Friday, September 25, 2009

Fiesta Corn Salad

Tuesday Amy (a lady in my class) and I made a fiesta corn salad for a lunch meeting we were catering that day. It was delicious! I didn't have my camera that day, but the recipe was blog worthy so here it is without a picture.

Fiesta Corn Salad

Corn on the cob (maybe 5 or 6)
1-2 Roasted red bell peppers
1 red onion, diced
Cilantro leaves
1-2 tomatoes, sliced into wedges
1-2 avocados sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
The juice of 1-3 limes (it just all depends on how big you are making your salad)
Toasted cumin seeds (Just put whole cumin seeds in a hot pan and toss for a minute or two until they smell cooked and nutty!)

Blanch the corn (drop into boiling water for just a minute or two) and pull out and put into cold water to stop the cooking process. Cut the corn from the cob and put in a bowl. Add diced red onion, diced roasted red peppers and a handful of torn cilantro leaves. Coat with lime juice and season with salt, pepper and toasted cumin seeds. Put on top of a bed of fresh romaine lettuce and top with a lime wedge, a couple of tomato wedges and a few avocado slices. The lime juice should have enough flavor to not need any dressing, but if you want it, you can add ranch and it would be delicious that way as well.

Roasted Rosemary Tourne Potatoes

The other day at school, I had to cut 80 potatoes in a style called Tourne. It's a nit picky way to cut a potato but they are pretty. They are only for presentation. I came home and made roasted rosemary Tourne potatoes to practice cutting them. They turned out very good! I cut mine a lot fatter than you are supposed to cut them because I didn't want to waste a lot of my potato. A Tourne potato is shaped a bit like a football, it's skinny at the ends and fatter in the middle and it has 7 sides.

I found some pictures of a proper Tourne potato online so you can see them.

Roasted Rosemary Tourne Potatoes

20 small yukon gold potatoes or reds cut into a Tourne shape (If you don't want to bother with this, just peel them)
2 Sprigs fresh rosemary, removed from the stem (Add more if you like the rosemary. Mart doesn't like a lot so I use very little)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven as hot as it will go, mine goes to 550.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the potatoes until they start to get tender. Don't cook them all the way through. Drain. While potatoes are draining, heat olive oil in the pan you used to boil them and throw in the rosemary. This will make make the oil rosemary flavored. Don't burn! Just let it heat on medium or medium low to infuse the flavor.

Put potatoes back in pan and coat with the rosemary oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Put in a baking dish and bake until the sides are golden brown and delicious!

Eggplant Parmesan

I love Eggplant Parmesan. If it is done correctly, it is one of my favorites! Here is a pretty easy recipe that tastes pretty good too.

Eggplant Parmesan

2 medium eggplants, cut into 1/4" thick rounds
1 Tbsp kosher salt
8 slices high quality white bread torn into quarters
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup all purpose flour
4 large eggs
6 Tbsp vegetable oil

Tomato Sauce:
3 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 generous tablespoon)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup grated parmesan
10 fresh basil leaves, torn for garnish

1. Toss eggplant slices and salt until combined and set in a large strainer. Let stand until eggplant releases about 2 Tbsp liquid (maybe 30-45 minutes). Arrange eggplant slices on triple layer paper towels; cover with more paper towels. Firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible, then wipe of excess salt.

2. While eggplant is draining, adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle positions, place rimmed baking sheet on each rack and heat oven to 425.
Pulse bread in a food processor to fine, even crumbs. (You should have about 4 cups). Transfer crumbs to pie plate and stir in 1 cup parmesan, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Set aside.

3. Combine flour and 1 tsp pepper in a second pie plate.

4. Beat eggs in a 3rd pie plate

5. Put eggplant slices in flour, coat the eggplant. Remove eggplant shaking off excess. Dip in eggs, then coat evenly with bread crumbs. Set breaded slices on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.

6. Remove preheated baking sheets from oven. Add 3 Tbsp oil to each sheet, tiling to coat evenly with oil. Place half of breaded eggplant on each sheet in a single layer. Bake until eggplant is well browned and crisp, about 30 minutes. Switch and rotate baking sheets after 10 minutes. Flip eggplant slices over with a spatula after 20 minutes or when the bottom is browned. Remove but do not turn off oven.

7. While eggplant bakes, process 2 can diced tomatoes in a food processor until almost smooth. Heat olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a large pan over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and garlic is light golden. (About 3 minutes) Stir in all the tomatoes. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce is slightly thickened. (About 15 minutes). Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

8. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. Layer the eggplant slices, overlapping to fit. Put about1 cup sauce over eggplant, sprinkle with half the mozzarella and parmesan. If there is leftover eggplant you will need to use a second dish. Make the layers the same as the first dish. (If there is not enough eggplant to make more than one dish, use all the cheese on the first pan)
Leave majority of eggplant on top exposed so it will remain crisp. Bake until bubbling and cheese is browned about 13-15 minutes. Scatter basil over the top and serve.

Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Salad

This salad is super easy and really delicious! If you've never roasted peppers before, it's really easy, it just takes a little bit of time. It's well worth the effort though!

Also this salad has basil cut into thin strips (That is called a chiffonade) on top and mixed in the salad, but it's not added until the end. The basil is fantastic with the peppers, it is light and fresh!

