Thursday, May 27, 2010

Barefoot Bloggers: Grilled Herb Shrimp (Chicken)

It is still spring but it feels like summer here in Minnesota even though it is a month early. This week up to the nineties and very high humidity. Here is a nice summery recipe to kick off the season. We just had a shrimp recipe a few months ago and now we get another one. Last time I actually went and got some shrimp but I was feeling too lazy this time to make two versions for my wife and I so I just made a chicken version of this recipe.

I am sure the shrimp would have been fabulous but I can say that chicken is a great option too. You could probably do at least six breasts with the recipe. This was a great spring/summer recipe with all the fresh herbs - and I love most anything on the grill. This would be a wonderful recipe for a party - easy to prepare ahead of time and it cooks up really quick.

Thanks to Penny at Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen for this recipe pick. In her blog she says she needs a new neighbor across the lake and I might have to start saving now because the lake (and her cottage) looks beautiful from her pictures.

Grilled Herb Shrimp ( or Chicken)
Yields 6 servings

  • 2 pounds large shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined (see note)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small-diced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  1. Combine all the ingredients and allow them to marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  2. Skewer the shrimp. I use 3 or 4 shrimp on a 12-inch skewer for dinner. Heat a grill with coals and brush the grill with oil to prevent the shrimp from sticking. Grill the shrimp for only 1 1/2 minutes on each side.
Note: I leave the tails on when I'm peeling the shrimp. If using chicken use 6 split boneless skinless breast cut in 3/8 inch strips and increase cooking time a little (3-4 minutes per side).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Barefoot Bloggers: Spring Green Risotto

I was hoping for a recipe I could use in my Mother's Day meal this month but since I decided to do a brunch thing it didn't quite work out that way. After cooking a big Mother's Day meal I had to make the first recipe of the month the next day so I was at least hoping for quick and easy - I didn't get that wish either.

The recipe was a typical risotto with all the constant stirring that goes with a risotto. I like risottos but it is something that is hard to make while watching a two year old. It is also hard to make anything else for your meal since they require a fair amount of attention. This risotto was probably even more complicated than most since you have to cook a bunch of veggies to start and then you blanch and add the asparagus half way through along with a bunch of other ingredients.

It sounds like I am complaining. This was really good and it is not really hard to make - it just takes time. The flavors were all really good together. I hardly ever make anything with fennel in it but I love the flavor of it. Thanks to Kimberly at Indulge and Enjoy for this pick. She has a lot of good looking vegetarian recipes on her site.

Spring Green Risotto
(Source: Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, page 147)
Serves 4 for dinner, 6 for appetizer

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
  • 1 cup chopped fennel
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 pound thin asparagus
  • 10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving
  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter. Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths and discard the tough ends. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water. (If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone.)
  3. When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add it to the risotto with the peas, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.
  4. Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl. When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives. Set aside, off the heat, for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Grandma's Enchiladas

Happy Tres de Mayo everyone! Unfortunately we will not be dining at home on the 5th and I was in the mood for Mexican food so I decided to make these up yesterday. I have made them before and I think it is currently my favorite Mexican recipe. With my wife not eating peppers or spicy food, it kind of limits the Mexican food, but this recipe has a lot of good flavor without being overly spicy. I love how you cook the meat until it is fall apart tender and are making the enchilada sauce at the same time in the same pot - way better than any canned sauce.

Grandma's Enchilada's
(Source: Cook's Country October/November, page 27)
Serves 6

  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into 1½ inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 12 (6 inch) corn tortillas

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Pat beef dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook half the beef, turning occasionally, until well browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Repeat with remaining oil and beef.
  2. Pour off ll but 1 tablespoon of fat from pot. Add onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook over medium heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin,coriander, cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until spices darken, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce and wine and bring to boil.
  3. Add browned beef, along with any juices, to pot. Transfer pot to oven and cook, covered, until meat is fork tender, 2 to 2 ½ hours. Transfer beef to large bowl. Strain sauce through fine-mesh strainer, discarding solids, and set aside. You should have about 2 cups sauce.
  4. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Spread 3/4 cup sauce over bottom of 13 by 9 inch baking dish; set aside. When beef is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces. Add 1 cup cheese and additional 1/4 cup sauce and toss to combine.
  5. Spray tortillas on both sides with cooking spray and arrange on baking sheet. Bake until they are warm and pliable, about 1 minute. Place 1/3 cup beef mixture in middle of each tortilla. Roll tightly and arrange, seam-side down, in prepared baking dish.
  6. Pour remaining sauce evenly over enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake until cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve.