October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!


October 28, 2011

Simple Lamb Chops

Simple Lamb Chops
Serves 2

1 rack of lamb, about 1&1/2 lbs
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs Chimichurri sauce
Grey salt & black pepper

Let lamb sit out for about 30 minutes to come to room temperature.  To make this even easier I went ahead and sliced the rack into chops. Salt and pepper both sides of your chops.
In a heavy pan warm your oil & chimichurri sauce over medium high heat, make sure to coat the entire surface of your pan with this mixture.  When pan is slightly smoking add the chops.  Cook for about 10 -15 minutes, turning every few minutes.  Remove & place on your serving tray and cover with tin foil and let sit for about 10 minutes.  Serve & enjoy.

Here is a link to a chimichurri sauce recipe if you don't have access to a quality premade one.  
I serve my lamb with a horseradish sauce which is 1 tsp prepared horseradish to 3 Tbs light sour cream, serve cold.  This Goat Cheese Gratin  would compliment the lamb deliciously.

October 25, 2011

Chicken & White Bean Chili

Chicken & White Bean Chili
Serves at least 6 

3 Cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 Onion, chopped
1 Red bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced 
2 Cans chopped green chilies 
1 pound dried Great Northern Beans, rinsed 
10 cups chicken broth 
1 Jalapeno, sliced 
1 1/2 Tbs Ground Cumin 
1 1/2 Tbs Chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper 
Grey salt & white pepper, to taste 
1 cup fat free 1/2 & 1/2 
2 Tbs cornmeal 
1 cup of grated pepper jack, plus more for garnish
Sour Cream  & Salsa for garnish 
Tortilla chips

In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, saute onions, red pepper and garlic until soft. Add chopped green chilies with juice & dried bean rinsed beans. Pour 8 cups of the chicken broth into the Dutch oven. Add jalapenos & season with salt, pepper, chili powder & cumin. Place lid on pot and reduce heat to low & cook for an hour
Add 3 cups of cooked chicken & remaining 2 cups of chicken broth. Cover and cook for another hour.
Mix milk with cornmeal and pour into the chili. Cook for another ten minutes & allow it to thicken. Right before serving add cayenne pepper and Pepper Jack cheese and stir.
Serve chili in a bowl over crushed tortilla chips topped with sour cream, extra cheese and touch of salsa.
Hope you Enjoy!

Just to share
My Halloween Mantel
Louise, Our Halloween Princess

October 19, 2011

Spicy Sausage & White Beans

 In honor of "Extra Virgin's" season two's premiere tonight on the Cooking Channel I give you my take on one of Debi & Gabriele's favorites.  So yummy!  Don't you just love them!

Spicy Sausage & White Beans
Adapted from Debi Mazar & Gabriele Corcos's Recipe
Serves 4

2 Tbs olive oil
8 Turkey sausage links
2 tsp minced garlic
1 pound cherry tomatoes, quartered 
1 Anaheim chili pepper, chopped
1/4 of an onion, chopped
1/3 of a red pepper, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
2 (15-ounce) cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed 
3 bay leaves
2 handfuls fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Warm the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausages and brown (about 8 minutes). Plate the sausages and reserve.

Add the garlic, onion & peppers to the Dutch oven, and saute until golden brown. Next stir in the chopped tomatoes and and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, and cover the pan, allowing the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes.  The tomatoes, onions and peppers will have turned into a thick sauce.

Add the browned sausages (and any juice left on the plate), beans, and bay leaves to your sauce. Stir well and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Add the chopped parsley before serving.

October 7, 2011

Tomato Jam for a Simple Chicken Dinner

 I had never even heard of Tomato Jam until our CSA provided it last week for our fruit share.  Amazingly tasty! Here is a link to a recipe from the NY Times Food Dining & Wine section. Ideas for its use included serving with cheese, pasta, or topping on chicken or fish.  We tried out the chicken option this weekend.  Easily pan sheared some chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper.  Topped with a bit of tomato jam and a dash of red pepper flakes and baked at 375 for 10 minutes and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese right before serving.  Absolutely delicious.  If you happen to see some at your local farmers' market - definitely pick some up, or test out the recipe linked above.

October 5, 2011

The Things I Love...

