Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Barbecued Garlic Shrimp

I am so happy that Mr. T cooks!  I have been sick for the last week and it was so nice to not have to worry about dinnertime....and be able to sit down to a nicely prepared and tasty meal.  Thank you, Babe!  It was delicious!

Barbecued Garlic Shrimp
adapted from Great Meals on the Grill

Yield:  2 - 3 Servings

1 pound shrimp, shelled and cleaned
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
A twist or two of fresh ground pepper
Lemon wedges

In a medium-size bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, tomato paste, oregano, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.  Add the shrimp to the bowl and stir gently to coat with the marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for about two hours, stirring gently every 1/2 hour.  (We prefer to put everything in a ziplock bag.)

Prepare the grill.  Reserving the marinade, thread the shrimp onto bamboo skewers.  Grill the shrimp 4 to 5 inches from the hear for 3 minutes, then baste with some of the reserved marinade.  Grill for another 3 minutes or until cooked through but still moist.  The shrimp will be lightly colored and firm to the touch.  Be careful not to overcook.

Serve the barbecued shrimp on a preheated platter with lemon wedges.


Thanks again for a great dinner....I will make you breakfast for dinner tonight, dear....  "smile"

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Slow-Roasted Hot Tri Tip....Sandwiches!

One of my very favorite meals when I was growing up was a hot roast beef sandwich with gravy and mashed potatoes. That's not to say that I didn't like the Sunday roast that usually preceded the leftover roast beef sandwich but there was something about knowing that there was a hot roast beef sandwich waiting for me that always had me looking forward to the next day's dinner!  Maybe it is the very best in comfort food for kids....hmmm, not just kids....whatever the appeal, I knew I needed one!

To get to leftovers meant that I had to make a darn good roast that was falling apart and just right for sandwiches.  For the last three or four years I have been making a roast that Mr. T. kept telling me to post....and I would have if it had lasted long enough to get a good picture.  The difference in the preparation of this roast from others was Beef Consomme.  It is so rich and flavorful...

So, when it turns cold and Mr. T. doesn't really want to stand outside and barbecue and that is usually what we do with a tri tip....my mind travels to Slow-Roasted Tri Tip Sandwiches aka Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches!

Hot Slow-Roasted Tri Tip Sandwiches
Kate's Slow Roasted Tri Tip

Preheat oven to 300° F.

1 tri tip roast, cut into large chunks, about 2-2.5 pounds
Salt and pepper
3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 large cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
2 cans of Beef Consomme (10.5 oz. cans)
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1-2 cups of water

3 Tablespoons butter, softened
3 Tablespoons flour
Additional water for gravy....(I add some of the water that the potatoes cooked in...)

In a large dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Season the tri tip generously with salt and pepper. Brown the meat, remove from the pan and set aside.  Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, if needed.  Brown the onions for about 3 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook another minute. Return the tri tip chunks to the pan.

Pour in the beef consomme, 1 cup water, bay leaves and thyme. Stir and cover.  Place the pan in the preheated oven.  Check on the meat occasionally to make certain that there is liquid.  Add the additional cup of water if needed.  The meat is done when it is fork tender and pulls apart easily, usually about 2-3 hours. Remove from the oven.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pot.  I like to also remove the onions and garlic as I don't want chunks in the gravy...it is a matter of choice!

Place the pan on the stove and bring the liquid to a simmer.  If you need additional water, add some of the potato water.  Mix the butter and flour into a paste and pour into the liquid and whisk to blend. If the gravy is too thick add a little more water.  If the gravy is too thin, mix an additional tablespoon of flour with another tablespoon of soft butter and whisk in.

Serve the meat on a platter or return the meat to the gravy and serve.  Mashed potatoes are a must!!

Leftover Slow-Roasted Hot Tri Tip Sandwiches

We like our sandwiches to be open-faced.   Just pull apart some of the beef, put it on whatever bread is handy and add gravy.  Simple as that...  That's not to say that some artisan sourdough bread wouldn't be dandy but sometimes, with leftovers, we just go with whatever is available in the bread drawer.


The very best in comfort food....

I am sharing today at Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Asiago Vegetable Risotto

I remember the first time that I tried to make risotto.  The method used was a bit flawed.  I stirred and waited and stirred and waited and it never really got to the correct consistency.  I tried again, here, using the method described by the Barefoot Contessa.  It was a great success!  So, when I saw the recipe for Asiago Vegetable Risotto at Chef Becca's blog, It's Yummi!, and the method was one I had success with, well, it was a given that we were having it with our dinner!

