Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries

Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries
Asparagus are a family favorite.  I am always looking for new ways to prepare this delicious vegetable. The other day, I saw on my Facebook page a recipe for Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries.  They looked delicious and sounded delicious.  The picture was mouth watering.

I ran out to the store and picked out a fresh pound of asparagus and began making this veggie dish.  They are really very simple to make.   You begin by trimming the asparagus.  You then dredge the asparagus spears in flour, dip them in eggs, and then into some Panko breadcrumbs that have Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.  You place the asparagus on a wire rack placed in a baking sheet and bake  about 7-13 minutes in a 425 F degree oven.

The result:  Wonderful asparagus spears that are tender, crunchy, and extremely flavorful.  The family loved these.  Another  great asparagus recipe to be made again and again.

Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries
From a Facebook Post

1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Dredge the asparagus in the flour, dip them in the egg and then into a mixture of the Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt and pepper.
2. Place the asparagus on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425F degree oven until golden brown, about 7-13 minutes.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekend Brisket

Weekend Brisket
My family loves a good brisket.  They are so easy to prepare and the taste is delicious.  If there are any leftovers you can use them for tacos, sandwiches, etc.   Usually, I marinate my brisket over night.  However, I ran across this tasty recipe in Southern Living magazine that requires no overnight marinating.  The brisket is just as tender with the "rub" you put on an hour before cooking the brisket.
Another plus of this recipe is a delicious horseradish cream sauce that is served with the brisket.  Usually I just serve brisket with BBQ sauce but the family really enjoyed the horseradish sauce.  It was slightly spicy but not overwhelming and had a nice creamy texture.

As I said earlier, a nice "rub" is put on the brisket before cooking.  The "rub" consists of garlic, salt, pepper, molasses, yellow mustard, and ground red pepper.  You place the rub on the brisket and let it rest for 1 hour.  The brisket is then placed in a Dutch oven, smothered in onions, garlic, and beef broth.  Cook at 250 degrees F for about 4-5 hours.   Slice the brisket and serve with the Horseradish Cream Sauce.

Your family, friends, are in for a real treat.  This is a tasty main dish that is easy to prepare and requires little preparation time.    It is also great for feeding a crowd and having delicious left overs.   Enjoy:)

Weekend Brisket
From Southern Living Magazine


2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons light molasses, honey, or sorghum
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (4- to 5-lb.) brisket flat, trimmed
1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup beef broth
Horseradish Cream - recipe follows

1. Stir together first 6 ingredients in a small bowl to form a paste. Rub on brisket, and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 250°. Cook onion in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until tender. Add 6 garlic cloves, and sauté 30 seconds. Remove from heat, and add beef broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Place brisket in Dutch oven, fat side up. Spoon onion mixture over brisket.
3. Bake, covered, at 250° for 4 to 5 hours or until fork-tender. Let stand 30 minutes. Thinly slice brisket across the grain. Serve with Horseradish Cream.

Horseradish Cream


1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pickled jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced (optional)
Salt to taste


Stir together sour cream, horseradish, minced garlic, and, if desired, pickled jalapeño pepper in a small bowl. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate up to 1 week.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Quiche Maraichere

Quiche Maraichere
Today our assignment in French Friday's With Dorie  was quiche.   I love quiche.  This quiche is different than what I am used to.  My experience with quiche has been more custard than veggies, meat,  and cheese.  This quiche is the opposite -  much more veggies than custard.  The cheese is a scant 2/3 cup.  I am used to putting at least a cup and a half - I love my cheese.

Veggies in Crust

As I mentioned earlier - this quiche is loaded with veggies - leeks, carrots,  a red bell pepper,
and celery.  The veggies are cooked in some butter before they are put in a partially baked tart shell.  The custard is made with an egg, egg yolk, and cream.  The custard  is poured over the vegetable mixture.  Bake the quiche for   about 20 minutes than sprinkle the cheese on top.  Bake for about another 5 to ten minutes.  Cool till the quiche is warm and serve.

Custard Poured Over Veggies

I enjoyed this quiche.  The family was not impressed.  Oh well, I will be enjoying this for my lunch during the week.

This recipe can be found on page 158 in "Around My French Table."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pan-Roasted Chicken With Lemon Garlic-Green Beans

Pan-Roasted Chicken With Lemon Garlic-Green Beans

I love one dish dinners.  You get your veggies and meat or poultry in one dish preparation.    The flavors of the veggies and meat/ poultry blend together nicely when prepared in the same dish.    The clean up is minimal which is another plus.

For today's post, I made a delicious Lemon Garlic chicken with green beans and potatoes.  The green beans are placed on a bed of lemon slices after they have been tossed with some Olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.  The quartered potatoes are tossed in the same dressing and placed along the sides of the baking dish.  The chicken is then coated with the same dressing and placed on top of he green beans.  Any olive-oil mixture that is left is poured over the chicken.

As this dish is baking the aroma is wonderful.  Lemon and garlic permeate the house.  This dish tastes as good as it smells.  I could not believe the wonderful flavor the chicken, potatoes and green beans had.  Especially the green beans - they were fantastic.   This dish cooks up in about 1 hours with preparation time about 15 minutes.  It is perfect for those nights when you need something easy and quick to throw together for dinner.

