I won the butter lottery this week. So many tasty compound buttersto choose from. I had no idea where to begin until I ran to the Downtown Market to Fish Lads to pick up some incredible shrimp. I am lucky that I have some wonderful wild spring onions growing in my backyard. Adds a spicy garlicky onion flavor to this. What is to follow is one heck of a great recipe. It serves as a salad/appetizer for 1 to 2 people. All I have to say is....ENJOY! I sure did.
Salad 6 Asparagus Stalks cut diagonally, 2" long 1/3 cup diced orange bell pepper 1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes Zest of 1 Lemon 1 TB Scampi Epicurean Butter 2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil split 2 TB Lemon Juice split 2 cups loose pack organic Spinach with Arugula Salt and Pepper to Taste
In a bowl, whisk lemon juice and 1 TB of olive oil. Place Loose Pack spinach and Arugula in a bowl, drizzle 1 spoon full of vinaigrette and mix thoroughly and place on serving plate.
Heat Pan with 1 TB of Olive oil. Set at Medium High Heat. Add bell peppers. Stir until lightly browned. Add Asparagus, cook for 1 minute, add tomatoes, remove from heat. Add 1 TB of Lemon Juice and Scampi Butter, sprinkle salt and pepper. Pour over greens. Top with half of Lemon Zest. Reserve other half for later.
Shrimp Scampi 4 U15 Shrimp, shells removed but saved, Butterfly the Shrimp 1 TB Green Onion cut diagonolly 1 TB Chopped Parsley 1 TB Lemon Zest Salt and Pepper 1 TB Canola Oil 2 TB Epicurean Scampi Butter Juice of 1 Lemon
Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Pour oil and make sure in covers whole bottom of pan. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper. Add to pan butterfly section down first. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes then flip on one side. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, flip to other side. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until pink. Remove. Add shells to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and butter. Mix with pinch of salt. Let butter lightly brown. Place shrimp on top of salad, drizzle butter sauce over shrimp. Garnish with parsley, green onion, and lemon Zest. Serve.
I have two lady friends who get together with me to cook some fabulous food. We spend a week planning the theme and then picking the recipes we want to make. The ladies always create stunning table settings. Indoors, outdoors, we would make Ina Garten proud.
This past fall we had a great evening for our annual Farm Market Dinner on a crisp fall night on my porch. The fire was part one of the table display. The rest came together with things I had around the house. I took a stroll through my yard to find fall foliage to place in a center piece and to spread around the table. To keep things rustic I place candles in little Cast Iron Skillets and used mason jars for our beverages of choice. I strung some Christmas lights above our heads and viola. We had a wonderful table that matched our menu.
Now, what does that mean for you and YOUR dinner parties. When each season arrives, there are a host of ideas for your table. in the Spring, a brighter table cloth, just budding leaves from your trees, spring flowers blooming. In summer, fresh herbs in vases, flowers, rustic tins filled with ice for your beverages. When winter arrives, holly berries and evergreens make a nice touch with classic winter colors. Whatever you do, have fun with it and do not over think it. Have a great time and a great party!
I love baked beans. Especially when they are made from scratch. I found this great slow cooker recipe from the Beeroness that I love. i did make some tweaks to it but who doesn't do that with recipes? What I love is how this will take 6 to 8 hours to cook. That means when you have a brisket smoking you might as well make a side that also cooks low and slow. I feel like Julia Child since one beer in the pot, 1 beer for the cook. Enjoy.
1lb Navy dried navy beans 1 dark beer, stout or porter 8 strips thick cut bacon see note below 1 medium onion diced 1/4 cup molasses 1/4 cup maple syrup 3 TB balsamic vinegar 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce 3 tsp soy sauce 2 sprigs of rosemary 1 tsp smoked paprika 2 tsp garlic powder 1 TB Dijon Mustard 1 tsp Salt 1 tsp Pepper 1 cup hot water
Directions: Place beans in a bowl and cover with water. Let sit in fridge overnight. OR place in a pan and cover with enough water until there is a 2 inch gap between water and beans. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 1 hour. Drain after hour.
Heat oven to 400, place bacon on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes or until crisp. Drain on a paper towel, chop.
Place beans and all ingredients into a crock pot and set on high. Stir, cover and cook for at least 6 hours or until beans are soft. Remove rosemary and serve.
Note: To make this into a vegetarian option, use vegan bacon, omit the Worcestershire Sauce and add an extra tsp of soy sauce.
The warm weather brings the distinct pleasure of firing up the grill and cooking up a steak. When I have guests over they always ask..."What did you season this with?" My answer is generally....Salt and Pepper! Nothing more. This seasoning works great whether you are smoking the meat or using a gas grill. Every time....the steak tastes amazing. I do, however, follow a few key points.
No matter if you go to a butcher or a large grocery store, the cut of meat is essential. If you get a basic chuck steak, be prepared to get what you pay for. Lack luster flavor and some tough chewing. My pic to the left is a Porterhouse. It is a wonderful cut of steak. It has nice marbling (streams of fat in the meat areas). This is key. Those flecks of fat mean flavor and help keep that steak nice and juicy. Other great cuts for a wonderful steak would include Rib Eye, T-Bone, NY Strip, and Flank Steak.
Seasoning is key. It is necessary to be liberal with the salt and the cracked pepper. Do Not Skimp! Proper seasoning brings out the flavor of Bessie. Of course, where the piece of meat came from does help. The best places to shop are the local butcher shop. They have the best quality hands down. They also generally have grass fed beef. Nothing can beat that.
Cooking method does have an effect on how the steak will taste. If using a gas grill, get it ripping hot, then turn down the middle burner. Place steak on and begin cooking. If using charcoal, again get it good and hot, spread the coals evenly around and then place the meat on the grill grate and let the magic happen. Both of these methods give the steak some smokey char. I do prefer to cook the above cuts of meat to Medium Rare and do not recommend going past the Medium stage. The meat gets tough after that. Have fun and enjoy the warmer days ahead.
Great tasting food can be difficult and labor intensive. This may surprise you but it does not have to take all day to make amazing food.
Simple with zing. I love finding ways to make food pop with only a few ingredients. The picture to the left is a Shrimp Tostada with a quick Pickled Corn Relish. A total of eight ingredients makes this incredible condiment. It can be used to add pop to your tacos, make a tantalizing salad and turn a basic grilled chicken breast into a masterpiece. Enjoy.
Pickled Corn Relish 2 ears of corn, kernels removed in a bowl 1 small jalapeno, minced 2 cloves of chopped garlic 3 stalks of green onion sliced thin 1/2 red bell pepper diced fine 2 cups apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup sugar 1 TB salt
Place first 5 ingredients in a bowl. In a sauce pan, bring vinegar, salt, and sugar to a simmer. Once sugar and salt are dissolved, pour over relish ingredients. Let cool on counter then place in fridge. Let ingredients pickle for 1 hour to 24 hours. Serve.