Black-Eyed Pea and Arugula Salad

August 28th, 2015

Black-Eyed Pea and Arugula Salad 1

What a bowl full of goodness!  It is hard to see all of it because much of it is hiding in the arugula.  How does brandy soaked cranberries sound to you?  Or that Southern classic, black-eyed peas?  Are you a fan of Asian pears?  In there, all of them.  Succulent Jumbo shrimp are not afraid to show themselves . But the diced red bell pepper, onion and cucumber hunker down in the background.  Everything plays well with a light citrus vinaigrette and we were very happy to dig in. Not a morsel got away from us.

Black-Eyed Pea and Arugula Salad 3

We are very busy right now.  David is doing a lot of the cooking because I have been busy with another project.  He always seems to find the best recipes on the internet.  This recipe was on a feature of Extra Virgin on the Cooking Chanel.  We are watching that show often because of the Italy connection.  We leave for Italy on September 16th.

David has frozen jumbo cooked shrimp in the freezer and is always looking for an excuse to use them.  In addition, he is always looking for healthy recipes. This turned out to be not only healthy, but delicious.  He is keeping us on track this month.

Black-Eyed Pea and Arugula Salad 2

If you are looking for a delicious luncheon or dinner salad, this is a winner.

BLACK-EYED PEA AND ARUGULA SALAD

Citrus Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
3/4 cup unsweetened orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper

Salad:
2 cups canned black-eyed peas, drained
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
5 cups arugula
1 cup sliced seedless cucumber
1 small onion, minced
1 Asian pear, cut into large chunks
1/2 cup dried black currants or dried cranberries, soaked in brandy
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and minced
1 pound cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp

For the vinaigrette: Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, parsley and some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the salad: Simmer the black-eyed peas in the chicken broth for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, toss together the black-eyed peas, arugula, cucumbers, onions, pear, currants and red peppers. Toss with half of the citrus vinaigrette. In a separate bowl, toss the shrimp with the remaining dressing. Add the shrimp to the salad. Serve immediately.

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Rum-Glazed Pork Skewers with Coconut Rice

August 24th, 2015

Rum-Glazed Pork Skewers 4

For a couple of stay-at-home people, this has turned out to be a very interesting summer.  Granted, we will be flying off to Italy in a few weeks.  But what I had anticipated as a quiet summer has yielded some unanticipated surprises.  I will share some of it with you in a later post.

We have done very well with our diet plan.  David has lost 15 pounds.  I have lost 6 pounds.  I ran across this recipe for Rum-Glazed Pork Skewers with Coconut Rice on Twitter and thought the pork sounded delicious.  I debated about including the coconut rice, as we have been avoiding carbs, but the addition of lite coconut milk, minced ginger and lime zest to jasmine rice was just too much to pass up.  So I have classified this as A TREAT.

Rum-Glazed Pork Skewers 3V

The Pork Tenderloin cubes are marinated in all-spice, cayenne pepper and oil.  Then they are glazed with a rum, brown sugar mixture as they grill.  With the addition of red bell peppers and red onion to the skewers, they were so good.  David said they would have been even better with more of the vegetables.

Rum-Glazed Pork Skewers 2 close

This made 4 skewers.  It would make a great company meal and is easily doubled.  We have a busy few weeks ahead of us.  I have lots to do to make my house picture perfect and plan our Italy trip.  I will keep you posted on what is happening.

RUM-GLAZED PORK SKEWERS WITH COCONUT RICE ( Fine Cooking Magazine )

    • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
    • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
    • 1 cup jasmine rice
    • 3/4 cup well-shaken unsweetened coconut milk
    • Kosher salt
    • 1/3 cup dark rum
    • 3 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar
    • 2 medium limes, finely grated to yield 1 tsp. zest and squeezed to yield 1/4 cup juice
    • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil; more as needed
    • 1 tsp. ground allspice
    • 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 1- to 1-1/4-lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
    • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
    • 1 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • Lime wedges for serving (optional)

    Melt 1 Tbs. of the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir until well coated. Add the coconut milk, 1-1/2 cups water, and 3/4 tsp. salt; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

    Fluff with a fork, cover, and set aside. Meanwhile, combine the rum, brown sugar, 2 Tbs. of the lime juice, and the remaining 2 Tbs. butter in a 1-quart saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until syrupy, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/8 tsp. salt and remove from the heat.

    In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 Tbs. lime juice with the oil, allspice, cayenne, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Add the pork and toss to coat. Thread the pork, bell pepper, and onions onto four 12-inch metal skewers, alternating the meat and vegetables.

    Prepare a medium-high (400°F) gas or charcoal grill fire or heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Oil the grate or pan. Grill the skewers until seared on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Brush the skewers with the glaze and grill, turning occasionally, until the pork is browned on the outside but still slightly pink in the center, 2 to 4 minutes more.

    Add the zest to the rice and fluff. Brush the skewers with any additional glaze and serve with the rice and lime wedges, if you like.

    .

Garlic and Rosemary Baguettes

August 18th, 2015

Garlic Rosemary Baguette 1

I can live without chocolate, but I can’t live without bread.  It is one of the great joys of a meal as far as I’m concerned.  Now, because of changes in our food choices, I am trying to experiment with different types of flour in my bread baking.  These garlic and rosemary baguettes are excellent.  King Arthur has a white whole wheat flour that I wanted to try.  It is milled from hard white Spring wheat – a lighter colored grain than traditional red wheat which yields milder-tasting baked goods.  Because this bread recipe also has an abundance of garlic and rosemary in it, the lighter but healthy white whole wheat flour is a bonus.

Garlic Rosemary Baguette 2v

But what I was most excited about, and inspired me to make this bread, was the free printable French bread wrappers that I found on Heather Bullard/ Lifestyle blog.  She is a contributing editor to Country Living Magazine and found the script sheets while traveling in France.  A big thank you to her for making them available.  They make a pretty presentation if you bake  loaves to give to friends and family.

Garlic Rosemary Baguette 3

The original bread recipe came from a blog called Good Life Eats.  I changed the flours, but kept the garlic and rosemary.  This is a very garlic heavy bread, so if you are not a great fan, you can reduce the number of cloves.  It makes a convincing looking baguette but tastes more like a conventional homemade bread.Garlic Rosemary Baguette 4

The rustic loaves make great sandwiches and are a great accompaniment to spaghetti.
GARLIC AND ROSEMARY BAGUETTES

2 cups warm tap water, about 110 degrees
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
2 3/4 – 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup flour for dusting the loaves
Cornmeal for the pans
2 small cookie sheets or a large (at least 11×17-inch) jelly roll pan

In the bowl of a food mixer, mix the water with the yeast.  Allow to ferment for about 10 minutes.  Once the yeast is bubbly add the olive oil, 2 1/2 cups of the all-purpose flour, the white whole wheat flour, garlic, rosemary and salt.  With a dough hook gently mix until all of the ingredients are combined.  Mix on medium for about 5 minutes to knead the ingredients together.  If dough is too moist add a little more of the all-purpose flour.

Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead gently.  Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl.  Leave to rise for 2 hours.

To shape loaves, scrape risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and press it to deflate it. Divide dough in half and shape one piece at a time. Press dough into a square, then roll it up tightly. Rotate cylinder of dough 90 degrees and roll up again from short end. Arrange dough seam side down, cover with plastic or a towel and let it rest of 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining piece of dough.

Dust pan with cornmeal. Roll each piece of dough under palms of your hands to elongate it. Work from middle of loaf outward, pointing the ends slightly. Place loaves seam side down on cookie sheets and dust each loaf heavily with flour, using about 1/4 cup in all. Cover with plastic or a towel and allow to rise until doubled.

About 30 minutes before you intend to bake the loaves, preheat oven to 500 degrees F and set racks at the middle and lowest levels. Set a pan on the lowest rack to absorb some of the excess bottom heat and keep the bottom of the loaves from burning.

Holding a razor blade or the point of a very sharp knife at a 30-degree angle to the top of each loaf, make 3 to 4 diagonal slashes in each loaf. Immediately place loaves in oven and lower temperature to 450 degrees F. After loaves have baked for 20 minutes and are completely risen, lower temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking about 20 to 30 minutes longer, until bread reaches an internal temperature of about 210-220 degrees F. Remove loaves from oven and cool on a rack.

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Dirty Dancing Weekend

August 13th, 2015

dirty_dancing_festival

We are looking forward to the Dirty Dancing Festival in Lake Lure this coming weekend, August 15th.  It has become a tradition in Lake Lure since 2010.  The year after Patrick Swayze’s death, it was decided that the town would honor the star and the movie with a festival that would raise money for pancreatic cancer research.  It has been a draw for Dirty Dancing fans ever since.  As one of the major sites of the filming, Lake Lure is the perfect venue.

We bought our small cottage on the lake in 1984.  Little did I realize that in the Fall of 1986, Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey and the cast and crew were in residence at the Lake Lure Inn filming scenes around the lake.  At that time it was a low budget film. No one had ever heard of Patrick Swayze or Jennifer Grey.  Lake Lure was not the only film location. Parts of the movie were also filmed in Virginia.  I wrote a post about our stay at Mountain Lake, Virginia and the confusion about the scene where Baby was put in the corner. I thought it was in Virginia and sat at that corner table, but as it turned out, it was really in Lake Lure. Many of the scenes were filmed in Lake Lure. To teach Baby how to master the move of being held in the air after leaping from the stage, Johnny suggested that they practice in the water. The “lake lift” has become an iconic move.  From what I have heard, because it was late autumn, Patrick and Jennifer were very cold in the frigid water.  A big part of the festival today is a contest to see which couple can perform the best lift.  The above couple did very well.

This couple did their best. . . . .   the picture makes me smile and laugh.  These are two of our guests who rented our small cottage for two weeks a few years ago. Jenel is very talented on the computer and photoshopped a very convincing recreation of the lift.  She offered to do one of David and me, but I wasn’t too sure that it would be a pretty picture.  Maybe after we are toned and buff.  Ha!  But I totally love their picture!

Salmon in Parchment Vegies

We are still trying to eat well.  I have posted about this recipe for salmon in parchment before, but thought it was worth a repeat.  It is one of David’s favorite creations.  You can see the details for the dish here.  One of the things I love about it, other than the taste, is that you can make the parchment packages ahead of time and just bake them when you are ready.  They would be perfect for camping wrapped in foil rather than parchment paper.  Or after an afternoon attending a festival.  Enjoy your weekend.   “Have the Time of your Life”.

 

SALMON EN PAPILLOTE WITH JULIENNED VEGETABLES

This is a very simple, delicious and fool-proof way to prepare salmon with vegetables. And, it looks fancy and festive, but it is so easy. You can use any combination of vegetables that suits your fancy. Listed below are some of the ones we commonly use, but you can substitute or include others such as, leeks, and snow peas, anything that can be cut into thin pieces so that it cooks rapidly. You can also substitute any other type of fish fillet that you might have on hand or can find, and you also might want to experiment with other herbs and spices.

Here are one possible set of ingredients per packet, i.e. per serving

one 8 oz salmon filet
¼ cup julienned carrots
¼ cup julienned green onions
¼ cup julienned broccolini
¼ cup julienned red or green pepper
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp dry white wine
basil ½ tsp dried or 1 tsp chopped fresh
2 lemon slices
3 pats of butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg beaten-to seal the packets

Place a salmon filet to the right of the center of a 15” square of parchment paper. Salt and pepper the filet to taste. Sprinkle the olive oil, garlic, and basil over the salmon. Arrange the julienned vegetables on top of the filet. Place two lemon slices and three butter pats on top. Sprinkle the wine over the top and add a little more salt and pepper to the top of the vegetables. Use a brush and the egg wash to paint the edge of paper all the way around to help seal the packet. Fold the left side of the paper over the fish and vegetables and start at the top left corner making small overlapping folds all the way around the three open sides. When you get to the final fold, turn it under to help keep it from unfolding. Prepare as many packets as you want servings and place on a baking sheet in a 400 deg oven for about 18-20 minutes. The fish will actually be done in about 15 minutes, but the veggies will benefit from the extra time, and the fish will remain moist and tender from the cooking method. To serve, place a packet on each plate along with whatever starch you are serving, and cut the packets open with a sharp knife so the contents can be removed to the plate.  Enjoy.

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Pearl Barley Salad with Harrisa Chicken

August 5th, 2015

Pearl Barley Salad 1

When the weather gets too steamy, dinner inside becomes a haven of cool comfort.  But I still like to putter in the kitchen and a multiple step salad is the perfect solution.  All of the ingredients in this dish need your separate attention.  The broccoli needs to be blanched and put on ice.  The zucchini is sliced in long strips, cooked on a grill pan and then diced. The pearl barley needs to simmer until done.  The chicken needs to marinate a while in the fridge before placing on the grill pan to cook.  The almonds are best browned in a pan.  The rest of the work is just chopping and mixing.  But the end product is worth the effort.  Put on a little music, gaze at the hummingbird feeder outside your window occasionally, and enjoy the time spent.

Pearl Barley Salad 2

In my effort to try grains other than white rice, I found that pearl barley is a nutritious substitute.  It is rich in fiber and essential minerals.  I’m sure this salad would have been even better if I had the called for harrisa pasta in which to marinate the chicken.  Harrisa is a Moroccan paste made from hot peppers and spices. I plan to make this again when I can make it to a Middle Eastern market or my friendly Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.  Since it only called for 1 teaspoon, I felt safe in leaving it out this time.  I did add spices to my marinade to give the chicken some extra flavor.

Pearl Barley Salad 3 Close

This is a colorful salad with lots of flavor.  It is perfect for a quiet summer evening at home when you have time to chill out in the kitchen.

PEARL BARLEY SALAD WITH HARISSA-SPICED CHICKEN (Adapted from What Katie Ate by Katie Quinn Davies )

1 skinless, boneless chicken breast fillet, cut into thirds lengthways
1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds
1 cup pearl barley
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for brushing
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 head broccoli, broken into florets
1 zucchini, trimmed and cut lengthways into then strips
3 scallions, trimmed and finely sliced
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
large handful arugula or other greens to scatter over top

Marinade:
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon store-bought harissa paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch sea salt

To make the marinade, place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.  Put the chicken into a shallow container and pour the marinade over, making sure the chicken is well coated.  Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, place almonds in a small saute pan and cook over medium heat shaking occasionally until almonds are browned.  Set aside.

Place the pearl barley in a saucepan and cover with 3 cups cold water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 35 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water, then set aside in a bowl to cool slightly.  Place the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil and some black pepper in a small bowl and whisk together, the pour this mixture over the pearl barley, stir to coat and set aside.

Cook the broccoli in a saucepan of simmering water for 2-3 minutes, then drain and plunge immediately into a bowl of iced water.  Drain again and set aside.

Brush each side of the zucchini strips with a little olive oil.  Heat a skillet or grill pan and cook the zucchini strips on both sides until light golden-brown.  Leave to cool slightly before dicing finely.

In the same grill pan over medium high heat cook the chicken with its excess marinade for 10 to 12 minutes or until the chicken is caramelized on the outside and cooked through and the marinade is bubbling.  Remove the chicken and juces an set aside, covered, to rest for 5 minutes before slicing each chicken strip very thinly.

Place the chicken, almonds, pearl barley, broccoli, zucchini, scallions, and tomatoes into a large bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Scatter with arugula leaves and serve.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.