Easy Peasy Weekend Dinners

June 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Finally got my annuals planted this weekend.  I usually tackle this job Memorial Day weekend, but we spent a couple of nights in the city instead.  Dinner tonight was simply grilled chicken tenders on skewers seasoned with turmeric, garlic, pepper and olive oil.  On separate skewers we grilled onions and sweet mini peppers.  These sweet mini peppers are my new favorite thing to have on hand for snacking, sauteing, grilling, you name it.  And they come in a resealable bag-  genius!

I wanted to mention a word about the health benefits to turmeric (from http://www.healthdiaries.com):

Here are 20 reasons to add turmeric to your diet:

1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.
5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.
7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloid plaque buildup in the brain.
8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

Turmeric can be taken in powder or pill form. It is available in pill form in most health food stores, usually in 250-500mg capsules.

Once you start using turmeric on a regular basis, it’s fun to find new ways to use it in recipes. My favorite way to use it is to add a pinch of it to egg salad. It adds a nice flavor and gives the egg salad a rich yellow hue.

Nothing pretty about our grilled food, but simply delicious and SO easy!

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What we found in our Farmers Market basket this morning:

  • A wonderful Raspberry Parmesan Cheese from our local cheese purveyor.  I found something similar online here.
  • Cranberry and Orange Scones
  • Homemade Cookies
  • Peonies (my favorite cut flowers in the summer)
  • Red Leaf Lettuce
  • Cherry Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Peaches and Blueberries
  • A box of Yellow Onions and bunch of Green Onions

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Peach and Blueberry Galette with Lemon Thyme Sugar from Tartelette

For the pastry dough:
5 tablespoons (70gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 egg yolks
pinch salt
1/2 cup (80gr) superfine sweet white rice flour
1/2 cup (60gr) millet flour
1/4 cup (30gr) sorghum flour
1/4 cup (40gr) corn starch (or tapioca flour)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup cold milk

For the fruits:
4 peaches
1 tea bag jasmine tea (or your favorite)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup blueberries

For the lemon thyme sugar:
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon thyme finely chopped

Prepare the crust:
In a mixer, whip the butter on medium speed until light and airy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Mix until incorporated. Add the salt, and all the different flours, and the xantham gum and mix briefly. Add enough milk to moisten it. Dump the whole mixture onto a lightly floured (use more rice flour) board and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Prepare the fruits:
While the dough is resting, place the peaches, tea bag, sugar and enough water to cover the fruit in a large saucepan set over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and poach the peach until just fork tender. Remove from the heat and let them cool on a clean kitchen towel. Once cooled, peel and halve them, remove the pits and slice the peaches thin.

Prepare the sugar:
In a small bowl, mix the sugar and lemon thyme together with your fingertips and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.
When the dough is nice and cold, roll it out on a lightly floured board or in between two sheets of plastic. If the dough tears while you roll, just patch it with your fingertips. Cut eight 4-inch rounds, rerolling and using the dough as you go (ig it gets too soft, just refrigerate for a few minutes as you fill the other galettes with fruit).
Arrange the slices of half a peach in the center of each round and gather the edges, pleating as you go with your fingertips (don’t worry about being even – these are free form. Imperfections are wonderful anyways…). Add blueberries on top if desired and sprinkle with some lemon thyme sugar.

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Sunday Dinner

And for Sunday dinner I picked up some fresh Tilapia.  Here are 2 of my favorite recipes:

Mediterranean Poached Fish


Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium-size onion, chopped
1/2 sweet red pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine or water
1 tablespoon capers
12 pitted kalamata olives, cut in half
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 fillets (5 to 6 ounces each), such as tilapia, flounder or catfish
Directions
1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, red pepper and garlic. Cook about 6 minutes, until softened, stirring so garlic does not burn.
2. Stir in tomatoes, wine, capers, olives, lemon zest and juice, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add fish and cook, covered, over medium-low heat for about 8 to 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Gently turn fish halfway through cooking.
3. Serve with plain couscous and green beans, if desired.

Here’s another great, easy fish recipe:

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Fish Fillets with Tomatoes, Squash and Basil

Ingredients

  • 2 cups very thinly sliced assorted summer squash (such as zucchini, yellow crookneck, and pattypan)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided, plus 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 4 6-ounce skinless white flaky fish fillets (such as Atlantic cod or halibut)

Preparation

  • Place four 14×12″ sheets of parchment paper, or heavy-duty foil if grilling, on a work surface. Divide squash among parchment sheets, arranging on one side of sheet in thin layers. Sprinkle shallots and sliced basil over, dividing equally. Scatter tomato halves around squash. Drizzle each packet with 1 Tbsp. wine and 1/2 Tbsp. oil (add 1/2 Tbsp. water to each if grilling). Season with salt and pepper. Place a fish fillet atop each portion. Season with salt and pepper; drizzle 1/2 Tbsp. oil over each.
  • Fold parchment over mixture and crimp edges tightly to form a sealed packet. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Chill. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before continuing.
  • Preheat oven to 400°. Place packets in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Alternatively, build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Bake or grill fish until just cooked through (a toothpick poked through the parchment will slide through fish easily), about 10 minutes. Carefully cut open packets (steam will escape). Garnish with basil leaves.
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Sunday Dinner next week
Grilled Flatiron Steaks with Tomatoes and Tapenade

Ingredients

Tapenade

  • 1/3 cup (or more) olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (or more) pitted olives (such as Niçoise or Kalamata), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced capers
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 anchovy fillet packed in oil, drained, minced (optional)

Steak

  • 2 pounds flatiron, flank, hanger, or skirt steak
  • Kosher salt
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

Tomatoes

  • 4 large tomatoes (about 3 pounds), sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1/4 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch watercress, tough stems removed (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Ingredient Info

    Smoked paprika is sold at specialty foods stores and latienda.com.

Preparation

Tapenade

  • Stir 1/3 cup olive oil, next 4 ingredients, and anchovy, if using, in a small bowl. Add more olive oil for a thinner tapenade, if desired. (For a smoother sauce, purée tapenade in a food processor or blender.) Set aside.

Steak

  • Place steak in a large baking dish and season generously with salt. Stir orange zest and juice and remaining 6 ingredients in a small bowl to combine. Spread mixture evenly over both sides of steak and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Grill steak, turning once, until nicely charred, about 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 5–10 minutes.

Tomatoes

  • Arrange tomatoes on a serving platter. Scatter shallot and parsley over; drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, toss watercress with 1 Tbsp. each oil and lemon juice. Season watercress to taste with salt.
  • Mound watercress on platter. Slice steak against the grain; transfer to platter with tomatoes and watercress. Spoon tapenade on steak and serve alongside.
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Easy dinners make for more time to enjoy family, friends and the beautiful weather we’ve been blessed with this weekend.  Don’t fuss…make the most of each day.
Maureen
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