Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Winging it.....

I seem to be cooking 'from the hip'. My own version of Britian's Ready Steady Cook! Here is how my version plays out.....a couple hours before meal time I start thinking about what I'm going to prepare. I forage the freezer, crisper drawer and pantry. Usually, a pretty good meal comes together this way.

I present to you the Pizza

A pre-made dough (yep, Trader Joe) was on my marble table ready to be shaped. I had some Eggplant that I softened in the oven with olive oil, some ricotta and a log of Goat Cheese. I decided that a 'white pizza' sounded good, so I blended the ricotta and goat cheese and spread that mixture on top.  I also had a jar of marinated artichokes. It was coming together. The dough was stubborn and needed some resting in-between stretching.

My son, the resident food critic, thought the dough was too 'wheaty'. He prefers my pizza dough. Now that is a good son. During the lunch, we did take a trip down food-memory lane.
La Crêperie Maule, where the Sarasan crepe is the star, served with a delicious cidre doux. Then, we remembered our  favorite local pizzeria, Pizza Elisa. A neighborhood place where our dog was as welcome as we were. It turned out to be one of those great meals that keeps a family close.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Salmon en Papillote

 The Salmon had thawed. It was 5:30 and I hadn't decided how to prepare the filet and what to serve with it.

The pressure was on. I told my family it was time to eat healthier & lighter. I wanted to cut back on my beloved rich cream sauces. Looking through my pantry, lots of cans, jars and sacks, our dinner was coming together! I found a jar of Trader Joe's Olive Tapenade! I also had a bag of their delicious Harvest Grains blend. A huge bag of Spinach in my crisper drawer, and a very simple dinner was in the works!

All of us in the Lexington area are very excited as the Trader Joe's is being built. More to come on opening dates and festivities!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Shot of inspiration!

There is nothing like a Cooking Class to get the inspiration juices flowing! Kinda' like that afternoon shot of about 5 minutes you feel ready to tackle the rest of your work day!

Any person in the Lexington area certainly loves a class with  Phil Dunn. Watching Phil wield a pan of bubbling anything on that beautiful brick red AGA can excite a cook, or just about anybody who loves to eat. He never fails to get me planning my next meal or purchase a tool at one of his favorite local haunts! Shortcuts & tips are aplenty during each class.

The theme of this particular class was Shrimp. Yep, I still had a package of that lovely shrimp from Kroger in my freezer. And yep, they were destined for a 'Phil' recipe. I hadn't made Crepes in quite a while and his Shrimp Newburgh Crepes with a Lobster Sauce sounded like a great treat for the family. But, after a trip to Liquor Barn where Phil said we can find the Lobster Base sent me back home with Menu Plan B. The special ingredient was SOLD OUT!

I made my batter yesterday morning. The batter waited patiently in the fridge for one day! Cooking finished, now the filling will be made! I had some cooked chicken and all the fixings for a Veloute' Sauce which was enriched with some Marsala. Next, I scored some wonderful Raclette Cheese at Sams Club, 2 kinds of Crepes were going to be prepared.
Lovely organic asparagus topped with a dollop of chicken with veloute' sauce. Then a Raclette Crepe was created with sliced boiled potatoes, the Prosciutto Ham and that fantastic cheese which melts to perfection.

Plan B worked out great. Such is supper at my house!