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This is a great recipe when you are tired of grilling or just feel like switching it up. Definitely serve it with rice or tortillas.
Enjoy! ~ Katie

Tomato-Poached Fish With Chile Oil and Herbs 
by Alison Roman

Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil – plus more for drizzling
  • 4 Garlic Cloves – thinly sliced
  • 1 Small Shallot – thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 Teaspoon Red-Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Lb Small Sweet Tomatoes – halved
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Fish Sauce (optional)
  • 1 1/4 Lbs Fluke, Halibut or Cod – cut into 4 equal pieces
  • 1 Cup cilantro – tender leaves and stems
  • 1/2 cup Mint – tender leaves and stems
  • Limes – halved (for serving)
  • Tortillas, Toast or Rice (optional)

Click HERE for complete recipe.

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Chocolate Guinness Cake

Even though St. Patrick’s Day is behind us this cake is still worth making.  It is simple to make and very good. The added Guinness cuts the sweetness which makes for a delicious dessert.

Enjoy! ~ Katie

Ingredients:

  • Butter
  • 1 Cup Guinness Stout
  • 10 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 2 Cups Superfine Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 1/4 Cups Confectioners Sugar
  • 8 Ozs Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

Preparation:

Step 1
For the cake: heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9″ springform pan and line with parchment paper. In a large saucepan combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts, then remove from heat. Add cocoa and superfine sugar and whisk to blend.

Step 2
In a small bowl combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla then mix well. Add Guinness mixture. Add flour and baking soda and whisk again until smooth. Pour into buttered pan and bake until risen and firm (45 minutes to one hour). Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan.

Step 3
For the topping: using a food processor or by hand, mix confectioners sugar to break up lumps. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add heavy cream and mix until smooth and spreadable.

Step 4
Remove cake from pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Ice top of cake only, so that it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.

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Our Table…Christmas Cookies

One of the best parts of the holidays are the desserts, and our family enjoys a plethora of cakes and cookies. Here are our family’s favorite Christmas cookies (Santa loves these too). We would love to hear from you..share your favorite recipes with us.

PECAN TASSIE COOKIES

1937016

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 3oz Packages Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 1 Cup Butter (softened)
  • 6 Tablespoons Confectioner Sugar

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Chopped Nuts (preferred pecans)

Directions:

  • Preheat Oven to 350F
  • Cream Together Butter and Cream Cheese
  • Add Sugar and Flour – Blend Well
  • Shape Dough into Walnut Size Balls (easier if you lightly flour your hands)
  • Press into Pan (mini muffin pans)
  • Mix the Filling Ingredients and Fill Cookies
  • Bake 17-20 Minutes
  • Sprinkle with Confectioner Sugar
cookie

PEANUT BLOSSOMS

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 Cup Flour (sifted)
  • 1 Teaspoon  Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Directions:

  1. Sift flour then stir in baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream together butter and peanut butter until smooth.
  3. Add sugar and brown sugar until blended.
  4. Add egg and vanilla extract to cream to mixture.
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients to cream mixture and stir until well blended.
  6. Shape into balls and roll in granulated sugar.
  7. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 8 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven, press Hershey kiss into the center of each cookies then return to oven for 2 more minutes.
  9. Cool.

CHRISTMAS CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Cornstarch
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Butter (melted)
  • 3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg and 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 Cup Christmas M&Ms

Directions:

  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until no sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, then the egg egg yolk, followed by the vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. Fold in the chocolate chips and M&Ms. Cover the dough and chill for at least 2 hours (or up to 3 days).
  3. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to soften slightly at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  5. Roll the dough into balls, about 3 tablespoons of dough per cookie. If the dough is crumbly, the warmth of your hands will help it come together in a ball. Roll the cookie dough balls to be taller rather than wide. Place 8 balls of dough 3 inches apart onto each cookie sheet.
  6. Bake each batch for 11-12 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. 

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I feel like I am always looking for a lighter (read…no cheese) appetizer to serve and this one fits that bill nicely.

