All posts by Julie Boyle

About Julie Boyle

Working Mom-Cook-Hostess-Runner-Happy Wife

Ratatouille

ratatouille

We just got back from an amazing vacation in the South of France and out of all the dinners and lunches we had, the Ratatouille that I had was my stand out favorite.  The restaurant that served it had chopped all the veggies very small and uniform in size, much smaller than what you would typically see.  This really allowed the flavors to blend together.

When I got home I looked up a few recipes on line, there are so many.  A lot have you cook each veggie on it’s own and then add them at the end, that sounded like a lot of extra work and dishes to me.  I just cooked the veggies in order so they would all be done at the same time.  The fresh basil at the end is great.  Add any other fresh herbs you have on hand.

Serve hot or at room temperature. This makes a really big batch.  You will have leftovers for lunch the next day.  Which is what I had today, and it was even better the next day!

Ratatouille
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Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • Olive Oil
  • Large Vidalia onion, diced small
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp herbes de provence
  • Large eggplant, peeled, diced small
  • 4 Small zucchini, seeds removed, diced small
  • 1 Red pepper, diced small
  • 2 Cups finely chopped tomato
  • ½ cup chopped basil
Instructions
  1. In a hot large non stick pan add 2 Tbsp olive oil.
  2. Add the onions and cook at high heat for 5 minutes until they are starting to carmelize.
  3. Add the garlic & herbs de provence and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add 1 Tbsp more olive oil. Add the eggplant and cook for 8 minutes until it is soft and starting to carmelize.
  5. Add the zucchini and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the tomatoes, taste for seasoning (you will likely need to add more) and cook for 5 minutes. Add a little more olive oil if it's starting to stick.
  7. Add the basil, cook for 1-2 minutes until it is wilted.

 

Pineapple BBQ Chicken Skewers

Pineapple BBQ chicken skewers

OMG these were so yummy!!!  The chicken stays really tender after marinating in the BBQ sauce.  Make sure you only partially cook the bacon as it will finish on the grill.

Pineapple BBQ Chicken Skewers
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Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup BBQ sauce
  • 1½ Pounds boneless chicken breast cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 Pineapple cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 8 slices of thick cut bacon
Instructions
  1. Marinate the chicken with ½ cup BBQ sauce for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours.
  2. Partially cook the bacon and slice into 2 inch slices.
  3. Thread 2 pieces of chicken, a piece of bacon, a piece of pineapple and then repeat on the skewers.
  4. Heat a grill to high and cook the skewers on high, brushing with the remaining BBQ sauce.
  5. Total cooking time will be between 8 and 12 minutes depending on your grill.

 

Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork Chops

cuban mojo marinated pork

I am in search of new grilling and marinade recipes.  Sometimes it is easy to get stuck doing the same ol same ol every day.  This marinade is a little sweet and tangy at the same time.  It would also be great on chicken or swordfish.  We all agreed it should be in the rotation!

Cuban Marinated Pork Chops
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Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • ¼ mint
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 8 pork chops
Instructions
  1. Place extra virgin olive oil thru cumin in a food processor and run until it is finely chopped. Add the marinade to a zip lock bag. Add the zest to the bag and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the pork chops and marinate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  3. Grill at high temperature until cooked through, 8- 10 minutes.

 

Horseradish Maple Glaze Turkey Tips

turkey tips

Everyone grills steak, chicken and pork.  Grilled turkey tips are a nice change.  This marinade/glaze is great on pork and chicken too!

Horseradish Maple Glaze Turkey Tips
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Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Pounds Turkey Tenderloin cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1½ cups maple syrup
  • ¼ cup prepared horseradish
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp ancho chile powder
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Combine maple syrup, horseradish, mustard and chile powder. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Put the turkey tips in a ziplock bag. Add ½ of the glaze to the bag and add the olive oil. Seal bag and shake well. Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
  3. Heat a grill on high. Add the tips and brush with the remaining glaze as you cook the tips.

 

Leftover Prime Rib Bolognese

left-over-prime-rib-bolognese

I made a 13 pound, 5 rib prime rib on Christmas for 9 people.  Needless to say, there was quite a bit leftover.  What to do with it?  There wasn’t enough of the lean rare pieces in the middle to make a family meal, I had been thinking maybe stroganoff.  I knew I would make beef stock and French onion soup with the bones but what about all the meat?

