Monthly Archives: February 2015

Barramundi with a Butter Garlic Lemon sauce

I was at my local grocery store the other day and was looking for some Mahi Mahi they didn’t have fresh and I usually find it in the vacuum sealed frozen section. Unfortunately they did not have any but I did run across a name I have heard a couple of times on TV but have never tried; Barramundi; I was intrigued enough to pick a package up.  Yesterday I decided was the day we were going to have it for dinner.

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The beets are from my garden, I canned them over the summer

Barramundi is a mild white buttery fish from Australia; it is also called The Sustainable Seabass.

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We didn’t have internet all weekend; so my usual recipe searching wasn’t an option; I decided to keep it simple and a little light; I had on hand garlic, butter, lemon and basil which actually isn’t that unusual I pretty sure I always have them on hand. I also wanted something a little different for my sides.  I haven’t had potato latkes in a real long time and they sounded yummy.

I didn’t want a lot of clean up since my usual dishwasher; my son; wasn’t home LOL. That’s not true I was just being a little lazy. I had my skillet ready for my potatoes; I cooked them up and set them aside, added my fish and cooked them for a few minutes on each side, in a small sauce pan I made my sauce and added  to my fish and voila dinner. I bet it took less than 30 minutes for everything to be on the table.

It was delicious and very fresh, not even a little fishy smell; which is an added bonus that it didn’t smell up the house which sometimes fish can do. Not sure if you have ever shied away from buying frozen fish but it has never disappointed me. I do only buy the vacuum sealed kind; I don’t think you can go wrong since it was flash-frozen and sealed; try it if your store has it.

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Barramundi

Salt and pepper

Dry the fish on both side salt and pepper. Heat skillet on medium high olive oil, place fish in skillet cook for about 5-7 minutes, turning once cook on the other side for another 3-5 minutes till just done, do not overcook it will become dry.

Garlic Butter Sauce

2 Tbs butter

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp dried basil

2 Tbs lemon juice – I had a half of a fresh lemon that I squeezed

I really do not measure so the above is a guideline; I had 2 fillets and covered them with the sauce.

Melt butter, garlic and basil on low do not brown the garlic but you want the flavors to meld together. Add the lemon juice, set aside till needed.  This would taste delicious on any white fish.

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Simple Potato Latkes

2 Potatoes peeled and grated

1 egg

1 medium onion peeled and grated

Salt and pepper

If I am making a lot of them, I take out my food processor to grate the potatoes and onion. It was just my husband and I and I didn’t want left overs so I just brought out my box grater because I was making only a few.

Grate potatoes and onion, set aside and squeeze as much water out of them as you can.  Add the beaten egg, salt and pepper and mix till all blended.  Drop by spoonful and squish down with either a fork or I used my fish turner. Cook till browned, flip and cook the other side till browned.  Keep warm in the oven if you need to.

So I would like apologize for the delay, our internet has been down all weekend and come to find out the router is dead.  They are sending a new one out in the mail today.  Who knew in this day and age trying to find WIFI in my little town would be so difficult. I couldn’t logon to my day job WIFI, I went to Dunkin Donuts at lunch and that was pretty painful; I left.  One of the lunch spots in town USED to offer it, no more. I am currently sitting in my favorite restaurant having a yummy cocktail just so I can post my blog. Things I do for you all.

Individual Chocolate Lava Cake

Valentine’s Day date night was more of a weekend thing this year; due to yet another snow storm for the North East. I swear it feels like we are in a snow globe and a 5 year is having a blast shaking it and we can’t get it away from him. My husband has a plow route so making dinner plans was definitely out of the question.  We figured Friday night would be the only time we could sit down for dinner so we had a nice steak, pan seared scallops, smashed potatoes and roasted asparagus and I picked up some ice cream for dessert.

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Top off with confectioners sugar, fresh berries and a side of ice cream YUM

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The snow started around 10 am on Saturday and literally ended just a few hours ago. I wasn’t sure if we would be able to have dinner together Saturday night so I picked up some nice thick cut bone-in pork chops from a semi local butcher shop along with a couple of their baked stuffed potatoes; just a few things I could throw together quickly without a lot of fuss.  SO with that being said I wanted to make a nice homemade dessert.

