Saturday, June 28, 2014

We Be Grillin' - Game Hens with Orange Sauce

The old grill (rest it's soul) finally got to a point of disintegration so advanced it was no longer safe to use.  YAY!!  TIME FOR NEW GRILL!!  Back to cooking just about everything I can on that sucker!  One thing I hadn't made in FOREVER was Cornish game hens.  I'd forgotten how much I love those little things!!  (hubby calls them personal pan chickens... hahaha!!)  Anyway, in my mind nothing makes a better combination than game hens and orange, so I gave it some thought and came up with this-

Cornish Game Hens with Orange Sauce

1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 t. olive oil
1/2 C chicken broth
1 t. orange zest
1/2 C freshly squeezed orange juice
2 T. honey
1 T. Dijon
1 t. dried thyme
1 T. cornstarch
3 - 1.5 lb. Cornish game hens, butterflied (spine cut out with poultry shears and flattened)
mesquite smoking chips

In small saucepan, saute shallot in oil until softened.  In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients (except hens), blending well with whisk.  Add to shallots in saucepan.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Set aside 1/2 cup of the sauce.

Prepare grill for indirect heat cooking.  Also prepare wood chips in your preferred way (I'm using a grill smoking box these days... just put the unsoaked chips in there, set it on the grate, and let 'er rip).

Season hens liberally with kosher salt and pepper.  Place on grill, cut side down, and cook, covered, until done (about an hour to 1:15).  Baste with sauce 2-3 times in the last 30 minutes of cooking, making sure it doesn't get too brown.

Remove to platter and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.  Reheat remaining sauce and serve with hens, if desired.

My friend Jill said they look like little burlesque dancers... lmao!  While the hens were resting, I grilled the asparagus.  The little bit of smoke left in the smoker box just made all the difference in the flavor.  

Can't wait to make it again!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Awesome Broccoli Slaw!!

Ate it so fast I couldn't get a pic!!

In a large bowl combine-

1/2 C mayo
1/2 t lime zest
juice of one small lime
2 t honey
1 t favorite curry powder
pinch of salt

Mix well and let stand for a few minutes.  Just before serving add-

1 12 oz. bag broccoli and carrot slaw
1/2 C raisins

Combine well and serve.


Pork Loin with Cherry Sauce

What is this?  A new post?

It's been about a year of working at a real 9 to 5 (okay 8 to 4, which is even worse), husband losing his job then having total knee replacement surgery and all sorts of other fun stuff, but I now have about 10 minutes to post a new recipe I came up with last week!!

Oh wait... it's 15 minutes past my bedtime.  Let's see if I can copy and paste this before I pass out...

Pork Loin with Cherry Sauce

2-3 lb. piece of pork loin
apple juice
mesquite smoking chips

dry rub-
1 C brown sugar
1 T kosher salt
1 t ground ginger
2 t granulated garlic
2 t granulated onion
2 t dry mustard
1 t crushed red pepper
1 1/2 t cumin
1 1/2 t paprika
1 t dried thyme
1/2 t coarsely ground black pepper

Mix together well. Rub generous amount all over meat. Let stand for about an hour. (There will be rub left over. Save in a ziplock baggie or tightly sealed container for another time.)
Set up grill for indirect heat, pouring apple juice into drip pan. Or not.  Doesn't really matter. Prepare mesquite wood chips for however you prefer to grill smoke. I used a smoke box this time, but I usually just soak them in water for a while then throw them directly onto the flames/coals. Cook meat over indirect heat, turning once, for about an hour. Maintain grill temperature at about 400°.
When cooked to desired doneness, remove to plate, tent with foil, and let rest for about 10 minutes. Prepare sauce.

1 t olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 C cherry preserves
2 T dijon mustard
1 T balsamic
1 t dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, saute shallot in oil until soft. Turn down to low and add remaining ingredients, stirring until thoroughly combined and heated through.
Slice meat to desired thickness and serve with sauce.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

First Friday Foodies, Part 1

Facebook is a funny place.

It can be the catalyst for so many things, good and bad.  Through several strange twists and turns, coincidences and plain out-and-out bizarre happenings, we ended up forming a group of like-minded people who thought going out to dinner once a month might be a good idea.  Our first outing was on a Friday, so we called that the first Friday Foodie gathering.

At that point we didn't know if it would ever happen again.  I'm pretty sure everyone else just decided to go to Marrow only to shut me up, but that's where we went and a monthly event was born.

Over the past seven months we have become great friends.  As it turned out, several of us had long-ago connections we didn't even realize until we had the chance to sit down and discuss things over (several) dinners.  We now have a core group four couples, plus at least eight more people who come when they can.   Every month a restaurant is decided upon, a member volunteers as host, and plans are made.  Sometimes plans are made and changed several times, but we always end up meeting at the same place and having a great time.

