Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bruschetta Fail

(Before putting them in the oven.)

I have never made bruschetta before, most likely because I had never heard of it until we went gluten free. Having an abundance of homegrown tomatoes caused me to remember the Bruschetta Lauren made this summer for Eisabeth's bachelorette party. She found some amazing bread at a local GF Bakery. I bought 3 GF baguettes and immediately texted Lauren to find out the recipe. Tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella were the main ingredients.  Perfect!

1 GF Baguette
Tomatoes, chopped (I used a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes but equaled about 2 cups)
1 Garlic Clove, minced
Fresh Mozzarella Ball
1 TBS Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp. Apple Cider Balsamic Vinegar (I didn't have plain balsamic vinegar)

Chop tomatoes.  Add remaining ingredients, except mozzarella, and let sit about an hour. Slice baguette. Top with a slice of mozzarella (this will keep the bread from becoming soggy.) Add tomato mixture.  Broil for a few minutes until edges of bread crisp and cheese is soft/melts.

Everything went beautifully, until I had this idea. To toast the bread nicely, I decided to place the bread atop a rack. Just when it looked perfectly done, I pulled the rack out and all of the bread tipped and dropped off the back of my oven, toppling off and dropping to the bottom of my oven.  Wish I could say the bottom of my oven was sparkling clean.  It wasn't. I couldn't bear to get a picture of the mess I made.

Michael suggested I just scoop the mess up and the bread and plop it back on the bread and serve it.  Thankfully, I wasn't having company and it was just the two of us.  We were able to ignore the black flecks that stuck to the mozzarella from the bottom of the oven and ate it anyway.  He declared it one of his top 5 (well, that and I served it with steak.)



Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pasta Salad


I made PW's Spicy Pasta salad w/smoked Gouda several times with great success. Recently, my pregnant daughter is very sensitive to spicy foods and last time she ate this salad declared it too spicy.  Since we had her and her hubby over for dinner tonight,  I attempted to make a similar salad that wasn't spicy.

12 oz. Gluten Free Pasta
1 cup Smoked Gouda Cheese, cubed
1 cup Grape Tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup black olives, cut in half
1/2 cup Basil Leaves, (approximately) sliced thinly
2 slices Turkey Pastrami, chopped (optional)

Dressing:
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Wine Vinegar, garlic flavored
1 seeded and chopped Pepperocini
1/2 tsp. Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Rinse in cold water and drain well. Mix dressing ingredients. Place pasta in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and dressing. Mix gently. Add additional salt, pepper, or basil according to taste.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sun Dried Tomatoes

Fearing our tomatoes might be ruined in a moment with the changing of seasons, Michael and I tried our hand at sun dried tomatoes. (In the dehydrator)
Perfection!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Shrimp & Cheese Grits


We video chatted with our granddaughter. She and her parents are living in California after 3 years in New Orleans. Visiting with Ivydee caused me to miss not only her, but New Orleans and the fun experiences we enjoyed with Lauren and Christopher. Ivydee and I shared more than one bowl of cheesy grits. After our conversation, I decided to make Cheesy Grits and Shrimp. 

2 lbs. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups shredded cheese (I used part cheddar/jack, part pepper jack)
3 cups water or chicken broth
1 cup quick-cooking grits
6 slices bacon, cut up
6-8 green onions, chopped
2 TBS butter
2 TBS parsley, chopped
1 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
Emeril's Seasoning

Bring chicken broth to a boil; stir in grits. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened-about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in salt, butter, cheese, and pepper. Cover and keep warm until ready.

Cook bacon over medium-high until crisp; drain on paper towels. Don't discard bacon grease.
 
Over medium-high heat, saute shrimp and garlic in pan with bacon grease until pink. Add green onions, lemon juice,  and worcestershire sauce and saute a few more minutes. Add bacon.

Spoon grits onto individual plates; top with shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with Emerill's Seasoning as desired. If you like your shrimp spicier, add 1/2-1 tsp Emerill's seasoning to the shrimp before cooking. Enjoy

Friday, September 26, 2014

Maple Dijon Chicken


This recipe has been floating around the internet for some time.  I first made it with honey instead of maple syrup.  I like it both ways and honey is usually less expensive.  Give it a try. For those who love rosemary, add it fresh.  Rosemary is one of those herbs that you either love or hate.  I used to hate it, but after 20 years or more, I tried it again in this dish. I have a new fondness for rosemary, especially when I have it growing fresh in my garden!

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup or honey (based on your preference)
1 TBS rice vinegar (I use garlic rice wine vinegar)
 Salt & pepper
2 tsp. Fresh chopped rosemary (optional)

Line a baking dish with foil, preferably nonstick, or use disposable foil pan. (I have cooked this in a glass dish with no foil and the maple syrup burns on the glass and is extremely difficult to clean.) Salt and pepper both sides of chicken and place in dish. Whisk together mustard, syrup, and vinegar. Pour over chicken.

Bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary, if desired. Serve over rice, pasta, mashed potatoes or as is. (Serves 4)
Can be cooked in crockpot for 3-4 hours, depending on how hot your slow cooker cooks.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chipotle Aioli


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder or chipotle hot sauce
salt and pepper
Mix mayonnaise with chives, garlic, lime juice, and chipotle chile powder. Season with salt and pepper; chill until ready to serve.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bayou Blast


This recipe is for Emeril's Creole Seasoning or Bayou Blast. My son and daughter-in-law made Emeril's Cajun Jambalya for me when they were living in New Orleans.  I've never been able to quite duplicate the recipe, I think because Colorado isn't known for having truly fresh shrimp or for creating Andouille Sausage.  Here is the recipe for the seasoning.  I've used it to make fish tacos, as a dry rub for salmon and of course Jambalaya. Most recently I used it to season the salmon for my Salmon BLT Sandwich.

