Thursday, July 29, 2010

Master Recipe Index...A Labor Of Love!

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Lindaraxa's Garden Master Recipe Index is finally here...and what a labor of love it has been!

This is probably my proudest moment since I started this blog, a year and four months ago.  In the beginning,  I had no idea where I was headed;  not that I know now, but let's just say I have a clearer vision.

Revisiting all the posts has been very worthwhile, indeed.  I can see clearly now where the gaps are.  This is the problem with blogs, everything seems to disappear after you post it.  Sort of out of sight, out of mind.  When you get to my age, that can be a major problem.  Just a couple of weeks ago I found myself writing a recipe I had already posted! I also can't believe how much progress I've made, not only as a writer but as a techie and how sh@*$#% my first photos were.  Rather lame I would say!

It has been a lot of fun and definitely worth the effort.   It's a culmination of everything I've learned  and cooked and yet a window into so many new things.  New friends, new ideas, new technologies, new ways to make things, a continuous learning experience!  But the thing that comes particularly to mind is the fact that I am leaving another footprint, another trace that I was here.  Not only are these recipes for my children and family,  but also for you, dear subscribers, so that when you make something you found here and everybody raves about it, you can be proud to say it came from me, an unknown lady name Lindaraxa.  I just saw a very nice post by a friend and subscriber about a meal she made for a dinner party with all the recipes from this blog.  These are the rewards of writing a food blog, seeing it all put to work.

So it is with a lot of pleasure that I give you a master recipe index by course that you can use as a cookbook.  It has been done with love and affection for it has been indeed a pain in the neck.  I shouldn't have let it go this long, but you know how it is.  I promise that when I catch my breath, I will subdivided the categories even more and I will also incorporate the recipes from  my country blog, My Kitchen By The Lake, so it is all in one place.  I will also take a look and see what is missing.  I can already see there are too many entrees that also need to be subdivided and not enough cookies (which I love but hate to make) so I will adjust accordingly.






I really want this to be a small legacy to my family, friends and those of you who enjoy my cooking.   In the future, if you think of anything you would like to see, drop me a note.  Please do comment though.  I have a subscriber base who is either terribly shy or is on a perpetual loss for words! I know it is a pain, but it is really simple.  Just put your name, any name,  or send them anonymous if it is easier.  That way you don't have to go through the process of opening a Google account.  If you have Gmail you already have a Google account!

So, I'll shut up now, and let you see my masterpiece. Clicking on the recipe will take you to the original post. Have fun!


LINDARAXA'S GARDEN MASTER RECIPE INDEX



Appetizers And First Courses

Marinaded Goat Cheese Log
Melon con Prosciutto
Irresistible Clam Dip
Grilled  Sausages With Chimichurri
Pimiento Cheese Spread
Figs, Prosciutto And St. Andre
Thai Corn Fritters
Chez Panisse Baked Goat Cheese Salad
Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs Wrapped In Prosciutto
Polenta Fries With Marinara Sauce
Tapas - Garbanzo Beans With Chorizo
Chicken Liver Mousse
Gougeres
Tapas - Serrano Ham & Manchego Cheese Croquettes
Tapas - Green Olives Filled With Piquillo & Anchovies
Smoked Salmon Spread
Tapas - Garbanzo Beans With Chorizo On A Crusty Baguette
Truffle Butter Popcorn With Sea Salt & Chives
Morels In Cream On Brioche
Tapas - Fried Garbanzos
Endive Stuffed With Goat Cheese And Walnuts


Soups And Sandwiches

Creme of Asparagus Soup
The Unbeatable Reuben Sandwich
Gazpacho!
Southern Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Split Pea Soup
Potage St. Germain
New England Clam Chowder
Cold Cucumber And Spinach Soup
Croque Monsieur
Sausage, Peppers And Onion Sandwich
Chestnut Soup With Creme Fraiche
Lentil Soup With Chorizo And Sherry
Welsh Rarebit
Le Cordon Bleu French Onion Soup
Antoine's Oysters Rockefeller
Pasta e Fagioli, Tuscan Bean Soup
Chilled Fresh Pea Soup


Eggs And Quiches

Deviled Eggs
Huevos Al Plato...Baked Eggs
Corn Quiche Mexican Style
Eggs Benedict
Tortilla Espanola Con Chorizo
Baked Eggs With Prosciutto, Spinach And Parmesan Cheese
Ham Gruyere And Spinach Bread Pudding
Julia Child's Quiche Lorraine


