My Apologies

I apologize to some of you who sent me responses that I did not get back to.  I pride myself on doing my best to get back to everyone as soon as I can.  Often it is the next day, since when I am on my kindle, or “my machine” as I lovingly refer to it, I cannot answer or respond to you, for some reason, and I do not know why.  I was just trying to fix a little problem that I had with my own account, and I noticed there were few responses that were in my SPAM box, that I just noticed.  I never knew things even went into my spam box.  So, for those of you who left me a message, I just now saw them, please accept my apologies.  It was definitely not intentional.  You can always reach me at ajeanneinthekitchen.com or if you need to reach me personally, my email address is ljbjej@q.com.

Best 21 I'm Sorry Memes – SO LIFE QUOTES

 

Pasta Primavera

Pasta primavera is one of those dishes that is all about Spring.  Primavera is Italian and it refers to spring.  It is a dish filled with all kinds of Spring vegetables, it’s light, and you can eat it all on its own or as a side dish to something else.   You can add chicken, shrimp, or another meat too if you wish, but the focus of the dish is on the fresh vegetables that are used and not so much on the sauce or the meats.  It can be made with a light creamy sauce, like an Alfredo sauce or it can be made with olive oil.  I switch it up and make it both ways.  Either way, you want to use a light sauce, not a heavy sauce.  The vegetables are the stars here.  You can mix and match your vegetables too.  Whatever kind of vegetables you like will work just fine.  For me, this is very easy since I LOVE all vegetables.

The fame of pasta primavera traces back to Maccioni’s New York City restaurant Le Cirque, where it first appeared as an unlisted special before it was made famous through a 1977 article in the New York Times by Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey which included a recipe for the dish.  There are at least three people who claim to have created the famed pasta primavera dish, so no one really knows who gets the credit.  All we know is that it is delicious and is enjoyed by everyone, all over the world.

IMG_1226

Pasta Primavera

I used my leftover mostacelli or penne pasta this time.  Normally I would use fresh herbs, but since I did not have any this time, dried herbs work just as well.

IMG_1218

Cooked pasta of your choice

2 cups green beans, cut into pieces about 1-1 1/2 inches in size

2 cups broccoli florets

2 cup asparagus, cut into pieces about 1-1 1/2 inches in size

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 onion, diced fine

1 TBSP garlic

olive oil

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

2/3 cup cream – I used heavy whipping cream, but 1/2 & 1/2 is fine, or just olive oil, if you prefer.

salt & pepper to taste

1 tsp each marjoram and thyme and basil

Parmagiano cheese

 

Saute the heartier vegetables together in the olive oil, along with the herbs and salt & pepper for about 5 minutes, or until they are tender.

IMG_1221

Add either the cream or more olive oil, depending on what your are using at the time and mix together thoroughly.

IMG_1222

Once everything is well incorporated, add the tomatoes and the pasta and mix everything together again.

IMG_1224

Before serving, top it off with either some fresh shaved or grated Parmagiano cheese.  Now, it’s ready to enjoy.  Mangia!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiced Pork Chops with Maple-Chipotle Sauce

I am rotating days of cooking new meals and eating leftovers at the moment.   It was a cooking day yesterday.   There is absolutely no need for concern; I guarantee we will NOT starve, in fact just the opposite.  We ALWAYS have plenty of food and wine, and most of the time we have more than enough to share as well.  So if anyone wants to join us, stop on by.   I made some delicious spiced pork chops with a maple-chipotle sauce on top.  It was a tasty combination of smoky, spicy and sweet.  I served it with some pasta primavera, warmed bread with an olive oil dipping sauce, and a rich and smooth malbec that really brought everything together well.

IMG_1225

Spiced Pork and Maple-Chipotle Sauce

IMG_12151-1/2 lbs pork

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp allspice

2 TBSP olive oil

 

Mix all the ingredients together to make a paste then generously coat the pork on both sides.  Let this marinate in the refrigerator for at least about 3 hours before cooking.  You can broil, roast or grill the pork.  I used pork chops, but this will also work for a pork loin, or even beef, as well.

IMG_1216

IMG_1217

Maple-Chipotle Sauce

IMG_1220

While the pork is cooking, make the sauce.

1-2 chipotle peppers with sauce, minced

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

3 TBSP chicken broth

2 TBSP apple cider vinegar

 

Mix everything together, bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  if you like a more “clean”, pour it through a strainer over the meat.  I personally like “stuff in my stuff”, so I do not tend to pour my sauces through a strainer.  the pork was very tender and juicy and full of flavor.

