Yesterday morning I was starving and needed sustenance ASAP. For anyone who knows me, I AM the Snickers commercial where I turn into a grouchy mcgroucherstein if I don’t eat. Since I needed to eat pretty quickly, I improvised and created a fun breakfast sandwich that I call the Sanity Saver so I could get food in my belly and David didn’t have to tolerate a hungry diva.
To ensure I get a few more vegetables in my diet, I’ve been grabbing these Green Giant Health Blends in the freezer section. I decided to serve their antioxidant blend (red peppers, carrots, broccoli) and a poached egg on top of toasted whole wheat bread all smothered with Everyday with Rachael Ray’s Good-For-You Hollandaise Sauce. A little salt and pepper on top and you’ve got breakfast in a flash. We both really, really liked this and more importantly the diva crisis was averted. There’s only room for one diva in this house and I think we all know who that is…
So we got all sorts of fancy over here at Casa Kealey – I made a gastrique! This Scallops with Blood Orange Gastrique from Bon Appetit just sounds fancy but honestly, it really wasn’t. This turned out to be a beautifully balanced scallop dish that was super elegant to serve but not hard to make. Totally a Top Scallop in my book.
Back in my food PR days I use to work with Sunkist, and as you can imagine I really got to know my citrus. I’ve always loved citrus, but through this experience I was introduced to new and delicious varieties that I had never encountered such as a pummelo and the lovely moro (aka blood) orange. Check out their citrus flavor wheel to learn about the different varieties available.
So what drew me to the moro orange? First, the color. You eat with your eyes and the interior color and juice of a moro is so eye appealing. Second, the flavor of course. It has a tart but slightly sweet taste so it’s versatile in sweet and savory dishes. I love making a simple moro orange salsa and serving it over roasted pork tenderloin. Drool.
The gastrique for this scallops dish was the most intimidating part. I’ve never made one and was a little nervous I would totally muck it up. Poodles, follow the directions on this and you will nail it! I followed every time and visual cue to ensure success and it totally worked! The rest of the meal came together in a flash and I followed their instructions to ensure you get a beautiful caramelized scallop: “Rinse it, pat it dry with a paper towel—and then get your pan really hot.”.
I found my blood oranges at Whole Foods Market and they are in season until about mid-April. I dare y’all to give this a try. Ooooooh, this would be beautiful to serve for Valentine’s Day! No onions or garlic. A beautiful deep red sauce on the sweet scallops and it’s filling without being too overbearing so you can keep on with your evening. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. 😉
Love. So much love poodles. WOW. First because it was super easy and lickity-split quick in assembly. Second, the flavors were beautiful together on the plate. However when I tasted the breadcrumbs on their own and the spinach, cream, thyme mixture on it’s own, they were OK but I was a little concerned that this wasn’t going to taste as good as it looked. Wrong.
On the plate it’s a one-two punch of flavor from the crumbs/spinach and the lovely olive oil fried egg brings it all together. What I also liked was that the servings were just enough for each of us – although secretly I could have run back to the kitchen and made one more batch for us to inhale. I typically have a lot of these ingredients on standby which makes me a happy panda because I may have just found my new favorite egg dish.
I’m slightly begging you to try this recipe. It is so simple, fresh and absolutely delicious.
I think Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup might be one of my favorite comfort food combos of all time. My reigning favorite still has to be Luna Park’s in Los Angeles Cheeselitz and Tomato Soup, but a homemade version with Kale? Sign me up! I chose this Grilled Cheese-and-Kale Sandwiches with Tomato Soup from Everyday with Rachael Rayfor a fun kid’s night at Casa Kealey. To be honest, I don’t have too much to say except this was simple, fast and easy to make, and absolutely delicious. The havarti cheese was super melty. You know the kind of grilled cheese that you pull away from the sandwich and strings of gooey cheese come out? Yeah, that kind and here’s your drool cup. Also, the soup was creamy and a perfect complement to the sandwich. I actually kept dunking my sandwich into the soup. Finally, there was kale. I’ve professed my undying love for kale again and again so I won’t bore you with the love poems or sonnets I have for it. This was a fun, delicious and quick meal that’s perfect for all ages.
Now about this artic chill. There are icicles on our porch. Icicles…ACK! I do hope it snows though so I can go outside and make snow angels!
To me, you can never go wrong when you combine honey with anything. I mean right? Think about it, what’s one thing honey doesn’t go well with? Bon Appetit explores this idea in their At the Market section focused on the lucious, good for you nectar from our gentle bee friends. I have to give mad props to the Bon Appetit staff for the amazing recipes they have in this section. I’ve done two other rock star recipes from the past two issues (see here and here) and this Honey-Marinated Pork with Gremolata was simply awesome as well.
I marinated the pork in the morning since we would be out all day on Lake Travis. Let’s let that sink in shall we? Go ahead, I”ll wait………..we had our first day on the lake on January 30th! It was so beautiful here yesterday and sitting on a boat chatting and relaxing with friends was a great way to end the weekend. I guess we need to celebrate the warm weather since it’s going to be in the low 20s later on this week, with the possibility of snow. An 80 degree day and then a few days later a chance of snow. Whoa-k. I won’t get into how that’s a tad odd, even for the ever changing Texas weather.
Back to the pork people. After searing the two tenderloins and placing in the oven, I made the gremolata and then moved on to the salad I chose as a side dish: Escarole with Bacon, Dates and Warm Walnut Vinaigrette. OUTSTANDING. There I got that out of my system. This is originally an entree salad but I lowered the amount to keep it as a simple side. We loved, loved this salad. It’s super easy to put together and the dates, walnuts and bacon all played quite nicely together. I didn’t have walnut oil (who does?) and couldn’t find escarole (what gives Austin?) so I just used olive oil and fresh arugula for the greens; still freaking delicious. We loved the pork and you really tasted the full honey flavor in every bite. Plus the reduced sauce and gremolata on top made the pork sing such a pretty song. We have leftovers today and I can’t wait for lunch time to get here so I can inhale the rest of the pork.
Both big winners in our house, I hope they will be in yours too.
Everything I’ve tested and tasted this week has been pretty good but not really C.I.T.L material if you know what I mean – until last night. I spotted this Sausage and Caramalized Onion Bread Pudding when it came out in October 2009 and then it got lost in the recipe shuffle. I revisited last week and decided to put on my menu plan or forever hold my peace. Good things come to those who wait!
This was so yummy and savory and bread puddingy. We gobbled up one piece, both went back for seconds and had it for lunch today too. The only addition I made was a little fresh thyme since I had some handy and I love adding fresh herbs whenever I can. Moving on to the salad I chose to accompany the fantastic bread pudding. The name is quite unique: Hotel Russel Erskine Salad. Turns out, Russel Erskine was a businessman from Huntsville, Alabama and was the president of Studebaker motor cars for several years. The Hotel Russel Erskine building is still in Hunstville, but is now an aparment complex. Sigh, that makes me think of the beautiful Plaza Hotel in New York City. I digress. This dressing, served at Hotel Russel Erskine, is a funky combo of flavors THAT ROCKS. Hoseradish, sweet paprika, dry mustard, cider vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil. This reminded me of a typical French dressing but was much thinner and lighter in flavor; perfect for the watercress. I highly recommend both of these!
I had been eyeing this gentle little casserole since the magazine hit my hot little hands and I finally got around to it this week. This is one of Cooking Light’s recipe makeovers and let’s take a look at the “Old Way” vs “Our Way” shall we?
1,084 calories per serving
28 grams saturated fat
2,075 milligrams sodium
Greasy, processed ground beef
Beans: Fried and fried again
A pound of cheese
331 calories per serving
6.1 grams saturated fat
535 milligrams sodium
Skinless, boneless chicken breast
Veggies: lightly seasoned and sautéed
A hearty sprinkle of Jack cheese and feta
I always wonder where their “Old Way” inspiration comes from so I can STEER CLEAR of it. 1,084 calories? That’s just insane and makes my teeth itch. This sucker is chock full of veggies but you don’t really notice it since they are cooked in with the chicken and enchilada sauce. Good one for the kids eh?! The two cheeses are just enough to get your ooey, gooey cheese fix and the flavors all worked well together. One thing I would recommend is either double the amount of homemade salsa you make since there didn’t seem to be enough to include like the recipe calls for or just purchase a store bought fire-roasted salsa and save yourself the time. Overall this is a good solid dish and awesome as leftovers the next day. I do have to say this Mexican inspired pie recipe, although not as healthy as the above, is still to this day my absolute favorite.
January 15, 2010 will be on of my favorite days of all time because it’s the day that David walked into my life. Neither of us were looking for any sort of potential partner, in fact I was against the idea before I met David, but then a mutual friend saw the potential and introduced us immediately. For the next few hours, we sat and talked and talked, something we are still very good at by the way. I owe our dear friend a lot for making the introduction and now one year later here we are. Just goes to show that life can you throw you very amazing curve balls – always embrace them lambs.
I’ve made the Beef Short Ribs before so I knew this would be a huge win with David. I still don’t have a food mill but ran the sauce through the food processor and reheated as necessary. The potato gratin was creamy, bacony and so full of delicious flavor; a perfect complement to the ribs. After the ribs, chard and potatoes the pudding was a delightful, bright and not-too-sweet ending to a perfect anniversary meal. Paired with a 2002 Silver Oak Cab? Perfection all around and David loved all of it.
Even if it’s not a special occasion this meal would be a great Sunday night supper or something to impress guests at a dinner party. One year down and hopefully many, many more to go right David?
As I was thumbing through the new Cooking Light, I kept coming back to this Vegetarian Country Captainrecipe due to it’s unique combination of ingredients: curry, mango chutney, heavy cream, cauliflower, edamame, and a Granny Smith apple? My brain kept trying to figure out just how these would all taste together and finally intrigue got the best of me. Two cheers for intrigue. We LOVED this. It is an Emily and David favorite hands down.
OK back to what the heck a Country Captain is exactly. According to Cooking Light: Traditionally, Country Captain is a mild chicken stew seasoned with curry powder. Myth has it that a British sea captain working in the spice trade introduced this classic, comforting dish to the southern U.S. in the 19th century. Here, we’ve replaced chicken with edamame and cauliflower for a version loaded with vegetables to help you meet your daily produce goals. For a more in-depth history of this very popular Lowcountry dish (FDR adored it!), read more here. If anyone has favorite Country Captain recipes please share in the comments as I’m dying to make more versions of this.
This was so easy to put together and the layers of flavor were insanely delicious. I loved how all the ingredients played off each other and it is really filling to boot. For the love y’all, make this right now! One note, if you are working off of the magazine do not pay attention to the photo above the recipe. It’s the wrong image and I saw on their website that Cooking Light is aware of the error. As I was making this I kept scratching my head and worrying because mine was looking nothing like the beauty shot. Lo and behold I flipped to the page ahead and put two and two together. Whew, that photo DID look like this….