Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Venison minute steaks with crowder peas and corn

After several trips to the woods with no fresh venison, I decided to get some out of the freezer. I made a gravy with the pan drippings. I topped the crowder peas with a little salsa verde for the tart contrast. I over ate, but why should anything be new....

La Coq au Vin

How do you take a $3 chicken and make it taste like a million bucks? Cook it for hours in $30 worth of wine. OK, we didn't use the good stuff, but it was still a bunch of wine. Heather has been wanting to do this since we came back from Disney. She used separated leg quarters. There are a ton of aromatics in here. Salt pork, thyme, celery, onion, carrots, mushrooms, stock, etc.... She used Alton Brown's recipe as a guideline. He suggested serving it over egg noodles, but we had none so she used a bit of her excellent risotto. This is a keeper. It takes a lot of prep, but it is worth it.

Huevos Rancheros

I got up early Sunday and was going to make a breakfast casserole of some sort. I looked over the things we had and decided to go for Huevos Rancheros. I chopped half an onion and cooked it down with a can of fire roasted tomatoes. I added some cumin, chipotle powder, and a few other random spices. Then I took the leftover oil from Heather's artichoke fritters and fried some corn tortillas. I kept them warm in the oven and got everything else ready. I took two tortillas each and covered them with refried beans. I fried 2 eggs to medium and placed them on the tortillas. I covered them with the ranchero sauce and at the last minute, tossed some shredded sharp cheddar on top. I had made a cafe mocha for us earlier. I don't know if I will do this again, but it was fun for this time.

Wings and Bulldogs

State had MTSU at home for homecoming and we had Scott, our neighbor over for some hotwings and football. We had to listen to the MTSU broadcast, but that was OK. Heather whipped up a batch of hotwings. The were a little more tame than normal, but we didn't want to kill the neighbor. She also made some artichoke fritters that were FINE. I made a sour cream/lemon dip for them, but they were just right by themselves. Definitly a keeper. The dawgs won and my belly was full. Scott brought an apple pie we finished the feast off with.

Chance's chocolate chip cookies

C-note bugged us till we let him make cookies. I did have to reach the baking soda from the top shelf, but he did everything else himself. They were a little thin because he didn't have the patience to let the dough cool and rest, but they were quite good.

Tilapia with Caper sauce and risotto

This is a typical impromptu Heather meal. We couldn't decide what to make so she took out what would thaw the fastest. She whipped up a caper cream sauce that I expected to be spicy with cayenne, but was actually quite tart with capers. The risotto was nice. Easy, quick, and cheap. Trifecta!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas

I had some leftover chipotles from making the inferno sweet potatoes. I learned my lesson about the dangers of chipotles. I got this recipe from November issue of Everyday Food. This is amazingly simple and inexpensive. The recipe called for one chopped chipotle but we are Burwells so 2 wouldn't hurt right? It seems like I forgot my lesson from 4 days ago. It was quite spicy, but really good. I will make a few changes the next time, but at its core, this is a good staple.

Potstickers and Fried Rice

Heather had been talking about potstickers since they came back from Chatanooga. The best meal they had out while they were there was at a TGI Fridays. Sad.... But she said it was good and started researching potstickers. Then we saw Alton Brown making them and that did it. These are TASTY little treats. This version was pork with minced scallions and red bell pepper with too many seasonings to list here. Then you drop a bit into a wanton wrapper (say that 3 times fast, I dare you) seal it up and fold it. Then you drop it in a pan with a bit of pepper infused oil. Wait 2 minutes. Don't even look at them. WAIT! Don't touch them. Deglaze the pan with some chicken stock being careful NOT TO TOUCH THEM! Cover with a lid and wait...... yep, 2 more minutes. Then lift the lid and take them out. What are you waiting for?!?!?! They are burning! Get them out. Then make this very spicy dipping sauce with Sirarchi sauce and soy sauce. The best part of the meal was watching Tanner use chop sticks. What a memorable event in our house. Sorry you missed it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dinner at the Smith's (Part 2) aka "The meal from around the world"

Rog(er) invited us to eat and watch the game. We will focus on the former because the latter is quite nauseating. He was making a tri-tip steak with an Asian spin, jerk pork, marinated 'shrooms, and grilled vegetables. We brought chipotle sweet potatoes, a salad with goat cheese and strawberries, and pecan squares. Well, to put it mildly, the potatoes, wasabi butter, and jerk pork we not mild. The kids had fun and we did too. The game wasn't much to talk about, but that is another rant.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bistro Style short ribs

This is what I had before the killer bug. The aroma was still quite nauseating. I powered through it though. This is BEST risotto Heather has made. Period. I told her not to change anything. The texture was perfect and the flavor..... Wow! The short ribs were tender and juicy. People just don't know what they are missing. Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone so they will still be cheap.

Shrimp and grits

This is a different interpretation of shrimp and grits. I was out of yellow onion and celery so I substituted. The color is from red onion. Tony's got the good tasso again so it made all the difference in this dish. It is becoming a staple at our house.

C makes his Second Degree Black Belt

After many, many months of exhibiting Courtesy, Integretiy, Perserverance, Self-Control and an Indomidable Spirit, Chance finally was awarded his Taekwondo America Second Degree Black Belt. He earned this one.

