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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cranberry Eggnog Muffins

I came across this recipe in the Food Network Magazine. At first I didn't think I would make it, but then I bought some eggnog and barely had a glass. For some reason it wasn't agreeing with my preggo gag reflex! So I had a bunch of eggnog left over and thought I should use it up in these muffins. I love the flavor of eggnog just not a huge fan of it straight up. I made them without the streusel topping and the cranberries, to keep it simple for the boys. But if I was making them for me, myself and I, they would be yum-o with the extra goodies. And I added extra cinnamon and nutmeg, otherwise I think they would be a little bland in the flavor department. So here's the recipe, give it a try!


Ingredients

For the Muffins:

  • Cooking spray or muffin liners
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup rum or apple juice
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups eggnog
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar

Directions

Prepare the muffins: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mist a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Warm the cranberries and rum in a small saucepan over medium heat, then remove from the heat and let steep 5 minutes. Drain.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, brown sugar and salt in a medium bowl.
Whisk the butter, eggnog, eggs and vanilla in another bowl. Gently fold into the flour mixture. (The batter will be lumpy; do not overmix.) Fold in the cranberries. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
Make the topping: Mix the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, salt and brown sugar in a bowl with your fingertips until it looks like wet sand. Sprinkle generously over the batter.
Bake until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly in the pan, then carefully remove to a rack.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010 Christmas Feast

Christmas Eve, 1st Course hors d'oeuvres: smoked salmon and spread on blinis

2nd Course: Fois Gras with fig jam, violet jam, and marrow on toasts

3rd Course: Cray fish, gambas, whelks, and smoked salmon with homemade mayonaise!

4th Course: Scallops
5th course: Truffled Boudin (not pictured)

6th Course: Fried Maroille Cheese...mmmm
I didn't get the 7th course (dessert,) but it was a delicious ice cream log cake.

Christmas Day main course: Turkey with wild girolles mushrooms and chestnuts and stuffing..
with potatoes and green beans.

Dessert: mini pastries and..
Buche!
Which translates to "Log" because it is a French cake shaped like a log!

So now I'm going to be fasting for a while... but as I'm typing, my stomach is growling =)

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Homemade Pizza Dough

After many many attempts to make pizza at home, I finally figured out that it's all in the dough! I'd been buying ready made dough at the store, and it just doesn't cut it the way homemade does. This pizza feeds 2
Ingredients:
350 g flour
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
4 Tbsp EVOO
elbow grease
time
Toppings I used:
tomato sauce
fresh mozzarella
cooked italian sausage
onions
jalapeños
sliced tomatoes patted dry
swiss and parmesan cheese
egg
basil
Directions:
1. Mix the yeast in the warm water and let sit for a few minutes.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour with salt, then add the water/yeast mixture. Knead well and add some EVOO little by little while kneading until the dough is elastic and doesn't stick. Take your time with the kneading. It is very important.
3. Once you're all kneaded out, cover with a damp towel and let the dough sit for 45 minutes. It should have risen.
4. Roll out the dough to form a pizza. Mine was about 3/4 inch thick. Try to keep it even so it doesn't over cook in some areas and undercook in others. Add your toppings and pop in the oven at 450°F for about 15 minutes and then check on it every 5.
If you use an egg yolk, add it during the last 5 minutes of cooking time, otherwise it will be hard.

Voila!! No more need for take-out!

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Leek and Mushroom Pasta

I love how you can add just about anything to a pasta sauce an its almost ALWAYS good! I didn't make this one up, actually, but I thought it was an interesting combination and I LOVE leeks!
Ingredients:
1 white part of a leek, sliced thinly
1 pack fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
some cubed ham or sliced bacon
1/2 tsp thyme
1 cup heavy whipping cream
fresh ground pepper
1 pack pasta (I used fettuccini)
1 cup water from pasta cooking
Directions:
1. Cook your pasta in some salted boiling water and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
2. In the meantime, sautée the leek and garlic with thyme in some olive oil until translucent.
3. Deglaze with some white wine and add the mushrooms and ham. Cook until mushrooms are tender and stir in some of the heavy cream.
4. When your pasta is cooked and drained, mix the leek and mushroom mixture into the pasta and stir until the pasta is evenly coated. Add some pasta water and heavy cream until desired sauciness is obtained.

Serve hot with fresh ground pepper, parmesan,and shredded swiss..
Excellent!

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Zuppa Toscana REMIX!

I can't get over this soup! I could seriously eat it every day. Luckily, it's been really cold and snowy here, so I have every excuse to make it often.

This time, though, I added used fresh mushrooms and used 1 less bouillon cube.
It turned out DELISH!

I haven't had much time to post thanks to this guy:

he's taking a nap on my lap as we speak.. aww

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lamb Shoulder with Garlic Sauce

I found a great pair for Jess's Roasted Tomatoes and home fries! A slice of lamb shoulder with garlic sauce! Delicious.. Eric and I were licking our plates after eating this...
Ingredients:
slices of lamb shoulder or leg (1 slice per person)
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp flour
fresh ground pepper
some chopped parsley
few shakes of thyme
some EVOO
Directions:
1. Take the lamb out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking it. Brush them with EVOO and sprinkle salt, pepper, and thyme.
2. In a small sauce pot, cover the whole garlic cloves with cold water and bring to a boil around 5-10 minutes or until cloves are tender.
3. Drain the cloves and keep the water. In a blender, mix the cloves with the heavy cream and flour, and add a drizzle of the water. Put back into the sauce pot.
4. Heat on low and whisk until it thickens a bit or to your liking. Add the parsley and pepper and keep warm until your lamb is done.
5. To nicely cook the lamb, heat a skillet with around 2 tbsp EVOO and cook about 4 minutes on each side. I like mine medium.. cook longer or shorter depending on how you like it.

Serve with the sauce on the side, some Roasted Tomatoes and home fries... mouthwateringly delicious!
You can sub the fries for anything.. pasta, rice, mashed potatoes.. oh yea this sauce would be great on mashed potatoes!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin Chili

I found another fun use for a pumpkin! In chili, it give it a nice soft texture that is very enjoyable and is a great way to eat more veggies!
Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2clove garlic, crushed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup broth
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup corn
1 diced green chili
salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:
Throw everything but the bell peppers in the crock. An hour before serving, add the bell peppers.

Serve topped with green onions, cheese, and sour cream!

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lamb Korma with Rotis

Here's another treasure from my Indian cookbook! I did it as a test to see if it would be good enough for company, and it's definately a winner!
Lamb Korma
serves 4-6
Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb boneless leg of lamb, cubed
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 tsp saffron (I used turmeric)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cinammon
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
To Blend:
2 onions
2 garlic cloves
1 inch piece fresh ginger
2 green chilis, deseeded
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup water
Garnish:
cilantro
toasted flaked almonds
for Rotis:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
approximately 3/4 cup water
all purpose flour for rolling
Directions:
1. Place the pieces of lamb in a bowl and mix together with the yogurt, saffron and 2 tbsp hot water. Leave to marinate for 2 hours.
2. Blend the ingredients for the blended mixture to a thick paste and set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a pan, add the ground cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, and coriander and cook over gentle heat for 1 minutes. Stir in the blended paste and cook, stirring frequently for 5 more minutes.
4. Add the coconut milk and the lamb and marinade. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until lamb is tender and sauce is thick.
5. Stir in the chopped cilantro and sugar. Serve hot garnished with chopped cilantro and toasted almond slivers.

Rotis
makes 8
Directions:
1. Mix the whole wheat flour and salt in a large bowl and pour water in little at a time while kneading. It should make a soft pliable dough. Your hands will get all sticky, but you'll eventually find the right consistency. Let sit for 30 minutes.
2. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll out each piece on a floured surface to a circle about 7-8 inches in diameter. I realized at this point that I did not have a roller, so I took the label off an empty bottle of wine and used that.. good thing we emptied that bottle last night!!
3. Heat a large heavy based frying pan on high heat.
Place the rotis on the dry pan one at a time. When it starts to puff, turn it over until it puffs again. Serve promptly or they cool and harden.

