Monday, August 31, 2009

French Onion Soup & Tyler Florence California Cobb with Poached Shrimp and Green Goddess Dressing

French Onion Soup

2 large onions, sliced thin
4 tbsp unsalted butter
Sprinkle of thyme
2 bay leaves
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
32 oz. beef broth
10-1/2 oz beef consomme
French bread
Swiss cheese

In a large skillet, melt butter. Add sliced onion and caramelize, about 45 minutes. In a crock pot, add onions, sprinkle of thyme, 2 bay leaves, dash of Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, and beef consomme. (I put in the fridge at this point until the next morning.) Turn crock pot on low for 8 hours. In the evening, spoon soup into oven safe soup bowls, top with french toast, and Swiss cheese and broil until cheese is melted and bubbling.

California Cobb With Poached Shrimp And Green Goddess Dressing
from Tyler Florence's Stirring The Pot

Green Goddess Dressing

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup store-bought mayonnaise
1 lemon, juice only
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 anchovy fillet
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Water, as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 lemon, halved
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 black peppercorns
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon kosher salt
24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 heads Bibb lettuce, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
8 slices bacon, cooked and cut into pieces
2/3 cups medium-size black pitted olives
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
4 eggs, hard boiled and halved lengthwise
4 sprigs fresh cilantro, for garnish

To make the Green Goddess Dressing, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy, and herbs in a blenders and puree until light green and creamy. Add water as needed to achieve a smooth light consistency. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to come together. When ready to use, add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Fill a large pot with about 1/2 gallon water. Squeeze in the lemon juice and toss in lemon halves for extra flavor. Add the bay leave, thyme, peppercorns, garlic, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes to infuse the water with the aromatics. Before adding shrimp, bring water to a rolling boil. Add the shrimp, then remove from heat and allow shrimp to poach for 7 to 8 minutes, until they turn pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp from the poaching liquid to a bowl. Chill shrimp in the refrigerator.

To assemble, combine the lettuce, bacon, olives, grape tomatoes, and blue cheese in a bowl. Toss with Green Goddess Dressing to coat evenly. Arrange egg on top, followed by poached shrimp. Sprinkle with blue cheese. Garnish with cilantro.

**Changes - I made the dressing exactly as written (including anchovy fillet). Because the shrimp wasn't originally planned to be part of the meal, I had to use lemon juice from a bottle, dried thyme, and only had about 18-20 shrimp. The salad was done exactly as written except I omitted the tomatoes.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Classic Lasagna

Classic Lasagna

1-1/2 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jar purchased spaghetti sauce
1 small can of tomato sauce
32 oz container of ricotta cheese
4 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, separated
2 eggs
Large chunk mozzarella cheese, in thin slices
No-boil lasagna noddles

In a medium saucepan, cook ground beef with onions and garlic, until meat is no longer pink. Drain off excess grease. Mix in spaghetti sauce. In a bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, 3 cups of mozzarella cheese, and two eggs. In a 9x13 dish, spray sides with non-stick spray. In bottle of dish, spread out the small can of tomato sauce. lay a layer of lasagna noodles down, topping with ricotta cheese mixture, then the meat sauce mixture. Then repeat layers (lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese, meat sauce mixture. Depending on how deep your dish is, repeat accordingly, until close to the top. Last step is to spread the remaining one cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, then topping the dish with the sliced pieces of chunk cheese.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Tent dish with tin foil. Cook for 1 hour and lasagna is bubbling. Remove foil and broil to nicely brown the top.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Grilled Shrimp & Scallop Skewers

Grilled Shrimp and Scallop Skewers

Scallops, rinsed
Jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Olive oil (enough to coat seafood)
Italian bread crumbs (enough to coat the seafood)
Metal Skewers
Lemon juice
Unsalted butter

Toss scallops and shrimp in olive oil. Coat with bread crumbs. Arrange on metal skewers, one shrimp one scallop, repeating. Heat grill to 350 degrees. Wet a paper towel with vegetable oil and grease grill. Place skewers on grill, turning, until done.

In a small skillet, over medium heat, melt butter and add desired amount of lemon juice.

Drizzle butter/lemon juice sauce over scallops and shrimp.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Spinach Feta Quiche

Spinach Feta Quiche

Olive oil
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
1 package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
1 4-1/2 oz can of sliced mushrooms, drained
about 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese
about 1-1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 9-inch deep dish pie crush
3 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium skillet, heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion in oil until lightly browned and onion are tender, garlic fragrant. Stir in spinach and mushrooms. Lastly add the feta and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into pie crust.

