Monday, August 17, 2015

Sometimes Tasty Food is Not Always Pretty Food - Baked Fish in Wine

This recipe is a very tasty, very simple preparation but just does not look pretty on a plate. It is just too white. I even tried add a little chopped fresh parsley to a serving to make it look prettier and it looked forced. So we went with it in it's unappealing appearance. Luckily I was not serving it to anyone but my family who doesn't usually care what the food looks like and frequently gets annoyed with me when I am taking blog photos when they want to eat.
This recipe is adapted from a cookbook I got on a wine tour of the NY Finger Lakes. Recipes From the Wineries of the Great Lakes by Joe Borrello, Raptor Press 1997 p.84.
I got a bottle of jalapeno wine at the PA Food & Wine Show in Lancaster, PA this year. It is produced by Cardinal Hollow Winery in Lahaska, PA, Montgomery County. It is definitely a wine to cook with , not drink but when used in a recipe like this or to deglaze a pan, it creates a nice low level heat to the dish.

Baked Fish in Wine
1 lb swai or other firm white fish
1 can reduced fat cream of celery soup
1/4 cup Riesling, or other white wine
2 Tbsp jalapeno wine  (or the same white wine above)
Salt and freshly group pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Place the fish in a baking dish. Pour the soup and wine(s) over the fish. Sprinkle with parsley and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Top with Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil.
Bake the fish for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for about an additional 10 minutes until lightly browned.
Serve the fish topped with the sauce.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Jalapeno & Tomato Roasted Chicken Thighs

What a great taste from a few simple ingredients. Not a great pic but a tasty dish.

I left the seeds in the jalapenos and it had a mild-moderate kick. If you like a milder heat, removed the seeds and ribs.

The leftovers are great in sandwiches., To kick the sandwiches up another notch use Sriracha Mayo from Empire Mayonnaise Company from Brooklyn, NY.

Jalapeno & Tomato Roasted Chicken Thighs
adapted from Gourmet February 1995

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tsp fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
5 chicken thighs
1 tomato sliced
2 jalapeño chilies, sliced
1 small onion,sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced 
Montreal Steak Seasoning

Preheat oven to 450°F. 
In a bowl stir together oil and lime juice. Add chicken thighs and toss to coat. Arrange chicken legs, skin sides up, in a roasting pan and season with salt and Montreal Steak Seasoning.

Add the tomatoes, chilies, onion, garlic to the remaining oil mixture and toss to coat. Spread vegetable mixture around chicken legs in one layer. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. 

Serve chicken with the vegetables. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Smores Dip

This is the best way to make smores without having to worry about your marshmallows catching fire.

Smores Dip

2 1.55 oz. Hershey Bars
Large marshmallows
Graham crackers

Preheat the broiler.
Break the chocolate bars into small pieces and line the bottom of a broiler proof dish. Top with enough marshmallows to cover the chocolate.
Broil until the marshmallows are toasted to your liking. Watch carefully this does not take very long.

Serve with graham crackers for dipping.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Swiss Chard and Leek Gratin - My Favorite Swiss Chard Recipe to Date

Using ingredients from the farm share has made me play with a lot of vegetables I would not usually buy in a grocery store ... swiss chard being one of them. This is our favorite recipe to date ... at least for Warren & I. Nick still prefers it sauteed with garlic but at least he will eat it.
Unfortunately my photography skills does not do this dish justice
Swiss Chard and Leek Gratin
adapted from Michael Symon's Heartland Thanksgiving Menu Food & Wine November 2011
1 pounds Swiss chard, large stems discarded
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, white and tender green parts only, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups whole milk
3 Tbsp shredded Gruyère cheese
3 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt & Freshly ground black pepper
Blanch the chard in batches until wilted,in a large pot of boiling water. Drain, squeeze dry and chop.
Heat the oil in a pot. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until tender. Uncover, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, then add the chard, Season with salt to taste and remove from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 425°. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour over moderate heat to form a paste. Gradually whisk in the milk about 1/3 at a time allowing the mixture to cook and thicken in between additional. Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking often, until thickened and no floury taste remains, 15 minutes. Whisk in the cheeses and the nutmeg; season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix the sauce into the leeks and chard. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 25 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown on top. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sausage and Chard over Pasta

With the CSA farm share starting again, I am looking for lots of new vegetable recipes. There are days that I could just eat veggies and be happy but a day without meat is not a good day for my boys. They would prefer all meat and no veggies so I have to sneak them in whenever I can. This one isn't exactly a sneak but if sausage is involved so life is good.

Sausage and Chard over Pasta
adapted from Gourmet June 2006

1/2 lb Swiss chard, leaves only, chopped
1/2 lb sweet pepper chicken sausage or other fully cooked sausage i.e. kielbasa
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
1/2 lb pasta. cooked according to package directions
Salt & Freshly ground black pepper
Grated parmesan for serving

Cook sausage in oil until golden then transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Add garlic to the pan and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant. Add chard leaves, water, and red-pepper flakes and simmer, partially covered, until the chard is tender. Stir in sausage

Add pasta to chard mixture and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve passing the Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Buttermilk Brined Grilled Chicken with Cucumber Salad and Kale Slaw

Still on my chicken kick this week and using up the bounty of vegetables from the CSA. I finally found a way that my husband really likes kale. He preferred the slaw over the cucumber salad. I preferred the cucumber salad. Worked out perfectly for the leftovers.

Grilled Chicken Thighs and Cucumber Salad
adapted from Food & Wine June 2015 and Bon Appétit  | July 2013

8 skin-on, boneless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 quart buttermilk
4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine 1 quart buttermilk, 4 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken and chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain before using.

Season the chicken with Montreal steak seasoning to taste. Grill the chicken until cooked through

Cucumber Salad
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp minced onion
1/2 tsp minced garlic

1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 jalapeño chile, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp chopped mint
In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. Place the cucumber, onion, chile and chopped mint in a serving bowl and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat with the dressing

Kale and Parmesan Coleslaw
adapted from Everyday with Rachel Ray June 2012

1/2 lb shredded kale
Salt and pepper
Ice water
1/4 tsp caraway seeds, toasted
3 Tbsp chive vinaigrette*
Zest of 1/4 lemon

1/2 carrot, julienned
1/4 julienned apple
1/4 cup grated parmesan

In a large bowl, toss the kale with 1/2 tbsp. salt. Cover with ice water;soak for 1 hour.

Combine the chive vinaigrette with the lemon zest.

Drain the kale cabbage well, then squeeze in a kitchen towel to absorb excess moisture; return it to the large bowl which has been dried. Stir in the carrots and toasted caraway seeds. Add the dressing and stir well; serve cold.

If you did not make the Chive Vinaigrette you can use a  simple vinaigrette:
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Monday, July 27, 2015

Chicken Caesar Sandwiches with Fig, Prosciutto, Parmesan and Arugula Salad with Chive Dressing

I am on a chicken kick this week. Although chicken thighs are higher in fat and calories than chicken breasts sometimes you just have to go for the flavor. Besides there are many worse things I could be eating.

Use the garlic dressing as sparingly or heavy as you like. Roasting the garlic bring out the sweetness. I prefer to use anchovy paste instead of mashing my own anchovies since it tends to have a milder flavor because it is mixed with vinegar and spices. My boys are not anchovy fans so I tend to go for the more subtle flavor. The original recipe called for double of what I added. Remember 1 anchovy fillet is equal to 1/2 tsp anchovy paste.

As far as the salad goes, we love roasted figs stuffed with gorgonzola and wrapped in prosciutto. I am trying to find healthier ways of eating them while they are in season.

Chicken Caesar Sandwiches with Garlic Dressing
adapted from Food & Wine June 2015

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 lemons, cut in half
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped rosemary
1 garlic clove, minced
1 head of roasted garlic, cooled
6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp anchovy paste
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Romaine lettuce leaves
Your favorite buns, toasting optional

Combine 2 Tbsp olive oil with the lemon juice, rosemary and minced garlic. Put the chicken thighs in a resealable bag and add the marinade.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425°. Arrange the lemon halves cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

To make the dressing, squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins into a small bowl and mash until smooth. Squeeze the flesh from the roasted lemons into the bowl and add any juices from the baking sheet. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil, the crème fraîche, cheese and anchovies paste and stir until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and grill, until cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let rest for 10 minutes.

To make the sandwiches, arrange romaine leaves on the bottom half of each bun. Top each with chicken thighs. Spoon the dressing generously over the chicken . Close the sandwiches and serve immediately with more dressing on the side.
not the greatest pic but you get the gist 
Fig, Prosciutto, Parmesan and Arugula Salad with Chive Dressing
adapted from Gourmet July 1998 and Food & Wine June 2015

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped chives
1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 bag baby arugula
2 fresh figs
3 thin prosciutto slices , sliced into long strips
Parmesan shavings

For the vinaigrette, combine all of the ingredients and which until well incorporated.

For the salad, place the arugula in a bowls. 

Trim tough stem ends from the figs and cut each fig into 6 wedges. 

Toss arugula with about vinaigrette to taste and mound in center of each of individual plates. Arrange long prosciutto pieces in a ring around each mound of arugula, overlapping ends to secure . Arrange figs and Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings on and around salad and drizzle salads with more vinaigrette.