Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm A Copier.

I actually debated posting this dinner because while it was tasty as fuck and recommended by a friend who once served me this in college - it was nowhere NEAR as good as when she made it. :) Or maybe my memory concerning foods is somewhat romanticized concerning the period of time it was consumed: college, when meals were either dining hall or Wendys kids menu. You can see how this would qualify as amazing.

Also, I have a feeling this recipe could be elevated somehow. It has the most basic ingredients but I am a huge fan of things that take 3 ingredients, like women with hyphenated names - they aren't complete til the third component. Next time I am thinking I should add almonds? chili peppers? Garlic? Lentils? Another reason could be I used low sugar apricot preserves, perhaps this calls for ALL sugar.

Either way its a delicious way to spice up your chicken night at home and a simple recipe to boot: just mix and cook!

Apricot Dijon Chicken
1 Jar of Apricot Preserves (I used low sugar).
1/2 a jar of Dijon Mustard
4 Chicken breasts, pounded thin
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Step One: In a separate bowl whisk together preserves and mustard.

Step Two: Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Put a saute pan over medium with olive oil. Add Chicken - when the chicken is looking whitish on both sides, add the mustard/apricot mixture. Cover and simmer over medium for 10 minutes, flipping once or twice to ensure both sides brown.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Broccoli, Sun Dried Tomato & Ricotta Frittata

Cooking is like a science project, only more rewarding. You learn a scenario and have fun plugging in the variables! E = MC2! Wait no! E=KK3! Actually, I take it back - I dont think it works like that. :) but you get what I mean. My greatest joy in cooking is finding a recipe with 3 basic ingredients and then taking the time to experiment with a mix of 3 additional ingredients that will all work together. Recently the puff pastry apps were in that category, but I've always toyed around with the frittata. A few years ago I saw a recipe for a spinach ricotta pie and have done around 5 variations of this and this is my most recent concoction!

Other reasons I enjoy frittatas are: its so easy even the incompetent cooks can produce something fancy looking! Its somewhat healthy (except cholesterol), and also a quick breakfast solution on the week days. Make 1 pie, slice 4 ways and take to work and reheat at your desk! Although, this is not for the soy crowd - it is very dairy heavy..

Broccoli, Sun Dried Tomato & Ricotta Frittata
6 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Broccoli, Food Processed
8 oz low fat/non fat ricotta
8 oz low fat Rondele
1 cup sun dried tomatoes, not in oil - chopped.
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
Salt and Pepper
Step One: Grease a round glass baking dish, preheat the oven to 425.
Step Two: Put the chopped broccoli in the food processor and pulse until it resembles pesto.
Step Three: Whisk together the 6 eggs, folding in the ricotta, the rondele and the broccoli and the sun dried tomatoes and mixing together until smooth. Sprinkle the top with the parm cheese, this will give the top a nice golden look once its baked.
Step Four: Bake for 30-45 minutes. Test it like you would brownies, stick a skewer in it - if it comes out clean - its done!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Tourist In Your Own Home.

Saturday we had quite the city-centric day. Sometimes it's hard to take the time to really explore new things and step outside of your usual and say Hello, San Francisco! Remember me! I live here. :)

Also, it was like 90 degrees all weekend and how can you sit inside on a day like that?!

First on our list was to hike to Coit Tower in Telegraph Hill. Its one of those places in San Fran that is easily picked out of the sky line but I hadn't been there. The hike was beautiful, lots of steps - and provided excellent views.

Then - so much for burning any calories - Shawn brought me to the most amazing place I've ever been - Giordano Bros in North Beach. I may marry this sand which: Fresh Italian Bread, Hot Cappicola, Provolone, Hand Cut Fries & Oil and Vinegar Coleslaw. Props to Lauren Sherman who is FROM Pittsburgh and knew at the drop of the hat what this sammie was called a Primanti Bros Sammie! This is an SF must eat!

Its almost better than a Moufelatta.

