Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lemon Thyme and Oregano Wings

A different twist on fried can do these in the oven or grill them!

3 pounds chicken wing sections
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbl mayo
4 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbl fresh lemon thyme or regular thyme leaves, minced
2 Tbl fresh oregano leaves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients except the wings in a mixing bowl.  Add the wings and toss to coat thoroughly.  Place the wings with the marinade in a large zip lock freezer bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

When ready to cook pre  heat your oven to 400F.  Place the wings on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, turning them about halfway through the cooking time.  Turn the oven on to broil and run the wings under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up.  Alternatively, grill them over medium heat, turning frequently until they are browned up a bit and cooked through.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sweet Corn, Tomato and Zucchini Salad

Armed with a couple of ears of corn, a few grape tomatoes and a lone zucchini, I decided to dress this little salad with honey, lime and mint.  Totally refreshing!

Serves 2 to 3

1 small zucchini
1 tsp salt
2 ears raw corn
1  1/2 cups grape tomatoes
2 Tbl honey
1 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbl fresh lime juice
2 large mint leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Trim the ends of the zucchini and dice into 1/4 inch pieces.  Toss with the teaspoon of salt and then place the mixture in a colander to drain for about 45 minutes.  After that time, rinse thoroughly and drain well.
Slice the kernels of the ears of corn.  I like to do this in a large mixing bowl to avoid the kernels flying all over.
Slice the grape tomatoes in half and then combine them with the zucchini and corn.
In a small bowl, whisk the oil, honey and lime juice together and then pour over the salad and toss.
Slice the mint leaves thinly, stir into the salad and then season with salt and pepper.  Chill before serving.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Dream Cruise Sliders

Less than 2 months til the Woodward Dream Cruise!  Make these little Slim Jim like sliders as you cruise or gaze!

Makes 12 sliders

1/2 cup roughly chopped onion
3/4 cup roughly chopped Kosher dill pickles
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbl ketchup
3 Tbl prepared horseradish
12 thin slices smoked deli ham
6 thin slices deli Swiss cheese
12 slider buns or small dinner rolls
12 thin slices tomato (about the same size in diameter as the buns)
Shredded romaine lettuce

In a mini food processor, process the onion and pickle until a little chunky but slushy.  Combine this mixture in a smallish mixing bowl with the mayo, ketchup and horseradish. Refrigerate a couple of hours before assembling your sliders.
For each slider, spread the cut sides of the bun with the sauce.  Lay some of the shredded lettuce over the bottom and then fold a slice of ham to fit over.  Add a half slice of the cheese over the ham, cutting to fit, and top with a tomato slice.  Place the top half of the bun over.  Repeat for the rest of the sliders.  Wrap them in paper, toss into the cooler and be on your merry way!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Creamy Avocado and Crab Pasta

A great pasta for a warm day, this one can be prepped ahead of time...just the pasta needs cooking just prior to serving.

Makes 4 servings

1 small tomato
1/4 cup softened cream cheese
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
8 large basil leaves, torn
1 medium avocado
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
A few tablespoons of water on the ready
8 ounces fresh pasteurized blue crab meat (lump or back fin)
12 ounces dry spaghetti or linguine
4 single teaspoons white truffle oil or extra virgin olive oil
S&P to taste

Slice the tomato in half and then remove the seeds and pulp.  Lay each half, cut side down, on paper toweling to drain a bit and then dice finely.
In a blender or mini food processor, process the cream cheese, garlic, parsley and basil to get everything started.
Add the avocado meat, lemon juice and salt and continue to process until smooth.You may need to add some water at this point.  Place the mixture in a bowl and gently stir in the crab meat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap with the wrap actually laying on the mixture.  At this point you can refrigerate until ready to eat...just bring it back to room temperature first.
Cook the pasta per package instructions, drain and place in a large bowl. (Save a little of the pasta water for loosening up the sauce if need be).
Fold in the avocado-crab mixture until the pasta is thoroughly coated.  taste and adjust for seasoning.
Divide the pasta among 4 bowls or serving plates.  Drizzle each with the teaspoon of truffle or olive oil and garnish with the finely diced tomato.Enjoy!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Basil Scented Spinach and Couscous

This is the side we had last night with Greek grilled lamb chops...I think if you add some cheese like feta, it would make a lovely lunch.

Makes 3 to 4 side servings

1 Tbl olive oil
1 medium leek (white and pale green part) diced
1 clove minced garlic
1 cup Israeli (pearl) couscous
1  1/2 cups chicken broth (plus more if needed)
1 medium tomato, seeded and cut into a small dice
2 to 3 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves thinly sliced
S & P to taste

Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan and add the leek and garlic.  saute gently until the vegetables soften and become fragrant.
Add the couscous and the chicken broth, bring up to a boil and then down to a gentle simmer.  Cover and let simmer 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in the diced tomato and spinach and while on the heat stir until the spinach wilts.  If you feel you need a little more broth, now is the time to add it.
Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Chimichurri and Potatoes

A little while back Food52 posted a recipe for a salt crusted potato appetizer with a cilantro mojo in their weekly Genius Recipes feature.  I was intrigued...the potatoes are simmered in an open pan in salty, salty water until the water evaporates and the potatoes have a light salted crust.  Serve them with the cilantro mojo as an appetizer or side.  Now I'm not a huge fan of cilantro (I will use a little now and then) but I do find chimichurri sauce addictive.

Here's the link to the original recipe:

And here's what I did:
Make a chimichurri sauce by combining 2 cups chopped parsley, 4 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, 2 to 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, a few crushed red pepper flakes and 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil in a mini food processor or blender and process until it looks like the photo above.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate to let the flavors mingle.
Place about 8 to 10 baby redskins or fingerlings in a large saute pan or skillet and season with 2 tablespoons of flaky salt. Cover the potatoes with water and vigorously boil them until the water has evaporated. Turn the potatoes around in the hot pan to coat with the salt.
Use the chimichurri as a dip for the potatoes.  Great warm or room temperature!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Ridiculously Easy Frozen Grapes and Yogurt

We keep grapes in the freezer all summer long for a simple and refreshing snack or dessert.  This time I dressed them up with a little sugar and set them on a sweet and tangy yogurt sauce elegant enough for company!

Serves 4 to 6

4 cups seedless grapes (your choice of colors)
3 Tbl granulated sugar
3/4 cup plain yogurt (preferably Greek)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sour cream

Rinse and drain the grapes leaving them moist.  Place them in a bowl and toss with the granulated sugar.  Transfer to a large freezer bag and freeze for at least 2 hours.
Combine the yogurt, brown sugar and sour cream in a bowl and then refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, spread some yogurt sauce on individual serving plates and top with as many frozen grapes as you like.  Or surround a bowl of the sauce with the grapes and let everyone have at it!

NOTE: Thanks to all for voting in the Food52 Your Best BBQ Contest.  I didn't win but was so flattered to be in the finals!