It's me, the Silliest

This is my blog of recipes. I like "eating the rainbow" as well as globe-trotting through food. I totally dig heady local produce and local fresh meats.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fishcakes with Tartar Sauce

I grilled a whole snapper recently and had half the fish leftover. I stored this in the fridge for two days and got to it last night. It was a good pantry raid! I didn't have bread crumbs, so I opened a package of store bought Stove Top stuffing and used that for the bread crumbs (you have put these in your food processor to get them fine enough) and this worked excellently!

3/4 lb white fish, cooked and flaked
1 C finely ground seasoned bread crumbs (or ground up Stove Top stuffing in my case :-P)
2 eggs, beaten
2 TBSP heavy cream

2 TBSP mayo
2 TBSP heavy cream
1 TBSP capers, roughly chopped
1 TBSP relish

Yes, it's this easy! Combine ingredients from list A together (this should be sticky and able to form patties) and form into patties. Fry in some oil (doesn't matter what kind... I had mustard oil) over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side or until nicely browned.

Mix ingredients from B together to serve as tartar sauce. You should throw a v simple salad together to serve with this.

Rhubarb, Cranberry, Jalapeno and Ginger Relish

I got this recipe from one of my fave blogs - Design Sponge! It is sooo tasty and this recipe makes so much that you can give to your friends in little jars along with the recipe. Your friends can then buy the scallops, grill em up and badabing badaboom - gourmet meal!

Here is the link to this recipe! Enjoy!!

Iceburg Wedge

We got some really tasty steaks the other day (oh! just remembered I had leftovers in the freezer - aw hellllz yeeeeah!) and they were big and juicy and sexi and porterhousely. It is summer, so I didn't want to undue my work at the gym, so I opted for something simple and "healthy" on the side... just watch the amount of blue cheese dressing you use!! I thought a simple wedge would be PERFECT!

1 head Iceburg lettuce
1 large beefsteak tomato
2 boiled eggs

1/2 C mayo
1/2 C heavy cream
1 TBSP sherry vinegar
4 oz Stilton blue cheese
1 tsp dried tarragon

The assembly is pretty obvious I think... quarter the ice burg lettuce and serve one quarter per plate. Chop the tomatoes and eggs as you wish and put them on top (aka to the side, as they will fall down). Whisk all of the dressing ingredients except the blue cheese until smooth. Crumble blue cheese in dressing and whisk to combine to your liking (if you like it smooth, whisk away. I like mine chunky, so I combined ever so slightly).

Serve this w some bloody slabs and you've got yourself a meal!

Peach Pie Cobbler

I went to the farmers market this weekend and they had some divine peaches! I picked me up about 10 lbs and I had me some pies! The amount of peaches you need will certainly vary depending on how small you cut them, if you peel them or not, etc etc. I cut some of mine small, some of mine large and I peeled about 75% but left some unpeeled for the bright color on the skin. I am not kidding when I say that these peaches were perfect and beautiful!

I didn't want a large undertaking and I wanted to enjoy the pies asap, so I bought some already prepared, frozen deep dish 9" pie crusts and kept it nice and simple.

Also, it is important when making a pie like this to not get caught up on details. Basically, no matter how you prepare the topping or cut the peaches, it is going to be super tasty! Just have fun... you will be so proud of yourself :-)

10 lbs peaches (or enough to fill two deep dish pie crusts)
1/2 C flour
2 heaping TBSP cornstarch
2/3 C sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

2 C bread flour
1 C dark brown sugar
2 tsp salt
2 stick butter, cold and cut into pieces

2 deep dish 9" frozen pie crusts

Peel and cut your peaches how you wish. If you aren't too adventurous or are not too familiar with making pies, then you should peel all but two of your peaches and cut them into 1/8s. If you are doing it this way then you will prob need about 6-9 peaches per pie.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the rest of A together and place half in each frozen pie crust and set aside.

Combine B in a bowl and break together with your fingers until the dough comes together into little pieces that are the size of a pea. Divide in two and pat this on top of your pies (you will need to do this with a bit of force as the peaches should be piled high, however, you want to pat it on but let it remain a crumbly top).

Place both on a cookie sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Whole BBQ'd Snapper

Summer = BBQ; no other factors are necessary. However, this specific formula is as follows: 2S+2Hh+2L+2B=Perfect Snapper!

2 lbs Snapper (or any fish, any size), head removed, gutted... I DEF have my fish dude do this for me!
2 handfuls of herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage... go to your garden and snip away)
2 lemons
2 TBSP butter, room temp

Arrange half your herbs on the bottom of a sheet of tin foil that is big enough to just wrap up your fish. Cut up one lemon and put half of the slices on top of the herbs. Lay your fish on top, put the other half of the lemon inside the fish with the other half of your herbs and half your butter. Put the other TBSP of butter on top of him and bbq him on medium heat for 20 mins!

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Tartelettes

I've gotten big into baking and I LOVE anything mini. So, when I heard about these savory tartelettes (mini tarts), I was sooo amped! I am def going to do more of these savory tartelettes in the future. I am just going to do the tartelette recipe here, but I paired them with a whole bbq'd snapper stuffed w herbs a plenty and also a simple salad with watercress and arugula from the garden. It was a phenomenal summer dinner. Also, I was able to freeze a few of the tartelettes and I will most certainly enjoy those another day!

6 small beets or 4 large (as many colors as you can find out there... at least golden and red)
4 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP sherry
2 TBSP thyme

2 1/2 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 sticks butter, cold and chopped finely
Ice water if needed (up to 1/2 C)

8 oz goat cheese (one large log)
1 C + 1 TBSP ricotta
2 eggs
2 TBSP chopped mixed herbs

I did this in steps. The night before I roasted the beets and prepared the crust. To do so, preheat oven to 425 degrees, wrap each beet in tin foil individually and bake until soft (40- 55 minutes). Let cool overnight at room temp.

To prepare the pastry, combine all ingredients other than the water in your food processor and process until a crumbly dough forms. Add enough water to make a cohesive dough. Add the water VERY slowly... 1 TBSP at a time. You do not want a sticky dough. Divide the dough into 10 pieces and wrap them in saran (you can wrap them all together... they will pull apart neatly when you want to use them) and put in fridge until ready to go.

The next morning (the day you're going to eat these delicacies), peel, slice and marinate the beets (I kept the colors separate and just divided the marinade amongst them) in the thyme, olive oil and vinegar. You can also make the filling by mixing ingredients from part C together. Cover this and refrigerate.

When you're ready to eat, roll out each dough and put it in your mini tart tins (mine were 4" each... 10 total). Polk the bottoms with a fork and put back in fridge. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After the dough in the tart pans has set in the fridge for 10 minutes, bake them (no filling) for 10 minutes. Remove from oven (I put mine all on a cookie tray) and let them rest for 2 minutes. After the short rest, fill with the filling and top with beets (I did four slices of beets per tartelette). Bake for another 30 mins.

Congrats - these are perf!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blueberry Crumble Pie with Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

My dad loves chocolate and blueberries, so I went with blueberries cause it's the summer and they're all about (and inexpensive... not that I wouldn't splurge for father dearest or anything like that :-) Anyways, this pie came out really well and the cardamom worked incredibly well (my dad even guessed that it was cardamom!!... I guess I get my skillz from somewhere!) Now, buying a pre-made pie crust is toootally not my style at all, but I helped a friend move into her new house all weekend, so I was really crunched for time.

1 C flour
1/2 C packed light brown sugar
1 stick cold butter, cut into small pieces

4 C blueberries
1/2 lemon, squeezed lightly
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C flour

Pre-made 9" frozen pie crust

1/2 C sugar
2 TBSP water
2 C milk
1 C heavy cream
5 egg yolks
Pinch of salt

You want to prepare the ice cream the night before. To do so, combine the sugar and water (from C) in a pan and dissolve the sugar with the water. Once dissolved, continue to cook until it becomes a dark brown. Once that has happened, add the milk (yes, it will bubbly like woah!) and continue whisking until it has dissolved into the sugar. Add the cream and turn off the heat. Whip the egg yolks with the salt until the yolks turn fluffy and pale. Whisk the warm mixture into the egg mixture and then return everything to the eat. Continue whisking over the heat until you have a creme anglaise texture (until it coats the back of a spoon). Turn off the heat and let sit at room temperature for a couple of hours until the mixture becomes room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, run it through your ice cream maker and then hard-freeze for a couple of hours.

For the pie:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine A in a bowl and use your fingers to crumble the butter in until it becomes pea-sized, set aside. Combine B in another bowl and pour the contents into the pie crust. Top with A and bake for 45 minutes!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Flounder over Arugula with a Mushroom, Caper and White Wine Sauce

Once you commute home from work, go to the gym, get home and cook, it can be 8:30 already! And the last thing I want to do at 8:30 after the gym is eat a heavy meal. I made this last night and it was a nice, quick and healthy late-night meal. I added tons of flavor by going to my garden and picking some fresh herbals! I served the fish with either pasta or arugula. I did pasta for my mom and mike and I did arugula for myself. I always say it's nice when people have options and can create for themselves!

1 1/2 lbs flounder
2 C thinly sliced crimini shroomies
3 TBSP capers
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely minced
Fresh herbs to your liking: basil, parsley, oregano and thyme
1 C white wine
1 C Italian-style panko bread crumbs
2 TBSP margarine

Wash, dry and dip the fish in an egg wash. Bread the fish fillets and fry quickly using a little bit of olive oil or Pam. Remove from pan, add some more Pam and add the onions, garlic, margarine, mushrooms, capers and herbs and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Once the pan has started to get dry and a bit sticky, deglaze with the wine and let the sauce thicken for about 5 minutes. Add the fish back on top and spoon the mushroom mixture on top. Let people choose from either arugula or pasta and serve themselves straight from the pan.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fish n Chips

'Allo matey! Just kidding - that's so obnoxious. I grew up eating fish and chips as me mums is a true Brit! I love all the contrast in a platter of fish and chips, but the simplicity is what makes it so desirable and such an easy thing to have time after time after time. I think this dish really gives your mouth a good workout; you have the light and crunch batter with the moist and flaky fish and then you have the sharp vinegar paired with the smooth tartar. It's bloody brilliant if you ask me!

