Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ribs R Us!

It’s not summer without at least one night of spare ribs on the grill. Since ribs are not the most heart healthy this will be our one time indulgence and indulge we did!


Honey-Chipotle-Glazed Ribs
Bleu Cheese Slaw
Pesto Green Beans

Honey-Chipotle Glazed Ribs

¼ cup minced canned chipotle chilies in adobe
½ cup honey
¼ cup dried mustard powder
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 rack of spareribs

Oven: 400

In small bowl, combine the chilies, ¼ cup honey (save a ¼ cup for later)
Mustard powder, 2 T salt and 2 t pepper.

Place a large double layer of foil on a big cookie tin. Place ribs on top and coat with chipotle mixture. Wrap ribs tightly in foil and bake on sheet for 2 hours.

Heat grill to medium. Remove ribs from foil, brush ribs with ¼ honey and grill until lightly charred—2 to 3 minutes each side. These are quite tasty! (and no dirty pan)

Bleu Cheese Slaw

1 small pkg of cabbage slaw mix from grocery
Several heaping T Marzetti Bleu Cheese Salad Dressing
A few splashes of champagne vinegar

Mix it all up and refrigerate several hours before serving

Pesto Green Beans

Microwave some whole green beans and toss with sliced cherry tomatoes and homemade pesto (see earlier post-July 25,2009)

Sublime Lime

Recently, on two separate occasions two different friends have mentioned how using lime had added that je ne sais quoi to a dish they’d created. So, given their inspiration I concocted this chicken salad recipe in their honor and we will be enjoying it today for lunch.

Sara’s Grilled Somewhat Healthful Chicken Salad

2 grilled chicken breasts (I always grill more chicken than I need for this purpose alone)
½ onion chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
Hardy handful of walnuts


About 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
Heaping T of mayo
Some sea salt
Some ground pepper
A couple shakes of dried tarragon
½ lime

Whisk all the ingredients up—taste and correct to your liking

I chopped up some romaine and dressed it lightly with olive oil and champagne vinegar and used that for a bed for the chicken salad.

Gently fold dressing into the other ingredients. Refrigerate to let the flavors mingle. Enjoy with a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Drinking at lunch?? Remember, it’s always 5’clock somewhere!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Chicken Tonight!


Grilled Chicken
Best Ever Ratatouille
Roast Sesame Broccoli

Best Ever Ratatouille

2 zucchini, chopped medium
1 yellow squash, chopped medium
½ red onion, chopped small
a couple t chopped garlic
6 plum tomatoes, chopped medium
1 orange pepper, chopped medium
1 red pepper, chopped medium
3 T parsley, chopped
3 T summer savory (dried)
1 T oregano (dried)
1 t sugar
olive oil for sautéing
s and p
½ cup fresh basil in slivers

Do in this order:

Heat olive oil in large deep skillet and sauté zucchini and yellow squash for 5 minutes—Remove and set aside

Next, sauté the peppers, onions, garlic for 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and sauté some more

Add squash back into pan with parsley, savory, sugar, oregano and s and p. Reduce heat to very low and let it cook for an hour. Take a look every now and then—it shouldn’t be burning—heat should be really low.

Add basil and some sea salt and enjoy!

Grilled Chicken

I use boneless breasts

Marinate in some kind of salad dressing—tonight I used Kraft Sun-Dried tomato vinaigrette for several hours.

Heat grill to high

Put breasts on for 5 minutes, then turn and lower heat for about 5 more

Roast Sesame Broccoli

Oven: 450

1 head of broccoli, broken into florets
Toss these with olive oil and spread on cookie tin and roast for 20 minutes
Juice a lemon. Toss roasted broccoli with lemon juice, 1 T soy sauce and some sesame seeds. Roast broccoli rocks!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What's for Dinner?

I'm too lazy to shop and I need to make dinner with stuff I can find in the fridge. So, what can we do with leftover flank steak, some carrots and some onions?

Tonight's menu:

Leftover Flank Steak Sandwiches
Carrot Salad
Roast Potato wedges (from freezer)

Recipe for Sandwiches:

Cut leftover flank steak into narrow strips
Slice up to two small or one large onion
Bleu Cheese Dressing
Worchestershire sauce
Two panini rolls or hoagie rolls-cut in half and remove some of the soft bread inside to make room for the meat mixture

Heat oil in skillet, caramelize onions for about ten minutes-throw in the beef strips and salt and pepper and W sauce. Stir around then mound on rolls—drizzle bleu cheese dressing on and enjoy!

