Red Snapper … Saturday Night Dinner in a Snap!

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New Year’s resolution number one:  go back to eating healthy, the party’s over!  I’m always looking for interesting fish ideas and this recipe in the January issue of Food & Wine Magazine just jumped off the page.  Jonathan Waxman is known for mastering the perfect roasted chicken … and I’d say he’s  also mastered this delicious Asian influenced red snapper recipe.  Red Snapper in a snap!

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Divas “dish” on Mimi’s dish.  I had to make a number of changes in this recipe.  I couldn’t find fermented black beans (or black bean sauce) so I skipped that ingredient. Even though it’s not a substitute, I added a dash of fish sauce.  The store had no small bok choy so I just bought the large.  Finally, I had no rosé wine, so I used a dry but creamy chardonnay.  Even with all these changes, the meal was so good it’s now on my list of “go to” fish dishes.  Sue.  My husband and I love red snapper so, I’ll definitely be trying out this recipe.  I’m pretty impressed with Mimi’s substitutions … she’s usually “by the book” so this was pretty daring for her!

New Year’s Day Breakfast Treat

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I think if I was willing to make them, my husband would eat huevos rancheros every day of his life.  For a special new year treat, I whipped some up this morning.  I adapted this recipe, which seemed fairly simple, from an article in the Wall Street Journal. Huevos Rancheros

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Divas “dish” on Mimi’s dish.  I made the sauce a day ahead of time so the flavors would  meld and I adjusted the recipe to include refried beans and chorizo sausage.  Instead of garnishing with avocado, I used queso fresca … simply because this is the way he likes his huevos.  There is an old wives’ tale that what you do on the first day of the year sets the tone for the rest of the year.  As far as this breakfast, I’m sure my husband hopes this is the case!  Sue.  I make a hearty breakfast for my husband every morning … this might be a little too much for a weekday.  But, after a celebration with much wine, food and song, a breakfast like this might be just what the doctor ordered!

Post Holiday … Easy Elegant Dinner

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One holiday party and two holiday dinners later … did I remember to take a single picture? Nope!  So no holiday postings for me.  I guess I took a page from Sue’s book and decided to have a good time instead!!!

Saturday after Christmas, I’m craving something a little elegant (but easy).  Where do I turn?  To the French of course who, clearly, epitomize easy elegance.  Click on the link that follows for the Roasted Chicken Provençal recipe and enjoy your own stress free post holiday evening: Easy Elegant Dinner .

I served this with a baguette, a light salad of baby greens dressed with white balsamic vinaigrette and Kermit Lynch Côtes du Rhône.

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Divas dish on Mimi’s dish.  I made a few minor adjustments to this recipe.  I used 1/2 cup of vermouth because 1/3 cup did not look like enough in the pan.  During the second 1/2 hour of baking, I switched the oven to convection roast to brown the chicken.  If you don’t have a convection oven, you may need to place the pan under the broiler to get a nice crisp golden brown skin.  Sue:  HA!!! I love that Mimi  got so caught up in her celebrations that she forgot to take pictures … what a break through!  I’m always cooking for a crowd so this recipe looks like it’s right up my alley.  I’m definitely going to try it and maybe I’ll remember to take a picture to post with Mimi’s.  I hope so!

Mimi’s version of Summer Pasta with Ricotta

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Rich, creamy and diva – licious!

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What a difference homemade ricotta cheese makes in this dish!

final_300dpiDivas Dish on Mimi’s Dish  When I saw Sue’s menu for Guy’s Golf Weekend I decided that I had to make the pasta as well.  I found the recipe on-line … and it included homemade ricotta!!  Get the Recipe Here!  Now I’m spoiled, no more store-bought ricotta for our house.  You can’t believe how easy it is to make.  Sue:  Yes, it’s easy, creamy, delicious and light.   But, I would make the ricotta the day before so that I can focus on my company rather than making cheese — less time in the kitchen, more time to enjoy conversation and have a few laughs.

Johnny and his Albany Buddies — Guy’s Golf Weekend (take 2)

This is totally a guys’ golfing weekend … 18 holes Friday, 27 holes Saturday and 18 holes Sunday.  They actually played fewer holes and took it easy this summer because there was a tournament going on.  Their favorite hole is a par 5 on the blue course.  Here it is.IMG_0065

What’s a mother to do?    Serve the drinks and cook the food.

Friday Night

Summer Pasta with Zucchini, Ricotta and Basil  Get the Recipe Here!

Tomato and Onion Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette  Get the Recipe Here — sort of!

Raspberry – Ricotta Cake  Get the Recipe Here!

final_300dpiDivas Dish on Sue’s Dishes  No surprise, I didn’t stick precisely to these recipes.  Rather than using pasta water, I threw in 1/2 stick of butter and just a little pasta water.  I mixed summer squash and green squash to add a little color and did not make my ricotta.  I also just tossed the pasta with fresh basil rather than making basil garlic paste.  For the salad, I made citrus vinaigrette — who has time to roast lemons?!?  I thought the picture in the magazine of the salad was irresistible and had to make some variation of it.  For the ricotta cake I used fresh raspberries — the cake is dense — frozen berries would have added moisture.  So, I served a mixed berry compote to moisten the cake.   Mimi: I really wanted to make this pasta and googled it.  I had no idea it called for homemade ricotta cheese.  Check out my posting to see the results — diva-licious!

Saturday Night

Country Style Drumsticks

Baby Greens with Feta Cheese

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp olive oil
12 drumsticks
yellow, red and orange bell peppers cut in strips
1 onion cut in strips
4 oz fresh mushrooms
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 dry white wine

  • Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan at medium high and brown drumsticks
  • Remove drumsticks from pan, add vegetables and sauté until crisp tender
  • Return drumsticks to pan and season with basil, oregano, salt and pepper
  • Add chicken broth and white wine, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes until chicken is tender

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Divas Dish on Sue’s Dish.  I used a lot more broth and wine than the recipe calls for — maybe double it.  We like to sop up the juice with fresh bread.  I also served mashed potatoes to make this a meal that sticks to your ribs … after 27 holes of golf that’s a necessity!  Mimi:  This kind of reminds me of coq au vin.  I’d try it but peppers aren’t my cup of tea.

 

Mimi Takes a Stab at Chicken Kebabs

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Before we went on a mini-vacation this summer, I didn’t feel like cooking and wanted a new, interesting and easy twist on chicken.  Here’s what I found in Food & Wine Magazine:  chicken thigh kebabs with chile-yogurt sauce.  Click here for the recipe:  kebabs.

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The Divas “Dish” on Mimi’s dish.  This was as I expected, easy and good.  The sauce is what makes the dish and Sue would probably not enjoy it because she doesn’t like spicy food.  I’d make this with chicken breast tenders the next time rather than thighs.  Sue:  I don’t mind a hint of heat but, Mimi’s right, I don’t like very spicy food.  Chicken thighs are my favorite cut of meat because they are the most tender cut of the chicken.

Mimi’s Mid-Week Attempt at Creativity

My dinners were getting a little “ho-hum” so, I scoured months of Bon Appétit and Food & Wine magazines to introduce a little variety.  I found this salad in Bon Appétit July 2014 — a nice refreshing summer blend.  (Go here for the recipe:  Summer Salad)

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Divas “dish” on Mimi’s dish.  If you checked out the recipe in Bon Appétit you will notice mine looks absolutely nothing like theirs.  I couldn’t find fava beans.  We love Great Northern White Beans and I substituted them.  Pea shoots are impossible to find within 100 miles of Buck Hill Falls!  Finally, surprising to me, Wegmans had not a single head of Bibb lettuce.  Still a great salad!!!  Sue:  Snow peas or blanched sugar snap peas would also work great in this dish.  I love them because they taste great cold and have nice crunch.  I would probably substitute cannellini beans because I always have them in my pantry.  Wegmans didn’t have Bibb lettuce?  That’s insane, I can’t believe it.

 

I rarely make scallops;  I don’t really like them.  In an adventurous mood, I decided to give this dish a try.  Click here for the recipe in Food & Wine Magazine:  Cilantro Scallops.

 

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final_300dpiDivas “dish” on Mimi’s dish.  When you marinate the scallops, don’t leave them in the marinade more than 15 minutes — it’s not a ceviche, you grill these!  We probably could have used a hotter flame to develop a nice golden brown crust on them.  I thought it would be good to serve the scallops on tortillas  that were  “crisped up” under the broiler.  After squeezing the lime juice on the scallops, just pile 1/2 of a scallop and some avocado on a wedge of the tortilla and create one delectable bite!  Sue:  I only like scallops pan seared.  It’s hard to get them just right on the grill … unless, of course,  you have a barbecue addiction like Bobby Flay!