Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year and Thank You!!

Just thought I would send everyone a quick note. First I want to wish everyone the best of luck, health and happiness for the upcoming year. At my house there have been many changes over the last couple of years, some of them brought on by fate and others brought on by me. Some of them have been for the better and the others… let’s just say the jury is still out. It seems to me that everything happens for a reason, and almost always change has improved my life. I hope it has with yours as well. So cheers to 2011!!! May it be a wonderful year for everyone.
Second, I really want to thank everyone who has been following this little blog, from the bottom of my heart I really do appreciate it!!! I have been writing it for almost six months now, and boy have I learned a lot. Looking back to when I first started I didn’t have a clue to what I was doing…I just thought I would start a blog and that was that. Then I started reading other blogs and discovered that my work was cut out for me. So I have been trying to improve it every day. Thank you for bearing with me!!!
In 2011 I will be making many changes to Pantry Blogger in hopes of making it more user friendly, and providing quality content. So please hold tight as I make these changes all the while I will be thinking of all of you, making it a better experience. So if anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to drop me a line. Either leave a comment in the blog or just email me.


Thank You
Paul Jennette - The Pantry Blogger

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sautéed Salmon with Asparagus and wilted Greens

Wow, did I really need something healthy to eat. For some weird reason I have bogging myself down with complex carbs lately…could the holidays be to blame??  I think yes. So every time I’m craving something healthy I always seem to reach for Salmon with some assortment of greens. And this was just the ticket last night, as a result I feel about ten pounds lighter this morning!!
This recipe is easy to make and clean up (two pans). It took me about fifteen minutes to prep and cook. It was light and flavorful, with a hint of Asian flare. I really did feel much better after eating, until I decided to have some ice cream…just couldn’t resist after all it’s still the holiday season.
Salmon- 4 (six ounce pieces)
Asparagus- 1 pound (pencil thin, small dice)
Mixed greens- 4 ounces
Sesame oil- 4 tbsp (divided)
Sunflower kernels- 2 tbsp cup
Salt &Pepper- to taste
Blackened seasoning- 2 tbsp (optional)

Method to the Madness

1)      Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat; add 2 tbsp of the Sesame oil. Sprinkle the blackened seasoning over the Salmon and cook for 3 minutes per side or until done. If you are leaving out the blackening just season with salt & pepper.
2)      While the salmon is cooking, in another sauté pan over medium high heat add the remaining oil. Add the asparagus and cook for 4 minutes until AL dente. Add the mixed greens and cook for another 2 minutes, until just wilted. Season with salt & pepper and toss with the sunflower kernels.
 3)     ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Two appetizers for the price of one

Well I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday and is ready for the New Year!! Today I’m giving you a very versatile recipe. Crab cakes and Crab in Phyllo cups, both can be served hot and the Crab in Phyllo can be served cold. Both can be made hours ahead of time and be reheated in the oven.

 Ingredients for the Cakes
Crab meat - 2 pounds (lump)
Cilantro - 3 tbsp (chopped) + 2 tbsp for garnish
Bread crumbs - 2 cups (seasoned with a tsp of each salt & pepper)
Dijon mustard - 1 tbsp
Mayo - 1 cup
White pepper - 1 tbsp
Green pepper - ½ cup (minced for garnish)
Red pepper - ½ cup (minced for garnish)
Phyllo cups- 30 (store bought)
Method to the Madness
1)      In a large mixing bowl add the mayo, Dijon, cilantro, and white pepper and mix well. Add the crab meat and carefully fold it in, breaking it up as little as possible. On a separate plate spread out the bread crumbs.
2)      Shape the crab meat into 5 ounce cakes (think burgers). Lightly bread each side of the cakes, coating evenly. Refrigerate the breaded cakes for at least 1 hour – over night would be even better.
3)      Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Sauté the cakes until golden brown on both sides. You can do this ahead of time and just reheat in an oven set @ 375 for 8-10 minutes.
Ingredients for the Wasabi Aioli
Mayo - 2 cups
Wasabi paste - 1 tube = 2 tbsp
Rice Wine Vinegar - ¼ cup
White pepper - 1 tsp
1)      In a mixing bowl add all the ingredients and combine. Add to a squeeze bottle or a zip-lock bag. Refrigerate until ready for use.
2)      When ready for service, drizzle the aioli over the cake in a criss-cross pattern. If you are using a zip-lock bag just snip a corner and use it like a pastry bag.
3)      ENJOY!!!

·         If you are doing the Crab in Phyllo cups, don’t use the bread crumbs. Serve cold or heat in an oven set @ 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Roasted Pork loin with a Pineapple-Cranberry Sauce

Well it’s Christmas Eve, eve…is everybody ready?? I am- I think at least, but I do have a feeling that there will be at least one more trip to the stores. Hopefully it will be today and NOT tomorrow, I would prefer to stay away from the madness on Christmas Eve.
Today is my last offering of the week; it’s your main course. The flavors of all the recipes I have given you this week really complemented each other perfectly. Best part is you can make the two side dishes, and today’s sauce way ahead of time (I made them in the morning) and reheat them while the roasted pork loin is resting before you slice it.

Happy Holidays from my family to yours!!!!!

