Tuesday, May 29, 2012

LeBron James Grilled Mahi Mahi Mango Salad

3 lbs fresh Mahi Fillets skinned and portioned into 6-8 oz pieces.
1 T salt
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 t Cracked black pepper
Fresh chopped cilantro
2 cloves minced garlic
3 T lemon juice

Preheat grill medium to high heat, clean grates and oil with towel.

Let fish stand in seasoning for at least 20 min before grilling.

Spray fish lightly with natural vegetable spray. Grill fish 2-3 minutes each side being delicate when turning. Reserve in pan for service.

Salad Ingredients:

1 bunch fresh spinach
1 head Romain lettuce
1 bunch watercress
1 ea mango peeled sliced thin
1 yellow bell pepper julienne cut
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1 cup chopped roasted almonds

Dressing Ingredients:

1/2 C champagne vinegar
1/2 C grape seed oil
1 C canola oil

1 peeled shallot
1 clove garlic
1 T sugar
1 t cracked black pepper
1/2 t salt
1 T lime juice
few sprigs fresh parsley

Dressing Prep Instructions:

Blend together with hand mixer or blender.

To serve:

Toss together the salad ingredients with the dressing.  Divide among 6 plates.  Place the grilled mahi mahi on top and serve.

Serves 6

Chicken Penne Bake

2 chicken breasts, cooked & cubed
1 1/2 cup penne pasta
1 pkg fresh baby spinach (9 oz)
1 tsp dried basil
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
2 oz cream cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Defrost chicken in fridge overnight.

Cook pasta according to package, adding spinach to boiling water for the last minute. Drain and set aside.

Heat chicken, basil, sauce and tomatoes in a large skillet. Bring to a boil. Decrease heat and simmer for three minutes. Stir in cream cheese.

Add pasta to chicken mixture and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Pour into 2 quart baking dish.

Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake additional 3 minutes or until melted.

Servings: 4

Lawry's the Prime Rib's Creamed Spinach

Spinach base:

1/2 pound smoked bacon, finely chopped
1 bunch (about 10 small) green onions, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons butter

In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon over medium-high heat until browned and crisp, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes.

To the pan, stir in the green onion, onion, chopped garlic, salt and pepper and simmer, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in the butter, then puree the mixture in a blender. (The base can be made ahead of time to this point and covered and refrigerated. Reheat before using.)

Creamed spinach:

Spinach base
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup half and half
2 pounds spinach, cleaned and chopped

Heat the spinach base in a large skillet over medium heat until warm. Gradually whisk in the flour until fully incorporated. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes to cook out the flour taste,
stirring frequently.

While the base is heating, scald the milk in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat but keep warm on the stove.

When the flour is cooked, whisk in the hot milk and half and half, mixing thoroughly. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring
frequently, until the mixture is thickened to a cream sauce consistency, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the spinach, a little at a time, until all is added. Continue to cook until the creamed spinach begins to bubble, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve immediately. This makes about 4 1/2 cups creamed spinach.

Serves 6-8

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

P.F. Chang's Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry Romaine Wraps with Citrus Soy

1 pound chicken
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dry chili flakes
3 tablespoons soy bean oil or vegetable oil
2 heads romaine lettuce, cleaned
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 ounce scallions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Dice the chicken into tiny pieces. Place the chicken in a mixing bowl and add 2 tablespoons soy bean oil, ginger, garlic, chili flakes and 2 tablespoons soy sauce. Mix together in circular motion until well mixed. Let marinate in refrigerator for 2-4 hours.

Mix together the citrus juices, soy, and hoisin sauce with a whisk. Reserve until needed. Clean the romaine lettuce, chopping off the stem, peeling each 'spear' and running under clean cold water.
Reserve in refrigerator until ready to use. Chop scallions into rings and reserve chilled.

