Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lemongrass and Asparagus Risotto

This month's Royal Foodie Joust challenged us to come up with recipes using Lemongrass, Asparagus & Almonds, ingredients chosen by 5 Star Foodie. Now, lemongrass usually says Thai food to me but I got it into my head that I wanted to do a risotto. I know risotto is an Italian dish but couldn't think of a reason Asian flavors wouldn't work in that creamy rice (even though Matt was extremely doubtful).
Lemongrass & Asparagus Risotto
Well, my instincts were right because the arborio rice was the perfect base for this flavor combination & oh, what a combination. The sweet rice wine, ginger, lemongrass & coconut milk gave it a subtly sweet flavor, though it is not at all overly sweet like a dessert. The coconut milk along with the rice makes if very creamy & comforting. The crunch of the toasted almonds adds a nice additional texture.

Cooking note: I used very thin asparagus. If you use fatter asparagus add it earlier in the cooking process reserving the tips. Add the tips with the last cup of broth.

Lemongrass & Asparagus Risotto

2 T slivered almonds
6 3-4 inch pieces of lemongrass
3 c chicken broth plus more if needed
1 T salted butter
1 T olive oil
1/4 c onion, finely chopped
1/2 t peeled, minced ginger
3/4 c arborio rice
1/4 sweet cooking rice wine
1 c thin asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
pinch dried basil
1/4 c coconut milk

Toast the almonds over low heat until golden brown. Set aside.

Chop the lemongrass in a food processor until very fine & set aside.

Bring the chicken broth to a simmer & keep it simmering throughout cooking.

Put the butter & olive oil in a medium saucepan & heat over medium-high until the butter is melted. Add the onion, ginger & lemongrass. Cook until the onion softens & begins to turn translucent. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in the rice & cook while stirring for for about 1 minute, coating the rice with the oil & butter. Stir in the rice wine. Cook while stirring until the wine is completely absorbed. Add the broth 1/4 cup a a time, stirring frequently. Wait until each addition is absorbed before adding the next.

When about 1 cup of broth remains add in the asparagus & dried basil. Continue to cook, adding broth as before. When the broth is gone the rice should be al dente with a creamy sauce. If it is still a little hard add more chicken broth 1/4 cup at a time. When the rice is done stir in the coconut milk.

Serve topped with the toasted almonds.

1 large main course or 2 small servings

Thanks to the Leftover Queen for hosting another fun challenge.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekly Menu 3/29 - 4/04/09

This past Saturday I hosted a craft beer tasting with food pairing for Cookin' MN at the fabulous Twin Cities beer store Four Firkins.
Craft Beer Tasting at Four Firkins
We got to sample 11 beers & foods such as sausage, cheese, curry & chocolate to go with them. Most people think of pairing food with wine but this really showed us how easy it is to do with beer as well. Some of the beers such as the German smoked beer we tried, were even better when had with the correct food pairing.
Craft Beer Tasting at Four Firkins
Menu Planning Monday...

Matt is back working in Silicon Valley this week which means our little kitchen for two is going to be a kitchen for one. Like last time he traveled, I'm going to try really hard to cook all my meals instead of reverting to frozen or prepared meal.

Lemongrass and Asparagus Risotto - My entry for this month's Royal Foodie Joust

Mac & Blue Cheese - Going to figure out how to make a favorite into a single serving

Sausage, Red Beans & Rice - I have some leftover sausage from the beer tasting this weekend & thought this would be a good way to use it up.

Ham, Gruyere & Fig Panini - This is all about the fig spread to me.

Plus this month's Recipes to Rival challenge will be reveled on Wednesday.

I probably won't do a cupcake this week as I don't need a batch all for myself! 

