Monthly Archives: May 2011

Grilled Herbed And Spiced Beef Tenderloin Salad

Day 142: The BBQ Queens’ Big Book of Barbecue

May 22, 2011

Another grilling recipe! Yes, I have found the grilling section of my local library and boy are there a lot of choices here. This is going to be fun! We had a friend who bought a new smoker and I thought smoking the meat for this recipe would be a nice option. I have never prepared anything in a smoker, but boy and I hooked. I want to buy my husband a smoker for father’s Day, but he told me he doesn’t want one. Maybe we can just go to our friends house and use theirs!

I am so glad that I picked up this cookbook! There are so many recipes that I want to make in it. I narrowed it down to two and will share with you one of them. The other one I made was the Blueberry Tart on page 295. This is not only a BBQ cookbook, but it takes you though the whole meal, not just the main course. So much information in between the covers of this 450 page book. I don’t want to return it to the library….there are so many more things I want to make.  How about Chive Pesto….I always have a garden full of chives!

The Ruling: We made this for friends and we all loved it. My friend saved her meat until the end as she was saving the best for last. Using the smoker worked out great! We could see the smoke rings in the meat. One thing that we did that was different from the recipe was we put all of the marinade in a food processor and doubled it and let it sit for 5 hours…..yumm! We also used a pork tenderloin and not a beef tenderloin and it tasted just as good.

Grilled Herbed and Spiced Beef Tenderloin Salad, page 341

Ingredients:

Dressing:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 anchovy fillets, mashed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Tabasco sauce to taste
  • Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salad:

  • 2 large heads romaine lettuce
  • 4 large ripe beefsteak tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup salted sunflower seeds, CornNuts, or other salty nuts

Grilled Herbed and Spiced Beef Tenderloin:

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, mince
  • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds beef tenderloin, trimmed of any fat and silverskin
  • Handful of wood chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling

Directions:

  1. In a large, shallow glass dish, combine all the ingredients except the beef and wood chips.  Stir to blend, then add the meat and turn to coat thoroughly.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  2. Prepare a hot indirect fire in a grill.
  3. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry.  Grill over the hot fire, searing it by turning it a quarter turn at a time until well browned all over, about 12 minutes total.
  4. Place the meat on the indirect side of the grill and tent a heavy duty aluminum foil or cover with a disposable aluminum pan.  Add the wood chips to the fire.  Close the lid and roast smoke until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the beef registers 125 to 130 degrees F for medium-rare, 25 to 30 minutes.  Transfer to a platter and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
  5. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl.  Stir to blend and check the seasoning.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  (The dressing may be made the day ahead.)
  6. To make the salad, rinse and dry the lettuce and tear into bite-size pieces.  Toss with half the dressing.  Mound on a large platter and surround with the tomato wedges and diced avocado.  Sprinkle the bacon, onion, and sunflower seeds over the salad.  Arrange the sliced meat on top and serve, passing the remaining dressing at the table.
  7. To make the salad, rinse and dry the lettuce and tear into bite-size pieces.  Toss with half the dressing.  Mound on a large platter and surround with the tomato wedges and diced avocado.  Sprinkle the bacon, onion, and sunflower seeds over the salad.  Arrange the sliced meat on top and serve, passing the remaining dressing at the table.

 

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings! For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

 If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

Leave a comment

Filed under Grill, Main Dishes, Salads

Grilled Vegetables With Saffron Rice

Day 141: Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Cooking Made Light

May 21, 2011

I really have been on a grilling kick lately and I don’t anticipate it going away anytime soon. Winter was long and all I can hope for is for summer to last even longer…..since we didn’t get a spring. Have you ever tried grilling vegetables before? It takes the vegetable and takes it to the next level and adds several different layers of flavor. If you have never tried to grill vegetables, I challenge you to do so….you will thank me!

