Friday, July 15, 2016

Sunday Dinner July 17, 2016

On the Menu


I was introduced to Miss Marvell's Mac & Cheese just this week on National Mac  & Cheese Day. It was so delicious that I have to introduce it to the family this Sunday.


 Grilled Salmon with Chipotle Lime Marinade
4 Servings

This marinade is good for chicken, beef, lamb, pork and vegetables

Ingredients
4 – 6 ounce salmon fillets
For the marinade
½ cup olive oil
2 limes juiced
¼ cup tamari
1 tomato diced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
¼ cup sliced scallions
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin, ground

Method
Preheat grill on medium
Combine all marinade ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth and creamy.
Place fillets in a shallow baking dish and pour the marinade over fillets.  
Let fillets marinate on the counter for 1 hour.
Brush grill grates with canola oil then place filets on the hot grill.
Grill from about 4- 6 minutes per side (depending on the thickness).  And remember, it's better to undercook than overcook.

Note: Once you place salmon on the hot grill, leave it alone, let it cook long enough for the grill to release it naturally 3 – 4 minutes.
If using a charcoal grill wait until embers are ash colored before placing on the fillets.
 

Miss Marvell’s Mac & Cheese
10 – 12 Servings
Ingredients
1 pound Ronzoni #35 elbow macaroni
2 - 8 oz. packs Cracker Barrel extra sharp cheddar cheese
½ pound pepper jack cheese
1 ½ cups milk
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook macaroni according to instructions on box.
While pasta is cooking, grate the cheese and set aside.
Place the stick of butter and the milk in a small sauce pan and heat on low just long enough for the butter to melt. Turn off the heat and set aside if the pasta is not yet done.
As soon as the pasta is done, remove it from the heat and drain it in a colander.
Return the pasta to the pot and mix in the olive oil salt and pepper. 
Mix in half the cheese and half the warm milk and butter. Add the remaining cheese and milk combo mixing thoroughly.  Do not worry if all the cheese is not melted.
Transfer mixture to a baking dish. Mixture should be slightly moist, not swimming with milk and butter.  The melding of the cheese with the milk and butter will create the correct amount of moisture.
Cover dish loosely with foil and bake in a preheated oven 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes until top is golden brown.
 
Note: Miss Marvell is very specific about the brand of products she use. She said that in order to make a delicious mac and cheese it is very important to use a good quality pasta,   cheese and butter.  The bargain brands are just not rich enough in flavor for this dish.

 
Sauteed Turnip Greens with Garlic
4 Servings
Ingredients
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
6 - 10 whole garlic cloves
2 small dried whole chili peppers
2 bunches turnip greens
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 orange

Method
Heat oil in large saute pan, add garlic and whole dried chili peppers and saute until garlic is medium brown.
Add turnip greens and seasonings and saute until greens are wilted.
Squeeze orange over greens, stir and cover.
Let greens continue to cook from residual heat and soak up the orange juice.
  Puerto Rico's Rice with Pigeon Peas
Arroz Con Gandules
8 – 10 Servings

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the Sofrito
·         2 tomatoes, diced
·         1 medium onion, diced
·         1 large red pepper, diced
·         1 large jalapeno peppers, diced
·         4 large cloves garlic, minced
·         ¼ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
·         ¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ teaspoons salt free Sazon seasoning
⅓ cup tomato sauce
3 ½ cups water
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons stuffed olives
1+ tablespoons salt free adobo seasoning or to taste
1- 15 ounce can pigeon peas, rinsed and drained
2 cups parboiled rice

Method
Heat a Dutch oven on medium heat, add the olive oil and sofrito ingredients, and sauté for 5 minutes.
Next add the sazon, tomato sauce and continue to sauté another minute or two.
Add the water, salt, Italian seasoning, cilantro, bay leaves and olives.
Allow the liquid to come up to a boil taste it for salt and add more salt if needed.  Add in 1 tablespoon of the adobo season taste and add more if needed until it’s well seasoned.  You want the liquid to be highly seasoned, as it will determine the final taste of the rice.
Add in the pigeon peas then bring the mixture back up to a boil.  Once the mixture is boiling, add the rice.
Stir the rice to get and gently mix until the pigeon peas are distributed throughout the rice.
Cook rice uncovered until all surface liquid is absorbed. Once most of the visible surface liquid is absorbed, stir and cover the rice.
Lower the flame to the lowest setting and allow it to cook for 20 minutes.
It’s done when all the liquid is absorbed and the grains are fluffy and fully cooked.
Remove bay leaves before serving.





Thursday, July 14, 2016

National Mac & Cheese Day

On the Menu


Miss Marvell’s Mac & Cheese
10 – 12 Servings
Ingredients
1 pound Ronzoni #35 elbow macaroni
2 - 8 oz. packs Cracker Barrel extra sharp cheddar cheese
½ pound pepper jack cheese
1 ½ cups milk
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook macaroni according to instructions on box.
While pasta is cooking, grate the cheese and set aside.
Place the stick of butter and the milk in a small sauce pan and heat on low just long enough for the butter to melt. Turn off the heat and set aside if the pasta is not yet done.
As soon as the pasta is done, remove it from the heat and drain it in a colander.
Return the pasta to the pot and mix in the olive oil salt and pepper. 
Mix in half the cheese and half the warm milk and butter. Add the remaining cheese and milk combo mixing thoroughly.  Do not worry if all the cheese is not melted.
Transfer mixture to a baking dish. Mixture should be slightly moist, not swimming with milk and butter.  The melding of the cheese with the milk and butter will create the correct amount of moisture.
Cover dish loosely with foil and bake in a preheated oven 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes until top is golden brown.
 
Note: Miss Marvell is very specific about the brand of products she use. She said that in order to make a delicious mac and cheese it is very important to use a good quality pasta,   cheese and butter.  The bargain brands are just not rich enough in flavor for this dish.
 

Southern Style Macaroni and Cheese
12 - 14 Servings
Ingredients
2 pounds elbow macaroni
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
2- 3 cups milk
2 pounds Velveeta cheese, diced
2 large eggs, beaten
1 pound (NY or WI)* extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded  
1 pound Monterey jack cheese, shredded
*In my opinion, if it’s not New York or Wisconsin cheddar then it’s not cheddar cheese!
Method
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
In a large pot, pour in 6 quarts of water and bring to a rapid boil.
Add macaroni stir and bring water back up to a rapid boil.
Once water is boiling, stir again, cover the pot and remove it from the heat.
Let pot sit covered and undisturbed for the length of the cooking time that is stated on the box.
Drain the pasta and return it to pot.   
Add butter then season with salt, chili peppers and Cajun seasoning and set aside.
Meanwhile, pour 2 cups of milk into a large saucepan and warm over medium low heat.
Add the Velveeta cheese to the saucepan and cook over low heat until cheese has melted.
Add additional milk if needed then remove from the heat.
Using a tablespoon add some of the cheese sauce slowly to the eggs whisking as you add the sauce to the eggs.Once eggs and cheese are tempered, add the eggs to the cheese sauce and whisk together until well mixed.
Pour the sauce into the pot of pasta mixing thoroughly.  Then add the shredded cheese reserving 1 cup to sprinkle over the top of casserole and mix until all is well combined.  If needed, add more milk. 
The shredded cheese does not have to be melted; just make sure it is distributed throughout the pasta.
Pour pasta and cheese mixture into a large casserole dish top with 1 cup of cheese; cover with foil and bake 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Uncover and bake another 15 minutes or top is golden brown.




Reduced Fat Mac & Cheese
8 – 10 Servings
Ingredients
4 quarts cold water
1 bay leaf
1 lb whole wheat elbow macaroni
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon powered mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon basil, dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces skim milk
8 ounce nonfat Greek yogurt
8 ounces New York or Wisconsin extra sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces reduced fat pepper jack cheese, grated
2 ounces reduced fat Parmesan/Italian blend cheese, grated

Note: In order for your cheese to have some resemblance of melting, you need at least 1 whole milk cheese.  My suggestion is the x-tra sharp cheddar since it is so strong in flavor.

Method
Preheat Oven 350 degrees
In a large pot, pour in 4 quarts of water add the bay leaves and bring to a rapid boil.
Add macaroni, stir it and bring water back up to a rapid boil.
Once water is boiling, stir again, cover the pot and remove it from the heat.
Let pot sit covered and undisturbed for the length of the cooking time that is stated on the box.
Meanwhile in a small sauce pan, heat the skim milk and mix in the yogurt.  Do not let it come to a boil.
Once the pasta's cooking time has elapsed remove the bay leaf.
Working rapidly, pour 1 cup of the cooking liquid into the milk mixture then drain the macaroni. 
Add all dry ingredients mix thoroughly while pasta is still hot.
Mix in olive oil then add the grated cheese and the warm milk mixture.
Pour mixture into a casserole dish cover with foil and bake 20 minutes.
Uncover and bake another 15 minutes or until top is brown.











Saturday, July 9, 2016

Sunday Dinner July 10, 2016

On the Menu

  Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Leg of Lamb
6 - 8 Servings

Ingredients
1 (6-pound) leg of lamb, trimmed and tied
6 large garlic cloves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Method
Preheat oven 450 degrees F
or  to grill
Preheat the grill to high
To roast:
Place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven so the lamb will sit in the middle of the oven.
Place garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and olive oil. in a food processor and process until the garlic and rosemary are finely minced.
Thoroughly coat the top and sides of the lamb with the mixture.
Allow to sit at room temperature 30 – 60 minutes.
Place the lamb on a rack then place it in a roasting pan.  Cook roast 1 ½ hours, or until the internal temperature of the lamb is 145 degrees. 
Remove from the oven and put the lamb on a platter; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow the lamb to rest for about 20 minutes before slicing or serving.
To Grill:

Place the lamb on the grill, grill until golden brown, then turn the lamb over, and reduce the heat of the grill to medium so that the grill maintains a constant temperature of 350 degrees F.
Continue grilling until a thermometer inserted deep into the meat reaches a temperature of 145 degrees F for medium-rare doneness, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove lamb from grill, cover with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice the meat on the bias into 1/4-inch thick slices.



Green Beans with Lemon and Garlic
6 servings


Ingredients
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
Juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
freshly ground black pepper 
1 tablespoon lemon zest  - garnish optional

Method
Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, garlic and crushed red chili pepper and sauté about 30 seconds. Add the beans and all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Continue sautéing about 10 minutes or until beans are slightly tender.
Cover and let beans continue cooking from residual heat 6 minutes.
Garnish with lemon zest before serving. 



Country Style Mashed Potatoes
4 - 6 Servings
Ingredients 
2 pounds organic russet potatoes
Water to cover
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup of the liquid potatoes were cooked in
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped scallions

Method 
Wash, peel and dice potatoes equal in size. 
Place potatoes and bay leaf in medium saucepan; cover with cold water and bring to a boil. 
Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender. 
Drain well but reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid and remove bay leaf.
Place potatoes, salt, pepper and thyme in large bowl; beat with electric mixer just until mashed.
Beat in vegan mayonnaise and if needed, the cooking liquid until almost smooth. 
Stir in parsley and scallions be careful not to over mix.
You want your potatoes light and fluffy too much mixing will make them stiff.

Orange Ginger Carrots
6 Servings


Note:  This recipe was taken from: http://thanksgiving.betterrecipes.com/orange-and-ginger-carrots.html  We eliminated the sugar, butter and reduced the salt.  We added seasonings to enhance the flavor and produce a healthier yet equally delicious dish.
Ingredients
1 pound carrots, cut on the bias
1 bay leaf
1 orange, juiced
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon granulated onion
¼ cup chopped parsley
Curls of slivered orange peel
Method
Cook carrots and bay leaf in boiling water for 6 minutes, drain and discard bay leaf.
In a saucepan whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, cornstarch, sea salt and dry seasonings.
Add the carrots, bring to a boil and mix thoroughly.
Reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered for 3 minutes. 
Place carrots in a serving bowl and top with some chopped parsley, and orange peel, if desired. 
  Strawberry Lemonade
Yields 1 Gallon
Ingredients:
3 ½ quarts [14 cups] cold water
2 cups sugar
2 cups strawberries
10 ounces [1¼ cup] freshly squeezed lemon juice [6 – 8 lemons]

The secret to perfect iced drinks is to start by making a simple syrup. Dissolving equal parts sugar and water effectively disperses the sugar in the liquid, instead of having the sugar sink to the bottom.

Instructions:
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves [This is a simple syrup].
Add strawberries and cook 10 – 13 minutes stirring occasionally. 
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before using.
Pour remaining water and the lemon juice into a large container.
Using a mesh strainer, strain the strawberry syrup.  Use a spoon and gently mash the strawberries through the strainer.  Discard the seeds and any pulp remaining in the strainer.
Pour 3 cups of syrup into the lemonade and mix thoroughly.
Refrigerate until lemonade is cold, then serve over ice.