Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Liver and onions with bacon and mushrooms

MMMMMM Liver and onions!!!!   Sean was supposed to go out of town today so I bought liver.  Then his plans changed, I said "too bad, I'm still having liver, you can have leftovers".   I was at Whole foods so it was grass fed beef liver and I bought some organic bacon to go with it.   Seans "leftovers" were served with organic tofu noodles.  His thoughts on them "I'll eat them this time, but never again"!   lol!!!

Slowly cook bacon, I like to pepper my bacon and I added fresh thyme.

Sweet onion and garlic.  

MMMMMM liver, salt and pepper and worcestershire.

Onions, garlic and mushrooms.

Caramelized Onions and garlic and mushrooms.  See the liver in the back right sprinkled with flour.

Move to the sides and add liver.

Sooooo yummy.

1 pack of bacon
1 large sweet onion
6-8 cloves of garlic. Chopped large
Sliced mushrooms
Fresh thyme
salt and pepper

To prepare liver I cut it in to 2-3 inch pieces salt and peppered it and sprinkled it with worcestershire.  Just before cooking I sprinkled some flour on it.
Cook bacon slowly with pepper and fresh thyme.  Remove from pan and slowly cook onions and garlic and mushrooms.  When its all caramelized move to the sides and add the liver. Cook until just not pink anymore.   Brie says you can use wine to deglaze the pan at this point.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Winner Winner Turkey Dinner or Orange Rosemary Turkey Breast

Winner winner turkey dinner.  Felt like eating turkey this sundays.  Sean requested my special brown rice as the side dish.

Brine ingredients.

Over night.

Butter, garlic, orange zest, salt and pepper.

Rosemary, thyme, sage. and my garlic grater in the background.

Mush together.

Orange wedges under breast. 

Rosemary, garlic, and water.

Sautéing garlic for rice.

Toasting rice.

Browning flour for gravy.


Turkey before slicing.


At the table.

On my plate!!!

1 Turkey breast
1/8 cup Sea Salt
7-8 course grinds from Pepper grinder
Zest from 1 whole orange (save orange)
2 springs Rosemary
Enough cold water to cover

Brine overnight

Herbed butter
3 tab Butter, softened
Orange zest (any little bit more that you can get off)
2 Cloves garlic grated

For roasting
6 Orange slices
About 1/2 inch water in roasting pan
6 Cloves of garlic, skin removed
2 Sprigs Rosemary

2 tab butter
2 tab flour
Pan drippings

Remove turkey from brine 2 hours before cooking time.  When turkey and herbed butter are both at room temperature, smear butter under the skin and on top.  Place orange wedges on roasting pan and place turkey on top.  Add water and other ingredients.  Cover with foil and put in the oven.  cook at 350 for 30 minutes, remove foil and reduce heat to 300.  Cook till thermometer reaches 160.  Remove from oven and place on carving board, cover and let rest while you make the gravy.  Strain pan drippings.  Melt butter in pan and cook down the flour, add dripping and reduce.  

Val's special Brown rice
Ive been told i make some darn good rice.  I use a blend of rices.  i buy the regular Mahatmah brown rice, Lundberg Jubilee, and a small container of long grain black rice.  Mix them all together.  I store it in an air tight container.

8 Cloves garlic chopped in to large pieces
1 tab Olive oil
1 cup Brown rice
2 cups water
dash of salt
less than 1 tab butter

Heat oil.  Sauté garlic till slightly golden, add rice and toast a little.  Add water and salt, cover and cook on med-hi until water comes to a boil then reduce to a simmer.   Should cook about 40 min.  when its almost done place the pat of butter on top and and replace the lid slightly vented till done.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday special. Fairchild gardens chocolate chip cookies and Carraba's Chicken Bryan

This weekend was the Chocolate festival at Fairchild gardens.  We went for a few hours in the morning. It was nice, there were quite a few orchids in bloom.   But of course we left the camera at home so we just caught a few pictures on our iPhones.  Some were chocolate scented but we didn't get pictures of those.

Representing the "U"

Came home and made some Fairchild inspired Chocolate chip cookies.

I chopped the chocolate myself.   I like the uneven sizes, from big chunks to almost powder.

Then for dinner I made Carraba's Chicken Bryan.

I pounded out a few chicken breast and sprinkled with a little tomato basil sea salt blend I got today at the festival .

Basil and Garlic.

Feta crumbles, Sun dried tomatoes, and Garden Delight veggie pasta.

Saute garlic.

Add liquid a little basil and a little red pepper flakes.  Reduce adding pieces of butter a bit at a time.  

After reducing add remaining basil and sun dried tomatoes, cook 1 more minute.  Add chicken, cook 1 more minute.
Have the pasta cooked and ready, add feta cheese and toss everything together.

Finally a plate picture!!

I can't take credit for either recipe
Jacques Torres' Secret Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Makes twenty-six 5-inch cookies or 8 1/2 dozen 1 1/4-inch cookies
1 pound unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour
3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Reduce speed to low and add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and chocolate; mix until well combined.
- Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies.
- Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Carrabba's Italian Grill Chicken Bryan


6 large chicken breasts 
1 to 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
½ tspn salt 
½ tspn black pepper 
8 oz goat cheese, softened to room temperature 

Sun-Dried Tomato sauce 

2 tbsp butter 
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic 
1 tbsp finely chopped yellow onion 
½ cup dry white wine 
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 
10 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 
1 ½ cups finely sliced sun-dried tomatoes 
¼ cup chopped fresh basil 
½ tspn kosher salt 
½ tspn white pepper 

Prepare the Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce: Place butter, garlic, and onion in a large skillet over medium heat and saute until garlic and onion are tender and transparent. 

Add white wine and lemon juice. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer to reduce by half. 

Reduce heat to low. Add cold butter one piece at a time. Add sun-dried tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper and stir to blend ingredients. Set aside. 

Prepare the Chicken: Reduce charcoal briquettes to white-hot coals. Brush chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill chicken over hot coals 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through. 

Divide goat cheese evenly between chicken breasts, placing some on each breast for the last two minutes of cooking. 

Place cooked chicken on serving platter and spoon Sun-Dried Tomato 
Sauce over chicken. 


I've made this one a few times before and have adapted it to my liking 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Saturday night Football dinner

Heres some easy stuff.  We had a few friends over to watch football and this is what I made.  cooked on the grill and ate off paper plates. no pots and pans, no dishes to wash.

Time to make the guacamole!!!
The little tomatoes that are sliced are home grown!!

Guac and dips.

Yellow, orange, and red bell peppers, sweet onion, and mushrooms.
Olive oil, salt, and pepper.  toss and cook for about 10-15 minutes before putting meat on the grill.

2 different kinds of sausages, hamburgers.  Peppers and onions on the tray in the middle.  

Chicken and Dumplings

I was hoping it would be colder out when I made this meal but this mild winter is killing me.

Saute onions, garlic, and carrots.  remove from pot.

I bought chicken thighs.  Other parts can be used as well.
 Remove fat and anything else you might find  you don't wanna eat.

Sprinkle a little flour on both sides.  Salt and pepper also.

Brown both sides, don't crowd the pot.

Put the onions and garlic back in the pot.  Add fresh thyme and sage.

It doesn't look much different but I added a little flour and cooked it down.

Add carrots and chicken back in the pot and add just enough liquid to cover everything.
Cook about 1 hour on a slow boil.

After cooking remove chicken. Add heavy cream, and frozen peas.

Let the chicken cool a bit so you can handle it
break it in to pieces,  not to small.   Remove the bones and any additional fat that you might find.

For the dumplings i cheated and bought Pillsbury Grands biscuits.  The flaky ones and cut them into quarters.  Cook like pasta, for about 12-14 min pushing them down every few minutes.  Close to the end add the chicken back in to heat it back up.  I also cooked some biscuits in the oven to eat with the meal. 

just so you can see what i used.

and of course i forgot to take the final picture.  it was delicious!!

1-2 Onions diced
4-8 Cloves of garlic diced
4 small Carrots diced
Optional Celery diced (i don't like it so sometimes i add some celery salt for the effect)
Olive oil

Chicken thighs or other parts
Salt and Pepper

Fresh Thyme 
Fresh Sage
A little more flour

3 hand fulls of Baby carrots
6 Cups Chicken broth

Cook for 1 hour on a slow boil

1 pint of Heavy cream
1 cup of frozen peas
4 raw biscuits Quartered

Cook 15 minutes more