Posts Tagged ‘garlic’

Garlic Thyme Burgers

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Monday night, I decided to make our first burgers on the shiny new grill. Even though I have our favorite burgers pretty much down to a science (garlic, salt, pepper, and a splash Worcester sauce–nothing fancy, but still very tasty), I wanted to try something a little different. I went with this burger, featured in this month’s Cooking Light magazine.

Picture via cookinglight.com

Garlic-Thyme Burgers
Adapted from Cooking Light June 2010

  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  pound  ground sirloin
  • 1  tablespoon  Dijon mustard
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 4  (2-ounce) Kaiser rolls or other sandwich rolls
  • 4  baby romaine lettuce leaves

Prepare your grill. Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Add patties to the grill; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Spread about 3/4 teaspoon mustard over bottom half of each roll; top each with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 patty, 1 tomato slice, and top half of roll.

Note: Cooking Light suggested serving this burger with grilled tomatoes, but I couldn’t quite sell David on the idea, so we went with regular tomatoes. Still quite tasty. The first summery tomatoes I’ve found this year.

I liked the burgers, but not well enough to replace our old standby. The fresh thyme and garlic came through nicely, but didn’t overpower the burger. This would make a nice burger base for many different recipes.

It turns out, I forgot to take a picture, so all I have to offer you is the picture from Cooking Light. I’m trying to get back into the swing of this whole blogging thing. 🙂

Spaghetti Sauce

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

I’ve been crazy-busy at work lately, traveling at least a couple of days a week. That’s why the blog’s been so quiet–between the actual being on the road part, and the being exhausted when I get home part, there hasn’t been a lot of noteworthy cooking going on. There also hasn’t been a lot of grocery shopping going on. Much of what’s happened lately has been thrown together at the last minute, based on whatever’s in the cabinet.

Which led me to make my own spaghetti sauce. We had tomatoes, tomato paste, shallots, garlic—just no actual spaghetti sauce. I could’ve gone to the store, I guess. But instead, I took the “lazy” way and made the sauce from scratch. It turned out to be quite tasty!

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 15 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup red wine

Heat the oil and saute the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook a few minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes, sauce, sugar, Italian seasoning, red pepper and wine. Simmer 30 minutes or more over very low heat, stirring occasionally. For meat sauce, add one pound of browned ground beef or cooked Italian sausage. Serve over hot spaghetti noodles.

Hasselback Potatoes

Monday, August 17th, 2009

I spotted a picture of these potatoes on Photograzing the other day, which reminded me of when I’d read about them on Orangette’s blog a few months back. They couldn’t be easier to make, and you probably have everything you need on hand. Basically, you slice a potato into thin accordion slices, tuck garlic in between the slices, and sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, and crunchy sea salt (regular salt would work, too). I also topped each potato with just a tiny bit of butter. The potatoes were simple, but tasty. They got crunchy at the edges, like shoestring french fries, or even potato chips, while the center of the potatoes stayed soft and creamy. I used yukon gold potatoes, but I think any starchy (not waxy) potatoes would work. You end up with some kind of cross between potato skins and mashed potatoes. Very tasty!

photo(3)

Hasselback Potatoes

  • 6 Medium Size Potatoes
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 425. Put the potato on a cutting board and trim a strip off of one long side of the potato, to create a stable base for slicing. Place the potato on the board flat side down. Start from one end of the potato, and carefully slice about 3/4 of the way through, at about 1/4 inch intervals.

Arrange the potatoes on a cookie sheet and insert the garlic in between the slits. Scatter some butter on top of each potato, then drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bake the potatoes for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes turn crispy and the flesh is soft and tender.

Yukon Gold Garlic Fries with Spicy Dipping Sauce

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

For our Fourth of July party, I made these garlic fries with a spicy dipping sauce to go with our main dish of BBQ Ribs. I actually got this recipe from a couple different places. I got the idea for the one-step french fries from The Hungry Mouse, and then doctored them up with fresh garlic and parsley, inspired by Seven Spoons.

