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Tag Archives: fresh vegetables

Fumi Salad

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This unique salad and “Pot Luck Favorite” is very easy to make using most pantry items and will become a favorite to your family and friends. Its a unique dish that most people will ask for a copy of it as it’s so delicious and kid friendly. One recipe will feed an ARMY of people. A great go-to dish in the summer!

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Ingredients:

 

1/4 c slivered almonds, toasted

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1/4 c plain sunflower seeds, toasted

3 Tbsp plain sesame seeds, toasted

3 Tbsp black sesame seeds, toasted

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1/2 medium head green cabbage, shredded

1/2 medium napa cabbage, shredded

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1/4 red cabbage, shredded

1 c carrots, shredded

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6 green onions, sliced

1 pkg. Ramen noodles, uncooked

3 tbsp. fine sugar

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

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3/4 cup vegetable oil

3 tbsp rice vinegar

 

Directions

 

In a small nonstick skillet over low-med heat, toast sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds separately,

stirring constantly. Set aside.

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In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrot and green onion. Set a side.

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Break Ramen noodles up and set aside.

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In a small bowl or lidded jar, combine sugar, seasoning, oil and vinegar.

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Just before serving,

add almonds and sesame seeds to cabbage mix and top with crushed noodles.

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Add dressing and toss until coated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours

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Serve cold or room temperature.

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Makes 8 to 10 servings. Recipe can be halved

 

Note: if the salad will not be served right away, take the various ingredients in separate baggies and assemble on sight. The noodles and cabbage gets soggy if salad is allowed to sit overnight.

 

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Mediterranean Tapenade

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With summer in full swing you maybe pondering what to serve on a nice and warm summer night or when having friends over for wine tasting, well I’ve got an appetizer for you that has a Mediterranean feel that is quick to make and is also super delicious and very inexpensive to make.

This is probably one of the easiest appetizers one can learn how to make. You can also make this a day or two in advance, using a couple of amazing ingredients that pack great flavors, and is better than a jar of processed dip. Now if you are not a fan of Kalamata olives you can use regular black pitted olives, but you won’t have that same mediterranean taste

 

Ingredients:

16 oz  Kalamata olives 
16 oz pitted green olives
2 red bell peppers, roasted and peeled
1 bulb garlic roasted, and garlic removed
1 Tbsp capers
2 tsp crushed red peppers flakes
2-4 Tbsp of classic or extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Directions:

Wash red bell peppers and place on sheet tray, slice whole bulb of garlic in half and place on same sheet tray and roast.

Click here for guide to roasting peppers

Drain olives well and add to food processor or high-speed blender.

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Add capers and red pepper flakes.

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Once red peppers and garlic have roasted and cooled, peel peppers and add to food processor, along with garlic.

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Pulse five times, then remove lid and using a rubber spatula scrap down the sides and pulse another five times, and scrape sides.

Turn processor on and pour slowly about two tablespoons of the olive oil into the top opening. Stop and check for desired consistency, if you like your tapenade thick and chunky than salt to taste, if you want a smoother texture add more olive oil repeating last steps.
Again salt to taste, as the olives and capers contain fairly large amounts of sodium.

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Remove and serve with warm pita chips, a nice crusty baguette, or water crackers.

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Tuscan Panzanella Summer Salad

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Panzanella is a popular summer salad that originated in Tuscany. Its made with chunks of stale bread, vine ripened tomatoes and sweet basil. It’s similar to the middle eastern salad called Fattoush which is made with fried pita bread.

Panzanella is popular in other parts of central Italy and considered a poor man’s salad by using up any remaining stale loaves of bread.

But what makes this salad a summer delight, is the bread soaks up the dressing and all its rich flavor from the center of the tomatoes, red wine vinegar and olive oil.

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Panzanella is the perfect salad for a picnic or day at the beach, just don’t toss the bread until you are 10 min from serving so the bread can really soak up these wonderful flavors, and please DO NOT refrigerate or the tomatoes will lose their wonderful flavor!!!

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Now by making a few recipe adjustments this salad is over the top delicious and healthy to eat. I can seriously eat this entire recipe in 24 hours, it’s that good and my favorite salad.

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To make this salad a success really depends on using a good quality olive oil and freshest tomatoes.

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If you come across any Heirloom tomatoes grab em! Also If you use fresh bread without grilling or toasting it first, the bread will disintegrate into a mushy mess. This is the perfect salad to show off the best summer produce and is visually stunning with the variety of colors.

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Adapted from Cooks Country, 2012

 

Ingredients:

6 cups Italian or French bread, cut loaf or tear into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes, cored and seeded, then cut into 1 inch pieces
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 medium cucumber, skin peeled, cut lengthwise, then seeded, and sliced thin
1 med shallot, sliced thin 
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400.