At night we had a nice date night planned with Michael and Natalie. We started off with dinner at this Pagolac, which is a solid Vietnamese Restaurant in the Tenderloin. We stumbled upon this a while ago and hadnt been back since! Let me tell you - everyone had two drinks, we had apps and generously portioned meals for under $20 each! They have a 7 course beef menu I hope I have time to try one day.

After this we saw David Cross's standup at the Warfield, also in the Tenderloin. Many laughs had. Although it still surprises me and creeps me out that he dates Amber Tamblyn. Loves.

We finished the night at a bar ALSO in the Tenderloin called Whiskey Thieves. We met up with Abby and Jim to the night caps and spent the time singing TV theme songs and downing Whiskey & Gingers. :)

Semi Homemade W/ Kate!

A. Happy Birthday, Leslie!

B. There's nothing like working til 5:30 on a Friday and wanting to bring something special to a birthday party starting @ 9pm - and thinking whats quick and also somewhat different and impressive? My brain came to a recipe recently on for Cheesecake Swirl Brownies only I cut out HALF the work and used boxed mix with a homemade cheesecake swirl recipe.

C. Prepare brownies from box as directed, once you've poured the mix into the 9x13 greased pan - on the side whisk together 1 block of cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, 1 egg yolk & 1/3 cup of sugar. Once creamed, dollop onto unbaked brownie mix and swirl into with a toothpick - sprinkle with 1/3rd cup of choco chips. Bake @ 350 for 45 minutes. Cool before cutting. Serve to the bday girl!

*This is a pic of me burping from drinking beer at the party.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Big Fat Greek (slim) Dinner.

Um. My shadow looks hella creepy in that phone pic. :) I vant to suck your cucumber blood!


Anywhow, there were many inspirations that went into this simple and humble creation:

1. My coworker brought in some yummy looking cucumber salad last week.

2. My favorite blog recently featured tzatziki this week ( I am a copier.

3. Last Wednesday after happy hour Shawn and I drunkenly snatched up some schwarma in the Haight at Ali Babbas before returning home to Top Chef.

4. Shawn has A LOT of dill going to waste in his window garden. What is a better use of Dill?

5. I break for dairy.

6. I was craving that dichotomy of something super spicy being cooled with something

So without further ado:
Chili Pepper & Parsley Chicken Kabobs with Homemade Tzatziki
2 Chicken Breasts
Chili Pepper Flakes
Chili Powder
Italian parsley
4 teaspoons minced garlic.
2 Lemons
14 oz of Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup Sour Cream
2 big cucumbers
Dill (to taste)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Step One: Cube chicken - add salt and pepper, 2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons of chili pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons of minced garlic and chopped parsley. Then add the olive oil, toss and set aside. Preheat broiler.

Step Two: Combine yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice from 2 lemons, remaining 2 teaspoons of garlic, dill and salt & pepper in a separate bowl. Peel and dice cucumbers. Put 1 in food processor and pulse 6 times until slightly pureed. Add pureed cucumber to yogurt mix as well as the diced cucumbers. Refrigerate.

Step Three: Skewer the chicken, broil until brown, turning when necessary to not burn chicken. about 15 minutes.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jew Food.

<-------- so this isnt actually the picture of what I made. I am embarressed at the quality of photos I've been taking recently and decided to show you the professional picture from Food & Wine Magazine.

When I saw this recipe I immediately thought of my grandfather (cohen) who is good at a handful of things in this world and one of those things is hand making bialys. What IS a bialy you ask? Its kind of like a bagel had sex with an english muffin and the baby it had sprinkled its fairy dust on top and it was made of onions and poppyseeds.

And what is better than a BREAD made like a BIALY!?

