Friday, January 28, 2011

$10 Million Morning

PCC Friday Morning
Another great day in paradise.

This photo is after the 6am swim.  At 6, it was dark and foggy, and calm.  You hear a few swimmers warming up as you come in.  It's so quiet and peaceful, and exuding the plethora of opportunities the day holds.  Such a good part of the morning.  Get in, go back and forth.  It's such a great way to wake up, head clearing, and getting centered.  The darkness and fog helps to keep me centered on me.  Fog  lifting, daylight inching in.  Happiness filling my veins.  Life is good.
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dover Sole with lemon butter dill sauce, quinoa, brussell sprouts, grilled asparagus

Pan fried Dover Sole with a lemon butter dill sauce, Imperial quinoa, roasted brussel sprouts, and grilled aspargas.
It was a tough day.  Well, accept for my swim.  I was ready to do a BOC (bowl of cereal) and hunker down for the night, when I decided, you know what?  I'm making something.  Dang, and it turned out pretty good!  I had some dover sole in the freezer, and I just got some more brussel sprouts, and asparagus, and Moira noticed some Imperial quinoa in the cupboard.  As it turns out, there's quite a bit to it, but everything was fast and easy to make.

Serves 4  Time: 45 minutes, less if you are fast

Dover Sole with lemon butter dill sauce

1 pound dover sole fillets, thawed and dry with a paper towel
2 Tbsp olive oil

Heat the oil in a large saute pan.  Saute the fish to brown at medium heat,
about 4-5 minutes each side.

Lemon butter dill sauce
2 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 juice of meyer lemon
2-3 dashes dill

Warm the butter to liquid.  Add lemon juice and dill.  Stir
and drizzle over the fish.

1 cup imperial quinoa
2 cups water

Put the water and quinoa in a pot.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer.  The quinoa is done when the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
1 pound Brussel sprouts
2 Tbsp olive oil

Cut off nub and take off any leaves that don't look green
slice in half
put in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper
spread on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan

bake at 400 deg F for 20 minutes

Grilled Asparagus
1 pound fresh asparagus
2 Tbsp olive oil

Break off woody part of the asparagus.  It's about the bottom inch or two.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to distribute the oil.  Grill, turning once, about 15 minutes until tips are just brown.

Vegitarian Collard Greens and Garbanzo Beans

Collard Greens and Garbanzo Beans
I can't say I've ever had a strong urge to try collard greens.  It sounded greasy and limp and soggy.  That said, I've been on a greens kick the last few days.  I've done chard a few different ways, both red and white chard.  I've done spinach and what else?  I forget.  I've been going over to the greens section, and just checking things out.  So, the trick with collard greens is cutting out that rib and stalk.

Anyways, traditional southern collard greens have ham hocks or some other meat you stew in it.  I went for a vegetarian adaptation.  I had garbanzo beans with greens before, and it's really a tasty rich combination.   That artisan bread is toasted and drizzled with EVOO as Rachael would say.  Olive oil, salt and pepper.  It turned out to be a great last minute addition for sopping and dunking.

Serves 4-6  Total time:  45 minutes

1 bunch collard greens, washed
1/2 onion, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp pepper flakes
2 Tbsp olive oil
2/3 of 28 oz canned tomatoes, cut up
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans- rinsed
3 c vegetable broth 
garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese on top

It's probably best to prep the greens first.  This was my first time, and basically what I learned is,  stack about 3-4 leaves together and fold tip to stalk.  Cut the stalk out.  I didn't cut every bit out, but about halfway up the leaf to get out all the fibrous stalk.  Roll the trimmed leaves together, and cut into one inch strips.  You can cut them into shorter strips too if you want.

Heat the oil, then saute the onions and garlic and pepper flakes in the olive oil for about 3-5 minutes.  Start with the onions, then add the garlic and pepper flakes.  Once the onions are translucent, toss in the prepared collard greens and saute for about a minute or two.  Add the broth, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until leaves are just cooked.  Add the tomatoes and garbanzo beans.  It's ready!  I shaved a bit of Parmesan cheese mostly for garnish.  The pepper flakes give it a kick, and the beans add a richness.  The tomatoes were sweet!  You can use fresh tomatoes when they are in season.

I toasted the artisan bread, and drizzled with EVOO and a bit of salt and pepper.  Always a treat.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy New Year Lentil, Leek and Spinach Soup

I made this recipe a couple weeks ago, after all the parties settled down.  We had momentous milestones; Sarah's 21st, Moira turned 18, and I turned 39 (just kidding- 39+), not to mention Christmas and New Years.  Lentils came to mind today, because I made lentils again, and instead of spinach, I used some fresh chard I sauted with the veggie broth, oh, and I added some super hot peppers I chopped up fine, also from the garden from this summer and a little splash of balsamic vinegar.

This a a perfect go-to recipe for after the holidays.  It helped me clear out the fridge, and it's comfort food and seems like it's good for you, after all the rich holiday food.  I particularly like this picture, highlighting my new pottery Sarah made at school, and the Christmas lights dazzling in the window.

See that red pepper?  It was from the garden, amazingly, from this summer.  I think I harvested it at the end of November.  The cheese crusted bread adds a bit of specialness to the dish, making it a nice light dinner.

Serves 4-6
Great for leftovers too.
45-60 minutes start to finish

Lentil leek and spinach soup

1 pound dry lentils
1 onion, diced
2 leeks sliced and diced thin, the white parts
1 red pepper
2 carrots, diced small cubes
1 quart vegetable broth
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 bunches cleaned spinach

Cheesy bread

1 baguette sliced thin pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

Rinse the lentils a few times, then bring the water to boil, about 6 cups of water.  Turn it down to simmer for another 20-30 minutes until the beans are just starting to soften, but not all the way cooked.  Drain out most of the water, and add the vegetable broth and bring to just boiling and turn it down.

While the lentils are cooking saute the onions, leeks, and carrots in the olive oil.  I like to start with the onions, and get them to caramelizing, then the leeks, just until they start to soften, and same with the carrots and peppers. 

Add the sauteed veggies and spinach to the lentils with broth.  In about 1-2 minutes the spinach will wilt and be perfect.

Cheesy Bread
spread baguette slices on a jelly roll pan
drizzle oil lightly over bread
salt and pepper bread
sprinkle with cheese
Broil for about 5-7 minutes until cheese starts to melt.
Serve with the soup.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy New Year! Happy Birthday!

This was taken before our Christmas cookie decorating party, where you can see we had a birthday theme going after Sarah's birhday.  I like the photo because you can see the beginnings of our new living room, both inside and outside.  There are the Navajo rugs hanging, and the new couch, along with the shadows of the new patio coming.  Aren't those stair lights cool?!  And the circular stairs coming down from the door.

Don't forget halloween!  See the pumpkins?  And our Christmas tree of course.