Thursday, July 28, 2011

Makin' Magic Outta Canned Goods - 10

This week's plan is:

Mayonnaise Chicken with Rice
  **The Hubs deemed this the best chicken he's ever had. So, since I had no plan for dinner tonight (usually he climbs on Mondays) I was happy to fulfill his simple request!
  **I made this recipe up... 1 T Penzey's Fox Point seasoning, mixed with about 1 T water. Mix that into about 1/2 cup of mayo. Smear it all over your 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Let "marinate" for maybe 15 minutes. Throw into a hot pan, cooking covered for 6 minutes. Flip and cook covered for 6 more. Flip a 3rd time (back to the original side) and cook for 2 more minutes uncovered. Let rest for a few minutes to let the juices redistribute before you cut. Serve with rice and veggies... or, if you're like us, just rice.
  **If you don't like mayonnaise, you'll still probably like this. It's super moist, and delicious!
  **Fox Point Seasoning is herby. It is made of salt, shallots, chives, garlic, onion, green peppercorns. If you're not near a Penzey's find something else you like that's similar, or order it online! 
Gazpacho with Grilled Steak Tacos and Avocado
  **I'm not going to into great lengths about this. Gazpacho (to me) was not worth the effort, and The Hubs didn't like it because it tasted like cucumbers. It was an America's Test Kitchen recipe; the kind that involves soaked bread and pureeing and straining... Lots of work for just a decent soup.Though the picture is pretty! (And yes... those are tomatoes from my garden! Thanks for asking!)
  **My steak tacos were good! I just seared part of a top sirloin steak (about 1" thick?) in a hot pan for about 4 minutes/side for medium rare. Seasoned with salt and pepper. Cut it up, throw it in a tortilla. I topped mine with avocado, tomatoes, sour cream, and green Tabasco. The Hubs had cheese, Ortega sauce, and tomato.  

Chip Cheeses
  **My friend April (who desperately needs to start a blog...) sent me a link to an article the other day, about Thomas Keller of The French Laundry picking an iconic guy food and telling how he'd make it at home. He chose Grilled Cheese, and this is his recipe. And seriously, who doesn't want to eat what the chef at The French Laundry is eating??
  **I don't normally "cook" the nights The Hubs climbs, so this was right up my alley tonight--especially considering it was the longest day ever at work. So, if you know anything about me and my Chip Diet, you'll already know I made the variation that had chips within the grilled cheese, and I used Dill Pickle flavored Lays. And I dipped it in ketchup. And it was amazing. Worth every calorie. :) 
  **Truth be told, I used half the cheese and double the chips and it was pretty much perfect. So perfect in fact, I made a second one. The only thing I would do differently for my 3rd one, is grill them open-faced so you can add the chips after the cheese is melted and the chips won't get soggy. (Look at me perfecting the chef from The French Laundry's "perfect" grilled cheese. ha!)
  **If I'd had all of the stuff to make the pimento cheese grilled cheese (scroll down within link) I would have, because DANG. I have the stuff to make the jalapeno ones... maybe that will be lunch on Saturday?
  **And for all you Gluten FREEks out there, don't waste your time with anything other than Udi's. If you don't know where to find it, call me. I will bring you some to make this sandwich.

Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Frittata with Fried Potatoes
  **I used for the frittata recipe. I need peppers for 2 of the other 3 recipes I'm making this week, and since Aldi peppers come in a 3 pack... this works perfectly! 
  **Goat Cheese was sort of a splurge for us this week since we, ya know, bought our groceries and the groceries of some "homeless" man in the parking lot. I use the term "homeless" loosely since I'm pretty sure we were being scammed. Like I said on Monday, "Lets just say shopping at Aldi on University in Saint Paul isn't the same as shopping at Aldi from the comfort of your own suburb." 
  **For my fried potatoes, I cut red potatoes into 8th's. Put them in a microwave safe bowl, toss with a little EVOO. Cover tight with saran wrap and microwave in 2 minute increments until the potatoes are just soft. Cook in a frying pan in hot oil until golden, flip over and cook until golden on the other side. Remove from oil onto paper towels, and season with salt and pepper while hot. 
  **These potatoes are awesome for breakfast or as a side dish, and they really only take a few minutes to make! 
  **This was a pretty tasty dinner! The goat cheese went well with the oregano in the eggs. I used the kind of oregano that comes in the produce section in the squeeze tube. It tasted fine, but it turned the eggs green! I think freshly chopped oregano wouldn't have done that. (That's also why there's no picture. They weren't very pretty!)
  **I have a problem getting scrambled eggs out of my pan... definitely use non-stick if you have it! 

