Category Archives: chive

Asparagus with Bacon Sabayone

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This was one of the dishes I made when I had my great idea to cook a gourmet type meal for Kevin the other night. I have been making so many pasta dishes, soups, and Mexican food, I figured some red meat and fancy sides would put a smile on his face. Well I didn’t count on the smile being one that came from watching me run like a chicken with my head cut off in the kitchen trying to get everything done at once. That smile is not a fun smile for me.
Not that he complains, well OK he does complain but I know it is just to stir me up and make me crazy, but I do know his true love, aside from me I hope, is steak. A nice big ribeye steak preferably, cooked just enough to get it to lay still on the plate. We do both share a love for rare meat. I used to tell waitresses I wanted my steak cooked just long enough that a good vet could get it back on it’s feet in a few minutes!
Sorry to gross anyone out that doesn’t like their meat that way. I will go back to the meal. Ribeye is too pricey to eat all of the time, so I have been trying to find steaks that he will enjoy without saying they are too chewy. Hangar steak is one of them but they are too hard to find. So flat iron steak is another way to go. Especially when it is cooked medium rare it is very tender and not chewy at all. I am really not much of a red meat lover anymore but this is one of those steaks I do enjoy.
So now I can’t just salt and pepper the steak and cook it right? I mean that is great once in a while but I seriously doubt it would make for an interesting post for you all. Kevin doesn’t like sauces much but I figured a nice red wine sauce with a little bite of mustard would compliment the steak and make him smile. I was right, he loved the sauce YAY!! (See the steak recipe here)
Oops, I need to talk about the asparagus right? Sorry, got side tracked. If you want to see the recipe for the steak I have been babbling about take a look here

One thing we do both agree on is that asparagus is one of our favorite veggies. Normally I just steam it and then toss it in a hot skillet with a bit of olive oil, or sesame oil, and salt and pepper. Simple and tasty. But again I was trying to be “gourmet” so I decided to do a sabayone, and of course you have to have bacon right? I was very nervous about trying a sauce I had never made before but determined to make it.
I was really surprised at how easy it was to make. Except for having to whisk for about 4 minutes non stop, good upper arm work out, this was a pretty easy dish to get together.
Neither one of us had ever had sabayone before so it was fun to try something new. Big plus was we both really really liked it. I almost made it again for Christmas. 
Asparagus with Bacon Sabayone
4 strips bacon, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed
4 eggs yolks
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
Cook bacon until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel to drain, reserve the drippings
Bring a pot of water to boil, add salt and asparagus. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, drain and reserve.
Combine egg yolks, water, vinegar, mustard, and cayenne pepper in a heat proof bowl set over a simmering pot of water. Whisk until sauce thickens, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1 tablespoon bacon drippings. Add salt and pepper if needed.
Serve sauce over asparagus and top with reserved bacon and chives.
ENJOY!!
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Homemade Ranch Dressing the Healthy Way

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My son loves Ranch dressing. He will literally put it on everything! We used to go through Costco sized bottles in a week at times. 
Well in my quest to try and lighten up recipes, I became very determined to come with up a ranch dressing that was healthier but didn’t lose any flavor. I mean we all have a certain way we expect ranch dressing to taste right?
I have been trying for a couple years, but have come up with things that work ok and tasted good but just not “the” ranch dressing. I was beginning to get a little discouraged until I started working with Greek yogurt a lot. I sub it for sour cream most of the time now. I love the fact that I am not only reducing fat and calories but adding protein to whatever I put it in. I decided that was one of my missing ingredients in this recipe. Between that and adding more fresh herbs I nailed it this time! I will never go back to any other dressing!

I decided to give the step by step photos a try. So let’s see how it goes OK?
The cast of characters
Add your low fat mayo
Then that tangy Greek yogurt
Now all of those fab herbs. Kevin says it looks like I mowed the yard *eyeroll*
Some minced garlic
It can’t be buttermilk ranch without the buttermilk right? Low fat of course.

OK in our house we have to add the Sriracha. A little bit just gives it a tang so don’t be afraid, give it a shot!!
And of course some good ol’ kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
You can throw it in a food processor, blender, or one of these handy dandy attachments that come with an immersion blender. Have I mentioned how much I love this gadget?!
Then you end up with a fabulous dressing for salads and veggies. I leave mine rather thick, like a dip. Then it can be mixed with some more buttermilk or even milk to thin it out for salads.
Homemade Ranch Dressing the Healthy Way
  • 1 cup low fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced ( a good handful)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Dash hot sauce (Recommended Sriracha)
  • 1 lemon, juiced 
  • 1/2 cup low fat buttermilk 

In a food processor or blender combine all of the ingredients and pulse until thoroughly blended. Adjust seasoning as needed. Pour into an airtight container and chill for 1 to 2 hours before using. 

Thin with more buttermilk if needed.

ENJOY!!!

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

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Do you sometimes get stumped about what to make for a side dish? I know I sure do. I always defer to potatoes or rice when that happens. But potatoes and rice can get pretty boring right? Sometimes I come up with ideas right off the top of my head, other times I head to my good old standby Pintrest!! I have a TON of things pinned so there is plenty of things to choose from. This was one of the times my creative juices were just not flowing. I fired up the computer, popped on to Pintrest, and found this dish that I had saved as one I wanted to work on.
When I say “work on” I mean I find dishes that sounds awesome to me but I want to lighten them up maybe, or use some different ingredients. This was one I wanted to lighten up. I was a bit nervous about taking out all of the “good stuff”. I thought maybe it would lose the flavor. But boy was I wrong! There is the familiar zip of Ranch dressing but a lighter version. YAY!!! A winner!

I know these aren’t the best pictures. I am trying to figure out my photo situation with it getting dark so early now. But at least you can see all the crispy and creamy goodness!!

Roasted Ranch Potatoes
Adapted from a recipe on My Gourmet Connection

  • 1-1/2 lbs baby yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives,chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray a shallow baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking pan and roast until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375°F.

While the potatoes roast, whisk the buttermilk, yogurt, vinegar, thyme, and chives together in a bowl.

Spray an ovenproof casserole with nonstick spray. Add the roasted potatoes to the bowl with the buttermilk mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to the casserole, return to the oven and bake until bubbly, 10 to 15 minutes.

ENJOY!!

White Wine Braised Chicken

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Last night was the first night that we have had the kids over for dinner since we moved. They have been getting settled into their new place and we have been getting settled into ours. It was nice to have a bit of family time so we could all relax and take a deep breath after all the craziness (moving sucks…just saying). So I really wanted to make a nice hearty home cooked meal for them. Plus I had gotten a phone call from my son saying, “Mom I really miss your food!”. Tasty dinner coming right up!!
I have been making sandwiches, and fast food knock offs all week. I decided I wanted a meal that was balanced, filling, and full of good stuff. I mean we know what kids eat when they are on their own right? Protein, veggies, and some nice crusty bread seamed like a wonderful choice. I really do miss cooking for the whole family. It is nice for Kevin and I to have our own space but I’m seriously going through the empty nest thing here!!

I made this with skin on bone in chicken thighs because, well I just love the flavor and juiciness of thighs. But you could do this just as easily with breasts if you prefer. I would use skin on bone in breast though if you want that nice golden brown crust on the meat. I wish I had browned mine just a tad bit longer.
This one of my meals that I call a “kitchen sink” meal. I threw a tons of stuff in the that was on hand. Beans, veggies, herbs, you name it. That is the beauty of a recipe like this. Once you  have the meat and braising liquid you can go crazy and make it your own! 
Everyone loved it and it just ended up being a nice tummy filling comfort food kind of dinner to share with my family! I hope you give it a try!!
White Wine Braised Chicken
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green portions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise, rinsed clean of grit
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 19-ounce can of Cannelinni beans, drained
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (2 ears of corn)
  • 8-ounces frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 Tablespoons. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 loaf of crusty bread, opptional


Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides and, working in batches if necessary, brown the chicken on both sides, about 8 minutes total per batch. Remove to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the leeks and red pepper to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and wilted and absorbed most of the chicken fat. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. 

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the wine using a wooden spoon to scrape up and browned bits that are on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for a minute or so to cook off the alcohol. Add the chicken stock to the pan and bring back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Return the chicken to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan and allow to cook for 45 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with tin foil to keep it warm.

Add the beans and corn to the pan and turn the heat up to medium. Continue to cook while stirring occasionally, for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the corn kernels have softened. Add the peas, chives, and lemon juice and cook for an additional few minutes to heat up the peas. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning.

Ladle the broth and veggies into a bowl and top with 2 chicken thighs. Serve with crusty bread.

