Shrimp noodle bowl with pineapple

Recipe adapted from epicurious.com

This week I found myself daydreaming about being on a beach in a bikini, and though the weather where I live has been beautiful, I would still today like to have my feet in the sand. My solution, in my humble kitchen? Cook something tropical!

This recipe was sweet and if making again I would add the basil (which I did not have) and reduce the amount of juice. It did not quite send me on vacation, but it reminded me vacations are in my future, where I will eat pineapples wearing only the tiniest of garments. I joke, but not really. Sometimes I take out my appropriate only in Miami and otherwise not in the contiguous American states bathing suit which I have not ever worn and sigh wistfully about wearing next to nothing covering well, my gifts from my higher power who apparently is in good company as I think he is also a boobs guy, and sipping a drink, perhaps out of a pineapple, but certainly a grownup drink in a celebration of finally having a grownup life.

Ingredients  0.5 pkg of rice noodles - I bought whole wheat thin noodles but the epicurious recipe called for pad Thai noodles- Either I think would work  medium shallot  2-3 cloves of garlic  medium cucumber  lb of jumbo shrimp (which in my kitchen cook down to medium shrimp)  generous cup of fr pineapple  0.5 cup of orange or pineapple juice  0.5 cup of Thai basil chili sauce  salt and pepper to taste  tbls of grated garlic  2 tbls of soy sauce  3 tbls of olive oil

Ingredients

0.5 pkg of rice noodles - I bought whole wheat thin noodles but the epicurious recipe called for pad Thai noodles- Either I think would work

medium shallot

2-3 cloves of garlic

medium cucumber

lb of jumbo shrimp (which in my kitchen cook down to medium shrimp)

generous cup of fr pineapple

0.5 cup of orange or pineapple juice

0.5 cup of Thai basil chili sauce

salt and pepper to taste

tbls of grated garlic

2 tbls of soy sauce

3 tbls of olive oil

Plan of Attack  Core your pineapple and cut into medium pieces  Defrost (if necessary), clean and pearl your shrimp  Add the shrimp, pineapple, ginger, and soy sauce to your medium mixing bowl and let marinate.  While the mixture marinates, cook the noodles according to package directions and set asaide

Plan of Attack

Core your pineapple and cut into medium pieces

Defrost (if necessary), clean and pearl your shrimp

Add the shrimp, pineapple, ginger, and soy sauce to your medium mixing bowl and let marinate.

While the mixture marinates, cook the noodles according to package directions and set asaide

Add 2tbls of olive il to the medium skillet and then using tongs, place only your pineapple in the skillet.

Add 2tbls of olive il to the medium skillet and then using tongs, place only your pineapple in the skillet.

Cook on medium heat until browned on both sides. Remove the pineapple from the pan and set aside on a plate.

Cook on medium heat until browned on both sides. Remove the pineapple from the pan and set aside on a plate.

Add some diced onion/shallot and 3 garlic cloves (diced) to the drippings from the same pan and when aromatic, add the shrimp to the pan. Cook the shrimp until done (salmon color on both sides). Remove the shrimp from the pan and put on the pineapple plate.

Add some diced onion/shallot and 3 garlic cloves (diced) to the drippings from the same pan and when aromatic, add the shrimp to the pan. Cook the shrimp until done (salmon color on both sides). Remove the shrimp from the pan and put on the pineapple plate.

Add the Thai garlic sauce and the juice to your skillet and then cook until the water cooks out and the mixture is syrupy.

Add the Thai garlic sauce and the juice to your skillet and then cook until the water cooks out and the mixture is syrupy.

Add the shrimp an pineapple back into the pan and stir to coat in the juice mixture. Simmer and add noodles to the skillet. *Optional- add sugar snap or snow peas to the mixture and let them cook in the same juices.    Serve hot garnished with raw onion and cucumber    *this recipe called for adding basil (which I did not have) and for using pineapple juice. I used orange juice but would be interested in knowing what the pineapple juice would add. I feel the need to add cilantro the next time, so we’ll see where this wild and crazy cooking ride takes us!

Add the shrimp an pineapple back into the pan and stir to coat in the juice mixture. Simmer and add noodles to the skillet. *Optional- add sugar snap or snow peas to the mixture and let them cook in the same juices.

Serve hot garnished with raw onion and cucumber

*this recipe called for adding basil (which I did not have) and for using pineapple juice. I used orange juice but would be interested in knowing what the pineapple juice would add. I feel the need to add cilantro the next time, so we’ll see where this wild and crazy cooking ride takes us!

Chicken lettuce wraps

Unfortunately I just wrote this whole post in a coffee shop in cold spring and then it was mysteriously erased. I am writing again from my phone so “bear” with me! Get it, Clare bear, hah ha.

i digress. I am usually religious about posting but I have been juggling a few things and my food blog is suffering. I made this twice recently, with and without ginger, and I missed the ginger!

I have always thought lettuce wraps seemed like something I would like but I had not ever tried them before because I did not want to be another fit lady waxing poetic on the subject of lean protein. I was secretly judging myself and as I have now jumped on the chicken lettuce wrap bandwagon, I feel liberated. Not from everything, but certainly of my burden of judging myself for thinking lettuces leave are nature’s perfect taco shell. I feel envigorated to talk about the wonders of egg white breakfast sandwiches and my own personal favorite- turkey bacon and Brussels sprouts sauté. Truthfully when eating an omelette I don’t omit the center of the egg, but as a light breakfast sandwich with veggies, I find egg whites delicious- no yolking!

It was hard to find a recipe which was not for an impossible to replicate chain restaurant version, but I managed. As a lover of the occasional plate of pancakes from Denny’s I am not completely opposed to chain restaurant recipes, but many of the recipes I had to weed through had so much sugar I would not be able to eat them.

Ingredients  lb ground chicken  2-3 medium carrots  medium onion, cleaned and diced  3 garlic cloves diced (5-6 if they are sm cloves)  ginger root  3 tbls of vegetable or olive oil  head of lettuce  0.25 cup of soy sauce  0.25 cup of miso  0.5 cup of water  green onions (for garnish)  powdered garlic (tsp)

Ingredients

lb ground chicken

2-3 medium carrots

medium onion, cleaned and diced

3 garlic cloves diced (5-6 if they are sm cloves)

ginger root

3 tbls of vegetable or olive oil

head of lettuce

0.25 cup of soy sauce

0.25 cup of miso

0.5 cup of water

green onions (for garnish)

powdered garlic (tsp)

Plan of attack  Add the oil to your medium skillet and when hot add the carrots, onion and garlic. Cook until aromatic (5-6 minutes)  Add the chicken, and use your spoon to break the big pieces.  After adding the chicken, mix the soy sauce, powdered garlic, miso terayaki and water.  Pour the mixture over the cooking chicken and the grate the ginger in (according to taste)  When it is cooked through, serve hot on lettuce leaves (taco style) and possibly garnished with green onion.

Plan of attack

Add the oil to your medium skillet and when hot add the carrots, onion and garlic. Cook until aromatic (5-6 minutes)

Add the chicken, and use your spoon to break the big pieces.

After adding the chicken, mix the soy sauce, powdered garlic, miso terayaki and water.

Pour the mixture over the cooking chicken and the grate the ginger in (according to taste)

When it is cooked through, serve hot on lettuce leaves (taco style) and possibly garnished with green onion.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

For quite some time I have been meaning to try a variation of this recipe. My brother in law and a close real friend are both gluten free and it seemed like an opportunity to learn how to work without flour. The result was dense and super cholocatey, but I think I left it in the oven 5 minutes more than I should have.

I served this because my sibling and her husband came to town and she shares a bday month with Maura, my other sibling, so I volunteered to make a shared cake for the celebration. I think it was best served with ice cream, and luckily we had some on hand! Baking can be something of a mystery, and I wish I had more opportunities to perfect my skills. The problem is you have to have somebody to eat what you baked and if it is bad, (which on occasionally happens to even the best home chef) you are hesitant to give it to somebody under the guise of thoughtfulness. Being thoughtful is so gratifying, doing something which looks thoughtful but isn’t seems like work I’d rather not do do. Luckily this cake did not go the way of pudding cookies (threw most of them away) or raw garlic scape ravioli (apologized but shared it anyway).