Main Courses

Pasta With Marinara Sauce
Beer Braised Beef With Onions
Chicken Paillard
Shrimp With Limes And Vermouth
The Perfect Roast Chicken
Chicken Croquettes
Grilled Lamb Chops With Red Potatoes And Sour Cream
Mrs. Adam's Baked Ham
Ten Recipes For Leftover Ham
Yankee Pot Roast
Eggplant Parmigiana
Sauteed Scallops In Mustard Sauce
Grilled Beef Skirt Steak
Filet Mignon With Pommes Frites And Bernaise
Asian Style Salmon Jan Marie
Mommy And Me Crab Cakes
Steamed Clams
The Classic Cuban Picadillo
Picadillo Stuffed Manicotti With Bechamel Sauce
Mushroom Pot Roast
Chuck Steaks Nogales
Grilled Chicken Mojito
Roast Turkey Breast With Apples, Onions And Sage
Polpette In A Lemon Basil Tomato Sauce
Shrimp With An Avocado Mango Salsa
Saturday Night On the Grill, The Forgotten Shish Kebabs
Venetian Isles Chicken Breasts
Bourbon Orange Grilled Salmon
Double Cheddar Cheese Hamburgers With Grilled Vidalia Onion & Horseradish Mustard
Honey Barbecue Chicken Drummettes
Lipton's Meat Loaf With A Twist
Chicken Grand Mere Francine
Moules Mariniere
Shrimp Creole
Camargue Style Mussels
Apricot Lamb Tagine
Grilled Eggplant With Mozzarella And Marinara Sauce
Grilled Butterflied Leg Of Lamb
Ted's Baby Back Ribs
Sweet & Spicy Garlic Shrimp
Zesty Lemon Chicken
London Broil
Chicken Piccata
Pan Fried Mahi-Mahi With Garlic, Onions And Tomatoes
Pan Seared Florida Snapper & Shrimp In A Shallot, Parsley & Vermouth Cream Sauce
Chicken Chili
Braised Short Ribs
Cashew Chicken
Turkey Tetrazzini
The Four Seasons Restaurant Chicken And Shrimp Curry
Braised Lamb Shanks With White Beans
Paleta De Puerco, Pork Shoulder Cuban Style
Duck A l'Orange With Wild Rice
The "21" Club Chicken Hash With Gruyere Topping
Florentine Steak Marinaded In Balsamic And Rosemary
Sweet And Sour Pork
Chicken Marbella
Tangerine Beef
Chicken Fricassee With Morels Au Vin Jaune
Julia Child's Boeuf Bourgignon, Simplified!
Seared Mahi Mahi With Citrus Soy Glaze And Coconut Rice
Lapin A La Moutarde - Rabbit In Mustard Cream Sauce
The Best Southern Fried Chicken
 Provencal Leg Of Lamb
Bay Scallop Gratin With Lemon Balm And Thai Basil
Baked Shrimp Scampi With Basil Lemon Butter
Baked Halibut With Tomato Caper Sauce
A Simple Paella
Thai Red Curry Beach Stew
Stuffed Pork Roast Tenderloin
Stuffed Crabs
Curried Lamb Kabobs
Grilled Swordfish With Capers And Lemon Butter


Pasta, Grains And Risottos

Pasta With Marinara Sauce
Fettuccine With Prosciutto, Peas, Mint And Lemon Basil
Mac And Cheese Harry's Bar
Gnocchi With Spinach, Bacon And Mozzarella
Wild Mushroom And Pumpkin Risotto
Bucatini All'Amatriciana
Creamy Polenta With Parmigiano, Parsley & Rosemary
Tagliatelle With Ragu Bolognese, Ricetta Antica
Baked Rigatoni With Tiny Meatballs
Penne With Spinach, Goat Cheese And Prosciutto
Lobster Risotto


Salads

Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad
Strawberry Salad Glace
Bobby Flay's Cole Slaw
Tomatoes With Balsamic, Olive Oil And Basil
My Mother's Potato Salad
German Potato Salad With Bacon Chive Vinaigrette
Classic Caesar Dressing
Smoked Trout, Cucumber And Tomato Salad
Charred Corn Salad
Cold Picnic Paella


Side Dishes

Scalloped Potato Gratin
Harvard Beets
Saffron And Onion Rice
Tomatoes Provencal
Coconut Rice With Scallions
Cauliflower Puree
Creamed Spinach
Corn On The Cob
Cauliflower Gratin
Pommes Anna
Fiesta Salsa
Tomato Zucchini Gratin
Apple Fritters
Pear, Chestnut And Sage Stuffing
Sweet Potatoes With Marshmallows In Orange Cups
Gratin Of Pearl Onions With Gruyere
Cranberry Orange Sauce
My Mother's Cuban Black Beans
Autumn Sonata...Brussel Sprouts With Bacon & Figs
Broccoli Cheddar Casserole
Sweet Potato And Leek Gratin
Succotash
Honey Glazed Carrots
Aromatic Basmati Rice
Sweet Peas With Prosciutto
Summer Squash Gratin
Brandied Peaches
Eggplant Mold


Breads And Muffins

The best Home Biscuits
Blueberry Muffins
Strawberry Preserves


Desserts

Strawberry Short Cake
Quick Cake For Tough Times
Fool Proof Chocolate Souffle
Strawberries With Almond Creme Anglaise
Brownie Pudding With Vanilla Ice Cream
Blueberry Lemon Tart
Peach Blueberry Crumble With Vanilla Ice Cream
Baked Figs With Rosemary And Honey
Chocolate Gelato Affogato
Roasted Peaches With Amaretti Crumble
Peaches, Raspberries And Blueberries With Prosecco
Bellini Sorbetto
Fresh Wild Berries With A Sabayon Sauce
Reine de Saba Chocolate Cake
Lindaraxa's Signature Pound Cake
End Of Summer Peach Crumb Pie
Flourless Almond Cake With Chocolate Coffee Sauce
Peche Melba
Caramelized Baked Apples
Harvest Pear Crisp With Star Anise
Espresso Pots de Creme
The Classic Pumpkin Pie
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
Churros With Hot Chocolate Dipping Sauce
Poires Babette, Pear Custard Gratin
Le Cirque Creme Brulee
Bouchon's Tarte Au Citron
Tapas Desserts - Crema Catalana
Heavenly Tiramisu
Joe Stone Crabs' Key Lime Pie
New Orleans Bread Pudding With A Whiskey Sauce
Julia Child's Sublime Chocolate Mousse
S'mores Coffee And Fudge Ice Cream Cake
Lemon Meringue Pie
Honey Lavender Ice Cream
Lemon, Orange Or Grand Marnier Souffle
Cantaloupe Sorbetto
Savannah Sponge Cake With Berries And Madeira Sweet Sauce
Peach Amaretto Sundaes
Sherry Crema Catalana Ice Cream With Honeyed Figs
Citrus Semifreddo


Cookies And Cupcakes

Bird's Nest Cupcakes
Outrageous Brownies
Amaretti Cookies
Lemon Bars
Vanillekipferl, German Vanilla Crescents
Chocolate Truffles, La Maison Au Chocolat
Cheesecake Brownies
Magnolia's Red Velvet Cupcakes


Menus And Table Settings

Easter Sunday Menu
Saturday Night On the Grill - Beef Skirt Steaks, Saffron And Onion Rice, Tomatoes Provencal
Mother's Day Brunch
Saturday Night...Eat Out or Eat In?
Father's Day Menus
Fourth Of July Barbecue
Labor Day
A Casual Halloween Party By The Lake
Halloween Tables & Menus Of Times Gone By
Thanksgiving Menu
Nochebuena, A Cuban Christmas In Georgia
Christmas Table And Menu
New Year's Eve Dinner Party
Super Bowl
Valentine's Day...Dinner For Two
Family Weekend Menu 2/10/10
Family Weekend Menu 2/17/10
This Weekend's Family Dinner 2/24/10
A Simple An Elegant Mid Week Dinner Party
This Weekends Family Dinner 3/10/10
Easter Lunch Menu (K)
Easter Tables
A Derby Party
Pretty Summer Tables
Outdoor Tables
The Kluge Picnic Hamper And Others
Father's Day Menu
An Elegant Summer Menu For The Ladies Who Lunch
Living Life And Entertaining The Way It Should Be


Drinks, Cocktails And Wines

The Perfect Bloody Mary
Chateau Roquefort
Wines For Easter Sunday
Monte Antico, A Poor Man's Super Tuscan
Mimosas
Bellinis
The Real Cuban Mojito
How To Serve French Wines, Particularly in the Summer
More On Chilling Wines In the Summer
Tinto De Verano, The Summer Wine Of Spain
Are We Being Fair To Our Wines?
Wine Suggestions for the Moroccan Apricot Lamb Tagine
Mint Juleps
Forever Amber...Cognac, Armagnac And Calvados
French Roses for the Summer


Miscellaneous

The Well Stocked Pantry
The Smart Way To Carve A Chicken
Cookbook Review
Housekeeping...How Blogs Work
How to Set the Thanksgiving Table And Why...The Short Course
The Four Seasons Restaurant In New York City
Ten Inexpensive Christmas Gifts From Your Kitchen
Oh Christmas Tree...A Lifetime Of Memories!
Christmas In Germany, Part I
Christmas in Germany, Part II
Have You Heard About Agave Nectar?
Le Cirque
Help Is On The Way!...Weekend Family Meals
Lindaraxa's Tidbits...Finger Bowls!
The Best Virginia Ham
Lindaraxa's Tidbits...How To Cook, Serve And Eat An Artichoke
How To Grill A Great Hamburger
The Tomatoes Are Coming!


Blooms

African Violets Make Inexpensive Centerpieces
It's Mother's Day!
Spring In New England


Recipes with a (K) next to it are posted in My Kitchen By The Lake

Photo Braeburn Farm

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Citrus Semifreddo

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With the outlook for this weekend's weather, I thought you could use one of these desserts, whether you are entertaining or not.  I am working on a post you will appreciate, especially if you are a new subscriber, and it is taking me forever.  It is indeed a labor of love!  So today, it will be a very brief post with a recipe from someone else but one I thought you would definitely enjoy.  It is very straightforward and if you are one of those people who love gelatos but do not have an ice cream machine, here's your chance.  You don't need one!

Semifreddo (Italian: "half cold") is a class of semi-frozen desserts, typically ice-cream cakes, semi-frozen custards, and certain fruit tarts. It has the texture of frozen mousse because it is usually produced by uniting two equal parts of ice cream and whipped cream.  In Italian cuisine, the Semifreddo is commonly made with gelato as a primary ingredient. It is typical of the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna.

In this recipe, you are going to prepare the custard which makes the gelato up to the point where you would place it in the ice cream machine.  Instead of doing that, you are going to fold the cream into the custard and proceed directly to the freezer.  Don't skip the Limoncello, you know how I feel about it.  There are several recipes in the blog that use it and a few drops on espresso is a real treat.  My friend Juan taught me that and he is so right!

Printable Recipe

Serves 8

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray

4 ounces purchased amaretti cookies, crushed (about 20 small cookies) plus more for sprinkling

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup

8 large egg yolks

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons limoncello

Pinch salt

1 lemon, zested

1 lime, zested

1 cup whipping cream

Directions

Spray a 9 by 5 by 3-inch metal loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line the pan with plastic wrap, allowing the excess to hang over the ends and sides.

Combine the crushed amaretti cookies and the melted butter. Put in the lined pan and press down to firm and form a crust.

