Sunday, September 26, 2010

RECIPE: Grilled Stuffed Portobello

It's Sunday... and you know what that means! I'm playing in the kitchen!

Turn on the grill and get ready for a REALLY yummy lunch (or dinner)...

This is where I started... my special garlic infused olive oil, parsley and basil from my garden, an heirloom tomato, a lemon, soy sauce and a few other things...

But first let me show you some of the bounty of my garden: italian flat-leaf parsley and african blue basil.

The basil is so fancy that it deserves a fancy chiffonade...

It's so fancy we're going to make confetti out of it...

Set it aside... we'll use it later.

Next we mix together the goods that are gonna go inside the grilled portobello: cheese, tomato, black pepper and some of that yummy oil.

Prep that portobello...

Take out the stem, scoop out the gills and clean it up...

And then it gets some great flavor ...

To the grill we go (or, in this case, the panini pan... the most versatile tool in my kitchen)...

Stem side down to start with... then give her a flip... and fill her up...

Sprinkle with basil and cover for the last couple of minutes grilling. This will help the cheese melt faster and partly steam the tomatoes... mmm...

Serving it up with bread is a must... because the mushroom will leave behind some amazing juices that you'll want to sop up. Just trust me on this one...

But trust me soon... because you want to make one within the week. Especially while the GOOD tomatoes are still in season.

Grilled Stuffed Portobello
Recipe courtesy Lori Tisdale

2 portobello mushrooms
1 medium heirloom tomato, diced
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon garlic-infused olive oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon Juice from one lemon
Fresh parsley, chiffonade
Fresh basil, chiffonade

Prepare the grill. Combine cheese, tomatoes, black pepper and ½ teaspoon of oil. Remove stems and gills from inside of Portobello. Mix together soy sauce, other ½ teaspoon of olive oil and juice from one lemon. Brush both sides of Portobello with soy mixture. Place Portobello on hot grill, stem side down. Grill for 3 to 5 minutes and turn over. Once turned over, fill each Portobello with tomato and cheese mixture. Sprinkle basil on top. Cover with domed lid and allow to cook for another 3 – 5 minutes. After cooking, sprinkle with parsley. Serve with bread, to sop up the juices that run off the Portobello.

enjoy your time in the kitchen...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

RECIPE: Maid-Rite Sandwich

What exactly is a Maid-Rite sandwich? It's the sandwich made famous by the restaurant chain by the same name, based in Iowa. While there recipe might be a highly guarded secret... this is my version.

I love to taste something and then try to recreate it, or make it my own. Tonight we have my version of the midwestern favorite! We start with just a few ingredients.... and it comes together pretty quickly. Let it simmer for an hour... and make your sandwich, topping it with your favorite condiments.

Come with me on a journey to Iowa, where it all started...

Brown the ground beef and onion...

Add the salt, pepper and garlic powder (or the garlic cloves if that's what you're using)...

Add the "W" sauce... and the soy sauce...

... and the water... and a good stir.

Place a cover on it and allow to simmer for at least an hour.

Place some meat mixture on top of toasted buns... add cheese if desired. Or prepare to top the loose meat with ketchup, mustard and pickles.

Or if you like green olives as much as I do, add some diced olives as relish. Oh man... they add a buttery taste, amazingly enough...

4 for the sandwich and 1 for the cook!

Yummy in my tummy!

Thank you, Iowa! I owe ya one...

Maid Rites

1/2 tablespoon canola oil
1 lb. ground beef
½ onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon THICK Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup water

In canola oil, brown the ground beef, onion and garlic together. Drain. Add “W” sauce, soy sauce, salt/pepper and water.

Simmer for at least 1 hour. Serve on buns with mustard, ketchup, pickles, etc.

Confession: I like diced green olives on just about ANYTHING!!! (except maybe waffles...)

enjoy your time in the kitchen...

RECIPE: Creamed Corn and Leek Risotto

Tried another new recipe tonight. Note to self: Use the optional ingredients next time! (I didn't this time 'cuz I didn't have them). But after tasting this, it changed my mind on the "optional" term. Going forward, recipe will read "mandatory".

This is where I started... with the "mise en place" [meez-on-plos]. That's a froo-froo sounding French term for "everything has it's place". I always start with the prep of the ingredients.

I cut the kernels off the cob, leaving the root in tact on the ear. I wanted to get at that beautiful cream inside the kernel to add even more flavor to this risotto.

To extract that flavor, I ran the back side of the knife down corn kernels and it pushed the cream right out. I mean just LOOK at that flavor! And believe me, you want all of it!

The upper row of corn still has the cream in it. The bottom row of corn shows the openings where the cream had been hanging out... waiting for this exact moment in time.

I also cut up my leeks. You know what a leek is ... it's what looks like a green onion, only on steroids! They taste kinda oniony... but with a rather mellow taste. Since leeks are layered like onions and grow up through the soil, they are likely to trap some dirt between their layers. So, I cut the leek lengthwise, and then diced into half-moon shapes. Then I threw the leeks in a large bowl of water. The dirt sank to the bottom while the leeks floated on top. I strained them out, and onto a rag for a quick pat-dry.

Then I moved to the stove...

First: Butter, oil and leeks...

Second: add arborio rice, allowed to hang out for a while to take on the oil. Before I moved on, I added the wine and allowed it a few minutes to evaporate/soak up into the rice...

Third: add creamed corn (cream and all), followed by 1/2 cup of boiling stock and the stirring begins.

Watch those beatiful rice grains puff up ... they are puffing up with the cream from the corn, the chicken stock and a great leek flavor! Good stuff!

I kept adding more and more chicken stock... all the while continuing to stir until I just couldn't stir anymore. After tasting it for flavor (does it need some salt? Yes!) I added the parmesan cheese and another small nob of butter... the perfect finishing touches!

We enjoyed this alongside some freshly grown green beans and grilled chicken tenders topped with more of that yummy anchovy dressing! < --- we LOVE that stuff!

But don't take my word for it... it's so easy! You should try it too!

Creamed Corn and Leek Risotto
Recipe courtesy Lori Tisdale

½ tablespoon butter
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 medium leek, finely sliced
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cups boiling chicken stock
2 ears of sweet corn
¼ cup white wine
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Kosher salt to taste

Optional additions:
6 slices of prosciutto, diced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

In a large bowl (using smaller bowl turned upside down as a platform) cut corn kernels off the ears, cutting down the middle of the kernel (not at the root). Run the back of the knife along the spine of the ear, where the remaining kernels are still attached to ear. This will “press” the cream out of the corn and into the bowl below with the kernels. This is good flavor!

Heat butter/oil together in a large pan, add leek and cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Stir in Arborio rice and cook for 1-2 minutes or until rice changes color.

Add wine and stir until it is dissolved/soaked up by rice. Gradually pour in boiling stock, one ½ cup at a time, stirring continually. Add creamed corn and stir well. Leave uncovered and continue to add stock ½ cup at a time. Stir well and sample for taste. When nearly done add parmesan cheese and another nob of butter, stir well until all melted. Serve immediately.

Optional: When adding parmesan cheese also stir in prosciutto and thyme leaves.

enjoy your time in the kitchen...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

RECIPE: Saffron Risotto and sauteed Mahi Mahi with anchovy dressing

Well, I wasn't sure I could get my hubby to eat this dish. I was going out on the ledge with so many vegetables! And I simply didn't think he would be OK with the anchovy dressing.

But eat it he did! AND he enjoyed it...

Confession time: I may or may not have told him what the sauce was called before he ate it. OK, I did tell him... and he wasn't as weirded out by it as I thought he'd be. Then I broke it to him that there are anchovies in a classic caesar salad dressing.

Starting with the risotto... thank you Mario Batali for giving me a recipe to start with. I'll be tweaking it a little in the future. Hope you don't mind...

I've been waiting to make this risotto ever since I bought saffron. And I'd been waiting to buy saffron ever since I ate at CinCin! in Poway, California. It was there that we enjoyed an appetizer that was my inspiration.

So come with me on a journey... and every journey begins with the first step.

Here is the first step... sweating the onions.

Then I added the saffron to the hot chicken stock so it would infuse the flavor nicely.

Next add the arborio rice to the onion and oil, stirring well to make sure all of the grains are coated with oil. Let the rice toast up for several minutes...

... add a little wine, a good dry white wine. The wine will evaporate pretty quickly but leave behind a really great flavor.

Then the process of ladling starts. And get ready for some stirring...

Look at that color! I can't wait to eat this!

Keep ladling... one ladle at a time...

Yes, just keep stirring...

To break up the monotony a little I'll take a break and get the veggies started. Tonight I'm grilling these in my panini pan. But first I tossed them in a little bit of olive oil and kosher salt.

AAAANNNNND... we're back to ladling and stirring...

And more ladling and stirring... I know that my persistence will eventually pay off! I just know it...

In the meantime, it was time to start the mahi mahi. I sauteed it in just a little bit of oil and butter, seasoned with some kosher salt.

After checking the risotto, giving it a taste and checking for doneness, I put the final touches on the risotto (nothing like a lil' butter and parmesan to top it all off!).

Still stirring... but almost done.

...and then it was ready!

And this is where the anchovy dressing comes into the picture. It will get ladled over the fish once it's all plated up.

Can I have another piece of mahi mahi now?! That dressing is so darn GOOD!!!

Saffron Risotto aka Risotto Milanese
Recipe courtesy Mario Batali

1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, cut into ¼” dice
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
2 cups chicken stock, hot
1 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling

In a 12-14" skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile add the saffron to the stock, stirring to infuse. Once the onions are translucent add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until toasted and opaque, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the wine to the toasting rice, and then add a 4-6 ounce ladle of the saffron-infused stock and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Continue adding the stock a ladle at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Cook until the rice is tender and creamy and yet still a little al dente, about 15 minutes. Stir in the butter and cheese until well mixed. Serve as desired... makes two "healthy" portions.

enjoy your time in the kitchen...


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