Plan of Attack

Ingredients

cup of chocolate chip cookies

cup of butter

8 medium eggs

Preheat the oven to 300-325 degrees depending on how hot your oven runs, Cut the butter into pats for easier melting and put in a microwave safe bowl with the chocolate chips. Melt the the ingredients in the microwave in 30 second intervals, taking care to mix the ingredients between stints int he microwave to prevent burning and sticking to the bowl.

Preheat the oven to 300-325 degrees depending on how hot your oven runs, Cut the butter into pats for easier melting and put in a microwave safe bowl with the chocolate chips. Melt the the ingredients in the microwave in 30 second intervals, taking care to mix the ingredients between stints int he microwave to prevent burning and sticking to the bowl.

Add your eggs to your stand up mixer and whip until light yellow and the mixture makes sift peaks, but before it make meringue like stiff peaks.

Add your eggs to your stand up mixer and whip until light yellow and the mixture makes sift peaks, but before it make meringue like stiff peaks.

Pour, in batches, the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, making certain you have integrated the chocolate completely before adding more of the echolocate mixture

Pour, in batches, the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, making certain you have integrated the chocolate completely before adding more of the echolocate mixture

The mixture should resemble a very smooth cake batter when completely integrated. Pour the batter into a foil lined springform pan and place the pan on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for 36 -41 minutes.

The mixture should resemble a very smooth cake batter when completely integrated. Pour the batter into a foil lined springform pan and place the pan on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for 36 -41 minutes.

The cake is done once it has risen and there are cracks in the top.

The cake is done once it has risen and there are cracks in the top.

Decorate as you prefer

Decorate as you prefer

Serve in a festival atmosphere covered in sparkler candles.

Serve in a festival atmosphere covered in sparkler candles.

oven roasted cod over summer peppers

Unfortunately, due to some snafus over content owenership (it’s my website so I own the content) I have been away from writing for the past few weeks, but I am being brave and contenting away.

I love summer flavors and summer fun, and with few opportunities for summer fun this summer, I tried to focus on what I can control - the flavors. This recipe captured the colors of the grills and bonfires of my youth, and I braved using my oven to have a taste of the sea. My parents moved to a place they could hardly afford when I was almost 5, much to my benefit, and I remember watching my Dad grilling in the backyard crouching over a tiny rusting hibachi from his tailgating days. My friends Julia and Lilly, who lived up the road from our rental house at this time in what my good mannered parents would not ever let us call a mansion but what was certainly a 1920’s masterpiece of a house, talk fondly today of how good the hotdogs from this tiny little contraption tasted after days in the sun chasing frogs and playing pretend. When I cook in the summer I bring all these memories to the table and use recipes which speak to my special understanding of this special season.

Luckily I have not ever had heartburn because of the proverbial pepper, so I enjoy cooking with them without hesitation. Some grumpasaurus picked all the peppers from my backyard garden, but I have a feeling heartburn is the least of their worries, so I shrugged and bought peppers from the store.

As a child people would, as people do, refer to me as a fish because of my love of being in the water, and I love making fish, in some perverse way because it reminds me of the oceans and lakes of my childhood. I am still evolving as a preparer of cod and regularly try and improve how I prepare this very versatile offering of the sea. The topping of the fish makes this dish and if making again I would probably season the fish more before putting it in the oven, and then midway, place some peppers on top of each of the individual fillets for additional flavor. The onion mixture would be an awesome compliment for other fish such as tilapia or even sea bass, and I would even say it would be good on loaded fresh fries.

I usually rephrase the recipes or write in my own language, but I copied and pasted this recipe directly from Bon Apetit, (who clearly owns this recipe but not my original content) because I followed the recipe exactly when I cooked this recipe, except for the use of the broiler. Using the broiler scares me with nobody in my house so roasting had to do.

Ingredients

3 bell peppers

lb of cod cut into 2-3 fillets

medium shallot

2 tbls of capers, drained

2 tbs of crushed red pepper

bunch of parsley (you could also use cilantro, unless you’re like my Mamma who believes cilantro ruins everything)

3 tbs of olive oil

salt

pepper

Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove stems, ribs, and seeds; discard. Place bell peppers on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 3 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and black pepper. Toss to coat, then turn cut side down and broil bell peppers on top rack, turning baking sheet front to back halfway through, until skins are blackened all over, 15–20 minutes.

Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove stems, ribs, and seeds; discard. Place bell peppers on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 3 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and black pepper. Toss to coat, then turn cut side down and broil bell peppers on top rack, turning baking sheet front to back halfway through, until skins are blackened all over, 15–20 minutes.

Uncover bell peppers and peel away charred skin from flesh (don’t worry about getting every last bit); discard.

Uncover bell peppers and peel away charred skin from flesh (don’t worry about getting every last bit); discard.

Tear flesh into ½" strips and place in a shallow 3-qt. baking dish along with all the accumulated juices in the bowl. Add garlic, vinegar, and red pepper flakes and toss well to combine. Taste and season with more salt.

Tear flesh into ½" strips and place in a shallow 3-qt. baking dish along with all the accumulated juices in the bowl. Add garlic, vinegar, and red pepper flakes and toss well to combine. Taste and season with more salt.

Meanwhile, toss onion, parsley, capers, and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl; season with salt.

Meanwhile, toss onion, parsley, capers, and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl; season with salt.

Nestle cod into bell pepper mixture, drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil, and season with salt and black pepper. Roast on center rack until flesh is opaque throughout and flakes easily when pressed, 25–30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes.

Nestle cod into bell pepper mixture, drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil, and season with salt and black pepper. Roast on center rack until flesh is opaque throughout and flakes easily when pressed, 25–30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes.

Top fish with onion mixture and serve with bread.

Top fish with onion mixture and serve with bread.

Sugar Snap Peas and Quinoa

People are constantly redefining what self care looks like when it comes to food and today’s gluten free cookie, is 1989’s lite cool whip. I think of food, when it comes to me, as being part of self care if it nourishes my body and doesn’t weigh on my conscience. For my unique blood condition, I must eat more protein than the average people and my own personal “my plate” looks like a fred flintstone platter with it threatening to tip over from the abundance of carne. Today I was talking to my hermann of the heart about how it sits on my heart to eat so much meat, but today, what I can do is release myself from the guilt which accompanies choices something I have no choice but to choose. When I cooked for people with more frequency, quinoa was always something I prepared, but it takes so much time I haven’t cooked it much recently; My version of self care happened the moment I realized I deserve the same amount of time spent on my food I cook for myself that I would spend on the food I prepare for others, so Quinoa, with its protein packed goodness, is likely to be on my table more.

This easy way of making flavorful quinoa was pretty simple, and the single pot of protein, starch and veggies, would probably appeal to the rushed mammas and busy self cooking captains of industry who might read this blog, so try it! I used the leftover quinoa as an addition to scrambled eggs for some additional heft, as an homage to the Dunkin Donuts breakfast bowls I have so recently been enamored of!

Ingredients

cup of quinoa

2 cups of chicken / vegetable broth

medium onion, diced

2 tbs of olive oil

2 cups of snow peas or sugar snap peas

2-3 cloves of garlic

Plan of Attack  Dice your onion and add it, with the olive oil to your medium sauce pan on medium low heat. Cook the onion until it is clear and aromatic.  Add the chicken stock, garlic, quinoa, (and I also added rosemary). Cook on medium low heat for 15-16 minutes. If the liquid evaporates, add more water, stirring to distribute.   When the quinoa is about cooked, add the peas to the top, and cook on heat for 2-3 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat, being careful to keep the lid on the pot and let the contents sit for 5-6 minutes.  Serve hot and wearing the smile you can only have when you have taken care of yourself according to your own yardstick!

Plan of Attack

Dice your onion and add it, with the olive oil to your medium sauce pan on medium low heat. Cook the onion until it is clear and aromatic.

Add the chicken stock, garlic, quinoa, (and I also added rosemary). Cook on medium low heat for 15-16 minutes. If the liquid evaporates, add more water, stirring to distribute.

When the quinoa is about cooked, add the peas to the top, and cook on heat for 2-3 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, being careful to keep the lid on the pot and let the contents sit for 5-6 minutes.

Serve hot and wearing the smile you can only have when you have taken care of yourself according to your own yardstick!

lemony Asparagus pasta

My heart loves the season where asparagus is suddenly affordable, and I take advantage of it when cooking as often as I can. This recipe was quick and the trickiest thing about it was timing the asparagus and pasta cooking correctly. Truth be told (and I’m a truth teller so this is my only option) I overcooked the asparagus and it was a little stringy.

I got this recipe from an awesome eblast, and I was anxious to try for myself a meatless monday recipe with spice and protein. It was delicioso, and I ate all the leftovers which, when you’re cooking for yourself using whole recipes, is an amazing feat! When I make again I will add more heat to the beans, drain the better before I add the marinade and put the asparagus in the pan about 5 minutes after I put the pasta in the salted water. You live, and it makes no sense not to learn!

As the curtain closes on summer, I am trying to squeeze the last bit of sunshine into my menus, so stay tuned! Perhaps I’ll grill some pineapple or try another marinade which has not yet graced the counter of my tiny galley kitchen, My plans this week include baking a cake, yes an actual baked cake in summer, and I’ll keep my readers posted! IT’s a simple cake, and since it is still so hot, I figured a few ingredient cake, might not get me so hot and bothered.

*Can I bring attention to the fact that the word gracias was spell checked as not a word in a previous post, but in this post leftovers autocorrected to elflowers. I am thinking these are flowers proportionately sized to fit elves, and while I appreciate the whimsy of the whole tiny flower thing, I am pretty sure between elflowers and gracias, gracias is actually more of a word. I just reviewed what I wrote below and autocorrect autocorrected my correct grammar to not correct tenses! MAN AUTOCORRECT IS NOT BEING KIND. I say this as if autocorrect is controlled by an awkward command center of people who feel alienated because well, who knows, and think it is funny to edit correct sentences to not correct sentences with the intention of making me look dumb because I know how to play a sport in real life and not just on a computer! I feel the need to say, jokingly, if this is the case “Dear Autocorrectors, you might be mad at some people but I am nothing like the people who made fun you in high school!”

Ingredients  2 bunches of asparagus  05. cup of grated parmesan with more to serve  lb of medium penne (but other shapes would also work)  cup of cannelloni beans  2 tsp of ground cayenne pepper  3 cloves of garlic  5-6 tbs of olive oil (you might not use all of it, depending not he heat of your pan)  medium pat of butter  salt and pepper to taste  powdered garlic  medium lemon                                                                                           Plan of Attack  Add the beans, red pepper, lemon juice of half of the lemon,  2 cloves of garlic diced and powered garlic to a medium bowl and marinate the beans for at least an hour.  While the beans are marinating put your medium stockpot on and fill mid brim with salted water. Turn on high. When it boils add the lb of pasta (I was looking for orrichette, but my grocery store had penne, so I used pennies). Cook until al dente.   While the past cooks, add the asparagus (cut into 3 pieces for each stalk), remaining garlic, salt and pepper to a hot oiled pan and cook until almost tender.   Drain the past, reserving a cup of the pasta water, and add the pasta directly into the medium skillet, and then add the pasta water. Cook on medium low until the dish integrates and then add the parmesan cheese, stirring frequently so the pasta is covered  Note, I added butter during this step, but you could simply not use butter if it is not your thing   Then add the beans, squeeze the juice of the remaining piece of lemon over the pasts, stir throughly and cover with grated parmesan.   .

Ingredients

2 bunches of asparagus

05. cup of grated parmesan with more to serve

lb of medium penne (but other shapes would also work)

cup of cannelloni beans

2 tsp of ground cayenne pepper

3 cloves of garlic

5-6 tbs of olive oil (you might not use all of it, depending not he heat of your pan)

medium pat of butter

salt and pepper to taste

powdered garlic

medium lemon

Plan of Attack

Add the beans, red pepper, lemon juice of half of the lemon, 2 cloves of garlic diced and powered garlic to a medium bowl and marinate the beans for at least an hour.

While the beans are marinating put your medium stockpot on and fill mid brim with salted water. Turn on high. When it boils add the lb of pasta (I was looking for orrichette, but my grocery store had penne, so I used pennies). Cook until al dente.

While the past cooks, add the asparagus (cut into 3 pieces for each stalk), remaining garlic, salt and pepper to a hot oiled pan and cook until almost tender.

Drain the past, reserving a cup of the pasta water, and add the pasta directly into the medium skillet, and then add the pasta water. Cook on medium low until the dish integrates and then add the parmesan cheese, stirring frequently so the pasta is covered Note, I added butter during this step, but you could simply not use butter if it is not your thing

Then add the beans, squeeze the juice of the remaining piece of lemon over the pasts, stir throughly and cover with grated parmesan.

.

Baked cod with yogurt sauce and roasted scallions

This time of year I love embracing grilling but this year it was super wet in this area and then super hot, so I have yet to grill in the backyard - yes, it surprises me too. As a rule I think most cooks try an use recipes which don’t involve cranking up the oven during these hot summer months, but I made an exception for this recipe. It called for cooking the fish quickly at high temperatures and serving on a bed of what seemed like veritable vegetable candy - roasted scallions!

Fairly regularly I make fish but rarely cod, and now I will more often because it withstood the high temperatures, remained flavorful and seems like an awesome canvas for flavors. Locally, my grocery store does not generally carry cod, but with my car, now I can go where other fish lovers bravely go on occasion - to cod land. If I was an even remotely kind of a lesbian or interested in being in the vagina monologues, I think some of this copy might seem tinged with double entendre but since I only like fish on my plate, nibbling my toes in the wild and the aquarium, I am not concerned.

To get the desired level of crispyness you cut the scallions into ribbons and the roasting brings out the sweetness of the scallions similar to what happens when you caramelize onions/shallots in your frying pan. After this dish, I had a passing thought I would be interested in making an entire sheet pan of roasted scallions, they were so could but quickly realized this might be good for a dinner party but I don’t want to exhaust my love of the beauty which is the roasted scallion. You could use the roasted scallions when serving steak, grilled chicken and even pork loin and I would, because they are so damn pretty in a very green “they’re so good they should be bad for me” crunchy way!

Though I love Greek food and appreciate John Manis, I am not as versed in yogurt sauce as I probably should be. In lieu of dill or parsley I used cilantro and it added a summary kick to this sauce which I will surely serve again. Some people might say yogurt sauce has no business being served with fish, but I think they’re wrong and it’s the cod’s business if it deems yogurt sauce appropriate. When the flavors are married together it makes your bite very enjoyable and the whole thing is surprisingly healthy! I need more uses for yogurt sauce, because I’m a believer in it, but need more places to use my leftovers.

Ingredients  Lb (or so) of cod, in fillets - I bought a package with 2 fillets, not quite a pond because I was making it for myself  bunch of crunchy scallions  cucumber, diced.   cup of plain whole milk yogurt  cup of diced cilantro  medium shallot, diced  powdered garlic  paprika  tsp of fish sauce  tsp of soy sauce  olive oil  Serving suggestion: baked sweet potato

Ingredients

Lb (or so) of cod, in fillets - I bought a package with 2 fillets, not quite a pond because I was making it for myself

bunch of crunchy scallions

cucumber, diced.

cup of plain whole milk yogurt

cup of diced cilantro

medium shallot, diced

powdered garlic

paprika

tsp of fish sauce

tsp of soy sauce

olive oil

Serving suggestion: baked sweet potato

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees  Cut your scallions into ribbons after trimming the tough ends. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and powdered garlic.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees

Cut your scallions into ribbons after trimming the tough ends. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and powdered garlic.

Coat your cod in olive oil and place on a medium rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle the top of the fish with the fish sauce and soy sauce, and then sprinkle with paprika. If you’re omitting the fish sauce, cover with salt and pepper, since fish sauce has such high amount of salt. Place in the oven for 6-7 minutes.

Coat your cod in olive oil and place on a medium rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle the top of the fish with the fish sauce and soy sauce, and then sprinkle with paprika. If you’re omitting the fish sauce, cover with salt and pepper, since fish sauce has such high amount of salt. Place in the oven for 6-7 minutes.

Check on the fish after 5 minutes and if it has developed a cooked color on top, sprinkle the ballot around the pan and put the pan back in the over.  While the fish and scallions cook, make the yogurt sauce by mixing yogurt, cucumber, shallots, salt, pepper, diced garlic and lemon juice.

Check on the fish after 5 minutes and if it has developed a cooked color on top, sprinkle the ballot around the pan and put the pan back in the over.

While the fish and scallions cook, make the yogurt sauce by mixing yogurt, cucumber, shallots, salt, pepper, diced garlic and lemon juice.

Remove the pan when the fish flesh is baked but still tender and the scallions are cooked with crispy charred parts.  The fish should have cooked between 13-15 minutes.   Serve the fish hot, covered in the yogurt sauce, and with sides of your preference,  A beautiful serving suggestions would be serving the cod on top of a bed of the roasted scallions.

Remove the pan when the fish flesh is baked but still tender and the scallions are cooked with crispy charred parts. The fish should have cooked between 13-15 minutes.

Serve the fish hot, covered in the yogurt sauce, and with sides of your preference, A beautiful serving suggestions would be serving the cod on top of a bed of the roasted scallions.

Frozen Greek yogurt Bark

My body is telling me as a grownup I need more savory and not as much sweet. Known for my sweet tooth when I was younger, now I crave sweet tempered with things which are savory and sometimes salty. Oddly, the girl who chewed Doublemint gum for breakfast has become the lady who sometimes cannot finish her fruit salad because it is, just like some have described me privately, a little too sweet. I don’t think I am too sweet and some days I can eat ice cream with relish…not actual relish, but I do love condiments and now I am thinking relish on something sweet might not be such a bad idea.

I found this recipe online when seeking cold ways to eat my way towards beating the summer heat and it delivered. The tang of the yogurt was welcome and the saltiness of the sunflower seeds, mixed with the almost sweetness of the rasberries floated my desert boat. Unfortunately, the bark acquired what can only be described as a weird powdery freezer burn, and what is left is sitting in my freezer inedible. Next time I will make only what I can eat in a sitting (or 2), and use only the sweetest of berries. So ironic, a person who has been described as icy by the people who want the world to hate her, is secretly as sweet as the creme puffs her body cannot tolerate anymore.

I am told it is my blood and not my old fear of calories dictating what I simply, at times, cannot stand, so I feel at peace with listening to its messages as it runs through my veins, allowing only the occasional jelly donut or the casual gummy candy, As it was explained to me, it pretty much the opposite of diabetes, so I guess I dodged diabetes; in reviewing my life, I say it might be the only bullet I have managed to accidentally dodge.

Ingredients

2 cups of plain whole milk yogurt (which I don’t eat but I dutifully followed the recipe)

3 tbs of honey

0.5 cup of raspberries, halved

0.5 cup of salted sunflower seeds

Equipment:

Sheet tray lined with parchment paper or wax paper

Mix the ingredients except the sunflower seeds together.

Mix the ingredients except the sunflower seeds together.

Spread the yogurt mixture over the wax paper/parchment paper with your spatula and then sprinkle your very liberal hand, the sunflower seeds over the top. Place in the freezer for 3-5 hours or until the bark is hard and able to be cut into squares. Caution! Melts quickly!

Spread the yogurt mixture over the wax paper/parchment paper with your spatula and then sprinkle your very liberal hand, the sunflower seeds over the top. Place in the freezer for 3-5 hours or until the bark is hard and able to be cut into squares. Caution! Melts quickly!

Fred's Chicken Salad

It is HOT! In the dead of winter I sigh wishing for the ability to feel grass in between my toes, but I’ll admit when it is super hot and there’s no pool open, I might also become a little bit testy. The city pool was closed the entire weekend and so was the school pool where I swim laps so I sought out ways to add some serious chill into my life.

This recipe is my version of a sad which is served at a storied detail restaurant and the original recipe has avouches, but mine wasn’t ripe, so I omitted it. The dressing, which I used with too liberal of a hand; my us of dressing on occasion might be the only way I think I have ever been too liberal. I think personally I am just the correct amount of liberal, but I digress. I am focussing on the salad.

The balsamic dressing and pungent cheese was the perfect compliment to the pears, and I found myself wishing I had more cooked vegetables because they gave the salad a crunchy substance enabling me to truly call this salad a real meal. I have a tremendous amount of dressing left because while I portioned the other ingredients to fit my individual needs, I made the amount of dressing which was supposed to feed 5-6 people. Looks like I have some chilled meals in my future,

Ingredients  ripe pear  0.5 lb of asparagus  0.5 lb green beans  medium scallion  medium chicken breast  2 cups of spring greens    dressing  0.5 cup of balsamic vinegar  0.5 cup dijon mustard  0.25 cup of soy sauce  0.25- 0.5 cup of olive oil  ground pepper, to taste

Ingredients

ripe pear

0.5 lb of asparagus

0.5 lb green beans

medium scallion

medium chicken breast

2 cups of spring greens

dressing

0.5 cup of balsamic vinegar

0.5 cup dijon mustard

0.25 cup of soy sauce

0.25- 0.5 cup of olive oil

ground pepper, to taste

Cut your chicken breast into pieces which will quickly cook

Cut your chicken breast into pieces which will quickly cook

Clean the green beans by snapping the ends off and cut the asparagus into 3 pieces after removing the woody ends. Put on a pot of generously salted water to boil and when boiling add the vegetables and cook for 5-6 minutes. Remove them before they are overdone, but are still tender, and drain them in a colander and run over them with cold water, effectively cooling and blanching them.

Clean the green beans by snapping the ends off and cut the asparagus into 3 pieces after removing the woody ends. Put on a pot of generously salted water to boil and when boiling add the vegetables and cook for 5-6 minutes. Remove them before they are overdone, but are still tender, and drain them in a colander and run over them with cold water, effectively cooling and blanching them.

Set the green vegetables on your counter while you attend to your chicken.

Set the green vegetables on your counter while you attend to your chicken.

Poach your chicken pieces by adding a packet of Goya chicken seasoning to a medium saucepan of boiling water and cooking in the hot water until cooked through. Remove the chicken and when cooled, shred with your fingers..  While the chicken cooks, whisk the dressing together.  Place the greens on a plate and then layer the, cooked vegetables, diced scallions, sliced pear, shredded chicken and cheese. Drizzle the entire salad with the dressing exercising restraint -it is very potent and a little bit guess white a ways.

Poach your chicken pieces by adding a packet of Goya chicken seasoning to a medium saucepan of boiling water and cooking in the hot water until cooked through. Remove the chicken and when cooled, shred with your fingers..

While the chicken cooks, whisk the dressing together.

Place the greens on a plate and then layer the, cooked vegetables, diced scallions, sliced pear, shredded chicken and cheese. Drizzle the entire salad with the dressing exercising restraint -it is very potent and a little bit guess white a ways.

Unicorn Horn Banana Paletas (and other varieties)

I saw this recipe which seemed very simple and a hit for the children in my life whose parents are sugar conscious….and myself! After seeing the recipe which originally called for greek yogurt, I looked up other recipes to give them a whirl. Unfortunately give them a whirl takes on another meaning entirely when you see how the banana flavored look because they look well, a little bit, more than a little bit ahem, phallic. The unicorn horn was my own little Walmart find and while they look like unicorn horns, I have seen more penises than horned winged horses, and my mind went there. I have not, seen many many but if I am being honest I have yet to set eyes on a real mythical creature except on my favorite Ancient Aliens on the History channel. These would be unusually pointy “penne” as we say but I am sure they look like somebody’s. Something tells me pointy penne are not as rare a creatures who can speak through their minds and fly you to work on their back.

Some recipes called for greek yogurt, some called for vanilla traditional yogurt, and some call for the combination of sugar and milk. Since my bananas I originally used were super ripe I thought I was not gonna use a recipe which called for added sugar because the whole point was to find a low sugar treat. I was pleasantly surprised with the greek yogurt variety, but was not sure the children in my life would be so into the signature tartness of greek yogurt. I then made strawberry with greek yogurt, and they were sweet, tart and berry berry. Lastly I tried traditional sweetened lowfat vanilla yogurt with strawberries and found out I am actually a grown up because I missed the bite of the Greek yogurt version. I’ve provided both recipe varieties and while I love milk, I did not use the recipe which required him because what would I do with the role milk version?