ENJOY!!


Food Star Friday – Planked Salmon with Egg Sauce

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One of the things I love so much about Food Star Friday’s is that I try things I wouldn’t normally try. I search recipes and watch the food shows with an open mind. This recipe is by Chef Michael Chiarello. In the past I have felt that his recipes were ones that I was afraid to tackle. I don’t know why, I just did. 
On this particular occasion I was really craving salmon, so when this dish popped up it caught my attention. It just sounded so different from anything I would choose to cook, and if I was surprised by my choice the family was even more surprised! The response I got when asked what was for dinner was several “What’s” “Ummmm’s” and “is that really what you are making?” Wow guys, thanks for the vote of confidence!! But, as usual, they were eating their words (along with a LOT of salmon) once the cooking dust had settled.

I did change the recipe a little by grilling the salmon on the plank instead of broiling it in the oven. But the weather has had me so addicted to grilling I couldn’t help myself! 
I am sorry the photos don’t do the salmon justice, this was very good!
Planked Salmon with Egg Sauce
FOR THE SALMON:
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skinned
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cedar or alder planks, or 2 untreated cedar shingles or shims (available at lumberyards), about 5 inches wide and 12 inches long, soaked at least 2 hours, or overnight, so as not to flame up

  • Olive oil

FOR THE EGG SAUCE:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallots or scallions
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup fish stock, chicken stock or low-salt canned chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, coarsely grated or chopped

  • 1 teaspoon fresh chives, optional
  • 1 tablespoon Californian sturgeon caviar, optional

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

In a small saucepanmelt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add shallots and saute 1 minute. Season with a pinch of salt. Add lemon juice,wine, stock and cream. Simmer over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until reduced to about 2 tablespoons.

Lower the heat and whisk in the remaining butter 1 tablespoon at a time, adding each piece when the previous one is almost melted.

Add hot sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve, into a bowl. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

Mix together the mustard powder, salt, and pepper. Brush the top of the salmon fillets with the melted butter. Season both sides with the mustard mixture and set aside.

Put the soaked shingles in the oven, directly on the racks, for about 3 to 5 minutes until the wood is lightly browned on top. Carefully take the shingles out of the oven and place them on a heat-proof surface.

Turn on the oven broiler.

Immediately brush the shingles with a thin layer of olive oil and lay the salmon fillets, skinned side down, on the browned side of each shingle. Place the shingles under the broiler and cook the fish for about 5 to 7 minutes, until firm but not dry. Remove the fillets to a platter or serve directly from the shingles.

Just before serving, stir the parsley and grated eggs into the reserved warm egg sauce. Fold in chives and caviar if using. Top the fillets with the egg sauce and a sprinkling of chives, and a dollop of caviar if using.

Lemon Pepper Rice

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Last night was Kevin’s son’s girlfriend’s 21st birthday. So I am moving a bit slow today. I didn’t realize all of the crazy drinks there are out there now. We went through quite the list of them last night too. There were White Gummy Bears, Stupid Goods, Starbursts, Laundrymats, Porn Stars (the drink, I don’t want you to have images of some wild woman spinning around a pole), and a couple more that have names that I wont be sharing on a family friendly blog. I sure came away with a long list of drinks for Tipsy Tuesday that is for sure. I don’t know who told me that I could keep up with a 21 year old but I can tell you that when I find them I am going to have some strong words for them! The most important thing is that she had a good time though, so I was very happy.

I wanted to make her a special dinner for her birthday so when I saw the lovely huge fresh caught shrimp at the store I knew I wanted to do something with them. She loves seafood and I knew she would love them. I made Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese and it was scrumptious.
I wanted something that would compliment the saltiness of the feta and immediately I knew it had to be lemon. The lemon and the pepper in this dish were perfect and would go wonderfully with any seafood dish you make. Plus it is a simple side dish so no fuss, that is another huge plus for me.
You can adjust the pepper level to suit your taste. I wasn’t sure how she would want it so I actually went light on the pepper. The next time I will use more, but again, I love things a bit spicy. You could also add a bit of butter to add some creaminess if you want but I was trying to keep things a bit lighter and healthier than I used to in the past.

Lemon Pepper Rice
2 cups long grain rice
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
Place the rice, stock, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a medium sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff the rice with a fork. Add ground pepper to taste (I used two healthy pinches, about 2 teaspoons) and stir in the chopped chives.
ENJOY!!

