Posts Tagged ‘GYO’

Grow Your Own: Warm Artichoke Dip

grow_your_own_logo-2009Geeze, how did another week go by already? I guess that’s what happens when you’re working long hours. It’s all good, though.

So, last weekend we had Bill and Barbara over for dinner before we all went to see “The House of Blue Leaves” at the Little Theater of Norfolk. I made roasted duck breast with cherry chutney (from the new President’s Inaugural Luncheon menu) and roasted vegetables, along with twice-baked potatoes. For an appetizer before dinner, I made Warm Artichoke Dip with Scallions and Jalapeño, from the “Great Party Dipscookbook I won a couple of weeks ago, from Andrea’s Recipes. Thanks again, Andrea 🙂

We all enjoyed the dip, although I must say, I think combining this recipe with the Ya Ya Sisterhood artichoke dip recipe I made last year would yield even more tasty results. The jalapeño added a nice kick we really liked.

Unfortunately, we didn’t like the play quite so much. It was really strange; at intermission, I said I wouldn’t be unhappy if we left, but the others wanted to stay and see if it got better. It didn’t, and it had a really weird ending. It was billed as a farce, but according to Wikipedia, it’s a black comedy. Well, that makes more sense. Not recommended.

OTOH, if you like artichoke dip, try this one. As I said, it’s not my favorite rendition of this classic, but it might suit your taste buds better.


Warm Artichoke Dip with Scallions and Jalapeño

2 scallions, coarsely chopped (I used green onions from the garden)
1 1/2 tsp. pickled jalapeño, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, cut into 2-3 pieces
Dash of salt
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature, cut into several pieces
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained

Preheat the oven to 400*. In a food processor, combine the scallions, jalapeno, garlic and salt. Pulse until the scallions are finely chopped.

Add the cream cheese, all but 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice and cayenne. Puree until smooth. Add the artichokes and pulse until coarsely chopped.

Scrape the mixture into a 2-cup gratin or other shallow ovenproof baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved Parmesan cheese over the top. (At this point, thd dip can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking.)

Shortly before serving, bake for about 20 minutes, until the dip is slightly browned on top and bubbly hot. Let cool slightly before serving.

I served this with toasted baguette slices. Crisp raw veggies, baked pita chips or crackers would also make good dippers.

This is my entry in “Grow Your Own,” the twice-monthly food blogging event that celebrates growing our own food. It was started by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes.

Grow Your Own: Japanese Salad

A couple of weeks ago, some friends had a sushi party, where they made several types of sushi for a wonderful dinner. Thanks again, Bill and Barbara, for a fun, delicious dinner!

I brought a Japanese shrimp-noodle-cucumber salad I discovered last year and really enjoyed. It went over well 🙂 I used green onions from our garden in this dish.

Japanese Noodle, Shrimp and Cucumber Salad

2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used peanut oil)
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 lb. fresh bean sprouts
14 oz. dried chuka soba noodles (I used spaghetti, broken in half)
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
2 lb. cooked bay shrimp
3 large cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
6 green onions, sliced
1 tbsp. black sesame seeds, for garnish

Dressing: Whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, oil, sugar and mustard in small bowl. Season with cayenne pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and leave at room temperature).

Salad: Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add noodles and boil until tender, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Blanch bean sprouts in boiling water 30 seconds. Drain and refresh in cold water. Drain well.

Place noodles and sprouts in a large bowl. Add sesame oil and toss to coat. (Can be prepared up to 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate bean sprouts and noodles separately.) Add bean sprouts, shrimp, cucumbers and onions to noodles. Drizzle with dressing. Toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Japanese Salad

This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, the twice-monthly food blogging event that celebrates home-grown food. It’s hosted this month by the founder, Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes.

Grow Your Own: Creole Chicken Fricassee

Grow Your Own 2008We have lots and lots of bok choy in the garden right now. It doesn’t really seem like that much – we have four more plants out there – but when there are only two of us to feed, a little goes a really long way. See here for a picture from a while back.

In case you’re not familiar with it, bok choy is also known as Chinese cabbage, although it doesn’t really look like cabbage. It has stems that look like celery and broad, dark-green leaves that can be treated like spinach. I use it in stir-fries, but I also use it to replace celery, as in this recipe.

This chicken fricassee recipe is based on one from Cook’s Country magazine, a sister magazine to Cook’s Illustrated. You can use any kind of sausage in it that you like. I had some chipotle chicken sausage I had picked up the last time I cruised up to Trader Joe’s in Newport New, so I used that, but kielbasa, andouille or something similar would work just as well.

Creole Chicken Fricassee

Creole Chicken Fricassee

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
3 tsp. Creole seasoning
8 oz. andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch rounds (I used chipotle chicken sausage)
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, sliced thin (I used six bok choy ribs, with leaves)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Hot cooked rice

Sprinkle chicken with 2 tsp. Creole seasoning and toss to coat. Cook sausage in large pan over medium-high heat till browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer sausage to paper towel-lined plate, leaving fat in skillet. Cook chicken in sausage fat until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to plate with sausage.

Add oil, onion, celery and pepper to skillet and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and remaining tsp. Creole seasoning and cook until flour begins to brown, about 1 minute.

Slowly stir in broth until sauce is smooth. Return chicken and sausage to skillet. Cover and simmer until chicken registers 160 degrees, about 10 minutes. Serve over hot cooked rice.

