Saturday, October 3, 2015

Swordfish - Iron Skillet Seared

Iron Skillet-Seared Swordfish Fillet

I'm not a fan of a monochromatic dinner plate - boring to say the least! But, I only had yellow tomatoes, no red ones in the kitchen, so monochromatic it was! However, the finished meal was delicious...well at least the swordfish was! The onion rings were Alexa brand  - and very good - but I had nothing to do with those. The tomatoes were heirloom and there were only yellow ones left out of the box, so, yellow it was. The swordfish...well anything that's basically white to begin with, which will become golden when grilled or sauteed, so we have a monochormatic dinner plate. Not pretty, but damn good delicious! 

The Throw-n-Go:

1 lb. or so swordfish steak
2 TrueLemon packets (use fresh squeezed lemon juice if you must)
fresh ground Tellicherry pepper (if you're lucky to have those tellicherry pepper corns)
grape seed oil

salt to finish

Heat your iron skillet to just smoking. In the meantime, wash and dry the swordfish fillet. On each side, sprinkle one packet of TrueLemon, fresh ground pepper and a smear of grape seed oil. When your skillet is smokin' hot, slap the sworfish fillet down and let it sit there for about 6 minutes. Flip it and let it sear for another 4 or so minutes. Turn off the heat, put a lid over it and let it rest for up to 10 minutes. And then LOVE it!

'till we feast again!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto Topped w/Parsley

I've never attempted to make risotto - frankly it scared me! So, last Saturday I decided to try and conquer my fears and attempt to make an edible mushroom risotto. Since it was only George Brynnly and me eating, I knew if necessary I could throw the whole thing out if it turned out to be horrid. All three of us were pleasantly surprised it wasn't horrid - it was delicious! I found the recipe on the website. And now, without further ado, here's the throw n go: 

2 T. butter
2+ C. mushrooms (I used a large package of pre-sliced white mushrooms)
2/3 C. vermouth (or brandy)
5 - 8 C. stock (I used a bit of chix bullion and the rest beef as that’s all I had)
1/3 C. minced shallots or onion
2 C. arborio rice
1/3+ C. parmesan cheese (good quality)
salt & fresh-ground pepper to taste
2 T. chopped parsley

Bring stock to a simmer in a sauce pan. Melt butter in a deep, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and shallots/onions and sauté about 5 minutes, or until the onion/shallots are transparent. (If using fresh chanterelles, dry sauté first for a minute or two and let the mushrooms cook in their own juices before adding the butter.) Add the rice and stir to combine. Add vermouth or brandy, bring to a boil, and reduce liquid by half, about 3 - 4 minutes. Add simmering stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring to keep the rice from sticking to the edges of the pan. Stir the rice almost constantly — stirring sloughs off the starch from the rice, making the creamy sauce you’re looking for in a risotto. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. This process will take about 25 minutes. The rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy. Taste it! Stir in the parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in a serving bowl and garnish with the parsley. Serves 6 - 8.

If you have left-overs, form them into patties, coat in panko breadcrumbs if desired, and sauté in butter till nicely browned. Top with some parmesan - and if you have it (I didn't), a bit of marinara sauce:
risotto rice cakes - packed for tomorrow's lunch,
along with chicken tetrazzini, there in the left-hand corner

Our meal:
hickory-fired strip steaks, oven-roasted broccoli, mushroom risotto

'till we feast again!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Wild Plum Jelly

Wild Plum Jelly
While I had nothing to do with the makings of the wild plum jelly, I had hands-on experience with the gathering of the plums themselves. Our first foray was mom, Brynnly and I going out in the golf cart with bucket and sheet in hand. With mom's expert direction, Brynnly and I would spread the sheet under the heavily plum-laden branches, shake the branches, and then, with a great amount of luck, watch as the plums fell onto the sheet. Must admit that worked not as well as we had hoped. However, in the end, we gathered enough wild plums that jelly-making was a sure thing! Plus, we had a lot of laughs, so it was all just really really wonderful!

Wild Plum Jam:

wild plums - as many as you can gather
water to just cover plums
sugar - 3/4 cup for every 8 oz. plum sauce
cheese cloth
jelly jars w/the lids

Place picked-over (remove blemished plums, leaves, stems, etc.) plums in a large pot and just cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, until plums begin to split and have cooked down.
Line a strainer with cheese cloth and pour in the cooked plums. (Be careful! HOT!) Let the plums drain over night. Next morning, measure how much plum juice you have and put back into a pot. Bring to a boil and for every 1 cup of plum juice, add 3/4 cup sugar. Cook mixture until it begins to thicken. (When you dip a spoon into the mixture, two beads of juice should form into one bead and then very slowly drip off - it's a touchy-feely kind of thing, not an exact science.) In the meantime, place the jelly jars upside down into another pot of boiling water, along with the lids, and boil for about 5 - 10 minutes until they are sterilized. Remove from the water with tongs.
Ladle the plum juice/jelly into the jars and put the lids on. Let cool and distribute to those friend who are worthy of sharing in your hard labor!

'till we feast again!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Italian Flat Beans

Italian Flat Beans - a gift to the culinary world

Daughter Brynnly and I found a delicious supply of Italian flat beans, and, of course scooped them up! This is one of my favorite veggies and are simply divine just sautéed and flavored with salt and pepper. So....

For this, you need: 

Italian flat beans, cut on the diagonal
olive oil (extra virgin)
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper

Wash the beans and then cut them on the diagonal (cut one end like this \, then rotate and cut again on the \. Keep doing this till you have 1 - 1 1/2 pieces).

In a skillet that you've placed a steamer basket in, bring water to boil and add the beans. Steam until just tender. Drain the water, place beans in the skillet and season to taste with olive oil, salt and pepper. You can get fancy and add other herbs to taste, but in my estimation, simple is the best. Serve!

'till we feast again!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Chanterelle Madness!

A small number of the enormous amount of chanterelles in the woods around my parents' home

Every summer I've had the good fortune of being able to return to my Missouri home. Usually it's quite hot, humid, and by this time in July, very very dry. This year? Not so much. I've never seen a greener Missourahhh. It's obvious from the lush green foliage, the many wildflowers, and even the green lawns that rain has been a fairly constant part of this summer of 2014. This has also made for a bumper year for chanterelles. Mom and I first spotted an area of them last week, and then yesterday, after my brother Bill had mown paths through the woods for mom's golf cart, we found the motherlode of chanterelle patches. As far as you could see, there were chanterelles and more chanterelles! Enough that we simply picked what we needed for our meal and left the rest for another day. (Truth be told, we left the rest so mom could show off her chanterelle bed to our cousin, who has his own meager patch on his farm).

Below are two of the ways we've thoroughly enjoyed these wonderful mushrooms:

Grilled Beef Tenderloin Steaks w/Chanterelle Sauce

steaks of your choice, smeared with grape seed oil, then seasoned w/salt and pepper and either char-grilled or pan sautéed after the sauce is made

butter, about 1/2 stick
grape seed oil (if needed during the sauté)
1/2 or so lb. chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and chopped/pulled into smallish pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup or so dry reisling wine
1 tablespoon or so red wine vinegar
1 cup or so half & half cream
2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
salt to taste

Heat the butter in a large skillet and sauté the onions and garlic until they are translucent. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they have released their juices and are turning a deeper golden brown. Add the reisling and red wine vinegar and cook down until all alcohol has evaporated and most of the liquid is gone. Don't bother to measure the wine. A cup is good...2 cups? Good as well. Add the cream and stir to incorporate all the ingredients. Add the pepper, stir in. Taste and add salt to your taste. Keep warm and spoon over grilled steaks. Delicious! 


Chanterelle Pasta Salad

1/2 bag bow tie/farfalle pasta, cooked according to package directions
grape seed oil, amount as needed
1/2 lb. or so chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and chopped/pulled into smallish pieces
2 garlic cloves, chopped
handful of fresh parsley, chopped 
handful of fresh summer savory, chopped
zest and juice of a large lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Fresh dill would be delicious in this as well. Actually any fresh herbs would work.

Heat grape seed oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and chanterelles and sauté until mushrooms release their moisture and are beginning to turn a deeper golden brown. Combine the cooked and still warm pasta and chanterelles in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the fresh herbs, zest of a lemon and the juice from half of the lemon. Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Stir to combine well. Add more grape seed oil and/or lemon juice, salt and pepper until it tastes good to you. Serve at room temperature. (Barilla makes a mini farfalle - that would be the ideal size for this salad.) Wonderful!


'till we feast again!

Sunday, March 30, 2014


The beginnings of jambayala...YUM!

