Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Begining December 25th there are a lot of morning afters. The morning after Christmas Eve. The morning after Christmas. Our Anniversary on the day after the morning after Christmas. And finally today, the morning after a great anniversary dinner.

I wanted to make something nice for breakfast. I started thinking about what was in the fridge. There was some champagne left over from the Anniversary toast. There was some delicious crab left over from the sushi class. A couple of English Muffins in the fridge, some blood oranges from Sharon, some butter and eggs and


We had everything for Blood Orange Mimosas and Crab Benedict.

And ...OMG......this was to die for.

Ron had two...

I used Julia Child's Hollandaise Sauce recipe and some left over canned Crab. This was sooo good.


3 egg yolks
1 tbsp. WATER
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice  and a little more to your taste
6-8 oz. very soft unsalted butter
1 dash cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
Freshly ground white pepper to taste
Whisk the yolks, water, and lemon juice in the saucepan for a few moments, until thick and pale.
Set the pan over moderately low heat (I use a double boiler) and continue to whisk at reasonable speed, reaching all over the bottom and insides of the pan, where the eggs tend to overcook.
To moderate the heat, frequently move the pan off the burner for a few seconds, and then back on.

As the eggs cook they will become frothy and increase in volume, and then thicken. When you can see the pan bottom through the streaks of the whisk and the eggs are thick and smooth, remove from heat.
By spoonfuls, add the soft butter, whisking constantly to incorporate each addition. As the emulsion forms, you may add the butter in slightly larger amounts, always whisking until fully absorbed. Continue incorporating butter until the sauce has thickened to the consistency you want.
Season lightly with salt and pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper, whisking in well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. I like to add a little more lemon juice at this time.  Serve lukewarm.

This makes enough for four Eggs Benedict.

I boiled some water and added 1 TBSP. white vinegar to it. When it was at a rapid boil I reduced it to a simmer and dropped one egg in the water. Once it came to the surface I removed it with a slotted spoon and put on a plate and put the next egg in.

I microwaved the crab for 20 seconds, just to warm it. Toasted some English muffins and then topped the muffin with an egg, some crab and the Hollandaise on top.

This was super easy and really good.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Merry day after Christmas! The store is closed today so I have some time to reflect on some of the more important things in life. My family. How lucky I am that I was able to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with everyone. I selfishly gave some family members the gift of a Sushi Class today so now I get to spend the day AFTER Christmas with them as well.

I am also thinking about another very important thing today...

                                                    THE FOOD LAST NIGHT

Prime rib, Au Jus, Yorkshire Pudding, Side of Scottish salmon, Scalloped Potatoes, Green Beans

                                                                     Oh YUM

And dessert.........

Ron made Mini Cupcakes. This was his first time ever making cupcakes and they were so good. That guy never ceases to amaze me.

It was a great day.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I made this couscous to go with the Salmon Panang. It is a great side to go with Asian dishes or it would be nice as a side to a simple sauteed chicken breast.

The couscous cooking.

The finished dish.


2 tablespoons  olive oil
1/2 medium  yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 clove  garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons  finely minced fresh ginger
1 cup  fresh orange juice (about 3 oranges), strained
1 tablespoon  unsalted butter
9 ounces  (1-1/2 cups) couscous
1 teaspoon  kosher salt; more to taste
1/2 cup  slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  Zest from 1 orange
  Freshly ground black pepper

 In a medium straight-sided skillet or a large saucepan with a tight lid, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft but not browned, 8 to 10 min. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Add the orange juice and simmer rapidly until the liquid has almost completely evaporated, about 10 min., stirring as needed to prevent the juice from caramelizing. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the butter, couscous, and salt. Stir to combine. Cover and let stand for 15 min. With a fork, fluff the couscous. Stir in the almonds, herbs, and orange zest to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4-6
Recipe from  Fine Cooking Magazine

Saturday, December 18, 2010


This stew is perfect for these cold and rainy nights. It's comfort in a pot. Sharon shared this recipe with me a while back. She raved about it and I gave it a shot and agreed. This is really good.

I garnished it with parsley and two Parmesan Tuiles. Served it with garlic bread and a nice glass of wine.

                         HERBED WHITE BEAN AND SAUSAGE STEW

Recipe adapted from The New York Times

2 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil, more for serving
1 pound sweet Italian sausage ( I used spicy Italian turkey sausage) sliced 3/4" thick
1 TBSP. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2- 15.5 oz cans of white Northern beans (any medium size white beans will work)
4- 14oz cans Chicken Broth (use less for more of a stew or more for more of a soup. If you don't have 4 cans you can use a combination of broth and water)
2 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 large fresh rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, more for serving
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, more to taste.

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Add the tomato paste and cumin to the pot. Cook, stirring, until dark golden, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans, chicken broth, salt, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add the sausage back to the pot and simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle into warm bowls and serve drizzled with additional vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle some chopped parsley on top if desired and garnish with some Parmesan Tuiles.

