Sunday, May 22, 2011

The weekend was just too short…

It was a busy weekend…John’s birthday, Dad’s 75th birthday party…I don’t want it to end yet. But I also don’t want to spend the entire Sunday evening cooking. This menu was quick and easy.

Roasted Lemongrass Chicken

This chicken is definitely worth fixing for yourself or guest

Yellow Rice

Not sure I’d bother with this again…

CSA Greens with Sesame Soy Dressing

2009 Mill Creek Vineyards Gewürztraminer Estate

Roasted Lemongrass Chicken

Easy! Definitely worth serving to guests. Prep for the  marinade and sauce can be done ahead; finish is quick. We didn’t even bother to strain the sauce as the recipe suggests. And double the sauce. It is as good on the rice as it is on the chicken.

Makes 4 servings.

Original Recipe and photo from

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil or vegetable oil
5 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nuoc nam or nam pla),* divided
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
2 tablespoons oyster sauce* 
4 fresh lemongrass stalks,** tough outer leaves removed, 4 inches of thick end finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce*
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 3-pound chicken, quartered
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk 1/4 cup oil, 3 tablespoons fish sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, and next 6 ingredients in large bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Marinate at room temperature 1 hour.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, to skillet (reserve marinade in bowl). Cook 4 minutes. Turn chicken, add reserved marinade to skillet, and transfer to oven. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, about 25 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate.

Add 1/2 cup water, lime juice, remaining 2 tablespoons fish sauce, and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar to skillet. Bring to boil. Remove from heat, spoon fat from surface, and strain pan juices into small pitcher. Serve chicken with pan juices.

*Available in the Asian foods section of many supermarkets and at Asian markets.

**Available in the produce section of many supermarkets and at Asian markets.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Watermelon Caipirinha

CIMG0348I think I’m craving watermelon. I found this recipe through a Fine Cooking blog post from No Recipes. This recipe for Watermelon Caiprinha looks like it will be perfect for our Fireworks party.

Photo is the view of the 2009 City of Dayton fireworks from our deck.

Watermelon Blush

Adding this to Johns’ cocktail list…thank you Fine Cooking! Doesn’t that look refreshing. Wonder how much longer before our CSA starts delivering watermelon??? I’ll be adjusting this recipe so it can be made by the pitcher.

by Samantha Seneviratne

Made with St-Germain, an elderflower liqueur, this summery drink is sweet, with a light effervescence.

Serves 1

1/2 cup watermelon chunks, seeded if necessary
1/2 fl. oz. (1 Tbs.) St-Germain
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Purée the watermelon in a food processor until smooth; strain. You should have 2 fl. oz (1/4 cup) juice.
Pour the watermelon juice, St-Germain, and bitters into a Champagne flute. Top off with Prosecco.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 80; Fat (g): 0; Fat Calories (kcal): 0; Saturated Fat (g): 0; Protein (g): 0; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0; Carbohydrates (g): 12; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): 0; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 0;

photo: Scott Phillips

From Fine Cooking 111, pp. 51

May 5, 2011

Flavored Water–Make It Yourself

I’m not usually much of a fan of flavored water. But these got my attention – they look so refreshing!

Watermelon-Basil Water

Cucumber-Mint Water

Blackberry-Sage Water

Photos by Scott Phillips

Steamed Mussels with Chorizo, Smoked Paprika, and Garlicky Croutons

On my list of things to try from Fine Cooking -- one of my favorite magazines!

by Dawn Yanagihara-Mitchell

Just 30 minutes to a delicious dinner party dish. The chorizo and mussels cook together, creating a briny, smoky broth that begs to be sopped up with garlic toast. Add a salad and you’re done.Serves 4

