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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 62

Regardless of whether you want to make this dish – you MUST scroll down and read the recipe. I guarantee you that you have never read anything like it! My in law’s were so thoughtful to give me a copy of the July 1946 issue of Gourmet for Christmas this year (knowing about the 68 Days of Gourmet project).

The style of the old issue is so interesting. All of the recipes are written into stories. I’ve so enjoyed reading through it!

I picked a few recipes from the magazine to make during the last few days of the project. This Veal Scallopine sounded good and I just couldn’t get over the way the recipe was written. I had to share. I think you’ll be very surprised to find that the recipe calls for cream of mushroom soup. I generally avoid buying “cream of” soups but had to make an exception for this recipe. Also, I originally was going to make this with veal but couldn’t find it at our local grocery and in the end wasn’t comfortable purchasing it anyway. I read online that pork tenderloin is a good substitute so I decided to go that route.

I sliced the pork tenderloin on a diagonal into rounds and then pounded it thin. I think it was a perfect substitution for the veal. It became so tender during the slow cook.

Overall, this recipe was very good. The only change/alteration I would recommend is reducing the salt. The chopped olives in the dish and sherry stirred in at the end really added a lot to the overall flavor. A fun throwback from Gourmet!

Veal (or Pork) Scallopine
(Recipe source Gourmet, July 1946)

*Note – this is how the original recipe was written. I had fun following it! Take into account that this was part of a special boating section.

Believing that beef and steaks and things, barring fodder for stews and such, will continue to be scarce, stringy, bony, and tough, lets’ turn to a simple yet delicious veal scallopine – for veal’s not tough and never cheats you with many bones. Pound veal steaks firmly but evenly with wood mallet, flat of chef’s knife, or dinghy paddle, until about 2/3 original thickness. Trim out sinews, membranes, and gristly bits, and cut into serving size before cooking. Dredge with flour. Heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in Dutch oven on top of stove. In center of this put 1 level teaspoon of fresh-made garlic salt – tossing the rubbed-down nubbin of the garlic clove in also, to fizzle for a few moments before casting overside. When salt is lightly brown, put in your veal steaks. brown lightly golden on both sides. Now cover with canned cream of mushroom soup until meat is hidden. Toss in 4 bay leaves, a handful of chopped ripe olive meat, 1 tablespoon minced pimento. Step up with hand milled black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire, 1/2 teaspoon of origanum (the wild marjoram so beloved by all Mediterranean chefs), sweet marjoram, or basil – rubbed between palms. (Buyable under my friend Pat Winter’s House of Herbs label in all good stores, or write House of Herbs, Juniper Hills, Canaan, Connecticut, for her complete listing of hers, wine vinegars and all such.)

Go up on deck and sip your cocktail with the guest who matters most, simmering veal very slowly the while, with cover on tightly. (Use an asbestos disc if stove tends to be too brisk.) When veal is tender as a lovely lady’s sigh, top off by turning in 1 tablespoon of sherry for each 2 servings. Stir up sauce well and toot your dinner horn. A cold bottle of Gret Western sauterne, or perhaps one of Meier’s fine Sadusky Island sauternes from Ohio; or, as we happen to prefer with Italian type foods like this, a red (served cool, not cold), Louis Martini’s Nappa Barbera, a fruity lusty thing beloved in the Italian Piedmont, or his Sonoma Zinfandel, which when grown in higher altitudes gains a delicate softness and charm.

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 61

Gourmet named this recipe Spicy Boiled Crabs, Shrimp, Potatoes, Corn and Garlic. I put a Southern spin on it by subbing sausage for the crabs and calling it by its true name, Lowcountry Boil. I think the crabs would have been a fun addition but not in the realm of  possibility for tonight’s dinner.

Lowcountry Boil is a simple, one-pot dinner full of deliciousness. We served it at our rehearsal dinner when we got married in Charleston and requested it for our joint birthday party last year. It’s a great party/entertaining dish but also fun and easy for any night! You can easily scale the amount of ingredients to the number of people you’ll be serving. It’s also easy to control the spice level. If you love spicy foods, feel free to be a little heavy-handed with the seasonings. You cook this in such a big pot that the spices are really diluted.

