101 Cooking For Two - Everyday Recipes for Two: June 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Waldorf Chicken Salad

Extremely tasty, a simple cold meal for a hot summer day on the deck or on a picnic. A classic recipe that you would pay through the nose for at a nice restaurant.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing in 2 minutes or less

I'm an impatient man. I want instant gratification. Well this is it.

For years, in our office we would order salads from a local bakery for our lunch meetings. I always loved the raspberry vinaigrette that came with the salad. I bought many a bottle at the store. I tried various brands but nothing close. But this is it. Plus it's cheap, and all ingredients can be kept on hand.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

100th Post - A Musing

This post number 100. Well give or take a little but that is a long explanation. It is #100 posted on the site (minus about 3 remover for various reasons, I think). When I started this, I was planning about 20 recipes that I wanted to document better and then I though I would do 1-2 post per week so number 100 should be about Christmas if at all.

So I have earned a little musing about what I have learned and what I plan.

First, what I have learned/believe:
  • There is excellent cooks out there to learn from. And they give it to you for free. See my blog list for some of  them.
  • When I look for a recipe, I first look at CI (Cooks Illustrated... I love the scientific approach) and then I Google and add blog to the end of my search phrase for the best material.
  • My photography has gotten better but I'm using editing programs to quickly improve the results. I now know how to use a histogram.
  • If you're close to my age, you will remember the term "Military-Industrial Complex" (a very 1960's phrase) referring to the relationship between the Military and the industries they deal with. The food industry is no better.
  • The health food/vitamin industry is even worse then the food industry in their claims and lack of proof. Avoid them like raw chicken. Don't get me started about drug companies.
  • You eat a lot better when you plan ahead.
  • Spell check is wonderful
What's ahead? Don't know for sure.

I'm working on a personal diet plan to help get rid of the 10 pounds I have gained since starting this blog. I want to blame my "bread phase" and I'm sure it was a lot of it but the Julia Child's french bread was so totally worth it. I still believe simple carbs stimulate appetites and my body seems to think white flour is sugar. I will be posting something soon on a diet I think I can follow and stay on.

The frequency of posts will slow some time soon. I have new medical students starting soon and they take a lot of time. We are implementing EMR (electronic medical records) and that will take a lot of time and energy.

Enough musing... on to the next post.

PS picture by MJ


Memphis Dry Rub Ribs

Wife want ribs. Wife gets ribs. But I get to decide how. I wanted to try a different method. Indirect heat, smoked and a dry rub. So off to Google and I needed to find a gas grill method not a smoker. The best I found (and I should have know where) was at Savory Reviews. The method followed what I wanted to do but I wanted to do "real" Memphis dry rub ribs "the real thing". I watch way too much Food Network and had heard of Marlowe's so off to their site for the spicing. See previous post.

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Marlowe's of Memphis BBQ Dry Rub

This recipe is from the famous Marlowe's Restaurant in Memphis (on Elvis Presley Boulevard of course). I have cut the size down to home friendly. If you watch much Food Network, you have seen them. It is the mandatory stop in Memphis for ribs.

The recipes were given to Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives by the restaurant. But the original recipes (apparently already cut down) produced 11 1/2 cups of rub plus you need to put together "Marlowe's Black Magic" and that recipe is 12 more cups of spices.

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Marlowe's Black Magic Seasoning

This recipe is from the famous Marlowe's Restaurant in Memphis (on Elvis Presley Boulevard of course). I have cut the size down to home friendly. If you watch much Food Network, you have seen them. It is the mandatory stop in Memphis for ribs.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Grilled Paprika Tilapia

Grilled Paprika Tilapia from 101 Cooking For Two
Continuing in my healthy vein a very nice grill tilapia. My wife is always asking for fish but I just don't seem to think of it very often. I'm from Iowa and if it doesn't moo or oink, you don't eat it.

This is a Cooking Light recipe and except for making more spicy coating, I stayed with the recipe... almost a first for me but it looked just right and it was.

Do you want a little spicier treat? Try my Grilled Blackened Tilapia

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Grill Sausage with Pepper and Onion

Grill Sausage with Pepper and Onion from 101 Cooking For Two
So a picture can trigger you sometimes. This time the picture was on the CI site. As usual, the CI recipe runs around in a circle. There has to be a better or at least a simpler way.

I remember a post on Nibble Me This but he cooked the sausage with beer. I barely drink beer and I don't cook with it. I though the veggies from my grilled fajitas were just right for this. So combined with the sausage of your choice and buns, we are there. See my previous post for the buns.

Rating 9.5 Easy and very tasty.

Tools: Griddle for the grill

4 Sausages
4 Buns

1 large yellow onion sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 peppers (color of your choice) seeded and sliced about 1/2 inch thick

1-2 T olive oil (enough to coat the peppers and onion)
1/2 t salt

1) Clean and preheat grill on medium with griddle in place.

2) Clean and cut onion and peppers into 1/2 inch slices. Seperate onion into rings. Place in bowl and toss with the oil and salt.
3) Place on heated griddle and stir with wooden spoon every 3 minutes until well browned and soft. About 12 minutes.

4) While cooking veggies, place sausage over open part of grill and cook until done. Trying to time with the veggies.

Printable Recipe

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mac and Cheese for the "Mac and Cheese Hater"

I hate the blue box. You know the one. The one the kid love that goes to prove that taste buds are defective before puberty. The runny yellow stuff that passes for cheese. My kid would wolf it down especially if there were hot dogs in it. Well there is a better way.

Months ago my nurse practitioners dragged me to a restaurant that has a variety of mac and cheese as their specially. Very good. Definitely not the blue box stuff. Then last week my wife broke into the "yellow box" mac and cheese for lunch that we had on hand for the grandchild. I had forgot how much she likes it so I went in search of a recipe.

