Lime Marinade and Herb Salad for Steak

herbs

This lime marinade has become my new favorite. Couple with the fresh herb salad topping and hit a homerun  with those at your table!.  The fresh brightness of herbs and tangy lime juice adds layers of flavor to grilled meats, fish or chicken. I use Mexican Mint Marigold in my herb mix because tarragon does not grow well here, but if you have tarragon, use that. We will have this again tonight with sides of baked potato and crispy lettuces, also from our garden. This is my version of Danny Boome’s, used when grilling flank steak on his Food Network show Rescue Chef.

lettuce

Lime Marinade

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
1 orange, juiced
3 garlic cloves, smashed
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag. Add the steak and refrigerate for 30 -45 minutes, turning occasionally.  Remove from refrigerator and let come to room temperature before grilling or pan-searing steak.

Herb Salad

1 small bunch Italian parsley
1  small bunch sweet basil
1 small bunch cilantro
1 small bunch Mexican Mint Marigold  (or use fresh Tarragon if you have it.)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 limes, juiced
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Wash the herbs and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Remove the leaves from stems and chop slightly. Whisk together olive oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Add  to chopped herbs a few spoonsful at a time until mixture is lightly coated with dressing.  You may not need all the dressing, but serve any remaining to pass with a small spoon at the table.

 

Orange Glazed Salmon with Rosemary

20160316_191006

We tried yet another excellent recipe recently. This pan roasted salmon glazed with fresh orange sauce and layered with the flavor and fragrance of rosemary from our garden is one we will repeat soon.

Orange Glazed Salmon with Rosemary

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4 (6-8 oz) skinless salmon fillets, (leave out at room temperature 10 minute)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon minced fresh rosemary plus a few sprigs for garnish

1/2  cup chicken broth, plus 1 Tablespoon( to be mixed with cornstarch)

2 teaspoons orange zest

1 cup fresh orange juice

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 Tablespoons honey

3 teaspoons cornstarcheat

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Season both sides of salmon with salt and pepper. Place in hot olive oil and sear until browned on both sides and cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side, depending on thickness of salmon.Transfer to a plate, leaving oil in pan.

Add garlic and rosemary to pan and saute 20 seconds, then add 1/2 cup chicken broth and simmer to reduce. Stir in orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice and honey. In a small bowl whisk together remaining 1 Tablespoon chicken broth with cornstarch.

Pour into pan, season sauce with salt and pepper to taste, then bring to a boil and allow to thicken 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return salmon to pan, spoon sauce over salmon. Garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary and orange slices.

Mushroom Stroganoff

IMG_1699

I have made a variety of Beef Stroganoff recipes over the years.  In fact, it is one of the first recipes I remember trying early in my marriage that seemed fancy when I was cooking for guests. I think that although it became popular in the U.S. in the 1950’s, until I made it the first time I had never eaten it before and loved it from first taste. Our family has always loved buttered noodles as a side; we like mushrooms, so I am not sure why I never just left out the meat.  But I tried this recently and it will be my favorite way to make Stroganoff now.  It also has the benefit of being much simpler to prepare and fairly low in calories, if not carbs!

Granmary’s Mushroom Stroganoff

2 Tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped

2 tbsp  flour

2 cups chicken stock

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon tomato paste (I keep a tube of tomato paste in the refrigerator for recipes which only need a small amount.)

16 ounces sliced baby Bella mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (I use Penzey’s French Thyme)

sea salt and black pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons white wine or sherry

2 Tablespoons sour cream

8 ounces uncooked thick, yolkless egg noodles:

Optional:  parsley and shaved Parmesan for topping
Bring a pot of water to boil, add 2 teaspoons salt, then add noodles.  Cook according to package directions, minus a minute or two.  Under-cooking them allows for adding to the sauce to finish cooking. Drain noodles in colander and set aside until sauce is ready.

While heating water and cooking noodles, in  a large saucier or skillet, melt butter and add onions. . Cook 2 – 3 minutes, then add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds. Then gradually add chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste, stirring to keep mixture smooth as it begins to thicken. Keep stirring and add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir continuously, simmering for at least 5 minutes or until thickened and bubbling.

Add flour; stir with a wooden spoon for 30 seconds. Gradually add broth, Worcestershire, mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir and cook 4-5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.  Add wine or sherry, stir, and continue cooking for 3 minutes longer. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and noodles. Garnish with parsley and shaved Parmesan if desired.

Crocked Pot Roast

IMG_0801

Just about every time I use my crock pot, I wonder why I don’t use it more often. It is one of my favorite kitchen helpers!  I particularly like starting something early on a Sunday morning and opening the door when we are back home from church to the heavenly smell of good food ready to serve!  This recipe is my variation of one I found online at the Food Network Kitchen and has an extra step in the beginning of cooking that adds a whole world of flavor to the finish!  Although gravy is usually something I make after cooking meat and just before serving, this pot roast cooks the whole time in gravy prepared after browning the meat and before cook time in the slow cooker begins. It is a twist that I will try with other crock pot meats because it turned out so well. My family voted this delicious!