IMG_1226

 

Puzzle Me This

We have a fully stocked refrigerator, with both foods waiting to be made and leftovers from foods already made.  Food is NOT the problem, during these crazy chaotic times.  As much as I love food and love to cook, even I understand we cannot just simply eat our way through all this.  We have been doing our daily walks around the lakes with Vinnie.  He’s loving it, and it gives us a much needed break as well.  We are also finding other ways of keeping ourselves occupied too.  Larry is one of the fortunate ones who has been working from home, but I work with the public and work in aquatics, both as a swim coach and as a water aerobics instructor, so I am unable to work from home.  I am BORED out of my mind.

One of the things we worked on was a puzzle.  We always lead such busy, social lives that this is something we never have time to do.  Now, time is all we have.  We only had one puzzle at home.  From start to finish, it took us about 6-7 hours to finish.  We worked on it a couple hours at a time and spread it out a bit.

IMG_1211

IMG_1212

This one is all done (we found out we were missing a piece, but we fit all the pieces together that we had.  We thought we were missing two pieces, but I found that AFTER I broke it up and was putting it all away. Oh well).  On to new things and new projects.

Stay safe and stay well everyone.

Takin’ Home the BBQ

We are still under lockdown, except of course for pick-up and delivery of foods and essential things.  Even though we are still in lockdown mode, we are still trying our best to support the local businesses too.  Last time it was pizza, We Are Supporting Our Local Businesses, this time is was BBQ.  Besides, it was such a gorgeous day, we just had to take a drive and appreciate the day as much as we could.  We went to Georgia Boys BBQ and Smokehouse, ordered it by phone and brought it all back home to enjoy.  There are two Georgia Boys that are relatively close by, and now we have been to both.  One is located in Longmont, Colorado, Georgia Boys BBQ – The Best BBQ in Town and the other one is in Frederick, Colorado.  Both are delicious and both are happy to provide you with some of the best BBQ and smoked meats around, whether you bring it home with you, or eat it there (when you can again).

This is the Frederick Location.

IMG_1203

IMG_1207

Georgia Boys specializes in all kinds of BBQ and smoked meats.  My favorite is their burnt ends, but everything is always smoked to perfection and it’s all delicious!  Despite everyone being locked inside, this place was really hoppin’.

IMG_1206

Georgia Boys also has a wide variety of side dishes you can take home with you as well, to help really make the meal complete.

IMG_1204

Aside from the best smoked meats and BBQ style foods, at the moment, Georgia Boys is also selling something else to help ease everyone’s pain through these difficult times.

IMG_1208

But seriously ….. We always enjoy the food and the great customer service whenever we go to Georgia Boys.   They do a great job, even under these very trying circumstances they still manage to provide great service and fantastic food, and always with a smile.  Kudos to all of you for doing such an awesome job, especially now.

We wanted enough for more than just one meal, so we ordered a little extra.  We ordered the burnt ends, always one of my favorite BBQ’d items, pulled pork, smoked brisket, baked beans, and mack & cheese and a variety of different sauces too.  This came with some Texas toast as well.  We will have a few meals from this one.  One the way home, we stopped at Costco and brought home some rotisserie chicken too, just in case we ran out of food.  🙂  Believe me, we had quite a feast, and will have for a few more days to come.  Thank you Georgia Boys.  Keep up the good work.  You are greatly appreciated.

IMG_1209

This time we tried the Georgia Boys BBQ and Smokehouse in Frederick, Colorado.  They are located at 141 5th Street, Frederick, CO.  You can call them at (303) 833-3140 or check out their website at georgiaboys.com.  Believe me, if you have a hankerin’ for some great, downhome BBQ, Georgia Boys is the place to go.  They do Southern hospitality right.

 

 

 

Shrimp Diane

Shrimp Diane is a kissing cousin of Steak Diane.  Both are made with booze and both are D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!  Because these dishes are both fancy dishes, and out of the ordinary, and are prepared in the same way as many French dishes, people tend to think of these dishes as being French.  But they are not.  They are actually American creations, believed to have been created in New York’s Drake Hotel and Restaurant by Chef Beniamino Schiavon, in the 1940’s, although today, their reputation has grown and they are now considered to be “Continental Cuisine”.  Steak Diane is the traditional recipe that over time has grown to include shrimp as well.  Steak Diane was created as a recipe that was made tableside for people as a bit of a show, where the tableside chefs could show off the flambeing skills.  Flambeing meals at your table was enjoyed and made popular by the rich and famous of the times, like Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

The name Diane comes from the Roman Goddess of the hunt and fertility, Diana.  Diana in French is Diane, which also makes people believe this dish was a French creation.  “Diane” is a French way of cooking foods that was first used by Auguste Escoffier in 1907.   The Diane way of cooking is very similar to cooking something au poivre, or with peppers.  The sauce is flambéed with brandy, Grand Marnier, dry sherry, or Madeira, and poured over the steak or shrimp.  You could use the same sauce over chicken too if you prefer.

