The Food That Sings

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Mediterranean Tapenade April 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — alisonfsu @ 12:13 am
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Warm weather = grilling in our house! Since bathing suit season is around the corner, I wanted to find some healthy recipes that do not sacrifice flavor. I made the tapenade recipe and used the sauce for two grilled chicken breasts, even though the recipe is originally written for four. If you are looking for a light and tasty grilled weeknight meal, this is the one for you! Enjoy!

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Mediterranean Tapenade
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Tapenade waiting for the chicken.

1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup pitted kalmata olives, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of red onion, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup of crumbled feta
A splash of olive oil
2 pinches of dried oregano
Fresh lemon
Salt and pepper

2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Mix the tomatoes, olives, onions, feta, balsamic, olive oil, and oregano, in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and allow to rest. Prepare the grill to medium-high heat. Brush chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a healthy squeeze of lemon juice on both sides. Grill chicken until cooked through, approximately 7 minutes per side.

The final dish- really tasty!

Top chicken breasts with the tapenade and serve.


BBQ Beef Stir-Fry April 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jlcouch @ 11:34 pm
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It’s stir-fry night at the Couch residence.  Once again I have been influenced by the media.  Last week’s Jamie Oliver’s Revolution featured his attempt to teach 1000 residents of Huntington, West Virginia to make a beef stir fry, and after watching person after person make and eat this, I decided to explore my own stir-fry recipes.  I am not always a fan of Sandra Lee from food network, but this hoisin sauce recipe was delicious and simple to make.  No more hoisin out of the jar!

Ingredients (serves 4)

Adapted from Sandra Lee (food network)

BBQ Beef Stir-Fry with Lo Mein Noodles

1 (1 1/2-pound) beef chuck (or sirloin) steak, sliced into thin strips

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 carrots, sliced about 1/4-inch thick

2 stalks celery, sliced about 1/4-inch thick

1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced

8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced

1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger root

1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic

1 head broccoli, cut into florets

1 (16-ounce) package lo mein noodles, cooked according to package directions

Hoisin Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon chopped ginger

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Stir-Fry: In a wok or large skillet over high heat add the canola oil. Add the beef and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Set aside on a plate. Cook lo mein noodles according to directions on box (approximately 3-4 minutes in boiling water)

To the same pan the beef was cooked in, add the carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, ginger, garlic, and broccoli and stir-fry until slightly tender but not soft, about 3 minutes. Add the beef back to the skillet along with half of the hoisin sauce (you’ll want to start with 1/2 and then add according to taste preference), and toss to coat the beef. Hoisin Sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk all the sauce ingredients until well blended.

Arrange the lo mein noodles on a serving platter and top with the beef stir-fry. Sprinkle a bit more hoisin sauce on the top of the dish.

Notes:  The single best ingredient to add fresh to an Asian dish is the simplest – ginger.  It is so easy to peel and grate, it stores well in your fridge or freezer, and it ads an entirely different dimension to the flavor when it is grated fresh rather than out of a jar.  You’ll be surprised how often you will use it.  I use it in everything from stir-fry’s to martinis.


Sole Meuniere April 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jlcouch @ 11:13 pm
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I love french food.  I mean, who doesn’t?  All that deliciousness!  All that butter!  I decided to take on the classic sole meuniere because nothing says spring more (in my mind) than fish.  This recipe was surprisingly simple and with the exception of the sole, all of the ingredients were in my pantry/fridge.  I will definitely be making this more often!

Classic Sole Meuniere

From Bon Apetit, April 2010

Classic Sole Meuniere

*2 servings


1/2 cup of all purpose flour

4 sole fillets (each about 3-4 ounces)

coarse kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter


1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

2 tablespoons chopped fresh italian parsley

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

lemon wedges


Place flour in pie dish.  Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle both sides of fish with salt and pepper.  Dredge fish on both sides with flour; shake off excess. Place on platter.

Heat oil in large skilled over medium high heat until oil is hot and shimmers.  Add butter; quickly swirl skillet to coat.  When foam subsides, add fish and cook until golden on bottom, 2 to 3 minutes.  Carefully turn fish over and cook until opaque in center and golden on bottom, 2-3 minutes.  Divide fish between 2 warmed plates,tent with foil.  Pour off drippings from skillet; wipe clean with paper towels.


Place skillet over medium-high heat.  Add butter, cook until golden, 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in parsley and lemon juice.  Spoon sauce over fish.  Serve with lemon wedges.

* Served here with couscous and spring peas.


Caponata with Yellow Squash and Zucchini April 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jlcouch @ 1:04 am

I love recipes where you can eat it a number of ways.  This really works well for the various taste preferences in my house.  Recently I was watching the food network and saw Giada make a “caponata panini” with eggplant.  I decided to give it a try with what I had in my refrigerator:  zucchini, green peppers, and squash.  It makes a slightly sweet and delicious sauce that you can eat on pasta, over rice, or between two slices of french bread pressed.  My personal favorite was the latter.


