Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Asparagus Tips with Blue Cheese Butter


I purchased a "steam in the bag asparagus tips" at Publix this week. I knew I'd steam them in the bag, but I didn't know exactly what I'd do with them after that. Hmmm..A recipe on the bag. "Blue cheese butter" ?? I'm in !

Five minutes for a delicious side dish? That works on busy weeknights!

6 oz. bag of steam in the bag asparagus tips
1 T. butter, melted
2 T. blue cheese crumbles
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. black pepper

Microwave asparagus tips following package instructions.

Place melted butter, blue cheese crumbles, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix well.

Add asparagus tips to sauce and toss to coat.  Serve. 

Pan Sauteed Creole Seasoned Catfish Fillets


Oh my, this may be my favorite version of catfish to date. So very simple ingredient-wise, cooking time wise, and technique wise. If you're looking for an alternative to heavy battered fried fish, you'll love this one.

1 1/4 - 1 1/2 lb. catfish fillets
2 T. Creole seasoning
2 T. butter
2 T. olive oil
lemon wedges

Rinse fillets and pat dry. Lightly sprinkle both sides of the fish with the Creole seasoning.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt butter and add olive oil. Swirl the butter and oil to combine. Gently place the fish into the skillet and let cook 5 - 6 minutes per side.


That's it.  See how easy! Serve with lemon wedges.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Chili


One of the best things about cooking (or smoking) an entire Boston Butt is the leftovers. You can have a variety of different meals from one 5 - 6 lb. piece of pork. We were going to be out of the house today on a road trip to visit some of the younger members of our family. By spending about 20 minutes prep time before leaving, we were greeted by a delicious aroma while still in the garage when we returned home.

1 28-oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 14.5 oz. can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can "Chili Fixings" Rotel tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
2 4.5 oz. can of diced green chiles
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 envelope chili seasoning mix
3 cups pulled pork

Mix together all ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and set on "low" setting.

Let cook for 6 - 8 hours or 4 - 5 hours on high setting.

Top with your favorite toppings:  sour cream, shredded Cheddar, sliced green onions, etc.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Smoked Pulled Pork


If I had to choose my "last meal," pulled pork would definitely be in the running for THE meal. Usually, I think of pulled pork as a summer meal with all the usual cookout trimmings. So the calendar says we're officially into Fall, the thermometer doesn't agree. I chose baked sweet potatoes and fried apples with cotton honey for our sides. Everything paired beautifully. 

I started out with a very simple rub. I didn't measure amounts. I always start my rubs with paprika as the main ingredient and use the largest amount of that flavor and then add to suit my taste, tasting as I go.

Paprika (approximately 1/4 cup)
Granulated Garlic (approximately 3 T.)
Onion Powder (approximately 2 T.)
Ground Cumin (approximately 1 T.)
Chili Powder (approximately 2 T.)
Ground Coriander (approximately 1 t.)
Kosher Salt (approximately 2 T.)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper (approximately 2 t.)

Mix all of the above in a small bowl. Apply liberally to a bone-in, Boston Butt. This one was about 6 pounds.


Into the smoker it goes! Yes, those are hickory chips down there!



It's best to keep the temperature of the smoker between 225 and 250 degrees. For larger pieces of pork, longer smoking time will be required. This one could have cooked an hour or so longer. But we were starving! For a perfectly cooked Boston Butt, you want to be able to gently remove the bone with ease.


Remove from the smoker, wrap in foil, and let it rest for 30 minutes or so.


Shred the meat using two forks. It should easily tear into pieces. Serve with sauce or without!


Weekend Steak and Eggs: Boneless Beef Short Ribs and Over Easy Eggs


Yes, I realize that boneless beef short ribs aren't TECHNICALLY steak, but let's pretend, shall we?  While perusing the local meat market yesterday in preparation of today's breakfast, I spied a lovely package of boneless beef short ribs. I had never cooked those before and knew that's what I wanted to try for today's morning meal.

These were much longer strips, which I cut in half crossways. I seasoned them with a mixture of salt, pepper, onion powder, and granulated garlic. A cast iron skillet was a must for this meal! Enough vegetable oil to barely cover the bottom of the skillet and a tablespoon of butter and we were ready to cook! I used the same skillet to cook the eggs so they picked up the flavor of the beef, the seasonings, and the butter.  They were delicious!

1 lb. boneless beef short ribs
salt
freshly ground black pepper
onion powder
granulated garlic
vegetable oil 
butter

Season the ribs with salt, pepper, onion powder, and granulated garlic.

In a cast iron skillet, over high heat, add just enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the skillet along with a tablespoon of butter. When the mixture begins to bubble a little, add the beef to the skillet and reduce heat to medium high.

Cook in batches, so you don't crowd the skillet.



Remove to a plate and put into a warm oven to keep warm while you cook the eggs.

Reduce the heat to low, add another tablespoon of butter and let it melt. Add eggs, one at a time, and cook, turning when the whites are opaque. Let eggs cook until eggs are cooked to your liking.


Plate with the steaks and have some sliced tomatoes and avocados on the side.



Friday, September 23, 2016

Grilled Five Spice Chicken Salad


I grilled chicken tonight, but not just any chicken. Five spice chicken! For the recipe for the marinade and the method of grilling, click HERE.

Here's the chicken on the grill and resting before slicing.


  
If you've not tried this brand of salads, I encourage you to look for the selection at your local grocery store.


This salad has a wonderful blend of savoy and green cabbage, carrots, celery, and green onion all finished with toasted slivered almonds, crisp wonton noodles, and tangy yet sweet sesame ginger dressing. 

If that doesn't sound delicious enough, just imagine topped with the Grilled Five Spice Chicken!


Grilled Five Spice Chicken


I grilled these chicken breasts with the plan of using them to top an Asian salad. However, they turned out so delicious, I decided to devote an entire blog post to them. A few minutes to mix up the marinade, a little time in the refrigerator, and onto a hot grill. I love to make marinades and especially when I just taste and mix and add and taste and continue until I get it just right!

You can enjoy these chicken breasts as they are cooked here alongside a side of steamed or fried rice or you can slice or chunk up the chicken to top a salad or inside a wrap.

Here's the marinade:

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 t. Five Spice powder
1 T. rice wine vinegar
2 t. sesame oil
1 T. fish sauce
1 t. granulated garlic OR 2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
juice and zest of one lime
1 t. freshly grated ginger
1/4 - 1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together all ingredients. And taste! if you want a little more of this or that, add and taste again. It's important to learn to trust your taste when you're cooking. Use my list as YOUR guideline and adjust accordingly.

Place marinade in a non-reactive bowl and add 3 - 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Cover and place in refrigerator for 1 - 3 hours.

Heat gas grill on high heat until temp reaches 400 degrees. Place chicken on grill and lower heat so that it remains between 350 - 375 degrees. Grill, turning chicken after it will release easily from the grill grates. Grill, turning as needed, until internal temperature of chicken reaches 160 degrees.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Grilled Teriyaki Tuna Steaks


There's a reason they're called tuna "steaks." Isn't that lovely? Tuna has very high levels of omega-3 fatty acids which help to reduce omega-6 fatty acids and cholesterol in the arteries and blood vessels. Plus it's delicious! I grilled an assortment of veggies to serve alongside. I've listed my choices below. Feel free to substitute your favorites.

4 - 5 oz. tuna steaks
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
2 T. sherry vinegar
1 T. honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. grated fresh ginger
few grinds of black pepper

In a small non-reactive bowl, whisk together teriyaki sauce, sherry vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger, and pepper. Reserve 3 T. of the marinade.

Place tuna steaks in original bowl and turn to coat. Let stand 10 - 15 minutes.

While the tuna is marinating, prepare the vegetables:

6 oz. snow peas
1 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced diagonally
1 medium yellow squash, ends trimmed and sliced diagonally
1 medium yellow onion, cut into quarters
1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into strips

Place vegetables in a medium bowl, lightly salt and pepper and toss with reserved 3 T. of the marinade. 

Preheat grill for high heat. If you don't have one of these handy dandy grills baskets, get one immediately! No, really, get one! Place veggies in basket and let cook for 3 - 4 minutes. Stir vegetables and continue to cook until vegetables soften.

 
Lightly oil grill grate. Cook the tuna steaks for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, then turn and baste with the marinade. Cook for an additional 2 - 2 1/2 minutes, or to an internal temp of 125 degrees. Discard any remaining marinade.

Serve immediately with the vegetables.
 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Vegetable Beef Soup


This is a delicious and filling soup which provides protein from the lean steak and fiber from the vegetables. You can add more or less of the vegetables to suit your family's liking. 

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. top round steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2" cubes
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 large leeks, white and some green, carefully washed to remove grit
1/4 lb. fresh green beans, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/3 cup matchstick cut carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups beef stock
3 cups shredded cabbage 
3 cups packed baby spinach
1 can (14.5 oz.) fire roasted diced tomatoes
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1 t. Worcestershire sauce

In a 5 quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the steak and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is well browned. 

Add celery, leeks, green beans, and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute or so.

Add beef stock, cabbage, spinach, tomatoes with juice, salt, several grinds of black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.

Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and let cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours or until the steak is fork tender.



