Sunday, November 21, 2010

Newlywed Kitchen Happenings

Our progress through the Newlywed Kitchen has been rather slow in the last month. My blogging about it has been just as slow. Each of the new recipes we enjoyed, however, and I think we even found a new favorite.

Smoky-Sweet Corn Pudding

This dish was yummy. I think I'll need to give it another try or two to get it just right, but it was certainly easy and delicious.

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
4 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup finely sliced leek, white and light green parts only
1 egg
1/2 cup half-and-half (I actually only used skim milk for this one, because that's all I had in the house. I do think the pudding would be better with the half and half. :))
1 Tablespoon melted butter
3 teaspoons flour
1/3 teaspoon salt
pinch of black pepper
1 1/4 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen is fine-- I used frozensince October wasn't exactly sweet corn season, even in the south)
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika  

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook til crisp. Set aside, then crumble. Add leeks and saute until they soften and begin to brown-- about two minutes. Set aside.
3. Whisk together the egg and half-and-half. Stir in butter, flour, salt, pepper, paprika and corn. Add cooked bacon and leeks. -- The book even suggested adding a tablespoon of the bacon drippings to make the pudding more decadent. I didn't try it. :-S 
4. Add the mixture into individual ramekins and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the pudding is slightly puffy. Cool slightly, then serve.

We enjoyed the corn pudding with a real, solid porterhouse steak. It was so good we couldn't believe I made it. :-P I loved that the steak was coated it garlic and thyme, and moistened with olive oil.

One large, thick porterhouse steak. (The book suggests 2 1/2 pounds. I think ours was only around a pound and a half-- go for whatever your appetite permits.)
1 T salt (next time I am going to use less- it overpowered the rest of the seasoning sometimes)
1 t black pepper
1 T chopped thyme (I used dry, still delicious)
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Top steak with all ingredients and then rub into and around the entire steak. Place the steak in a deep dish, cover in the olive oil and marinate for an hour.
2. Grill the steak for about 5-7 minutes each side. The meat will continue cooking even after it's off the heat, so don't overcook it. Let sit for a few minutes, then serve.

The Sweet-and-Hot Chicken Kebabs are our new favorite. This meal was a breeze to prepare, and was so light and delicious that I can't wait to make and eat it again!

3 T honey
3 T Olive Oil
2 T Dry White Wine (I can't buy it, so I don't use it-- I used white wine vinegar, it was the "closest" I had. Ha.)
3/4 t salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used half a lemon)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 T chopped fresh parsley (O, yum. I probably used half a cup)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
colorful vegetables or fruits of your choice-- peppers, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, pineapple, etc.

In a large bowl mix together all the of ingredients except the chicken and vegetables. Add the chicken, then refrigerate for several hours, or over night. Add the vegetables for the last half hour.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. (We're not allowed to grill, so for me this meant preheating the oven to 350 and greasing a cooking sheet)

Thread the chicken and vegetables unto skewers, then grill until chicken is cooked through.

We ate this with pasta. Next time I want to make more of the marinade so that we have a sauce to enjoy, too.

With the above recipe I also made the Zucchini Fritters.  Even my vegetable-shy husband enjoyed them. I had the left overs this morning for breakfast. :)

3 cups grated zucchini, with or without skin
1/2 t salt
2 gloves of garlic, finely minced
1 egg
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 up fresh, grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup flour
3 T olive oil

1.Combine zucchini and salt in sieve and position over a large bowl and squeeze the water out with your hands. (The book says you should be able to remove about a 1/2 cup of water. I didn't get as much, but I still think they taste fine.)
2. Transfer the zucchini to a large bowl and add the garlic, egg, pepper, Parmesan and flour. Stir well.
3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Spoon heaping tablespoonfuls unto skillet and brown on both sides, about 3 minutes each side.

The book recommends a tangy yogurt sauce to accompany these, which I think sounds delicious, but didn't make. It is super easy, and I would love to hear how it actually is.

Mix together 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Dip and enjoy!

I was so glad that many of the recipes we were coming to were less involved and a bit of a lighter fare. After 4 cheese macaroni and twice baked spicy wings, these recipes were easy and healthy!

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