In medium bowl, beat eggs and milk until frothy. Season with additional salt and pepper. Mix egg mixture into pastry shell, allowing it to mix thoroughly with spinach mixture.

Bake in over for 15 minutes, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and bake for another 30-45 minutes, or until set. Allow to stand for a few minutes before cutting.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tyler Florence Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan
from Tyler Florence's Stirring The Pot

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 bunch fresh basil springs (about 8 sprigs), leaves only
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
2 28-ounce cans whole San Marzano tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
Pinch sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 pounds total)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 8-ounce ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, drained
Freshly grated Parmigaiano-Reggiano (I used shredded Parmesan cheese)
1 pound spaghetti (I used linguine)

In a large saute pan heat a 1-count of oil (about 2 tablespoons) over medium heat. When the oil is hot and hazy, add the onion, garlic, and bay leaves; cook and stir for 5 minutes until fragrant and soft. Hand tear half of the basil leaves. Add the olives and hand-torn basil. Carefully add the tomatoes; cook and stir about 15 minutes until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce is thick. Season with sugar, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat, cover, and keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Set chicken breast on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Pound the chicken breast with the flat side of a meat mallet until they are about 1/2 inch thick. Put the flour on a large shallow plate; season flour with salt and pepper. Combine the eggs and water in a wide bowl and beat until frothy. Put the bread crumbs on another large plate and season with sale and pepper.

In a large ovenproof saute pan heat a 3-count of oil (about 3 tablespoons) over medium-high heat. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off. Finally, dredge the cutlets in the bread crumbs. When the oil in the skillet is hot, add the cutlets and saute for 4 minutes on each side, until golden and crusty, turning once.

Set aside 1 cup of the tomato-olive sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake about 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions; drain. Toss spaghetti with reserved tomato-olive sauce. Cut the remaining basil leaves into shreds. Serve chicken with spaghetti. Garnish with shredded basil.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pasta Florentine

Pasta Florentine

Mild Italian sausage links
Package of bow-tie pasta
Package of chopped frozen spinach, thawed and the water drained
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
(2) 15 oz. jars of Classico sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce
ground pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack at about 6 inches from the heat source. Place the sausage links on the broiler pan and broil until sausage is crispy on the outside and the inside is no longer pink. Remove and once sausage is cooled, cut into bite sized slices. In a large saucepan, add olive oil and garlic and saute until garlic is softened and aroma mellows. Add the Alfredo sauce and sliced sausage, adding the spinach in until well blended. In a large pot, cook pasta in water with a little olive oil until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain. Mix the pasta in with the sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and serve with garlic bread.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Asiago Cheese Spread

Asiago Cheese Spread

1-1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
4 oz. marinated artichokes hearts, drained and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
dried or fresh chives to garnish
Loaf of French bread

Mix the Asiago cheese, mayonnaise, diced artichoke hearts, and garlic together and put in an oven sage dish. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbling. Remove from oven and sprinkle chives on top. Serve with toasted French bread.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blue Cheese Potatoes

Blue Cheese Potatoes
Recipe courtesy of Linda Torborg

5 medium russet potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
1 large red onion
4 oz blue cheese crumbles
4 slices bacon
salt and pepper

Wash potatoes good. Microwave for 3-1/2 to 4 minutes. In the meantime, remove outer layer of red onion and using a mandolin, slice into 1/4 inch rings. When potatoes are done microwaving, remove and cut in half, setting aside to cool. In a small fry pan, cook bacon until well done and crisp. Once potatoes are somewhat cooled, use the mandolin to slice into 1/4 thin pieces. In a large skillet, melt butter, add potatoes and onions, covering so they cook quicker with the steam, mixing often. When potatoes are tender, onions soft, season with salt and pepper, and stir in bacon and blue cheese crumbles. Mix over heat until cheese is melted.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tyler Florence Spicy Black-Eyed Peas

Spicy Black-Eyed Peas
from Tyler Florence's Dinner At My Place

Dinner At My Place

3 cups dried black-eyed peas
2 slices thick-cut bacon
1/4 bunch fresh thyme sprigs (4 sprigs)
2 tomatoes, quartered
5 garlic cloves, peeled
5 dried red chiles
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart chicken broth
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lemon, juice only
Extra-virgin olive oil
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Combine dried peas, bacon, thyme, tomatoes, garlic, and chiles in a large pot. Season with salt and black pepper and pour chicken broth over top. Place over medium-low heat and simmer for 1 hour, until peas are tender.

