Monthly Archives: March 2013

Shrimp a la Dijon

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shrimp dijon 2Shrimp a la Dijon

Serves 4

 

For my taste, this recipe results in a truly delectable dish.  It’s a quick and easy one to serve however looks and tastes like you might have spent hours on it.  The sauce in particular is divine.  You can serve it over rice, pasta or with crusty French bread and a nice light green salad.  It’s perfect for last minute guests or just for last minute family dinners or even just for your lonesome.  Just make sure that you have some dried mushrooms or frozen pre-cooked mushrooms and uncooked peeled and devinne with tail on shrimp in the freezer.  You can even substitute for the shrimp left-over chicken.  You also can add chopped light tasting veggies like chopped yellow squash (not broccoli, Brussel Sprouts and such), when sauteing the onions and mushrooms.

Ingredients:

  1. 12 Oz. Shrimps with tail defrosted per package instructions
  2. Butter and/or olive oil to amount to 3 Tbls. (I use a bit of both)
  3. 1 ½ C. sliced mushrooms
  4. 1/4 C. finely chopped onions and/or 3 finely chopped garlic cloves
  5. 1 Tblsp. flour
  6. 3/4 C. very warm chicken broth
  7. 1/4 C. dry white wine (I used dry vermouth)
  8. 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  9. 1 Tsp. crushed dry tarragon and/ or a heaping 1/2 Tsp. fennel seeds
  10. 1/4 Tsp. paprika
  11. 1/4 Tsp. ground pepper
  12. 1/4 C. heavy cream (you can use ½ and ½ or milk if you wish to lighten the load)

Directions:

  1. In a large measuring cup, combine the chicken broth with the white wine, Dijon mustard, and tarragon or fennel seeds, paprika and ground pepper.  Let sit while you do the rest of the steps.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the butter and/or oil till it is hot.  Add the mushrooms and onions/garlic and over medium heat, sauté till the mushrooms and onions/garlic are soft, limp and glistening. Stir in flour till all is well mixed and no more flour white remains.
  3. Add the chicken broth mixture and stir till thickened and the mixture bubbles.  Reduce heat to medium low.
  4. Stir in the cream and shrimp.
  5. Cook covered for 2 minutes or till shrimp is done.  Don’t overcook or shrimp will become tough.
  6. Garnish individual plates or platter with lemon slices and sliced tomatoes and top with parsley or herbs.

Warm Sausage and Potato Salad

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warm saussage & potato salad #2

Warm Sausage and Potato Salad

Serves 4

The following may sound complicated and seem time staking, but honestly, it’s not.  It’s a breeze to make and delicious.  It’s great for anytime of the year.  So give it a try and enjoy.

 

Ingredients and directions in Four Parts:

 

For the potatoes:

  1. 1 Lb. tiny boiling potatoes unpeeled and cut in 1/4 inch slices or the slightly larger white Yukons or something similar, peeled, cut in half and then cut cross wise in 1/4 inch slices.
  2. 3 Tblsp. chicken broth
  3. 1/4 Tsp. salt
  4. Directions: Boil until potatoes are JUST tender (maybe 10-15 minutes). Drain, put in stainless or glass bowl and add the broth and salt.  Let set while you do the rest.

 

For the dressing:

  1. 2 Tsp. Dijon mustard
  2. 1 ½ Tsp. red or white wine vinegar (I used sauvignon blanc vinegar)
  3. 1/4 Tsp. ground pepper
  4. 1/3 C. olive Oil
  5. 1/4 Tsp. salt
  6. (I doubled this delicious recipe so as to have left over dressing for other use)
  7. 7.       Directions: Place ingredients in a blender or processor and process till smooth or if you wish, you can just whisk it all.

 

For the Sausages:

  1. 1/2 Lb. smoked sausage such as Kielbasa, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise in 1/2 –inch slices.  French garlic sausages are the best if you can find them.
  2. Directions: In a large non-stick skillet, place sausage slices and over medium heat cook, stirring occasionally, until the slices are brown and warmed through—about 3 minutes. Remove the slices and drain on a paper toweled plate.  Place aside.

 

For the Salad:

  1. 1 head of Romaine (torn into small pieces and well rinsed)
  2. 1/2 C. chick peas—if not freshly cooked, canned drained and well rinsed.
  3. 2 Tblsp. green Spanish sliced with pimento olives
  4. 2 Tblsp. chopped parsley

 

To Serve:

  1. Toss the potatoes with 2 Tblsp. of the dressing and the parsley.
  2. Toss the romaine with the remaining dressing.
  3. Put the lettuce on plates, top with the chick peas, potatoes, and olives and finally the sausage slices.
  4. Serve with fruity Beaujolais.

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help or hosting

 @ 721-3551.Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

Southern Steak and Milk Gravy

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Southern Steak and Milk Gravy (just in case you are not familiar with this easy and economical dish)

Serves 4

 

Every now and then, I think that it’s nice to give a heads up on an easy and relatively inexpensive family dinner to make. This recipe is for the busy Mom or Dad; it even is easy enough for a carefully adult observed youngster to make. I also think that kids in particular like this dish. It’s nice to serve with mashed potatoes and a side of some good fresh vegetable.  You can also saute some sliced mushrooms and place those in the gravy or as a topping for your plated steaks.

 

Ingredients:

  1.  4 pieces of cubed steak
  2. 2 Tblsp. olive oil
  3. 1 C. flour or plain bread crumbs (I use crumbs) that you have seasoned with S&P to taste to coat the steaks
  4. 1/4 C. more flour to make the gravy
  5. 1 beaten egg with a splash of water in it (if one egg doesn’t seem like enough, use two)
  6. S&P to taste
  7. 1 ½ C. milk

 

Directions:

  1. Place the flour or bread crumbs on a platter. Place the platter by your frying pan.
  2.  In a wide enough bowl to hold the steaks, beat the egg and the splash of water. Place this by the frying pan.
  3. Put the oil in a frying pan and heat it over medium heat till a drop of water will sizzle in it.
  4. Dip your steaks first into the egg mixture and then dip it in the flour or breadcrumb mixture until it’s well coated.
  5. Place your coated steaks in the frying pan and sauté until nice and brown on both sides.  Remove steaks to a pre-warmed platter and place aluminum foil over to keep them warm—or place them in a slightly pre-warmed oven.
  6. Still over medium heat, in your frying pan, place 1/4 C. flour and some more S&P to taste and stir until the flour is SLIGHTLY browned.  Slowly pour the milk stirring constantly with a wire whisk (to get rid of the lumps).  This will happen quite quickly.  If you prefer thinner gravy, add a bit more milk.  To this mixture you can also add some chopped parsley.
  7. Now, return your steaks to the pan and turn them to coat both sides.
  8. Place the steaks and the gravy in a pretty serving bowl or if you would rather plate them, you can place them individually with a side of mashed potatoes and serve the gravy in a gravy boat.
  9. Don’t forget your fresh veggies!!!

 

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help or hosting

 @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

 

Civet of Eggs (Stew of Eggs)

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civet of eggs

civet with avocado Civet of Eggs (literally Stew of Eggs)

Serves 2IMG_3491

 

 

 

I’m going back to my French heritage which includes memories of eggs cooked in France lightly based on the same idea of our possibly original American popular brunch dish featuring Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce; only the civet has the French twist of including red wine. So, I was hungry for a lighter dinner one night and I thought of this recipe on which to dine.  It was delicious.  Give it a try for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

 

Ingredients:

  1. 4 eggs
  2. 2 Tblsp. olive oil
  3. 3 onions, thinly sliced
  4. 2 Tblsp. water
  5. 4 pinches of sugar
  6. 1 Tblsp. balsamic vinegar or any aged vinegar you have
  7. 3 Tblsp. red wine
  8. S&P to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a nonstick sauté pan.  Add the onions, stirring, over high heat till they are nice and brown. Turn heat to medium-low, add the water and sugar and simmer the onions for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the vinegar and cook till it evaporates.
  3. Add the wine and some S&P to taste.
  4. Break the eggs, one by one, in a cup and slip each one individually on top of the onions.
  5. Place a cover on the pan and still over medium-low heat cook until eggs are done to your taste.  Watch carefully to see that they don’t get overdone. S&P if you wish the tops of the eggs.
  6. Divide the egg stew between two plates and serve immediately with some crusty French bread.

 

I added some Parmesan on top (an Italian addition) and placed some sliced avocados on the side, but you can also add some sautéed mushrooms as a topping and freshly sliced tomatoes as a side garnish.  This is a very versatile dish and is fun to serve and eat.

 

In conclusion, I would like to tell you of another truly excellent French egg dish called “Oeufs en Meurette” (eggs poached in a red wine sauce). This is a timelier dish to make; however you can make it, including the poaching of the eggs, the day before serving.  It is so delicious, that I feel that it’s worthwhile spending the time making it in a proper fashion.  However, the recipe I gave you is in essence a bit of a quickened version of the Oeufs en Meurette.

 

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help or hosting

 @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

Roasted Turkey Thigh

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roasted turkey thigh

minnestrone cup Roasted Turkey Thigh

One Serves Two

 

 

Who says that turkey is just for Thanksgiving.  I love it year round. However, remember that if for a Thanksgiving dinner there are just 2 of you (or maybe even just your lonesome) this is a an easy turkey dish to make and have and still celebrate that turkey day without having to deal with the whole bird. But I divert. This is the day before spring and when I discovered this lovely 1.69 Lb. turkey thigh for $3.19 at Atkinsons’ the other day turkey sounded good to me so I bought it and had that evening a delicious and economical meal.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 Turkey Thigh (or more if you are serving more than 2)
  2. 1/4 C. olive oil or butter if you don’t mind the extra cholesterol
  3. 1 Tsp. salt
  4. 1/4 Tsp. ground pepper
  5. 2-4 cloves of garlic—peeled or unpeeled-whole or roughly chopped
  6. 1 large carrot chopped in large hunks
  7. 1/2 onion sliced
  8. 2 celery stalks roughly chopped
  9. 4 sprigs of thyme
  10. 4 basil or sage leaves
  11. 1/2 C. turkey or chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Olive oil spray an ovenproof dish to accommodate your thigh(s) and veggies.
  3. Place the veggies and broth on the bottom of your dish.
  4. Gently loosen skin from the thigh and spread some olive oil over the meat; then insert the spices and garlic cloves. Smooth skin back over and spread the rest of the olive oil over the thigh.You can also use your olive oil spray to do this instead of using the 1/4 C. olive oil. Now salt and pepper the thigh.
  5. Place the thigh in the dish over the veggies and broth.
  6. Bake in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes or till a meat thermometer registers 175 degrees.
  7. Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  8. I sided this dish with a ramekin filled with freshly made thick minestrone topped with Parmesan and a fresh salad.  For desert, I served roasted pears.
  9. If you wish gravy, when you’ve removed the thigh and the veggies, thicken the drippings/sauce stove top in a pan over medium high heat with a bit of luke warm water in which you have well stirred a tablespoon or more of cornstarch.

 

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help or hosting

@ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

Nut Bread-the Quick Way

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Quick Nut BreadNut Bread the Quick Way

Makes one 9 X 5 inch loaf

 

If you don’t own a bread machine or want to go through the manual yeast ritual, quick breads are a breeze to make. What makes the bread “quick” is the addition of baking soda and/or baking powder in the stead of yeast.  There are a huge variety of quick bread recipes including Corn Bread, Boston Brown Bread, Onion Pan Bread, Irish Soda Bread, Banana Bread, Whole Wheat and Molasses Bread, and Nut Bread.  I happen to really like the Nut Bread.  The trick with quick breads is to do just the opposite of what you do with a yeast dough; you mix it as fast and gently as possible and then bake it.  If you handle it too much, it tends to make for a tough loaf.  So, don’t worry about a mixture that is lumpy—just make sure that there is no more visibility of the flour in the mix before pouring into your loaf pan.

