Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday 6/28/09 - Saigon Cafe Jersey City

Today we took a walk around boarded up Hamilton Park (new sidewalks and curbs and seems like a lot of the drainage pipes are in) then swung by the new bakery on jersey but yet again it was closed! I swear I have the worst luck with that place -- my third try to get some treats and still empty handed. Seems they are open tomorrow so maybe I will have to make a better effort. We headed back down Newark Ave to check out the redevelopment project (new streetscape) and perhaps a few appetizers one of the thai/sushi places. As we were walking I pointed out Saigon Cafe as I had heard it was quite good and so we decided to check out the menu outside. The summer specials included about 5 or 6 things that sounded delicious (soft shell crab, blue crab fried rice, mahi mahi, NJ tomato...yum). After agonizing over the menu we decided on the spring rolls & chicken satay, both served with veggies to make fresh wraps, to start. Followed by beef rendang and one of the summer specials stuffed NJ tomato- which turned out to be a tomato shell stuffed with pork and in a tomato soup.
Everything was so delicious and really fresh tasting. I loved my meal and the coconut in the beef dish was amazing. We took a takeout menu home and I can't wait to order from here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday 6/24/09 - Spinach, mushroom (and chicken) enchiladas

After searching for mexican the other day and being met by a dirty bodega, I was craving it. I decided on this vegetarian recipe but ended up adding a bit of chicken (except for my veggie friend). I took this from the site and as usual it was delicious - I always enjoy their recipes.

Creamy Spinach - Mushroom Skillet Enchilada
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic clove (minced)
1 tbsp garlic greens (minced)
2 tbsp sweet onion (diced)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
12 oz mushrooms sliced
8 oz baby spinach
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp light cream cheese
1 jar (16 oz) green salsa
10 wraps
1 c mexican blend 2% cheese
1 c lt sour cream
cilantro garnish
10 chicken tenders - marinaded

1) heat grill pan - cook chicken tenders flip after 4 min
2) heat olive oil - add garlics, onions, cumin and chili powder - combine
3) saute 5 min - add spinach and salt - wilt
4) take off heat and drain all liquid
5) return to pan and add cream cheese - heat on low and stir to combine - take off heat
6) add 1 c salsa to frying pan on med-low - dredge wrap
7) add 1-2 tbsp filling to wrap, 1 chicken tender - shredded, fold in half then fold edges in and place in pan w fold facing down
8) after all are rolled - layer remaining salsa and cheese on tops
9) cook in broiler for 10 min or until melted and brown
10) serve w sour cream and cilantro

I made a zesty black bean and corn salad for the side and some wild rice mix

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp garlic greens
2 1/2 c fresh corn kernels (about 4-5 ears - boil and cut off cob)
1/4 c fresh lime juice
1 tsp white vinegar
3/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 c grape tomato - cut in half
3/4 c sweet onions - diced
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
2 tbsp jalepeno - seeded and minced
1 tbsp fresh oregeno
1 can black beans - strained, rinsed and drained

1) add oil to pan and sautee garlic - add corn and sautee until browned
2) combine other ingredients and mix in corn mixture
3) serve cold

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday 6/23/09 - fusilli with greens, beans and onions

Tuesday is CSA day and I haven't been very good about keeping up with my veggies... when I took a look in my fridge there was a bit of a slimy mess waiting for me. I had to toss out the watercress (and some other cilantro) from delivery #1 and the fava greens were getting close to the end. This week we got some beets (w greens), onions, garlic curls, romaine, carrots, basil and some more daisies. I still haven't gone to the store this week since we were away in delaware all weekend (though tomorrow we might have company), so it was a mix of the veggies from the CSA , pasta and chicken sausage.

This mix is a blend of:

1 lb whole wheat fusilli
2 spicy italian chicken sausage (casing removed)
1 tsp olive oil
2 onions (diced)
2 garlic greens (diced)
1 onion green (diced)
1 can pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can diced tomato (or fresh if you have them!)
1 c fava greens
3 c beet greens
salt & pepper

1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 c italian blend cheese 2%
2 tbsp dill

1) cook pasta according to directions
2) in a wok pan, heat up oil and add sausage
3) once browned and crumbled, add onions and garlic to pan and sautee together
4) add the beans and tomatoes - season with salt and pepper
5) once pasta is almost complete, add the greens to the pasta pot - boil for 5 min
6) drain pasta and greens
7) combine all the ingredients together, layering in cheese and seasoning

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday 6/19/09 - Work breakfast winner

Friday is bagel day at our office. Since I had brought some eggs in earlier this week (we are lucky enough to have a full kitchen available for our use) I decided that I wanted to make something fun! I sacrified my grill ham and cheese sandwich (suppose to be lunch) for my breakfast treat... but it was definitely worth it!
To make this you will need:
1 wheat bagel - sliced in half and toasted
2 eggs
2 slices of deli ham
2 slices of cheese (I had munster but chedder would have been nice)
2 tbsp salsa
squirt of pam non-stick spray
1) in a hot frying pan coated with pam - crack the eggs and fry for about 2-3 min each side.
2) place the ham in the pan to the side to heat it up
3) place the cheese on the toasted bagel, follow with the ham and the egg on top
4) serve with a spoon full of salsa on each side

Thursday 6/18/09 - more burgers... and a steak to share

Jeremy was suppose to have Softball tonight but since the east coast has temporarily been moved into the middle of the rainforest yet another game was cancelled. I had a steak for me but nothing else in the house really and since we are going on vacation I didn't want to buy anything (not to mention the rain makes me melt so I couldn't go outside!) so we had the left over burgers from earlier in the week.
Jeremy took a pic of his since it was a lot nicer looking. I only used one slice of bread and no mayo (yuck!).... I wish we had rolls but I only bought two when I was shopping since I figured this would just be dinner on Tuesday night. This time I did blue cheese crumbles on top instead of the swiss (though its hidden under all the condiments anyways) .
We also shared this lovely steak. I never really go for steaks with the bone in however these looked good and more importantly were on sale.... for $8.99/ lb we go a hugh hunk of meat!
As always this was cooked to a barely medium rare...and was delicious! (this is just my half the whole thing was more than twice that size with a big bone down the back)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday 6/17/09 - Seafood Risotto

A certain vegetarian friend was planning on coming over tonight for dinner so I was trying to think about something I could make that would work for all of us. While I love to eat my veggies (and even made a special trip to the farmers market to get something fresh) it just doesn't seem right to be serving just vegetables for company.... crazy I know but I just feel like I need a meat or fish.

This risotto was going to be a compromise. I planned to make it vegetarian and then cook the seafood separately (bay scallops and shrimp) and then those who wanted it could add it in. But as it turns out we ate alone so I ended up cook it all together (and good thing cause I forgot to buy veggie broth).

Risotto isn't too hard however it does take a bit more time and attention than other dinners. Especially as someone who is used to pan-searing foods for 5 min or so spending 25 min stirring can be a lifetime when your hungry.

1 c aborio rice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 carton chicken broth
2 small texas sweet onions- sliced & quartered
4" onion greens - diced
10 mushrooms - sliced thin
1/2 lb shrimp - peeled and deveined
1 lb bay scallops
1 tbsp bay seasoning
handful of dill (reserve a tbsp for garnish)
salt & pepper

1) heat chicken broth in sauce pan to a simmer
2) place oil and butter in hot wok pan on med high
3) add rice and toast until it begins to pop - about 5-7 min (or longer for more rice)
4) add about 1/2 c of the warmed chicken broth and stir until all absorbed - repeat until all broth is gone and absorbed in (about 4-5 additions taking about 5-7 min each)
5) in a separate saute pan - add the scallops, shrimp and bay season and let brown (about 3 min and flip)
6) add the onions & mushrooms and saute until soft
7) combine rice and seafood mix - add dill, salt & pepper to taste
8) serve with some fresh dill to garnish

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday 6/16/09 - Mushroom Swiss Burgers

During my trip to Fairway this evening, I had an idea for a fun little dinner. None of the meat or fish really jumped out at me but I did like the look of the sign for steak burgers. Instead of normal ground meat they had ground sirloin and I couldn't resist. At first I asked for a 1/2 lb but then decided that a little extra would be better.