Whisk 1/2 cup of the sugar, the egg yolks, lemon juice, lime juice, limoncello, and salt in a large metal bowl to blend. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water). Whisk the egg mixture until it is thick and creamy, and a thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 160 degrees F, about 5 minutes. Set the bowl of custard into another bowl of ice water to cool completely. Stir in the zest.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in another large bowl until firm peaks form. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the custard. Spoon the mixture onto the prepared crust. Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the custard and freeze until frozen, at least 8 hours or up to 3 days.

Unfold the plastic wrap. Invert the semifreddo onto a platter and peel off the plastic wrap. Cut the semifreddo into 1-inch slices and sprinkle with crushed amaretti cookies and serve.

Recipe Giada de Laurentis

Monday, July 26, 2010

Grilled Swordfish With Capers & Lemon Butter

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At last, I was able to find some fresh swordfish last week at the Dekalb Farmers Market, the same place we bought our lobsters. It's amazing how hard it is to find decent fresh fish these days.  I remember when I was young and living in Connecticut buying sole, flounder and swordfish was no problem at all.  As a matter of fact, I used to diet on sole and came to despise it, can you believe?  Now when you find it on a menu, it's  market price and you know what that means, $$$$.

I was taught to grill swordfish by a fellow broker when I worked at the Merrill Lynch office in Greenwich Conn.  Rub it with mayonnaise and dill and throw it on the grill.  The result, is probably the juiciest swordfish you will ever have with no traces of mayonnaise left after it has been cooked.  Unfortunately, we had an unexpected rain storm just as I was ready to light the charcoal and ended up cooking it on my indoor grill. It was great,  but not the same.  So make sure when you are ready to try this recipe there are no clouds on the horizon and I guarantee you will never cook it any other way!

Ingredients

2 swordfish steaks
2 TB mayonnaise
1 tsp dry or fresh dill finely chopped
Salt & Pepper
4 oz butter
1 TB fresh lemon juice
1 - 2 TB capers

Directions

Light your charcoal or gas grill.  Wait until it is very hot.

In a cup combine the mayonnaise, dill,  salt and pepper.  Spread it on both sides of the swordfish. and throw it on the grill.  Cook, covered, about 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on thickness.  Remove to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes.

While the fish is resting, melt the butter on top of the stove, add the lemon juice and capers, pour over the swordfish and serve immediately

Photo Lindaraxa

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lobster Risotto

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In order to make a good risotto, you have to start with a great broth.  The one I had was from the leftover lobster bisque I made from two big lobsters we ate last Saturday.  They are the most inexpensive two lobsters I have ever eaten.  They were 2 1/4 lbs. each and no matter how hard we tried, we simply couldn't finish them off.  Day two found me in the kitchen covered in lobster making bisque from the two big claw we had left.  It was a forever routine, even simplifying Julia Child's recipe. ..and I'm good at that!  Don't even bother to attempt.  I finished it my way and it was superb.  That didn't do the trick and we still had some leftover broth and meat I was not going to throw out.  Who knew when I would have lobster again!  Into the freezer both went  and tonight ta ta!  The best of the last three meals.  Not even at Daniel have I had a risotto like this, but it was all  due to the broth, which had cognac, wine and  a small amount of cream.





I am not going to be able to give you exact measurements for the broth as each one of us is going to start with a different amount of leftover lobster.  I trust most of you know how to make a simple broth!

Broth

Save the big chunks of meat for later in a bag. Saute all the leftover small pieces of meat and shells in butter add chopped onions , add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cognac, ignite (watch out).  When it dies down, add 1/2 small can of tomato paste, bay leaf, 1 cup white wine, 6 to 8 cups of water, salt and pepper and boil for about 1 hour in medium low without a lid. Taste for salt and pepper.  When done, it should concenrate down to about 6 cups.  If not, don't worry, you can dilute with water before you start the risotto. Let it cool off and place in the refrigerator overnight.  I actually did this as I was doing the dishes the night we ate the steamed lobsters...I am always thinking ahead!

Risotto

Ingredients

4 TB butter
1 onion, chopped
saffron ( about 6 to 8 sprigs)
1 tsp. tarragon
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine

6 - 8 Cups of lobster broth*

Directions

Bring the broth to a rolling boil and keep in the back burner.

Sautee the chopped onion in butter.

Add the leftover lobster meat and sautee for a minute just to warm up. Remove the lobster to a plate.

Add the saffron and the tarragon to the butter and onion in the pan.  Sautee for about a minute.

Add the rice and the wine.  Bring to a boil. When the wine has been mostly abosrbed, start adding the broth one ladleful at a time. Make sure the broth is still bubbling in the back burner.  Stir until almost absorbed.  Add the next laddleful.  and continue stirring. You will continue doing this for about 25- 30 minutes so be patient.  It will pay off. Notice we have not added salt or pepper as the broth should have enough.

You want the risotto to be al dente but not hard.  After years of making risotto I know by the look but if you are new at this, just taste it.  I like mine a little runny but definitely not soup like.



The broth boiling low in the back burner


Lobster meat sauteed waiting to be added at the end!



Starting out


Almost ready for more broth


Almost done


Done! notice how the grain is open


Serve the risotto on a soup plate and top with the leftover lobster meat.

No cheese!! You do not add parmesan cheese to seafood risottos.

Enjoy, you worked hard!!

*if the broth is too concentrated or you don't have enough, it is okay to add some water to bring up to 6 cups.  Make sure you bring to a boil again and check for salt.

In case you are interested, for $50 ($8.89/lbs) two persons ate one night boiled lobsters, next night lobster bisque and a third night lobster risotto.  Not bad!


