Monthly Archives: July 2015

Garden plus Frittata

Kind of a dreary day here in New Hampshire today which is great for sleeping in, which I did, just a little. When I did finally come down stairs it literally took just a few minutes before I decided what I was going to make for breakfast.

avocado fries - garden frittata 042

Yesterday I spent part of the day in the garden, pulling weeds, which is a never ending task and harvesting a few fresh veggies which is my reward.  This year no zucchini though, super sad face. Not only do I love grilling, frying and eating it, no zucchini bread! That is so not OK with me, will need to find another source.

avocado fries - garden frittata 046

Prepped veggies!

We do however have lots of cherry tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers and broccoli; we were even able to harvest some cabbages. I think we need to learn how to stagger plantings. When everything ripens at the same time it can be a little tricky eating say 6 heads of cabbage, 18 cucumbers and too many to count cherry tomatoes.

avocado fries - garden frittata 061

Huge head of cabbage – apple just for scale

When I came down this morning and saw all the veggies sitting on the counter near the sink; I know right where I left them. I got out my cast iron skillet and got to work on making a frittata. When my husband asked what I was making his surprise didn’t match what I said. I told him I was making a frittata, his comment “for breakfast?” I love chicken piccata. We got quite the chuckle out of that one!

This was my husbands contribution to breakfast from our cutting garden

This was my husbands contribution to breakfast from our cutting garden

This is one meal that you can make for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can make it with just about anything you have in the fridge. It can easily be turned it into your end of week fridge clean out meal before you go shopping, or before things start going bad meal. It can be an all veggie meal, or add a meat or two. Super versatile and ridiculously easy to make!

Garden plus Frittata

The plus this morning was some breakfast sausage I found in the freezer.

6 eggs

½ cup milk

3 pieces breakfast sausages

Small summer squash cut up

1 medium onion diced

1 medium head of broccoli

Large handful of cherry tomatoes halved

1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Fresh thyme chopped

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

Scallions chopped

Brown the meat, if you are using it; If you are not using meat add a little olive oil to the hot pan. Add the onion and saute for a couple of minutes. Add all the other vegetables and cook for just a minute or two. Add Salt and pepper to taste; whip the eggs and milk together; add egg mixture to the veggies in the pan, add the cheese and give it a quick stir to incorporate everything. Cover with the chopped scallions and bake 20-30 minutes.

avocado fries - garden frittata 049

Brown the meat – if using

avocado fries - garden frittata 051

Add the veggies

avocado fries - garden frittata 052

Add the egg, milk and cheese

avocado fries - garden frittata 054

fresh out of the oven

avocado fries - garden frittata 060

Yum!!!

Shrimp, Sausage and Gnocchi weeknight dinner

What a beautiful weekend at the lake the weather was perfect; the water was cold but refreshing! We came back pretty late on Sunday and there was no time and actually not a lot of money; I’m sure some of you know when you come back from vacation no matter how long it was that money can be a little tight. I picked up a few basics just milk, bread and lunch meat for the guys and that was it for the week. Dinners for the week will have to be whatever I had on hand. Which in taking a quick inventory of my fridge, freezer and pantry; it didn’t look too bad.

leftover dinner 016

Tuesday night was just going to be me and the hubby; I opened the freezer and saw a half bag of shrimp, a handful of gnocchi, half package of Italian sausage and some broccoli. I opened the fridge and there was some leftover homemade chicken stock and yes even in my fridge a half a bottle of leftover white wine – it can happen! I figured a few fresh ingredients this might not be too bad. I had a couple of small shallots and a small onion from the garden and of course my all-time favorite garlic. Sounded like dinner to me.

leftover dinner 007

I know from a few cooking class students that without a recipe just by opening the fridge and freezer meals tend not to present themselves. I would like nothing else than to show people that with a few pantry/fridge staples. A homemade meal is just a few chops and a couple of stirs away.

Here is how I made a yummy meal from what I had on hand

2 small shallots diced

2 cloves minced garlic

1 small onion diced

2 tbs Olive oil

1 tbs Butter

Gnocchi

Sausage – casing removed and chopped

Shrimp – cleaned and deveined

broccoli

Fresh Sage chopped

White wine

Chicken stock

Sriracha – hot sauce opt.

