Saturday, July 27, 2019

Mama's Birthday Dinner

On the Menu





Ms. Mandry’s Cuban Black Beans

12 – ½ cup Servings 

Ingredients
1 pound dried black beans
5 cups water
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic sofrito
3 tablespoons onions and peppers sofrito
2 teaspoons sea salt


Method
Sort beans by removing any broken beans or other debris. Rinse thoroughly in cold water, drain and transfer to a large pot.  Add the water, granulated garlic, granulated onion and bring to a boil, cover and remove from the heat. Let beans soak for 1 hour covered and undisturbed.  This is called a quick soak.


While beans are soaking, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan add the garlic sofrito and the onions and pepper sofrito and sauté until all liquid is absorbed.


Once the soaking period has elapsed, mix the sofrito in with the beans add the salt and commence cooking the beans over medium-low heat for an hour or until beans are tender. Make sure you stir the beans periodically during the cooking process. Also, make sure the beans are covered by at least 1 inch of liquid at all times.



Sauteed Spinach with Roasted Garlic
4 Servings
Ingredients
2 tablespoon olive oil - divided
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
10 - 13 garlic cloves, roasted
I pound baby spinach
Juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Place garlic cloves in a small ovenproof pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and mix until all cloves are covered with oil. Place pan in the oven and bake 35 - 45 minutes or until cloves are golden brown. 
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan, add the chili peppers and saute until flakes are lightly browned. Add the spinach, roasted garlic, and all remaining ingredients and sauté until spinach is wilted. Taste for flavor and adjust ingredients as needed. Remove from heat and serve immediately.





Salmon with Barbecue Sauce
4 Servings

Ingredients
4 – 6 ounce salmon fillets
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup barbecue sauce

Method
Preheat oven or grill to 350 degrees F 
Wash fillets and pat dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl mix together the granulated onion, garlic, and salt. Sprinkle fillets with the seasoning mixture on both sides then season with the freshly ground pepper.  Cover and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight.
Remove fillets from refrigerator and let them sit on the counter approximately 30 minutes before cooking. 
If cooking in the oven: Place fillets on a baking sheet or pan. coat fillets with barbeque sauce and cook 13 - 15 depending on thickness. Rule of thumb is to cook fish for 10 minutes per inch, turning halfway through cooking time. If the fish is under 1/2 inch thick, you don't need to turn it over.
If grilling: 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 ambers are ash-colored before placing on the fillets.


Ms. Mandry’s Yellow Rice – Arroz Amarillo
12 - ½ Cup Servings


Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic sofrito
½ cup onion and pepper sofrito
3 cups rice, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon sazon
2 teaspoons sea salt
Boiling water to cover by 1 inch


Method
In a heavy large pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat the oil. Add the garlic and onion/pepper sofrito and sauté over medium heat until all liquid is absorbed. Add the rice and continue sautéing for about 3 minutes. Add the boiling water, just enough to cover the rice by about 1 inch. Bring the pot up to a boil lower the heat to a simmer and cover with a tight lid. If you do not have a tight-fitting lid, cover the pot first with foil and then put on the lid. Crimp foil around the pot so that no steam is escaping. Cook rice 15 minutes then redistribute the rice by gently folding/turning it from the bottom of the pot to the top with a large fork. If rice is done, cover and remove it from the heat.
If it needs more time, add more water if needed and continue cooking checking and redistributing every 15 minutes until rice is done.


Note: I always use a long-grain brow rice, therefore, the rice will not be yellow. It also takes approximately 45 minutes to cook.


 Ange's Field Greens with Watermelon and Feta
4 Servings
Ingredients
1 pound field greens aka spring mix aka mesclun salad
2 cups diced watermelon
4 - 8 ounces feta cheese
6 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
4 ounces walnut pieces for garnish
   For the dressing
  • 1 orange, juiced - ¼ cup 
  • 1 lemon, juiced - ¼ cup 
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon granulated onion
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper ground, i.e. cayenne  
Method 
In a medium bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients.  Refrigerate at least an hour before using.  Store any excess in a glass bottle up to 4 weeks.

In a large bowl, toss together the salad greens, watermelon, feta cheese, and mint. Just before serving, add 1/4 cup of dressing and walnuts and mix thoroughly.