It’s also relatively healthy and filling. We usually sub chicken or turkey smoked sausage. My favorite way to serve Lowcountry Boil is on a big platter so everyone can pick and choose what they want. And really hot homemade cocktail sauce (the more horseradish, the better!) on the side.

If you’ve never experienced Lowcountry Boil it is a must try this Spring/Summer. Perfect for your next get together – casual, a little messy and fun! I can just picture serving this outdoors with rolls of paper towels and sweet tea in mason jars – what can I say? I was definitely born and raised in the South!

One Year Ago: Easy Spanakopita

Lowcountry Boil
(Recipe adapted from Gourmet, June 1996)

Ingredients:

2 (3-ounce) packets Zatarain’s crab boil or 5 tablespoons Old Bay  seasoning (or more – adjust to taste)
1 tablespoon cayenne (or more adjust to taste)
1/2 cup table salt (might want to reduce to around 1/4 cup)
3 lemons, quartered
2 onions, halved
1 1/2 pounds small potatoes (about 2 inches in diameter)
2 whole heads of garlic (not separated into cloves)
6 ears of corn, shucked and halved
24 ounces smoked sausage (2 packages), cut into 2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning, or to taste, for sprinkling over  boiled seafood
3 pounds large shrimp (about 30, preferably with heads)

Directions:

In a very large stock pot or kettle (7- to 8-gallons) bring 5 gallons water to a boil.

Add Zatarain’s crab boil or 5 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning, cayenne, salt, lemons and onions to boiling water and boil 5 minutes. Add potatoes and garlic and boil for about 10 minutes. Add corn and sausage and cook for about 5-10 more minutes, until corn and potatoes are tender.

Add shrimp and cook until they turn bright pink, about 2-3 minutes, careful not to overcook. Drain pot and transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning and serve with cocktail sauce.

Yield: 6 servings

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 60

I wanted to include a couple more vegetable/side/meatless dishes in the 68 Days of Gourmet project. I flipped through The Gourmet Cookbook vegetable dishes and Peas with Spinach and Shallots looked like a great choice for Spring. It took less than 15 minutes to put together, was a nice change from plain peas or spinach and looked pretty on the plate. I find myself repeating the same sides over and over so it was good to try something new that was so easy and manageable on a weeknight!

One Year Ago: Grilled Sweet Potato Slices

Peas with Spinach and Shallots
(Recipe source The Gourmet Cookbook, published in Gourmet January 2002)

Ingredients:

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
10 ounces frozen peas
1/4 cup water
5 ounces baby spinach
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil and butter and heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft 3-6 minutes.

Stir in peas and water and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until peas are tender, about 5 minutes. (Note that you might want to start with a little less water and add more if necessary.)

Stir in spinach, salt and pepper and cook, tossing, until spinach is just wilted, about 1 minute.

Yield: 4 servings

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 59 (final stretch!!!)

These Chile Crusted Tuna Tacos felt like a great choice for a warm spring night. They were a light and refreshing dinner paired with sangria and Black Bean and Quinoa Salad. Tuna is one of our favorite fish choices and I was eager to try it in fish tacos instead of our usual Asian preparations (like this and this).

Although the recipe required preparation of several different elements, it still felt relatively simple to prepare. I was able to take my time with each of the steps and enjoy dicing, simmering and sautéing. The end result was a tasty twist on fish tacos – sweet, spicy, crunchy. Yum!

I was disappointed that I was not able to use the jicama that the recipe called for. It was mushy and moldy at the store. :( I ended up making a game-time decision to sub purple cabbage for some crunch. It worked but next time I would definitely do the jicama.

If you’re a fish taco lover or looking for a warm weather spin on tacos, these are a great option!