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The Pork Chops were D’lish – A little Cajun seasoning and finished off with a little honey

My husband loves to tell me that “chocolate calls his name”. He’ll hunt around the kitchen and pantry looking for it. He’ll even go for my chocolate chips if he can’t find anything else. So I figured Chocolate Lava Cake would be a huge hit, and I could make it when we were ready for it.  This is the first time I have tried making them and they didn’t quite flow like I wanted them to but the flavor is really delicious and I know what I would do differently. (my daughter called me out on this statement. Apparently I have tried making these before; I honestly do not remember it. During the first book of our book club we made several recipes from the book and Abbi and I made the chocolate lava cake. I still don’t remember doing this but she does so there is it) I will not forget making this one, I have pictures and put it in writing!

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Individual Chocolate Lava Cake

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk (room temperature)

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

2 Tbs AP flour

Eight 6 ounce ramekins

Confectioners’ sugar or unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)

With rack in the middle of the oven; pre-heat oven to 400’. Grease and dust with either confectioners’ sugar or cocoa.

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Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Melt chocolate and butter in either a double boiler or a heatproof bowl over a sauce pan filled with about an inch of water, do not let water touch the bottom of what you are using and do not allow water to boil. Stirring occasionally until smooth; remove from the heat and set aside.

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Using a stand a stand mixer with whisk attachment; whip eggs, yolk granulated sugar, vanilla and salt on high speed until volume nearly triples. The color should be very light, and the mixture should fall from the beater in a smooth thick stream, roughly 5-7 minutes.

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Pour chocolate mixture over egg mixture and sprinkle flour over the top. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold all together until uniformly colored. Ladle or pour into prepared ramekins. Bake until cakes have puffed up about; have formed a thin crust with the center being able to jiggle slightly when shaken very gently. 12-13 minutes. run a thin knife around the edges, invert onto a plate; let sit until the cakes release themselves, roughly 1 minute. Lift off ramekins. Dust with confections sugar if you chose to use.

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This was a little over done – a minute or two less would have worked better

Couple of notes: you can keep the ramekins in the fridge for up to 8 hours before baking. Let them set on the counter for about 30 minutes before baking.

I used cocoa powder but next time I would dust with confections sugar, cocoa was messy.

You can also use a spring-form pan if you want to make 1 large cake. It is best served warm (within 30 minutes) but can stay in the pan for up to an hour.  Bake at 375’ around 22-25 minutes for a 9 inch pan or 27-30 for an 8 inch. Let it cool for 15 minutes; then run a thin knife around to loosen the cake and invert on a plate.

Beef Burgundy

My girlfriend KP made this “her way” a week or so ago and sent me a text “Soooo Yummy!!! U gotta make it” I also can’t help thinking Ron Burgundy every time I say Beef Burgundy 🙂

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I do have pretty good intentions when I make up my grocery shopping list for the week. Even though I mostly have a plan; sometimes life happens and I just can’t get to what I planned on cooking. This week I bought 5-lb beef chuck roast with the whole intention of prepping my slow-cooker some night during the week and putting it on to cook while at work. Well the week totally got away from me this week and here we are at Friday already and the roast was still sitting in the fridge.

I’m not a huge fan of freezing beef; well except for hamburger; and my guys were leaving Saturday afternoon for a 5-day ski trip out West so I decided to try something new. I prepped the crock-pot when I got home from work Friday night and put it on before I went to bed. I figured we would have it for lunch; it is a little extravagant for our typical Saturday lunch; but I didn’t have to freeze the roast and I sent the guys off with a really nice meal.

My buddy SF was here as he was going skiing with my guys; he has made a few of the meals from this blog and he really liked this one but when I told him “it is a process” I could tell he was a little less thrilled. He tends to take recipes and tweaks them a little to what he has on hand or feels like. I totally respect that – KP did the same thing! I can’t wait for him to try this recipe and tell me how he made it his own.

