Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rotisserie Chicken Salad


 
Last night, I decided to cook a Rotisserie Chicken for dinner.  While I was cooking the one for dinner, I said, why not cook another to pick for the chicken salad tomorrow night.

Rotisserie Chicken Salad



1 Rotisserie Chicken (from the deli, cooled and meat picked off bone), chopped coarsely
1 Cup Mayo
1 Cup Sour Cream
1/3 Cup Mustard (DO NOT USE YELLOW! Plouchmans is preferred, use deli or stone ground if not available)
1 bunch Green onion, diced
4 stalks Celery, diced
1/8 red onion, diced
1 ½ cups grapes (red and green) cut in half
1 Green apple, diced (let soak in lemon water to not brown)
1 T dill weed, or to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix mayo and sour cream tougher with mustard, dill weed, salt and pepper. Add in chopped chicken, celery, green onion, red onion, apples and grapes. Mix to coat.

Serve with crusty bread and sliced tomatoes, if you like.


Indoor S'Mores


A few years back, I found a recipe on the back of a cereal box….yes I know, I do look at those recipes, and make most of them….Some of them are really good, other need some work.  But that’s another conversation all together.

Indoor S’Mores



So for this recipe, I immediately bought the box of cereal and made the recipe.  LOVED IT.  Can’t say much more.  It is a GREAT recipe for the summer, and an alternative to Rice Krispie Treats, which, somehow, I am not a fan.  You can make it just like RKT, just substitute Golden Grahams for the Rice Krispies.

Indoor S'mores
8 cups (est) Golden Grahams® cereal (2 boxes)
24 oz miniature marshmallows (1.5 bags)
1 12 oz pkg. chocolate chips (I used Mini)
1.5 sticks butter

Into large bowl, measure cereal. Butter 14x10-inch pan. In large microwavable bowl, microwave marshmallows and butter uncovered on High, 30 seconds at a time stirring after every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth when stirred.

Pour over cereal; quickly toss until completely coated.

Press mixture evenly in pan, using buttered back of spoon, or buttered hands. Let stand uncovered at least 1 hour, or refrigerate if you prefer a firmer bar. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 10 rows. Store loosely covered at room temperature up to 2 days.

Makes 80 small treats.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rosemary Chicken with Orzo Au Burro and steamed Broccoli

When I was in high School, I attended a breakfast with predominant restaurant owners and before leaving Sylvia Posedel herself asked me to come to work for her, at Sylvia’s Italian Restaurant, a staple in Portland Restaurant history.  I worked there for 3 years, during high school, and much of the year after.  During the time I worked there, I worked as the Assistant Banquet Chef, I learned A LOT about the restaurant industry.  I must add that I decided not to follow my lifeline dream.  I enjoy cooking, and I don’t want it to be a daily drudge. 


That being said, in my years at Sylvia’s I learned a lot about Italian cooking.  I also learned what I would call my signature dish, Rosemary Chicken with Orzo Au Burro and steamed Broccoli.  I would have to say, after making this nightly for 100 to 150 people, I know it by heart, and it is very difficult to write down the actual recipe, because I just know how to make it.  So….once again, please understand I don’t measure, so the equivalents might be a little off a little, but that just opens it up for you to adjust to your liking.

*Footnote, Sylvia’s Italian Restaurant has since closed, and with it the memories of Sylvia Posedel, who passed several years ago.  I will always remember her and her passion for serving customers. For her, it wasn’t about cooking, or running a restaurant, it was about making what customers want.  She once told a story about when her restaurant only served Pizza, she had a customer wanting a Hawaiian Style Pizza.  She had no idea what it had on it, so she asked the customer what it had on it, and left the kitchen to run to the store to get ham and pineapple (BTW, she ran to the company I now work for!!).  She said it repulsed her, but it was what a customer wanted, so she made it, and the customer came back to tell her it was the best pizza he had ever had.  It was a regular she kept on the menu ever since.

Rosemary Chicken with Orzo Au Burro and steamed Broccoli

4 Boneless, skinless Chicken breasts
Flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 T. Oil
1 box Chicken broth
4-5 Rosemary sprigs (leave all intact, except one. Pull all leaves off of the sprig)
8- 10 mushrooms, sliced
½ sweet onion, diced


Heat oil in skillet. Add salt and pepper to flour. Dredge chicken through flour mixture. Brown chicken in oil. 
Meanwhile, place broth and rosemary sprigs in a pan and , reduce to ½ the volume.
Once the volume has reduced, pour broth over chicken, cover and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Temp chicken to ensure it is over 160 (160 is cooked, 180 is white).



Sauté onions and mushrooms in another pan and place on top of chicken.  Once the Chicken is completely cooked, remove chicken to cool slightly and mix cornstarch and water mixture.

2-3 T. Cornstarch
1-2 T. Water

You HAVE to mix the cornstarch and water together with your fingers until smooth. Do this with your finger, otherwise you cannot tell what’s going on with the starch. Add the cornstarch to the chicken broth. 


Serve with Orzo Au Burro and Steamed Broccoli





Orzo Au Burro

1 pkg Orzo, boiled
½ stick of butter
1 Cup Asiago, grated
Parsley, chopped

Boil pasta, drain. Add in butter and Asiago and parsley. Serve immediately.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Is your Dog worthy?

This weekend was a weekend to pamper our dog, Zoe!  Friday we went to one of the nations top 10 dog parks and it's  here in Seattle.  Zoe met a friend (Elvis) and, being a hound she had to sniff EVERYTHING!! 