Toss cut up bread with 2 tablespoons oil and ¼ teaspoon salt; arrange bread in single layer on rimmed baking sheet.
Toast bread pieces until it just starts to turn light golden, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Set aside to cool to room temperature.

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Grilling Bread Method

Get your grill hot and slice the bread. Place slices of bread on the hot grill for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. You'll want to stay near the grill or the bread will burn and too chard and mask the flavors the same. A little char is okay, a lot will kill the dish.

Get your grill hot and slice the bread. Place slices of bread on the hot grill for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. You’ll want to stay near the grill or the bread will burn and too charred and mask the flavors the same. A little char is okay, a lot will kill the dish.

 

Cut tomatoes in half, than using a spoon remove the center and seeds and place into a small bowl then dice tomato into medium pieces.

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Gently toss tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt in large bowl.
Transfer tomatoes from bowl into a colander or sieve and set over same bowl to drain for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.

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Peel and Slice cucumber in half and remove center and seeds and discard, slice cucumber thin.

Slice shallots thin, set aside with cucumbers

If you don't have shallots or can't find any, then its okay to use red onion.Just slice it really thin.

If you don’t have shallots or can’t find any, then its okay to use red onion.Just slice it really thin.

Roll basil and repeat.

Whisk remaining 6 tablespoons oil, red wine vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon pepper into reserved tomato juices and whisk together.

Add bread pieces and toss to coat all the bread evenly, then, let stand for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.

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Add tomatoes, cucumber, shallot, and basil to bowl with bread and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.

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How to grill corn on the cob

Grilled corn on the cob; it’s not just a summer staple. It’s a summers delight!

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How many people out there in the land of the blogsphere do not know, or are unsure of how to grill corn on the cob? In my lifetime I’ve seen many variations on how to grill corn on the cob, and the unique toppings that go with this awesome summer staple  The truth of it is that there is no “correct or incorrect” method on grilling corn on the cob. What I will do is share my method with you, courtesy of Chef Bobby Flay.

First off and most important is to wash those “ears” of corn, and this is how I do that.

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I remove all the hairs and husk except the last 3-5 layers and rinse in cold water

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Once I have cleaned all the corn I put the corn in a large stock/tamales steamer pot and fill with water barely covering the ears of corn.

You want to make sure to leave just a few layers of husk, to cover the ears and create a steam while the corn is grilling.

You want to make sure to leave just a few layers of husk, to cover the ears and create a steam while the corn is grilling.

You want the corn completely emerged in water and soaking at least 20 minutes before you grill.

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By soaking the corn a head of time and placing wet corn on the grill creates steam from the wet husk, steaming the corn and creating a smoke flavor from charring the corn as well

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Don’t over crowd the grill when placing the ears of corn on it, if there is too many it will take longer, then if you had just split the ears into batches.

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Close lid to grill for five minutes, then check corn and rotate so all sides cook evenly. Repeat these steps till the corn is cooked.

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There are many variations for dressing “corn on the cob” today, so get creative.

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Here are a few popular choices.

Mexican style corn on the cob, can be dressed with any of the following ingredients, fresh lime juice, sour cream to mayonnaise, chopped cilantro, topped with Cotija cheese, Queso Fresco, Monterey Jack and sprinkled with ground cumin and/or paprika,

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Truffles & corn? Yep, I’ve read corn on the cob has been dressed with unsalted butter and truffle salt, Parmesan cheese.

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truffle.salt

Hey don’t toss out and remaining BBQ sauce, brush a little on an ear of corn and enjoy the smoky and sweet flavors

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Compound or Herb butter is basically a method of using room temperature butter and adding a lot of fresh chopped herbs, and lemon or lime zest and juice to your butter.

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Blend until well incorporated and spread it all over your ear of corn, and enjoy! 

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Oven Seared Potatoes With fresh Herbs

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Are you a potato lover whose tired of plain mashed potatoes?

Now don’t get me wrong I am a tried and true spud lover, but there’s only so many way to dress up mashed potatoes.

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Well it just so happens that I came across a recipe from Cooks County that takes the ordinary potato and elevates it to a not only visually a beautiful platter of potatoes, but this dish literally melts in your mouth at first bite accompanied with a crispy golden sear on the outside and with each bite you’ll get a punch of flavor from using fresh herbs and a rich chicken stock. These potatoes are to die for and very easy to make and can be served with chicken, beef or lamb.

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The first time I made this dish I had used only dill, it came out better than I imagined, so why not bump up the flavor next time by using a variety of herbs and for a kick of spice added red pepper flakes.

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If your making beef or lamb use same stock or go vegan and use vegetable stock and the result is a creamy center with a rich flavor from using good stock. Also if your main dish has a gravy or sauce these potatoes will soak it up very nicely.

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Believe me when I say once you try this recipe you’ll want to make these delicious potatoes again and again, and they do make a beautiful plate of food.

Adapted from Cooks County 2006

Ingredients:
3 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbsp parsley
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups low sodium chicken broth or use your own.
5-7 garlic cloves, finely minced (if you are not a garlic fan you can add less)
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or to taste

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you DO NOT use a glass baking dish, use a metal baking pan. A glass baking dish can shatter in a very hot oven.

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Directions:

Place oven rack in upper-middle position of oven and pre heat oven to 500 degrees.

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Square off ends of potatoes and cut into ¾ to 1-inch thick disks.
Rinse potatoes and pat dry with paper towels.

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Combine melted butter, red pepper flakes, finely chopped herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.

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Toss potato slices in butter mixture and arrange in a single layer in a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan.

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Roast in oven for 15 minutes.

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Remove pan from oven and use a spatula to flip potatoes over.

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Place back in oven for another 15 minutes.

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Remove pan from oven and flip potatoes over again, both sides should have a blonde color on both sides.

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Before putting tray back into the oven add 1 cup of your choice of stock and place back into the oven for another 15 minutes.

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Remove tray from oven and flip potatoes over one last time and add the last cup of stock.

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Back into the oven for the last 15 minutes.

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Loaded Up Baked Potato Soup

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What’s not to love about potatoes?

It’s a staple in the majority of kitchens across the globe, an everyday ingredient with no limit to what one could make. Lets see there are potato chips, mashed potato, potato galette, au gratin potato, potato pancakes, french fries, home fries hash browns and good old baked potato, just to name a few.

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It’s a no wonder the “spud” is considered the worlds most versatile vegetable, whose origins are both Peruvian and Chilean that date back to 500 B.C.

Archeologist have discovered The Incas grew, ate and also worshipped the potato. They buried potatoes with the dead, they’ve hid potatoes in bins for use in case of war or famine, they dried them, and carried them on long journeys to eat on the way. Ancient Inca potatoes had dark purplish skins and yellow flesh. The Incas called the potato “papas,” as they do today.

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The potato has become a symbol of Irish cuisine, by the 18th century, potatoes were an essential food in Ireland, they were cultivated throughout the country. Ireland’s rainy, cool climate was perfect for cultivating spuds by the thousands, the Irish people ate them almost as fast as they could grow them. This vegetable is so high in vitamins and minerals and was easy to grow, Irish farmers and workers could afford to feed their families on them, and their families grew healthier as a result. Mortality rates in infants went down, life expectancy went up, and the population boomed. Between the late 1700s and mid-1800s, the Irish population nearly doubled in size, due to the potato.

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Although potatoes are grown throughout the United States, no state is more associated with the potato than Idaho. The first potatoes in Idaho were planted by a  Presbyterian missionary, Henry Harmon Spalding in 1936. His first crop was a failure, but the second year was a success.

The potato is truly a marvel that continues to evolve in the culinary world today, with no limits in sight.

Personally I never get tired of potatoes, so much so that a few weeks back I was going through pictures of dishes for my blog, when I realized I use potatoes a lot.
When I started thinking about which dishes I would re-shoot minus potatoes, it was hard to pick because I loved them all, why reinvent the wheel?

So when I started thinking about what I would write about as a guest blogger for www.therestaurantzone.com  I decided to go with a seasonal dish that also wears a comfort food crown, a timeless classic “Potato Soup”, but loaded like a baked potato!

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My recipe is easy in spite of the seventeen ingredients, so if you’re a newbie to cooking don’t let that intimidate you, cause this recipe is easy peasy and the bonus?

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Ninety minutes from start to finish, so here is my
“Loaded Up Baked Potato Soup”

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Ingredients:

5 Tbsp Unsalted butter
5 Tbsp Flour
1 Medium yellow or brown onion, diced
6-8 large celery stalks, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces, include the celery heart.

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32 oz Low sodium chicken broth, or use your own.

Money Saving Tip $$$ Make your own stock from left over chicken bones and save money and reduce the amount of sodium! Try my recipe for making your own chicken stock.  https://dishingitoutwithclarissa.com/2014/01/30/easy-peasy-homemade-chicken-stock/

Money Saving Tip $$$ Make your own stock from left over chicken bones and save money and reduce the amount of sodium! Try my recipe for making your own chicken stock.
https://dishingitoutwithclarissa.com/2014/01/30/easy-peasy-homemade-chicken-stock/

32 Oz Heavy whipping cream
1/2 lb Applewood smoked bacon

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3 Cloves garlic, minced

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2 Tbsp Tabasco
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp dried or ground oregano
4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 Tbsp Fresh chopped parsley

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Salt & Pepper to taste
8-18 Large russet potatoes
16 Oz cooked ham, diced into 1/2 inch chunks

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Optional Toppings: Chopped Green Onion, Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Bacon Bits, Sour Cream, Chives, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Directions:

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

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In a large stock pot or dutch oven cook bacon on med-high heat, until crispy and fat is rendered off, remove and place bacon to the side.