I was so proud of myself for making this! I had some leftover mushroom curry and rice that I ate this with. The rotis/chapatis were excellent for soaking up the sauce. I really felt like I made a completely Indian lunch. We could have had the tandoori chicken as appetizers but I'd rather save those for lunch tomorrow!


**recipe from Indian Food Folklore... best Indian recipe book out there!

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mushroom Curry

Here's an A+ recipe. When my dad came to visit, he brought with him an Indian cookbook for me to study that has all the Indian classics and a few authentic secrets. Since it is so precise, this is the very first time I followed the recipe to the letter. I've never been disciplined enough to do that before!
Ingredients:
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
6 scallions, sliced
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 lb mushrooms, thickly sliced (you can use a mix of portabellas and button)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 cup thick coconut milk
2 Tbsp lemon juice
sprigs of cilantro to garnish
Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions and fry over gentle heat, stirring for 2 minutes or until softened.
2. Stir in the curry powder and mustard seeds and cook for 1 more minute. Add the prepared mushrooms and salt. Stir well to mix, then cook, covered for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the garam masala and coconut milk and cook, uncovered until the sauce has thickened slightly (about 5 minutes).
4. Stir in the lemon juice. Adjust the seasoning, then serve garnished with cilantro sprigs.

I served mine with tandoori chicken and basmati rice cooked with a small amount of lentils and peas.

Eric and I both loved this! He even told me to bust it out next time we have company!

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Seafood Linguine

I'm so not over seafood... and I'm so not over pasta either, so I love it when they get together and party with veggies and cream!
Serves 6
Ingredients:
1 box linguine (500g)
1 cup frozen baby shrimp
1 cup frozen mussels
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 zucchini finely sliced
1 tomato, chopped
few shakes chili powder
drizzle fish sauce (wth?)
some EVOO
1/4 cup dry white wine
handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup (or more?) heavy cream
1/4 cup reserved pasta water
salt/pepper
garnish:
red pepper flakes
parmesan/swiss
fresh ground pepper
Directions:
1. Start boiling salted water for your pasta.
2. In a frying pan, cook the garlic in some EVOO 2 minutes and then add the zucchini until the color just starts to change. Add the seafood until they defrost and heat through.
3. Add some pepper, chili powder and fish sauce, stir, and pour in the white wine. Let simmer on low for 5 minutes.
4. Add the chopped tomatoes and half the chopped parsley. Keep on low and cover until your pasta is done cooking. Don't forget to reserve some of the cooking water before draining when they're done.
5. In a large dish, toss the seafood mixture with the pasta and some cream. Pour in some of the reserved pasta water little at a time adding more cream until the sauce is the desired consistency.

Serve with fresh parsley, ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, parmesan and/or swiss...
and then go back for seconds
and then think about it the next day!

I guess I could have added some bell peppers, but I didn't have any. This is very good. I don't know when I started adding fish sauce to my seafood pasta, but I think its a nice touch.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Baked Oysters on the Half Shell

I've been nagging Eric since Christmas about buying oysters every once in a while. Yes, they are pricier than our usual groceries, but every once in a while doesn't hurt! Anyway, we finally got a good reason to buy some (our 5 year wedding anniversary!) and since we spent the day in Lille and ate at the restaurant of his choice, dinner was my choice... oysters, shrimp, champagne, and a mean bubble bath! I always eat my oysters raw because they're just delicious with a squirt of lemon, but I've been hearing an awful lot about baked oysters and I'd never been able to try them because I'm always too busy chowing them down raw. Since we got such an excellent deal (24 oysters for 12€ unheard of!!) we saved a few for my experiment... which turned out delicious!!
Appetizer for 2
Ingredients:
10 fresh oysters
1/2 of a camembert or brie cheese, skinned
1 handful shredded swiss
1/4 cup white wine
1 shallot finely diced
2 tbsp heavy cream
a few sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped
fresh ground pepper
a huge heap of large salt, or foil to hold the oysters in place
Directions:
1. In a saucepan cook the shallot in the wine and reduce. Add the cheeses and parsley on low heat and melt, stirring. Stir in the heavy cream.
2. Carefully open the oysters and pour out the liquid. You can reserve the liquid for a sauce in another recipe if you want. Eric deeply cut himself while doing this and left 2 unopened, so please be careful.
3. Pour the heap of salt into a baking dish and place the oysters inside. The salt is just to hold them in place and will not salt the oysters.
4. Spoon the mixture into each of the oysters with some fresh ground pepper on top. Cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 400°F
Excellent.
This would also wow some company if you take the time to present it well. I made this today as a snack and I didn't even bother to shower or get dressed yet...
Anyone who says they don't like oysters should try them this way. The texture is much different than raw!

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Pork Chops on Bulgur Wheat

I discovered bulgur wheat through eating kebabs (Doner Kebob for all you connaisseurs...). They serve their meat with fries, salad, and this stuff that is not couscous, but not rice. It is actually broken wheat that you can cook in water and season as you wish. I decided to experiment with this stuff as a side to my pork chops for a change, which by the way is probably sacrilegeous considering bulgur is mostly eaten in Turkey.. haha
Ingredients:
1 cup bulgur wheat
2 tbsp EVOO
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
handful grean peas
1 chopped chili (if you wish)
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups or more stock (choose whatever)
Directions:
1. In a pot, brown the onions and garlic in the oil. Add the spices, peas, and chilies and heat through.
2. Add tomato paste and stock and heat. The liquid does not need to full on boil, but should be hot.
3. Add the bulgur and turn down the heat. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed. Taste and add more liquid if needed.

Serve with a nice pork chop, or whatever you want!

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Papa's Indian Okra

I grew up eating this okra dish. When I finally got my hands on some okra (almost impossible to find in this little French countryside of mine) I literally jumped for joy in this little paris minimarket. The guy must have thought I was insane, but hey, I found OKRA! Try explaining that to a frenchman who keeps wondering what the heck is okra...
Serves 5-6
Ingredients:
1 lb okra (heads and tails cut off, and sliced into chunks)
1 whole container plain yogurt
1 bunch cilantro
2 green chilies
1 inch chunk of ginger
7 cloves garlic
1 tbsp gram flour (chickpea flour)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (which can increase milk supply if breastfeeding btw)
2 whole cloves
some red pepper flakes
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp brown sugar
2/3 cup rice
1/3 cup yellow or red split peas
1 handful green peas
2 cups water
salt/pepper
some dry cranberries or raisins
green onions and lime for garnish

wow this is a lot of ingredients and surprisingly, the only thing I didn't have on hand was cilantro and okra...

Directions:
1. In a blender, blend together 3 cloves garlic, the gram flour, ginger, 1 chili, cilantro, and yogurt with a little water. Set aside.
2. Chop the 4 other cloves garlic, 1 chili, and get the spices ready.
3. In a deep sautee pan, heat the oil and ad cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and fenugreek until they start to crackle. Then add the chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, chili (depending on how spicy you want it) and 1 tsp turmeric.
4. Add the chopped okra, and cook for 5-10 minutes until okra starts oozing. Stir constantly to prevent the spices from burning, and add a little water if it gets too dry.
5. Meanwhile, heat your salted water with 1 tsp turmeric and cook the rice with the split peas, green peas and dried fruit.
6. When the okra is slimy, add the yogurt mixture with 1 tsp brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered until rice is cooked. Add salt to taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serve either separately as 1 small bowl soup and 1 small bowl rice, or combine in a large soup bowl and top with chopped green onions and a squeeze of lime.

This seems like a lot of steps and technique, but once all the chopping and preparing is done, it comes together quite easily. I love this recipe! It is healthy and has enough protein and fiber that you forget it's vegetarian!
Each of the spices has amazing nutritional properties, especially turmeric and fenugreek. The gram flour is a thickener, but gives lots of flavor to the dish. I don't recommend using a substitute. If you want it to be more soupy, use less of it.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Double Berry Muffins


My StepMom gave me this recipe and I just love it! What I love about baking is that even if you are the occasional baker, you most likely have all ingredients on hand from previous recipes.

Ingredients:
1.5 cups Flour
1/2 cups wheat germ
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbls baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup Orange Juice
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 egg whites, beaten
1 cup+ frozen or fresh blueberries
1/4 cup raspberry spread - any jam/jelly that you have will work


1. Pre heat oven to 400*. Line 12 muffin/cupcake tins with paper liner OR just spray with cooking spray so they don't stick.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder and salt- mix well. In a medium bowl, combine OJ, margarine and egg whites until well blended. Add to flour mixture, stirring until the dry ingredients moisten to make batter-y texture. Gently stir in blueberries.

3. Fill muffin tins 1/2 with batter. Then spoon in 1tsp with jelly and cover with remaining batter. Sprinkle add'l wheat germ on the very top. Bake about 20 minutes- or until golden brown.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Velvety Pumpkin Soup

I finally made a good pumpkin soup! I tried this jamaican recipe a few weeks ago and it was just funky. This being said, this may be my last soup recipe for a while because Eric HATES eating meals with a spoon (even though I love it)
Ingredients:
1/2 pumpkin (or whole butternut squash)
2 onions, chopped
2-4 potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1 whole head of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt/pepper
parmesan to garnish
Directions:
1. Place everything but the heavy cream in the crock pot.
2. Blend
3. Stir in heavy cream before serving.

Velvety goodness! Since Eric now refuses to eat soup, I brought some to work and it was very much enjoyed there too!

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Chateau Guerin

I had to share this...
We found Guerin wine!! And it's St Emilion, too!! Needless to say, we bought 2 cases and to top it off, it is VERY VERY good.
I wonder if I could find a Chateau Patel... hmm

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Fish Chowder

Holy mackerel, fishy goodness!! I have been really into soups lately, and since it's nippy here, I'm not breaking any cultural laws. Growing up in the desert means the weather is definately not going to decide what you feel like eating when. If that was the case, I wouldn't even know what soup is. Here, there are "times" for certain meals. Like if you feel like having a tomato salad in the winter, people will be surprised.
Anyway, I found this to be particularly tasty!
Serves 4
Ingredients:
1 lb white fish, chopped into cubes (I used monkfish/angler fish)
1 cup frozen baby shrimp
handful of frozen mussels (if you have any)
4 cups chicken broth
4-5 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 can corn, drained
1 chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (I used yellow)
handful of frozen green peas
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp EVOO
garnish:
chopped green onion
fresh ground pepper
red pepper flakes (those find their way into everything these days)
parmesan/shredded swiss

Interestingly enough, I had everything on hand already!

Directions:
1. Brown the onions in the oil while you finish chopping your potatoes and carrots, then throw those in your pot.
2. Add the celery, corn and chicken broth, bring to a boil, and let simmer covered for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender.
3. Add the fish, peas, and bell pepper and simmer for 3-5 minutes (until the fish is cooked).
4. Add the shrimp, mussels, and cream and heat through. This soup should be chunky.

Serve with desired garnish and pat yourself on the back!

I actually did this in my pressure cooker... the only difference being that my potatoes and carrots cooked under pressure for about 6-7 minutes. This is also adaptable to the crockpot, if you do steps 3 and 4 an hour before serving.
I really loved this soup. Eric liked it too, but he probably would have preferred chunks of T-bone instead of (purse your lips) Angler fish. Angler is cool because the flesh stays firm, and doesn't disintegrate.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi


That's right, I ventured into making a fish dish! And let me tell you, it was DEEEELICIOUS!! My MIL just left for Sweden for a 3 weeks and I wanted to make her a nice farewell dinner. I was feeling adventurous, we had some frozen Mahi Mahi from Costco and I started searching for yummy Mahi Mahi recipes. Like usual, allrecipes.com was the winner and I found a great Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi recipe. It was really simple and I modified it a bit since I'm still an amateur cook. ;p 


Ingredients 
1-1/2 ounces macadamia nuts (I crushed them and used about 1/2 a bag)
2-1/2 ounces plain bread crumbs
4 (6 ounce) mahi mahi fillets
2-1/2 ounces butter
1-1/2 ounces shallots, diced (diced about 1 shallot)
2-2/3 cups chicken stock (used chicken broth - 1 can)
2-1/2 ounces pineapple, rough chopped (1 jar of tropical fruit with pineapple & papaya - in the produce section next to the fresh cut fruit) 
1-1/2 ounces papaya, rough chopped
2 ounces mango, rough chopped (I used 1 mango)
2 teaspoons shredded coconut (instead of messing with coconut, I got 1 can of coconut milk and used 1/2 a can)
1-1/4 habanero peppers, seeded (I'm not a spicy person, so I used crushed red peppers for a little kick)
1 egg 

  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • white sugar to taste (didn't use sugar, used the fruit juice from the jar and coconut milk)

Directions 
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

2. In a food processor or blender, pulse together macadamia nuts and breadcrumbs until finely ground. Pour nut mixture onto a plate, and coat fish fillets on both sides. I used an egg to make sure the the bread crumbs and nuts stuck to the fish...and I didn't use a blender or food processor. I crushed the nuts with a hammer and then mixed them with the bread crumbs...ha! 

3. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry fillets on both sides until nuts are golden brown. Remove to a baking pan.

4. Add shallots to skillet, and cook until translucent. Stir in chicken broth. Mix in pineapple, papaya, mango, coconut milk, and crushed red peppers. Simmer until sauce is thick, about 30 minutes. Strain to remove peppers, fruit, and shallots. Reserve sauce in a pan over low heat. I added about 3 tablespoons of corn starch to make the sauce a little thicker. It doesn't need to be pasty, but it doesn't need to be watery either...in between is perfect. I also kept the fruit relish to put on the rice. 

5. Bake mahi mahi in preheated oven about 10 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F. Remove fish, and lightly coat with sauce. 

I made this dish with sautéed green beans and long grain white rice. For the green beans, I cut up white onion and threw in a little butter with the green beans and seasoned them with lawry's seasoning. They were yum-tastic! 


Dessert - I made Fat Free Chocolate Pudding! 

No ka oi! 

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stuffed Tomatoes

When the men are away... my mom and I like to get together and eat foods that we normally don't get to enjoy. This usually includes cheese/crackers, capers, tomatoes... Both Russ and Papa are not fans of these types of foods.... especially for dinner. It's like... "Where's the Meat" ?! haha.... anyway, we decided to make stuffed tomatoes. I found these really firm, huge tomatoes at Pavillions that were perfect for stuffing.


1 diced portobello mushroom


EVOO

1/2 chopped onion

pinch rosemary

pinch thyme

2-4 Big, firm tomatoes (beefsteak)

1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1 handful mixed baby greens

Italian or Vinaigrette dressing



In a medium bowl, combine the mushrooms with the olive oil, onion, rosemary, and thyme; let sit for about 10 minutes.

Remove the mushrooms from the marinade and place in small skillet with EVOO until slightly softened and browned, about 5 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325° F. Using a sharp knife, slice the tops off the tomatoes; you need them later so don't discard them. Using a melon baller or spoon, scoop out the insides. (You can save the insides for a sauce or another salad.) Set aside. Place the tomatoes into a 1-inch baking pan, with their tops placed on top. Bake until the skins start to wrinkle, about 15 minutes.