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Roast Brisket with Melting Beans

This recipe from Jamie Magazine looked so tempting we couldn't resist trying it. A slow roast piece of beef glazed with a sweet glaze served over a bed of soft beans?  Bring it on. It would make a great weekend dinner as it cooks for 3 hours & 20 minutes but doesn't require a ton of hands-on time. Put it in the oven & just enjoy the amazing smells while it cooks & you do other things around the house.
Brisket with beans
I was worried that the brisket would be dry because we couldn't find a piece with a layer of fat still on it but wrapping it in foil halfway through cooking did the trick. (I thought of adding a layer of bacon to replace the fat but Matt thought the bacon flavor would overpower the brisket.) When Matt sliced us each off a taste of the finished meat we were thrilled with how juicy & tender it was. This method of cooking the meat reminds me a lot of how my dad makes his Memphis Ribs. Our only complaint was that the honey & brown sugar mixture didn't create as much of a glaze as we would have liked. Next time we'll save a little of it to brush on the meat before the last 20 minutes of unwrapped cooking also, we wouldn't thin it with any water like the recipe says to do, I've added these changes to the recipe below.
Brisket
(Always slice your brisket against the grain or else it will be stringy & tough)

The beans are also cooked for a long time & flavored with chicken broth, onion, garlic & oregano. We used Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye Beans and they had a wonderful flavor, you can use any white bean of your choice. I liked eating a forkful of beans with each bit of meat. The recipe also called for a ton of slow cooked garlic to be served with the meat & beans, we skipped it & didn't miss it at all.

Roasted Brisket with Melting Beans
Adapted from Jamie Magazine

Brisket

1 1/4 - 1/2 lb brisket, with fat layer attached is possible
3 T yellow mustard
1/2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T smoked paprika (not hot)
1 T chili powder
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 t cayenne pepper
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c honey
1/4 c brown sugar
1 T unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 300 F.

Mix the mustard, worcestershire, paprika, chili powder, garlic, cayenne and a few grinds of black pepper together. Add about 1/4 c water to make it into a paste. Rub the paste all over the brisket. Place the meat in a roasting pan with a rack. Roast for 1 1/2 hours.

Mix the honey, brown sugar & melted butter together. (Microwaving the honey for about 10 seconds before using makes it easier to use.) If the mixture seems too thick to brush on the meat add a little water. Place the meat on a double layer of tin foil big enough to wrap it. Brush all sides of the meat with the honey & brown sugar mixture, save a little of the mixture for a glaze later on. Wrap securely in the foil, place in the pan & return to the oven to roast for another 1 1/2 hours.

Unwrap the meat & brush with remaining honey & brown sugar mixture. Return to the oven & let roast for another 20 minutes.

Slice the meat thinly against the grain to serve.

Melting Beans

1 c dry white beans, soaked overnight
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 small onion, finely diced
2 c water
2 c chicken broth, plus more if needed
1/2 T dried oregano
1 1/2 T olive oil

Put all ingredients into a large saucepan & bring to a boil. Reduce the heat & allow to simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the beans are really tender. Remove half of the beans & mash them until smooth. Return the mashed beans to the pot & mix together.

Serves 4

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Search for the Perfect Cream Scone

One of the things we discovered while in London last week was the joy of an afternoon cream tea.
#73 - Cream Tea at The Parlour
A good cup of tea with milk & sugar plus current scones served with clotted cream & strawberry preserves. It was definitely the pick-me-up we needed after a long day of sightseeing.
Tea at The Wolseley Strawberry Preserves & Clotted Cream
When we got back home I decided to surprise Matt & bake him some fresh scones. The recipe I decided to use was from one of my favorite cookbooks, Small-Batch Baking. This recipe called for cream, egg & a lot of butter, a ton of butter, when I check them partway through cooking they were sitting in pools of melted butter.
Morning 80 - Cream Scones
They were tasty but a little doughy & struck as being more like a biscuit than a scone. So, that set me off on the search to find a scone recipe that would make them like we remembered.
My next stop was Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. I figured Martha would have the perfect cream scone recipe, because she's Martha after all. This recipe called for butter, though less than the other recipe, and cream but no egg (except a little as an egg wash).
Searching for the perfect scone recipe
These babies really rose (they had both baking powder & baking soda in them) though very unevenly, & were really flaky.  They were even more like a biscuit then the last ones.
Next step was to check the web. I found this recipe which used only cream as the fat. It's almost exactly the same as the recipe used by Sara Moulton on the Food Network.
Search for the perfect scone III
This dough was so wet & sticky it was almost impossible to work with. The finished scones were more like sweetened bread than anything else. So, the baking continues....
I've gotten a few other recipe suggestions from some fellow foodies on Twitter, including Dorie Greenspan's recipe. I'm thinking scone 1 was the closest but the recipe just contains just too much butter perhaps I just need to modify it a bit. 
Do you have a favorite cream scone recipe?

