Monday, July 25, 2011

Roasted Asparagus & Crab Bisque

1 pound fresh asparagus, ends snapped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups half & half
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Sea salt, to taste (up to 2 teaspoons)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 ounces  fresh crab meat, picked
Fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 Cup shredded parmesan cheese, to thicken


Preheat oven to 425° and arrange asparagus in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with up to 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt and roast until just crisp-tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool until cool enough to handle.

Cut the asparagus into 1" pieces reserving the tips. Place asparagus( not tips) into the bowl of a food processor or a blender. Add the stock, melted butter and salt and pepper and purée until smooth.

In a medium sauce pan, add puréed vegetable mixture, reserved asparagus tips and half & half and cook over medium heat until bisque is heated through (do not allow the mixture to come to the boil). Add parmesan cheese, and stir to incorporate. Adjust seasoning and reserve for  service. Top each serving with 1 ounce of crab and fresh herbs and serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gallitos- Costa Rican Breakfast Tacos


2½ tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
12 ounces (about 2 medium) Yukon Gold potatoes, diced into ¼-inch cubes
16 small flour or corn tortillas
16 ounces (1 medium) butternut squash, peeled and diced into ¼-inch cubes
12 ounces Mexican chorizo
4 eggs
1/4 teaspoon Santa Rosa Fajita Seasoning
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
* Optional* Serve with Pico de Gallo salsa, and fresh Avocado

1. Preheat oven to 250F.

2. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in warm oven.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add potatoes and season with sea salt while stirring until the potatoes are evenly coated with oil. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are browned and tender, about 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a medium sauté pan, cook chorizo over medium heat until evenly browned. Cover, and reserve warm.

5. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add squash, ½ teaspoon sea salt, and Santa Rosa Fajita Seasoning and sauté, uncovered, until browned and tender, about 20 minutes. Add squash to potatoes, garnish with chopped cilantro.

6. Meanwhile, heat remaining ½ tablespoon oil in small sauté pan over medium heat. Crack eggs into a medium bowl. Add ¼ teaspoon salt, pinch black pepper, and milk. Whisk until evenly combined. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently lift and stir the eggs until they are cooked, and no liquid remains. Pour eggs into serving bowl.

7. Serve tortillas, potatoes, squash, chorizo, eggs and pico de gallo separately, allowing each person to build their tacos as they desire.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Caribbean Rice Pudding-Arroz con Leche


1 cup rice (short grain)
2 1/2 cups water
a pinch of salt
1 cinnamon stick
3 strips of lemon peel (or zest)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp sugar
grated cinnamon and or cinnamon stick for garnish

1) Wash the rice – this gets rid of much of the starch. To wash, place the rice in a large saucepan, cover with water and swirl around. The water will get cloudy. Pour out the cloudy water, use a strainer to keep the rice in the pot. Repeat 3 or 4 times until the water is clear.

2) In the same saucepan, over high heat, mix the following ingredients: rinsed rice, 2 1/2 cups water, cinnamon stick, lemon peel and a pinch of salt. Bring to boil.

3) Reduce heat, cover and simmer until water is mostly absorbed and rice is tender. About 15 to 20 minutes.

4) Remove cinnamon and lemon.

5) While the rice is cooking whisk together the condensed milk, evaporated milk and the vanilla.

6) Stir the milk mixture into the cooked rice.
7) Cook uncovered over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until liquid is mostly absorbed and you begin to see the texture of the rice as the liquid becomes absorbed. The mixture will take on a slightly caramel color – THIS IS A GOOD THING FOR FLAVOR!!! Stir in sugar. Remove from heat and spoon into individual serving dishes. Sprinkle with cinnamon and chill for about an hour before serving.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hash brown Casserole

Many years ago I was Trout fishing the Chattahoochee River with a friend who suggested we should stop for breakfast on our way home. The waters we fished just below the Buford Dam are around 30°F so after sitting in it for a few hours I was ready to put away the float tube and eat. We stopped at Cracker Barrel for a big breakfast of Chicken Fried Steak, Biscuits & Gravy, and a side of Hash brown casserole. This is still my favorite breakfast after a morning of fishing, and the hash brown casserole is famous. I've shared my breakfast spot with many friend and family members over the years, but I don't think I've shared the recipe for the hash brown casserole. These potatoes are not just great for breakfast, but should be tried with a Blackened Pork Tenderloin, or even some grilled Chicken breast.

2 pounds shredded hash brown potatoes
1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped Vidalia onion
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
2 additional cups of extra sharp cheddar are recommended to sprinkle on the casserole prior to baking, but this is optional.

Preheat oven to 350°F

1. Sauté onions in butter until just soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

2. Mix potatoes, chicken soup, milk and cooked onions in a big bowl until well blended. 

3. Add cheese and mix well. Pour contents into a 9 x 13 baking dish. 

4. Bake about 45 minutes or until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted.