Category Archives: Exceptional Recipes

Brussels Sprouts ~ Sherry Bacon Cream Sauce

Standard
blog40
Unfortunately, not everyone likes Brussels sprouts. The sprouts in this recipe (from allrecipes) are placed in a brine for an hour prior to cooking. This reduced the bitterness and seemed to produce beautiful, crispy little cabbages. Timing is everything in this recipe. You will have about 10 minutes from the time that you add the garlic until the Brussels sprouts should be added to the cream sauce. If your sauce gets ahead of you, remove it from the stove top momentarily prior to adding the garlic, sherry, and cream.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS ~ SHERRY BACON CREAM SAUCE
(4 Servings)
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 slices bacon, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

7 cremini mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cream sherry
1/2 cup heavy cream
Preparation:
1. Put Brussels sprouts in a bowl and cover with water. Dissolve salt in water and soak for 1 hour. Drain off the water, and toss the sprouts in olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper to coat thoroughly.
2. Preheat oven to 475 F. Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to brown at the edges, 5 to 8 minutes
3. Put the Brussels sprouts, cut sides down, onto a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven until the sprouts are browned, about 15 minutes.
4. Reduce heat to medium; stir in the shallot and mushrooms, then cook until the shallots turn translucent, about 5 more minutes. Sprinkle in the garlic, and cook 1 minute, then stir in the sherry and cream until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil, and stir until reduced by half. The thickened sauce should coat the back of a spoon.
5. Transfer the browned sprouts to the sauce, toss to coat, and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Advertisements

Sauteed Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Standard

blog27

It’s probably time that I admitted that I am a terribly picky eater. I probably eat only about 5% of the dishes that I prepare. That being said, it should be no surprise that I don’t like mushrooms . . . but I love, love, love to cook with them! This recipe (from allrecipes.com) is really lovely. The mushrooms are grilled first, and then sautéed with shallots and white wine until reduced. I think that roasting the mushrooms in the oven would be as effective if grilling is not convenient. These mushrooms would be wonderful as either a small plate or a side. The best part was the aroma that filled my house while it was cooking.

SAUTEED GRILLED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS
(4 Servings)

Ingredients:

4 Portobello mushroom caps
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 cup white wine
Preparation:
1. Rub mushrooms with olive oil and place on a grill over high heat, smooth side up. Grill until they start to soften, about 10 minutes. Turn over, and grill on the other side for about 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms from grill and slice.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot, and saute for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add mushrooms to the skillet, and increase the heat to high. Cook for about a minute, then pour in the wine. Continue to cook and stirring to deglaze until the wine is nearly evaporated. Remove from heat, and serve.

Tomatoes Stuffed with Southern Apple Tuna Salad

Standard

 

10155426_740325706012291_702947582182009544_n

 I have been eating tuna like crazy lately in an effort to increase the amount of omega-3 in my diet. I know that canned tuna is not as rich a resource as fresh; however, it does contain a little more than 50% of the real deal. Make sure that you buy Premium Pacific Albacore that is packed in spring water. When it’s packed in oil, the omega-3 in the tuna leaches out of the tuna and into the oil. Since water and oil don’t mix, the omega-3 is retained when tuna is packed in spring water. I found the recipe below on allrecipes.com. You can substitute fresh grated carrot for the apple in this recipe if you don’t have one on hand.

TOMATOES STUFFED WITH SOUTHERN APPLE CARROT TUNA SALAD
(2 Servings)

Ingredients:

2 large heirloom tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans albacore tuna in spring water, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon mayonnaise, or more if needed

1 small apple – peeled, cored, and chopped    1/2 c. grated carrot
1/4 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
salt and ground black pepper to taste

 

Preparation:
1. Stir the tuna, olive oil, mayonnaise, apple, onion, relish, and dill together in a bowl until evenly mixed. Season with salt and pepper. You can serve immediately, though is tastes much better after being refrigerated overnight.
2. Cut large heirloom tomatoes into wedges taking care not to cut all the way through to the bottom. Remove and discard seeds and any tough white core remaining. Stuff tomatoes with tuna salad mixture. Garnish with dill weed.

 

 

Strawberry Avocado Salad ~ Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Standard

blog16

Lately, we have been skipping breakfast in lieu of a mid-morning salads.  The combination of flavors and textures in this Strawberry Avocado Salad from allrecipes.com are phenomenal. A great way to start the day.

