Sunday, May 9, 2010

Filet and Grilled Veggie Grilled Cheese

There has been a lot of food gifts for us since Baby Byrd came home and all have been much appreciated.  Yesterday when my mom stopped by she brought a pack of four filets, she said she got them on sale so we should either cook them or freeze them soon.  Well there is really no reason to freeze them so they were definitely on the menu tonight.  Byrd didn't want a traditional steak dinner so I had to think fast, still have that 8 o'clock dinner schedule.  I looked in the fridge and saw half of red pepper, yellow pepper and red onion. There was also a loaf of Publix white mountain bread sitting on the counter, what can I do. The wheels started to turn as  I remembered the last Food Network Magazine, there was a great cover shot and article on grilled cheeses.  I decided that would be for dinner.  

I fired up my Hibachi for the first time in a while.  It was a nice night out and just felt right.  While the coals were getting to temp, I rubbed the peppers and onions in a little olive oil and seasoned them with some McCormicks's Char Broil seasoning.  I did the same to the steaks.  Then onto the grill.
When the steaks were medium rare I pulled everything off for a 10 minute rest.  Then thinly sliced all of the above. I did feel slightly guilty about treating a filet this way, but I knew it was for the greater good of dinner.
I had a little trouble trying to figure out how to build this sandwich.  I decided to place a couple good slices of Munster on the bottom, then add the sliced filet.  Topped that with the peppers and onions, then more steak and cheese, and then the top piece of bread.  Into a hot pan of butter.
At the flip.
This would have been to much for one of us so I cut it in half and served with oven baked steak fries.  
This was a long way to go for a grilled cheese but it was definitely worth it.  To quote Byrd, "A perfect first mother's day dinner."  I couldn't be a happier guy.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Peachy Chicken

We have been home from the hospital with Baby Byrd for about 4 days and sleep has definitely not been on the menu.  What has been is a hodge podge of family cooked frozen food for us to heat when needed.  It has all been great.  Thank you everyone for the quick delicious meals. One great thing I have found about odd hour feeding times it gives me a lot of time to watch food network.  This morning before I left for work I saw Rachel Ray make a dinner called A Little Bit Country.  A great looking meal that I have been waiting to cook all day.  I will first state that I have not always been a fan of Rachel, but that is starting to change.  I need quick good meals these days and well 30 minutes is pretty quick.

Here is my take on her Chicken and Peaches

Canned peaches, I couldn't find fresh ones
1/2 lemon, juiced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 Boneless skinless chicken thighs
Salt and Pepper
1 Shallot
3/4 cup Chicken Stock
2/3 cup Peach Preserves
Hot Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce

I started by adding some olive oil in a sautee pan, then added in the chicken thighs.  I would like to say that I really wanted to grill real thighs, but I was on a dinner deadline of serving before 8, feeding time. I stuck to the boneless ones.  Cooked them until done then removed them from the pan and placed them in the oven to stay warm.  Next came the shallots, chicken stock and preserves.  I let this simmer for about 5 minutes making sure to get all of the goodies off the bottom of the pan.  Then I added in the hot sauce, not really sure how much, about  a tablespoon.  Then the Worcestershire sauce, not measured either, probably 2-3 tablespoons.

Since I didn't have fresh peaches I strained the ones from the can and rinsed them to remove the syrup.   Then into a pan with a little butter and the lemon juice to heat through.

Chicken out of the oven and onto a platter.  I garnished with the peach slices then covered in the sauce.
This was a great main dish that I will make again.  The peach and chicken combination was delicious. Next time I will marinate some real thighs and get them on the grill then baste with a similar peach sauce.  This also got me thinking about a apple sauce made the same way paired with some sort of pork.

The side dish tonight was Sweet Onion Potatoes Au Gratin.  I will blog this later in the week.  They too were outstanding.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Done Baking

This is not a food post.  But it is definitely about baking.  For the last 8 month 3 weeks Byrd has been baking baby Byrd.  Last Sunday night she was done.  Home healthy and happy here is Byrd and what she has been baking, the loves of my life:
A very healthy 20 inch 6.43 lb. loaf of love.  Cooking will return shortly.  I may actually start making baby food.  Who knows.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Creole Shrimp Scampi

I got home relatively early from work today and Byrd had a great idea for dinner.  This meant I didn't have to go through the process of figuring out what to cook.  I am really glad when she gives me ideas.  Last night her mom made a Publix Apron recipe and said it was delicious, so she wanted to try it.  I was glad to be back in my home kitchen and went right to work.  Here is the link to the original recipe.  During Byrd's pregnancy she has has had no taste for seafood at all, no fish, shrimp, crap, nothing.  Tonight she was craving shrimp.  Finally.  I love shrimp. And as I have said before, I love all things pasta.

Here is what I used.

6 slices thick cut bacon (diced)
1 (9-oz) package fresh angel hair pasta
10 oz peeled/deveined 51-60 shrimp
3 tablespoons blackening seasoning. (I used Chef Paul's I haven't made my own in a while.)
1 cup fresh diced Roma tomatoes
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon CRP
1/2 cup Publix scampi sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

First season the shrimp.
I started by sauteeing the bacon then removing half of the grease, this was Byrd's idea.  I hate to remove any of the delicious bacon drippings.  When the bacon was almost cooked I added in the shrimp.  The smell of shrimp cooking in bacon is very intoxicating.  After about a minute I added in the garlic and crushed red pepper and let them heat up for a few seconds then added in the tomatoes and wine.  
The smell just kept getting better.  I let this simmer for about 2 minutes until the shrimp were cooked through.  Shrimp are easily over cooked so you have to be careful.  Then add in the cheater scampi sauce and lemon juice. I am not ashamed of using the cheater sauce, somebody at Publix spent a lot of time coming up with this and well, I am glad they did.
Hot tub of deliciousness.  Not to take a line from Guy Fieri, but it works here.
The pasta was cooked according to the package which was about a minute in the boiling water.  Served with a little toasted garlic French bread, for sopping.
This had a lot of flavor and wasn't as saucy as most scampi dishes. This one has room for improvement, but it was great as served.