Archive for the 'Main Course' Category

LOST themed menu!

i loved this post from thekitchn.com:

Mangoes and Smoke: A LOST Series Finale Menu

2010-05-21-LostMenu.jpgOh, LOST! You’ve pulled us along through six seasons of mysterious whispers in the jungle, sudden tropical rain showers followed by startling revelations and…mangoes. It’s a good thing for our intrepid survivors that mangoes are always in season on this magical island. Mangoes will definitely be on the menu at our season finale party!

But there have been more than just mangoes, of course. Jin was able to catch plenty of fish and the occasional haul of oysters. Wild boar was on the menu a few times. Oh, and don’t forget those handy Dharma food drops!

Appetizers

Cheeseburger Sliders and Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – In honor of those first meals Juliet brought to a captive Jack.
• Veggies in Ranch Dressing – Really, Hurley? The whole Dharma food closet and you hoard ranch dressing?
Smoke Monster Popcorn – Of course!

Main Course and Side Dishes

Fish Steamed in Banana Leaves – Bless Jin and his expert fisherman skillz.
Braised Summer Pork Shank – Or wild boar if you can get your hands on one.
Tomatoes Sprinkled with Balsamic – Sun’s one perfect tomato…
Dinner Rolls – We had to dig deep into LOST lore for some carbs. See: Juliet’s dinner date with Ben.

Dessert

Halfway Cookies – Half good…half evil.
Earl Grey Tea Cookies – We’re throwing these in for Charles Widmore and Eloise.
Killer Blondies – Keep an eye on Claire this Sunday.

Beverages

• Jacob’s Red Wine – Although drinking this might have unintended side-effects.
Cheap Beer – Dharma Lite brand, preferably.
Mango Lassi – Mango up!
• Water – Lots of water. In handy plastic Dharma bottles.

What foods will you be serving for the finale?

<3 kt

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Make your own vegetable pasta!

As many know, I am on a wheat free diet for medical reasons so often I find myself having to come up with substitutes for my dishes. Im Italian so I love pasta dishes, but Ive never really liked the taste and texture of pasta…its too bland and gummy. Enter veggie pasta. Veggie pastas are when you use a vegetable to simulate the pasta in your dish. Its far more healthy than the carb rich noodles and I find it much more tasty. The easiest to prepare and most popular is spaghetti squash. The large gourd is cheap and all you have to do is cut it in half, boil it and then scoop out the meat with a fork and it will fall out like noodles.

Cool huh? I use this all the time when I need spaghetti noodles and frankly I like it more than regular spaghetti. Its got a more firm texture and a flavorful nutty taste. Im a big fan of just tossing the noodles with some olive oil and garlic then sprinkling with some fresh Parmesan cheese.

One of my recent discoveries has been the use of zucchini as noodles. All you have to do is take a zucchini and cut the ends off and peel the skin. Then using a potato peeler slice long even strips of the zucchini. About 2 average sized zucchinis makes enough for one serving.

Heres my 12seconds video of how to make the noodles

Cooking Lesson 1: How to make zucchini noodles in 12 seconds! on 12seconds.tv

Once you have a big pile of zucchini noodles you can either quickly boil them our lightly saute them in oil. Be careful not to cook them too long or they will become soft and mushy. All you need to do is get them nice and hot, any longer than that and they will loose their noodle-like texture. I really like using them in a chili and soy stir fry but you can use them in any recipe that calls for flat noodles. So enjoy the healthy and delicious taste of veggie noodles!

<3 seanalyn

Feast like the President!

I hope you checked out Katies post about Inaguration Day recipes and drinks for an awesome way to ring in our bright shinny new president. If youre still looking for more ways to celebrate the day, why not eat what Obama and 200 guests ate at the Inauguration Luncheon today? I dug up the menu and recipes for their fabulous feast and thought I would share them with you all!

The Inaugural Luncheon began in 1897 when the Senate Committee on Arrangements gave President McKinley and several guests a luncheon, although the current form of the Inaugural Luncheon did not begin until 1953. The food typically reflects the home states of the new President and Vice President.

The first course was a Seafood Stew filled with Maine Lobster and scallops. It was paired with a Buckhorn Vineyards 2007 Sauvignon Blanc.

The second course was A Brace of American Birds (pheasant and duck) served with Sour Cherry Chutney and Molasses Sweet Potatoes. It was paired with a Goldeneye 2005 Pinot Noir.

The third and final course was a classic Apple Cinnamon Sponge Cake with Sweet Cream Clace and it was paired with Korbel Natural’s “Special Inaugural Cuvee” (a California Champagne).