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chicken & Leek Pie

One of the highlights of our trip to England last week was a visit to Hampton Court, which is probably best known as a royal residence of King Henry VIII. One of the tours was of the Tudor kitchens which illustrated how the palace worked to feed 600+ people everyday. It was really fascinating.
Tudor Kitchens
One of the things we learned about was the invention of savory pies. Apparently the crust, which was just flour & water, was never meant to be eaten, it was just a serving container. You peeled the top off, ate the filling & threw away the pastry bowl. Boy, am I ever glad that's changed! As far as I'm concerned that flaky crust is as important the tasty filling.
#80 - Chicken & Leek Pie
This is another recipe from the Jamie Magazine. It was so good. The leeks just have a wonderful sweet flavor from the 30 minutes of cooking. The recipe calls for creme fraiche & we actually bought some for it but I think you could easily use sour cream or yogurt instead. Also it had you drain the gravy from the filling & serve it separately but we found that a totally unnecessary step. Matt thing this would be a great filling for homemade hot pockets.
Chicken & Leek Pie

Chicken & Leek Pie
(adapted from Jamie Magazine)

1 slice bacon, chopped
1 T fresh thyme leaves
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 T unsalted butter
2 large leeks, washed & trimmed. Chop the white end & finely slice the green
salt & pepper
14 oz cooked chicken, cut into chunks
1 heaping T flour
2 c chicken broth
1 T creme fraiche or sour cream or plain yogurt
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Over medium-high heat add the bacon & thyme to a large saucepan. Add the olive oil and butter & cook for a few minutes. Add in the leeks & stir for about 3 minutes to coat everything. Season with salt & pepper. Cover & reduce heat to medium-low. Let cook for 30 minutes stirring from time to time.

Stir the chicken into the leeks. Add the flour & stir again. Pour in the broth & the creme fraiche. Turn the heat up & bring to a boil. Season again if needed. Pour the filling into a large pie pan.

On a floured surface roll the puff pastry out until it is at least 1-inch bigger around on all sides than your pie pan. Trim to it fits over your pan with a 1-inch overhang. Carefully place over the top of the pie & press down the sides. Brush with the beaten egg. With a sharp knife add a few slits in the top of the crust (I forgot to do this & it really puffed up).

Bake for 35 - 40 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

4 servings.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cauliflower & Stilton Soup

You know how it is when you travel to another country you get to the airport to go home & have a handful of money that you don't want to bother to exchange so, you end up spending it in the airport shops. Waiting to come home from England, we used our few leftover pounds to buy a bunch of chocolate & a copy of Jamie Oliver's magazine Jamie. It's a really pretty magazine, the art direction looks a lot like his recent books, but even better it seems to be full of recipes we want to try. This is the first of those recipes.
Stilton & Cauliflower Soup
This soup seemed like the perfect quick thing to make on our first night back home when we knew we wouldn't be up for much else. It had a really wonderful flavor but oh, was it rich! We really needed the crusty bread we served it with. I don't think we'd make it as a main dish again but it would make a great starter or side with beef.

Cauliflower & Stilton Soup
(adapted from Jamie Magazine for quantity & US measurements)

1/2 T unsalted butter
1 small onion, peeled & chopped
2 garlic gloves, sliced
1/2 t dried oregano
1 1/2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
2 c chicken or vegetable broth
3.5 oz stilton
1/2 c milk
Salt & pepper

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-heat. Add the onion, garlic & oregano and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the parsley & cauliflower & cook for 10 minutes. Pour in the broth & let simmer for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat & add the stilton & milk. Cook while stirring for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning & add salt & pepper as needed. Use a blender or immersion blender to process until smooth. Serve with crusty bread.

