A night out with good friends, all great cooks, is always the best way to spend an evening.  My dear friend invited us over for a casual meal and basketball games!  As usual our small group seemed to keep growing which just makes the evening all the better.  A group effort, the menu started with steamed artichokes, hummus and veggies.  The crock pot barbecue beer chicken sliders were accompanied by sweet potato fries, kale salad and fruit salad.  I have to note that martini’s, wine and vodka were another side special.  We finished with two different brownie recipes, one a deep chocolate cake-like brownie, oozing with melted morsels, and my best ever Alice Medrich’s chocolate, almost caramel like fudgy,             classic brownies.

 

 

RECIPE: Sweet Potato Fries

• Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

• Slice and cut three large sweet potatoes into fries.

• Place on cookie sheet, do not overlap fries.

• Drizzle with canola or olive oil and kosher salt.

• Bake for 15 minutes, then toss fries to get all sides crisp… when they look cooked on all     sides remove from oven.

 

 

RECIPE: Kale Salad  (Click to Read)

 

RECIPE: Best Brownies Ever  (Click to Read)

 

RECIPE: Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken  (Click to Read)

 

 

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recipe: vodka bolognese

March 31st, 2012 | Posted by admin in Entrées | RECIPES - (0 Comments)

I had a mishap unpacking my groceries, as I opened the trunk of my SUV my grocery bag came crashing out and the new sauce I wanted to try splattered all over my garage floor.  I thought I’d cheat a little, make a pasta, add a few spices to it… dinner would be quick!  Well it was a great plan but now I had to make my own sauce.  So I quickly sauteed 3 minced garlic cloves in tablespoon of olive oil, with a ½ tsp of red pepper flakes.  I chopped up a cup of shitake mushrooms (caps only) and 1 small diced onion, added that to the garlic.  I cooked for approx. 2-3 minutes until the onions were translucent.  I then added 1 pound of grass feed ground beef and browned.  My next addition was a large 15 oz can of San Marzano crushed tomatoes, 1 cup of fresh grape tomatoes cut in half, ½ cup of heavy cream, 1/3 cup of vodka, 1/3 cup grated parmesan, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil.  I let this simmer for about 20 minutes.  I boiled my pasta; I used Barilla Cellentani, a twisted pasta that I love.  The final step was to mix the pasta and sauce and serve.

Everything I used in this recipe was something I had in the house… I just made it up as I went along.  This is the way a fast meal works in my house.  I don’t always follow a recipe but rather work from scratch with whatever I have on hand.  It usually turns out and it’s fun to play with what you have in the house.  Enjoy, remember you can make changes, additions or subtractions… have fun with it!

 

 

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I have to give the credit for this recipe to a great cookbook “The Family Chef” by Jewels & Jill Elmore. I am not known to follow any recipe to the tee. I changed up the tomatillo sauce because I like it blended raw not cooked. You can season your meat with additional spices. The credit goes to the Elmore sisters. My family is a big fan of these peppers. Give it a try & let me know!

My recipe is a bit different but my inspiration is from their recipe.

 

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS:
• 6 Chicken Breast halves, boneless skin on
• Kosher Salt & Pepper
• Dash of Olive Oil
• 8 Poblano Peppers
• ½ cup of chopped cilantro
• 1 sweet onion finely chopped
• 3 ears of corn, kernels removed
• 1 cup of Tomatillo Sauce (recipe follows)
• 3 ½ cups of shredded cheese mixed Cheddar, jack, & cotija

 

DIRECTIONS:
• Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

• Season Chicken with salt & pepper… Roast on a sheet pan with olive oil for 40 min             or until done.

• Roast and Peel the poblanos.

• Then cut a slit down the middle of each pepper and remove the seeds.

• Take the cooled chicken and shred removing the skin.

• Add the onion, cilantro, corn kernels, and tomatillo sauce then add 2cups of shredded         cheese. Use a wooden spoon to mix, add salt & pepper to taste.

• Stuff the roasted peppers with the chicken mix & top with the remaining cheese.

• Put the peppers on a sheet pan & bake for approx 25 minutes.

• If you make these the day ahead then wrap tightly with plastic wrap & take out of fridge to   come to room temperature before heating.

 

TOMATILLO SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:
• 8 medium tomatillos husked & cleaned cut into quarters.
• ½ medium sweet onion finely diced
• 1 tablespoon of olive oil
• 1 large garlic clove minced
• ½ cup cilantro
• ½ avocado
• Juice of 1 lime
• Salt & pepper to taste

 

DIRECTIONS:
• Blend in a food processer and this sauce can be used for everything! Over steak…               to dip… with tacos just be creative.

 

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recipe: stuffed peppers

February 29th, 2012 | Posted by admin in Entrées | RECIPES - (0 Comments)

Since it is spring… I think of Lamb. What can I say, I’m Armenian, so cooking with lamb is like cooking with beef for most people.  I grew up eating leg of lamb, shish kabob, lamb chops, lamb burgers, stuffed peppers with lamb, a lamb soup, and I could go on and on. Today my family requested stuffed peppers. I love to pick a medley of colored peppers red, yellow, orange,  and green. I take my ground lamb and mix with the ingredients listed below.  Then I stuff each pepper about ¾ full with the meat mixture.  Cover with sauce and cook for approximately 45 minutes… until meat is cooked through.  The best thing about this meal is you have your veggies and meat so really it’s a complete meal.

 

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS:
• 2lbs of ground lamb
• 1 cup of #1 grain Bulger
• ½ cup of finely chopped parsley
• 1 small white onion finely chopped
• 1 tbl of tomato paste
• Dash of kosher salt & freshly pepper
• 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
• ½ cup of red wine
• White onion sliced in wedges.

 

DIRECTIONS:
• Preheat oven to 350°.

• Cut the tops off the peppers and clean out any seeds, save tops.

• Mix the next 6 ingredients and kneed with your hands. Stuff each pepper with the meat       mixture about ¾ full.

• Place in a deep oven safe dish upright. Place onion slices between the peppers.

• Mix tomatoes & wine… then pour over peppers.

• Place tops on peppers and cook in preheated oven for 45 min. (If you have extra meat         make meatballs and place between the peppers.)

 

Enjoy!!!

 

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