Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Stuffed Friggitello (Sweet Italian) Peppers

I planted these two Friggitello Pepper plants a few months ago. They've been happily growing on the back deck and it's finally time to enjoy them!


Friggitello Peppers are a sweet Italian chili pepper.  It's also known as the Sweet Italian Pepper or Tuscan Pepper.  These peppers are mild with a slight heat and a slight hint of bitterness.  They are sometimes pickled and sold in jars.

Instead of stuffing them with orzo or rice, I chose Riced Cauliflower which blended wonderfully with the Italian blend of cheeses and Tuscan Herb Olive Oil. 

These would make an amazing appetizer!

1/2 cup diced yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 - 12 oz. bag of riced cauliflower
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 - 5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
1/2 t. salt 
A few grinds black pepper
1/4 t. dried red pepper flakes, if desired
5 - 6 Sweet Italian Peppers

For garnish:
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Chopped Parsley
Basil Leaves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray foil with non-stick spray.

In a large skillet, add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 - 4 minutes.

Add riced cauliflower, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and let it cook for 3 - 4 minutes.

Next, add in the tomatoes and let them cook for a few minutes to release their juices. Now it's time for the parsley, basil, and the cheese. Stir to combine and to let the cheese melt. Add the salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Now let's work on the peppers. I left the stems on mine because I like the presentation. Check out the peppers and find the side that is the flattest so they will lay evenly on the pan and not spill out the filling.

Carefully cut a slit lengthwise being very careful not to cut through the pepper on the other side. Remove the seeds and the membranes with your fingers and discard.

Drizzle the inside of the peppers with some of the olive oil and lightly salt and pepper the peppers.

Carefully fill the peppers with the cauliflower/cheese mixture. Place on the baking sheet and drizzle with additional olive oil.

Bake them for 18 - 20 minutes depending on the size of the peppers. You want the cheese to be melted and the peppers beginning to soften.

Garnish with grated Parmesan, additional parsley, and basil.  

Grilled Honey Ginger Boneless Pork Chop

I fired up the charcoal grill again last night after work to grill these beautiful boneless pork chops. I wanted to mimic the same flavors as much as possible that I used in the Asian Salad with Honey Ginger Vinaigrette. While the chops marinated, I chopped up the ingredients for the salad and made the dressing. The pork chops only took about 15 minutes to grill.  Delicious dinner!

Believe me when I tell you that using flavored oils and vinegars make all the difference in building flavors with your food. PLUS, you have the added health benefits as well!

For the marinade:
1 t. soy sauce
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. dried red pepper flakes
1 T. fresh lemon juice

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Place 1 lb. boneless pork chops in a plastic bowl or a Ziploc bag. Pour in marinade to completely cover the pork chops.  Make sure you seal the bag carefully! Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer if time allows.

Preheat a gas grill or prepare charcoal in a regular grill. If using charcoal, leave about 1/3 of the grill pan empty of hot charcoal. This will be your indirect heating spot.  

Place pork onto grill and cook, turning once, until an internal temperature reaches 145 for medium rare and 160 for medium. If pork begins to brown too quickly, move to the "indirect heat" side of the grill and let the residual heat finish cooking the pork.

And here is the meal ready to serve. I cooked a bag of Teriyaki Style rice from Knorr as a side.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Asian Salad with Honey Ginger Vinaigrette

Use any type of Spring Salad greens or mesculin mix. You can use either almonds or cashews for this dish, I happened to have almonds on hand. 

For the salad, combine all ingredients except for the almonds/cashews:

1 lb. frozen shelled edamame, cooked according to package directions and chilled
6 cup mixed greens
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 each red and yellow bell bell pepper, thinly sliced
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup bias-sliced scallions
3/4 cup roasted, salted almonds or cashews

For the Vinaigrette:
1 T. rice wine vinegar
1 T. low-sodium soy sauce
2 T. fresh lime juice
1 T. grated fresh ginger
1 t. minced garlic
1 t. honey
1/2 t. salt

Whisk together all ingredients until well combined. Toss with salad. Just before serving, toss cashews or almonds in with the slaw.

Adapted from Cuisine at Home Issue 124

Monday, June 19, 2017

Surf and Turf: Grilled Strip Steaks & Lobster Tails

Here was the Father's Day meal at Chez Lolly. Looks delicious doesn't it?  I've made separate blog posts for the steaks and the lobster tails.  They can be found by following the links below:



Sometimes, you need to make a special occasion, more special!

Grilled Lobster Tails

While the fire is hot, and the steaks are grilling, why not put a few lobster tails on the grill as well? This makes the perfect Surf and Turf meal. These lobster tails were 3 oz. each, the perfect size to pair with the strip steaks.

Here are some easy to  follow instructions from www.weber.com.

