Posts tagged food
Posts tagged food
One lonely evening, feeling particularly broke but also resourceful, I was hungry.
I had already depleted all of my produce except half a red bell pepper and everything else listed in the ingredients. And not wanting to order take out considering $$$, I had to get savvy in the kitchen. What was born was this wonderfully easy sauce. Just plop it over some pasta and add whatever cooked veggies.
If I had had white wine laying around, I probably would have tossed the red pepper puree into a small sauce pan and reduced a splash of vino. Also If I had had cream, I would have incorporated a little crema after the wine for that smooth and comforting flavor.
But what I did have was goat cheese. I crumbled that atop my red pepper puree with sauteed mushrooms and onions all over mini shells. I loved it.
Process until almost smooth then squeeze in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Note that the puree will never be perfectly smooth.
Note: I only had half a red bell pepper to use and would have liked more sauce for myself! Adding additional red peppers would be a wise choice if you are cooking for more than one.
I cooked mini shells. Use whatever pasta you’d like, but I’d advise any pasta with ridges for the sauce to hide and stick to.
Love and one day we will have a salary,
Toots and Kakes
Before starting this endeavor we were thinking about making something quick and healthy for dinner. As it was already 7:00pm we thought we would be eating by 8:00pm. Well, we were very wrong. By 10:30 we were finally eating, but thank goodness the wait paid off because the spring rolls came out delicious! So when planning for spring rolls make sure you have an extra hour to chop and prep or do all that the day before.
These spring rolls are great because you can put whatever veggies you want in them, keep them vegetarian or change up the meat, whisk up different sauces, or mix up the rice… Be creative!
The spring rolls and coconut rice recipes are our own creations but we have to thank Epicurious for the chili and peanut sauces.
Peanut Sauce (not pictured)
Spring rolls- Makes 12
Coconut Jalapeno Brown Rice
Chop and reserve all vegetables and herbs to the side.
We forgot to take a picture of the next step also. Eek! For this next step you will cook the rice noodles according to the package directions and set aside.
Next cook the scallops.
Cooking the scallops is quit easy, but if you are intimidated by our squishy friends then refer to Alton Brown ’s video for a confidence boost or follow our instructions below. Or both.
Remove the side muscle from the scallops if not already done. Rinse with cold water and pat dry. Ensure the scallops are completely dry for quality searing results. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
Heat a large saute pan to high heat. Add oil and melt butter until combined. At the first signes of smoke, add each scollop one by one. Do not let the scallops touch each other. Also, don’t move the scallops once placed on the saute pan. Cook the scallops for about 1 minutes 30 seconds. Then flip with a pair on tongs and cook for another 1 minute and 30 seconds on the opposite side. Set aside to cool. Once scallops are cool enough to handle, slice into thin strips and reserve.
Next cook the steak.
Honestly, our steak could have tasted better. We only cooked it a minute or two on each side but since our pieces were so thin, the steak still turned out a pretty tough. We then thought it would be a good idea to bathe the thinly sliced steak pieces in soy sauce to add moisture. Bad idea if you wanted to eat the steak plain, but actually once combined into the spring rolls, the saltiness was evened out and tasted really good! So you may follow our experimental directions or cook your own thickness or type of steak your way.
Salt and pepper the steak. Heat a large saute pan to high heat and add oil. Sear the steak on both sides for about one minute. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool enough to handle cut into thin slices and reserve.
Next rolls the spring rolls!
Create a warm water bath in a large shallow pan. We used a 13 x 9 baking pan. Dip a spring roll paper in the bath until soft and flimsy. Be careful because the papers tear very easily.
Place a rag topped with a damp paper towel next to the water bath. Transfer the spring roll papper from the water bath to the towels. Top with a pinch cabbage, carrots, cilantro, cucumbers and chives. Add a small pinch of rice noodles. Then add either the scallops or steak. We prepared half of the rolls wrapped with scallops and remaining half with steak.
Then wrap up the spring rolls following our picture guides below.
Then plate gorgeously and pair with our rice and two sauces!
Love and lots of cats,
Toots and Kakes
Prior to this recipe I had never cooked with lentils and didn’t understand the difference between non sprouted and sprouted. So I just bought what my local market had on stock which were non-sprouted. I ended up with a huge stomach ache after eating what I thought was a healthy light salad. From this I learned if you don’t buy sprouted lentils you have to soak the legumes overnight to release all the gaseous elements. Just an FYI for your shopping and tummy experience. On a better note, this was a nice change from a traditional lettuce salad and if you precook everything in advance it is easy to assemble.
Next prepare the chive vinaigrette. Puree chives, oil, lemon and salt in a food processor until smooth. Then strain chive vinaigrette through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl. My only option was to use a mini strainer and tea cup. Worked just as well.
Combine rice, lentils, seeds, nuts, zucchinis, scallions, and chive vinaigrette into a presentable bowl and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Love and health nuts,
Toots and Kakes
Recipe from bon appetite magazine.
For the purpose of the blog, I am admitting that I have never cooked using carrots as a main ingredient, mostly due to my childhood fear of the dreaded cooked carrot. And, I have never cooked with bone in chicken pieces. Also, not knowing what fricassee meant, this recipe seemed a bit intimidating.
But, as this is an experimental blog, the recipe was a go. The finished product was very tasty! Almost too tasty… What I realized is that I love cooked carrots, which added a delicious sweetness to the dish. The chicken was juicy and tender (during the cooking process I was skeptical of over cooking them due to the 35 minute cooking time). I also learned not to be intimidated by fancy sounding words such as fricassee, because all it means is to add a bit of creme fraiche to the sauce. Silly me.
I would definitely cook this recipe again (thanks Epicurious for another amazing recipe) and, since I now know the basics I would pump up the recipe with perhaps some olives or capers to add a little salty zing.
Ingredients: Recipe is for two.
Make a water bath and squeeze 1 juice lemon into the water. Put lemon halves into water.
Strip the outer leaves of the baby artichokes until the pale green leaves are exposed. Cut in half lengthwise. Rub the cut side of each artichoke with a lemon half and put into the water bath. Then transfer to the boiling water mixture in the next step.
Meanwhile, bring 6 cups of water, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 tablespoons flour to a boil in a large sauce pan. Add artichoke halves and boil for about 5 minutes or until tender. Once cooked drain water and set artichokes aside.
Meanwhile, salt and pepper the chicken drumsticks and thighs. Dredge in flour and shake off excess.
Heat a large sauce pan and melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add chicken when butter has stopped sizzling. Cook the chicken until golden brown on each side. About 4 minutes per side. You don’t want to cook the chicken through here, as later you will add it back into the pan and cook or another 30ish minutes!
Once chicken has browned. Take out of pan and put to the side.
In the same pan add the carrots, mushrooms and shallots. Cook for about 5-8 minutes or until tender.
Add the thyme and garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
Put the chicken back into the saute pan and add the wine. Bring to a boil. Then add the chicken broth and artichokes. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer.
I don’t have a top for my saute pan so I improvised with a cookie sheet. Anyways, Cook the chicken and veggies for about 20 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for another 15 minutes or until cooked through.
Once chicken is cooked, place on serving plates. Then add the creme fraiche to the remaining vegetables and sauce. Mix until throughly incorporated into the sauce. Then plate and serve along side the chicken.
Love and just keep blogging so I don’t go shopping,
Toots and Kakes
This post is dedicated to my dad! He was the inspiration for the recipe and deserves some recognition for his unruly cravings of pasta and chocolate. My dad is a man of tradition and in relation with this eating out usually lands the family at Macaroni Grill. Guess what he orders every time? Yup, no menu necessary, my pops gets the chicken scallopini every time.
Anyways… One cozy night at home, too comfy to leave the fire place, but still craving a familiar, creamy delicious meal. I decided to trick my dad into thinking he was at Macaroni Grill and satisfy the rest of the family by staying in. Not wanting to leave the house, I had to make due with what ingredients were already in the pantry. Luckily our pantry was stocked and I threw together a meal that mimicked my dad’s favorite restaurant meal.
In a large sauce pan bring water to a boil, salt heavily, then cook the angel hair pasta until al dente. Drain and splash a bit of olive oil on the pasta, mix and set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare the chicken by first sprinkling it with salt and pepper to each side. Toss each in the egg mixture, then coat with flour. Heat a large saute pan with a splash of olive oil and heat to medium. Cook each chicken breast until golden brown on each side and white on the inside. About 4 minutes each side.
Meanwhile, heat another large saute pan with olive oil to medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Then add the garlic and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Next throw in the artichokes, capers and sun dried tomatoes. Let them heat threw for about a minute. Then squeeze in the lemon juice and stir.
Next, raise the temperature to medium high and add in the wine. Let the wine reduce for about 5 minutes. Lastly lower the heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream. Stir continuously then let simmer for about 5 minutes to thicken.
Scoop out a ladle of pasta, pour as much sauce mixture on the angel hair as desired, then top with a golden brown chicken breast. Garnish with freshly grated parmigiano. Bon Appetit!
Love and home cooking fever,
Toots and Kakes
This dish is spicy good! It all started with my attempt to make couscous from cauliflower, a rumor I’ve been wanting to test for a while. I was actually impressed with the end result and how the cauliflower mimicked the couscous in texture and flavor. I didn’t make the cauliflower spicy so it became a nicer buffer to the heat intensity of the chicken. With that said, if you like heat, then you’ll love this chicken. Also, pair a bit of greek yogurt with the meal for some delicious added taste.
With each piece of chicken the exotic flavors danced on my tongue accentuating the high notes of paprika and cumin. - Super Mario
Begin with the chicken marinade. The chicken should marinate for at least 6 hours.
Combine cumin, curry, smoked and hot paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a small bowl and mash together in order to incorporate the garlic as much as possible and mesh the spices. A mortar would be best to use, but I don’t have one so I used a spoon.
Zest the lime and add in along with the rest of the olive oil.
Pour marinade over chicken and make sure each breast is completely covered with the mixture. Cover with saran wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for 6-8 hours. If you plan ahead even more, marinate the chicken overnight for the most flavor.
30 minutes before you want to serve dinner preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in a glass baking pan and cover with any excess marinade. Bake for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan. Add a splash of olive oil then toss in the shallots. Let cook until translucent. Add in garlic and mushrooms. Let cook until mushrooms release any juices and are tender. About 8 minutes.
While mushrooms are cooking, put cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until it resembles couscous.
Add pulsed cauliflower to the saute pan with the mushrooms. Add curry, cumin, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until the desired consistency of the cauliflower. Add in parsley and remove from heat.
Plate along side the chicken for a spicy meal.
Love and easy peasy lemon-squeasy,
Toots and Kakes
Moroccan Chicken adapted from Epicurious.
So I owe a bit of credit to Trader Joe’s for my recipe. While shopping at the store I eyed a box of edamame beans and suddenly craved edamame in dip form. So I thought all I need now is a few essentials including tahini sauce, lemon, and garlic. Luckily, I had lemon and garlic at home and only needed the tahini sauce. What I found at the store was a tahini like hummus dip which already had lemon and garlic in it. So, I used that as my base, added some more fresh garlic, lemon, and spices and of course the edamame. The dip is light and refreshing making for a perfect afternoon snack! As an added bonus, I have no doubt using straight sesame tahini sauce will make for just as good a dip.
Next add the garlic and pulse a few times to incorporate. Add the Tahini Sauce and lemon juice. Process for about 10 seconds to blend. Next, while processing, slowly pour in the olive oil to desired texture. Add in salt and pepper to taste. Pulse to finish.
