Archive for August, 2010

Sloppy Junzos

August 4, 2010

This is an Asian variation of Sloppy Joes.  I named is “Sloppy Junzos” after the husband of my friend Masaye Okano.

  • 1 bunch green onions, roots removed and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • ¼ cup sherry
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 pound cleaned baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • Six hamburger buns (preferably King’s Hawaiian bread)
  • Sesame seeds

 

Heat 1 tsp canola oil in a wok or sauté pan over medium high heat.  Add white part of green onions, carrot and green pepper and sauté until vegetables are soft.  Add ground pork, garlic and ginger and keep stirring until pork loses its pink color.  Blend teriyaki sauce, sherry, water and cornstarch, and chopped green onions (green part) until cornstarch is dissolved.  Add liquid to the pan and keep stirring until thickened.  Add sesame oil.  Scoop mixture into a bowl and keep warm.  Wipe the pan clean, heat up the canola oil over high heat and stir fry the spinach until just wilted.

Top bottom of each bun half with 1/6 of the sautéed spinach and then the pork mixture.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and top with the other bun half.  Serve immediately.  Makes 6 servings.

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Shrimp stuffed artichoke

August 4, 2010

Okay, so I cheated and used pre-made shrimp salad from Costco.  A very easy dinner for a warm summer night.

  • 4 large fresh artichokes
  • 1 large lemon or two small lemons
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 pound pre made shrimp salad
  • 1 roma tomato, cored and diced
  • 4 oz prewashed mixed salad greens
  • Olives and ground paprika for garnish

 

Cut the stem end of the artichokes so they will sit flat.  Turn each artichoke on its side and cut off ½ inch of the top parallel to the cut on the bottom.  Using kitchen scissors, snip of the sharp tips of the remaining leaves.  Put the artichokes top side down in a pot just wide enough to accommodate them wedged together to prevent them from floating freely in the water.  Cover artichokes with water.  Cut the large lemon in half (or one small lemon ) squeeze the juice from one half of the large lemon or from both halves of the small lemon into the water and toss in the rind.  Bring the artichokes to boil and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until you can pierce the bottoms with a knife but they are still firm.  Remove artichokes from the water and drain them upside down on a rack.  When drained put them in a covered dish and refrigerate them till dinner time.

Squeeze juice from remaining lemon and combine well with garlic, Dijon mustard and olive oil.  Dice tomatoes.

At dinner time, gently pull the leaves of each artichoke open and and use spoon to scoop out the fuzzy centers and some of the small center leaves, leaving a “bowl”  Drizzle about half of the dressing over the insides of the artichokes and fill with shrimp salad.  Toss the greens with the remaining dressing and tomatoes.  Line 4 dinner plates with the salad mixture, top with a filled artichoke and garnish the shrimp salad with ground paprika and one olive.

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Italian Stuffed Meatloaf

August 4, 2010

A Sicilian dish.

Loaf ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs (whirl stale Italian bread chunks in a food processor)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 hot pepper (jalapeno), stemmed and finely chopped (use vinyl gloves)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 ½ pounds each ground beef and pork
  • 8 oz tomato sauce

 

Sauce ingredients

  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves (discard stems)
  • ½ cup packed basil leaves (discard stems)
  • 1 tbsp rinsed and drained capers
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 garlic clove peeled
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper

Hard cook 4 of the eggs.  Put them in a small sauce pan in cold water to generously cover.  Bring the water to a rapid boil.  Turn off the water and cover and let sit for 10 minutes.  Drain and let eggs cool.  Cooking eggs this way prevents that dreaded green-gray ring from forming around the eggs. When eggs are cool, peel them and set them aside.

 Combine bread crumbs, salt, pepper, oregano, vegetables, cheese and mix well.  Add meats, two uncooked eggs and tomato sauce and mix well with your hands (For sanitary reasons, I like to use the vinyl gloves I wore stemming the hot pepper, the meat can be rather cold too and the gloves help to keep your hands from going numb.)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lay a broiler pan on your work surface in profile layout .  cover it with plastic wrap with about 3 inches of extra wrap dangling on the end of the pan closest to you.  Put the meatloaf mixture into the pan and pat it out to a uniform thickness to conform to the interior coutours of the pan.  You will have a large rectangle.  Lay the 4 hard cooked eggs end to end about 2 inches from the edge closest to you, forming a horizontal row.  Lift up the plastic wrap closest to you to roll the meat up over and enclosing the eggs.  Keep rolling, making sure the plastic wrap does not end up inside the meat, until you have a nice compact log.  Seal the ends and make sure the log is of even thickness.

Using the plastic wrap, lift the log and set it aside on the counter.  Line the broiler pan with foil.  Cover it with the broiler rack, sprayed with non-stick spray.  Put the loaf in the middle of the rack and discard the plastic wrap.

Bake the loaf in a preheated oven for 35-50 minutes or until it is firm.  Let rest 10 minutes.  Whirl the sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and pour into a serving dish .  Slice the meatloaf crosswise into large “disks.”  With the exception of the end pieces, you will have a “coin” of hard-cooked egg in the center of each slice.  Serve with sauce on the side.

Serves 8

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Grilled Yellowfin Tuna with Avocado Salsa

August 4, 2010

  • 4 yellowfin tuna steaks
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado,
  • ¼ cup defrosted corn kernels
  • ½ roma tomato cored, seeded and diced
  • Juice of ½ lemon

 

Combine oil, mustard, garlic powder and pepper.  Brush mixture on both sides of tuna steaks.

Grill tuna on very high heat until seared on both sides but still rare inside.

While tuna is grilling, Cut avocado in half, remove and discard the pit.  Use a knife to score criss crosses in the flesh and the scoop cubes out with a large spoon.  Combine with remaining ingredients.

Serve steaks topped with the avocado salsa.  I added cheesy polenta and butter peas and garnished the plate with fresh mint from my garden.

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Chicken Breast Prince Orloff

August 4, 2010

I made this for my friend Vladis’s 92nd Birthday.  It’s not diet food but you’re only 92 once!

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 6 very thin slices of ham
  • 12 oz cheese (I used muenster), half cut into 6 even logs*, about 3 inches long; the other half coarsely grated
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onions
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup non fat half and half
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh tarragon
  • Ground paprika

 

Put each chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until chicken is an even 1/4” thick.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper on both sides.  Repeat with remaining chicken breast halves. Lay a slice of ham over each chicken breast.  Lay the chicken breast in profile layout.  Put a log of cheese crosswise on the end closest to you and roll the breast over the cheese into a tight log.  Secure with toothpicks.  Repeat with remaining chicken breasts until all chicken, ham and cheese logs are used up.  Lightly spray a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Put the breast in the baking pan, seam side down, making sure they don’t touch.  Bake chicken breasts in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

 While chicken is baking, chop onions.  Melt butter in a sauce pan and add onions.  Cook over medium heat until onions are translucent.  Add butter and stir for about 1 minute.  Gradually add half and half, whisking constantly.  Boil for 1 minute.  Add grate cheese and continue whisking until cheese is melted.  Add minced tarragon and set sauce aside.

 When chicken is cooked, remove toothpicks. Lay one chicken piece on a plate and stop with sauce.   Sprinkle with paprika and garnish with fresh tarragon sprigs.

Serve with cooked vegetables and starch or your choice.  Makes six servings.

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*For a lighter and different dish, you can substitute 6 hearts of palm, rinsed and drained, for the six cheese logs.

Chicken marsala with quinoa pilaf

August 4, 2010

Quinoa is a whole grain from South America.  It has a slightly nutty, bitter taste.  You can get rid of the bitterness by rinsing it in water and draining it before cooking it.  Costco sells bags of quinoa already rinsed.

Pilaf

  • 1 cup quinoa (rinsed well and drained if not prerinsed)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp snipped chives
  • 8 oz fresh or frozen green beans.

 

Chicken:

  • 1 oz dried gourmet mushrooms
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper
  • flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup marsala
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp chicken stock base
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves

 

Put mushrooms in a large glass measuring cup.  Cover with 1 cup water and microwave for 2 minutes.  Set aside to soften.

Combine quinoa, broth and butter in a sauce pan and bring to boil.  Cover and lower heat to low.  Cook 15 minutes turn off the heat and set aside.

While quinoa is cooking, season chicken thighs and dust with flour.  Heat up 1 tbsp butter in a non-stick sautee pan, when butter is foaming add chicken thighs and brown well on both sides.  Drain the mushrooms, saving the liquid.  Add chicken base to ½ the liquid and add the liquid to the pan.  Turn heat to low and cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove chicken to a warm plate and set aside.  Turn heat to high.  Add remaining butter and sauté the mushrooms.  Combine marsala with remaining mushroom liquid, cornstarch and rosemary.  When mushrooms start to brown, add the marsala mixture, stir until a thick sauce develops.

Stir cranberries, pine nuts and chives into the quinoa.

Put thighs on serving plates and cover with mushroom mixture.  Serve with quinoa pilaf and steamed green beans.  Makes 4 servings.

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