Carrot Salad (this is GOOD!)

3 cups carrots shredded in food processor
½ cup raisins
¼ mayo
¼ Greek yogurt
1 t salt
¼ small red onion chopped
2 T lemon juice

Whisk the mayo, yogurt, salt, and lemon juice in bowl-add carrots, raisins, and onion and mix well-refrigerate.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dinner on the Deck

Dinner on the Deck

Menu for tonight:

Grilled Anhco-Rubbed Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan
Baked Roma Tomatoes with Homemade Pesto

Early in the day I harvested basil from my “Deck Step” garden, and made the pesto.

1 ½ cups basil leaves
1 t of garlic (I use the jarred)
some salt, some pepper
a handful of walnuts

Put in processor and blend up and then add olive oil to your desired consistency.

Also early in the day I made the chimichurri sauce for the meat:

1 cup parsley
¼ cilantro
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
½ t salt
½ cumin
1 t garlic (I use jarred)

Whirl it all up in the processor and let it sit on the kitchen counter.

Dinner on the Deck

Ancho-Rubbed Flank Steak

1-½ lbs. flank steak
2 t ground ancho chili pepper
2 T olive oil
1 T lime juice

Season steak with chili pepper and salt. Combine oil and lime in a shallow dish. Add steak and turn to cover. Let marinate at room temp for 15-30 minutes.

Grill steak on high heat about 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Let stand five minutes before cutting into thin slices and garnishing with chimichurri sauce.

Roasted Cauliflower
Oven: 425

I head of cauliflower broken into small florets
Some garlic salt
1 lemon
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese

Preheat over. Put cauliflower on cookie sheet. Squeeze lemon juice over all, drizzle olive oil, sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Roast 20 minutes, turn and roast another 20—Turn into serving bowl and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Pesto Baked Tomatoes

8 plum tomatoes
Homemade pesto or some from jar
Progresso Italian breadcrumbs

Oven 425

Half plum or Roma tomatoes lengthwise. TIP: slice off a sliver from he skin side so that the halves lie flat in the baking dish,

Spread some pest on each cut side and sprinkle on some Italian breadcrumbs/ Bake 20 minute or so.

Ancho Steak dressed with the chimichurri Sauce

Bon Appetit!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sara's Sammies and Grilled Mexican Corn

Decided to try my own version of salmon tacos and grilled corn. An upside down muffin tin makes a great "filling station" for the tacos. Next time I will use soft, not hard, taco shells. Soft flour tortillas would complement the fish better.

The grilled corn is awesome!

Make sauce first: 1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t salt
1/4 t garlic powder
ground pepper

Mix together.

Garnishes: chopped cilantro, chili powder

Heat grill to high, coat rack with cooking spray. Grill corn 8 to 10 minutes turning. Corn will get brown in spots-yum! Coat with sour cream mixture. Sprinkle with chili powder--and prepare to eat more than one ear!

I grilled the corn and salmon at the same time. I put the salmon on a grill rack with smaller holes so as not to lose any fish down the grates!

To make the tacos make the sauce ahead:

Chipotle Crema- this stuff is GOOOOOOD!

8 oz sour cream
1/2 t lime zest
2 T lime juice
a couple minced chipotle chilis in adobe sauce
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t salt

Combine all ingredients

Garnishes: lime wedges, shredded cabbage, and chopped cilantro

Assemble and devour!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer Night on the Deck


Grilled Veggie Skewers with Orzo Salad
Whole Wheat Baguette with Roasted Garlic

Grilled Veggie Skewers

Cut the following veggies in fairly uniform pieces:

Red onion
whole mushrooms (leave whole)
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
Cut veggies up and put in bag to marinate for an hour or so:

Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
black pepper

Thread on skewers and grill about ten minutes turning once

Orzo Salad

1 cup whole wheat orzo cooked according to pkg (I cooked with combo of water and veggie broth)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onions, minced
some olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
fresh basil--cut in ribbons (I use scissors)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 can garbanzo beans
cherry tomatoes, halved
black pepper

Cook orzo and drain

Saute garlic and scallions in olive oil, add chopped onion and saute more more then throw in the basil, the drained orzo and the vinegar and beans and tomatoes--stir add pepper to taste