One Year Ago: Tropical Carrot Cake

Chile Crusted Tuna Tacos
(Recipe source Gourmet, August 2003)

Ingredients:

FOR THE SAUCE
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotles in adobo (including sauce)
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

FOR THE TUNA
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 lb (1 1/2-inch-thick) sushi-grade tuna steak
2 tablespoons olive oil

TO FINISH
4 (9- to 10-inch) flour tortillas
1 cup matchstick (1/8-inch-thick) pieces of jicama (from 1 small jicama, peeled) (I subbed shredded cabbage)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (omitted – Brandon will not eat cilantro!!!)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 firm-ripe California avocado
1 cup loosely packed arugula, coarse stems discarded

Bring orange juice, chipotles and vinegar to a boil in a small heavy saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a generous 1/3 cup, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Toss jicama with cilantro, lime juice, remaining tablespoon oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

While sauce cools, prepare charcoal or gas grill for cooking. If using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom of grill, then light charcoal. Charcoal fire is medium-hot when you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 3 to 4 seconds. If using a gas grill, preheat burners on high, covered, 10 minutes, then reduce heat to moderately high.

Alternatively, you can sear tuna in a skillet over medium-high heat if you need to cook indoors.

While grill heats, stir together coriander, cumin, chili powder, black pepper and kosher salt in a shallow bowl. Brush tuna on all sides with olive oil and coat evenly with spice mixture.

Grill tuna on lightly oiled rack, uncovered, turning once, until seared on outside but still rare in center, about 2-3 minutes per side. Let tuna stand 10 minutes.

While tuna stands, heat tortillas on grill, turning over once, until warm, about 1 minute, and keep warm, wrapped in foil. Halve, pit and peel avocado and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Alternatively, sear tuna in pan for 2-3 minutes per side over medium heat and heat tortillas in microwave for 20-30 seconds.

Put a tortilla on each of 4 plates. Divide arugula, jicama mixture and avocado among tortillas, arranging evenly down center of each. Slice tuna 1/4 inch thick and divide among tacos. Drizzle orange chipotle sauce evenly over tuna and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

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67 Days of Gourmet: Day 58

I’m really embarrassed to admit that tonight was the first time I’ve cooked with quinoa. Bad foodie, especially given my love for all things healthy, whole grain and nutrient packed. :( And I’ve had it from the hot bar at Whole Foods and Earth Fare, just haven’t cooked with it yet.

I’ve been meaning to make this recipe for the last couple months. Every time I made homemade Mexican this was on the menu but I kept bailing on it. Every time I went to Harris Teeter I was annoyed that they were charging $5 for a small bag of quinoa. I was picking up a few things at Earth Fare this weekend and was so excited to find awesome bulk prices on all kinds of grains. I stocked up on quinoa and rolled oats.

I can’t believe I waited so long to make this. Whether you’re a quinoa lover or someone who has never tried it, this is a must try recipe. The flavors are so well balanced with the quinoa, black beans, fresh corn, bell pepper and jalapenos and the lime/oil based dressing is the perfect finish. I’m so looking forward to enjoying the leftovers for lunch this week topped with diced avocado and an extra squeeze of lime and know I’ll be making this many more times in the future.

BIG NEWS #1
YOU HAVE SUCCESSFULLY REGISTERED FOR THE 35th MARINE CORPS MARATHON! I did it! I registered! I’m beyond excited. And even better news, my friend Meghan registered to run it too! This will be her first marathon. I can’t even put into words how happy I am that I won’t be running this race alone!

BIG NEWS #2
I’m launching a Healthy Living blog!!! Don’t worry, Bakin’ and Eggs isn’t going anywhere but I’ve really been conflicted over whether to continue discussing fitness/my life on this blog or whether I should start a new blog. In the end, I decided that the healthy living blog was the best way to go. The name has been selected, the domain has been registered and I’m in the process of getting it all set up. I promise that I’ll let you all know the second it goes live!

Please try this quinoa recipe and then let me know what you think!

One Year Ago: Fresh Strawberry Scones

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad
(Recipe source Gourmet, July 1994)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed if canned
1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups cooked corn (cut from about 2 large ears)
3/4 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 pickled jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced (wear rubber gloves)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander (I subbed a bit of ground coriander because the store did not have fresh)

FOR THE DRESSING
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

Directions:

In a bowl wash quinoa in at least 5 changes cold water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off most of water, until water runs clear and drain in a large fine sieve. (I attempted this step but my quinoa went right through my sieve so I skipped this step and just cooked it as is. Turned out totally fine.)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook quinoa 10 minutes. Drain quinoa in sieve and rinse with cold water. Set sieve over a saucepan of boiling water (quinoa should not touch water) and steam quinoa, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, about 10 minutes (check water level in pot occasionally, adding water if necessary).

While quinoa is cooking, in a large bowl toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Add bell pepper, jalapenos, corn and coriander.

Let quinoa cool a bit then add to bean mixture and toss well.

FOR THE DRESSING
In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, salt and cumin. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly.

Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 4 to 6 as an entrée or 8 as a side dish

Note: I cut this recipe in half and it made plenty for 2 with lots of leftovers!

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 57

Yes, that is meatloaf in the picture above. Random, I know, but would you believe that Gourmet has a plethora of meatloaf  recipes? Shocking. So I bought ground beef at the store this week with intentions of making burgers topped with pimento cheese but we ended up going over to my in law’s on Monday to watch the NCAA Basketball Championship and had burgers there. That left me in a scramble to come up with a dinner using ground beef and the ingredients in my pantry.

Enter meatloaf. My epicurious.com search of Gourmet’s ground beef recipes yielded a lot of meatball and meatloaf recipes. Since I’d already conquered meatballs for 68 Days of Gourmet, all signs pointed to meatloaf. Most meatloafs use a mixture of beef/pork/veal but I was able to find this recipe using only ground beef. And while this meatloaf wasn’t really a stand out dinner it was extremely easy and economical and the bacon slices on the top definitely jazzed it up a bit.

No more meatloaf talk. Yesterday I ran 3.5 miles with Sullie. Beautiful weather, miserable conditions. The pollen in Charlotte right now is out of control. I’m not exaggerating. Apparently it’s the worst pollen Charlotte has had since they started tracking it in the 90s. Everything is yellow. While I was running I could feel myself breathing in pollen. Not good. Of course I woke up coughing and sneezing this morning. No fun. But in other running news, I did register for the Marine Corps Marathon!

Taught BodyPump this morning and went to a hot vinyasa yoga class this evening at Y2 Yoga. The lovely Sarah Keach was teaching (check out her super fun blog!). I usually can’t attend her class because I teach BodyPump Thursday nights but I switched for Tuesday evening this week and subbed for someone this morning so my evening was free! It was a great class with extremely challenging abdominal work and long holds in standing split. Like Sarah kept telling us, it was only one hour and we could rest when it was over! :)

So happy that tomorrow is Friday! Hope you’ve all had a great week!

One Year Ago: Bacon Wrapped Filet (funny coincidence)

Traditional Meatloaf Topped with Bacon
(Recipe source Gourmet, April 1993)

Ingredients:

1 large egg
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
3 tablespoons ketchup, divided
5 saltine crackers, crushed fine
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground chuck
2 slices of bacon, halved crosswise

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl whisk together the egg, onion, bell pepper, 2 tablespoons of ketchup, saltine crackers, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Add the chuck and blend the mixture with your hands until it is just combined (do not overmix). Form the mixture into an 8- by 4-inch loaf in a shallow baking pan, spread the remaining tablespoon (or a little more) ketchup over it, and drape the bacon pieces across the loaf. Bake the meat loaf in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees (mine took about 40 minutes).

Yield: 4 servings (Gourmet says 2 but this definitely could have served 4 for us. More power to you if you can eat 1/2 pound of beef!)