Sandra Lee is one of the Food Network starts whose philosophy is to use 70% store-bought ingredients and 30% fresh combine to make simple and delicious meals for your family. I always enjoy her cookbooks as they have wonderful photos and are pretty straight forward in both their ingredient list and instructions. This cookbook is filled with chapter after chapter of so many easy recipes. From breakfast smoothies to desserts and from vegetarian to salads and soups. Something to please everyone in your household.

The Ruling: Tasted great. But of course the fussy two didn’t eat any…..that is sad for them. Some day I know my boys will read my blog and regret all the great food that they passed by. But the trick to getting kids to eat food they don’t want to eat is to not nag them…..but to keep putting it in front of them and offering it to them. I am seeing hints of my middle child becoming a better eater as he will at least try new foods. He use to vomit at the sight of certain foods. Now he has tried sushi, salmon and shrimp….which is a huge step! I am keeping the faith!

Grilled Vegetable With Saffron Rice, page 196

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 packet (5-ounce) saffron –flavored rice
  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, woody ends removed
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 zucchini, cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon capers, drained
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted

 Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil over high heat.  Add rice; reduce heat to low.  Cover; simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is fluffy.
  2. Set up grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat.  Coat a grill pan with cooking spray.  Preheat pan.  Working in batches, place asparagus, peppers, and zucchini on pan and grill just until tender.  Use tongs to remove from heat.  Cut zucchini and asparagus into bite-size pieces.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together rice, grilled vegetables, and capers.  Top with toasted almonds.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings! For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fast Meals, Grill, Main Dishes, Vegetarian

Summer Panzanella

Day 140: Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers: Fresh Ideas for the Weeknight Table

May 20, 2011

Summer is here…..summer is here…..or so the calender tells me! I am choosing to believe that the sun is outside and it is shinning down on us and there is just a slight breeze. When summer is here I really do not like to heat up the oven for very long. Finding meals that can be made with barely turning on the oven is a way to keep the house cool. We look for those meals that don’t heat up the house during the summer.

Relying on fresh food is the premise of The Moosewood Restaurant. You will not find bottled sauces or mixes between the pages of this cookbook. Most of the recipes are fresh and fast and mostly vegetarian. If you are a vegan, there are recipes with eggs, cheese and fish, but for the vegetarian this will become a favorite cookbook.

The Ruling: We liked it….the youngest one ate the bread.  The middle one didn’t eat any of it….but the other 3 of us did like it. I can imagine making this in the prime of tomato season. I like to grow heirloom tomatoes that I find at my local greenhouse. I find such cool types of tomatoes to grow and I get excited dreaming of making this salad with those tomatoes. The recipe does not specify what kind of olives to use, I would use Greek olives the next time as we just used plain black olives.

Summer Panzanella, page 108

Ingredients:

  • ½ loaf of crusty French or Italian bread (about 8 ounces)
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 large ball of fresh mozzarella (about 5 ounces)
  • ½ red onion
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup pitted olives
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Versatile vinaigrette (page 222) (optional) (added below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the bread in half lengthwise and place in the oven until crisp, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients and place them in a serving bowl.  Cut the tomatoes and fresh mozzarella into ½ inch cubes (about 4 cups of tomatoes and 1 cup of mozzarella), peel and thinly slice the red onion, cut the basil leaves into thin strips and chop the olives.  Add the vinegar and oil to the bowl and toss well.
  3. Cut the toasted bread into 1 inch cubes (7 to 8 cups).  Add the bread cubes to the bowl and toss well.  Let the salad sit for at least      0 minutes before serving, to allow the bread to soak up some of the juices.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pass vinaigrette at the table if you like.

