Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Marinated Grilled Shrimp

The perfect amount of flavor for grilled shrimp.

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce, and red wine vinegar. Season with basil, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add shrimp to the bowl, and stir until evenly coated. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring once or twice.
Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade.
Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp on preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.

Grilled Rosemary Salmon

This is my mother-in-law's specialty:

1/2 pound salmon 
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
Pinch freshly ground black pepper 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried, crushed 
Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional) 

Cut the fish into 2 equal-size portions. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary in a bowl. Brush the mixture onto the fish. 

To grill, arrange the fish on a grill rack or use a grill basket sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Grill over medium-hot coals until the fish flakes easily (allow 4–6 minutes per 1⁄2" of thickness). If the fish is more than 1" thick, gently turn it halfway through grilling. 

To broil, spray the rack of a broiler pan with olive oil cooking spray and arrange the fish on it. Broil 4" from the heat for 4–6 minutes per 1⁄2" of thickness. If the fish is more than 1" thick, gently turn it halfway through broiling. 

To serve, top the fish with capers, if using, and garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired. 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Flank Steak Marinade

Mark and I are doing south beach diet phase I for the next two weeks which means no carbs.  But it doesn't mean non-tasty recipes!! Marcia, who gave me this recipe, gets a 3 pack of flank steak from Costco, puts each one in a ziplock with this marinade and then freezes them.  When they thaw, the marinade really soaks in!

½ c. veggie oil
¼ c. soy sauce
¼ c. red wine vinegar
2 t Worcestershire sauce
½ t ground ginger
1 t minced garlic
Put all ingredients in baggie with 1 ½ lb. flank steak overnight.  Grill, covered, over medium-hot heat for 6-10 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness.

Belgian Joes and Oven Fries with Cheddar-Horseradish Dip

Probably the most flavorful Joe I've ever made.  I also made these oven Fries and also roasted some broccoli for the cheesy dipping sauce.

2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
2 medium onions, chopped
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 bay leaf
1 bottle dark Belgian beer
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup beef stock
4 Kaiser rolls, split and toasted

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the beef to the skillet and cook until golden brown, 5-6 minutes.

Add the onions, allspice and bay leaf to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the veggies are tender, 5-6 minutes. Add the beer to the pan and cook a few minutes to reduce the liquid a little and concentrate the flavor.

In the meantime, combine the brown sugar, vinegar, Dijon and beef stock in a small bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add this mixture to the pot and cook until reduced and thickened, 15-20 minutes.

4 large Idaho potatoes, each cut into 6 wedges
2 tablespoons grill seasoning
3 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup shredded sharp, sharp, sharp, white cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Scatter potatoes on a baking sheet and toss with grill seasoning and EVOO. Roast in the oven, turning occasionally, until golden brown and tender, about 40 minutes.

While the potatoes are roasting, place a medium pot over medium heat with the butter. When the butter has melted, sprinkle the flour over top and cook for about a minute. Whisk the milk into the butter-flour mixture and simmer until thickened, 2-3 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the cheese and horseradish until the cheese has melted. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, and reserve warm.

Serve the potato fries with a small bowl of cheddar-horseradish dipper alongside.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sopa Seca

This is kinda like a mexican spaghetti casserole.  I was able to find the bundled vermicelli fideos in the hispanic section of my Safeway.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for pan
12 ounces fideos (bundled vermicelli)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 teaspoon New Mexican chili powder
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups canned whole tomatoes
1 to 2 chipotles en adobo sauce, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth, homemade, or low-sodium canned
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded smoked turkey
1 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
Mexican crema, or sour cream thinned with a bit of milk, optional

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush a 9-inch square baking dish with oil. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fideos and cook, turning them with tongs, until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bundles and any broken pieces to a plate.

Add the onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, coriander, oregano, chili powder, and bay leaf, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Crush the tomatoes over the pot with your hand and add them to the pot along with their juices. Add the chipotles, increase the heat to high, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, the toasted fideos, salt, and pepper, to taste. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently, uncovered, breaking up the fideos with a spoon, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the turkey.

