Friday, February 26, 2010

Grilled Rib-Eye Salad with Red Wine-Honey Mustard Vinaigrette and Fresh Thyme

My husband grilled fabulous rib-eye steaks for Valentine's Day using a Bobby Flay recipe.  The steaks were loaded with flavor, but were large enough to feed the neighborhood.  We used the leftovers to create this easy main dish salad.

Grilled Rib-Eye Salad with Red Wine-Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Grilled Steak and Dressing adapted from Bobby Flay's Boy Gets Grill

For the Steaks:
Boneless rib-eye steaks, cut 2 inches thick
Canola or olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.  Twenty minutes before grilling, remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let sit, covered, at room temperature.

2.  Heat your grill to high

3.  Brush the steaks on both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place the steaks on the grill and let cook until golden brown and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes.  Turn the steaks over and continue grilling for 5 to 6 minutes for medium-rare or 7 to 8 minutes for medium.

4.  Remove the steaks to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.  

For the Salad:
Slice valdalia onions and colorful bell peppers (place in grill basket and cook along side the steaks)
Spring greens
Blue cheese, crumbled (good quality such as Maytag)

For the Dressing:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, honey, and thyme in a medium bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. (The vinaigrette can be made a few hours in advance, covered and kept refrigerated. bring to room temperature before serving.)

Cut steak into 1/4- inch thick slices and serve over the bed of fresh spring greens, crumbled blue cheese, grilled pepper and onions.  Spoon a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette dressing over each serving.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spicy Boxing Chicken with a Chili and Lime Dipping Sauce

Food blogging has been such a wonderful experience for me and having an opportunity to host a fellow blogger is icing on the top.  I was delighted when Suresh from 3 Hungry Tummies  agreed to showcase one of his dishes on Tomatoes on the Vine.  He has a creative cooking style that focuses on fresh simple ingredients to create mouth pleasing flavors.

Please welcome Suresh! Take the time to visit his blog and say hello.

When my new blogger friend Velva from Tomatoes on the Vine asked me to do a guest post for her beautiful blog, I jumped at the opportunity. To repay such an honour given to me; I thought I should make something special that she would love of course, thus the birth of Spicy Boxing Chicken with chili and lime dipping sauce.

This is a perfect as a beer snack, finger food for your next party or as part of your next Thai meal.

Spicy Boxing Chicken with a Chili and Lime Dipping Sauce 
Recipe from 3 Hungry Tummies

1 kg of chicken wings
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
4 coriander roots, roughly chopped
small knob of ginger, roughly chopped
Tablespoon of fish sauce
Tablespoon oyster sauce
dash of white pepper
rice flour for dusting
peanut oil for frying

Chili and Lime Dipping Sauce
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 coriander roots, roughly chopped
4 bird chilies, roughly chopped
2 shallots, roughly chopped
2 tablespoon of white sugar
2 tablespoon of fish sauce
juice of 2 limes

First prepare marinade by pounding the chopped ingredients till a rough paste is achieved, set aside. Next separate the wings into two parts; with a sharp knife cut around the thin end of the drumette until the skin is sinew and is separated from the bone, pull the mat down with the help of a knife if needed, and you get a little chicken lollipop.

With the winglets;  loosen the two thin bones with a sharp knife then pull the bones out, pull the meat down to the wing tip end. Marinate the chicken pieces wth the prepared paste, fish sauce, oyster sauce and white pepper for at least one hour.

Dust the marinated chicken pieces with rice flour and fry in batches until golden and crispy.

For the dipping sauce; pound chopped ingredients to a rough paste then mix in the sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Check for seasoning, it should taste sweet, sour , hot and salty. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Serve fried chicken pieces on a large platter with the dipping sauce.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lemon Parfaits with Blackberries

Whipped cream, fresh lemons and sweet blackberries.  Doesn't this parfait remind you of summer? In a short while, gone will be the cold, wet weather and in it's place at least for us, will be the humid, hot Florida summers. This berry parfait is a good reminder of what we will soon be craving.