Cod Ratatouille En Papillote with Herb Salad

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OK I know that is a mouthful (and a tasty one at that, trust me) but really it is just fancy talk for cod cooked in parchment paper with a truck load of vegetables and a yummy herb salad on top of it all. But I figured that wouldn’t fit as a title so I went with the foo foo wording.

I was really excited to cook fish again because it gave me the opportunity to use some of my O Olive Oils. Remember I won the O Olive Oil and eRecipecards.com recipe challenge a while back? Well they sent me some of the olive oils I won and they have been staring at me from my counter saying “use me, use me!!” I didn’t marinade in the oil, which afterward I thought “dangit why didn’t I marinade?” but I did give the veggies and fish a good dousing of their Myer Lemon Olive Oil. I can’t say enough about their oils. The crush process they go through just gives the oils a fresh clean flavor. You can actually taste the fresh fruit in them sooooo yummy!!

I also got to break out the new Cuisinart food processor Kevin bought me for Christmas. He was disappointed because he thought he bought the one with the wide feed tube, but I am happy with it. I can chop the bigger stuff if needed. It sure made quick work of my zucchini I can tell you that!

But enough about my toys and gadgets. Lets talk about the food. I have to admit, this recipe looks a lot harder than it really is. The hardest part is slicing all the veg (unless you have a food processor…or a sous chef  hehe). Once you get the fish in that paper the oven does all of the work. No worrying that you have overcooked the fish or wondering if you should flip it over yet. Bing, bam, boom, fish done. Top it with the herb salad and you have a wonderfully healthy and tasty meal that the family, at least my family, will gobble up in no time flat! We had 2 pounds of fish for 4 people and I only eat small portions because of my surgery. So I will say that between the 3 of them they consumed 1 3/4 pounds of fish in mere minutes!

Even if you aren’t a big vegetable person (this has eggplant which I know some people will say eeewwww to right off the bat) the veggies are sliced so thin and they cook in the oilive oil, butter, and white wine which gives them an amazing flavor. A great way to get your vegetables without having to eat plain boring ones.

Oh, little side note, my parchment paper was not wide enough to wrap completely around the fish so I topped it with another sheet and folded up the sides. I even secured them with paper clips just to make sure it stayed sealed so all of the yummy steam and juices properly cooked the fish and veggies.

I know the dish looks a bit “rustic” but it is oohhhh sooooo yummy!!

This is the fish all piled up on the veggies and buttered up ready to go into the oven.
When it comes out you cut open the parchment paper and top it with the herb salad. And then…..Viola a beautiful, healthy, and darn tasty dish!!
Cod Ratatouille En Papillote with Herb Salad
For the Cod Ratatouille:
2 pounds cod, skinned
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 large or 2 small zucchinis, thinly sliced
1 large or 2 small eggplants, thinly sliced
1 large or 2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
White wine
1 red pepper, quartered and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped (we love garlic but you could use less if you aren’t a big fan)
8 sprigs fresh thyme
4 tablespoons butter, cubed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Herb Salad:
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked
1 bunch of fresh chives, chopped
1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 bunch of celery leaves, roughly chopped (I picked them off a bunch of celery I just bought)
1 bunch of baby dill, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
For the cod ratatouille, cover a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper that is about 2 inches wider than the baking sheet on all sides. Alternate the sliced vegetables along the length of the sheet making sure they are tightly aligned and long/wide enough to just peek out from under the fish. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the fish on top of the vegetables, drizzle with olive oil and white wine, season with salt and pepper.
Top with the red pepper, garlic, and time. Then dot it with the cubes of butter.
Top the fish with another sheet of parchment paper of the same size and roll/fold the sides and then ends up to seal the fish and veggies in tight (like I said I used paper clips to ensure it was sealed right).
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the fish is flaky.
Meanwhile to make the herb salad, add all of the chopped herbs into a medium bowl. In a small bowl combine the balsamic, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk it up and pour over the herbs. Toss with your fingers to get it combined. 
When the fish is done cut or tear the top open and top with the herb salad.
Serves 4 to 6

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Slow Cooker Roast Beef and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

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Kevin and I picked up some beef round tip roasts on sale so I decided I wanted to break out the slow cooker to cook one. I am always on the prowl for good slow cooker recipes. I have tried so many and a lot of them have been just plain awful. But I never give up hope so I keep searching with faith. This recipe rewarded that faith.