Love and make today a holiday,
Toots and Kakes
Sometimes it seems that this blog should be renamed the presto pesto blog or something cheesy like that. This is not because we are cheesy people (that could be a lie) but because we love to experiment with new pesto recipes. Pesto is a favorite because you can do so much with it once you make it. This recipe is great tossed with some whole grain pasta or drizzled over some grilled steak or even as the base for a pizza, YUM! Adjust the amount of poblano and jalepeño peppers in your dish depending on your spice tolerance.
First to make “roasted” poblano pesto, the poblano peppers need to be roasted. Do this by placing the poblano peppers on a baking sheet in the oven set to broil. Rotate the peppers until each side is charred and black.
Remove the peppers to a deep bowl and cover with saran wrap, let sit for about 10 minutes to steam the skin loose.
While the peppers are steaming pulse together the parmesan cheese and almonds until finely grated. Remove these and set aside.
Once enough time has passed, remove the peppers from the bowl and peel off the charred skin, be sure to also remove the stem and seeds. Cut into strip and place into the food processor. Add the jalepeño, garlic and cilantro and pulse until combined.
Add in the almond and cheese mixture. Drizzle in the olive oil while pulsing the food processor. Finish with kosher salt to taste. Enjoy however you wish!
Love and taco flavored kisses,
Toots and Kakes
Adapted from foodnetwork.com poblano pesto, http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/poblano-pesto-recipe/index.html
This is a celebrity guest post by yours truly, Jay Beach. With a little Turkish flavor in my history, I thought it would be nice to treat Kakes to some classic Turkish cuisine. This meal is simple and classic. Kofte is the Turkish form of hamburger or meatballs, and can be found in any Turkish home. The side dish is rice made with tomatoes, which gives it a little different flavor and texture.
Eh em…This is kakes chiming in. This is AMAZING. That’s all.
Ingredients for rice:
Ingredients for kofte:
Kakes again! Wanted to dish a secret for an avo-tastic salad. After a couple glasses of wine I accidentally smashed the chopped avocados I threw in salad and created an avocado dressing of sorts. I tossed a couple splashes of olive oil with one splash of balsamic vinegar with the lettuce. Toasted some slivered almonds, threw those in. Added diced red onion and chopped broccoli. I then tossed the salad a little to strenuously and it came out avocado creamy with a balsamic twist. ooo weee!
One of my favorite foods is peanut butter. Another one of my other favorite foods is a bunch of sauteed veggies. So one night having my usual cravings I looked up a basic Thai recipe (for that peanut butter craving) and put my own spin on it by adding an abundance of produce and topping it over rice. The meal came out delicious and is now a recipe I will remake again and again. I also like this recipe because if you use the sauce as a base, you can add or change any of the other ingredients in it. Snap peas, eggs, and cilantro with rice noodles sounds yummy. Reply with your version and/or a picture if you dare stray from my recipe!
Ingredients: For two (with a small lunch of leftovers or breakfast).
Heat a large saute pan to medium heat. Add the peanut butter and butter, melt and combine. Add the ginger and garlic and continually mix so they don’t burn. Cook for about 1 minute then add the onions. Coat the onions in the peanut butter mixture and cook down for about 5 minutes.
Add the remaining vegetables and coat with peanut butter mixture. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and cook vegetables for about 8 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, toast the almonds. I toast mine by throwing then in a small saute pan on medium low heat until effervescent and slightly golden. Set aside.
Once veggies have cook through add coconut milk, red curry paste, lime juice, and remaining soy sauce. Stir to combine. Then simmer until sauce thickens about 5 minutes. Finish by removing from heat and adding the basil and almonds. Scoop over rice and devour. Yum!
Love and Your Highness is a horrible movie but whatever we laughed.. a lot,
Toots and Kakes