Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Brussels are the best!

I don't think that I've ever shared my love for Brussels sprouts. At least on this blog...friends, family, co-workers have all heard how much I love them. It was about time I shared my love of them with the interwebs. Brussels sprouts can be prepared in a multitude of ways. Crispy, sauteed, and even fried. One of my good friends makes a nice, creamy version with bacon that are delish. However, when I fix them at home, I prepare them in the simplest manner possible--roasted in the oven. Roasting brussels sprouts in the oven is just perfect--each little sprout is the perfect mix of crunchy but soft at the same time. And don't even get me started on the crispy little leaves that fall off the sprout and carmelize in the oven. Ah! I just can't get enough!

When picking out your Brussels sprouts in the grocery store, look for the ones that are a good green color, are firm and have compact leaves. Avoid those that look puffy and have yellow or holey leaves on the outside.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Serves 2

15-20 Brussels sprouts, stems removed and quartered
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add Brussels sprouts to a large bowl and drizzel with olive oil and balsamic vinegar until well coated. Add salt and pepper and toss to cover. Add sprouts to baking sheet lined with foil and roast for 15-20 minutes or until caramelized.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekly Menu Plan

It's another busy week in our house...which is great because we have a fun weekend to look forward to! My niece's first birthday was yesterday and we're celebrating this upcoming weekend with friends and family. On Sunday, the hubs and I will be running in the Head for the Cure 5K in memory of my grandpa and then hosting a brunch at our house afterwards. Since we'll be having a large group of people over, this week will consist of easier meals because we have a ton of things to do to get ready.

Sunday: Bread, olive tapenade, cheese and shrimp (our go-to easy weekend meal!)
Monday: Basil chicken sausage, wild rice and brussel sprouts
Tuesday: Hamburgers and red potatoes
Wednesday: Pineapple chicken stir-fry
Thursday: Turkey clubs with waffle fries
Friday: Out to eat/takeout
Saturday: BBQ at my brother's house!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Weekly Menu Plan

I'm a day late posting this, but wanted to nonetheless. The hubs made a fantastic meal last night--he actually braised some pork belly for over six hours and it was delish. Unfortunately, our camera wasn't charged so I have no pictures but it was so yummy that we'll definitely be making it again. As far as the rest of our meals go, it's a busy week at work and we're headed to the lake this weekend, so everything we'll be having is fast and easy.

Sunday: Pappardelle Carbonara with Braised Pork Belly
Monday: BLTs with waffle fries
Tuesday: Panzanella salad
Wednesday: Smoked, Apple Chardonnay Chicken Sausage
Thursday: Eating out
Friday-Sunday: At the lake!

What do you like to cook when you have little time in your schedule? I'd love any suggestions!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

California Dreamin'

View from the San Clemente Pier

Last summer around this time, the hubs and I were visiting the small town of San Clemente, California. Most afternoons after spending time at the beach, we would head over to the restaurant on the pier for happy hour--one of my favorite things we had there were the fish tacos. They were the perfect accompaniment to a nice, cold cocktail and the freshness of the fish was delicious. Since we're not able to go back to California this summer, we decided to recreate those fish tacos but with a twist of our own by adding picked onions and tomatillo salsa.

Mahi-Mahi Fish Tacos
adapted from Epicurious

1/2 pound Mahi-Mahi
1 tsp. paprika
Lime zest
Olive Oil

Pickled Red Onions--recipe below
Tomatillo Salsa--recipe below
Baja Cream (equal parts sour cream and mayo with lime zest)
Corn tortillas

Season the Mahi-Mahi with salt, pepper, paprika and lime juice. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and bring to temperature. Add fish to pan and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes, or until flaky. Remove from heat and flake fish into pieces. Serve on warm corn tortillas with accompaniments and enjoy!

Pickled Red Onions

1 small red onion, halved lengthwise, cut into thin pieces
1 whole jalapeno, de-seeded and sliced thinly
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
Juice from 2 large limes, approximately 1/4 cup

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl, mix to combine and marinate in refrigerator for at least 8 hours before serving.

Tomatillo Salsa

4 medium tomatillos, husked, stemmed and divided
4 green onions, white and green parts separated
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Juice from 2 large limes, about 1/4 cup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line shallow cookie pan with foil and add tomatillos, the white parts of the green onion and garlic. Roast until vegetables are soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add vegetable mixture and remaining ingredients to food processor and pulse until chopped and combined.

Do you have any dishes inspired by vacation dining? I'd love to hear what food takes you back to one of your favorite vacation destinations!