All photos Lindaraxa
Lobster on Foodista

Sherry Crema Catalana Ice Cream With Honeyed Figs

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The figs are in and they are plump and juicy! I just had some for lunch with prosciutto and Brie, my favorite summer lunch.  I posted quite a few recipes for figs last year but I had not made this ice cream until last week.  Crema catalana is perfect with figs and when you serve it as an ice cream... well judge for yourself! The mellow, almond flavor of Amontillado Sherry works especially well in this rich, creamy dessert.

Make the crema the day before and freeze overnight.  It never works for me when I freeze just for a few hours. 

The crema catalana ice cream can be accompanied with other fruits but in that case, I would omit the sherry.


Yield: Makes 6 servings


Ingredients

For ice cream

3 cups half-and-half

4-inch strip fresh lemon zest

4-inch strip fresh orange zest

1/2 cinnamon stick

8 large egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup Amontillado Sherry

For figs

12 soft (moist) dried Calimyrna figs (10 oz), tough stems removed and figs halved lengthwise

1 cup Amontillado Sherry

1 cup fresh orange juice

6 tablespoons honey

Garnish: candied orange zest


Preparation

Make ice cream:

Bring half-and-half with lemon and orange zests and cinnamon stick just to a boil over moderate heat. Cover and let stand off heat 25 minutes, then reheat to a simmer. Discard zests and cinnamon stick.

Whisk together yolks, sugar, and Sherry in a large bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Transfer custard to cleaned saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened enough to coat back of a wooden spoon and an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F.

Pour custard through a fine sieve into a bowl and cover surface with wax paper to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until thoroughly cold, about 3 hours, (I prefer to chill overnight to make sure!). Freeze in an ice-cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm.

Make figs:

Bring figs, Sherry, juice, and honey, covered, to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer, covered, just until figs are tender, about 40 minutes, then uncover and simmer until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, about 8 minutes. Cool figs in syrup.

Serve ice cream with honeyed figs and syrup.

Cooks' notes:

·Ice cream can be made 3 days ahead.

·You can also prepare figs 3 days ahead and chill, covered

Source  & photo Gourmet 2000



Cinnamon on Foodista

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Saturday Night on the Grill...Curried Lamb Kabobs With Basmati Rice

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Last summer I posted recipes for the grill at least once a month but, unfortunately, this year, with all the activity going on at the lake, I have been totally remiss.  I can't figure out why, for we grill at home at least 3 or 4 times a week when we have nice weather.  I will have to say that it has been unbearably hot here in Atlanta and lately every weekend has been rainy and stormy.  You should have seen us trying to grill some swordwish last Saturday by the garage door in the middle of a storm!

Grilling is great fun and an easy way of entertaining and relaxing with good friends.  I usually try to entice everyone with one of my mojitos, followed by a cold soup served in demitasse cups outside to extend the cocktail hour a bit and give the cook (me) some leeway. If you look at the index under grill, you will find a recipe for regular shish-kebabs as well as lamb chops and butterflied leg of lamb.  There are others, for fish and chicken in particular, but these are the ones that come to mind.

I have made this recipe a couple of times and you can be assured, you will get rave reviews from your guests!  The last time I served it I followed with the honey lavender ice cream for dessert.  Perfect match!

The wine will be tricky so before you go off to buy your favorite, check this post

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

•10 (6-inch) wooden skewers

•2 cups dried apricots

•1 cup raisins

•1 garlic clove, crushed

•6 bay leaves

•2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

•1 tablespoon ground coriander

•1 tablespoon chopped chutney

•2 teaspoons curry powder

•2 teaspoons ground ginger

•1 teaspoon salt

•3/4 teaspoon cayenne

•2 cups white vinegar

•2 large onions, quartered

•5 pounds boneless lamb, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes



Instructions

1. Prepare a charcoal fire. Soak the skewers in warm water for at least 10 minutes.

2. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of the apricots with the raisins, garlic, bay leaves, brown sugar, coriander, chutney, curry powder, ginger, salt, cayenne, and vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining apricots and the onions and remove from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool.

3. Place the lamb in a flat baking dish, just big enough to hold the meat in a single layer. Pour the cooled marinade over the lamb. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

4. Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and thread 5 to 6 pieces of the lamb onto the skewers, alternating with some of the onion pieces and the apricots. Set the kabobs aside.

5. Strain marinade and transfer from the dish to a saucepan. Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce and heat and simmer until mixture is reduced slightly.

6. Brush the kabobs with some of the sauce and grill them over hot coals, brushing occasionally with more of the sauce, until the meat is done as desired. Serve with yellow basmati rice.



Basmati Rice

Ingredients


•2 tablespoons butter

•1/2 cup finely chopped onion

•1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

•2 cups basmati rice, rinsed

•2 cups chicken stock or broth

•1 cup water

•1/3 cup dark raisins

•1/3 cup sultanas (golden raisins)

•1 cinnamon stick

•1/2 cup toasted cashews


Instructions

1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and turmeric. Cover the pan and cook until the onion is soft and has a glassy appearance.

2. Stir in the rice, chicken stock, water, raisins, and the cinnamon stick. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the rice from the heat and remove the cinnamon stick. Stir in the cashews. Serve hot


Recipes Colin Cowie

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cold Picnic Paella

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Some of my best recipes have been created through pure necessity.  If you have been folllowing my other blog, My Kitchen By The Lake, you will know that we have recently "borrowed" my brother's boat and have been going on dinner cruises almost every night.  This is quite taxing on the cook/mate, for she never knows how many are going to show up for dinner or when the mood will strike.

Last night, I got the signal just as I was getting in from the big A and letting the dogs out.  Oh dear, no time to think much, but pack and go.  I had some cold leftover  Zucchini Rice With Red Peppers And Lemon Balm which I had served with bay scallops the night before but definitely not much for a main meal, particularly when there was the possibility of two other  guests.  Luckly, there is always frozen shrimp in the freezer, and plenty of cherry tomatoes which, together with the zucchini, are coming in fast and furious.  Zucchini Gelato anyone? Then, I noticed a couple of chorizos that had been left over from our BBQ on the Fourth and *lightbulb why not pass this off as a cold Picnic Paella?  The funny part is I also had cold chicken in the fridge, talk about a well stocked fridge.


Paella served with a dry French rose


Brie served at the right temperature




A dry French Rose, a perfectly mature Brie and the best yellow cherries I've had in a long time made for a delightful Summer dinner and the perception by everyone that I had spent hours in the kitchen.  The truth is I spent the time it takes to sautee the shrimp and the chorizo and the time it took to mix everything and stick it in a plastic container! In 15 minutes everything was ready to go and the kitchen ship shape.



Cold Picnic Paella

Serves 4

Ingredients

Leftover Zucchini Rice With Onions, Red Peppers And Lemon Balm (cold)
1/2 lbs shrimp peeled, deveined, tails on
2 small Spanish Chorizo (I used El Quijote)
olive oil
Garlic
white or rose wine
Pimenton de la Vera (Sweet Spanish Paprika)
Cherry or grape tomatoes
Cooked cold chicken (optional)
Lemon Balm, chopped
capers (optional)

Directions

First sautee the shrimp in olive oil and garlic. If shrimp is frozen, steam for 3 or 4 minutes ahead.  Add some pimenton and salt while browning.  Add 1/2 cup rose or white wine and reduce.  Remove from stove and set aside.  With a paper towel, wipe pan. Slice the Spanish chorizo in 1/4 in rounds and sautee in a little olive oil.  When they are browned, add to the cold rice with the drippings, the shrimp with leftover oil and garlic, tomatoes and cold chicken if using. If it needs extra olive oil add it now and correct for salt and pepper.

If you are going to serve it within a couple of hours, stick it in the freezer to cool quickly.  If not, cover and store in refrigerator, preferrably overnight.  Bring it out of the refirgerator a good 20 minutes before serving.

The leftover of the leftovers were divine when I had them again for lunch today!

Now, if you want to see beautiful photos of the sunset and the rest of the "dinner cruise" come over to My Kitchen By The Lake.

Photos Lindaraxa

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Tomatoes Are Coming, The Tomatoes Are Coming!

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Photo by Lindaraxa

I am so proud of this picture that rather than post it in my country blog where it belongs, I am posting it front and center on my main recipe blog.  Look at those tomatoes, and look at that picture, I am so proud of myself and my daughter for having put up with those ugly blue pots during the Spring, after nurturing the seeds in late winter, so we could finally enjoy these beauties all summer.  I can tell you that they are better and sweeter than they look.  If you have forgotten what a real tomato tastes like, just bask in these.  I wonder how I will be able to go back to those tasteless pink things they sell at the grocery store.




If you only grow one thing in your garden, make it tomatoes!


Plenty to come!

All you need to put in these is good olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and freshly crushed pepper...and of course, fresh basil! Oh my, what a treat!


I feel just like a proud mother!

All photos by Lindaraxa

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sformato di Melanzane...Eggplant Mold

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This recipe comes from a good friend who happens to eat well and entertain even better!  I recently posted on some of the small things that make an invitation from him a command performance and now I am going to share with you one of his recipes.  As it is with everything he does, it is simple and easy to make yet interesting and "fancy" enough to be part of a dinner or luncheon party.  The recipe comes from his mother and he has been serving it forever.  I recently had it at his home in Miami as part of an informal dinner buffet, in the heat of the summer, and served room temperature without a sauce.  Frankly, I can't remember what else he served I was so enchanted with this mousse.

If you want to serve it as a first course or for an elegant and simple lunch, the original recipe suggests you make extra bechamel sauce, pour it over it and top with a poached egg.  My type of lunch!

Printable Recipe
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

1 1/4 lbs eggplant, peeled and cut in small pieces

2 medium onion finely chopped

5 eggs, separated

Salt & Pepper

1 Cup of bechamel sauce*

Parmaggiano Reggiano (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. 

Cut the eggplant in small pieces and finely chop the onion.  Separately, saute the onions and the eggplant.  When both are done, combine them and with a fork, add the salt and pepper and  mash the pulp until it looks like a puree.  Let cool.

Separate the eggs.  Beat the egg yolks and add to the cool puree and then beat the egg whites to stiff peaks (like a meringue) and fold in to the mix.  Add the bechamel and combine.

Grease a 4 cup mold with butter and add the eggplant.  Cook at 275degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let it come to room temperature.

Run a sharp knife around the edges and invert mold unto a platter.  Serve in wedges.

If you are serving topped with bechamel sauce and poached eggs, spoon about a large tbs of bechamel sauce now on each slice and top with the eggs.  If you are forfeiting the eggs, I suggest you pour the extra bechamel after the mold is inverted into a platter.

 Although he didn't mention it, I would sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese over the bechamel sauce before serving!