Pan-Roasted Chicken With Lemon-Garlic Green Beans
From Real Simple

6  tablespoons  olive oil
2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1  teaspoon  kosher salt
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
3/4  pound  trimmed green beans
8 small red potatoes, quartered
4 chicken breasts (bones left in, with skin, about 3 1/4 pounds)

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.

2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; add the green beans and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the green beans and arrange them on top of the lemon slices. Add the potatoes to the same olive-oil mixture and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, arrange the potatoes along the inside edge of the dish or skillet on top of the green beans. Place the chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken, skin-side up, in the dish or skillet. Pour any of the remaining olive-oil mixture over the chicken.

3. Roast for 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the dish or skillet. Place the beans and potatoes back in oven for 10 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender. Place a chicken breast on each of 4 serving plates; divide the green beans and potatoes equally. Serve warm.

Serves 4

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Vegetable Barley Soup With The Taste of Little India

Vegetable Barley Soup With The Taste of Little India
Our assignment for "French Fridays With Dorie" was making the delicious Vegetable Barley Soup With The Taste of Little India.  I am glad I finally got around to making this soup.  It was simply and delicious.  I was also introduced to the wonderful flavor of Garam Masala.  A blend of cardamom, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, and other somewhat sweet spices.

Carrots, onions, a parsnip, garlic and fresh ginger are cooked in some olive oil.  They are then sprinkled with salt, pepper, turmeric, Garam masala, and red pepper flakes.  Cook for about 15 minutes and then add some broth.  You bring the soup to a boil and add some barley.  The soup is simmered until the barley is cooked.  Taste the soup and re season if necessary.

I made this soup for dinner and it was enjoyed by everyone.  The barley and the veggies soaked up the flavoring of the spices and they were delicious.  I will definitely be making this soup again.

This recipe can be found on page 89 in "Around My French Table."

Monday, March 31, 2014

Strawberry Milk

Strawberry Milk
When I was a kid, I used to love all different flavors of milk - vanilla, banana, strawberry, and of course chocolate.   I used some type of powder to flavor my milk in those days.  Fast forward a few years - today I made some Strawberry milk using fresh strawberries.  I found this recipe in "Southern Living" magazine.   I modified the recipe a bit.  Instead of using whole milk, I used some Vanilla Soy Milk.  Being that the soy milk had vanilla flavoring, I omitted the vanilla extract.  Wow -what a difference the fresh strawberries  made to this delicious and refreshing beverage.  The kids even tasted the difference and loved it.

This beverage is easy and quick to make.  In fact, you can make it ahead of time and let it chill in the fridge.  Start by hulling one quart of fresh strawberries and pureeing them in a blender with some sugar.  The recipe calls for  3-4 tablespoons sugar.  I started with 2 tablespoons, tasted, and added a little more.  Sweeten to your taste.  Strain the puree until all you have left is pulp.  Add just a pinch of salt to the strawberries and stir.  Add the strawberries to 4 cups of vanilla soy milk.  Stir and chill for one hour before serving.    Pour in glasses and serve.

The result is MMMM delicious:)

Strawberry Milk
Adapted From Southern Living Magazine


1 - quart fresh strawberries hulled
3-4 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
4 cups Vanilla Soy Milk

1. Process the strawberries in a blender with sugar.  Scrape down the sides if needed. Process the strawberries in batches, if needed.
2. Press the strawberries through a wire-mesh strainer  with the back of a spoon into a medium bowl.      Discard the pulp.

3. Stir in a pinch of salt into the strawberries.  Taste and add more sugar if needed.   In a pitcher add the 4 cups Vanilla Soy Milk.
4. Stir the strawberries into the soy milk.  Chill for 1 hour before serving.
5. Pour into glasses and serve.

Make 6 cups

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cream of Chicken Soup

Cream of Chicken Soup
Soup makes the meal.  That expression has been with me throughout my cooking lifetime.  I guess it is the comforting aspect of soup that resonates with me.  So tonight I made some Cream of Chicken Soup for dinner.  Soup is one of my favorites to make for a satisfying meal.  Just serve with some bread, salad, or a sandwich and you're set.  Best of all soup is easy, delicious, and budget friendly.

This soup has lots, of shredded chicken, carrots, potatoes, spices, and some heavy cream that make it rich and hearty.    To give this soup an extra  boast, I used some dry sherry.  The ingredients are cooked over the stove top for about 40 minutes.  The aroma is wonderful as the soup  simmers on the stove.  With about 10 minutes left in cooking, I add the cream, chicken and warm through.  I re season the soup if necessary then serve.  I sprinkled the portions with  some fresh chives from the garden.

Cream of Chicken Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry sherry
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup carrots sliced
3 cups diced potatoes
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups shredded chicken cooked
1/2 cup heavy cream
Snipped fresh chives

1.  In a Dutch oven melt butter over medium heat.  Add onions and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.  Cook until onions are just tender.
2. Sprinkle flour over the onions and cook for 1 minute.  Add sherry and cook until it evaporates.
3. Whisk in the both until it is incorporated.  Stir in the carrots, potatoes,  bay leaf, salt, pepper, and dried thyme.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Add the chicken and cream and simmer for 10 more minutes.
5. Remove from heat.  Remove bay leaf and serve with some snipped fresh chives.

Makes 6 servings