Drain cooked pea mixture, reserving the cooking liquid and discarding the thyme. Remove the bacon slices, tomatoes, garlic, and chiles from the cooked peas, set aside. (Reserve chiles for garnish.) Cut up bacon slices and fold back into the peas with green onion, cilantro, and lemon juice. Place the cooking liquid, the tomatoes, and the garlic in a blender and puree. Dress the peas with the puree and give it a final season with salt and black pepper. Serve with a drizzle of oil. Garnish with reserved chiles and the cilantro sprigs.

2 slices thick-cut bacon, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled
5 dried red chiles, broken up
2 bay leaves
1 lb dried black-eyed peas
1 quart low-sodium chicken stock
2 tomatoes, quartered
1/4 bunch fresh thyme, leaves removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, juiced
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

In a large pot over medium heat, add bacon and render until crisp. Remove the bacon to the paper towel-lined plate. To the same pot with rendered bacon fat, add the garlic, chiles, bay leaves, and dried peas and stir to combine. Pour in the chicken stock and add the tomatoes. Simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour or until peas are tender.

Transfer about 1 to 2 cups of the peas to a blender and puree until smooth. Place the blended peas back into the pot and stir to incorporate. Add the thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes. Place in a serving dish and dress the peas with the lemon juice, green onions, cilantro and bacon before serving.

My combined version:

*I used chicken broth.
*I used about 10 dried red chiles.
*I did not use bay leaves.
*I used a small amount of dried thyme, no fresh thyme.
*I fried bacon, using the grease when I cooked my beans.
*I also put two pieces of bacon in the pot during cooking, but discarded this at the end, and used my crisp fried bacon to blend back in.

After they cooked down about 1 and a half hours, I had to use the online directions because the tomatoes had cooked down and were not that easy to identify and remove. I took 2 spoonfuls of the mixture, pureed, and blended back in with the lemon juice, cilantro, and bacon, as both recipes stated.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms w/ Gorgonzola Cheese Salad

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms w/ Gorgonzola Cheese

2 portobello mushrooms, stem removed and mushroom cleaned
1-2 4 oz package of Gorgonzola cheese crumbles (I used about 1 and a half)
olive oil
red pepper flakes

Make sure your mushrooms are clean. Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush gill side of mushrooms with olive oil and place on grill for 5-10 minutes. Before flipping, brush the other side of the mushroom with olive oil. Flip and in the gill area, sprinkle cheese and some red pepper flakes (as little or as mush as you like). Cook for another 5-10 minutes until mushrooms are cooked and cheese is melted.

This can be served as an appetizer or over salad mix~

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mrs. C's Chicken Over Pasta

A few weeks after I had Serena, when my family and friends had all returned home and back to their normal schedules, when exhaustion had truly started to kick in for me, Mrs. C, owner of the company I was employed at, brought over a delicious dinner and bottle of wine. It was mid afternoon and she ordered me to go shower and take a nap. She left that evening with instructions on how long to heat the meal, the first real meal we'd had since my bundle of joy entered the world. It was so good to have a little rest, a long shower, and a home cooked meal. I put the food in the oven, opened the wine, and thanked God for someone who knew just what I needed.

The meal was so good that I begged for the recipe~

Mrs. C's Chicken Over Pasta

4 boneless chicken breast, cut into strips or large bites
15 oz can artichoke hearts, quartered and drained
3-8 oz cans of sliced black olives
15 oz can chopped tomatoes
3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
minced garlic (we like lots)
pepper to taste
16 oz bottle of Italian dressing
1 cup white wine
package of dry onion soup mix

Mix chicken, artichoke hearts, black olives, tomatoes, garlic, Italian dressing, and white wine together. Marinate at least 2 hours or you can make right before. Sprinkle package of dry onion soup mix over mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, or longer, uncovered. Serve over pasta of choice.

