Sunday, April 26, 2009

Meet the Masterminds

Here we are at the Union Oyster House bar in Boston, Ma.
They have a short menu; oysters, chowder, and beer.
BTW, most of the food featured in this blog is consumed by the one on the right.

Creole Scallops and Grits

Inspired by:

Creole seasoning recipe
2 Tablespoons of flour
2 Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon Cayenne
2Tablespoon Black pepper, ground
2 Tablespoon Garlic powder
1 Tablespoon Onion powder
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1 Tablespoon Thyme
1 Tablespoon Oregano

I only made enough for two servings so I stuck to the approximate ratio of 1:2 for the seasonings above

creole seasoning
1/2 lb of large sea scallops
veg oil
2 packets of instant grits (so sue me)

1. wash and pat dry the scallops
2. mix the creole seasoning together with flour
3. heat pan with some oil
4. dust the scallops with seasoning and sear each side in the pan until the scallops is firm to the touch.
5. add boiling water to instant grits per directions on the box
6. Pour the scallops over the top of the grits and eat.

Spaghetti with Clams

1 lb of clams
2 servings of pasta
lemon juice
splash of white wine

1. Wash and Steam Clams until all the shells have completely opened.
2. Boil water for spaghetti, strain the spaghetti when its a little under done
3. Remove the clam meat from the shell, but reserve and filter the clam juice.
4. In a saute pan, cook the garlic in a little bit of oil and pepper.
5. add the clam meat and the pasta to the pan.
6. add the clam juice and white wine and cook until the liquid is gone.
7. serve the pasta by topping it off with some chives and a squeeze of lemon juice.

tip: salt is totally unnecessary here bc the clam juice will be very salty. its from the sea after all.

Braised Lamb Shank Surprise

So lamb was on sale and I thought I would know what to do with my impulse buy by the time I got it home but I figured itself out in the end.

First. I browned all the sides of the lamb in a large pot and then braised it in some water, left over red wine, garlic, and spices (pepper, thyme, cumin, and red pepper flakes). I did not have the patience or knowledge to butcher this thing down to a manageable size.

I ended up braising it on simmer for so long that by the time i decided to take it out, the meat just fell apart. And surprise! I unintentionally made a lamb version of bbq pulled pork. A drizzle of honey on top just rounded out all the flavors (think bbq sauce). Sorry for not capturing the sandwich in a photo, but here is the what the meat looked like post-pull. So savory. Seriously, one of my best random unplanned endings ever.

Bonus: As for the stock, check out Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup


1 box of frozen spinach
1 shallot
2 pieces of garlic
2 cups of orzo
1 bag of premade mini meatballs
1/2 can of kidney beans
half a pot of lamb stock or premade stock-in-a-box (see Braised Lamb Shank Surprise)


1. defrost the spinach and saute in the pot with the shallot, garlic, and some salt/pepper
2. In a separate pan brown the mini meatballs
3. When the spinach is cooked pour in the stock, mini meatballs and kidney beans
4. When the soup is boiling add the orzo and simmer until the pasta is done.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Zuelan Arepa

The arepa is a flat unleavened cornmeal patty that can be grilled, baked, or fried. My introduction to this delectable Venezuelan breakfast staple is from well...Venezuelans. In my experience the fried ones are the best (shocker) and stand up to a variety of filing that include butter, cheese, eggs, random meats, etc. Is there any better way of consuming random left overs than between a hot fried corn patty? So when Carlos and I came across some authentic arepan (??) corn flour at a local Colombian market and I was having said Venezuelans visiting I knew it would be a great chance to test out my arepa making skillz.

Makes 12 arepas
1. Boil water
2. Measure 2 cups of special corn flour (see packaging above)
3. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and 2 tsp of Parmesan cheese.
4. Mix with 3 cups of boiling water (ratio of flour to water should be 2:3)
5. when the dough has absorbed all of the water form about 12 patties.
6. In a large skillet heat about 1/4 inches of oil.
7. Fry up the arepas in batches of 6 for about 3 minutes on each side or until edges are golden.
8. Slice in half and add the filling of your choice. I personally had butter, scrambled eggs, and slices of citrus pork chops.

Tip: The hole in the middle help the patty cook evenly. Think doughnut, bagel, etc

Man, that cast iron is sexy.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Kashi's Free Entree

Has anyone else heard about or tried this yet? Free Entree from Kashi. Will write a review when I get the coup and then get the entree and try it.

Fish Tacos

Fresh catfish on sale at Teeter 1.99/lb. nuff said

Ingredients: (makes 6 small tacos)
2 tbls of flour and bread crumbs
1 lb of cat fish cut into small pieces
1 avocado sliced
1 cup of diced tomatoes and green chilies
1.5 cup of chopped lettuce
6 soft tacos
1/2 cup of sour cream
hot sauce
some veg oil
cayenne pepper

1. Clean and cut fish into even pieces
2. mix flour, bread crumbs, and all spices
3. heat a pan with some oil (medium heat)
4. pan fry the dredged pieces of fish
5. cook for 5 mins, flip repeat (try not to touch it too much or they pieces might break apart)
6. during this time slice the avocado and sprinkle with some salt, chop up the lettuce, open can of tomatoes.
7. take the fish out and place of some paper towels to drain the oil

8. to assemble first zap the tortilla in the microwave for 10 seconds, add the fish, avocado slices, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, and hot sauce. voila!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Beef Stroganoff

To be honest I had weird mac and cheese craving but searched for a better option and settled for beef stroganoff. I was hesitant about how "creamy" it would come out because I was determined to only use two tablespoons of reduced fat sour cream (40 calories total). But I must say it was delicious and such a better idea than mac and cheese.

Ingredients: (makes about 8 servings)
1 lb of thinly sliced beef stew meat
3 medium sized shallots
1 tub of white mushrooms
seasoned all purpose flour
1 box of organic beef stock
elbow macaroni
2 tbls of reduced fat sour cream
1 cup of white wine (not pictured)
pinch of thyme

Note: take the sour cream out of the fridge when you start. At room temperature, it will less likely curdle when you eventually add it to the hot sauce.

1. Slice the pieces of beef into very thin pieces (easier to do if the pieces are still frozen)
2. Dust it with some flour/pepper and saute it in a pan in small batches until brown and crispy
3. Take the beef off the pan and set aside (dont worry about any of the burnt stuck on bits in the pan. that will add to the flavor and color of the final sauce)
4. Dice the shallots and slice the mushrooms (start boiling water for the pasta, and yes, add the pasta when the water boils)
5. In the same pan saute the shallots first until translucent
6. Now add the mushrooms and some salt to render some of the liquid

7. When the pan has evaporated all the liquid, add the pieces of beef and the white wine to deglaze. (turn the stove to high heat and add the thyme seasoning)
8. When that has all evaporated and even slightly smoking, slowly spoon in the broth a little at a time. It will steam and sizzle

9. Once the pan has cooled down (the broth is now boiling) turn the heat it back down to a medium heat.
10. Con't to cook until nothing is stuck to the pan, the beef is tender, and the sauce is thick and opaque.
11. Add salt to taste.
12. Take the pan off the heat and slowly spoon in the sour cream.
13. Drain the pasta and serve the beef stroganoff over the top. (you can also use rice, egg noodles, or any other standard starch)

Marinated Spinach Salad

I was recently inspired by this Apartment Therapy post for kale. The technique sorta reminds me of how cabbage is prepared for coleslaw or even ceviche, where the lemon juice wilts, denatures, and "cooks" the food without any heat. Very simple and yet a different way to serve up veggies.

1 bag of spinach (go with the standard stuff and not baby spinach)
juice of one lemon
grated parmesan cheese
olive oil (about 2-3 tbls)
salt and pepper to taste

1. wash and remove the tough stems of the spinach
2. roll the leaves tightly and cut it into very thin strips
3. add lemon juice and olive oil and let it sit for 30 minutes or until the leaves are wilted
4. add in grated parm and salt/pepper to taste (option: add a splash of hot sauce for a spicy tang)

so chomp-able.


What is a pomelo? well, its the biggest citrus fruit in the world. Its very common in china but i dont usually see it at the markets here. This one in particular was a gift from my parents. It tastes like a grape fruit without the tartness. Its completely sweet and very mildly sour. If they are available at your super market pick one up and try it out. I recommend pealing it by hand. Its worth the trouble.

Check it out next to a naval orange and a fairly large grape fruit. haha its huge!

Citrus Baked Fries

Ok, after almost a month of no posts here is the wave of new recipes that have been on queue in my camera. The truth is my computer imploded and required a new hard drive(whatever that is). Thanks to J. Brown its back to working condition. hooray! recipe of the thank you cake to come later.

Here is a potato side-dish inspired by I dont know what. Its a healthier replacement for fries (as these are not fried),and had more of the consistency of steak fries. Not as crispy as most but also not as greasy either.

olive oil
grated parm cheese
orange zest
cayenne pepper

1. preheat oven to 350
2. peal (optional) and slice potatos like in the photo above
3. toss them in olive oil and then sprinkle the spices and parm cheese over the top
4. pleace it in a pan spread them out so none are touching eachother
5. Bake for ~15 minutes then take it out and flip the potatos over to give the other sides a chance to crisp up.
6. then bake until each are baked through
7. After taking them out of the oven grate orange zest over the top.

Note: they do not reheat well. just make enough for one meal

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lentil Soup

This was my first attempt at making lentils. I have always had a slight fear of them bc they are notorious for being hard to cook and frankly dont really taste like much. However, I must say the soup came out really well AND tasty. Next time I may let it cook longer for a better appearance in the end but despite that I give this dish major props for keeping me full and satisfied through a grueling work week without dabbling into the doughnut box. Makes 8-10 servings.

1 Bag of dried lentils (79c at the Teeter)
1 Onion
2 Pieces of garlic
1 Spicy italian sausage
4-5 cups of chicken stock
2 cups of skim milk

1. Wash and soak lentils in water for 2-3 hours
2. Mince onions and garlic
3. In a large soup pot, saute onions and garlic until aromatic and slightly brown
4. Add low sodium organic roasted chickin stock and bring to a boil (reserve some stock incase soup gets dried out)
5. Drain lentils and throw them in the pot
6. When its boiling again turn it down to a medium simmer
7. Add milk, salt, spices to taste
8. Cont to simmer for 1-2 hours until lentils are tender (stirr occasionally. If you leave it uncovered you might have to add the reserve chicken stock. However, if there is too much liquid you want to let it boil off until the surface of the liquid is at the same level of the lentils. The lentils do sink to the bottom. See photo below)
9. Meanwhile cut the sausage into thin slices and brown in a pan. Blotting the grease off with a paper towel when done.
10. Place a 3-4 pieces of meat on top of the soup right before serving. (Store the soup and meat separately or else the sausage will not retain its nice chrispy texture)

Shrimp and Pea Pesto

I had a tuppy of left over pesto from a prior project so I decided to make a pasta. This actually turned out really well and the peas were not an after thought. They contributed a nice sweet touch to the dish that was rather unexpected.

1 cup of left over pesto sauce
3/4 a box of bowtie pasta
1/2 bag of frozen peas
1 lb of shrimp
grated cheese

1. Boil water for the pasta and cook pasta
2. Clean, peal, and de-vein the shimp
3. Season the shrimp with some salt/pepper and quickly saute in a pan
4. Boil a small pot of water and throw the peas in until they become bright green.
5. When everything is done, drain pasta and peas.
6. Combine all the ingredients together (shrimp, peas, pasta, pesto)
7. Grate fresh parm on top and enjoy.
8. Try with a little squirt of lemon juice.

Friday, February 20, 2009

new favorite recipe sites

Looking forward to trying stuff out from:

Project Foodie

My Recipes (from Mel)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

turkey teriyaki meatballs with edamame and snow peas

Adapted from Real Simple, found at Nutritionista.

1 1/2 cups long-grain rice (used 1)
1 1/4 pounds ground chicken (used 1 lb ground turkey. Next time, I will get dark b/c white was too dry)
2 scallions, chopped (used 3)
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons canola oil (used olive oil)
1/2 pound snow peas, halved crosswise (3 cups) (didn't use as many)
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Cook the rice according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the chicken, scallions, and ginger. Shape into 16 meatballs. (I added 2 cloves of garlic).

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs, turning, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Wipe out the skillet. Heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add the peas and edamame. Cook, tossing, for 2 minutes. Return the meatballs to skillet.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce and sugar. Add to the skillet and simmer until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve over the rice.


Tip: To keep the ground chicken from sticking to your fingers, wet your hands before forming the meatballs.

Yield: Makes 4 servings