Monday, October 31, 2016

North Star American Bistro

The whole family enjoyed dinner out before my son's graduation at North Star American Bistro. Was nice to have my sister and brother-in-law in town for this special occasion. Service was slow, and food was mostly good. Always have mixed feelings about this place.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Roast Beef & Cheddar Roll-Ups

So delicious! It's an easy idea for a sandwich, but we like to keep this recipe handy so we remember the ratio to make the cream cheese spread.

4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp prepared horseradish
4 large flour tortillas
1 head romaine lettuce, tough ribs removed
8 oz deli roast beef, thinly sliced
4 oz Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced

In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and horseradish. Spread evenly over each tortilla.

Layer the tortillas with the lettuce, roast beef, and Cheddar and roll up.

4 servings

Real Simple

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Cajun Shrimp with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce

The easiest weeknight meal with a homemade cream sauce that tastes a million times better than store-bought!

8 oz fettuccine
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups milk, or more, as needed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup half and half*
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves

For the Shrimp:
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Place shrimp in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil, garlic and cajun seasoning; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine.
  3. Place into oven and roast just until pink, firm and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes; set aside.
  4. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
  5. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  6. Gradually whisk in milk, thyme and oregano. Cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in half and half and Parmesan until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add more milk as needed; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Stir in pasta and gently toss to combine.
  8. Serve immediately with cajun shrimp, garnished with parsley, if desired.

4 servings

Damn Delicious

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Paella de Mateo

This is Matt's creation after quite a bit of research of different recipes online and his own palette preferences.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Spanish chorizo sliced (or substitute linguiça or andouille)
1/2 large onion, diced
1 large red pepper, 1/2 slices
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup crushed tomatoes
2 cups (500 grams dried) Bomba rice (or substitute Calasparra)
6 cups chicken stock
1 pound (about 16 to 20 count) extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail on

For spice mixture:
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons half sharp paprika
1 large pinch saffron threads

  1. Build a medium-hot fire in grill (when ready, you can hold your hand about 6 inches above the grill for only 2 or 3 seconds) or use two burners on gas stovetop. 
  2. Put 1/4 cup olive oil in a paella pan or 20-inch camp skillet. Heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chorizo and begin brown lightly on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. 
  3. Add the onions and red pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chicken and cook, stirring, until chicken is no longer pink on the outside.
  4. Prepare spice mixture.
  5. Add the tomatoes and 2 to 3 cups stock, bring to simmer, then add the rice and the spice mixture. Stir well to combine, then smooth it out to an even layer (you should have just a layer of liquid between 1/4 and 1/2 inch on top) and allow to come back to a low, slow simmer. 
  6. Push the shrimp down into the simmering mixture so they are covered by the liquid, being careful not to stir the mixture. Move the pan just enough to the side of the fire so the liquid continues to simmer slowly; if using cooktop, rotate pan periodically. 
  7. Add liquid as needed to maintain that very thin visible layer for 20 minutes, but do not move the rice around. After 20 minutes check rice and continue to cook, adding stock, until all visible liquid is absorbed and rice is tender but not mushy, from 5 to 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

8 servings


Monday, August 15, 2016

Warm Chicken Curry Dip

Social gatherings usually involve drinks and food for us. They also help us discover some new fav recipes from our friends. This one's always a top request for our girls' weekends!

1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
8 oz softened cream cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 clove garlic pressed
1/2 tsp curry
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup apricot jam

Combine first eight ingredients (through salt). Spread mixture into a small pan and bake for 18-20 minutes at 400˚. Meanwhile, combine coconut and almonds in a microwave safe bowl for cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds until ingredients are evenly toasted. Remove mixture from the oven and spread apricot jam over top of hot dip. Next, sprinkle the warm coconut/almond mixture over top of the jam. Serve with apple wedges and celery.

6-8 servings