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Drain all bacon fat leaving a thin layer, just covering the bottom of the pot and reduce heat to low-medium heat.

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Add celery, garlic and onions and over a low-med heat cover and sweat the veggies until onions just become transparent, remove cooked veggies and set aside

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For this next step grab a wire whisk

Next add butter into same pot and melt completely, then add flour and stir mixing the melted butter and flour cooking the roux on low heat for 5-7 minutes.

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This cooking technique is called a roux.

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A Roux is used to thicken sauces and soups. Pre-cooking the flour will allow the granules in the starches to enlarge and absorbs moisture and will thicken a sauce or soup base.

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Next add chicken stock and stir. Turn heat to medium and stir constantly until there are no lumps and there is a smooth consistency and sauce is now thickened.

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Add back to pot cooked veggies, and bay leaves, fresh cracked black pepper, oregano and sprigs of thyme.

Potatoes should be somewhat cool to touch, if not use a kitchen towel and you can leave the skin on or remove all skins and dice into bite size chunks.

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Add potatoes to pot as well.

If you want to add ham this is when you would add it.
Add heavy cream and adjust salt and pepper.

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Turn heat up to low, stirring constantly and cook for 15-20 minutes.

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Use a ladle and pour yourself a hearty bowl of homemade potato soup!

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Top with the following; Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped green onion, and crumbled bacon.

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Don’t forget to grab a loaf of bread, dinner rolls or biscuits to sop the bottom of the bowl.

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Game Day Angus and Bison Mini Sliders…

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Still trying to decide what to make for the big game this Sunday? Tired of serving the same tired dip in the bread bowl. Well I got the perfect game day dish, that’s not only easy to prepare, but will leave everyone’s taste buds singing for more.

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Angus beef mini sliders topped with thick cut bacon and avocado slices, and if your lucky enough to get your hands on some ground bison, then top those with mushrooms!

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Hand held size for easy clean up, and hearty enough where the average guest will consume between two and three, depending on your guest. If you have an electric skillet you can set up a station in the same room as your guest are in and serve em up hot and ready.

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Now you will want to get your ground beef with some fat in it, not too high in fat, nor do you want to go too lean as we all know the secret to a good burger is the fat content, and a burger low in fat tends to overcook quickly and become dry. I prefer to use 85/15 ratio, and that’s 85% beef and 15% fat for sliders as they are small and will cook fast!

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Now with the bison there isn’t a whole lot of fat going on, so you can either add about a half pound of 85/15 ground Angus to your bison or not, just don’t over cook the bison as it normally cooks to a nice medium rare. In fact you want to cook both to a nice medium rare, and season liberally before cooking. I like to season then form into patties so there is sufficient seasoning throughout the burger.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 lbs ground Angus beef 85/15
2 lbs ground bison 93/7

Seasoning is for each type of burger
1 1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin (optional)

1/2 Apple wood bacon thick cut and cut into thirds

2 lbs sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Cut each strip of bacon into three, and cook using a non stick skillet till nice and crispy. Once cooked set aside on paper towels to drain excess grease.

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Using separate bowl for mixing the two types of burgers, add seasoning and mix well to incorporate the seasoning throughout. You don’t want to over mix or you’ll lose the fat as it will start to stick to the sides of the bowl you are using.

If you got a kitchen scale, you want to shape the meat into 2 oz balls and then using the palm of your hands flatten the meat a little. You should be able to shape approx 16 patties of beef per pound or 32 sliders! Now cause we added beef to our bison you want to shape approx the same except instead of 2 oz each you want to go between 2 1/2 – 3oz each.

Angus Beef

Angus Beef

Get your skillet or cast iron if you got one screaming hot and if you got a good seasoned cast iron you do not need to add any oil just add the patties and leave them alone.

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You want to get a nice sear on each side so cover with a lid and let them cook for 2-3 minutes

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Bison Burgers

DO NOT USE YOUR SPATULA AND PRESS DOWN ON YOUR BURGERS!

DOING THIS YOU WILL PRESS OUT ALL THE WONDERFUL FLAVOR AND HAVE A DRY BURGER!

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Directions For Cooking Mushrooms:

Make sure mushroom are free of any grit or dirt by wiping with a damp cloth, slice and set aside.
Mince garlic and set aside.

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Heat over medium-high heat a large skillet add butter and olive oil and melt till butter gets bubbly, then add mushrooms and garlic and cook, turning mushrooms over with a rubber spatula to evenly coat with melted butter and oil,

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Mushrooms have a lot of water so there is no need to drop the heat, just turn occasionally, till tender and water is all evaporated.

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Season with salt and pepper and top your juicy burgers!

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