cooking for your boyfriend

Monday, January 31, 2011

Turkey Sliders

Makes about 8 sliders
Ingredients

For the Caramelized Onions:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 sweet onions,  cut in half through the root and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • salt and pepper
For the Burgers:
  • 1/2 lb dark ground turkey meat
  • 1/2 lb white ground turkey meat
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Slider buns
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter butter
  • Lettuce
  • ketchup and mustard, optional
Directions
1.  Prepare the caramelized onions:  In a large skillet, heat butter and oil over medium heat.  Add onions, anchovy paste, and thyme leaves.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes until onions are dark golden brown.  

2.  Meanwhile prepare the burgers.  In a large bowl, mix together ground turkey, garlic, thyme, olive oil, worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper, using a fork.  Create 1 1/2 inch thick patties and place on a large board.  Set aside.  

3.  Heat a cast iron grill over medium-high heat (this should take about 5 minutes).  Lightly brush oil on crates.  In batches grill buns, bread side down, for 3 until golden brown and toasted.  Set aside.  Mound some lettuce on the bottom buns.  Oil crates again so the meat won't stick.  Grill patties 4 minutes per side, until an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees F.  In the last 2 minutes of cooking, brush the grilled side of the buns with butter.  Add on top of lettuce and top with a pile of caramelized onions.  Finally add the top bun to complete the slider.

4.  My boyfriend likes these with ketchup and mustard.  Feel free to do add whatever you'd like to the sliders.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rosemary Cookies

Makes 2 dozen
Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (it's very important the butter is soft)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg white, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water (egg wash)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour, plus more for flouring the board
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sanding sugar (you can usually find this in baking supply stores)
Directions

1.  In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes.  Mix in whole egg and vanilla.  Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour, rosemary, and salt until combined.  
Creamed butter and sugar.  It should look light and fluffy.


2.  Dump out dough on a board and form into a disk (dough is very sticky).  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.  

3.  Divide dough in half.  Lightly flour a board (this will help you move the dough around).  Roll each dough into a 9 inch long log.  Wrap logs in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.

4.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 cookies sheets with parchment paper.  Pour sanding sugar over half your board.  Lightly brush logs with egg wash.  Roll logs over sanding sugar creating a sugar crust.  Cut into 1/4 in circles.   Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets.  Bake for 15 minutes, until edges are golden brown.  Check on your cookies after 10 minutes just to make sure they don't over bake. 

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Caramelized Pearl Onions

Serves 1 hungry boyfriend in 20 minutes

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 20-25 pearl onions, peeled*
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
Directions

1.  In a small skillet heat oil and butter over medium heat.  Add onions and raise heat to medium-high, shaking the pan occasionally.  Add thyme and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium.  Cook, stirring occasionally for another 10 minutes until onions are carmelized.  Add worcestershire sauce and stir.  

*Peel the onions like garlic.  Smash with the back of a knife, loosening the skin to peel.  

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Serves 8 boyfriends in 2 hours (or 45 minutes)
I made this for Mitch when he got the flu



Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 leek, cut lengthwise, separate, clean. Use only the white and pale green parts, slice (see pics below)
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled, cut lengthwise, chopped (see pics below)
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 ounce can) diced tomatoes
1 (14 ounce can) tomato sauce
2 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup red wine (I used Marsala)
1 teaspoon dry oregano
About 10 basil leaves, roughly chopped
0.3 lbs green beans, cut in short pieces (see pics below)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon whole pepper corns
1 teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups roughly chopped spinach
1 cup shredded Napa cabbage
2 roasted bone-in chicken breasts*, hand shredded (see pic below)

Directions

1.  Bring small pot of water to a boil for your green beans.  Heat oil and butter in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Saute leeks and onions until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add carrots and red pepper and saute for another 5 minutes.  Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water and wine.  Give everything a nice stir.  Add oregano, basil, green beans, salt, pepper corns, and ground pepper.  Stir again.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Add green beens to small pot of boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.  Strain and add to simmering soup.  Allow soup to simmer for 90 minutes (if you don't have time, simmer for 30 minutes) .  Add water 1/2 a cup at a time if the soup starts to look dry.  Add spinach, cabbage, and shredded chicken and simmer for another 10 minutes.

2.  This meal is great if your boyfriend is sick.  Mitch added a spritz of lemon to his soup for an extra "kick."  You can also serve this with croutons or matzo.

*You can roast your own chicken breast, or buy pre-cooked rotisserie chicken at the supermarket.  Roasting your own is easy.  Do it before you start on the soup.  It needs to be cool enough to handle.

Roasted Chicken

Ingredients

2 bone-in, skin on, chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened and divided
salt and pepper

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place chicken on baking sheet, skin side up, and pat with a paper towel.  Rub chicken with olive oil and butter.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees.

Sliced leek

Chopped carrots 
Green beans cut into short pieces

Shredded chicken

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sauteed Spinach with Garlic

Serves 4 hungry boyfriends 
Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs spinach leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • juice from 1 lemon (optional)
Directions

1.  In a large pot (with cover) or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.  Saute garlic for about a minute and add spinach.  Using tongs, toss spinach with garlic and oil.  Cover for 2 minutes.  Uncover, turn heat up to high, and toss around for another minute until spinach is completely wilted.  Season with salt and pepper.  Turn off the heat and stir in butter.  Spritz lemon juice (optional) and serve.

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Nonna's Porcupine Balls in Tomato Sauce

Makes 24 2 in. football shaped balls
This recipe is from my Sicilian great grandmother, Nonna.


Ingredients
Tomato Sauce: (Simple but delicious)

  • 1 28 ounce can tomato sauce
  • dash of garlic and onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • parsley or oregano to taste (I used both)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Porcupine Balls
  • 1 lb ground meat (I did turkey)
  • 3/4 cup raw rice, washed (rinsed under cool water)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • parsley or oregano to taste (I used both)
Directions

1.  In a large bowl, mix together all the tomato sauce ingredients.  If the butter doesn't blend into the sauce, add it when you add the sauce to the porcupine balls.  Set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, mix all porcupine ball ingredients using a fork.  Using your hands, form into 2 inch football shaped balls.  Transfer to a cutting board or baking sheet.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, fry balls in oil (about 2 minutes per side).  Try to sear around the whole ball.  Add tomato sauce.  Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

The final product, mmmmmm

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