They were delicious.

french fries

Yukon Gold Garlic Fries with Spicy Horseradish Dipping Sauce

To make the fries:

  • 2-3 pounds yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed, and cut into desired frying shape
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • vegetable, canola, or peanut oil for frying

1. In a small bowl of your food processor (I used the chopper function on my immersion blender) combine the garlic, parsley, and red pepper flakes.

2. Place the sliced potatoes in a large heavy bottom pan (or deep fryer). Pour in (cold) oil of your choice (I used a mixture of canola oil and vegetable oil), so that the potatoes are covered by at least an inch. Then turn on the heat, to medium high.

3. After about 10 to 15 minutes, the oil will begin to bubble around the fries, and the fries will float to the top. Continue to cook, stirring frequently. The fries will continue to brown steadily, so watch them carefully. When they are browned and crisp to your liking, remove them to a plate lined with paper towels.

4. Sprinkle the fries with kosher salt and the garlic/parsley mixture, while they are fresh and hot.

To make the dipping sauce:

1/2 cup mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip–actual mayonnaise)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

1. In a bowl, stir together all five ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Monday, July 6th, 2009

I finally had my cousins over for dinner, and after much discussion, decided on a menu. My intention was a sort of “Choose Your Own Alfredo” bar, with fresh homemade fettuccine, creamy alfredo sauce and the choice of garlicky shrimp, grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, or any combination thereof. In reality, I forgot the broccoli, but no one seemed to mind too much. The rest turned out fantastic. The chicken was just marinated in Italian dressing–nothing too fancy. And the alfredo was the same alfredo I’ve made before. So this post is about the shrimp. I made Barefoot Contessa’s Baked Shrimp Scampi from the Back to Basics Cookbook.

And Yum! Assuming I can scrounge up some people to help me eat them again, I’ll be making these again for sure.

Baked Shrimp Scampi

  • 2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell
  • 3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) of butter at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread crumbs)
  • lemon wedges, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a large mixing bowl and toss gently with olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Allow to rest at room temperature while you make the butter/garlic mixture.

3. In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until combined.

4. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down in a glass baking dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture in an even layer over the shrimp. Bake for 10-12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges.

Note: This was simple, delicious, and beautiful–pretty much everything a Barefoot Contessa recipe promises. I enjoy seafood, but Leah and David won’t touch most of it, which means I don’t make it very often. It’s nice to have this recipe in my pocket, for when I need it. These would be great tossed some linguine and parmesan cheese, too.

Cinco De Mayo Fajitas & Guacamole

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

In honor of cinco de mayo, David and I had steak fajitas for dinner. Fajitas have long been one of David’s very favorite foods, especially when we were eating out. These days, I think he prefers the ones we make at home. As we do so often, we borrowed this fajita recipe from Alton Brown. We’ve used this recipe many times without fail.

fajitas

Alton Brown’s Skirt Steak Recipe (Steak Fajitas)
Adapted from the Good Eats Episode “Raising The Steaks

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 4 scallions, washed and cut in 1/2
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar or Mexican brown sugar
  • 2 pounds inside skirt steak, cut into 3 equal pieces
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 green peppers, sliced

1. In a blender, put in oil, soy sauce, scallions, garlic, lime juice, red pepper, cumin, and sugar and puree. In a large heavy duty, zip top bag, put pieces of skirt steak and pour in marinade. Seal bag, removing as much air as possible. Allow steak to marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator.

steak2_11

2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium high heat. Add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the bottom of the pan. Remove steak from bag and pat dry with paper towels. Cook the steak pieces for about 3-4 minutes per side, until cooked to desired doneness. Remove from the pan to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil while the meat is allowed to rest for at least 10 minutes.

3. While meat is resting, add sliced onions and green peppers to the skillet and cook until tender.

4. When steak has rested for at least 10 minutes, slice thinly across the grain of the meat.  Serve with grilled peppers and onions, tortillas, beans, cheese, sour cream–whatever you like.

Note: We also had chips and guacamole. You will not be surprised to learn that we often use Alton Brown’s recipe for guacamole. I know you will not be surprised to hear that. We’ve made it many times, and it always turns out delicious–and much better than anything you’ll find pre-made at your grocery store. Definitely worth the extra trouble. I’ve included the recipe below, because if you want to make guacamole 100% from scratch, this is an excellent place to start.

Alton Brown’s Guacamole

  • 3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

That being said…

I also want to mention our favorite substitute for “from scratch” guacamole, because it’s another excellent alternative to the pre-made tubs at your grocery store: Frontera Grill Guacamole Mix. This blend of tomatillos, tomatoes, chiles, garlic, and spices comes in a jar, and it couldn’t be easier to turn it into tasty guacamole—just mash 3 avocados with the contents of the jar. It’s a nice work-around if you find yourself in a hurry to make fresh guacamole. We’ve bought three packs of the mix at Costco, but you can also buy individual jars at your grocery store.

guacamolemix

Bruschetta

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

One of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of fresh, ripe tomatoes. While summer isn’t quite here just yet, the tomatoes at our local supermarket have been showing some promise–enough that I took a chance on them and went ahead and made some Bruschetta.

Bruschetta is actually one of the very first things that David and I started to make when he moved into his first apartment and we started cooking. The tricky part is that our Bruschetta is one of those “a little of this, a little of that” kind of recipes. I’m going to do my best to capture it below.

Fresh Tomato Bruschetta with Pannetini

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes (Roma tomatoes, if available)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Minced Garlic
  • Fresh Basil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes (optional – can be dry-packed or oil-packed, diced)
  • Garlic Bread, thinly-sliced & toasted (other options include crackers, toasted Italian or French bread, or Panetini. The Panetini can be found at your grocery store, near the Bakery, with the bagel chips).

Directions

  1. Seed and dice the tomatoes and put into a bowl with Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar. The exact amounts depend on how many tomatoes you use, but for about 10 servings, I use about 10 full size tomatoes, with ½ Cup of Olive Oil & 3 or 4 Tablespoons of Balsamic.
  2. Add sun-dried tomatoes.
  3. Add approximately 3 cloves of garlic, minced.
  4. The basil needs to be chopped very finely or minced in a food processor (I have also used what we call “Basil Paste,” which you can find in your produce department with the little clamshell packages of fresh herbs).
  5. Add the parmesan cheese…about ½ Cup to ¾ Cup.
  6. Then, just mix together and add salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
  7. Serve with the bread, crackers, or Panetini for dipping.

I don’t really measure as much as I mix and taste, until it comes out right. If your tomatoes are very acidic, a Tablespoon of regular table sugar added to the mix (strange as it sounds) will go a long way. You can add more or less balsamic vinegar, depending on your taste. The ingredients themselves can be very forgiving…the Parmesan can be anything from imported Parmigiano-Reggiano to the stuff in the green can for this, though I prefer the real stuff. Same with the basil…if you want to use dried basil, you can. It won’t taste quite as bright, but it will work. You need much less dry basil than fresh.  The bruschetta gets better the longer it gets to hang out, so making it the night before is best, but give it at least 30 minutes to an hour before eating, if you can.

Leftovers can be mixed with canned chicken to make an Italian Chicken Salad, put over
lettuce for a Bruschetta Salad, or put over cooked pasta to make a pasta sauce. You can also add diced fresh mozzarella if you want. (Like I did for this batch).

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Forewarning: This garlic bread is so yummy, we’ve had it three times since I came across the recipe about a week and a half ago.

I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman‘s blog. The cheese topping is the perfect amount of gooey, but the bread stays crisp under all that cheese because it’s toasted first in a skillet. We never let a crumb of this bread go to waste–a few minutes in the toaster oven makes even the leftovers delicious!

Cheesy Garlic Bread
Adapted from PioneerWoman

  • 1 loaf of crusty bread (french or italian)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 3/4 cup Monterrey Jack cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 green onions, white parts removed, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves minced garlic

1. Preheat oven to 425. Mix cheeses and mayonnaise in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Cut the loaf of bread in half, and then half each piece again. Working with 1/4 of the loaf at a time, heat  a little less than a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and add 1 clove of minced garlic. Place one of the pieces of bread in the skillet and toast in the skillet. Watch the garlic, to be sure it doesn’t burn. Repeat with remaining olive oil, garlic, and bread.

3. Spread the prepared cheese mixture on each slice of bread, and bake in a 425 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and brown.

You won’t be disappointed!

