Superbowl Seven Layer Dip
I just whipped this up to bring to a friend’s house party for the Superbowl tonight. The bottom layer is pinto beans (seasoned with salt, chili powder and smoked paprika) followed by sour cream, fresh avocado (mashed with lime juice, salt and diced red onion), prepared salsa, shredded cheddar / jack cheese, green onions and black olives. I omitted the ground espresso beans and sprinkling of pot this time around:) Go Seahawks!!
Julia Child’s Coq Au Vin
OMG, this is one of the 10 best things I’ve eaten all year…and my husband did the cooking! He wanted to try making coq au vin, since he didn’t think he’d ever had it “done right” before. He’s a southerner, so he knows his way around fried chicken. But what about a classic French dish? Yep, this definitely worked out. Flavors were rich and complex, yet beautifully balanced. I should let my husband into the kitchen more often.
Brown Butter and Pumpkin Ravioli
Really good pasta (homemade or from a specialty store - not the mass produced stuff) doesn’t need much to make it shine. I love this recipe from 101cookbooks.com because it’s only a few basic ingredients, but is soooo tasty.
Seared Scallops Over Spaghetti and Spinach
I was going to cook a more elaborate recipe, but time got tight this evening. So I improvised by boiling up some noodles and searing up my scallops with a little salt and pepper. I set the scallops aside in a covered bowl, de-glazed the skillet with white wine, wilted the spinach in a splash of olive oil, and tossed with the cooked pasta. It’s a beautiful and tasty meal without too much fussing.
Slow Cooker Pot Roast
Bags of rainbow carrots and locally raised brisket were on sale, and my mind immediately went to pot roast. I browned the meat in a cast iron skillet before placing in the crock pot. The meat came out fall-off-your-fork tender. Delicious.
Flounder Poached in Fennel Tomato Sauce
I love poached flounder. My go-to recipe is this one: Flounder with Jalapeno Cream (which I’ve made a dozen times). But I wanted to try something a little different, so I found this recipe for flounder in fennel tomato sauce. With pre-prepared marinara sauce, it’s almost too easy. Flavors were great, though…so I might use this as a starting point for further experimentation.
Baltimore Crab Cakes
Anyone know what makes a Baltimore crab cake a “Baltimore” crab cake (as opposed to just a crab cake?). I’m not really sure, but I know these were tasty. And easy, too. I served mine with a little mayo, sweet potato oven fries, and a green salad.
Shiitake and Bok Choy Soup
A great soup recipe for a quick weeknight meal. I added fried tofu for extra protein. Might be good with some rice noodles in the soup or some sticky rice on the side, too.
Clam and Bacon Pizza
It’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but I’m looking for something other than a turkey sandwich for lunch. How about a clam and bacon pizza? I got the dough going early in the day, used fresh littleneck clams, and more garlic than you’ve ever seen on a pizza before. The result was delicious.
Turkey Day has come and gone. But it was so good…I know I’ll be coming back to some of these recipes next year. For the turkey, I followed this How to Roast a Turkey guide (didn’t stuff the bird, though, just stuck in some quartered oranges and rosemary). Sides included Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Apples (THE best recipe for stuffing I’ve come across so far), a simple Cranberry Sauce, Collards with Bacon (not a traditional Thanksgiving veggie, but it tastes great!), and mashed sweet potatoes. For dessert, I used this Sweet Potato Pie recipe, though I did add my own small touches: made homemade evaporated milk by heating 2 cups of milk down to 1.5 cups, substituted 1/2 cup of brown sugar for white, and pureed the custard with an immersion blender for an extra smooth consistency. It said it was enough for 1 pie, though I ended up with enough custard for 1 large and 1 small pie. I’m not complaining. Overall, I’d say Thanksgiving 2013 was a big success.