Friday, April 27, 2012

Grilled Halibut with Bleu Cheese Butter

I purchased a fancy new grill pan/pizza stone/baking stone at one of my favorite stores, Sur La Table. I had received a gift card there for my last birthday and have spent the last seven months deciphering what I would purchase with it when I came across this one and new I had to have it. I loved it's versatility. The very first day I brought it home I knew it needed to be used.

Todd threw it on the grill and I headed for the store to pick out some beautiful white fish. Have no fear if you have never cooked halibut before,  it's a cinch! The butter is even easier!
If you don't have a grilling stone, oil the grill surface and place them directly on the grill! (It will still turn out wonderful, just be cautious when flipping!)

Grilled Halibut with Bleu Cheese Butter
Serves: Four (4)

Four (4) Six to Eight ounce halibut fillets
Five ounces of crumbled bleu cheese
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 Tablespoons butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive oil (for brushing halibut) 

Brush halibut filets (on all sides) with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Place stone on grill and allow to warm-up at least 20 minutes.

Place halibut fillets onto grilling stone and close lid. Grill for 7 minutes per side or until fish is cooked through and flaky. (Note: Try to avoid turning more than once as the fish get quite soft and tends to fall apart.)

Meanwhile, on your stove-top combine butter, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and blue cheese and melt on low heat, stirring frequently.

Remove halibut from grill and plate on dinner plates. Spoon warm bleu cheese butter mixture over each fillet until gone.
That was pretty easy, wasn't it?

Enjoy and have a lovely weekend!

Source: An original of my own!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Individual Triple Berry Crisps

I told Todd that he could pick out our Easter dessert this year. Being that I am constantly trying to eat healthy and he is diabetic, the dessert, (in my mind,) had to be "somewhat" healthy.

He requested this dish, but insisted it be served with vanilla bean ice cream. That is a compromise in my mind, and one I agreed with! Another bonus of this dessert? I typically have all of this stuff on hand... and I bet you bakers do too!

This was, by far, the most simple recipe that I have ever followed and yet the results tasted like I had worked on it all weekend! It's rich in berry flavor, but not too sweet.

Individual Triple Berry Crisps
Serves: Four (4)

12 Ounces frozen berries (I used strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries)
1/4 Cup Sugar or Truvia
2 Teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 Cup crisp topping to mix in with berries, recipe follows
2+ Cups additional crisp topping for the tops of ramekins, recipe follows

Crisp Topping: 
5 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 1 cup
2/3 cup sugar or Truvia
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts such as; walnuts, pecans, or almonds (optional)
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 ounces unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

Place the flour, sugar, nuts and crackers into a large mixing bowl and combine. Work the butter into the dry ingredients with your hands until it is crumbly. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Use as topping for crisps, cobblers or grunts. 

Assembling the berry crisps:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the frozen berries, sugar, cornstarch and 1/2 cup of the crisp topping into a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Divide the mixture evenly between 4 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins.

Top each ramekin with 1/2 cup of the remaining crisp topping. 

Place the ramekins on a sheet pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is browned.

Allow the crisps to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Now... devour it.



Source: Slightly modified version from Alton Brown's Individual Berry Crisps.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Caprese Pasta Salad

In lieu of our standard Minnesota spring-like weather, we have been graciously blessed with temperatures much more like summer. (Although this week is quite a bit chillier!) It has been SO nice to sit on the deck with Todd and enjoy some sunshine, a cocktail, and great conversations while the smoke from the grill saturates the air.

Of course, like any other NORMAL person, the first things I really craved with the weather changes were burgers, brats, and pasta salad. I am not sure why us Minnesotans like pasta salad with burgers, but we do. That's how we roll.

This delicious recipe combines bow-tie pasta, pesto, mozzarella, and tomatoes. Caprese in any form is a favorite of mine, so needless to say, I loved, loved, loved this pasta salad!

Todd, did too. I think!? I am actually not sure he got any, to be honest.

Caprese Pasta Salad
Serves: Eight (8)

1 Lb. Box of Bow-Tie Pasta
1 container (or 2 cups fresh) cherry tomatoes; halved or quartered
8 oz. fresh mozzarella pearls (See note)
1-2 (2.5 oz.) cans of sliced black olives (optional)

For the Pesto Sauce:
2 Cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts or pine nuts
Salt and Pepper to taste


Boil pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a food processor, add basil, Parmesan, nuts and salt and pepper. Process for 15 seconds. With the food processor on, slowly add in olive oil and process for about 2 minutes or until smooth. 

Toss pasta,  olives, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil pesto until well incorporated. Finish with an additional dash of salt and pepper and serve immediately.

* Note: If you can't find mozzarella pearls, which significantly reduces your time cutting mozzarella into smaller pieces, try to find the ciliegine mozzarella. This is not a specific brand, but rather the smaller, round, cherry tomato sized mozzarella that will work perfectly when cut in half or quartered.

Source: A modified version of multiple recipes that I have tried and made over the years to finally come up with this final version.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Asparagus with Prosciutto and Orange Hollandaise

Easter is coming. Do you have a menu planned? If you're looking for a super quick and easy side dish, then try this asparagus. If not for the holiday, then try it another time...

I must disclose that this is Todd's recipe. I did not find this one. He did.

It's really, really good.

That's all. 

Asparagus with Prosciutto and Orange Hollandaise
Four (4)

1 pound large asparagus, tough ends removed
1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Orange hollandaise sauce (recipe follows)
1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto

Hollandaise Sauce: 
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Pinch of cayenne

In a small bowl whisk the hollandaise sauce ingredients and set aside.

Remove and discard the tough bottom of each asparagus spear by grasping each end and bending it gently until it snaps at its natural point of tenderness, usually 2/3 of the way down the spear. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the outer skin from the bottom half of each remaining spear.

Spread the asparagus on a large plate. Drizzle the oil over the top and season evenly with the salt and pepper. Turn the spears until they are evenly coated.

Grill the asparagus (perpendicular to the grate) over direct medium heat (350°F to 450°F) until browned in spots but not charred, 4 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally. Keep the lid closed as often as possible during grilling. Remove from the grill and keep warm.

Grill the prosciutto slices over direct medium heat just until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes, turning once. Remove from the grill and cut each slice into pieces about 2 inches across.

Arrange the prosciutto and asparagus on four plates and spoon the mayonnaise over the top. Serve immediately.

Source: Weber, originally from Weber's Big Book of Grilling