(This picture was taken right before it was put in the fridge to marinate, so there is not basil in it yet)

Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Salad
(This salad has 16, 6 oz servings. If you want bigger portions it won't stretch as far. If you don't need as much, just cut the recipe in half)

10 Bell peppers (Use mostly red, if you want some color add just a couple of either green or yellow or one of each)
2 cups Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup White wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Handful of fresh basil

1. Roast and peel the peppers.

How to roast peppers:

Hold the peppers over an open flame (just on your stove if you have a gas stove). Leave them there turning every couple of minutes until the skin is black all the way around. If you do not have a gas stove you can put them under a broiler or in a hot oven. If you do this, they will not turn as black, but the skin will loosen enough for you to peel off.

If you are putting them in the oven, cut them in half, clean out the seeds and the veins and put open side down on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Broil on high for 7-10 minutes or until skins are very black.

Once the peppers are black, put them in a bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap or in a ziplock bag. (Put them in as soon as they are finished, one at a time if you need to). This will keep the moisture from the peppers on the peppers making it easier to peel the skin off. When you are finished with the peppers.

Once they cool off enough you can easily handle them, you can just rub the skin right off just using your fingers. There will be black pieces left on the pepper, that is completely normal.

2. Quickly rinse off the pepper under water to get any remaining black or skin off that is loose. Don't leave the peppers under the water, it will wash away flavor so just quickly put it in and pull it out.

3. Cut off the top and the bottom of the pepper and one side of the pepper. Roll out into a flat rectangle. Remove the core, seeds and veins

4. Cut the pepper into strips about 1/2 inch wide and you can either leave them the length of the pepper or cut them in half lengthwise so they are easier to fit in your mouth.

5. Combine the oil, vinegar salt and pepper to make a dressing. Pour over the peppers in a bowl and marinate for at least 2-3 hours.

6. Just before serving, finely shred most of the basil leaves and mix with the peppers, reserving a few leaves for garnish.

7. If you want, serve with bread to dip in the dressing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I hope this blog starts to get more creative, as I start culinary school on Monday! I thought I would let everyone know.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Grilled corn with herb butter

Summer gardens bring lots of corn on the cob! Boiling it gets a little old after a while, so here is a fun way to change it up a bit. Grilled corn on the cob with an herb butter. I tried two different herb butters, both were very good.

After making the corn, I had some leftover herb butter. I melted it in a frying pan and sauteed some summer squash in it.

Grilled corn with herb butter

Corn on the cob
Herb butter (See recipes below)

Peel husks down far enough to remove the corn silks. Soak in water for 15 minutes. This keeps the husks from catching on fire while they are grilling. Once they have soaked rub the butter all over the cob and pull the husks back up. Grill on Medium heat for 10 or so minutes, checking to make sure they aren't burning.

Herb Butter #1

Butter, room temperature (Amount will depend on how many ears of corn you are making. I have been making about 5 or 6 small ears and using about 1/2 stick or less.
Fresh Herbs:
Flat leaf Italian parsley
Lime Thyme
Salt and Pepper

(Would be really good with some fresh garlic in it as well!)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix well.

Parmesan Herb Butter #2

Butter, room temperature (Amount will depend on how many ears of corn you are making. I have been making about 5 or 6 small ears and using about 1/2 stick or less.
Fresh Herbs:
Flat Leaf Italian Parsley
Lime Thyme
Salt and Pepper
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

(Would be really good with some fresh garlic in it as well!)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix well.

Ethan loved the grilled corn on the cob!

Chewy White Chocolate Chip Ginger Snaps

I got this recipe while browsing through My Sisters Cafe. They looked so good so I decided to give them a shot and make them for my weekly dart night. I've never made ginger snaps before, but these turned out pretty good.

Chewy White Chocolate Chip Ginger Snaps

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups shortening
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 package white chocolate chips

Combine the sugar, shortening, eggs and molasses until well mixed. Add the remaining ingredients. Roll into balls and then roll into sugar.
Bake at 350 for 11-13 minutes

Potato Soup

On rainy days like today, this soup is awesome! Serve it with rolls or some bread and it's the perfect cold weather meal. I add tons of extra veggies, and when the soup is blended you won't even notice them. It's a good way to get kids to eat vegetables without knowing they are there.

Awesome Potato Soup (Huge batch for leftovers)

10 potatoes, diced
2 onions, diced
4-5 carrots, diced
5-6 stalks celery, diced
6 bullion cubes (I use vegetable flavored)
1 palmful of parsley flakes
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cube of butter
1/2 cup - 1 cup heavy cream (this depends on how much soup you are making. If you make a tiny batch, just use a very small amount)
6 or so cups of water (eye ball this...this will depend on how many vegetables you add)
Salt and pepper
Cayenne pepper (Optional, but I like mine with a bit of a kick in it)

Add about 1 cup of diced ham when cooking the vegetables or 1/2 pound of browned hamburgers. Also really good with fresh corn cut off the cob or 1 or 2 cans of corn. Adding corn makes it more like a potato corn chowder! Yum!!
Also very good topped with cheese!

Put all the diced vegetables into a big pot, add bay leaves, parsley, salt, pepper, cayenne (if wanted), garlic and bullion cubes. Cover vegetables with water until they are just barely covered. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Add butter and heavy cream. (You only need a little bit of the cream. Blending it all together will help make it creamy) Remove from heat.

Put half or more of the soup in the blender and blend to puree it. Add back to the pot and stir it in. This will make it creamy but leave some chunks from the vegetables as well.
Related Posts with Thumbnails