weeknight gourmet

Posts Tagged ‘Martha Stewart’

Easter Egg Overload? Time for some Deviled Eggs!

IMG_1292Lots of leftover Easter eggs?  Deviled eggs are always a crowd pleaser…or so I have heard.  I wrongly assumed I wouldn’t like deviled eggs because I didn’t care for the hard-boiled yolk.  But Tim loves deviled eggs so I decided to give them a try.  YUM!  I’ve been missing out.

I followed Emeril’s recipe (below), using my new favorite hot sauce Frank’s.  There is a nice little kick from the mustard and hot sauce!

In case you are wondering how to make the perfect hard-boiled egg, here is a good recipe to follow.  But the perfectly cooked hard-boiled egg is stickier and harder to peel.  Not he ideal solution for decorating Easter eggs, but here is a tip for easier peeling so your deviled eggs look as good as they taste.  Slightly crack the egg before you put the cooked egg in an ice bath.

Now all I need is one of those cute deviled egg trays!
Deviled Eggs
Emeril Lagasse

  • 6 eggs, hard boiled, cooled, and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
  • Hot pepper sauce
  • Paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Variation: add 1 teaspoon chopped canned jalapeno peppers
  • 4 radicchio leaves, for garnish
  • 3 parsley sprigs, for garnish
Place the cooked egg yolks in a bowl. Using a fork, work the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, chives, and salt and pepper into the yolks to form a smooth paste. Taste. Place 1/2 of this mixture in a small pastry bag with a large star tip. To the remaining mixture, add the jalapenos and season with Hot pepper sauce. Fill 6 of the egg halves with the basic filling. Fill the pastry bag with the jalapeno filling. Fill the remaining egg white halves. Top with paprika. Place on a platter on the radicchio leaves, and parsley sprigs.

Slow-Cooker Cajun Stew

Here’s a great slow cooker recipe — Cajun stew with andouille sausage and shrimp.  The dish has great flavor and a mild heat from the sausage and cayenne pepper.

Like my favorite slow cooker recipes, this one requires little prep work — only a bit of chopping.

A few notes: I used fresh andouille but I’d recommend smoked.  It will be easier to slice and will stay together through the cooking process better than fresh.  Serve the stew with some rice or quinoa as a side.  Don’t forget the okra like I did (oops!).  The dish was still tasty without the okra but I’m sure it would have been a nice add.

Enjoy!

Slow-Cooker Cajun Stew
Everyday Food

  • ⅔ pound andouille or kielbasa, sliced into ½-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 red onion, sliced into wedges
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt
  • ½ pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups frozen sliced okra, thawed
  • Cooked rice for serving

In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, place sausage, onion, garlic, celery and bell pepper. Sprinkle with flour and toss to coat. Add tomatoes and their liquid, ½ cup water and cayenne; season with salt.

Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, 3 ½ hours on high or 7 hours on low. Add shrimp and okra, then cover and cook until shrimp are opaque throughout, 30 minutes on high or 1 hour on low.

To serve, scoop spoonful of rice into individual serving bowls and place stew on top.

Serves 4.

Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprints

My friend Emily made these cookies for Thanksgiving and they were delicious!  I needed to make a holiday treat for Tim’s office so I decided to make them.  What says Christmas more than chocolate + peppermint?!

Do not overbake the cookies.  I followed the instructions exactly and the cookies were so moist and delicious.

To make the chocolate – peppermint filling, all you need is butter, chocolate chips, and some peppermint extract.  You can pipe the filling through a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off.

The cookies were a hit in Tim’s office.  I think they were all gone within two days!  I was a little sad I didn’t save any for myself but my waistline probably thanks me.

Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprints
Everyday Food

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup each butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat to combine. Place 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll in sugar to coat. Place balls, 1 inch apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 5 minutes. Remove sheets from oven; with the small end of a melon baller or the bottom of a small round measuring spoon, make an indentation in center of each cookie.

Bake until cookies are just set but still look moist, 4 minutes (do not overbake). Let cool on sheets on wire racks. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate chips and ¼ cup butter in 10-second increments until melted; stir in peppermint extract. Let cool until thick enough to pipe, 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large zip-top bag; snip 1/4-inch hole in one corner. Pipe chocolate into cookie indentations. (Store in airtight containers, up to 1 week.)

Active time: 35 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes + cooling

Makes 4 dozen

Carbonara with a Twist

This pasta is a delicious twist on a traditional carbonara.  The lemon gives the dish a bit of zest and the leeks lend some great flavor.  And, of course there is great smokiness from the bacon.

I used to think carbonara was a cream sauce.  For those of you not familiar with how carbonara is made, it is a sauce made with eggs and parmesan.  It’s definitely a bit heavier but its creaminess is entirely from the eggs and cheese.  The heat of the pasta actually cooks the raw eggs in the sauce so make sure your pasta is fresh out of the pot.

A delicious and quick weeknight pasta!

Pasta Carbonara with Leeks & Lemon
Everyday Food

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 leeks (white and light-green parts only), halved lengthwise, rinsed well, and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 pound short pasta, such as campanelle or orecchiette
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 ounce parmesan, grated (1/4 cup), plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

Set a large pot of salted water to boil. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet. Add leeks, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until leeks are golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Add pasta to pot and cook according to package instructions. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, parmesan, and lemon zest and juice. Whisk ¼ cup pasta water into egg mixture. Drain pasta and immediately add to egg mixture, along with bacon, leeks, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Sprinkle with more cheese if desired and serve immediately.

Active time: 30 minutes

Meatloaf with a Kick!

Who doesn’t love meatloaf?!  It’s a perfect dinner as the cool fall weather arrives.  The Barefoot Contessa Turkey Meatloaf is my go-to but I decided to try a beef – pork version and came across this Emeril recipe.  Looked up my alley with the added kick from the chorizo, chili sauce and creole seasoning!

I forgot my shopping list at home so I ended up making a fair number of substitutions.  I used a meatball mix (beef, pork and veal); seasoned breadcrumbs with some red pepper flakes added because I did not have any creole seasoning; whole milk instead of the heavy cream; and, hot Italian sausage instead of chorizo because I could only find smoked chorizo.

I served the meatloaf with pureed cauliflower for a great fall dinner.  The meatloaf was delicious even with my multitude of changes!  I will definitely make it again and am curious how it will turn out if I am more faithful to the recipe.

Mr. John’s Meatloaf
Emeril Lagasse for Everyday Food

  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 green bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Emeril’s Creole Seasoning
  • 8 ounces fresh chorizo sausage (not smoked)
  • 1/2 cup bottled chili sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, eggs, onion, breadcrumbs, bell pepper, cream, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and Creole Seasoning. Gently mix to combine (do not overmix).

Place half of meat mixture on prepared sheet; form into a 9-by-4-inch loaf. Using a paring knife, remove casing from chorizo (keeping the shape intact). Place chorizo lengthwise down center of loaf. Cover with rest of meat mixture, enclosing the chorizo and patting to adhere.

Brush chili sauce over meatloaf. Bake, basting occasionally with pan juices, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of loaf registers 160 degrees, about 1 hour. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

Weeknight Chicken: Roasted Chicken with Cauliflower & Chickpeas

Here is a great roasted chicken recipe — perfect for the fall weather!  The dish takes about an hour to cook but has minimal prep work so it is definitely doable on a weeknight.

I made two minor additions to the recipe.  In addition to seasoning the chicken with salt and pepper, I also sprinkled it with some Italian seasoning for a little extra flavor.  I also added a couple of tablespoons of capers for the final five minutes of roasting.  I love the combo of cauliflower and capers.

The chicken was perfectly cooked — nice and juicy — and the veggies were delicious.  Although next time, I’ll use smaller florets — not all of the cauliflower was as tender as I would have liked.

Enjoy!

Roasted Chicken with Cauliflower & Chickpeas
Everyday Food

  • 1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 8 pieces
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cored and cut into 2-inch florets
  • 1 large red onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Place a rimmed baking sheet in oven and preheat to 450 degrees, with racks in upper and middle thirds. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Carefully remove sheet from oven and arrange chicken, skin side up, in a single layer. Roast on upper rack, 20 minutes.

Remove chicken from oven and, with tongs, transfer to another rimmed baking sheet along with tomatoes. Add cauliflower, onion, and chickpeas to drippings on first sheet and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper. Roast chicken on upper rack and vegetables on middle rack until chicken is golden and cooked through and cauliflower is tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Transfer chicken and vegetables to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Note: Roasting the chicken on a preheated pan saves time and helps the meat brown. You don’t need to add oil to the vegetables; they cook in the drippings from the chicken.

Slow Cooker Recipes: Pot Roast

Just as I was skeptical of the Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe that did not require me to brown the stew cubes, I was highly skeptical of this slow-cooker pot roast recipe that did not require me to brow the chuck roast and called for very little liquid.  Adding to my skepticism was the fact that the only seasoning was salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.

Well, I guess those folks at Everyday Food know a bit more about slow cooking than I do!  The pot roast was incredibly tender, the carrots and onions were infused with flavor, and there was a ton of “jus”.

Just a few comments…

As an added time save you can use baby carrots — no peeling needed!

Be sure to trim the roast of excess fat — the sauce will be better!

I cooked the pot roast on low for 11 hours because my piece of meat (from our half-steer) was closer to 4 pounds than the 3 pounds in the recipe.

Lastly, I might add an additional tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce next time for some added oomph!  But the recipe was (somewhat surprisingly) delicious as written!

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast
Everyday Food

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 medium carrots, cut into thirds
  • 2 medium onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 beef chuck roast (3 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

In slow cooker, stir together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water until smooth. Add carrots and onions; season with salt and pepper, and toss.

Sprinkle roast with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; place on top of vegetables, and drizzle with Worcestershire. Cover; cook on high, 6 hours (or on low, 10 hours).

Transfer roast to a cutting board; thinly slice against the grain. Place vegetables in a serving dish; pour pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve, if desired. Serve roast with vegetables and pan juices.

Easiest Beef Stew Ever!

It has been a while since I posted.  I have been cooking but between work, some illness making its way through our family, and taking a much needed vacation, there really hasn’t been much time to devote to my blog.  Hopefully that will change soon!

I made this super easy beef stew a few weeks ago — you basically just throw all the ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil and then put in the oven.  I was a bit skeptical of the recipe because it does not call for you to brown the beef as most stew recipes do.  But the stew was very flavorful, the beef tender, and the veggies perfectly cooked.

Make sure to have some crusty bread for dipping.

Best Beef Stew
Everyday Food

  • 3 pounds beef chuck, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound medium onions (about 2), cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 pound small white or red new potatoes (about 6), well scrubbed, halved if large
  • 1 pound carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a Dutch oven (5-quart) with a tight-fitting lid, combine beef, tomato paste, vinegar, and flour; season with salt and pepper.
Add onions, potatoes, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil.
Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until meat is fork-tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaves and, if desired, season with salt and pepper before serving.

Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps

Not a lot of comments on this recipe other than that these are DELICIOUS!  I used semi-sweet chocolate rather than bittersweet.   The cookies are amazing chocolate-y bites.  Soft and chewy!

Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps
Everyday Food

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons instant espresso
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for coating
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, espresso, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well combined; mix in cooled chocolate. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat in milk until just combined. Flatten dough into a disk; wrap in plastic. Freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Pour confectioners’ sugar (about 1/2 cup) into a medium bowl; working in batches, roll balls in sugar two times, letting them sit in sugar between coatings.
Place on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies have spread and coating is cracked, 12 to 14 minutes; cookies will still be soft to the touch. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Weeknight Chicken: Chicken Stir Fry Wraps

Here is a super easy and flavorful weeknight meal with an Asian flair!

Just a few comments…I used orange bell peppers because they looked much fresher than the red bell peppers in the store.  I also used chicken breast tenderloins and then sliced those in half.  I probably could have even sliced them in thirds.  Lastly, I thought the dish could use a touch more soy sauce so I would suggest five tablespoons of soy sauce rather than the three called for in the recipe.

Our lettuce wraps were a bit more like tacos because the store was out of Boston lettuce and we had to use romaine.  But even with the oddly shaped lettuce wraps, they were super tasty!

Chicken Stir Fry Wraps
Everyday Food

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally and thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 12 to 16 Boston lettuce leaves (about 2 heads)

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Add half the chicken; cook, stirring constantly, until opaque throughout, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Add remaining tablespoon oil to pan, along with the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender and golden, about 4 minutes (reduce heat if browning too quickly).

Reduce heat to medium; add garlic, ginger, and red-pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.

Stir in soy sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch mixture; remove from heat. Add chicken and any accumulated juices; toss to coat. Serve in lettuce cups