Tonight I am very thankful for the blessings in my life & finally realized why I have some of the obsessions I have...
1. A favorite Vacation spot

2. My Mother's Garden
3. Wonderful quirky adventures
4. The Huxtables (explains my love of  Le Creuset)
5. My Loves
My Jonathan

JK being goofy with our "twins" - Walter & Louise

Louise posing in her puppy preciousness
Regal Beauregard - Always the Prince
Always - the Knight Boys

My Nephew & Godson - Sid

To be so innocent   

Bobby's Smoked Chile & Sweet Potato Gratin

The staple in our Fall CSA has been sweet potatoes. We love them!  It sounds crazy but the locally grown, organic do taste so much better than the grocery store variety.  We enjoy sweet potatoes all year long, but they do seem to be synonymous with Fall.   This was dish inspired by Bobby's Flay's Thanksgiving Smoked Chile Scalloped Sweet Potatoes - Enjoy!

Bobby's Smoked Chile & Sweet Potato Gratin
Serves 4

3 sweet potatoes, medium sized
1 1/2 cups fat free 1/2 & 1/2
1 Chipolte chili with adobe sauce, chili minced & 2 tsp adobe sauce
Salt & Pepper
1/4 White cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Peel & slice the potatoes thinly.  Whisk together the chili, sauce and cream. 
In a 9 x9 dish layer the potatoes, top with drizzle of cream and repeat until potatoes are gone (it could be anywhere from 8 to 10 layers) ending with drizzle of cream.  Season with salt and pepper every 4 layers.
Cover with foil & bake for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove foil and bake for another hour.  After 30 minutes remove from oven and with a spatula press down on the potatoes to ensure cream covering the top of the potatoes.  When done baking sprinkle with cheese and cover for ten minutes.  Serve & Enjoy!

A mandoline or food processor slicing feature comes in handy with this dish.  Next time I am going to top it with crumbled blue cheese and pecans.

October 2, 2011

Roasted Poblano Pepper & Chicken Chowder

Fresh Poblano chili peppers from our CSA share inspired this dish.  It is an easy weeknight, one pot Fall Supper.  I hope you enjoy!
Roasted Poblano Peppers, Chicken & Corn Chowder
Serves 6

1 pound red new potatoes, diced in to 1/2 inch cubes
4 Poblano peppers
1 Tbs butter
4 slices of turkey bacon, diced
1 small red onion, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 tsp minced jalapeno
1 can sweet corn kernels, drained
1 can cream style corn
4 cups chicken broth, reduced sodium
1 cup fat free 1/2 & 1/2
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp each of salt of pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Mexican shredded cheese, touch of parsley & crusty French bread to serve

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
In 5 qt Dutch oven cover your potatoes in water with a touch of salt.  Bring to a boil, cook until fork tender, drain and set aside to cool.
Place peppers on a foil baking sheet & roast at 500 degrees for 6 minutes per side.  Remove from oven and place in a paper sack (lunch style will work), close tightly & allow peppers to steam for 20 minutes.
Take your Dutch oven back over medium heat and melt butter.  Add the bacon  & cook until crisp, about 10 minutes.  Now add onion, garlic, celery, & jalapenos and stir frequently until the vegetables have softened but careful not to let garlic burn. Once the onion is looking translucent add the chili powder, salt, pepper, & chicken broth & bring to a boil for about 15 minutes (make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so that all bits are incorporated).
Once peppers have steamed you can easily peel their skin,  remove seeds and roughly chop.  After chowder has boiled for 15 minutes turn heat down and add potatoes, chicken, 1/2 & 1/2, roasted poblano peppers, red pepper flakes & thyme.  Stir together well and bring to a simmer.  Allow chowder to simmer for 35-40 minutes.
Serve with a touch of cheese & parsley.  If you feel  it is  too spicy for some a teaspoon or two of light sour cream can tone down to heat.  A crusty French bread is perfect for dipping, and makes the hearty chowder a complete meal.  Hope you enjoy!

*** Time saving tip - the pre-chopped onions (1/2 cup), celery (1/2 cup) and garlic (2 tsp) can be a big help.  You can always roast the peppers & shred the chicken the night before for an even easier prep.