Thursday, May 27, 2010
The first time I had strawberries Romanoff was at La Madeleine, and it was a bite of someone else's order. The cream was much thicker and more tangy than I anticipated. It's not too sweet but is the perfect accompaniment for those glorious strawberries. I even whipped up the sauce in the morning and stored it until later, making it a great make-ahead dessert for a party.
source: Cook Like a Champion
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons brandy or vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced if large
freshly grated nutmeg
Mix the sour cream, brown sugar and brandy together in a small bowl.
In another bowl, whisk the heavy cream until it thickens slightly, then add sugar. Continue whisking until cream is fluffy.
Gently fold whipped cream into sour cream mixture.
Place strawberries in serving dish of your choice, top with sauce and freshly grated nutmeg.
Coming up this Saturday, Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil wrangled a bunch of Nashville-area food bloggers together to do a flood benefit bake sale. All proceeds will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. The Green Wagon in East Nashville (1100 Forrest Ave) has been kind enough to take us on, so we will be there from 1:30-4 pm with our delicious treats. I'll be making these delicious peanut butter cookies. All treats will go for $2. So if you're in the area, come on by and spend some money!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The recipe for the dressing makes plenty, so feel free to halve it if you don't want the leftovers. Seeing as our first CSA delivery was this past Saturday, I made the whole recipe. This salad was very filling, but it also felt good on a hot evening to eat something so refreshing. I loved the peppery bite of the arugula with the sour tang of the lemon juice and the flavor of the Dijon mustard. I definitely found a salad I like.
Couscous, Lentil, and Arugula Salad with Garlic-Dijon Vinaigrette
source: Eating Well
Yields 4 large servings
* 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/2 cup lemon juice
* 1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
* 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
* 4 small cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* Freshly ground pepper, to taste
* 1 1/4 cups vegetable broth, or water
* 1 cup whole-wheat couscous
* 2 1/2 cups water
* 1 cup French green lentils, or brown lentils, rinsed
* 4 cups arugula, any tough stems removed, or mixed salad greens
* 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
* 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
* 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1. To prepare vinaigrette: Combine oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard and garlic in a blender, a jar with a tight-fitting lid or a medium bowl. Blend, shake or whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
2. To prepare salad: Bring 1 1/4 cups broth (or water) to a boil in a small saucepan. Add couscous, cover, remove from the heat and let stand until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
3. Combine 2 1/2 cups water and lentils in another saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until just tender, 15 to 25 minutes. (Green lentils will be done sooner than brown lentils.) Be careful not to overcook the lentils or they will fall apart in the salad. Drain any excess water and let cool for about 10 minutes.
4. If arugula leaves are large, tear into bite-size pieces. Toss arugula (or greens) with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette in a large bowl, then divide among 4 large plates. In the same bowl, toss the couscous and lentils with another 1/4 cup vinaigrette; divide the mixture among the plates. Top each salad with cucumber, tomatoes and feta and drizzle each with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette. (Cover and refrigerate the remaining 1 cup vinaigrette for up to 1 week.)
Per serving: 549 calories; 18 g fat (5 g sat, 10 g mono); 17 mg cholesterol; 79 g carbohydrates; 22 g protein; 15 g fiber; 579 mg sodium; 630 mg potassium.
Monday, May 24, 2010
I had bookmarked this last year as part of a fictional backyard cookout menu that we never got around to hosting. Because, you know, it's totally normal to plan menus for parties that you don't actually have. It was brought to my attention again by Coach Nicole from Sparkpeople, and I decided that this time I would actually make it.
The goat cheese melts a little on the hot crust, and this is just a lovely spring supper with a glass of white wine. It would also make a nice appetizer for a not-so-fictional outdoor party. I substituted arugula for the watercress and really enjoyed the peppery bite of the arugula with the cool sweetness of the strawberries.
Strawberry, Pistachio, and Goat Cheese Pizza
source: Cooking Light May 2009
1 12 oz prebaked whole wheat pizza crust
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup trimmed watercress (or arugula or spinach)
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
1/4 cup shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 tbsp shelled, dry-roasted pistachios, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 425-degrees.
2. Place crust on a baking sheet or pizza stone. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove crust from oven and sprinkle goat cheese evenly over the crust.
3. Combine strawberries, watercress, olive oil, juice, salt, and black pepper; toss gently to coat. Arrange strawberry mixture evenly over goat cheese. Sprinkle pizza with Parmigiano-Reggiano and nuts. Cut into 12 wedges. Serve immediately.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
We definitely needed the fortification (pun!) for the rest of the day - traipsing around OSJ visiting the forts! Our first stop was Castillo de San Cristobal. The forts are run by the National Park System, and you can buy a pass to both forts for $5 a person. Although El Morro is the more famous of the forts, San Cristobal is much bigger. We were awed. We didn't take an official tour but just used the maps we were given to navigate around. There is also good signage in Spanish and English around the forts.
