Friday, June 24, 2011

Raw Artichoke Salad With Parmigiano

Ingredients

  • 2 vitamin C capsules
  • 3 lemons, halved
  • 10 baby artichokes
  • 1/4 pound piece Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved with a peeler
  • 3 cups washed baby arugula
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (high quality)
  • Kosher salt

Directions

Set up a bowl of acidulated water: break the vitamin C capsules into a large bowl of water and squeeze in the juice from 2 of the lemons. Toss in the 4 halves of the squeezed lemon as well. Artichokes will turn brown (oxidize) before your eyes so you must, must, must set up this bowl of acidulated water first!

Working with 1 artichoke at a time, peel off the tough green outer leaves to reveal the spring green color underneath. Trim off the tough outer layer of the stem and any brown spots. Cut the tip of the choke off. Artichokes have a lot of waste, accept it and move on. Very carefully, using a mandoline, very thin shave the artichokes and put them immediately into the lemon water. The artichokes are best when done at least a couple of hours ahead because they tenderize a little.

To assemble the salad:

Put the artichokes in a salad spinner to remove they excess water. Put the artichokes, arugula and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a large serving bowl. Dress with the juice of the remaining lemon, finishing oil and salt, to taste. The salad should be well-dressed and full flavored but not soggy.

Serve immediately.

It's spring on a plate!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Linguine With White Clam Sauce

Linguine with White Clam Sauce

This recipe was on Food Network with Ann Burrell. It looked like a recipe I could make this summer when I have company at the lake.
***

Ingredients

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 9 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 5 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed under cold running water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped oregano leaves
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, optional, plus shavings for garnish
  • Kosher salt
  • Big fat finishing extra-virgin olive oil (high quality)

Directions

Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and add half the garlic cloves. Bring the pan to a medium- high heat and cook until the garlic becomes golden brown. When the garlic is golden brown and very aromatic, remove it and discard, it has fulfilled its garlic destiny. Put 3 1/2 dozen clams in the pan with the wine and 1/2 cup of water. Cover the pan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Cover and cook until the clams open, about 10 minutes. Remove the clams from the pan and reduce the cooking liquid. Let the clams cool slightly, then remove them from the shells and reserve. Discard the shells. Pour the cooking liquid into a measuring cup.

*

Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over medium heat.

*

Coat the same saute pan again with olive oil and add the remaining garlic cloves and a large pinch of crushed pepper flakes. Bring the pan to a medium-high heat and cook until the garlic becomes golden brown. When the garlic is golden brown and very aromatic, remove it and discard, it has fulfilled its garlic destiny. Add the remaining raw clams and reserved clam cooking liquid to the pan. When adding the reserved clam liquid, be sure to check for sand and grit in the bottom, you may lose the last couple of tablespoons of juice but that is better than sand in your pasta! Cover and cook until the clams open.

*

While the clams are cooking, drop the linguine into the salted boiling water and cook until the pasta is very "al dente" maybe a minute or so less than the box directs.

*

Remove the cooked clams in their shells from the pan and keep warm. Add the butter and cooked clams that have been removed from their shells back to the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil and toss in the cooked pasta and the herbs. Cook the pasta together with the sauce until the sauce clings to the pasta. Turn off the heat and toss in the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, if using, and finish with a drizzle of big fat finishing oil. Toss or stir vigorously to combine.

*

Divide the pasta into serving dishes and garnish with the clams that are still in their shells and a little more shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, if desired.

This won't make you want to clam up!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Breakfast Smoothies

Breakfast Smoothies
Breakfast smoothies come in all different flavors and compositions. Recently while visiting our children we learned their methods of making nutritious smoothies. Green smoothies are on breakfast menus everywhere. I did some research and learned the benefits of different vegetables to include when making your own smoothie.
Insulin-like qualities
Brussels sprouts
Green Beans
*
Cleanse
Spinach
Green leafy vegetables
Carrots
*
Pancreas Support
(silicon)
Alfalfa
Olives
Asparagus
Lettuce
Mustard Greens
Radishes
Cabbage
Cucumbers
(phytonutrients)
Cucumbers
Onion juices
Broccoli
Carrots
Celery
Lettuce
Spinach

Monday, June 20, 2011

Classic Strawberry Shortcake

This recipe is from the California Strawberry Growers Assn.
Classic Strawberry Shortcake
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus additional as needed
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash nutmeg
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs seperated
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
1 quart strawberries, stemmed and sliced
Whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
***
Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
*
In a large bowl, sift together flour sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Cut in butter until dough has consistency of course meal.
*
In a small bowl, blend milk and 2 egg yolks with fork. Stir into flour mixture to make a soft dough. Divide dough into six portions; form each portion into a ball.
*
Pat balls out on a greased baking sheet, and gently flatten into a 3" circle. Brush top of each with egg whites; sprinkle lightly with sugar.
*
Bake in 450 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until crust is golden. Remove to rack and let cool.
*
Sweeten strawberries with sugar to taste (very ripe berries won't need much sweetening).
*
Halve cakes horizontally. On plates, fill middle of cakes with sweetened strawberries; top with more strawberries and a generous dollop of whipped cream.
*
TIP* Beat whipped cream to the desired consistency befor adding sugar. I also like to add a few drops of vanilla or almond flavoring.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Amazing Overnight Waffles

Amazing Overnight Waffles
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons unsalted butter,melted
plus more for waffle iron
Non-stick spray
***
Combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Whisk in milk until blended. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature. (If room is warmer than 70 degrees, refrigerate.
*
In the morning, heat waffle iron. Beat egg and melted butter into bowl of batter; batter will be quite thin. Spray hot waffle iron with non-stick spray, and rub on a little butter with a paper towel or piece of bread. Add enough batter to cover cooking surface, about 1 1/3 for a Belgium waffle, or 2/3 cup for a standard waffle iron.
*
Cook waffles until crisp and brown but not too dark, 2-3 minutes each.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Beer And Pomegranate Molasses Marinated Tri-Tip With Blue Cheese, Grilled Mushrooms And Onions

Beer and Pomegranate Molasses
Marinated Tri-Tip With
Blue Cheese, Grilled Mushrooms
And Onions
Beef
1 12 0z. bottle of beer (not dark)
1/3 cup pomegranate molasses*
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (2 1/4 lb) tri-tip beef roast
*
Mushrooms and onions:
4 large portobello mushrooms,
stemmed, dark gills scraped out
1 large onion, peeled, cut into
1/2 inch thick rounds
1/4 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
***
For beef, combine all ingredients in a large heavy-duty resalable plastic bag; shake to blend and seal. Chill overnight.
*
For mushrooms and onions, place mushrooms and onions on rimmed baking sheet. Whisk oil, garlic, and vinegar in small bowl: season with salt and pepper. Brush vegetables with some dressing. Grill mushrooms and onions until tender and lightly browned, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes. Cut vegetables into 1/2 inch strips.
*
Boil chicken and beef broth in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until reduced to about 1 cup; about 12 minutes. Add cream, grilled mushrooms, and onions. Boil until sauce coats vegetables, tossing occasionally. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper; set aside.
*
Drain marinade from beef into medium saucepan; boil 2 minutes. Cook beef over hottest part of grill until brown, about 5 minutes per side. Move beef to coolest part of grill, cover and cook until thermometer inserted in center registers 135 F for medium rare, turning occasionally and basting with boiled marinade, about 30 minutes. Transfer to cutting board; let rest 10 minutes.
*
Rewarm mushroom sauce. Thinly slice beef across grain. Overlap slices on platter. Spoon some mushroom sauce over; sprinkle with cheese and fresh herbs. Serves 4 to 6
***
* TIP A thick pomegranate syrup is sold at some supermarkets and Middle Eastern Markets. If you can't find it, boil down pure pomegranate juice to form a thick syrup (texture of corn syrup). It is about a 3:1 formula

