Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Tag Archives: lemon

Mussels In Spicy Tomato Sauce

I’m going to share something weird about myself with you today.  There are many weird things about myself, so this is really just one of them. I hate clams.  Don’t even eat an oyster in front of me.  Blech!

But, I LOVE mussels, and this is my most favorite way to eat them.  Simmered in some butter, wine and garlic isn’t bad either, but in a spicy tomato sauce will always be my first choice.

We made a large bowl of these and sat out on the deck just picking them clean. Delish!

MUSSELS IN SPICY TOMATO SAUCE:

  • 2 lbs. Cleaned Live Mussels **See below how to clean mussels
  • 1 – 24 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • 4 Cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
  • 10 – 12 Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Oregano, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt, to taste

Begin the tomato sauce in a large skillet.  Add the oil, onion and garlic and sauté until just before the garlic begins to brown.

Add the wine and mix well, scraping up the bottom of the pan. 

Add the crushed tomatoes, red pepper flakes, oregano and salt to taste.  Stir well, place on simmer and cover, stirring occasionally so you don’t burn the bottom of the sauce.

Go through the bag of mussels and discard any mussels that have cracked and broken shells.  If you have any mussels that are slightly open, don’t discard them right away by assuming they are dead.  Tap the mussel several times.  If it’s still alive it will close immediately.  If it doesn’t close after a few taps, discard the mussel since it’s no longer alive.

In a large bowl filled with cold water (I actually use 1/2 of my double-sided sink), cover the mussels with cold water and allow to soak for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain the mussels and remove the beards. The beard is a tough stringy substance stuck on the outside of some of the mussels. Grasp the edge of the beard and pull down firmly towards the hinge of the mussel and remove.

Scrub the outside of each mussel with a hard brush to remove any debris or barnacles on the outside of each shell.  Place in a colander and give them a final rinse under cold water and set to the side for a few minutes.

Add your fresh basil to the tomato sauce, stir well, and prepare to add your mussels.  Add all the mussels to the tomato sauce, stir gently and cover immediately.  Keep covered for 3 minutes.  Remove the cover, give another gentle stir, cover and allow to cook for an extra 3 to 4 minutes.  You don’t want to over cook these for any longer than a total of 7 minutes or the muscles will turn tough and chewy. 

Once done, remove any mussels that did not open and discard.  Take the remaining mussels and gently spoon them into a large dish and cover with sauce.  Serve with some sliced lemon for squeezing, sit back and enjoy.

Make sure to use that crusty Italian bread to soak up all that delicious sauce.

You could always serve these over some cooked spaghetti, but I prefer them just the way they are.

  

Pork Milanese & A Giveaway

UPDATE:

The contest has ended, and thanks to Random.Org a winner was selected.  Lisa from Sweet As Sugar Cookies was the #8 comment that was randomly selected.  Lisa has been notified and responded with her information and will be receiving her prize from My Blog Spark.  Thanks to everyone for entering!

 

I think by now I’ve made it abundantly clear that I’m a lemon and lime freak, right?  I’ve shown you various recipes where either of these citrus fruits are a core ingredient and instead of adding the normal amount to the dish I always end up doubling, or even tripling the amount.  I can’t help it.  If a dish calls for lemon or lime I want that to be the dominant flavor.  It’s just the way I am.

Pork Milanese is one of my favorite dishes to cook up for so many reasons.  Besides it being delicious, it’s also simple, quick, and of course, filled with lemon flavor. 

Normally when I bread the pork chops I use seasoned Italian Bread Crumbs. But ever since the wave of Panko has hit the store shelves I find myself either using Panko in place of bread crumbs, or as an accompinament to the breadcrumbs. 

Then of course I add the lemon and heaven begins to sing down on my plate. 

But, Progresso came out with not only their own line of Panko, but a Lemon-Pepper version.  Insane.  When the folks over at My Blog Spark
gave me the opportunity to try out this new Progresso Lemon Pepper Panko I knew just what I wanted to try with it!  To me it was the perfect addition to this dish because it infused even more lemon flavor into the dish.  Not to mention the additional crunch it added to these chops! 

If you are a lemon lover, give this one a try.  It’s easy and delicious!

PORK MILANESE:

Serves 4

  • 4 boneless pork loin chops about 1 1/2″ thick
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups Progresso Lemon-Pepper Panko
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste *see note
  • fresh lemon wedges for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In three shallow bowls or pie plates add the following; one with the Panko and parmesan cheese, one with the egg and milk and one with the flour.

Begin by dredging each pork chop through the flour, then the egg and then the Panko.  Make sure to press the Panko into each chop well.   Allow the chops to rest on a plate for a few minutes.

In a heavy cast iron pan (or other frying pan that is safe for oven use), add the oil and butter and allow to heat up. 

Once hot, fry each pork chop on each side until golden brown. Once done, transfer the pan to the oven and allow to cook for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked through.

Serve immediately with lots of fresh lemon wedges!

*Note* I recommend using any additional salt and pepper in this dish sparingly.  The Panko and the parmesan cheese really already has enough salt in them.  I actually didn’t find the need to add any additional salt or pepper to this dish before or after cooking. 

Enjoy!