Remove the bay leaf. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, sprinkle the grated cheese over the top, and cover loosely with foil. Bake until the cheese melts and the casserole is hot through and through, about 20 minutes. If desired, serve with some crema drizzled over the top.

Tres Leches Cake

After ordering Tres Leches cake at a restaurant on Wed and being sorely disappointed, I thought I'd made my own.  It's a mexican cake and the consistency is closer to flan than traditional cake.  The original recipe called for 1 T rum but I left that out.

1 1/2 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar + 1 t sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
5 eggs, large
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
1/3 cup + 1 c. milk
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup heavy cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 7 x11 x 2 inch baking pan.  Combine flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl, cream the butter, 1c sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.  Add the eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time until foamy. Alternate adding a little bit of the flour mixture with 1/3 c. milk until all is added in.  Pour batter into greased pan and bake 30-40 minutes or until it feels firm and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 20min. Turn it over onto a platter with raised edges. Pierce cake with a fork 20-30 times. Let it cool in the refrigerator for an additional 30 minutes.

Whisk together 1 cup milk, 1 cup sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup evaporated milk. Slowly pour over cooled cake. Refrigerate for 3 hours. Occasionally, spoon the milk runoff back onto the cake.

In a mixing bowl, add 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 t sugar. Beat until peaks form. Spread a thin layer over the cake.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rib Eyes with Oregano and Gorgonzola Compund Butter

It's not quite grilling season (it's 32 degrees outside right now) so we decided to try steaks in a skillet tonight (sorry dad).  Cook's Illustrated says to make sure the pan gets really hot (on high for three minutes) and then turn the heat to medium- high and add the steaks.  Cook 4 min on the first side (do not move) then flip and cook for 4 (rare) 5 (medium-rare) or 6 (medium) min.  We found that was not enough time so we did an additional flip for 5 min.

Once out of the pan, we put a slab of compound butter on each one and let rest for 5 min.

For the compound butter:  Let 2 sticks butter soften.  Add to a food processor the butter, 1/2 c. Gorgonzola cheese and 2 T. minced fresh oregano.  Once smooth, place on a piece of saran wrap in the shape of a log and roll up like a burrito.  Keep in the freezer until ready to use.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Herbed Baked Goat Cheese Salad

This salad was awesome! I guess you'd have to like goat cheese, but even Mark was raving about this salad!  It's from the Best Recipes cookbook by Cook's Illustrated.

3 ounces Melba toasts, white (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves (I used dried)
12 ounces goat cheese, firm extra-virgin olive oil

Vinaigrette and Salad 
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced shallot
¼ teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chives Ground black pepper
14 cups hearty greens (mixed), washed and dried

1. For Goat Cheese: In food processor, process Melba toasts to fine even crumbs, about 1½ minutes; transfer crumbs to medium bowl and stir in pepper. Whisk eggs and mustard in medium bowl until combined. Combine thyme in small bowl.
2. Using kitchen twine or dental floss, divide cheese into 12 evenly sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball; roll each ball in herbs to coat lightly. Transfer 6 pieces to egg mixture, turn each piece to coat; transfer to Melba crumbs and turn each piece to coat, pressing crumbs into cheese. Flatten each ball into disk about 1½ inches wide and 1 inch thick and set on baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining 6 pieces cheese. Freeze cheese until firm, about 30 minutes. (Cheese may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen up to 1 week.) Adjust oven rack to uppermost position; heat to 475 degrees.
3. Remove cheese from freezer and brush tops and sides evenly with olive oil. Bake until crumbs are golden brown and cheese is slightly soft, 7 to 9 minutes (or 9 to 12 minutes if cheese is completely frozen). Using thin metal spatula, transfer cheese to paper towel-lined plate and cool 3 minutes.
4. For Salad: While goat cheese is baking, combine vinegar, mustard, shallot, and salt in small bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in olive oil; season to taste with pepper.
5. Place greens in large bowl, drizzle vinaigrette over, and toss to coat. Divide greens among individual plates; place 2 rounds goat cheese on each salad. Serve immediately.


For the Falafels-
2 T olive oil, divided
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 c. diced onion
3 garlic cloves
1/4 c. packed EACH cilantro and parsley
zest of 1 small lemon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 t. baking powder
1/3 c. flour
1 egg

Yogurt sauce-
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/4 minced cucumber
2 t. lemon juice
1 t. minced garlic
salt and cayenne pepper

To serve- 
grilled pita wedges
diced tomatoes
shredded lettuce

Coat a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray and 1 T olive oil and place in oven.  Preheat to 375.
Pulse chickpeas, onion, 3 garlic cloves, cilantro, parsley, zest, salt, cumin, pepper flakes, and baking powder in food processor until minced.  Transfer to bowl and stir in flour and egg.  Drop mixture in balls onto hot baking pan and bake 20min.  Brush falafels with oil, flip and bake for another 15-20min.
Combine yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice and 1 t. minced garlic in a bowl.  Season to taste with salt and cayenne.  Chill under ready to serve.
Serve the falafels with toasted pita wedges, salad and yogurt sauce.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Quickie Tacos

I had these tacos for the first time at my friend Chiara's house in Tucson.  Her mom puts uncooked meat in the corn tortillas before frying.  I was worried about not getting the cooking temp/time right so I first browned the meat in a skillet and mixed in some refried beans to make the mixture easier to spread in the tortilla.  You add a few heaping spoonfuls to each corn tortilla (I also added some mozz cheese), fold over the tortilla and add to hot oil in a skillet.  The oil was on medium heat and already hot when the tacos go in (make sure it sizzles when the tacos are added).  After they were cooked we filled them with tomatoes and lettuce.

Two Day Cassoulet

This recipe was on the cover of the latest issue of Cuisine at Home and sounded like the perfect winter meal.  It was a two day process but most of the work was done in the crockpot.  One problem was when I asked for kielbasa at my butcher shop and they handed me a package with a "polish sausage" sticker on the front I assumed it was the right stuff. But I was looking for the kind you can slice, and the kind I ended up with was fresh, uncooked sausage that just crumbles.  I think it had the same flavor though.  So it was a really tasty meal but I'm not sure it was worth the two day event.  It made way more meat than we can possibly eat (we'll be freezing some) and I felt like it was just as good as a really good one-day pot roast.

1 lb. dried navy beans
4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 c. chopped onion
1 c. dry white wine
4 garlic cloves, smashed
6 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 t. dried thyme leaves
5 whole cloves
4 bay leaves
1 t. pepper
3 lb. chuck steaks
2 lb. pork shoulder
6 strips of bacon

2 c. sliced carrots
1 can diced tomatoes in juice
1 pkg. kielbasa sausage, sliced
Pepper to taste

Place beans in a bowl and cover with water.  Let stand at room temp for 24 hours.  On the same day, in a LARGE slow cooker, stir together broth, onion, wine, garlic, thyme, cloves, bay leaves, and pepper.  Add chuck, pork and bacon.  Cover and cook on low setting for 8 hours.  Remove beef and pork.  Strain broth, discard solids.  Return meat to the broth, cover and refrigerate overnight,

Skim off and discard fat that had hardened on top.  Transfer meat and broth back to slow cooker.  Drain and rinse the beans.  Add beans to slow cooker.  Add carrots, tomatoes, and kielbasa.  Cover and cook on low hear setting for 8-10 hours or until beans are tender.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Crepes (Dinner and Dessert)

Vive La France!  Here's a dinner in honor of all the many crepes we ate while in Paris in '06.
Crepe recipe:

2 eggs
1 cup milk
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil

In a blender combine eggs, milk, flour, salt and oil. Process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and brush with oil. Pour 1/4 cup of crepe batter into pan, tilting to completely coat the surface of the pan. Cook 2 to 5 minutes, turning once, until golden. Repeat with remaining batter.

Dinner crepe filling: Avocado, Mozzerella and Roma Tomatoes

Dessert crepe filling: Nutella and Bananas

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Greek-Style Garlic Shrimp and Orzo

Another Rachael Ray Recipe we really like.

