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zucchini melts

zucchini melts with grilled asparagus and tomatoes

What does this plate say to you?

To me – it screams SUMMER! All those bright and colorful veggies, grilled to perfection!

You can use your outdoor grill or a grill pan to make it. I chose the grill pan … for obvious reasons.

After looking over the post, you almost don’t need a recipe. I took so many photos of each step – so as long as you know that you need enough olive oil, salt and pepper to coat everything, you might want to skip the reading and just use this as a pictorial instructions. Enjoy.

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July 26, 2014   3 Comments

star burger

16 burgers

For the 4th of July party main course(s), I made beer-boiled and grilled brats, oven roasted BBQ chicken thighs (recipe to follow) and chile-cheese stuffed burgers.

fireroasted chile cheese burger

Far and away, the burgers were the star. (Look for Sheila’s Old-Fashioned Potato Salad recipe tomorrow.)

Tram and Julie

Tram and Julie, filling their plates with burger and brat.

5 inch circle

This recipe makes enough burgers for a crowd. It can easily be halved or quartered. One thing you’ll need is a 5-inch template to form the burgers with. The center green area of this plate is exactly 5-inches, so I used it as my guide.

grill area

The Grill Pit – where the Magic Happens!

hamburger

Chile & Pepper Jack Stuffed Burgers

6 Anaheim chiles
4 large jalapeño chiles
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
12-ounces shredded pepper Jack cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 pounds ground beef, divided into 32 three-ounces portions
16 hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls, split and lightly toasted

Lettuce leaves, onion and tomato slices, sweet pickle relish, mustard and ketchup, for serving

on the flame

Roast the Anaheim and jalapeño chiles on either the grill or stovetop until blacked on all sides.

blackened

To prevent the jalapeños from falling through the grates, use a stovetop-roasting grate, which can be found at kitchen stores such as Sur La Table or ordered online from HERE.

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July 7, 2014   3 Comments

BPP Pizza

Last night’s beautiful Arizona sunset. No filters, no Photoshop, just pure natural beauty!

AZ sunset

This quick and easy pizza has some of my favorite Italian ingredients and they can all be found, along with the pizza dough, at Trader Joe’s.

burrata

Burrata, a luscious cream-filled fresh mozzarella cheese.

pancetta

Pancetta, Italian-style bacon, already diced into “cubetti” pieces. Actually, I don’t know if the word “cubetti” has anything to do with the diced pieces, but it is convenient!

prosciutto

Prosciutto, this package is actually from Costco and was in my freezer, so don’t be alarmed with the “use by” date. Prosciutto can always be found at TJ’s too.

TJ pizza dough

I prefer Trader Joe’s whole-wheat dough, but while pulling a package from the back of the case (looking for the freshest bag – a selfish little thing I always do with fresh packaged food) I accidentally grabbed the plain dough. The reasons I like the whole-wheat better are two-fold, it is easier to work with due to the texture and I think the taste is superior.

The only other ingredients you need are a little olive oil, a medium ripe tomato and a smidgen of freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.

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June 27, 2014   6 Comments

perciatelli pasta

I have a new favorite variety of pasta.

perciatelli

Have you ever had or heard of perciatelli pasta? I hadn’t until I enjoyed it in a wonderful cold pasta salad that my cousin, Michelle, made for a family gathering. The only place I’ve been able to find it is at Fry’s, but it’s possible I haven’t looked hard enough.

perciatelli top view

Perciatelli, also know as bucatini, are hollow pasta strands that are thicker than spaghetti. Spaghetti, fettucini, or linguini may be substituted in the recipe.

lump crab

The lump crabmeat I prefer to use is the Phillips brand, which can be found at Costco.

Perciatelli Pasta with Crabmeat and Peas

Perciatelli Pasta with Crabmeat and Peas

1 pound perciatelli pasta
Salt
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and light green parts, reserve green tops for garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley, divided

Cook the perciatelli in a large pot of well-salted boiling water until al dente, according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta.

green onion

While pasta water comes to a boil, cook spring onions in 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes.

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June 25, 2014   2 Comments

raw and green

This light summer salad is so delicious and refreshing. An added bonus – no cooking or heating up the kitchen is involved!

Shaved Asparagus, Parmesan and Sugar Snap Pea Salad1

One more thing … it’s pretty as a picture.

