Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Okra, Corn and Tomato Saute with Cajun Grilled Shrimp

The end of summer is nigh... but the summer veggies keep coming! The CSA is still rife with corn, tomatoes, okra, peppers, and other summery goodies, though. I threw a whole bunch of these veggies together in a quick stir-fry, supplemented with a dash of hot sauce. Topped with some Cajun-esque grilled shrimp. Simple and delicious!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chicken Sausage Lasagna

For our most recent True Blood TV Club meeting, I decided lasagna would be a good option since it serves a crowd and is delicious. Plus, I had 10 pounds of Roma tomatoes from the CSA to use up, and lasagna uses lots of tomatoes.Ina's recipes are consistently good, so I thought I'd use her lasagna recipe as my jumping off point. I did make a couple changes, though. Rather than use canned crushed tomatoes, I roasted halved Romas at 425 for about an hour, then zipped them in the food processor to make my own crushed tomatoes. Also, I substituted chicken sausage for the turkey sausage Ina recommends, solely because that's what was available (and on sale!) at the Teet.

This recipe was soooo good. Good thing I made a double batch so we had leftovers!!

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

I needed some bread to accompany my chicken sausage lasagna, and I didn't feel like buying bread, particularly in light of how terrible the bakery options are in Columbia Heights. So I decided to make some rosemary bread... not too bad!The crust doesn't get super crispy, but the flavor is good- herby and fresh. I didn't have any whole wheat flour, so I used all AP flour to good results.

Banana Peanut Butter "Ice Cream" with Chocolate Chips

Whenever I buy a bunch of bananas, there are always a couple that turn brown before I get a chance to eat them. I peel them, pop them in a bag and throw them in the freezer with the intention to make banana bread with them, which I never do.
When I saw this ingenious idea for turning those ripe, frozen bananas into a no-sugar, no-cream "ice cream," I was intrigued. Plus, this recipes also has peanut butter and chocolate. How can it be wrong? Give it a try... something about the consistency of the frozen bananas when they're whizzed up in the food processor mimics the creaminess of ice cream, so there's no need to add anything else! The recipe called for cocoa powder, but I threw in some chocolate chips for crunch. I'm sure either would be lovely, though.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Okra and Tomatos with Skillet Cornbread

Tonight's meal perfectly captures the transition from summer to fall we're experiencing here in DC... summer ingredients from the CSA (okra, tomatoes, corn on the cob, jalapeno) and a warming, earthy, autumnal hint from the red wine reduction compliment our warm, but not sweaty days and breezy, maybe-I-should-have-brought-a-sweater nights.
Okra and tomatoes are quick-stewed with red wine, onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaves, while the crispy skillet corn bread is kicked up a notch by fresh toasted corn and jalapeno, plus some grated cheddar cheese.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beet and Goat Cheese Gnocchi

As a result of my overzealous CSA shopping, I have more Pipe Dreams goat cheese than I know what to do with. Luckily, Alejandra from Always Order Dessert posted a beet/goat cheese gnocchi recipe earlier this week that used up a decent amount of goat cheese and looked amazing to boot. The pink color of the gnocchi really caught my attention, as did the browned butter sauce. You know how I feel about browned butter.I made gnocchi (sweet potato) once before, in the early days of this blog, and while they were decent, they were a little dense and a little bit of a pain in the butt. Alejandra's gnocchi looked light and fluffy, so I thought I would give gnocchi another try... these were super satisfying, despite the fact that when I made them, they looked like little pieces of tuna sashimi! They had the sweet earthiness from the beets and a slight tang from the goat cheese. Plus the brown butter... brrrooooowwwwwnnn buuuuuuttterrrrr....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Grilled Rosemary and Dijon Chicken Thighs

Lots of leftover chicken after our beach weekend. Needed an easy way to cook and use it up quickly... queue Meghan and Liz, who volunteered their rooftop for some grillin'. I marinated the chicken thighs in rosemary, Dijon, honey and garlic, based on this recipe, figuring that was a good flavor combination for re-use of leftovers in chicken salad, etc. I forgot to take a picture of the grilled chicken itself because it was a wee bit dark on the rooftop (better to see the cool moon last night).However, I did get a photo of the chicken salad made with the leftover chicken... made with Greek yogurt, mayo, celery, green onions, apples, dried cranberries and a touch of parsley. Mmm.

Bottom of the Jar Dijon Vinaigrette

I saw this "no waste" Dijon and red wine vinaigrette recipe in a couple different places on the internets recently- it's advertised as a way to efficiently use up those little bits of mustard left clinging to the side of the jar.I reached the end of a jar of stone ground Dijon when making some Dijon and rosemary grilled chicken thighs, so I threw some olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper into the jar, shook it up.... a tasty vinaigrette, perfect for a crispy salad!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Buttermilk Biscuits!

I went to the beach (Sandbridge Beach, a low-key part of Virginia Beach) Labor Day weekend for some beaching, relaxing, drinking, eating and makin' memories (yes, our house was aptly named "Makin' Memories") with about 13 other people. Generally unscathed by Earl, we cooked massive meals, got sunburnt, drank more beer than you can imagine, and gave all of your favorite board and party games a bad name.

Some of my fellow beachers had requested biscuits for breakfast. I knew that biscuits from a can would be super easy, but I also knew they just wouldn't taste very good compared to flaky, light homemade biscuits, so I decided to make the biscuits myself. Not knowing what sort of equipment and ingredients Makin' Memories would have, I brought the dry ingredients for these awesome biscuits with me and mixed up the dough on-site. I chose this recipe, a) because it was high up on the Google hit list for buttermilk biscuits and b) because it used cake flour, which I had in abundance after making angel food cake a couple months ago. This recipe is awesome- I think the cake flour gives it an airy lightness. The recipe is so delicious that I couldn't snap a photo in time. But Nicole of Pinch My Salt fame has plenty, so take a look at hers and try not to drool.

Note: This recipe doesn't make a ton of biscuits. For 14 people, I made 3 batches of biscuits, which was a good amount.