Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Herbed Venison Roast w/ Brown Sugar and Ponzu, Happy Hunting!

The time for hunting is here again and I am excited to once again see various family and friends of the family come bearing gifts.  I am fortunate to have received wild turkeys, squirrels and venison , for which I use to expand my recipe collection and experience.  This recipe is one featuring venison, brought to me by a life-time family friend, Kinte Robinson.  I butterflied one of the hind quarters and filled it with an herb stuffing of sorts, with lots of fresh parsley, rosemary, oregano and garlic, I then seared, and smoked the wonderful roast for several hours .  I find that for me and my family, that wild meats have to be cooked to well done , as not to experience the sometimes overwhelming "wildness" of the flavor.  I am a firm believer in soaking this protein at least 12 to 24 hours as well, in a salted, sometimes vinegar and usually garlicky tincture to expel as much of the blood as possible.  After that, the protein is ready for any project, making a fabulous and lean substitute for virtually any beef recipe!!   I always let my tasters know though, just as a courtesy!:)
about 3 lbs venison hind quarter, pounded  to 1/4 inch thickness
1 c. parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
6 to 8 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1/4 c. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
For Marinating and Basting:
Ponzu sauce
Brown sugar
Sherry Peppers Sauce
Place portion of roast between sheets of plastic wrap and pound to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Combine herbs and garlic with olive oil and garlic plus SPST and spread evenly over pounded roast.
Tuck ends and roll starting on short side until it looks like a jelly roll.
Secure with butcher's twine.
Combine equal parts Ponzu and Brown sugar and 1 part Sherry Peppers and blend well.
Pour over roast and turn to coat.
Let stand turning often for about 15 minutes.
Pat dry and sear on grill pan or in a large saute pan.
Transfer to smoker or  oven and cook until desired temperature is reached. If using an oven , roast @ 250*F , for several hours or until desired doneness is reached.  145*F for medium, 160*F for well done.
Baste periodically in Ponzu, brown sugar and sherry peppers to add more flavor and rich color to outer surface.
Let rest before slicing.
Serves 8-10.

Infuse water in smoker with aromatics like onions, celery and garlic, and SPST.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Roasted and Curried Pattypan Squash and Corn Soup

My neighbor Gloria brought me by several pattypan squash from her family's garden.  I have always thought they were visually appealing, but I had not cooked with them before.  I used that time to do some lab work and decided on a soup, composed of the roasted product and a few other simple and complimentary ingredients like curry and corn.  The pattypans have a flavor reminiscent of corn and smells like corn when it cooks.  The curry adds a subtle and complex element to the flavor profile.  This recipe is relatively inexpensive to prepare and was received well by the family.  This soup, paired with a green salad or sandwich makes for a fabulous light lunch or alone for a first course for dinner.
1 1/2 c. roasted pattypan squash
15 oz. frozen whole kernel corn, thawed or fresh
1/2 c. Vidalia onion, small dice
2 tbsp. butter
1 soft chicken bouillon cube, optional
1 bay leaf
2 c. 2% milk
1 tbsp. sherry peppers sauce
1 tbsp. fish sauce
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
2 tsp. curry powder
2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven to 400*F.
Cut squash in half crosswise, and place on a roasting pan.
Drizzle with olive oil and SPST.
Roast until tender, about 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle.
Scoop out seeds and center membrane, discard.
Place pulp in medium bowl and cream w/immersion blender or use a food processor.
Place in strainer and drain for 10 minutes to rid of excess water.
Over medium high heat in a heavy bottomed vessel, melt butter and drizzle in a little olive oil.
Once hot, add onions, bouillon and bay leaf..
Cook for several minutes until onions are translucent.
Add squash and milk , reduce heat to medium.
Heat to a slight boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Add sherry peppers, fish sauce, garlic and curry powder
Simmer 5 minutes and remove bay leaf.
Blend again until smooth.
Stir in corn and parsley and SPST
Continue simmer until corn heats through, about 5 minutes.
Serves 4-6.
Garnish with parsley sprig and drizzle with olive oil if desired.
NOTE:  Fresh corn may be roasted along with squash to add to depth of the flavor profile and may be done ahead of time for efficiency.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Creamy Sausage, Mushroom and Parmesan Cheese Dip, Tailgating Gourmet!

