Archive for February, 2009

Recipe – Sautéd broccoli with red pepper and garlic

Last night, I wanted to try a new side dish for our Teriyaki Salmon. So, I really started using my noggin to figure out something to do with what I had a lot of in the fridge. I settled on Broccoli. And while I really wanted to roast these florets, I settled for the sauté process for two reasons: time and control of the tenderness.

Sautéd broccoli with red pepper and garlic

This is a really simple side, but the combination of garlic, crushed red pepper and just the hint of olive oil is really wonderful. You’ll have some interesting aromas in the kitchen and it’s really a nice combination to the sweetness of the Teriyaki glaze on the strong salmon. I won’t bother to go over the fish recipe again. This quick post is really all about the star side!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound of broccoli crowns, cut into florets (about 2 or 3 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of dried crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
1. Place raw broccoli into a large bowl and toss with olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add red pepper.

Raw broccoli, red pepper and olive oil

2. Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic, broccoli and sauté for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the broccoli reaches your desired tenderness. You may need to add a little more oil as you go.

3. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

It’s absolutely delicious and really fast. A batch takes no more than 7 or 8 minutes at the absolute most. Enjoy.

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February 19, 2009 at 8:32 pm 1 comment

Recipe – Chorizo and Egg Breakfast Burrito

For some time now, Vita has had to watch me mixing Chorizo in with my eggs. I go on and on about how delicious it is, giggling that she can’t eat it because of the beef or pork content. She’s never wanted to try Soy-Rizo, but thankfully, I came across some Turkey and Chicken Chorizo that was pre-cooked. So, after our Tuesday morning workout, we did some slicing and dicing and Vita was introduced to the wonderful world of spicy Chorizo, packed into an awesome little breakfast burrito.

Chorizo and Egg Breakfast Burrito

I know it’s not gluten free, but I was feeling brave and had some Mission Carb-Lite tortillas. No problem to report.

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large pre-cooked turkey and chicken chorizo link cut into rounds and quartered
  • 1/2 an orange bell pepper – diced
  • Black and Manzanila Olives – sliced
  • 1/4 Spanish onion – diced
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • A splash of milk
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite Mexican blend cheese
  • Two burrito sized tortillas
  • Two tablespoons fresh salsa
  • Fresh cilantro to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chorizo and veggies on cutting board

Preparation:
1. Heat olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add diced onion, bell pepper and salt and pepper. Cook until onions become translucent.
2. Add olive and chorizo to the pan with your veggies and cook until your sausage is warmed through.
3. In a separate pan, crack eggs and mix with splash of milk. Heat over medium high until first of the eggs begin to solidify. Turn off heat and begin to scramble the eggs, adding chili powder, salt and pepper to taste. Once most of your eggs have scrambled add the cheese.
4. Combine your ingredients in a tortilla shell, top with a spoonful or two of your favorite salsa. If you have it, a couple leaves of fresh cilantro make this a real treat.

It’s spicy, it’s hearty and it’s probably the best thing I’ve had for breakfast in a very long time.

February 18, 2009 at 11:42 am 2 comments

Recipe – Broiled and Stuffed Beefsteak Tomatoes

Last night, I didn’t make anything particularly exciting for dinner, but wanted to do something different for a side dish. More often than not, I often just wing it with my side dishes, using whatever I happen to have in the pantry or the fridge. One of the skills I’m trying hard to develop is pairing sides with meals properly and coming up with things that are different than sauteed veggies or the common side salad. So, when I found a recipe for “Blue Cheese Crusted Tomatoes” on Epicurious, I decided to modify it to something that sounded more interesting to me and came up with these Broiled and Stuffed Beefsteak Tomatoes (the stuffing is Danish Blue Cheese, Seasoned Bread Crumbs and Minced Garlic).

Broiled Stuffed Tomatoes

First of all, deepest apologies for the blurry photo of the finished product. I’m think my camera may have not been properly set on my manual macro settings and I got camera shake. Unfortunately, wifey and I had already eaten said tomatoes before I noticed the error. Rest assured, they look fairly appetizing upon exit from your oven. We had these guys with grilled spinach and feta chicken sausages and side salads. The creamy Danish Blue Cheese melted nicely with the breadcrumbs and the beefsteaks held up nicely to the broiling process. I always think I’ve found a winner when my wife says, “I’d order this in a restaurant.” Those words make for one happy would-be chef.

Beefsteak Tomatoes and Danish Bleu Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium/large beefsteak tomatoes (buy them the day of to make sure you can get some reasonably firm specimens. If they’re too ripe, they’ll turn out stewed)
  • 1/4 cup of dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1.5 to 2 ounces of Danish Blue Cheese
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
1. Pre-heat your oven using your broiler setting. Low is fine, but if your oven forces a temperature on you, shoot for 350 to 400 tops.

2. Cut the top 1/4 of the tomatoes off. Use a pairing knife cut out a good portion of the ribs and seeds from the tomatoes and scoop them out with a spoon. Be sure to leave some of the seeds and juices so the breadcrumbs and cheese have some of those great tomato flavors to merry.

