Friday, October 16, 2009

Pecan - Blue Cheese Chopped Salad

This is close to the salad served at Outback.  Yumm-O!

4 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
⅓ cup chopped green onion
¼ cup shredded carrot
Cinnamon pecans (recipe below)
1 bottle Blue Cheese Vinagrette
Crunchy angel hair pasta (recipe below)
¼ cup crumbled bleu cheese

Mix together and serve!

Cinnamon Pecans
• 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1 teaspoon butter
• ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• dash salt
• ½ cup chopped pecans

Make cinnamon pecans by combining sugar, water, butter, cinnamon and salt in a small pan over medium heat. When mixture begins to bubble, add pecans. Stir constantly until liquid evaporates and sugar begins to crystallize on the nuts. Don’t allow the nuts to smoke or burn. When sugar is crystallized on the nuts, pour them out onto a plate to cool.

Crunchy Angel Hair Pasta
24 pieces of uncooked angel hair pasta
1 cup vegetable oil

To make the crunchy angel hair pasta, bring several cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Break pasta into quarters and boil for two minutes, then strain and rinse with cold water. Bring 1 cup of oil to 325 degrees F.

Fry the pasta in several batches in the oil for 1 minute or until light brown. Drain on paper towels. When the fried pasta is cool, break it into smaller, bite-size pieces.

Broccoli & Gruyere Gratin

2 large bunches broccoli, roughly chopped
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups grated Gruyere

Heat oven to 375. Steam broccoli until just tender. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook (stirring) for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and simmer until slightly thickened, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of cheese, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Toss in broccoli. Transfer to shallow 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until bubbling, 35-40 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Grilled Pork Chops w/ Tomatoes and Garlic

*if you don't like tomatoes, other veggies could easily be substituted

1/2 stick butter - room temperature
1 clove finely chopped garlic
1 tsp. thyme
4 (1" thick) pork chops
2 lbs. cherry tomatoes

Combine butter, thyme, garlic - set aside. Season chops with S&P and grill. Divide tomatoes (or veggies) into 2 foil packets, season with S&P, and grill 8 minutes. Top chops with tomatoes and garlic butter to serve. Mashed potatoes or a side of pasta is great with this! Serves 4