Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Grilled Peaches in Vanilla Ricotta

This is another recipe were there is not a lot of recipe. I have to say, this knocked my socks off. I used yellow peaches for this, I don’t think white would work. Just this gals opinion.

I made my own ricotta for this, however, the store stuff will work just as well. For about a cup of ricotta I added 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 tbs of sugar (add more or less depending on how sweet you like things.)

I halved and pitted the peaches. I mixed equal parts honey and balsamic vinegar. I dipped the peaches cut side down in the mixture and then grilled them for about 10 minutes. If you let the peaches set a minute or two they will seep this lovely syrup. Put a little ricotta on the plate, put the peach on top, a dollop more ricotta and a spoonful of syrup…slurp.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Scallop and Sweet Cabbage Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

Okay this has flat out turned into a flat out freakish obsession. I haven’t‘ been blogging much recently because I haven’t‘ been cooking much…other than salads. I fear there is danger I might turn into a rabbit. That said, it is that time of year and just like when I get the slightest hint of cool to the air, I whip out the stock pot for soup in summer I have a relentless obsession with salad, this year it is particularly bad.

Likely compounding the issue is that I have been starting to work Hubo‘s office which gets me out of the house for a change of pace and will (once he is done training me) get him more time with the kids, which is a win-win, but is SERIOUSLY cutting into blog time right now! It is also making throwing a quick salad together a necessary evil. Lucky husband is happy and Jillian (the 20 month) old loves her a salad (go figure?). Tristan…well he hasn’t been eating a ton of dinner recently, but he sure is hungry at breakfast!

There isn’t much of a recipe to this, so I will just break down what I did a bit. You can purchase a REALLY good cilantro dressing at Trader Joe’s. However, I just put a about a cup of cilantro, ¼ c. of vinegar and 1/8 c. of oil and slat and pepper and the food processor and processes until smooth.

The salad, put in what you like, peppers, onions, cucumbers. Whatever you love. I thought a little sweet cabbage sautéed would be good. Here is what I did

¼ of large head of cabbage
1 clove of garlic
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs brown sugar

I sliced up about ¼ c. of cabbage and 1 clove of garlic (I sliced the garlic into really thin pieces). Meanwhile heat oil and put garlic in and sauté for about 2 minutes over medium heat. Add cabbage and toss to coat. Sautee for about 3 minutes and add sugar. Cook until just tender but not too soft. Remove and let cool.

The scallops were easy as well. I heated about 1 tbs of sesame and 1 tsp of oil until smoking. Sear the scallops on both sides (about 2 minutes) and remove from heat.

I put the salad in the bowl and created a well and putting the cabbage in the well and the scallops on top. Dress with cilantro dressing (a ginger dressing would be awesome too). Enjoy!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Beef and Asparagus Rolls

Okay folks the lackluster name does not do the outcome justice. I was really, really pleased with this. I used a marinade that my mom has used for asparagus for years. Oddly I did not marinate the asparagus in it, just the meat. However, I am sure if you did both in the marinade it would be great. You might find, as I did, most flat iron cuts will be too thick to roll, if so take a knife and cut the piece to have thickness down the length of the meat.

2 lb flat iron steak
2 lb asparagus cleaned and partially cooked

For the Marinade

¾ c. oil
½ c wine vinegar
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp parsley
2 tsp chives
1 tsp salt
2 tsp tarragon
1-2 clove of garlic grated or minced
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients for marinade in a bag and let meat marinate for at least 8 hours.

In salted water cook the asparagus until it is mostly done.

Depending on the size of the asparagus use about 3-6 per bundle. If you need to cut the meat to ½ thickness. Using the bundle to measure the cuts, cut the meat so that there is enough to easily wrap the bundle but with little overhang. Secure with a toothpick.

We did them on the grill. It took about 15 minutes on medium heat, however you need to turn it once so check half way through. Eat and enjoy!

Just a note, if you are note a beef fan, I think this would be great with chicken or pork. I think also I soy, ginger sesame marinade would work great too.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Spaghetti Phooey and Homemade Ricotta

Okay I took this picture today at lunch. My first thought was, “why, WHY??? Do people see spaghetti as such kid friendly food??” Yes they love it, but man, she had to go for a bath after and I had to scrub her little seat. Phooey I say. However, it reminded me that I still had something to share with you guys.

A while back I made stuffed Flat Iron and I stuffed it with Ricotta I had made. My friend Donna (well, I really don’t know her but I suspect if I did we would be friends) over at asked if I would be sharing how to make the ricotta. It took me a while (far longer than the ricotta will take you, but I am finally getting to it. Besides the joy of doing it yourself the cool part about making ricotta for scratch is that you control the consistency. For the ricotta I stuffed the beef with I let it hang a bit longer so it was very dry. I thought that way, It would be less likely to ooze out of the meat, and I was right. You can also add a sundry of herbs before hanging or some sugar (makes a lovely dessert mixed with berries…yumm). Really the options are limitless.

Note: This recipe came from Ricki Carroll and I got it in a cheese making class I took.

1 gallon milk
1 tsp citric acid (you can get at Compleat Gourmet, and I am sure many other places)
1 tsp salt (I use a little more, but I am a salt freak)

Pour milk into pot (can not be aluminum or cast iron) add citric acid and salt.

Heat the milk to 195 (I used a meat thermometer and it worked great). Stir often.

When curds and whey separate, take off heat and let set 5 minutes. You will know they have separated when the mixture seems a bit chunky and if you take a spoon and very gently stir you can see a separation of white solid (curd) and a yellowish liquid (whey).