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 56

A dinner salad was a must on this week’s menu. The temperatures have been in the 80s and the days are getting longer and longer. A perfect reason to enjoy a cool, flavorful salad with grilled chicken. I browsed through the grilled chicken salad recipes from Gourmet on Epicurious and this salad was the standout.

It was super easy to prepare – the chicken only has to marinate for 15 minutes and while it’s grilling you can prepare the tomato mixture and plate the salad. This salad is a great healthy and quick option for a weeknight dinner.

Our Easter weekend was awesome! We celebrated my grandmother’s 80th birthday (say happy birthday to Mema – she reads the blog!!!) and cooked up a storm. I baked my favorite Lady Strawberry Cake and the crowd pleasing Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. I can’t resist sharing this picture of Mema with her TWO birthday cakes!

I’m teaching FOUR BodyPump classes this week. I predict that I will be sore by the time Sunday rolls around. We’re teaching the new release and it’s really tough – the squats and lunges make me want to cry! And I have some news for you guys…I am going to register for the Marine Corps Marathon tomorrow. I’m so nervous to commit to a race that is 6  months out but it’s a big goal of mine to run a big city marathon and I’ve heard great things about this race. I’ll start slowly building my base in the coming months and really ramp up my training in July. Ahh! I can’t believe I’m 100% committing to another marathon.

And now salad!

One Year Ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart (YUM!)

Grilled Chicken Salad
(Recipe source Gourmet, August 2005)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon mild honey
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup olive oil
6 chicken breast halves with skin and bones (3 pounds total) – I used 2 boneless skinless breasts and halved the lime vinaigrette
2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
2 medium shallots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (1/2 cup)
8 ounces mesclun, thinly sliced (6 cups) – I used baby greens
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced – omitted because the store was out of basil – so disappointing :(
Sliced avocado (if desired – I added this)

Directions:

PREPARE THE CHICKEN AND SALAD
Whisk together lime juice, honey, red pepper flakes and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking.

Transfer chicken to a 1-gallon sealable plastic bag and add 1/3 cup lime vinaigrette, then seal bag. Marinate chicken at room temperature 15 minutes.

Transfer another 1/3 cup lime vinaigrette to a bowl, stir in tomatoes and shallots, and marinate until chicken is finished cooking. Transfer another 1/3 cup lime vinaigrette to a large bowl and set aside for cooked chicken.

Remove chicken from bag, discarding marinade, and sprinkle all over with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

TO COOK CHICKEN ON A CHARCOAL GRILL
Open vents on bottom of grill and on lid. Light a large chimney starter of charcoal briquettes (80 to 100) and pour them evenly over 1 side of bottom rack (you will have a double or triple layer of briquettes).

When charcoal turns grayish white (after 15 to 20 minutes) and you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 3 to 4 seconds, sear chicken breasts, starting with skin sides down, on a lightly oiled rack over coals, uncovered, turning once, until well browned, 5 to 6 minutes total.

Move browned chicken breasts to side of grill with no coals and cook, covered with lid, turning over occasionally, until just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes more.

TO COOK CHICKEN USING A GAS GRLL
Preheat all burners on high, covered, 10 minutes, then adjust heat to medium high heat.

Sear chicken on lightly oiled grill rack, lid down, until well browned, about 3 minutes per side.

Turn off 1 burner (middle burner if there are 3) and arrange all seared chicken on rack above shut-off burner. Cook seared chicken, covered with lid, turning over once, until just cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Internal temperature should be 160 degrees.

TOSS GRILLED CHICKEN IN VINAIGRETTE
Transfer hot grilled chicken to large bowl with lime vinaigrette and turn to coat. Leave in bowl 5 minutes, then transfer to a platter and loosely cover with foil.

ASSEMBLE SALAD
Toss together mesclun, basil, tomato mixture and salt to taste. Slice chicken and arrange over salad. Drizzle with some lime vinaigrette and serve.

Yield: 6 servings

*Note: I used 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts and cut the lime vinaigrette in half.

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