My criteria would be:
1) Common ingredients, preferably all things I have in the house at all times.
2) Not runny
3) Parmesan and bread crumb topping.
4) A little spice for taste.

First I did a Google search and got the "Ronald Reagan's Mac and Cheese" recipe. If Ronnie liked it, it can't be bad. But it looked runny. I checked CI and got a recipe that would take hours to make but at least had some good tips. I continued to look and as I cruised the blogs I found a good start at Plain Chicken. I love this site and she has 8 mac and cheese recipes ( I think I counted right). I wanted her most recent recipe "Southern Style Mac and Cheese"   which she modified from The Deen Family Cookbook. The egg and sour cream should give me the texture I wanted. But I added Parmesan bread crumbs on top and added some cayenne pepper for taste.

Results  9.2 Taste 9.5 Ease 9
Time Prep 15 minutes and cooking 35 minutes
Health-O-Meter 0.0

Notes: The eggs add the structure I wanted. I didn't have the traditional elbow macaroni but I used whole wheat penne. I also substituted Colby-jack cheese for half the cheddar for a different taste. And lastly used a shallow baking dish so I could have more topping. I love the taste and crunch of the topping,

Tools: Shallow baking dish

8 oz  Pasta of your choice
4 T butter
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t dry mustard
1/8-1/4 t cayenne pepper (your taste)
2 cups cheese of your choice (I used 1 c sharp cheddar and 1 cup Colby-jack)

4 T butter
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1) Cook pasta fully per instructions on box. Do not under cook. Preheat oven to 375 convection. Proceed with next steps will cooking.
2) In large bowl, place 4 T butter and microwave for 20 seconds or so to just melt butter.
3) Add eggs, milk, sour cream, salt, pepper, mustard and cayenne pepper. Whisk until mixed well.

4) In a small skillet, melt 4 T butter over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and mix well. Remove from heat and allow to cook for several minutes then add parmesan and mix well.

5) When pasta is done, drain well and add to egg mixture. Add shredded cheese and mix well.

6) Spray pan with PAM and add mixture. Add topping.

7) Cook until top is brown and internal temp is 160 degrees. About 35 minutes.

 Printable Recipe

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Extreme Garlic Grilled Sirloin Steak

Another for the garlic lover out there with some butter thrown in. A grilled sirloin with a short brine that's garlic heavy. Very moist and tender with excellent garlic taste with a hint of butter.

Not really a modification of anything. I did a mechanical tenderization on well trimmed sirloin. Brined in water, salt, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder for only one hour.

Results 9.2   taste 9.2  tenderness 9.5 and ease 9.

Tools: Mechanical meat tenderizer (not required)

2 sirloin steaks about 8-10 oz each well trimmed
1 cups water
1 T salt
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 t garlic powder
Pepper to taste

3 T butter
1 T minced garlic

1) Mix water, salt, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder in a 1 gallon zip lock bag. Seal and mix very well.

2) Use a mechanical meat tenderizer if available to prep meat. If not available, use a narrow knife and puncture each side about 20 times.

3) Place meat in marinade and refigerate for about 1 hours (1-4).
4) Preheat grill on high for 10 minutes. Clean and oil grates.
5) Remove steaks from brine, pepper to taste and grill over high heat.

6) While steaks are cooking, in a small pan over medium heat, melt 3 T butter. When butter starts to bubble, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

7) At approximately 15 minutes into grilling when internal temp is about 10 degrees from done, do final flip and coat top with butter garlic mixture.
8) Grill for approximatley 20 minutes until internal temp of 150 to 155.

Printable recipe

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Monday, June 14, 2010

30 minute Grilled Chicken Fajitas

30 minute Chicken Fajitas a la Grill from 101 Cooking For Two
I'm call you out Chili's. Chicken fajitas from scratch in less than 30 minutes from starting to get the ingredients out to serving (28 minutes really) and including heating the grill. And mine tastes better.

You've seen the recipes but you never try them. You know, the recipes on the packing material of your new toy. But this time it was just what I was thinking of anyways. I simplified the technique some and cut the cooking time on the veggies or they would be burnt toast. And the chicken took a few more minutes then the recipe stated. All these are corrected in my version.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Healthy Breakfast Cookies #2 - Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

My first Healthy Breakfast Cookie recipe is one of my top posts. This was the runner up recipe but it takes a backseat to none. A large cookie that is very moist with chocolate and oatmeal. Combined with a glass of milk and perhaps piece of fruit, and your good to go.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Simple Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Simple, versatile, cheap and excellent.

We seem to use ranch dressing several times per day so why haven't I done this before? Well I have but all the recipes have been at best marginal. So may recipes it will make your head spin. Some with sour cream, yogurt, Greek yogurt, many different spices and who knows what else. So why this one?
1) Simple
2) Uses ingredient that I almost always have on hand
3) Is "plain" ... I can fancy it up later.
4) Dry herbs. The better to store without danger of contamination.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pulled Pork For Two - Grilled Boneless Pork Ribs

This is really my first post I have written for several weeks since we were off to see the new grandchild. Very cute.

I have done pulled pork several ways but they are really not "cooking of two" friendly. Way too much in left overs. My "pulled pork" with a pork loin had a good exterior and the outer 1/3 was excellent but the rest was somewhat dry and dependent on the sauce for taste and moisture. And a pork shoulder is too big and way too much work for two.

Well a boneless country style rib is thinner than the loin and has some fat along with a fat cap. My plan was to brine the meat for moisture. Coat with spices and oil. Then cook over low direct heat until 190 plus.

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