Monthly Archives: April 2015

Fresh Corn and Zucchini Saute

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REVISED140I love the fresh goodness that this recipe is giving us. I have to admit that I cheated a little bit. I roasted my corn in the oven before I cut the kernels from the cob. I really love how easy it is to remove the silk and husk when you use this method — and besides, it just brings out the best flavor in the corn. I just waited a few minutes to add the corn to the zucchini as it was cooking in the pan. This is a really beautiful way to cook the zucchini. It leaves it tender and flavorful without getting mushy. This recipe is perfect for add-ons — I recommend garlic and tomatoes or maybe a little cilantro, basil or peppers.


FRESH CORN AND ZUCCHINI SAUTE (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 small white onion, finely diced
  • 3 small zucchini, diced
  • 3 ears corn, husks and silk removed
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cut kernels from the ears of corn.
  2. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Cook and stir onion in the melted butter until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add zucchini and corn; cook and stir until zucchini is tender, about 8 minutes.
  5. Season with sea salt and pepper

~from All Recipes

Stuffed Baby Peppers

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revised139Baby bell peppers are bright and flavorful — just too cute to chop into pieces. And what a wonderful way to put a little leftover Ricotta to use in a tasty recipe that is both fun to make and to eat. Sweet petite peas, crispy pancetta, savory onion and a little salty Parmesan all combine to make a creamy filling that accents the peppers to perfection. The stuffed peppers are served as hors d’oeuvre, appetizers or as a side. We served ours along with black beans & rice and barbecued pork chops. Just Yum!


STUFFED BABY PEPPERS (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 24 (2 to 3-inch long) sweet baby peppers

Directions

  1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until brown and crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta and drain on paper towels. Add the onion to the pan and cook until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the onion, pancetta, cheeses, and peas. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Using a paring knife, cut 1/2-inch from the stem-end of the peppers. Remove the seeds and veins. Using a small dessert spoon, fill each pepper with the ricotta mixture. Place the filled peppers on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the peppers begin to soften. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Arrange the peppers on a platter and serve.

~from Giada De Laurentiis

Garlic Lover’s Shrimp & Green Bean Salad

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Garlic, garlic salt, and then more garlic — this recipe is designed for the garlic-lovers in your life. I have to admit that the preparation for this recipe is a bit more involved than some of my recent posts. It has four basic stages: 1) Puree garlic, rosemary leaves, olive oil, garlic salt and key lime juice and marinade the shrimp for 30 minutes in the refrigerator; 2) Blanch cut green beans in salted water followed by an ice bath to brighten color and improve flavor by stopping enzyme action; 3) Saute sliced onion and minced garlic in olive oil until translucent before adding to the drained green beans; and 4) Broil shrimp and marinade mixture for a few minutes on each side until shrimp become opaque. Add the shrimp mixture to the green beans and mix thoroughly before chilling in refrigerator for an hour. Finally, garnish with crumbled feta just prior to serving. It may sound like a long process, but believe me when I say that the final product is a beautiful thing. Perfect for a brunch, a small-plate treat for lunch, or even as a side at dinner or a pot-luck/cook-out with friends. I prepared this for RJ when he arrived home after a late flight — just the right thing to soothe his tired old soul.


GARLIC LOVER’S SHRIMP & GREEN BEAN SALAD (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons key lime juice
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup crumbled garlic and herb feta cheese

Directions

  1. Place garlic cloves, 1/4 cup olive oil, key lime juice, rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt into a blender; puree until smooth. Combine shrimp and marinade in a resealable plastic bag. Marinate at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  2. Place an oven rack in the topmost position and pre-heat oven on the broil setting. Pour the shrimp and their marinade onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Broil in preheated oven 3 to 4 minutes per side until the shrimp are opaque. Once cooked, pour everything into a bowl and place into refrigerator.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender; drain and rinse with cold water. Drain excess water from the chilled beans and place into a large bowl.
  4. Heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in minced garlic and onion, cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent. Pour the oil over the beans, add shrimp mixture, and toss. Season with garlic salt, and pepper; mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Mix in crumbled feta before serving.

~from Allrecipes

Garlic-Sauteed Asparagus

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Sesame and soy sauce join forces in this Asian inspired asparagus stir-fry. Combine olive oil and pungent sesame oil to saute chopped garlic, then add asparagus with a little water and soy sauce. Don’t forget to cover to steam and infuse the asparagus to tender perfection. This recipe is a fantastic accompaniment to Cardamom Maple Salmon for a healthy light meal.


GARLIC-SAUTEED ASPARAGUS (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil and sesame oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat; add garlic and decrease heat to medium. Cook and stir garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add asparagus, soy sauce, and water to garlic; cook and stir until liquid is mostly evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  3. Cover wok and cook until asparagus are tender yet firm to the bite, 5 to 10 minutes more.

~from Allrecipes

Baked French Toast with Blueberries

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My son, Christopher, joined me in the kitchen on Easter morning to create this wonderful brunch casserole. Put this all together and pop it in the oven for 45 minutes while the kids hunt eggs and get into their Easter baskets. I do recommend that you use a dense bread like challah, sourdough or French bread for this recipe in order to avoid a soggy final product. (We have used English muffins for French Toast in a pinch with great results.) My guys like this dish so much that they saved some to have for dessert that evening.


BAKED FRENCH TOAST WITH BLUEBERRIES (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients

  • Butter, for greasing pan
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup, plus extra for serving
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 (1-inch thick) slices (8 ounces) day-old challah or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) fresh or frozen, thawed, and drained blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Directions

  1. Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and lemon zest. Add the bread cubes and mix until coated. Stir in the blueberries. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the egg mixture in an even layer. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden and the filling is set.
  4. Spoon onto serving plates, top with a pat of butter, and drizzle with maple syrup.

~from Giada De Laurentiis

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

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revised130This is a great spring salad — crisp broccoli, celery and cauliflower; sweet baby peas; a delicious creamy dressing;  and BACON!! I actually think that you could substitute diced ham from your Easter dinner with equally good results. Perfect alone as a light meal or as a great side at lunch or dinner.


BROCCOLI CAULIFLOWER SALAD (Serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cauliflower, cut in bite size pieces
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut in bite size
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 1 cup frozen peas, blanched and chilled
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked and chopped bacon

DRESSING:

  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion

Directions

  1. In a large bowl toss cauliflower, broccoli, celery, peas, and bacon.
  2. In a medium bowl combine mayo, sugar, Parmesan cheese, vinegar, salt and onion. Mix well. Pour over salad and toss to mix well and serve.

Southern Hash Brown Potatoes

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I tossed a few extra potatoes in with my Sunday Oven Pot Roast so that I would have some left over for hash browns. Toss the diced potatoes in some hot oil & butter along with chopped onions and minced garlic and you have the beginnings of a favorite Southern side dish. Season with Essence, chopped thyme, salt & pepper and let them crisp up in the pan. Emeril’s Essence is available at your local grocery, but it is just as easy to make some up and keep it in the cupboard. Be patient and take care to turn the hash browns with a spatula. They will start to brown up before you know it — ready in a jiff for your hungry crew!


SOUTHERN HASH BROWN POTATOES (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients

  • 5 medium baking potatoes, like russets (about 4 pounds), scrubbed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup diced yellow onions
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Essence (recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Place the whole potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until half-cooked and almost tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and let sit until cool enough to handle. Slip the skins from the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice.
  2. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a skillet over high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 20 seconds. Add the potatoes, Essence, thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook without stirring, but shaking the pan occasionally to keep from burning, until the potatoes begin to color and crisp on the underside, about 4 minutes. Turn the potatoes with a spatula being careful not to mash, and continue cooking until uniformly golden.
  3. Remove from the pan and serve hot.

Emeril’s Essence (creole seasoning)

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme