Monday, May 28, 2012

Scallops with Sweet Corn & Roasted Pepper Puree

As I am sitting here typing this recipe my wife's phone rings. I can tell by the ring tone that it is my son Joel. He left North Carolina to start a new chapter in his life today. He called to say that he arrived at Whiting Air Force Base. Two weeks ago he was inducted into the United States Air Force as a Second Lieutenant. It is kind of ironic that he arrived on Memorial Day, but he can't officially check in until tomorrow as they are closed for the holiday. For those of you who have been reading my blog for a couple of years this is the same son who was a Marine and got 3 Purple Hearts. While in college he decided to to become a pilot. Joel joined the Air Force ROTC and now that college is over he is heading to  Pensacola to start his pilots training. I am sure he will succeed as he is determined to fly, more mature and has a good wife to support him. How well he does in school will determine what type of "plane" he will fly with "fighter jet" being the big reward. In a year I expect to be posting a picture of my son sitting in a "fighter jet". Good luck Joel and Meghan.

Scallops with Sweet Corn and Roasted Pepper Sauce
8 scallops
2 tsp olive oil
2 ears of sweet corn, roasted or boiled, corn cut from cob
1 red pepper, roasted
2 tbs heavy cream
2 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 green onion, cut finely

After the corn is cooked remove the kernels from the cob, reserve 1/4 of the kernels if you want a chunky sauce. Cut the pepper in half (if roasting your own core and seed it). Cut 1/4 of pepper into fine dice and reserve if you want to add it to finished sauce. Add 1/4 of pepper, corn kernels and cream to blender. Puree the mixture. Taste for sweetness. If the sauce is to sweet add more red pepper. When the sauce is at desired taste add reserved corn and red peppers and stir in with a spoon.
Heat a pan to high. Add the oil. While the oil is heating dry the scallops with a paper towel. Drying them will help them brown. When the oil is shimmering add the scallops. Cook until they take on color and then flip them over and brown the other side. The whole cooking process will only take 3 to 5 minutes depending on size of scallops.
Pour sauce on plates. Place scallops on top. Sprinkle the green onions and bacon over the whole plate.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Memorial Day Side Dishes

I am just returning from a week of vacation. We went to Michigan saw my brother, went to Michigan State (the university I graduated from), attended a nephews wedding and then went to Maryland to pick up my dog. My daughter was home last week for my sons Air Force induction ceremony so she took the dog back to Maryland with her so we could go to Michigan. That means no kitchen time for me for the last week or so. I thought I would repeat a few of my favorite side dishes, so a few of you may recognize these recipes.
Barbecue Backed Beans
This is my favorite bean recipe. Once you see how easy and tasty these are you will never buy beans again. Click here for the Barbecue Baked Bean recipe.
Baked Potato Salad
This is another family favorite. Instead of boiling the potatoes bake them and then mix in baked potato toppings like sour cream, chives, bacon and cheese. Click here for the Baked Potato Salad.
Baked Penne and Cheese
This is an Eating Well recipe that uses cottage cheese to lower the calories and fat in traditional macaroni and cheese. Click here for the Baked Penne and Cheese recipe.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Breakfast in Bread

With Mother's Day upon us here is a simple breakfast that looks very special. You can use a heart cookie cutter instead of the round biscuit cutter mentioned in the recipe.

Breakfast in Bread

1 egg, fried or poached
1 tsp olive oil
1 stalk of asparagus
1 piece Canadian Bacon or about 1 oz of ham chopped
3 cherry tomatoes, 1/2 or 1 tbs of diced tomato
2 tsp parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 slice of toast
Non-stick spray

This recipe is for 1 egg, you can multiple by however many eggs you are making. You will need a biscuit cutter (or cookie cutter, I used round but any shape will do) a little less than the width of a piece of toast. If you have 2 biscuit cutters the same size and shape it will be even easier.

In a pan put 1 tsp of olive oil and heat to a shimmer add the asparagus and ham. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes. cook for another 2 minutes, until ham starts to brown. Set aside.

Start making your egg, if you are frying spray the cutter with the non-stick spray and place with the non-cutting side down in the pan. Crack the egg into the cutter. This will keep the egg shape the same size as the hole in the toast. Start the toast. Cook egg to desired doneness. When egg is done carefully remove egg from cutter. Then use cutter to cut a whole in the toast. Remove the piece of toast that you cut out and put toast on plate. Put egg in the hole in the toast. Now top with ham, asparagus, tomato mixture. Sprinkle the parmesan over the whole toast.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Grilled Polenta Cakes

Now that May is here it is time for weddings, graduations and Air Force inductions. Well ok most of you don't have any Air Force inductions coming up, but we do. My son, Joel, is graduating from college and getting inducted into the Air Force. If you have been reading my blog for awhile you might remember that he already completed 4 years in the Marines, but that wasn't good enough for him he decided he wanted to be a pilot. So he is going into the Air Force now to become a pilot. We also have a wedding coming up. So in the next couple of weeks my posts maybe kind of sporadic. In the meantime enjoy this appetizer that is consistently one of my most viewed recipes.

Grilled Polenta Cakes with Bruschetta Topping

Tomato Topping
2 tomatoes, cut into a small dice
2 tbs Kalamata olives, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 basil leaves, cut into fine ribbons

Add all ingredients to a bowl and drizzle with enough olive oil to coat thourghly coat the mixture.

Polenta Cakes

Make polenta according to the package or your regular method. Then pour it into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, that has been sprayed with no-stick spray. Let the polenta cool for a few minutes and then refrigerate so it will firm up. After polenta has firmed up use a 2 1/2 to 3 inch cookie cutter or a glass with an equivalent opening to cut out the cakes.
Preheat the grill to medium high.
Take the polenta cakes and put them on a well oiled grill, to prevent them from sticking. Cook until polenta has good grill marks and then flip them over and cook until you get the grill marks again.
Top each polenta cake with the tomato mixture.