2 main course or 4 side servings.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekly Menu 3/23 - 3/28/09

We're trying to get back into the swing of things after our vacation. We really enjoyed so much of the food we had in London, the curries, the pub food & some fabulous Spanish Tapas.
Jamie Approves of His Pub LunchPub lunch in Shabbington
Wild Boar & Pork StewWild Boar & Pork Stew at Hampton Court.
Cajun Squirrel Crisps Interesting Flavored Crisps Potato chips in flavors like Cajun Squirrel, Chili & Chocolate and Crispy Duck & Hoisin (We didn't see these until the airport so we didn't get to try them)

I'm actually really happy to be back in my own kitchen cooking our meals. On to Menu Planning Monday...(You might notice we picked up a copy of Jamie Oliver's magazine while in the UK & are trying a few things from it.)

Chicken & Leek Pie - from Jamie Magazine

Pork Souvlaki - We love this recipe from Kalofagas. Maybe we'll even do it on the grill since the snow is gone.

Chicken Korma

Roast Brisket with Melting Bean & Garlic - from Jamie Magazine

Black Bean Stir-fry with Chicken & Green Beans

Stilton & Cauliflower Soup - from Jamie Magazine

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

Sunday, March 22, 2009

London Adventures - Borough Market

We're back from our London vacation, a little jet lagged but safe & sound. It was such a wonderful trip. I feel like everything on this trip just went our way, warm sunny weather, upgraded seats on flights, an upgraded hotel room & great people. We ate a lot of really good food but the markets & food halls really made us wish we had a kitchen to go back to & use all the amazing ingredients we saw.
Cheese Vender at Borough Market Olives at Borough Market
Our first day in London was a Friday & we spent the afternoon at Borough Market. Borough Market is London's oldest food market.
Collected By Pigs Fresh Seafood at Borough Market
It was established on the south bank of the Thames when the Romans built the first London Bridge. It has occupied its present site for 250 years.
Sausage Vender at Borough Market Borough Market
Today it continues as the largest market in London with an amazing array of fresh produce, cheese, meats & baked goods. As well as buying things to take home, you can eat your way through the markets various take away stands.
Ready To Be Toasted Enjoying a Toasted Cheese  (this was the best toasted cheese!)
While there we also stopped in at Neal's Yard Dairy, a cheese lover's paradise.
Neal's Yard Dairy Neal's Yard Dairy
If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cranberry Bean Soup

Wow, this was such a hearty soup. Once we blended the beans & vegetables it was more like a stew with pasta in it. I actually think maybe it was too thick.
IMG_1907
Next time we'll skip the whole blending step all together & then I think it'll be a great soup.

Cranberry Bean Soup
(Adapted from Soup's On!)

1 1/2 T olive oil
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 chorizo link, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 T rosemary, chopped
1 T sage, chopped
1 qt cold water
1 small russet potato, peeled & cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 carrot, sliced
2 stalked celery, sliced
3/4 c cranberry beans, canned or dried soaked overnight
4 oz small pasta
salt & pepper

In a soup pot heat the olive oil, bacon & chorizo over medium-low heat until the bacon begins to get crispy. Add the onion, garlic, rosemary & sage. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the water, potato, carrots, celery & beans. Bring to a simmer & cook for 20 minutes is using canned beans or 1 hour is using dried. Beans & potato should be tender. Use a immersion blender or regular blender to process about 2 cups of the soup. Add the pasta & simmer until cooked, about 10 minutes. Test for seasoning & add salt & pepper.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pork Fried Rice with Broccoli

I've never been able to get fried rice at home to taste as good as what you get out. When I had the roasted pork leftover from making Steamed Pork Buns I thought it was worth trying again.
Pork Fried Rice with Broccoli
This version came closer than any try before, perhaps because the pork had such a good flavor. We also found it was important not to skimp on the amount of soy sauce.

