; Supermarket Serenade: August 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barefoot Thursday

OK so I had to tweak it a bit. There is no question that the Barefoot Contessa's recipes are almost always something I enjoy, but this time around I decided to tweak it a bit. Blame it on my kids because they don't like dark meat chicken (unless it's well hidden in a casserole-and I can be oh so clever). So in the interest of making something everyone will eat and in the interest of not being wasteful with food, I tweaked.

For those just rolling their carts into my aisle, what I'm talking about is my recipe for Barefoot Thursday-a day that rolls around twice a month when some 100 Barefoot Bloggers prepare a delicious recipe created by none other than the Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) herself. Today's recipe was selected by Stefany of Proceed with Caution. She selected The Barefoot Contessa's recipe for Butterflied Chicken-her recipe as published by Food Network can be found here.

I used your ubiquitous boneless chicken breasts (sorry, boring, I know) instead of the whole deboned chicken called for in the recipe. I tossed the chicken, garlic, lemons etc. in a large zipper top plastic bag and let it marinate for a few hours before tossing it on the grill. To zip it up a bit, I made a Creamy Cracked Pepper Lemon Buccatini on the side. Yummy.

Rosemary-Lemon Grilled Chicken (adapted from Butterflied Chicken by Ina Garten)

6 boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1 lemon, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a zipper top plastic bag and shake to completely coat the chicken; marinate for at least an hour.
Preheat a gas grill to medium high heat. Remove the chicken (leaving any lemon slices on the chicken) from the marinade. Discard marinade. Grill the chicken 8 minutes total, turning occasionally. Serve with the Buccatini-recipe follows.

Creamy Cracked Pepper Lemon Buccatini

1 pound Buccatini shaped pasta (you may use fettucini or linguini)
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups skim milk
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Regina cheese
1 lemon, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon capers, drained
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium sized sauce pan over medium high heat. Whisk in the flour, pepper and salt; cook for 1 minute or until lightly browned and bubbly. Stir in the milk and cook, stirring, until boiling and slightly thickened-about 5 minutes. Stir in the Parmigiano cheese.

Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl; stir in the lemons, the Parmigiano sauce and the capers. Serve immediately.

Please remember to vote for my recipe in the Evening Category at Dole!!! See the above right hand sidebar for information! Thanks!

Monday, August 25, 2008

BLTs with Jalapeno Mayo (and a quick potato tip)

The end of summer is always bittersweet.
Carefree days at the beach and on vacation have to come to end, the kids go back to school and activities. But there is one bright spot for me at the end of summer, the supermarkets and farmer's markets are overflowing with countless varieties of tomatoes.
This time of year I could (and often do) eat tomatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's important though to be careful in the supermarket when you are selecting your tomatoes. A few super tips are:

  • If at all possible, select tomatoes that are locally grown they will always have the best flavor
  • Look for firm unblemished tomatoes that feel slightly heavy in your hands
  • Don't buy tomatoes stored in a refrigerator section of the store and don't refrigerate tomatoes when you get them home. Refrigerating tomatoes decreases their flavor.
  • The tomatoes "on the vine" at the supermarket can be pretty flavorful and are a good choice only when you cannot find the locally grown varieties.
The BLT recipe I made today calls for wheat rolls, thick sliced bacon, and a jalapeno spiked mayo. I cooked the bacon my new favorite way: in the oven. I line the bacon in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake at 375 for about 10 minutes. It's so much easier than messing with a frying pan and cooking in batches when you're making bacon for a crowd. Super tip:

Now don't tell your cardiologist or family doctor that I told you to do this but, when you are finished cooking the bacon, reserve about 1/2 of the drippings on the baking sheet, dice up some baby red potatoes and a bit of shallot. Toss the potatoes and shallot onto the pan with the drippings using your hands coat with the drippings. Bake the potatoes at 425 for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let me tell you, those will be about the best roasted potatoes you've ever tasted....but really, don't tell your doctor.

Back to the BLT-it's not too heavy (a few of those potatoes on the side would be nice) and it will have you wishing summer tomatoes (real summer tomatoes) could be purchased all year round.
BLTs with Jalapeno Mayo
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 jalapeno, seeds and membranes removed, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 pound thick sliced bacon
6 soft whole wheat rolls, lightly toasted
6 Romaine lettuce leaves, coarsely chopped
4 large tomatoes any variety, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, jalapeno and cilantro; cover and chill until ready to use.

Arrange the bacon in a single layer on a large baking sheet; cook for 10 minutes in the preheated oven or until crispy and browned.

To assemble sandwiches, arrange toasted rolls on a work surface. Spread an even layer of the jalapeno mayo on the bottom half of each roll, top with a few pieces of the chopped romaine, a few tomato slices, 2 or 3 slices of bacon and top with the remaining roll halves.

Yield: 6 sandwiches

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Barefoot Thursday! Panzanella

I know I’ve only been doing this for a month, but so far this is my favorite recipe for Barefoot Bloggers. (FYI Barefoot Bloggers are a group of bloggers that prepare 2 recipes a month from the Barefoot Contessa-Ina Garten). This month's recipe was for Panzanella and it was chosen by Melissa of It's Melissa's Kitchen. Thank you Melissa for choosing such a delicious recipe!

