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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

CELEBRATING FATHER'S DAY!

I tend to do things a little over the top, so instead of a Father's Day "meal," I'm actually celebrating Father's Day ALL WEEKEND LONG!


Here's what I'm serving:

MENUS

SATURDAY LUNCH:
CUCUMBER SALAD
ANTIPASTO WRAPS 
MELON AND PROSCIUTTO SALAD

DINNER:
COBB SALAD DIP with chips
GRILLED BEEF TENDERLOIN
TWICE BAKED SWEET POTATOES
LEMON GARLIC BRUSSEL SPROUTS


SUNDAY COOKOUT
APPETIZER:
CLUB SANDWICH DIP
BBQ RIBS
BBQ CHICKEN
COLESLAW
CORN ON THE COBB
PEACH BERRY CRUMBLE



CUCUMBER AND TOMATO SALAD
(Adapted from Paula Deen)



1 pound cucumbers (about 2 cucumbers), peeled and thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 Vidalia onion, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large serving bowl, toss together the cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, onion, parsley, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper, to taste. Let the salad stand for 10 minutes before serving.

MELON AND PROSCIUTTO SALAD
(Adapted from what's gaby cooking)

3 cups cubed honeydew melon
3 cups cubed cantaloupe
2 tablespoons thinly torn fresh mint
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3-4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, sliced into thin strips
freshly ground black pepper to taste


Combine the honeydew, cantaloupe, mint and lemon juice in a large bowl and toss to combine.
Arrange the fruit on a platter and chop the proscuitto over the melons.
Top with a few twists of some freshly cracked black pepper and serve.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
ANTIPASTO WRAPS
(Adapted from Pampered Chef)
8 ounces light cream cheese, slightly softened
2 tablespoons fresh basil, snipped
1 garlic clove, pressed
6 (8 inch) sun-dried tomato tortillas
6 romaine lettuce leaves
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup pitted ripe olives, sliced
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, diced
1/2 cup water-packed artichoke hearts, chopped
4 ounces salami
4 ounces ham
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Mix cream cheese with the basil and garlic. On each tortilla, spread about 2 tablespoons of this mixture on the tortillas to within 1/4 inch of the edge.  Layer with romaine, salami, ham, and cheese.
Next, layer on the olives, roasted red peppers, and artichoke hearts that you prefer. Tightly roll up the tortilla and cut in half on the diagonal.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

COBB SALAD DIP
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 2 ounces)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 medium avocado, finely chopped (about 1 1/3 cups, cut just before serving)
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
4 slices bacon, well-browned and crumbled
Celery sticks or assorted crackers, for serving


Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Place the sour cream, blue cheese, lemon juice, salt, and Worcestershire in a medium nonreactive bowl and stir until well combined.

Fold in the avocado, scallions, and parsley, transfer the dip to a shallow serving dish, and top with the bacon. Serve with celery sticks or assorted crackers.

GRILLED BEEF TENDERLOIN
Photo Credit: All Recipes
1 (5 pound) whole beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon salt

Prepare beef: Trim off excess fat with a sharp knife. Fold thin tip end under to approximate the thickness of the rest of the roast. Tie with butcher's twine, then keep tying the roast with twine every 11/2 to 2 inches (to help the roast keep its shape). Snip silverskin with scissors to keep roast from bowing during cooking. Then, mix oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, pepper and salt; rub over roast to coat. Set meat aside.
Either build a charcoal fire in half the grill or turn all gas burners on high for 10 minutes. Lubricate grate with an oil-soaked rag using tongs. Place beef on hot rack and close lid; grill until well-seared, about 5 minutes. Turn meat and close lid; grill until well-seared on second side, another 5 minutes.
Move meat to the charcoal grill's cool side, or turn off burner directly underneath the meat and turn remaining one or two burners (depending on grill style) to medium. Cook until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest section registers 130 degrees for rosy pink, 45 to 60 minutes, depending on tenderloin size and grill. Let meat rest 15 minutes before carving.
*Serve with horseradish sauce (mix 1 cup sour cream with prepared horseradish (at least 1 TBSP), Dijon mustard (1 TBSP) and S & P to taste.

