Monthly Archives: July 2014

Broccoli Cheddar Soup (from my garden)

So I harvested all of my garlic yesterday as well as several zucchini and cucumbers but only one summer squash and a few tomatoes and a couple of onions. We have been getting broccoli pretty steady for a couple of weeks now. My garlic ended up with pretty small bulbs but there are 68 of them so I think we should be OK for a bit. I need to figure out how to grow larger bulbs; the small ones don’t really keep very well. Once it cures for a couple of weeks I will probably have to peel and freeze all of it. Once frozen the only way to use it is crushed but I do that more than anything else so I am pretty OK with it.

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Broccoli Cheddar

 

 

 

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Chicken Divan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broccoli really doesn’t keep very long in the fridge once harvested so I had to do something with it. I have already frozen a couple of gallon bags so this morning I decide to make something with it. I love broccoli cheddar soup so that took care of some of it and my son loves Chicken Divan so that took care of the rest. We had the soup for lunch and the divan is actually in the oven as I type.

 

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Broccoli Cheddar Soup

1 TBS melted butter

1 medium onion chopped

¼ cup melted butter

¼ cup flour

1 Cup half and half

1 Cup milk

2 cups chicken stock

Head of broccoli (use less if you want) trimmed

1 cup julienne carrot

¼ tsp nutmeg

8 ounces grated good sharp cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper

Sauté onion in butter and set aside

I had a potato that I peeled for breakfast and didn’t need it SO I cut it up; ,boiled it and used my potato ricer and added it to my soup, it helped thicken the soup even more, which we all love.

Melt butter and add flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.  Stir constantly and add the milks. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste. You can puree this if you want or leave chunky (I left mine chunky) return to heat and add cheese. Stir in nutmeg and enjoy. My son doesn’t like broccoli cheddar soup but he did like and eat this one.

Tiramisu

The Killington Wine Festival was this weekend; very happy that our good friends that live close to the mountain invite us up for a wonderful event it’s always a good time.  We start with a light lunch then we all head to the mountain and try lots and lots of wine. Thankfully we stay on the mountain and have a “well-planned” BBQ. This year’s dinner was excellent. After a few failed attempts over the last few years at varied menus, you have great aspirations before the wine tasting but sometimes execution doesn’t quite come out as planned.this year we came up with a winning menu. We marinated steak tips, prepped hasselback potatoes (I will write about these soon the ones who have had them have asked me to) and I was in charge of bringing dessert; well it didn’t all turn out all as planned, somebody forgot to bring the asparagus. but that’s OK. My brilliant husband came up with me making Tiramisu. If you have been following my blog at all you will see a pattern with him. He loves coming up with delicious yet pretty involved things for me to make. As you will probably also be able to tell; I am enabler since I usually make what he comes up with.They do say the first step is to admit it.

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I had totally intended to make this Friday night so I didn’t have to rush around in the morning.  Sometimes things don’t always work out according to my plans. It was getting late and I was completely exhausted so I decided to break the recipe up and then finish it up in the morning. Sometimes it actually works out even better when time is tight to make parts of recipes and assemble the final product when you have time.

Tiramisu

6 egg yolks

¾ cup white sugar

2/3 cup milk

1 ¼ cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pound mascarpone cheese

½ cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature

2 tablespoons rum

2 (3 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder – use a strainer to help distribute cocoa evenly

In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended.  Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils.  Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

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In a medium bowl, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form, whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth.

In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum. Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise and drizzle with coffee mixture. Once they get wet it is hard to move them, so if you want to place them in their spot and then drizzle it will work out better for you. 

Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of 10×10″ (don’t worry about the size, use what you have) dish. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa.  Cover and refrigerate 4-6 hours, until set.  My husband actually thinks it tasted better today Sunday than it did last night; I am not going to listen too much to this since it was after lots and lots of wine – his judgment might have been a little impaired. 

I made the coffee and the egg yolk sugar portion Friday night. Saturday morning I whipped the cream and assembled much easier I think.

Lobster Cakes

Last week was a long busy week.  So the weather being perfect on Friday we decided to chill out on the patio with no real plans.  I was on my way to the patio when my mother-in-law and niece stopped over for a minute; yeah right!  I opened a bottle of wine and that was it. When my son got out of the shower he came out; when my husband got home he did not even go into the house, just walked right over sat right down work clothes and all.  After a couple of glasses they called my father-in-law to see if he wanted to walk over; they live next door. It was obvious we were all going nowhere fast.

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Now to feed everyone without spending time doing it!  I had no intention of “making” dinner remember we were chilling out tonight. I decided this was a great opportunity to get rid of some of the fruit that was going to go bad if not eaten soon.  It amazes me that fresh strawberries can be in plain sight when you open the fridge but my guys won’t eat them.  Same goes for all fruit that requires effort in my house, as soon as I peel, slice, wash etc. they can’t get enough of them but until I do, they sit! I grabbed a platter and a bunch of small bowls and washed and cleaned, grapes, cherry’s, strawberries and blueberries.  The bowls all came back empty except for the blueberries, not a lot of flavor.

