Savory Early Springtime Sweet Potato Salad


If you're looking for savory ways to utilize your early crops of springtime herbs, here's an easy and delicious salad that goes to the table with sandwiches, pasta, seafood, or simply as a light and refreshing entrée. This recipe serves four, you can increase quantities for larger gatherings.

Ingredients

1/2 c. fresh basil
1/2 c. fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. tarragon vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
One large sweet potato, boiled until fork tender, but not soft and cut into 1"- 2" pieces
1 c. sugar snap peas
1/2 c. red grapes

Process

1. In a small food processor, blend the first six ingredients until they become incorporated.
2. Put potato wedges, peas and grapes into bowl, pour dressing all over and mix well.
3. Serve with your favorite sandwich, seafood or as a refreshing entrée.





FAMILY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION


Our son is celebrating 
his birthday this week, 
so we baked our
"traditional" family 
birthday cake -- 
butter cake, fresh 
strawberries and 
sweetened whipped cream.

Nice in springtime, 
and whenever 
strawberries are in season.



THE BLUES HAVE IT!

Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers


Not for the faint of heart or appetite, our blue cheese stuffed burgers, topped with caramelized red onion and sautéed cremini mushrooms, are a hearty dinner for yourself and your guests.  The magic of this meal is the complexity of flavors created by use of spices and herbs. It's easy! Here's how we did it:

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef
1/3 c seasoned breadcrumbs
4 T crumbled blue cheese
Salt & pepper
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 red onion, sliced very thinly
Butter and extra virgin olive oil for sautéeing
Pinch granulated sugar for caramelizing
Whole wheat hamburger rolls (optional)
Vine ripened or heirloom red tomato (optional)
Dry white wine for deglazing
Pinch each of oregano and thyme for seasoning
Onion and garlic salt for seasoning


Process
1. Mix breadcrumbs into beef. Divide into four sections.
2. Add 1 T of blue cheese into center of each patty, fold over and seal.

3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano. Set aside.


4. Heat sauté pan with 1 T butter and 1 T extra virgin olive oil. Thinly slice red onion, and add to hot sauté pan. Sauté until limp, then deglaze with white wine. When wine has evaporated, lower heat, and allow to sauté gently until brown and caramelized.


5. In another sauté pan, heat 1 T butter and 1 T extra virgin olive oil. Add chopped creminis, and sauté until until soft (about 7 minutes). DO NOT ADD SALT OR PEPPER until cooking is complete. It will rob the mushrooms of their natural flavor. When mushrooms are done, sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Set aside.

6. In third sauté pan, heat 1 T butter and 1 T extra virgin olive oil and add burgers to hot pan. Sprinkle with more salt, oregano, onion salt and garlic salt. AlsSear 6 mins on one side, flip and another 5-6 minutes on the other side.

7. Serve on toasted whole wheat buns. Note: Adding tomato slices on bottom of bun will absorb juices of burger and "cook" the tomato. Absolutely delicious!

Serve with a green salad and watch them disappear!



The Galette Takes the Cake!


It's almost too easy to make this delightful, light and flavorful apple galette. And it takes less than an hour, start to finish. Using less sugar and pastry than a traditional apple pie, an added bonus is fewer carbs, with no loss of flavor.

Ingredients

2 Granny Smith Apples
2 T granulated sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
Sprinkling of lemon juice
1-2 T butter, cut in small dice
1 refrigerated Pillsbury pie crust 
1 egg and t milk or half and half for egg wash

Process

1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Roll out pie crust onto parchment-lined cookie sheet.
3. Core and slice apples super thin and place in circle around crust, leaving about 1" rim on outer edge.

4. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and cinnamon, fresh lemon juice and dot with butter.

5. Brush outer rim of crust with egg wash (1 egg + 1 t milk or half and half, beaten slightly with fork).


6. Fold over outer edges in decorative fashion, and brush with egg wash.


7. Bake @ 425F for 30 minutes. Turn once for even browning, reduce heat to 375F. Bake for 10 minutes. If needed, reduce heat toe 350F and bake for another 10 minutes. Cool on rack.


Serve warm or cool. We love it topped with vanilla bean ice cream!

Bon Appetit!

Amazing Garlic Chicken!

WOW. Our hat is off to SAVEUR Magazine for its fabulous adaptation of Stretch's famous Chicken Savoy! Incredibly delicious and easy to prepare, filled with aromatic herbs, garlic and spices. We changed out the 1 c of red wine vinegar for 1/2 c aged balsamic. Also seasoned the chicken before searing, and baked at 450F (instead of 500F) for 40 mins (instead of 20). All in all, a fabulous recipe. We served it with broiled tomatoes and a mesclun salad. Tell us if you make it and how you like it! (And tell Saveur!)

Follow this link to SAVEUR's Recipe!


Springtime 2015



It's been a snow-filled and cold winter in the mid-Atlantic and northeast states. We welcome Spring, arriving at 6:46 PM Friday, March 20. Spoiler: Snow expected!

Gettin' Our Corned Beef On!



Corned beef brisket on the oven, redolent with pickling spices, getting ready for the long slow simmer!


Cabbage, cored and quartered, ready to jump into the pool!


It's that time of year again -- when the entire house is filled with the aromas of spices and corned beef. It's been simmering on the stovetop for hours, and soon we'll be sitting down to our favorite way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Add your own special touches with a pint of Guinness and a slice of Irish soda bread!

Ingredients

One 4-lb. corned beef brisket, thin cut (get the best you can find)
2-6 tbsp. pickling spices
4-6 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
One large onion, peeled and quartered
One medium head cabbage, cored and cut into 8 quarters

Process

1. Put the corned beef into a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 2 tbsp. pickling spices. Cover and bring to a boil.
2. Skim the gray residue that comes to the top of the pot. Cover. Simmer for 30 minutes. Skim residue. Add 1-2 tbsp. more pickling spices to make up for ones you skimmed away.
3. Cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours on medium heat.
4. Add potatotes, onion, more water (boil it first) to cover corned beef. Adjust spices by adding more if needed. Simmer 30 minutes.
5. Add cabbage and simmer 30 more minutes.

Serve with Irish soda bread and a pint of Guinness! Top of the evening to you, mateys!