This is my entry in Grow Your Own, the twice-monthly food blogging event that celebrates home-grown ingredients. It’s hosted this month by the founder, Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes.

Grow Your Own: Tabasco Sauce

Grow Your Own 2008We planted a pretty good variety of peppers this year, both hot and sweet. We had so many Tabasco peppers, I decided to make homemade Tabasco sauce.

So I Googled for recipes, and the same one kept popping up. That seemed like a good endorsement, so I tried it. I’ll be honest – I haven’t actually tried this on anything yet. I mean, I like hot food, but after whizzing it in the blender, I gave it a sniff and you know what? I have one piece of advice: Don’t sniff the blender 😉

Tabasco peppers

Homemade Tabasco Sauce

12 large Tabasco chile peppers, stemmed (I used 15 because that’s how ripe ones many I had)
1 clove peeled garlic
½ cup vinegar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar

Boil the chile peppers and garlic in vinegar in a small, non-metal saucepan until tender. Puree in a blender with the salt and sugar. Run through a metal sieve if necessary.

Dilute this paste with more vinegar until it is the consistency of rich cream. Pour into a non-metal saucepan, bring to a boil, then pour into a hot, sterilized bottle to within ½ inch of the rim.

Run a sterilized knife around the inside of the bottle to release air bubbles. Wipe the rim clean and seal with a scalded top. Store in the refrigerator once opened.

From: Red Hot Peppers by Jean Andrews

Tabasco sauceThis is my entry in Grow Your Own, the twice-monthly food blogging event that celebrates homegrown produce and other items, originated by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and hosted this time by Heart and Hearth.

The roundup of all the recipes is here.

Grow Your Own: Chicken Cacciatore

Grow Your Own 2008It’s been cool and rainy this week, with the Nor’easter we had, so I’ve been craving a nice braised dinner. I still have lots of tomatoes ripening in the garden, as well as pimento peppers, so chicken cacciatore came to mind. I searched around for recipes and finally found one that doesn’t include mushrooms, which are not a favorite of Dan’s or mine. And it’s by a real Italian – Giada de Laurentiis 🙂

It turned out very well, and I made enough to have leftovers at work the next day. It’s one of those things that improves with sitting in the fridge overnight.

Chicken Cacciatore

4 chicken thighs (I used 6 thighs and no breasts)
2 chicken breasts with skin and backbone, halved crosswise
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, chopped (I used one small red and one small green bell pepper)
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice (I used 3 cups diced fresh garden tomatoes)
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons drained capers
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.

In a large heavy saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute just until brown, about 5 minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, saute it in 2 batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes for the breast pieces, and 20 minutes for the thighs.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat from atop the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with the basil and serve.

With a side of spaghetti, a green salad and garlic bread, this was a delicious, warming dinner on a cool night.

Chicken Cacciatore

The peppers, tomatoes, oregano, and basil in this dish came from my garden. This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, a food blogging event celebrating the food we grow or raise ourselves, originated by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and hosted this time by Denise of Chez Us.

Grow Your Own: Ceviche

Grow Your Own 2008I just love ceviche. For years, I was afraid to try it – I was concerned about getting sick somehow from eating raw fish or shellfish, even though it’s “cooked” in acid (lemon and lime juice), which probably kills pretty much all the pathogens that might be on it.

Then a couple of years ago, my friend Barbara and I went to visit our friend Liz in Colorado. Of course, Mexican food is very popular there, and we ordered ceviche one night at dinner. It was great! Tangy, spicy, with the sweet shrimp and savory cilantro. I fell in love. There’s a Peruvian restaurant in Norfolk called Imperio Inca that has some delicious ceviche, as an appetizer and a couple of dinner platters. I tried making it myself once, but we weren’t crazy about how it turned out.

Then last month, Liz had a gallery opening at the d’Art Center and a party at her house afterward, where she served homemade ceviche, which was fabulous. Well, now I had to try it again. After looking through my cookbooks, I found a wonderful recipe for it in Cook’s Illustrated’s The Best International Recipe. So I made it again, and it was deee-lish! I bought a bag of lemons and limes so I can make it again!

Shrimp Ceviche

1 lb. large or extra-large shrimp, large sea scallops, fish fillets or a combination
1 tsp. grated zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup juice from 4 limes
1/2 cup juice from 4 lemons
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped fine (I used a red pimento pepper)
1 small jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
4 scallions, sliced thin
3 tbsp. cilantro, minced
1/2 tsp. sugar
Ground black pepper

If using shrimp, peel, devein and slice in half lengthwise (I also cut them into thirds). If using scallops, remove the side tendon and slice into 1/3-inch-thick rounds. If using fish, remove any bones and slice into 1-inch squares about 1/3 inch thick.

Stir the lime zest, lime and lemon juices, bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic and 1/2 tsp. salt together in a bowl. Gently stir in the seafood, cover with plastic, and refrigerate until seafood is firm, opaque and appears cooked, 45-60 minutes (mine took about 75 minutes – the shrimp should be pink). Stir about halfway through marinating.

Place the mixture in a fine-mesh strainer, leaving it a little wet, then return it to the bowl. Gently stir in oil, scallions, cilantro and sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with tortilla chips.


This is another entry for Grow Your Own, the twice-monthly food blogging event started by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes about a year ago, and hosted this month by Noob Cook. GYO celebrates the food we grow ourselves. The red pimento and jalapeno peppers came from our garden. And check out the tomato jam, also from our garden!

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