On March 29, 2014 we threw an engagement party for our Miss Mary Shaw and her betrothed. It was a Mardi Gras-themed party and I was tasked with making a NOLA jambalaya. 
Around 20 years ago, George and I were at a party and the hosts served jambalaya. It was just delicious so I asked for the recipe, which they happily shared. Surprisingly, I never made the recipe until this engagement party. I used the original recipe as a starting point and then ended up doing my own thing - a throw-n-go type of thing for sure!  
Below is what I did, but, as it was for me with the original recipe, it's just a starting point - just throw and go! Delicious results will be in your future! (Below makes about 3 - 4 gallons - reduce for your needs.)
olive oil
2.5 lb. package Costco (Sausages by ~AMYLU~) gluten-free Andouille sausage 
6 lb. (approximate) package Costco boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 large onions, chopped
2 large yellow peppers, chopped
2 large green peppers, chopped
4 large red peppers, chopped
6 garlic cloves, coarsely minced
4 to 5 -14.5 oz.cans petite or regular diced tomatoes 
4 to 5++ 32 oz. boxes chicken stock (I used Whole Foods 365 organic brand)
parsley, chopped
Frank’s RedHot sauce (I used 1/2 of a 12 oz. bottle)
~Cajun Seasonings~ by Penzey’s (Hand-mixed from: paprika, salt, celery, sugar, garlic, black pepper, onion, oregano, red pepper, caraway, dill, turmeric, cumin, bay, mace, cardamom, basil, marjoram, rosemary, and thyme.
2 1/2 C. basmati rice 
3 lbs. fresh shrimp (bay scallops could be used as well)
Cut the sausage into 1/4” slices. Cut the chicken into chunks. Remove the tail from the shrimp and cut them in half.  
In a large skillet heat enough olive oil to smear the bottom of the skillet. Place sausage sliced in the skillet in a single layer and sauté until brown. Turn slices over and sauté until that side is brown. Do this in batches and throw done slices in a very large soup pot. (Mine is a 3-gallon All Clad soup pot that I absolutely adore (Thanks Kimmy!) Add the onions, peppers and garlic to the skillet (with more olive oil if necessary) and sauté until done. Do this in batches if necessary as you want the veggies to brown and not steam. When done, add veggies to the soup pot. 
Generously sprinkle the chicken with the Cajun seasonings and sauté in the skillet, adding more olive oil if needed. Do this in batches. When done, add chicken to the big pot. 
Add 4 of the 32 oz. boxes to the soup pot and also the rice. Bring pot to a boil and then simmer until the rice is done. Skim fat off if necessary. 
At this point, you can hold the jambalaya until 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve it. 
Add the shrimp about 15 minutes before you are eating, heat the soup, add more broth if it is too thick and serve. 

Crusty bread is a perfect side. Delicious!


'till we feast again!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala-la-la! by annbumbly
Chicken Marsala with Crumbled Crisp Pancetta

Above is one of our more delicious Sunday Family Dinner meals. Chicken Marsala with a secret ingredient added to it. No, those aren't diced tomatoes on top of the dish, it's oven crisped then crumbled pancetta. Talk about taking a delicious dish and making it absolutely awesome! Major yum factor going on here!

The Throw 'n Go:

Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless and pounded to an even thickness
eggs seasoned with salt and pepper
flour (or gluten-free bread crumbs) seasoned well with thyme, salt and fresh-ground pepper
olive oil
1 large box (or 2 small boxes) sliced mushrooms
2 - 3 tablespoons flour
3/4 of a bottle of marsala wine
1 cup or so chicken stock
pancetta rounds
parsley, chopped

Heat oven to 400. Place pancetta rounds on a parchment covered cookie sheet, put in oven and bake until pancetta is very crispy. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn't burn. Take out of oven and set aside.
Heat about 1/2" mixture of half oil and butter in a large (preferably) cast iron skillet over medium high. Dip chicken in the egg mixture and then the seasoned flour and place in the skillet. Do this in batches so the chicken pieces aren't crowded. (Be careful of the skillet temp as you don't want the delicious brown bits to burn and blacken.) As they are done, put them on an oven-proof platter and lightly cover with foil.
When all the chicken is done, add the mushrooms to the skillet, and more butter if necessary. Saute until the mushrooms have given up most of their moisture and are beginning to lightly brown. Add the flour at this point and cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring constantly. Add the marsala and chicken stock and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce has reduced by about half. Taste sauce to check for seasonings.
Pour sauce over the chicken, crumble the pancetta over the top and then top all with the parsley.

We served our Chicken Marsala with buttered egg noodles, baby peas and a green salad.

'till we feast again!