Cook’s Note:  I keep a tube of Amici tomato paste in the refrigerator to use for recipes like this that only need a few Tablespoons.  If you haven’t discovered these tubed products, look for them near the canned and jarred tomato products at your supermarket

Crocked Pot Roast

4-pound beef chuck roast

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2/3 cup flour, (1/3 cup used for flouring the meat prior to browing, 1/3 cup for gravy)

3 tablespoons olive oil

6 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

3 stalks celery, sliced

8 red potatoes, halved

1 onion, rough chopped

4 cloves garlic, mashed

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup red wine

3 cups  beef broth

2 teaspoons dried French Thyme (or try chopped fresh Rosemary!)

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Sprinkle seas salt and pepper over roast and rub into both sides. Put 1/3 cup of the flower on a plate and coat the meat, turning to coat. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large iron skillet. Brown the roast until brown on all sides  Transfer the roast to crock pot and tuck all vegetables around the sides.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet over medium heat. Add tomato paste and stir until the oil is smoothly blended with tomato paste and turns a lovely deep red, about 1 minute. Add 1/3 cup flour and stir, then add wine, stirring as it thickens. It is OK if there are some lumps. . Add the beef broth,, thyme, allspice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper and bring to a simmer, whisking, until the gravy is smooth and thickens slightly.Pour the gravy into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours.

Remove the roast to a shallow dish or platter, then lift out vegetables with slotted spoon and add to serving dish. Ladle a spoonful or two over meat, and put the rest into a small pitcher to pass at the table.

IMG_0800Yum!   The return of Sunday dinner!

Sauteed Mushrooms in Red Wine

022

Mushrooms are a delicious topping for any grilled meat or as a topping for buttered pasta.  I used lemon juice from our Meyer lemon harvest that I froze into mini muffin cups.  Each lemon “muffin” is exactly 2 tablespoons, and very convenient for adding to sauces. I picked a handful of fresh parsley from the garden to toss on top.   Note:  if you happen to have any leftovers, this is a wonderful addition to the next night’s spaghetti sauce!

Sautéed Mushrooms in Red Wine

1 lb mushroom, sliced

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup red wine

salt and pepper

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried French thyme

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Melt butter in  sauté  pan. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté over high heat until they are nicely browned. Add salt, pepper and red wine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and parsley. Serve immediately.

Calzones with Arugula Pesto and Marinara Dipping Sauce

004

For all my almost 50 years of marriage, I have planned meals and menus, usually a week ahead.  That doesn’t mean we don’t change the menus around or decide to do something different, but I like this method because it allows me to consider what I have in the pantry or freezer, what is currently growing in the garden or available from the CSA vegetable shares we have picked up. I can more efficiently budget and shop, so I think it saves time and money as well.  But this delicious meal happened because I realized that I had far more arugula than we were going to use in salads before it went bad. Arugula is one of those greens that have become so popular but it wasn’t even listed in any receipe in cookbooks from the early years of my menu planning.  It is a peppery green and is delicious raw in a variety of salads, cooked as an accompaniment to fish or pasta, and as it is used here, in pesto.  I liked using walnuts rather than pine nuts  This pesto can be used to drizzle over grilled meats or pasta.

Calzones with Arugula Pesto and Marinara Dipping Sauce

16 ounces pizza dough – make your own, or use frozen dough that has been thawed and brought to room temperature

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce, heated in small sauce pan – I used a spicy jarred sauce.

Arugula pesto, recipe below

1 heaping cup shredded mozzarella or Italian 4-cheese blend cheese.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out pizza dough to about 1/4 inch thickness on floured tea towel.  Separate into 4 parts.  Roll each part into a circle and place on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Spread a thick layer of pesto on one half of each circle and top with  3 Tablespoons finely grated mozarella or Italian 4-cheese blend.  Fold  each circle over to make calzone.  Pinch edges together, roll and crimp to seal. Bake about 18 minutes, or until crust is done and nicely browned.

Ladle marinara into small sauce bowls and serve alongside calzones for dipping. If you have extra arugula pesto, freeze and use for pasta or your next pizza!

Serves 4

Arugula Pesto

2 cups packed arugula
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup shaved parmesan
1/2 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic,peeled and rough chopped
Sear salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
002
Process arugula, oil, parmesan, nuts, and
garlic in a food processor until finely chopped; season
with salt and pepper.

003

Linguini with Shrimp and Arugula

001

 

I love tangy bitter greens in salads, but the added flavor arugula brings to this sauce for linguini is amazing.  Preparation is simple even though a few steps are necessary for the sauce to come out right.  A fresh bunch of arugula from our CSA share this past week paired well with these ingredients.  We will make this again soon! Recipe is adapted from one found at http://www.epicurious.com, printed in a 1993 issue of Epicurious.

