Friday, March 24, 2017

Old Photo Friday: Happy Remembrance Birthday, Crowe

WHO: Jo-Anne (Crowe's cousin) and Crowe
WHAT: Family and Friends trip back to Indian Reservation
WHERE: Some beautiful waterfall, most likely part of Yellowstone National Park
WHEN: Summer 1978

Thinking of Crowe and remembering his March birthday.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Recipe of the Week: Seared Scallops over Smoky Sweet Corn Puree

I've been thinking about these scallops ever since I served them for Oscar Party Sunday at the end of February!  They were fabulous but rich.  My suggestion would be to serve as an appetizer or small plate, depending on the size of the scallops.

Seared Scallops over Smoky Corn Puree


4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon butter
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 ears of corn, blanched and kernels removed
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 large sea scallops (to make 2 servings)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon fresh chives, garnish


Heat large skillet over medium heat.  Add bacon and cook until just crisp, about 5-7 minutes.  Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate.  Transfer bacon grease to a small bowl, the wipe out skillet with a paper towel free of grease.

Heat butter and about 1 tablespoon of saved bacon grease over medium heat in the same skillet.  Add the scallions and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the corn kernels, cream cheese and half and half.  Reduce pan to low heat and cook for 2-3 minutes until cream cheese melts and a creamy sauce is formed (it may be necessary to add in a bit more half and half depending on consistency of sauce).  Season with cayenne pepper and salt and black pepper.  

Transfer half the corn mixture to a food processor or blender.  Process the sauce until smooth.  Return to the sauce in the skillet to and keep warm (again, feel free to add in a bit more half and half if sauce is too thick).

In a non-stock skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon bacon grease.  Season scallops with salt and pepper and smoked paprika.  Cook 2-3 minutes per side or until no longer opaque in center.

Stir chopped chives and half of the cooked bacon into the corn puree.

To serve: place scallops over the corn puree and garnish with remaining bacon and more chives.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

12/52: No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness

It's always just the right mix of good food, friends, family and basketball...but the first 4 days of the tournament go way too fast!

We are cleaning up and clearing out this morning.  Brian and good friend Terry left Sunday and my Pop leaves today.  No games until Thursday so we will mellow out and rest up before the Sweet 16.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Menu Plan Monday: March 20-23, 2017

The madness is over, but the great food continues.....

Here is our healthier menu for the week ahead.  Basketball continues Thursday - Sunday again this week.

As a reminder, Laura has a great organizing site and a link up with other recipe and menu experts!


MONDAY: Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-Fry
TUESDAY: Beef Soft Tacos
WEDNESDAY: Bacon Wrapped Filet and Kale Ceasar Salad
THURSDAY: Leftover Butter Chicken (from freezer)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Recipe of the Week: Lamb Stew with Swiss Chard

Go n-eiri an t-adh leat

(literally meaning: "that luck may rise with you", this short Irish blessing is pronounced Guh nye ree taw laht.

St. Patrick's Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17th, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick.

It's a public holiday in Ireland and Northern Ireland, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the British overseas territory of Montserrat.  It is also widely celebrated by the Irish (and non-Irish) around the world.

I think it's just a great excuse to cook lamb!


Lamb Stew with Swiss Chard


1/4 cup fried porcini mushrooms
4 springs of thyme
(1) 3 inch strip of orange zest
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
(4) 1 pound lamb shanks
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
(1) 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
1 quart water
2 medium carrots, diced
2 small turnips, peeled and diced
1/2 pound Swiss chard, stemmed and rough chopped
6 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
1 whole wheat baguette


Preheat oven to 275F.  

In the center of a 5 inch piece of dampened cheesecloth, combine the porcini mushrooms, thyme, orange zest and bay leaf.  Tie into a neat package with kitchen string.  This is your bouquet garni.

In a cast iron pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil.  Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper and cook 2 shanks at a time over medium-high heat until brown (about 8 minutes).  Transfer lamb to a platter and repeat with the remaining shanks. Reduce heat in pan.

Add rest of oil, onions and garlic to the pan.  Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally until softened, about 7 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and increase temperature to medium.  Stir in the wine and simmer until reduced by half.

Return the lamb to the pot, then add the water and the bouquet garni.  Bring to a gentle simmer. Cover the shanks and bake in the oven for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, turn the shanks, cover again and bake for another 1 hour or until the meat is tender.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the carrots and turnips until tender, about 5 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a bowl.  

After approximately 2 hours, remove the shanks from the oven.  Increase the oven temperature to 400F.  

Transfer the shanks to a bowl and let cool slightly.  Return the casserole to the oven and simmer the braising liquid uncovered, skimming the surface of fat occasionally.  Continue to cook liquid for 15 minutes. The sauce should begin to reduce. Squeeze the bouquet garni into the liquid, then discard. 

Cut or tear the meat from the bones and discard the bones.  Return the meat to the casserole. 

Add the cooked carrots and turnips and the chopped Swiss chard to the casserole.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes, uncovered in the oven and then remove from the oven to serve.

In shallow bowls, garnished stew with parsley along side thick slices of baguette.

Note:  For a strong but not over-powering compliment, pair with a Cotes-du-Rhone made mainly from Syrah, not Grenache grape.