Monday, September 19, 2016

Baked Salmon with Creamy Lemon Caper Sauce


We are certainly enjoying our seafood and fish meals while watching carbs. We are both seeing results when we step on the scale and, even better, I am anticipating we'll also see results as far as lowering cholesterol levels.

This dish is another one of these that can be ready, refrigerator to table in 30 minutes or so, which makes it perfect for weeknight meals. An added bonus is that it is also a one sheet pan meal! One pan, easy clean up!


2 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T. capers
3 t. lemon-pepper seasoning, divided
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets 
3 - 4 cups broccoli / cauliflower florets

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place salmon fillets on one end of baking sheet and sprinkle with lemon-pepper. 

On the other end of the baking sheet, place broccoli and cauliflower, drizzle with 1 T. olive oil and sprinkle with 1 t. lemon-pepper.  Toss to coat and spread in a single layer.

Bake for 20 - 22 minutes until salmon is just opaque and vegetables are beginning to brown.

While the salmon and vegetables are in the oven, make the sauce.

Heat 1 T. olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the lemon juice, capers, and lemon-pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add the sour cream and cook for 5 minutes, or until heated through.

Top the salmon with the sauce and serve immediately.



Sunday, September 18, 2016

Weekend Steak and Eggs: Strip Steak with Sunnyside Up Eggs


Most of us live with a very hectic schedule:  work, children, volunteer responsibilities, etc. The weekends need to be a time to rest, relax, and recharge. How better than to take time to have a special breakfast that is more than a gulped down cup of coffee or a drive through biscuit?

We certainly enjoyed this morning's breakfast of strip steak and sunny side up eggs. I hope you do, too!

1 lb. strip steak
vegetable oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 jumbo eggs

Let's cook our steak first. It can rest while we cook the eggs.

Lightly coat steak with vegetable oil and generously salt and pepper.

Preheat grill pan over high heat. Add steaks. Do not try to move the steaks until they have time to sear, about 3 - 4 minutes. Lower heat slightly. Using tongs, turn the steaks 1/4 turn. Let cook an addition 3 minutes or so. Now turn the steaks over and repeat the process. Cook until you reach your desired level of doneness.


Cook until you reach your desired level of doneness. Remove to a plate, tent with foil, and let rest while you cook the eggs. Those look pretty good even if I do say so myself!


I learned this method of cooking sunny side up eggs from Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond. The eggs are slowly cooked in a little oil over very low heat.

Add just enough vegetable oil to a skillet to cover the bottom of the pan. Set heat to low. Break egg carefully into the skillet. Lightly salt.


Using a small spoon, gently begin to spoon the warm oil over the white part of the egg only. Continue to gently baste the egg with the oil until the white is cooked. Now you can baste the yolk until it is warmed, but not cooked hard. You want the yolk to be soft and runny.


Gently remove the egg with a thin spatula and drain on a paper towel. Continue with the other eggs. Plate with the steak and you're ready to enjoy a wonderful breakfast!



Friday, September 16, 2016

Caribbean Pork Tenderloin with Vegetables served with Black Beans


This recipe can fall under so many categories: low-carb meal, crock pot meal, pork dishes. If you're looking for a recipe that falls under any of those categories or maybe you want one in the DELICIOUS category, Fleur de Lolly has you covered.

1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
McCormick's Caribbean Jerk Seasoning Blend
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
4 oz. sliced white mushrooms
1 can Rotel tomatoes (lime version)
1 T. minced garlic
1 medium yellow squash, ends trimmed and cut in half lengthwise and then sliced into 1-inch chunks
1 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and cut in half lengthwise and then sliced into 1-inch chunks

Preheat crock pot on high while you prep ingredients.

Lightly salt and pepper pork tenderloin. Sprinkle Caribbean Jerk Seasoning liberally on all sides of the tenderloin. Press the seasoning into the tenderloin and place in the slow cooker.

Add onions, mushrooms, Rotel tomatoes, and garlic. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or on low for 6 - 7 hours.

Add squash and zucchini during the last half hour or so of cooking time. Taste and add additional seasoning if needed.

Serve with yellow rice and/or black beans.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mediterranean Baked Cod with Artichoke Hearts and Hearts of Palm


I love the colors and flavors of this dish. Jarred marinated artichoke hearts are a staple in my pantry. For this recipe, I used a jar of Mixed Artichoke Hearts and Hearts of Palm Salad. Feel free to use either version. If you don't have cod, pollock or haddock make great substitutes.

1 1/2 lbs. cod fillets
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. dried Italian seasoning
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t. granulated garlic
10 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, liquid reserved

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Place cod in an ovenproof baking dish, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with Italian seasoning, sea salt, black pepper, and granulated garlic.

Arrange the artichoke hearts (or salad version of if you're using) around the fish and drizzle with 1 T. of the reserved marinade liquid.

