August 28, 2012

Herb Nut Salsa

This is so Italian, really diabetic friendly and wonderfully full of flavor (think I got enough adjectives in there?). I think it closely resembles a chimichurri sauce but with hazelnuts for crunch and anchovy for salt.

Perfect with a steak of any kind. We spooned this over a rib-eye, but I do believe it originally was paired with a hanger steak. A inexpensive choice would be a London Broil or a flank steak.

Herb-nut Salsa
Adapted from Food & Wine, 2009
Servings: 6-8

* 1/4 cup hazelnuts
* 1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
* 1/4 cup snipped chives
* 2 teaspoons minced tarragon
* 1 teaspoon minced chervil
* 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets, minced
* 2 teaspoons chopped rinsed capers
* 1 medium shallot, minced
* 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
* 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
* Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Toast the hazelnuts in a pie plate for 12 minutes, or until the skins are blistered. Transfer the nuts to a kitchen towel; let cool slightly, then rub off the skins. Finely chop the nuts and transfer them to a bowl. Add the parsley, chives, tarragon, chervil, anchovies, capers and shallot. Stir in the vinegar and the 3/4 cup of oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the steaks with oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, about 12 minutes for medium-rare meat. Let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the meat across the grain and serve with the salsa.

We shared a dry aged rib-eye we bought at Whole Foods (yum) and I made creamed spinach and mashed potato sides. A very good steakhouse style meal. Oh, and we also shared a very nice Barolo.

Sharing is a good thing....for the heart and the tummy!

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August 15, 2012

The Quickest 5 Ingredient Marinade and Glaze Ever

I am not a fan of marinating salmon. I find they can be harsh and too sweet as well as make the meat mealy. Acids will break down the flesh but with good wild salmon, you don't need to tenderize.
We all know never marinate fish longer then 30 minutes?

I developed this glaze for two reasons, to give the fish a little more flavor and to hopefully get The Nudge to like salmon.

His one major complaint was that it tastes fishy. Now, if you buy bad food it will taste bad, he just never had good salmon. So afraid the fish I cook would taste the way he's had it year's ago.

Year's ago you could not get really fresh salmon, only frozen and everyone cooked the crap out of it (sorry to offend, but it's the truth).

Well, it worked and I have been grilling these at least 2x every summer at his request.

The other day I had one lone boneless chicken cutlet and dinner to make on the fly.
Why not try this glaze on chicken. I butterflied one boneless breast, brushed the glaze on both sides and let it sit while the coals got hot.

The chicken had lots of flavor and the perfect grilled glaze without being too much.
Takes 5 ingredients everyone should have in their pantry, 5 minutes to put together and 5 minutes on each side to grill. No need to salt the meat but I did grind some pepper on it. The ginger does give it a slight amount of heat so not too much black pepper.

The key to getting the glaze to glaze correctly is to make sure your grill or grill pan is screaming hot and lubed.

Can be multiplied to how many pieces you are cooking. This amount will work on 4-6 chicken pieces, 4 salmon steaks and a dozen large shrimp.

Salmon Marinade and Glaze
* 1 tbls Colemans Dry Mustard
* 2 tbls dark brown sugar
* 1 tbls water
* 1 tbls Tamari (or soy)
* 1 tsp ground ginger

Grill for 4-5 minutes on each side, turning only once. The longer it sits on the grill without moving the darker those caramelized grill marks will be and the better the flavor.
Do not play with your food, please.

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August 7, 2012

Yes, Hummus Can Be A Sauce

Cooking in a family of one Diabetic can sometimes be challenging. There are things I should eat lots of that won't fly in this house.

I imagine this happens often in similar situations. I mean, a diabetic diet can be heavy on the vegetables and when you have carb lovers in your house you have to make foods that appeals to all.
If I baked a loaf of bread every day, it would disappear in the guise of one, if not two, PB&J sandwich snacks every bedtime.

This recipe for Red Pepper Hummus is excellent. Not only does the red pepper add a two kapow punch of nutrition, it adds a sweetness that will tame, what can sometimes be, a bitter basic hummus (usually the tahini is to blame).