I made the patties up with some onions greens (CSA), garlic greens (CSA) and a few tbsp of beef & burger rub (better in burgers than it was as a beef rub). I made the burgers a bit too fat and round rather than big and flat but they were about 1/4 lb each (though the rolls dwarf them). They were cooked up in the grill pan of course! Two slices of swiss cheese topped each burger.
The mushrooms were sliced thin and sauteed in some oil and then a splash of dark beer was added to flavor them a bit. The spinach went into the same pan as the mushrooms (the mushrooms went into a bowl) and was sauteed up as well.
The bun was lightly toasted and topped with ketchup and even a bit of mustard (I skipped on the mayo which Jeremy liberally applied).
I ended up putting my spinach right in the bun and making it a spinach, mushroom and swiss burger.... I wish we hadn't finished off the pickles last night!

Sunday 6/14/09 dinner - Lasagna at last

After last weeks frozen lasagna scare, I promised to make Jeremy a homemade one. However it wasn't that easy.... of course first I needed sauce and that took a night. Then it was time for the party and I wasn't up for a giant mess in the kitchen. Sunday, however, was perfect. Because of our giant breakfast, we skipped lunch which gave me a days worth of time to cook.

While lasagna isn't that hard to make it is a bit labor intensive.... better suited for a lazy sunday than after work.

You will need: (9x 12 pan - about 6 BIG servings)
~4 c of sauce (meat or marinara)

1 32 oz ricotta cheese (I get part skim)
1/2 c grated cheese
2 eggs
2 tbsp parsley
1/4 tsp cinnamon or nutmeg (I use pumpkin pie spice which is a blend of both)
salt and pepper

1 package shredded italian blend cheese
about 15 lasagna noodles

1) boil the noodles according to the package - salt the water and add a splash of oil to help with the sticking - rinse with cold water when done
2) combine the ricotta cheese, grated cheese, egg, parsley, cinnamon , salt and pepper- mix
3) in a rectangle pan - layer sauce, noodles, cheese mix, shredded cheese - 2 times
4) end with a layer of noodles, sauce and shredded cheese
5) cover in aluminum foil and place in over at 350 F for about 30 min
6) remove foil and cook for another 20 min or until cheese is bubbling
7) serve with grated cheese

Sunday 6/14/09 breakfast - hangover cure!

Two days after my party and I still wasn't really up to doing much besides hanging out on the couch but since Pilates didn't have an appointment for us I decided to cook up whatever I had in the house (including the last of the thick sliced bacon! yum)

(sorry for the fuzzy pic... wrong setting on my camera apparently!)

The standard hangover cure is, of course, a stack of bacon! Mmmmm nothing better to get a rumbly tummy in order. The pile of eggs were cooked up by first sauteing some onion greens (CSA), broccoli (left over crudite plate), campari tomatoes and mushrooms. I made a mixture of about 6 eggs with a splash of milk and a pinch of fresh dill. I cooked the eggs in somewhat of a frittata style (low heat with the cover on) and topped them with some pico de gallo and shredded cheddar cheese. It may not look as nice as the omelets that I make in my 9" omelet pan but it was a lot faster and easier than making up his and then mine (the only draw back to the small pan- its single serving! but it sure does look pretty)

To complete the plate a few handfuls of baby red potatoes were quartered and then cut in half again and boiled up. Then pan fried in the bacon grease the remained in the pan after the majority was poured off and discarded. I added some of the sweet texas onion (CSA) and seasoning (salt, pepper, spanish paprika & garlic powder).