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mediterranean Blue Cheese Salad With Walnuts, Grapes and Sweet Red Wine Vinagrette

Mediterranean Blue Cheese Salad With
Walnuts, Grapes and Red Wine Vinaigrette
Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
*
Salad:
8 cups mixed salad greens
with romaine lettuce
2 cups seedless red grapes,
cut in half
1/2 cup candied walnut pieces
4 oz. Gorgonzola, crumbled
*
Candied Walnuts Makes 1 cup
1 cup walnuts (about 3 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
*can add pinch of cayenne pepper
***
Directions:
Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients until sugar and salt dissolve; chill until serving time and up to 2 days.
*
For salad, toss lettuce and grapes with enough vinaigrette to coat well. Divide among serving plates and top with toasted walnut and blue cheese.
*
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine walnuts and all remaining ingredients in medium bowl; toss to coat. Spread nut mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet (silpat) (some nuts may clump together). Bake until nuts are deep golden and sugar mixture is bubbling, stirring occasionally to break up clumps, about 15 minutes. Separate with a fork and cool completely on baking sheet. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Store in container.)
*
NOTE: With cold greens you may use room temperature dressing.
*
Tip: To cut several seedless grapes at one time, place in-between two plastic lids with a small outer edge or lip. Place bottom lid with lip up to hold the grapes. Place the top lid with edge down. Apply a slight pressure to hold grapes in place and cut between the two lids preferrably with a serrated knife.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Last week we spent a few days visiting with our daughter Barbara who is an excellent cook. This dish was served for dinner one evening. It certainly will be a repeated dish in our house. Thank you Barbara for sharing the recipe.
Baked Shrimp Scampi
2 pounds (12 to 15 pound) shrimp in the shell
3 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup minced shallots
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 extra large egg yolk
2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
Lemon wedges, for serving
***
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
*
Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp (see note), leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.
*
In a small bowl, smash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon salt
and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until combined.
*
Place shrimp in a gratin dish butterflied open with tail curled and pointing toward center of dish positioned with flesh against the outer edge of the dish. Top with layer of crumbled mixture. Bake shrimp for 10 minutes or until done.
*
This recipe is great served over capellini pasta.
***
Note: Butterfly shrimp means they're cut around the outer curve but not all of the way through. The shrimp open like a book which helps to cook so fast and the. Cut each shrimp deeply enough to open but not to cut in half. When placing in the gratin dish, stand each shrimp opened against the rim of the dish with the tail pointing in toward the center of the dish.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Almond-Crusted Apricot and Brie Stuffed Chicken Breast



Almond-Crusted Apricot and Brie
Stuffed Chicken Breast
Brie creates a luxurious creamy filling in these stuffed chicken breasts that keeps the chicken moist and requires no sauce. Leaving the wing bone offers a “restaurant look” but is not necessary.
*
Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts with wing bone still attached2 oz. brie cheese, rind removed and sliced
4 dried apricots, finely chopped
½ cup sliced almonds, divided
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1 tsp each coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper
½ cup fresh bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil

*
Directions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF.


With knife held horizontally and starting at the thinner side, cut each chicken breast in half, but not all the way through; open like a book.

Arrange brie slices over chicken, leaving a ½-inch border uncovered. Sprinkle with apricots, ¼ cup of the almonds, rosemary, salt and pepper; close breast, pressing around edges to seal.
In a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs and remaining almonds. Dip the chicken breasts in the egg; then dredge in crumb mixture, pressing gently to coat completely.
In a large ovenproof skillet, melt butter and oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until golden, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to oven; bake until cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Makes 4 servings

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cellphone Dropped In Water?

Did You Ever Drop
Your Cellphone In Water?
This happens to everyone at least once!
Did you just drop your cellphone in water? Or maybe you'd like to know what to do if that happens! This week on Upgrade Your Life, Yahoo! News' Becky Worley shows us first aid techniques for rescuing a drowned smartphone.
To test them out, Becky took a BlackBerry, a Droid, and an iPhone, and dropped all three into room temperature water for 60 seconds. Then she went through the following steps:
Step 1: Do NOT turn on the phone
Why do water and smartphones not mix? Because the water shorts out your smartphone's electrical circuits. So whatever you do, don't turn it on to check to see if it still works.
Step 2: Pull out the battery and SIM card
You want to remove anything removeable: Pull out the battery, the SIM card and the memory card, if your phone has one. As long as that battery's in there it's providing power to your phone, and that's what you need to stop immediately.
Some phones, like the iPhone, don't have a removable battery. Unfortunately, you'll just have to skip this step and hope for the best if you dunk one of them.
Step 3: Freshwater rinse
Did you drop your phone in salt water? The salt can corrode your device. So after you pull out the battery and SIM card, immerse your phone in fresh water to rinse out the salt.
Step 4: Dry your phone using compressed air
If you have a compressed air can handy -- the kind that's used to clean computers or keyboards -- run it full-blast all over your phone, with the back cover taken off if you can. A vacuum cleaner also works, even though it's pulling the air in the other direction. As long as it's blowing cool air over those circuits to dry them out, it's all good.
Don't stick your phone in the oven, even on low. The heat can warp your phone's circuits, and melt its internal components. You shouldn't use a blow dryer either, unless it has a heatless setting. A fan might help, but a microwave is out of the question.
Step 5: Cover your phone with uncooked rice
The premise of our experiment was to test if putting a wet phone into a sealed container of rice would actually dry it out, and bring it back form the dead. See, the idea behind the rice is that the dry grains will absorb moisture. So get a sealable plastic container, and fill it with enough rice to cover your smartphone. (A plastic zipper bag will work too, in a pinch.) Then bury your phone in the rice, along with its battery and other parts. You'll want to wait at least 24 hours for the rice to do its job -- Becky waited for 48 hours, in her test.
What would work better than rice? Silica gel, the stuff in those packets that keep new clothes or shoes dry. But most of us don't have a shoebox full of the stuff laying around, so rice will probably have to do. It may get pieces of rice into the crevices and cavities in your smartphone, but this is an emergency, and time is of the essence.
Should you use white or brown rice? It doesn't matter, so long as it's hard and dry and uncooked. You can even use rice from boxed meals like Rice-a-Roni. Just don't add in the seasoning packet, unless you want your phone to smell like mixed vegetables.
Step 6: Turn your phone back on
After you've waited at least 24 hours, it's time for the moment of truth. Reassemble your phone, charge it and try to power it on.
The results of our experiment weren't encouraging: the BlackBerry that Becky tested did restart, with no seeming long-term damage. But the iPhone and the Droid were dead. After two days in the rice and a full battery charge, neither phone came back to life.
One in three may be slim odds. But since water damage isn't covered by most warranties, it can't hurt to try.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Grandma's Bragging Rite

Grandma's Bragging Rites

Tuesday was "Promotion" of the 5Th Grade at Chaparral Elementary School in Poway CA. Our granddaughter Olivia was President of the Student Body which gave her the distinguished honor of presenting the class speech. She also received a medal for Citizenship. Well done, Olivia! You have made us proud!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Our Graduate


Meet Our Graduate
Today Philip graduates from 8th Grade. His future academic plans are attending Sacred Heart Prep School in Atherton CA. Philip received the class award for Most Improved in English Studies. Congrats Phil!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Meet Grandson Philip


Meet Grandson Philip
Philip is our youngest grandson. This photo was taken following his Confirmation on May 13. We celebrated with a dinner at Carpaccio's Restaurant in Menlo Park, CA. The ceremony was made very special with the request that his Grandmother be his sponsor.