Cut the shell with a pair of kitchen shears, but go no further than the tail. With a knife, split the meat along the same path as the shell cut line, being careful not to slice all the way through the lobster. 

Open the lobster like a book. The remaining soft membrane will keep the sections intact while exposing the meat. Lobster is grilled over direct medium heat. Rub the flesh with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Grill flesh side down for approximately 3-5 minutes, then flip. Figure another 2-3 minutes after you flip the tail. Brush the flesh side with herb butter.

The lobster is done when its internal temperature, checked by an instant read thermometer, reaches 135 F.

See?  Easy smeasy!  And Oh, So, Good!


Charcoal Grilled Strip Steaks

Before you put the steaks on the grill you need to begin a few hours beforehand with a great marinade.

Here's the recipe I used for these lovely steaks:

I used two 1 lb. each strip steaks.  Here they are in the marinade.

Thirty minutes or so before grilling begins, prepare your charcoal grill. When the charcoal is covered with white ash you're ready to grill.

If you're not familiar with charcoal grilling, this link will provide you with wonderful information on how to get the perfect steak!

Wild Raspberry White Balsamic Vinegar Infused Mineral Water

I suppose we have all heard that vinegar can help with many and varied ailments. Maybe you have tried a spoonful of apple cider vinegar a day to help with weight loss, blood sugar control, digestive aid, and to help bring those cholesterol numbers down.  Read this article for more information.

If you're tired of apple cider vinegar, may I suggest you give Wild Raspberry White Balsamic Vinegar a try?  You can mix this in with tea, plain water, club soda, or like I did here with an Italian mineral water, San Pellegrino.  The raspberry vinegar added a tart flavor that was perfect for a sunny afternoon on the deck.

8 oz. mineral water such as San Pellegrino or Perrier
2 T. Wild Raspberry White Balsamic Vinegar
fresh raspberries

Pour mineral water into a glass, add vinegar, stir.  Float a few fresh strawberries on top.  Enjoy!

Garlicky Four Bean Salad

This is a great salad to carry to potlucks or cookouts. With no mayo to worry about, this one can stand the heat of being outdoors. A garlicky vinaigrette adds a nice chance of pace from a typical bean salad.

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. minced garlic
salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 oz. fresh green beans (cut into 2 inch pieces)
1 can chickpeas (16 oz.) rinsed and drained
1 can red kidney beans (16 oz.) rinsed and drained
1 can yellow was beans (14.5 oz) rinsed and drained
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, and pepper.

To prepare the green beans, you have a few options.  You can blanch the green beans in boiling, salted water until crisp-tender, 3-4 minutes and then transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process, then drain.

OR, you can do as I did and buy a 12 oz. bag of ready to cook (steam) green beans, cut a slit in the bag, microwave for the time instructed on the bag and THEN cut the green beans into 2 inch pieces.

Combine the cooked green beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, wax beans, celery, red onions, and parsley in a bow; toss with the vinaigrette.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Adapted from Cuisine at Home Issue No. 124

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Steak Marinade

Big steaks require a big marinade! You're going to LOVE this one. When I think big flavors, garlic, rosemary, espresso come to mind. Add in a little extra fresh garlic and rosemary, along with Worcestershire and soy sauce and you have a marinade that will flavor any steak to perfection!

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 t. minced garlic
1 t. minced fresh rosemary
a few grinds of black pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together until combined. Place steak in a plastic container and cover with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cooking.

Grilled Tuscan Herb Corn with Compound Butter

A new charcoal grill means there's a lot of delicious food ahead of us this summer. We christened the new grill with burgers, corn on the cob and beans......

But this blog post is all about the corn on the cob! Shuck and remove silks from the corn.

Generously coat the corn with Tuscan Herb Olive Oil.  

Grill corn over indirect heat for 8 - 10 minutes turning frequently. When corn is beginning to brown and slightly char, you're ready.

And how about a nice Tuscan Herb Compound Butter to finish that corn on the cob?


Compound Butter: Tuscan Herb

Taking a few extra minutes to make a compound butter is an excellent way to amp up the flavor of the simplest foods. I had planned on grilling corn to go along with our burgers. Blending butter with a few simple, everybody should have on hand ingredients, resulted in a delicious butter ready to be spread on the hot corn on the cob.

4 T. softened butter
1/4 t. minced garlic
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese
dash or two of salt
a few grinds of black pepper
1 t. Tuscan Herb seasoning blend

In a small bowl combine all ingredients. Use on corn on the cob, baked potatoes, pasta, steamed vegetables, and of course, warm bread!


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wing Wednesday: Bloody Mary Wings

If you like the spicy heat from a Bloody Mary, you'll love these wings! You can certainly adjust the amounts in this recipe to give you the heat you want. A slow bake for the wings after being coated with  Cayenne Chili Oil, helps to render the fat from the wings so that when you raise the heat level for the second baking, they can crisp up nicely.

The Cayenne Chili Oil is made by crushing 12 pounds of fresh, whole, ripe cayenne chilies for each gallon produced.  The oil and chilies are fused together for two hours before decanting and filtering, so YES, it's HOT!!!!

For the wings:
2 - 2 1/2 lbs. chicken wings, separated and tips removed
1 - 2 t. cayenne chili oil

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Place wings in a large bowl and drizzle with cayenne chili oil. Lightly salt and pepper and toss to completely coat the wings.

Place wings in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake wings for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and turn wings over and return to oven for 10 more minutes.

While the wings are baking, make the sauce.

For the sauce:
1 cup ketchup
2 T. prepared horseradish
1 t. fresh lemon juice
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. minced garlic
1/2 t. Tabasco Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
1/2 t. celery seeds
**you can certainly add a shot of vodka if you want!

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside. 

After the wings have finished the second bake, remove from oven and increase oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

Using a silicone pastry/basting brush, brush Bloody Mary Sauce mixture over wings. Let wings bake 10 minutes, remove from oven and carefully turn wings over and cover this side with Bloody Mary Sauce.

Return to oven until the sauce has glazed and is bubbling, about 10 minutes.  Serve immediately with additional sauce on the side if desired. Don't forget the celery sticks!

Another option for the sauce.  It would make a KILLER dipping sauce for shrimp or oysters!

Olive Wood Smoked Olive Oil Roasted Potatoes

I will start this recipe by stating that Sweet Harold announced, after one bite, that this was the BEST potato dish I've ever made. I was too embarrassed to tell him that there really isn't a recipe here. So, applause should definitely be given to the Olive Wood Smoked Olive Oil.  The olive oil has savory notes of smoky olive wood which has been infused with the highest quality, fresh extra virgin olive oil. The flavor is close to that of oak wood smoke.  

I was very pleased with the flavor and how the potatoes crisped up in the oven.

4 cups of large cubed potatoes
1 - 2 T. Olive Wood Smoked Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place cubed potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle sea salt and black pepper and place in oven.

Let potatoes roast for 20 - 25 minutes until cooked through and browned. Toss potatoes halfway during cooking time to insure even browning.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Cucumbers and Onions in Red Wine Vinegar

During the summers of my childhood, there was ALWAYS a bowl of cucumbers and onions in vinegar on the supper table. The secret is to use small cucumbers (fewer seeds) or English cucumbers and sweet onions such as Vidalia.

For just the two of us, I used the following:

1/2 cup sliced cucumbers
1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water

Place cucumbers and onions in a medium bowl. Lightly salt and pepper. Combine red wine vinegar and water in a measuring cup and then pour over vegetables.

Refrigerate until time to serve. You can continue to add additional cucumbers and onions into the vinegar mix and keep refrigerated.

Baked Dill and Garlic Arctic Char

After trying Arctic Char a few weeks ago, I've been eagerly waiting for it to be on special sale again. 

This recipe is definitely for the Dill Lovers out there. I decided to pair dill and garlic for our flavor profile. Of course, I used some of the fresh dill growing on the deck!

For an extra dose of dill flavor, how about Wild Anithos Dill Infused Olive Oil? It's highly aromatic and savory and pairs wonderfully with the fish.

Here's what you'll need!

1 lb. Arctic Char Fillet
3 - 4 T. minced fresh dill
2 t. fresh minced garlic
1 t. kosher salt
a few grinds of black pepper
2 T. Wild Anithos Dill infused olive oil
Lemon wedges for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. 

Place the fish on the baking sheet, skin side down.

In a small bowl, combine the dill, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Carefully spoon on top of the arctic char (flesh side only) in an even layer.

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes. The fish should flake easily with a fork.  Cut into four equal pieces and serve with lemon wedges.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

This salad is a wonderful blend of flavors and textures. Plus, it's just pretty!  No amounts here for this recipe because you can either make one serving or several. 

First, you'll need to make this easy blender salad dressing: Strawberry Basil Salad Dressing. 

Next, on your serving plates, place a nice layer of spinach leaves.

Top with thinly sliced red onion, thinly sliced English cucumbers, chopped strawberries, and sliced toasted almonds.

Drizzle with the Strawberry Basil Salad Dressing and sprinkle with some poppy seeds!  

Healthy, beautiful, and fresh tasting. You could also add some grilled chicken or shrimp!

Strawberry Basil Salad Dressing

Two of my favorites combined! I don't see how anyone could not love the aroma of fresh basil leaves. The sweet/tart flavor of fresh Springtime strawberries is something I look forward to each year as well. This easy salad dressing mixes up quickly in the blender. It's perfect for the Spinach and Strawberry Salad.