Beefsteak Tomatoes

3. Mix breadcrumbs, herbs and olive oil in small bowl, mashing to coat. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper and place in a small roasting pan.

4. Top each with 1 or 2 tablespoons of blue cheese and top it off with as much of the breadcrumb mixture as you’d like.

5. Toss it under your broiler and and cook tomatoes until slightly soft and cheese melts. Mine took about 10 to 11 minutes. Just be sure to check on them to be sure they don’t get too soft.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about some of my new breakfast experiments, as I’ve found a chicken and turkey Chorizo that Vita can eat. That means breakfast burritos y’all.

February 17, 2009 at 10:31 am 1 comment

Recipe – Grilled Chicken with Feta Cheese Sauce

So, I’ve been absent for a little over a week. Vita and I have had a lot going on and I’ve been avoiding posting, since many of the meals have been really quick. This is one of those quick meals, that happens to really kick butt. This is a very fast, very good, reasonably healthy meal that’s big on flavor.

Grilled Chicken in Creamy Feta Sauce

Here’s how you do it.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 onion sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 2 chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon of corn starch

Preparation:
1. Heat a large grill pan over medium high heat. Grill chicken breasts for 6 to 8 minutes per side.

2. As chicken grills, heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium high heat, add onions, garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened and beginning to caramelized (about 6 minutes). Add garlic, cook for 1 minute.

3. Add half-and-half and feta cheese. Stir until thickened and cheese begins to melt. For a thicker sauce dilute corn starch in a 1/4 cup of water and add to sauce gradually. Stir constantly until desired thickness is reached.

We served ours with asparagus spears and some sliced cherry tomatoes. The feta sauce was great over the asparagus as well. Give her a go. Let me know how it turns out.

February 16, 2009 at 10:16 pm 3 comments

Recipe – Grilled Chicken With Spinach Pesto

The past few nights I’ve been working a bit later than I’d like to be. This fact usually means we do very quick things for dinner, like pre-made soups, leftovers worked into something new and different or meals that I can pick up on my way in from the office. Even though I knew I was in for a longer day, I’d have none of that tonight. Since I had leftover fresh spinach from Souper Sunday’s Creamy Chicken Florentine, I opted for a twist on a traditional Basil and Pine Nut Pesto.

Grilled Chicken with Spinach and Pine Nut Pesto

We did our spinach pesto over a grilled chicken and paired it with balsamic marinated asparagus spears and fresh Roma tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper. Here’s how you do it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 fresh lemon squeezed
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Pine Nuts, Spinach, Black Pepper and Kosher Salt

Preparation:

1. Heat a grill pan on medium high heat. Lightly oil the grill pan. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and some garlic salt. Grill the chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Grill asparagus that has marinated in balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper on separate portion of the pan. Turn asparagus at the same time you turn the chicken. Remove after about 6 to 8 minutes. It should cook a little faster than the chicken. Just set it aside to cool.

2. While you’re grilling, combine the spinach, pine nuts, lemon juice, and lemon peel in a food processor. Lightly pulse. Pause occasionally to gradually add the 1/3 cup of the oil, blending until the mixture is creamy.

3. Transfer the spinach mixture to a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan. Season the pesto with salt and pepper, to taste.

4. Spread the pesto over each piece of chicken and serve.

It’s awesome and super fast (like 15 minutes fast). I don’t think I’ve made something recently that Vita has enjoyed so much. She was raving about the spinach pesto and found herself looking for things to put it on after the chicken and tomatoes were gone. Enjoy!

February 4, 2009 at 7:55 pm 1 comment

Recipe – Creamy Chicken Florentine Soup

For the past two weeks Vita has been pining over a soup they serve in the Detroit Medical Center’s Sinai Grace cafeteria. So, when I launched Souper Sunday last week, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I’d be forced to come up with a version of Chicken Florentine Soup. The most important thing for Vita was that it be creamy, but the most important thing in my eyes was that it wasn’t overpoweringly flavored by just chicken stock. I think we came up with something pretty tasty, even if it wasn’t as creamy as Vita was hoping for.

Creamy Chicken Florentine Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Onion Diced
  • 1 Cup Chopped Fresh Spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 Tablespoon Pepper
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 3 Heaping Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Red Bell Pepper
  • 3 Cups chicken meat, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Curry Powder
  • 1 Cup of Half and Half

Spinach, Red Bell Pepper and Yellow Onion

Preparation:

1. In a large stock pot, bring stock to a slow boil; simmer until reduced by 1/3.
2. Dilute cornstarch in 1/4 cup water, add to stock and stir until it thickens.
3. Reduce stock to a simmer. Add spinach, bell pepper and chicken meat.
4. Add curry powder to taste. Check for flavor and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Add heavy cream, heat for a few more minutes and serve.
Makes 8 cups

Really simple and really tasty. It’s nice and light but still has some nice creaminess.

February 1, 2009 at 4:04 pm 4 comments


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