When the tomatoes are finished, remove the tops and stuff with alternate layers of the mushroom mixture and the cheese. Place the tomatoes back into the oven (without the tops) just until the cheese starts to melt, about 5 minutes.

Top each tomato with a bit of the mixed baby greens and a drizzle of the dressing. Cover with the tomato tops, and serve.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Free Fall Soup


So summer is over.. well, here it is anyway. The weather is quite nippy and everyone is trying to salvage their vegetable gardens before their tomatoes, zucchinis and pumpkins all get frostbite. This means FREE veggies for me!! I love how everyone senses my love for garden grown food and so feels happy to donate the extras. This soup is very very tasty and healthy!
serves 5
Ingredients:
2 zucchini chopped in bite sized pieces
4 juicy tomatoes, chopped
1 orange (or whatever color) bell pepper, chopped
1 chopped onion
2 Tbsp EVOO
4 cups chicken broth (or vege broth)
1 cup water
a few tbsp leftover spaghetti sauce (or tomato paste with 3 cloves crushed garlic)
2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
some leftover cooked noodles.. or uncooked
salt/pepper
parmesan and swiss cheese for garnish
Directions:
1. In a large pot, brown onion until golden in some EVOO. Then add the zucchini, paprika, red pepper flakes, basil, and oregano and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes, and pasta sauce and stir around. Add the chicken broth and let simmer until the zucchini is translucent. If you are using uncooked pasta, go ahead and put it in now, if not, go to step 3.
3. Add the beans and decide if the liquid level is to your liking. I added 1 cup of water. Taste and adjust the salt/pepper seasoning.
4. Add the cooked pasta and let heat through. Serve hot with fresh ground pepper and grated cheese on top!

I can't get enough of this healthy soup! Of course, you could just throw it all into the crockpot and it would work too if you add the pasta at the end.
The only negative remark I got was, "What? No Meat?"
If you add some cooked ground turkey or ground beef, this can become a "manly" soup. Eric didn't mind the no meat after a few bites though!

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Indian Coral Lentils REMIX!

I found some coral colored lentils here which I now consider my favorite lentil to use in my dad's Indian lentil recipe!
The coral color doesn't stay, and they become beige-yellow when cooked, but they do have lots of flavor! Since I can't find yellow split peas here, this is a perfect substitute. They cook quicker than brown lentils and they kind of explode, but that's what they're supposed to do. I added more chili powder and turmeric into the recipe, and this is how it comes out... just delicious every time.
I'm working on finding okra to make another one of my dad's great indian vegetarian recipes. Why isn't okra that common here?

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Steph's Apple Pie

So what are you supposed to do when a coworker gives you a ton of apples off her tree and you'll never be able to down them all before they start going bad? Make apple pie!!!
This is a different type than the American version. Both are good, but I'm pretty sure this one is easier. The picture doesn't do it justice at all. My bro and inlaws scarfed it down before I got a slice picture.
Ingredients:
3-4 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into thin wedges
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup of sugar (and more to taste)
1/2 tsp cinammon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 raw pie crust
Directions:
1. Unroll your pie crust and poke it with a fork. Lay it in the tin and put it in the oven at 350°F for 5-7 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, wisk your egg yolks (mine are extra orange because I used fresh duck and hen eggs) and then wisk in the cream, sugar and spices. Do a finger taste test.. add more sugar if needed, but seriously, I don't like it too sweet.
3. Take out your pie crust and arrange your apple wedges so that it looks pretty. Pour your mixture over your apples. The liquid level shouldn't be too high. You want to see your apples halfway poking out.
4. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until it looks just about right.

I didn't actually follow a recipe to make this. I did it at 11pm while drinking beer with my bro and winged the measurements and cooking time. It came out perfectly! My MIL is now upset that I compete with her in the pie making department!