1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, 1 stick cubed
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup coarsely shredded Gruyère cheese (3 ounces)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425°. Butter a 9-by-4 1/2-inch metal loaf pan. In a large skillet, melt the 1/2 stick of uncubed butter; pour 2 tablespoons of the melted butter into a small bowl and reserve. Add the chopped onion to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until it is softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the poppy seeds and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the onion mixture onto a plate and refrigerate for 5 minutes, until cooled slightly. Stir in the Gruyère.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the cubed butter and pulse until it is the size of small peas. Add the buttermilk and pulse 5 or 6 times, just until a soft dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and knead 2 or 3 times. Pat or roll the dough into a 2-by-24-inch rectangle. Spread the onion mixture on top. Cut the dough crosswise into 10 pieces. Stack 9 pieces onion side up, then top with the final piece, onion-side down. Carefully lay the stack in the prepared loaf pan and brush with the reserved butter.
Bake the loaf in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, until it is golden and risen. Let the bread cool for at least 15 minutes before unmolding and serving.

Okay these were my pictures:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Football Sunday Fare

I cant actually thank any magazine for this recipe, as my mother has been making this for YEARS before I got into Football Sundays. "Being into Football" is sort of relative - I enjoy it, I revel in everyone's enthusiasm as its something I never had growing up (we're a baseball family) - but the level of passion amongst the sconnies I know is unrivaled even among my die hard Sox friends. They truly bleed green and gold....and I find it my duty to provide sustenance in between religious & superstitious run & big moment shotguns.

This is the perfect substitute if you dont want to go down to your local Big Wangs (los angeles reference, Quigleys for you bushers and Kezars for you SFers) for some wings and you just enjoy a dip! I dont know if I have ever met a dip I didnt like.

Shredded Buffalo Chicken Dip
1 Package of 6 Chicken Breasts
3 Cubes of Chicken Bouillon
1 Bottle Wing Sauce
1 Bottle Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing
1 Bag Shredded Mozzarella
*This picture does NOT do it justice!

Step One: Bring a 6 Quart of water to a Boil, salt to taste. Add 3 Chicken Bouillon cubes. Add chicken and boil for 20 minutes, or until done.

Step Two: Cool chicken and shred by hand (or with a fork). Take shredded chicken and saute in pan with the entire bottle of wing sauce. Simmer for 3 minutes, refrigerate for up to an hour.

Step Three: Assemble. Lay the shredded chicken in a 13x9 glass baking dish. Spoon over a layer of the chunky blue cheese dressing until covered, dont use the entire thing or it will become too soupy! Cover with a later of mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and browning!

Serve with Fritos. :)

Peppered Bacon, Brie & Caramelized Mushroom Puffs

My usual go-to quick appetizer as of late has been Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese & Chive Puffs. They are quick and simple and my favorite smell in the world is onions simmering in butter. Two birds with 1 stone!

It occurred to me that you could essentially stick anything in a pastry puff and be praised as though this were fine I kept brainstorming combinations: pear honey goat cheese? too desserty. chicken onion apricot? I kind of hate chicken. I came up with Peppered Bacon, Brie & Caramelized Mushroom Puffs and I had JUST the occasion: Alex's Surprise Birthday Black & Tan Bash!

5 Strips of Peppered Bacon
5 Mushrooms, chopped
1 block of brie, no rind.
2 sheets (1 package) premade puff pastry

Step One: Preheat Oven to 425. Grease muffin pans. Prepare bacon. Yes, I am WT and I make it in the microwave - 1 minute per strip with paper towels on a plate. Til crispy! Chop like bacon resembling thick bits.

Step Two: Turn a pan on medium heat with a little butter - add chopped mushrooms, saute for 8 minutes, until soft. Set aside.

Step Three: Cut pastry puff sheets (once thawed) into 12 squares per sheet -assemble into the greased muffin pans. spoon 1 teaspoon of brie into center, add mushrooms, top with crispy bacon.

Step Four: Bake @ 424 for 30 minutes or until browned. :)

YES. I am wearing a headband and I personally LIKED this look but I recieved the following comments on this look from 9am-midnight:

*Hello, Kugler Baggins - How can I help thee?
*Are you Rambo?
*Are you filming Pirates of The Carribean 5?
*Welcome to the Haight.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Prosciutto & Provolone Stuffed Pork.

Shawn made this from a recipe the other night.

I promised I would sing his praise - because it was freaking AWESOME!

He certainly can come through, sometimes.

xoxox, Kate.