Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Weekend Breakfast

Spinach Florentine Sandwich with Bacon and Fried Egg

  • Publix Multi Grain Bread
  • Organic Eggs
  • No Nitrate Bacon
  • Fresh Spinach
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Salsa (optional)
  • Sour Cream (optional)
  1. Fry bacon, set aside
  2. Sautee spinach with sprig of rosemary, set aside
  3. Toast Bread
  4. Fry eggs
  5. Assemble sandwich and serve with sour cream and salsa if desired.
  6. Enjoy a power breakfast!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fried Catfish and Okra-and-Corn Maque Choux

I have been in a bit of a food rut as of late. Eating by my lonesome most nights means heating up a frozen burrito or mixing turkey slices with whatever I have on hand. Enter, Andy with a recipe of which we cannot pronounce!

Andy was flipping through Southern Living (ha!!) poolside post 4th decompression zone and came across the Okra Maque Choux recipe. This inspired a trip to YDFM where he picked up the following ingredients as well as 1 lb of skinned, boneless catfish filets and a package of Louisiana Fish Fry.

Okra Maque Choux Ingredients:

  • 1/4 pound spicy smoked sausage, diced (We used YDFM Hot Chicken Sausage and added a pad of butter to make up for the lack in fat)

· 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion

· 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

· garlic cloves, minced

· cups fresh corn kernels

· cup sliced fresh okra

· cup peeled, seeded, and diced tomato (1/2 lb.)

· cups Pink Lady Peas

· Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Fried Catfish Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Catfish Filets, skinned and de boned
  • 1 package, Louisiana Fish Fry
  • 2 cups Cold Milk
  • 2 cups of Vegetable Oil for frying

Get to chopping the ingredients for the Maque Choux.

Set up your frying station (fish, shallow bowl of milk, and half package of Fish Fry)

Brown your sausage, then add garlic, onions and peppers and let simmer for 5 minutes. Next, add the rest of your ingredients for the Maque Choux and let simmer under a covered pot for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bread and batter your fish as you fry. Andy Tip: Don't do this ahead of time, as it will leave your fish without its fry.

Get your oil nice and hot. Andy Tip: Test your oil with sprinkle of cold water. The oil should be angry when you test it, lots of bubbling within micro seconds of each other.

Fry your fish being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Set aside on a plate with paper towels.

I whipped up a last minute sauce, recipe follows:

  • 2 Tablespoons Duke Mayo
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Garlic

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cabbage rolls and tofu vegetable soup

So we got a big ol' head of Chinese cabbage in our CSA a few weeks ago and we had a good bit of pulled chicken left over from Lowcountry BBQ. Yorke decided to make some wraps with the cabbage and chicken and a sesame/soy sauce. I'm not sure if I'm 100% right on what went into everything...

We had a hot and sour soup with tofu and some of the cabbage, kale, onions, garlic, red pepper and lime juice.

She sauteed the chicken with onions, cabbage, carrots, sesame oil and cayenne. It retained some of the smoky bbq flavor the chicken already had, but it really gave it more of an Asian flavor with the sesame oil. We added some strips of basil as well.

The chef in action. The sauce was soy and sesame oil with toasted sesame seeds, cayanne and lime juice.

Finished product. Absolutely full of nom.

What went into the compost.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Meatless Monday ~ Summer Vegetable Lasagna

Last night, not wanting to go to the grocery store, I was forced to use what I had on hand in the kitchen.

Haves: Squash, Zuchini, Red Pepper, Spinach, Mozzarella, Bread Crumbs, Eggs, Marinara Sauce.

That turned into Veggie Lasagna wonderfulness. Meatless (and Minimal Carb) Monday.

Start by roasting your red pepper over an open flame until charred and placing in a brown bag.
Meanwhile, start slicing your veggies lengthwise about 1/2 inch thick.
Set up your batter station: 1 bowl - egg wash and 1 bowl - panko bread crumbs with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs.
Start frying!!!

Place veggies on paper towels to absorb excess grease.

Next, start layering. I used a cross hatched method (vertical for the first layer, horizontal for the second layer and so on).
Layer sauce, veggies, chopped spinach, more sauce, cheese, veggies, repeat.

For the very top layer, the roasted red pepper was sliced and placed on top in the center, covered with more sauce and cheese and fresh herbs.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and insides are bubbling.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Blackberry Jalapeno Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Corn

One of my favorite things to do to ease into my Saturday/Sunday morning is grab a big cup of coffee and park it in front of the TV to watch Food Network. This particular Sunday, Guy Fieri was whipping up an awesome looking pork dish. It having been exactly 12 hours since my last pork intake, I decided that this was for dinner tonight. I picked up the last Berkshire pork tenderloin from YDFM and headed back to prepare my feast.

The recipe called for brining. I am pretty sure this helped my pork to be extra juicy and delicious.

Recipe thanks to


  • 1/4 cup kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 3 cups water, warm
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin, silver skin removed
  • Blackberry Jalapeno Glaze, recipe follows
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


In a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag, dissolve 1/4 cup of salt in the warm water. Add the vinegar, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, ice cubes and the pork. Brine for exactly 20 minutes. The pork becomes mealy if it s brined longer.

Meanwhile, prepare the Blackberry Jalapeno Glaze.

Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry. Rub the pork with the olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat.

Add the pork tenderloin and cook for 6 minutes on each side, browning evenly and the internal temperature registers 135 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. At this point, evenly spread 1/4 cup of the glaze over the pork. Cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pork from heat to a cutting board and keep it warm tented with aluminum foil.

Slice the pork, arrange the slices on a serving platter and serve with remaining warm glaze.

Blackberry Jalapeno Glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 to 2 roasted jalapenos, seeded, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup seedless blackberry preserves
  • 1 cup wine, preferably Merlot
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Add the butter to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the jalapenos and garlic and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the blackberry preserves and wine and combine well. Simmer until reduced by half. Add the cornstarch to the red wine vinegar in a small bowl and mix well. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes more. Keep the glaze warm until serving.

Chicken on a Bun

This was a great substitution for the burger I was craving.
I marinated a bone-in chicken breast in Stubb's BBQ Sauce.
Threw on the grill for 2 minutes per side on the Searing side of the grill and then an additional 20 minutes on the Regular side of the grill.
I sliced zucchini, yellow squash, and red peppers lengthwise.
Brushed wit olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, and threw on the grill for the last 7 minutes the chicken breast was cooking.
Once grilling was complete, I brought everything inside.
I placed panko bread crumbs in a sauce pan over medium heat, added chopped garlic, and stirred until browned about 6 minutes.
I then stirred in fresh parsley and dried oregano and topped the vegetables with this mixture.
Removing the chicken breast from the bone and placed on a bun (broiled with cheddar) and topped with chopped spinach.
I had previously cooked off a package of Nitrate free bacon.
Bacon + More BBQ Sauce + Chicken + Cheese + Spinach + Wheat Bun = AMAZING Sandwich.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Low country boil and shrimpin' grits

Low country our first night at the beach and the S and G's made two nights later with the leftover shrimp and sausage. Low country was made with 3 different types of sausage, lotsa shrimp, yellow and white corn and a whole mess o' potatoes. Old bay and Zatarains were applied liberally before and after.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sufferin' Succotash

We had a nice cookout a couple weeks ago with some of Yorke's friends from Wofford. We started off with a mixed green salad with fennel and mandarin oranges with a home made vinaigrette dressing which we forgot to take pictures of. The main course was grassfed burgers with sharp cheddar and a succotash made with with corn, lima beans, red potatoes, tomatoes, leeks and grilled squash and zucchini. I seasoned the ground beef before I formed the burgers with paprika, salt, pepper and a little cayenne.

Camera 1

Camera 2

Silver platter burgers

Friday, April 9, 2010

Chicken n' Dumplings

We made some chicken & dumplings on one of the last cold weekends of the long, cold Winter (so glad it's over!), and it really hit the spot. First we softened the carrots and celery in the Dutch oven (you can see the salt raining into the pot to bring out the flavors)...

Then we made a rue by adding heavy cream and flour...

While this was cooking, I made the dumplings with some chives mixed in...

Next, we added the chicken, broth, peas, and pearl onions and let that simmer...

In went the dumplings! This was my favorite part. I love how they puff up while they're cooking.

And the finished product (actually, THIS was my favorite part) - a smooth and creamy bowl of delicious chicken and dumplings, just like mama used to make (only better... okay, way better).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Not Another Dilla Post...

I know, I know, you're thinking "another dilla post...good grief!". BUT, this is really to share a wonderful and quick (and healthy) chicken recipe that I am beginning to LOVE.
Last night, I needed a quick and easy dinner. I had defrosted chicken and Mexican rice from Vigo. I had recently picked up Cook's Illustrated Light & Healthy Best Recipes for 2010 upon the suggestion of my good friends at Affordable Foodie. A Chicken Soft Taco recipe caught my eye as I love Mexican food. I think I crave queso like most women crave chocolate. Always in a search to make it a little more belly friendly, I gave the following a go with fantastic results. Most of the ingredients will be found in your pantry.

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (this might be my most favorite ingredient ever)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • salt & pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in the garlic and chipotles and cook until fragrant, about 30 secondsl. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cilantro, orange juice and Worcestshire.
  2. Nestle the chicken into the skillet and bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until almost cooked through, 12 to 18 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
  3. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate. Shred the chicken with 2 forks. Meanwhile, continue to simmer the sauce over medium heat until thickened slightly and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes.
  4. Off the heat, whisk the mustard into the sauce. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of cilantro and shredded chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Now, last night, I didn't have fresh cilantro or adobo in chili sauce. I also substituted Dijon for yellow mustard. It was still great. Has a little kick and tangy flavor. I used the leftover chicken today for lunch with the rice and added LeSeur peas. Tonight, I made those lovely quesadillas you saw above.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Salmon and Veggies

By Sunday night, I am craving healthy, good-for-me food. I try and keep this up throughout the week so that I can derail over the weekends. Andy picked up a beautiful piece of salmon from YDFM and some fresh veggies. The last time we cooked salmon, I used Whole Foods 365 brand Ginger Miso Salad Dressing as a marinade. We used the rest of this last night and roasted our salmon in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, we steamed some Jasmine rice, roasted whole carrots, and pan sauteed some Brusell sprouts with more of the Ginger Miso dressing. Finally, Andy took the roasted carrots and tossed them with some Siracha sauce in a sautee pan. Voila - healthy meal with leftovers for $15. Aren't those carrots just too cute?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Butternut squash grits and asparagus

The lady of the manor cooked up something good tonight. Butternut squash oven roasted, then pureed and mixed in with yellow grits. Wasn't real sure how well it would work, but it did. Delicious. Asparagus cooked in the oven with olive oil and s&p. Always tasty. It was kinda two sides at once, but they worked out really well. All topped off with a bit of parm. So nommy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Godzilla Quesadillas and Beyond Basic Black Beans

What is a great use for leftover chicken? Dillas!!! They're delicious and reheat beautifully for a tasty snack or lunch. Black beans are always a nice side, but these are packed with a PUNCH!

Refried black beans sauteed with chorizo infused olive oil, minced garlic and onion.

Our dillas included taco seasoned chicken, reg chicken, roasted poblano peppers, sauteed red peppers and onion, monterey jack cheese and spinach.

"Fry like bacon, b*tches!!!" (sometimes i yell/sing/encourage my cooking food along)

The finished product. Those are three stacks. Jack's salsa, green onion, chopped jalapenos, and cilantro added tasty garnishes to the plato.

Monday, February 22, 2010

More Pizza Pics (see full post below)

Our sous chef, Maddie, giving direction from below and hopeful for some scraps.

An artfully inspired creation with pesto strip down the middle.

The happy diners.

Pizza Party!!!!

With a true collaborative spirit, several of us got together to FEAST on homemade pizza pie.

Annie and Blanton showed true bravado by taking on the daunting task of making dough. Equipped with a dough hook and active yeast - they were successful in 3 out of 4 attempts. The second batch tried unsuccessfully to take over Annie's kitchen, but shrunk back in fear at the sight of Blanton's mean dough hook hand!!!

Unbeknownst to all but himself, we had an expert among us. Knox worked at Mellow Mushroom through high school and college and proved himself to be an excellent dough tosser. Go Knox!!

(Look at the height!)

Yorke made a delicious and zestfully spicy tomato sauce to adorn our pizzas. Pesto was also on hand for a different sauce option.

Other toppings included:

  • prosciutto
  • arugula
  • spinach
  • pepperoni
  • chicken
  • goat cheese
  • mozzarella
  • caramelized onions
  • red peppers
  • pine nuts
  • mushrooms
  • ricotta
  • jalapenos
  • basil
  • rosemary
  • gorgonzola
  • fresh mozzarella

With the possibilities endless, we got started!! Each duo was in charge of one pie and then everyone came together to make a "We are the World" pizza (appropriate since the Haiti Relief telethon was on in the background).

(Half pepperoni and mushroom with fresh basil / Half artichoke heart, basil and cheese)

We called this the pizza and pepper extravaganza. Fresh mozz and caramelized onion rounded this mammoth pie out.

(Pesto, chicken, red pepper, caramelized onion, and toasted pine nuts)

Fresh out of the oven!!