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

You can double, triple, or quadruple the recipe and keep in a airtight package.  I use a glass jar. Add all ingredients to the jar and shake to mix. Experiment to see how you best like to use this.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Salmon BLT


Whenever I'm in Arizona, I visit Liberty Market at least twice within one week.  One of my recent favorite dishes is the Salmon BLT. They have delicious gluten free buns. Now that I am back in Colorado, I am wishing I could go there for this.  Today, I attempted to recreate this delightful dish.  I know it will sound complicated, but truly it wasn't.  You could use a different seasoning, but I have the Emerill's seasoning ready-made. It was the best solution for me. Not sure if Emerill sells this.

4 Salmon Filets (skinless)
4-6 strips of Bacon
Emerill's Cajun Seasoning
Chipotle Aioli
Shredded Lettuce
1 Tomato, sliced
4 GF Buns

Cut bacon in half and fry in a pan.  Drain on paper towels. Season both sides of salmon filets with Cajun Seasoning.  Use a fish pan or basket and cook over hot grill or pan fry. Toast bun. Spread one side with Chipotle Aioli, top with bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Enjoy!



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

GF Panzanella Salad

I had never heard of panzanella salad, but with all of these lovely tomatoes from my garden, I went in search of a tomato salad recipe.  I was a bit disheartened to find recipes with french bread when we are gluten free.  That is until I realized I had a loaf of GF bread that was going to get moldy if I didn't eat it up quick.  Now that two more daughters and my mother-in-law has moved out, it wasn't very likely that the two of us left would finish the loaf. so I used PW's recipe for Panzanella (with a few obvious and not so obvious changes) to make a bread salad that was also gluten free.

So here is my version:
  • 1 loaf Gluten Free Bread
  • A variety of  Tomatoes, Cut or sliced (I used about 3-4 cups)
  • 1 cup Basil Leaves, sliced or gently torn
  • 1/2 cup smoked Gouda Cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 sweet onion, slivered
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Salt And Pepper
  • Olive Oil, For Drizzling
Because I didn't have french bread, I cubed the bread and spread it on a cookie sheet. I warmed it in the oven at 275 degrees for about 20 minutes so it was more like croutons, then cooled.

Place the bread in a bowl.  Add onion and tomatoes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Add cheese and basil and mix gently. Cover and allow to sit until ready to serve. (If it's going to be more than a couple of hours, you may refrigerate but tomatoes lose flavor and texture very quickly when chilled. My advice is never to chill/refrigerate tomatoes.)

Enjoy!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tomato Salad


Am excited to harvest a variety of tomatoes this year.  We have Roma, grape, yellow pear, and regular but I don't remember the exact varieties of these that we have. Having just returned from a week long trip to Phoenix and trying to cook something from what I had on hand, I picked these tomatoes and made a salad.

About 2 cups Tomatoes, sliced or cut up
1/4 cup sliced Kalamata Olives
About 1/4 Fresh Basil Leaves
Fresh Ground Pepper

Dressing:
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 TBS Rice Wine Vinegar, garlic flavored

Place sliced/chopped tomatoes into a bowl. Add olives and basil.  Mix dressing and drizzle over salad. Grind some fresh pepper on top.

P.S. Don't refrigerate tomatoes.  They lose flavor and texture.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Three Bean Salad


1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained 
1 1/2 cups cooked green beans, cut in 1 inch pieces
3/4 cup smoked Gouda Cheese, cut in cubes
1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
Dressing:
2 TBS honey
1 TBS rice wine vinegar (I like the garlic flavored)
1 TBS dijon mustard
1 TBS olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper 
Mix dressing ingredients.  I find that if I warm the honey slightly, it is easier to mix. Place remaining ingredients in a bowl.  Add dressing, coating all. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes or more. Mix gently before serving. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Creamy Potato Salad

In May, I was in New Orleans to celebrate my son's graduation from Tulane Law School. The graduation was spectacular, but ran nearly 3 hours.

 My daughter-in-law and son had planned to prepare Jambalaya for lunch, but since that afternoon was the smaller law school ceremony they picked up BBQ. Lauren mentioned the potato salad at this restaurant was her absolute favorite.  Instead of the usual mustard potato salad I'm familiar with this was made with a sour cream base. 

On Monday, I attempted this type of potato salad.  Did I mention it has bacon in it? I had planned to start with this recipe, and make changes based on my own taste.   Unfortunately, I bought what I thought were red potatoes, but they turned to mush while boiling.  At that point, I was so frustrated I didn't bother trying to mix and taste.  The more I mixed or stirred, the more mashed the potatoes became.

I had two helpings.  I think it was the bacon.  Who doesn't love bacon???

Potato Salad

3 lbs. Red Potatoes
3/4 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup Mayonnaise (Original recipe uses light sour cream and light mayo, which I did NOT do.)
6 Green Onions, Sliced
4 Slices Bacon, cooked and chopped
Coarse salt and pepper

Cut up potatoes and boil in salted water until just tender. Mix sour cream and mayo. Drain potatoes and fold in mayo mixture.  Add green onions and bacon. Can be served warm or chilled.  If chilling, add bacon right before serving.

It's funny, as I'm looking at the original recipe, the potatoes look kind of mashed.  I guess if I'd garnished my salad for the picture, the two wouldn't look that different.


Menu for Tuesday & Wednesday:

Tuesday: Spaghetti & Meatballs, Toasted garlic bagels, Salad
Actual: Spaghetti & Meatballs, Garlic Toast, Green Salad, Watermelon & Blueberries
Wednesday: Grilled Salmon, 3 bean salad w/smoked Gouda, Baked Potatoes
Actual: I stuck to the menu!