indiana_j: (Default)
Dinner from Friday night!

4 steaks (it called for beef tenderloin but I took one look at the price and bought two bigger steaks and cut them in half) 
1/4 tsp table salt   
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground   
1 tsp olive oil   
1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped   
2 Tbsp uncooked shallot(s), minced   
2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced   
1/4 cup(s) table wine, Madeira   
14 oz canned beef broth, reduced sodium   
1 Tbsp light butter   
  • Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks; cook 8 minutes, turning every 2 minutes. Transfer beef to a serving platter; cover and keep warm.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low; add rosemary, shallot and garlic to pan. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add wine and broth; bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, stirring often, 10 minutes or until reduced to 1⁄3 cup. Remove from heat; stir in butter. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 steak and 2 tablespoons sauce).
The best part about this?  This is a Weight Watchers receipt and it was really, really good.  5 point value per serving and I served corn and some bread with it.  The wine gave it a nice sweet taste without overpowering the sauce and the steaks came out perfectly tender.

Thumbs up, will make again.
indiana_j: (Cooking)
Pumpkin Shrimp Curry

4 Servings

    * 2 tablespoons olive oil
    * 1 cup sliced onion
    * 1 tablespoon minced ginger
    * 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    * 1 plum tomato, chopped
    * 1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée
    * 2 cups vegetable broth
    * 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
    * 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    * 1 cup butternut squash, roasted and diced
    * 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
    * Steamed rice
    * Cilantro
    * Lime zest
    * Fried shallots

Preparation

      Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and ginger; sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute. Stir in plum tomato and pumpkin purée; cook, stirring frequently, until pumpkin is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add vegetable broth, coconut milk, curry powder, and cayenne pepper; simmer for 20 minutes. Add butternut squash, shrimp, and lime juice. Simmer until shrimp are cooked and squash is warm. Serve with steamed rice. Top with cilantro, lime zest, and fried shallots.

*

This turned out really well.  I don't know what I was expecting as, generally, my only interaction with pumpkin anything tends to be in pies or 'pumpkin pie' flavoring.  It was a really earthy curry and the pumpkin mix made it really silky and smooth - it was, also, a gorgeous color, too.  I can see doing this with chicken, perhaps, or going vegetarian and doing potatoes instead of the shrimp (not that the shrimp was bad!  Far from it!).

*wry*  There was a moment of panic when my mom had to look at the receipt to time the rice and realized that the squash needed to be roasted.  This was, of course, half-way through the process and I didn't have that time.  So I just put it in some oil and fried it slightly - it came out with a nice taste and, thankfully, soft! 

I might need to stock up on cans of pumpkin. ;)
indiana_j: (Default)
Dear Wegmans:  I applaud the whole garlic bread thing but was it really, really necessary to put chunks of garlic in my bread?  There was so much garlic that it soaked through the wrapper!  The plastic wrapper!

Love,
Jen, now a walking Anti-Vampire Cuddle Zone

Anyway, I made probably what is my most favoritist thing ever to make tonight:  Michael Symon's Mac & Cheese with Roasted Chicken, Goat Cheese and Rosemary.  Not only is this incredibly good but it's got five ingredients so it's a cinch to prep and it makes a lot.  There's a ton left over even after my dad went through for seconds (and he uses big bowls).

Basically:

1 lb of pasta (it calls for a certain type but generally, I use what I have - tonight?  Wagon wheels, I'm not even kidding)
8 oz goat cheese
1 quart heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
2 cups roasted chicken (it calls for shredded but I prefer bite sized chunks)
Jen's added special something something:  1 oz of prosciutto for a topping

Basically, in a saucepan, heat the heavy cream, rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon salt on high until it just simmers and then lower the heat to medium; keep it simmering until you have half the cream you started with.  Add the goat cheese and roasted chicken and simmer until it's thick enough to stick to the spoon - about 25 - 30 minutes, or until you get hungry and decide that it's good enough.

Don't judge me.

Anyway, while that's doing its thing, cook the pasta.  Once cooked to however you like it (bitey or not so bitey), drain and then return to pot; add in the sauce, mix well and bring to a slight simmer.

During this, I ripped up the prosciutto and fried it to a slight crisp in a small pan and then we added that as a topping.  It gave it a nice crunch and a bit of saltiness to help cut some of the rich out.

Not many ingredients at all but this is one of my new favorite dishes even if there's so much creeeaaam in it.

*** 

I had no idea that I'd like Warehouse 13 so much.  I've seen a few episodes of the second season, including the season finale (zomg), and now I need to watch everything else, just so I can really see how awesome it is.  H.G. Wells!  I mean, come on!  Of course I'd like it!
indiana_j: (Cooking)
The combination of cooking for Marissa's party and the coming down with what I think was food poisoning, I think it's safe to say that I have not been cooking a lot this week.  Or, for that matter, eating a lot; a combination of no groceries and spending Wednesday and Thursday sick.  I think dinner was a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter one night.  As far as I can remember, anyway.

I rectified the main situation today by going grocery shopping and having a fully stocked pantry once more!  Huzzah!

I made the Roast Chicken  with Spring Vegetables from the Food Network magazine - I enjoy making meals that will reap me plenty of leftovers and I've got enough for another 2 - 3 meals.

Roasted veggies are probably one of my favorite ways of eating them.  It's the perfect blend of soft but not so soft you can't pick it up and eat it (yes.  I once traveled home from Toronto with a bag of roasted veggies.  It was AWESOME.) and there's a million things you can put on them.  I have to say that I was too thrilled with the seasoning for this when it came out.  The dill came off rather flat and what lemon juice was on there seemed to cook right off.

Different herbs next time or a combination of them.  And maybe mixing it in with the olive oil or something - nothing seeped in, really.

However, the chicken turned out beautifully.  I had to cook everything for an additional 10 minutes because of the vegetables not being soft enough but that didn't harm the meat any.  The skin was very crisp and the entire thing was very tender.

I love the idea of the roasted vegetables in this dish but it needs something else to really pull it together.
indiana_j: (Default)
My thought process at the moment:

 WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF?

Ooh, the eggplant tastes kind of good when broiled with olive oil.

ARGH, THE THIN SLICES ARE BUUUURNING.

Oh hey, still plenty left to make pesto.

MY KITCHEN HAS IMPLODED, AAAIIIEEE!

Pesto turned out great!  People will not go hungry tonight!

THEY STILL MIGHT!  THEY CANNOT SURVIVE ON PESTO ALONE!

There are other things done besides pesto - oh, shut up and go freak out in your room.

FINE!  I HATE YOU!  *STOMP STOMP STOMP*

Freak.
indiana_j: (Default)
Oh lord, I keep forgetting and then remembering (and freaking out) that Marissa's birthday party is a week from Saturday and I'm providing the food.  I think, I hope, I've got the menu planned - we're doing a bunch of appetizers instead of like a full four course meal and we're looking at having about 20 people there.

It looks like:

Eggplant pesto with chips for dipping
New potatoes with three cheese fondue
Lemon-rosemary chicken skewers
Herbed chicken-chutney salad on lettuce leaves
Sesame-crusted salmon with orange miso sauce
Bacon wrapped scallops with succotash
Sorbet and ice cream terrine with blackberry compote

The terrine is being made on Tuesday, I can make the eggplant, fondue and marinate the chicken for the skewers on Friday, the chicken chutney salad can be made about four hours in advance and the salmon can be started about six hours.  I can probably knock out the succotash early, too, so it's just that bacon wrapped scallops that I'll be doing closer to the actual party.

*flails*  It's one thing to make this for my party, it's another for Marissa and I just hope I don't screw this up.

Cooking

Nov. 23rd, 2010 12:23 pm
indiana_j: (Cooking)
Aha, it's cooking season.

Bacon, cauliflower, white bean soup - made this last week at the parents, it turned out AMAZING.  Still eating it now.  XD

Harvest Corn Chowder with Chorzio - making this for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday

Celery and Pear Bisque
Beef Tenderloin Steaks with mustard-cognac sauce
Green beans with toasted walnuts and dried-cherry vinaigrette
  - Making this on Sunday as a sort of birthday dinner for Karen

Also, the new Food Network magazine is very awesome.  I've picked up the two latest issues and was not so secretly told that I'd be getting a subscription for one of my Christmas gifts. :D  My mommy knows me very well.  I haven't tried anything out of it yet but I ear marked a lot of things to try in the next few weeks.
indiana_j: (Tangled // Pascal)
My house currently smells like butterscotch and pie crust.  Oh god, the butterscotch is SO GODDAMN GOOD YOU HAVE NO IDEA.  Good butterscotch makes me melt at the knees every time.  Waiting for it to cool so I can make the pumpkin part of the pie now.  And then I need to shower and get ready for the party tonight.

