Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Menu #38

Monday: Taco Salad
chips and salsa

Tuesday: Spaghetti
garlic bread

Wednesday: Pepperoni Stromboli
green salad

Thursday: Capellini with Tomatoes & Basil
garlic Bread

Friday: Baked Lemon Pasta w/ Rotisserie Chicken

Saturday: Quesadilla's w/ Rotisserie Chicken
black beans & spanish rice

Menu #37

Monday: Red Beans & Rice

Tuesday: Summer Pasta Bolognese
French Bread

Wednesday: Out

Thursday: Chicken with Shallots & Sweet Potatoes

Friday: Pork Chops
Asparagus & Shiitake Risotto

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Incredible Potato-Bacon Torte

This dish was simply incredible!! This was the best, flakiest pie crusts I have ever made. It was super easy,  just about as much work as any 'add water' pie crust you would buy at the store. I would suggest that you try it!  A nice, hearty lunch when served with a green salad, or a light dinner when it's warm outside.  This is seriously yummy!!

4 strips bacon
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 Pie Crusts, recipe follows
3 medium baking potatoes, peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 egg yolk, whisked with a splash of water

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until just crispy. Drain on paper towel lined plate and set aside. Crumble the bacon when cool to the touch.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the thyme and cream over low heat to a bare simmer. Turn off the heat and let steep for about 5 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs.
Remove the pie pan from the refrigerator. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and then finely slice the potatoes. Working in circles, arrange the potato slices in the pie crust, stopping to season each layer with salt, pepper, and about 1/4 of the crumbled bacon. Continue layering until the pie pan is nearly full. Top with an even layer of the cheese and gently pour cream around and over the entire pie, allowing it to seep down between the potato slices. (You may not use all the cream.)
Roll out the remaining disk of refrigerated dough. Cover the pie with the dough and crimp the edges closed. Brush the top and edges of the crust with egg wash. Make a few slits in the center of the top crust, for the steam to escape, and put the pie pan on a baking sheet. Bake the torte until the crust is browned and crispy and the potatoes are cooked through, about 50 to 60 minutes. If the crust edges get too brown, cover them with some strips of aluminum foil. Remove the pie from the oven and let rest at least 15 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.
Pie Crust:
1 cup butter (2 sticks), cubed and chilled
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 to 10 tablespoons ice water
Put the butter, flour, and salt in the food processor, and pulse lightly just until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing briefly after each spoonful of water. Keep adding water until the dough just begins to gather into larger clumps. Transfer equal amounts of the dough into 2 resealable plastic bags and pat each into a disk. Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Remove 1 of the disks from the bag to a flour coated surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 10-inch round. Gently fit the rolled dough into a 9-inch pie pan, and refrigerate while you prepare the torte ingredients.
Yield: 2 (9-inch) pie crusts
Recipe: Melissa d'Arabian, Food Network, 10 Dollar Dinners
Photo: Flickr

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spicy Grilled Tilapia with Aioli

  • 2 lbs (or 4) Tilapia Fillets
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon  Cajun or Creole Seasoning, I use Emeril's.
  • 1 teaspoon  Old Bay Seasoning


  • 1/2 cup Mayo
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice, I add some zest in there too
  • 1  tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Tarragon
  • Note: Tarragon has a strong flavor.  It's lemony and rustic. I love to use fresh Tarragon, vs. dried. It's not as strong. I also imagine that using Dill in place of the Tarragon would be really yummy too!
  • Prepare Aioli by combining all ingredients and place in the fridge. The longer it sits, the better.
  • Preheat and oil your grill. You'll want it fairly hot to give the fish a good sear and not fall apart.
  • Rub both sides of the fish with the olive oil.
  • Sprinkle seasonings on both sides of the fish, rub it in and place on grill. Cook for 2 1/2 minutes, turn once and cook another 2 1/2 minutes.
  • I stink at grilling fish. It never comes out right for me, sticks to the grill, flakes off.. ugh. So, I have a grill pan that has holes in the bottom of it (Bed, Bath and Beyond). You can also use a sheet of aluminum foil, sprayed with cooking spray, with small holes poked in it, to ensure your grill doesn't eat your fish before you do.
  • serve with Aioli. Makes 4 servings

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese and Arugula

It's getting warm outside!!  Time to hose off the grill and light er' up!
I love this salad. It is a perfect side dish to just about any grilled meat, or a roasted chicken, fish..
Or, if you're like me, just a fork.
I double the dressing. I like my pasta salad to have plenty of it. Also, since there is just the three of us, it sits overnight and the pasta soaks up the dressing. It can leave it a bit dry. The creamy goat cheese, peppery Arugula.. yum!

Serves 4
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound gemelli or other short pasta
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese (3 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 bunch arugula (8 ounces), torn
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water. In a large bowl, toss pasta with beans and goat cheese.
  2. Make dressing: In a bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, and mustard and season with salt and pepper. (To store, refrigerate pasta mixture and dressing separately, up to 1 day.) To serve, toss pasta mixture with dressing, arugula, and onion.

Recipe and Photo,  Martha, Everyday Food, June 09