With a breakfast like this lunch is definitely on hold indefinitely!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Friday 6/12/09 - Party Time!

After a few weeks of planning, the day of the party was finally here. Most of the cleaning and prep was accomplish in the days before making the actual party very stress free. I decided to work on making food that wouldn't require a lot of prep, oven time (since it gets hot enough in our place without the oven going full blast) or fussing during the party.

The final menu looked like this:
pull pork sandwiches w/ mini slider rolls & pickles
jerk chicken skewers
cheese fondue w/ white and wheat baguette rounds
layered mexican dip
crudites plate w/ blue cheese dip
cheese plate (a goat, brie, cheddar, blue and edem)
garlic and herb dipping cheese
assorted chips & crackers
and for dessert.... a strawberry rhubarb tart.

The pulled pork was probably the easiest and most raved about.... I made it in the crock pot using a recipe from a coworker but basically it was:
(approx 20 sliders or 10 full size)
3.5 lb pork shoulder
1 bottle bull's eye sweet & tangy BBQ sauce (or your favorite or homemade)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

1)add the pork to the crock pot with about 1 cup water and set to high for 5-6 hours (or low for 10-12)
2) discard all cooking liquid and remove bones/ fat and shred pork with two forks
3) place pork back into crock pot and add remaining ingredients - cook on high for 1 hour (or low for 2)

the strawberry rhubarb tart was also a big hit and a spin on something that I have been making with my Aunt Sandra ever since I was small.
I started with a pate brisse crust
2.5 c flour
1 c butter (cut into 1" chunks)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 -1/2 c ice cold water (add slowly until dough sticks together)

1) combined dry ingredients and mix in the butter with a pastry cutter
2) slowly add the water to the dough crumbs until it begins to form a ball
3) divide dough into two and then roll each half into a ball
4) place between wax paper and roll into a disk
5) let rest in fridge for about 20 -30 min
6) roll dough out (about 1 " larger than diameter of pan) to fit pan
7) dock the dough (make little holes so there aren't any air bubbles) with a fork, line it with foil and use beans to weigh down crust
8) cook at 400 for 25 min
(I used a bit more than half of the dough and the rest is in the freezer for tart later this week)

to make the filling:
4 c strawberries (sliced) - 1 nice one left whole
1 c rhubarb - peeled and diced
1/4 c sugar
1 packet knox gelatin
1/2 c hot water
1/2 c blueberries
other: tart pan, immersion blender, strainer

1) separate out nicest strawberries and save for tart
2) add the other 2 c strawberry and 1 c rhubarb and sugar to sauce pan
3) as they start to cook down use the immersion blender to make smooth
4) dissolve gelatin in the hot water and add to fruit mix - mix well
5) once mix comes to a boil remove from heat and strain out all solids
6) layer the nice strawberries in the tart shell with the whole one at the center - start from the outer edge and work in making a spiral - fill any gaps with left over berries and then scatter the blueberries around
7) pour in the fruit mixture and let set in fridge overnight

this goes great with a fresh whipped cream!

Thursday 6/11/09 - Lobster Ravioli and Cream Sauce

With Party- Prep in full swing (floors washed, carpets vacuumed, crust made, chicken marinading, bathrooms and bedrooms cleaned) tonight was a perfect chance to check out the frozen joseph's gourmet lobster ravioli dinner we picked up at BJs over the weekend.

These rich and creamy ravioli were frozen in two separate bags (about 2 small servings) with the sauce in a boil-in-bag pouch you placed into the same pot of boiling water. Very easy to make and very little clean up (just the pot to boil water and your dishes) which was exactly what we were looking for. I added some fresh dill from our CSA which gave it a touch of green. In all a good, fast dinner, better than most frozen foods but the creamy sauce is a little too much for me to enjoy regularly.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday 6/9/09 - Tuna Steaks and shrimp on the grill pan... with seasons first spinach!

After having steak on sunday and mexican take out on monday (mmmmm heady burritos!) I thought it might be a good idea to have a bit of a healthier meal since we have the Clapton/Winwood concert on wednesday which probably means some sort of snack on the run. Fairway had 16 count shrimp on sale for $5.99/lb and soft shell crabs for $3.99 so I knew tonight was going to be seafood.

Unfortunately the soft shell crabs were sold out (the poor guy at the fish counter was getting blasted by this soccer mom who was not happy about that!) so I used some tuna I had in the freezer to supplement the shrimp. This is actually a really simple and plain dinner.... I didn't really have time to make up a huge marinade as I also made meatballs and sauce for lasagna later this week (see post below) so that took up most of my cooking attention and counter space.

The tuna was seared on the grill pan for about 3-5 min per side (and post photo it was drizzled with the Ancho Chipotle Vinegrette I have mentioned before). I like my tuna raw but warm-ish in the middle and this was just about perfect. I wish I got a better crust on it but it was still delicious. The shrimp had the shell removed except for the tail and sprinkled with some Old Bay Seasoning and also placed on the grill pan edges and flipped after about 3 min.

The spinach was from my first batch of CSA deliveries. Jeremy was kind enough to go and pick it up at 11 am today and I was anxiously awaiting getting home to check it out! As always it was delicious if very dirty.... it took 3 + soaks in water to get all the dirt and grit off the spinach but it was tender and tasty - sauteed up with just about 1 tbsp olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to season it.

Oh and there is a scoop of greek pasta salad courtesy of our trip to BJs. Something about giant containers of food that just makes it irresistible.

(also 2 pints of pickles were obtained from fairway..... one is already half way empty... you would think we have a house full of pregnant women** the way we go through pickles and ice cream!)

** there are no actual pregnant women in the house! you can stop hyperventilating mom!

Sunday - snack- baked kale (chips?)

My second attempt at baking kale chips was still not quite there but better. This time I didn't burn them but maybe undercooked them instead. I sprayed them with Pam and seasoned then did 6 min on 350 and then flipped for another 4 min. I still thought they tasted nice but it was probably because of all the seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic powder)

Sunday - dinner - 6/7/09 - Steak trial

All of our lovely Fillet Mignon from Stew Leonards is gone and I haven't seen them at Fairway since (I should have bought them last time!) so its been steak-less in our house for a few weeks. When we were checking out new TVs in BJs the other night we found a twin pack of sirloins and decided to give it a try.

They were some where in between the terrible steaks that they sell at A&P and the wonderfulness of Stew Leonard's but its a start. There was a lot of fat and only about 2/3 was edible. They were grilled up using the last of a Memphis seasoning blend that I had. We also got a bag of baby spinach and sauteed that up as a fast and easy side. Not pictured are the baby red potatoes I boiled up and quartered and seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil, those took a bit longer and the steak didn't make it unharmed.

sunday - lunch - 6/7/09 - shrimp scampi

Last night Jeremy got a seafood and pasta dish and I just couldn't resist... so today I made my own! I didn't have scallops or a white wine cream sauce but I did what I could.

Its a pretty simple mix of some things I have on hand (since grocery shopping is still a few days away)....