TWICE BAKED SWEET POTATOES WITH GRUYERE AND ROSEMARY
(Adapted from Food 52)
Photo Credit: Pinterest
4 large sweet potatoes
2 TBSP fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp butter, melted
4 TBSP Gruyere cheese, grated
4 TBSP light brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Topping
2 TBSP butter, melted
2 dashes worchestershire sauce
~ 4 TBSP chopped toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and scrub sweet potatoes, then using a fork, make several holes to allow steam to escape. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until easily pricked with a fork. Allow to cool a bit, then slice each potato lengthwise.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Scoop out the centers and place in a medium size mixing bowl. Add the butter, brown sugar, rosemary, cheese and salt and pepper and mix well. Carefully add the potato mixture back to the skins equally.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Bake for ~ 15 minutes, or until just starting to brown on the edges.

For the topping, mix together the butter and worchestershire and drizzle over the halved potatoes. Sprinkle with the pecans and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

LEMON GARLIC BRUSSEL SPROUTS
(Adapted from what's gaby cooking)

2 lb Brussel Sprouts
4 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced and zested
3 tbsp gruyere, grated
sea salt
pepper

Clean the brussel sprouts by trimming off the ends and peeling the outer layer of the sprout off. Cut each one in half.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Once heated, add the halved brussel sprouts to the pan and saute for about 7-8 minutes on each side until the outer part is a caramelized brown and the inside is soft and fully cooked.
Add the garlic half way through the cooking.
Reduce the heat to low and add the lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper.
Stir to combine and taste. Adjust seasoning if needed. Add the cheese on top and serve.

CLUB SANDWICH DIP
(Adapted from Pip and Ebby)

Photo Credit: Pip and Ebby
1 lb. sliced deli turkey, chopped
1 lb. sliced deli ham, chopped
8-oz. package cream cheese
12-oz. package American cheese slices, unwrapped and chopped
3⁄4 cup mayonnaise
1-2 teaspoons seasoning salt (such as Lawry’s)
16-oz. package bacon cooked according to package directions, chopped
8-oz. cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
3⁄4 cup chopped pickles
Pita wedges, crackers or chips, for dipping
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Add the turkey, ham, cream cheese, American cheese, mayo and seasoning salt to a slow cooker or a baking dish.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Mix together and cook on low heat for 2 hours in the slow cooker or 30 minutes in the baking dish at 350 degrees F (stirring occasionally), or until cheese is melted and dip is warmed through.

Add the bacon pieces, tomatoes and pickles.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Stir and heat for 10 additional minutes on low heat. Serve warm with pita wedges, crackers or chips for dipping.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

BBQ RIBS
Gotta go with my favorite here - Montgomery Inn!

 OK - I'm cheating here (montgomeryinn.com), which I think are just about the best there are!  They are out of Cincinnati, OH, and I order them frequently for parties.  You can grill them or just pop them in the oven.  Then slather with their amazing (I think the best) BBQ sauce, cut them up; and you have finger food that your guests will love you for serving.

http://store.cincyfavorites.com/ribs--pulled-meats-c12.aspx
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


Photo Credit: Cate Bogue














BBQ CHICKEN SANDWICHES

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 TBSP Cajun seasoning
1 cup BBQ sauce (see below)

Brush chicken breast with oil and then rub with cajun seasoning. Grill until almost done (~8-10 minutes). Slather with BBQ sauce and turn to grill 2 minutes. Slather again with sauce and turn for another 2-3 minutes.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Serve with:
swiss cheese
BBQ sauce
Honey Mustard
Lettuce
Rolls

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

This sauce offers that perfect blend of tangy and sweet (but not too sweet). So good.
BBQ Sauce:
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups ketchup
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
2 TBSP tomato paste
2 TBSP honey
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP molasses
2 TBSP Worchestershire sauce
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 TBSP Chili Powder
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp tabasco

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
In heavy saucepan mix all ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Let cool and refridgerate up to one week.
Makes 3 cups of sauce.

LIMEY COLESLAW
(Gwynneth Paltrow)
Simply throw a bag of coleslaw in a bowl.  Add a couple of heaping spoonfuls of veganaise, 1-2 tsp of lime juice and salt generously.  Serve immediately.

GRILLED VEGIES AND CORN ON THE COB

PEACH BERRY CRUMBLE
(Adapted from Southern Living)
Photo Credit: Southern Living
3 cups fresh peach slices (about 4 medium)
2 cups fresh blackberries
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup uncooked regular oats
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
Vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 375°. Place first 2 ingredients in an 11- x 7-inch (or 2-qt.) baking dish.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Stir together egg, egg yolk, and next 4 ingredients with a fork until mixture resembles coarse meal.