With the "heat wave" we experienced in Seattle this past week (warmest day since October 15th, reaching 71F!), we ended that dog park visit with a quick trip to the water, Lake Washington.  Now let me tell you, Italian Greyhounds HATE water....Zoe's first trip in the water, she quickly ran out......when I was able to get her in the water a second time, she just stood there.  It actually seemed like she was finally enjoying it....although the pictures say something different. 

Well, today I decided to make another batch of Zoe's favorite doggy cookies.  In the past I have made Chicken Liver treats, Peanut Butter Bacon cookies, and a Parsley Oatmeal treat....Today was a new mixture, Parsley Mint Carrot Spelt cookies. And let me tell you, first sampling was gone in an instant, so she had to try another.

If "Man's Best Friend" is truly your best friend, then you'll spend an hour of your busy day making a special treat for your little girl, or boy.

Veggie Treats


Ingredients:

2 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. powdered milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. vegetable broth
1/2 c. carrots
4 T Mint, finely choped
4T Parsley, finely chopped
1 egg

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse well.  Add a little flour at a time.

Roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4 inches thick.

Cut the dough into cute shapes with cookie cutters or use your pizza cutter to cut into strips.

Bake for about 30 min.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Baked Butternut Bake with Fresh Caprese Salad


Last weekend I was pursuing a few of my favorite Food Blogs, when I came across this recipe (http://greengirl-alittlebitofeverything.blogspot.com/2011/04/baked-squash-pasta.html).  I’ve been waiting to make it, and tonight was the night!  I did make some adaptations of the original recipe.  In addition to this dish, I made, what I call “Fresh Caprese Salad”.  As some of you know, I don’t care for fresh tomatoes, so I add in cucumbers. 



Baked Butternut Bake 

1 lb pasta, your favorite shape, I used Penne.
1 whole (medium) Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and shredded

12 oz Sharp Cheese, your favorite blend. I used Swiss


5 garlic cloves, smashed and diced
2 tablespoons Dried Thyme
1/2 nutmeg nut...see pictures 
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ Cup Cream, or half and half



Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water.  Meanwhile, shred butternut squash.  Smash and finely chop few garlic cloves.

In a large bowl place the cook and cooled pasta, mix in the squash and about half of the cheese.  Add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Keep in mind that the cheeses are a little salty. Place the mixture into a well-buttered shallow dish

Pour cream or half and half.  Top with the remaining cheese and bake in preheated oven, at 400F, for about 30 minutes until the cream is absorbed and squash is cooked.

Cool slightly and serve.



(Adapted from greengirl-alittlebitofeverything.blogspot.com)

Fresh Caprese Salad



















1 Cucumber, quartered and sliced
2 Tomatoes, diced
4 stems of fresh basil, finely diced
1 tub fresh mozzarella, perillini size, drained
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar, drizzle

Place first 4 prepped items into bowl and drizzle olive oil on top.  Stir to mix.  When serving, scoop in bowl and lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

















I also saute'd a Tofu Sausage, which was out first attempt at a vegan style item.  I was good, but a little spicy for me.   We will continue to try vegan items and let you know how they come out...... 



.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Garlic Roast Cod with Rosemary and Lemon, and Dijon Potatoes, with Whole Wheat Garlic Bread


Tonight I decided that I would make a few favorites in our house.  Garlic Roast Cod with Rosemary and Lemon, and Dijon Potatoes, with Whole Wheat Garlic Bread.   These recipes are some of the most commented on, on both my Facebook page, and in person.  



A quick story about the cod, I found the recipe on Rachel Ray’s website.  I originally was planning on making the recipe as is, but at the last minute changed it to use cod, a white fish I love.  The next day I had a person at my new job comment on how she found this great recipe online, and could not wait to try it.  I then asked what it was, she said Garlic Roasted Cod with rosemary.  I was taken a bit back, and asked what the website was, she said That’s What Bob’s Cooking….I laughed, and she wanted to why I was laughing.  I asked if she knew who Bob was, and then she started laughing, saying she had no idea I had a site, and that she would try the recipe and let me know what she thought of it, but it sounded GREAT.

As for the potatoes, I always make a menu on Thursdays and post them on the refrigerator.  I got a call from our neighbor, who was coming over for dinner and had left work early and asked if he could help with dinner.  So he started the potatoes, they turned out amazing.  They are my go-to side dish.





As for the Whole Wheat Garlic Bread, I bought a baguette, sliced it into diagonal slices and layed them out on a sheet pan.  For the garlic butter, I smashed and diced 4 cloves of garlic, and melted 1 stick of butter, then added 2 tablespoons of dried thyme.  Then drizzled the butter onto each piece of bread.  Broil until golden.







Here’s the recipes:

Garlic Roast Cod with Rosemary and Lemon



Ingredients
2 1/2 pounds cod, cut into large chunks
6 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves stripped from stems
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Seasoning) or, coarse salt and black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Arrange cod in a baking dish, 9 by 13-inch. Add garlic, rosemary, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest and grill seasoning or salt and pepper to the dish. Toss and coat the fish with all ingredients, then place in oven. Roast 10-15 minutes. Add wine and lemon juice to the dish and combine with pan juices. Return to oven and turn oven off. Let stand 5 minutes longer then remove cod from the oven. Place baking dish on trivet and serve, spooning pan juices over the cod pieces.

Dijon-Roasted New Potatoes



Coating the potatoes in Dijon mustard and a small amount of olive oil helps make them crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

1 spray cooking spray
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 pounds uncooked new potatoes, quartered

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Whisk together oil, mustard, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl; add potatoes and stir to coat.

Transfer potatoes to baking dish and roast 15 minutes; stir and roast until tender on inside, about 15 minutes more.

Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.