Welcome to One Little Corner of the World. I share with you new recipes, some family recipes, and the antics of my kids. Enjoy reading!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Father's Day Meal

The Sunday after Father's Day is the day we are celebrating Father’s Day. Each year on Father’s Day there is a race that my husband and Father in Law love to go to. They love dirt track races and go quite a bit. Anyway, since Father’s Day is their day, we postpone our celebration so they can enjoy their day. For the first year, we didn’t buy gifts for Hubby’s brother or his dad. I had the boys make cards for them, and I think they liked the cards better than any gift we could have given.

For today’s meal, everyone is coming to our house. I usually combine menu items I have made before with new menu items yet to be tested in our house. I am making refried beans from a Cuisine at Home magazine – the last time I made beans, not so hot. We will have to see this time. I might be pinch hitting with something else if the beans don’t turn out well.

My tried and true menu item is the Jamaican Jerk Chicken Skewers that I made a couple of weeks ago. My mother in law really liked them, so I thought it would be nice to make them again for her. I am trying a new beef kabob recipe from my Weber Grilling cookbook, and I am now making Bowtie Pesto with Feta and Tomatoes. I decided against the beans – I will finish them up tomorrow. I know, I am a chicken….oh well, it happens.

As a starter, I made a spicy cheese dip, a recipe from Cuisine at Home. With Monterey Jack, heavy cream, and jalapenos, it was a good dip and easy to make. I also had salsa and a bacon cheddar dip mix from Watkins.

Dinner turned out well. The beef was fabulous!!! That is a dish we will definitely be making again. The chimichurri sauce that accompanied the beef was a little spicy but very flavorful. The chicken again was very tender and the sauce that was served with that had just the right amount of sweetness to bring the best out in the chicken.

I brought some strawberries, cleaned them and put sugar in them on Saturday so they would be ready on Sunday as my father in law loves to end his meal with something a little sweet. Then I totally forgot about them and no one ate them on Sunday. I sometimes forget these things. They were, however, very good on Monday morning.

Spicy Cheese Dip

1 ½ lb Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded

1 ½ lb Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 ½ cups heavy cream
1-2 minced jalapeno peppers
½ cup sour cream

Toss together cheese and flour in a large resealable plastic bag until cheese is coated by flour.

Heat cream in a double boiler over medium heat. When cream bebins to simmer, add ½ cup cheese stirring to incorporate. When cheese is melted, add another ½ cup cheese and stir until it melts; repeat until all cheese is melted.

Stir in jalapeno and sour cream. Keep did warm over low heatm but don’t allow it to boil.

Argentine Beef Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce

Sauce

1 cup Italian parsley leaves and tender stems
½ cup fresh basil leave
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 medium garlic clove
½ teaspoon kosher salt
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar

Rub

1 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

2 lbs top sirloin 1 1 ¼ in. thick. cut into cubes
Extra virgin olive oil
Large cherry tomatoes

In a food processor or blender, finely chop the celery, basil, onion, carrot, garlic, and salt. With the machine running, add the oil and vinegar in a steady stream, using just enough oil to create a fairly thick sauce.

In a small bowl mix the rub ingredients.

In a large bowl, coat the meat lightly with olive oil and season with the rub, stirring to coat evenly. Allow the meat to stand for 20-30 minutes before grilling.

Thread the meat and tomatoes alternately onto the skewers. Grill the skewers over direct heat with the lid closed as much as possible, until cook to desired doneness – 6-8 minutes for medium rare, turning occasionally. Serve warm with the sauce on the side or drizzled over the top of the skewers. Enjoy!!!

I feel that a good meal is one way to express love for family and friends. How do you show love for your family and friends?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Chicken Two Ways

Even though school is out, I have been pretty busy. I am still writing for the local paper, and the kids seem to have games all the time. I still find time to cook, but I haven’t had too much time to blog about it. Hopefully I will have more time to blog soon.