Sprinkle over fruit. Melt the butter and drizzle melted butter over topping.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until light brown and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes; serve warm with ice cream.

How gorgeous is that?
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

THE SUMMER DINNER PARTY FOR 8

Summer dining - by far my favorite.  I love the heat; I love that people are in a good mood; I love wearing flowy, comfy clothes, and (most importantly) I love summer food!  We are having guests in for the weekend, and here's what we're serving Friday night - it'll enable all to be outside together and the hard part (prep) can pretty much be handled way in advance.

Photo Credit: flowerwildevents

MENU

HOUSTON'S SPINACH-ARTICHOKE DIP
MARINATED FLANK STEAKS
SHRIMP AND GRITS CASSEROLE
ROASTED TOMATOES AND ASPARAGUS
ROLLS

MINTED VODKA LEMONADE

ICE CREAM SUNDAES

HOUSTON'S SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP
(Adapted from Food.com)

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
1/2 cup grated romano cheese
1 clove garlic, peeled
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 (6 1/2 ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained
8 ounces soft garlic-chive cream cheese
2 large eggs
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place Romano cheese in a food processor.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
While running, drop garlic in the feed tube. Add spinach, artichokes, cream cheese and eggs, process until thoroughly blended. Place into a casserole dish.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
 Fold in mozzarella.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Bake 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Serve with tortilla chips.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

MARINATED FLANK STEAK

This recipe is THE recipe for flank steak. I got it from a very old issue of Southern Living.  So good and so easy. Serve with biscuits and whole grain mustard.

2 (1 lb) flank steaks
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup commercial chutney
2 TBSP finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Trim excess fat from steaks. Score steaks on both sides and place in large dish or zip lock baggie. Combine oil and remaining ingredients.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Pour over steaks, turning to coat. Cover or seal and allow to marinate 8-12 hours (or overnight), turning occasionally.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Remove steaks from marinade (discard marinade). Grill, uncovered, over hot coals 10-12 minutes on each side (or to desired doneness). Cut steaks diagonally across grain into thin slices.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

SHRIMP AND GRITS CASSEROLE
(Adapted from Southern Living)

This recipe is great!  I love that it's not too rich - some shrimp and grits recipes are just too too much cream and/or cream cheese for me.  There's none of that here.  It's got cheddar and jalapeño jack cheeses but the secret is the chicken broth for giving it great flavor.  The original recipe called for green pepper as well, but I'm not a fan of those, so I left it out.  Another nice thing is that this dish can be made in advance - I made everything the day before, and then I simply popped it in the oven when I was ready - may need to cook a bit longer if you're taking it directly from the refrigerator to the oven.
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup regular grits
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
6 green onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound small fresh shrimp, peeled and cooked
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Bring 4 cups chicken broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large saucepan; stir in grits.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir together grits, 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese, and Monterey Jack cheese. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add green onions and garlic, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
In a separate pan sauté the shrimp about 3 minutes in 1 TBSP olive oil, then squeeze a bit of lemon juice over.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Stir together green onion mixture, grits mixture, shrimp, can of diced tomatoes and S & P.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Pour into a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Sprinkle top with remaining 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 45 minutes.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

ASPARAGUS WITH BALSAMIC TOMATOES
(Adapted from My Recipes)
Photo Credit: My Recipes
1 lb asparagus, trimmed
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
3 TBSP crumbled goat cheese
1/2 tsp black pepper

Cook asparagus in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar; cook 3 minutes. Stir in salt. Arrange asparagus on a platter; top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper.

How beautiful is this dish?
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

ADULT LEMONADE
(Adapted from Epicurious)

Photo Credit: Allrecipes
1 cup (packed) mint leaves, chopped
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups vodka
Crushed ice
Fresh mint sprigs
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Combine chopped mint and sugar in large bowl or pitcher.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Stir in lemon juice and vodka.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.

Strain mixture into pitcher. Fill six 8-ounce glasses with crushed ice. Pour mixture over. Makes about 6 servings, so I'll be doubling the recipe for my group of 8.  Would also be great crushed in a blender!

It was a very fun visit with friends, and good food was enjoyed by all!

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue