Showing posts from August, 2012

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Green Bean, Tomato & Feta Salad with Couscous with Roasted Grapes and Pine Nuts

Our good friend Elizabeth came to spend some time with us, so I decided to do it up right.  We decided to stuff chicken breasts with brie, bacon, walnuts and basil. The side dishes were equally as delicious, green bean salad with tomatoes, slivered almonds, feta cheese and mint was made into a salad. I also took couscous and put roasted champagne grapes, toasted pine nuts and chopped italian parsley.
I started off cooking the bacon with rosemary.

I cooked the green beans for only about 2 minutes.

Then stopped the cooking process with an ice bath. This was a cold salad, but the quick cook kept the bright green color and fresh taste.

I put a slight toast on the slivered almonds.

Green beans, tomatoes, feta cheese and slivered almonds were tossed in a dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and lemon juice.

I broiled a few hatch chilis to add to the stuffing  for the chicken.  I put them in a ziplock bag to sweat,  then I removed the skins and seeds.

I butterflied the chicken and …

Rice Pudding Palettas

Zachary and I have been enjoying palettas from Rusty Taco since it opened (and I worked there).  So when I stumbled upon a recipe for my favorite flavor, rice pudding, I jumped at the chance to make them.
Whole milk, water, vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks got heated up in a pot, then I added some rice and cooked for about 25 minutes.

Then I added vanilla extract, cinnamon and a mixture of sweetened condensed milk and water and  cooked for another 15 minutes.

Wow, this smelled so great!

Filled our rocket molds and they are waiting in the freezer for us to enjoy for our dessert tonight!!!

I tasted the mixture before molding, and I know this is  going to be a homerun!

A rice pudding paletta shaped like a rocket HAS to be a hit!

Pot Roast Risotto, Not Pot Roast AND Risotto!

I picked up 2 cookbooks at half priced books the other day.  One by Gordon Ramsay and the other by Tyler Florence.  I was flipping thru them both this evening, and came across this gem in Tyler's book. It intrigued me cause of the semantics of the title...Pot Roast Risotto. He didn't say it was pot roast with risotto, or pot roast and risotto. I found out the reason why, when I tasted it.
To start off, you sear and brown a shoulder roast in olive oil.  

After it  is crusted on all sides, you add onions, garlic, thyme, red wine  and beef stock.  Put this into the oven and slow cook it for 2-3 hours.

Once the meat is done, strain it to reserve the liquid, and keep the meat warm. Put some olive oil in a skillet, cook some onions til tender. Add some arborio rice and coat with the oil.  Add white wine and  cook until the wine is absorbed.  Then add 1 cup of the roast liquid and stir constantly until the liquid is absorbed. 

Continue this process until the rice is creamy, but stil…

Homemade Chicken Sausage with Apples and Chardonnay

For christmas last year, I got a meat grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid. I'm not sure why it took me so long to use it, but I finally did last night! In high school, I worked at an Italian Deli, that made and sold sausage too. So this really isn't my first rodeo with making sausage, but I digress. I got some chicken thighs, red onion, granny smith apples and... wait for it....chardonnay!!!! Send the thighs through the grinder with the skin.

This is what it looked like after first grind, then adding all the ingredients.  Then you send this through for a second grind.

You come up with this.   Looks very appetizing, don't it? Maybe something a dog threw up? Believe it or not, without cooking it yet, it smelled  quite good.

So now, you change to the sausage stuffer, put on the casing (which is just like putting on a condom) then put the mixture though and stuff the casings.  I used hog casings.

I used about 2 feet of casings, but that wasn't enough for all  the meat, …

Boeuf Bourguignon in Honor of Julia Child's 100th Birthday

When you think of complicated dishes, boeuf bourguignon via Julia Child should come to mind.  It takes about 3 hours and has many steps. In honor of her 100th birthday, I decided to tackle this and feed my flock.
I got her recipe online and began to cook at 2:00 in the afternoon. The first step is to blanche some bacon to remove some of the smokey flavor.

Then you sautee it to get it slightly browned, but not crispy.

The meat is chuck roast, cut it into 2 inch chunks.  I sliced some carrots and onions to get ready for cooking.

Brown the chuck, in the bacon fat and olive oil, on all sides.

Once evenly browned, I browned the carrots and onions.

Deglaze the pan with a bottle of red wine.  Julie suggest pinot noir, and who am I to argue with her?  Any recipe that has an entire  bottle of red wine is ok in my book!!

Add some chopped tomatoes, then pour the wine into the mixture and then add beef stock until it almost covers the meat and simmer at the lowest  possible temperature for about…