Bake until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, about 12 - 14 minutes. Remove from oven and serve hot. You can sprinkle a little paprika on top for color if you'd like.


Adapted from South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Egg Roll Stir Fry


I've been craving egg rolls, but the lower carb meal plan is preventing me from enjoying FRIED EGG ROLL WRAPPERS. This dish turned out so much better than I expected.

I had planned on making this dish tonight and remembered mid-afternoon that I had not taken the ground pork out of the freezer. I put one pound of frozen ground pork in the work at 6:00 p.m. We sat down at the table at 6:25. True story.

I've suggested to you before the advantages of having a wide variety of items in your pantry. If you can keep a selection of vinegars and sauces handy, along with fresh veggies in the fridge, it's amazing what can be prepared and enjoyed in 30 minutes!

For the Sauce:
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. sesame oil
2 t. fish sauce
1 T. rice wine vinegar
1 t. Sriracha sauce

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients and set aside.

For the stir-fry:
1 T. vegetable oil
1 pound ground pork
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup julienned carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
8 oz. can diced water chestnuts drained
4 cups shredded cabbage (white and purple mixed)

Toppings:
sesame seeds
thinly sliced green onions

In a wok, or large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add ground pork and allow to cook through and begin to brown, breaking the pork up with a wooden spoon until it is in crumbles. Add onions, carrots, garlic and mushrooms. 

Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until vegetables begin to soften.

Increase heat to high, add water chestnuts and cabbage, and stirring constantly, cook only until cabbage begins to wilt. You don't want mushy veggies.

Add the reserved sauce, toss to coat.  Serve immediately and garnish with sesame seeds and/or sliced green onions.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Steak Salad with Grilled Red Onions


I challenge anyone that thinks lower carb eating will deprive you of delicious food to make this dish and still believe that! The protein packed steak, leafy greens, mustardy vinaigrette and blue cheese crumbles makes this a great weeknight meal that can be ready in about 30 minutes. So many gorgeous colors, textures and flavors on one plate!

1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup plus 3 t. olive oil
1lb. skirt (or flank) steak, trimmed and cut in half
4 t. sherry vinegar
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. honey
1/2 t. minced garlic
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium red onion, sliced crosswise and then into 1/4 inch thick rounds
6 packed cups of baby greens
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat or heat a charcoal grill or gas grill on high heat (400 degrees).

In a baking dish just large enough to hold the steak, combine the Worcestershire sauce and 1 t. olive oil. Add the steak and turn to coat both sides.

Combine the vinegar, mustard, honey, garlic, 1/2 t. salt and several grinds of black pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the 1/4 cup olive oil.

Brush the onion slices with the remaining 2 t. olive oil, and grill under tender, about 4 minutes per side.

 
Season the steaks with salt and pepper and grill alongside the onion, flipping once, 3 - 5 minutes total per side for medium rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes.


Place a serving of greens on plate. Slice the steak across the grain, separate the onion rings and arrange both over the greens. Sprinkle with tomatoes and blue cheese crumbles and drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad.  Serve immediately.



Adapted from Fine Cooking Issue 128

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Dining Out Gulf Coast: Runaway Island Bar & Grill, Panama City Beach, Florida

On our recent visit to the Gulf Coast, we stayed at the Emerald Beach Resort on Front Beach Road.  The restaurant next door had been recommended by several people. Runaway Island Bar and Grill. This beautiful restaurant is located directly on the beach and has several dining areas, including a large, covered deck area beachside.

Once again, I neglected to take the "good camera" when we walked next door to the restaurant so unfortunately you'll be stuck with cell phone photos which do not give the food justice.

We were promptly seated and after drink orders were taken, a hot loaf of bread was delivered to the table. I slipped off the low(er) carb plan. I had to have some of these beautiful bread. The selling point? The butter. A compound butter which included roasted garlic, asiago cheese and finely chopped rosemary. Absolutely amazing.


It was late when we dined that night, so I chose a bowl of Boudreaux's Chowder: Shrimp grouper, crawfish, andouille sausage, and red potatoes simmered in beer and seafood broth. My pet peeve about soups/stews/chowders served in restaurants? Room temperature servings. Thank goodness this was not a problem with this chowder. Thick and flavorful and FULL of the stated ingredients. Eaten along with the hot bread and that heavenly butter, Lolly was a happy girl.


Sweet Harold chose the night's special:  Wood grilled salmon, topped with a lemon butter sauce and three Gulf Shrimp. He chose green beans as the side dish. They were steamed and served with a soy glaze. He gave both items two thumbs up.

 
Even with the large crowd on the Labor Day Weekend night, service was prompt and the food was served hot. I'd love to go back again and dine on the deck. 

There was also a live band deckside to entertain the diners. A great evening.