Friday, November 9, 2012

Whiskey & Apple BBQ Sauce

I love cooking with seasonal foods (I'm sure I have said this a million times) but Fall foods are my favorite to cook with.  Apples are so versatile and tasty, while I love apples I don't usually like that sweet savory flavor but this recipe (adapted from Wholesome Ireland )has given me hope for the sweet savory world.  While the origins of BBQ sauce are unclear lets just say that this is a good old American sauce. I made this during a recent weekend and my boyfriend and I took a lovely Fall walk while we waited for the apples to reduce into the sauce.  We used this sauce on super yummy pork ribs, pork and apple goes so well together.  I am so glad that it is Friday this week has been very long and I haven't gotten much sleep.  Plan for the weekend: go bowling, make a time capsule, cook, and relax. Happy Friday!

The Ingredients

3 medium yellow onions
3 medium Fuji or Gala Apples
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 1/2 shots whiskey (I used old crow)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 cups water
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/8 cup Worchestire sauce
1/8 cup tomato paste
a little ketchup (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

The Process

1)  Peel and chop the onions finely.

2)  Put the saucepan on the hob and heat to a medium heat with the sunflower oil inside.

3)  Fry the onions gently until they are soft. This does take a while but you’re better taking your time here. It normally takes me about 10 minutes until they are soft.

4)  Peel and core the apples then chop into chunks. You don’t need to chop them finely as they break down easier than the onions. Add apples to the saucepan and stir well for another 5 minutes.

5)  Pour in the whiskey and brown sugar.  Stir well until you get a dark brown sticky sauce.

 6)  Finally add the cider vinegar, water, tomato paste, Worchestire sauce, garlic, ketchup, and salt and pepper.

7)  Put the lid on the saucepan, bring the sauce to a slow simmer and leave simmering for 1 hour.

8)  After 1 hour it is ready to use immediately.

If you want to keep it for another day pour into a sterilise jar and seal once cool then refrigerate.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bacon and Fried Tomatillo Pimento Grilled Cheese

One recent lovely Fall evening I went to hangout with my good friend Rebecca (here is her amazing cooking blog) and we decided to make Bacon and Fried Tomatillo Pimento Grilled Cheese.  We both love pimento cheese spread so so so much!  We actually made the Pimento Cheese Spread that is posted on my blog and fried our tomatillos just like my Fried Green Tomatoes recipe.  But first we cooked the bacon and kept the extra grease in the pan to then fry our tomatillos and then to grill our sandwiches.  We assembled the sandwiches with a layer of pimento cheese spread, bacon, fried tomatillos, more pimento cheese spread and then the top slice of the bread.  We then grilled these massive sandwiches in the cast iron pan.  We used thick and sturdy rye bread which combined very well with the other ingredients.  I would definitely suggest making these glutinous amazing sandwiches!  Today I am writing this post in honor of Rebecca because at 1:33am she gave birth to a baby boy!!!  Congrats to the three of them, and surely her son will one day have to have one of these wonderous sandwiches!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mushroom and Fennel Pie

I love cooking with fennel it adds a whole new dimension of flavor to whatever dish it is in, and I have a ton of it in the garden right now. Speaking of Fall vegetables here is an awesome link to Bon Appetit's page "cooking with Fall vegetables." I adapted this recipe from ezrapoundcake blog. I made this recipe after going on a wonderful Fall evening hike with my mother so I was ready for a hardy dish such as this.

Serves 5

The Ingredients
1 pound of russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons milk (fat free)
1 tablespoon butter
1 large fennel bulb, roughly cut
1 large carrot, sliced
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon parsley
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
4 oz feta
8 oz cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, granulated
1 crown broccoli, chopped
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

The Process
1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.) Cook potatoes in salted boiling water for 15 minutes, until tender. Then drain and mash. While potatoes are still hot mix in the milk and butter.

3.) Cook fennel and carrot in salted boiling water for 7 minutes, drain and set aside.

4.) Heat some olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, when hot add onions and cook for 10 minutes or until they start to brown.