Ingredients  cup of Greek vanilla yogurt or traditional vanilla yogurt  cup of bananas, (apex 2 sm bananas)  for strawberry version - 5-6 good strawberries  tsp of vanilla

Ingredients

cup of Greek vanilla yogurt or traditional vanilla yogurt

cup of bananas, (apex 2 sm bananas)

for strawberry version - 5-6 good strawberries

tsp of vanilla

Add the yogurt, vanilla and fruit of your choosing to your medium mixing bowl. Use your hand blender to puree the mixture until smooth. Pour the liquid into the mold and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours. To release your pops, run the pop you wish to eat under running hot water for 30-60 seconds, twist, and voila!

Add the yogurt, vanilla and fruit of your choosing to your medium mixing bowl. Use your hand blender to puree the mixture until smooth. Pour the liquid into the mold and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours. To release your pops, run the pop you wish to eat under running hot water for 30-60 seconds, twist, and voila!

Yes, I just spent a paragraph telling you what this might look like to some people.  It still tastes good and even better, makes me laugh!

Yes, I just spent a paragraph telling you what this might look like to some people. It still tastes good and even better, makes me laugh!

Shrimp and Basil Stir Fry

Basil basil basil. I love seeing it flourish in my garden and it is truly a sign of the season when I start looking for ways to use it. In the northeast, basil is sometimes hard to come by during the winter months but makes more than a cameo appearance in the produce aisles when the ice melts, and the flowers start blooming.

I love recipes from Epicurious, but sometimes they have ingredients I have no way of getting and luckily for me and my palate, the internet sometimes gives reliable information about what I can use instead. With the Epicurious / Bon Appetit partnership recipe EBlasts and regular similar emails from NY Time cooking, I feel like I am given permission to peer into a a food world I might have been nervous to enter from my humble galley kitchen. This recipe called for Fresno chiles, which despite my lookingest looks in the grocery stores in my zip codes, I could not find. I read the Fresno is similar to a jalapeño except the jalapeño is hotter, so I cut down on the amount and my jalapeño bravely went where only Fresnos had gone before. I jest, but honestly, I am so glad I decided to make this recipe anyway. At the urging of my inbox, I frequently to decide to “Cook this now” (the title of the eblasts) or make a recipe because my email I received told me “what to make this week.” I am in no way suggestible, and nobody has ever tried to sell me a bridge in Brooklyn so I must exude at least a little saviness, but I like learning recipes which I might not even know to seek out because they are from unfamiliar cultures or seem, when I’ve had them in restaurant, beyond my humble cooking abilities. In addition to this blog I encourage people to seek out places and spaces where they try recipes which might seem a little daunting or unfamiliar. If I cooked according to my existing repertoire always, as most people without a food blog do, I would eat many many many rosemary boneless pork chops interspersed with vegetables and “Puerto Rican eggs”, so called because they are liberally seasoned with Goya Sazon con Cilantro and Tomate. Chuckle chuckle, Luckily, I have a food blog.

For people not so familiar with fish sauce, it is as potent as it sounds. In Thai and Vietnamese food sometimes it is used on its own for the brave as a condiment, and as an essential part of sauces for the people who love the hint of its flavor but who might otherwise be bowled over by its pungency. The marinade, which becomes a sauce in this recipe, is the perfect compliment to shrimp and I would totally make this again. The peas where my vegetable craving heart’s addition, and it was honestly a gamble which paid off. You could serve this recipe over soba or rice noodles, or as the recipe originally called for, rice. I am still trying to master the cooking of rice noodles, but I am planning on keeping on keeping on when it comes to cooking them, because I know I am on the bring of cooking them to perfection.

Ingredients  Single medium jalapeño coarsely chopped (recipe originally called for 3 Fresno chiles, but there were no Fresno chiles at my grocery store and the internet said I could use the hotter jalapeño instead in moderation)  6 garlic cloves, smashed  1/4 cup sugar  2 Tbsp. fish sauce  1 tsp. kosher salt  4 Tbsp. vegetable or grapeseed oil, divided  1 lb. large shrimp, peeled, deveined  2 cups basil leaves (about 1 bunch)  Lime wedges (for serving)  cup of sugar snap peas  PKG of rice noodles (optional)

Ingredients

Single medium jalapeño coarsely chopped (recipe originally called for 3 Fresno chiles, but there were no Fresno chiles at my grocery store and the internet said I could use the hotter jalapeño instead in moderation)

6 garlic cloves, smashed

1/4 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. fish sauce

1 tsp. kosher salt

4 Tbsp. vegetable or grapeseed oil, divided

1 lb. large shrimp, peeled, deveined

2 cups basil leaves (about 1 bunch)

Lime wedges (for serving)

cup of sugar snap peas

PKG of rice noodles (optional)

Combine the fish sauce, garlic, tbs of cooking oil, fish sauce, sugar and lime. I used my hand blender to make a smooth puree.

Combine the fish sauce, garlic, tbs of cooking oil, fish sauce, sugar and lime. I used my hand blender to make a smooth puree.

Defrost (if you’re using frozen shrimp as I did), rinse, peel and devein your shrimp

Defrost (if you’re using frozen shrimp as I did), rinse, peel and devein your shrimp

Marinate the shrimp for 15 minutes (or up to an hour)

Marinate the shrimp for 15 minutes (or up to an hour)

Add the remaining oil to the pan and when medium hot, add the shrimp and a little bit more than half of the marinade. Cook the shrimp until they are cooked both sides. As the sauce cooks down it will become more aromatic and when the shrimp is almost done cooking add the peas, stirring to mix them in. Sprinkle the chopped basil leaves over the top of the dish when the peas have cooked. . I

Add the remaining oil to the pan and when medium hot, add the shrimp and a little bit more than half of the marinade. Cook the shrimp until they are cooked both sides. As the sauce cooks down it will become more aromatic and when the shrimp is almost done cooking add the peas, stirring to mix them in. Sprinkle the chopped basil leaves over the top of the dish when the peas have cooked. . I

Persian Carrot and Radish Salad

I find myself craving brightness as soon as the sun shines with more regularly and so I sought out this salad with clean flavors and the crunch which makes vegetables, in my mind, worth their weight, well, on the grocery store scale.

Secretly I have craved having my own thin slicing device, but when I held it in my hands, wielding the power to make the shaved cucumbers of my dreams, it was a little daunting. The blade was scarily sharp and I doubted whether the radishes would live up to my standards. In a situation which so rarely happens in my life outside the kitchen, I was pleasantly surprised by the truth in advertising about how quickly and neatly the mandolin/ier worked.

After getting over my wonder about my razor thin radishes, I decided would make this salad again. Unfortunately, I did not precisely measure the oil in the dressing and I reprimanded myself, inside my insides, because the dressing was a little on the oily side. I would probably add more lemon juice and some powered garlic to the dressing as well, but it was successfully crunchy and even dressed, stayed crunchy overnight! Two pleasant surprises in two days! Be still my infrequently pleased heart!

INGREDIENTS  1/4 cup olive oil, divided  1 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds  1/2 teaspoon ground cumin  3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more  3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice  1 teaspoon honey  1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper  2 pounds carrots, peeled, shaved lengthwise into ribbons with a vegetable peeler  1 bunch radishes (approximately 10 radishes), thinly sliced on a mandoline or with a sharp knife  4 cups (packed) mixed torn herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, dill, mint, tarragon, and/or basil

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup olive oil, divided

1 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds carrots, peeled, shaved lengthwise into ribbons with a vegetable peeler

1 bunch radishes (approximately 10 radishes), thinly sliced on a mandoline or with a sharp knife

4 cups (packed) mixed torn herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, dill, mint, tarragon, and/or basil

Using your mandolin (I had to buy a hand mandolin fo this recipe), thinly slice your radishes.

Using your mandolin (I had to buy a hand mandolin fo this recipe), thinly slice your radishes.

Using your vegetable peeler, peel the carrots into thin ribbons.  In another bowl, mix the dressing by combining the honey, salt, pepper, lemon juice and oil.  After mixing the dressing, toast the pepitas in a medium skillet by adding il, adding the seeds and covering in cumin.  Add the dressing and diced scallions. Then roughly chop your cilantro after removing the leaves from the stems and add to the salad. Mix the salad throughly and then serve covered in a sprinkling of the toasted cumin pepitas.

Using your vegetable peeler, peel the carrots into thin ribbons.

In another bowl, mix the dressing by combining the honey, salt, pepper, lemon juice and oil.

