Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken

About this time every year I get the itch to have grilled food again. I am burnt out on soups. I have had one too many casseroles. It is time to dust off the grill and fire it up. Even if it is a little bit too cold.
This is one of those "everything but the kitchen sink" kind of marinades. I was looking in my fridge to see what I had and this is what I came up with. It was really good. Much better than I was expecting it to be. My marinades are always kind of lackluster, but this time it was spot on. The amounts are approximations. As always, I threw caution to the wind and just dumped everything in a ziploc bag.

Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1-2 T red wine vinegar
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lemon
3 green onions, roughly chopped (white and green parts)
1 T dried parsley
4 crushed garlic cloves

Put all ingredients in a ziploc bag and let the chicken marinate for at least 6 hours. Before grilling, put salt and pepper on both sides of the chicken.

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Roast Beef Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Brie

Generally speaking, I try not to eat a whole lot of red meat. That doesn't mean that I don't like it. In fact, I really love it. That's why I have to limit myself. Otherwise I would eat it all the time. So, when I do eat it, it better be good. I mean really good. And this sandwich is. You should make it. You won't be disappointed.

Central Market has Kobe roast beef that they make in-house. It is insanely good and every time I'm at the deli counter I am trying to think of ways to eat it. Truth be told, I stole this sandwich idea from Central Market. They have a roast beef sandwich in their prepared foods section with brie on it and it is so good that I thought I would try to recreate it at home. I thought I would up the ante a bit and add caramelized onions and serve it warm. Delicious!

Roast Beef Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Brie

1 lb. roast beef
2 loaves of Italian white bread or ciabatta bread
1/2 lb. brie (a triple cream tastes best)
caramelized onions (recipe below)

Split the bread in half horizontally. First layer brie, then put the roast beef on top. Next, put a layer of caramelized onions and then another layer of brie. (The brie "layer" really ended up being little chunks. The triple cream is hard to slice.) Put the bread lid back on the sandwich and wrap the whole loaf in foil. Repeat with the second loaf of bread. The foil keeps the bread from getting crispy; don't skip this step or you'll be sorry. Place the loaves in an oven preheated to 350&deg. and warm for 15-20min, or until the brie is melted. Slice and serve. (Makes enough for about 5 or 6 sandwiches.)

Caramelized Onions
(from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics)

2 T. good olive oil
2 T. unsalted butter
2 lb. yellow onions, peeled and sliced in half-rounds
1/2 t. fresh thyme leaves (I omitted this)
2 T. sherry vinegar (I used balsamic)
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large shallow pot, add the onions and thyme, and toss with the oil. Place the lid on top and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes to sweat the onions. Remove the lid and continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the onions are caramelized and golden brown. If the onions are cooking too fast, lower the heat. Add the vinegar, salt and pepper and cook for 2 more minutes, scraping the brown bits from the pan. Season to taste (they should be very highly seasoned).

Bon Appetit!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Luke!

Saturday was Luke's first birthday and we had a party for him. I can't believe my baby is a toddler now. Wasn't he just born yesterday?

The party was so much fun! We had lots of family and friends there to celebrate with us. And of course, lots of food. We had Green Chile and Cilantro Hummus.

A delicious artichoke and sun dried tomato spread that Jeff's mom made. I think I singlehandedly polished off the bowl. It was so good!

The veggie platter with ranch dip. Can you think of a better way to meet your vegetable requirements for the day?

And frog, pig, and monkey cupcakes!

Sun-dried Tomato and Artichoke Spread
(adapted from Paula Weaver's recipe)

2 pkg. softened cream cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 t. salt
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts
7 green onions, chopped
6 T. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped

We served this with pita chips and flat bread crackers. So delish! Thanks for making this Kathy! And, thanks for the recipe Paula!

Ranch Dip

1 c. mayo
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 t. dried chives
1/2 t. dried parsley
1/2 t. dried dill weed
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. onion powder
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper

This is best made a few hours before eating. If possible, the day before is even better.

Happy Birthday Luke!