Pork Fried Rice with Broccoli

3/4 c white rice, cooked
1 1/2 T canola oil
5 scallions, sliced
1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled & minced
1 c small broccoli florets
1/2 c roasted pork, cubed
2 T soy sauce
1 egg, well beaten

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wild Rice Hot Dish

Here's another take on the Minnesota hotdish. This one is a little out there are far as hotdishes go with its Asian flair.
IMG_1630
(this one just didn't photograph very pretty)

This is based on a dish my mom used to make when I was a kid that l always really liked. The original recipe called for white rice but I though wild rice would give it a really good nutty flavor. I have to say my version came out pretty tasty but could still use a bit of tweaking or maybe I just missed the crunchy chow mein noodles my mom always served it with.

Wild Rice Hotdish

3 c crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 T unsalted butter
2 T all-purpose flour
1/2 t fresh thyme leaves
salt & pepper
3/4 c half & half
1 c chicken broth
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 small onion chopped
1 c cooked wild rice
1/2 c water chestnuts
1 1/2 T molasses
3 T low sodium Soy sauce

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Put the mushrooms & butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the butter is melted & the mushrooms have softened. Stir in the flour, thyme & a generous amount of salt & pepper. Cook for one minute while stirring. Add the half & half & cook while stirring until thick & bubbly. Stir in the chicken broth & bring to a simmer. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to purée some of the mushrooms in the soup.

Brown the beef & onions. Mix with the wild rice & water chestnuts in a medium casserole dish with a cover. Stir in the molasses, soy sauce & mushroom sauce.

Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove the cover & bake another 30 minutes. Good on its own or served over crispy chow mein noodles.

3 servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Off on a little vacation



We're off a a long anticipated vacation for the next 10 days. We'll have a few new posts for you while we are gone but won't be able to answer any questions or catch up on your blogs. See you all later!




If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Leftover Pork Lasagna

I'm attempting to empty the fridge before we leave on vacation Wednesday night. There was some leftover Porchetta from Saturday night so when I saw Stacey Snacks' pork shoulder lasagna I knew that's how I was going to use my leftovers.
Leftover Pork Lasagna
We also had a some leftover tomato sauce in the freezer, half a box of no-boil lasagna noodles, some Parmesan & some Fontina. What we didn't have was ricotta (ok, we had some but it was lovely shades of pink & green. Need to check those expiration dates more often.) but we did have buttermilk & milk that needed to be used before we left so I whipped up some homemade ricotta. I have to say I'm not a big fan of the no-boil lasagna noodles but on a day like today when I was out until 5 it allowed me to put together a lasagna really quickly.

For a bunch of leftovers this certainly made one tasty meal. The pork was a nice change from ground beef plus the porchetta has all that wonderful seasoning in it which only add to the flavor of the lasagna.

Leftover Pork Lasagna

8 no boil lasagna noodles
6 oz ricotta
1 egg
1/4 c grated Parmesan
2 c grated Fontina (or Mozzarella)
2 c tomato sauce (any kind will do)
1/2 c cooked shredded pork (we used leftover porchetta)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Mix the ricotta, egg, Parmesan & 1 cup of the Fontina together.

Spray a glass 6" x 8" baking dish with nonstick spray or olive oil. Pour 1/3 c sauce on the bottom of the pan & spread out. Top with two lasagna noodles. Top that with half of the ricotta mixture then two more lasagna noodles. Layer in the pork & top it with 1/3 c of the tomato sauce. Top that with 2 more lasagna noodles. Add another layer using the rest of the ricotta mixture. Top with 2 lasagna noodles. Top with remaining tomato sauce & then 1 cup Fontina.

Bake for 55 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly & the cheese is melted. Let sit about 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

Pistachio Crusted Pomegranate Chicken

Last week I made pomegranate molasses to use in icing but I also thought any leftover would be perfect to use as a glaze for chicken. Since I also had a lot of chopped pistachio on hand too I used it as a crust for the chicken. I went with thighs because I think they are such a flavorful piece of the chicken.
Pistachio Crusted Pomegranate Chicken
This smelled amazing while cooking, Matt said it smelled like I was baking some sort of spice cake. And believe me it tasted just as good as it smelled. The sweet-tartness of the pomegranate molasses was wonderful with the dark meat. The mixture of cinnamon, cumin & ginger gave it a slight middle eastern flavor. The pomegranate crust adds a nice little crunch.

We served the chicken with a side of couscous cooked with some parsley.

Pistachio Crusted Pomegranate Chicken

4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin removed
2 T pomegranate molasses
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground ginger
1/8 t ground cumin
1/4 c breadcrumbs
1/4 c finely chopped pistachios
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease a baking sheet with sides. Mix the pomegranate molasses with the cinnamon, ginger & cumin. If the molasses is too thick to stir microwave it for about 10 seconds. Mix the breadcrumbs & pistachios together & season with salt & pepper. Sprinkle a little of the breadcrumb mixture on the baking sheet & place the thighs on top pressing down. Coat the top of each thigh with 1/4 of the pomegranate molasses mixture, I find this was easiest with my fingers. Press the breadcrumb mixture on the top of each thigh pressing to help it stick to the molasses.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the chicken reaches 170 F.

Makes 4 chicken thighs

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, March 9, 2009

Weekly Menu 3/9 - 3/10

Busy weekend with my sister's family playing in the park, watching movies, bowling & eating some good fried junk food!
Mozzarella Stick!
Menu Planning Monday...

Really short menu this week as we are leaving for a vacation in London later this week. (Yes, we are totally excited) I want to try to use what's left in the fridge up without going to the store this week...

Pistachio Crusted Pomegranate Chicken - Using the pomegranate molasses & pistachios I have left over from last weeks cupcakes.

Pork Lasagna - I made Porchetta on Saturday night & there is lots left over. Stacey Snacks posted a pork lasagna & I went ah ha!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Vanilla Pistachio Cupcakes with Pomegranate Icing

After making pomegranate cupcakes last week I decided I wanted to try using pomegranate juice in my cupcakes again this week but this time in the icing.
Vanilla & Pistachio Cupcake with Pomegranate Icing
At first I was just going to make a plain vanilla cupcake but then this morning I started thinking some nuts added to the batter might be good. I was thinking almonds but there weren't any in the cupboard, what was there were some finely chopped pistachios so I went with them. They add a nice texture & flavor to the cupcakes & certainly make for a pretty presentation sprinkled on top.
Homemade Pomegranate Molasses
For the icing, I wanted to make sure the pomegranate flavor was really there so I decided to cook some of the pomegranate juice down to pomegranate molasses. (Really I wanted to try making pomegranate molasses & it was super simple. I'll use what's left as a glaze for chicken next week.) I think the color of the icing came out really pretty, even Matt commented on how good the cupcakes looked. Still I think the pomegranate flavor could have even been stronger in the icing. If I do this again I'll use more of the molasses & maybe leave out the milk. I wrote the recipe as I made it but play around with it if you want a stronger pomegranate flavor.

Vanilla Pistachio Cupcakes

6 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 c + 1 T sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
seeds for 1/2 a vanilla bean
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c buttermilk
2 egg whites
2 T pistachios, finely chopped (plus extra for the top of the cupcakes)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 6 muffin tins.

Cream the butter & 1/2 cup of the sugar together until light & fluffy. Beat in the vanilla & vanilla seeds. Add the baking powder, baking soda & 1/4 cup flour, beat until just combined. Beat in half the buttermilk. Beat in 1/4 c flour. Add the last of the buttermilk & finally the last of the flour.

In another bowl beat the egg whites until glossy, stiff peaks are formed. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter. Once combined fold in the remaining egg whites. Gently fold in the pistachios.

Fill each muffin tin with 1/4 cup batter. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes, a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.

Allow to cool completely on a rack.

Pomegranate Icing

1/2 c powdered sugar
1 t pomegranate molasses (see below)
1 t milk
1 1 t pomegranate juice

Stir everything together until smooth. If too thick add a little more pomegranate juice as needed.