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Thai Green Curry

I finally finally finally got my hands on some GREEN Thai curry paste (thanks papa!!!). I love making Thai curry because I change it up every time depending on what I have on hand.
I'm just going to re-post my recipe because it kind of changed...
Ingredients:
- 1 can coconut milk or coconut cream
- 1 T soy sauce
- 2 T green chili paste (use less if you are a spice wuss)
- 1 T fish sauce
- 2 inch chunk of ginger, grated
- 1 lb pork in chunks (or 6 skinless chicken thighs)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers in big chunks (at the end)
- 2 zucchinis in big chunks
- 1 cup pumpkin (I swear when I have it, I put it in everything)
- 1 to 2 chopped tomatoes
salt to taste
Garnish:
lime wedges
chopped cilantro
fresh ground pepper
red pepper flakes
Directions:
1. Mix the coconut cream, chili paste, fish sauce, soy sauce and ginger in the bottom of your crock pot.
2. Add the meat and coat it with your mixture.
3. Put all your chopped veggies (except the bell pepper) on top without mixing them into the sauce.. they will nicely steam without desintegrating and cook on low for 6 hours. Add the bell pepper 1 hour before serving
4. Serve over rice with chopped cilantro, fresh g and a squeeze of lemon or lime.
I mixed chicken thighs and pork chunks. This last picture is pork chunks.
Always a hit!

* remove the soy and fish sauce (high in sodium), and this is fight food

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Leek Pumpkin Soup

I meant for this soup to be more orange, but I guess that's what I get for putting leeks in there. It still tasted delicious, though... although I put less than half of my pumpkin in there, so it was not very pumpkin-y. I used the last of it... and I might be ready to pick a new one. I love this vegetable!
I've made this with zucchini in place of pumpkin, too!
Ingredients:
3 cups raw pumpkin (or however much you have)
2 leeks, washed and chopped
5 medium potatoes, peeled
1 cup beer (there I go pouring beer into my food again.. what's wrong with me?)
2 smashed garlic cloves
1 cube vegetable broth (or chicken)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp walnut oil (I just felt like experimenting, but just use EVOO)
salt to taste
red pepper flakes
some water
Directions:
1. Sautee your leek in the oil (in a large pot or pressure cooker)
2. Add potatoes, pepper, chili powder and stir around.
3. Add the pumpkin, beer and vegetable cube and then add some water so there are still vegetables sticking out.
4. If you are using a pressure cooker, close it and count 10 minutes from when it starts to make noises. If not, simmer until potatoes are tender (30 minutes or more?) If using a crock pot, don't add much water.
5. Mix with an immersible blender, stir in heavy cream, and salt to taste.
6. Serve with some shredded cheese fresh ground pepper, and red pepper flakes on top.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

BevMo's Wine Cake

Here is a simple but yummy recipe from the Cargo Vault! This time it's compliments of my Mom, Beverly-aka BevMo. It's a delicious yellow cake with an adult beverage twist!


BevMo's Infamous Wine Cake

Fine fixins:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 large box of vanilla pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup cooking sherry wine (usually found near the vinegar at the store)
3/4 cup cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Small details:
Preheat oven to 350
Grease a 10in bunt pan with butter/margarine and sprinkle with all purpose flower so its "Non stick."

Directions:
Add cake mix, pudding mix, and nutmeg in large mixing bowl, followed by the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix on low to medium until the batter is creamy-not lumpy!
Pour cake batter into greased bunt pan and place in oven for 45-50 minutes (aka my oven 60!) Set the timer and stick a fork or toothpick in it at 45 mins to see if it's cooked all the way through.


When it's a yummy golden brown color and fully cooked, remove from oven and let it cool for 40-60 minutes, depending on how much time u have! (The longer the better)
Once cooled, give the edges a little swirl with a knife to make sure its not stuck to the pan, then flip the bunt cake over on to your serving dish, sprinkle with powdered sugar and ENJOY!!!
Note: If the cake is not cool enough you run the risk of it not popping out of the bunt pan smoothly- AND the powdered sugar will melt.

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