Friday, September 21, 2012

Yummy Recipes from Chef Jean

It’s been way to long since we’ve featured my longtime friend and cookbook author, Chef Jean Denham on Book Blather. Strangely, she was in my thoughts today when my email pinged and there she was! Guess our ESP was working. Just in time for the weekend, Jean came through with some fabulous recipes. Welcome back, Chef Jean.

Cantaloupe & Avocado Salad
A Cuisine at Home recipe - Makes 5 cups

1/4 cup lime juice
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cantaloupe, peeled and seeded
2 avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots

Whisk together lime juice, honey and oil for the dressing; season with salt and pepper. Cut cantaloupe half into 9 slices, then halve crosswise to make 18 wedges. Slice each avocado half into 3 wedges.
Assemble salads, dividing cantaloupe and avocado among 6 salad plates. Sprinkle shallots on each salad, then drizzle salads with dressing. Or, place cantaloupe and avocado on a platter, sprinkle with the shallots and drizzle all with the dressing.

Pork & Mushroom Stew

Almost time for lip-smacking wintry soup dinners and this is a scrumptious one to start the fall days with.

1 T. olive oil
1 T. unsalted butter
3/4 to 1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces, dried with paper towels, seasoned with salt & pepper
4 oz. crimini mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup sliced leeks or shallots
1/2 cup diced carrot (1 carrot)
2 T. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry sherry or white wine
3/4 cup apple cider or juice
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 T. minced fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh thyme sprigs for garnish

Heat oil and butter in a sauté pan over med-high heat. Add pork and sauté until brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove pork to a plate; set aside.

Sweat mushrooms, leeks, and carrot in same pan over medium heat until softened, 3 to 4 min. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute.

Deglaze the pan with sherry, scraping up any bits on bottom of pan, and reduce until evaporated. Stir in cider and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low. Add pork with residual juices and 1 T. thyme. Simmer stew until thickened, 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Serve over mashed potatoes, noodles or rice.

Toasted Quinoa with Chiles and Corn

Quinoa makes a wonderful side dish with any fish or meat – below it is served with tilapia

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
1 can fat-free -- (14-ounce) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup canned no salt-added whole-kernel corn – drained (I grilled one ear of corn for this)
1/3 cup jalapeño peppers -- chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
2 tablespoons lime juice

Add the quinoa to a 2-quart saucepan and place the pan over high heat. Swirl the quinoa in the pan to toast it evenly.

When the grains are fragrant and crackle (5 to 6 minutes), remove from heat. Add cumin, salt, and cocoa, then slowly add the broth (be careful; it might boil up). Put the pan over high heat, and then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook, covered with a tight fitting lid, for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Stir in the corn and jalapeño peppers; cover and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in scallions and lime juice. Serve warm.

Zucchini Fritters

2 medium zucchini, shredded
3 green onions, chopped
2 large eggs
salt and pepper
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 Tbs fresh basil, finely minced
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Mix together the grated zucchini, onion, eggs, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, cheese, and baking powder into a bowl. Stir to mix well. Add 6 tablespoons of flour and mix. Add the additional tablespoon of flour if mixture is still very wet.

Heat a large frying pan sprayed with olive oil spray over medium heat. Once hot, drop heaping tablespoons of the batter into the pan flattening each slightly wit the back of the spoon. Cook about 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove to a heated platter and continue to cook the remaining pancakes in the same manner.

Serve warm with yogurt sauce, or sauce of choice.

Yogurt Sauce:
6 ounce Container Fat Free Greek Yogurt
Salt & Pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Mix the yogurt with the salt, pepper, and herbs and let sit in the refrigerator 30 minutes before using.

Servings: 10

Shrimp and Potato Hash

2 teaspoons olive oil                
1 cup sliced onions                 
1 clove garlic, minced    
2 cups leftover cooked cubed potato
1/4 cup water
Pinch dried basil and oregano
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup cubed zucchini
6 oz. medium shrimp, cleaned & coarsely chop
Lemon wedge

Heat the oil in a medium skillet and sauté the onions and garlic 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the potato, water, seasoning and sauté another 6 minutes. Add the zucchini and shrimp and continue cooking another 4 minutes or until the shrimp are done and the zucchini are crisp tender. Squeeze lemon over each serving. Makes 2 servings.

Game Day Miniature Sandwiches

This sandwich recipe has been passed around to so many folks for a game day treat, the origins have been lost, but I do have on my dog-eared copy that someone's boyfriend's mother made these. So, I surely thank the boyfriend's mother!!

8 individual white dinner rolls, such as King's  Hawaiian
12 oz. sliced Swiss cheese                  
9 oz. thinly sliced honey ham            
4 oz. (1 cube) butter melted
2 tablespoons prepared mustard, spicy brown or Dijon
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Slice the rolls in half using a serrated knife, and arrange bottom halves of rolls in a large casserole dish or pan. Arrange a layer of cheese on top, followed by a layer of ham. Cover with the tops of the rolls.

In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, mustard, poppy seeds, and Worcestershire sauce until well combined. Drizzle the sauce evenly over the tops of the sandwiches, cover the pan with aluminum foil and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.

Bake in a 350° oven for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the sandwiches are warmed through. Slice between the rolls, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Grilled Skirt Steak Crostini

My friend, Rhonda Martinez, worked at a winery in Washington State and developed some wonderful recipes for tastings with the wines. She generously shares this with us.

1 lb. Skirt steak
Truffle oil, as needed
1 cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 roasted red peppers, depending on how large they are
Salt and pepper to taste
Baguette sliced in shy 1/2-inch slices
Olive oil
Chopped chives for garnish

Season the steak with salt and pepper and then grill it to the doneness you prefer. When the steak is done, allow it to rest for 5 minutes then slice at a diagonal across the grain. Place the pieces in a bowl and toss with truffle oil just enough to lightly coat the pieces – be sparing with the oil, a little goes a long way.

In a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, peppers and a little salt & pepper and process until smooth; taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Brush slices of bread with olive oil, place on a baking sheet and bake in a 350° F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. To serve, arrange toasted bread rounds on a serving platter, top with pepper mayonnaise and lay pieces of steak over. Garnish with chopped chives.

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