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A Monday Monkfish Recipe – Monkfish Fillets Dijon Style

It’s nice to be able to get back to posting a blog! I am feeling better, and though I am still swamped with work, and we have lots going on around the house, I wanted to make sure I had time to post a recipe today, even if it is just a short one. Since it is the Lent time of year, more people are eating fish right now, which means you might be looking for some new recipes or different ways to make the fish you eat this week. We are lucky since we have a great fish market in the area now where I can get very fresh, great-tasting fish anytime. Such is the case when I went over there recently and picked up some monkfish to make for dinner. Monkfish has great flavor and a good texture, making it meatier than many other whitefish that you find sold. Many people refer to it as “Poor Man’s Lobster” since it has a similar texture and taste lobster without having to go through all of the hassles of getting through a shell for not a lot of meat. Though, by today’s standards, monkfish in many cases costs just as much per pound or more than what you pay for a lobster. In any case, it is a great fish to make and this simple recipe from Pierre Franey at New York Times Cooking gives a fast preparation that has great flavor.

Monkfish Fillets Dijon Style

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 skinless, boneless monkfish fillets, about 1 1/2 pounds

Salt to taste if desired

Freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

¼ cup finely chopped onions

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

cup dry white wine

½ pound small mushrooms

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Select a baking dish large enough to hold the monkfish fillets in one layer without crowding them. Pour the olive oil over the bottom of the baking dish. Turn the fillets in the oil to coat them well all over. Sprinkle each fillet with salt and pepper on both sides. Brush the fillets with the Dijon mustard. Scatter the onions and the garlic around the fillets.

Place the baking dish on top of the stove and heat the dish until the oil begins to sizzle. Add the white wine and scatter the mushrooms around the fillets. Bring the wine just to a simmer.

Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Baste the fillets and return the dish to the oven and continue cooking the fish for about 5 minutes. Remove the fish from the baking dish and place it on a platter. Swirl the butter in the sauce in the baking dish and then place the sauce over the fish fillets on the plate. Sprinkle the fish with parsley and serve.

This recipe is definitely one you can make quickly, and with ingredients you are likely to have on hand most of the time (except the fish, of course). The flavors all come together nicely, and the Dijon mustard does not overpower the fish at all. The onions, garlic, and mushrooms add a nice touch to the meal, and even just the hint of white wine in the sauce is very nice. You could even substitute another fish in here if you like, though I personally like the monkfish for this recipe. I served this with some wild rice and broccoli, and it was a nice, light, and complete meal.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day, enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Cooking, Dinner, Seafood, Uncategorized

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Recipes – NYT Cooking

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and if you are looking for some great ideas of what to make this year or want something different beyond the usual corned beef and cabbage, New York Times Cooking has put together an excellent collection of recipes that cover everything you might need. From soda bread to side dishes to desserts and drinks, you will find it all. Check it out.

On a side note, I haven’t been around lately because I have been fighting a terrible cold for 2 weeks now. The cold has pretty much sapped all my strength and leaves me coughing quite a bit. When this has been combined with a heavy workload I have had recently, I have little time for blogging. I am hoping to kick the cold this week as it seems to be waning, and then I can get back to posting recipes. Please bear with me a little bit while I get my strength back. Thanks!

 

Source: St. Patrick’s Day Recipes – NYT Cooking

 

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A Romantic Weeknight Dinner That’s a Breeze – Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese Sauce

It’s Valentine’s Day, and it’s a weeknight – not exactly a great recipe for putting together a nice, romantic meal with your special someone. The odds are pretty good that you both will be tired and maybe you will not feel like putting together a big meal. If you are like us, Sean has afterschool activities today until later in the evening, Michelle is working late at the office, and there probably won’t be time to do much of anything for dinner, so we’ll put it off until another night. However, it is not too late if you still want to throw something together for dinner, and nothing gets much easier than a nice pasta dinner. You can make a great dinner using this recipe for Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese sauce that I got from New York Times Cooking. It’s worth the little bit of effort you put into it to make a nice meal.

Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese Sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 tablespoons butter plus 1 tablespoon for tossing the pasta

½ cup chopped onion

cup chopped celery

cup chopped carrot

¾ pound ground beef chuck (or you can use 1 part pork to 2 parts beef)

Salt

Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill

1 cup milk

Whole nutmeg

1 cup dry white wine

1 ½ cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juice

1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds pasta

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table

Put the oil, butter, and chopped onion in the pot and turn the heat on to medium. Cook and stir the onion until it has become translucent, then add the chopped celery and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring the vegetables to coat them well.

Add the ground beef, a generous pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Crumble the meat with a fork, stir it well and cook the beef until it has lost its raw, red color.

Add the milk and let it simmer gently, frequently stirring, until it has bubbled away completely. Add a little grating — about 1/8 teaspoon — of nutmeg, and stir.

Add the white wine, let it simmer until it has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and stir them thoroughly to coat all the ingredients well. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down so that the sauce cooks at a very light simmer, with just an occasional bubble breaking through to the surface. Cook the sauce, uncovered, for about 3 hours, stirring from time to time. While the sauce is cooking, you are likely to find that it begins to dry out and the fat separates from the meat. To keep it from sticking, add about 1/2 cup of water whenever necessary. In the end, however, no water at all must be left, and the fat must separate from the sauce. Taste the sauce and correct it for salt.

Toss the sauce with cooked, drained pasta, adding the tablespoon of butter, and serve the meal with freshly grated Parmesan on the side.

I am not a pasta person myself, but Michelle loved this dish when I made it. She said the sauce was perfect and full of flavor. You do want to make sure that you taste the sauce along the way so you can make any adjustments regarding seasoning, water, etc. so it turns out perfectly. The longer you cook this sauce, the greater depth of flavor it will have so you might want to make this when you have time to set in on the stove for hours and let it go, with just the occasional check to see how it is cooking. Bolognese by definition is a pretty straightforward and mild sauce without a lot of spices in it, so the simplicity here lets it shine into a delicious meat sauce. That hint of nutmeg does make a difference so don’t be afraid to put in there. You can certainly let the sauce cook for only an hour or two, but it might not have the deep flavor to it that it will if you go for 3, 4 or even 5 hours. Just keep a watch on it to see if it needs water now and then. This meal is perfect with your favorite fresh pasta, a nice side salad and some homemade or store-bought dressing, some homemade bread (or your favorite store-bought) and a bottle of wine.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day, have a lovely Valentine’s Day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on February 14, 2017 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Holidays, One Pot Meals, Pasta, Sauce

 

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Talking Turkey (Meatballs) – Scallion Meatballs with Soy-Ginger Glaze and Carrot Rice

Meatballs are always a family favorite and provide a lot of versatility when I make then. Typically, they start off with a meal that includes some type of pasta, but the meatballs are also fantastic for meatball subs or meatball parmigiana sandwiches. They also make a great addition to a pizza for pizza night. All of that is perfect when you make meatballs in tomato sauce, but once in a while, I like something that is a little bit of a change. I love Swedish meatballs or meatballs in a gravy and have found that making meatballs using turkey meat gives me the chance to play with all kinds of different flavors and create new meals. I had picked up some ground turkey recently at the store and wanted to make something different for dinner, so I combined these two recipes, one from Martha Stewart for a carrot rice and the other from Julia Moskin for scallion meatballs with a soy glaze.

Scallion Meatballs with Soy-Ginger Glaze and Carrot Rice

For the Sauce:

½ cup dark brown sugar

½ cup soy sauce

½ cup mirin sweet rice wine, or 1/2 cup sake with 1/4 cup sugar

¼ cup chopped peeled ginger

1 teaspoon ground coriander

4 whole black peppercorns

For the Meatballs:

1 pound ground turkey

4 large or 6 small scallions, finely chopped

1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped about 1 cup

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil

For the Rice:

Salt

1 cup long-grain white rice

1 carrot, shredded

To make the sauce, bring the sugar and 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan set over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar melts completely. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the soy sauce, mirin, ginger, coriander, and peppercorns. Simmer, occasionally stirring, until the sauce is reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Strain the sauce through a sieve. The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.

To make the meatballs, mix the ground turkey, scallions, cilantro, egg, sesame oil, soy sauce and several grindings of pepper in a medium bowl. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls.

In a skillet set over medium-high heat, generously cover the bottom of the pan with vegetable oil. Working in batches to avoid crowding, place the meatballs in the pan and cook them, occasionally turning, until the meatballs are browned all over and cooked inside, about 8 minutes per batch. Arrange on a heated platter, spoon a little sauce over each meatball, and serve with toothpicks. If desired, keep warm in a 200-degree oven until ready to serve. Garnish with sliced scallions, if desired.

To make the rice, in a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and stir, and return the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the rice and cook it until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat and top it with the shredded carrot. Let the rice stand, covered, for about 5 minutes, then stir in the carrot and fluff the rice with a fork. Arrange the rice on a heated platter and top with the meatballs and sauce. Garnish the dish with sliced scallions, if desired.

Ground turkey by itself does not have a lot of flavor to it, but when you add the ingredients to the dish with the meatballs and the sauce, you will find that they pack quite a bit of flavor. The scallions and soy shine through nicely, and the meatballs are tender and tasty. The carrot rice is very simple, and the carrots add a nice touch and texture to the rice for something a little different. You can easily just make the meatballs and use them as an appetizer for any dinner, party or buffet you are having as well. I felt the dish was a nice change of pace from the usual meatballs and gives me something different to fall back on when I want to liven the meatball routine up a bit.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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More Than 23 Delicious Dinners in 5 Ingredients Or Less – Recipes from NYT Cooking

Like most people, finding time to cook regular meals during the holidays can be even more difficult then the typical weeks that go by. On top of everything going around to get prepared for the Christmas goes work, school, afterschool activities and more. For us, things have been really hectic around here as we are getting our kitchen renovated right before the holidays! I won’t be doing much cooking since the kitchen is going to be gutted and made over from top to bottom (something long overdue), but once it is done we will have a brand new space to work in and try new recipes. In the meantime, here are 23 great recipes from New York Times Cooking that use a minimal amount of ingredients and can be cooked quickly, both ideal for this time of year. Check it out!

