Here was our awesome dinner from last night!
First, I made the Blueberry Buckle on Saturday afternoon. It’s kind of like a lemony blueberry coffee cake. Add a little extra salt and lemon zest to the recipe below.
Then we looted our garden and hit the farmer’s market to make a Mediterranean salad with lemon dill dressing. Butter lettuce, tomatoes, cukes, peppers, red onion (sliced thin and rinsed under cold water), basil, chickpeas and feta. The dressing is lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon, fresh dill, salt & pepper.
Butter Rice is a great goon filler staple. Rice, chicken stock, saffron, butter and lots of salt to taste.
Top it off with sweet corn on the cob.
And perfectly grilled flatiron steak marinated in olive oil, onion, oregano, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
Loosen the belt buckle for the Blueberry Buckle.
Link to Blueberry Buckle Recipe: http://linboblueberries.com/recipes/CIBlueberryBuckle.html
Below are a few of my favorite side dishes:
No calories, no carbs, guilt free cheese vehicle….
1 package of no calorie noodles – drained (in the fridge section @ Whole Foods)
1 tablespoon light butter (or butter substitute)
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour (or spelt flour)
1 cup of warm skim milk (or dairy substitute)
1 cup of light cheese (parmesan and cheddar are my faves; does dairy free cheese actually melt?)
1 cup of thawed frozen peas
Drain the noodles and press out any remaining liquid. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat, whisk in flour and cook down until it’s a nutty brown color. Add the milk and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer for 3-4 minutes until thick. Off heat, add cheese, noodles, peas, salt and pepper to taste.
Mom’s Brussels Sprouts
1 large bag of Brussels, rinsed and cut in half lengthwise
3 slices of nitrate free bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon of light butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 shallot, minced
½-1 cup chicken stock
2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup
Sautee the bacon in the butter and olive oil until it starts to release its fat. Add the Brussels, toss to coat, and brown on each side to caramelize. Add the shallot and cook until softened. Add the chicken stock and cover for 2-3 minutes over medium high heat to soften the Brussels. Drizzle with maple syrup, add salt and pepper to taste. Add a little more butter if you’re not watching your waistline. Add to save calories, just brown the Brussels in some cooking spray and sprinkle with cooked crumbled turkey bacon.
They taste like candy. So good you forget they’re good for you.
And now for more bacon…..
Goon Approved Stuffed Potato Salad (with less fat/calories)
1 pound of small Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered into bite size pieces
1/4 cup light mayo
1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt (or more to taste)
5-6 scallions – chopped
5 slices of precooked, nitrate-free bacon – cooked and crumbled
Boil potatoes until they are fork tender. Cool slightly and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I like to eat this when it’s all warm and creamy, but it’s also great after spending some time in the fridge. Perfect for summer grillin.
This might be the best weeknight chicken ever.
PARMESAN CRUSTED CHICKEN CUTLETS
2 large chicken breasts, trimmed and sliced horizontally
2 tablespoons of flour
2 egg whites, beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
Pat chicken dry and season with S&P. Sprinkle evenly with flour on both sides. Whisk egg whites, water, mustard and hot sauce in one bowl. In another bowl, mix parm and breadcrumbs. Dredge each piece of seasoned chicken in the egg mixture and then into the parm mixture, pressing the cheese into a thick coating. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil on high for a few minutes, add chicken to the pan and turn the heat down to medium. Cook three minutes, being careful not to burn the chicken. Flip the chicken and continue cooking another 4-5 minutes or until cooked through.
Serves 4 Goonettes or 2 Goons. If there are any leftovers cutlets, they’re great the next day on a sando with some crisp lettuce and a little mayo.
When I think about goonettes, Lidia Bastianich has to be on the list. Tonight we made her fresh pasta recipe and it came out great! We topped it with a Sunday gravy that had been simmering away all afternoon.
The pasta attachment for the Kitchen Aid makes it so easy!
I’m almost in carb heaven.
This recipe was inspired by a terrific pumpkin curry dish that we enjoyed a few weeks ago at Thai X-ing (http://thaix-ing.com/).
My version has a little less sugar, much more spice, and uses several types of squash. I recommend that you make this ahead and let it sit for a few hours before serving so that the flavors meld. Enjoy!
Serves 8-10 goons!
- 1 TBSP canola oil
- 1 small pie pumpkin, 1 butternut squash, 1 kabocha squash – peeled and cubed (or any other orange squash except spaghetti)
- 2-3 small red or sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into thick slices
- ½ red onion, cut into thick ½ moons
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thick slices
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 can chick peas
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1-2 fresh Thai chilies
- 2 cans of coconut milk (possibly more as needed)
- 2-3 TBSP tamarind paste
- 4-5 TBSP soy sauce
- 3-4 TBSP brown sugar
- 1 lime – juiced
- ½ orange – juiced
- 1 TSP tumeric
- 2 TBSP rice vinegar
- 1 TBSP fish sauce
- 1 TBSP ground coriander seeds, 1 TBSP ground cumin, 1 TSP fennel seed
- ½ red onion
- 1 TBSP red curry paste
- Chopped cilantro
- Thai basil
To make the vegetables, heat the canola oil over medium high heat and cook the squash, potatoes, carrots and onions until they start to get some color. While they’re cooking, combine all of the ingredients for the curry sauce in a blender and puree until smooth. Add the curry sauce to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer to thicken. Add the rest of the vegetables (except the chick peas) and simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until all vegetables are soft. At this point, check the seasoning! Add more chili sauce, coconut milk, soy sauce, sugar and fish sauce as needed. Add the chick peas at the very end until just heated through. Garnish with cilantro and basil, and serve over warm sticky rice.
Cooks Illustrated is my favorite place to start for new recipes in general, but particularly for desserts.There are too many ingredients and techniques in this recipe to post the whole thing, but basically, you make the crust, make the lemon custard, and top it off with the meringue.
These tomato pies are a Gallo home staple. Since we have tomatoes coming out the wah-zoo from the garden, we used fresh tomatoes in the sauce. In the winter, canned diced tomatoes are just fine.
Dough (for one pizza):
1/2 cup luke warm water
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp yeast (get the quick rising kind if possible)
Pinch of salt
1 cup flour (plus more for kneading)
Mix honey in the water, whisk in the yeast and let stand for approx. five minutes until frothy. Put the flour and salt in the food processor. While the food processor is running, slowly pour in the water/yeast mixture. A dough ball should form. You may need to add a little more water to get the right consistency. Flour the counter and knead the dough for a minute or so and form the dough into a ball. Coat bowl with some olive oil, coat the dough in oil, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for at least one hour. Set oven to 500 degrees for an hour before baking.
Simple Pizza Sauce
1 cup diced tomatoes
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (cook in olive oil first if you do not like the taste of raw garlic)
1 tbsp olive olive oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs
I like to use fresh mozzarella (squeeze out some of the moisture first), Italian fontina, Parmesan Regginano, ricotta, and/or Pecorino Romano. Other toppings may include sliced onions, mushrooms, peppers, sausage, pepperoni, olives, and fresh herbs.
Once the dough rises, punch it down and put it on a floured surface. Use your finger tips to flatten the ball into a pizza shape about 12 inches in diameter. Put the dough on a floured paddle or on parchment paper. Add the toppings (with a light hand) and slide the pizza on stone or move the parchment onto cookie sheet. Bake 6-12 minutes.
Jersey Shore’s Finest!
Our meatballs are a combo of three recipes courtesy of Frankie Spuntino, A-16, and Lidia Bastianich.
Three Meat Meatballs
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground veal
4 eggs, beaten
6 slices white bread – cubed
1/2 cup milk (just enough to soak the bread)
3 T fennel seed
6 T parsley, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 T crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 T black pepper
1+ cups dried bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 400. Heat oil in a saute pan, and cook onion and garlic until soft and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Using a very large mixing bowl, add the three meats. Soak cubed white bread in milk, just enough to moisten. Wring out the bread and add it to the meat mixture. Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl, mix with hands until just combined, adding more dried bread crumbs as needed. Do not over mix the meat. The mixture should be somewhat wet, but firm. Form mixture into balls, and place balls on cookie sheets (there should be enough for two trays). Bake for 30-40 minutes. Serve with your favorite Sunday gravy or cool and freeze.