5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, 2 minced and 4 thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
3/4 tsp. smoked sweet paprika
1 cup seeded and diced fresh tomato or one 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup dry white wine
6 oz. Spanish-style chorizo, cut into
3/8-inch pieces (1-1/4 cups)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 lb. mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1 baguette, cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch slices
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine 3 Tbs. of the olive oil and the minced garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
Position an oven rack about 4 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler on high.
In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the sliced garlic and cook until the edges of the onion begin to brown, about 1 minute. Stir in the smoked paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, wine, chorizo, and thyme and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Stir in the mussels, coating them with the sauce mixture. Cover and cook, stirring 2 or 3 times, until the mussels have opened, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and brush them with the garlic oil, dividing the bits of garlic evenly among the slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then broil, rotating the baking sheet as needed, until evenly browned and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes.
Discard any mussels that have not opened. Serve the mussels with the sauce and the croutons.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 820; Fat (g): 38; Fat Calories (kcal): 340; Saturated Fat (g): 9; Protein (g): 44; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 21; Carbohydrates (g): 60; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4.5; Sodium (mg):1880; Cholesterol (mg): 95; Fiber (g): 3;

photo: Scott Phillips

From Fine Cooking 111, pp. 20

May 5, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rainy Sunday Dinner

Picked up some Wild Snapper at Jungle Jim’s and topped it with some Spicy Soy Glaze

In a non-stick skillet heat 1/2 teaspoon oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté 2 fillets, skin sides down, pressing on fish with a metal spatula to help skin brown evenly, until skin is golden brown, about 1 minute. With spatula turn fillets over and sauté until golden, about 30 seconds more. Transfer fillets, skin sides up, to a non-stick baking pan and sauté remaining 2 fillets in 1/2 teaspoon oil in same manner. Bake fish in middle of oven until just cooked through, about 3 minutes.
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Braised Baby Bok Choy

Drinking 2008 Pine Ridge Chardonnay Dijon Clones

Spicy Soy Glaze

Great on Red Snapper. Expect that it would also work on Cod and probably Pork.

  • 1/2 pound shallots (about 5 large)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plum or apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh gingerroot
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest

Chop enough shallots to measure 1 cup. In a heavy saucepan cook shallots in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, water, sugar, jam, gingerroot, garlic, allspice, and red pepper flakes and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Stir in lime juice and zest. (Glaze may be made 2 days ahead and cooled completely before being chilled, covered.)

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Braised Baby Bok Choy


  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 lb baby bok choy, trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

Bring broth and butter to a simmer in a deep large heavy skillet. Arrange bok choy evenly in skillet and simmer, covered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer bok choy with tongs to a serving dish and keep warm, covered.

Boil broth mixture until reduced to about 1/4 cup, then stir in sesame oil and pepper to taste. Pour mixture over bok choy.

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Friday, May 06, 2011

Ginger Beer Mojito Friday

John is experimenting with a Ginger Beer Mojito recipe.
Tonight’s Menu:

Peruvian Roast Chicken with Garlic and Lime

Rice and Lentil Salad with Orange and Dried Cherries
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Grilled Carrots with Honey Glaze
Coat carrots with olive oil and salt. Grill. Toss with Honey Glaze. YUMMY!
Honey Glaze
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Chinese Sesame Greens

2 cloves garlic, minced or 2 stalks green garlic, chopped
1 pound greens
2 teaspoons sesame seed oil
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
salt and pepper, as desired

Mince the garlic cloves. Wash the greens and shake them over the sink. They should remain a little wet. Remove and discard the stems from them and tear it into bite-size pieces. Save the stems for another use, such as vegetable stock.

Heat the sesame oil in the skillet over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic to the hot oil and saute for about 20 seconds. Add the greens and water to the garlic and oil, and cover the skillet.

After 1 minute, stir them, then re-cover. After 1-2 more minutes, when the greens are wilted, stir in the soy sauce and sesame seeds. If desired, add salt and/or pepper to taste.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Passport Day 2: Seghesio

2011-05-01_15-48-41_22Seghesio was the perfect ending to Passport. The Big Easy came to life with music by Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic. And somebody else joined the wine club! Randy is getting into dancing to the music! Seghesio was also a beautiful setting and just down the street from our hotel!

