27 5 / 2012

Lets review - This week I made Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa, Sunny Side Up Egg, Kalbi,

Grilled Veg Tortellini Salad, Warm Potato Salad and a big bowl of Popcorn. Good Week. What are you making?

26 5 / 2012

Grilled Vegetable Tortellini Salad

 

We are continuing our celebration of Burger month and are grilling up some burgers for dinner again. To accompany the burgers I want to do a cold pasta salad with some much needed veg and a bit of fresh oregano from our garden so tonight it is Grilled Vegetable Tortellini Salad.

 

1 1lb package of Three Cheese Tortellini

 

2 zucchini washed stemmed and cut into ½ thick slices, the long way

1 red onion peeled and halved through the stem

1 red pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into large pieces

 

¼ - ½ cup favorite Italian Dressing

           

1 large tomato, seeded and cut into ½ chunks

¼ cup crumbled feta

2 tbs chopped fresh oregano

 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook tortellini according to the package. Drain and spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet to cool.

 

Heat grill, drizzle olive oil onto the zucchini, onion and red pepper, salt lightly and grill until cooked through, you do not want them too mushy, zucchini and red pepper 2- 3 minutes per side.

For the onion get some grill marks on it, turn the grill to low close the lid and let cook for 5-10 more minutes until all the layers have cooked through.

 

Let vegetable cool, when cool enough to handle cut into ½ inch pieces.

 

Into a large bowl add the tortellini, grilled vegetables and ¼ cup dressing, toss to coat. Add tomatoes, feta and oregano, toss gently, taste to see if you want more dressing or salt.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Toss gently again before serving tasting to check if you need more salt or dressing again.

 

Make this at lunch time if you want to serve for dinner. It does take a while, but it if worth the effort. Just be careful not to eat all the tortellini while it’s cooling.

25 5 / 2012

Kalbi

A couple summers ago I got to cruise around Alaska in an RV for a couple weeks with my Aunts and Uncles. One of our stops was at the Bear Paw RV Park in Valdez. On our second night there we watching while another rental RV try back their rig next to us. After a few unsuccessful attempts my Uncle went out to help. They were a multi generation Korean family out touring Alaska. And with the help of the 9 year old little girl who was interpreting for her Dad and Grandpa my Uncle got them all parked, leveled out and all “hooked up”, if you know what I mean.

While the men were parking, the girls Mom and Grandmother were outside at the picnic table getting dinner ready. On the table they had the biggest Tupperware container I had ever seen full of a liquid and with something floating in it. Not wanting to be caught staring, I removed my face from the tiny back window and got our dinner ready.

About 30 minutes later there was a knock at our door, it was the adorable 9 nine year old from next door with a big plate of Korean BBQ short ribs as a thank you for helping.

That was what was swimming in that huge Tupperware container. And let me tell you they were delicious. They must have been marinating in there for over a week, all the delicious flavors had permeated the meat and it was tenderized perfectly, they were cut nice and thin, and cooked to perfection over a tiny charcoal filled hibachi.

So when I saw this recipe in for Kalbi, Korean BBQ short ribs, in Bon Appétit I had to try it.

½ cup low sodium soy sauce

1 ½ tbs Agave

2 tbs water

3 cloves pressed garlic

tsp toasted sesame oil

tsp grated peeled fresh ginger

1 tbs Sambal

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ cup scallions, thinly sliced

2 lbs cross-cut short ribs, each sliced lengthwise about 1/3” thick

¼ cup scallions for garnish

Place the soy sauce, agave, water, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, Sambal, pepper and the ½ cup scallions into a large zip top bag, close and shake to combine. Add short ribs, seal up bag again and put in fridge, flip the bag every few hours.

Chill for at least 3 hours, I let mine sit in the fridge for 3 days.

Let come to room temperature before grilling.

Heat a gas grill to medium-high. Grill 2-3 minutes per side, or until just cooked through.

Transfer to a platter and let rest 5-10 minutes. Garnish with scallions.

For my first attempt I did okay. These were nowhere near as good as the ones I had in Valdez. The butcher cut my ribs a little too thick and the marinade was missing something, maybe a little Korean Grandma Love. I should have asked that little girl to interoperate her family recipe for me.

 

(Source: bonappetit.com)

24 5 / 2012

Sunny Side Up Egg

We are fortunate enough to have a yard big enough to raise a few chickens and neighbors nice enough not to complain. People always say to us “you must save a lot of money on eggs.” Ahh, no. We have to house, feed, water them, heat the coop in the winter and every week shovel a lot of poop and replace all the shavings and straw bedding in their coop. So no these eggs are by no means cheap or free.

But they are freaking gorgeous and super delicious.

Go find yourself some farm fresh eggs and experience the difference.

23 5 / 2012

Popcorn
It’s raining, I am hungry. Time for some old timey stove top popped olive oil popcorn with sea salt.