5.) Then add garlic, broccoli, mushrooms, parsley, and season with salt and pepper.

6.) In a greased casserole baking dish sprinkle half of the bread crumbs in the bottom. Add half of the mushroom and onion mixture (spread each layer evenly). Next layer half of the carrot and fennel mixture. Next layer add half of each of the cheeses and then layer half of the potatoes. Repeat one more time and sprinkle the top layer of potatoes with Parmesan cheese.

7.) Bake for 25 minutes and then broil for about 5 minutes to brown the top.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Yams

I love cooking in the Fall because of all the amazing veggies, winter squashes and potatoes. Recently my boyfriend and I made an amazing dinner with two of our very good friends who are about to move far far away. Jim brought over a very tasty Italian style Kobe beef brisket, so I decided to make kale and roasted yams to accompany it. I make roasted yams often and I make them a different way almost every time, but this time I decided I need to stick with the recipe I created because of how delicious they turned out. This recipe is healthy and easy to make.

Serves 5

The Ingredients
3 large yams, peeled and cut into bit size chunks
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1/8 cup brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons olive oil (add more if needed to fully coat yam chunks)
Salt and pepper to taste

The Process
1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Oil a large sheet pan (cookie sheet).

2.) In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients until yams chunks are thoroughly coated.

3.) Spread yams out in a single layer on the sheet pan. Bake for about 25 minutes or until yams are brown and almost burnt (roasted).

Friday, August 24, 2012

Steak Au Poivre

It has been an exciting week for me here in Portland!  I got a wonderful new job, I am the new librarian for the Oregon Department of Forestry and I saw some family friends whom I haven't seen in probably 10 years.  Last night we had a big family event down at the sailing club that my parents belong to and we ate lots of good food, played catch up with our family friends who were in town, and of course went sailing.  Although it was a great week I am still happy that it is Friday, here is to a sunny and relaxing weekend at the beach.  As for this recipe it is almost the exact same sauce that I made for the Pork Au Poivre and it was a great sauce poured over the mashed potatoes I paired with the dish.  It is a nice low fat sauce too that adds lots of yummy flavor.

Serves 3

The Ingredients
3 petit sir loin steaks
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup red wine (dry)
1 teaspoon Dijon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon tomato paste
Salt and Pepper
Cooking Spray

The Process
1.  Turn grill onto hot and let heat up.  In the mean time heat a medium skillet up over medium-high heat.  Salt and pepper the steaks.

2.  Add cooking spray to pan when hot and sear steaks for 1 minute each side and transfer to the grill and grill for about 3 minutes each side for medium rare.

3.  Take the same skillet and add beef broth, red wine, 1/4 teaspoon salt, Dijon, and tomato paste.  Whisk continually while you bring the mixture to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute and then reduce the heat to medium heat and keep whisking for 4 minutes until sauce starts to thicken.  The sauce reduces to about a half a cup.  Serve sauce over steak and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Parsnip Garlic Mashed Potatoes

The second wedding I am in this summer is approaching quickly and this upcoming weekend I am headed out with a bunch of my girls for the bride's first bachelorette party.  We are headed to Rockaway Beach and have fun adventures planned along the way.  I love Oregon because of the fact that one weekend I can be at the coast in an hour and a half and the next weekend I can be up on the mountain in the same amount of time, I definitely love living in a state with diverse climates.  On a different note I recently tried a new machine at the gym, it is a machine that simulates rowing and holy crap my back is so sore but I still would recommend it.  This is a recipe I created recently and they might be the best mashed potatoes I have had in a long time.  Enjoy.

Serves 3

The Ingredients
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped in half
1/2 cup sour cream (fat-free)
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons butter (salted)
1/2 cup beef broth
Salt and Pepper

The Process
1.  In a large pot bring water to a boil and add parsnips, garlic, and potatoes to the pot.  Boiling for about 15 minutes or until the parsnips and potatoes are soft enough to mash.

2.  In the meantime chop up green onions and parsley and set aside.

3.  When potatoes, garlic, and parsnips are ready drain them and put into a medium glass bowl and mash them with a potato masher.  Then add butter, sour cream, beef broth, Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.

4.  Right before serving add the green onions and parsley to the mash and mix well and serve.

This is a semi-healthy recipe minus the butter and Parmesan cheese which you could easily leave out and the mash would still taste amazing.  I also served this with Steak Au Poivre the recipe will follow this one.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chicken and Chickpea Salad

I feel like I have been pretty lucky lately with how many adventures I've been going on this Summer.  I just got back from the wonderful Timothy Lake family camping trip and now this weekend my boyfriend and I are headed down to Eugene, Oregon for my boyfriend's sister's engagement party.  I love Eugene because I always become nostalgic due to my college days at University of Oregon, go Ducks!  In another light I'm onto the "being creative in the kitchen" again due to my lack of fresh groceries, although the garden does supply me with some fresh veggies such as the swiss chard I used in this recipe.  I created this recipe from all the odds and ends in my refrigerator and I was going for healthy, protein packed, and a little bit spicy.  Enjoy!

Serves 2

The Ingredients
1 large chicken breast, cut into 1-in. cubes
1 15oz can chickpeas, drained
2 cups swiss chard, chopped
3/4 cup yellow onion, minced
1 small Serrano pepper, minced 
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 cup fat free feta cheese
Black pepper

The Process
1.  Spray a skillet with cooking spray and warm up over medium heat.  When hot add chicken, 1/4 cup yellow onion, garlic salt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and some black pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until chicken chunks are cooked through.  Once these are done put in freezer for 10 minutes to cool off.

2.  At the same time steam swiss chard for 45 seconds and then put into freezer for 10 minutes to cool off.

3.  In the mean time in a medium bowl add chickpeas, 1/2 cup yellow onion, and Serrano pepper and set aside.

4.  In a small bowl mix together salt, olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar, garlic, and pepper to taste. 

5.  When chicken and swiss chard have cooled add then to the chickpea mixture.  Also add the Dijon/lemon dressing.  And then add feta cheese, mix well and then put in refrigerator for 25 minutes to cool. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Grilled Steak with Tapenade

First of all my mom and I had our 2012 Pickle Fest this past weekend and it was awesome.  We didn't have time to pre-order our pickling cucumbers so we went to the Beaverton Farmers Market early Saturday morning and we ended up getting some amazingly small and perfect cucumbers for our day of pickling.  We only pickled 35 lbs this year but I think it will be enough for the year, in the past we have done 50 lbs of cucumbers and that is definitely a longer day.  From shopping to jar lids popping it took us 6 hours and I had fun every second of it.  In other news it is still very hot here in Portland, Oregon so I continue making lighter meals.  I adapted this recipe that came from the Food Network site and I will definitely make it again because it was so refreshing and delicious.

Serves 2

The Ingredients
2 petit sirloin steaks 
1 medium shallot
2 cloves garlic
1/2 sprig rosemary
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, halved
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and Pepper

The Process
1.  Preheat a grill or grill pan to high. Pulse the olives, shallot, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons olive oil and the juice of 1/2 lemon in a food processor; season with salt and pepper.

2.  Pierce the steaks all over with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Rub 1 heaping tablespoon olive mixture all over the steak, then set aside, about 10 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, toss the remaining olive mixture with the tomatoes, parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the juice of the remaining 1/2 lemon in a small bowl.

4.  Grill the steaks until browned on one side, about 7 minutes. Flip and cook about 7 more minutes for medium rare.

5.  Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.  Thinly slice the steaks against the grain and top with the olive-tomato tapenade.

