time I need to up the amount of sauce for drizzling though.

Asian Beef Bundles
-flank steak, cut into pieces and pounded thin
-green onions
-asparagus spears
-salt and pepper

Sprinkle steak pieces with salt and pepper. Place an onion and an asparagus spear in the center of each and roll up securing with toothpicks. Set aside in a dish.

-6 tablespoons of soy sauce
-6 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
-2 teaspoons of sugar
-2 teaspoons of sesame oil
-1 teaspoon of chili oil
Whisk all together and pour over bundles. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or longer.

Remove from marinade and broil for 5-7 minutes depending on your desired preference.
While broiling heat remaining marinade in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer until syrupy. Drizzle over bundles before serving.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Steakhouse Mushrooms

I make these all the time and they never get old to me.

Steakhouse Mushrooms
-button mushrooms
-worcestershire sauce
-steak seasoning

Melt butter in skillet. Toss in mushrooms. Whole or sliced both work. Saute 2-3 minutes. Add 2-3 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle with a pinch each of steak seasoning and parsley and saute another 3-4 minutes until tender.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Get Your Greek On!

As in a Greek pita that is....
This was my version of a quick gyro. The cucumber dill sauce, also known as Tzatziki sauce, is what makes it so good.

-cube steak
-dry ranch seasoning
-greek yogurt
-lemon juice
-fresh dill
-kosher salt
-fresh ground black pepper
-black olives
-feta cheese
-pita bread

First I made the sauce. I mixed together the yogurt, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper. Then I peeled and grated in some fresh cucumber. I just did this to taste so I don't have any exact measurements on the ingredients. Then chill in fridge until ready to serve.

Second, I sprinkled the cube steaks with dry ranch seasoning on both sides and then broiled for about 10 minutes or until cooked through.

Then stuff your pita with the meat, sauce, cucumbers, black olives and feta. I generally prefer chopped tomatoes on my gyro too, but we were already having a side salad with tomatoes in it, so I didn't want to overdo it.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

I had this tasty salad at my good friend Maria's house. I'm not sure if I made it exactly like hers, but you get the idea.

-fresh spinach
-sliced strawberries
-almonds I used some roasted garlic flavored ones
-sliced onions
-feta cheese
-raspberry dressing

This one is hard to mess up folks.