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Friday, January 22, 2016

Tortellini Salad wi Bell Pepper,Pine Nuts and Basil

A simple dinner for just a quiet night. This recipe is from one of the cookbooks I brought with me Cooking for Two. 

Entree:  Tort salad  The recipe calls for whisking together olive oil, lemon juice, shallot together and then add the cooked torts, chopped red bell pepper and basil.
It was a tad bland for my taste so I added crushed garlic, grape tomatoes, and mini mozzarella balls. 

A quiet night indeed!


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Chicken Marsala and Risotto

A birthday celebration, and I chose the men. Yes it is all about me, and fortunately visiting family members count it among their favorites too.

First the cook had to have champagne while she cooked. The local "Total Wine" guy sold me a champagne that he promised was better than Veuve Cliquot. De Margeri Grand Cru was good but on special occasions I should always go for my sentimental favorite.

First course: Mini Caprese with Arugula.   The grape tomatoes and mini mozzarella were mixed with arugula and balsamic dressing.

Entree: Chicken Marsala. The chiclet strips were floured and pounded to tho fillets.  Having no mallet I put a large can of soup in a baggie and used it to pound out the fillets.  I set ten aside on a floured The chopped shallots and garlic were sautéed in
evoo and butter till soft then removed. Additional butter and evoo were added for sautéing the mushrooms (shitake, button and dried crimini) Chopped proscuitto was added. After all became soft, chicken broth and an ample amount Marsala was added.
When the mushrooms were soft and the liquid was reduced the mushrooms as well as any liquid were removed.  Additional butter and evoo were added to the pan and the chicken fillets were browned. were

Sides: Haricot Vert  The beans were ended and simmered in chicken broth until semi soft.

       Risotto: The risotto was prepared per the package except chicken broth was used instead of water. When the rice was the appropriate consistency, sautéed garlic and shallot, sun-drid tomato pieces, and parmesan cheese was stirred in. Additional parm was added before serving.

Wine: Rossodi Toscana 2010 - a recommendation of Total Wine.  It went well with the meal, but i would give it a 6 out of 10.

Final Course: Son in law bought a variety of cheese for a great platter and a wonderful finish to a good meal.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Sea Bass wi Lemon Shallot Sauce

Found a great grocer, not far from the Total Wine store. Both worth negotiating traffic here in the Sunshine state. So cooking is good again.  The two cookbooks I brought with me are very good, but in the rush of packing I left my favorite at home. - sorry Silver Palate!

Neither of the books I brought had a sea bass recipe so I went to google….and found this on The Pioneer Woman.I adapted it, of course, but not much. It was simple and turned our very tasty.

First Course:  Miniature Caprese: Small Rounds of fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes and fresh basil leaves are combined and drizzled with EVOO, balsamic vinegar and fresh ground pepper dressing

Entree:Sea Bass: The Sea Bass is seared  in butter and evoo for two minutes and finished in a 375 degree oven for 8 minutes. (Do not flip)

           The shallot is diced and sautéed until soft, the lemon zest and juice of a lemon are added, stirred and heated on low. The sea bass is flipped on the plate and drizzled with the lemon shallot sauce.

Sides:  The haricot vert were splashed with chicken broth and simmered for 20 minutes.The 90 second Wild and Brown Rice was microwaved. At the grocer we found a favorite of ours - kalamata olive bread!

Wine: Nickel and Nickel Chardonnay - currently my favorite, but a tad pricey for everyday!


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Salmon With Fig and Ginger Sauce

A new year, a new life and a new place (temporary).  If you caught my Facebook Post of December 18 you read that I have joined the retired generation - officially.  Spouse had been looking forward for a year to head to the land of sunshine and I decided it was time.  Breaking my knee in July hastened my desire to relax and enjoy a slower life style. So on to this new adventure…sun and golf for a few months….and a great place to plan and prepare meals.  

During our second night stay on  the road we found a place called Total Wine and were delighted to learn there was one in the town of our destination.  It did not take us long to locate it and  stock up on some of our favorites. The young man who helped us find our choices (it is a big place) comes from our home town and is related to my most recent "boss." Yes, I guess it is a small world!

Entree: The local grocery had no fresh salmon so I had to resort to a  package of pricy frozen coho salmon. I seasoned it with ground pepper and herbs de provence and pan seared it.

For the sauce I used a fig and ginger jam, added a splash of white wine, a cup of chicken broth and reduced.  The salmon was served on a bed of arugula and topped with the sauce.

Side:  Broccolli - splashed with chicken broth and microwaved.

Wine:  Sonoma Cutrer Sonoma Coast - a standard favorite.

I am sure this is the first of many 2016 posts - I can only golf and exercise the knee so much!