Versatile Vinaigrette, page 108

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup vinegar or lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil (extra-virgin is nice)

 Directions:

  1. Either whisk together all of the ingredients or whirl them in a blender for a few seconds.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings! For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

2 Comments

Filed under Fast Meals, Main Dishes

Peking Wraps

Day 139: The Soup Mix Gourmet

May 19, 2011

Seems like I am on an asian food kick lately. I try to find recipes that are pretty easy and not to complex to make. You could make a meal of the Asian Turkey Pot Stickers, the Beef Noodles in Thai Peanut Sauce and this recipe of Peking Wraps. Three different Asian flavors, but all good and fairly simple to make. I would start with the Wraps and get those made first, followed with the prep of the pot stickers and then followed up with the Beef Noodles and you will have better than Chinese take-out!

I received this cookbook from a friend who found it while doing some curbside shopping. (We have a clean up week in our community where everyone puts out their unwanted items and people come and look through it before the city comes and takes it to the dump. It is a way to prevent some things going into the landfill. It takes the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” to the limit.) The theme of the cookbook is to take soup mixes of every kind and use them as the seasoning of the dish. Canned soup, dried soup and ramen soup mixes are all part of the mix. You will find all variety of meals within the almost 500 pages of this cookbook.

The Ruling: I think the only drawback was that it was a little salty. I guess that is what you get when you use a ramen soup mix pack. One drawback is that you just use the soup pack for the recipe and not the noodles. I guess you could save the noodles for another recipe. But I thought why not use a bullion cube instead. I used a rotisserie chicken to make it even faster to prepare.

Peking Wraps, page 63

Ingredients:

  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • Flavor packet from 1 package oriental flavor ramen noodles (reserve noodles for another use)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Four to six 12-inch flour tortillas
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 cups finely shredded cooked chicken
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and dried thoroughly
  • ¼ cup grated carrot for garnish
  • 4 green onions, cut into fans, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, blend the cream cheese with the ramen flavor packet.  Blend in the soy sauce.
  2. Place a large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter and center a tortilla on it.  Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture over the tortilla.  Spread a small amount of the hoisin sauce over the cream cheese mixture, and then sprinkle on some chicken, green onions, and bean sprouts.  Roll up the tortilla tightly and seal it in the plastic wrap.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients.  Refrigerate the wraps for at least 4 hours.
  3. When ready to serve, cut the wraps into 1 inch thick rounds and serve them garnished with grated carrot and green onion fans.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings! For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

1 Comment

Filed under Appetizers, Fast Meals

Beef And Noodles In Thai Peanut Sauce

Day 138: Robin Miller Quick Mix Meals

May 18, 2011

Our family likes to make asian dishes and for the most part the kids will take off  their fussy pants for the night and try something new. My middle child even tried sushi, because he heard that girls like guys who eat sushi…..I am going to go with that if it encourages him to try new food.

Robin Miller is one of the Food Network up and coming food chef stars. She gives us tips on getting meals to the table fast using her tricks found in chapters called, “The Quick Fix Kitchen”, “In the Bag” or “Morph it”, to name a few. Robin has a few tricks up her sleeve besides just teaching you how to make a quick meal. For example, you can make a ham and then use it in a penne pasta salad, ham wraps and then mac and cheese with ham in it. Take the one meal and get 3 more meals….genius! Smart cookbook with loads of ideas for family meals.

The Ruling: We had a hard time trying to find the right kind of noodles for the recipe. We should have bought linguine noodles instead. I wasn’t home for the meal but my husband and kids thought it was ok. My husband would add more ginger to kick it up a notch.

Beef Noodles in Thai Peanut Sauce, page 88

Ingredients:

Thai Peanut Sauce:

  • 3 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

Pad Thai:

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 ¼ pounds lean beef steak (such as sirloin or flank), cut crosswise into ¼ inch thick strips
  • ¼ cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)

Directions:

  1. Cook the noodles according to the package directions.  Drain, transfer to a large bowl, and cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, whisk together the sauce ingredients until well blended and set the pan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Add the beef and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Add 1 cup of the peanut sauce and simmer until the beef is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the beef mixture to the noodles and toss to combine, then serve on individual plates topped with the peanuts and scallions.  The leftover peanut sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 4 days or in the freezer up to 3 months; thaw completely in the refrigerator or microwave for about 3 minutes on LOW before using.

 

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings! For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Fast Meals, Main Dishes, Pasta

Pear Clafoutis

Day 137: In Celebration of the Seasons

May 17, 2011

I do not know what a Clafoutis is but Wikipedia defines it as “a baked French dessert of black cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm.” Sounds good to me. We like flan in our house and we like desserts, so why not give it a try!

This cookbook is written by Victor-Antoine D’Avila-Latourrette who also wrote the cookbook Twelve Months of Monastery Soups. The author breaks the cookbook into the four seasons and then each season is broken into Soups and Appetizers, Main Dishes, Salads and Desserts. Not all simple dishes but all remind me of good comfort food. This cookbook does not appear to be in print through Amazon, but may be available from specialty book shops.

The Ruling: We liked it. It did have a flan quality to it that I liked. Very simple to prepare and  had most of the ingredients on hand. I used vanilla instead of the Cognac, which I think would make little difference.

Peal Clafoutis, page 99

Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe pears
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cognac (or vanilla if desired)
  • confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel and slice the pears.
  3. To prepare the batter, place the milk, eggs, sugar, and cognac in the blender and whirl them thoroughly at high-speed for a minute or two.
  4. Generously butter a square baking dish about 1 to 2 inches deep. Pour about one-fourth of the batter into the baking dish and place in the oven for about 2 minutes until the batter has set in the bottom of the dish. Remove from the oven and spread the sliced pears evenly over the surface of the batter. (At this point, if one wishes, one can sprinkle a bit of sugar over the fruit.) Pour the rest of the batter on top of the fruit, smoothing evenly. Place in the center of the oven and bake for about 40 minutes. The clafouti is done when the top puffs and turns brown, though still remaining custard-like. Remove from the oven, sprinkle some confectioners’ sugar on top and serve at the table while the clafouti is still warm.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

 

MS. Simplicity

 

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings! For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

 

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Sweets

Beef Medallions With Chorizo Baked Beans

Day 136: Robin To The Rescue: Quick and Simple Recipes for Delicious Home Cooking

May 16, 2011

You know by now that I am a fan of quick cooking meals. On week nights, there is nothing better than knowing that you can have a home cooked meal on the table within 30 minutes. Our lives seem to be getting so busy I need meals in seconds. But what I really need to do is to slow down a bit and catch our breath and gather around the family dinner table. Our family dinner table is there somewhere….under my pile of papers for all of my current projects I am working on.

Finding cookbooks that help me get those meals on the table in what seems like just a few minutes is nirvana. Robin Miller is among the collection of  Food Network celebrity chefs who have their own line of cookbooks. I like the fact that her recipes are full of fresh ingredients and doesn’t rely on processed food. I can find many that I want to make in this cookbook, from Pork Tenderloin with Raisin-Cognac Sauce to Meatballs with Root Beer BBQ Sauce.

The Ruling: Everyone loved them. We had to fight over the steaks as my husband bought 4 filets mignons and there are 5 of us. The Chorizo baked beans were really good as well….I didn’t put them away after dinner and my oldest son polished them all off! Looks like this one is going in the recipe rotation for our family. Please note that we did buy different chorizo after our last attempt with making something with chorizo.

Beef Medallions with Chorizo Baked Beans, page 177

Ingredients:

Chorizo Baked Beans:

  • Two 15 ounce cans red beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup diced chorizo or other cooked spicy sausage, such as andouille
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • One 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Steaks:

  • 4 filets mignons
  • Salt and cracked black peppercorns to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. To make the beans, in a medium saucepan, combine the beans, sausage, onion, tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, season both sides of the beef with salt and cracked pepper. Brush the Worcestershire over both sides of the beef. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium doneness. Serve the beef with the beans on the side.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings! For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

2 Comments

Filed under Fast Meals, Grill, Main Dishes