Tag Archives: Recipes

Lentil Confetti Salad

24 Jun

petite green lentils, diced veggies, tomatoes, radish, parsley, dijon olive oil sherry vinegaigrette  #140characterrecipe #yummy #powerfoods #scrumptioussalad #healthandwellness #healthcoach #chefinstructor 🥕👩🏼‍🍳😋

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Birthday Cupcakes

18 Aug

We celebrated my sister’s birthday last night. It was a blast. Her friend baked these cupcakes and I thought the flavors were delicious and very fun…Snickerdoodle (Vanilla cake with Cinnamon frosting), Strawberry Lemonade (garnished with fresh, sliced Strawberries and Lemon Zest), and I think the third flavor was Chocolate Mousse. I got the idea to lay out the cupcakes like this from Martha Stewart who I get a lot of inspiration from. It was a hit!

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Mushroom & Gruyere Omelette

3 Jul

Omelettes are wonderful for a satisfying meal any time of day! I enjoyed this one for lunch at K & L Bistro. Eggs are a great option for eating vegetarian, and I prefer a meatless meal much of the time. I love vegetables and just about any of them go with eggs.

There are so many ingredients for filling them, such as sauteed red and yellow peppers, onions, spinach (one of my favorites in an omelette!), feta, peaches, sliced prosciutto, crab, and more! They are also a great vehicle for using up leftovers, like a ratatouille, or sausage ragu.

If you’re not comfortable with the idea if making an omelette, you could also use the same ingredients to do a frittata or even just scrambled eggs. Add a salad of greens and you’ve got a quick, delicious and affordable meal that won’t heat up your kitchen for more than about 10 minutes!

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Learning How To Make Sausage

23 Jun

I took a class not too long ago at The Local Butcher Shop and came home with a total of 5 pounds of Sweet Italian Sausage and Goat Merguez. I learned that making sausage is actually quite easy and involves only a few steps and I hope this inspires you to give it a try.

Basically, you start with some good quality coarsely ground meat, including Pork, Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, Goat, or even Seafood, which you can ask your butcher to grind, or do it yourself. Next, with impeccably clean hands or with rubber gloves, mix in your spice blend (the photo above is Merguez — a sausage with North African flavors such as Harissa, Sumac, Fennel and Garlic) and a chopped, fresh herb. Wash your casings and stuff them (not too densely) using an attachment on your meat grinder (KitchenAid has attachments for grinding and stuffing). Then twist the sausage into the size link you prefer (twisting each link in the opposite direction) and cut them apart, or if you have a smaller casing, you can roll it into a spiral, like I did with my Goat Merguez.

I have to say, after making my own sausage, it’s tough to go back to store-bought. One of the tips from The Local Butcher Shop is to include some chopped fresh herbs (like Sage, Oregano, or Cilantro) and that really does make a difference in the flavor.

Unfortunately, since the recipe for Sweet Italian Sausage and Goat Merguez are protected via copyright, I’m unable to share them with you, however, I did find a recipe for Simple Homemade Sausage Patties on Martha Stewart’s website (from Lucinda Scala Quinn’s cookbook Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys) that you might like and it doesn’t even require the casings.

Here are some additional links for purusing:

 http://www.sausagemaker.com/

http://ruhlman.com/2011/05/the-no-nitrites-added-hoax/

http://ruhlman.com/2011/02/meat-curing-safety-issues/

If you have a good local butcher shop in your neighborhood, you can try to buy the casings and curing salt from them, otherwise, you can buy them online. Now I just need to find the time to make another batch!

Savory Baked Apples

13 Apr

Here’s a tasty idea I found on Cooking Light…along the lines of my recent post on Apple Pie In An Apple. This could be easily adapted for Vegetarians or Vegans too. Click on this link for details.

Other combinations or substitutions I might try are the following:

  • Granny Smith Apples
  • Pecans
  • Almonds
  • Golden Raisins
  • Dried Apricots
  • Sundried Tomatoes
  • Leeks
  • Shallots
  • Spinach
  • Fennel
  • Celery
  • Fontina or Cheddar Cheese (how can you can wrong?)
  • Curry Powder
  • Garam Masala (do you have this spice blend in your pantry yet? It’s so versatile)
  • Thyme
  • Couscous (White, Red or Tricolor)
  • Bulgur Wheat
  • Farro
  • Bread Crumbs (for topping)

By changing up the flavors, you’ll be able to serve this for many occasions as a main course, or for a side dish I think that half an apple per person would be adequate (cut in half before stuffing). This could also be a good dish for entertaining, since you could easily make the stuffing a day or two ahead. It would be delicious with a Pork Roast or any poultry!