Last weekend, I cooked two kinds of chicken; one recipe from Barefoot Contessa and one recipe from my Weber Grilling Cookbook. The first – from the Contessa, was a Tuscan Lemon Chicken. - click on link for recipe. It is a rustic dish, but oh so yummy. The boys devoured it in no time at all. The other – Jerk Chicken Skewers with Honey Lime Sauce is a spicy chicken on a stick. I don’t think I have ever had such tender chicken in my life – the texture was terrific. I must say though, that it was the first time I had had meat with allspice in the marinade. It made for a new and interesting flavor for us. I would highly recommend either one. In fact, I am making the skewers again for our family’s Father’s Day celebration.

For the Tuscan chicken, I was excited to use rosemary that is growing on my front porch. I love using fresh herbs that I grow. It is always exciting to me.

Jerk Chicken Skewers with Honey Lime Cream - from the Weber Grilling Cookbook

Paste
1 habanera or Scotch chile pepper – I used a jalapeno – didn’t have anything else
1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 scallions, white and light green parts, roughly chopped
6 medium garlic cloves
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp ground allspice
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

Sauce
½ cup sour cream
½ tsp finely grated lime zest
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp honey
¼ tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper

Wear rubber gloves when seeding and chopping the chile. Remove the seeds and put the rest of the chile in the food processor with the rest of the paste ingredients and process until smooth.

Trim the chicken of any fat and remove the tenders. Cut the chicken lengthwise into even strips ½ to ¾ strips. I bought chicken tenders as they were on sale.

Place the chicken onto a large resalable bag and spoon in the paste. Work the paste into the chicken, press out the air in the bag, and seal tightly. Place in the refrigerator and let marinate for 2-3 hours.

In a small bowl whisk the sauce ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let the sauce stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving. Prepare the grill for direct heating over high heat.

Wearing rubber or plastic gloves, thread the chicken strips onto the skewers, being sure to keep each skewer well within the flesh of the chicken. If you don’t have rubber gloves, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after this step.

Brush the cooking grates clean. Gill the skewers over direct high heat with the lid closed as much as possible until the meat is firm and the juices run clear – 6-8 minutes, turning once or twice. Serve warm with sauce.

I have great food thawing in the fridge, so that means more posts coming soon!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jakey in June - a Great Time

Saturday was the second annual Jakey in June Barbeque. Barbequers from as far away as Tennessee came to our little neck of the woods to enter the contest. What a fabulous time we all had. This year, for the first time, there was a kids’ cue contest.

There were two groups; ages 5-10 and 11-15. The younger kids cooked burgers, while the older kids tackled pork chops. You could bring your own ingredients to add to the meat, but the meat was provided by the village. Twenty little grills were set up for the kids. With parents standing by, kids grilled – some for the first time – and entered their creations for the contest. There were all kinds of burgers, some made with cheese and bacon, some made with goodies hiding inside, some made with secret sauces, but all made by eager and excited children. While they only announced the first three winners, all entrants received a ribbon.

I didn’t judge the pork chops, but they looked awesome too. I know those kids had to put all kinds of seasonings on them. From what I heard from the others who judged them, they were full of flavor and quite tender and juicy.

After the kids’ que was over, I got to wander around for a while and check out the different barbequers. There were some locals, like our very fire department, and some from Missouri and Tennessee. Saturday night was the Anything Goes judging – of which I was a part. Anything Goes means that anything can be entered except brisket, chicken, pork shoulder, and ribs. Those items were to be judged on Sunday.

My table got to try a smoked jalapano pepper with an interesting stuffing and wrapped with a very smoky bacon and two types of pork tenderloin. The jalapano was by far the best one at my table, but there were some tasty dishes at the other table too. The other table had a pork tenderloin, smoked salmon, and shrimp. Being a judge allowed me to try everything after the judging was over.

Having the opportunity to judge a barbeque contest was great. For a food lover, it was an interesting opportunity to see another side of cooking. The only down side was that I couldn’t be there to help the boys in the kids’ que. In order to keep things fair, I didn’t judge my kids’ burgers either – the other table judged them.