In the meantime, I can't wait for Tangled to come out, it looks so cute.
indiana_j: (Default)
Hrm.  I think Whole Foods, as a whole, is too pricey for my regular shopping trips, especially when I need to restock normal items after not shopping in two weeks.  About $40 over what this would have cost me at, say, Safeway, and about $50 over what Giant would have cost me.

However, I was able to find not one but three different types of prosecco from $9.99 to $16.99; I finally found a store that has scallions (seriously.  Neither Giant, Safeway, nor Shoppers has them); the meat might be pricey but it's good quality and the butchers will actually, you know, butcher for you.

I think Whole Foods needs to become my scallion / doing a really good meal / treating myself (bread was still warm when I bought it).

So, now, I rush to make dinner (I went to my parents yesterday so we could belatedly celebrate Heather's birthday; only the well stopped working properly so we were at a hotel last night *facepalm*.  Today was the National Zoo.  So shopping and dinner are, well, very late) using half of the blessed steak I bought.  The rest I shall freeze and save for something fantastic this week.
indiana_j: (Default)
I'd recommend never forgetting that you just tried some of the port as you go and take a sip of your iced Chai tea.  It won't end well.
indiana_j: (Default)
Attempts to open a can of tomato paste resulted in deep slice right under fingernail.  Didn't think something like this could hurt/bleed so much.  Many bad words were said before having to perform 'surgery' (cut the nail away, etc etc).  Overall, minor injury marks the first kitchen injury but goddamn it hurts.
indiana_j: (Cooking)
Okay, I think I have to give up the ghost and just really keep in mind that with the exception of maybe one or two pieces here or there when they're REALLY tasty, I just don't like asparagus.  They're too bitter for me and I think this is one vegetable that I can just sort of ignore now.  Overall, this was a nice dish but I think next time I might mix the olive oil and spices together and then marinate the fish and potatoes.  I was surprised at how well the parchment paper coffin (what?  That's what they looked like!) did to cook everything - the potatoes were still crunchy on the outside but soft once you bit into them.

A note: I didn't really want to make 4 servings, so I only did half of this.  And it originally called for halibut but the store didn't have it.  Thhhbt.

Also, is tarragon supposed to smell like black licorice?  

The nitty gritty - with otter! )

Overall, a neat little dish.  I'd play around with it to get the flavors exactly the way I want them, though.

You want to know the best part of the meal, though?  The store was selling six ears of corn for $2.50 so I picked some up on a whim.  I tossed two into a pot of boiling water for, oh, about 7 or 8 minutes.  While that was cooking, I tossed some butter into the baby pot to melt and added salt, pepper and chives.

I don't know what it was but the first bite was BLISS.  Perfectly cooked corn on the cob with a very simple but oh so very good sauce (I thought it was too much salt when I dumped it in but it was the perfect amount).  I'm one of those people who save their favorite bit for last, sort of like a reward, and oh man, I wish I'd made more even though I'm happily full (the other one is for lunch).
indiana_j: (Cooking)
I think I need to start this out by saying that as a general rule, orange flavors and I are not on-board with each other.  It's the odd one out of the citrus family seeing as I've really, really come to love lemon and lime but I feel that orange tends to be an overdone flavor.  I like sweet but it can take it to a level that even I dislike.

That being said, I think dishes like this could really turn me around.  Maybe not to the level of my love of lemon and lime these days but certainly to the point of appreciation.

The two things missing from this when I made it were the mint and the baby spinach - mainly because no store that I went to seemed to have fresh mint (another flavor I'm not keen on so I decided to not go out to other stores) and because I'd meant to make this dish last week.  Seems baby spinach goes bad rather quickly...

What the magazine, a Food & Drink that Dex gave me the last time I was up, has to say about this dish is:

Bright sunny flavours (Canada, remember?) of chicken, orange and mint (whoops) make this salad delicious warm or cold.  You can serve this with or without the arugula, or try baby spinach instead.  Poaching the chicken in the orange juice mixture helps infuse the chicken with more flavour than just using an orange dressing.

And, in my opinion, it cuts down on the potential sweet that an orange sauce sometimes implies.

Orange-Infused Chicken Couscous Salad )

I got three fairly large servings out of this (dinner and two lunches), so it comfortably would feed 4.

I did find that by the time the chicken had finished poaching, there really wasn't much juice left so I whisked in the oil and vinegar and heated up so that it was warm when I poured it over.  When I'd flipped the chicken over for the last five minutes, it had caramelized and the scrapings added a really nice smokey flavor to the whole thing.

Overall, I'd certainly do this dish again.  It took me less than an hour to prepare and cook, something I value on a weeknight, especially a weeknight that I had to run errands before even getting home.

Mmmm

Apr. 23rd, 2010 01:56 pm
indiana_j: (Cooking)
I need to feed this dish to, um, everyone that I can get my hands on, really.  I'll start off by saying that I really did not want to cook last night - all I wanted to do was lounge around the apartment, answer emails and continue to run the tomato gauntlet in 'Dragon Age'.  But I knew that if I didn't cook something, at least, I'd end up buying lunch today.  Since I bought lunch yesterday, I wanted to avoid buying two lunches in one week.

So, I made myself cook and I was so glad that I did.  I tasted the sauce while it was cooking and sort of wanted to dive face first into it.


Chicken with Creamy Mushrooms

Ingredients:
8 thin chicken cutlets - I used 3 boneless chicken breasts that I beat up with a rolling pin
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup goat cheese
1/4 chopped parsley

Directions:
  1. Season 8 thin chicken cutlets (1½ pounds total) with salt and pepper. In batches, cook in olive oil over medium-high heat until golden; remove.
  2. Add 1 pound sliced mushrooms to pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender. Stir in ½ cup heavy cream, ½ cup goat cheese, and ¼ cup chopped parsley. Serve with the chicken.
I stirred until the cheese was completely melted.  And, just, oh my god this is so rich - lick your plate clean good.  I got the salt and pepper just right, which is sometimes tricky for me with the "use as much as you'd like!" measurement requests and the mushrooms were perfect

I need to inflict this on other people...
indiana_j: (Default)
This is currently in my stove right now - I only hope it comes out well because I'm starving here.  XD  Also, it's big enough that I probably could knock someone out with it if I really wanted to.
indiana_j: (Default)
Mmm.  Dinner turned out to be very pretty and very tasty - with the exception of the tomatoes.  As I'm pretty positive they did turn out well, I'll have to just admit a glaring hatred of them and be on my way.  So, yes, poached eggs (microwavable poacher thingier?  The win.  Even if it did tip and spell egg goo on my magazine) with tomatoes (seasoned with salt and pepper, fried until soft.  Ew) and mushrooms (fried up til golden with fresh thyme, salt and pepper) on top of toast with the egg on top, plus a bit of cheese and chives.

Tomorrow morning, everything minus the tomatoes will be carted to work for a real breakfast (instead of my normal Greek Yogurt) but to be put on top of a freshly baked bagel.  Mmmm...

So, picture - it's fuzzy because it was my phone:

indiana_j: (Default)
Just got back from a relaxing afternoon at Lauren's - I made her Shrimp and Corn Chowder (actually, it's probably better called Shrimp and Leeks chowder...) as I've been wanting to cook for her at her place for some time now.  Speaking of cooking, this was the first time I've cooked since like the middle of the week previous.  I and my check book needed a break but, ironically, I spent more because I had few leftovers. -.- *sigh*

Anyway, I left the majority of the chowder with Lauren but took enough for lunch tomorrow.  The menu for this week will be:

Monday: Poached eggs with mushrooms and tomatoes
Tuesday: Taco's
Wednesday or Thursday: Meatloaf with Bacon
indiana_j: (Cooking)
Oh.  My.  God.  This - this swordfish with olive oil, lemon and parsley.  Just.  Oh my god.  (Last week was so-so in the kitchen and I so just needed something to blow my mind tonight and it did and oh god this is so good.)

Totally worth the price at Whole Foods and the fact that I broke out into random dancing in the middle of my kitchen while it was cooking on the stove top.
indiana_j: (Default)
Craaaap.  When I get back to using my dreamwidth journal for my cooking blog/whatever, this will be one for the history books.  I totally thought the slow cooker bolognese sauce would be done in 2 hours.  Not, you know, 4 even on high.  So I will either be eating dinner at 11 tonight or be eating the rest of the leftovers from last night (hardship, I know) and just box this up for lunches for, well, FOREVER AND A DAY, apparently.

In the mean time, I'm looking at doing another icon challenge.  So!  Give me a list of 4 words of different feelings.  Go my monkeys, go!
indiana_j: (Default)
Tentative menu for this week:  Ale house burgers with red onion compote; Ale and Onion meatloaf (uses leftovers from the first one); Skillet Lasagna.  Off to the store after work to get the ingredients.

Oh yeah, and making for Lauren the steak with marsala-mushroom sauce on Friday.  Will get ingredients for that probably on Thursday.

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