The recipes for all the courses are available as a download from senate.gov, click this link to download the pdf.

Happy Obama Feast!

Simple honey ginger glaze and Mahi Mahi love

Friday when I was coming home from work I decided to pop into the nearby Safeway and see if they happened to have and fish on sale. To my surprise they had some nice looking Mahi Mahi for a mere $5.99 a pound. Mahi Mahi is one of my favorite fishes because it has a light taste and a firm texture, its one of those fishes that you dont have to try and hide the fishy flavor of. In fact a little salt pepper and lemon then lightly fried is all it takes. I first fell in love with it when I visited my godfather in Puerto Vallarta which has an abundance of Mahi Mahi off its shores.  I remember going to a little cafe in a small fishing village just outside of the city and ordering up a delicious fillet of Mahi Mahi that was just lightly seasoned with butter, lemon and salt and pepper then sauted. They served it with a pile of white rice, black beans and fresh tomato slices. That meal still ranks in my mind as one of the best meals of my life. Im convinced Mahi Mahi is Spanish for ‘true love’ (note- Mahi Mahi is totally not Spanish for ‘true love’ it is actually Hawaiian for ‘strong strong’)

Anyways I digress too much hehe. So I picked up two fillets of Mahi Mahi from Safeway…a bit skeptical because they were previously frozen and thawed…but for 5.49 for 2 fillets I couldnt pass up giving them a shot.

When I got home I decided to marinade them just in case their flavor wasnt the best (with fresh Mahi Mahi I wouldve just done some lemon and salt/pepper like I mentioned before). I made a simple Honey Ginger marinade and the came out fabulous! They tasted amazing! Firm but full of flavor! I will definitely have to go back and pick up some more.

Honey Ginger Glaze Mahi-Mahi

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 table spoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 table spoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 to 2 cloves fresh minced garlic
  • salt and pepper

This is a simple recipe that can be altered more or less because its basically equal parts of the main ingredients.  My recipe was a good amount for 2 fillets and I had plenty of sauce left over to drizzle on some Cilantro Pepper Rice (recipe to follow). Mix all the liquid ingredients together in a bowl (if you dont have sesame oil, just replace that with olive oil and you’ll be fine.  I just like the flavor of sesame oil).  Grate the ginger and mince the garlic.  Add to taste! Depending on the garlic and ginger individually and you own tastes, you might want more or less.  Season the fish with salt and pepper then place it in a dish and cover with the marinade.  Put it in the fridge for at lest 20 minutes.  Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat and put a little oil in.  Saute each side of the fish until its cooked (about 5 minutes on each side).  Transfer the fish to a plate.  Reduce the heat in the pan to medium and pour the remaining marinade in.  Heat until it is warm and has thickened slightly.  Top the fish with extra marinade and serve! This marinade would be delicious on just about any fish, especially a white fish, salmon or tuna.  You could also try it out on chicken!

Bonus Recipe!

Along with the Mahi Mahi I made a delicious Cilantro and Red Pepper Rice.  Its super easy to make and spices up plain white rice a bit.

Cilantro and Red Pepper Rice

Ingredients

  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Red Pepper
  • Salt and Pepper

Cook your rice as normal (I like to use a rice cooker so use one if you have one).  When about half of the water has evaporated dice up a decent pile of cilantro and parsley.  You dont want too much, but enough to cover the top of the pot with a thin layer.  Throw in the parsley and cilantro then toss and bit of salt and pepper to taste, continue to cook the rice.  Just before the rice is done (when you think theres about 5-8 minutes left) finely dice about half a red pepper and throw that onto the top of the pot.  You want to do it near the end so you dont overcook the pepper…just enough to steam it.  Once the rice is done stir it all up and serve! Its delicious, quick and easy! You could also add lemon or lime zest while you cook for even more pep.

The sad tale of the turbaconucken that never was :(

As many of you know I was excited…no ecstatic about the plan to bacon wrap and deep fry a turducken this year for Thanksgiving. However my dreams were crushed by certain wussy boys who were afraid of the awesomeness that would be the turbaconducken. We had it all worked out…we would make the turducken then deep fry it until it was almost done then pull it out and wrap it in bacon and pop it in the oven for the rest of the way. It was perfect…there was no way it could go wrong! But at the last minute some of the guys decided it wouldnt work or something (I think they were just afraid of its awesomeness). Dreams = crushed.

Although not all was lost, due to the high number of people attending our Thanksgiving we decided one mega bird wasnt enough so we got a backup turkey. Needless to say, I claimed it as my own and announced that I would bacon wrap and roast it myself.

The plan was simple. Prepare the bird as normal: rub with oil and salt and pepper…. stuff with an onion, garlic and celery… place more onions, garlic, and celery in the pan…pop in the oven and roast. I basted it every 45 minutes to keep it moist and right before it was done I draped it with 2 lbs of delicious bacon. I also stuffed some bacon inside the bird and then cut up some pears and tossed them in the pan to roast along with some dried rose petals. After about 20 minutes the bird was done (a few pieces of bacon werent cooked all the way so I removed them, wrapped em in foil and tossed em back in the oven to finish up before draping them back on the bird).

I took the juice and made a gravy as you usually do, only I blended up the roasted pears and mixed that in (I also tossed in a few extra pieces of bacon to the gravy just to reinforce the bacon flavors).

The bird was carved and served…to my surprise the meat was very bacony tasting! I thought that the bacon would just infuse the skin but some how it permeated the deeper layers of the turkey giving it all a delicious bacony flavor. The pear gravy was a perfect accent adding the sweetness that the salty bacon needed (you know, for that yin/yang balance shit). I highly recommend trying a bacon wrapped turkey for anyone looking to pep up their bird this holiday season. Next time I want to try a maple syrup glaze instead of the pear, really I think just about any sweet topping would match perfectly.

All in all the bacon wrapped turkey was a total and complete success.

Oh and I guess the turducken wasnt too bad either….but it would’ve been better with bacon.


This turducken would look a lot happier if it wasnt naked…it needs a nice bacon suit.

Obligatory Thanksgiving leftovers post

So tomorrow is the big day….the day where we feast on the flesh of a thousand turkeys (or tofurkeys if you so choose). Inevitably there are going to be leftovers, but theres only so many turkey sandwiches and turkey casseroles you can eat before you just can’t take it anymore. Heres a few recipes that take your turkey leftovers one step beyond.

Turkey Curry

Anyone who knows me knows I love curry. This recipe is a quick easy way to reuse your turkey, but totally changing the flavor so no one feels like theyre just having a repeat of Thanksgiving.

Turkey and Broccoli Quiche

The day after Thanksgiving everyone goes into that inevitable food coma…personally I dont feel like eating until midday at least. Why not recycle some of that Turkey into a delicious brunch dish?

Mashed Potato Croquettes

Why should turkey have all the fun? My mom always used to make too much mashed potatoes so we would have a plethora of those left over every year. I’ve always loved croquettes, so just take your potatoes add some spices (I’d throw in some green onions too) and bread and fry the suckers. You could also add salmon or more cheese to create different types of croquettes. These would go great with your turkey curry!

Stuffing Frittata

Stuffing, yet another side dish that usually doesnt get changed too much when it comes to leftovers. But simply by adding some eggs and cheese, you can create a whole new dish. Also perfect for a post turkey coma brunch.

Mashed Potato Pancakes

One of my favorite things to do is stroll over to the local Irish pub and order up a plate of boxty and trout. Boxty is basically just Irish potato pancakes (they are similar to this recipe only a bit of flour and baking soda is added) so you could easily substitute these Mashed Potato Pancakes in. Top them with some smoked trout or salmon and cream and you have an utterly delicious meal.

Leftover Tofurkey Stroganoff

Ah my dear veggie friends…don’t think I forgot about you! Even you can get some mileage out of your tofurkey leftovers! Just mix up the leftover veggie gravy with some garlic,sour cream and mushrooms then pour it all over rice or noodles for instant deliciousness.

Tofurkey Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

Now this recipe sounds so delicious Im almost jealous that Im not cooking a tofurkey! Pesto, pumpkin seeds and lemon get blended together to create a totally new tofurkey experience. My mouth is watering!

So there you have it, just a few easy and delicious alternatives to reusing your Thanksgiving leftovers. I’ll try and pop in and write another blog before the weekend but no promises since the bacon wrapped turducken is sure to induce a mighty turkey coma. However I will document all our delicious Thanksgiving recipes and share them with you later! Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Turbaconducken….all that is good in this world

Just moments ago my friend Rob sent me proof that there is a God and he is made of pure bacon and love.
Behold…..

Turbaconducken

It is the perfect harmony of turkey, duck and chicken all harmoniously wrapped in bacon and baked to perfection. Corey James of Bacon Today describes every juice detail for creating this culinary masterpiece.

I am currently trying to convince all my friends that this is really the only option for thanksgiving dinner.

Only we want to step it up a notch and deep fry it! My arteries and heart are swelling just thinking about it.


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