1/2 lb thin linguini - according to directions
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic- miced
12 shrimp - deshelled and de veined
1 large ripe tomato - roughly diced
1 tbsp parsley
1 c chicken broth
salt & pepper

top with: 2 tbsp grated cheese

1) heat the 1 tbsp oil in a wok- pan
2) add the shrimp - stir till pink
3) add the rest of ingredients and let simmer for 5 min - covered
4) drain the pasta and combine in pan - mix all together
5) top with cheese and serve

Saturday 6/6/09 - Skinner's Loft (Jersey City)

Its been a long time since we tried out Skinner's Loft on Newark but it was beautiful out and we spotted a sign about their roof tables. Unfortunately there was a 45+ min wait so we had to take a table by the window, but it was more than worth the stop. We were cheap dates and didn't have any wine or appetizers (the check was a wonderful surprise) heading right for the main course. I decided on the Baby Back Ribs which were just amazing. As someone who never likes meats on the bone this was the easiest eat ever! The bone just about slid out clean and the rest barely needed a fork to cut it. Jeremy went for a seafood pasta dish (shrimp scallop and spagettini). I couldn't resist and snuck a few bites of when we had the left overs at home.

Hopefully I will get one of those roof tables some day!

wednesday 6/3/09 - ravioli from the Hamilton Park Farmers Market

David Byrne night!!! My friend Mahan and I went to the show and we were going to grab some dinner in Montclair before the show but you know how it goes..... so we ended up eating the Ravioli that Jeremy bought at the Farmer's Market in Hamilton Park from Hoboken Farms and used the last sauce and meatballs container I had frozen to finish it off.

Our last two attempts at "fresh homemade pasta" (mushroom parpadelle and gnocchi) didn't really work out so well but the ravioli were delicious. Since we finished all of the sauce I had to make some more (plus Jeremy is craving lasagna and it kills me to buy frozen). I can't really give away family secrets since when my mother taught me she said you "add parsley.... till it smells right" so I have never used a measuring cup

I first made some meatballs (makes about 7-9)
1 lb ground beef (my mom says go for 85%)
1 egg
1/4 c grated cheese
1/2 c bread crumbs
2 tbsp parsley
2 diced garlic greens (first of my CSA season)
salt & pepper

3-4 tbsp olive oil
2 clove garlic rough chopped

1) mix all the top ingredients until uniform. roll into balls with approx 1 1/2" diameter
2) heat oil in large pan (big enough to hold all sauce) and once hot add meatballs and garlic chunks. Be careful not to burn garlic! Turn meatballs every 3-5 min (about 15 min total). Don't crowd pan.
3) drain on paper towels

For this batch I also used some hot italian sausage so I fried that up as well. Usually at this point I take out all the meat and set it aside while I make the rest of my sauce but today I went for meat sauce since I am making lasagna.

Meat Sauce
1 lb of meatball recipe
2 sausages- casing removed
4 tbsp olive oil
garlic clove - rough chopped

3 x 24 oz cans crushed tomato (probably should have been all 4 but I got distracted with tonights dinner and forgot one!)
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp basil
salt & pepper
2 tbsp garlic greens

1) heat oil and fry meat until brown - crumble
2) add the tomato and herbs to the meat - stir every 15 min
3) keep on low heat for 4+ hours

you can cool and store in freezer for longer periods at this point

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Monday June 1, 2009 - Grand Sichuan

After having no good option for Chinese Food in Jersey City for 2 years (I ordered from Hoboken) Grand Sichuan came to town. This "chain" has 4 or 5 restaurants in NYC area and specializes in the spicy cuisine of the Sichuan area. Some of these dishes are HOT! I can't even come close to eating them but my all think spicy loving boyfriend enjoys testing his taste buds so its our regular go to for chinese. Since I was far from recovered from the weekend (and a car accident in the morning had left me a bit shaken) we had all the making of a night on the couch with takeout. Jeremy's brother was also in town so we got to order a few more things than usual.

We started with Shanghi Vegetable Roll (Jeremy ate both!), Pork Soup Dumplings (not the best but far from the worst - the skin is a bit too thick), Sichuan Wonton in Red Oil (OUCH! mouth on FIRE!) and some wonton soup (good wontons but nothing else in the soup but broth - I tend to like it when there are some veggies in there as well)

For main dishes we got the tea smoked duck which I have read many rave reviews on - now I don't like duck so I can't comment but Jeremy and his brother didn't seem too impressed, Pan Fried Prawn Chinese Style (this was my pick and it was very nice - lots of veggies in there!) and Sauteed and Pan Fried Chicken (very interesting sauce with a hint of peanut and black pepper which actually complemented the chicken nicely)

As usual I may have over ordered but I am looking forward to some left overs for lunch!

