Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tis the Season

Hello! Now that we're in full-swing holiday party mode, I want to know, what are your favorite holiday entertaining dishes? Appetizers? Desserts? I'll be posting some soon, but would love some feedback on what you love, or what you want to see!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pork Stew

What do you do when you buy an 8 pound pork butt for (delicious) pulled pork, but you can only fit 5 pounds in your crock pot? Why, you save 3 pounds and make pork stew another day! This recipe was SO simple since I chopped all the veggies the night before. Threw it in the crock pot Monday morning and came home to a delicious Monday night meal!

Pork Stew

3-4 pounds pork butt
1 onion, chopped into large pieces
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 large carrots, chopped
3 cups mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef or chicken broth
1 cup water
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low 8-10 hours. Remove pork to a large platter, shred with two forks, then put it back in the crock pot with juices. I served over white rice, although it'd be great with pasta, crusty bread, or nothing at all!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pineapple Turkey Burgers

I love reading my friend and coworker Emily's blog, Cooking Inside the Lines. We both share a passion for cookbooks and food magazines, but she actually takes the time and diligence to follow recipes and rate them. Thankfully, we have similar food tastes, so she does test runs of all the recipes I want to try. Lately she's been on a pineapple jam kick, which I thought would be the perfect topping for one of my favorites, turkey burgers! This one is a bit decadent and not for the weak-hearted :)

Pineapple Turkey Burgers

2 pounds lean ground turkey
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons minced bell pepper
1 tablespoon basalmic vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces goat cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 poblano pepper, sliced
1 tablespoon basalmic vinegar
6 whole wheat hamburger buns
1/2 cup pineapple jam
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat a large grill pan or skillet on medium heat. Combine turkey, onion, pepper, vinegar, lemon, parsley and salt and pepper in a bowl. Form into 6 even-sized patties. Divide goat cheese into 6 portions and roll into balls. Place one ball in the middle of each patty and pull meat around it so that the cheese is hidden in the middle. Grill turkey burgers about 10 minutes on each side, or until the inside is no longer pink.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet and saute onion and peppers on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add basalmic vinegar and cook another 3 minutes. Toast hamburger buns and spread pineapple jam on each side. Top with a burger patty and basalmic glazed vegetables. Finally, add some crumbled bacon. Then listen to all the yummy noises made at your table :)

I served these with Guy Fieri's Sofrito Mashed Potatoes- love them!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lemony Shrimp Pasta

Apron's baaack! Sorry dear readers for the long blogging hiatus. Frankly, I was feeling less than inspired lately in the kitchen, and mostly following recipes. Well, I'm back and feeling more creative than ever, so be on the lookout for more tasty recipes!

Warming our tushes by the fire!

Friday was Christine's birthday, and there's nothing like a birthday to celebrate to get me in the mood to cook. We celebrated with a gentle roommate dinner, some spiked hot chocolate, a hot fire and some Muppets videos. A great night!

Lemony Shrimp Pasta

2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
24 ounces spaghetti
1 bunch kale
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup minced shallot
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 - 1/2 cup dry white wine, room temperature
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Italian parsley, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with foil, and drizzle with oil. Bake in oven 20-30 minutes, until blistering. Remove from heat and keep wrapped in foil.

While tomatoes cook, heat two large pots of water to boiling. Cook spaghetti in boiling water until al dente and set aside. Cut kale into pieces and boil about 5 minutes, also removing and keeping warm.

For the shrimp, heat a large skillet on medium high heat and melt 2 tablespoons butter. Season shrimp with salt and pepper to taste and red pepper flakes. Cook in skillet 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm. Reduce heat to medium, melt additional 2 tablespoons butter and cook shallots about two minutes. Add lemon juice, zest and wine to skillet and stir, scraping up any brown bits, simmering about 5 minutes. Add cornstarch, if needed, to thicken. Mix in shrimp, tomatoes and kale and serve over cooked spaghetti. Garnish with parsley if desired. I served with crusty bread to sop up the delicious lemony wine juice.

Apple and Pecan Salad

1 head lettuce
1 apple, halved, cored and sliced
1/3 cup pecan halves
1 orange, zested and juiced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl with apple slices and pecan halves. For the dressing, combined orange zest and juice in a bowl and stream in olive oil while whisking. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss with salad.

The birthday girl enjoying her meal!