Sunday, October 31, 2010

Something new with Pork!

We don't do pork very often and when we do, we usually do it this way because it's so freaking good. And easy.


Here's what we did. Notice how the picture looks a little different? Yeah... that's because we took some stuff out and had to substitute fettuccine for udon noodles - we can't find them anywhere down here! Nevertheless, it was pretty tasty and simple, a theme in our kitchen :)


Shrimpin' ain't easy.

Bad title, I know.

Anyway, it's shrimpin' season in SC and that means we can get it pretty darn cheap at the farmers market. Couple that with the bounty that fall produces down here and we have had some incredibly fresh meals. Here's our base recipe from the pic above. We deviated a little bit and added a small salad and fresh-baked bread to cool it off.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fiesta Pork with Cheesy Polenta

This has become one of our favorite recipes for a few reasons: it's quick, simple and tasty! I think it's a wash on "health" due to the cheese and cream. Oh well.

This is more of an assembly meal than a cooking meal, which is nice on nights when you don't have a ton of time to cook. It's basically a bunch of stuff we normally have around the house or in the pantry, with the exception being pork. However, if you watch pork prices grab some when it's on sale next and freeze it til you need it. That's what we typically do.

At any rate, here's the recipe. We add a small can of black beans (be sure to drain!) to give it a little more volume and nutrition.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

I came across this recipe while paging through a magazine that Lissa subscribes to - Real Simple. It was an article that featured dinners you could make for a meal exchange and gave you recipes to make 4 meals at a time (16 servings!). I glanced at the necessary ingredients and realized we actually had them ALL in our fridge sans the Monterey Jack cheese. I divided the portions by 4, added a box of mexican rice we had sitting in the pantry and created the picture above.

Three big reasons this goes on the blog:

1. It has simple ingredients!
2. The meal is easily extrapolated if you have company coming over or want to freeze some for later in the week.
3. It's tasty!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Shrimp & Grits

We finally tried the southern classic...Shrimp and Grits! We aren't experts on this dish, but it turned out pretty dang tasty if we do say so ourselves! We got the recipe from Jeff's assistant principal and the grits from Anson Mills. This is definitely a recipe we will try again soon (and we'll remember that grits take a looooong time to cook!)!

Here's the long-awaited recipe courtesy of Melissa Royalty...
● 2 servings cooked grits
● 2 tablespoons olive oil
● 1/2 cup diced prosciutto – you can use ham if you need to
● 2 tablespoons diced leeks or scallions
● 2 tablespoons diced onion
● 2 tablespoons diced green peppers
● 20 medium to large shrimp, peeled and de-veined, with tails on
● 1 to 2 tablespoons white wine
● 1 cup heavy cream
● Salt and pepper
● Green onion tops, chopped
Cook grits according to package directions – use ½ the water called for in the directions and replace the other ½ with heavy cream – this makes your grits really creamy; set aside and keep warm.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto and saute until crisp. Add diced vegetables and saute until onions are translucent. Add shrimp and saute for 30 to 45 seconds, or until pink. Remove from the pan and set aside. Deglaze the pan with a little white wine. Slowly add the cream and let reduce until thickened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Divide grits among 2 serving plates. Line plate edges with shrimp (10 shrimp per serving). Pour sauce over grits. Garnish with green onion tops.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Guest Blogger!

We've never done a guest blogger before, but we figured it might be a cool way to spice things up a bit (pun DEFINITELY intended). We had our friend Susie over for homemade spaghetti and here's what she had to say:

I lived with Jeff and Lissa for a month when I first moved to SC. In that month I had the benefit of great home cooked food. This meal was no different. The homemade spaghetti sauce was fantastic, not to mention the yummy homemade garlic cheese bread that came along with it. If you haven't caught on from their blog, Lissa and Jeff are avid chef's. Even over a week after the spaghetti sauce was made, I reheated it on the stove for my dinner tonight and it tasted just as good as the first time it was originally made. The sauce was rich and very flavorful and contained a great amount of meat (not too much and not too little). I do think the next runner up for the evening was the bread, probably because I've never made my own garlic bread. Even though I have a nutrition major and took (required) cooking classes, my skills of cooking are quite minimal. I do my best when cooking for myself but whenever Jeff and Lissa invite me for dinner, I never say no. Their cooking is very homestyle and in my opinion healthy/ natural. If you ever get the chance to have food made by Jeff and Lissa (both of them, they are quite the team) don't pass up the offer.

