Sunday, December 03, 2006

Surf and Turf, MTH Style

MTH decided he wanted to eat in last night so he stopped at Whole Foods on his way home. At first, he wanted some grilled fish. Then, he remembered that we'd had sushi on Friday so he changed his mind. Then, he chose a ribeye and some shrimp. He also picked up some cheese, bread, potatoes, broccolini and green peppers. I had some dry rub that we'd made a while back for some other recipe. It had some cinnamon, chile pepper and other flavors I don't remember. We decided it would probably be good on steak. We also added some fresh cracked pepper and roasted red pepper flakes. While he was making the steak, I steamed the broccolini and then sauteed it in olive oil with garlic. The potatoes were from the freezer. They were flavored with rosemary, sea salt and olive oil. We only needed to pop them in the oven for a little while. MTH roasted the green pepper to go with the steak. So, finally our meal was grilled steak with grilled shrimp and blackened pepper, rosemary, sea salt and olive oil potatoes and garlic infused broccolini.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sweet Potato Bread (About an hour)

Remember how I said I figured out something to do with those sweet potatoes that didn't quite become a souffle? On Sunday, I decided to see if I could turn it into sweet potato bread (kind of like banana bread). I found a recipe on for sweet potato bread that used mashed cooked sweet potatoes. I decided to use that as my basis. Here's the recipe:

1 1/6 cups sugar
1/3 cups evaporated milk (it called for water but I happened to have some evaporated milk left over from the pumpkin pie)
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine sugar, water, oil, eggs, and sweet potatoes and mix thoroughly. Add dry ingredients and mix to combine. Add pecans and mix well. Pour into a liberally greased loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes. Cool in pan to room temperature.

* Adapted from:
Sweet Potato Bread with Pecans
Recipe courtesy Bill Kelly
Show: Sara's Secrets
Episode: Sara's Thanksgiving Secrets

MTH even liked it. He asked for me to cut a slice for him to take to work! Since TV was the reason we had these mashed sweet potatoes, I made another one tonight that I'm going to drop by her house in the morning.

If you want to try this recipe, I'm fairly certain you could try other types of vegetables like pumpkin or grated zucchini. It's a great way to clean out the refrigerator.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving Dinner

This year, MTH and I were on vacation for a week until Thanksgiving Day. Therefore, when we returned on Thursday, we didn't have any fresh food in our house. It was interesting trying to find a place that would be open. We ended up at Murphy's, A Grand Irish Pub. There was a roaring fire and not much cigarette smoke. I ordered the Irish stew and MTH ordered the surf and turf (not very Irish :). The Irish stew was very good. I was impressed with the taste. Unfortunately, their bread is from the freezer so the meal was not the best that it could have been.

On Friday, we did our Thanksgiving Dinner. We had TV, QY and QY's husband over. The menu was as follows:

Wensleydale Cheese with Cranberries and St. Felicien for starters
Grilled Marinated Turkey Tenderloin
White Sweet Potatoes
Sherried Green Beans and Mushrooms
French Bread
Homemade Pumpkin Pie

So, it wasn't totally traditional but it was still very good. Here are the details:

Grilled Marinated Turkey Tenderloin
turkey tenderloin
olive oil
white wine vinegar
spicy mustard
salt and pepper
Mix the olive oil, white wine vinegar and spicy mustard to taste. Put the turkey tenderloin and marinade into a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour but no more than 6 hours. Turn the grill on high to heat it up. Take the turkey out of the marinade and salt and pepper each piece. Cook on high for 9 1/2 minutes on each side. Test the largest piece to make sure it's done.
My Mom made this with my sister the day before and gave me the idea for how to do it. I have a feeling that ours turned out differently since we have somewhat different ingredients.

White Sweet Potatoes
Bake the sweet potatoes on 400 degrees Fahrenheit until they are soft. We actually tried to make a sweet potato souffle but it didn't turn out. I'll have another post later that tells you about what I tried to do with the sweet potatoes instead.

Sherried Green Beans and Mushrooms
fresh green beans, cleaned and snapped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
assorted mushrooms, cleaned and chopped but left in large pieces
3 tablespoons cream sherry
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the garlic and mushrooms. At the same time, microwave the green beans in order to start the steaming process. Once the mushrooms soak up the olive oil, add the sherry. Let the mushrooms simmer for a few minutes. Then add the green beans and let them steam on top until they are done to your liking. Serve with some slivered almonds on top.

French Bread
Although I've been known to make many different types of breads, the directions for this one is to go to the bread section of the grocery store and buy a French baguette.

Pumpkin Pie
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
5 to 6 tablespoons cold water
1 can of pumpkin pie mix (follow the directions on the can)
Mix the flour and salt together. Cut in the shortening until it resembles peas. Add 2 tablespoons of water in the center of the bowl and gently mix to start to create a ball of dough. Add 2 more tablespoons of water and make a larger ball of dough. Add 1-2 more tablespoons in order to form the rest of the dough. Place the dough on a piece of waxed paper. Wrap the dough in the paper and then in plastic wrap. Put into the refrigerator for at least one hour to let it rest. Now, just follow the directions on the can to finish up a wonderful pumpkin pie.

Let me know what you did for Thanksgiving. Any old traditions that you'd like to share? Any new ones that you started this year that you expect to continue?

Hot Pepper Grilled Cheese (Less than 10 minutes)

MTH was hungry after his 5 mile run so I needed to make something quick (plus, I've got lots to do - Christmas cards, finish decorating, go to the grocery store for the week, etc). So, I decided to make grilled cheese sandwiches. You're probably asking yourself why am I putting this one on my recipe blog. Well, it may be a simple recipe but it turned out to taste really good.
Here's what you need:
French bread, halved lengthwise
red pepper flakes
extra sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
non-stick frying pan
cake pan or plate that fits inside the frying pan
heavy pan

Here's what you do:
Melt a little butter into the non-stick pan on high. Sprinkle in red pepper flakes to your taste. Let them toast for about 30 seconds or so. Then, toast the French bread cut-side down. Put the cake pan or plate on top of the bread and then weight it down with the heavy pan. Toast for about 30 seconds. Take out the toasted bread and turn down the heat to low. Place the sliced cheese onto the bottom piece of the toasted bread. Top with the other slice. Place back into the non-stick pan. Put the plate or cake pan on top and weight down with the heavy pan. Toast for 30 seconds to a minute. Turn it over and toast again for another 30 seconds to a minute. You now have a spicy grilled cheese sandwich. Everyone will ask for seconds so be prepared!