Monday 30 July 2012

Herbed Skillet Bread

Fresh baked bread and rosemary will fill your whole house when you make this.  This turned out so delicious.  Its the kind of bread you have at a restaurant that you have to restrain yourself from finishing the whole basket because it is so good.  The cast iron skillet acts like a wood-burning oven and makes a wonderful crisp crust.  It is such an easy bread that goes well with so many things.

Herbed Skillet Bread

  • 1 Tbl. sugar
  • 1 cup warm water, divided
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 2 tspns. sea salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbl. olive oil, divided plus more for drizzling
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
-In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in 1/2 cup of the warm water.  Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup water, the flour, 1/2 tspn. salt, and 1/4 cup of the olive oil.  Stir with a wooden spoon until well blended and the mixture forms a soft dough.  Turn the dough out onto a well floured counter and knead smooth, about 10 minutes.  Add additional flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking.  Form the dough into a ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl.  Turn to coat with the oil.  Seal the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 45 minutes. Coat the bottom and sides of a 10 inch skillet with 1 Tbl. of olive oil.  Place the dough in the skillet and press it evenly into the bottom of the pan.  With a sharp knife, score the top lightly in a crisscross pattern.  Brush with the remaining 1 Tbl. olive oil and sprinkle with garlic and rosemary over the top.  Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tspns. sea salt.  Let rise for 20 minutes.

-While the bread is rising, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the skillet in the hot oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is a light golden color.  Remove from the pan right away and place on a wire rack to retain the crisp crust.  Drizzle with a little olive oil over the top, slice into wedges and serve warm.  Enjoy!

Friday 27 July 2012

Turkey Rosemary Burgers with Black Bean & Corn Salad

These burgers are so delicious and juicy.  I don't typically make turkey burgers, but with the very few ingredients it takes to make these I was intrigued...especially by the fish sauce.  I found this recipe on a blog I follow called WhiteonRiceCouple.  Their pictures are so inspiring and beautiful.  The burgers did not disappoint, so delicious.  I added chopped jalapeno to the mixture, but you can omit if you don't want added spice.  The salad is a perfect, quick summer salad that usually leaves you with leftovers for the next day.

Turkey Rosemary Burgers

  • 2 lbs. ground turkey
  • 2 Tbl. finely chopped fresh Rosemary
  • 3 Tbl. fish sauce
  • 2 tspns. sugar
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • Hamburger buns and favorite toppings for serving
-In a medium bowl combine turkey, rosemary, fish sauce, sugar, jalapeno and black pepper.  Form into patties. Heat grill or pan over medium high heat.  Cook each side for 4 minutes or until cooked through.  Open and brush both sides of the hamburger buns with olive oil.  Place face side down on the grill and cook until lightly browned.  Assemble burgers with toppings and serve immediately. 

Black Bean & Corn Salad
  • 2 cans black beans, drained, about 30oz.
  • 1 15oz. can corn, drained
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced green onions
  • 1/4 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 4 Tbl. sherry vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 3 Tbl. honey
  • 1 Tbl. salt
  • 1 tspn. pepper
  • 1 tspn. ground cumin
-Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.  Enjoy!

Monday 23 July 2012

Baked Red Snapper with Zucchini and Tomato

If you want to make a dish that is impressive and so tasty but really easy...try this, so good!  I chose to use a red snapper, but you can also use sole, orange roughy or grouper.  Be sure to make the zucchini slices very thin, and pile them on to look like fish scales, so pretty.  We had crusty white bread slices on the side to scoop up the delicious red sauce.

Baked Red Snapper with Zucchini and Tomato

  • 1 zucchini, cut into slices 1/8 thick
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 whole fish (red snapper, sole, orange roughy or grouper)--I had them clean the entire fish and discard the head
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tspn. sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1 lemon, quartered
-Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, coat the zucchini with 1 Tbs. of olive oil.  Lay the fish on a plate and arrange the slices of zucchini on the fish to resemble scales.  Press down to secure in place and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate.  

-In a medium saute pan, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium high heat.   Add the shallots and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute until soft, about 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.  Stir in the dill.  Pour the tomato sauce into an attractive baking dish large enough to accommodate the fish.  Place the fish on top of the tomato sauce.

Bake until the fish is opaque throughout, about 20-25 minutes.  Remove from the oven, garnish with the lemon pieces and serve directly from the baking dish. Enjoy!

Sweet & Spicy Baby Back Ribs with Cheesy Horseradish Potato Skins

Every summer Aaron and I try to master the perfect ribs.  We have quickly learned that the oven is our best friend when cooking ribs.  Each rack turns out to be so juicy and the meat is literally falling off the bone.  I'm still playing around with different sauces, but this batch turned out pretty good.  Grab lots of napkins!!  The potato skins were delicious...if you love cheese, be sure to try these!

Sweet and Spicy Baby Back Ribs

  • 3 1lb. racks pork ribs
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup dark lager beer
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. chipotle chile powder
  • 1 cup Thai sweet chile sauce
  • 2 Tbs. light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. red pepper flakes
-Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Rub the ribs with lemon juice and evenly spread 1 tspn. salt and 1 tspn. pepper.  Place the ribs bone side down in a large roasting pan, then add the beer.  Cover tightly with foil, transfer to the oven and roast until the meat pulls away from the bone, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes.

-Meanwhile, make the sauce.  Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat; add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly golden, about 2 minutes.  Add the chile powder and cook 1 minute.  Stir in the chile sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, red pepper flakes and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and reduced by half, about 40 minutes.  

-Remove the ribs from the oven; increase the temperature to 400 degrees.  Uncover the pan; carefully pour out the cooking liquid.  Stir 1/4 cup cooking liquid into the sauce, then discard the rest of the liquid.  Generously brush the ribs with the sauce.  Return the pan to the oven and continue roasting, uncovered, until the ribs are golden brown and tender, about 35 minutes.  Transfer the ribs to a cutting board and slice.  Serve with the sauce.  Enjoy!

Cheesy Horseradish Potato Skins

  • 6 russet potatoes
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • salt & fresh pepper
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated muenster cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 Tbs. horseradish
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Pierce the potatoes a few times with a fork.  Place directly on the center of the oven rack and bake until tender, about 1 hour.  Let cool slightly.  Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.  Halve the potatoes lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/4 inch thick shell; reserve half of the flesh in a bowl.  Brush both sides of the potato skins with 2 Tbs. melted butter and season with salt and pepper.  Arrange skin side up on a baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 15 minutes.  

-Meanwhile, mash the potato flesh with a fork; mix in the cheddar, muenster, parmesan, 2-3 Tbs. horseradish and the remaining 1 Tbs. of butter.  Stuff into the potato skins, return to the oven and continue baking until golden, about 8 minutes.  Mix the sour cream with the remaining 1 Tbs. horseradish.  Spoon on the potato skins and sprinkle with scallions.  Enjoy!