Now for the giveaway!

Thanks to the wonderful folks over at My Blog Spark
and General Mills, they’ve made this giveaway possible.  And they not only sent a gift of each of these to me, but they will send another to one of my readers who wins!

If you’ve ever watched Michael Chiarello on Food Network you know all about the beautiful food he serves up.  He has a new cookbook out and you get the opportunity to win an autographed copy of it, along with a package of Progresso’s Lemon-Pepper Panko.  This cookbook is gorgeous and BIG.  There is definitely something for everyone in here to enjoy.  It’s gorgeous. 

 What do you need to do to win?  Simple.  You have the opportunity to enter twice each day during the duration of the giveaway.   I’m running this giveaway for a week so that gives you up to 14 chances to enter.

HOW TO ENTER EACH DAY: 

  1. Each day leave one comment telling me what you are eating that day or what you wish you were eating that day!
  2. Each day Tweet about this giveaway and leave me one comment with the link to your Tweet each day.
  3. Be sure to include your email address with EACH entry on EACH day so I can contact you if you win!

THE RULES:

  1. This contest for residents in the Continental United States only. 
  2. The winner will be contacted within two days of the close of the giveaway and will have two days to contact me via email with their mailing information so their package can be mailed out.  Failure to do this within that time frame will result in my picking a new winner.
  3. Your prize will be sent to you from My Blog Spark, not Bored Cook in the Kitchen.  Please allow a few weeks for delivery.
  4. No entries after 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, November  18, 2010.
  5. The winner will be randomly selected within two days of the close of the giveaway.

Disclosure:  This giveaway was generously provided through My Blog Spark and General Mills.  Neither My Blog Spark or General Mills is paying me for this review or giveaway.  Michael Chiarello has no idea I’m offering this giveaway or who I am, but I think he’s cute!

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Parmesan Couscous Salad

This was my lunch the other day and it was just what I was craving.  Simple, tasty, and something you can do with whatever you choose.  There are no measurements for this dish because it’s pretty much just a catch-all for whatever fresh produce you have on hand and want to throw in and mix up.  Simple!

PARMESAN COUSCOUS SALAD:

  • (1) 5.9 oz. Box Near East Parmesan Instant Couscous prepared according to package directions making sure to use the olive oil and not butter when preparing.
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon (or a whole lemon if you are a lemon lover like me)
  • 1/2 seeded, peeled and diced cucumber
  • 8 to 9 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
  • Couple tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley
  • Handful or two of torn baby spinach leaves
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

After cooking the couscous according to the package directions, fluff with a fork and then refrigerate until cool.

Add couscous to a large bowl, add in all remaining ingredients and mix together.  Serve immediately.

You can switch this up with some lime juice and fresh cilantro. 

Add some vinegar in place of the lemon and top with some feta cheese. 

The possibilities are endless. 

Enjoy!

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Lemon Basil Pasta

You may remember me mention on here, a few million times once or twice, how much I love lemon and lime.  I am a lemon and lime addict, and I’m not afraid to say it.  I’ve also mentioned that my two most favorite fresh herbs to cook with are basil and cilantro.  Both of which are growing in my garden at this very moment.

When I saw this recipe, and the beautiful photos that accompanied it, I knew I had to make it.  Lemon Basil Pasta.  Please, it has to be good!  But it wasn’t good, instead it was fantastic!

There is more than just the lemon and basil.  And trust me, the lemon in this dish is off the hook!  Fresh lemon juice, lemon rind, fresh basil, fresh garlic, red bell pepper, olive oil, parmesan, white wine, and some chicken broth.  Oh a dash of cream.  Delicious is what this spells out.  It’s light and full of flavor.  Perfect for a hot summer night.

And not that I would know this or anything, I’m just guessing really, but this pasta is even good cold.  I mean if you were to say have already packed up the leftovers and placed them in the fridge, and then at around 10 p.m. that night decided to steal a little for a light nosh while you were surfing the web, you would know this.  Not that I know this.  You wouldn’t catch me eating out of the fridge at 10 p.m. I’m just ummmm…guessing it would be good.  At that time of night.  Cold.

So how can you make this dish?  You can visit Karen at her blog Our Life In the Kitchen .  If you’ve never been to her blog than you must visit.  She’s a midwife, a photographer, and a fantastic cook.  Her recipes alone will blow you away, but her beautiful step by step photography for making each dish will finally do you in. 

In making this dish I did make a few changes.  I’m not going to give you the recipe here, but I will tell you what I did differently. 

First, the recipe calls for red bell pepper, which I realized I had none of.  But, I did have roasted red peppers, so I substituted them instead.   I used the juice and rind of two fresh lemons – she tells you to use two or three – and two fresh lemons were all I had on hand.  And the recipe called for snow peas, something else I realized too late I did not have on hand.  Next time.  Oh, and I used the mini bow ties instead of the regular size.  I picked up the wrong box at the store, but to be honest, they were kinda cute.

The option to add some cream at the end is up to you.  I opted to add in about 1/4 cup and it was just perfect.

This is easily one of my most favorite new pasta dishes.  I can see this being on my table several more times this summer.

Thanks, Karen!  This one gets a gold star from this lemon lover!

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