Dorky side comment: You know how in the book of Joshua, Rahab, the prostitute who helps the Israelites enter Canaan, lives in the city walls? I never really understood how she could live in the wall until I saw the walls around San Juan. Look at how thick they are! You could totally live in there.
One benefit is that you get a great view of Old San Juan from across the bay. After taking the ferry back across, we decided to head back to Condado for dinner where we ate at a comida criolla restaurant close-by. Having done all of the tourist things, we were ready to rest our feet and consume some mofongo and a nice cold beer.
The next morning, another planned beach day, we woke up and found it was raining. We stayed in bed hoping it would let up, but it didn't appear to be going anywhere. After doing some quick research, I determined that we were within walking distance of the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. On the way, we ate a filling breakfast at Bebo's. The art museum was a really nice way to spend a few hours, particularly if it's raining and you don't have a car. They had everything from 17th-century religious art to modern protest art and a sculpture garden.
By the late afternoon, we were determined to spend some time on the beach, and the rain looked to be letting up. We took a walk down the shore and then enjoyed the little bit of sun that came out right before setting behind the buildings. Because it was out last night in Puerto Rico, we wanted to have a big night out so we went back to our condo and got ready to go out.
We first started with drinks at the Atlantic Beach Hotel. The Atlantic Beach Hotel was one of the few hotels we could see that had an oceanfront bar with a patio. It's also a well-known gay hangout. We enjoyed our beers and talked about where we might go for dinner. Only a short bit down Avenida Ashford was Ummo, where we ended up eating dinner. Joe was keen on a place that had live music, but I was tired of comida criolla. This ended up being absolutely perfect.
We started off with a tasting of 3 different red wines and some corn and goat cheese empanadas. Then, we decided to order the Parillada Gourmet for two people. It was brought out to us on the table that you see in the picture that had coals inside to keep it warm. It also came with two sides, and we ordered the mashed yucca and creamed spinach. All of the meat you see above includes blood sausage, chorizo, filet mignon, sweetbreads, pork loin, and short ribs along with two sauces for the meat. We were stuffed. Everything was absolutely delicious and flavorful. My only complaint was that the pork was slightly dry. It was one of the best dining experiences I have ever had: the service, the music, the food, and the atmosphere was just perfect.
The next morning, it was raining just a bit, so we grabbed breakfast in Ocean Park. By then, the rain had mostly stopped, so we headed to the beach one last time. We were very, very sad for our vacation to end. We loved San Juan and Puerto Rico so much that our next vacation will most likely be to another part of Puerto Rico, probably Vieques. Before this vacation, we had always talked about retiring to Mexico, but I think those plans have now changed to Puerto Rico. The beauty of the island, the friendliness of the people, and the combination of cultures is really something to behold. We can't wait to get back to Puerto Rico!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter in a small pot or microwave dish, and set aside. Sift two cups flour, the baking powder, salt and (if using) sugar into a large bowl. Fold in 1 1/4 cups cream. If the dough is not soft or easily handled, fold in the remaining 1/4 cup cream, little by little.
Turn dough onto a floured surface, mound it into a ball and, using your hands, press it to a thickness of about 3/4 inch. Cut into rounds, 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Gather dough scraps and continue to make rounds. Dip the top of each round in melted butter and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately, or flash freeze for future use. [Biscuits can be baked straight from the freezer, and additional few minutes baking time will be needed, usually around 3 to 5.]
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
This is a different style of cake, very dense and moist, almost more like the texture of banana bread. The pineapple, banana, and oil make it so tender, and the pecans vary the texture of the cake. Next time, I might roast the pecans to deepen the flavor even more. The whole thing is topped off with a sugary cream cheese frosting. This sure was a big hit, and it went so well with the overall theme of the brunch.
source: Savannah Rum Runners Bakery in Savannah Classic Desserts by Janice Shay
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 (11 oz) can crushed pineapple, with juice (I used an 8 oz can.)
2 cups diced bananas
2 cups pecans (I had 1 1/2 cups, which was plenty)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 8 oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (I ended up only using 3 1/2 cups.)
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F. Butter two 9-inch cake pans.
To make the cake, combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix until well-blended with a wire whisk. Add the eggs and oil and stir with a wooden spoon until moist. Add the pineapple, bananas, pecans, and vanilla. Stir until well-blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake for 25 minutes (Mine took closer to 35), or until a tester inserted near the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto racks and remove the pans. Finish cooling before frosting.