Recipe...this is my (lissa) mom's recipe. There aren't any measurements, just add things to taste! Add burger, onion, garlic (plenty), mushrooms, green pepper (a little) and zucchini (and sometimes a chopped up carrot) to a skillet and cook until browned. Also add salt, oregano, basil and thyme at the same time unless using fresh herbs. Drain and add tomatoes (crushed tomatoes and some petite diced). If you want it thicker and slightly richer flavor add a little paste. Add some red wine. After it warms up taste and adjust spices (and wine) accordingly.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Lissa lived in France for quite some time and I am proud to say she picked up most of their delicious food taste and has since passed it on to me.

As she was strolling down the isle of our grocery store last week, she happened across REAL Mozzarella and inspiration struck. The result? This:

For a wonderfully fresh, healthy, delicious salad simply get 1 heirloom tomato, 1 small ball of REAL mozzarella, some fresh basil and some balsamic vinaigrette. Slice, layer and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken with Poblano Spinach Vinaigrette and Spicy Roasted Eggplant

Undoubtedly the question on your mind right now: Is this recipe worth that lengthy title?

The answer? Yes. The marinade alone is delicious.

You can find the recipe here. We found it on an advertisement in a magazine, oddly enough, and decided to give it a try.

Our veggie in this meal, eggplant, came from a recipe book called "Simply in Season." It's a very basic, very simple cookbook designed with seasonal ingredients in mind. See below for a copy of the recipe.

1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
pinch of ground cinnamon
stir together

1 large eggplant
Brush cilantro mixture on both sides of eggplant slices and transfer to greased baking pan. Broil eggplant 5-6 inches from heat until golden and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Overall, this meal was pretty good. I wasn't as big of a fan of the vinaigrette as I was the marinade, so I used it sparingly (although Lissa thoroughly enjoyed it). The eggplant is wonderfully seasoned, but not very spicy, though its name suggests otherwise.

Suggested Changes and Additions:

* Half the vinaigrette recipe. We had way too much leftover.

* Carefully watch your eggplants. We are quickly learning that they are difficult to cook, and the line between crisp and burnt is fine.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Some dessert!

I (lissa) thoroughly enjoy baked goods. It may very well be because I lived in France and had amazing boulangeries at every corner, which I miss immensely. The point is I love to eat a small amount of a baked dessert after my meals (okay not always small!). So when an amazing looking bundt cake recipe was delivered into my inbox, I had to make it! It was pretty dang amazing and gave us a reason to buy blackberries from the farmers' market.

Two Notes:
#1 - If you don't know already, Ghirardelli boxed brownies are the best you'll find.
#2 - I subscribe to TastingTable and get daily emails with recipes and restaurants recommendations from around the country.

Blackberry Buttermilk Bundt with Orange Glaze
Recipe adapted from The Perfect Finish: Special Desserts for Every Occasion by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark (W.W. Norton & Company)
Makes 1 Bundt cake (8 to 10 servings)

• 2⅔ cups a#-purpose flour%
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, so)ened, plus additional for the pan
• 1¾ cups sugar
• 4 large e+s, at room temperature
• 2 teaspoons vani#a extract
• ½ cup buttermilk
• 2 pints blackberries (about 1 pound), rinsed and dried

Orange Glaze
• ½ cup ,esh orange juice (,om about 1 medium orange)
• ½ cup confectioners’ sugar

1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 2-quart nonstick Bundt pan with butter, then spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, salt and baking soda. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and mix in half of the flour mixture. Mix in the buttermilk, then the remaining flour mixture. Gently fold in the blackberries with a wooden spoon.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter.
4. Make the orange glaze: In a small saucepan, whisk the orange juice with the sugar and simmer over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
5. Using a skewer or long, thin knife, prick deep holes all over the surface of the cake. Slowly spoon half of the glaze over the cake, letting it seep into the holes. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes longer. Spoon the remaining glaze over the cake and let set for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Friday, July 23, 2010

One of our classics...Chicken Dijon

First, I would like to say sorry that we haven't updated in forever...we were in the land of the Yankee for a few weeks :)

This is a recipe that my (Lissa) mom made often growing up. It was one of my favorites and I fell back on its simplicity when I was living in Rennes, France. There isn't really a recipe that I follow, but if you are in the mood for creamy mustardy yumminess over rice this is perfect!