Per serving: Calories 361; Fat 26 g (Saturated 6 g); Cholesterol 43 mg; Sodium 283 mg; Carbohydrate 7 g; Fiber 1 g; Protein 25 g

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cod and Goat Cheese Tacos with Sweet Slaw

I love cooking with my mom we always try new things or we get creative with what is in the refrigerator, this evening we got creative and it turned out super delicious.  In other news my mother and I are also preparing for Pickle Fest 2012.  Pickle Fest is when we make 40lbs of pickles, we have been doing it for years because pickles are just so wonderful!  It is a secret recipe that my mother obtained after years of making these pickles with her neighbor and it is secret for a reason, because it may be one of the best spicy dill pickle recipes ever.  My family, boyfriend, and I are also preparing for a fun camping trip that we leave for on Sunday.  Since I was a child my family and I have been going to Timothy Lake and camping there for a week, I look forward to it every summer.  Because of work schedules and such my boyfriend and I are only able to go for a couple nights, but it will be a blast! Please enjoy these wonderful fish tacos created by my mother and I.

Serves 2

The Ingredients
1/2 pound cod, about 1 inch thick
2 cups of green cabbage, shredded
2 oz herb goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 yellow or red onion, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped finely
1 carrot grated
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 garlic powder
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 black pepper
4 corn tortillas
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon agave
1 tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
Lime wedges for serving

The Process
1.  In a small bowl mix together the apple cider vinegar and agave and set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl mix together cabbage, carrot, onion, cilantro, and tomato.  Then add the vinegar/agave mixture and toss well.  Salt and pepper to taste.

3.  In a shallow bowl mix flour, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Then take the cod piece and coat it in the flour mixture. 

4.  Heat and oil a medium size skillet over medium-high heat, when hot add the cod to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes each side or until cooked through.

5.  To assemble tacos start with fish on tortilla, then add goat cheese, then sweet slaw, and you can top the tacos with hot sauce like I did. 

These tacos are on the healthier side but I don't have the nutritional facts for them because I created the recipe.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Asian Bulgur and Turkey Burgers

What a weekend!  This past weekend one of my best friends in the entire world got married in Yachats, Oregon which is on the coast.  Now the Oregon coast isn't known for its amazing weather by any means but we sure lucked out.  It was 81 degrees which maybe happens about once or twice a summer here in Oregon.  Not only was the weather beautiful but during the ceremony (which was right on the coast line) there was an entire pod of humpback whales that swam by!  It was as if the entire world was in harmony at once.  Not to mention the bride and groom were so beautiful and lovely and awesome.  Another part that I loved about this wedding was the food, it was catered by Yumm Cafe.  Now Yumm Cafe is so so tasty, it seems like a simple idea but it is all about the sauce and the bride and I used to live in Eugene when we went to college and we probably ate Yumm Cafe at least 3 times a week, so not only was it delicious but it was very much nostalgic.  On another note recently I made this wonderful and healthy recipe (from Food  network) on another hot summer night.  It was so very filling and refreshing and different. So eat up!

Serves 3

The Ingredients
1/4 cup bulgur what
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup of seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
12oz lean ground turkey
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 whole wheat hamburger buns

The Process
1.  In a medium bowl add bulgur and boiling water and cover with plastic wrap and let stand until bulgur is tender about 45min.-1 hour.

2.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk the vinegar and sugar with a generous seasoning of salt and pepper until dissolved.

3.  Then add the cucumber and onion, toss well and set aside to marinate for about 30 minutes.

4.  In a separate small bowl combine the yogurt and chili garlic sauce. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

5.  Drain the bulgur and put into a large bowl. Add the turkey, hoisin, scallions, ginger, garlic and chopped cilantro and mix until just combined. Form into 3 equal sized patties.

6.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until very hot. Lightly brush both sides of each patty with oil and place in the skillet. Cook, turning once, until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

7.  Drain the pickled vegetables and toss with the cilantro. Spread some spicy yogurt sauce on the top and bottom of each bun and top with a burger patty and some pickles.

Nutritional Facts:
Calories 186; Total Fat 4 g (Sat Fat 0.4g, Mono Fat 0.7g, Poly Fat 1.5g) ; Protein 18g; Carb 23g; Fiber 3g; Cholesterol 23mg; Sodium 421mg 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Grilled Chicken Tostadas

I'm back! For some reason I go through periods of time when I don't blog about my cooking, this is the second time it has happened.  It is just so silly because I continue to cook amazing meals and I love blogging about food.  I'm on a major kick of eating healthy because I am in three weddings starting August 4th, got to look good for all the pictures.  The weddings will be a lot of fun because they are three of my best friends and I can't wait to celebrate with them.  In other news I am leaving tomorrow for a four day remote camping trip down at Bryce Creek!  I haven't ever been but my boyfriend says it is a very magical spot with swimming holes and all.  Now onto the food, during a recent summer evening after playing a game of horse my boyfriend and I decided to make Grilled Chicken Tostadas.  I found this adapted recipe on the Food Network website (also where the picture is from because I somehow forgot to take a picture of my own creation) and it is so very tasty and so very healthy.  This is a perfect meal for a hot summer night.

Serves 2

1/2 lime juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 chipotle chili in adobo, roughly

1 large boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes

4 small corn tortillas

1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups mixed greens salad

2 ounces queso fresco crumbled, about 1/3 cup

1 shallot thinly sliced

Cilantro and lime wedges for serving

Cooking spray


The Process
1.  In a medium bowl combine lime juice, chipotle chile, garlic and season with salt.  Add chicken and toss well to coat and refrigerate/marinate for 2 hours.

2.  When chicken is done marinating thread it onto 4 (12 in.) skewers and lightly spray with cooking oil.

3.  Preheat grill to medium and lightly spray tortillas with cooking spray and grill them, about 1-2 minutes per side until lightly toasted.

4.  In the meantime put the chicken skewers and whole tomatillos on grill.  Cook tomatillos till charred and the chicken until it is cooked through, about 4-6 minutes.

5.  Remove chicken from skewers and coarsely chop tomatillos and season with olive oil and salt to taste.

6.  Put tortillas on plate and generously top with mixed greens, tomatillos, chicken, queso fresco, shallot, and cilantro.  Serve with lime wedge.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 365.5, Fat 11g, Sat. Fat: 2.6g, Protein: 33g, Carbs: 34g, Fiber: 4g

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chicken and Poppy Seed Dumplings

I have been eating this dish since I was a child, my mother use to make it often and it was always delightful.  I love how it is a thicker version of the typical recipe you would find for it and the poppy seeds are a great touch!  Since this recipe is unique and dear to my heart I cannot give it to you, but you can always ask me to make it for you.  The process is a little taxing but well worth the effort.  So while the weather is still cold with some sunny days think of hearty yummy dishes and let these photos inspire you to make chicken and dumplings!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I have been wanting to make this dish for many years.  It is the most perfect and hearty vegetarian meal with so many wonderful flavors.  I adapted the recipe from this website and when I make it again there are some things I will change even more than I already did, but don't get me wrong this recipe is very good.  When I've had this dish at restaurants it is perfection, so saucy but chunky at the same time, this recipe definitely achieves this level.  And if you are living in Portland this is a perfect warm dish for our snowy nights that we are STILL having.  On an other note how was everyone's St. Patty's day? This is the first year in a long time that I didn't cook a single thing for the celebration, while at first I was a little sad about it I got over it quick because I attended a celebration that my boyfriend's family had and the food was AMAZING!  How did I forget how good slow cooked corned beef and cabbage are? yum!

Serves 4

The Ingredients
5 eggs
2 14oz cans of diced tomatoes with juice
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste

The Process
1.  Heat olive oil (about 1 tablespoon) in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes or until onions begin to soften.

2.  Then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Next add the red pepper and cook mixture for 7 minutes.

3.  Then add tomato paste, tomatoes, spices, and sugar (no salt and pepper yet).  Then let simmer over medium heat for 7 minutes.

4.  Then add salt and pepper to taste.  Next crack eggs one at a time over the mixture so that they all are spread out, around the edge of the pan and then one in the middle.  Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, if you want over easy simmer for less time.

5.  When done simmering sprinkle parsley over the top and serve.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Chili Lime Pork Chops

I don't know about the rest of the world but I get tired of making pork chops the same way every time.  I usually sear them up in a pan with some seasoning and veggie broth and it is very very good but I need new flavors often so that I don't get bored with my food.  Yesterday I came across a recipe for a chili lime pork loin and I used the marinade in the recipe but created pork chops instead.  We paired the pork with a fresh salad and a simple baked potato, was a perfect and healthy dinner.  Also I am excited for this weekend because I am headed down to Eugene with my boyfriend and his sister and fiance to celebrate several family birthdays and St. Patty's day.  I went to college at University of Oregon so whenever I go to Eugene I am overwhelmed with nostalgic feelings, and it has been too long!  Here is to a great weekend and enjoy the pork!

Serves 5

The Ingredients
5 thin lean pork chops
1 medium lime, juiced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced into rings
1/4 white wine

The Process
1.  In a bowl whisk together lime juice, chili powder, garlic, soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.  Then put pork chops in large ziploc bag and pour in the marinade and refrigerate for an hour.

2.  When pork is done marinating take out of fridge and cut up the onion.  Then preheat the stove over medium high heat.  Put in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and put onions in pan.  Cook for 3 minutes and then add white wine and cook for 2 more minutes.

3.  Then add the pork chops to the pan and cook each side for about 2-3 minutes or until done.  They are thin chops so they don't take long.

4.  Serve with onions on top of chops.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eggplant & Potato Indian dish (Aloo Baingan)

I am always up for cooking new recipes and I don't cook enough Indian food so this was an attempt and great success.  This meal was not only vegetarian but very healthy too, it is nice to have a dish that is warm and hearty enough for the winter but doesn't make you feel too full or slow you down with too many carbohydrates.  The recipe has a lot of steps to the process so I would suggest that you make it on a night when you have a little extra time.  I also added a little more yogurt so definitely taste it and see what you like.  And I topped the dish with feta cheese which was tasty but I bet it would be even better with paneer. I didn't want to rewrite the entire recipe because of it's length so I will post the pictures I took and here is the link to the original recipe:

Aloo Baingan

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Scallion Steak Rolls (Beef Negimaki)

I found this recipe in my normal daily search for fun new things and if you haven't already notice I tend to prefer many different Asian inspired foods.  This recipe at first kind of seemed odd to me, I wasn't sure if it would be too salty or hard to eat, but it was delightful.  I personally made it as an appetizer but the following recipe is enough for 2 people.  Might I also add that I had a wonderful weekend, it was my boyfriend's birthday so we went to The Grand Lodge to celebrate.  We watched a free screening of Princess Bride, relaxed in the soaking pool, played pool, and ran around the grounds of the eerie and lovely old building.  The main building use to be a masonry lodge and then was turned into a mental institution and then The Grand Lodge.  I will say we definitely had some odd things happen and they had a whole book of documented ghost activity that we browsed.  If you love getting away and want a somewhat spooky and relaxing adventure I would suggest checking this place out. On to the recipe.

Serves 2

The Ingredients
1 pound thinly sliced beef
2 bunches of scallions
1 tablespoon canola oil

For Marinade:
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sriracha
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons brown sugar

The Process
1.  In medium bowl combine the marinade ingredients and set aside.

2.  Trim all but a couple scallions to 6 inch pieces.  Then take all of them, rinse them and wrap in a paper towel and put them in the microwave for 30 seconds.

3.  Next take your beef and you can cut it according to your preferred size, my strips were about 3 x 6 inches.  Take beef and steamed 6 inch pieces of scallions and put a little at the end of each meat piece so that when you roll it up the scallions are in the center.

4.  When all beef rolls are ready then tie each with the one of the several long scallions that you kept aside, make sure they are tied tight.

5.  Next place rolls in the marinade and put in fridge for about an hour to let soak.  Make sure to turn the rolls if needed.

6.  When done marinating heat up a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add oil.  When hot add the steak rolls and cook about 4 minutes on each side for rare, cook longer if you prefer.

7.  While these rolls are cooking add the left over marinade to a saucepan and bring it to a boil and then simmer it for about 5 minutes.

