Sunday, August 12, 2012

Warm Bok Choy Salad

Oh my goodness I could eat this all day! Quick, simple, delicious, everything I love about food! Its really nice for summer time because you're grilling outside instead of heating up your house. If you're having trouble finding miso paste, I found mine behind the counter of the sushi station at my local grocery store.

Serves 2

For the dressing:
- 1 tbs miso paste
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1 tbs white toasted sesame seeds

Combine miso paste, garlic, brown sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat
Stir until mixture is gently simmering and miso is completely dissolved
Remove from heat and stir in oil, vinegar, green onions, and sesame seeds

For vegetables:
- 4 baby bok choy sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 small sweet onion cut into 1/4 inch rings and halved
- drizzle of soy sauce

Preheat a gas grill to medium
Generously spray a grill rack with cooking spray
Place bok choy cut side down on grill rack
Grill for about 1 minute then add onion
Spray veggies with more cooking spray and drizzle with soy sauce
Cook for about 5 more minutes until veggies are lightly charred but still crunchy

Divide the veggies among 2 bowls and top each bowl with half of the dressing
Dig in and enjoy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Shrimp Gumbo

So this recipe is quite elaborate. Don't even get into it unless you have about 4 hours to cook. Gumbo can't be rushed it's all about the combining of flavors. But the end result is worth the time.

Serves 6

The first step is to make your stock:
-shells from peeled shrimp (see below)
-1 1/2 cup diced onion
-1/2 cup sliced celery
-7 cups water
-2 bay leaves

- Heat a large pot over high heat
- Add shrimp shells and cook until they have turned pink and start to stick to the pan
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes covered
- Turn off the heat, but the the stock to sit covered while you prepare the roux and gumbo

Now you have to make a roux:
-2 tbs unsalted butter
-1/2 cup all purpose flour

- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat
- Gradually whisk in the flour until completely combined
- You want the mixture to tighten
- Reduce heat to medium low and cook continuing to scrape the bottom and edges of pan when stirring
- You want to keep cooking until your roux has darkened this could be about  minutes
***Be careful not to burn your butter, take the pan off the heat is you smell any burning

While your stirring your roux you can start your gumbo:
 -3 1/2 tbs olive oil
-3/4 pd okra trimmed and sliced 1/2 inch thick
-2 Morningstar Italian sausages
-1 1/2 cups onion diced
-1 cup celery chopped
-1 cup bell pepper chopped (any color)
-3 garlic cloves diced
-1/2 small jalapeno seeded and chopped
-1 12oz can whole tomatoes crushed with your hands
-1 tbs oregano
-2 pounds large shrimp (shells reserved for stock)

- Heat large pot over medium-high heat
- Add 2 tbs oil and okra, season with salt, cook for about 5 minutes until okra begins to brown
- Transfer cooked okra to a bowl trying to leave as much oil in pan as possible, leave pan on heat
- Microwave the Morningstar sausages for about a minute just enough to soften
- Roughly chop up sausages and cook in the same pot as okra, add 1/2 tbs oil
- Generously coat sausage with blackening seasoning, transfer to bowl with okra after about 2 minutes of cooking
- Add remaining 1 tbs oil w/ onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeno to the pot
- Cook about 6 minutes until vegetables are slightly softened, stirring often
- Add tomato and oregano, cook 2 minutes
- Add the okra/sausage mixture to the pan
- Add roux to vegetables, stir continuously for about 1 minute
- Strain your stock into a large bowl, press firmly on the shells and vegetables to extract the flavor, you want about 5 1/2 cups
- Stir the stock into the vegetables, make sure to completely dissolve the roux
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours
**Take this opportunity to taste for seasoning, add more salt or pepper to your taste, also try a dab of Tabasco for some heat
- When you're ready to eat turn the heat up to medium
- Season shrimp with salt and pepper and submerge into the gumbo
- Cook 10 minutes until shrimp is cooked through

Serve with white rice and enjoy!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Chili Soy Sauce Poached Tilapia w/ Crispy Ginger

Wow, this was so good I gobbled it up before I could get a picture.

Serves 3

- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 green onions chopped
- 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and crushed
- 2 dried hot chilies
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 pd tilapia
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 2 inch piece ginger, peeled and cut in matchsticks

Combine sherry, sugar, garlic, green onions, crushed ginger, chilies, soy sauce, and water in a wide flat saucepan.
Bring to a boil, completely dissolve the sugar.
Add the fish and simmer for about 6 minutes covered.
In a separate pan, heat oil over medium to medium high heat.
Add ginger matchsticks and fry until crispy and slightly blackened.

I served it with sauteed bok choy. Top the fish with the crispy ginger and extra sauce. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tofu Burgers w/ Asian Slaw

For the burgers:
- 2 14oz packages firm tofu
- 4 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tbs sugar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 8 whole wheat hamburger buns

For Asian slaw:
- 3 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tbs mayonnaise
- 2 tbs peanut butter
- 5 tsp sugar
- 2 tbs rice vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 8 oz julienned carrots
- 2 zucchini cut into matchsticks
- 1/4 cup peanuts

To make slaw, mix all ingredients other than the vegetables together in a bowl
**If you want some extra kick adds sirracha hot sauce to the marinade
Pour marinade over carrots and zucchinis in a large Tupperware bowl
Close with a tight fitting lid, chill

To make burgers, prepare tofu according to note below
Mix soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch together in a bowl
** If you like it spicy, add about 2 tbsp chili garlic sauce to marinade
Lay tofu slices in a large shallow container, pour marinade over tofu, turning to coat
Refrigerate tofu for at least one hour, flipping once to get an even marinade
Preheat oven to 375, coat baking sheet with cooking spray
Place tofu on baking sheet, bake for 45 minutes flipping once after 25 minutes
Toast hamburger buns and top with tofu burgers and slaw

I like to put a little hot mustard or Asian dressing on the buns to keep them from being too dry.
Note: To prepare tofu, slice each block into 2 equal flat squares. Lay each square on multiple folded paper towels to drain. Lay another folded paper towel on top. Lay a heavy book on top of the tofu and leave to drain for about 10 minutes or longer.
My favorite thing about this recipe is the abundance of marinaded vegetable it makes. I use the leftovers to make awesome salads. I mix the veggies with nappa cabbage, soba noodles, and orange slices. Top that off with slivered almonds, sesame oil, and soy sauce, and you have a great Asian inspired salad.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tilapia w/ Homemade Tomato Kalamata Sauce

Pure bliss. Fresh ingredients that come together to make a truly delicious and healthy meal. Try it over a bed of plain white or brown rice to soak up the extra sauce. You can use more expensive white fish, just make to sure to sear it a bit longer for thicker fish. 

- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 5oz tilapia fillets 
- salt and white pepper to taste
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine **It does not need to be fancy, I use box wine to cook
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/4 cup torn fresh basil
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1/4 cup olives pitted and halved**Use a mix of kalamata and black olives
- 2 tbsp dried parsley**Use 1/4 fresh if you prefer, I'm not the biggest fan of parsley

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium sauce pan
Sear fish for about 2 minutes on each side, don't cook completely
Season each side with salt and white pepper while searing, transfer to a separate plate
Add onion and garlic to pan
Saute until onion are translucent, about 5 minutes, add more olive oil if necessary
Add wine, cook until most of the alcohol has evaporated, about 1-2 minutes
Stir in tomatoes, basil, capers, olives, and parsley
Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, add small amounts of water as needed to keep from drying out
Press down on tomatoes with end of spatula to break apart
Add tilapia back to pan, cover and simmer for 6 minutes or until fish is cooked
You may need to continue to add small amounts of water to keep the vegetables simmering, not burning

Monday, September 5, 2011

Quick and Easy Curried Noodles

This recipe is so simple and tasty, perfect for a cold fall evening!

- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 medium shallots chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, or less to taste, chopped
- 3 tbs red curry paste
- 1 heaping tsp curry powder
- 1 heaping tsp turmeric
- 15 oz can light coconut milk
- 3/4 vegetable broth
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 12 oz package tofu, drained and prepared **see note
- 5 oz fettuccine
- 1 broccoli crown, trimmed, separated and washed
- juice from half a lime

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a medium sauce pan
Add shallots and saute 2 minutes 
Add curry powder, turmeric, curry paste, and cilantro, saute for about a minute
Stir in coconut milk, broth, and brown sugar, bring to a simmer
Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes
Stir in tofu, simmer 10 minutes
Reduce to low until pasta is ready
Cook fettuccine according to package instructions, in last 2 minutes add broccoli florets
Drain, add to curry mixture
Squeeze half a lime over pasta right before serving

Note: To prepare tofu, slice each block into 3 equal flat squares. Lay each square on multiple folded paper towels to drain. Lay another folded paper towel on top. Lay a heavy book on top of the tofu and leave to drain for about 10 minutes or longer. Slice each square into 9 equal cubes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Red Curry Salmon Packets

This recipe is so simple and delicious it almost seems unfair! Less than 20 minutes until its on your table with about 2 minutes of actual work put in. If you like peanut sauce and salmon you are punishing yourself not to try this.

- 4 6oz pieces of salmon skinned
- cooking spray and foil

- 1/3 cup light coconut milk
- 1 tbs fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 tbs fresh basil torn
- 2 heaping tbs chunky peanut butter
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp red curry paste (or less to taste)

Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a fork.
Rip 4 squares of foil large enough to hold salmon and make pocket.
Spray a small dab of cooking spray on each foil piece.
Smear a line of sauce on each foil then place one salmon filet on each smear.
Next, top each cut of salmon with a generous amount of sauce.
Fold in the edges of the foil packet bringing the ends up. Loosely close each packet by crimping the ends together. Make sure not to completely seal it off. You want the steam to be able to get in.
Place a steaming tray in large pot. Fill the pot with about 2 inches of water. Bring water to a boil on high heat.
Place 2-3 packets in the tray and steam with the lid on for 10-13 minutes.
Smaller end cuts of salmon can cook in about 9-10 minutes. Larger middle cuts will need 13 minutes.
Depending on how many portions you are cooking, you may have to steam in batches.