Honestly though, toasty bread tossed with fresh chopped veggies and basil what is not to love? I made only a few minor changes:

· I omitted the mustard (can’t really stomach the stuff)
· I omitted the capers (forgot to put them on the shopping list)
· I added diced avocado (quite possibly the most perfect food-I love them and thought they would be a nice addition)

We enjoyed this salad so much, that after finishing I cut up some additional bread, toasted it (this time instead of cooking it in a skillet I spread it out on a baking sheet, tossed with the oil and salt then baked it at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or so) I then bagged it and froze it to take up to my brother’s lake house this weekend to make it again.

My supermarket had just taken loaves of French bread out of the oven, so it was a challenge to not eat the bread by itself, although I did steal a few cubes. My supermarket does not carry champagne vinegar, but luckily I was able to buy some at my local Homegoods. Although it was a bit pricey-$7.99 for a small bottle, I do think the taste is worth it.

Keeper, keeper, keeper.

Barefoot Contessa Panzanella from Barefoot Contessa Parties!

3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
½ red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinkly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained

For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

Please don’t forget to vote for my Warm Tropical Fruit Wraps-in the evening category! XXOO.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm not too proud to beg (for votes)

I returned from vacation with a nice surprise: my recipe for Warm Tropical Breeze Fruit Wraps is a finalist in the Snack with Dole recipe contest.

What does this mean?
Well, the finalist recipe with the most votes will win a trip to Hawaii for four! But alas it's a voting contest...so I must spend the next month begging friends and family and strangers on the street to cast a vote for me.

How can you help?

Simple. You register at the Dole way to snack web site. Look for the tab that says Evening, then find the recipe for Warm Tropical Breeze Fruit Wraps and then cast your vote (please).
Is the recipe any good?

I'll be the first to admit that I don't always necessarily like the recipes I submit to contests, but this particular recipe I LOVE! It's simple. It's tasty. It's easy enough for your children to make by themselves (supervised of course).

Is there anything in it for you?

Actually, yes. Every time you vote you are registered in a sweepstakes for $100 gift card. Not too shabby. Oh and of course you will win my eternal gratitude.

6 (6-inch) flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups Dole Tropical Fruit, drained
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping, warmed
2 tablespoons crushed macadamia nuts

Arrange the tortillas on a work surface. Spoon 1/4 cup of the Dole fruit in a line down the center of each tortilla; sprinkle the fruit with the coconut, evenly dividing. Wrap the tortillas around the fruit and coconut and arrange wraps one or two at a time on a microwave safe plate.

Microwave the wraps for 25-30 seconds until tortillas are soft and the fruit is warm; repeat with the remaining wraps. Drizzle each wrap with the warmed caramel topping and sprinkle with macadamia nuts, evenly dividing.

Tips: Be careful when using the microwave, plates can get very hot so be sure to use a pot holder. If you prefer, you may substitute chocolate ice cream topping for the caramel.


Thank you to Lori aka The Recipe Girl for bestowing an award on my blog!

I would like to pass it along as well to a few (well) deserving blogs:

First to Prudence Pennywise (I'm sure she's been awarded it before, but I think she is worthy of it again-she is the most devoted blogger!)

also I'd like to pass it to Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake - not only do I thoroughly enjoy her blog I think it has the coolest name!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Music meme tag...and a pretty cool food find

Aggie from Aggie's Kitchen tagged me for a music meme! Thanks, Aggie...I think it's fun to hear what everyone is listening to!

Right now you're listening to the most played songs on my Ipod!

Now I want to here what some other bloggers are listening to. Here are the rules...

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your summer (or whatever season). Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they're listening to...

Here it goes...I'm tagging:

Grace from A Southern Grace
Candy from The Courageous Cook
Emiline from Sugar Plum
Deb from Kahakai Kitchen
Allie from Finding Inspiration in Food
Sydney from Diapers and Deadlines
Robin Sue from Big Red Kitchen

Go ahead serenade me!!


Not too long ago I won a little contest on Veggie Mom's blog Eat your Veggies. It was a box of Pop'rs...what are Pop'rs you ask?

Well...they are a fun "pop rocks" like food additive that you can sprinkle on anything to add a little snap, crackle and flavor. Think Molly McButter meets Pop Rocks. We've been having a lot of fun snap crackling our foods all week.

We've added Cinnamon Pop'rs to pancakes...
We've added Color Burst Pop'rs to mango slices...
Taco Pop'rs to popcorn, Butter Pop'rs to broccoli and green beans, Buffalo Pop'rs to our turkey sandwiches! It says on the bottles that they have vitamins added which is an extra bonus, but we (especially the kids) just liked the crackling! I don't think they are available in the supermarket yet, but I'm sure Veggie Mom will let us know when they are. Thanks for the fun treat, Veggie Mom!