Then, I thought, if I saved the lean pieces and ground it up, isn’t that just the most amazing ground beef?  Then the idea of leftover prime rib Bolognese was born.  It was totally delicious, I had all the ingredients on hand and bonus, there was enough leftover to freeze for Lasagna Bolognese.

Leftover Prime Rib Bolognese
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Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Pounds leftover prime rib, beef roast (ground in the food processor) or 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Oz of pancetta or bacon chopped
  • 1 Large onion, chopped fine
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and chopped fine (I use the food processor)
  • 3 Celery sticks, chopped fine
  • 3 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 6 Oz can tomato paste
  • 1 Cup white wine
  • 1 Cup milk
Instructions
  1. Heat a dutch oven on high and add the olive oil. Add the pancetta to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes until it starts to crisp and renders some fat.
  2. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the celery, carrots and garlic to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste, thyme and crushed red pepper if using. Stir well for 1 minute until the tomato paste becomes fragrant. Add the wine to the pan and simmer for 3 minutes until it starts to reduce.
  5. Add the milk to the pan and stir well.
  6. Add the ground prime rib to the pan, season with salt and pepper and stir well. Place the lid almost all on the top of the pan (crack it a little or it will overflow) and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for one hour.
  7. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
  8. Serve with your favorite pasta. I prefer fresh pappardele or fettuccine.
  9. Leftovers can be stored in the freezer for 6 months.

 

Caprese Chicken

caprese-chicken

Caprese Chicken
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Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 Slices Provolone
  • 2 Slices Proscuitto
  • 2 Tbsp pesto
  • 1 Tomato sliced thin, seasoned with salt & pepper
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350.
  2. Slice the chicken breast vertical to form a "book", fold open.
  3. Spread the pesto on the chicken.
  4. Add the prosciutto, then the tomatoes, then the provolone.
  5. Fold the chicken back together (close the book) and season well on both sides with salt & pepper.
  6. Heat a non stick pan and coat the pan with olive oil.
  7. Cook the chicken on both sides for 5 minutes until golden brown. Place the chicken on a cookie sheet and finish in the oven for 10-15 more minutes until chicken is cooked through.

 

Perfect BLT

Perfect BLT

Ah, there is nothing like August tomatoes in New England.  I wait all year for this moment and have to eat tomatoes every day for almost every meal.  A BLT is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the first perfect delicious summer tomato.  Please, do not get cute with your BLT.  This is not the time to be making fancy sauces or adding un-necessary ingredients.

A perfect BLT is:

  • White Bread (sorry, no exceptions) perfectly toasted, not too light, not too dark.  I prefer Pepperidge Farm white.
  • A thickly sliced local (not purchased at the grocery store!!!) farm tomato.  Season with salt and pepper on BOTH sides.
  • 3 Slices of perfectly cooked bacon.
  • A dab of your favorite mayo.  Sorry, light or low fat mayo is not acceptable in this situation.
  • A slice of iceburg lettuce, preferably purchased at the same farm you got the tomato at.  Sorry, once again, spring mix, etc. is not acceptable here.

If you follow these rules, you will enjoy one of summers simplest pleasures :)

Strawberry Jalapeno Margaritas

Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita

We went to St. Thomas in February and when I saw Strawberry Jalapeno margaritas on the menu, I had to try it!  I don’t like the frozen super sweet margaritas, I like to taste the tequila.  The strawberries add just the right amount of sweetness (plus the pink is so pretty!) and the jalapeno adds some nice heat.  They are a bit of an effort to make as you have to hand squeeze the strawberries but it’s worth the effort :)  Cheers!

Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita
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Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 4 Jiggers of your favorite tequila
  • 2 Jiggers of Cointreau
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp of simple syrup
  • 10 strawberries
  • 1 jalapeno
  • Margarita salt, optional
  • ice
Instructions
  1. Add the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker.
  2. With your hands, squeeze the juice from 8 of the strawberries into the cocktail shaker. You want the color to be quite pink. Depending on how ripe your strawberries are, you made need more than 8.
  3. Rim the glasses with salt if you like and add ice to the glasses. Slice the 2 remaining strawberries and add to the glasses. Slice the jalapeno very thin and add 1 to the glass if you are afraid of the heat, up to 4 or 5 if you like the heat.
  4. Vigorously shake the margaritas and pour into the prepared glasses.