Coat a very hot sauté pan lightly with soy bean oil. Lay the chicken around the sauté pan being careful not to lay too many on top of each other. Sear the chicken until crispy and golden brown,
about 2 1/2 minutes. Once chicken is brown, toss gently in pan and sear another 2 ½ minutes. The pan will appear to "burn", but that is the carmelization and where all the flavor comes from.

Add 1/2 of the citrus soy mixture to the sauté pan and coat well. Let the sauce coat the chicken until it is glazed, and thickens on the chicken. Add more or less depending on how "wet" you want your
mixture. Spoon chicken onto a plate.

Wrap the chicken mixture in romaine lettuce and top with scallion rings. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Quick 'N' Easy Beef Quesadillas

6 oz thinly sliced roast beef
1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup Salsa, divided
3/4 cup shredded colby-jack cheese
4 (7-in.) flour tortillas

1. Place onion and green pepper in a small microwave-safe bowl.  Cover, venting one corner, and microwave on high for 3 to 4minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the salsa; set aside.

2. Divide cheese evenly among the tortillas. Arrange beef over cheeses and top with vegetable mixture. Fold tortillas over to close.

3. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Heat two quesadillas in pan about 2 minutes, turning once, to melt cheese and warm filling. Repeat with remaining quesadillas. Serve
with remaining salsa.

Makes 4 serving

Townhouse Wedge Salad

2 heads of baby iceberg lettuce, cut in half
1/2 cup of bacon lardons
28 baby shrimp
4 slices of red onions
1 corn off the cob
2 tablespoons of cranberries
16 pieces of marcona almonds
3 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 teaspoon olive oil
Russian dressing (recipe below)

Place 2 tablespoons of dressing on bottom of plate to hold wedge in place.

Place 1/2 of an iceberg on top of dressing.

Toss 1 teaspoon olive oil, corn, red onion, cherry tomatoes, almonds, cranberries and season with salt and pepper to taste, dress on top of lettuce.

Sautee shrimp on medium heat for 2 minutes until cooked through and add bacon lardons until warm, place warm on top of wedge

Serves 4

Cheesecake Factory - Hershey's Chocolate Bar Cheesecake

Cheesecake Layer:
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz. chopped Hershey chocolate bar, melted

Chocolate Cake:
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups Hershey's Milk Chocolate Chips

To prepare the cheesecake:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 10-inch round baking pan with aluminum foil. Let the edges of foil extend over sides of pan and then spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Whisk eggs in a bowl; add to cream cheese mixture. Blend just until eggs are incorporated. Stir in sour cream and melted chocolate.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top just starts to turn golden.

Let the cheesecake cool completely in its pan on a wire rack then cover and chill for 4 hours.

To prepare the chocolate cake:

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 10-inch round baking pans.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

To prepare the chocolate frosting:

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa.

Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.

Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.

To assemble:

Spread a layer of frosting on top of one chocolate cake.

Using edges of foil as handles, remove cheesecake from pan and peel away foil.  Carefully layer the cheesecake on top of the frosted cake.  If the cheesecake becomes hard to work with, you can place
in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.

Spread some chocolate frosting on top of the cheesecake layer.

Place second chocolate cake on top and ice with frosting on top and on all sides. Decorate the sides of the cake with Hershey's chocolate chips.

Makes 1 (10-inch) cheesecake.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Red Lobster Lobster Bisque

6 cups Water
2 cups Dry white wine
2 cups Fish stock
2 each 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs. live lobster
1/2 cup Melted butter, salted
1 cup Onions, finely diced
1/2 cup Carrots, finely diced
1/2 cup Celery, finely diced
1 tsp. Garlic, minced
1/2 cup All-purpose flour
1/4 cup Cognac (or Brandy)
1 1/2 cups Tomatoes, seeded and diced (fresh or canned)
1 tsp. Paprika
1/2 tsp. Thyme
1/4 tsp. Ground red pepper
1 cup Heavy cream

Place the water, the white wine and the fish stock into a wide, deep pot (or a Dutch oven), and bring to a boil on high heat.

