Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Candied Grape Tomatoes

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My Candied Grape Tomatoes are so delicious. They’re great in salads, a garnish for soups, over chicken or steak. even a nice piece of halibut. These little jewels are a staple in my frig and so easy to make.

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Candied Tomatoes

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 1/2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Yields: 16 ounces
Equipment: 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, 2 (8-ounce) jelly jars, large mixing bowl
Shelf life: 7 days

Ingredients:
2 pints of halved grape tomatoes
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon extra-fine sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300-degrees F.

Start by halving grape tomatoes. In a large mixing bowl add the halved tomatoes, olive oil, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Spread the grape tomatoes out into one even layer on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Slow-roast the tomatoes for 2 1/2 hours. Once out of the oven and still hot, sprinkle extra-fine sugar over the top, gently toss to coat. Allow the Candied Grape Tomatoes to cool completely before placing them into tightly sealed jelly jars and right into the refrigerator. These sweet little gems will be ready whenever you need them.

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Philly Cheesesteak Dip

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The Philly Cheesesteak has to be one of the most loved sandwiches today. Now think about those flavors in a dip. Set this dip out at one of your parties and I promise you it will be the first dish to disappear.

The type of steaks I’m using are top sirloin fillets. They’re nice and lean and great for this dish. The first thing that I do for this recipe is to make the steaks in advance. If you can, the night before would be ideal. The reason is after they’ve finished cooking, you want the steaks to be cold and firm before cutting them up into bite-size pieces.

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Olive Oil

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shallots

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Chives (2)

Chives (2)

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes (times may vary slightly)
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: large mixing bowl, 1 (1-quart) casserole dish, 1 (8-inch) sautépan, 1 (12-inch) cast-iron skillet

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
2 (4-ounce) Top sirloin filet steaks, cooked, cooled, and diced into bite-size pieces (reserve 1/4 cup of cooled diced steak for the top)

1/2 cup of shallots, finely diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of good mayonnaise, room temperature
1 (8-ounce) bar of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 a cup of Provolone cheese, freshly grated
3/4 cup of shredded whole milk Mozzarella cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for the top)
1 tablespoon minced chives for the topping plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Start by buttering the casserole dish.

Next, you want to pat dry both sides of the steaks. Rub both sides of each steak with olive oil. Season both sides of the steaks with garlic powder, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper. Also, it’s important to remember to let your steaks come to room temperature before you set them into a hot pan.

First, make sure your overhead fan is on while you sear the steak(s). Preheat a cast-iron skillet on high. You want the skillet to be smoking hot for searing. Place the steak into the skillet and let sizzle for 1 to 2 minutes, then flip over and sear for another 1 minute.

Immediately transfer the skillet into the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature is between 125 and 130-degrees F., medium-rare is ideal. Pull the steaks out of the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes before placing them into the frig for at least one hour.

Note: Refrigeration allows the steak to be cold before dicing them into bite-size pieces.

While the steaks are in the frig, go ahead and get started working on the ingredients for the dip. Dice red onion, and red and yellow bell peppers. In a small sautèpan, on medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the diced red onion, red and yellow diced bell peppers. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper for around 3 to 5 minutes, or until they’re just tender. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Set them aside reserving a 1/4 cup for the top of the dip. You want to also reserve 1/4 cup of the cooked and cooled diced steak too.

Next, prepare the base mixture for the dip.

In a large mixing bowl add the mayo, shredded Provolone cheese, full-fat cream cheese, shredded Mozzarella cheese, and a tablespoon of Montreal steak seasoning. Next, add in the cooled diced veggies along with the diced steak.

 Mix all the ingredients together. Using a spatula, transfer the mixture into a one-quart buttered casserole dish. Spread the mixture out evenly into the baking dish.

Next, sprinkle the shredded Mozzarella cheese all over the top. Take the reserved veggies and steak and push them slightly into the dip allowing them to show through the top. Sprinkle with chives. Bake uncovered for around 25 to 30 minutes until bubbly and the cheese is light golden brown on top.

Finally, after the Philly Cheesesteak Dip comes out of the oven, sprinkle with more of the minced chives and Italian flat-leaf parsley.

Serve with some homemade tortilla chips for dipping.

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Scalloped Potato Gratin

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Making a Scalloped Potato Gratin is so easy and so incredibly delicious that you’ll want to make them all the time. The flavor options are endless. One of my favorite gratin potato dishes is to add roasted Poblano peppers. They give the dish a slightly smokey flavor.

Today, I’m making them with thinly sliced onions. Let me show you a few simple steps to making a Scalloped Potato Gratin.

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Onions

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Chives (2)

Chives (2)

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Mac & Cheese (2)

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Off the heat, I add in some fresh chopped chives and freshly grated cheese to the sauce. Here I’m adding a mixture of grated white cheddar and some yellow cheddar for color. I’m saving some back for the top. this way the potato gratin will have a nice golden crust. I make sure to add the cheese in slowly to the sauce, mixing it with a wooden spoon, until all the cheese has melted.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes (includes the parboiling the potatoes)
Cook Time: 1 hour, uncovered
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) saucepot, 2 (3-quart) saucepans, 1 (9 x 9) 2-quart baking dish, box grater, Mandolin, Microplane

Ingredients:
5 cups (2-pound) bag of baby Yukon gold potatoes, parboiled and sliced 1/8-inch thick, 5 cups
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons of butter, unsalted, 3 tablespoons to grease the baking dish
3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 cup of whole milk, warm
1 cup of half-and-half, warm
1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated
3/4 cup of white cheddar, (Cabot) freshly grated
1/4 cup of Colby Jack cheese (Cabot) freshly grated, reserve 1/2 cup for topping
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated for topping
2 tablespoons of fresh chives, minced
1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
First, generously butter the casserole dish.
Second, slice one large onion using a Mandolin and grate the cheese.
Third, parboil the Yukon gold potatoes until just fork tender.

Start by placing the potatoes into a large saucepot. Cover the potatoes with cold water. Over medium heat, bring the potatoes up to a boil. Once they are boiling, add 1 1/2 tablespoon of Kosher salt and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes. Take a paring knife and stick it into the center of one of the largest potatoes. If there is still some resistance removing the knife, that’s fine, turn the heat off. Drain and allow the potatoes to cool before slicing, around 10 minutes.

Note: Time may vary depending on the size of the potatoes.

Once the potatoes have cooled down enough to handle, use a Mandolin to slice the potatoes. Transfer the sliced potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat add half-and-half, whole milk, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Bring the liquid to the *scalding point. Turn the heat off.

In another saucepan over medium-low heat melt 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Once that’s melted, add the flour, Whisk the flour into the butter until paste-like and smooth. Add the warm milk mixture. The liquid will take on a pink hue from the cayenne and paprika. Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens, about 5 to 7 minutes. Don’t rush the process, you’ll know when the sauce has reached the perfect thickness when it coats the back of a spoon. Add the minced chives. Stir to combine.

Place a layer of the potatoes topped with half of the sliced onions. Pour half the milk sauce over the potatoes then top with half the cheese mixture. Repeat doing a second layer the same way, finishing with the remaining sauce and grated cheese mixture. Sprinkle the top with freshly grated Parmesan. Finally, add finely chopped flat-leaf parsley over the top. Bake for 1 hour until bubbly and golden brown. Allow the Scalloped Potato Gratin to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

*Scalded Milk is milk heated to a near boil. Small bubbles will start to appear around the rim of the pot.

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