Posts Tagged ‘thyme’

Unrecipe Of The Week: Shrimp + Watermelon

July 25, 2016

Watermelon Shrimp

Last weekend, we went to a Mediteranean restaurant in the Village, and shared a few small plates and a bottle of rosé. The standout dish of the evening was grilled shrimp and watermelon. The combination was refreshing on a hot summer’s night, and completely delicious. The shrimp were grilled with fresh lemon and herbs, and drizzled with a little feta cheese. Each one was served atop a perfectly cut cube of watermelon, making the dish as visually exciting as it was flavorful.

We couldn’t wait to try to whip up our own version at home. We thought this was good enough to be put on a pedestal, so we perched our shrimp atop a column of watermelon. If you want to speed up the process and serve it as a main course, go ahead and cube the watermelon in a bowl, drizzle it with aged balsamic vinegar, and crumble some feta on it. Serve the shrimp on the side.

Watermelon Shrimp

Grilled Shrimp + Watermelon:
For the shrimp: Peel and devein the shrimp. Rinse and pat dry.

Mix together the juice of one lemon, a large “glug” of olive oil,  a clove or two of  finely minced garlic, some dried oregano and fresh thyme leaves. Add the shrimp, and let them marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The shrimp will start to “cook” a bit from the acid in the lemon. Don’t over marinate, or they will become mushy.

Remove the shrimp and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Grill (we used a grill pan on the stove top) for a couple of minutes on each side until the shrimp are pink and opaque. Do not overcook!

Assembling the dish: Drizzle a bit of aged balsamic vinegar* onto a serving plate. Line up the watermelon cubes on the plate and perch a shrimp on top of each one. Squeeze a little more lemon on them if desired. Crumble a bit of feta cheese over the top, and enjoy!

* aged balsamic vinegar is usually sold in a smaller bottle than the regular type, and has been aged for a much longer period of time. The result is a sweeter vinegar, and an almost syrup-like consistency.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Mustard Chicken

March 13, 2013

This is a great weekday dish, that is full of flavor and quick to prepare. While butter and cream can make it extra delicious, a lightened up version using olive oil and half and half tastes pretty yummy too! Pick your degree of richness, and your fresh herb of choice, because hey, that’s why we call it an “unrecipe”.
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Chicken Breasts With Mustard Sauce

Season boneless, skinless chicken breasts with salt and pepper and saute them in olive oil or butter ( or a combination of the two) on both sides, until browned and cooked through. Remove from the pan and place the chicken in the oven to keep warm.

Add a chopped shallot to the pan and saute until transparent. Scrape the shallots and the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, and sprinkle it with flour.  Stir the flour until blended, and add about 3/4 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup half and half or cream, and about a 1/2 cup white wine (or champagne if you happen to have some open!) and whisk, allowing the mixture to thicken, but stay smooth and lump free. If it gets too thick, add more wine or broth. Mix in a couple of tablespoons of dijon mustard, and some fresh herbs of your choice. Tarragon, thyme or rosemary are all good options. Put the chicken breasts back into the pan, and allow to simmer for a few minutes to start to absorb the flavors of the sauce.
Place the chicken on a plate, and pour the sauce over it. Garnish it with a sprig of fresh herbs if you are feeling fancy, and enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week: Flatbread with Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese

March 5, 2013

I had a big log of goat cheese in the refrigerator, leftover from last week’s mushroom and goat cheese tarts. Looking for something more creative than the expected goat cheese salad, I stumbled upon a photo from the Kitchn for Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Flatbread. I adapted their recipe slightly to suit my own taste and fit seamlessly into the rest of the meal.

These flatbreads are a savory, flavorful dish that can be served as an hors d’oeuvres, or a light meal. Chock full of earthy flavors, and creamy textures, they are sure to please all palettes. Even I, with my strong aversion to onions, and B with her aversion to anything that isn’t fried, or didn’t originally emanate from a box, gobbled these up. They are easy to make, and worth every second. I didn’t get a photo of the finished product, as they were gone before they left the kitchen.

This is as far as I got before the kitchen was filled with hungry people!

This is as far as I got before the kitchen was filled with hungry people!

Flatbread with Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese:

Slice 2 sweet onions into thin pieces. Saute them in olive oil over medium or medium low heat until they soften and start to  brown, tossing occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This should take about 10-15 minutes.

Add a little brown sugar to the pan and continue to cook the onions, stirring to ensure that they don’t burn. Carefully add a little water to the pan, to keep things from sticking, and cook another 5 or 10 minutes until the onions have completely browned, but not burnt, and the liquid has evaporated.

