Tuesday, November 13, 2018

ICEBERG WEDGE SALAD WITH BLUE CHEESE DRESSING

Here is a recipe for a really delicious blue cheese dressing. No additives, no sugar, and you can make it in just a few minutes.


4 slices bacon
1 head Iceberg lettuce, cut into wedges
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup plain sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
½ cup mayonnaise
6 oz blue cheese, crumbled and divided
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 to 3 T milk
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook bacon until crisp. Crumble and set aside.


Core the lettuce and place on 4 salad plates.

Evenly divide the tomatoes and red onion on top of each plate.

Whisk together the sour cream or yogurt and mayonnaise in a medium bowl.

Add most of the crumbled blue cheese. Mash and mix with a fork until fairly smooth, but not completely smooth.
Stir in the lemon juice and as much milk as needed. 
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon some dressing on top of each wedge, add the rest of the blue cheese, and sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

Serves 4





Friday, November 2, 2018

SWEET POTATO, ASPARAGUS, & BACON HASH

This is a very healthy breakfast if you omit the bacon...but the bacon makes it taste so good. You could also make it with ham or sausage.


4 slices bacon
1 T avocado oil
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
½ yellow onion, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 scallions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 small bunch asparagus, trimmed, and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
1 t smoked paprika
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 eggs, scrambled
Chives, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place bacon on a wire rack lined baking pan and bake until crisp, about 18 to 20 minutes. When done, set aside on paper towels.

In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, add oil and cook sweet potato chunks, covered for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Remove lid and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. 

Add onion and peppers. Cook another 3 minutes.
Add garlic and asparagus and cook until asparagus are tender about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika and season with salt and pepper.
Break bacon into pieces and add to skillet.
Stir to completely combine.

Meanwhile, cook eggs in a non-stick skillet.

Spoon hash onto 2 warm plates.
Top with scrambled eggs and garnish with snipped chives.

Serves 2

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

AVOCADO TOAST WITH SCRAMBLED EGGS

There are so many things you can top avocado toast with, such as smoked salmon, and all types of cooked eggs. This is a very filling and healthy breakfast or lunch.


4 slices multigrain or your choice of bread
1 avocado, cut open, scored and scooped into a bowl
3 T finely chopped cilantro leaves
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 T fresh lime juice
4 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 T unsalted butter
4 large eggs, beaten
Sea salt and fine ground black pepper
2 to 3 chives, snipped

Place your bread slices on a cutting board.
Mash the avocado with a fork and mix in the cilantro, scallions, and lime juice. 
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Top each with a few slices of tomato.

Meanwhile, in a non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add the beaten eggs.
Cook while moving eggs around with a rubber spatula.
Season eggs to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon on top of avocado slices and sprinkle with a few snipped chives.

Serves 2 to 4






KENTUCKY BOURBON-HONEY-WALNUT CAKE

Since there is just the two of us, this recipe makes a smaller cake but you can double the recipe for a larger bundt cake to feed a crowd.


½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 T brown sugar
½ cup honey
2 large eggs
Zest and juice of 1 large navel orange
1 ¾ cups pastry or all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
2 t ground cinnamon
¼ t ground cloves
¼ t ground allspice
¼ t ground ginger
½ t fine sea salt
¼ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup strong hot coffee or espresso
3 T Maker’s Mark Kentucky Bourbon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a pudding mold (do not clip on top) or a loaf pan with butter and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.
Add the honey, eggs, zest and orange juice and mix for 1 minute.

In another bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and ginger. Stir in the salt and walnuts.

In a glass measuring cup, add the coffee and bourbon.

With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with coffee mixture.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and baking in the center of the oven for 40 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Run a kitchen knife around the edges of the pan and remove cake to plate and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.








Monday, October 29, 2018

CLASSIC BEEF STROGANOFF

Beef Stroganoff was created by a French chef in St. Petersburg, Russia in the late 19th century. It is a quick and easy meal to make, even on a weeknight. This recipe serves four but if there is just the two of you, cook half of the noodles and freeze half of the sauce for another night. You can substitute red wine for the Cognac or brandy. 

