Friday, September 30, 2011

Bacon and rosemary Sauteed Brussels Sprouts and Baby Bellas

Jud is out of town and I am eating very healthy.  Tonight I came home from the movie, Higher Ground, and made this meal for myself.  It was all I needed. I loved it. I could have eaten the whole thing, but I wanted to save half for another time.  It could certainly be a side dish, but I made it for my meal.

Printable Version:

1 pound brussels sprouts
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, whiped clean
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil I probably only used about 2-3 T.
2 oz bacon, cut into 1" pieces.  I used 4 slices of bacon
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, each about 4 inches long  I probably only used one piece 2" long
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 T. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 lemon
1. Trim the stem ends of the Brusserls sprouts. Cut the smallest spraout into quarters
Cut the largest sprouts in half, and then cut each half into thirds, in both cases, cut lengthwise through the stem so that a piece of the core holds the leaves together. Cut the mushrooms in a similar fashion. Quarter the smallest ones, and cut the larger ones in half and then into thirds, lengthwise.
2. In a 10" skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sprouts, mushrooms, bacon, and rosemary. Season with the salt and using tongs, stir well to combine everything. The pan will be very crowded, that's okay.
3. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring ocasionally at first and more frequently when the vegetables begin to brown, until the vegetables are well browned and the Brussels sprouts are tender. (28-30 minutes. The bottom of the pan will be quite brown. Remove the pan from the heat, discard the rosemary, and add the butter pieces. Stir gently with a silicone spatula until all of the butter has melted. Give a generous squeeze of lemon over all and stir again. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve warm.  I did not use the butter and didn't think it was needed.  I also didn't add any lemon juice. When I have it for left-overs tomorrow, I may add a little butter and some lemon juice to warm.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Berry Good cobbler - Paleo style

If you have been on the Paleo diet
for a while, you may be craving
something sweet.  This is one option.
The coconut milk saves it.  It is not
like your grandmother's cobbler, but it will do if you are desperate, and believe me when I say I was desperate.  This comes from Sarah Fragoso's Everyday Paleo

3 cups fresh or frozen blackberries (or other berry of your choice) I used blueberries
1 egg
2 T. coconut oil
Drizzle of honey
1 1/2 cups almond meal
2 T. cinnamon
"So Delicious" unsweetened coconut milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Pour the blackberries into a pie pan.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, almond meal, coconut oil, and cinnamon. Stir well until the mixture starts to crumble. If you wish, drizzle a bit of honey on top of the blackberries.
4. By hand, evenly crumble the almond meal mixture on top of the blackberries and bake for 35 minutes
5. Serve in bowls with cold "So Delicious" coconut milk poured over the top.

Paleo Smoothie

I had not eaten breakfast, so after my workout at Cross-Fit, I made myself a fruit smoothie with the fruit I had in the house.  You can use just about any fruit you have to make this drink. I had a hard-boiled egg along the side and did fine until lunch.  You will notice that there is no sugar.  Sugar is a no no on the Paleo diet. You can use a little honey, but I didn't need it.

Fill the blender 1/2-way up with banana, frozen cranberries, mango, and 1 T. coconut oil. Then add Coconut milk until it's just covering the fruit. Blend until smooth.  I added a few ice cubes because I thought it was too thick.

This smoothie is made with mango, pineapple, coconut oil, and coconut milk.  Play around with different fruits and see what you like.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Steak Chile Rellenos

This is an awesome stuffed pepper. If you don't like spicy, I would suggest you use a bell pepper instead of the poblano pepper. We liked it, but it was a two water meal.  I had never bought tri-tip. So, I googled tri-tip to see what kind of meat it was.  I read that it is a forgotten but very flavorful  meat that people don't use very often. I asked the meat guy at the grocery store if I could dice it into small pieces. He said that he didn't recommend it.  I would. It was great. Now I have a nice size of meat left that I will grill later this week.  This comes from Sarah Fragoso's Everyday Paleo