Apple Pie In An Apple – Part 2

10 Apr

This post is related to Apple Pie In The Apple on my blog in February. I found another recipe online yesterday, and after trying this idea myself, I’ve adapted the original “re-blogged” recipe, and feel obliged to add Part 2.

Check out this link for the other recipe I found. It’s got nice pictures, including the lattice crust, that you may find helpful.

I’ve mentioned previously I’m not much of a baker (mainly because I don’t have the patience to measure out lots of ingredients), therefore, hoped to find an easy pie dough recipe and referred to Michael Ruhlman’s ratios for Pie Dough. I’ve put a link of his book Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking on My Tasty Store and there is also iPhone App  available for about $4.99. I think it’s worth it just for the convenience of having it if you’re a traveler who cooks while on vacation.

For a single crust:

  • 12 ounces Flour (350 grams)
  • 8 ounces Fat (I used Unsalted Butter, cut into small pieces; note:1 stick of Butter is 4 oz.)
  • 4 ounces Water (I added 1 ice cube to keep it chilled)

1/2 Teaspoon of Salt (Optional)

1 Tablespoon of Sugar (Optional)

Mix dry ingredients and Butter in a Food Processor until Butter is in Pea-sized pieces.

Slowly add in the Water until it starts to hold together , but work it as little as possible (you may not need all of the Water, depending on the humidity of your environment). Don’t worry if it’s not totally formed into a ball.

Dump it out onto a piece of plastic wrap, knead it a bit and shape into a flattened disk, wrap up the plastic disk and place it in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes and up to a full day.

Once chilled, roll out on a floured surface and cut into strips for the lattice (you should count on chilling longer than 20 minutes if the temperature is warm and/or if the dough is very soft).

My tips/filling recipe are below:

  • 4 Apples
  • 4 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend (or Cinnamon)
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (Optional)
  1. I figured out that you should not try to make the lattice directly on top of the apple (it’s too hard to get it looking nice). Make it on the counter and then place it on top of the apple. Leave a little space in the lattice for steam to get through.
  2. I also dotted the top of the apple with a little butter for extra flavor which you can see in the photo above (optional but delicious!)
  3. I used Pumpkin Pie Spice in lieu of Cinnamon
  4. I used 4 Apples, not 5-6 as in the original recipe I re-blogged, and there was plenty of filling for the apples.
  5. I used a Tablespoon of Light Brown Sugar per Apple in lieu of 1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar and 1/4 Cup White Sugar (since I prefer the flavor of Brown Sugar)
  6. I used a round metal Teaspoon measure to scoop out the Apple.
  7. I tried setting the Apples on the top slice of the Apple (that is cut off the top) as a base…it helped stabilize 3 of the apples but the 4th one slide off during the baking process. Not sure I’d do that again, unless the top slice was a little thicker, or maybe I’d cut a bigger hole in it for the base of the apple to sit in.
  8. I’m not crazy about covering them with aluminum foil and will be test without next time. I felt it took too long for the crust to brown.

I think this concept would work equally well if you wanted a short cut and topped the Apple with some nutty Granola instead of a crust. If you try it, please share your tips or ideas. Would love to hear them!

Deconstructed Pork Tamale from Bocanova

8 Apr

It takes a creative chef to turn a Tamale, or anything for that matter, into something memorable. This dish definitely hit the mark! Imagine the inside of a delicious, homemade, authentic Tamale with stoneground Masa, slowly cooked Pork shoulder, seasoned with Onions, Garlic, Cumin, and Mexican Oregano, maybe some Epazote or Cilantro. But then, don’t hide all those delicious ingredients inside the Husk.

Instead, layer the Husk, Tomatillo sauce, Masa (think of a round slice of Polenta, but with more texture than a traditional Masa since this one had bits of corn kernels added), and Pork that has been cooked a long time so it melts in your mouth (think of Confit), then garnish with some Guacamole, Queso Blanco, Micro-greens and Red Bell Pepper. This modern and elegant dish would work well for a dinner party too. The other photo here is a Crab Pozole…also delicious!

Bocanova’s Executive/Proprieter Chef Rick Hackett provides an ever-changing Pan-American menu for brunch, lunch and dinner, including many great options for Vegetarians. The restaurant  is located on the waterfront at Jack London Square in Oakland, CA.  I highly recommend Bocanova!