8.  Serve steak rolls with sauce drizzled over them.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lime-Coconut Tofu Soup

I am always looking for recipes that are not the same old boring dishes, and I love when I find a really good vegetarian recipe.  It is nice to not eat meat once in a while, but don't get me wrong I loveeeee meat.  I adapted this recipe and added some ingredients of my own.  As I followed the original recipe and tasted it I felt that even though it is a lime soup it was a little too limey, so I added some extra ingredients that I felt balanced the soup out very well.  I made this meal for my mother and best friend and they also loved the soup.  I served an appetizer as well which you will see as my next post, and it was so so so good.

Serves 4

The Ingredients
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I used better than bouillon)
2 inch piece fresh ginger, cut into 1/4 inch round pieces
1- 13.5 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk (low fat)
2 cups cremini  mushrooms, sliced
1 14oz package of firm tofu, cut into bite size pieces
6 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
3/4 cup fresh cilantro

The Process
1.  In a large pot combine veggie broth and ginger, bring to boil over high heat, then reduce to medium heat and cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

2.  Add coconut milk to broth and bring back to a simmer.  Stir in tofu and mushrooms and cook for about 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

3.  Then add lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, jalapeno, and most of the cilantro.  Cook for 1 minute and serve up.  Garnish with a little cilantro.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lemon Asparagus Salad

In an attempt to change things up I came across this recipe for a lovely lemon dressing for a cold asparagus salad.  I feel like every time I have asparagus my automatic response is to roast it, and don't get me wrong I LOVE roasted asparagus but sometimes I just need different flavors and textures.  I made this salad to go with a lovely roasted chicken that my parents made and it was a very nice combination.  On another note I am looking for good beef tartare recipes.  This is a dish that I have been curious about and really want to make, but I want to make sure to have a really good recipe so that I don't create a half-ass version of beef tartare.  So if you like beef tartare you will be getting a recipe from me in the next couple weeks!

Serves 3

The Ingredients
1 bunch of asparagus, with bottoms snapped off
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

The Process
1.  In a medium salad bowl mix together oil, lemon juice, green onions, Dijon mustard, sugar, and salt.  Whisk well with a spoon and set aside.

2.  Blanch asparagus the same way as I did in my Cold Sesame Asparagus Salad.

3.  Then add the asparagus to the salad bowl with dressing.  Mix well and store in fridge until ready to eat.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Steak Taquitos

With not much left in the cupboards and looking at a recipe on this blog, I decided to adapt and create some steak taquitos of my own.  I love using corn tortillas and I usually always make tacos or enchiladas when trying to use them up so I decided to change it up for once.  Again I do have to admit this isn't the healthiest recipe because there is a fair amount of cheese and the tortillas are fried a little in oil.  I ate them with a simple hot sauce but I would suggest making some sort of yummy salsa yogurt blend to dip them in.  Also I used onions for this recipe but I could see substituting the onions for shallots to give the taquitos a little different but delightful flavor.  While I am going to tag this recipe as a Mexican dish it was actually first create in San Diego, CA.  Enjoy.

Serves 2-3

The Ingredients
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 large petite sirloin steak (about 1 pound)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
8 small corn tortillas
1 cup colby cheese (or whatever you prefer), shredded
Olive oil

The Process
1.  In small bowl combine salt, cumin, garlic salt, chili powder, and paprika and stir well.  Then rub onto both sides of steak and let sit for 20 minutes.

2.  In the mean time take a medium size skillet and heat some olive oil in it and when hot add onions and cook for about 15 minutes or until onions are soft and start to caramelize.  Then take onions out of pan and set aside.

3.  Using same pan over medium-high heat cook your steak.  For medium to rare cook for about 4 minutes each side.  When done cooking set steak aside to rest before cutting.

4.  While steak is resting turn oven to 350 degrees.  Then heat up some oil in pan (2 tablespoons) over medium-high heat and fry each tortilla 30 seconds per side or until the tortillas get soft and bubbly, and make sure to keep them warm.

5.  Cut up steak into small bite size pieces.  Then assemble taquitos by putting some onions, steak, and cheese on the left side of the tortilla and then roll it up.  Repeat with the other seven tortillas.

6.  Place rolled taquitos on a greased pan and put in preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the tips start to slightly brown.  Make sure to serve hot.