Makes 6 cupcakes

Pomegranate Molasses
(from Simply Recipes)

1 c pomegranate juice
1 T sugar
1/8 t lemon juice

Put all ingredients in a small saucepan & bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer until reduced but at least half & thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Let cool before using in icing.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Chorizo, Shrimp & Lentil Stew

This one was a bit of a freezer cleaner for us. We had a couple leftover chorizo links & a few shrimp in the freezer so I decided to use them together in a stew.
Chorizo, Shrimp & Lentil Stew
Rice is probably more typical with sausage & shrimp but I had a hankering to use the lentils I had sitting in the pantry. This made for a really hearty & satisfying stew with a warm smoky flavor. We both thought the broth was amazing. The shrimp was ok in it but really not necessary & I think next time I make this I'll just leave it out.

Chorizo, Shrimp & Lentil Stew

1 T olive oil
2 carrots, peeled & sliced
1 small onion, peeled & diced
1 clove garlic, peeled & minced
2 chorizo links, sliced (This is Spanish style chroizo not Mexican)
1 bay leaf
1/4 t smoked paprika
1/8 t chipotle powder
1 14-oz can diced fired roasted tomatoes
1 1/2 c low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 c lentils
salt
10 cooked shrimp

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, garlic & chorizo. Cook until the onions are translucent. Stir in the bay leaf, paprika and chipotle & cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth & lentil. Bring to a boil. Cover & reduce heat to simmer. Let simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender. If the stew is a little dry add a little more broth. Test for seasoning & add salt if needed. Stir in shrimp & cook until just heated.

3 servings

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Peanut Turkey Burger

Oh my gosh, this was one heck of a burger!
Peanut Turkey Burger
Matt loves the Turkey Burger at the Edina Grill & it inspired him to try making his own version at home. Don't be scared by the peanut butter in it, with the other seasonings it adds a decidedly Asian flavor & a wonderful texture. I really like Matt's Sea Salt & Thyme Burger but this burger has moved to the top of the of the burger list.

We topped this burger with a garlic mayo which Matt made by mixing 2 - 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise with one minced garlic clove & a drop or two of Sriracha for color.

Peanut Turkey Burger

1 medium carrot, julienned
1 scallion, chopped
1/8 t ground ginger
1 t kosher salt
10 oz ground turkey
1 1/2 T chunky peanut butter
1/4 t sesame oil
1/2 t sriracha chili sauce

Place all the ingredients together in a bowl. Work with hands to mix but to do overwork.

Cook on a griddle (turkey burgers tend not to hold together well on a grill) until done, about 6 to 7 minutes per side.

Serve with lettuce leaves, more julienned carrots & garlic mayo.

Makes 2 burgers

In case you are wondering the fries on the side are baked sweet potato fries. Super easy & good for you.




Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cheddar Soup

We decided to do one of the soups Matt had marked in Soup's On!for dinner this week. This one sounded like a good, thick cheesy soup for a cold winter's night.
Cheddar Soup
It was a snap to put together. Choose a good cheese for this as that will give you most of your favor. We added twice the Worcestershire than called for as we felt it needed a touch more of that flavor, your cheese may not so perhaps start with less & add more if needed. The recipe said you could chose to blend or not blend your soup. We decided to blend it to make it thicker but not all the way to leave it with some texture. We both thought this was a good decision as we loved the finished texture.

We made some homemade croutons to go on the soup & really felt like they added a lot to it. Next time we are thinking of adding some blanched broccoli to turn it into a broccoli & cheese soup.

Cheddar Soup
(from Soup's On!)

2 T unsalted butter
3 scallions, chopped
2 stalked celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 T all-purpose flour
2 1/2 c low sodium chicken  or vegetable broth
1 medium russet potato, peeled & diced
1/2 c half & half
4 oz white cheddar, aged but not super sharp
1/2 t Tabasco sauce
1/2 -1 t Worcestershire sauce
salt

In a soup pot melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the scallions, celery & carrots. Cook about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour & stir while cooking for 3 minutes. Slowly add the broth while stirring. Add the potato & bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer & let cook for 20 - 30 minutes, until the potato is tender. Blend the soup to desired consistency. Whisk in the milk, cheese, Tabasco & Worcestershire. Serve immediately.