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Beef Burgundy

1 (5-pound) boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

Kosher Salt & Fresh cracked Black Pepper

1 tbs olive oil

4-5 pieces of bacon cooked to crisp and minced

2-3 onions, minced

1 carrot, peeled and minced

¼ cup tomato paste

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp dried thyme

1/3 cup flour

2 ½ cups or 1 bottle Pinot Noir

1 ½ cups chicken broth

1/3 soy sauce

2 bay leaves

2 cups frozen pearl onions

½ cup water

3 tbs unsalted butter

2 tsp sugar

1 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved if small or quartered if large

Dry beef with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Place half of beef in the slow cooker. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking; brown remaining beef well on all sides transfer to slow cooker.

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Cook bacon in the skillet until crisp remove and set aside. Stir in chopped onions, carrot, tomato paste, garlic, and thyme and cook until onions are softened and lightly browned.  Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in 1 ¼ cups wine, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps; transfer to slow cooker.

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Stir in broth, soy sauce, and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Cover and cook until beef is tender. 9-11 hours on low or 5-7 hours on high.

About 20 minutes before serving, bring frozen pearl onions, water, butter, and sugar to boil in 12-inch skillet. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook until onions are fully thawed and tender. 5-8 minutes. Uncover, bring to a boil, and cook until all liquid evaporates. Stir in mushrooms and cook until vegetables are browned and glazed. Transfer to slow cooker.

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Add remaining 1 ¼ cups wine to skillet and simmer until reduced by half. Let stew settle for 5-10 minutes, then remove the fat from the top. Discard bay leaves, adjust stew consistency with hot broth if needed, mine did not. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sever over mashed potatoes.

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Tomatillo Chili w/Pork and Hominy – or as I referred to it as running with scissors

I am definitely open to trying new things; I actually encourage everyone to at least try something before you decide “I don’t like it”. Which is a far cry from how I grew up; I had a strict rule I would not eat anything that was green; except iceberg lettuce. Thankfully I have changed my ways or life would certainly be pretty boring and I would not have a damn thing to write about.

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This week I totally went out on a limb; at least for me.  I have never bought tomatillos, hominy or Poblanos before.  I will also confess I have never heard of hominy before until I heard Guy Fieri say he LOVED them. So I at the very least I wanted to try them. I think that is HUGE growth for me and I won’t say love just yet; but I definitely liked them.

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Tomatillo

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Poblano Pepper

This recipe is another with some prep up front you can let the slow cooker finish the job.  If you don’t have a free night during the week than try this on the weekend!

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Tomatillos 15-20 medium, husks and stems removed, rinsed well, dried and halved

1 large onion, cut into 1 inch pieces

4-6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp cumin

Pinch of ground cloves

Pinch of ground cinnamon

3 tbs vegetable oil

2 cans white or yellow hominy, drained and rinsed

2 ½ cups chicken broth

2-3 poblano chilies, stemmed, seeded, and minced

3 tbs minute tapioca – I found mine in the baking isle of my local grocery store

2 tsp sugar

2 bay leaves

1 4lb boneless pork butt roast, trimmed and cut into 1 ½ inch chunks

Salt and pepper

½ cup minced fresh cilantro

Position oven rack 6 inches from broiler, toss tomatillos, onion, garlic, cumin, cloves and cinnamon with oil and spread onto aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Broil until vegetables are blackened and begin to soften. 8-12 minutes rotating pan halfway through.

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Let vegetables cool slightly, pulse vegetables along with juices in a food processor until almost smooth. About 10-15 pulses; transfer to slow cooker.

Stir hominy, broth, poblanos, tapioca, sugar, and bay leaves into slow cooker. Cover and cook until pork is tender, 9-11 hours on low or 5-7 on high.

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Let chili settle for 5-10 minutes, then remove the fat from the surface, discard bay leaves, stir in cilantro, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with your favorite chili toppings.  Shredded cheese, sour cream and salsa it’s all good!!!

Signing off to watch the super bowl – GO PATS!!!!