Pho - Vietnamese Soup

Pho - Vietnamese Soup
One of our favorite dishes - Pho

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chicken Croquetas

This was a great use of leftover roasted chicken.  We served the croquetas with some homemade Ranch salad dressing as a dipping sauce.  I might add some green onion to the filling the next time I make these for some added crunch.  Definitely a work in progress with great possibilities. 

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
½ yellow onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
1¼ cups all-purpose flour, divided
1½ cup whole milk
6 ounces roasted chicken, cooled and shredded (about 2 cups)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
2 large eggs, beaten

1¼ cup breadcrumbs or panko
Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
4 green onions sliced thin

1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the yellow onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add ¾ cup of flour and stir to blend well. Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until the flour begins to turn golden and smell toasty, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the milk in a slow steady stream, whisking continuously.

2. Add the chicken and season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir to combine and cook until the mixture is warmed through and thickens up slightly more, about 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning if needed. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the filling cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

3. Take a rounded tablespoon of the cooled filling and roll it in your hands to make a small cylinder. Dredge the cylinder in the remaining ½ cup flour, then in the eggs and then in the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining filling.

4. Preheat the oven to 200° and place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. In a 4-quart saucepan, add enough olive oil so that you’re able to completely submerge the croquetas. Heat the oil to 375°. Working in batches, fry the croquetas until golden brown, about 1 minute per batch. Drain on paper towels, then season lightly with salt. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm until ready to serve.  Garnish with sliced green onion.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sara's Veal Piccata with Lemon Roasted Red Potaoes

Here's another recipe from my Mother-In-Law, Sara.  Any dish of hers is a winner.  I served this with roasted red potatoes (recipe to follow) and steamed asparagus.  

4 veal cutlets (about 4 ounces each), pounded very thin, scallopini style
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup Progresso bread crumbs
1 egg
2 TBSP water
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP olive oil
lemon slices
capers (optional)

Mix flour and bread crumbs together in a bowl.  In another bowl beat egg and water together.  Dip veal in egg and then the the bread crumb mixture.  In a skillet melt butter and add olive oil; mix well.  Saute garlic in oil and butter for 1 - 2 minutes.  Add veal to oil mix and fry veal until golden, about 5 minutes.  You might need to fry in batches.  Add more oil, butter and garlic for additional batches.  Keep veal in warmed oven while completing frying.  Pour butter and oil mix from frying pan over the veal.  Squeeze a little lemon juice over the warm veal.  Garnish with lemon slices and capers.

Lemon Roasted Red Potatoes

Here's a great potato side dish that's wonderfully zesty and delicious.

6 - 8 red potatoes, quartered
6 green onions, sliced thin
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBSP vegetable oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
capers (optional)

Place the potato chunks in a microwavable bowl and fill halfway with water; cover with Saran wrap leaving a gap so the steam can escape.  Microwave for 3 minutes or until barely fork tender.  Let set for a few minutes.  Drain water.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place potatoes, oil, onions and garlic in a pan and roast until good and golden in color.  Add juice and zest of 1 lemon; place back into oven for a minute or 2 to heat through again.  Season with salt and pepper.  Top with capers.  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Napa Valley Chicken Salad

I saw this recipe on the Cooking Channel and made it this weekend and it was another hit with the family.  We love homemade Ranch dressing with just about anything.  This is great for leftover roasted chicken and is very easy to make.  The key to a flavorful salad is letting it chill for at least two hours prior to serving.  Serve in pita bread for a quick sandwich or top on some romaine lettuce leaves for a nice, crunchy, summer salad.

½ cup homemade Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dressing
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
8 ounces cooked chicken, diced
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
1 cup diced celery
½ cup chopped toasted pecans
3 green onions, white and green parts, finely chopped

pepper to taste

In a small bowl, combine the dressing and mustard and stir until well blended.

In a large bowl, the chicken, grapes, celery, pecans and green onion. Add the dressing to the salad and toss until evenly coated. Chill covered for two hours before serving.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Steamed Asparagus in Paper Bag.

I saw this one on "Tyler's Ultimate" and was compelled to run to the store and buy asparagus because I couldn't wait to try his method....oven steaming, fresh asparagus in a brown paper bag, doused in olive oil.  Tyler swears its the best he's had.  I thought it was good but maybe not the best I ever had, but it was definitely an interesting cooking method.

1 pound medium asparagus, tough ends trimmed
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
1/2 lemon, sliced paper thin
1 bay leaf

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and arrange an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Get yourself a paper bag large enough to hold the asparagus comfortable. Throw the asparagus in there and drizzle the outside of the bag with olive oil to keep the bag from burning. Sprinkle the asparagus with the salt and cracked pepper and toss in the lemon slices and bay leaf. Close the bag, folding it over several times and creasing the folds well to hold the steam in. Put the pan on a baking sheet, drizzle it with more olive oil, stick it in the oven, and bake for 20 minutes.

Take the baking sheet out of the oven and set it on top of the stove. Set a serving plate next to the stove. Using a kitchen towel or a pair of kitchen tongs, raise the bag over the plate, open the bag, and slide the asparagus out onto the plate. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve hot.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mardi Gras in Dallas

I'm way behind on my blogging, mostly because I'm technically challenged and had a hard time trying to upload these video clips. 

I could not continue on until I got to blog about one of our favorite parties of the year.  It should never go without saying what another wonderful time we had at the Redding's annual Mardi Gras costume party.  As usual, they go all out even moving furniture out of the house, with impeccable decorations, food and music.  I'm pretty sure Tricia danced the entire time we were there...You gotta love her spirit!!!  Another great time spent with our dear family and friends.  Thank you to David and Tricia for always hosting an amazingly fun time!  "I thank the Lord for the people I have known....I thank the Lord for the people I have known!!!"  The pictures and music say it all!  =)

The following day our family of five (a rare occurrence these days) headed over to the Bishop Arts District for their Mardi Gras parade, crawfish boil and live music provided by Zydeco Blanco.  It was another day well spent with friends and family.  We're truly blessed beyond words!