1 lb small shrimp, deveined and peeled, tails removed
2 tsp. lemon zest plus the juice of 1/4 lemon
1/4 cup EVOO
6 garlic cloves
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 handfuls fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2/3 lb orzo
1 small red onion
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled 

1. Heat a large pot of water for the orzo.
2. When the water boils, salt it and cook the orzo al dente.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat.
4. Season the shrimp with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and a little salt.
5. Add the EVOO to the hot pan, then add the onions, red pepper flakes, and garlic.
6. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the shrimp and cook for a minute more.
7. Add the chery tomatoes, parsley, olives, oregano and white vermouth, and season with salt and pepper.
8. Cook until the shrimp are pink and firm, then turn off the heat.
9. Drain the cooked orzo and drizzle with a touch of EVOO to keep it from sticking.
10. Serve the orzo topped with the feta crumbles and the shrimp mixture.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Copycat Orange Chicken

How can you go wrong with fried chicken, coated in a sweet/spicy sauce??

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
white pepper
oil (for frying)
1/2 cup cornstarch, plus
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon gingerroot, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red chili pepper
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon rice wine
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons water
5 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons white vinegar
1 orange, zest of

Place chicken pieces in large bowl.Stir in egg, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon oil and mix well.
Stir cornstarch and flour together. Add chicken pieces, stirring to coat.

Heat oil for deep-frying in wok or deep-fryer to 375 degrees. Add chicken, small batches at a time, and fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden crisp.
(Do not overcook chicken). Remove chicken from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; set aside.

Clean wok and heat 15 seconds over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant; about 10 seconds.
Add and stir-fry crushed chiles and green onions. Add rice wine and stir 3 seconds. Add Orange Sauce and bring to boil.
Add cooked chicken, stirring until well mixed. Stir water into remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth and add to chicken.
Heat until sauce is thickned.Stir in sesame oil and orange zest if desired. Serve over jasmine rice

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Oriental Chicken Salad

The original recipe called for water chestnuts but we avoid those at all costs in the Heaviland home.  

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 head iceberg lettuce, torn
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken
1 cup salted cashews
1 (6 ounce) package frozen peas, thawed
1 (3 ounce) can chow mein noodles
1/4 cup chopped green onions

In a small saucepan, combine the first seven ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool. In a large salad bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; add dressing and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Becky's Chipotle Chicken Pizza

My beautiful sister Becky shares a love for good recipes.  She introduced me to this tasty pizza which is just chicken breasts- cubed, cooked and then rolled in chipotle adobo sauce.  Make pizza dough or buy the kind already made.  Top it with tomato sauce, the chicken, a chopped onion and bell pepper and cheese.  We made our favorite homemade deep dish crust again.


Last week in Costco, James tried a sample of minestrone soup and loved it so I thought I'd try making it at home. This recipe had a ton of great reviews over at allrecipes.com so I thought I'd give it a try.  Go heavy on the pepper!

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
5 carrots, sliced
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
4 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can green beans
2 cups baby spinach, rinsed
3 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup seashell pasta
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese for topping
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add chicken broth, water and tomato sauce, bring to boil, stirring frequently. If desired add red wine at this point. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, green beans, spinach leaves, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, the longer the better.
Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender. Drain water and set aside.
Once pasta is cooked and soup is heated through place 2 tablespoons cooked pasta into individual serving bowls. Ladle soup on top of pasta and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Spray with olive oil and serve.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Crockpot Sour Cream Pork Chops

Be careful when you take this pork out of the crockpot!  It falls apart SO easily.  No knife required!

6 pork chops
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 cubes chicken bouillon
2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

Season pork chops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and then dredge in 1/2 cup flour. In a skillet over medium heat, lightly brown chops in a small amount of oil.
Place chops in slow cooker, and top with onion slices. Dissolve bouillon cubes in boiling water and pour over chops. Cover, and cook on Low 7 to 8 hours.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).
After the chops have cooked, transfer chops to the oven to keep warm. Be careful, the chops are so tender they will fall apart. In a small bowl, blend 2 tablespoons flour with the sour cream; mix into meat juices. Turn slow cooker to High for 15 to 30 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened. Serve sauce over pork chops.


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