Friday, April 2, 2010

Plans for the Weekend- Clash of the Titans & Deep Fried South African Lobster

It's Friday at last! It's also Good there is a slim chance we will close the office early :)
It's going to be a fun weekend, and I'm really looking forward to getting it started.
To begin with...Today, Clash of the Titans was released in theaters. I have been waiting for that one for a while now.
I have already heard from a trusted source that it was "Cheesy," but that was just a CNN review he had it's not a direct review from the source and less valid in my mind.
The original was good, but I'm pretty sure this one will be better with the technologically advanced effects.
Pretty much anything is better than clay-mation.
Unless it's Mr. Bill. I. LOVE. MR. BILL.
Aside from my uber geeky movie fest, I plan on making some Deep Fried Lobster.
I have not made fried lobster in a while, so I thought I would make it a little more special and order South African Lobster Tails for this recipe.
South African Tails have the same sweetness of a Maine Lobster tail, with the velvety texture of the New Zealand Lobster Tail.
Fantastic combination, and being 8-10 oz each, they are perfect for the Lobster Gram go-to recipe for friend Lobster.
I will share that little gem with you guys on Monday, along with the Dean Brother's Recipe for Baked Hush-puppies I will be making to compliment the fried lobster.
That really does not make sense. I'm deep frying my lobster, and baking the hush-puppies like it's going to make the dinner healthy or something. I guess that makes me delusional.
Oh well.
The South African tails arrived this morning, and I decided to take a few pictures of them while they are still frozen so you can see just how different looking the South African tails are from the other types.
So here they are, and I'll be back Monday with movie reviews, recipes and lots of tasty images.
Happy eating foodies!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Recipes from Last Week's Wordless Wednesday

Pretty much everyone knows how to roast a chicken.
And pretty much everyone knows how to make mashed potatoes.
What most don't know, is how to turn this simple Sunday Dinner Staple into a gourmet feast without too much additional work.
So here are the recipes from last week's wordless Wednesday post. Butter Parsley Roasted Chicken with Duchess Potato Tartlets.

Parsley Butter Roasted Chicken
1 roasting chicken, about 3 pounds ( I use Niman Ranch Poulet Rouge for their delicate skin that roasts to a beautiful crisp)
salt and pepper to taste
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
4 large celery stalks, chopped coarsely
4 large carrots, chopped coarsely
1 shallot finely chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
4 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 350°.
Rinse and pat down the chicken. Dry skin with a paper towel. Season the inside and outside with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bag from the interior of the chicken, and trip the excess neck skin off. To the bottom of the roasting pan, add the onion, carrots and celery. Place chicken on top of the vegetables. Melt butter, add parsley and coat the entire chicken with the mixture.
Roast in oven, breast up, for 15 minutes. Turn chicken on it's side and continue to roast for another 15 minutes. Turn chicken once more, and roast for another 20 minutes.

Duchess Potato Tartlets

3 lbs red potatoes, peeled
Salt & pepper to taste
1 stick butter
1/2 cup Milk

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add peeled potatoes and boil until soft.
Drain the water and add salt, pepper, milk and butter.
Combine well. Preheat oven to 400. In a cupcake tray, fill each cup cake holder about 1/2 way with mashed potato mixture. Add an extra dollop of butter to the top of each tart and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Sprinkle with paprika and serve warm.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kitchen Staples- What do you need to keep on hand?

Everyone has their own list of "must have" kitchen staples.
Whether it's cooking wine, frozen pork chops or lobster meat by the pound, there are just some thing you feel you can't go without.
So, I thought it would be fun to start a list of my must-have pantry and freezer items,and see what it is that you guys can't live without in your own kitchen.
Here it goes!

MUST HAVE Pantry Items (in no particular order)
1. Oak Aged Balsamic Vinegar
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3. Granulated Garlic
4. Red Wine
5. White Wine
6. Shallots
7. Flour
8. Cajun Seasoning
9. Panko Breadcrumbs
10. Maggi Seasoning (Thanks Oma)

Must Have Freezer Items
1. Frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2. Ground turkey
3. Lobster Meat by the pound
4. Sea Scallops (Yes @RecipeTaster, I ALWAYS have scallops on hand lol :)
5. Home made vegetable stock (lasts about 6 months in the freezer)
6. Home made seafood stock (lasts about 6 months in the freezer)

7. Home chicken stock (lasts about 6 months in the freezer)
8. Home made marinara sauce
9. Frozen veggies (peas, carrots, corn, broccoli)
10. Extra sticks of butter (you can never have enough butter on hand)

So...what is it that you can't function without in the kitchen?
Let me hear from you!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Kleftiko- It's spring at last!

Good Monday morning foodies! I hope everyone had a great weekend. It's starting to be spring here in Chicago. It's a little cool still, but beautiful weather is on it's way and it should be a beautiful end of the week.
My weekend was productive, but relaxing. I got a lot of spring cleaning done that I had been meaning to get to, and then rewarded myself by preparing one of my favorite spring dishes. Kleftiko; otherwise known as Greek Herb Roasted Lamb Chops.
This is a quick and easy recipe that can be thrown together in minutes, and just takes a little patience getting through the roasting process.
The outcome was fantastic as always, and my kitchen is still heavy with the aroma of roasted oregano.

Kléftiko (Greek Herb Roasted Lamb Chops)

2 lamb chops
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/8 cup loosely packed oregano leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed parsley leaves
1 tablespoons thyme leaves
1/2 crushed bay leaf
1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 300. Wash and dry lamb and set aside.
Chop herbs finely. Mix in salt and pepper. Sprinkle lemon juice all over the chops, on both sides. Brush generously with olive oil. Coat with herbs evenly on all sides.
Place chops in a roasting pan high up in the oven. Cook for about 1 hour depending on the thickness of the meat. The meat will be crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. Enjoy!