***I only used the canned tomatoes since I didn't have any fresh tomatoes on hand.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Crock Pot Pork Chops

Crock Pot Pork Chops

4 pack of pork chops
salt and pepper
garlic powder
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of milk
1 onion, sliced

Season pork chops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place in the bottom of the crock pot. Mix 2 cans of soup with one cup of milk and pour over chops. Place sliced onion on top. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bacon Wrapped Teriyaki Beef Bites

Bacon Wrapped Teriyaki Beef Bites
courtesy of Dale Williams

Top sirloin filets, cut into large chunks
teriyaki sauce

Overnight, let meat marinate in teriyaki sauce. Wrap each piece in bacon and place on metal skewers. Grill until bacon is done (in which time I was assured, meat would be done).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Stuffed Green Bell Pepper Soup

Stuffed Green Bell Pepper Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 quart water
14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
14 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup cooked long-grain rice
2 large bell peppers, diced
1 onion, diced (I added this to the recipe)
1 beef bouillon cube
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Brown the beef and onion, drain, add all the remaining ingredients and cook 30-45 minutes.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tried and True Tasty Meatloaf & Tyler Florence Potato Gratin

Tried and True Tasty Meatloaf

2/3 cups dried Italian breadcrumbs, soaked in 1 cup milk
1-1/2 lb ground beef
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon sage
fresh sage (about three leaves, chopped)
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup

Combine all the ingredients except the brown sugar and ketchup. Put in a loaf pan. Mix the brown sugar and ketchen and spread on top of the loaf. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until no longer pink in center.

Creamy Parmesan Potato Gratin
from Tyler Florence's Dinner At My Place

1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 fresh thyme sprig
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cut grated Parmesan, plus more for broiling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine cream, thyme, garlic, and nutmeg in a small saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and cook until cream is heated. While cream is heating, butter a 13x8-inch casserole dish. Place a layer of potato in an overlapping pattern and season with salt and pepper. Remove cream mixture from heat; discard thyme sprig. Pour about one-third of the cream mixture over the potatoes. Top with one-third of the 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Make two more layers with potatoes, cream mixture, and cheese. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated oven for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with some additional Parmesan and broil about 5 minutes, until cheese browns.
**I did make a couple of changes - I did not use fresh thyme, I omitted the nutmeg, added chives, and used a little more cheese than the recipe called for.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tyler Florence - Ultimate Lasagna Bolognese

I served the dish with some fresh green beans.

The Ultimate Lasagna Bolognese
from Tyler Florence's Dinner At My Place
(altered not to include Fresh Pasta Dough)

2 carrots, cut into large pieces
1 large onion, cut into large pieces
3 ribs celery, cut into large pieces
4 garlic cloves, peeled
4 fresh sage sprigs, leaves only
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
1 28-ounce can San Marzano whole tomatoes
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley


2 cups whole milk
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound buffalo mozzarella, torn into pieces
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley

To make Bolognese, put carrot, onion, celery, garlic, and sage in a food processor and process until you have a smooth vegetable pulp. Coat a large, heavy-based pot with oil and set over medium heat. Add vegetable pulp and saute until fragrant and some of the moisture has evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Push the vegetable pulp to one side of the pot. Season ground beef and pork with plenty of salt and pepper, then add to the pot. Stir and break up the meat until it is brown, then dust with 2 tablespoons flour before adding wine, tomatoes, milk and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 1-1/2 hours, uncovered, until sauce is thick. Add Parmesan and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Set aside while you prepare the Bechamel.

To make the Bechamel, set a large saucepan over medium heat. Add milk, garlic, and bay leaf and bring to a simmer to infuse milk with herb flavors. Set a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add butter and melt, then sprinkle in flour while you stir with a wooden spoon. Once all the flour has been combines with the butter, grab a whisk and gradually in the herb-infused milk, passing it through a sieve as you go to strain out the aromatics. As the sauce thickens, continue to whisk over low heat, then add nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To assemble the lasagna, coat the bottom of the lasagna pan with a thin layer of Bechamel. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles. Top with a layer of each of Bechamel, Bolognese, and mozzarella pieces. Continue with the layers of lasagna noodles, Bechamel, Bolognese, and mozzarella pieces until you have three complete layers, finishing with mozzarella. Shower the top of the lasagna with Parmesan and parsley. Bake uncovered , on a tray (to catch the drippings) in the center of the preheated oven for 1 hour. (If the top starts to brown, tent with foil.) let the lasagna stand for 15 to 20 minutes before cutting.

**The only thing I did differently was I sauteed the vegetable pulp in a different pot than the meat, so I could drain the grease off the meat before mixing them together. Also, I did not make the fresh pasta dough.