Showing posts with label Key West. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Key West. Show all posts

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Easy Strawberry Cream Cheese Dip #recipe @LucyBurdette



LUCY BURDETTE: I love salty chips and dips--good old Ruffles and Lipton onion soup dip to me are heaven! But they do not love me. So when it was my turn to bring a nibble to a party, I started thinking about whipping up something slightly sweet instead of savory. I wanted a dip that would go with Stacy's sugar cinnamon chips (my new addiction.) This couldn't be easier and better and yet, everyone liked it!

Ingredients

8 ounces whipped cream cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup plain yogurt
5 to 6 ripe strawberries, finally chopped
Honey, about one tsp or to taste


Chips and fruit for dippingMix the cream cheese with the yogurt and stir in the chopped strawberries. Taste, and add honey according to your sweet tooth. My strawberries were not completely ripe and sweet so, I added a teaspoon. 

Serve the dip with cinnamon sugar chips or plain crackers or fruit such as strawberries halves and chunks of pineapple.

And it's so easy, you have time left over to read--or write. And I am writing a brand new Key West food critic mystery...hooray!


Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries. Follow her on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram!


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Cheater Spinach Lasagna #recipe @LucyBurdette






LUCY BURDETTE: I've made plenty of stuffed shells in my day but never a lasagna. So with company coming and lots of work on my desk, I decided now was the time. This version is tweaked from the Mueller's pasta box, and I used spinach rather than meat sauce. The cheater part comes in because the noodles don't have to be pre-boiled. I did substitute fresh mozzarella for the packaged dried cheese, which is high in sodium. I had never tried this before and was not quite certain it would work…here goes...

Ingredients

24 ounces ricotta cheese
8 ounces fresh mozzarella
24 ounce jar good marinara sauce (like Gia Russa Sicilian)
Two packages frozen spinach
Eight fresh basil leaves, if you have them
Fresh grated Parmesan
2 eggs
One package oven-ready lasagna noodles

Thaw the spinach and squeeze it dry. Shred the mozzarella. Grate the Parmesan. Snip the basil into shreds.



Mix the cheeses, the dried spinach, basil, and the eggs in a large bowl. 


Grease a 9 x 13 pan. In the bottom of the pan, spread one third of the sauce. Cover the sauce with dried noodles (about 3 1/2.) 



Spread one half of the cheese spinach mixture on top of the noodles. 





Top the cheese mixture with another layer of lasagna noodles. Spread one third of the sauce over those noodles. 



Add the remainder of the cheese mixture, top with more noodles, finish with the rest of the sauce and some grated Parmesan.

Cover with an oiled piece of aluminum foil. Bake at 375 for about 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 minutes more. Let sit for 10 to minutes before serving with a green salad and fresh bread.


And the results were declared delicious by the guests--that's what counts, right? (And it didn't take all day...which is good, because I needed to be working on Food Critic Mystery #8!) And once again, while busy serving, I forgot to take a great photo of the finished dinner!







Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries. Follow her on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tasty Broccoli Slaw #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Here's another recipe that got stuck in my brain and did not want to leave until I'd made it several times: broccoli slaw. Up until this point in my cooking life, I've thrown out my broccoli stalks. But no more! I decided against the sweet and raisin-y kind, and concentrated on lots of herbs. Here's what I came up with...

Ingredients



Two heaping tablespoons mayonnaise 
One heaping teaspoon mustard (I use Kozlik's--both tasty and low-sodium)
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar

One half head red cabbage 
Three stalks broccoli
Two carrots

Finely chop the cabbage. Peel the broccoli and carrots, and then chop them – I use the food processor for this. It's so easy and it makes the pieces more uniform.

Prepare the dressing by mixing all ingredients together and taste. Any of these can be replaced, increased, or decreased according to your liking. And of course those who feel the slaw needs salt can salt it at the table. The recipe makes a lot of slaw, but that's okay because it lasts several days and goes with most anything!


Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries. Follow her on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Chai Snickerdoodle Cookies #recipe @lucyburdette



LUCY BURDETTE: There are a couple of food catalogs that I can't resist, and usually I end up making something with one of their specialty products. This time it was King Arthur Flour's chai spice mixture containing ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, and cloves. Of course, I could have ground all of that together myself, but this looked appealing and so easy. They also sell "chaidoodle" cookie mix, but I wanted to try my own, adjusted for lower sodium pleasure of course!

First I went in search of the perfect snickerdoodle cookie recipe, and ended up using a combination of the Joy of Cooking and Bessie Bakes. And then I rolled the cookies in a cinnamon plus chai mixture.

They were delicious and I will definitely make them again!
Ingredients

Two sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 and 1/2 tsp low-sodium baking powder
2 and 3/4 cups flour
2 eggs, room temperature


For the topping:

2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Chai spice

3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat the oven to 375. Sift the dry ingredients (salt, sugar, and low-sodium baking powder) together and set aside. Using either a beater or a Kitchenaid mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, about 1 to 2 minutes after each addition. 

Slowly mix in the dry ingredients--don't beat too long or the cookies will be tough. Divide the dough into two parts and roll them into logs, wrapped with parchment paper. Refrigerate for two hours or freeze for one. (As you can see from my photo, this isn't a beauty contest, as you'll be rolling the cookies too.)

Mix the cinnamon, chai spice and sugar on a plate. Cut the logs into one-inch pieces and form them into balls. Roll the balls in the cinnamon mixture and place them on 2 parchment-covered baking sheets. You should end up with about 2 dozen. Big ones!

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes, removing them as soon as the first cracks appear.


If you're lucky, you'll have one left over to munch with your morning coffee! I am having one right now to celebrate the news that there will be two more Key West food critic mysteries, courtesy of Crooked Lane Books. Hooray!

Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries. Follow her on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Leek Pepper Biscuits #recipe for Thanksgiving @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Happy run-up days to Thanksgiving, Mystery Lovers Kitchen friends! It's so interesting that my fellow bloggers are posting nontraditional Thanksgiving recipe suggestions, rather than old standbys. 

My recipe for leek and pepper biscuits falls somewhere in the middle. I know I have raved to you in the past about the fabulous bakery in Guilford, Connecticut called 4 and 20 Blackbirds. Among many other fabulous treats, they make special biscuits every Friday. You have to call in advance if you want any number of them, and I've done that many times. They are special enough for any holiday, including the baby shower I threw for our daughter last spring. (They made a smaller size for the tea sandwiches I had in mind.)

But what to do when I'm not in Connecticut? Mourn the absence of those biscuits at my table… But then, I heard that the lead two bakers had been interviewed by a local paper and that they'd been willing to provide the recipe for their leeks biscuits to the world. Hooray!

So that's what I'm sharing with you, tweaked of course for a lower sodium diet. And I should warn you, my oven is seriously malfunctioning. I mean seriously, as in turn the knob to warm and the temperature shoots up to 450 within minutes. I did manage to bake the biscuits by turning the oven on and off and watching carefully. They definitely would have been more beautiful without this oddball treatment! 

Ingredients:

2½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons baking powder (I used no sodium)
10 tablespoons (5 ounces) chilled unsalted butter, cubed
1/3 cup finely chopped leeks (white and tender green parts only)
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (add more or less, depending on your taste—FOR ME IT WAS MORE)
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (HA!)


Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl of your food processor and pulse until combined. Then cut chilled butter into dry ingredients, until a coarse meal texture forms. (Pieces of butter should be no larger than a small pea.) Stir in milk. 

 


Dump the dough onto a piece of parchment paper or a floured surface and knead a few times. Pat the dough into ½-inch thick rectangle. Cut into biscuits of your preferred size. You should have about twelve.




Place on a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, turning cookie sheet 180 degrees half through baking time. Tops and bottoms should be nicely browned. 


(Lucy's note--I never roll and cut biscuits the traditional way anymore, as the method above is so easy. But if you want round biscuits, use a cookie cutter.) HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We're grateful for you, my friends!


Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries.  Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


Thursday, September 29, 2016

French Vegetable Soup with Pistou #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: This recipe is based on one from the fabulous David Lebovitz's newsletter. If you like reading about Paris and French food, I recommend you subscribe. He was a chef at Alice Water's restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, but many years ago moved to Paris and is excellent at translating French ways to Americans.

Lucy with Notre Dame Gargoyles

I remember eating a soup like this when I was a student in the 1970s in France and terribly homesick. A French family used to invite my roommate and me to Sunday dinner every week because they knew we were lonely for home--wasn't that sweet? The mom would sometimes serve this soup so making it brought back some fun memories. John says I'd choose France for every vacation if I could--he's not far off! Anyway, back to soup...

I veered quite a bit from David's recipe and you can move back to his or further away from both of ours – the recipe is very flexible. It's good for someone on a low sodium diet, because the pistou (essentially pesto without the nuts) packs a big flavor punch. I used the vegetables that I either had in the garden or saw at the weekly farmers market. But you could also add potatoes, tomatoes, celery...

Ingredients for the soup

Two medium zucchini
2 to 3 leeks, well washed
Carrots, either three large or five or six smaller
Green beans
3 to 4 cloves garlic
1 cup dried white beans (I used Navy)
1 32 ounce box low sodium chicken broth
Handful of small pasta, if you like
Chopped tomatoes if you like
2 sprigs thyme (which I forgot, darn it!


The day before you plan to make the soup, soak the white beans overnight in water. Rinse them, and then cover them with water in a large pot and simmer until soft with two bay leaves. (This could take an hour or so.) When the beans are soft, add the chicken broth to the pot and keep simmering.
 


Chop the leeks. Chop the green beans into bite-size pieces. Chop the zucchini likewise. Chop the garlic cloves. I used my food processor to chop the carrots, and didn't even rinse it before starting the pistou. And that explains the little flecks of orange you will see later.

In a large frying pan, heat some good olive oil and sauté the leeks, the garlic, carrots, onion, zucchini and saute until soft. Add the green beans and sautéed them a bit too. Scrape this mixture into the bean pot and simmer everything until soft, about 20-30 minutes. You may if you wish add a handful of pasta at the end, but you may have to add more liquid too.

For the pistou

One clove garlic
One small bunch basil, cleaned and leaves removed (my favorite veggie guy at the market had Thai basil so that's what I tried)
1/4 cup good olive oil
About an ounce Parmesan cheese

 
Chop the garlic in the food processor, then add the olive oil. Add the Parmesan cheese in smaller pieces and chop that in. Finally add the basil and pulse until everything is combined.

 
 


Serve the bowls of soup with a heaping tablespoon of the basil mixture dropped in the center. Then each diner can stir his or her pistou/pesto into the soup. Or pass the pistou in a separate bowl if you have concerned eaters...

Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries.  Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!



Thursday, August 18, 2016

Zucchini Cornmeal Summer Casserole #recipe @LucyBurdette




LUCY BURDETTE: It's zucchini city in our garden. Even the dratted woodchucks who've broken in and are wreaking havoc with other crops are leaving the squash to us! So I had to come up with yet one more recipe--this one is adapted from the Joy of Cooking.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
One half sweet onion, chopped
One green pepper, chopped
Two small red potatoes, chopped
One clove garlic, minced 
two medium zucchinis, cut into chunks
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup milk
Two eggs
4 to 6 tablespoons grated Swiss cheese

Sauté the onion, pepper, and potatoes in the melted oil and butter until soft, about three minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. And the zucchinis and sauté until soft.




Meanwhile, mix the cornmeal, flour, Parmesan, thyme leaves and white pepper in a large bowl. Beat the milk and the eggs together, and stir them into the dry ingredients. Stir the vegetables into the batter. Scrape everything into a well oiled glass pan. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese. 

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and cheese is starting to brown. We ate corn on the cob alongside and John declared it a feast!

(I also had some leftover corn from corn on the cob that I meant to add, but forgot--really any summer vegetables can be swapped in or out.)















The seventh Key West mystery, KILLER TAKEOUT, is on bookshelves everywhere. What about yours?

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