 Lemon Bundt Cake
8-10 Servings
Ingredients
For the Cake
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
5 large eggs, room temperature
¼ cup lemon zest
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
1 cups buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

The Icing
1 cups powdered sugar
2 tables freshly squeezed lemon juice

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Flour & grease a bunt cake pan.
Use a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter with 2 cups granulated sugar until fluffy.  Place mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time them add the lemon zest.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
In another bowl, combine ½ cup lemon juice, buttermilk, and vanilla.
Place the mixer on low and add the flour and buttermilk mixtures to the creamed butter and sugar mixture, alternating between the dry and wet ingredients and ending with the flour. 
Transfer mixture to cake pan, smooth the top and bake 45 minutes to an hour or until the tester comes out clean.
Combine ½ cup of granulated sugar with ½ cup of lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until sugar dissolves.  When the cake is done, let it cool for 10 minutes. 
Place cake on a plate and spoon the lemon syrup over the cake then let it cool completely.
For the icing, combine the powdered sugar with lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a whisk until smooth.  Pour over the top of the cake and allow it to drizzle down the sides.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Sunday Dinner July 21, 2019

On The Menu




4 Servings
Ingredients
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup orange juice
2 tablespoon Grade B maple syrup
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
Freshly ground pepper 

Method
Combine soy sauce, maple syrup orange juice, oil, ginger, garlic and crushed red chili peppers in a zip lock bag.
Add chicken and turn to coat. Chill at least 2 hours or overnight, turning occasionally
Heat grill to medium for indirect heat.  If using charcoal grill, position coals on one half of the grill. 
If using gas grill, heat one side to high, the other to low. Lightly oil grill grates.
Remove chicken from marinade, reserve marinade to baste chicken. Sprinkle each side of breast with freshly ground black pepper.
Grill chicken 10 minutes over hottest section of the grill turning once.
Move to cooler section of the grill and cook basting chicken as needed with left over marinade. 10 minutes longer or until thermometer inserted into thickest part reads 165 degrees F. 


 Red Beans and Rice
6 Serves
Ingredients
1 pound dried red kidney beans
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
½ cup chopped celery
2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 teaspoons granulated onion
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or any hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Chopped scallions or parsley for garnish

Method
Sort beans by removing any broken or disfigured beans, rocks, dirt and any other debris.  Rinse thoroughly and drain.
Put beans in a large saucepan, cover with water and soak overnight.  To quick soak the beans, bring pot to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and soak for 1 hour before cooking.
While beans are soaking, heat the oil in a medium saute pan add the onions, peppers, celery and garlic cloves saute until onions are translucent.
After the soaking period is over, add the sautéed vegetables, dried seasonings, bay leaves, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce mix thoroughly, cover and cook over low heat 2 – 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Serve beans over steamed brown rice and garnish with scallions or parsley.
Note: This is a well seasoned dish so careful with the Cajun seasoning and Tabasco sauce.




6 Servings
Ingredients
5 ears of corn, shucked
1 small red onion/scallion, diced
1 Roma tomato, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 lime juiced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup cilantro, julienned 

Method
For the raw version, cut corn off the cob, rinse and let drain in a colander.
For the cooked version:
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. 
Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.
Raw/Cooked version: 
Toss the kernels in a large bowl with the red onions or scallion, tomato, jalapeno pepper, lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh cilantro
Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature. 


 Ange's Field Greens with Watermelon and Feta
4 Servings
Ingredients 
1 pound field greens aka spring mix aka mesclun salad
2 cups diced watermelon
4 - 8 ounces feta cheese
   For the dressing
1 orange, juiced - ¼ cup 
1 lemon, juiced - ¼ cup 
½ cup olive oil 
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon red pepper ground, i.e. cayenne 
6 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped


Method 
In a medium bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients.  Refrigerate at least an hour before using.  Store any excess in a glass bottle 2 - 4 weeks.
In a large bowl, toss together the salad greens, watermelon and feta cheese.  Add dressing just before serving.


Minty Watermelon Water
Yields ½ gallon
Ingredients 
64 ounces water
1 sprig fresh mint
3 watermelon wedges
 
Place all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before drinking.  Refill container three time or when flavor fades before discarding ingredients.



Thursday, July 4, 2019

July 4, 2019

On the Menu

   
The Hamburger
Yields 12  
4 ounce Burgers
Ingredients
3 lbs ground beef or turkey1
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers – optional
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced

Instructions
Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
Divide the meat into 4 ounce portions.
Form each portion loosely into a 3/4-inch-thick burger. 
Heat a gas grill to high or heat coals in a charcoal grill until they glow bright orange and ash over.
Brush the burgers with oil. Grill the burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the first side, about 3 minutes for beef and 5 minutes for turkey.
Flip over the burgers. Cook beef burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the second side, 4 minutes for medium rare or until the desired degree of doneness is reached.
Cook turkey burgers until cooked throughout, about 5 minutes on the second side.
1 Add seasoning to ground turkey 24 hours prior to cooking


















4 - 6  Servings

Ingredients
For the Marinade
6 ounces pineapple juice
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 ½ pounds chicken pieces; breasts, thighs, drumsticks 

Method
Mix all marinade ingredients in a bowl.
Place chicken in zipper log bag, pour marinade in and squeeze out air from bag before sealing. Massage chicken in bag to make sure all pieces of chicken are bathing in marinade.
Marinate in refrigerator for half a day, or overnight; turn bag occasionally to ensure chicken is entirely covered.
When ready to grill, remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade) and grill chicken over medium heat until done, about 20-25 minutes, turning once for nice grill marks. 

 Jamaican Jerk Ribs
2 Racks
Ingredients
2 cups dark rum
4 tablespoons habanero chili powder
4 tablespoons dried chives
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
4 teaspoons ground coriander
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg


Method
Remove silver from the backs of ribs. I use pliers to get a grip on one corner and pull hard to remove.
Place ribs in a nonreactive roasting pan.
Pour rum over ribs, turning a few times to coat evenly.
Cover and place in fridge, turning once every hour for 4 hours total.
Meanwhile combine all the spices in a blender or small food processor and pulse until you have a fine powder.
Divide jerk spice blend.
Drain ribs and pat dry with a paper towel.
Take one batch of jerk spice blend and rub into rib racks-both sides.
Wrap with plastic wrap and return to fridge for 1 hour.
Prepare grill for indirect grilling-use a drip pan if you don't want a huge greasy mess to clean up.
Heat grill to medium.
Add chips and place ribs on hot grates over drip pan.
Close lid and allow ribs to smoke for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Allow for 15 minutes either way, depending on the size of each rack.
When done remove ribs to a platter.
Sprinkle the remaining jerk spice blend on ribs.


Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
Serves 4
Ingredients
½ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ -1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon oregano or any dry herb
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
4 large Portobello mushrooms

Instructions:
In a bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, herbs, spices and garlic then sit it aside.
Using a tablespoon, scoop out the gills from the underside of the mushroom.
Rinse mushrooms under cool water while lightly rubbing by hand to remove any dirt or debris. 
Pat mushrooms dry with a paper towel.
Place mushrooms in a baking dish then pour the marinade over them. 
Cover and refrigerate 1 – 2 hours.
Preheat grill to a medium heat, as grilled portobello mushrooms will burn over a high heat.
Remove mushrooms from refrigerator and let them come to room temperature.
Spray grill rack with non stick cooking spray before putting it on the grill.
Place portobellos on heated grill and cook 3 - 4 minutes on each side.  And 3 minutes on the other side.
You will know the portobellos are done when they turn a darker color and look slightly shrunken.
















Traditional Potato Salad
6 - 8 Servings
Ingredients
2 ½ lbs russet potatoes cut into 1” cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small carrot, grated
½ cup sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Method
Peel and cut potatoes into 1” cubes. Place diced potatoes in a pot and pour in room temperature water that covers the potatoes by at least 2 inches. Bring the uncovered pot up to a boil and let potatoes boil rapidly for 3 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium, put a lid on the pot and let potatoes continue to cook covered and undisturbed for 5 minutes or until they are tender ( usually take 8 - 10 minutes).
Drain potatoes and while they are still hot, season with salt, pepper and paprika.
Spread potatoes out on a sheet pan [cookie sheet] and let them cool to room temperature about 15 minutes.  Then refrigerate uncovered in order for them to cool down for 30 minutes. Place potatoes in a bowl and thoroughly mix in all the remaining ingredients.
Cover bowl and refrigerate until salad is cold. 




