Monthly Archives: August 2011

Zucchini Basil Bisque

In my little garden I planted only one zucchini plant this year.  I have learned my lesson from prior years and I made sure that I did not grow any more zucchini than I needed this season.  Everything was going fine until I realized that I have generous friends with tons of zucchini in their gardens.  Lately, I have found bags of zucchini on my front porch, bags of zucchini on my back porch, my husband comes home with zucchinis from work, my sister even secretly shoved a couple of the zucchinis in my handbag the other night when we were at at her home for dinner.  Seriously, if everyone in this world planted just one  zucchini plant in their yard I believe that we would on the way to ending world hunger…

Here is a simple recipe for Zucchini Basil Bisque for those extra zucchinis that you may have grown or have been  gifted.  It’s light, tasty and is perfect with some crusty French bread or a grilled cheese.  It’s easy to make and it tastes fabulous.  Makes about 2 quarts or 8 servings.  Enjoy! – Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 6 c. zucchini (chopped)
  • 1/8 c. shallots (sliced)
  • 1 Tbls. butter
  • 1/4 c. fresh basil leaves packed lightly
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. mace
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 c. heavy cream

In a large saucepan saute the zucchini, shallots, and butter until tender, about 15-20 minutes.   Add remaining ingredients except heavy cream.  Grab an immersion blender and blend until smooth.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes and then add the heavy cream.  Cook for a few minutes more until heated through.   Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary.  Ladle into bowls or cups.  Garnish with fresh basil, zucchini threads or with finely chopped red bell peppers.

 

 

Chicken Hoagies with Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce

I’m not a big fan of leftovers… Quite frankly, I will do what I can to wiggle my way out of eating them.  The only way I can eat leftovers is to completely change up the dish, I mean, cook something so radically different that it vaguely resembles the original dish.  Day before yesterday I made a tasty Blueberry Ancho Chili Glazed Pork Tenderloin and I had some leftover blueberry ancho chili sauce tucked away in the back of my refrigerator.

I just purchased two pounds of chicken and had a bag of fresh baked hoagie rolls.  So with that leftover sauce I decided to make Chicken Hoagies with the Blueberry Ancho Chili sauce, sliced havarti cheese, garnished with chopped heirloom tomatos, green onion and parsley from my garden.  These savory sandwiches were a cinch to make and are perfect for a quick weekday meal.  Serve with potato chips or a scoop of potato salad.  My family really liked these sandwiches and I am sure that you will too.  I sure will be making these again…  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 cups Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce (see recipe below)
  • 5 hoagie rolls (toasted)
  • 10 slices havarti cheese
  • garnish with the following (chopped): 2 tomatoes, 1 green onion and a few sprigs of parlsey for color.
  • 1/2 tsp of salt or to taste.
  • 1 Tbls. canola oil

Grab a cutting board and slice your chicken into about 1 inch slices.   Meanwhile heat up a saute pan on the stove with medium high heat.  Add the canola oil, chicken and salt.  Cook the chicken until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.  Add the Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce and simmer for about 5-10 minutes.  Taste the sauce, correct with salt or a bit of water if necessary.  Put cheese in the hoagie rolls and add the chicken mixture.  Garnish with tomatoes, green onions and parsley.  Serve with chips.  Makes 5 tasty sandwiches.

Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce:

  • 2 c. fresh picked blueberries
  • 1 can of Pepsi
  • 1 c.  tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 c. Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 c. minced shallots
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/8 c. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

In a saucepan on medium low heat add the above ingredients stirring occasionally.  Cook for about 1/2 hour or 45 minutes.  Remove from heat and use on BBQ pork, baked tenderloin, brush it on ribs and chicken.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups.  Refrigerate any leftovers in covered container for about a week.

 

 

Blueberry Ancho Chili Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Crazy as it sounds, there are some days all I want to do when I get home from work is cook.  Working all day with numbers and spreadsheets, cooking allows me to enjoy creativity that I am not allowed to have as an accountant.   There have been times, while sitting at my desk, I will stop what I am doing and quickly jot down a note of some of the flavors or ideas for my next dish.   This recipe for my Blueberry Ancho Chili Glazed Pork Tenderloin popped in my head the other day at about 2:30 in afternoon.  Obviously, I really needed a break from what I was doing and needed to get a snack…

My succulent Blueberry Ancho Chili Glazed Pork Tenderloin is made with ingredients such as organic fresh picked blueberries, sweet Indonesian soy sauce, Pepsi, ketchup, shallots, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic and spicy ancho chili powder.  In order to save time on busy weeknights, you might prepare the sauce a day in advance and then bake the tenderloin the next day.  I did that it and it was a real time saver.  This tenderloin is easy to make and can even be served at your next elegant weekend dinner for family and friends.  Serves 2 – 3.  Enjoy!  – Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound tenderloin (whole)
  • Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce (see below)

Make your Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce and set aside about 3/4 of  a cup.  Use the rest of the Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce for a later date.  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and spray a baking dish with non stick spray.  Place your tenderloin in the baking pan and brush with the Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce.  Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.  Brush every 15 minutes with the sauce.  Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.  Slice, then drizzle with warm Blueberry Ancho Chili sauce.

Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce:

  • 2 c. fresh picked blueberries
  • 1 can of Pepsi
  • 1 c.  tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 c. Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 c. minced shallots
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/8 c. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

In a saucepan on medium low heat add the above ingredients stirring occasionally.  Cook for about 1/2 hour or 45 minutes.  Remove from heat and use on BBQ pork, baked tenderloin, brush it on ribs and chicken.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups.  Refrigerate any leftovers in covered container for about a week.

 

Tequila Lime Chicken

Tequila Lime Chicken

If you ever heard anyone shout out “Winner winner, chicken dinner!” this is what they mean.  This tequila lime chicken is simple to make, and is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner.   It’s made with succulent boneless skinless chicken thighs and marinated in a tangy, yet a tad bit spicy tequila lime marinade.  You can cook this on your outdoor BBQ or for you “inside” people, on your stove top grill.  I look at it this way… Rain, sleet or snow, the weather is always fine for BBQ!

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbls. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp each of the following:  ground cumin, ground coriander & smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground chipotle chili pepper
  • 4 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper or to taste
  • 1 tsp sambal oeleck (optional for those with a taste for fiery food)
  • garnish with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs

Round up all your ingredients.  Find a medium sized mixing bowl for the chicken.  Clean and trim up the chicken thighs with your kitchen shears or sharp knife to remove any fat. Place all ingredients in the bowl and mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, the longer marinade time the better.  Be sure to wash your hands and all your work surfaces after preparing the chicken.  If you don’t, you might end up using your “sick day” the next day.  Like I said, wash your hands, sick days are for times when you want to hang around the pool…

When you are ready, fire up your BBQ.  You want it to be at medium high heat and cook your chicken for about 10- 15 minutes on each side or when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.  If you don’t have a digital thermometer in your kitchen think about investing in one.  It takes all the guesswork out of when the food is done.  Be sure to toss out your marinade after placing the chicken on the grill.  Don’t even think about reusing it (see comment about sick days).  When the chicken is finished cooking, place on your favorite platter, garnish with lime wedges, cilantro sprigs and serve.  Makes about 6 servings.  Any leftovers?  Chop up, reheat and put in some corn tortillas.  Add some pico de gallo, a squeeze of fresh lime and you will have the perfect lunch for the next day.  Enjoy! – Tessa

Javanese Baked Rainbow Trout

Whenever our family goes camping, they can always expect home cooked gourmet meals.  I am known to plan days in advance and spend the night before we leave prepping and packing all the necessary ingredients.  In addition to our tent trailer, I have a monster propane camping cook stove, a well stocked little pantry and have all the pots, pans and utensils that I need.  Whenever I pack items such as hot dogs, cold cereal or ramen noodles it is because I am setting myself up for plan B.

My family wanted to go camping this past weekend and so we did…  I followed my usual plan of prepping and preparing and off we went.  We ended up in the nearby Sky Lakes Wilderness in Southern Oregon.   I bought my fishing license, brought my rod and tackle box and I expected to do a little bit of trout fishing while we camped.  As usual, my family expected to have the wonderful meals that I planned for them.   Everything was going just fine until I found my way down to the lake…

We were some of the first people on the lake in the morning.  The water was like glass and was so clear that you could see fish swimming right in front of you.  It was absolutely beautiful… We rigged up our fishing poles and started to fish. I spent hours there.  I enjoyed the beautiful blue water, crisp mountain air, and trout fishing.

I was enjoying myself so much that I did not want to leave the lake.  Back at camp my family was getting hungry.  The problem was that I started to catch fish, and not just any ordinary fish.  I am talking 18 inch sized rainbow trout and then that’s when plan B had to kick in.  They called down to me asking me what was for dinner, and shockingly,  I answered back with “there’s hot dogs in the cooler”.  I NEVER do that.

After eating hot dogs, crackers, chips and whatever my family could scrounge  I truly hope that they will forgive me.  As for me, I had a smashingly great time.  This is a photo of the gorgeous rainbow trout that I caught at the lake.  I look at it this way, what happened this past weekend was truly a special event.  For those of you who love to fish and cook, you can understand what all the fuss was about…

So, now you know the story, let’s go make some Baked Javanese Rainbow Trout!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pound whole trout (head removed, cleaned and scaled)
  • 3 Tbls. Indonesian soy sauce (kecap manis sedang)
  • 2 Tbls. low sodium soy sauce
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. sambal oeleck (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper (or to taste)
  • garnish:  1 green onion sliced, cilantro sprigs and 1 lime cut into wedges

Let’s begin.  Wash and dry your trout.  Cut 4 -5 slashes in the trout, crosswise on each side without going too deep.  Grab an oven proof baking dish and spray with non stick spray.  Place your trout in the oven proof baking dish.  Now it’s time to make the sauce.  Put together the rest of the ingredients with the exception of the garnishes in a bowl.  Pour sauce over trout and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour turning once.  Preheat your oven to 450 degrees after marinating.  Turn trout once more, cover with foil and bake in oven for about 15 minutes or until done.  Be careful not to over cook.  Put on platter, and pour sauce on trout.  Serve with a scoop of jasmine rice, drizzle with Indonesian soy sauce and garnish with lime wedges, cilantro and green onion.  Serves 4.