When I roast red peppers (which is always), I clean and store them covered in olive oil. Made perfect sense to use that olive oil as the one called for in the recipe. More flavor, I am all for it.

Adding the hummus to yogurt makes this a wonderful sauce to spoon over a flavorful ground lamb dish.

I halved the recipe because I just will never use up 12 servings. I know everyone is Lady GaGa over hummus, but in this house it's just OK. The Nudge is not a dip person and I have thrown away more opened containers then I want to think about.

This is the reason I wanted to try this recipe. Maybe I can get him to put a dollop on a lamb burger, or nestled aside a perfectly grilled lamb chop.

Maybe the next time I ask him if he would like a spicy dip with pita chips, he will say sure and if that does happen, I could even overlook that bedtime snack if, on that bread, was this hummus.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Makes 12 servings

* 2 large sweet red pepper
* 2 cans (15 ounces each) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
* 1/3 cup lemon juice
* 3 tablespoons tahini
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 garlic cloves, peeled
* 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
* 1 teaspoon curry powder
* 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* Pita bread, warmed and cut into wedges, and reduced-fat wheat snack crackers

1. Broil red peppers 4 in. from the heat until skins blister, about 5 minutes. With tongs, rotate peppers a quarter turn. Broil and rotate until all sides are blistered and blackened. Immediately place peppers in a bowl; cover and let stand for 15-20 minutes.
2. Peel off and discard charred skin. Remove stems and seeds. Place the peppers in a food processor. Add the beans, lemon juice, tahini, oil, garlic and seasonings; cover and process until blended.
3. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with pita bread and crackers. Garnish with additional beans if desired. Yield: 3 cups.

Nutritional Facts 1/4 cup (calculated without pita bread, crackers or additional beans:
113 calories
5g fat (1 g saturated fat)
0 cholesterol
339mg sodium
14g carbohydrate
4g fiber
4g protein

Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat.

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August 2, 2012

Balsamic Ketchup

This sauce rocks.

Yes, ketchup is a sauce and with our focus on vinegar-based sauces this first week, it fits right in.

You need a good Balsamic Vinegar, preferably the glaze. It's naturally sweeter so it tames the acidity of the roasted tomatoes, a perfect pair.

Not all that hard to do, you need two very important things.

Three hours and really ripe tomatoes, about 1".
I used Campari tomatoes but if you can get good, meaty small Romas, use them.

Cut 2 pounds of tomatoes into quarters and on a wire rack set into a sheet pan, place the tomato quarters and bake for three hours in a 325° oven.

Mine were done in two hours because I used smaller tomatoes then what was called for.

Run them through a processor with the herbs and seasonings and press through a fine sieve. Makes enough ketchup for 4 burgers.

I know that the next time I do this I will make 3 batches, it's that good.

We used this on our Buffalo Parmesan Hamburgers, recipe here.

Balsamic Ketchup
makes 16 tablespoons

* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
* 2 pounds small tomatoes, quartered
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
* 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. Combine oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and tomatoes in a large bowl; toss gently to coat. Arrange tomatoes, skin side down, on a wire rack set inside a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 325° for 3 hours. Cool slightly; peel. Discard peels.
3. Combine tomatoes, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, basil, and remaining ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth.

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August 1, 2012

Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

Keeping with the vinegar theme (and with the healthy theme), I introduce you to a very flavorful Vietnamese Dipping Sauce. This 5 minute sauce is delightfully refreshing and the perfect accompaniment to grilled foods, whether it be vegetables, seafood or pork.

In this instance, it was paired with a marinaded grilled pork tenderloin. I could see this as a marinade for vegetables that would be a great garnish for a cold meat sandwich.

Delicious indeed.

If you want to switch the sugar out for agave or Truvia (my new favorite sugar sub) make sure to start with less, as the subs are all VERY sweet.

I cut in some mint for color as well as flavor but basil would be an excellent substitution.

You can find the pork recipe on my sister site, here.

Vietnamese Dipping Sauce
makes 4 servings

* 1/3 cup grated carrot
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
* 1/4 cup rice vinegar
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1 Thai or serrano chile, thinly sliced and divided
* 1 teaspoon shopped mint or basil

Place all ingredients in a bowl and let it sit so the flavors can meld.
Serve room temp.