Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb

I was thinking about the possibility of serving lamb for Easter this year and grilling it on the barbecue. There are so many different marinades that would compliment lamb and I look forward to trying them in the future.
Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb

Marinade for about a 4 pound leg of lamb:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey apple vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
8 cloves of garlic, cut in half, lengthwise
4 sprigs fresh Rosemary

Lay out lamb on a flat surface and trim some of the excess fat. Cut slits in the remaining fat and stuff with garlic and rosemary.
Place lamb out flat in a glass baking dish.
Combine olive oil, vinegar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and pour over lamb. Marinade about 6 hours.

Bring lamb to room temperature.
Preheat grill to 375F.
Season lamb with Alfie's seasoning or liberally with kosher salt and pepper.
Place fat side down and cook about 15 minutes turn and grill another 15 minutes or until thermometer reads 145F.
Remove to a carving board and let meat rest about 20 minutes.
Slice and serve with mint sauce.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Grilled Avocado with Tomato Salad

This salad on a bed of butter lettuce would be a great lunch or the start to a meatless Monday dinner.
Grilled Avocado and Tomato Salad

Tomato Salad:
1 cup grape tomatoes, cleaned and sliced in quarters
1 teaspoon Jalapeno, finely diced
2 Tablespoons sweet onion, finely diced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
In a small ceramic bowl, mix all the ingredients together and set aside.

For the grilled avocado:
2 avocados sliced in half
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
Combine olive oil and lime juice and brush over insides of avocado.
Heat grill to medium and grill avocado for about 4 minutes, it will be warm and leave grill marks.
Put avocados on a platter and top with tomato salad.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Caviar Pie

The Academy Awards are this weekend and if you are having a party, Caviar Pie would be fitting. Made with black lumpfish (I prefer red) or if you choose, Beluga caviar.
So, who will the Oscar go to? Lincoln? Argo? Les Miserable? Who is your favorite?

Caviar Pie Slice
1-2 large avocados
3 Tablespoons sweet red or white onion, diced
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 3 ounce jar, black or red jar lumpfish caviar, chilled

In a 9 inch glass pie pan, mash avocados with a fork to cover the bottom of pan.
Sprinkle onions over top of avocado.
In a food processor, add eggs and mayonnaise and process until combined.
Layer egg mixture over avocado and onion and spread evenly.
Just before serving, carefully spoon caviar over top.
Caviar Pie

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Roasted Grape Tomatoes with Feta Cheese

This perfect winter side dish comes together quickly for any main course dinner, such as lamb.
Roasted Grape Tomatoes with Feta Cheese
2 cups grape tomatoes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
pinch of fresh pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, sliced
1 Tablespoon feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 400F.
Line a baking sheet with foil and toss the tomatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Remove from oven and toss with fresh basil.
Put tomatoes in a serving dish and top with feta cheese.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 red peppers, roasted or jarred and drained
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
1-2 Tablespoons of cream
1 pork tenderloin, in 1 1/2 inch slices
salt and fresh ground pepper
3 Tablespoons, flat leaf parsley, chopped

In a medium saucepan,  heat olive oil and add sweet onion, garlic, peppers and thyme, cook until vegetables are softened, not browned. Take out thyme sprigs and discard.
Add balsamic vinegar and reduce by half. Stir in honey, check seasonings and add cream. Blend to desired consistency, I chose to keep mine a little chunky for a rustic sauce.
Season pork tenderloin slices with salt and pepper and cook in a saute pan over high heat, about 2 minutes on each side, or until inside temperature reaches 150F. Set aside.
Put a layer of red pepper sauce on the plate, top with pork tenderloin and top with additional sauce. Sprinkle with parsley.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Roasted Asparagus with Poached Egg

You know that spring is going to come again, when you see the arrival of fresh asparagus in the market. To make quick use of them they were roasted and topped with a poached egg "sauce."
Roasted Asparagus with Poached Egg
For one serving:
5 asparagus spears, cleaned and tough ends cut
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and fresh pepper
squeeze of lemon juice
1 slice of toast
shaved parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 egg, cracked
Preheat oven to 400F.
Line a baking sheet with foil. Toss asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for about 5-8 minutes, until tender. Take out of oven and squeeze lemon juice over asparagus.
On top of toast, place asparagus and top with shaved cheese.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan with simmering water add 1 teaspoon of vinegar. Place egg in water and poach to a soft egg. Place egg gently over asparagus and serve immediately.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentines Day Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate... or chocolate fudge is suitable for any occasion! The nuts can be changed or deleted. A liqueur such as Grand Marnier or Kahlua could be substituted for the vanilla. This recipe is simple to make but does require a couple of hours to set up in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Fudge
3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
dash of salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
pecans and fresh raspberries for garnish (optional)

Line a 8x8 inch pan with wax paper.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate, milk and salt. Stir until chocolate is melted. Add pecans, and vanilla and combine well.
Pour into pan and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Take fudge out of pan by pulling on the wax paper and cut into squares.
Makes about 20 squares.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Roasted Carrot Soup

Another cold day, another soup to be made!
Lydele gave me a smoked sea salt from Trader Joe's that I have really enjoyed and often use it in cooked dishes. The cumin and roasted carrot give this soup a smoky flavor and the citrus a little brightness.

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch rounds
1 small sweet onion, quartered
Roasted Carrot Soup
2 shallots, peeled
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
salt (or smoked sea salt) and freshly ground pepper, to taste
garnish: creme fraiche, cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F.
Line a baking pan with foil. Toss carrots, onion, and shallots with olive oil and cumin. Roast about 35 minutes.
In a medium size saucepan put roasted vegetables and garlic with the chicken stock and orange juice. Bring to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, time may be short if the carrots are already tender from roasting. Blend with immersion blender or transfer to blender. Add salt and pepper and blend again, check seasonings.
Pour into bowl and garnish with creme fraiche and cilantro.

Friday, February 8, 2013

the Omelet, for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner

Before the kids left home, they had to learn how to make an omelet, at least we knew they would be able to feed themselves.
The omelet can take on any flavors, from Mediterranean to Southwest. They can be light or hearty, the ultimate fast food.
For this single omelet, I filled it with Boursin cheese and topped with fresh basil. The Bake was heading out for a day of golf so I made a side of home fries.
the Omelet with Home Fries
Today's Omelet:
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon clarified butter
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon Boursin cheese
2 fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced

In a bowl, mix the eggs well, breaking up the yolks, and season with salt and pepper.
In a 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the eggs and swirl the pan, spreading the eggs. Using a spatula, push the eggs into the center and swirl the pan again, to keep the eggs from sticking. Add the filling (cheese) to the center of the eggs and flip the omelet in half. Slide the finished omelet onto a plate and garnish with basil.

Home Fries:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 sweet onion, diced
1/4 jalapeno pepper, diced
pinch of thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
In a large non-stick pan, heat oil over medium heat.
Add potatoes, onion, and peppers to pan, season with thyme, salt and pepper.
Cook about 20 minutes until softened and lightly browned.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Caesar Salad on Endive Spears

I felt so bad for the couple over for dinner last night. They both had recent injuries and are each only able to use one arm. So with that in mind I made a risotto for a main course and a salad on endive spears. Dinner was enjoyable and easy for us all.
The reason for this post is that I use endive a lot, for appetizers. They hold a smoked salmon mousse, a variety of fillings and soft cheeses but I had never thought of them for holding salads. Besides a Caesar salad, I got to thinking of stuffing the endive with a Waldorf salad for a ladies tea. Or what about baby shrimp or crab salad in endive for a summer day? Please share any ideas you think of.
Caesar Salad on Endive Spears
Here is a link to the recipe for Caesar salad dressing from a previous post. The Romaine lettuce needs to be torn or cut smaller than would be made generally for a salad. Put the torn Romaine into a salad bowl and top with Caesar dressing, toss and check seasonings. Stuff endive with salad and top with shredded Parmesan cheese and croutons.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Grilled Lamb Chops with Yogurt Mint Sauce

These lamb rib chops can be made a little ahead of time and will hold for a main course or an appetizer. They can be served with a variety of sauces, on top of mashed potatoes or with lemon rice. The sauce served here is inspired by a Tzatziki sauce.

For 2 racks of lamb or 16-20 rib chops
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Grilled Lamb Chops with Yogurt Mint Sauce
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
Mix all ingredients in a glass bowl and marinate several hours, turning to coat.
Preheat grill to 350F.
Bring lamb to room temperature and grill 2-3 minutes each side, depending on thickness.
Sprinkle with Alfie's seasoning.
Let rest.

Yogurt Mint Sauce
6 ounces Greek yogurt
3 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
juice of 1 lime
1 lemon rind, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon onion, grated
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Whisk all ingredients together, cover and refrigerate for several hours until ready to serve.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Are You Ready for some Football? Cheeseball

The big game is in just a couple of days, along with some wings and chili, try a little cheeseball shaped like a football.

Football Cheeseball

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 Tablespoons mayo
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Alfie's seasoning
dash of Chipotle sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup applewood bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 Tablespoons green onion, finely chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted
sour cream

Mix cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mayo, Worcestershire sauce, Alfie's, Chipotle sauce, and garlic together well. Stir in bacon and green onion and allow to sit in fridge for several hours to meld flavors.
Form mixture into shape of football and top with toasted walnuts.
Fill a piping bag or sandwich bag with some sour cream and snip the corner. Pipe the sour cream over top to make "laces." Serve with crackers, chips or baguettes.