You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2009.
Here is my very good friend “Yumm Sauce”.
Have you tried this stuff? If not, I would recommend not trying it. Ever. Why? Because you will become addicted and there is no substitute for the Yumm. It is god’s gift to sauce. It has a lemony, curry, spicy, tangy goodness that just can’t be matched. I think I have gained 10 pounds since discovering the Yumm. I put it on EVERYTHING (rice, pasta, eggs, crackers, cake, ice cream).
They actually don’t make or sell it any where near Boise, so once every few months my friend Crissie visits Oregon and brings back bottles for our household.
I have attempted to make Yumm sauce from scratch and was unsuccessful after many attempts. It cannot be duplicated. Don’t even bother trying.
I had some bell peppers from Costco and decided to make some Quinoa Stuffed Peppers with Yumm Sauce.
The Yumm sauce is quite rare in certain parts of the country, so if you don’t have access then you can always substitute with a little lemon and olive oil. It won’t be as Yummy though. Snort.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers with Yumm Sauce
4 Bell Peppers
1.5 cups of Quinoa
Chicken Broth or Stock (enough according to package of Quinoa)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
2 tablespoons basil chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup Feta Cheese
2 Roma tomatoes chopped
3 Tablespoons Yumm Sauce (or olive oil and lemon mixture)
1 cup Parmesan Cheese freshly grated
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet sauté onion and garlic over medium until onions are translucent. Add basil, oregano and Feta.
Add cooked Quinoa and tomatoes. Then comes the Pièce de résistance, Yumm Sauce. Salt and Pepper to taste. Spoon Quinoa mixture into bell pepper halves.
Sprinkle with parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes.
Try not to bathe yourself in Yumm. It is that addicting.
On Saturday, we had a small impromptu dinner party with some close friends. Katie, Javi, Crissie, Nick, Cortnay, Idoia, Michelle and Reagan all agreed to come for a night of fun and A LOT of red wine drinking. By the end of the night everyone had purple teeth and a full stomach.
Javi and I went to Costco earlier that day and spotted some amazing U-15 Mexican Shrimp at a great price. I imagine most people know this, but U-15 is the amount of shrimp per pound or in this case “under 15 or less”.
We also spotted some ridiculously good looking Fletcher’s thick cut bacon. I always make my specialty garlic grilled shrimp, but thought I would try some bacon-wrapped shrimpies too. The garlic shrimp is cooked with the shell on because it adds more flavor and keeps the meat moist. But it would be a pain in arse to peel a shrimp wrapped in bacon, so I peeled and deveined half of them first. Here is a little cheesey demonstration on how to peel and devein shrimp. Not sure if this is the RIGHT way to do it, but it works well for me:
BTW, I never mind the veins and don’t understand why people get grossed out by them.
Both of these shrimp recipes turned out spectacularly!! We also had some Flank Steak and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, but those recipes are coming in later posts.
Grilled Peel ‘n Eat Garlic Shrimp
1 Pound raw large shrimp shell-on head-off
5 Garlic cloves chopped
1/2 Cup olive oil
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Reserve 1/4 of olive oil mixture for the bacon-wrapped shrimp and pour the rest over the shell-on shrimp in a ziplock bag. Marinate in fridge 12-24 hours. Remove from bag and place 4-5 shrimp each on wooden skewers that have been soaked in water.
Grill on medium until opaque. Don’t overcook. I mean it. Peel ‘n eat. Don’t make this on a first date – it gets messy.
Grilled Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
1 Pound large shrimp peeled with tail-on
Olive Oil and garlic mixture left from above recipe
1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Teaspoon Cajun seasoning
8-9 pieces of thick-cut bacon reserving 1 or 2 pieces to eat while cooking 🙂
Pour over peeled shrimp. Marinate for 30-45 minutes. Don’t marinate longer or you will cook the shrimp. The lemon acts as a cooking agent – This is how ceviche is made.
Meanwhile, pan fry the bacon for 4-6 minutes.
It should be somewhat cooked but not crisp as you need to wrap it around the shrimp. Cut each piece of bacon in half and wrap one half piece around the middle of each marinated shrimp. Secure with toothpick.
I made the mistake of using colored toothpicks which turn your shrimp the color of the toothpick J. Grill on medium until shrimp is opaque. Please do not overcook these either.
Thank you for your cooperation in advance of this matter.
I would like to introduce you to an old friend of mine, Iceberg Lettuce.
Iceberg has been a staple in my life for a really long time. I first remember enjoying the company of old Iceberg on my elementary school lunch tray, smothered in ranch dressing with shredded rusty tasting carrots. Iceberg has recently received a poor reputation for lacking nutrients, flavor, color ect. Foodies scoff at Iceberg and tend to cast the pretentious bitter microgreens or the pompous mixed greens as the shining stars of their salads today.
I, however, still have a special place in my heart for Iceberg. I love its crunchy texture, crisp, cold and clean flavor and its ability to play a secondary role to any creamy salad dressing. This is why I am posting my recipe for a Wedge Salad with Creamy Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing – a salad that cannot be made with any other lettuce but Iceberg. At least in my mind. So cheers to you, Iceberg, not ever flashy but always dependable and sturdy.
