Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Year's with Andrew & Bob

After Christmas, the countdown til I start my NEW JOB began - 1 week!  This week, of course, flew by.  Andrew and I had a relatively quiet New Year's celebration - just us and Bob.  Bob Schneider, that is.  He is one of my favorite musicians of all time!  We rang in the new year dining on filets that Andrew cooked on his new grill, and then off to downtown Austin for the concert (wore my Christmas present from Andrew :)).

Quiet Company opened for Bob Schneider - they were so good that I bought their album the next day (my favorite song so far - Are You a Mirror? ).  Come to find out, I went to high school with the drummer!  Bob was his usual entertaining self and we danced the New Year in to "Tarantula"!

Best of January Recipes!

If I write about nothing else it for the month of January, it MUST be these 2 easy and delicious recipes!  We will definitely have them again, especially if we have company or a dinner party!

Skillet Chicken Vesuvio (from America's Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2011)
4 (6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
Salt & Pepper
4 teaspoons canola oil
10 small red potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), halved
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken brother
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup frozen peas (4 ounces), thawed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Carefully lay the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook until golden brown on the first side, about 5 minutes. Flip the breasts and continue to cook until lightly browned on the second side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate.

Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in the pan over medium heat until shimmering. Arrange the potatoes evenly in the pan, cut side down, and cook until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, rosemary, oregano, and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and wine to the pot, scrape up any browned bits, and bring to a simmer.

Nestle the chicken breasts into the potatoes. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the chicken registers 160 to 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer and the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken and potatoes to a platter and tent loosely with foil.

Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the sauce is reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and potatoes, and serve.

Serves 4 (or 2 Andrew's and a Becky)
Dry-Spiced Grilled Fish (Indian Cooking Without Fat by Mridula Baljekar)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon of chopped garlic
1 teaspoon of grated ginger
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 salmon steaks
1 1/2 teaspoons ground & roasted coriander
1 tablespoon very finely chopped cilantro leaves

Mix the lemon juice, garlic, ginger, chili powder & salt.
Lay the salmon steaks on a large plant ofr dish and gently rub the seasoning mixture into them.  cover and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the grill to high and line a grill pan with foil.  Brush the foil lightly withlil and arrange the prepared fish on the foil
Cook the fish about 5 inches away from the heat source for 3-4 minutes
Meanwhile, mix the oil, ground coriander, and fresh cilantro together.   Turn the fish over taking care not to break the steaks.  Divide the coriander mixture equally among the steaks, spreading it gently to cover them completely.
Grill the salmon for an additional 2-3 minutes, then serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas in Mission

Dad & Smokey, Andrew, Eric, Mom, Becky outside the Airstream (right) and "coach house" (behind)
Wow!  The holidays came and went!  We had a wonderful Christmas with my family in The Valley.  There's lots to do down there: biking & birding at the nature park, ATV riding along the Rio Grande, swimming+hot-tubbing, playing pool, working out in the gym and I took 2 line dancing classes! 

Andrew in the main part of the coach house awaiting present opening like a lil kid :)

 other half of the coach house

bathroom of the coach house

Opening his Tennessee Tervis Tumbler!

To his surprise, he actually got what he asked for - motor cycle tires (via text message)!

We fixed a lovely Christmas dinner which we dined on in the tiny camper (planned to eat outside but the unseasonably cold 50 degree temperature nixed that plan).  For the past few years the highlight of Christmas (& Thanksgiving) has been my Sweet Potato Casserole.  Andrew asks me to make this for his work holiday potlucks also.  Check it out:  Cooking Light Sweet Potato Casserole.

Om Nom.  BIG Christmas dinner feast in the tiny camper.  Mom & Dad sat at the kid's table :)