*make 2 cups if you are serving it topped with sauce

Monday, July 12, 2010

Stuffed Crabs...A Delightful Summer Lunch

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 Don't confuse this recipe with crabmeat au gratin which has a white sauce and is slightly richer. This is the Southern version and one of my favorite ways to cook crab when you have the freshest or the very best.  If you don't want to fiddle around with cooking and cleaning crabs, purchase the meat from the fishmonger, but only if it is very fresh.  Costco also sells a tin of lump crabmeat that is outstanding.  I think the name is Red Star and comes in a large blue and white tin box. Be careful, they have two tins, one more expensive than the other.  For this recipe, definitely buy the former.  There is nothing, however, like fresh crabmeat so caveat emptor!

 To replace the crab shells that are traditionally used as cooking and serving vessels, use scallop shells, which can also be used for Coquilles St. Jacques, another favorite.

This makes for a delicious summer lunch, accompanied with a simple green salad and cantaloupe gelato for dessert!


Printable Recipe

Ingredients

For 4 servings

- 12 small crabs

- 1 clove of garlic, minced

- 1 onion, finely chopped

- 1 shallot, finely chopped

- 2 tbsp. oil

- 2 tbsp. lemon juice

- 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce

- 4 tbsp. bread crumbs

- 2 tbsp. butter


Method

1.Clean the crabs; place them into a large pot and cover with cold water; boil for 30 minutes;

2.Cool the crabs in cold water; shell them and remove the meat; clean the shells to use for serving;

3.Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil; add the flaked crab; season with salt and pepper; cook for about 5 minutes;

4.Add the shallot, lemon juice, hot sauce, half the bread crumbs and 1 tbsp. butter;

5.Combine well; let cool for 10 minutes;

6.Fill the shells with this mixture; combine the remaining bread crumbs and butter and place on top of the crab mixture;

7.Place into a 350 °F  oven for 15-20 minutes;

8.Garnish the plate with strips of hot pepper and bunches of parsley.


Fox Run Large Natural Baking Shells, Set of 4

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Brandied Peaches

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You may have noticed, particularly if you are an old subscriber, that the recipes are getting simpler by the minute.  It is no coincidence, it is summer and it is hot, hot, hot,  here at the lake.  With this heat, who wants to cook and look at food! I just want to have light lunches, and possibly something grilled for dinner.  Last night I baked a zucchini casserole and thought I was going to faint in that kitchen.  By the time it was finished, I had no desire to eat anything hot.

I am a big believer in cooking with the seasons, and for the rest of the summer I will be posting recipes for the grill together with salads and simple side dishes.  When all this wonderful produce is in season you don't need to get complicated to eat well.

One of the things I am doing, though, is canning some of the fruits and vegetables before they go bad.  This wonderful recipe for candied peaches can be done in a jiffy, in the early part of the day, and canned for a later use, although  I don't go through all that.  It goes well with roasts, particularly pork, as well as grilled chicken.

Printable Recipe

Makes 2 quarts

Ingredients

3 Cups sugar
3 cups water
4 whole cloves
4 whole allspice berries
1 4- inch cinnamon stick
3 pounds unblemished peaches, dipped in hot water and peeled
4 TB brandy

Method

Put the sugar and water in a large kettle and bring to a boil.  Add the cloves, allspice and cinnamon.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Carefully add the peaches.  Simmer for 5 minutes until tender.  Remove the peaches to a large sterile jar with a snap lid.  Pour in cooking syrup and top with the brandy.  When cool, snap shut and store in refrigerator.

Let it mature a few days before serving.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Amethyst Glass... Living Life And Entertaining the Way it Should Be

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My friend Reggie Darling and I share a love for amethyst glass, particularly some discontinued water goblets once made and sold by designer William Yeoward.  I, unfortunately,  do not own any, but my friend Reggie owns quite a few pieces, from casual and inexpensive to elegant and very, well, dear.  If you haven't checked out his blog, or his collection of amethyst glass, I strongly suggest you do.  You will have a lot of fun and will be entertained and educated to no end in all aspects of the good life.

Reggie and his partner spend their weekends in a wonderful place called Darlington Hall in upstate New York with their beloved pug, Pompey (pronounced Pompi with an accent on the POM).  He is named after the Roman general, not the volcano. Make sure you remember this before you greet him or he will be most insulted and you might not get past the front door!  I think if I died and went to heaven, I would definitely opt to spend it with these three.  They go shopping all the time for beautiful things, all of which I covet, and when in the city, frequent the most fabulous restaurants, galleries and fun spots New York has to offer.  It's fun to "go on vacation" with them and they seem to read every book I have read or would ever want to read.  What more could you ask for.  Oh yes, they wear Belgian shoes!


The morning after at Darlington Hall

Their main competition for my company in the afterlife is that of my bestest friends in the whole wide world, my dearest friends Andrew and Juan and their pug Tosca.  These three live in a magnificient apartment in the Left Bank in Paris, spend their winters in their home in Miami Beach and have the most interesting collection of  friends any one could ever imagine.   I have never been seated at their dinner table next to anyone you would classify as a bore. They are not only hosts par excellence,  they have impeccable taste as well.  Oh yes, and they travel to fabulous places, wear Belgian shoes and read all the books Reggie and I like to read!