Pork loin roast- 3-4 pounds
Dijon mustard- ¾ cup
Rosemary- 1 tsp (dried)
Sage-1 tsp (dried)
Thyme- 1 tsp (dried)
Blackened seasoning- 2 tsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Pepper- 1 tsp
Olive oil- 2 tbsp
Ingredients for the sauce
Crushed Pineapple- 2 eight ounce cans
Brown sugar- 1 cup
Cranberries- ¾ cup (dried, marinated in pomegranate juice)
Chicken broth- 1 cup
Cornstarch- 1 tbsp
Apple cider vinegar- 1 ½ tbsp
Method to the Madness
1)      Preheat the oven to 500. Place your Pork loin in a shallow baking sheet lined with foil. Make criss-cross marks with a paring knife on both sides of the loin. In a mixing bowl combine the oil, Dijon, and spices mix well. Coat the loin with the spice mix and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, over-night if possible.
2)      Remove the loin from the refrigerator and let rest at room temp for 30-40 before placing in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate bake for another 20-30 minutes or until internal temp reads 150. Remove from oven tent with foil and let rest for 12-15 minutes.
3)      Slice and ENJOY!!!
For the Sauce
1)      In a medium sauce pot add the pineapple and the brown sugar, cook over medium high heat for 5-8 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Add the Cranberries.
2)      Whisk together the chicken broth and the cornstarch and add to the pineapple in batches, stirring the entire time. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat add the cider vinegar and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve hot
3)      ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Roasted Brussels sprouts with Cranberries and Vanilla Hazelnut Butter

Yum… Brussels sprouts. Not really, I have to admit that I really haven’t cared for them in a long time nor have I had them in year’s decades. But it seems to me that they are very popular this year. I’ve see the little buggers on a lot of cooking shows and blogs. So as a result I thought I would give them a go…what did I have to lose? I’m an adult now, and you’re supposed to like all foods at this stage of the game – right?? Well surprise, surprise, I really liked them!!
I started the process by gathering ten different recipes and started doing a little mixing and matching. I think I might have created some of the greatest Brussels sprouts in history…at least in my mind. I made them for a little gathering I had on Monday night, (8 people) and much to my delight the serving platter was empty. All gone - I couldn’t believe it, not one sprout left!! Empty plates and platters are always the best sign of how good a dish is.
Brussels sprouts- 2 pounds
Salt- ½ tbsp
Pepper- 1 tbsp
Mango syrup- 4 tbsp
Cranberries- ¾ cup (dried, marinated in pomegranate)
Olive oil- 3 tbsp
Butter- 4 tbsp
Vanilla- 1 tbsp (extract)
Hazelnuts- 1 cup (toasted)
Lime- 1 (zest)
Orange- 1 (zest + the juice)
Method to the Madness
1)      Preheat the oven to 375.Bring the butter to room temp, mix with the vanilla and hazelnuts refrigerate.
2)      In a large mixing bowl add the sprouts, oil, salt and pepper mix well. Add to a medium sized baking pan. Roast in an oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven add the cranberries and the mango syrup, mix well. Return to the oven for another 10-12 minutes. Cooking until tender.
3)      Remove them from the oven and toss with the hazelnut butter, lime & orange zest and juice. Place them on your favorite holiday platter.
4)      ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Potatoes Au Gratin

Today starts a new series of three posts all having to do with a Holiday feast. Christmas Eve, Christmas day or New Years Eve would be perfect; I’ll leave that up to you. First up are potatoes Au gratin then roasted Brussels sprouts, and finally roasted pork tenderloin. You will have all three recipes by Thursday morning, giving you 24-36 hours of time to get everything you need. If you would like any of recipes early just drop me a comment and I will email them to you.

Potatoes- 1 ½ pound (sliced ¼ inch thick)
Gruyere- ¾ cup + 1 cup
Parmesan- ¾ cup + 1 cup
Heavy cream- 1 quart
Salt & white pepper- to taste
Flour- 1 cup
Butter- 1 cup
Milk- 1 pint (whole)
Bacon fat- ¼ cup
Nutmeg- 1 ½ tsp
Chives- ½ cup (chopped)
Method to the Madness
1)      Preheat the oven to 350. In a large sauce pot melt butter over medium high heat. Add the flour making a roux and cook for 2-3 minutes, thoroughly incorporating the butter and flour. Slowly add the Milk in batches. About ¾ cup at a time, do the same for the heavy cream. All the while stirring the entire time, should be smooth and creamy. Add the bacon fat. Bring to a simmer for 5-7 minutes; it will coat the back of a spoon when done, and run off slowly.
2)       Add the nutmeg, ¾ cup of Gruyere and ¾ cup of Parmesan cheese. Mix well and simmer for another 5-7 minutes. Incorporating the cheese until smooth and melted. Season with salt & white pepper.
3)      Spray an 11 by 15 baking dish with cooking spray. Add a layer of the sliced potatoes and cover with the cheese. Continue these processes until potatoes are gone, leaving about 2 inches from the top of the baking dish. Add the cheese sauce. And bake for 1 hour, until the top turns golden brown.
4)      Garnish with the chives and serve hot.
5)      ENJOY!!