Plus a tasting room full of interesting wines: 2010 Arneis, 2009 Costiera Pinot Noir, 2009 Home Ranch Zinfandel, 2009 Rockpile Zinfandel, 2005 Diognigia



Another winery!! Woo Hoo!Tasso Shrimp Fettuccini
2008 Sangiovese
2009 Barbera

Seafood Gumbo with Andouille Sausage
2007 Home Ranch Petite Sirah
2008 Omaggio

Cajun Barbecued Ribs
2009 Sonoma Zinfandel
2008 San Lorenzo


Passport Day 2: Truett-Hurst

050311134812In 2010, Truett-Hurst was one of our great finds…however, we were a little disappointed in 2011. One of the appeals is their barrel tasting.

Luci Zinfandel
Red Rooster Zinfandel
Black Sheep Pinot Noir
White Sheep Pinot Noir

Last year we were enamored with the Zinfandel futures…this year we were more impressed by the Pinot Noir.

The Beef Brisket Sandwich being served was VERY nice!

Passport Day 2: Fritz

050311134042Okay…Fritz was a bit of a disappointment but I think it was because we were hoping to have the Salt Side Down chocolates again this year. It was also hot and the wine and food were all being served in the sun. And the fact that only small quantities of food were being brought out at a time meant you were likely in the heat waiting for the food with wine that was sitting in the sun. I did pick up some of the (not yet released) 2010 Rose and the 2009 Vino Valpredo White from the tasting room.

Chardonnay with Turkey Kababs
Dry Creek Valley Syrah with Wild Boar Ragout
Dry Creek Valley Estate Reserve Zinfandel with Buffalo Tri Tip Skewers
Dry Creek Valley Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon with Wild Mushroom Flatbread Salad

Passport Day 2: Dutcher Crossing

050311133001The great thing about Passport is that you get to experience a lot of different wineries…and you get to experience the wines with food. I have proof that I was here…but what I remember most is the food…I remember very little about the wines. Food was prepared by Preferred Sonoma Caterers.

2009 Sauvignon Blanc
Coconut Prawn Cones with Mango Chili Sauce

2008 Stuhlmuller Vineyard Chardonnay, Alexander Valley
Honey Roasted Apricots, Cowgirl Creamery Fromage Blanc

2007 Proprietor’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Lamb and Rosemary Focaccia Split Top with Cumin Onion Chutney

2006 Port
Frozen Chocolate Port Whoopie Pies

Honey Roasted Apricots

Recipe by Preferred Sonoma Caterers

1 pound Apricots (pitted and quartered)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 pinch Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup Honey

Place apricots in a baking pan with sides. Drizzle with olive oil and roll until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from oven, add honey. Serve over Fromage Blanc with toasted crostinis.

Passport Day 2: Ferrari-Carano

2011-05-01_12-23-14_864Another repeat favorite is Ferrari-Carano…not just because of their great wines and food but because the grounds are so beautiful as well. One of the nice things about the passport event is that you get a mini tour of the winery as well taking you through the tank room, barrel room and the underground cellar. The Chardonnay was one of the great finds of the weekend.


2010 Bella Luce, Sonoma County, White Wine Blend
Meyer Lemon Cheve Mousse with Pear Chutney

2008 Fiorella Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Orecchiette with Ham and Peas

2008 Merlot, Sonoma County
Chicken Cacciatore

2007 Home Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley
Prosciutto-Wrapped Dates

2007 Eldorado Gold, Sonoma County Sauternes-style Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc Blend
Panna Cotta with an Eldorado Gold, Apricot and Pistachio Compote

Steel Barrels @ Ferrari-CaranoBarrel Room @ Ferrari-Carano

Passport Day 2: Gopfrich Estate

2011-05-01_10-54-44_930One of our great new finds of the weekend was the first winery on Day 2. Gopfrich offers both California and Klemmer Family German varietals. Gopfrich Estate wines available for tasting: 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Dry Creek Valley, 2009 Syrah Estate Wine, 2009 Cuvee Estate, 2009 Zinfandel, 2009 Merlot, and 2008 Late Harvest Zinfandel. Klemmer Family German wines available for tasting: 2009 Riesling Auslese, 2009 Riesling Spatlese, 2009 Silvaner Spatlese, and the 2009 Huxelrebe Beerenauslese. Rodney and Don picked up the only bottle of Huxelrebe available on Sunday.Gopfrich

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