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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Skillet Frittata with Avocado, Chicken & Peas

This morning I made a delightfully easy frittata using 
left-over ingredients. A frittata is a crust-less egg bake, similar to a quiche. You can add just about whatever your heart desires and the frittata will always look simply effortless. Here is the recipe for my frittata:

Avocado, Chicken and Pea Frittata
(serves 4-6)
1 tbsp butter 
1 cup shredded cooked chicken 
1 cup frozen peas
1 tbsp cumin 
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Pinch salt and pepper

4 eggs, 4 egg whites
1/4 cup milk 

1 avocado, diced
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or pepper-jack cheese

Heat broiler to high. In large cast-iron skillet, add butter over medium heat and saute chicken, peas and seasonings. Meanwhile, whisk eggs and milk together with an electric mixer until well combined. Pour egg mixture over sauteed chicken and peas over medium heat. Add avocado and cheese to the top. Cook 3 minutes, then transfer to broiler until cheese is melted and top is golden brown as show.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Yangtze Dim Sum

Seaweed Salad

Shrimp Shu Mai 

Chiu Chow 

Dried Pork and Shrimp Sticky Rice Ball 

Scallop Dumpling

Salt and Pepper Shrimp 

Mom and Dad Chowing!

Husband Adam Trying to Pry Open the Shrimp!

BBQ Pork Noodle Roll 

Sesame Balls

Over the weekend, my parents, husband and I ate Dim Sum at the Yangtze in St. Louis Park. Dim Sum is a brunch tradition in Southern China. In Cantonese, Dim Sum translates as
 "to touch the heart." For those of you who may not know me, I would ask for Dim Sum or more specifically Sesame Balls as my last meal if I had to choose... it literally touches my heart! 
Aside from the delicious food, I enjoy the dining experience as well. Instead for ordering directly from a menu, carts roll around stopping at tables with trays and steamers full of dumplings. The saying, "we eat with our eyes" is in full effect here. It can be tempting to ask for everything you see all at once, but I always try to order a few at a time so that we may savor each morsel slowly. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Langostino Fusilli with Brussels and White Wine Sauce

Tonight for dinner I made a simple white wine pasta using langositos as my protein. Langostinos are a little known seafood, a member of the lobster family with a cross relation to shrimp. Langostinos are small and round almost like a rock shrimp. The taste is very similar to shrimp, with a bit looser texture you'd find in lobster. They can be cooked much the  same way you would small shrimp or crab. I wanted to let the seafood shine by creating a subtle, light sauce to soak the pasta in. White wine and seafood are a perfect match, so I knew my left-over moscato (sweet wine) was the perfect match for my delicate seafood. Follow my recipe below using your favorite seafood if you are unable to track down langoustinos (sometimes sold at Trader Joe's). 

Langostino Fusilli with Brussels and White Wine Sauce 
(serves 6-8)
I bag fusilli pasta
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced thyme or rosemary
Salt, pepper
1/4-1/2 cup sweet white white such as moscato 
4 tbsp butter 
3 tbsp milk 
2 cups brussels sprouts, cooked 
1 cup langostinos

Cook pasta to package directions. While pasta cooks, add olive oil to pan over medium heat, add onion, garlic and herbs and sauté until soft. Add white wine to de-glaze pan. Simmer 10 minutes on low. Then add butter and milk, mixing well. Add brussels, langostinos and pasta to pan and toss well until langostinos are cooked. Add more salt and pepper to your liking. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

FALL IS IN THE AIR- An Autumn Soiree

This past weekend my husband and I threw a festive Fall party for friends. The food I prepared all had a Mediterranean twist. The menu consisted of finger foods, snacks and dips. I will highlight a few on my favorite recipes from the party. 

Sour Apple Cocktail 
(Makes 1 drink)
1-2 shots apple flavored vodka
1/2 cup lime sparkling water 
Splash sweet and sour mix
Apple Slices

Mix liquids and ice in a glass and garnish with apple slices. 

Middle Eastern Spices Beef and Cheese Pizza 
2 tsp olive oil 
1 large onion
1 package lean beef
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup marsala wine 
3 tbsp shawarma spice blend
2 tsp flour 
Pinch salt and pepper 

Heat large skillet with olive oil over medium. Add onion and sauté 2 minutes. Add beef and cook until browned. Reduce heat to low and add tomatoes, wine and spices. Sauté 5 minutes. Add flour and sauté until thickens. Place over pre-made pizza crust and top with your favorite cheese. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mushroom and Spinach Ravioli in a Tomato Cream Sauce

The Beauty of the 6 Minute Egg!

There is nothing more simple than an egg, nor delicious. The egg is one of the most magnificent ingredients because of the multitude of possibilities in preparation. Whether you like your eggs scrambled, hard-boiled, over-easy, over-medium, sunny side-up, poached or baked, the egg remains ever powerful. My favorite preparation happens to be the 6 minute egg, which is boiled until the whites firm-up and yolk remains runny. The egg has recently gained popularity in the restaurant world. You can now find a fried egg sandwich or burger egg add-on on most menus. I have even seen the 6-minute eggs atop a warm spinach salad! The recipe below could not be simpler, try it and you'll thank me :). 

6-Minute Egg
1 egg
Ice water 
Sea salt

Bring a pan of water to boil (enough to submerge your egg), salting your water.  Carefully place your egg in the boiling water. Boil egg for exactly 6 minutes, then take egg out with tongs and submerge in bowl of ice-water for a minute. Carefully peel shell and serve atop toasted bread with a sprinkle of sea salt. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Farmer's Market Dinner

Using my farmers market produce and leftover french onion soup, I made a delicious and healthy dinner. For the vegetables, all I did was roast them in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees with seasoning and olive oil. The chicken I marinaded in Allegro and baked at 375 for about 30 minutes. When you're cooking with fresh ingredients, sometimes the simpler the better ;). 

St. Paul Farmer's Market

This morning I ventured over to the St. Paul Farmer's Market in Lowertown. In the past I have always gone to the Minneapolis market downtown but now that I live across the river I figured I better bite the bullet and change locales! 
The farmers market is always bustling with activity and excitement; musicians playing on the stoop, colorful produce, merchants taking change, strollers and families munching on sweet corn and roasted nuts...this place oozes with life. As a kid I remember getting up early Saturday mornings with my mother to beat the crowds and snatch up the freshest goods. I loved the energy of the market, people watching, free samples (especially the honey sticks!) and helping my mother pick out fresh food for the evenings dinner. One time we even made our own pickles from farmers market cucumbers! This morning I bought cilantro, red peppers, cucumbers, green beans and potatoes all for under $10... can't beat that at the grocery store! Tonight I will prepare a meal using my market goods and blog about it, so check back to view my creation!!

If you have never been, I highly recommend a trip to both markets however the St. Paul market is a bit smaller and does not offer as many food vendors. I have posted a link to find a market near you. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mexican Tortilla Lasagna

For dinner last night, I came up with a tortilla bake with using tomatillo salsa, roasted corn, peppers, cheese and refried beans. I love Mexican chilaquiles, which is a dish made with fried corn tortillas, salsa, eggs and cheese. I love the crispy and soft combination of fried tortillas, eggs and cheese all mixed together. My idea for the bake was based off of Mexican chilaquiles. The most important part of the recipe is making sure you toast your corn tortillas before you layer them in the baking pan. Crisping the tortillas enhances the flavor and texture of the finished dish. This is a great recipe for group and makes excellent leftovers. Go crazy with your garnishes and toppings and make this dish the centerpiece of your next fiesta!! 

Mexican Tortilla Lasagna

2 tbsp olive oil 
1 large onion, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup minced cilantro
1 tbsp minced jalapeño peppers 
1 bag frozen roasted corn (available at Trader Joe's)
1 bag frozen bell pepper mix (available at Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp taco seasoning 
1 tbsp oregano 
Pinch salt and pepper
1 bag 6'' corn tortillas
1 jar tomatillo salsa
1 can refried beans
1 large bag mexican cheese blend or queso fresco 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion, garlic and cilantro. Cook until tender. Add frozen peppers and corn and cook 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and remaining seasoning, bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 5 minutes. Turn on a burner at medium heat and place a tortilla directly over flame. Heat each side of tortilla until slightly browned at the edges but not burnt. Repeat until all of your tortillas are crisped. In a large baking pan, layer salsa, tortillas, beans, cheese and vegetables, and repeat leaving a layer of cheese on top. Place tin foil over top and bake 5 minutes. Then remove foil and bake another 8-12 minutes or until cheese has browned at the edges. Serve with sour cream, avocado, cilantro... you name it!