4 large poblano or Anaheim chilies                        2 T. coconut oil (feel free to use vegetable oil )
1/2 red onion, diced                                                1 pound tri-tip, diced into small pieces
1/2 T ground cumin                                                1 T. dried oregano
1 T. chili powder                                                    sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 red bell pepper, diced                                          1 bunch Kale, chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced                                   2 Roma tomatoes, diced and seeded
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies, mild                    1 cup salsa verde
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
2. On a tinfoil-lined baking sheet, bake the whole chilies for 10-12 minutes.
3. The chilies will be slightly charred when finished, remove from baking sheet and set aside to cool.
4. In a large skillet, add the coconut oil (or vegetable oil if you aren't on Paleo diet) and heat over medium. Add the onions and saute' for 2 minutes.
5. Add the steak and saute' until the meat starts to brown.
6. Add the spices to the onions and meat and stir well.
7. Add the remaining ingredients, except the salsa verde and cilantro. Cook until the greens are tender, about another 2 minutes.
8. Remove the meat mixture from the heat and set aside. Using a knife, cut a slit lengthwise down the middle of the chilies. Remove the seeds gently with a spoon and place the chilies into a glass baking dish.
9. Stuff each chili with the meat mixture and bake in a 375 degree F oven for 15 minutes.
10. Remove from the oven and top each chili with some salsa verde and fresh cilantro. Serve. 
I would not hesitate to serve this meat without the peppers.  It would be great over rice or potatoes. Of course those are not on the paleo diet, but it would be fine by itself served with sides of your choice.

Egg Houses

This is a great breakfast of light supper option.  I would suggest cooking them at least 30 minutes instead of the 25 min. that Sarah recommends. I also made one of Sarah's fruit smoothies. I will post a recipe for that later when I remember to take a picture.  This comes from Sarah Fragoso's book, Everyday Paleo

Printable Version:
4 large tomatoes
4 eggs
2-3 strips bacon, crumbled
black pepper to taste
diced chives
I also salted the inside of the tomato after I cut out the insides. Sea salt is acceptable in Paleo cooking.
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Cut off just the top of the tomatoes and gently scoop out the insides. I used a grapefruit spoon.
3. Crack one egg in each tomato cup and bake for 25 minutes.
4. While the tomatoes and eggs are baking, cook the bacon. I had some diced pancetta left-over.
5. After the egg houses are ready, crumble the cooked bacon on top. Next, top with chopped chives

4 large tomatoes                                                        
4 eggs
2-3 strips bacon, crumbled                                        
black pepper to taste
diced chives
I also salted the inside of the tomato after I cut out the insides. Sea salt is acceptable in Paleo cooking.
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Cut off just the top of the tomatoes and gently scoop out the insides.  I used a grapefruit spoon.
3. Crack one egg in each tomato cup and bake for 25 minutes.
4. While the tomatoes and eggs are baking, cook the bacon. I had some diced pancetta left-over.
5. After the egg houses are ready, crumble the cooked bacon on top. Next, top with chopped chives.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Perfect Pork Pot Roast

I am still on the Paleo diet.  I have lost 2 pounds in two days. If you don't want to spend the money on coconut oil or coconut flour, just use whatever vegetable or canola oil that you use to brown the roast and use all-purpose flour to coat the meat if you are not on the Paleo diet plan.  Comes from Sarah Fragoso's Everyday Paleo

Printable Version:

2 T. coconut oil                                                            sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste
4-5 pound pork loin roast                                             1/4 cup coconut flour
6 carrots                                                                        5 celery stalks
2 leeks                                                                           1 yellow onion
2 cups red wine                                                             1 cup chicken broth
1 can (14oz.) diced tomatoes                                        6 fresh thyme branches
6 garlic cloves                                                               4 Tablespoons butter
1. In a large soup pan or Dutch oven add the coconut oil and heat over medium heat.
2. Sprinkle a bit of the sea salt and black pepper all over the roast.
3. Roll the seasoned roast in the coconut flour.
4. Sear the roast in the soup pot for 4 minutes on each side (make sure you get the top and bottom of the roast seared as well).
5. While the roast is searing, chop the veggies into large pieces. When cutting the leeks, make sure to cut them in half lengthwise and rince well because they are often full of sand and dirt between the layers. I cut the leeks in round and put them in a pan of water.  As I separate the rings, I give the leeks a swish and all the sand/dirt goes to the bottom of the pan.
6. Remove the roast from the pan, add all the veggies, and cook in the drippings from the roast until the onions and leeks become tender.
7. Add the wine, chicken stock, canned tomatoes, thyme branches (tie them together with some cooking twine so they are easier to remove later). (I just placed them on top of the veggies in the crock pot at the end), and a bit more pepper.
8. With the flat part of your knife blade, crush the whole garlic cloves and toss those in as well. Stir well and bring to a boil.
9. In the meantime, place your roast in a slow cooker. Pour the vegetable mixture over the roast, cook on high for 4 hours, and then on low for 1 hour.
10. After the roast is done, remove the roast from the vegetable mixture.
11. Remove the thyme branches from the vegetable mixture and pour 1/2 of the veggie mixture into a food processor or blender, add the butter, and blend until smooth.
12. Place the sliced meat on a large serving platter, top with the remaining cooked veggies, and pour the blended sauce over all of it.  Enjoy!  We certainly did.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ok, Fine--A Real Enchilada Recipe - Paleo Style

I decided yesterday that I was going to try to eat the Paleo diet for at least 1 month and see what happens.  I made most of this for Jud and added corn tortillas and cheese on top.  Mine is on the far right w/o tortillas and cheese.  It was more like an enchilada soup. It was really tasty though.  They are big on meat, vegetables, fruit, and nuts.  No dairy, grains, or sugar.  They call it the cave-man diet.  These are the foods that the cave-men ate, supposedly.

Seafood "Enchiladas"-- The reason she has the quotation marks around the enchiladas is because it has the enchilada taste, but non of the ingredients like cheese and tortillas that make it an enchilada.
1 medium onion, minced
2 tablespoons coconut oil or grass-fed butter or ghee  I just used butter (o.k., so I cheated)
2 cups tomato puree (make your own using 4 large tomatoes pureed in a foodprocessor) I pureed some canned diced tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 pound seafood of choice such as wild caught cod, shrimp, or crab (or other protein like shredded chicken or ground beef)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Saute the onions in the butter until limp.
3. Add the tomato puree, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Mix well and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.
4. Pour the sauce into food processor and process until smooth.
5. Cover the bottom of a glass baking dish with the seafood (shrimp). Pour the enchilada sauce over the seafood, cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked.
6. Serve with sliced avocados, lime wedges, and cilantro.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cream of Chicken with Rice Soup

If you have followed my blog for long you know that Jud and I love soup and are always looking for a good soup to have when the weather turns cool.  In Texas, it doesn't have to be too cool to have soup at our house.  This morning was in the 70's and that was good enough for us. This is probably the easiest soup that I make, and it is really delicious. We grade our soups from 1-10 and this one got a 10. I would say that is pretty high praise.  From "Is it Soup Yet?" by Dot Vartan

Printable Version:

4 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
2 stalks celery, minced
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, finely diced
1 (15oz.) can cream-style corn
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
3/4 cup half and half
1 teaspoon salt

 Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a 4 quart stock pot.  Add the garlic and celery. Lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes. Add the chicken, cream-style corn, and rice. Cook for 10 minutes over medium-high heat. Stir in the half and half and salt. Cook for 5 minutes, until heated through. Serve.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Herbed Chicken Meatballs with Coconut Sauce

This was a really good dish. I loved the coconut sauce.  I may find myself using this sauce on other dishes.  Nicholas and Bodie both ate a meatball. They seemed to like it.  Bodie said, "It's delicious."   That's good enough for me.      

Printable Version:

Ingredients for meatballs:
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 small onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 pound ground chicken
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup minced cilantro + extra for garnish
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper
Ingredients for the Sauce:
1- 14oz coconut milk
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1- 2" piece ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 cup minced chives
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
juice of 1 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Use box grater to finely grate onion and garlic. Put onion and garlic in a large bowl with milk and bread crumbs. Mix in ground chicken, olive oil, beaten egg, cilantro, and lemon zest. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Mix with hands.
3. Form into about 16 meatballs and place in prepared baking dish. Roast for 15 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and browned.
4. While meatballs are baking, prepare sauce. Pour in a small amount of coconut milk into a cup. Add cornstarch. Stir to dissolve cornstarch.  Heat vegetable oil in a small saucepan and add ginger and chives. Cook 1-2 minutes and add coconut milk that doesn't have cornstarch, chicken broth, salt, and chili powder. Bring to a simmer and add cornstarch/ coconut milk mixture. Whisk until sauce has thickened slightly. Add lemon juice.
5. Pour sauce over cooked meatballs in the baking dish and turn heat to 325 degrees F. Bake 20 minutes. Garnish with extra cilantro.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Filling

These are like Hostess Cupcakes. Next time, I think I will just buy them. They were a lot of trouble and the recipe only made 9 cupcakes. Oh well, live and learn.  I made them for Bodie. He and Nicholas are coming this weekend while Stacy has a law school reunion. Hope he likes them.  Nicholas may even get a little bite, since it is his birthday next week. Of course I will ask his mom if it is o.k.

Printable Version:

Ingredients for Cupcakes:
1/2 cup pluss 2 tablespoons cake flour
1/3 cup unsweet Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
2 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water

Ingredients for Filling:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners; sugar
3/4 cup Marshmallow Fluff
1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon heavy cream

Ingredients for Frosting:
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

1. Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup nonstick muffin pan with vegetable oil spray. In a medium bowl, sift the flour and cocoa with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the canola oil, 1/2 cup of the sugar and the water. Beat in the dry ingredients at low speed until smooth.
2. In a clean bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff and glossy. Beat one-fourth of the whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them halfway. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cupcakes are springy when touched. Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
3. Make the Filling: In a medium bowl, beat the butter with the confectioners; sugar, marshmallow fluff, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the heavy cream at medium speed until fluffy. Transfer all but 1/2 cup of the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 inch plain round tip. Beat the remaining 1 teaspoons of cream into the remaining 1/2 cup of filling and reserve. I did not add the extra cream. I just popped it in the microwave in the pastry bag for a few seconds to get it thin enough to make the little decorations on the top of the cupcakes.
4. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper. Insert the tip of the pastry bag about 1/2 inch deep into the bottom of each cupcake; squeeze lightly to fill with cream. Set the cupcakes on the sheet.
5. Make the Frosting: Heat the cream in a small saucepan (I used a double boiler) until steaming. Add the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Spread the top of each cupcake with the frosting. Spoon the reserved filling into a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain tip and pipe decorative swirls on each cupcake. Refrigerate the cupcakes for at least 10 minutes to set the frosting. I put the cupcakes in the refrigerator after I frosted them.  After this frosting was hard, I decorated the tops with the reserved white icing.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chicken Piccata

This is a really good chicken dish. It is a fast dish to make and good enough for company. But it is easy enough for a week-night meal. You could easily use this same method for fish or scallops. Jud loves scallops, so I may have to try this with scallops in a few weeks.

Printable Version:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup flour
salt and white pepper to taste
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with a little cold water
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoons parsley, chopped
zest from one lemon, optional
Heat oil in a heavy skillet. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour and add to the oil until fully cooked. Remove the chicken. Keep warm. Add the broth, wine, and lemon juice to the pan. Over medium-high heat, allow the mixture to boil. Wisk the cornstarch mixture into the pan and return to a boil. Sauce will be thin. Remove from heat and toss in capers. Serve sauce over chicken. Garnish with parsley and lemon zest if desired. I mixed the lemon zest and parsley together as I chopped the parsley.  I love lemon zest and never waste the zest. Anytime I use lemon juice, I also zest the lemon.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cheese Grits

This is a recipe that Stacy gave me in 2008, but I don't think I ever posted it on my blog. We love this dish and it went really well with the stuffed chicken and okra.  I halved this recipe.