2 lbs cod or haddock, cut into 2X3" pieces
1 lb red potatoes, peeled and cut into long and fat strips (for the chips)
~2 quarts canola oil
Tartar sauce
Sarson's malt vinegar

1 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
~ 1/2 bottle of beer

I do this the way my mom does it - not very exact. You don't have to! Peel and cut your potatoes ahead of time so they are ready. Heat the oil (in a 6 quart pot) over high heat. When you can dip a fry in the oil and it immediately starts to sizzle and form small bubbles around it, you know the oil is ready! I'm sure it's probably like 350 degrees F or something like that.

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and beer together until you have a thick batter (add the beer slowly) and put aside. Fry the potatoes until they are brown to your liking (about 5 - 10 mins) and remove with your spider and put on a plate lined with paper towels. Next, dip the fish in the batter and fry until golden brown! Serve with malt vinegar and tartar sauce!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Peach and Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

As I've mentioned before, I like things! I like lots of things in salads especially or else I get bored. Somehow the peach and the blue cheese is a match made in heaven... and one that I wasn't expecting at all. Sometimes in the summer it is just too damn hot to cook anything, but that doesn't mean that you don't want any flavor in your life! Try these perfect summer flavors and you will not miss out.

1 lb spinach
4 peaches, cut into slices
1/2 red onion, sliced paper thin
1/2 C rough chopped pecans
4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled

1/2 C crumbled blue cheese
1/4 C low fat buttermilk
1/4 fat free sour cream
1/4 tsp sugar

Chop your veggies and toss/arrange however you like. Serve the dressing on the side so people can custom-make their own salads.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Soft Pretzels

Alton Brown really does things right. I'll have to say that I was in no way, shape or form expecting home-made soft pretzels to be so damn delicious! Make some of these and serve with brats, kraut and a beer!

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Very Berry Pie

Nothing says summer like berries! Honestly, is there anything better than berries? Fine, maybe there is: pies! Combine the two and holy crap have you got yourself a fun night or what?! My sister Weener and I just discovered that you can make really fun pies by rolling out the top crust and using a cookie cutter to make random shapes. Then you just overlap all the shapes on the top of the pie! Also, Whole Foods has really fun sugars ... one of them is this pink raspberry sugar that you can sprinkle on the top instead of white sugar.

2 1/2 C flour
1 tsp salt
2 TBSP sugar
1 C butter, cold, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/4 C ice water (more if you need)

2 lbs fresh berries (1 small container each of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries and then half a package of strawberries, quartered)
4 TBSP corn starch
3/4 C sugar
1 tsp lemon juice


In your food processor, combine all ingredients (except for water) in your food processor and pulse until a dough starts to form. Add the ice water in a steady stream until a nice dough forms. Divide this into two parts, cover w saran wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

After the dough is done setting in the fridge, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Roll out one part of the dough until it is 1 inch bigger all around than your pie pan. Transfer the dough to your pie pan and remove any excess dough.

Sprinkle 3 TBSP of the sugar on the bottom of the pie crust. Toss the remaining sugar with the fruit, cornstarch and lemon juice. Pour the berry mixture into the pie pan. Roll out the second piece of dough and cut out fun shapes with cookie cutters. Place the shapes on top of the berries to form the top piece of your crust. Brush the top of the crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 35 minutes, then cover the crust with a pie crust shield (or tin foil!) and bake for another 10 minutes.

Grilled Garlic-Chili Veggies with Chunky Walnut Dressing

I am sure I ranted and raved about grilling veggies last summer, but it's summer again so I shall rant and rave again: ranting and raving! I have added two new twists this summer that makes the veggies even more scrumptious! I brush them with some olive oil that is infused with garlic, chili, anchovy and thyme. And the tangy nuttiness of this dressing pairs beautifully w the earthy and charred flavors of the veggies! It also works it's magic doubly well on sweet grilled onions!

4 portabella shrooms
1 bunch scallions
1 bunch asparagus
1 eggplant, sliced thinly lengthwise
2 zucchinis, sliced thinly lengthwise

1/2 C olive oil
3-5 cloves garlic
1 TBSP red pepper flakes
2 anchovy fillets

1/4 C olive oil
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp thyme
1 C toasted walnuts

Alrighty, you want to get your grill goin. Make the dressing first by combining the ingredients in your food processor and chopping them w the pulse setting about 5 times until a nice and chunky dressing forms.

Then you want to puree ingredients from A together in your food processor. Take the rub + your veggies out to your grill. Lightly brush one side of the veggies w the rub and then slap it on the grill. Brush the other side. Turn your veggies over after about 4 minutes on a medium grill.

Serve with the walnut dressing and anything else you're grilling!