Thursday, July 3, 2008

Kitchen Catch-Up Chronicles

First off, I feel like I should apologize... my posting has been really erratic for this last month. Even responding to comments hasn't happened with the frequency I'd like and y'all are pretty much champs for not deleting me from your Readers. Who am I kidding? You probably didn't even notice! Not the point- I noticed. Work has been silly crazy and goodnight, summer hit and there's just not a dull moment unless it's "penciled-in."

But I'm back and I've been kissing and cooking all the time I was away. On second thought, I think we're about as up to speed as we need to be on that first part. Sisterfriend's gotta have a few secrets after all! As for the cooking...I cook when I'm happy. I think you can see I've been pretty busy:

Chocolate Toffee Trifle- She Gets It From Her Momma (A Kate standby)
This is an easy recipe that is whiskeytango ridiculous. Do not allow for leftovers unless you have roommates or family to eat them because you will eat it. For breakfast. For lunch. To calm yourself down at 4am when you dream you gained 40 lbs in a week. It is THAT good, it is pretty foolproof and it is even better on Day 2.

1 box of brownie mix (Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Chunk is my personal preference)
1/3 cup Kahlua
1 large box of instant chocolate pudding
1 bag of crushed Heath bar or 6 Skor bars pounded into little bits
1 tub of Cool Whip, defrosted

1) Make the brownies according to the directions.
2) Once you've put those in the oven, make the pudding according to its instructions
3) When the brownies come out, poke holes in the top with fork and then pour Kahlua as evenly as possible over the surface. Allow to cool for 15-20 min then mix in with a fork.
4) Layer the ingredients starting with brownie/Kahlua crumble at the bottom, then pudding, then cool whip, then Heath and repeat as many times as your ingredients allow, ending with Cool Whip and a few Heath bits on top.

Ta Da!
Served with: Sauvignon Blanc (and Moussaka)

Soy Ginger Lime Salmon with Veggie "Fried" Rice
This was dinner tonight and it made so much it will be lunch tomorrow as well...something to look forward to!!

Salmon Marinade

6 fl oz/170ml light soy sauce

4 fl oz/130ml olive oil

2 teasp sesame oil

2 Tabs grated fresh ginger ( I cheated and used 1.5 tsp of the tubed Ginger you can buy at Jewel...worked for me!)

Juice of 1 lime

4 cloves garlic, crushed

.5 tsp cilantro (optional)

Combine all then add 3/4 of the mixture to your salmon in a ziplock and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. If it wasn't dark and stormy here today, I would have grilled but instead just baked at 400 for 10-12 minutes. Lots of flavor in this one and each holds its own.

For the rice, I made a pot of brown rice and while it cooked (40 minutes) I got rid of all my extra produce. In a saute pan with 2 TB EVOO I sauteed onions, baby spinach, garlic, zucchini, a handful of crushed roasted peanuts, and broccoli with one beaten egg. I then added the rice along with the remaining quarter of my salmon marinade for seasoning. Squirted a half of a juice lemon over the top and added some fresh parsley...done and DELICIOUS on a week night!
Served with: Fat Tire
Lamb Burger with Summer Veggie Saute` and Mashed Red Skins
I made a LOT of the lamb burgers when I had Dan, Lex, Lisa, Dave and Caro over last week so I'm still reaping the "fridge benefits." Find the burger recipe two down:)

Summer Veggie Saute`
1 medium zucchini
1 clove garlic
1.5 cups baby spinach
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1) Saute your sliced zucchini and garlic in the olive oil until barely cooked.
2) Add your spinach and herbs and season with sea salt and pepper.
3) Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and mix to distribute. Yum.

Served with: Sancerre in the garden

Blueberry Button Pie
I have a good feeling about pie these days and after seeing this one on The Bitten Word, I knew I needed to fold it into my summer list. I followed their recipe to a T and am glad everyone's having such luck with the Cook's Illustrated pie crust! I added buttons to my pie by cutting them out of excess dough using the cap to my vanilla extract. I'd do it again.

Lamb Burgers
I tend to eat a lot of vegetables in the summer, but don't think I don't looove a good burger. Plus the lamb just adds to my Greek geek list.