Food grits,

Printable Version:

2 cups cooked quick-cooking grits
2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tablespoon hot sauce (recommended: Tobasco)
3 large eggs, well beaten
2 jalapenos, finely diced I used jalapenos that were pickled
1/4 cup canned chopped green chiles
garlic salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook grits according to the directions on the package. Remove from the heat and add next 6 ingredients (cheddar - chilies). Stir well and season with garlic salt, to taste. Pour into a buttered 9" square baking dish and bake for 1 hour. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Garlic and Herbed Goat Cheese

Roasting the garlic mellows its bite and gives the stuffing a subtle hint of flavor. Stuff the chicken breasts up to a day ahead, refrigerate, and cook them just before serving. Garnish each plate with a rosemary sprig.  Jud doesn't care for rosemary, so I left this off. It would add color and be a nice garnish.  We ate every bite of all we had.  The okra was fresh, but not from our garden. I slow cooked the onions for about 30 minutes and then added the tomatoes and okra and cooked it slow for about 30 more minutes.  Came from a Cooking Light Magazine, but I didn't not know which month.
Printable Version:
Ingredients for the Chicken Breasts:
1 whole garlic head Since I only made two chicken bereasts, I cut everything in 1/2.
3 oz goat cheese with herbs, softened
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts halves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Remove white papery skin from garlic head (do not peel or separate the cloves). Wrap head in floi. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins. Combine garlic pulp and cheese, stirring well; set aside. Since I only used about 1 1/2 oz. of cheese, I only used a little less than 1/2 of the garlic head.  I cut the head in half and put it in the refrigerator. I used 1/2 of it in the stuffing.
3. Cut a horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff about 4 teaspoons of the cheese mixture into each pocket.. Sprinkle chicken evenly on both sides with salt and pepepr.
4. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn chicken over. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 15-20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165 degrees; let stand 5 minutes. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Classic Italian Panini with Prosciutto and Mozzarella

This was a really good sandwich, but I could only eat 1/2. Next time, I will half the sandwich between Jud and me.  There will definitely be a next time. We really liked it.

Printable Version:

1 (12oz loaf French bread, cut in 1/2 horizontally
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 cup (4oz.) fresh mozzarella cheese, divided
2 oz. very thin slices prosciutto
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
Cooking Spray
1. Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1/2 inch-thick shell; reserve torn bread for another use. I tossed mine in the garbage. Spread 2 tablespoons mayonnaise over cut side of each bread half. Sprinkle basil and 1/2 cup cheese on top half of loaf. Top evenly with prosciutto, tomato slices, and remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Cover with top half of loaf. Cut filled loaf crosswise into 4 equal pieces.
2. Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sandwiches to pan. Place a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; press gently to flatten sandwiches. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until bread is toasted (leave cast-iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook). 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Garlicky Creamed Corn and Spinach

I made the Oven Fried Chicken last night. I had already posted it on my blog, but tonight I used the same method, but used talapia instead of fish.  It was really good.  But the star of the meal was the garlicky creamed corn and spinach. We will definitely make this again.  Jud fried the okra in our fry daddy and it was nice and crispy.  I soaked it in egg and milk and then put it in a zip-lock bag and put corn meal in the bag with the okra.  Shake it up and then fry it until crisp.
Creamed corn and spinach recipe is from Rachel Ray of Foodnetwork.
Printable Version:
Ingredients for Creamed Corn and Spinach
2 tablespoons butter
4 ears corn, kernels scraped from cob
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
2 bundles fresh baby spinach, about 1/2 pound, chopped
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter is hot, stir in the corn and the starchy liquid scraped from the corn cobs. Cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the garlic and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes more, then add the cream and nutmeg, stirring occasionally, until very creamy, about 15 minutes. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.