Roasted garlic

Cut tops off the tops of the heads and drizzle on olive oil, any spice you like and some s and p. Place in garlic cooker or wrap in foil. Roast at 400 for 45 minutes---Yum on whole wheat baguette

Refried Bean Tostadas with Summer Corn Salad

Refried Beans

2 cans no salt pinto beans, drained
1 jalapeno, minced
1/2 cup no salt salsa-I like Enrico's
juice of 1/2 lime
bunch of cilantro

Puree beans in processor-add to bowl with remaining ingredients and mix well-taste and adjust seasoning--may want to add a bit of salt

To assemble:

tostada shell
layer of beans
shredded romaine
some shredded cheese
Enrico salsa
dollop of greek yogurt
black olive garnish

Summer Corn Salad

Thaw bag of frozen corn
1/2 can of diced tomatoes with chilis
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
2 T chopped green pepper
3 T white wine vinegar
1 1/2 t dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
ground pepper

Combine the veggies in bowl. In small bowl whisk up the dressing and combine with veggies and toss well.

Cauliflower Garbanzo Curry

Cauliflower Garbanzo Curry

Need skillet with lid

serves 2

1/2 can no salt garbanzo beans
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
Bottle of Trader Joe's Red Thai Curry Sauce
Half head of cauliflower broken into small florets
ground pepper

Drain beans and reserve juice. Heat 2 T juice in skillet, stir in onion, garlic, jalapeno and cook for 5 minutes--Add Red Thai sauce (about 1/2 cup and cauliflower, cover cook 10 minutes. Add beans and pepper and cook another 10 minutes--add more bean juice or water if liquid is needed.

In rice cooker make this curry rice:

Make whatever white rice you prefer but add a t of cinnamon, 1/2 t turmeric and 1 t curry powder and 2 T raisins

To plate:

Serve with the following condiments: chopped almonds, tomatoes and cucumbers

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Vegetable Paella


1 pkg. sliced mushrooms
olive oil
3 garlic cloves chopped
1 cup diced onion
1 red pepper diced
1 green pepper diced
1 pound Arborio rice
1 t saffron, crushed
1 1/2 t salt
3 cups vegetable broth
1 pkg. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tomato, diced
1/3 cup sliced green olives
1/3 cup sliced green onion
1/4 cup roasted red pepper, cut in strips
lemon wedges

Preheat oven 400. Use a large oven proof skillet (like cast iron) for this recipe. Saute mushrooms in some olive oil until light brown set them aside
Heat some olive oil (1/4 cup or so) and saute the garlic, onion, and peppers abut 8 minutes. Add the rice, saffron, salt and stir until rice is coated with oil. Add broth, and bring mixture to a boil.

Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 8 minutes. Stir in reserved mushroom and artichoke hearts and next three ingredients. Cover and bake 8 minutes more. Remove foil and bake 8-12 minutes more or until heated through. Remove from oven and top with olives, green onions, roasted red pepper, and lemon wedges. Serves 8 makes good leftovers.

Slooooooow Tomatoes


Oven: 250
10 plum tomatoes cut long ways on cookie sheet
Drizzle with olive oil
Sprinkle with kosher salt, ground pepper, and dried thyme

Roast 2 hours

To plate, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, some fresh basil and sprinkle with feta or goat cheese

Bet you can't eat just one! These are so good---even if you thought you didn't like tomatoes!

Summer Dinner Party

Hosted a dinner party for 6 in June to celebrate a friend's birthday. Menu was grilled chicken tonnato, roasted garlic red skins, and marinated green beans with toasted pecans.

Recipes follow:

Chicken Tonnato

Grill boneless chicken breast early in the day. Refrigerate.

Make Tonnato Sauce

1 cup mayo
1/2 cup olive oil
1 6 oz tuna in olive oil, not drained
3 anchovy fillets
2 T lemon juice
3 T drained capers
salt and pepper

In blender puree all ingredient, including oil from tuna can, until smooth and season with s and p.

Slice chicken, plate on lettuce lined platter, drizzle sauce over the chicken, garnish with some capers and lemon wedges or slices. Pass extra sauce at table.

Marinated Green Beans

Steam slender string beans
Toss with Newman's Balsamic vinaigrette
Toast pecans, chop and top beans