Kosher salt

Fresh cracked black pepper

leftover dinner 010 leftover dinner 011 leftover dinner 012

Heat olive oil and butter in a saute pan over medium low heat. Add chopped shallots, onions and garlic till softened. Add sausage cook until browned. De-glaze pan with white wine. Let it reduce down; before it all evaporates add the chicken stock and the gnocchi; let it boil down till it makes a nice thick sauce in the last 10 minutes add the shrimp and broccoli; you don’t want to overcook either of them. The gnocchi actually helped thicken the sauce; which was an added bonus. Add some fresh chopped herbs of your choice and salt and pepper to taste; I also added some hot sauce to liven up the flavor a little.

Seafood Mixed Grill

I more often than not write my food blog on Sunday’s which the same day I post; which is probably why they never post at the same time during the day. Or maybe I like to keep you guessing; I know a few of you personally and you’re probably like will you post already!!! You know who you are. Today is Friday and I am getting ready to head to Lake Winnipesaukee for the weekend; it’s supposed to be a gorgeous here in New Hampshire and I can’t think of a better way than to spend it on the water hanging out with good friends and grilling on the boat. Did I tell you I LOVE having friends with boats; all the fun none of the headaches; though they are on the water a LOT more than I am; ahhh it’s OK I’ll take it when it get it.

mixed seafood grill 009

My husband reads The Week on Sunday’s and they have a Food & Drink section (never tried the drink part hmmmm I might have to change that) which sometimes has some recipes that pique his interest for me to make. Yeah I know he does that a lot. This past week there was a Grilled Mixed Seafood recipe that sounded delish and super simple. Literally it was seafood, lemon, olive oil and some fresh aromatic herbs oh and some crusty bread to sop up all the yummy love in the bottom of the bowl.

mixed seafood grill 010

I did have to purchase a grill basket (I threw out my very under used one years ago) don’t tell my son I bought something new he freaks out when I bring home another cooking utensil. He does most of the dishes and when he sees’ something new, oh and he knows when its new trust me. He asks what I am getting rid of so he has a place to put away the new purchase. It’s not like we are lacking in storage space, but what we do have I pretty much have filled up over the years. Not a proud moment but here is a picture of my utensil drawer that I just took…my son is crazy I could totally get a few more things in there!!!

mixed seafood grill 013

my junk drawer of utensils – organized chaos is what I all it!

Seafood Mixed Grill

2 lbs of assorted shellfish such as: Jumbo shrimp; Large sea scallops or diver scallops; Firm white fish – halibut, tilapia or barramundi; Mussels etc.

Handful of aromatic herbs such as: chives, scallions, thyme; parsley, tarragon or whatever you have on hand and love

mixed seafood grill 003

Here is how I made mine

4 Jumbo shrimp

Barramundi cut into 2” pieces

½ lb Large Sea Scallops

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

¼ cup + more for drizzling extra virgin olive oil

2 Fresh lemons – 1 thinly sliced the other is for squeezing

Chives, scallions, thyme and parsley – chopped

mixed seafood grill 001

Start your grill whatever kind gas or charcoal that you are using, place your seafood in a bowl toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I placed my basket over tinfoil in a sheet pan so I could transfer it to and from the outside grill without making a mess.

Scatter your seafood evenly over the bottom of the basket; lay the lemon slices over your seafood and scatter the herbs over the lemons and drizzle olive oil over everything.

mixed seafood grill 005 mixed seafood grill 006 mixed seafood grill 007

Grill for 4 minutes without moving the basket, carefully flip the basket over (I did not secure my basket as well as I should have and it came apart – sorry no picture evidence but I got it together and no harm no foul; well a little foul language) squeeze half a lemon over the seafood, grill for another 4 minutes or so till seafood is opaque and cooked through.

mixed seafood grill 008

Carefully open the basket and pour all the love in a shallow bowl or platter; drizzle with a little more olive oil and a little more lemon and serve with the crusty bread. It was YUMMY and I will make it again – soon!!!!!!

