18 October 2015

A Healthy-ish Sunday Dinner

On any given Sunday I'm generally taking recipes that I've become familiar with and give it a little twist.  Generally just a small something...this time I thought why not make a healthy-ish meal from some of my favorite ingredients and give it a little extra flavor by grilling it instead of sauteing everything in butter or oil.

Steamed potatoes in a little water and garlic infused olive oil - recipe is in another one of my blogs.

Get together some prepared early spring or baby zucchini, patty pan squash, sweet onion, and cremini mushrooms, toss with a little garlic, Hawaiian salt and pepper. 

Then grill everything until you get those delicious grilled flavor marks on them.  The chicken in the picture we did a mojito lime marinade which I love!!!!! (Thank you to my sister Michele for the introduction to this fantastic marinade).

Paul did the grilling...under the eve in the backyard while it rained :) At least it was a relatively cool day for Arizona....

Finished product is healthy-ish deliciousness on a plate.

With a side salad.

And...a virgin mojito...not healthy...but delicious!

Mojito Recipe:
Muddle three-four leaves of mint with two juicy lime wedges and 2 teaspoons of simple syrup
Add a ton of what my sister and I call rabbit poop ice (the ice from Sonic - the best ice!)
Then add Canada Dry Ginger-Ale (the only kind I use - I have a lot of Canadian friends - I believe it would be detrimental to our friendship if I used anything else).

Paul's Birthday Prime Rib

The beginning of any Prime Rib for my family always starts with Hawaiian Salt being infused with Rosemary - this takes place a day or two ahead of cooking.  I have three types of Hawaiian Salt this time, regular white, Red Alaea, and Black Lava.

I love Hawaiian Salt...obviously, because that is what I grew up with on my little island of Moloka'i. I can remember my friend Pili and her grandma walking up the sea cliffs by one of our favorite beaches to gather our salt.  Her grandma always cautioned her to just take the nice white salt and then they would pick up the Red Alaea that would be at the bottom of the red dirt crevices that were along the sea cliffs on the North side of the island.  The Black Lava salt came from the Big Island which would generally be sent by our cousins or whomever.

 After the infusion takes place I take the rosemary out and place it first on the pan that I'm cooking the prime rib on.  Then salt and pepper the 6-7 lbs hunk of meat (that has been resting out of the fridge for at least two hours - don't ever want to cook cold meat...you don't get a good sear).

Cooking wise I generally follow Ina Garten's Recipe I was really sad that I didn't pay attention to what I was buying and got a prime rib without the actual ribs...I was a bit harried as I shopped.  It still had great flavor though.

Of course I don't have a picture of it completely cooked...it was a largish party (30 people) and...the natives were hungry.

I make the jus from drippings and sad to say packets of dry mix.  However, I do add a whole onion chopped skin on and all, chopped celery and carrots in all their glory and boil away for a few hours.  Then I strain the jus and serve.

I'm so happy that we could celebrate Paul's birthday with family, food and fun!

28 December 2014

When a Turkey is too much...a Roasted Chicken will do

It's been a while since I've made an actual roasted chicken. It might be the laziness in me, I usually just buy a Costco rotisserie chicken and use that to make a quick pot pie, chicken noodle soup, or chicken salad.  However, I was feeling a little more homemakery...(that's right, I made up a word) lately and wanted to make a nice dinner for Paul. He loved it, I still don't really like roasted chicken or turkey - but it was pretty delicious.

I used Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken recipe. Couple of changes though, I didn't use fennel, I added Golden Yukon potatoes, and celery. I would definitely leave out the lemon next time I make it. I just don't like lemon with roasted chicken. Also, I was a bit lazy and didn't melt the butter, next time I will though - would have made my life easier.

I used my wonderful handy dandy Le Creuset Braiser, but any large oven-safe pan is great for this one pot meal.

I took the chicken out of the pan and rested it on a ridged cutting board tented with foil for about 10 minutes while I made the gravy from the drippings.  Of course, I also set aside the roasted veggies, because I used the braiser to make the gravy, didn't want to waste all that delicious flavor.
I made your basic gravy. Equal parts flour and chicken fat skimmed from the drippings, browned with about a tablespoon of minced shallots (optional). Added enough drippings (and a little chicken stock) to make a nice gravy, stirring constantly until thickened and boiling for at least one minute to ensure no weird flour flavor. At the end just add a tablespoon or two of heavy whipping cream per each cup of gravy.  So the recipe would look something like this:

Saute over medium-low heat: 1 tablespoon minced shallot in 2 tablespoons chicken fat
Add: 2 tablespoons flour and mix until lightly browned
Add: 1 cup chicken drippings or stock
Bring to boil stirring constantly and boil for about  minute
Add: 1-2 tablespoon(s) heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste

I like to make a lot of gravy, so I usually just make as much gravy as the chicken fat will allow me to.