Friday May 29, 2009 - Mountain Jam

This was our first "big" festival of the summer. Mountain Jam had a really great line up and since it was close enough (Hunter Mountain is about 2 hrs from NYC) we asked to review it for Hidden Track . Because of the location (on the ski mountain) we decided to get a hotel room instead and basucae of that we didn't do much food planning but here is a list of what we did bring:
junk - baked cheetos (OMG so good!), salt & vinegar chips, hard pretzels, cheeze-its
fruit- 2 pears, 2 apples, 2 plums, 2 apricots
granola bars - 4 different flavor CLIF bars (maple nut, cranberry apple cherry, carrot cake, crunchy peanut butter) and some fruit and nuts ones from trader joe's
drinks - 2 cases of soda water, 2 assorted 12 packs (coke, ginger ale, dr pepper, cherry dr pepper, root beer, nestea), 12 water, 3 gatorades

most of it came home with us as we were busy inside listening so we relied on the vendors more than usual...... some things we bought were:
gyros (normal and chicken), steak & cheese, pad thai w/ grilled chicken skewer, falafel, strawberry smoothie, ice coffee and of course a late night crepe! yum

Thursday May 28, 2009 - Still dreaming of BBQ

Since I forgot to take something out of the freezer before work and there was officially nothing fresh left Jeremy got to choose dinner again - either the tuna steaks or some chicken sausage. He chose the sausage and took it out of the freezer for me in the afternoon. Since we had nothing else around we had to take a walk to the local bodega type store to get some provisions - mainly some nice crusty bread and some peppers (as well as some fruit for the weekend).
Though he took out the wrong sausages (I had a chicken & spinach wheel and some hot italian chicken ones in there) we still decided to go with our traditional italian sausage style sandwich. While these might not be as good as my mom's they were definitely a lot healthier as most people tend to have the peppers and onions swimming in oil.
The prep was pretty easy - slice the rolls open and place on a cookie sheet in the broiled (or toaster oven), defrosted sausage on the grill pan (I just can't stop using it!) and peppers and onions with a bit of oil (about 1 tbsp) in a frying pan.
Everything was done in about 10 min or so and I served they with some different spicy mustards (mine just has a normal spicy brown on it but Jeremy got a bit fancy with the sweet and spicy and some ketchup too!)

Wednesday - May 27, 2009 - Shrimp Stir-Fry w/ wild rice

Since we had plans for the weekend I didn't have too much normal food in the house (just tons of soda and snacks and crap!) but as always there was left over veggies and some shrimp I had in the freezer.

I gave Jeremy the option to have the shrimp and veggies mediterranean style over pasta, asian style over rice or just shrimp and veggies - he chose the asian one so I got to work on that.
First step, as always when dealing with rice, is to get it in the rice cooker as it takes a good 40 min - 1 c wild rice , 2 c water.
Next was to defrost the shrimp and then clean them - so into a bowl of hot water they went for about 10 min until I could shell and clean them.
After that I prepped the veggies - dicing everything into similar sized pieces - red and green peppers, mushrooms, snow peas, and scallions
Finally I stir fried! I don't think that there can be an easier cooking method...seriously anyone can do it. I added a bit of oil to the pan (I have a wok-pan that is perfect for this - something like this) and then the shrimp - giving them about 5 min to cook until pink - then I added some soy and sesame seeds. Next in was all the veggies and a teaspoon of hoisin sauce. Everything was done in about 10 min but of course the rice still needed some time so I shut off the gas and covered the pan until the rice popped.

In all fast, easy and delicious....perfect for a weekday night!