Friday, April 30, 2010

Southern Hunter’s Venison Stew…..or Not

This is a variation of a recipe from my closest friend who is a not so secret natural survivalist. Bebe and I have been cohorts in crime since our kids were still in the womb. Early in our friendship her little nuclear family only ate meat that her husband Bubba caught and killed with his bare hands. The original instructions called for venison sausage and since I am the Queen of Meat that comes in nice neat plastic wrappers use Italian sausage instead.

2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
½ cup diced onion
1 lb Italian sausage
2 teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups diced potatoes cooked
1 cup frozen green beans
1 cup frozen corn
12 oz. tomato juice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Sauté onion in heated olive oil, add sausage and lightly brown but not cooked through. Stir in chili powder and salt. Cut sausage into bite size pieces and place in the bottom of a casserole dish, with onions. Follow this by covering with diced potatoes, frozen green beans and frozen corn. Pour tomato juice over the top. Cover and cook at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, top with cheese and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes.

As much as I love Bebe, I confess I’m a little squeamish about food that still has eyes and I did draw the line the day of the squirrel enchiladas for lunch. Bebe says it tastes like chicken, but I’m sure it tastes like cat. Meow.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mindless Chicken Marinade and Elote

This is almost too easy, so I’m going to add a side dish so people don’t think you’re a complete slacker in the kitchen. You could spend hours researching the perfect marinade for your chicken or cop out and do what comes easy, embrace it, it will give you more time for TIVO viewings of Project Runway or perhaps your secret guilty pleasure ,Judge Judy.

Literally all you need to do is dump a bottle of Italian Dressing on top of four frozen chicken breasts as you stagger out of the house in the morning, that’s it, really. One you get home slap those puppies on a medium high grill, six minutes each side. The only note I might make is that the individually packaged breasts seem to remain moist where those that are all jumbled and experiencing freezer burn get dried out. Delicious and quick, fastest meal ever. So on to the side dish…….to make it seem like you’re putting in the effort.

Corn on the cob, king of the side dishes, but we know we can do so much better. Elote is popular street food in Mexico, but way tastier than butter. You can either cook the corn on the grill or the old fashioned way in a boiling pot of water.

Combine the following in a small bowl:
3 Tablespoons fat free mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

In a separate bowl, combine these dry ingredients:
2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
¼ Teaspoon Chili Powder
¼ Teaspoon Ground Red Pepper
1/8 Teaspoon Salt

Brush hot corn with mayonnaise mixture and sprinkle with cheese mixture and serve to the starving masses immediately. And just so you know…..Seth Aaron won Project Runway.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fancy Smanchy Salmon

As we approach springtime in Arizona we are entering the calm before the inferno. Grilling now is perfect as opposed to July when you can just throw the food on the sidewalk and it basically cooks itself. I feel like the first official recipe should be a little fancier then the basic in and out of the kitchen. It will however follow the basic rule of minimizing my time in the least favorite room in the house.

Salmon fillet, no skin or bones. Typically, I buy a piece from Costco which will feed 8 main courses.
Dijon Mustard
3 Tablespoons capers
16 ounces mushrooms, sliced and browned
1 can artichoke hearts quartered
1 ruby red grapefruit

Place the salmon on a large piece of aluminum foil big enough to enclose all the ingredients. Heavily smear the top of the fish with Dijon mustard. Sprinkle the capers, mushrooms and artichokes over the top. Squeeze the juice from the grapefruit over the assembled dish. Roll the ends of the foil and enclose the fish in an aluminum pouch.

The joy of this particular dish is that you can cook it on the grill or in the oven depending on the weather and the crowd. Set the grill to medium high or the oven to 375 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. The way to tell if it’s done is to stick a fork in it and twist it. If the fish turns easily, you are good to go. A great side is grilled asparagus, just coat with olive oil and grill for 3 to 5 minutes.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The First Supper

Why, even though we work all day we are faced with the age old question, “What’s for Dinner” when we walk in the door. I suppose since I have never changed a flat tire, my spousal unit considers turn about fair play. The difference being I’ve only had about 5 flats in my entire life and dinner is expected 365 days of the year. My goal is the same as many, to spend minimal time in the kitchen so I spend my time off enjoying my life with the Big Tuna (same significant other).

My mom ran a catering business on the side, but my family members relegate me to peeling potatoes and washing dishes since they deem themselves better around the stovetop then me. My friends however are the first to belly up to the table for seconds and proclaim they have never left our house wanting for more. I hope you find this blog helpful in pulling things together for a meal and make you a rock star with your family and friends without driving yourself over the cliff. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy the company and pour yourself a glass of wine before commencing. Let the games begin.