Adapted from Giada’s recipe for Caponata Panini


Simmering Caponata

1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 yellow squash, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 red (or green) bell pepper, cored seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices

3 tablespoons raisins

1/2 teaspoon dried oreganoCaponata with Yellow Squash and Zucchini.  Try it on a panini!

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

3 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon drained capers

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the celery and squash and zucchini and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, raisins, and oregano to the pan. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, sugar, capers, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Season, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve over pasta, rice, on a hoagie, or between French bread slices (pressed like a Panini with cheese).


Yumm Sauce March 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — alisonfsu @ 6:53 pm
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My husband and I lived in Eugene, Oregon, for a number of years and enjoyed a weekly trip (sometimes by-weekly) to Cafe Yumm. Yumm is a restaurant based in Eugene, that makes interesting and healthy food centered around yumm sauce! If you haven’t had the pleasure of eating a yumm bowl, it is honestly worth a trip to the great Northwest. A few friends who visited us in Oregon have been asking for this recipe, so here it is. The ingredients can be found at your grocery store, and can be enjoyed in a homemade yumm bowl- any creation of rice, beans, yumm sauce, and your favorite toppings. For ideas, check out Cafe Yumm’s website:
Yumm sauce is egg free, dairy free, wheat free, gluten free, sugar free, cholesterol free and low in sodium. Enjoy!

Yumm Sauce
1/2 cup oil (Canola works well)
1/2 cup almonds
1/3 cup brewers yeast
1/3 cup garbanzo beans – drained
1/4 cup soybeans (Can substitute with silken tofu, approximately 1/2 cup)Cafe Yumm, Eugene, Oregon
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp curry powder

Blend nuts, beans and oil in food processor. Then blend in yeast and liquids one at a time. Puree until smooth.


Fajita Marinade and Homemade Salsa March 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — alisonfsu @ 10:06 pm
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Anyone who has eaten dinner with me more than once, knows how much I love Mexican and Tex-Mex. I can eat Mexican multiple times a week, so I was happy to find a new fajita marinade and salsa recipe that were excellent! I used this marinade on boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but you could substitute any protein. The salsa makes a good size portion for dinner with enough left over for snacking! Enjoy!

Marinade ready for a blend

Marinade ready for a blend

Fajita Marinade
Adapted from Tyler Florence

1 orange, juiced
2 limes, juiced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 chipotles in adobo (sounds like a lot, but doesn’t add a lot of heat)
3 tablespoons of cilantro
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a 2 cup measuring cup, combine all marinade ingredients. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the marinade until smooth. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and add your protein of choice. Refrigerate protein and marinade for at least 2 to 4 hours.

Salsa- Restaurant Style
Adapted from The Pioneer Women Cooks

1 can 28 ounce whole tomatoes with juice
1 can Original Rotel
1 can Mild Rotel
1 small onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 chipotle in adobo, with 2 spoonfuls of sauce

Fresh and flavorful salsa

1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 small handfuls cilantro
1/2 whole lime, juiced

Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, chipotle in adobo, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime, and cilantro in a food processor. Pulse until salsa is smooth, approximately 12 pulses. Refrigerate for one hour before serving.


Baked Lemon Pasta March 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — alisonfsu @ 12:34 am
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I have been looking for a flavorful lemon pasta for a while, well, I HAVE FOUND IT! This dish took less than 30 minutes, required few ingredients, made the entire house smell like Spring, and had a lot of flavor. I used a Meyer lemon olive oil that I purchased at Lowcountry Gourmet Foods in Savannah, Georgia. The store offers a large variety of flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars that are worth checking out online.* If you do not have flavored olive oil, you can increase the lemon zest to balance out the flavor. I hope that you will try this tasty, weeknight pasta!

*Website for Lowcountry Gourmet Foods: Lemon Olive Oil

Baked Lemon Pasta

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

3/4 a box of angel hair pasta

4 tablespoons salted butter or margarine

2 tablespoons of Lowcountry Meyer lemon olive oil (or regular olive oil)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 whole lemon, juiced and zested

2 cups low fat sour cream

1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, or more to taste

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 handful of parmesan cheese, or italian blend cheese

flat-leaf parsley (I did not have this on hand, but it would taste great on top of the dish)

Preparation:Out of the oven and ready to be eaten!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook angel hair until al dente. In a skillet, melt butter and lemon olive oil on low heat. When butter is melted, add garlic, red pepper flakes, and squeeze in fresh lemon juice. Turn off heat.

Add sour cream, lemon zest, and salt, mixing together. Pour sour cream mixture over drained angel hair and stir together. Put angel hair in an oven safe dish.

Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes- watch pasta to make sure that it does not dry out.

Place a final squeeze of lemon on the pasta, and top with chopped parsley.

Serves 4-6