Beef Stew surprise

Surprise! This time Heather made it with chuncks of mushrooms and green bell pepper. I made some brown rice. It was a little runnier than normal. Heather took leftovers the next day and deposited them all over the floor at CSA. Oops..

Roast Beef Sandwich with au jus

Work has been a little crazy and I didn't get out for lunch on time luckily Heather did and was making this when I got home. Kaiser roll with caraway seeds brushed on top with black angus roast beef sliced thick with sauteed onions. The au jus was tangy. I added a little horseradish just because. We watched Sal and Mookie "Do the Right Thing" and wondered what the world will hold for our children. Great lunch!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chili cheese dawg

What a way to get ready for flag football. Heather whipped these up while I changed clothes to go to Tanner's game. TASTY!!!!! Kelly's chili of course. Ballpark frank. That is what I am talking about!

Chance's Tirimasu

Chance has been bugging me about Tirimasu since we had some at Portabella Yacht Club in Downtown Disney this spring. I finally got some ladyfingers and some time. I made the espresso and guided him towards the assembly. It turned out way better than I thought it would. Very light, but very rich.

Crab Cakes from Heaven

Mimi sent me an amazing birthday present. 4 - 8oz crabcakes from Angelina's of Maryland (www.crabcake.com). WOW! I was excited, but had to wait a few days for the opportunity to enjoy them. Heather made a salad with goat cheese, strawberries, and toasted pecans. It had a light balsamic vinaigrette. Very light and happy. I steamed some broccoli for a side item, but the crabcake was the show stealer. I have always thought of crabcakes as breading with cheap crab meat. Not these. There were a few flakes of herbs they had used, but the majority was just HUGE chunks of crab. I browned them quickly then added lemon juice and Sauvagnion Blanc and covered them to try to heat them through to the middle. That was a challenge because of the shear size of these bad boys. One of the best b-day presents ever. I have 2 more in the freezer. I'll save those for a special occasion, like Thursday.....

Oh no, not spaghetti again

I had some leftover Italian Sausage so I made a quick ragout. I knew Heather wouldn't be down for it with spaghetti so I put in some orecchiette. The boys gobbled it down, but Heather was conservative with it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Birthday spread at work

The ladies surprised me for my birthday with a WiiFit. Then they added to that by brining this spread. I had 2 cakes, taco dip, cheese spreads, chess squares, and lots of other goodies. They are too cool.

Smothered Pork Chops and Butter Peas

Heather made these smothered chops. The pork wasn't quite done when she was, so we had to nuke them. It made them a bit chewey, but it was very delicious. The butter peas were perfect. Funny what a little bacon grease can do.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Birthday Weekend

Sorry no pictures, but it was a nice weekend. I got up Saturday morning and ran 7.54 miles. When I got back I was starving. I messed around and got cleaned up then made a double batch of Kelly's chili with beans. I love that stuff. We spent some time at the park enjoying the beautiful day then Heather made a batch of Osso Bucco. Always tasty. We decided we may switch to splitting one shank. It is an enormous amount of food. I got up Sunday morning and went to the woods. I have practiced my routine over and over, but when the doe presented herself, I blew it. I wish I could figure that one out. Great way to spend a morning though. It was a beautiful day. Heather and I went to the grocery to load up for the week. She asked me what I wanted for my birthday dinner and I had a craving for spaghetti. That isn't one of Heather's favorites, but I was in the mood. I got some hot Italian sausage and ground beef. I browned that up and drained it. Then I chopped an onion and a bell pepper. I had it sweating and added a few cloves of roasted garlic. While I was slicing the mushrooms, I smelled something. I turned around and had burnt the crap out of the vegetables. After cleaning the pot, chopping more vegetables and stewing in my stupidity, I started over. When the veggies were done, I added the meat, a can of tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, basil, oregano, pepper, Chianti, and a little water. I let that simmer for about an hour an a half. Heather mixed some roasted garlic with butter and toasted some french bread slices. I spooned the ragout over some spaghetti, topped it with some shaved Parmesan, and we ate while watching Ironman. Not a bad way to spend a birthday.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Shrimp and grits

This is Heather's version of shrimp and grits. It hit the spot. Tasso can make anything tastier.

Yuki stew

Ok, so we didn't cook the cat, but she would be plump and juicy.....

Cream Cheese Chicken

This is another crock pot recipe. It is one whole chicken flattened with Italian seasonings over it. It is cooked all day. Then you take a can of cream of mushroom, 6oz of cream cheese with 1/2 cup sherry and cook in a sauce pan until it is smooth. Pour that over the chicken in the pot and go away for another hour. She served it with a buttery orzo and steamed broccoli. I would do this again, but not cook the chicken all day. It was a little too done.

The "perfect" pot roast

You will have to ask Heather for this recipe. It was different from anything I had seen before. She woke up early (think about that one for a minute) and seared the pot roast on all sides. She added it to the crock pot with carrots, onion, bell pepper, tomato sauce, red wine vinegar, and some seasonings. It cooked all day. Then she let the roast rest while she extracted the vegetables and sauce and pureed them. It thickend up for a rich gravy. She sliced the roast and plated it over rice. Tanner loved it till Heather told him what he was eating..... We will make this again.

Osso Bucco

Heather made another batch of her favorite last Sunday night. It was as delicious as ever.