Lobster, Salmon, and Shrimp in Sage Garlic Butter

Mommy is on her own tonight for dinner. Daddy is sick. My girls took an impromptu sleepover with the grandparents.

Seafood in garlic sage butter. Ya’ll, this was an epic meal. 1 lobster tail. 10 shrimp. 1 salmon filet. Cooked in sage garlic butter. 1 stick of butter. 3 cloves of garlic. EPIC!

Start with a cold pan. Put your salmon skin side down with a stick of butter, a handful of whole sage, and 3 cloves of garlic. The salmon skin will crisp up better this way. A little trick I learned from Curtis Stone. Unfortunately, it was via TV and not in person. Swoon…

Anywho, Cook until butter is all melted. Mix the sage and garlic around well. Lift up the salmon to get all that buttery goodness under the skin. Add in the lobster, shell side up. Cook for a good 5 minutes. Turn the salmon. The skin should be perfectly crispy. If not, cook a minute or so longer. Turn the lobster and add in the shrimp. Cook for another 4 minutes, turning the shrimp every 30 seconds or so. You can serve with a veggie and/or starch, but I went straight seafood. Oh, and a nice glass of white wine pairs well with this. I went for a light crisp pinot grigio. So good. So full. 014

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Chicken and Orzo Soup

I don’t really make a whole lot of soup in the summer. I had some leftover chicken from the other night, https://funfoodiefamily.com/2014/05/26/herb-butter-roasted-chicken/
so I knew I needed to use it up. My husband isn’t feeling well today, so I made him this homemade chicken soup. I added tons of fresh herbs and veggies along with the chicken and orzo. I recently ran out of my homemade chicken stock, so I used a low sodium one here. Because I had a leftover carcass, I am currently making more stock. I made a big pot of this soup, so I will be eating it for a few days and freezing some.

Chicken and Orzo Soup

Ingredients

1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
2 carrots. chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 container of mushrooms, sliced (I cut mine in strips)
fresh herbs chopped- tarragon, rosemary, parsley, sage, basil, oregano, marjoram
chicken- cooked and sliced into strips or chunks
1 small box of orzo (small rice-like pasta) You could use rice or any other pasta you have.
1 lemon- juice and zest
1 quart of chicken broth
water

Directions

Heat a good amount of oil in the bottom of a big pot on med. meat- I used my circular Dutch oven.
Add your chopped veggies. Cook down for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add your lemon juice and zest. Stir and cook for a minute or so.
Add the stock and orzo. Stir occasionally to make sure the orzo does not stick to the bottom. Follow the directions for cooking time, less than 10 minutes. halfway through, add your cooked chicken. Depending on how liquidy you like your soup, add water a little at a time during the cooking process. The orzo will absorb lots of the broth, so I added about 2 more cups of water.

Perfect light healthy meal for a summer night in the air condition!
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Persian Meat and Rice- Kubideh and Lemon Dill Rice

My family has a favorite Middle Eastern place we go to. You can’t really call it “Greek.” The family is actually Persian. They pretty much know out order- The girls get spaghetti and meatballs or a cheeseburger and my husband usually gets a combo meat plate (chicken-souvlaki, lamb, beef-kubideh). As for me, they don’t know. I always choose something different. I think I have had almost everything in some form on their menu. Moussaka, fish, lamb, chicken, beef, roasted veggies, falafel, spanakopita, soup, etc.But that is just me…I rarely ever get the same thing twice. There is this one dish, though. It is the best version of a meatloaf that I have ever tasted. It is called Kubideh, and it is mouthwatering. Seriously, ya’ll. Try this. It can never compare to their family recipe, but it is pretty darn close. I also made some yummy lemon dill rice and roasted Naan.

Kubideh

Ingredients- Mix together and let set from 2 hours to overnight

1 pound ground beef
1 onion grated and strained- seriously, lots of excess water here
2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced
1 egg beaten
1 tablespoon turmeric
salt and pepper to taste- Please be heavy handed, ok, ya’ll?