2 servings.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weekly Menu 3/2 - 3/7/09

Whew, this weekend was a lot of challenge posts. Don't forget if you are a member of the Foodie Blogroll to go vote for this month's Royal Foodie Joust, I'm particularly proud of the Steamed Orange Pork Buns I made.
Morning 60 - Fancy Coffees
Let's sit back with a fancy cup of coffee & look at what on my Menu Planning Monday...

Spicy Chicken Pizza - We roasted a chicken on Sunday instead of a turkey so this will be using some of that with homemade crust of course!

Chorizo, Shrimp & Lentil Stew - I'll be making this one up as I go along.

Pork Fried Rice - Using the left over roast pork from the steamed buns.

Cranberry Bean & Vegetable Soup - From Soup's On!: 75 Soul-Satisfying Recipes from Your Favorite Chefs
with a few additions I think.

Chicken Enchiladas - Another use for the left over chicken. We'll be making a Rick Bayless sauce for them.

Saturday, my sister will be here with her family. One of her almost 4 year old twins called me to ask what I was making for dinner. When I asked him what he liked, he told me "I like meat. I like steak & I like pork." Ah, that's my godson!

For this week's cupcake I want to continue to play with the pomegranate juice so I'm thinking of a very vanilla cupcake with pomegranate icing.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Homemade Ricotta & Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

You might remember about a month ago we made homemade mozzarella & we were really surprised with how easy it was. Well, when I saw that this month's Recipe to Rival Challenge was to make homemade ricotta I was thrilled because I knew I could easily do it.
Making Ricotta
The nice thing about making homemade ricotta is that you don't need any special chemical & the only special equipment is a thermometer & a bit of patience.

Fresh Ricotta
(per Lauren at I'll Eat You, who hosted this month's event)

1 gallon milk, you can use 1 percent on up, remember that the more fat in the milk, the more cheese it will yield
1 quart buttermilk
-cheesecloth,a good, tightly woven one, not the kind you buy at the supermarket - If you don't have one of these, you can get by with a slotted spoon, but you may lose some of the cheese. ( I used supermarket cheesecloth & just doubled it. That worked just fine.)
-a thermometer
- A collander

Place buttermilk and milk in a pot, heat on med-low heat until it reaches 185 F.
Making Ricotta Making Ricotta
It will begin to separate into curds and whey. Be sure to stir occasionally to make sure no curds stick to the bottom and burn. You will see that as the temperature approaches 185, the whey becomes clearer as the curds coagulate more.
Making Ricotta
Pour the curds into a cheesecloth lined collander. Tie the ends of the chesecloth together and hang for 10-15 minutes. Remove from cheesecloth and place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week..
Making Ricotta
This recipe will give you about a pound of cheese. I made 1/4 of it & got 6 oz.

We then had to make something with the ricotta. I had some fabulous Lemon Ricotta Pancakes at Hell's Kitchen a few weeks ago so I decided to try them at home.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
They had a wonderful light texture but Matt felt the ricotta should have been broken up finer. I added 1 T more sugar than the recipe called for because a lot of people commented it was too tart. We felt like they actually needed to either be more lemony or sweeter. We served them with thawed frozen raspberries & they wouldn't have been as good without them.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
(from Bobby Flay)

3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t salt
2 T sugar (we used 3)
1 c ricotta cheese (1/4 the above cheese recipe made exactly 1 cup cheese)
2 eggs
1/2 c milk
1 lemon, zested & juiced
raspberries
powdered sugar
butter for the griddle

Whisk together the cheese, eggs, milk, lemon zest & juice. Stir in the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt & sugar just until combined. Melt a little butter on a hot griddle. Pour 1/4 c of batter on the griddle for each pancake. Cook until brown on both sides, flipping once.

Top pancakes with raspberries & a little powdered sugar.

Makes 10 pancakes.
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t = teaspoon
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