Ingredients:

  1. 3 C. flour and I used 1 C. rye flour, 1 C. whole wheat flour, and 1 C. all purpose flour
  2. 4 Tsp. baking powder
  3. 1 Tsp. salt
  4. 1/2 Tsp. ground cinnamon
  5. 1 C. roughly chopped walnuts or pecans
  6. 1/4 C. melted butter
  7. 1 ½ C. milk
  8. 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease your pan
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients—I use a whisk to do this-and add the chopped nuts.
  4. In a smaller bowl, whisk the melted butter, milk and egg till well blended.
  5. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the liquid ingredients folding and stirring quickly and gently till you can’t see any flour anymore.  The batter should be lumpy and not smooth.
  6. Place the batter in the pan and bake for about 45 to 60 minutes.  Mine usually gets done in 45 minutes.  A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.
  7. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
  8. This freezes just fine and it also toasts nicely.
  9.  Adding a bit of raisins or currents, chopped dates, etc. can make a nice addition along with 1 tsp. vanilla and some ground cloves.  You can use your imagination here.

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help or hosting

@ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

Irish Soda Bread

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Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Makes 16 servings

 

I know that St. Pat’s has past and gone, but I discovered this most delicious and easy recipe that I honestly think can be used any time of the year.  It is delicious the next day toasted and topped with honey, jam or whipped cream cheese.  It uses half the usual amount of flour called for in most soda bread recipes and therefore is on the lighter side and I believe is the reason that it keeps better.  I hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as I have.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 ½ C. All purpose flour
  2. 1/2 C. sugar
  3. 2 Tsp. caraway seed
  4. 1 ½ Tsp. baking powder
  5. 1/2 Tsp. baking soda
  6. 1 Tsp. ground cinnamon
  7. 1/2 Tsp. salt
  8. 1/2 Tsp. currants or raisins
  9. 1 ¼ C. buttermilk *
  10. 2 eggs
  11. 1/2 Tsp. vanilla

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350
  2. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan
  3. In a medium large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.  I use a whisk to do this.  When well mixed add the raisins or currents.
  4. In a small bowl whisk the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla till well blended.
  5. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients; add the liquid ingredients and mix quickly till blended and no more flour is showing.
  6. Pour into the cake pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.  Mine was done in 45 minutes.
  7. Place pan on a rack and let sit 10 minutes before removing the bread.
  8. * If you don’t have buttermilk, do this: take 1 ¼ C. milk minus 1 ½  Tblsp. and briefly heat the milk in the microwave—about 1 minute.  Then add 1 ½ Tblsp. white vinegar and let it sit while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

 

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help or hosting

@ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

 

Minestrone–Good Anytime of the Year

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minestrone

Minestrone-Good Anytime of the Year

4-6 servings

I love this kind of soup—full of veggies, tasty besides and beautiful to look at.  No meat necessary here because the pasta and the chickpeas make for a perfect protein.  It’s also an inexpensive way to feed a group.  If you wish to add a larger variety of veggies, feel free.  Zucchini, crookneck and leaks always make a nice addition.  Sometimes, when serving in pretty shallow bowls, I’ll even float a tablespoon or so of sherry and then top with the shredded Parmesan or Romano.   A nice light desert for this dinner is some poached pears.  Look for the recipe on the blog.

 

Ingredients:

  1. 2 Tblsp. olive oil
  2. 1/2- 3/4 C. diced pancetta (optional)
  3. 2 carrots-peeled and chopped into ¼ inch slices or diced if you wish
  4. 2 stalks celery-chopped into ¼ inch slices or diced if you wish
  5. 2 dried bay leaves
  6. 3-4 peeled garlic cloves-minced
  7. 1 large red onion finely chopped
  8. S&P to taste
  9. 8 oz. sliced mushrooms or 1 oz. dried wild mushrooms, chopped
  10.  One cup cherry tomatoes or 1/2 C. thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  11.  1/4 C. chopped parsley
  12. 1 small bunch purple (or green) organic kale, washed and chopped
  13.  1 C. dry DeLucco small shells pasta—cooked
  14.  5 C. chicken (or veggie) stock
  15.   2 C. chickpeas—if canned, well rinsed
  16.   Romano or Parmesan for topping and possibly Sherry

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the pancetta and cook about 3 minutes. Then add the carrots, celery, bay leaves, garlic, onion, parsley and S&P. If you want a thicker soup, now’s the time to add a tablespoon or two of flour.
  3. Stir until the veggies are glistening and soft—about 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, kale and 5 C. chicken stock; bring to a boil. You can also add at this point a favorite dry seasoning of yours.
  5. Turn down heat to medium-heat and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked pasta and the chickpeas and cook about 10 more minutes.
  7. Remove the bay leaves and serve accompanied with crusty French bread and topped with Romano or Parmesan cheese.