After mixing the dressing, toast the pepitas in a medium skillet by adding il, adding the seeds and covering in cumin.

Add the dressing and diced scallions. Then roughly chop your cilantro after removing the leaves from the stems and add to the salad. Mix the salad throughly and then serve covered in a sprinkling of the toasted cumin pepitas.

Charred Tuna Asian Green Salad

In the spring and summer I fancy myself a salad slayer- I don’t kill the lettuce, but I slay at salad making. I am often struck by how pretty the arrangement of everything can be and how just how damn inviting a little gorgonzola can make, pretty much, well, everything.

There’s no gorgonzola in this salad because I was adhering to the no fish and cheese rule. Yes, I make notable exceptions for shrimp Alfredo and very high brow offerings like the occasional fillet o’ fish sandwich from McDonald’s, but the star of this salad is the tuna, so why hurt its feelings by breaking rules?

I have a sensitive stomach so since this was not marketed as sushi grade tuna, I charred the bejesus out of its steak soul. In celebration of spring, I blanched some asparagus after cooking briefly in heavily salted water, added edamame, a strawberry sliced thin and some finely diced scallions, and called it a day. The dressing integrates the whole salad by introducing the Asian flavors and making the salad a cohesive “song of spring”. Asparagus fills my spring “food joy tank” so much I could perhaps call it Aspara-gas, but then people might make farting jokes. I rarely fart so the jokes would not ever be funny. I digress.

I got the salad dressing recipe online and made some palate adjustments (like adding honey) and some necessary adjustments (like settling for powdered over paste wasabi). The recipe still needs some adjusting but as I adjusted I started having more and more dressing and a solo salad to use it to dress. Yes, the sad sigh of cooking for yourself includes things like an embarrassing abundance of salad dressing and nobody to compliment your strawberries.

Ingredients  2 cups of mixed greens  5-6 stalks of celery  2 strawberries  medium diced scallion  an abundance of edamame  Tuna steak portioned  salt and pepper  lemon  2 tbs of soy sauce  tsp of honey  tsp of Wasabi  3 tbs of rice wine vinegar  2 tbs of olive oil (or so)    Plan of Attack  Put on a pot of salted water to boil  When boiling, add trimmed asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain immediately and run cold water over the asparagus until cool. Set aside.  Season the tuna steak on both sides with salt and pepper and put a tbs of olive oil into your medium skillet. When hot add the tuna and slice lemon wheels onto the top, turning frequently. Whenever you turn, try and keep lemon underneath nd lemon on top to retain moisture.  While the tun cooks assemble the dressing. Whisk the soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, wasabi, and olive oil.  Prepare the vegetables and then place the cooked tuna on top. and drizzle with the prepared dressing. Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 cups of mixed greens

5-6 stalks of celery

2 strawberries

medium diced scallion

an abundance of edamame

Tuna steak portioned

salt and pepper

lemon

2 tbs of soy sauce

tsp of honey

tsp of Wasabi

3 tbs of rice wine vinegar

2 tbs of olive oil (or so)

Plan of Attack

Put on a pot of salted water to boil

When boiling, add trimmed asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain immediately and run cold water over the asparagus until cool. Set aside.

Season the tuna steak on both sides with salt and pepper and put a tbs of olive oil into your medium skillet. When hot add the tuna and slice lemon wheels onto the top, turning frequently. Whenever you turn, try and keep lemon underneath nd lemon on top to retain moisture.

While the tun cooks assemble the dressing. Whisk the soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, wasabi, and olive oil.

Prepare the vegetables and then place the cooked tuna on top. and drizzle with the prepared dressing. Enjoy!

Chicken in Mustard Sauce

Growing up I was the only person in my house who loved mustard. As children go, we were pretty tolerant of each other, but we had the same fights siblings do about things which made complete sense, like people blinking too loudly or my personal favorite, the aroma of mustard ruining the kitchen. I love pretty much every mustard from the yellow I piled on what my Dad ceremoniously calls “dirty water dogs” from pushcarts in the city to moutarde fitting for the most discerning Croque Monsieur. Hesitantly, I would say mustard is my favorite condiment, and I say hesitantly because I am my grammy’s granddaughter and I have a love of all condiments. Relish, I eat with relish. Jams are my jam. I get sauced more joyfully if my food has some sort of special sauce. Somebody I spent a considerable amount of time with as a child but who behaves like a child as an adult, told me he has as an adult developed the courage to bravely tell people he does not like condiments, even, GASP, ketchup. When he told me I almost burst out with “but how do you find meaning and joy in your condiment free life?” I would say for him, the verdict is still out about joy and actually also meaning, so perhaps he should try some mustard. The general dislike of mustard in my house did not deter me from my love of possibly my favorite condiment, and I soldiered through the peanut gallery of mustard haters, to proudly become the lady I am today.

My heart beats “must-ard, must-ard” for pretty much everything mustard worthy, from turkey sandwiches to egg salad, from honey baked ham to tuna fish. The only benefit of cooking for yourself is the luxury of making foods which answer solely to your palate and this recipe answered to mine. There was nobody to complain about the mustardiness of the sauce, but there was also nobody to do the dishes. I actually think this dish would be enjoyable for the majority of people and I plan on serving to people who are not so unabashedly proud of their love of “the other hotdog condiment.”

This simple sauce combines two types of mustard, dijon and spicy brown, with a basic rue. When it cooks down it is velvety smooth. Additional uses for this sauce on its own would be as a dressing for roasted potatoes or even steamed carrots.

Ingredients  2-3 medium chicken breasts  medium shallot  3 garlic cloves  sprig of rosemary  2 tbls of flour with extra for dusting  0.5 cup of water  3 tbls of vegetable oil (you could also use olive oil)  2 tbls of dijon mustard  tbls of brown mustard (I added extra)  an abundance of ground pepper    Plan of Attack  Cut the chicken into 5-6 pieces and pound with your meat tenderizer until they’re about the same thickness. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.  Pour about a tbls of oil into your medium skillet and when hot, add the chicken.  Dice your shallots and garlic  Brown the chicken on both sides, and then sprinkle each side with flour and return to pan to develop a rich texture on the outside of the breasts  Add the shallots and garlic into the pan with the chicken breasts and remove the chicken breasts after cooking with the shallots for 2-3 minutes.  Put the chicken breasts to the side, add the flour and water to make a simple rue. Then add the remaining oil and mustards to the pan, making sure to stir the sauce with your spoon to prevent the flour from sticking.  When the sauce has integrated, add your chicken pieces back in the pan with the sauce and cook on medium low heat for 9-11 minutes, Season with more ground pepper and serve covered generously with the sauce.

Ingredients

2-3 medium chicken breasts

medium shallot

3 garlic cloves

sprig of rosemary

2 tbls of flour with extra for dusting

0.5 cup of water

3 tbls of vegetable oil (you could also use olive oil)

2 tbls of dijon mustard

tbls of brown mustard (I added extra)

an abundance of ground pepper

Plan of Attack

Cut the chicken into 5-6 pieces and pound with your meat tenderizer until they’re about the same thickness. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.

Pour about a tbls of oil into your medium skillet and when hot, add the chicken.

Dice your shallots and garlic

Brown the chicken on both sides, and then sprinkle each side with flour and return to pan to develop a rich texture on the outside of the breasts

Add the shallots and garlic into the pan with the chicken breasts and remove the chicken breasts after cooking with the shallots for 2-3 minutes.

Put the chicken breasts to the side, add the flour and water to make a simple rue. Then add the remaining oil and mustards to the pan, making sure to stir the sauce with your spoon to prevent the flour from sticking.

When the sauce has integrated, add your chicken pieces back in the pan with the sauce and cook on medium low heat for 9-11 minutes, Season with more ground pepper and serve covered generously with the sauce.

quick ginger chicken with scallions

I unfortunately have been dealing with some medical problems so it has interfered with my regular MISS D COOKS schedule. This recipe is something I tried with the ginger I had left after the ginger root tea I made for my stomach. I am sorry for the regular followers of this blog.

It is hard to eat when you’re not feeling well, but man, when you don’t eat, it is worse. I love how the world seems to be gravitating back towards valuing folk medicine, and the cures which cured people for centuries before doctors told you not to listen to your grandma about your stomachache. This chicken stir fry was digestion appropriate, and checked the boxes of how food can taste when it is secretly helping you.

Ingredients

medium ginger root

2-3 cloves of garlic

3 scallions

2-3 medium chicken breasts

5-6 tbls of olive oil for sautéing

medium bunch of garlic

salt and pepper

Cut the ginger into straws, dice the garlic and make the scallions into coins.  Add 3 tbls of olive oil to the pan and when hot, add the ginger, scallions, and garlic. Sauce the savory ingredients until the ginger is cooked subtle.  Cut the chicken breasts into bite size pieces and season with salt and pepper..  Add the remaining oil and when hot, add the chicken. Cook until it is cooked through.

Cut the ginger into straws, dice the garlic and make the scallions into coins.

Add 3 tbls of olive oil to the pan and when hot, add the ginger, scallions, and garlic. Sauce the savory ingredients until the ginger is cooked subtle.

Cut the chicken breasts into bite size pieces and season with salt and pepper..

Add the remaining oil and when hot, add the chicken. Cook until it is cooked through.

Remove the chicken and then add the ginger mixture back into the pan. Add the chicken in and mix together.

Remove the chicken and then add the ginger mixture back into the pan. Add the chicken in and mix together.

Chop the cilantro and add it onto the the finished stir fry. Serve hot and with the accompaniment of roasted or raw vegetables.

Chop the cilantro and add it onto the the finished stir fry. Serve hot and with the accompaniment of roasted or raw vegetables.

Salmon Cakes

Recipe from Bon Appetit

During the season of Lent, I am always craving things besides my standby seafood options and I love Salmon. Though many people might find put a beautiful salmon steak in the food processor  something akin to sacrilege, I strongly believe this dish celebrate the salmon. With the subtle notes of ginger, garlic and scallions, the salmon specific aioli which is more of  a dressing than an aioli. and the quick pickles make this an experience of salmon rather than an insult to salmon.  It is sometimes hard to find salmon without the skin and I don’t actually have proper chef’s knives which would make it easier to take the skin off, so I looked for a steak without the skin. I was concerned about making this in my sm space since the aroma of fried fish tends to linger, but I was pleasantly surprised when the aroma didn’t stick around and the actual cakes were light on tasting of the sea, but heavy on the real salmon flavor.   As a child my experience of salmon, growing up in a household where new recipes were rarely tried because well, everybody liked the favorites so much, was solely lox, for better or for worse. I happen to like lox, but I honestly thought all salmon was good for was for serving on a bagel with a shmear. For those people who are not New Yorkers, putting a shmear on a bagel means not just smearing it with cream cheese, it mean SHMEARING it with cream cheese. When I discovered salmon as entree sans bagel, it was actually surprising when I liked it, and I have loved it ever since.  Autocorrect, of course, apparently has not ever been to Long Island, so it autocorrected schmear.     * Adjusted from recipe  Ingredients   INGREDIENTS   1½ pounds boneless, skinless center-cut salmon, patted dry  5 scallions, green parts finely chopped, white parts thinly sliced  1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated  1 garlic clove, finely grated  2 tablespoons plus ⅔ cup mayonnaise  Kosher salt  1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil  4 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar, divided  3 medium Persian cucumbers, shaved lengthwise  1 teaspoon sugar  ¼ cup (or more) vegetable oil  ½ cup Panko bread crumbs  2 cups tender herbs, such as torn mint and/or cilantro leaves with tender stems

During the season of Lent, I am always craving things besides my standby seafood options and I love Salmon. Though many people might find put a beautiful salmon steak in the food processor something akin to sacrilege, I strongly believe this dish celebrate the salmon. With the subtle notes of ginger, garlic and scallions, the salmon specific aioli which is more of a dressing than an aioli. and the quick pickles make this an experience of salmon rather than an insult to salmon.

It is sometimes hard to find salmon without the skin and I don’t actually have proper chef’s knives which would make it easier to take the skin off, so I looked for a steak without the skin. I was concerned about making this in my sm space since the aroma of fried fish tends to linger, but I was pleasantly surprised when the aroma didn’t stick around and the actual cakes were light on tasting of the sea, but heavy on the real salmon flavor.

As a child my experience of salmon, growing up in a household where new recipes were rarely tried because well, everybody liked the favorites so much, was solely lox, for better or for worse. I happen to like lox, but I honestly thought all salmon was good for was for serving on a bagel with a shmear. For those people who are not New Yorkers, putting a shmear on a bagel means not just smearing it with cream cheese, it mean SHMEARING it with cream cheese. When I discovered salmon as entree sans bagel, it was actually surprising when I liked it, and I have loved it ever since. Autocorrect, of course, apparently has not ever been to Long Island, so it autocorrected schmear.

* Adjusted from recipe

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS

1½ pounds boneless, skinless center-cut salmon, patted dry

5 scallions, green parts finely chopped, white parts thinly sliced

1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated

1 garlic clove, finely grated

2 tablespoons plus ⅔ cup mayonnaise

Kosher salt

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

4 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar, divided

3 medium Persian cucumbers, shaved lengthwise

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ cup (or more) vegetable oil

½ cup Panko bread crumbs

2 cups tender herbs, such as torn mint and/or cilantro leaves with tender stems

Find a salmon steak with the skin removed or remove the skin carefully

Find a salmon steak with the skin removed or remove the skin carefully

Cut the salmon into 2 inches cubes and place in your food processor. Process the salmon until it resembles a paste, but before it resembles a puree.

Cut the salmon into 2 inches cubes and place in your food processor. Process the salmon until it resembles a paste, but before it resembles a puree.

Dice your scallions, grate you ginger, and grate your garlic. Reserve.

Dice your scallions, grate you ginger, and grate your garlic. Reserve.

Add the salmon, spices, ginger, garlic , panko and scallions to a bowl.

Add the salmon, spices, ginger, garlic , panko and scallions to a bowl.

Form the salmon mixture into cakes (they’ll resemble burgers) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet covered in Saran Wrap. Refrigerate the cakes for at least an hour.  Slice the cucumber and add the rice wine vinegar and sugar to a bowl. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Form the salmon mixture into cakes (they’ll resemble burgers) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet covered in Saran Wrap. Refrigerate the cakes for at least an hour.

Slice the cucumber and add the rice wine vinegar and sugar to a bowl. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Pour olive oil into your medium skillet and place the cakes on medium high heat into the skillet. Unlike Salmon steaks, which you are supposed to turn once (twice is burgeoning on an insult to the salmon), your can frequently turn these burgers to ensure even cooking.

Pour olive oil into your medium skillet and place the cakes on medium high heat into the skillet. Unlike Salmon steaks, which you are supposed to turn once (twice is burgeoning on an insult to the salmon), your can frequently turn these burgers to ensure even cooking.

Cook until cakes are cooked through and golden on both sides with an inviting crust.

Cook until cakes are cooked through and golden on both sides with an inviting crust.

Make the aioli dressing by combing mayo, 2 tbls of rice wine vinegar, and crushed red pepper,

Make the aioli dressing by combing mayo, 2 tbls of rice wine vinegar, and crushed red pepper,

Serve hot with cucumber pickles and aioli dressing as option toppings. This salmon was served in my house (to me, yes, spiritually we should always make a point to serve others and serve ourselves), with sautéed Brussels sprouts.

Serve hot with cucumber pickles and aioli dressing as option toppings. This salmon was served in my house (to me, yes, spiritually we should always make a point to serve others and serve ourselves), with sautéed Brussels sprouts.

Beef and Broccoli - Better than delivery!

Ingredients  lb of lean beef  3 cups of brocoli  2/3 cup of soy sauce  generous tbls of cornstarch  2 tbls of brown sugar  3 cloves of garlic (diced)  ground pepper  0.5 cup of chicken stock ( plus reserved liquid

Ingredients

lb of lean beef

3 cups of brocoli

2/3 cup of soy sauce

generous tbls of cornstarch

2 tbls of brown sugar

3 cloves of garlic (diced)

ground pepper

0.5 cup of chicken stock ( plus reserved liquid

Mix third of a cup of soy sauce, chicken stock, powdered garlic, brown sugar and whisk together

Mix third of a cup of soy sauce, chicken stock, powdered garlic, brown sugar and whisk together

Slice your beef into strips, salt and pepper and marinate in 0.33 cup of soy sauce for an hour. Add 2 tbs of olive oil into your medium skillet and when got add the garlic. Add the beef and cook until medium well.

Slice your beef into strips, salt and pepper and marinate in 0.33 cup of soy sauce for an hour. Add 2 tbs of olive oil into your medium skillet and when got add the garlic. Add the beef and cook until medium well.

Remove the beef and put on a plate to cool.

Remove the beef and put on a plate to cool.

Add the broccoli to the pan and add the reserved liquid. Cook for 5-6 minutes and then add the beef. Stir and serve hot!

Add the broccoli to the pan and add the reserved liquid. Cook for 5-6 minutes and then add the beef. Stir and serve hot!

Enjoy!

Enjoy!

Grammy Donovan's Irish Soda Bread

Since I am not interested in being struck by a lightening bolt for sacrilege, I will not say I made this as well or better than my grammy, but it was very good. The recipe calls for serving it cold and it is traditionally served cold with butter, but I served it hot and it was well received by my friends Sam, Yele, their parents and their neighbors we had over to play.

In my family, the language we have spoken to express how we love each other has taken on many forms, many without words. My grammy is known for not mincing her words, but she speaks the language of love with her food. Hurt feelings have been known to dissipate from cakes baked from scratch and using family recipes, she seemed to make magic from the ingredients she could afford with her meager budget while raising her many children. Today she can afford jams, jellies, condiments and spices to heart’s content, but her sensibilities about cooking have remained the same. Her lesson, when dressing to cooking, is always splurge when it will make the most difference, and in this recipe, the big splurge purchase is real buttermilk. This recipe was actually passed down from her Mamma and in the dairy rich “North Country” of New York where my Grammy was raised, buttermilk was something which was actually affordable for her parents during her childhood. When she moved away from the area, she budgeted to afford this key ingredient for her own children to make this very special recipe.

This bread is traditionally baked during the season of St. Patrick’s Day, where people of Irish descent celebrate the good and bad they associate with being descendants of the Emerald Isle. It’s a. season which is filled with bagpipes, parades and step dancing, and the occasional wink beer. This season has always been so special to my family, and so I baked this recipe with some children who are very special to me who had no knowledge of the cultural celebrations around this holiday. I did this in an effort to educate them about a culture which was so important to me at their age and in which I recently celebrated this holiday in, with strangers and family. While making this recipe, with these children I consider family, I was reminded of how sometimes breaking bread with people, can sometimes seamlessly make us family.

This bread is rich, moist, and buttery, and despite what people say about Irish cooking, it is enjoyable for people from every walk of life. Traditional Irish soda bread has been made with whatever liquid was affordable and on hand for the bakers,, water, milk, butterfly and beer- but the buttermilk makes this recipe. Economic woes have hit the island of Ireland over and over again throughout the centuries, so the ability to make the most decadent version of this bread has not always been possible for Irish, but today it was luckily possible for me! The key to making sure it remains moist is to know your oven and not to overcook it. The egg wash step at the end is key to creating the decadent feeling crust, so don’t skimp on this part. My commitment to finding places for controlled moments of decadence in cooking motivated me to add 2 tbls more of butter to recipe and sprinkle sugar on top of egg washed loaf before I put it in the oven. Don’t tell my Grammy!

Plan of Attack

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Mix the flour, and remaining dry ingredients in your medium mixing bowl

Put the butter in your pastry blender and mix until it resembles crumbled butter pieces. Complete disclosure - Since I don’t have a pastry blender, I cut the butter (with my buddies Sam and Yelenia with a knife in a larger diced pieces and added them to the flour mixture. Use your hands to mix the butter pieces and flour together until they resemble crumbs. The crumbs will resemble streusel topping.

Beat your eggs with a fork until whipped and add almost all eggs to the mixture. Reserve about a tbls of eggs to use as as egg wash for the top of the loaf.

Add the buttermilk and raisins to the mixture and mix throughly. The dough will be sticky and in order to remove it from your bowl you will have to cover your hands with flour.

Cover your pastry board (or counter) with flour and knead the wet dough it with flour covered hands gently 9-11 times until it resembles a big boule of dough. This was the part my elementary school helpers thought was the most fun, aside from cracking the eggs.

Place the dough in a buttered casserole dish (the dish I used was 9x9) and and using a pastry brush, coat the top with the remaining egg mixture. Sprinkle with a little bit of granulated sugar and then use your knife to make 3-5 cross lines on the top of the loaf. Bake for in the oven for 80-90 minutes, and check midway to determine the heat of your oven. I took this loaf out at 81 minutes because the oven I was using runs hot, so use your best judgment when to remove from the oven. When I bake things with this level of history, I call my oven, the “loven.”

g6J3lKhbTOqLyvTJJhKwCQ.jpg

shrimp or shrimp and snow peas

Snow peas and shrimp pictured above    Ingredients  3 tbls of soy sauce  1 tbls cornstarch  1 tbls of ground ginger (I accidentally omitted)  2 tbls of vegetable order  3-5 skinless chicken breasts  2 cloves of garlic  3 cups of snow peas  Plan of Attack  *I edited this recipe to include what I had in my pantry and omitted mushrooms because I don’t like mushrooms)  Whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce cornstarch and ginger  Heat olive oil in your medium skillet and add garlic. When the garlic is aromatic, add the chicken  Add chicken broth mixture when the chicken has cooked and then add the snow peas. Cook on medium heat until peas are cooked through.  *Variation with shrimp is pretty much the same except you cook the shrimp, remove them, cook the vegetables, and then re-add the shrimp. In the recipe pictured I added yellow bell peppers for some more vegetable loveliness. Then I garnished with diced raw shallots, and in the future I wold use diced scallions instead as garnish. I would, because I love cilantro, also be open to garnishing with cilantro. I missed cilantro in this recipe! I did add the ginger when making the shrimp recipe and it added another level of flavor which was very special!    I made this a while ago but I am just posting now! Sorry snow pea loving public!

Snow peas and shrimp pictured above

Ingredients

3 tbls of soy sauce

1 tbls cornstarch

1 tbls of ground ginger (I accidentally omitted)

2 tbls of vegetable order

3-5 skinless chicken breasts

2 cloves of garlic

3 cups of snow peas

Plan of Attack

*I edited this recipe to include what I had in my pantry and omitted mushrooms because I don’t like mushrooms)

Whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce cornstarch and ginger

Heat olive oil in your medium skillet and add garlic. When the garlic is aromatic, add the chicken

Add chicken broth mixture when the chicken has cooked and then add the snow peas. Cook on medium heat until peas are cooked through.

*Variation with shrimp is pretty much the same except you cook the shrimp, remove them, cook the vegetables, and then re-add the shrimp. In the recipe pictured I added yellow bell peppers for some more vegetable loveliness. Then I garnished with diced raw shallots, and in the future I wold use diced scallions instead as garnish. I would, because I love cilantro, also be open to garnishing with cilantro. I missed cilantro in this recipe! I did add the ginger when making the shrimp recipe and it added another level of flavor which was very special!

I made this a while ago but I am just posting now! Sorry snow pea loving public!

pan roasted broccoli and pasta bake

Ingredients

2 cups of broccoli

tsp of cumin

2 tables of olive oil

tsp of kosher salt

11- 13 oz of pasta

0.5 cup of grated parmesan chees

IMG_2556.JPG.jpeg

lb of ricotta cheese

0.36 cup of bank bread crumbs

tables of grated lemon peel

tsp of ground pepper

lemon juice

Plan of Attack

Preheat the oven to 390 degrees

Toss the broccoli, olive oil, salt and pepper and place on the baking sheet. Put your baking sheet into the oven and roast until tender and browning on the edges.

Combine the lemon zest, parmesan, and bread crumbs in your medium mixing bowl. *This is the place where you also could add more spices, as I did, like powdered garlic, or heat. I was cooking for some people with particular palates so I did not add to much crushed red pepper, but your could add more than I did.

Remove the pan from the oven, and distribute the ricotta. Cover the entire mixture with parmesan cheese mixture and return to the pan and broil the pan until the cheese melts and develops a beautiful crust.

My comments: I should have broiled the pan for more minutes because it did not get as crunchy as I would have preferred and I would also, heading forward use whole milk ricotta and more parmesan cheese, because I thought this pasta lacked salt.