Line a colander with cheese clothe or butter muslin and gently ladle the curds into the cloth. I have to say, I very, very slowly poured what was in the pot into the lined colander but you have to be careful and slow so that the mixture is “caught” by the cloth.

Tie the cloth to form a bag and hang and let drain for ½ hour or more depending on how thick you want it.

It will keep in the fridge up to 2 weeks or can be frozen.

Also note, you can save the whey, and use it to soak rice in (and many other things I am sure) and it give the rice a really rich flavor.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lovely Blog Award

Muneeba at awarded me with the One Lovely Blog award and I have 10 people to pass it on to! It needs to be new blogs I have found I love. I am going to bypass folks I just awarded something to, however, there are sure some of them I just adore!

Here goes:

Tatersmama of Taters Mama’s Take on Things

Krystal of Recipes of a Cheapskate

Joyce of Just Joyce

Holler of Tinned Tomatoes

Kristen of Whatcha Eating

Claire of Cooking Claire

Lynette of Nets Nook

Chris at Nibble Me This

Carrie at Carrie’s Cooking

Heather at Girlichef

Whew! So please go give these blogs some love!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Kung Pao Salad A La Cinnamon and Spice

First, Muneeba at awarded me with the One Lovely Blog award. My task it to pass this on to 10 new blogs I have found! So I will be gather my list of folks over the next few days, until then please go to An Edible Symphony and check it out!

Let me start by saying this makes a big salad. It easily serves 4 people very hearty dinner sized salads, VERY easily. You can use whatever veggies or lettuces you want, this is just what I used. Also, if you don’t eat meat I think if you used tofu for this it would be amazing.

The original Kung Pao recipe came from Reni over at Cinnamon and Spice, . I can’t tell you how much I love this recipe. I have made it about 4 times now. The other night I had everything I needed but the rice….go figure. I did have soba noodles, but that wasn’t quite doing it for me. You guys know I have been on a crazy salad kick… well I thought… why not. It was wonderful. Actually so good the first time I made it we ate it up like little piggies (I had brought ½ over to my folks for dinner…so don‘t judge!) and never got a picture. Sigh…I guess this just meant I had to make it again. Another side, is if you want to cut calories or cut hassle you can bag the soba noodles (they are surprisingly calorie dense). They don’t add a lot, but are good flavor catchers, but not necessary if you are trying to simplify.

1 zucchini ribboned
2 small carrots ribboned and chopped
1 bunch of green onion
½ bunch cilantro (remove the stems just add leaves)
½ head of broccoli blanched
2 heaping handfuls of spinach chopped
¼ package soba

Boil water and add soba noodles and cook to package directions, drain and let cool. Add all veggies to a bowl and toss.

1.5 lb of chicken diced
3/4 cup roasted peanuts
4-6 fine slices ginger, each cut into quarters
3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns(I use red pepper flakes)
1 tbs oil

Heat oil add pepper and fry the peppercorns for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the chicken, garlic, ginger, and onion. Stir-fry these to allow the flavor to come out, then add the peanuts. Take of heat and allow to cool.

Once chicken and soba are cool add to salad.


2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons red rice vinegar
1 table spoon cooking wine

Wisk together and toss with salad. Eat…yummy.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Grilled Salad

I have been on a salad kick here for a while now. The other day I had some eggplant and zucchini and corn that needed to be used and viola this salad was born. I have to say, it was luscious. The eggplant didn’t add much for me, which was surprising since that is really the veggie that kick started the whole concept for me…but it didn’t hurt wither.

2 ears of corn
2-3 zucchini sliced
1 eggplant thinly sliced
1 lb flat iron steak
Then whatever else you like in your salad we had tomato, onion, cucumber, lettuce

Season everything, I used a grinder mix of garlic, sea salt and red pepper. Grill. Slice your meat thinly, and cut the corn off the ears and assemble your salad. I used a Greek yogurt dressing that could not have gone better with it all (below). We had some grilled flat bread to sop it all up, got to love summer!


½ c. Greek yogurt (I use Fage)
Juice of one lemon
1 clove of garlic grated
1 tsp fresh oregano chopped super fine
Salt and Pepper

Mix all and chill

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tagged and Jamming

Okay two fun things happened the other day. First I was tagged by Tatersmama's Take On Things and asked to post the 6 picture in the 6th folder under my pictures on my computer. Then I was to tell about the picture and tag 6 others to do the same. Ironically my 6th folder was the original picture folder I set up for Mommy Gourmet. Even more interestingly the 6the picture is the first post I did where I took a picture. It was my fourth post but the first where I took a picture.

Sadly ,it was not great culinary feast, veggie pasta salad. Kinda ho-hum. I am going to be equally as uninspired and pass this mission on to my first 6 followers minus who tagged me! So here is who gets tagged my me, go visit their sites!

Though not so ho-hum and certainly a much more interesting photo are the one of my jam session the other day with my friend and neighbor from Punch Photo . He had been on mission throughout the neighborhood pilfering mulberries.

He asked if I would be up for trying to make some mulberry jam. I am up for most challenges, so I said, “Yessirree!” He came to our place, equipment and berries in hand. I wasn’t sure how good mulberry jam would be. However, the flavor I would tell you is a mix between a grape and a raspberry. It was surprisingly luscious. And I scored a jar in the deal!

So Tristan and I had a decadent afternoon snack… Punch… man I will help you any time!