This recipe was adapted from a recipe I found on Haute Apple Pie. It looked wonderful and even though it called for beef brisket I chose it for my round tip roast. I mean beef is beef, to a certain extent right? And how can you go wrong with garlic mashed potatoes?!?! I used my Roasted Garlic Mashed Potato recipe for the potatoes in the meal, which complimented the beef beautifully.

I was so happy with how it turned out! This is a recipe that I will go to again and again. I mean I love cooking at night with the family. It is very relaxing for me to share my kitchen with the people I love. But it is nice to have a few recipes in the slow cooker arsenal.

All you might want to do is make a veggie for the side. Sauteing some asparagus or green beans would be super simple and very yummy with this meal. I was just all about the meat and potatoes this time.

This recipe calls for a red lager beer so I jumped at the chance to use one of my favorite beers.
After you brown your roast on all sides to seal in all of those yummy juices deglaze your pan with the beer. Make sure to use a wooden spoon to scrape the pan. You don’t want to miss any of those yummy brown bit!
Mix up your sauce
Put your roast in it’s comfy slow cooker bed and stuff his little celery friends in with him.
Pour the sauce over the beef. And after 8 hours on low…WALA yumminess at it’s best!!
Slow Cooker Roast Beef and Garlic Mashed Potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oill
1 3-4 lb. beef round tip roast (or brisket)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 12 oz bottle red lager 
4 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown mustard
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
In a large skillet over medium-high heat add the olive oil. Salt and pepper the roast and then add to the skillet browning it on all sides. When you are browning the last side add the garlic to the pan. Transfer meat to your slow cooker. Nestle celery around beef.
Pour the beer in skillet, scraping up all of the brown bits. Simmer for one minute. Add to slow cooker. 
In a medium bowl, add remaining ingredients and whisk. Pour over beef. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove from cooker and allow to sit about 10 minutes before cutting.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • 3 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.


Drizzle the garlic with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet in the oven. Roast the garlic for 30 to 35 minutes and remove from the oven. Allow to cool.

Remove garlic from the aluminum foil and squeeze each clove out of the skin and mash with a fork until a smooth paste forms.

While you are waiting for the garlic to cool place potatoes in a large saucepan, add enough cold water just to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until tender, about 15 minutes, Drain well.
While the potatoes are cooking, combine the milk, garlic paste and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Stir the milk mixture into the potatoes until combined. Fold in the mascarpone and season well with salt and pepper and serve.

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Rachael Ray Wednesday – Veal Scallopine with Dijon Sauce, Asparagus, and Avocados

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OK, I actually made this on the 14th. It was my daughters birthday and as usual I asked her what she wanted for her birthday dinner. That is the routine with my kids, and has been for years. She surprised me by telling me that whatever I wanted to cook was fine with her. She even told me to try the veal recipe if I wanted. I was shocked! She was really kinda nervous about trying veal. Like I said she is my Miss Picky. But I pointed out to her that she likes lamb so she agreed to try veal.


The first thing that surprised me when I started prepping to cook the recipe was, when I removed the the veal scallopine I bought from it’s packaging it was in thin strips. I have never cooked veal scallopine before, but I was expecting something more along the line of thin steak shaped pieces of meat, or rounds. That was just odd to me, but I kept on prepping. I was really surprised at how easy this was to make. The name makes it sound so, well, complicated I guess. Fancy name = lots of work, right? Nope, not true. Once I started cooking my biggest fear was overcooking the meat and making it tough but I cooked it just as is says in the recipe and it was perfect. 


I followed the recipe to the letter, like a good girl, and everything came out just as it was supposed to. I wasn’t sure how to place it on the plate so I did the best I could with Rachael’s instruction. Hopefully I was right. You can let me know how the picture looks.


As for the reviews, Jessi disliked it immediately. I think that could have been mostly in her head. She got herself psyched up that it she wouldn’t like it, I am not sure. Kevin and I were both on the fence with it. I liked the veal, but wasn’t jumping up and down about it. Kevin said he didn’t like it. He did love the sauce with the avocados and asparagus though. I kind of thought this was a weird combo when I was making it, but really when you eat it all together it really was good. I am thinking about playing around with this sauce and the avocados and some other meats. 