Ranch Crockpot Pork Chops with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Crockpot recipes really are fantastic. Even though I absolutely love to cook, and making dinner is one of my favorite parts of the day, there is something very satisfying about coming home from work to the smell of dinner simmering away. No exception here. When I opened the door and walked into the kitchen, I was met with the delicious scent of slow cooked pork chops.

The picture below doesn’t do this dish justice. It’s not pretty, or flashy, but it was one of the tastiest dishes I’ve made in the crockpot in a while. The recipe calls for a regular can of soup, but I substituted 98% fat free cream of chicken soup–I don’t find enough of  a taste difference to warrant the extra calories in the full fat version. I used a regular packet of ranch dressing, but I don’t think it would suffer if you wanted to lighten it further by using a fat free packet of dressing.

pork-chops

Ranch Crockpot Pork Chops with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Adapted from www.picky-palate.com.

  • 4 pork chops, 1 & 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning
  • 10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 4 lbs peeled, cubed yukon gold potatoes (I leave the skin on for my mashed potatoes most times. I like the taste of them!)
  • 5 Tablespoons real butter
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic (leftover from a Chicken & 40 Cloves)
  • 1- 1 1/2 Cups warm milk
  • 1 Tablespoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste

1. Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning and soup into a medium sized crock pot over high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 hours.

2. Place potatoes into a large pot of cold water. Place onto stovetop over high heat and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, cook for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and transfer to the work bowl of a stand or electric mixer. Mix on low until potatoes are mashed then add butter, garlic, milk, salt and pepper.

3. Scoop mashed potatoes onto serving plates and top with pork chops and soup gravy from crock pot.

Note: I ended up thickening this sauce with a corstarch slurry, because it was a little thin for my tastes. Otherwise, I’d call this perfect. We used thick cut pork loin chops that stood up well to the crockpot cooking.

“Baby” Chicken & 40 Cloves

Monday, March 9th, 2009

A Chicken & 40 Cloves is a classic dish, and it should be, because it’s delicious. Like so many other classic dishes, Alton Brown is our source for the ultimate Chicken & 40 Cloves, intially. We’ve had it several times before, but this time I tried it with a twist, using Cornish Game Hens in place of the normal chicken. It was definitely a success. The cornish game hens made the meal seem a little fancier than our average dinner around here, but if you prefer, you can make this dish with any skin-on, bone-in chicken. We’ve used a whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces before, and we’ve also used this method on a couple of split chicken breasts. In a pinch, we’ve even used boneless skinless chicken breasts (which isn’t quite as good, but is passable).

I served this chicken with parmesan risotto and lots of crusty bread to soak up the tasty garlic oil, spread with soft, sweet cloves of roasted garlic. The garlic bread might be the best part!

40-cloves

“Baby” Chicken & 40 Cloves (Cornish Game Hens)
Adapted from Alton Brown’s A Chicken & 40 Cloves

  • 3 cornish game hens, cleaned and patted dry
  • 1 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 40 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled, but kept whole
  • salt & freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large, oven-safe skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat, just until the surface starts to shimmer.

Sprinkle salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning over the breast side of the cornish game hens and then place breast side down in the skillet. Heat for 4-5 minutes or until the skin begins to brown. Flip each hen over.

Add all 40 cloves of garlic to the pan, around the cornish hens, and pour the remaining cup of olive oil over the whole skillet. Bake for 1 hour, until chicken is cooked through and garlic is soft and  spreadable.

Note: I know a cup of oil sounds crazy, but it’s delicious garlic oil that goes deliciously on bread, or can be drizzled over vegetables or mashed potatoes. And don’t waste that garlic. Get yourself a crusty loaf of french or italian bread, slice it, lightly toast it, then brush each slice with some of your garlic oil. Spread one or two cloves of the roasted garlic, then sprinkle with just a smidge of parmesan cheese. Roasted garlic has such a sweet, mellow flavor compared to the garlic you’re probably used to. You don’t know what you’re missing.

I actually smash the leftover garlic into a paste and save it for other dishes. I’ve added leftovers from this batch to pasta salad, mashed potatoes, and sun-dried tomato aioli. I wonder what I’ll do with the rest?