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Heirloom Tomato and Bacon Green Beans


This recipe is actually called “Summer’s Tomato Green Bean Bounty” but as soon as I ate it I thought, “man these would be dyn-o-mite at Thanksgiving.” They tasted awesome and were even better the next day (we had a monster CSA delivery of green beans). If you are in need of a holiday side dish look no further.

Recipe Link
Epicurious / August 2001

Thanksgiving 2009 Recap


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. This year Mike and I were given the task to make a turkey, green beans, cranberry sauce and gravy.

After much deliberation and many hours looking through foodie magazines we decided to go with the following recipes:

  • Sage Butter-Roasted Turkey with Cider Gravy (Bon Appétit, November 2009)
  • Bacon Braised Green Beans by Emeril Lagasse (Food Network magazine, November 2009)
  • Cranberry, Pomegranate, and Meyer Lemon Relish (Bon Appétit, November 2008)

Mike and I have yet to master the art of cooking a turkey. It gives us problems every year. It just never seems to cook all the way through. Even with all the trouble the breast meat was nice and the gravy was fantastic but next year I want ham! The cranberries were tart and lovely but the green beans were the star of the meal. I lost track of all the compliments I received. These were super simple to prepare and I have a feeling I will be asked to make these again next year!

Recipe link – beans
Recipe link – turkey & gravy
Recipe link – cranberries

Tip: if you try the turkey recipe make sure you remove most of the salt rub before cooking the bird. Also, clean out the bottom of the pan so your gravy isn’t too salty.

Foodbuzz 24,24,24: Lobster Gram

live lobsters
I’ve been c-r-a-v-i-n-g lobster. The kind of lobster I had growing up in Massachusetts when my family would hop in our station wagon and drive to New Hampshire in search of the ultimate lobster meal. Since moving to California, long gone are the days of cheap, simple lobster eats. Lobster tends to be insanely expensive and come in extreme forms. I don’t want lobster sliders, sushi rolls or mac & cheese. I’m going back to basics…I want a lobster so fresh and tasty all it needs is a little drawn butter to make my mouth water. Head, tail, legs and guts. I wanna get my hands dirty and maybe even my shirt. Lobster Gram to the rescue!

Thanks to Foodbuzz and their monthly blogging event where they sponsor 24 people to create 24 meals in 24 hours Mike and I were transported back in time to one of my fondest childhood memories. We had LIVE Maine lobsters delivered to our door from one of the top lobster delivery services on the net…Lobster Gram.

WOW! what a day…the lobsters arrived right on time and were alive and kickin’, well actually they were a bit jet-lagged initially but they perked up. I was amazed to find that they were so fresh that there was no fishy smell at all. Not even the shipping container smelled. The box comes with everything you could possibly need to create the perfect dinner: lobstergramstuffa great detailed cooking guide, lemons, butter, bibs, crackers, picks and hand wipes. The entire process of ordering online to cooking was surprisingly simple. Lobster Gram makes things fool proof. The end result was FANTASTIC! The lobster was super tender and sweet. It didn’t even need butter… but that didn’t stop us from using it!

Here is a video that shows the delivery, prep and the plunge into the pot:

To complete our crustacean feast we prepared the following sides:

cheddarbis

Cheddar Biscuits with Garlic Butter

Corn

Corn on the Cob with Shallot -Thyme Butter

The only modification to the biscuit recipe we made was to double the amount of garlic. They were really fast and easy to make. Awesome right out of the oven. The corn had wonderful flavor. The only change next time would be to use corn off the cob so we don’t lose all the buttery shallot goodness on the plate!

and for dessert…

tart

Apple Galette with Caramel Sauce and Vanilla cream

This treat consisted of sliced apples on top of a 5″ circular puff pastry and what you can’t see is what makes it taste so unique – under the apples is a half dollar size disc of pure almond paste. We’d never used almond paste before and a little goes a long way. Yum!

If you’ve ever considered having  lobsters delivered — JUST DO IT!! This was a totally fun and rewarding experience! I can’t wait to do it again and again and again…

lobster

Beauty shot!

Recipe links:
Apple Galettes with Caramel Sauce
Corn on the Cob with Shallot-Thyme Butter
Cheddar biscuits

GET YOUR LOBSTERS HERE — Website: http://www.livelob.com/
$10 off coupon code: COOKMAN9   — expires 12/31/09

Corn-Bacon Spoon Bread

spoonbread
We served this up as a side dish at our 4th of July Fried Chicken dinner. This is not your typical corn bread, it’s light and airy more like a frittata because you use a lot of beaten eggs. It’s also not sweet. I think I would have liked it a tad more sweet so I will add more sugar next time. Nice alternative to the norm.

Recipe link

Onion Strings

onionstrings

These were soooo good and easy to make. Tasted similar to the ones I get at the Counter. I used 2 medium sized onions (red & white). I didn’t have the patience to do more than one batch so I tossed them all in at the same time. They still turned out fantastic, just had to keep them in the fryer a little longer (about 4-5 minutes). I will make these again and again. Great recipe Pioneer Woman!

If you don’t have a portable deep fryer I highly recommend getting one like ours (see here).

Recipe link

Grilled Rosemary Chicken with Creamy Grits and Shiitake Mushroom Sauce

chickenandgrits
Ready to feel guilty? Then this is the dish for you! On day 3 of Mike’s birthday celebration I decided to make him this for dinner. It was outstanding but also used the majority of a carton of heavy cream. In reflection I could have forgone the cream in the grits and used 1/3 less in the sauce, but you only live once, might as well go all the way. No longer will grits be relegated to the breakfast table.

Modifications to the recipe: added a little parm to the grits, used bacon instead of pancetta in the sauce.

Recipe link

Collard Greens with Fennel and Orange Butter

orange-collards

If you think the taste of collard greens is too bitter, this recipe is for you. Orange and greens are an inspirational combo. I had no idea how this recipe would turn out when I found it on the Food & Wine magazine website. All I knew was that it would use 3 items from our recent produce shipment:  collard greens, fennel and oranges! Yippee! The orange juice coats the collards and transforms into a sweet glaze. Mike breaded and lightly pan fried some sole filets to go along side. This will grace our table again in the near future.

Recipe link

Scallops with Brussels Sprouts and Lemon-Chive Crème Fraîche

scallops

You say you don’t like brussel sprouts…I say you haven’t had them like this! I had to find an interesting way to prepare the brussel sprouts that arrived in our produce delivery because Mike is not a fan. In this recipe instead of leaving the sprouts whole you slice them up and sauté with BACON. While I made the sprouts Mike seared our scallops like a pro. When topped with the lemon creme fraîche the citrus combo was out of this world.


Recipe link

Food & Wine magazine /Feb. 2006

Our Holiday Feast

Christmas dinner was at our house this year. Here was the menu:

Filet mignon with port sauce and horseradish cream, radish apple and onion salad, sherry vinegar and molasses glazed carrots, potato mushroom gratin and caramel banana bread pudding. It was a meal to remember!

Pics…

shroom-gratin

carrots

bread-pudding

Everything turned out fantastic. I would make any one of these recipes again and again and again…

Chicken with Apples, Pears and Camembert Mashed Potatoes

chickapples

I’m such a sucker at the checkout. I don’t know why but I purchased the November issue of the Rachael Ray magazine. I didn’t need it. I’m already behind in reading looking at photos in my Oct/Nov issues of Gourmet, Food & Wine and Bon Appétit.

Anyways, while skimming through it I saw a recipe that could use 3 items from our recent produce delivery (apples, pears and potatoes). It was a 30-minute meal that actually only took 30 minutes to prepare. It tasted like a chicken-apple pot pie.

I hate to say this, but it was Yum-o!

Recipe link

Baked Acorn Squash

bakedacornsquash

This was a Dyn-o-mite dish! Each and every bite took a dip in a pool of butter and brown sugar. Simple and sweet.

Recipe link

Seared Scallops with Roasted Corn and Herbs

Pete, the winner of Rachael Ray’s Hey, Can you cook?! competition returned to the show to prepare a meal. His dish looked really good so we made it. What do you think? The scallops were grand and the corn I could totally see eating at our next Thanksgiving dinner. They were super buttery and had all those memorable holiday flavors. I think Pete deserves his win…

Recipe link

Grilled Buffalo Steak with Radicchio-Beet Skewers

Yes, that says Buffalo. How did we come about preparing such a unique kind of meat? Here is the scenario…

Setting – Whole Foods Meat Counter

Mike: “That london broil looks nice”
Me: “I think that’s buffalo”
Mike: “No, the meat above that is buffalo”
Me: “No, I’m pretty sure that is also buffalo”
Mike (to the butcher): “I’ll take that nice london broil”

Setting – Our Kitchen unpacking the groceries

Me (looking at the wrapped meat label): “I knew it was buffalo…”

So that’s how we ended up eating a weird cut of buffalo. Oddly after scouring epicurious and foodtv.com I couldn’t find that many preparation options for our broil. We ended up using a recipe I found on the Eating Well website. Because Buffalo is a super lean meat you have to cook it pretty rare to avoid making it tough. Mike as always did a bang up job grilling and everything turned out nice. The sauce was similar to a Greek tzatzikiz and went perfect with the meat and the bitter radicchio. I adore beets so those were the highlight of the dish for me. Although tasty I don’t think this will go on our list of things to make again.

Pork Sliders with Corn Salad

When I saw the special June Grilling issue of Gourmet magazine I was inspired to make the pulled pork sandwich gracing the cover. After I read that it takes 10 hours to prepare I decided to make my own version of a pork slider. Here is my creation:

PORK
Mike’s parents have a no-fail recipe for preparing pork tenderloin on the grill. It comes out perfect every time Mike makes it. First you marinate the meat in equal parts of vermouth, oil and soy. You can drop some fresh thyme leaves in if you have it. Marinate for at least an hour then remove, add salt and pepper and toss on the grill for 10 minutes a side. You may have to adjust the time depending on the size of the loin.

COLESLAW
I did use the recipe from the magazine for the coleslaw. I like my slaw a bit sweeter but other than that it turned out well. It actually tasted better the day after I made it.

Assembly: I took a couple slices of the pork and placed them on a soft roll then topped it with the slaw and a dollop of bbq sauce. Delish!

For a side dish I decided on a roasted corn and tomato salad by Emeril Lagasse. I found this recipe while cruising the Food network website. I r-e-a-l-l-y wanted to love this salad. I mean look at it, it’s gorgeous! Unfortunately, the taste didn’t live up to the beauty. It was bla. Maybe it was because I left out the jalapeno peppers. I didn’t want it to be spicy. 😳

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