To make Parmesan Tuiles, grate some good quality Parmesan cheese. Spread the cheese in a circle on a silpat and bake in the oven at 350~ until cheese starts to bubble and turn brown. You can also heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and drop circles of Parmesan cheese in pan and cook until cheese starts to bubble and turn brown. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.

Thanks Sharon for a great recipe!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I had an open can of the Panang curry in the fridge from the salmon dish I made. I decided to use it with chicken. It was so good. I found a large bag of spinach that needed to be cooked so I added it to the chicken and it was delicious. No recipe, I winged it but this is what I did.

I made the Panang curry sauce from the salmon recipe. It really only takes a few minutes but it tastes like you worked really hard. Then I sauteed a large bag of spinach in grapeseed oil. When it was cooked I put it on a plate added more grapeseed oil (a TBSP. or so) to the pan and sauteed two boneless-skinless chicken breasts that I cut into small pieces. When the chicken was almost cooked I put the spinach back in the pan and added the curry sauce. It is a little bit spicy so I served it with rice and it was perfect.

I sprinkled some fresh Thai Basil leaves from my garden on top. Please make this...you will purr.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010


This is a Thai dish...a great dish, and oh so easy. Panang is a curry paste. You can make your own curry paste from scratch or do like I do and buy the paste at the Asian market, add a few ingredients and PRESTO, you have the most delicious sauce that can be used on chicken, beef, salmon or tofu. The magic paste looks like this.
This really is heaven in a can. It is spicy and creamy and so good. I didn't grill the salmon, I baked it and I served it with fresh veggies from our GARDEN!!! The veggies were quickly stir fried in some sesame oil. I also made this really good Couscous with Ginger, Orange, Almonds and Herbs. The couscous was so yummy and it really went well with the salmon and veggies. I'll post the couscous recipe later.

We grew everything except the carrots.

                                                                 Grilled Salmon Panang

3/4 lb. salmon
1 TBSP. oil (canola or vegetable)
1 TBSP.Panang Curry Paste
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 TBSP. fish sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. paprika

Grill or bake the salmon your favorite way. I like to put a little canola on it and salt and pepper.

While the salmon is cooking, place the oil and curry paste in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until fragrant. Stir in coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar and paprika. Bring sauce to a boil and remove from heat. Pour over salmon and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


It's that time of the year...FRENZY TIME!!!! Working long hours, trying to decide on the perfect present for everyone, partying with your friends and finding time to rest.

Ron cooked tonight so I could relax. He grilled a tri-tip, made a salad and we had some healthy baked onion rings. Try Alexia brand baked onion rings. They are healthy and good. You can find them at Lazy Acres, Whole Foods and Tri County. They are the only frozen rings that I like.

Ron can cook one awesome tri-tip, check it out.
Yeah baby!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Winter is on the way. When the temperature starts dropping I crave comfort food. One of my favorites is Salisbury Steak. I tried a new recipe using green peppercorns in the sauce. It was twice as much work as my old standby and not nearly as good. The picture is of the recipe I tried but I'm posting my favorite and easy recipe.

                             SALISBURY STEAK

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 egg-beaten
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cups beef broth
1 large onion-sliced thin
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 TBSP. cold water mixed with 3 TBSP. cornstarch

Combine beef, bread crumbs, onion, egg, salt, and pepper with hands.
Shape into 4 patties, about 3/4" thick
Brown patties in a skillet for 5 minutes per side. (you want these on the rare side)
Add broth, onion, and mushrooms to skillet. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove patties from skillet and keep warm.
Bring onion and mushroom mixture to a boil. Add water/cornstarch mixture to pan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Pour gravy over patties and serve.

Serves 4

I served this with mashed potatoes and a small salad.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I ended up with a pomegranate in my kitchen. I almost threw it away. I didn't think I liked pomegranates. I was recipe surfing when I found this recipe for a quinoa and pomegranate salad. I had all the ingredients in the pantry so I thought...what the heck, I'll give it a try.

First I cut the pomegranate in half and then put a bowl in the sink and started banging the outside of the pomegranate with a rolling pin. The seeds just flew out. Within minutes I had a nice bowl of pomegranate seeds.

I had a mix of nuts and cranberries that I thought would taste good in the salad so I chopped some up.
Cooked a cup of quinoa, mixed in some fresh spinach, added the nuts and made a pomegranate dressing. This was not only really good but really healthy.

                           QUINOA AND POMEGRANATE SALAD

1 cup quinoa
2 cups reduced salt chicken stock. One can is not quite 2 cups so I added water to make 2 cups.
2 oz. fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped. I used a whole bag (6oz.) because I love spinach.
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 pomegranate, seeds extracted. I used a whole one.
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped. I used the Trader Joe Mix.

4 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil
2 TBSP. red wine vinegar
1 TBSP. pomegranate molasses
salt and pepper

Rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve, drain, then place in a medium saucepan with the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until the quinoa is soft and the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fluff up the quinoa with a fork, then combine with the spinach, cranberries and pomegranate seeds. Pour the dressing over and toss. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve. I mixed the TJ's nut mix in before I added the dressing and tossed it all together.

This was really good and I liked the crunch of the pomegranate seeds.