Saturday, May 22, 2010

Forklift Salad

Summer is almost officially upon us. Kids are winding down with school, patio furniture is out but in desperate need of cleaning and I'm dreaming of outdoor entertaining. This is a colorful and beautiful salad to serve. I also buy some flatbread or naan and grill it to soften and provide some grill marks - cut into wedges and pile around this mound of goodness. It's called "forklift" salad because of the bounty of vegetables that you'll be consuming and that's a good thing!

Forklift Salad

2 cups English cucumbers that have cores removed and diced
2 cups seeded and diced plum or Roma tomatoes
2 cups cored and diced red pepper
1 can drained and rinsed garbanzo beans
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced red onion
3 Tbls plus 1 Tbl. white or cider vinegar
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. whole-grain dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbls. fresh mint
3 Tbls. fresh basil
3 Tbls. fresh flat-leaf or Italian parsley

Combine all veggies/beans and in a small bowl whisk together vinegar, garlic, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper and mustard. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Pour over veggies/beans and let sit for up to two hours at room temperature. At serving time add herbs and adjust salt/pepper as needed. Serve with wedges of grilled flatbread. You may also want to consider serving with a slotted spoon.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Marlboro Man Sandwich

I've become a little obsessed with the Pioneer Woman Blog and find that I'm checking it at least once a day. Ree (who pens this wonderful diversion) is witty, entertaining and the woman knows her food. This sandwich is yet another example of something that's simple but so good. Cube steak is something that I thought was only reserved for "chicken fried" steak and therefore NEVER considered buying it. Boy, have we missed out. We added cheese to our version so this will forever replace any lame version of chewy cheesesteaks we've made in the past. Marlboro Man is Ree's rancher husband and he's got good taste!

The Marlboro Man Sandwich

1 whole Large (or 2 Small) Onions
2 sticks Butter (lots And Lots Of Butter)
2 pounds (to 3 Pounds) Cube Steak (tenderized Round Steak That's Been Extra Tenderized)
Lawry's Seasoned Salt (or Similar Seasoned Salt)
½ cups (approximately) Worcestershire Sauce
Tabasco Sauce, To Taste
4 whole French/deli Rolls

Slice onions and cook in 1/4 stick butter until soft and light brown. Remove and set aside. Slice cube steak against the grain. Season with Lawry’s.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter over high heat (in same skillet) until melted and beginning to brown. Add meat in single layer. Cook one side until brown, then flip and cook until brown, about a minute on both sides. Add 1/2 cup (at least) Worcestershire sauce, 5 to 6 shakes Tabasco, and 2 tablespoons butter. Add cooked onions. Stir to combine. Butter halved French rolls and brown in skillet.
To assemble, lay bottom half of French roll on plate. Place meat mixture, followed by a spoonful of juice from the pan. Or place meat on roll, cover with cheese (provolone is a good choice) and pop under the broiler for an amazing cheesesteak that rivals any restuarant version.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Simple Tomato Sauce

I have come to love the Steamy Kitchen Blog for all things Asian. I don't cook Asian food well but dream of a day where I can whip up an effortless moo shu pork. Until that day, I'll keep reading but I was stunned to find this classic Italian sauce on my beloved Asian blog. This recipe seemed too good to be true but it hailed from a iconic Italian chef - Marcella Hazan so I had to try it. I served it with some egg fettuccine from Ohio City Pasta and it was simple but heavenly. Close your eyes when eating this and envision yourself at a little trattoria in Italy. P.S. Even this pic is off the Steamy Kitchen Blog given that my sauce disappeared before I could take a close up!

1 whole onion - preferably Vidalia, cut in half
1 28-ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes (from San Marzano if you can find them)
5 tablespoons of butter
pasta of your choice (I used fresh pasta for a bit of a chewy texture)

Place the butter, onion and tomatoes into a medium saucepan. Onion can be left in halves or quarters so they are submerged in liquid from tomatoes. Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Remove onion and discard. Stir to break up any last bits of whole tomato. I then added pinch of salt and just a pinch of sugar which will take away any acidic bite from the canned tomatoes. That's it. Crazy but it was simple and delicious. Serve over fresh pasta with from freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Boursin Chicken

Why don't I buy Boursin cheese more? Stirred into mashed potatoes or eggs or on toast...again, why have I forgotten about this humble little herbed cheese? Here's yet another great use. Chicken and Boursin together? Genius!

Boursin Chicken

4 split chicken breasts
1 box garlic Boursin cheese
1/4 cup crushed walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup chopped carrots
bread crumbs (made from 2 Tbls. Parmesan cheese, 1/4 c. plain bread crumbs)
2 Tbls. chopped parsley
1/2 stick melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pound chicken breasts until thin. In a bowl mix Boursin cheese and 1 Tbl. flour, nuts, carrots and parsley and stir to combine.
Place a 1/4 of mixture in middle of the chicken breast and roll. Brush with melted butter and roll in bread crumbs. Place in greased pan - seam-side down. repeat with all breasts. Bake for 45 minutes.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Make this dip when you want to see grown men fight over the last scoop. A big shout out to Caroline Maurer who (thankfully for the rest of us) perfected this addictive dip. Trust me, you will thank her for this recipe!

Jalapeno Popper Dip

2 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 4oz can chopped green chilies, drained (and rinsed if needed)
1 4 oz can chopped jalapenos drained
¾ cup mozzarella
½ cup grated Parmesan
¾ cup shredded Parmesan
5 or so shakes Tabasco
Seasoned salt

Pita chips, tortillas chips, or Frito Scoops.

Mix everything and spread in 9x9 pan, bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Serve with pita chips. Watch men swoon.