Lemon Parfaits with Blackberries
6 servings
Recipe from: Bon Appetit

1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
1 1/4 cups purchased lemon curd (from two 11 1/4-ounce jars)
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
3 1/2 cups fresh blackberries (from 3 1/2 pint baskets)

Using an electric mixer, beat cream in large bowl until stiff peaks form. Mix lemon curd, lemon juice and peel in another large bowl to blend. Fold in whipped cream, then 2-1/2 cups blackberries.

Divide lemon mixture among six 8-10 ounce wineglasses or dessert cups. Cover and chill until parfaits are cold, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.

Sprinkle remaining 1 cup blackberries atop parfaits and serve immediately.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nigerian Chicken Stew-A Shout out to Kitchen Butterfly

Food bloggers are notoriously generous.  Just recently, I experienced the generosity of one of my favorite food bloggers, Ozoz from Kitchen Butterfly. (  I received a most delightful and generous box of goodies from the Netherlands.

Much of her food box has already been consumed by the family except for the seasonings which have been added to my pantry.  I have taken note of her insistence that only Lion's brand Curry and Thyme are used in her Nigerian home dishes and "NO other brand would do." I have added her homemade spice blends for peppersoup and a blend of ginger, garlic, peanuts and chili pepper spices to be enjoyed in future dishes.

During our virtual exchanges, I teased Ozoz about living life without ever having experienced one of America's favorite comfort foods, Macaroni and Cheese. She laughed, she responded and the conversation began.  She is adventurous in the kitchen and her blog always reflects her commitment to the cultural experience of food.  Ozoz is Nigerian born, educated in Britian and has made her home in the Netherlands.  As a way to share with Ozoz my appreciation for her food package and to her culture, I am trying my hand, with with her assistance, at preparing a Nigerian Chicken Stew.

Chicken Stew is a traditional Nigerian meal that is simmered in a tomato based sauce blended with hot chili peppers and onions. This dish is a wonderful soul satisfying meal served over white rice and served with Dodo (fried plaintains). Our family enjoyed this meal for dinner and again the following day for lunch.

Thank you Ozoz!

Nigerian Chicken Stew

1 large chicken cut into 12 pieces
Fresh scotch bonnet chilies, to taste 
1lb fresh tomatoes, chopped
4 large onions, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
8 ounces tomato puree
1 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoon partminger leaves (note: I used dried basil)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1-2 cups of chicken stock made with Maggi cubes (add as necessary to create a thick smooth sauce)
groundnut oil for frying (note: I used vegetable oil)

Note: Ozoz has been adding dry roasted crushed cumin seeds for additional flavor.

1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Blend in a processor half the onions, scotch bonnet chilis and chopped tomatoes
3. Heat a small amount of oil (1-2 tablespoons) in a pan. Add the remaining half of onions, thyme and curry powder. Stirring frequently until it is almost dry.
4. Add chicken pieces and brown.
5. Add the tomato puree, and the processed tomatoes, onions and peppers. Add chicken stock. Stir until well blended. Cook until sauce is reduced.
6. Simmer about 30-35 minutes.

Serve over hot rice.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pan-Seared Sea Scallops on Red Onion Marmalade

 This dish can be made in less than a half an hour and is perfect served as a first course or as a main entree. If served as a main course, it is recommended that it be served with a soft polenta and steamed broccoli rabe. The onion marmalade is delicious separate with grilled meats or as an accompaniment for cheese.

We served it up with our Valentine's Day meal as a first course in place of salad.

Pan-seared sea scallops on red onion marmalade
4 main course or 8 first course servings
Recipe from: Bon Appetit 

16 large scallops, side muscles removed
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 medium red onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
Chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Toss the scallops in 2 tablespoons oil, lemon peel, and ginger in a medium bowl.  Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper. Add scallops to skillet. Cook until brown and just opaque in center, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer scallops to small baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm.

Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil to drippings in same skillet; place over high heat. Add onions; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until brown, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add wine, vinegar, and brown sugar. Cook until onion marmalade is thick, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon marmalade onto plates. Top with scallops and any juices. Sprinkle with chives.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Praline French Toast Casserole

This is a fabulous Sunday breakfast or brunch dish. This is a very rich dish, a little goes a long way.

Praline French Toast Casserole
Serves 8
Recipe from: Paula Deen

8 eggs
1-1/2 cups half-and-half
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
10 to 12 slices soft bread, 1-inch thick

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup maple syrup
2 cups chopped pecans

1. Generously butter a 13-by-9-inch casserole dish.
2. Mix the eggs, half-and-half, maple syrup, and sugar in a large bowl. Place the bread slices (note: I cubed day old French bread) in the prepared casserole dish and cover with the egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let soak overnight in the refrigerator.
3. Preheat the oven to 350F. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator.
4. Make the topping: Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the sugar and maple syrup and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in pecans. Pour the mixture over the bread and bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Tallahassee Cooking Club, January 2010

This month's theme was Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Julia's recipes are amazing but can be complicated and tedious.  However, don't let that sway your enthusiasm to open her cookbook and take the plunge into her recipes. If you have the time to prepare you will not be disappointed.

I must have been enjoying the French wine because I did not take many photos of our evening.

Our evening menu included:

A French Cheese board that included a creamy Port Salut, Brie and Comte

Roasted Pear Salad with Goat Cheese and Spring Greens with a French Vinaigrette

Did I mention the wine?

The main course was Filet Mignon wrapped in bacon served with a Mushroom Gravy Sauce.  As side dishes Spinach Timbale and Potatoes Dauphine were served.

We enjoyed a wonderful molded dessert called Charlotte Malakoff Aux Fraises or Almond Cream with Strawberries. I wish I would have gotten a photo because the dessert was beautiful.

Thank you for letting me share our evening with you.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Prosciutto And Mozzarella Panini

During the week our home life is hectic. We are forever trying to figure out what's for dinner! The doors in the pantry are endlessly opened and closed. The refrigerator too. If we can find a meal that is simple and satisfying, and can be made in the time that we have, then it is a keeper.

Grilled sandwiches top our list and can be a flavorful healthy option.

Proscuitto And Mozarella Panini
Recipe from Emeril Lagassee

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 slices (1/2-inch thick) ciabatta or other rustic italian white bread
4 ounces thinly sliced mozarella cheese
4 ounces thinly sliced proscuitto
6 ounces jarred roasted red peppers, drained

1. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper together in a small bowl to blend.

2. Arrange the slices of bread on a flat work surface, and using a brush, spread the vinaigrette evenly over one side of each slice. Divide the mozarella equally over one side of each slice. Top 4 of the bread slices with the proscuitto and red peppers, and then place the remaining 4 slices of bread on the top, vinaigrette side down.

3. Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Add the 4 sandwiches and cook, pressing them occasionally with a large spatula or the bottom of a small saucepan, until the bread is golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 4 minutes per side. Serve immediately.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Scallops With Citrus And Quinoa

If you are watching your weight or just looking for a healthy alternative this meal per serving is only 335 calories with 10 grams of fat. We used fresh diver sea scallops. The scallops were quickly seared until golden brown on each side and served along side of quinoa.

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a high protein and nutritious seed, originally from the Andes region of South America. This grain has a slightly nutty flavor which makes it an excellent substitute for rice or cous-cous. Quinoa is very easy to prepare and cooks quickly.

Scallops With Citrus And Quinoa
Serves 4
Recipe from Food Network

3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed well
Kosher salt
3 oranges
4 tangerines
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1- 1/4 pounds sea scallops, tough foot muscles removed
Freshly ground pepper
1 teasppon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1. Combine the quinoa, 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, ntil the water is absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, grate 1 teaspoon orange zest, then juice all 3 oranges and the tangerines into a bowl. Sprinkle the sugar in a skillet and cook over medium-high heat until dark amber, about 5 minutes. 

Remove from the heat and whisk in the vinegar, citrus juices, zest, and the coriander. Return to medium heat and boil until thick, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter; keep warm.

3. Season the scallops on one side with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the scallops seasoned-side down and sear until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook until golden on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes more minutes.

4. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and divide among plates. Top with the scallops, drizzle with the citrus sauce and sprinkle with parsley.