 

 

Carotte Melange

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carottes melange

Carotte Melange

2 servings

Tasty, Easy and Healthy

Ingredients:

  1. 2 peeled carrots—1 cut crosswise in 1 inch pieces; the other shaved with a peeler.
  2. 7 whole Brussels sprouts
  3. 2 garlic cloves—peeled or unpeeled
  4. Chives—green and whites chopped
  5. 3 whole cloves
  6. 2 florets of a whole star anise
  7. 3/4 C. chicken bouillon

Directions:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a medium sized pan. Bring the bouillon to a boil; lower the heat to an active simmer (medium low)  and cook till carrots and sprouts are tender (about 10 minutes).  Remove whole cloves and anise florets before eating.

 

 

Garlic Shrimp–3 different ways

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Garlic Shrimp (3 different ways) for an appetiser or for a light mealgarlic shrimp

Serves 4

Well, I love shrimp and I love garlic so you know what I think of these simple, delicious and lovely to look at dishes.  If you like the two ingredients I just mentioned,  don’t wait to create these easy ecstasies; they can suffice as hors d’oeuvres or as a luncheon or supper dish.  Easy and good–I aim to please.

Ingredients:

  1. 1/4 C. Olive Oil or more (Make sure that the olive oil covers the pan bottom. DON’T SKIMP!)
  2. 4 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  3. 1 Tsp. red pepper flakes
  4. 1 to 1 ½ Lb. medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and unfrozen (I do not buy the ready to cook type of shrimp because for my taste, the uncooked shrimp is so superior and it’s a breeze to handle).
  5. 2 Tblsp. lemon juice
  6. 2 Tblsp. dry sherry (I used white vermouth because I didn’t have dry sherry.  White wine would be OK as well.  I hear that even white vinegar or rice wine will do but I haven’t tried that for this recipe).
  7. 1 Tsp. paprika
  8. Chopped Italian parsley for garnish and lemon wedges as well
  9. Crusty sliced French bread or white rice to go with this dish

Directions:

  1. In a sauté pan or a large deep skillet, over medium heat, heat the olive oil.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until the garlic turns golden (about one minute).
  2. Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp, lemon juice, sherry and paprika.  Stir well, then sauté, stirring briskly, until the shrimp turn pink and curl slightly (about 3-4 minutes).
  3. Season to taste with S&P and sprinkle with parsley.
  4. Serve hot over white rice or even Spanish styled rice or sided with sliced crusty French bread.  Left-over’s? Place in frig. and reheat slightly in the micro the next day.  They’ll still be good.

Variation to the above recipe:

  1. Chop roughly the peel of one orange and add it when you sauté the garlic and red pepper.
  2. Substitute the lemon juice with the juice of your one orange.
  3. 1 Tsp. of ground cumin can be added to the paprika if you wish or you can delete both of these spices totally.
  4. Substitute chopped cilantro for the Italian Parsley.
  5. Serve this with warm corn tortillas or over Mexican rice or with sliced crusty French bread.

Very Lastly:

If you wish you can easily make a broiled shrimp scampi from both of the above recipes:

Directions:

  1. Preheat the broiler
  2. Make sure your pan that you are using stove top will be broiler proof and will fit on the oven rack correctly as near to the broiler as possible. Turn the fan on.
  3. Where the directions say to add the shrimp etc., do so but very quickly so as be able to stir everything to blend well—- once again quickly.
  4. Immediately place the pan under the broiler
  5. Cook, shaking the pan once or twice and stirring if necessary, but generally leaving the shrimp undisturbed until they are pink all over and the mixture is bubbly.  This may take from 5 to 10 minutes depending on the heat of your broiler.
  6. Garnish and Serve IMMEDIATELY.