Monday, February 28, 2011

Truffle Lover's Popcorn

Reposting this one since I've already decided it will be today's afternoon snack:

The Inn at Little Washington serves a popcorn appetizer with freshy shaved truffles that is absolutely fantastic and today I wanted some of it. Since driving there is not an option today, I decided to experiment a bit and see if I could recreate (even a little bit) that amazing flavor. It's not quite the same since I did not use fresh parsley and subbed truffle oil because I refuse to buy any of the $600/lb. truffles they keep locked in the produce department of my grocery store (especially just for popcorn!) but it did satisfy my craving. Here is what I came up with:


1 bag plain or light butter popcorn
4 tsp. white truffle oil
2 TBSP dried parsley (1/4c fresh, if you have it)
1/4c. grated Parmesan cheese
sea salt, to taste

1. Pop the popcorn in the microwave.

2. In large bowl, toss popcorn with oil, parsley, and parmesan cheese; season to taste.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Amazingly Good Alfredo Sauce

This is my new favorite Alfredo sauce:
4 TBSP butter
4 TBSP all-purpose flour
1c. heavy cream
1c. chicken broth
1c. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2c. Parmesan and Romano cheese, shredded
3 TBSP Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4c. white wine
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a medium-size sauce pan, melt butter over low heat.

2. Add flour. Cook and stir with a whisk until well blended. (2-3 min.)

3. Add cream and broth. Stir to blend.

4. Add remaining ingredients and continue stirring over low heat until cheeses are melted and sauce is a smooth consistency.

*If the sauce starts to get too thick, just thin it back out with a splash of wine or broth.

5. Toss with pasta and serve warm.

Served this last night with Roasted Romas and sauteed zucchini.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Bites

Out of all the appetizers I set out on Super Bowl Sunday, this was probably the most popular.  Nothing fancy or complicated; just good, spicy Game Day food: 

1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
oil for frying
1 bottle spicy Buffalo wing sauce (we like Frank's)

1.  In a small bowl mix together the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt.

2.  Place chicken in a large bowl and sprinkle flour mixture over them.  Then toss until they are evenly coated.

3.  Cover bowl and refrigerate for 60 to 90 minutes.

4.  Heat oil in a deep skillet to 375*  The oil should be just enough to cover or almost cover chicken.

5.  Fry coated chicken in hot oil for 10 to 15 minutes, or until browned.  Remove chicken and place on paper towels.

6.  Place chicken on foil covered (for easy clean-up) baking sheet.

7.  Baste with Buffalo sauce.

8.  Bake approximately 15 min., turning and basting again halfway.
 Serve with celery sticks and bleu cheese dressing. 

Dinner with my Valentine

In celebration of Valentine's Day, we went out for dinner last night and the meal was so good, I am still thinking about it today.  Don't you love it when that happens?  This is what we had:

Shrimp tossed in a creamy, spicy,
remoulade sauce

Crab and corn chowder

Beef filet w/lobster tail
Steamed veggies and chickpea salad

Chocolate creme brulee topped with Grand Marnier
and torched to perfection

We came home thinking we would actually be able to try some of the chocolates we had each given each other but we just couldn't do it.  It's now 10am and I am actually still full from last night.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tofu Tacos

Last night was Taco Night at our house. 
There was a time when that called for lots of beef, cheese,
chips, and rice but this was not the case last night.  
We're making a conscious effort around here to eat more
high protein, plant based meals so instead, at hubby's request,
we had Tofu Tacos with sauteed zucchini and tomatoes on the side. 

If you haven't tried cooking with tofu,
I highly recommend this recipe as a good start.  
While the texture can be different, the flavor is very
much the same (I think it's better) than ground beef. 
The magic of tofu is that it takes on whatever
flavors you give it.  So if you season it like taco meat,
then it will taste like taco meat!

Here's the recipe with my modifications:

1 (16 oz.) pkg. garden herb or Italian seasoned tofu, crumbled
2 TBSP olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 c. tomato sauce
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
10 medium taco shells, heated
2 c. shredded lettuce
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 c. salsa
1.  Over a medium heat fry the tofu, oil, garlic
and onion in a large skillet for 5 minutes.
2.  Add the chili powder, paprika, cayenne, cumin,
salt, lime juice and tomato sauce to the skillet and stir.
Cook for 3 minutes.
3.  Stir in the cilantro.
4.  Spoon the tofu mixture into taco shells.
Top the mixture with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado,
Cheddar cheese and salsa.
  For us, extra firm tofu is the best choice for getting
that familiar ground beef consistency.


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