 Grilled Corn
Serves 6
Ingredients
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
6 ears of corn in the husk
Instructions
Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings and sit aside to spread on corn once it’s done. 
Purchase fresh corn on the cob. When you pick out your corn, be sure to partially peel back the husk and silk so that you can be sure you're getting a good ear.
Remove as much of the corn silk as possible without removing the husk. Excess silk will burn while the corn is on the grill.
Soak the corn in water for 15 to 20 minutes. This will ensure that you can cook the corn for a long enough time without it burning.
Take the corn out of the water, and shake off any excess. You want the corn wet, but not dripping.
Close the silk back around the corn and place the corn on the grill and then close the lid.
A gas grill should be on medium heat. If you're using a charcoal grill, make sure the coals are no longer flaming.
Turn the corn every 10 minutes, you want the corn to be evenly cooked and browned on all sides.
When the corn husk is charred and nearly black, your corn is done.
Remove the corn from the grill and carefully remove the husk and remaining corn silk. While the corn is still hot, use a pastry brush and brush each ear of corn with the olive oil spread.



 Grilled Vegetables
4 Servings
Note: You can choose any vegetables that take well to grilling, such as peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, carrots, squash, onions, potatoes, corn on the cob, artichokes, mushrooms and asparagus are just to name a few.

Ingredients
2 zucchini squash, sliced
12 cherry tomatoes
2 red onions cut into fourths
2 red bell peppers, seeded, halved
2 yellow bell peppers, seeded, halved
For the marinade/dressing
¼ cup olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons balsamic or rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion
¼ teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
Method
Combine marinate ingredients in a blender or whisk ingredients in a bowl. 
Marinate vegetables for 15 minutes before grilling.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in the charcoal or gas grill.
Put the vegetables directly on the grill grid, on skewers or in a vegetable basket.
Turn the vegetables often, brushing on more marinade as needed.
Remove the vegetables when they can be easily pierced with a fork.




 Strawberry Spinach Salad
2 Servings
Ingredients:
10 ounces baby spinach
8 – 10 large strawberries cut in 1/8, lengthwise
¼ cup almond slithers
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ bunch chives cut into 1 inch long pieces
Dressing:
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation:
Rinse spinach and spin in a salad spinner or drain in a colander then blot with paper towels to remove excess water.
Whisk together dressing and set aside.


Melon Salad
8 – 12 Servings
Ingredients:
⅓ cup honey or agave syrup
½ cup orange juice
Juice of 1 lemon
¼  teaspoon crushed red chili peppers - Optional
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cantaloupe, seeded, peeled, diced
1 honeydew melon, seeded, peeled, diced
1 watermelon, seeded, peeled, diced

Instructions:
In a small bowl, combine honey, orange juice, lemon juice, chili peppers and mint, mix well.
Place melon cubes in large serving bowl and pour honey mixture over. Toss gently to coat and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving time.
Toss spinach with enough dressing to lightly coat. 
Add the strawberries and almonds and toss again.
Place on platter and top with feta cheese and chives.

 Strawberry Ice Tea
¾ Gallon 
Ingredients
8 tea bags
8 cups [64 ounces] water
Simple syrup
2 cup granulated sugar
2 cup water
1 cup strawberries, fresh

Method
The Tea
In a saucepan, bring the 8 cups of water to a boil. Add the tea bags, remove from the heat, cover, and steep for 15 minutes.
The Syrup
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves
Add strawberries and cook 10 – 13 minutes stirring occasionally.
Strain the strawberry syrup through a small mesh strainer. Using a wooden spoon, push some of the strawberries through the strainer and discard the rest.  
To Combine
Remove the tea bags without squeezing them, and pour the tea into a large container. Add 2 cups of the syrup and stir. Let stand at room temperature until cool.
Do not put hot tea in the refrigerator to cool down, as this will cause the tea to cloud.
Serve the tea over ice, stir in additional syrup if desired.

Note: A simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water cooked until sugar dissolves   
Minty Watermelon Water
Yields ½ gallon
Ingredients 
64 ounces water
1 sprig fresh mint
3 watermelon wedges
 
Place all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before drinking.  Refill container three time or when flavor fades before discarding ingredients.