To make the icing, beat the cream cheese and vanilla until very soft. Add the confectioners' sugar gradually, beating until fully blended and a soft spreading consistency has been reached. Add a little milk if necessary to achieve a spreading consistency. Spread over the top of one layer. Set the second layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I'll admit, one of the things I complain about the most with regards to Nashville is the food. The vast expanse of restaurants in Houston completely spoiled me, and I definitely have my Tex-Mex cravings. However, the somewhat smaller food scene that comes with a smaller city also means that I have had the opportunity to be a part of it from attending the Iron Fork competition to regularly commenting on the Nashville Scene Bites blog to getting to know other Nashville food bloggers and writers. That kind of thing didn't happen in Houston. As a part of that, the restaurant scene has come together to help support flood victims and rebuild our city with Eat Out for Nashville this coming Monday.
When you eat out at any of the participating restaurants this coming Monday, they will donate 50% of their proceeds to the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund of the Community Fund of Middle Tennessee. This is a great way to help that only requires that we do what we all have to do anyway - eat. You can help our great city without even tearing up floorboards or ripping up carpet. Doug Hogrefe of Amerigo, who is so community-minded and generous, helped get this off of the ground, but many other restaurants have signed on. For more information, follow @EatOutforNash on Twitter or go to http://eatoutfornashville.org. Check there often as more restaurants are being added every day!
So who is with me in eating out for Nashville this Monday?
Here is a list of currently participating restaurants:
1922 West End Avenue
Nashville, Tennessee 37203
1656 Westgate Circle
Brentwood, Tennessee 37027
722 Thompson Lane
Nashville, TN 37204
2901 12th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37204-2509
The Garden Brunch Café (breakfast and lunch only)
924 Jefferson Street
Nashville, TN 37208
Holland House Bar and Refuge
935 W. Eastland Ave.
Nashville, TN 37206
1314 5th Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37208-1600
The Melting Pot
166 Second Avenue N.
Nashville, TN 37201
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt6900 Lenox Village Dr. Suite 6
Nashville, TN 37211
1000 Main Street
Nashville, TN 37206
923 Bell Road, Antioch
100 E. Park Drive, Brentwood
2792 Wilma Rudolph Boulevard, Clarksville
202 North James Campbell Boulevard, Columbia
1401 Interstate Drive, Cookeville
2409 Highway 46 South, Dickson
1202 Murfreesboro Road, Franklin
1009 Village Green Crossing, Gallatin
912 Rivergate Parkway, Goodlettsville
212 Indian Lake Boulevard, Hendersonville
5500 Old Hickory Boulevard, Hermitage
4223 Ft. Campbell Boulevard, Hopkinsville
902 Murfreesboro Road, Lebanon
2367 Hillsboro Boulevard, Manchester
401 S. Mt. Juliet Road, Ste 125, Mt. Juliet
1006 Memorial Boulevard, Murfreesboro
2450 Old Fort Parkway, Murfreesboro
1108 Murfreesboro Road, Nashville
17 White Bridge Road, Nashville
110 Coley Davis Court (Bellevue), Nashville
820 Expo Drive, Smyrna
2000 Crossing Circle, Spring Hill
3535 Tom Austin Highway, Springfield
Paradise Park Trailer Resort
Nashville, TN 37203
The Patterson House
1711 Division Street
Nashville, TN 37203
117a Franklin Road
Brentwood, TN 37027
Stoney River Legendary Steaks
1726 Galleria Boulevard, Cool Springs
3015 West End Avenue, Nashville
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Toasted Cinnamon Coffee
Cream biscuits with preserves
Paula Deen's Hashbrown Casserole
Quiche with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Bacon
Southwestern Egg and Black Bean Skillet
source: Cara's Cravings
Yields: 2 servings
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup frozen corn
1 cup drained, rinsed black beans
salt & pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
pinch of coriander
10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies (like Ro-tel)
2 large eggs
2 oz queso fresco, crumbled (I used feta.)
chopped cilantro and sliced avocado, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400F.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, corn, and beans and cook for about 2 more minutes, until garlic is fragrant. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and coriander.
Add the diced tomatoes with green chilies and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and allow to simmer for 10 minutes to blend flavors.
Carefully break the eggs over the black bean mixture. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until eggs are soft-set. Sprinkle with queso fresco and garnish with cilantro and diced avocado. Serve hot.
Nutritional Info (not including avocado)
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 14.0 g
Cholesterol: 227.5 mg
Sodium: 1,525.8 mg
Total Carbs: 35.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 9.0 g
Protein: 20.7 g
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
4 4-ounce fillets of mahi mahi
2 large, ripe avocados, peeled and diced
1 cup corn kernels, cooked (fresh, frozen, or canned)
1 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your grill or grill-pan to medium-high heat. Brush the fillets with the olive oil and sprinkle both sides with the cajun seasoning. Grill for about 4-5 minutes on each side, until the fish is cooked to your desired doneness and nicely browned.
Meanwhile, combine in a bowl the avocado, corn, black beans, red onion, tomato, bell pepper, cilantro, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper (and cayenne pepper) and toss to combine.
Top each fillet with a serving of the avocado salad, and serve immediately.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Open-Faced Sandwiches with Ricotta, Arugula, and Fried Egg
source: May 2010 Cooking Light
Yields 4 servings
4 slices whole-wheat country bread
2 cups arugula
1 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
4 large eggs
3/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1. Preheat broiler.
2. Coat both sides of the bread with cooking spray. Broil 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly toasted.
3. Combine arugula, 2 tsp oil, lemon juice, 1/8 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Toss gently.
4. Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in a skillet over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan, and cook two minutes. Cover pan with lid and cook a remaining 2 minutes or until whites are set. Remove from the heat.
5. Combine 1/4 tsp salt, ricotta, parmesan, and thyme. Spread over bread slices. Divide arugula mixture and eggs over bread slices. Sprinkle with remaining 1/8 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and serve.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Black Bean & Salmon Tostadas
source: Eating Well via Cara's Cravings
- 8 6-inch corn tortillas
- Canola oil cooking spray
- 1 6- to 7-ounce can boneless, skinless wild Alaskan salmon, drained
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2 tablespoons minced pickled jalapeños, plus 2 tablespoons pickling juice from the jar, divided
- 2 cups coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
- 2 tablespoons prepared salsa
- 2 scallions, chopped
- Lime wedges (optional)
- Position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375°F.
- Coat tortillas on both sides with cooking spray. Place on 2 baking sheets. Bake, turning once, until light brown, 12 to 14 minutes.
- Combine salmon, avocado and jalapeños in a bowl. Combine cabbage, cilantro and the pickling juice in another bowl. Process black beans, sour cream, salsa and scallions in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on High until hot, about 2 minutes.
- To assemble tostadas, spread each tortilla with some bean mixture and some salmon mixture and top with the cabbage salad. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.
Per serving (2 tostadas): 319 calories; 11 g fat (2 g sat, 6 g mono); 16 mg cholesterol; 0 g added sugars; 16 g protein; 12 g fiber; 352 mg sodium; 670 mg potassium.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Kelsey recommended a few recipes that she had made, even listing these Super Snickerdoodles as one of her top 10 recipes of 2009. The texture of these cookies was incredible, but I thought they tasted just a tad too strongly of butter. Not that having a cookie tasting of butter is a bad thing, but I just wanted a slightly more nuanced cookie with perhaps a stronger cinnamon taste. These were gobbled up though, so I don't think anyone else minded!
source: Kelsey's Apple a Day
2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 c. sugar, divided
2 large eggs
4-5 tsp. ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. Put butter and 1 1/2 c. sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about three minutes. Mix in eggs.
4. Reduce speed to low and gradually incorporate flour mixture.
5. In a small bowl, stir together remaining 1/4 c. sugar and cinnamon to preferred ratio.
6. Shape dough into 1 3/4 in. balls (you should have about 20). Roll in cinnamon sugar and place three inches apart on baking sheets lines with Silpat or parchment paper.
7. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, twelve to 15 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in an airtight container for up to three days.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Spring Vegetable Carbonara
source: Cooking Light May 2010
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
12 oz asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 oz uncooked cavatappi pasta
1/2 cup (2 oz) grated pecorino romano cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
4 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped and seeded
1. Boil a pot of water, and cook peas and asparagus in boiling water for 3 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice water; drain. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta into a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Combing pasta, peas, and asparagus.
2. Combine cheese, salt, pepper, and eggs in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add hot pasta water to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, and reserve 1 tbsp drippings from pan. Add cooked bacon to pasta/vegetable mixture. Cook bell pepper in pasta drippings for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pasta mixture; cook 1 minute until thoroughly heated. Remove pan from heat and stir in egg mixture. Return pan to low heat. Cook for 2 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring constantly.
Yields 4 servings
Calories: 425, Fat: 14.4 g, Protein: 22.2 g, Carb 52 g, Fiber 5.4 g, Sodium 614 mg
Monday, May 3, 2010
We're safe and dry, but many of our friends and acquaintances aren't. Many people did not have flood insurance because these areas have not flooded in 100 years. Right now one of the two water treatment plants is submerged and non-functional. The Cumberland River is still rising. The normal level is 19 feet. It is currently at 50 feet and is expected to crest around noon today at 51 feet. Water is in downtown Nashville flooding restaurants and businesses. MTA bus and train services have been suspended indefinitely