Rather than try to give an in-depth assessment of every place we've been since the beginning, I will just give a basic overview... and if anyone else in FFF wants to contribute, be it text or photos, I can always add that later.

First ever gathering was at Marrow Kitchen Bar.  I've reviewed it before.  All you need to know at this point is if you're anywhere near Tacoma, you need to eat there.

Gathering #2 was at The Matador Restaurant and Tequila Bar in Tacoma. It was packed and they didn't take reservations, but we braved the crowds anyway and finally got a table.

The house margaritas are excellent and well worth the wait (and the price).

Brian and I got the seared ahi with granny smith apple slaw app...

Carne asada...

and Chili Verde... I think... it was a while ago so I don't remember for sure...

Month Three was Dirty Oscar's Annex (AKA DOA).  Due to certain circumstances, we were disappointed by everything except the food... and that's the last thing you want to be disappointed by, so it was their saving grace.

Panko-crusted deep-fried zucchini stuffed with chevre, topped with crispy-fried basil.  I dream of eating this on a regular basis...

beer-battered asparagus...

Dirty Oscar burger...

Brian had a pork panini that is no longer on the menu...

Month four was my first hosting month and as it turned out, everyone chose one of my favorite restaurants, Social Bar and Grill.

Believe it or not, this is the view as you walk outside the dining room...


It is next door to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, and that is not the only spectacular view.  Just... go there.  We had apps and other things but our entrees were pasta carbonara (Brian)...


and the one dish I would consider leaving my husband for... their seafood stew.  I swear I'm literally drooling just thinking about it...



calamari with two dipping sauces...

to be continued...

I'm not dead...

I got a life... lol!  Actually, in the ten months since I last blogged, I have obtained gainful employment, become part of a foodie group (further on this later), and gotten married!

So yeah... I've been just a little busy... but not to fear!  I have been taking photos all these long months away, and I'm going to try to get them sorted into at least a few posts!  The bad news is, because I've been working, I haven't had the energy to do any creative cooking.  The good news is, because I now have money, I've been able to go to a lot more restaurants! I'll be talking more about food I've had than food I've cooked.  At least I still have something to talk about!

Moving right along now...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Curried Broccoli Slaw

I came up with this quick and easy salad/side dish to go with the curry-rubbed tilapia.  It was a hit!

1 bag broccoli slaw mix
1 large apple (Honeycrisp, Fuji, Granny Smith), julienne
2/3 C. cashews
1/2 C. raisins
1/3 C. green onions, sliced

Combine all ingredients in large bowl.  Toss with dressing and serve.


1/2 C. white wine vinegar
2/3 C. salad oil
1 T. chutney, finely chopped
2 T. honey
1 t. curry powder
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. hot pepper sauce

Mix dressing ingredients in small jar or bowl.  Shake or whisk well.  Let stand at room temperature for two hours to blend flavors.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Curry-rubbed Tilapia


As you may have noticed, tilapia has become my new favorite fish.  I buy it IQF from my local restaurant supply store, so it's cheap, quick and easy.  The only problem I've had is seasoning it properly  I call it the tofu of fish, not because of the texture but because it takes on the flavors of anything you cook it with.  It has virtually no flavor of it's own, so you REALLY have to season it.  That isn't an issue with this recipe... it turned out MARVELOUS!!  This is probably my new favorite way of cooking it!  If you've never tried tilapia before, you really must.

Curry-rubbed Tilapia

4 4-6 oz. tilapia fillets
2 T. curry powder
1/2 t. cayenne
1 t. kosher salt
cooking spray
mango chutney (commercial or homemade)

Combine seasonings in a small bowl.  Rub curry mixture generously on both sides of fillets.  Let stand about 15 minutes.  Spray large non-stick frying pan and heat over medium-high until almost smoking.  Add fillets and cover.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.  Turn, cover and cook until fish flakes easily, about another 3-4 minutes.  Top with one tablespoon of chutney.

160 calories per serving (one fillet)

Indian Spiced Spinach

1 16 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, unthawed
1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 large jalapenos, seeded, ribbed and finely chopped
2 T. ginger root, finely minced
2 t. ground coriander
1 t. cumin
1 t. turmeric
1/2 t. cayenne
1 t. kosher salt
3/4 C. plain non-fat yogurt, strained (I use Greek style... it's already strained)

In a large saute pan, cook onion, garlic, jalapenos and ginger in oil over medium heat until onions are translucent.  Add seasonings and cook until fragrant, about another 2 minutes.  Stir in spinach and cover.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is tender, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in yogurt.

Make about 3 6 oz. servings.  95 calories per serving.

Served with a one cup portion of basmati rice, this meal totals 494 calories.  I made it with white basmati because that's what I had, but the next time I replenish I'm going to get brown basmati.