If you like veal you will love this recipe. Rachael says “this dish is one buttery, delicious, edible ode to spring” and it really was very buttery. Like I said, I liked it but just that, liked it, wasn’t head over heals in love with it. 

Veal Scallopine with Dijon Sauce, Asparagus, and Avocados

Ingredients

 Coarse salt
1 lemon
1 pound very thin asparagus tips
2 ripe Haas avocados
EVOO for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/4 pounds veal scallopine
Coarse black pepper
1 tablespoon all purpose flour, plus more for dredging
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup cream or half and half
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


In a large saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Salt the water. Add a couple of curls of rind from the lemon and the asparagus tips. Cook the tips for 3 minutes, then drain and reserve.


Cut into and around the pits of the avocados. Scoop the flesh from the avocados, and slice. Dress the slices with a little lemon juice, a drizzle of EVOO, and a pinch of salt, reserve.


Preheat your largest skillet over medium heat. Season the veal with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge the scallopine in a little flour. Add the two tablespoons of the EVOO and the two tablespoons of the butter to the hot skillet. WHen the butter melts into the oil, add the veal and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until evenly light golden in color. Place the veal on a platter under a loose tent of foil.


Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the tablespoon of flour to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the wine and scrape up the pans drippings. Whisk the stock into the wine and add the thyme, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir in the cream, then remove from the heat.


Arrange the asparagus and sliced avocados over the veal and pour a line of sauce over the top. Garnish the dinner plates or platter with chopped chives and serve.


Serves 4

Veal Scallopine


Asparagus


Avocado
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Food Star Friday – Creamy Potato and Leek Soup

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Happy Food Star Friday my fine foodie friends! I was really excited about this recipe because, well, as of late I am obsessed with soups and this one sounded sooooo good. Potato soup is a true comfort food to me. Mind you the potato soup I ate as a child was Campbell’s soup, but my Mom made it for me, so in my childhood memories it was a comfort food.

When I grew up, I lived in a tiny little trailer in a small town just outside of Reno, NV. It is one of those places that has weather extremes. Over 100 degrees in the summer at times, and snow in the winter. So when winter hit Mom would crank the heater and break out the Campbell’s soups. Cream of Potato, Cream of Mushroom, and Creamy Tomato all bring back vivid memories of my childhood and are true comfort foods for me. Poor Kevin just doesn’t understand my fondness for soups. He just keeps wondering why I seem to be determined to make a vegetarian out of him! That is why I chose this Emeril Lagasse recipe.

Now I will warn you, since it is Food Star Friday I did not change the recipe from the original. I mean that is the idea, do the star’s recipes and then review them right? OK, this recipe is great and the soup tastes amazing. However, if I had been making it just for my family I would have changed a few things to try and “healthify” it a bit.

I would substitute a tablespoon of olive oil for the two tablespoons of butter and use half and half instead of heavy cream. Doesn’t change it too much but I feel it makes it a bit better. Plus, as a person that has had gastric bypass, very heavily creamed food can make me feel a bit sick and this one, although it tasted AMAZING, made me feel a bit woozy. I know those minor changes would have made all of the difference.

I love my Goodwill finds, no more boring white bowl
Folding 2 leek leaves around the bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and peppercorns for a bouquet garni
wilt the sliced leeks 
add the wine, stock, potatoes, salt, white pepper, and bouquet garni
it all fit into my blender in one batch and came out so nice and smooth and creamy
Creamy Potato and Leek Soup
  • 1 large or 2 small leeks, about 1 pound
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 strips bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives

Trim the green portions of the leek and, using 2 of the largest and longest leaves, make a bouquet garni by folding the 2 leaves around the bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme. Tie into a package-shaped 

bundle with kitchen twine and set aside. (Alternately, tie 2 leek leaves, bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme together in a piece of cheesecloth.)
Using a sharp knife, halve the white part of the leek lengthwise and rinse well under cold running water to rid the leek of any sand. Slice thinly crosswise and set aside.

In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the bacon. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is very soft and has rendered most of its fat. Add the chopped leeks and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the reserved bouquet garni,chicken stock, potatoes, salt and white pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are falling apart and the soup is very flavorful.
Remove the bouquet garni and, working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor or blender. (Alternately, if you own an immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the pot.) Stir in the creme fraiche and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve immediately, with some of the snipped chives sprinkled over the top of each bowl of soup.
Serves 4

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