1.5 pounds Ground Lamb (Green City Market has a great selection for the Chicagoans)
1 pound 85/15 Ground Beef
2 TB Ketchup
1 tsp Worchestchire sauce
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp fresh thyme
3 TB breadcrumbs
1 egg
chopped, fresh flatleaf parsley

Mix all together in a nonreactive bowl and get up to your wrists in meat. Really work those ingredients through and make them into patties. They should refrigerate as patties, covered, for at least an hour so they'll hold together better on the grill. I'd recommend a sharp cheddar, a slice of tomato and a grilled English muffin or brioche roll to accompany.

Served with: All kinds of fun.

Jaimeson cooks as well. And he's deduced that talking about his kitchen adventures makes me do the whole sigh, swoon, carry self off to bed bit so a couple times a week we trade food porn. When we were in Soho we wandered into Sur le Table (I got a sweeet gift card from Elle & EpiChem for my 25th). We started pricing out Dutch Ovens but he made his purchase upon returning to LA and promptly put it to use. He sent a series of photos over the weekend that looked so incredible, I thought I could smell it wafting in from California. TKTC indeed.

Jaimeson's Smoked Chipotle Roast
4lbs of beef (chuck & tenderloin combination)
Smoked bacon (thick, 4 slices)
2 large white or yellow onions
3 sliced cloves of garlic
1/2 stick unsalted butter
4TB flour
1.5 lbs potatoes (Yukon Gold)
1 lb baby carrots
2 TB Smoked Paprika
2 tsp Chipotle Chili Powder
2 bottles dry red wine

1) Sear the meat in batches, so as to get every piece seared evenly, then set aside in a separate bowl.
2) Bake bacon, blot, crumble and add to Dutch oven with two pulls of EVOO and the diced onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. When the onions are transluscent, put the mixture in a separate bowl and set aside.
3) Your pot should be empty at this point but for the bits of meat and goodness stuck to the bottom. Add TB to half stick butter and 4 TB flour to make the roux. Add paprika, powder, salt and pepper stirring in until thick and just slightly gummy.
4) De-glaze the oven with wine. Bring to a boil. Add meat, etc. Boil again. Place lid on Dutch Oven then put in oven at 350 for 1.5 hours.
5) Take lid off and add veggies. Keep seasoning with S&P. Cook for another 1/2 hour at med-low on cooktop.
6) Serve with good, warm bread and garnish with chives and blue cheese.

Served with: Good red wine. Plus whatever you're cooking with. "To make sure it's safe."

Sighs, Swoons, Carries self off to bed.


Nilsa S. said...

When I read blog posts like this, two things happen. (1) I begin salivating at your cooking - yummy! and (2) I get excited because we might have registered for a dutch oven. (And is it just me, or does "dutch oven" sound dirty? hahaha)

L Sass said...

"Served with Fat Tire"

You sure do know the way to my heart.

I have to try that lamb burger recipe. I always love a good lamb burger in a restaurant, but I've never tried to make one myself! Wish I had a grill...

Cheryl said...

Must try that trifle. You know every time I stop by, I end up drooling all over my keyboard.

The Charming Hedonist said...

Cook, do you want to move to Florida and be my roommate? I would ask you to marry my, but there's that whole hang up of The IAM (I really do kinda like him) and the whole no-same-sex-marriage-in-Florida thing.

Oh, that and I would have to live at the Gym. Hmmmm..... By the pictures, I'm thinking it's worth it.

Katrin said...

Wow, I will have to take a few of these recipes and will try to make them for us here! :)

(Although, dare I say it? I don't like trifle all that much.)

ToKissTheCook said...

Nilsa: Dutch oven tooootally sounds dirty, it's not just you. And I don't have one yet so I will be jealous!

Sass: And it flows like water in Chicaaago! Lamb burgers...YUM.

Cheryl: My apologies to your keyboard and make that chocolate trifle, it is the easiest thing!!

CH: Move to Florida and be your personal chef? I could totalllly be a snowbird...and I couldn't marry you anyway. I'd lose my shirt in the divorce:)

Katrin: I think trifle over in the Eur is typically savory, yes? This one is a reason to make a big mess of liquor-laced brownies with candy, pudding and whipped cream. Although why do I think you're not a chocolate person? Hmmm.