IMG_1199

Shrimp Diane

IMG_1185

3-4 TBSP butter

1 1/2-2 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 shallots, minced fine

1/4 cup sherry

1/2 cup brandy or Grand Marnier – I used Grand Marnier

3/4 cup chicken or fish stock – I used chicken stock

1/2-3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

salt & pepper to taste

 

Saute the shrimp in a hot skillet with the butter.  Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until the shrimp is completely cooked and pink.  Once the shrimp is cooked, remove it from the skillet and set aside.

IMG_1186

In the same pan, add the shallots, the sherry and a bit more butter.  Saute the shallots for about 2 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.  make sure to get all the scrapings from the bottom.

IMG_1187

Unless you are going for the flambe effect, remove the skillet from the heat and pour in either the brandy or the Grand Marnier.  Flames may still rise up, but they will go down in less than a minute, so just be careful.  Obviously, I was going for the full flambe.  You know, it’s all about presentation.  🙂

IMG_1189

IMG_1190

Once the flames have died down, add the stock and bring everything to a boil.  Let the sauce boil for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  You want most of the liquid to evaporate.

Add the cream, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper.  Mix everything together thoroughly.

IMG_1193

IMG_1194

Add the shrimp back to the skillet, coat it in the sauce and continue to cook for about 2 more minutes.

IMG_1195

Your shrimp Diane is now ready to serve.  I served it over rice, with some asparagus and my leftover Irish brown Soda Bread,  Guinness in the Stew, Guinness in the Bread with a light, delicious Vin Blanc to make the perfect meal.  Bon Appetit!

IMG_1198

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not 1 … Not 2 … But 3

When I made my lemon-honey chicken, Chicken with Honey and Lemon Sauce  I had no idea I was going to have it 3 totally different ways, for 3 totally delicious meals.  But I did.  Obviously, the first meal was the lemon-honey chicken.

Meal #2 was a lemony chicken and vegetable pasta.

IMG_1146

IMG_1136

I started with the chicken breasts, and shredded the meat.  Then I added some heirloom tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, garlic, a shallot and a red bell pepper that I sauteed all together.  Once the vegetables were cooked, I added the chicken.

IMG_1141

Next came some wine, some chicken broth and lemon juice to make the sauce.  I wanted to keep the fresh lemony flavors from the original chicken dish, and this was the best way to do that.  I adjusted the seasonings as needed too.  As this was all cooking up nicely, I was also cooking some pasta to serve this over.  Any kind will do.  This time I used penne or mostacelli pasta.

IMG_1145

Once the pasta was ready, all that was needed was some garlic cheese bread (Larry’s version, not mine.  Mine is much better.) and some dry white wine.  Voila!  Dinner is served.

IMG_1148

But this was not the end.  Oh no!  Larry has always been saying that often times when I use up my leftovers I end up with more than what I started with.  This was certainly true in this case too.  🙂  Yes, we could have it as lemon chicken and vegetable pasta again, but where’s the fun in that?  Once again, I put on my creative thinking cap and came up with yet another delicious meal to make.

This time, meal #3 was a Middle Eastern Lemon Chicken Pot Pie.

IMG_1161

I still have some fillo dough, so I made my pot pies with those.  From start to finish, Spray some individual ramekins with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 375-400* F.  Melt about 1/2 stick of butter, or more as needed.

  1.  Carefully take a couple of sheets of the fillo/phyllo (I have actually seen it spelled both ways) dough and fold them into the ramekins, with enough leftover to wrap on top.  Brush the melted butter thoroughly all over the fillo/phyllo dough.
  2. Add some cooked couscous to the bottom of the dish.
  3. Add the chicken and vegetable filling.
  4. Carefully wrap the fillo/phyllo doughover the filling and to the center.  Brush the tops with the remaining butter.  Completely cover the surface of the fillo/phyllo dough.  The butter is to give it flavor, to help it brown and to keep the dough from burning and makes a really flaky, crunchy crust.

IMG_1162

Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and flaky.  Let it cool for a few minutes.  Right before serving, sprinkle just a dash of powdered sugar on top.  Caution though, it is still going to be VERY hot, so be careful not to burn your mouth.

I first had these (or a similar version) in a Middle Eastern restaurant years ago, and I have loved them ever since.  Oddly enough though, I cannot find the recipe in any of my Middle Eastern Cookbooks.  I heard the actual name for them once, but have long since forgotten it.  Who needs a name though?  Luckily I can still remember them and how delicious they tasted.  The slightly sweet from the lemon and honey in the chicken matches perfectly with the flaky crust and the slightly sweet from the powdered sugar on top.

IMG_1163

These are just some simple, delicious ways to recreate those leftovers and no one will ever know they were from leftovers at all.

Stay safe and stay well.