 

Shrimp and Arugula with Linguini.

yield:Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound shrimp (about 12), shelled and deveined
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup canned chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bunch of arugula, the stems discarded and the leaves washed wel
  • 3 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced sweet basil
  • 1/2 pound linguini

In a heavy skillet heat oil until it is hot but not smoking,and sauté shrimp,  garlic, and  pepper flakes, stirring until the shrimp are pink and almost cooked through. Take out shrimp with a slotted spoon and reserve.

In the same skille,  add onion, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are tender. Add whitee wine and simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Add broth, simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, and stir in the cream. Simmer the sauce until it is thickened slightly, then stir in arugula and shrimp, and simmeruntil the shrimp are cooked through. Stir in the parsley, basil, salt and pepper and keep the sauce warm, covered. In a kettle of boiling salted water cook linguini until al dente.  Drain pasta, then combine with sauce in large bowl.  serve with shaved parmesan on top and add a slice of crusty French bread.

Caramel Dipping Sauce with Sliced Apples

012Long before the current craze for the flavor of salted caramel in everything from ice cream to popcorn, caramel apples were a sign of the calendar’s turning to the months of Autumn. Fall festivals and Halloween parties featured apple bobbing and the sticky apple treats.  In our family, we love caramel apples, too, but we have made them like this for over 20 years. When we lived in Indonesia, I sang with a group of expat women known as the American Women’s Association Singers.  We performed at least 2 musicals to benefit Indonesian charities each year, and another fund-raising project was the publication of a spiral bound cookbook titled Sing a Rainbow of Recipes.  The recipe for Caramel Dip was submitted by my friend Loretta Slusher and I share with you exactly as she wrote it. She called it Joan Benson’s Caramel Dip, so I gather that she got the recipe from someone else!

Caramel Dipping Sauce with Sliced Apples

2 cups brown sugar

3/4 cup white Karo syrup

1/2 cup butter

1 can sweetened condensed milk

pinch of salt

slices of fresh apples (a mixture of Pink Lady and Granny Smith apples is both pretty and tasty – we like crisp, tart apples)

Combine all ingredients, except apples, in saucepan.  Simmer, bringing to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes, stirring continually.  Serve, keeping warm, with slices of fresh apple for dipping.

Caution:  the caramel is very very hot so allow to cool slightly before dunking your apple slices.  I know, it is hard to wait but the taste is heavenly so you don’t want to burn your tongue!

011

Skye made this for her after school snack!

 

Pasta and Peas in Lemon Cream Sauce

redbirdsetal 007

Pasta and Peas in Lemon Cream Sauce

adapted from a recipe found in Bon Appetit magazine, 2003

3 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

3-4  large shallots, minced

1 cup  chicken broth

1 1/4  cups whipping cream

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste

2 cups fresh or  frozen green peas, thawed

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves

2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice (I used frozen Meyer juice from last year’s crop of lemons. If using regular lemons, reduce to 1 tablespoon and add 1 Tablespoon orange juice)

16 ounces farfalle or penne pasta

12 thin slices prosciutto, may substitute with crumbled bacon

Shaved Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in large skillet, add shallots and sauté about 2 minutes. Add broth. Simmer over medium heat until mixture is reduced to 1/4 cup, 2-3 minutes. Add cream, lemon zest , and cayenne. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Add peas; simmer t until heated through, stir in mint and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

While preparing sauce, cook pasta al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain; return to pot and toss with sauce.

Divide pasta among serving plates. Drape prosciutto slices on top and sprinkle with shaved Parmesan.  This is a wonderful Spring or Summer supper served with crusty French bread and  fresh slices of melon or tomato quarters.

Mango Salsa

IMG_0217Tomato salsa  may be our most frequent accompaniment to eggs, Mexican food, and tortilla chips – but fruit salsas compete strongly for favorites.  Among those, mango salsa is at the top of the list.  It may be hard to save a mango or two when I bring them home because we love them plain and with Greek yogurt.  Last week I used the last two out of a carton of six to make this beautiful topping for baked fish. I have also used it to layer over a roasted pork tenderloin or to dress up grilled chicken breasts.  If there happens to be any leftover, we pull out the corn chips and have a snack.

Mango Salsa

2 mangos, peeled and diced*
2 medium Jalapenos, seeded and diced
1/2 small red onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper
Combine the mango, , Jalapeno, red onion, lime juice and cilantro leaves and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste
* I wash and pat dry the mango, stand vertically with stem end down, and with a sharp knife, slice down by the side of the large seed, repeating on the other side.  Then lay each mango half in the palm of my left hand, and with a small paring knife, carefully cut into the mango, making diagonal cuts in opposite directions. Then I turn the mango half inside out, and the cut sections pop out.  These can easily be scraped off with a spoon or the paring knife.