I was not disappointed, it was delicious!  I did make a change or two as the recipe used spring vegetables which I changed out for what was in the refrigerator!  This is so creamy and the flavor is lovely...using saffron and asiago cheese made this side dish impressive!

Asiago Vegetable Risotto
adapted from It's Yummi!

2/3 cup unsalted butter, divided
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided (chicken broth my be used)
2 pinches of saffron threads
1 medium zucchini, sliced and cut into 1/4-inch half rounds
1 cup broccoli flowers
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
2 green onions, diced
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup Asiago cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 slices of bacon, (Applewood-smoked, if available) chopped, cooked until crisp, drain

Chop and cook the bacon until crisp.  Drain and set aside.

Toast the pine nuts and set aside.  To toast pine nuts, spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 375° F., stirring occasionally until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.  Watch the nuts closely so that they do not burn.  Alternatively, the nuts may be toasted in a skillet over medium high heat, stir frequently until brown spots form, about 3 minutes.  (Be certain to keep an eye on them....they burn quickly!)

In a 3-4 quart pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add rice and stir continuously until the grains are translucent; about 4-5 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup chicken stock and stir until absorbed; about 3 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium and add another 1/2 cup stock, saffron, zucchini, broccoli, red pepper, onions and pepper.  Cook until all liquid is absorbed; stirring frequently.

Continue to add the remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, cooking each time until the liquid is absorbed.

When all of the liquid has been added and absorbed, stir in the lemon juice, Asiago and the remaining butter.  The mixture should be creamy and the rice should be al dente.

Before serving, stir in the basil, pine nuts and bacon.


Not only was this a delicious side dish, it was quite tasty for lunch the next day!  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Crumb Cake

When I was a little girl, on occasion my mom would make a Streusel Coffee Cake come Saturday morning.  Oh how I loved it!  It was crumbly, warm and had a great cinnamon flavor, my all time favorite spice as a child.  I savored every bite. That is where my thoughts went when I saw a recipe for Apple Cinnamon Crumb Cake at It's Yummi! 

I learned about It's Yummi! at Secret Recipe Club.  I made a recipe from the blog the very day I got my assignment!  It was that easy to find something...no, many somethings to prepare.  Chef Becca Heflin is a trained culinary professional who loves to prepare healthy food using a common sense approach while being cognizant of the budget.  Her blog is fun to peruse!  I found so many recipes that I felt confident about....I wanted to make them!  Most times, you know when you read the recipe, whether it is going to work.  I considered Asiago Vegetable Risotto....I didn't just consider....I made it.  It was so delicious and easy to make...I will post it later this week. In queue are Chef's recipes for Easy Pumpkin Yogurt Parfait and Bountiful Harvest Sausage and Cranberry Dressing.  I can hardly wait...

Today, I want to share Chef Becca's recipe for Apple Crumb Cake!  Can you imagine a warm, crumbly cake layered around apple slices with a crunchy streusel topping?  Mmmmm....

Apple Crumb Cake
adapted from ItsYummi

Preheat oven to 400° F.
(I used a convection oven but will reduce the temperature to 375° F. next time.)
Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan, set aside

1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/4 tsps baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup superfine sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsps cinnamon

Streusel Topping
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsps cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup light brown sugar

In a large bowl, combine the sifted flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Make a well in the center and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, butter and milk.  Pour the wet ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients.  Mix just until combined.

In a small bowl, combine the filling ingredients.  In another small bowl combine the streusel ingredients.  Use your fingers to combine the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal...the pieces will be about the size of peas.

Pour half of the cake batter into the pan.  Sprinkle the filling evenly over the surface.  Place the sliced apples evenly over the filling.  Pour the remaining batter gently over the apples.  Sprinkle the cinnamon streudel topping over the batter.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note:  I did not have a 9-inch pan.  I had to use a dish that was equal in volume.   Since the dish was rectangular, I did not remove it from the pan.  I also thought that the oven was too hot.   I would reduce the temperature the next time I make this and adjust the cooking time accordingly.


We loved the addition of apple to the crumb cake.  It is perfect for a brunch, breakfast, snack or to just sneak a piece!  Thank you Chef Becca for sharing your great recipe and your fun blog.