Monday, May 26, 2014

the dougie? No, not in Kentucky.

Vance's parents came to visit this week and we had a great time exploring the South a bit. We headed up to Kentucky, our first Southern road trip. It only took 3 years of living in the South to explore the areas within driving distance of Nashville! 
Louisville, KY - along the Ohio River
We had a very nice visit to Mammoth National Park, Abraham Lincoln's birthplace and museum and then Louisville. Highlights include mint juleps, Louisville Slugger Museum, hot brown & obviously, bourbon. 

I enjoyed a delicious mint julep at Bristol's Bar.
Louisville Slugger Museum - fun spot!
We had hot brown, a Kentucky classic, at the Brown Hotel
Hot Brown

1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream  
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for garnish
Pinch of ground nutmeg
14 oz. sliced roasted turkey breast, slice thick
4 slices of Texas toast (crusts trimmed)
4 slices of bacon
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half

In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined to form a thick paste or roux. Continue to cook roux for 2 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk heavy cream into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino-Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. For each Hot Brown, place one slice of toast in an oven safe dish and cover with 7 oz. turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and two toast points and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Pour half of the sauce over the dish, completely covering it. Sprinkle with additional cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove and cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley and serve immediately.
Hot brown is definitely a new fav and would be a great use for leftover turkey after the holidays. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

i could eat this everyday for the rest of my life.

You will only enjoy this post if you like salmon - smoked salmon, cured salmon, salted salmon - basically the type of salmon that would be good on pumpernickel bread, a toasted everything bagel with cream cheese or just cut right from the filet and eaten plain (typically, while standing over the kitchen sink). My mom got me hooked on this dish years ago and now I crave it at times.
Gravlax Tartine with Mustard Sauce
gravlax (recipe to follow)
2-3 tablespoons cream cheese
1-2 slices good dark bread like German wheat or pumpernickel
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground dry mustard
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/3 cup EVOO
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
To make the sauce, place mustard, dry mustard, sugar and white wine vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk well and slowly add in EVOO. Mix in dill and set aside.
Gravlax Recipe
1 3 pound filet of salmon skin on (or 2 - 1.5 pound pieces)
1/3 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
2-3 teaspoons white pepper
bunch of fresh dill
Mix salt, sugar and pepper. Rub the fish with the mixture. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap. Layer, 1/3 dill, bottom filet of fish, 1/3 dill, top filet, remaining dill. Wrap very tightly in 2 layers of plastic wrap. Place in a plastic bag and refrigerate for 3 days, turn the salmon a couple of times.
Before serving, scrape off the dill and seasoning and cut into thin slices on the diagonal.
To assemble your tartine, lightly toast the bread, spread cheese on top, layer thin slices of gravlax on and top with a bit of mustard sauce. Oh - it is so good. I can't stand it!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

it's getting hot, hot, hot.

The warm weather has arrived! As summer tries to takeover spring, we have been enjoying some lighter fair on the deck - and wine on the deck - and on Friday, we had raspberry mojitos on the deck. This weekend, I made a tasty chilled gazpacho with shrimp paired with herbed sour cream muffins. You may be seeing a theme - herbs. My potted herbs are really taking off and now I am getting herb-anxiety - I have mentioned this condition before. Basically, everything I cook or bake for the next 3 months will have some type of fresh herbs in it - not a bad problem to have!
Sunday Night Gazpacho via Ree Drummond
Herbed sour cream muffins via Bon Appetit - I altered the herbs a bit, using more dill, basil, lemon basil & chives and omitting the marjoram. Be sure to mist your cupcake liners prior to spooning in the batter. Also, a buttermilk note - I rarely buy buttermilk as you can make it at home. In a measuring cup, add 1 tablespoon white vinegar, top off with milk up to 1 cup. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then add to recipe. Less expensive than buying a quart of buttermilk unless you have a plan for the rest of it (or want to freeze it). 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

viva mexico!

it's just not Cinco de Mayo without something cheesy and spicy. Turkey, black bean & sweet potato enchiladas made a festive dinner (paired with margaritas & guac of course).
Vance's Margaritas 
2 parts gold tequila
1 part sour mix
1 part triple sec
dash of lime juice
Shake with ice and pour into a salt-rimmed glass, float a bit of 7-Up on top, garnish with lime.
turkey, sweet potato & black bean enchiladas
8-10 corn tortillas
enchilada sauce (I had a large can, and used about 16 ounces)
shredded turkey or chicken (great way to use leftover dark meat or pull meat from a grocery store rotisserie bird)
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small sweet potato, peeled and quartered
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
14.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed
3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1/4 fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6-8 ounces of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
S&P to taste
Lightly mist a 8X10 glass baking dish. Pour about 1/4 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom, coating evenly. Assemble corn tortillas in one layer (flipping each tortilla in sauce in before laying it down). Sautee onion in vegetable oil and allow to cool. Microwave the sweet potato in a bit of water - will take about 3 minutes, cool slightly and cube. In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken or turkey, beans, sautéed onion, dried spices, cilantro, corn, S&P and about 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce - combine well. Over the corn, spread about half of the meat/bean mixture. Top the first layer with the sweet potato cubes and then a layer of shredded cheese. Assemble the rest of meat mixture on top (using up the remaining amount). Top with corn tortillas, spoon remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas and finally, top with cheese. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes until bubbling. Check after about 25-30 minutes to see if the cheese is getting too dark - you may need to lightly place tin foil over the dish. Allow enchiladas to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.