A casual dinner in Miami Beach

Their parties from casual and intimate to grand and opulent  are always the stuff of dreams.  Great fun, great food, beautiful tables, great conversation and terrific hosts. When Juan turned 60,  he celebrated his birthday in a beautiful private palazzo in the Grand Canal in Venice.   Friends from all over the world arrived by gondola in masks and formal dress to be greeted by the sounds of a popular Latin orchestra  flown in from Miami,  a gift from the host to himself.  Nothing was left to chance, everything was planned a year in advance from the Fortuny tablecloths to the color of the jackets worn by the service staff to the delightful Venetian menu.  The palazzo was bathed in candlelight and the party went well into the wee hours of the morning. I think it's the only time in my life I've gone to bed as the sun was rising.  It was what dreams are made of and definitely the event of any lifetime.

Lindaraxa and friend arriving at the party in Venice*

These four have to meet someday for they have much in common and a gift for entertaining that not many  seem to grasp.  Granted, in their case, they have the means to do so, but you would be surprised at how many people have the means and no idea where to start.  When they throw a dinner party, no matter how casual or informal, a lot of thought goes into everything, from the guests list to the table setting, to the wine and the food.  That is what makes a party special. 

But I digress.  A few weeks ago,  I saw this video by Colin Cowie, author of Chic, Living Life the Way It Should Be, and immediately thought of these four friends and the way they entertain. I also thought of Reggie D and all his amethyst glass!  Watch the video and you will see how a table setting is created and modified with only a few inexpensive pieces.  The pieces or the color might not be your cup of tea (it isnt mine) but you will see that  you don't need to spend a lot of money to create a beautiful table.  I am sure that there are plenty of things around your home that can be pulled together to make an interesting center piece. It doesn't always have to be flowers... beautiful porcelain is always a nice alternative.

Both of the tables above were created on the spur of the moment with things the hosts pulled together at the last minute.  Reggie wrote a nice post on this awhile back and I suggest you check it out.

 I couldn't embed the video so you will just have to click on the link.

 http://www.colincowie.com/video?v=keep-your-dinner-table-simple

*this photo reminds me of The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone! My young escort is the son of dear friends...promise!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Endive Stuffed With Goat Cheese & Walnuts

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I came upon this recipe while looking for something else. Since I had just come back from Costco with a huge bag of walnuts guess what we had last night. Although this is really a late autumn/winter recipe when endive is at its peak, I couldnt help posting it lest I forget. Tuck it in your recipe box until then and remember to try out

This appetizer has a lot going for it: The sweetness of the honeyed walnuts and orange sections complements the endive's natural bitterness, while goat cheese provides a smooth contrast to the crunch of the greens and nuts.  It is truly delightful with cocktails so give it a try and don't omit anything! It would be delightful and very elegant if served with champagne.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2 stuffed leaves)

Ingredients

1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons honey, divided

Cooking spray

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons orange juice

16 Belgian endive leaves (about 2 heads)

1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese

16 small orange sections (about 2 navel oranges)

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine walnuts and 1 tablespoon honey; spread on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.

Combine 1 tablespoon honey, vinegar, and orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, and cook until reduced to 3 tablespoons (about 5 minutes).

Fill each endive leaf with 1 orange section. Top each section with 1 teaspoon cheese and 1 teaspoon walnuts; arrange on a plate. Drizzle the vinegar mixture evenly over leaves, and sprinkle evenly with chives and pepper.


My recipes, Cooking Light

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fourth of July Weekend... Charred Corn Salad

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Chances are you will have some leftover corn on the cob from one of the meals you serve your guests this weekend.   Don't throw it out...make this the next night.  This salad is wonderful with anything you throw on the grill, including hamburgers on the 4th; or bring it along next time you go on a picnic.  If you can't find jicama, skip it.

One thing you don't want to skip is chipotle chiles in adobo.  These are normally packed in cans with a sauce made of spices, vinegar, tomato sauce and sometimes other chilies. You can use the chiles, the sauce, or both in recipes. Don't worry, when I first made this salad, I had to look it up too!  You will find them in small cans in the Mexican section of the supermarket.  Have you noticed how this area is getting larger by the minute? My supermarket now has two sections!  People in this country have really fallen in love with all this hot and spicy food.  As for me, I have to look up most peppers every time they are included in a recipe.  It is soo confusing, all these peppers.  I have learned one thing though...habaneros are the hotest!

Serves 6-8 

Ingredients:

2 Tbs. fresh lime juice

1 Tbs. fresh orange juice

1 tsp. diced chipotle chili in adobo, plus 1 Tbs. adobo sauce

2 tsp. salt

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp. honey

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. olive oil

6 ears of corn, husks and silks removed

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained

2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro, plus cilantro leaves for garnish*

2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered

1/2 cup diced jicama

1/4 cup diced red onion

Directions:

In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice, orange juice, chipotle chili and adobo sauce, 1 tsp. of the salt, the garlic, honey and the 1/4 cup olive oil until smooth. Set the vinaigrette aside.

Prepare a hot fire in a grill or preheat a grill pan over high heat.

Rub the ears of corn with the 2 Tbs. olive oil and the remaining 1 tsp. salt. Grill the corn, turning occasionally, until charred in spots, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter.

When the corn is cool enough to handle, remove the kernels from the cobs and place the kernels in a large bowl. Add the black beans, chopped cilantro, tomatoes, jicama, onion and vinaigrette and stir until well combined. Garnish with the cilantro leaves. Serve the salad at room temperature. Serves 6 to 8.

*I added 3 TBs

Recipe Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

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