1. Saute pieces of chicken breast in olive oil until slightly cooked.
2. Add sliced onions and cook until just tender.
3. Add dijon mustard and cream to taste*. In France I used creme fraiche, but since that is hard to get here (and expensive!) we use a combination of sour cream and heavy whipping cream. Cook until heated through and serve over rice with a French baguette and some French cheese (brie or camembert are perfect). Enjoy!

*My mom also adds white pepper.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chicken Wings and Crostini w/Zucchini Pesto

That title is a mouthful (hah!) and a pain in the behind to type.


My love for chicken wings has really blossomed in the south, so I decided to try my hand at making them. I wasn't sure how to do them exactly, and I didn't really follow a specific recipe - just a bunch of different ones. Most of them give the following guidelines for making chicken wings:

1. Season with salt and pepper before putting them on the grill.
2. Heat grill to medium, high heat will cause flame-ups.
3. DO NOT marinate! Toss in sauce immediately after cooking.

Because I have some sort of sauce ADD (I HAVE to have multiple sauces, I can't focus on one) I used a homemade ketchup-based BBQ and a true mustard-based BBQ sauce and tossed about half in each one. They were delicious.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Lissa was busy making the crostini. I'll admit, I had my doubts at first, but it turned out to be super good. You can find the recipe here.

Suggested changes and additions:

* Go lighter on the garlic for the Crostini. (I never thought I'd say go light on garlic!)

* Flip often with the wings, and make sure your grill is oiled/sprayed so they don't stick

* Find a recipe for your OWN ketchup-based BBQ sauce, it's totally worth it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chili Stuffed Zucchini

I promise you, this tastes WAY better than it sounds.

We're on a Rachel Ray binge lately, scouring her website and old issues of her magazine for recipes that use produce that's in season. That's how we found this one. It gets a 3/5 peppers on my heat scale.

The best way I can describe this is that it's like a healthy chili-taco with a hollowed out zucchini as a shell. It's a very effective way at sneaking in another serving of veggies and it still tastes phenomenal.

Suggested changes and additions:

* Figure out what size zucchini you want before you buy them. Bigger ones allow more filling, smaller ones allow easier portions for fewer people.

* Substitute fresh jalapenos if you want more heat. Canned ones are good, but the fresher they are the hotter. Leaving seeds in will increase the heat as well, so judge accordingly.

* We love cheese, so we piled it on. It's the most unhealthy thing in this meal, so we figured that's OK.

* This is a good candidate for lean beef. I'll try to remember to blog about that sometime soon.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Grilled Crab Legs

This idea started where many good recipes start: the sales "rack" at the grocery store. After we bought the snow crab legs we heard about grilling them from a family member and decided to try it. The result? Deliciousness. Grilling foods adds a flavor you can't get anywhere else, and when you pair that with a food that's not traditionally grilled you either have a wonderful new taste or a complete failure. Luckily for us it was the former and not the latter :)

Recipe (if you can call it that):
* Keep the crab legs frozen until you put them on the grill.
* Heat grill to medium heat and add crab legs
* Flip every 5 minutes or so until the white parts of the crab have turned yellow/brown (about 10-15 minutes for snow crab, 15-20 for king crab)
* Melt butter, enjoy!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

First Post

Lissa and I have talked a lot about creating this blog, and now that summer is here we're finally going to do it. Dinner tonight is on the right: chicken-fajita burgers with Black Bean Smash. It gets a 3.5/5 peppers on my very own heat-scale. Made my lips tingle but didn't burn my mouth. You can find the recipe here.

Suggested changes/additions:
* Pepperjack Cheese (for added heat)
* Use good buns and toast them a bit before adding the toppings

Black Bean Smash was good too. We didn't put it on our burgers, but it was a fantastic appetizer with chips!