Take the meat and form into patties. It is not pretty. Looks inappropriate, if you know what I mean. Not really photogenic, so sorry for the following photos. Grill on all sides. Depending on your grill’s heat, should take about 5 minutes or so per side.

Rice with Dill and Lemon

Ingredients

3 cups rice
4 quarts chicken stock
1/2 cup dill
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot, minced
1 lemon- juice and zest
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium pot- Heat olive oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pot, slowly cook shallots on med heat for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, lemon juice and zest, and dill. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Add in rice. Stir frequently and toast for about 5 minutes.
Heat chicken stock in another pot. Add in a few ladles at a time. Babysit your rice. Sip a glass of wine or your favorite cocktail. You could cook your rice like the package, but you would end up with burnt rice and gross tasting dill. Don’t follow the directions on the package. Follow mine and have your drink, too. Win, win.

Cucumber Mint Yogurt Sauce- mix the following together- you can mix them in a processor for a finer texture.
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded (cut in half and take the seed out with a spoon)
1 1/2 cups plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (from my garden…SQUEEEEE!!!)
2 tbsp.extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste.

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Radish Butter

You may remember that I have a slight obsession with radish and butter sandwiches. It comes from a memory of my Nanny, who used to make them all the time when I was little. Sometimes she would skip the bread all together and just smear butter on the radish and pop it in her mouth. It got me thinking, “Well, I make herb butter, so why not make radish butter?” GENIOUS!!! I’m sure I am not the first person to come up with this, but I am still proud of the idea and glad I thought of it. I am currently eating this on pita chips. You have to try this, especially if you love butter (which is everyone) and radishes (if you don’t, try this recipe and it may change your mind).

Radish Butter

About 8 radishes
1/2 stick of butter
salt and pepper to taste

Half the radishes, cube the butter, and pulse them in your food processor. Add just a pinch of salt and pepper before you pulse.

You could also use a box grater to make the radishes have more of a glamourous look to them, and mix the softened butter in the radishes. I like the little flecks of red and pink in my butter; plus, all that grating is a pain.

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Herb Butter Roasted Chicken

On to the main course…
This roast chicken is simple and delicious.
Preheat oven to 500…yes, that is the right temperature.
1. Pick out some of your favorite herbs. I used tarragon, rosemary, sage, marjoram, and basil.
2. Get out a stick of butter (I always use unsalted unless otherwise noted). Let it get soft on the counter for about 30 minutes, or soften it up in the microwave for about 20 seconds, 10 seconds at a time.
3. Hand mix the herbs and butter with a spatula or slowly pulse together in a food processor.
4. Pat dry the whole chicken. Salt and pepper librally on all sides. Smear the bird all over with your herb butter.
5. Roast for about 1 1/2 hour. flipping and basting every 20 minutes or so.

I set off my fire alarm. The chicken was fine, but apparently I had some food in the oven that caught on fire. Nothing major. Just run of the mill cooking stuff. Ain’t no thang =)

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Kale Blinis

I bought myself a couple of cookbooks for Mother’s Day. They have recently come in the mail, and I have perusing them for new ideas. Last night I started reading a french cookbook called, My Little French Kitchen, by Rachel Koo. Rachel is a Brit in France. She went to cooking school in Paris and is a pastry chef, and she has written a few cookbooks. She has traveled and eaten her way all over the diverse countryside to test out fabulous French cuisine in her tiny flat in Paris. I live vicariously through her. Lots of the recipes and ingredients are foreign to Americans, but not impossible to find or make. I came at this cookbook with the idea of, “Hey, I want to try to adapt this to ‘My Relatively Small American kitchen.'” Does that sound like a cookbook title?

Blinis. Really just a synonym for pancake. I recently bought a bunch of kale at the farmer’s market. I read this recipe with an open mind and thought it would be awesome if I interchanged the chard with the kale. Then I got to the end when she said we could substitute chard for spinach or kale. I felt that my instincts were validated as a home cook. My girls actually helped me with this recipe. They all tried the kale blinis. Rebecca and Katie had 2 bites and decided they were done. Lizzie ate 2 whole pancakes. Even Brutus the dog got a taste when Katie “accidently” dropped the rest of hers on the floor. He wanted more.

I LOVED them. LOVED. If you love your greens, pancakes, and sour cream or creme fraiche, then you will love these as well. Give them a try. Pretend you are in Provence sipping Rose and scarfing these down as an amuse bouche.

The original recipe is called “Farcous aux blettes et citron confit” or Chard and preserved Lemon Blinis. I am changing the title to “Le chou frisee aux blettes et citron” or Kale and Lemon Blinis. The ingredients in the book are in metric, but I did the conversions for you. You’re welcome. =)

Ingredients

1 cup white flour
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 lemon- juice and 1/2 of rind grated
6 curly kale leaves, finely chopped (or 3 chard leaves or about a cup of spinach leaves)
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
optional; 4 tablespoons of creme fraiche, or sour cream- I used a combo of sour cream and marscapone- don’t tell the French

Directions

Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the shallot, garlic, lemon, and chard. Mix together, and then stir in the milk and eggs.

Heat the butter in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. I used my trusty cast iron skillet.
When the butter melts, use a spoon or small ladle to drop some batter into the pan and quickly flatten it down. Fry it in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Fry on each side about 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with your creme fresh or sour creme/marscapone combo. They can also be enjoyed cold. Especially by the light of the fridge when your tummy won’t quit rumbling at 1:30 am…

Batter
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Frying in Butter
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Perfect Brown
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Summer Veggie Pasta

So yesterday I went to the farmer’s market. I bought an iced coffee, which has inspired me to make my own at home, and just meandered around the market to see what looked good. Everything looked good. I ended up buying kale (planning on making some kale chips tomorrow), squash, asparagus, broccoli, a sweet onion, and some radishes. I will be snacking on radish and butter sandwiches for a few days. Delicious.008

I spied some rotini pasta in the cabinet and decided to make this pasta, which I made up along the way. Of course, you can add any veggies you have on hand in this. This pasta is showcasing the veggies, so the sauce has to be light and refreshing.

Summer Veggie Pasta

Ingredients

1/2 sweet onion
2 yellow squash
small bunch of asparagus
small bunch of broccoli
1/3 box of rotini pasta (or whatever you have on hand)
1 lemon
splash of white wine
chopped fresh herbs ( I used oregano, thyme, marjoram, and basil)
olive oil- I would say use sparingly a bit at a time)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat up a couple tablespoons of oil in a large pot on med. high heat- I used my large dutch oven.
Bring water to a boil for your pasta. Make sure you heavily salt the water.
While the water is coming to a boil, cut up your veggies and put in the heated pan. Salt and pepper liberally.
Add the pasta and cook you veggies about the same time. When the veggies are browning, add in a splash of white wine (I used Chardonnay) and the juice from the whole lemon. I also grated some lemon peel (make sure you wash the lemon skin very well; I like organic lemons when I know I am going to use the peel).
Add your fresh herbs.
When the pasta is al dente, add it to the veggies and sauce. Add a bit of the starchy pasta water to the mix. Stir and cook together for a few more minutes. Add in some parmesan cheese.

So good!
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Light and Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Compote

The girls wanted pancakes for breakfast this morning. I knew I had a pint of blueberries in the fridge I needed to use up, so I decided to make some blueberry compote and put some blueberries in half the pancakes for Becca and me. Lizzie and Katie wanted plain pancakes.

I wanted to try a new pancake recipe, so I found this recipe from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. He has a bunch of pancake and waffle recipes and a long list of variations and mix-ins. Next time I am going to try the chocolate chip pancakes.

Light and Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes- “Here the egg whites are whipped into a foam and folded into the batter, creating a cross between pancake and souffle.” In other words, HEAVEN!

Ingredients

1 cup milk
4 eggs, separated
1 cup all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Butter or neutral oil like grapeseed or corn, as needed

Directions

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat while you make the batter- I used my large cast iron skillet.

Beat together the milk and egg yolks. Mix the dry ingredients. Beat the egg whites with a whisk or electric mixer until fairly stiff but not dry. I used my mixer- much easier than doing it by hand.

Combine the dry ingredients and the milk-yolk mixture, stirring to blend. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites; they should remain somewhat distinct in the batter.

Pour about 1 teaspoon of the butter or oil on the griddle or in the skillet, when the butter melts or the oil is hot, add the batter by the heaping teaspoon, making sure to include some of the egg whites in each spoonful. After it had a few bubbles, I added in a few blueberries in each pancake. Cook until lightly browned on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes, then turn and cook the other side a couple more minutes. Serve or hold on an oven proof plate in a 200 degree oven for up to 15 minutes.

Blueberry Compote

Ingredients
1 pint of blueberries (I saved a couple of handfuls of blueberries for the pancakes)
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of one lemon (lime or orange would work here also)

Directions
Combine 1/2 of the blueberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the blueberries and cook for 8 minutes more, stirring frequently. Serve warm over your pancakes. It keeps well in the fridge for a week or so, maybe longer, but Becca loves it so much that it does not last too long.

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Ultimate Potato Salad

Today has been a great day! The girls spent the night at my parents, so I got to sleep in a while. After I woke up, I put a pork shoulder in the crock pot to have for BBQ sandwiches. I went for a leisurely stroll through the farmer’s market with a nice iced coffee, had a nice long walk with my dog in the neighborhood, and read a few magazines, where I came up with the idea to make this potato salad. I made it and put it in the fridge until dinner. Then everyone came home and we spent the afternoon at the pool.

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Ultimate Potato Salad

5 medium potatoes, boiled for about 25 minutes until tender, cut up in bite sized pieces
4 boiled eggs, cooled and sliced or chopped
about 1/4 of mayo
about 1/4 cup of honey mustard (I made mine- Add 3 tablespoons of stone ground mustard, a few squeezes of honey, and about 1/2 cup or so of olive oil in a Bell jar and shake it up. I just added a pinch of salt and pepper.)
1 cup or more of shredded cheese- I used a combo of cheddar/colby, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
6 pieces of bacon, chopped

I added the potatoes and eggs in a large bowl. I added the mayo and honey mustard and carefully folded in to the bowl. If it looks too dry, just add more mayo and honey mustard. Then I topped with cheese and bacon. Cover with wrap and refrigerate. This was a big hit at the table. Plates were cleaned!

Here is my recipe for easy crock pot pulled pork…
https://funfoodiefamily.com/2014/03/04/easy-crock-pot-pulled-pork/

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Friday Fives 5/23/14

I had this post all ready yesterday, but never got a chance to post it. So here are a few of my favorite things from this past week…

Chilaquiles- I love to try different versions of this yummy mexican brunch dish. This was made with green chilies, jalapenos, grilled chunks of chicken, tortilla chips, jack cheese, topped with sunny side up eggs, and avocado. Would have been even better with a spicy bloody mary!
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Talenti- My new favorite frozen treats! I have had a few kinds in the past and LOVED them!This past week I got the roman raspberry sorbetto. This week, I am trying the mango sorbetto and the black cherry gelato.
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I like the red ones the best.
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Hot dog night!
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Date Night- Sushi!
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Malbec- This one caught my eye, because my girls are obsessed with Elsa from Frozen. It was yummy!005

Farmer’s Markets… I went this morning and got a bunch of treats! I have thinking about radishes for a while, so when I saw some this morning, I knew I had to snatch them up! One of my favorite combos is salted butter and radishes. I love making butter and radish sandwiches
during the summer! 008