  **I recently read about this project a woman started in her own home to "be more intentional about dating our husbands during this crazy season of life" and though I only have time for The Hubs, it seems like a cool way to make the effort to focus on each other. 
  **Stay tuned to see what we had!  

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Warrior Dash

Since we Carbo-Fed last night, here's a picture of the Warriors! 
Rousey, Jenni, Ben, Ryan / Rachael, Megan, Katie, Justin
 Check out Facebook for many more!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Makin' Magic Outta Canned Goods - 9

This week's plan is:

Arugula Salad with White Beans and Italian Sausage
  **It's a "salad only" week around our house... too hot to cook!
  **This is an America's Test Kitchen recipe for the salad and dressing. My last meal plan was recipes from their 10-year cookbook, this recipe is from their 30-minute meal collection. An online version of the recipe is protected for "members only." Read the gist below, you should be able to wing it from there!
  **Cook 4 chicken or pork Italian sausages until done through out. Remove from pan, let rest and then slice. Add a little more oil, sautee 1 red onion until starting to soften. Add 1 can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed. [Note: I used "white beans" and they ended up being pretty soft even though I added them last. Use your best judgement.] Add 8 oz roasted red peppers cut into 1/2 inch strips. Season to taste with Salt and Pepper. Add 1 cup of "Bistro Style Mustard Vinniagrette" from the same cookbook. Stir together, and mix into 4 dinner sized servings of arugula, though I used mixed lettuces from my garden.
  **I definitely ate 2 servings. You could easily stretch this by adding some cold pasta to the bean mixture, making it somewhere between a lettuce salad and a pasta salad.

Thai Beef Salads with Rice Noodles
  **Again with the 30-minute meals collection. I love it! Since this recipe is also hidden from the non-members, I found a pretty similar Martha Stewart recipe here. I'll probably make half a recipe, and add cooked & cooled rice noodles to make it a little more filling. 
   **I'm going to add sliced radishes to the mix for a little extra color.   
  **Scharlemann made a similar recipe when we were over for dinner this spring, and I loved it. I was excited to see this recipe in my new cookbook!  

Carbo Feed: Pre-Warrior Dash Feasting
  **We're having a little shindig at the Meuller's on Friday to help everybody load up for the Warrior Dash on Saturday. I said if they'd host and cook the noodles, I'd bring the sauces! 
   **Both sauces are enough for 1 lb pasta each. 
  **The first sauce is a 20-minute marinara: Boil water for pasta. Sautee 3 cloves garlic, and 1/4 t red pepper flakes in 3 T EVOO, stirring frequently until fragrant but not browned (1-2 minutes). Stir in 28 oz crushed tomatoes and and 14 oz diced tomatoes, simmer until slightly thickened (15-20 minutes). Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water, and return pasta to pot. Remove sauce from heat, stir in 3 T minced fresh basil and sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir sauce into pasta adding reserved cooking water as needed to loosen sauce. Serve immediately!   **The second sauce is a Garlic-Basil Cream Sauce: Boil water for pasta. Blend 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, 1.5 cups half-and-half, 1 cup chicken broth, and 1 T cornstarch in blender until completely smooth (about 30 seconds). Melt 2 T unsalted butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot, and 1/4 t salt, cook until softened (about 2 minutes). Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Briefly re-blend basil mixture to dissolve cornstarch, then stir into sauce pan and simmer about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in 2 T minced basil, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Stir sauce into pasta adding reserved cooking water as needed to loosen sauce. Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water, and return pasta to pot. Stir sauce into pasta adding reserved cooking water as needed to loosen sauce. Serve immediately! 

That brings us to the weekend...
  **I have no plan for the weekend... We'll see what happens! Taco Taco anyone?? 

Bon Appetit!