Place lobsters, topside down, in the broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook covered for approximately 6 minutes. With a pair of tongs, turn lobsters and cook covered for another 6 minutes.

Remove lobsters from broth and put them to the side. When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, begin removing the meat from the shell, dicing the pieces into 1/2-inch cubes. Store the lobster
meat in the refrigerator until later. Place the lobster shells back into the broth, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.

Strain the broth through a sieve into a container and store in the refrigerator until later. Discard the lobster shells.

Put your pot (or Dutch oven) back on the stove under medium heat. Pour in the melted butter.

Once the butter is heated up, add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the cognac (or brandy) and cook until the alcohol has evaporated.

Mix in the flour, stirring with a heavy gauge spatula or spoon until the mixture is blond in color and has a buttery aroma.

Mix the diced tomatoes, paprika, thyme and ground pepper with the cold broth from the refrigerator. Then, pour the broth slowly into the butter and vegetable mixture. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes
under medium low heat, stirring frequently so not to burn.

Remove bisque from heat. Blend small amounts of bisque in blender and then puree. Puree all of the bisque and pour pureed bisque back into pot with remaining amount.

Add chopped lobster meat and heavy cream, heat and serve. If the soup is too thick, thin it by adding milk or water prior to serving.

Serves 4

Tomato & Tarragon Braised Sole

1 1/4 lbs. sole (four 5-oz. fillets)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
14 1/2 oz. canned diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
2 cups cooked white rice
1 cup chopped green chilies

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set pan over medium-high heat.

Season both sides of sole with salt and pepper; add fillets to pan.

Cook until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Add tomatoes and tarragon and simmer until fish is fork-tender, about 2 minutes.

Serves sole and tomato sauce with rice on the side.

The Arizona Biltmore Hotel's Mascarpone-stuffed French Toast with Orange Compote

Orange compote:
3 (10.5 ounce) cans mandarin oranges packed in juice
2 3/4 cups orange juice, divided, more as needed
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Note: This recipe requires a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter.

Drain the canned mandarin oranges, reserving the juice; you should have 1 1/2 cups reserved juice (if you are short, make up the difference with additional orange juice).

In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the canned oranges, reserved mandarin juice, 2 1/2 cups orange juice, ginger and sugar over high heat.

Bring the mixture to a strong simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the compote is reduced to sauce consistency, about 40 minutes. As the compote reduces, the color will deepen to a rich apricot shade.

When the compote is almost reduced, in a small bowl combine the remaining one-fourth cup orange juice with the cornstarch, whisking to thoroughly combine and form a slurry.

Add the slurry into the reduced compote, stirring until the compote thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. This makes about 1 1/2 cups compote. You might not use all of the compote for the remainder of the recipe; to store, cool the compote then cover and refrigerate until needed. The compote will keep for about a week, refrigerated. Gently warm in a saucepan before serving.

French toast and assembly:
About 2 loaves white sandwich bread (you will need 36 slices,
enough for 18 sandwiches)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about 10 ounces) mascarpone cheese
6 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
Canola oil for frying
Orange compote, warmed

Cut the bread: Use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter to cut through the center of each slice to form a round. Spread 1 tablespoon mascarpone over each of half of the rounds, then cover with a remaining round of bread. Repeat, forming 18 sandwiches.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon and sugar to form a batter.

Heat a large flat skillet over medium heat. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil to the pan (enough to form a thin film), heating until the oil is hot.

Dunk a sandwich quickly into the batter, coating on all sides. Place the sandwich in the skillet and fry until golden and crisp on both sides, about 1 minute per side.

Repeat with the remaining sandwiches until all are fried, holding the fried sandwiches in a warm place.

To serve, place 2 or 3 warm sandwiches on each plate, topping with a spoonful of compote. Serve immediately.

Servings: 6 to 9