adapted from The Week magazine

Grilled Steak and Vegetable Salad

Happy 4th of July weekend – I hope everyone had and is still having a safe fun filled weekend with family and friends.

grilled steak - veggie salad 015

I was lucky enough to have 4 days off for the holiday! I played a little golf with my girlfriends; had lunch and relaxed on the patio on Thursday.  Friday I spent some quality time in my garden weeding. With my busy schedule I can’t always give my veggies the love and care they need, so when I do weed I do my very best to get ALL of the weeds out at least 3 times during the summer.  It becomes much more manageable; for me anyway.

grilled steak - veggie salad 019

Cucumbers are starting to climb

grilled steak - veggie salad 016

Strawberry and Broccoli

grilled steak - veggie salad 023

Rosemary, chives, parsley and oregano

grilled steak - veggie salad 022

cabbages getting a great start

grilled steak - veggie salad 020

While out on the patio the other day I was reading one of my favorite magazines Fine Cooking. Every time I read this wonderful magazine there are at least 3 dishes I want to try and make. Friday was going to be the best day of the weekend and it did not disappoint; it was absolutely gorgeous out. After weeding I made my grocery shopping list for one of the recipes I found and headed out.

I am going to give you a glimpse of how busy and crazy my life truly is. When I left for the store, which is 20-25 minutes away; there were going to be 4 of us for dinner.  While in the 3rd aisle of the store my husband calls to say he invited 6 more people over for dinner on the patio. I just started to laugh. I thought about changing my plan since I have never tried what I wanted to make and wasn’t sure if I could pull it off but what the hell; I got this!

grilled steak - veggie salad 008

Taken before I knew how many people were coming

The picture looked amazing and everything was cooked on the grill and thrown; OK probably placed nicely together on a platter. Sounded easy enough to me; and I seem to have no problem breaking rules of no testing recipes on company so why not AND they called it summer on a plate. When better than Fourth of July weekend to try “summer on a plate”

Skirt Steak and Grilled Vegetable Salad

I wasn’t off to a great start, the store didn’t have skirt steak; thankfully they had flank steak – I will prevail

Steak

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 large sprigs of fresh rosemary, bruised = crush with the dull side of the knife

3 sprigs of fresh thyme, bruised the same way

1 ½ lb skirt or flank steak, trimmed of excess fat

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Marinate the steak for at least 1 hour on the counter or up to 6 hours in the fridge.

grilled steak - veggie salad 001

Combine the oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper in either a baking dish or zip-top bag large enough for the steak.

Vegetables

3 tbs chopped fresh basil

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

1 tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Veggie Vinaigrette

In a small bowl combine 2 tbs of basil, 1 tbs of oil with the vinegar, parsley and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

grilled steak - veggie salad 005

2 red bell peppers, seeded and quartered

2 small yellow summer squash, sliced on a sharp diagonal ½ inch thick

2 small zucchini, sliced the same as the squash

2 ears of corn, husked

1 cup of cherry tomatoes, if you can get the different colored ones; they add a lot to the dish but don’t fret if you can’t

2 scallions thinly sliced on a diagonal.

Rub the peppers, squash, zucchini and corn with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. On a 400-470’ gas or charcoal grill Place veggies on the hot grates turning occasionally until tender with nice grill marks. Roughly 10-15 minutes. Arrange all but the corn on the platter and drizzle with the veggie vinaigrette.

grilled steak - veggie salad 010

Remove the steak from the marinade, season generously with salt and pepper, and grill, flipping once, until grill marks are on both sides and is cooked to your liking, best if cooked to medium rare about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes.

grilled steak - veggie salad 011

Cut the corn from the cob and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the tomatoes and remaining olive oil and basil. Season with salt and pepper and gently toss. Spoon half the corn and tomato mixture over the other veggies. Slice the steak against the grain into manageable pieces and arrange over the veggies. Scatter the remaining corn and tomatoes over the steak. Sprinkle with the scallions and kosher salt and serve.