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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Watermelon Salad and Grilled Shrimp, Tuna and Corn

A recent true summer meal - watermelon, arugula, corn and a grill! And we were toasting my brother and sister-in-law on their 50th wedding anniversary (in absentia - but we were thinking of them!)

 Salad: Chopped watermelon, tomato and onion placed on arugula and topped with crumbled  Feta Cheese. The dressing was white balsamic, evoo and fresh ground black pepper.

Corn: husked and grilled until a few kernels were brown.

Shrimp: marinated in pesto and grilled for five minutes.

Tuna: Coated with honey dijon and ground black pepper.
Grilled according to Weber's guide.

Wine: Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2011.  Very good.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tortellini and Vegetable Delight

I posted the picture of this dish on Facebook a few weeks ago and promised to add it to Yo Jo What's for Dinner. I have been pretty lazy of late in keeping this blog going.  Life gets in the way - both the good moments and the not so good.  Recent " not so goods"  blew the steam out of me and reminded me  just how precious life is.  When those nearest and dearest to me face challenges it seems the world gets a little distorted.   As they improve,  focus is returning but  the courage and grace shown by these individuals will not fade.  They indeed are strong people!

 And the good moments also remind me how precious life is - what better place to laugh and remember the innocence of youth, than a class reunion!!  "Oh my god it's (fill in the blank)! was the most often heard phrase as recognition set in or the question "who are you" was answered.

 The food and the wine were nothing to write about but the friends and laughter were plentiful - it truly was fun. Even my spouse joined in the spirit of it all.  The best part was seeing "boy" friends from the elementary days. We along with another were inseparable during the grade school years, and we remained  friends throughout high school and for a few years after - then we disappeared from each others lives following different paths, developing careers and creating families.  My most loyal followers on this blog are a dear classmate and his wife.  As the evening came to a close, he urged me to get back to blogging and I promised I would. And here I am!  Thanks Mark and Ellen - and the next time let's truly share some French wine!

Back to the dish.  A tortellini and vegetable delight!

The three cheese tortellini was cooked according to package direction. Wild mushrooms, onion, scallions,chopped prosciutto, red bell pepper were sauteed in evoo and a tad of butter. When slightly brown all were removed from the heat. Chicken broth and vermouth were added to the pan and reduced.  The vegetables were added back to the pan,along with frozen peas and fresh ground black pepper.  When the peas were soft they were poured over the plated  tortellini and topped with a generous amount of parmesan. 

The wine: Simi Pinot Noir. A decent accompaniment to a quick pasta dinner. 


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tuna and Rice Medley

Hello friends, it has been a while. A family member (at the 32nd Annual Martin Lally Golf Memorial Outing) commented on one of my blog cookbooks, "You must have a love affair with food..."

And yes, I have missed my "lover."  I Mike will not be jealous, he too has been missing my food.

So here is a recent special one.

The Rice:  The slivered green onions, olives and capers were sauteed in olive oil. This mixture was stirred into Uncle Ben's Jasmine "Ready Rice."

The Tuna: The fresh tuna was coated with honey dijon and fresh ground pepper. The tuna was cooked on a grill pan at a very high heat until it was rare to medium.  It was served on a bed of the rice.

Delicious!! And a rare success in cooking tuna filets.

The Wine: Donum. The best and my husbands very favorite. It is quite hard to get but I found it on  absolutely wonderful!  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet Potato Soup
Most of the recipes for this soup use brown sugar or maple syrup, which do not appeal to me. To me the natural sweetness of the potato is enough. I baked the potatoes and scooped them out. While they were baking I sautéed garlic and onion. I then put the potatoes, garlic and onion in a food processor and pureed. In a pan I added the puree, chicken broth, dash of nutmeg and dash of cayenne. I let this simmer for at least an hour, adding chicken broth often. I added a 1/2 cup of sherry and let simmer for another 15 minutes.

I sprinkled on crispy prosciutto before serving. We enjoyed crusty herb bread dipped in olive oil and crushed garlic as an accompaniment to the soup.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Three Courses: Pear and Arugula Salad, Mushroom Pasta and Lemon Tart

Twas a special evening, time to plan, time to cook, time to eat and savor.

The first course: Pear and Arugula Salad.

The pear was sliced and cored before poaching it in about an inch of water and 1/4 cup of marsala. When it cooled, it was sliced. Fresh arugula was topped with pecans and blue cheese. A mix of balsamic vinegar, evoo and fresh ground pepper was drizzled over the greens and the pear.

Second Course: Mushroom Sauce on Angel Hair Pasta>

This was a shortcut sauce, I must admit. I had frozen the left over mushroom soup from the holidays. I thawed, added chicken broth, sherry and reduced at a simmer, for at least 45 minutes. In the meantime, I was prepared the salad, and the shredded zucchini topping. I also prepared thin parmesan crisps that I use quite often on pasta. But in my hurry to do so, I shredded the cheese mounds on wax paper instead of parchment. Needless to say I discarded the waxed cardboard mess.

I topped the angel hair pasta with the sauce, crisp zucchini shreds and fresh ground parmesan. Although the sauce was tasty, it seemed more like an overcooked ragu. This entree was definently saved by the first course, the wine and the dessert!

Third Course: Dessert. The lemon tart is just too good, too rich and too satisfying to call dessert. This is the Lemon Tart from the Bouchon Cookbook. This time I cut corners and used a frozen pie crust and pressed in a layer of ground pine nuts in the bottom crust. The recipe calls for a pine nut crust.

The Wine: Silver Oak. A fine bottle...indeed.

The wine and the tart - must have been someone's birthday!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Lemon Sole in Parchment

When you are rushed for time to cook, it seems like giving an old friend the "brush off." I hate to admit we have been eating out a lot lately. It avoids feeling guilty that I have not had time to plan or be creative. And worse, no time to record and blog. Eating out and cooking what is easy/quick does not allow for much intimacy - it is eating not dining. Now that I have self-lectured myself, I will continue.

In the last two weeks I have made an effort to stock the shelves. So I have about five meals to share and will start with LEMON SOLE IN PARCHMENT

I placed two small pieces of lemon sole on the parchment and topped with sliced lemon, a greek olive mixture, cherry tomatoes, basil, fresh ground pepper and olive oil. I rolled the parchment twice over the lemon sole mixture and tied the ends with string - similar to a BobBon wrapper. I baked in the oven, on a cookie sheet, for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

SIDE DISH: Brown Basmati Rice.
I browned pine nuts, and sauteed red bell pepper pieces and diced onion. I added this to "Uncle Ben's Ready Rice." I think these 90 second in the package rices are great and have used a variety of them.

I served a few slices of crunchy sweet flatbread, purchased in the store.

THE WINE: ah the wine. The Cutrer. I have talked about it before - it is one of our special favorites. A tad more pricey that its sister, Sonoma Cutrer, which is my favorite go to chardonnay.