Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Play Date

I love the day that we "fall back". I feel like I gain an hour for the next couple of days. I know it's all a trick of the mind, but it's one I'll gladly take.

Yesterday was one of the odd days in LA - it actually RAINED! So - instead of meeting at the park this afternoon, our weekly play date was moved to my house. I was very excited - this meant I got to cook (yes, there is a padded cell with my name on it).

We had (including me and mine) 4 moms and 6 kids!! Lot's of playdoh, stickers and temporary tattoos.

I made Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms, Venetian Shrimp and Scallops (actually calamari rings, not scallops), Barbara Bush's Crab Dip and Chicken Tagine with Lemon and Olives and couscous. One friend brought Pizza to make for the kids, yummy cream cheese and caramelized onions in phyllo (Trader Joes) and a spinach and artichoke dip (Trader Joes). My other friend brought this amazing Thai dish of fried pancake, condensed milk and sugar (YUMMY). My other friend brought fruit salad and cherry pie. Add 3 bottles of wine (2 Chardonnay and 1 Merlot) and we had a GREAT meal!!

The chicken was quite amazing. The shrimp and calamari was fabulous and the crab dip was ok! The roasted green beans with mushrooms (and broccolini) tasted awesome but looked horrible because I cooked it on convection roast instead of bake (oops!).

Pictures and recipes (yes my pictures kind of suck):

Roasted Green Beans and Brocollini with Mushrooms
No picture because it looked nasty
Cremini mushrooms are a surprisingly good source of niacin. Roasting is a great way to cook green beans, giving them crisp browned edges and intensifying their flavor.
6 cups quartered cremini mushrooms (about 1 pound)
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
1 lb brocollini
Cooking spray
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450°. Combine first 4 ingredients on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with thyme and pepper. Toss well to coat. Bake at 450° for 30 minutes or until beans are lightly browned. Sprinkle with salt; toss to combine. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)
NUTRITION PER SERVINGCALORIES 107(32% from fat); FAT 3.8g (sat 0.3g,mono 2.1g,poly 1.2g); PROTEIN 4.8g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 75mg; SODIUM 310mg; FIBER 4.6g; IRON 1.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 16.7g
Julie Grimes
Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2006

Barbara Bush's Crab or Clam Dip

A family favorite at Walker's Point
1 (6 1/2 ounce) can crabmeat or minced clams - I used a 6 ounce package of fresh crabmeat.1
(8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 tbl Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
2 tbl chopped chives (optional)
2 tsp dry sherry (optional) Did not use

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Transfer to a 1 quart casserole dish. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with corn chips or crackers.

Chicken Tagine with Lemon and Olives
From Cooking Light

A tagine is a terra-cotta pot with a conical lid used in Morocco. The stews that come from the pot are named for the cooking vessel, though you can cook them in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Serve with couscous or flatbread.

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
12 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (used chicken breasts)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium)
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup pitted green olives, halved (about 12)
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Combine juice and chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade.Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Dredge in flour; sprinkle with salt, black pepper, turmeric, and red pepper. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet with high sides over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken; cook for 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken.Add onion, ginger, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Return chicken to pan. Add broth, olives, rind, and cinnamon stick; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until chicken is tender. Discard the cinnamon stick; stir in cilantro.


Gilgamesh37 from CLBB

1 lb sea scallops (used calamari)

¼ cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

1 Tbl (1 turn around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbl butter

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large shallot, finely chopped

½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup chicken broth or stock (I used water_

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice

¼ tsp saffron threads (I used turmeric)

1.5 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

12 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn

1 lemon, zested

Hot, crusty bread, for plate mopping

Lightly coat the sea scallops in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Discard remaining flour. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil (1 turn around the pan) and butter. When butter melts into oil, add scallops. Brown scallops 2 minutes on each side, then remove from pan. Add an additional drizzle of olive oil to the pan and add the garlic, shallots, and crushed red pepper flakes. Reduce heat a little and sauté garlic and shallots 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine to the pan and free up any pan drippings. Reduce wine 1 minute, then add stock, tomatoes and saffron threads. When liquids come to a bubble, add shrimp and cook 3 minutes. Return scallops to the pan and cook shrimp and scallops 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer shrimp and scallops to a warm serving dish and top with basil and lemon zest. Pass plenty of bread to enjoy the juices.

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