Wedge Salad with Creamy Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Serves 3-4 with extra dressing for your pizza
1 Head of Iceberg lettuce
5 Strips of good bacon cooked and chopped into bits
1-2 Roma Tomatoes Chopped
2 Green Onions Chopped
Handful of Blue Cheese (optional)
Wash the outside of the Iceberg and pat dry gently. Chop entire head into 3-4 wedges depending on the size. Sprinkle bacon, tomato, onions and blue cheese evenly on each wedge.
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
1 Cup Real Mayo
½ Cup Sour Cream
½ Cup Buttermilk
2 Tablespoons minced Basil
½ Clove garlic minced very fine
1 Tablespoon minced Chives
1 Teaspoon of Dill
1 Tablespoons minced Parsley
1 Tablespoon A-1 Sauce (optional)
1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
Dash of Cayenne pepper or Tabasco
Salt to taste
Mix all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. I blend it in the Kitchen Aid on speed 3 for 3-4 minutes. It gets fluffier this way. Add fresh ground pepper. Poor over the lovely Iceberg and enjoy with a fork and knife.
Last Saturday, the University of Idaho Vandals played the Boise State Broncos. The outcome of the game is quite trivial 🙂 , but I did want to tell you a bit about our tailgate/champagne breakfast. We started out at 10:00am at my friend Michelle’s new beautiful home. Here is a picture of her celebrating her new home purchase:
We had some wonderful mimosas provided by Michelle and only a few bottles of champagne ended up on her new floor. Oops. Since Michelle provided the drinks, I said I would bring breakfast. I figured we would need something substantial for all the adult beverages we were about to consume. Never forget: a hearty breakfast is a morning drinker’s best friend.
I decided on my White Cheddar Chicken Apple Sausage Quiche since it is easy to make and great for a hungry crowd. Everyone seemed to like the quiche, except I felt really bad because Katie didn’t get any (the only meat she eats is sausage. Strange, but true.). She was late because of a work thang. I hope she will find it in her heart to forgive me. This is me crying while chopping the onions and feeling really bad:
Anyways, the secret to this quiche is using really sharp white cheddar because it pairs nicely with the sweetness of the apple sausage. When I used to live near a Trader Joes I would buy their Irish Cheddar, but I have since switched to Tillamook and it is just as good. I love how it has little crunchy texture bits with the super strong flavor.
Also, I highly recommend (advice I never remember to take) putting your quiche on a cookie sheet in the oven because mine always overflow and result in smoking burnt egg at the bottom of the oven and then set the smoke alarm off which then sends the dog into a minor panic. This should be avoided if possible:
White Cheddar Chicken Apple Sausage Quiche
Makes two quiches which serves 10-12 hungry people
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
4 large links of apple chicken sausage chopped (I use Isernio brand)
1 clove garlic chopped
½ cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, julienne cut (optional)
2 cups fresh spinach
4 tablespoons of fresh Basil chopped or any other herbs you have on hand
3 cups half and half
½ teaspoon nutmeg salt and pepper to taste
2 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crusts (I hope you didn’t think I would make my own. I am unsuccessful after MANY attempts.)
1 small block of shredded Extra Sharp Tillamook White Cheddar
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, sausage together until onions are translucent (5-7 minutes). Add garlic and tomatoes then sauté 1 minute more. Then add herbs and spinach then saute 1 minute more.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and cream. Add Nutmeg, salt and pepper.
4. Spread 1 cup shredded cheese in the bottom of each pie crust. Layer half the sausage mixture in each quiche over cheese. Cover with half of egg mixture in each quiche. (you might have some leftover before it overflows) sprinkle top with remaining shredded cheese.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Or until filling is firm and golden brown.
With all the excitement, I forgot to take a final pic, so I have included a bad uncooked one.
A few weeks back, my parents came to Boise for a quick visit and to grab my dog Mavie for an extended vacation. My dad LOVES mavie. I think he may even like him better than the grandkids, but that is another story for another time. Here is a picture of them ‘nugglin:
Anyways, my dad has recently been going through cancer treatment and doesn’t always have the biggest appetite. I figured it would best to make something delicious, but also high in cancer-smashing antioxidants. I had some frozen blueberries (extreme antioxidantness) on hand and decided to search for a savory recipe that included them. I found a similar version to this recipe online and added some Cordon Pink flair to it. This recipe was a smashing success! My dad had two servings and everyone else had rave reviews. Jav said it tasted like pancake chicken, whatever that means. Even veggie girl Katie had a bite and said it was yummy even if it was meat! It may seem like an odd combo of ingredients but GO NOW and make this. I really mean it. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
Antioxidant-Fest Maple Blueberry Chicken
Blueberry Wine Mustard Maple Chutney (thank you for the name Hollan)
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 cup red wine (I used merlot)
1 cup pure maple syrup (must use real maple syrup. This is not the time or place for the Mrs. Buttersworth)
1/4 cup stone ground Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine blueberries, red wine, maple syrup, mustard and bring to a boil in a saucepan. Let boil for 2 minutes and reduce to a simmer for about an hour. The mixture should be reduced by a third.
6 6-7oz skinless boneless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (parsley, sage, thyme)
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & freshly ground black pepper
Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Crush herbs, paprika, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl with the back of a fork. Rub mixture on the chicken breasts and place in a roasting pan. Roast the chicken for 25 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and spread with the chutney. Return to the oven and cook for 10 minutes longer until cooked. Enjoy!!!