Set the onion mixture aside until ready to assemble the flatbreads.

To assemble:

Lay out flatbreads on a baking sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Spread some onion mixture on each of the flatbreads. Top with goat cheese. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 7-10 minutes until they start to bubble. Cut into quarters and enjoy!!!

Unrecipe of the Week: Mushroom and Goat CheeseTart

February 26, 2013

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I love savory tarts! These mushroom tarts make a perfect light meal when paired with a salad, or served as a simple yet elegant starter.

While they are best when eaten fresh out of the oven, they are also fine at room temperature, making them a great buffet item.

Mushroom Tart and Goat Cheese Tart

Prepare dough as instructed here.

Line the tart shell with foil, and fill with either dried beans or pie weights. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Carefully remove the beans and foil, and place the tart back in the oven until brown, about 10-15 minutes more.

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In the meantime, saute sliced mushrooms (about a pound or so) in butter until they release their liquids and start to color slightly. Add more butter and a chopped shallot, and saute for about 5 more minutes until the shallot is transparent. Season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg, and set aside until the crusts are ready.

Crumble goat cheese into the pre-baked crust. Add mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes until heated through.

Cut into wedges and enjoy!!!

photos: glasshouse images

Unrecipe of the Week

November 26, 2012

My produce bin was filled with an eclectic array of root vegetables. I had turnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions and radishes. I also had some fresh herbs leftover from Thanksgiving. As a much needed break from the sweetness and heaviness of holiday side dishes,this one was a winner. So easy, and so clean, I ended up eating this as my meal!

Roasted Root Vegetables:

Use any combination of root vegetables including: potatoes,sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, radishes, onions, garlic, shallots etc.

I used fresh thyme, but any herbs would work as well.

Cut root vegetables into chunks. Toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with fresh herbs.
Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Stir once after about 25 minutes or so.

The vegetables will get a brown, slightly caramelized tinge to them.

Enjoy!!!

Herbal Essence

July 18, 2012

Did you know that you could freeze and preserve fresh herbs in olive oil?

The oil not only reduces the browning and freezer burn that can affect delicate herbs, but it also creates a delicious herb infusion that can be used anytime.

According to The Kitchn, it is best to use stronger herbs, such as rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano.

The herbs can be chopped, or left in larger sprigs.

Pack the wells of an ice cube tray about 2/3 full of herbs.

Pour extra virgin olive oil over the herbs.

Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

Remove the herb infused cubes from the tray and store in containers or plastic bags.

Use the cubes as you would olive oil, for sautéing garlic and onions, and enjoy the taste of fresh herbs as they spread throughout your dish.

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Unrecipe of the Week

June 28, 2011

This simple and delicious chicken recipe yields flavorful, juicy meat with a crispy outside. The lemony flavor is perfect for hot summer nights.

Roasted Lemon Chicken

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Saute a several cloves of minced garlic (8-10) in a little olive oil until just soft.

Add about ½ cup dry white wine, the juice of one lemon, and the zest of 2 lemons. Mix in several sprigs of oregano and thyme, and pour into a large roasting pan or oven proof  baking dish.

Place the chicken parts skin side up in the sauce, and brush them with olive oil. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Cut a lemon into wedges and intersperse them among the chicken parts.

Bake for about 40 minutes until chicken is nicely browned and cooked through.

Serve with the hot pan juices.

Enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week

September 16, 2009

1279800115.JPGChicken with Dried Apricots and Thyme

As autumn approaches, it’s nice to change up the ingredients and create dishes that feel more in keeping with the season. The dried apricots, balsamic vinegar and woodsy thyme make this chicken dish a perfect entrée for fall.

Sprinkle skinless, boneless chicken breasts with salt and pepper and sauté in olive oil until browned on both sides.

Add balsamic vinegar (a few tablespoons) and chicken broth (about a cup or so) to the pan. The breasts should be almost covered with liquid.

Add dried apricots and several thyme sprigs (stems removed) to the pan.

Cook on medium heat until the chicken is cooked through and tender, and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 20 minutes. The sauce should start to caramelize slightly.

This is great when served with cous cous or brown rice.

Enjoy!

Helpful hint: To easily remove the leaves from fresh herbs, such as rosemary and thyme, simply run your thumb and forefinger down the stem, grabbing the leaves as you go. They should fall off easily!

photo: Glasshouse Images


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