Salmon Rillettes and Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon, for a strip of zest, a few teaspoons of grated zest, and the juice…this lemon will multi-task
  • 1 small red chile pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine or vermouth
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 white peppercorns
  • 5 coriander seeds (I used a pinch of ground coriander)
  • 2 small spring onions, finely chopped (reserve tops) or 1 shallot finely chopped
  • Salt
  • ½ pound salmon filet cut into small cubes (½ inch)
  • 4-6 ounces smoked salmon, cut into small bits (¼ inch)
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon pink peppercorns
  • Bread, crackers, or toast for serving

Instructions:

  1. Cut a small slice of lemon zest with a knife or a vegetable peeler. Put it in a medium saucepan with the wine, water, bay leaf, peppercorn, coriander, ½ teaspoon salt, and the tops of the spring onions if you are using them. Cut off a small piece of the chile pepper and add it to the pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat, cover and simmer the liquid for 5 minutes. Then, drop the fresh salmon into the liquid and let it poach for one minute. Pour it all through a strainer and remove the pieces of salmon to another bowl. Discard the rest.
  2. Meanwhile, zest the remaining lemon peel. Remove and discard the seeds from the the chile and chop the pepper finely. Allow the salmon to cool a bit.
  3. Now for the fun part. With the back of a fork, mash up the poached salmon. Add the smoked salmon bits, the lemon zest, the chopped chile, and the onion or shallot. Season with salt and white pepper and stir. Add the butter and mash it in until it is well incorporated and you have a thick spread. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon into the mix and stir it in well. Taste, and add salt, crushed pink pepper and lemon juice as needed.
  4. Pack the salmon into ramekins or jars and place plastic wrap against the surface of the salmon. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

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BRINED PORK CHOPS WITH FENNEL by David Tanis
For me I think fennel is an under appreciated vegetable, it is delicious here with pork chops.
Enjoy! ~ Katie

Time: 30 minutes, plus brining
Yields: 2 to 3 servings

Ingredients:

For the Brine

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 black peppercorns – lightly crushed
  • 6 allspice berries – lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds – lightly crushed
  • 2 bone-in pork chops (about 12 ounces each)

For the Pork Chops

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion – sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 3 or 4 trimmed fennel bulbs (about 1 pound) – sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves – minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds – crushed
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
  • A few tender green fennel fronds
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)

Preparation:

  1. Make the brine: Put salt, sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice and fennel seeds in a bowl. Whisk in 4 cups water to dissolve salt and sugar.
  2. Put pork chops in one layer in a glass or plastic container. Pour brine over to completely submerge chops. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably longer, up to overnight. Remove chops from brine and pat dry. Discard brine.
  3. Cook the chops: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Set a wide, heavy skillet over high heat and add olive oil. When oil is wavy, add chops in one layer and let brown for about 3 minutes per side.
  4. Remove chops from pan and set aside. Reduce heat to medium-high and add sliced onion and fennel, stirring to coat with oil. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and crushed fennel seeds and turn off heat.
  5. Lay the chops on top of the onion-fennel mixture (alternatively, transfer all of it to a baking dish) and place pan, uncovered, in oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the internal temperature of chops is 140 degrees.
  6. Remove chops and let rest for about 5 minutes. Transfer onion-fennel mixture to a platter and keep warm. Cut chops into 1/8-inch slices and add to platter. Sprinkle with parsley and garnish with fennel fronds. Serve with lemon wedges.

For the full recipe CLICK HERE.

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If you are like us, you will spend your holiday weekend Barbecuing. Here are some of our favorite family recipes.
Enjoy!

CITRUS GRILLED SHRIMP (APPETIZER)
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce (I prefer low sodium)
  • 1/4 Cup Lime Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 1/2 Lime  – Chopped
  • 1 Tsp Cajun Spice (I prefer Paul Prudomme’s Blackened Magic Redfidh)
  • 18 Jumbo Shrimp – Uncooked, Shelled, Deveined

Recipe:

  1. Whip All Ingredients Together
  2. Marinade Shrimp 10-15 Minutes
  3. Grill Medium High Until Shrimp is Cooked

GRILLED TUNA with CUCUMBER SALAD RECIPE (from Chowhound)
Ingredients for Salad:

  • 1 Tbl Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tbl Grated, Peeled Fresh Ginger (from about a 2-3″ piece)
  • 1 Tbl Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1 Tbl Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Medium Garlic Clove – Minced
  • 1 Thai Bird Chile – Stemmed and Minced
  • 1 Tbl Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Medium Carrot – Peeled and Grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 English Cucumber (about 8 ounces) – Sliced into 1/8″ Thick Rounds
  • 2 Tbl Coarsely Chopped Fresh Cilantro

Ingredients for Tuna:

  • 4 (1″ thick) Sushi-Grade Tuna Steaks (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • Vegetable Oil (for oiling the tuna and the grill)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbl Coarsely Chopped Roasted, Salted Peanuts
Salad Recipe:
  1. Place the fish sauce, ginger, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chile in a medium, nonreactive bowl and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until combined.
  3. Add the carrot and cucumber and stir until evenly coated; set aside.
  4. Add the cilantro to the salad, stir to combine, and divide the salad evenly among 4 plates.

Tuna Recipe:

  1. Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to high (about 450°F to 550°F).
  2. Meanwhile, pat the tuna dry with paper towels. Rub the fish on both sides with a thin layer of vegetable oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. When the grill is ready, rub the grates with a towel dipped in vegetable oil. Place the tuna on the grill and cook undisturbed until dark grill marks appear, about 2 minutes. Using a flat spatula, flip the fish and cook until grill marks appear on the second side but the middle is still rare, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer the tuna to a cutting board.
  4. Slice each tuna steak against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and place over the salad. Sprinkle with the peanuts and serve immediately.

GRILLED CHICKEN with BOARD DRESSING (from Epicurious)
Ingredients:

  • 1 Dried Guajillo or New Mexico Chile
  • 1/2 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Oregano
  • 1 Tsp Finely Grated Lime Zest
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil (plus more for grill)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground Pepper
  • 1 4lb Chicken – Halved, and Backbone Removed
  • Lime Wedges (for serving)

Recipe:

  1. If using a whole chile, toast in a dry skillet, turning often, until slightly puffed and darkened, about 4 minutes. (Do not toast red pepper flakes.) Discard stem and seeds. Finely chop chile and transfer to a small bowl. Stir in cilantro, oregano, lime zest, and 1/4 cup oil; season dressing with salt and pepper.
  2. Prepare grill for medium indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on 1 side of grill; for a gas grill, leave 1 burner turned off). Brush grill rack with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place, skin side down, on grill. Grill chicken, turning occasionally, until skin is crisp and browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh registers 165°, 10-15 minutes per side (move chicken to cooler part of grill if it’s cooking too quickly). About 5 minutes before chicken is done, baste with some of dressing.
  3. Pour remaining dressing onto a carving board (or platter, if you don’t have a large board) and place chicken, skin side up, on top. Let sit at least 10 minutes to rest and absorb flavor from dressing before carving. Drizzle chicken with some dressing from board and serve with limes.

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Glazed Fresh Fruit Tart
This dessert is simple, delicious and colorful…the perfect treat for the holiday weekend BBQ.
  • Sugar Cookie Pie Crust or Refrigerated Cookie Dough
  • 8 Ounces of Cream Cheese – Softened
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Pint Strawberries – Sliced
  • 1 Pint Blueberries
  • 2 Kiwi Fruits – Peeled and Sliced (or sliced bananas)
  • 6 Ounces Red Currant or Apple Jelly (I prefer Red Currant)
  • 1 Tablespoon Unflavored Gelatin
  • 1/4 Cup Water

Please Note: The strawberries and blueberries give it a patriotic feel but feel free to substitute any fruit. Bananas are a nice alternative as well as other berries.

Line a 16 inch pizza pan with dough then crimp the edges. Bake for 8 minutes at recommended temperature then cool. Combine sugar, cream cheese, vanilla and spread over crust. Arrange fruit over the cheese mixture. Heat jelly to liquid state. Add gelatin and stir quickly to dissolve. Remove from heat and add water and mix. Pour over fruit tart. Keep cool in refrigerator until serving.

Enjoy!

 

 

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