Source: More Than 23 Delicious Dinners in 5 Ingredients Or Less – Recipes from NYT Cooking

 

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Our 20 Most Popular Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Recipes from NYT Cooking

It’s that time of year again – when people begin to think about Thanksgiving and what the meal will contain. It’s never too early to start planning out your menu and the more organized you can be the smoother the days leading up to and Turkey Day will be for you. A good place to start is to consider some of the side dishes that you will want to make for the day. New York Times Cooking has put together 20 of their most popular Thanksgiving side dishes so you can see some classic recipes or give something new a try this year. Check it out!

Source: Our 20 Most Popular Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Recipes from NYT Cooking

 

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Another New Take on a Classic – Chicken Fajitas

Everyone has recipes that they generally try to fall back on time and again. I know for me, I very often make things like meatloaf, hamburgers or roasted chicken and just try to vary things up in different ways each time I do it so we do not get bored with the same old recipe. Such is the case with chicken fajitas. I have been making different types of fajitas for years because it has always been a family favorite. We vary the protein used-sometimes beef, sometimes shrimp, sometimes chicken-but the rest of the recipe always seems to stay pretty much the same. I was looking for something a little bit different this time to spice things up and get a little more flavor out of the dish when I came across this recipe at New York Times Cooking from Martha Shulman. This recipe adds a little bit more spice than some of the other usual recipes I have seen and it sounded like it was a good one to try.

Chicken Fajitas

Finely grated zest of 1 lime (about 2 teaspoons)

¼ cup fresh lime juice

Salt and black pepper

2 teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground

2 tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotles in adobo

1 chipotle chile in adobo, seeded and minced (optional)

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 large garlic cloves, minced or put through a press

1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 large red or yellow onion, halved and sliced

2 red bell peppers (or 1 red and 1 orange or yellow), seeded and sliced about 1/4 inch thick

1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced about 1/4 inch thick

1 jalapeño or 2 Serrano chiles, minced

¼ cup chopped cilantro

4 large flour or 8 corn tortillas

1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil (or use olive oil)

1 romaine heart, sliced crosswise

Salsa, for serving

Queso fresco or other cheese, for sprinkling

Guacamole, for serving

Sour Cream, for serving

In a small bowl, combine the lime zest and lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, the adobo sauce and optional minced chipotle, 1/4 cup of olive oil and half the garlic. Mix the ingredients well. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the marinade.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place it in a resealable bag. Pour in the marinade and seal the bag. Move the chicken around to coat it well with the marinade, place the bag in a bowl and refrigerate it for 30 minutes (or up to 12 hours). Flip the bag over from time to time to redistribute the marinade.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook, stirring, until they soften and begin to color, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the bell peppers and chile and cook, stirring, until the peppers begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Turn the heat to medium, add the remaining garlic and cumin and salt to taste, and cook, stirring often, until the peppers are nicely seared, softened and beginning to caramelize, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Pour in the reserved 2 tablespoons of the marinade and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan. Add half the cilantro, and stir the ingredients together. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Remove the mixture from the heat but keep it warm.

Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm them in a low temperature oven, or wrap them in a towel and warm them in a steamer or in the microwave.

Heat the grapeseed or canola oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy skillet. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, reserving the marinade, and pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Add the chicken to the pan, rounded side down, and sear the breasts for about 3 to 4 minutes, until they are lightly charred. Flip the breasts over, pour in the marinade, cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the chicken for about 12 to 15 minutes, flipping the breasts over from time to time, until a thermometer registers 160 to 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part. Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board and cover them with foil. Let the chicken sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then cut the breasts across the grain into 1/2 – to 3/4-inch thick strips.

Arrange the romaine lettuce on a platter, then place the chicken next to lettuce. Tip the juices from cutting board over the chicken and sprinkle the chicken with cilantro. Serve the vegetables on the same platter or separately. Serve with warm tortillas, salsa and crumbled queso fresco or other cheese, guacamole and sour cream.

I made one slight change to the recipe as I went along and added the sliced chicken back into the pan with the vegetables so that everything could mix together and the flavors could meld, but other than that, I followed it as is. These fajitas are a bit spicier than what you might usually have because of the adobo sauce, which is usually spicy on its own even if you just use a little bit. I did add any chopped chipotle to the dish because I thought the heat might be too much for everyone, but if you like spicy then you should go for it. This recipe had the best flavor of any fajitas recipe I have tried before and I think the sauce makes a real difference in giving flavor in the marinade to the chicken and the vegetables. I think the marinade would work just as well with beef if you wanted to try it and you can certainly substitute chicken thighs for breasts if you prefer. The recipe makes plenty and we even had some leftover that I was able to have for lunch the next day. Serve the fajitas with any of your favorite fixings – lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, different cheeses – and you could even double the recipe if you are serving a big crowd. This one certainly went over well at our house so I’ll be using it again.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, Enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on November 2, 2016 in Cooking, Poultry, Dinner

 

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