Lee Kitchen Tips:
Cognac is a type of brandy that is made in an area of France called Cognac. It is a spirit that is distilled from wine and aged in oak barrels for a minimum period of two years...all Cognac is brandy but not all brandy is Cognac.


2 lbs boneless sirloin, strip loin, or tenderloin
2 T avocado oil, divided
8 oz button or cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 shallots, cut in half and thinly sliced
4 T unsalted butter
¼ cup Cognac or brandy
1 ½ cups beef broth
1 T dry English mustard
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream, plus more for serving

16 oz package wide egg noodles
1 T chopped Italian parsley

Place meat in the freezer for one hour to make it easier to thinly slice.
Cut meat into bite-size thin strips.  
Heat oil in a large skillet.
Working in two batches, add meat and brown.
Set meat aside on a plate.
Add mushrooms and cook until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. 
Add butter and sauté shallots for another 5 minutes.
Add Cognac or brandy and then broth.
Simmer until liquid thickens, about 5 minutes. 
Stir in dry mustard, Worcestershire, paprika, and return the meat.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. 
Stir in sour cream and heat through, but do not boil.

Serve over hot buttered egg noodles and garnish with parsley and a dollop of sour cream.

Serves 4




Thursday, October 25, 2018

FIVE CHEESE SWISS FONDUE

Fondue is a Swiss, Italian, and French dish of melted cheese in wine. It is made and served in a caquelon or fondue pot. It was promoted as a Swiss national dish in the 1930s.


Lee's Kitchen Tips: 
Gruyère is a hard yellow whole cow's milk cheese named after the French area of Switzerland known as Gruyères. 
Swiss Emmentaler another whole cow's milk cheese and is made in Emmental, Switzerland. 
Appenzeller is the top of the line and is also a whole cow's milk fruity cheese, also made in Switzerland. A good substitute for Appenzeller, if you cannot find it, is Norwegian Jarlsberg cheese.
Gouda is named after the Dutch city of Gouda and is one of the oldest cheeses that is still made today.
Kirsch is a colorless, dry brandy. It is made from the fermented juice of black morello cherries.
Fontina is an Alpine cheese originating in Italy.

P.S. You can make the fondue with one or two of the above cheeses and it will still be delicious.




1 large clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
6 oz  Swiss Gruyère cheese
6 oz Swiss Emmentaler cheese
6 oz Swiss Appenzeller cheese or Jarlsberg cheese
6 oz Dutch Gouda cheese
3 oz Fontina cheese
2  cups dry white wine
2 T cornstarch
1 T fresh lemon juice
3 T kirsch brandy
¼ t nutmeg 
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of sea salt
Paprika for garnish, if desired

Rub fondue pot with the garlic clove and discard.
Grate the cheese with a box grater into a large bowl and set aside.
Add the wine to the fondue pot and heat until it starts to bubble.
Add the cornstarch and whisk to smooth out any lumps.
Slowly add the grated cheese, a handful at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until all the cheese is melted and the mixture is creamy and smooth.
This will take about 15 minutes.

Add lemon juice, brandy, nutmeg, cayenne, and salt.
Stir for another minute.

Sprinkle with paprika and serve with chunks of crusty bread, carrot sticks, sliced apples, and a green salad.

Serves 4

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

WARM STILTON & PEAR TARTLETS

This is one of the easiest and quickest appetizers you can put together. English Stilton cheese goes so well with pears, but you can use blue cheese, Gorgonzola, Cambozola, or even Brie. I bought frozen phyllo tartlet shells in a package of 15.


15 mini phyllo tartlet shells
2 oz English Stilton or blue cheese, cut into small chunks
1 ripe pear, cut into small pieces
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Arrange tart shells on prepared pan.
Put a piece of cheese into each shell.
Sprinkle with a few pieces of pear, a few thyme leaves and drizzle with a small amount of honey.
Bake in preheated oven until cheese melts and tartlets are golden brown, about 13 to 15 minutes.