I plated this with steamed freshly shelled peas. Paul loved it, and I'm sure you will too!

Mahalo no i heluhelu 'oe

06 September 2014

Saturday Breakfast

Don't you love waking up Saturday morning, lazing about then having a great breakfast that didn't take too much time to make?  I love it, especially this Saturday. Friday, Paul woke me up around 6AM, I asked him where he was going. He said work. I totally thought it was Saturday.  
I was really bummed.

Late Friday night, I saw that we still had a bag of those cute little buttery Golden Yukon potatoes, about a week old, so I knew I needed to cook them soon. Paul asked me to cut his hair, so I knew I was going to be up for at least another 20 minutes which is how long it takes to make these deliciously steamed potatoes.

Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter with a dash of olive oil to bring the smoke point up on the butter, over low heat. Add your 1 lb to 1-1/2 lbs of miniature potatoes (or large chopped regular potatoes), with an 1/8 cup of water and a little Kosher salt.  Steam on low heat for about 20-25 minutes. If you're worried about burning the potatoes, feel free to shake up the pan with the lid firmly locked in place - try not to open it up.

I like to use this pan. It's the best for steaming potatoes. But really, any heavy enameled cast-iron dutch oven pan with a good heavy lid will work.

 Sur La Table

Once cooled, I just put them in the fridge.  

Saturday morning while listening to KBay and watching the Tennis U.S. Open, I melted some butter with a dash of olive oil, tossed in the potatoes with a little chopped onion and sweet red and orange bell peppers, a little  fresh thyme, Kosher salt and pepper.

Paul's breakfast; a little bacon, over hard eggs, Boudin sourdough toast and the breakfast potatoes. Only thing missing for me was the Pepper Plant Chunky Garlic Sauce from Gilroy, CA.  I really need to get Paul to order me some.

Anyways easy peasy.  And yeah, it was as delicious as it looks :)

Mahalo no i heluhelu 'oe

03 August 2014

Football Season & Prosciutto Sliders

So things that you will need.  Sweet rolls, prosciutto, some kind of cheese, I used Gouda, hamburger mixed with french onion soup mix (as directed on the box), 1 diced onion, mayo and pickle.  I know you want specific measurements, however, you ain't gonna get it.  Live a little and just cook!

 Make a little well in enough hamburger to cover up your little slice of cheese.

Once nicely formed, lightly flour the hamburger patty then wrap in yummy prosciutto.

Make plenty of these - they go fast.

Pan fry until cooked and they look delicious.

Caramelize the diced onion in some of the drippings from frying the sliders. 

Build your sliders.

Enjoy this season!  Hooray for football!

05 October 2011

Chocolate and White Chocolate Rice Pudding

Trying to figure out how to make white chocolate taste like something beside vanilla...it's really a no go, but whatever.  And just so you know, in my endeavor to make it taste like white chocolate, I used too much and the rice pudding wasn't as thick as it usually is.  That being said, nothing wrong with experimenting in the kitchen. Basic recipe is from Ina Garten - 
But I don't like rum raisin so I tried to figure other flavors - I like my macadamia nut and coconut recipe, but Paul doesn't like it, so I'm trying other flavors.

Here are the culprits...there was also supposed to be sugar in the pic...eh *shrug*

Cooking the rice for 8 minutes in just water and kosher salt, covered.

 Getting the chocolate ready for the rice - the wet stuff is the vanilla paste.

Added the half-and-half to the rice - bring to boil then simmer uncovered 25 minutes.

 Tempering the egg with some of the rice pudding.

 Mixing the egg into the rice pudding and cooking for about a minute.

Mixing the rice pudding in with the milk chocolate chips.

 Mixing the rice pudding in with the white chocolate chips. Used way too many chips.

Still tasted alright.  I will try again :)

04 October 2011

What to do with leftovers...Think...Think...Think, Pasta again?

Really, when you have a bunch of leftover stuff from making other dinners, what else are you gonna make?  I had; mushrooms, grilled chicken, patty-pan squash, spinach, gruyere and Parmesan cheese - sounds like pasta to me.

Wedged the patty-pan squash - my Mom thought they were cute and just had to have them and she insisted on whole wheat pasta.  Just a tip with whole wheat pasta - cook it 2 - 3 minutes longer than instructed on the box - that way you get a more acceptable al dente.

The sauce was just a little cream and 1 cup each, grated Parmesan and gruyere.

Wasn't too bad for leftovers.