To really ramp up the flavor of this salad dressing, I used both fresh strawberries and basil along with a basil infused olive oil and a strawberry balsamic vinegar. Click on the links below to take you King's Olive Oil's website.
In a blender, on low speed, combine the following until dressing is smooth and creamy:

1 cup chopped strawberries
10 - 12 fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup Basil Olive Oil
1/3 - 1/2 cup Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 T. Agave Nectar
1/2 t. poppy seeds

Taste and add additional vinegar for a little extra zing, if desired.

Friday, June 9, 2017

French Green Beans with Herbs

This is a delicious fresh vegetable dish that is perfect so lighter Summer meals. Fresh herbs are a MUST for this dish. I wanted to lighten it up somewhat so I substituted Butter Infused Olive Oil instead of butter.

1 lb. thin green beans (haricot vert), trimmed
1/4 cup red onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. Butter Infused Olive Oil (or butter)
2 T. parsley, chopped fine
2 T. fresh thyme leaves
2 T. tarragon or basil, chopped fine
2 T. chives, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste 

Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Boil the beans for two minutes.

Plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. Drain the beans and pat dry on a cloth or paper towel.

Heat the olive oil (or butter) over medium-high heat in a large saute' pan. Cook the onions and garlic until translucent, about 2 - 3 minutes.

Add the green beans and saute for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring often.

Add all the herbs and some salt and pepper and toss to combine. Cook for 1 minute more.

Serve hot or at room temperature, with lemon wedges, if desired.

Adapted from Simply Recipes

Soccer Time!

The two little grandsons (ages 6 and 3) are visiting from out of state this weekend! They both love soccer, so I knew just what kind of table I would set for them.  They loved it!

I wanted to incorporate the colors of a soccer ball/field. A taupe (neutral) tablecloth with a table runner made from soccer ball print material is courtesy of Hobby Lobby. The black chargers (HobLob) and white Fiestaware plates mimic the soccer ball. Plastic cups with a black and white pattern are from Hobby Lobby as well. 

Of course, we needed some green for the grass of the field. Fiestaware Shamrock Green napkins and S and P shakers finish the color theme.

Looks like the perfect table for two active little boys!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Proven├žal Tuna Sandwiches

If you're looking for the perfect "summer sandwich" this is the one! This sandwich is full of flavors and textures. The richness of the tuna, the crunch of the cucumbers and onions, the tanginess of the capers with fresh herbs and tomatoes?  What's not to love!?

The vinaigrette for the tuna and vegetables is a blend of red wine vinegar and Olive Wood Smoked Olive Oil. This olive oil is one of the newest selections at King's Olive Oil.   Savory notes of smoky olive wood are infused with the highest quality, fresh EVOO to make the Olive Wood Smoked Olive Oil. It's all natural with no artificial ingredients, preservatives or refined carrier oils! The flavor of olive wood smoke is close to that of oak wood smoke.

¼ cup red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
4 8-inch-long pieces French or Italian bread, split open**
1 clove garlic, halved
3 large plum tomatoes, cored (1 halved, 2 thinly sliced)
2 6 oz. jars tuna in olive oil (preferably Italian), lightly drained
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
½ English cucumber, thinly sliced
¼ cup packed fresh parsley
2 T. capers, drained

Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, ¼ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl. Add the red onion; set aside.

Rub the inside of the bread pieces with the garlic, then with the halved tomato and season with salt and pepper; discard the garlic and tomato skins. Arrange the tomato slices on the bread bottoms.

Add the tuna to the vinaigrette, breaking it into pieces. Stir in the bell pepper, cucumber, parsley and capers; season with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture among the bread bottoms. Close the sandwiches and press down on the bread tops gently.

Wrap the sandwiches tightly in plastic wrap and place a heavy skillet on top. Let sit 15 minutes to soften the bread, then unwrap and cut in half.

**I used individual rolls.

Adapted from Food Network Magazine June 2017

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Wing Wednesdays: Baja Chipotle Wings

Oh boy, were these wings delicious! This week's version is a messy, sticky, chipotle fun fest. How's that for a description?!?

First, you're going to need about 2 - 2 1/2 lbs. of wings, paired with Lawry's Baja Chipotle Marinade which includes a blend of tangy lime juice, smoky-sweet chipotle pepper, cumin, oregano and, garlic.

2 - 2 1/2 lbs. chicken wings, separated and tips removed
1 bottle Lawry's Baja Chipotle Marinade

Place the chicken wings in a large bowl and cover with the marinade, reserving 1/2 cup. Toss to coat to make sure each piece of chicken is covered with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with a non-stick spray.

Place chicken in a single layer on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and, using tongs, turn chicken oven. Using a silicone brush or spoon, cover the chicken pieces with the reserved marinade.

Return to oven for 10 minutes or until internal temperature has reached 165 degrees. Serve with lime wedges.