Our patio guests were still sticking around so for the next round I brought out caprese salad, I used up the last of my tomatoes, some leftover mozzarella and luckily I had a leftover French baguette so I crisped up some crostini’s.  Still outside and another bottle of wine opened. I brought out various cheese, some leftover ham slices and crackers.  The mosquitos (NH’s state bird) finally drove us inside around 7:30.  I believe another bottle of wine was opened.  I had some leftover salsa and a half eaten bag of chips.  Had is the optimum word.  Everything I brought out they ate.  Last but not least I had made up and froze some lobster cakes a week or so ago from leftover lobster, yes we had lobsters we could not eat. I heated up the oven threw them in a bit and made a quick dipping sauce from mayo, sweet relish and Frank’s hot sauce.  My in-laws kept commenting that my fridge has a better variety of stuff versus theirs.

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Lobster Cakes

2 fresh Maine lobster meat cut up in nice size pieces

1 large egg

¼ cup mayo

1½ tsp Dijon mustard

1½ tsp Old Bay seasoning

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

½ tsp Worcestershire sauce

Kosher Salt

1¼ cups fresh breadcrumbs from white bread

1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

1 Tbs unsalted butter

Place lobster in a medium bowl and set aside

In a small bowl whisk the egg, mayo, mustard, old bay, lemon juice, Worcestershire and ¼ tsp salt. Scrape mixture over the lobster and mix gently, do not over mix.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and the parsley over the mixture and mix them thoroughly but gently, you don’t want to turn this into mash it should be loose.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.

Shape the mixture into 7 to 9 cakes about 1 inch thick. In 12 inch skillet heat the butter and a little olive oil over medium heat. When the butter is frothy, add the cakes to the pan.

Cook until dark golden brown about 4 minutes. Flip the cakes, reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking until the other side is well browned. 4-5 minutes.

Serve with salsa or another condiment. Again I made a quick mayo, relish, hot sauce that was a huge hit; remember they ate all of the salsa earlier.

Shredded Hash Brown Cups

I have never been a huge fan of the traditional quiche. They never tasted as good as they looked to me for the work you had put into them. Strata’s are just so much easier, no crust needed! However I found a recipe for a quiche with the crust being shredded hash browns; it piqued my interest. I bought the ingredients a few weeks ago and never got around making it. Having an extra-long weekend and the weather at the beginning being pretty sucky I had time to play a little. The quiche was pretty successful. My guys and I had a few critiques that we think would make it better. This happens more often than not, they are very opinionated.

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This morning sitting at the island drinking my tea with my husband and his coffee; I asked what would he like for breakfast. He said something with egg in it. Big help he is! I had some leftover hash browns to use up and have always wanted to make hash brown egg cups. I saw them on the cover of a magazine a few months ago. So I looked up the basics from the magazine and got out what I hand on hand and what was close enough to get by with. They used prosciutto which I did not have; I had bacon and ham on hand. I usually try to make a dish the way I find it and then change it to our taste but sometimes I have to use what I have on hand; actually that happens more often than not They were delicious we liked the ham better than the bacon.  Before we ate my husband asks me if I took a picture of them. After we ate he asked if I was going to blog about them, I was thinking about it, he said you totally should.

A good friend of ours went to the Azores a month or so ago and brought me back some sweet paprika that he enjoyed while there. This was my first opportunity to try some, it was excellent.

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While my guys had definite opinions for the quiche the egg cups were a huge hit. The only comment was when can you make these again?

When cooking I really don’t measure anything, so I will give you my best guesstimates for the cups. As you can tell I didn’t have enough hash browns to fill all of the cups.  Use what you have on hand!

Frozen shredded hash browns–thawed and squeezed of all their water use enough to fill 12 cup muffin tin about 1/2 full. (this part is very important if you want them to release from the tin)

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp black pepper

1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped

½ tsp sweet paprika

mix all the above in  bowl to combine, you want to make sure the potatoes are seasoned

Bacon Prosciutto or ham or any combination works

(12 cups is 6 slices of bacon)

12 room temperature eggs (take out of the fridge at the start and that should be fine)

Chives for garnish

Spray your tin well. Add hash brown mixture, the bottom matters more than the sides, but you want an indent so the meat and egg fit in. Spray the hash browns and bake at 375’ for about 30 minutes. take out of the oven and place the meat you are using in the center. If bacon slice in half and then half again; crisscross them. They can hang over a little. Crack an egg in a small bowl and then carefully transfer them to the each tin. Bake for 10-15 minutes, I watched them because I wanted the whites cooked but the yolk runny. There is a fine line so cook to how you like your eggs. Scrape around the edges to release.