After judging, it was a relaxing evening hanging out with friends and family. There was such a nice crowd of people. The kids got to play with their friends and we all got the opportunity to talk to people that we often get to see. I can’t wait for the next barbeque! Too bad Jakey in June comes but once a year.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mizithra Cheese, Spinach, and Magic Rub Chicken Pasta

Ok, so after the bbq contest – which I will be posting soon – you would think I would have had enough of grilling and meat, but no…..we grilled chicken and steak. We ate some of the steak and saved the rest for a different meal, but the chicken was added to a pasta dish I kind of made up.

With some fresh spinach, mizithra cheese, pasta from the hill in St. Louis, I was ready to make my pasta dish. For the chicken, I used a new rub recipe I found in my Weber Grilling cookbook. It is called Magic Rub; it can be used on beef, pork, and chicken. With a little spice from the mustard and cumin, it is a great rub that added a lot of zip to the chicken. After I put the rub on, I let the chicken sit for a while to allow the flavors to get into the chicken.

I love summertime, as it allows me to relax and just be with my family. Today is the last full day of school for the boys, and then they are basically done. They go to school for an hour on Wednesday to get their grades.

Mizithra, Chicken, Spinach Pasta

1 lb. linguini
½ lb chicken breasts cut into strips
1 recipe Magic Rub – see below
¼ lb mizithra cheese, shredded cheese
1 ½ cups fresh spinach
½ stick butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 ladles pasta water

Put rub on the chicken; let stand for 1-2 hours to let flavors really get into the chicken. Grill chicken, let cool, cut into long thin strips and set aside. Cook linguini according to package directions. While linguini is cooking, warm a serving bowl and put spinach, salt, pepper, ¾ of cheese, and melted butter or margarine into the bowl. Once pasta is cooked take out of pan and put directly into serving bowl, reserving at least 2 ladles of the pasta water. Combine all that is in the bowl adding pasta water if needed. To the top of the pasta add the rest of the cheese and the chicken. Serve immediately.

Magic Rub – From the Weber Grilling Cookbook

1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp granulated onion
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp granulated garlic
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp freshly ground pepper.

Makes about 2 tablespoons.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Country Yummy Breakfast Pasta

At the end of the school year, someone usually has a party. It is more fun if there is a reason for that party – like a baby shower. One of the teachers at my school is having her first baby – a boy, so we had a shower for her. I made a breakfast lasagna for the occasion.

I think I like the ease of the dish the best. It is made the night before and then just thrown in the oven the next day. With all my favorite ingredients, this dish is an easy crowd pleaser. Sausage, eggs, chives, onions, pasta, cheese – three varieties; it all makes for a yummilicious meal.

Spicy Breakfast Lasagna – from Cookin’ up Country Breakfast

3 cups cottage cheese
½ cup chopped fresh chives
¼ cup chopped fresh green onions
1 tbsp butter or margarine
18 eggs
1/3 cup milk
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
8 lasagna noodles cooked and drained
4 cups frozen shredded hash browns
1 lb bulk pork sausage cooked and drained
8 oz sliced Monterey jack cheese with jalapeno peppers
8 oz sliced Muenster cheese

In a bowl, combine cottage cheese, chives and onions; set aside. In a large skillet, melt butter. Beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper; pour in the skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat until very loosely scrambled, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside. Line a greased 13 by 9 baking dish with 4 lasagna noodles. Top with 2 cups of hash browns, scrambled eggs, sausage and half the cottage cheese mixture. Cover with Monterey Jack cheese. Repeat layers with the remaining lasagna noodles, hash browns, and cottage cheese mixture. Top with Muenster cheese. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted bear the center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. Yield 12-16 servings.

I would strongly urge that you let the dish set for five minutes before cutting – it really helps the eggs and cheese solidify. The presentation then is lovely!!

See ya soon with more recipes and stories!!!!!