Popcorn

It’s raining, I am hungry. Time for some old timey stove top popped olive oil popcorn with sea salt.

22 5 / 2012

Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa
 
Had a few friends over the house for an impromptu dinner the other night, everyone brought a little something form their fridge for the grill. One friend bought a couple Caribbean marinated chicken breast and some jerk rubbed pork chops. I contributed a few salmon fillets. What’s the perfect accompaniment for this array of grilled mains? Why it’s Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa, of course.
 
1 cup diced pineapple
1 small red onion diced
½ a red pepper, seeded dice
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced fine
1 Serrano pepper, seeded and diced fine
1 clove garlic pressed
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
 
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combined, place in fridge and let sit for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld before serving.
 
I love this combination of hot and sweet chilled salsa with grilled white meats and fish. I had some of this Pineapple salsa a couple days later on grilled swordfish and it was even spicier. Gotta love that.

Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa

 

Had a few friends over the house for an impromptu dinner the other night, everyone brought a little something form their fridge for the grill. One friend bought a couple Caribbean marinated chicken breast and some jerk rubbed pork chops. I contributed a few salmon fillets. What’s the perfect accompaniment for this array of grilled mains? Why it’s Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa, of course.

 

1 cup diced pineapple

1 small red onion diced

½ a red pepper, seeded dice

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced fine

1 Serrano pepper, seeded and diced fine

1 clove garlic pressed

Juice of 1 lime

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

 

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combined, place in fridge and let sit for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld before serving.

 

I love this combination of hot and sweet chilled salsa with grilled white meats and fish. I had some of this Pineapple salsa a couple days later on grilled swordfish and it was even spicier. Gotta love that.

21 5 / 2012

Patricia Wells’s Warm Potato Salad with Capers, Scallions & Mint

 

Every spring the first thing to comeback in my garden is the mint. This year I have a bounty of it. It is gorgeous and smells wonderful and I am always on the lookout for new ways to use it.  I came across this recipe from seriouseats.com I had to give it a try.

 

4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (1 lb), scrubbed but not peeled

Juice from ½ a lemon

1½ tsp Dijon mustard

1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 scallions, white part only, finely sliced

1/4 cup capers in vinegar, drained

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/8 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

 

Bring the water to a simmer in the bottom of a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Place the potatoes on the steaming rack over simmering water, cover and steam until cooked, 20 to 25 minutes.

 

In a small bowl combine the lemon juice and mustard, whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking constantly. Add the scallions and capers, and stir to blend. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

When potatoes are still warm but cool enough to handle, slice into 1/4” thin slices. Place potato slices in a large bowl, pour dressing over the potatoes, and toss gently to coat. Add the mint and gently toss again. *Do be careful tossing the potatoes they fall apart quite easily.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

I think I just found my new favorite potato salad, this was delicious.

I have had this style potato salad before but usually they use vinegar instead of lemon juice which overpowers everything. The lemon juice adds the perfect amount of acidity to the dressing, which the warm potatoes quickly absorb. And the brininess of the capers against sweetness of the fresh mint is the perfect contrast.

Now I know this recipe didn’t use a lot of mint but it’s a start.

(Source: seriouseats.com)

20 5 / 2012

19 5 / 2012

Vodka Tonic
Hello Sunshine, hello Vodka Tonic. The drink choice of spring. And if I do say so myself this is the best Vodka Tonic I have ever had. What makes the Vodka Tonic so great is the Q Tonic Water. This stuff will make the crappiest of vodka shine. It is from Brooklyn, NY, it is made from filtered water, organic Agave, Natural Bitters, Handpicked Quinine and lemon juice extract. And for the calorie conscience it has 60% less calories than regular Tonic Water. The flavor is light and lovely and does not have that cloying sweetness of regular tonic water or that disgusting chemical aftertaste of that diet dreck. Yes this is more expensive but it is worth it. Click on the link and find some near you. You can thank me later.
Into a glass of ice add;
2 oz Vodka
4 oz Q
juice of half a lime
Enjoy!

Vodka Tonic

Hello Sunshine, hello Vodka Tonic. The drink choice of spring. And if I do say so myself this is the best Vodka Tonic I have ever had. What makes the Vodka Tonic so great is the Q Tonic Water. This stuff will make the crappiest of vodka shine. It is from Brooklyn, NY, it is made from filtered water, organic Agave, Natural Bitters, Handpicked Quinine and lemon juice extract. And for the calorie conscience it has 60% less calories than regular Tonic Water. The flavor is light and lovely and does not have that cloying sweetness of regular tonic water or that disgusting chemical aftertaste of that diet dreck. Yes this is more expensive but it is worth it. Click on the link and find some near you. You can thank me later.

Into a glass of ice add;

2 oz Vodka

4 oz Q

juice of half a lime

Enjoy!