I created this dip for our Super Bowl gathering this year, but since it's time for some football again, why not share it now and it can tag along with some tailgaters .  It's a  warm and hearty dip, perfect for tortilla chips, especially the scoop kind! This dip is substantial enough to stave off hunger and provide lasting energy to yell and scream for your favorite team, while drinking your favorite beverages!!
There are lots of fresh sliced mushrooms swimming in luscious, creamy and stretchy Parmesan cheese, both sauce and freshly grated, and wonderful bits of good quality sage sausage, a winning recipe for a hopefully winning team's day!
1 lb. good quality sage breakfast sausage
9 oz. freshly sliced button mushrooms
1 c. red 🧅, small dice
2 cloves 🧄, pressed or finely minced
2 tbsp. 🧈
2 tbsp. AP flour
2 c. 🥛
1 c. Garlic Parmesan Alfredo, store bought
2/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 c. parsley, rough chopped
Preheat oven to 375*F.
In a large saute pan over medium high heat, crumble sausage ( I use a potato masher for nice even morsels ) and brown, about 5 minutes.
Add mushrooms and onions.
Cook until mushrooms release moisture and onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
Drain off excess fat and push contents to one side of pan.
Add butter and flour.
Cook flour for about 1 minute, then incorporate sausage mixture in with it.
Remove from heat to add milk.
Return to heat and stir often while waiting to thicken, about 5 minutes.
Stir in parsley.
Add Garlic Parmesan Alfredo.
Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for several more minutes.
Pour into shallow baking dish and sprinkle with grated Parmesan.
Bake about 15 minutes until bubbly.
Turn on broiler to brown the cheesy top.
Let stand for a few minutes before serving.
Great hot or warm.
Serve with tortilla chips or scoop style , Doritos for an ultimate experience!

Lime A-Rita Chicken and Capellini

After spending seven fabulous days at North Myrtle Beach with my BFF R.D. Fisher and his family, needless to say we still had some libations remaining, which included Lime-A-Ritas!(Anheuser-Busch) .  Later the same evening after returning home, it hit me that the basic premises of the beverage included many elements of a typical glaze  of sorts i.e, sugar, alcohol, citrus.. so I thought it would be great as a reduced pan sauce!! With the addition of some corn starch,  pineapple juice, garlic, fresh parsley, cilantro seasoning and butter, this beverage transformed into a delicious sauce to glaze the chicken and toss with the angel hair pasta, bright and fragrant, satisfying.  Eating your drinks has never been more fun!
2 1/2 lbs. sliced chicken breasts or cutlets
1 lb. Capellini or angel hair pasta
2 tsp. rendered bacon fat, optional
1 can Lime -A-Rita, 8 oz.
4 oz. pineapple juice
2 tsp. corn starch
1 cilantro seasoning cube
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
olive oil for drizzling
Start salted pasta water.
Over medium high heat in a large saute pan, add bacon fat or olive oil.
Add cutlets that have been patted dry and SPST.
Do this in two batches as not to crowd the pan., about 3 minutes per side.
Transfer chicken to plate until all is seared on both sides.

Remove pan from heat and deglaze with beer. Here is where you drop your pasta into pasta water.
Return to heat and let go for about 1 minute to cook off alcohol.
Remove from heat again and add remaining ingredients, whisking to incorporate corn starch and bring back up to a boil.
After bringing up to a boil, Reduce heat to medium  and add chicken and toss to coat.
Remove chicken and transfer to serving platter and add Capellini and toss to coat.
Garnish with more parsley.
Serves 6


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Country Fried Portobello Steaks w/ Red Miso Mayo and Spinach and Red Onion Salad

An inexpensive vegetarian take on a Southern American classic, this recipe is easy on the digestive system and teeming with Vitamins E, D ,K, protein and fiber. Indulgent in a way, but not too imposing on the waistline, especially for an occasional splurge.  I originally planned to fashion the portobello as an appetizer dish, thinking the breaded fungus would fan out like a flower blossom when fried, to be torn off in strips and dipped in the delicious Red Miso Mayonnaise.  Alas,  my theory went awry to a degree, and when life serves you lemons, Make Lemonade!
The portobello was still as tasty as ever, but not presenting itself in an appetizer form I would accept, so I took it to the entree arena and with a few other wonderful and flavorful ingredients, felt accomplished enough to share!  My sisters Cherie, Hollie, and Gayle really enjoyed this recipe as did I.  My mom may have, but she abhors mushrooms, so she refused to try it,  especially since she could actually see the portobello in plain sight! My mom is funny like that.   No worries though, because she is my most discerning critic, whose feedback on the many dishes she does taste and enjoys, is tantamount to that of a world class chef, and I, her loyal and grateful minion.!
2 Portobellos, about 8 oz.
seasoned flour
4 c. fresh tender spinach
1/4 c. thinly sliced red onion
1 tbsp. regular or lite mayonnaise
1 tsp. Red Miso
1 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
vegetable oil for frying
Black sesame seeds for garnish
Heat oil to 350*F
Make slits around circumference of portobellos and dredge in flour.
Deep fry for several minutes until portobellos float and are deeply browned, drain well on paper towels.
Meanwhile, mix mayo and miso together in a small bowl and set aside.
Toss spinach with rice vinegar and olive oil, SPST.
Divide among two plates.
Top with portobellos and divide the mayo between the two.
Garnish with black sesame seeds and serve immediately.
Serves 2.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Angry Portobellos!!!

This is a super easy, fun and satisfying recipe developed when I received a jar of my sister Gayle's homemade salsa.  The ingredients were all fresh from her garden, bursting with color and flavor, spiked with some subtle heat, from  banana peppers and some habanero .  I had some fresh portobellos to utilize and it was around breakfast time, almost immediately, I  thought about Huevos Rancheros.  This is my take on the dish, which reminds me of a monster's or tired person's eyes, hence the name. My sisters Gayle, Hollie and Cherie tasted and loved the creation, as did I.  I especially enjoyed the various degrees of heat throughout the flavor profile.
 I can't wait til Halloween to serve this dish for breakfast, lunch or maybe even an angry dinner!!  This recipe is written for 2, but may easily be doubled , tripled or quadrupled!  A larger shallow baking vessel will suffice when making for more than 2.
 2 portobellos, about 7 oz.
1 1/2 c. homemade salsa or medium store-bought
2 eggs
Flat leaf parsley for garnish
Cheddar cheese for garnish
Sriracha for garnish
olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven to 375*F.
Using a knife, cut out center of portobello, about 1 1/2 inches across to house egg.
In a small baking vessel drizzled with olive oil, pour in salsa.
Nestle portobellos in salsa.
Crack egg into center of mushroom and drizzle with olive oil and SPST.
Bake until egg is set to desired consistency, about 8 minutes for fully cooked.
Create brow with parsley, the pupil with Sriracha and sprinkle with Cheddar cheese if desired.
Serves 2.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cheesy Potato Zucchini Casserole

Zucchini and squash are two wonderful and versatile additions to any meal plan, but oftentimes those who are unfamiliar with them, shy away from preparing or even trying these vitamin and mineral rich gems.  Enter the casserole.  I didn't create the recipe to hide the veggies, just to present them in a different manner and alongside some sure fire favorites like potatoes and cheese!  The flavors marry flawlessly and everyone can use some extra veggies in their diet.  Hearty and comforting, this recipe is perfect for holidays,  potluck or Sunday dinner, delicious enough to be served a la carte or as a vegetarian entree! Yellow squash is also featured in this dish, as it was a part of that day's harvest, but zucchini may be used in it's place.
7 c. russet potatoes, medium dice
1 1/2 c. zucchini, peeled and shredded
1/2 c. yellow squash, peeled and shredded
1/4 c. red onion, small dice
4 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. AP flour
2 c. 2% milk
1 soft chicken bouillon cube, optional
1 c.shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tbsp. fresh flat leaf parsley, rough chopped
olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven to 375*F.
In a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat.
Drizzled in about 1 tsp. olive oil.
Once hot, add onions.
Cook for several minutes until onions are translucent.
Add flour and cook for additional minute.
Add zucchini, squash and bouillon cube.
Cook for several more minutes, allowing zucchini to release some of it's water and absorb flavors, stirring often.
Add milk and bring up to a subtle boil and continue cooking until milk is thickened.
Stir in cheese.
Once smooth, temper in eggs.
Remove from heat.
Toss potatoes and parsley together and SPST.
Spread potatoes evenly in a 4 quart ,greased baking vessel.
Pour in cheese sauce and fold into potatoes.
Cover tightly with foil and bake until potatoes are tender and the eggs have set, about 40 minutes.
Turn on broiler.
Remove foil  to slightly brown the top.
Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 10-12 servings.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Cilantro-Chia Seed Crusted Bass

Looking for a quick, easy and delicious addition to any weeknight meal featuring a firm fish? This recipe is fantastic and flecked with  heart healthy Chia seeds and nestled on fresh spinach.  My brother in law brought me a fabulous batch of freshly caught striped bass, and as always, I use those occasions to develop as many recipes using it in it's peak form as possible.  This is one of them.  The fish turns out flavorful and light, easily fitting into any diet, plus it is gluten free and relatively fat free, but you won't miss one beat!  Perfect for an upscale dinner at home, pairing well with a white wine, like a Gewurztraminer or Riesling , complimenting the nutty notes of the Chia Seed as well as the fish.  Serve with Quinoa or Couscous for an over the top presentation to please the palate.
2 6 oz. portions boneless, skinless bass fillets or other firm fish, about 1 inch thick
1 c. julienne of fresh spinach
1 cilantro seasoning cube
1 tbsp. Chia Seeds
olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven to 350*F.
Place Chia seeds in shallow dish.
Grate cilantro cube into dish and stir.
Press fillets that have been patted dry into seeds on ONE side only, coating fully.
Drizzle olive oil into oven-safe saute pan heated to medium high and sear fish portions, seed side down.
After several minutes, turn fillets and sear non-seeded side, about 3 minutes each side .
Transfer to oven and bake until internal temperaure reaches 145*F, about 7 minutes.
Toss spinach with a drizzle of olive oil and SPST.
Divide spinach between two plates.
Nestle fillets atop.   Serve with desired starch, shown above with Mashed Potato Quenelles.
Serves 2

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Garlicky Zucchini Spaghetti w/ Shrimp

This recipe came to me when I was having fun with the copious amounts of zucchini I had on hand from our garden.  I wanted something simple delicious and light, also  low on carbs and fats.  I used a mandolin to fashion the zucchini into 'spaghetti'.  The cherry tomatoes just add a splash of color and some lycopene for heart health!  Serve over rice or other grain for a longer lasting fullness and to stretch your dollar.
1 lb. 31-40 count raw shrimp, cleaned and tails removed
3 1/2 c. julienne of zucchini
1/4 c. thinly sliced Vidalia onion
6 cloves garlic, pressed of finely minced
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. sherry peppers sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
pinch red pepper flakes
handful cherry tomatoes, about 9, then halve
2 tbsp. fresh parsley and dill, chopped
olive oil for drizzling
In a medium bowl, combine garlic, fish sauce, sherry peppers, brown sugar, corn starch and red pepper flakes.  Add shrimp, marinate for 15 minutes.
When ready,  heat large saute pan to medium high, drizzle with olive oil and add butter.  Once hot, add zucchini and onion, SPST, stirring often and rapidly, cooking for about 2 minutes.
Add shrimp and marinade, and contunue to bringing up to a boil. cooking until shrimp is pink and sauce has thickened., about 3 minutes.
Toss in cherry tomatoes and herbs.
Remove from heat.  Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with additional herbs if desired..
Serves 4-6, depending on if serving with grains or not.