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June 11, 2014   1 Comment

Meatless Monday

veggies

After visiting The Simple Farm last week, I was inspired to make a meatless meal.

This meal is “Connor Approved!”

flatbread pesto

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June 9, 2014   2 Comments

firecrackers

On May 29, 2011, I posted a recipe for Jalapeño Poppers.

openjalapeno

Poppers are jalapeño peppers, cleaned out, filled with cheese, wrapped in bacon and baked. And in this case, brushed with apricot preserves. The spicy morsels make for one delicious and addictive appetizer.

firecrackers

A little more than three years later, I have another delicious and addictive recipe for you … not little poppers, instead, great big firecrackers!

chicken and jalapeno firecrackers

I’m calling them firecrackers because they have an extra flavor explosion – chicken and BBQ sauce. The firecrackers can be sliced and served as appetizers or cut half, on a diagonal, and served as a main course.

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June 5, 2014   2 Comments

on a dare

Yesterday morning I opened my computer and did what I do each morning. I checked my email, I made sure my blog post posted correctly and then I went on Facebook. The first thing I saw on FB was a post from my high school and FB friend, Cynthia.

fbpost

Did you see that? A dare was issued to me on social media. I had to try this recipe now! I was dared! So yes, I made it. And yes, it’s pretty great. Although there were some serious omissions on the original recipe…

… such as the importance of placing the bottom round of dough onto parchment paper or a baking sheet before adding the filling. Let me tell you, it is impossible to move the dough with the filling on it from the counter to a baking sheet! But no worries, I suffered through that error and I’ve rewritten the recipe to reflect such an important detail.

sunflower spinach pie

I also amped up the filling to my liking and added other little details that were obviously done on the original recipe but not mentioned in the instructions, such as using an egg wash and placing seeds on the center section.

baked

All in all, a great recipe that just need a bit more explaining and details. And it really is easier than it looks to make. It would be perfect for Easter! Trust me, you can do it!

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April 10, 2014   2 Comments

Frico with Smoked Paprika Aioli and a birthday wish

Tarbell's

Chef/Restauranteur and longtime friend, Mark Tarbell of Tarbell’s Restaurant, was the guest teacher at Les Gourmettes on Monday and Tuesday nights. His menu was inspired, fun, and delicious. The first course was Frico with Smoked Paprika Aioli.

frico round

Frico, is an Italian savory food, typical of Friuli, in the northeastern tip of Italy, which consists of a thin crisp wafer of shredded cheese, baked or fried until crisp. The customary cheeses used include Montasio, Parmesan or mozzarella. Mark used Montasio cheese, but Parmesan is easier to find and works just as well.

I’ve sung the praises of smoked paprika or pimentón many times here before. I don’t know why I didn’t think of making a pimentón mayonnaise – brilliant!

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February 26, 2014   4 Comments

Olympic sliders

A quick note before we get to today’s recipe: If you read yesterday’s post about the amazing cauliflower, you’ll recall that I said my friend, Ronnie had the dish at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. Ronnie sent me a fabulous photo of the hotel lobby all decked out for Christmas. It’s a must see, so I’ve added it to the bottom of that post, for all to enjoy. Check it out!

So… I heard about an amazing snack that is served at a bar in Brooklyn. The bar is called Pork Slope and the appetizer  – Chicken & Waffle Sliders. How perfect would that have been for the Super Bowl?!?

pork slope slider

Via

Dang it. Oh well, you know what I did? I served it as our Official Olympics Opening Ceremony Snack. Yeah, take that lopsided 2014 Super Bowl! You were not worthy of these Olympic sliders!

olympic snack

I found a recipe online, changed it just a tad… and …. it was a major hit with my two guys.

waffle grocery

A quick word about the frozen waffles. The recipe I found called for Aunt Jemima frozen square waffles. I could not find Aunt Jemima waffles at my grocery store, nor could I find square waffles. Belgium waffles – that was all they had in any and all brands. The closest thing to square that I was able to find were octagonal waffles.

2 buns

What you want to use for each slider is four squares of a waffle for the top “bun” and another four square piece for the bottom “bun.”  Here is what I did.

stop sign waffle

Take a waffle.

3 buns each

Cut 3 “four square” pieces from each waffle.

6 waffles, 18 pieces, 9 sliders

A package of 6 frozen octagonal waffles yielded 9 sliders. Here’s the math:

6 waffles = 18 “buns” = 9 sliders

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February 12, 2014   5 Comments