Saturday, July 25, 2009

Crab Cakes with egg and Hollandaise sauce

I missed Lee so much that I made him a fantastic breakfast.
And I must give credit to Sara for this recipe, which is really a mash-up of two different recipes (here, and here).

Crab Cake & Egg Toast w/ Old Bay Hollandaise

4 mini crab cakes (they were on sale this week at Central Market)
1/4 large red onion, thinly sliced
fresh sour dough bead
2 eggs

2 egg yolks
1 tsp lemon juice
dash Tabasco
2 tsp water
1 tblsp chives, diced
1 stick butter, though you may only need about 7 tablespoons
old bay seasoning

Cook crab cakes in the oven at 450 degrees until warmed through.

While they are cooking, heat a large pot 1/4 full of water, until it boils. In a glass bowl that has been placed on top of the pot of boiling water (do not let the water touch the bowl), whisk egg, lemon juice, Tabasco and water until pale yellow. Season with a sprinkle of salt and old bay to taste, add chives. Remove from heat and while whisking constantly, add butter 1 tablespoon at a time. The longer it sits, the thicker it gets, so you might need to put it over the steaming pot again and add a little water every time it starts to thicken up too much.
Cook onions in a skillet with a tablespoon of butter, until caramelized, about 10 minutes.

Once crab cakes are almost done, cook eggs and put bread in the toaster.

Put the crab cake on the toast, top with one fried egg, then onion, and then the hollandaise. WHALA!

(i forgot the onions and pouted. it was too early in the morning!)
Lee went "MmmmmmMMmmmmmMMMMMM!!!" So i guess he liked it!


2 Weeks until my reunion and I am in panic mode. I am one step away from carrot-sticks only diet.
Anyway, we have been trying to eat healthy but I threw that all out the window this morning. I will get to that in a moment.

Lee got a new grilling toy - a wire basket for grilling veggies (and maybe shrimp?) We used it the other night along with the Tuscan Grilled Chicken.Lee was out of town all week so I ate out the entire time with friends. I had visions of me eating my meal standing up by the sink, like in Must Love Dogs, and shuddered. Lee came home Friday night.
He brought me a surprise.
6 of them.
I cringed. How can I watch this critter die? I mean, it is one thing when you are in a restaraunt and they bring out the tail already all cooked. You never met the lobster, you didn't have any connection with him...
I was really unsure of how to handle this and felt bad that Lee was looking at me like "wow, i guess my surprise didn't work out so well?"
He put them all in my sink... and they proceeded to stare at me.
I made a face all the way until they were served onto my plate. I was really freaked out.
I will say, they didn't scream. I would have went outside. Maybe down the street. Maybe out of town.
But they didn't. I just drank 2 glasses of wine in quick succession.
When they were done, however, and I tasted the effort made by Lee (who did all the work. I just stood there and drank)... it was yummy.
Still.... I think I prefer eating lobsters I have never met.
But I appreciate Lee's super thoughtfulness in flying them home with him all the way from Maine.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cookies and Grilled Pizza

I have been cooking, I have proof!

Thursday night I made yummy cookies!
They have dark chocolate M&M's and semi-sweet chocolate chips AND vanilla pudding in the batter. YUM.
Last night we tried our hand at Grilled Pizza.
It was our first try and it was a hectic experience at first but proved to be tasty non-the-less.
First I sauteed the veggies:
and then chopped up the prosciutto and pepperoni:
While that was all happy on the stove, I rolled out the dough that I had made earlier in the day:
Then comes the best part - sauce and cheese. I could eat plain cheese pizza with extra sauce ALL DAY.This is where there were many bad words said. This didn't go so smoothly.

But the end result was wonderful!This was so good. SOOOOO good.

I want this so bad!!

Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch™ Sandwich Cookie Cake Pan | Williams-Sonoma

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cajun Sunday

Sunday was a big day of food for us. I headed out to the grocery store for a few days worth of food while Lee marinated.... an alligator tail.
The whole tail.
The rest of this animal is in the freezer in the garage - ready to go in the trash Wednesday night so it can promptly go to landfill heaven Thursday morning.
Story is - Lee's uncle shot an alligator at the bay house because it was eating their ducks. Then they thought it a good idea to skin and clean this alligator.
Then Lee brought the WHOLE THING home.

So he soaked the tail in milk and spices and put it on the grill.
I decided that I would have a back up plan - Dirty Rice and New Orleans BBQ Shrimp.

I had alot on the stove at once. One of these was the stock for the BBQ sauce on the shrimp -

Yum, shrimp skins!
I was also making dirty rice - recipe to follow..

Here are the shrimp as a final product. The recipe called for heavy cream and I think it over powered the bbq sauce. I was pretty mad. It tasted good but I would have been happier with making a big batch of peel-&-eats. Oh well.

It tasted bad. Clarification - it tasted like the grill and was chewy. Lee didn't have high expectations, but gave it a try.

Recipe -

Dirty Rice

1 package of smoked sausage (I used Eckridge) cut into small bites
2 stalks celery, chopped small
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cups rice
5 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Creole seasoning

Add rice and chicken stock to large pot and cook 20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage in a little olive oil until brown and starting to crisp. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic and sautee about 5 more minutes, until soft. Add cayenne pepper and shake a little creole seasoning on. Start out slow, because you will want to flavor it some more once the rice is added in.
Add in rice, leaving the skillet on low.
Stir all together and start taste testing. Add more creole seasoning until you are happy with the taste.

That's it!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday night celebration

Ben closed on a house about 1 block away from us yesterday, so we had him over to celebrate! I ran to Central Market after work and grabbed some Bone-In-Ribeye's (on sale!), broccolini, and baby red potatoes.

I can't tell you how easy this dinner was!

I put just a smidge of olive oil on the steaks - i find it carmelizes them really nicely on the grill. I then shook Lee's favorite steak seasoning all over them and let them sit out to room temp. I highly recommend letting steak sit out to room temp before you cook them, the flavor is so much better!
Then I coated the potatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper, and some fresh rosemary from my garden and put them in the oven at 425 for about 45 minutes.
Once the steaks were cooking I steamed the broccolini until just tender.

If you fancy, add a little butter to the potatoes once you sliced them. Salt the broccolini a bit and dig in!!

Monday Night Dinner - Pesto Chicken with roasted veggies

I was determined to cook dinner alot this week, so I added a level of difficulty and tried a few NEW things!

Chicken stuff with Provolone and Pesto served with roasted veggies:
4 chicken breasts, trimmed and split open down the side
1 container pesto
4 slices of provolone
1 small container of cherry tomatoes
1 leek, sliced then (white and light green parts only)
2 pounds yellow potatoes, cubed small
1 cup chicken stock

Pre-heat oven to 425.

Toss potatoes with olive oil and cluster them together on one end of a lined baking sheet. Place in the oven to cook for about 10 minutes. Then remove and scatter tomatoes over empty side of the pan and drizzle with oil. Salt and pepper all and place back in the oven. Cook 15-20 more minutes.

Once tomatoes are in the oven, place a generous spoonful of pesto in each pocket of the chicken and then 1 piece of cheese (folded in half). If needed use toothpicks to keep chicken closed.
In an ovenproof skillet, drizzle olive oil and cook chicken breasts 3 -4 minutes on each side. Transfer to oven for 8 - 10 minutes.

While chicken is in the oven, heat a little more oil in a small skillet and cook leeks about 5 minutes, until soft and smelling awesome. Once veggies are done roasting, transfer to skillet with leeks and add 1 cup chicken stock and stir together

Serve chicken with veggies alongside and a nice glass of Pino Grigio!

(horrible photo)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Itailan Skillitini

I am in a rut. I haven't been cooking as much. Part of the reason is that groceries are almost as expensive as just eating out. At the end of a long day, why cook when you can go out for the same amount? Other than the fact I love to cook and I hate the hassle of getting back out in Houston traffic for dinner...

Sorry. I just needed to rant a little bit.

After getting back in town from Palestine, I hit the grocery store for the next 2 nights of food (and spent $50... ugh.) Then I got in the kiddie pool with 2 magazines and chilled out for an hour. That was nice.

We had some rather pricey bell peppers from Central market that were going soft and I couldn't let that happen. I had a hankering for good ole spaghetti and meatballs - so something sprang to mind while looking through my Bon Appetit cookbook... skillitini!

I went to the store for about 10 items (plus magazines and hair gel for Lee) and started on my spaghetti sauce.
I am not always a secretive person, but I am not ready to let go of my spaghetti sauce recipe. Everyone has one, and yours will work fine for this meal. So - get the sauce simmering and then move on to the rest of the meal -While that simmered, i cut the bell peppers (one red and one green) and put the pasta water on to boil. Then I started on the italian sausage. I deglazed the pan towards the end with a little white wine - courtesy of my Target Wine Cube.
(Thank you Lee, for stirring...)
Then I added some pasta and a few ladles of sauce.Get it mixed a little and then add the remaining noodles and as much sauce as you like. My vision of having leftover sauce to thaw from the freezer on a night when Lee is out vanished as I found myself pouring all the sauce in the pan. I can't help it, I LOVE sauce.
I had started some French Bread in the breadmaker earlier in the afternoon, so I served that with a little butter on the side and it made for good scoopage!
I followed up with a very complicated dessert:I had them left over from the pie I made from the 4th.

Recipe for Breann's Italian Skillitini

1 package Italian sausage links, casings removed
1 large red bell pepper
1 large green bell pepper
Onion - if there is not any in your sauce, slice one thin for the skillet
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 pd small whole grain pasta
grated Parmesan, Asiago, or Romano cheese (or a blend!)
Fresh basil, chopped
4 - 6 cups of spaghetti sauce, or more.. or less... your preference

Place large pot of water on stove to boil for the pasta.
In a large skillet (this is where I love my Rachael Ray huge oval skillet), start sauteeing the sausage in whole links until brown and almost cooked through. Once well browned, remove to a cutting board and allow to rest. By now the noodles are probably ready to go in the water or may even be boiling.
Throw sliced bell peppers and onions (if needed) to the same skillet and cook until soft. Slice sausage and throw back into skillet with peppers.
Drain pasta.
Once the sausage is cooked through, add some pasta to the skillet and stir in well. Start ladeling the sauce in, about 4 good sized ladels and get mixed well. Add the remaining pasta, then sauce, and let simmer for a few minutes to allow to merry together!
Sprinkle with cheese and basil and serve in a large bowl with a huge piece of french bread for scooping.

I am cooking again!

For the 4th I made 2 things: Djion Potato Salad and Peanut Butter Oreo Pie.My Uncle smoked some briskey and turkey, there was also baked beans, cake, fruit salad, etc. we had plenty of food!

Friday night (the 3rd) we had Lee's sister over for dinner because she was going to watch the puppies for us overnight Saturday. We had a very simple meal - Top Sirloin and Baby Bok Choy.
Bok Choy is SUPER easy. You basically get a good amount of olive oil in the pan with a little minced garlic. Throw it all in the pan and sautee until wilted but still crisp on the larger white parts. Easy easy easy.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I am bad bad bad, I know. I haven't been cooking very much and when I have been cooking, I tend to just throw something together that is quick and I have posted about before... I need ideas, people!

I will be cooking tonight and there will be lots of food tomorrow at the 4th of July celebration in Palestine. I will do my best to photograph the spread!

Off to make my pie and potato salad (of which has appeared on the blog before, or at least the recipe has.)