STRAWBERRY AVOCADO SALAD ~ HONEY LEMON VINAIGRETTE

(2 Servings)

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons Eureka Lemon olive oil
4 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups torn salad greens
1 avocado – peeled, pitted and sliced
10 strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Preparation:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, vinegar, and lemon juice. Set aside.
2. Place the salad greens in a pretty bowl, and top with sliced avocado and strawberries. Drizzle dressing over everything, then sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate for up to 2 hours before serving, or serve immediately.

Chinese Five-Spice Lacquered Pork Chops ~ Fried Cabbage

Standard

blog13

I love the aroma of Chinese Five-Spice. I even carried it in my purse for a few days after I picked up a packet from my local spice shop. It was an accident at first, but after I discovered it I was reluctant to remove this wonderful sachet from my bag. Luckily, I was rewarded with a most delicious and unusual dish. The chops were cooked “Peking” style over water. An interesting technique that produced juicy chops with a slightly crisped exterior. This recipe is an adaptation of one in Florence Lin’s Chinese Regional Cookbook (Hawthorn Books, 1975) that I found on myrecipes.com. The recipe for Fried Cabbage was pulled from allrecipes.com.

CHINESE FIVE-SPICE LACQUERED PORK CHOPS
(4 Servings)

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 boneless center-cut pork chops, each about 1 in. thick (about 2 lbs. total)
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup or honey

Preparation:

1. In a medium bowl, mix garlic, salt, brown sugar, five-spice powder, 1/4 cup soy sauce, and 2 tbsp. water. Add pork chops to marinade, cover, and refrigerate 2 hours, turning several times.

2. Preheat oven to 325°. Fill a roasting pan with enough water to come 1 in. up sides and put on bottom rack of oven. Insert a 12-in. metal skewer through all 4 chops, about 1/2 in. from edge. Space chops about 1 in. apart on skewer. Pull out top rack of oven halfway, making sure rack is still supported and level, and very carefully lower the skewer crosswise onto rack so meat goes between the bars and skewer rests on rack. Slowly push rack back into oven, then move pan of water directly beneath hanging meat.

3. Bake chops 30 minutes. Increase temperature to 425° and cook 10 minutes more. Pour corn syrup or honey and remaining 1 tbsp. soy sauce into a shallow dish and mix to combine. Transfer pork chops from skewer into honey/soy mixture, rolling to coat, then thinly slice each chop.

FRIED CABBAGE

Ingredients:

◾5 slices bacon, chopped
◾1-1/4 cup chopped onion
◾6 cups cabbage, cut into thin wedges
◾2 tablespoons water
◾1 pinch white sugar
◾salt and pepper to taste
◾1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Preparation:

1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Remove bacon, and set aside.
2. Cook onion in the hot bacon grease until tender. Add cabbage, and stir in water, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cook until cabbage wilts, about 15 minutes. Stir in bacon. Splash with vinegar before serving.

blog11 blog12

Baked Tomato with Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese ~ Baked Pita Chips

Standard

 

blog9blog10

The BK and I tried something like this recently at brunch. However, they served sliced tomatoes on top of goat cheese and didn’t add quite enough onion for my taste. I thought maybe we could do better. We had a couple of large sweet onions, so I sliced one up a day or so earlier and cooked it down until it caramelized — low and slow — for quesadillas. The remaining onions, my last lonely tomato, and a bit of goat cheese were the inspirations for this recipe. Delicious!! This turned out to be a perfect game day snack.

BAKED TOMATO WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS AND GOAT CHEESE ~ BAKED PITA CHIPS
(2 Servings)

Ingredients:

1 tomato
caramelized onions
soft goat cheese
Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
2 tortillas
Sea Salt

Preparation:

For the Tortilla Chips:

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2. Brush both sides of the tortillas with Tuscan Herb Olive Oil.
3. Cut each tortilla into pieces and place them in a single layer on a baking tray.
4. Season with sea salt to taste.
5. Bake until golden brown, turning the baking sheet once (12-15 minutes). Set aside to cool.

And now, for the Baked Tomatoes:

1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
2. Cut the tomato in half and remove the seeds. Place tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet.
3. Drizzle with Tuscan Herb olive oil and season with salt & pepper.
4. Bake until the tomatoes are tender (about 10-12 minutes).
5. Place the caramelized onions in the middle of each tomato and top with goat cheese.
6. Bake for a few more minutes until the goat cheese is soft and just browning.