Tag Archives: foodie

Shrimp Manicotti is Good For Your Body

Winter nights make for amazing food. Part of what I love about winter, is having every excuse in the book to sit at home, and dream up tasty tasty foods to make, while having zero guilt about not going out into the drizzly mess outside. This dish is actually fairly lazy. With only about 20 minutes of prep and a generous bake time, you’ll have plenty of time to look like you spent all day slaving over a hot stove, when you really spent the day binge watching  Netflix and staring woefully out at the rain.

10 Manicotti – cooked to al dente

16 oz ricotta cheese

1 lb shrimp minced with shells removed

1/2 lb chantrelle mushrooms

1/2 cup romano cheese

6 cloves garlic

1 shallot

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, dill,and oregano

1 tbs butter

salt and pepper

2 cups marinara sauce

12 oz grated mozzarella cheese

Saute shrimp and chantrelles with shallots, garlic and herbs until just cooked, and set that aside too cool. Cook your manicotti to just on the hard side of al dente, usually about half the cook time on the packaging.

Once the shrimp mixture has cooled, mix it with ricotta, half the mozzarella, and Romano cheese add in salt and pepper to taste, and pipe it into your manicotti tubes.( I used a super fancy method of placing all of my mixture into a Ziploc and cutting off a corner at the bottom, and squeezing the mixture through.) After you have piped in all of your mixture, line the bottom of a casserole dish with marinara, place you manicotti over the top, add another layer of marinara, then place a heavy smattering of mozzarella and Romano cheese to the top. Bake it at 400 for 30 minutes.

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Portobello Lamb burgers. Soooo Juicy. Soooo Delicious

Excited face! I went out with my father today taking pictures and even went on a small hike. But the awesome came at the end, when I found a butcher just a few miles from me, called the butcher shop cafe. I am over the moon about the special order situation. It seems that a lot of places near hear will do a tri tip roast, but this guy has no problem ordering kangaroo. In fact he has it on hand right now. Things are about to get far more interesting boys and girls.

This weekend I made portobello lamb burgers. Its a simple and delicious alternative to using using bread buns on your burgers, and will make this lamb burger extra juicy. One thing that makes me sad when I eat a burger, is sinking my teeth into it, and finding that someone decided the best option when making them was to not season their ground meat.  This burger will not disappoint in the flavor department. I promise.

8 portobello mushroom caps

1 pound ground lamb

1/2 cup feta cheese

1/2 purple onion

4 cloves of garlic

a few chopped sprigs of fresh thyme and a oregano

1 tsp salt

1 tsp curry

Juice of 1 lemon

Pepper to taste

Olive oil

Place the ground lamb in a bowl, and add the feta cheese, onion, garlic, herbs, curry, salt, and pepper. Mix those ingredients gently together, and  separate them into 4 patties. You can stick these lovely smashed balls of meat on the stove or on the grill and cook them for 8 minutes each side on medium high. Take the portobello mushroom caps, and  cover them in a light coat of oil and salt on both sides. Grill them, or stick them in the oven for 8 minutes each side as well until the tops turn a darker shade of brown.

Build up your burger in your most favorite way, with your favorite sauces and dig in. My suggestion is a nice garlic aioli, curried ketchup and maybe a few extra napkins.

Portobello burger

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The Great Salmon Grilled Cheese Experiment

Last week I made salmon. A few moments after tweeting about it, one of my favorite people in the whole world responded that she too was having salmon, but since it was leftovers, it was going into a grilled cheese. That really tickled my fancy. In the creepiest way “tickled my fancy” can be understood. I needed to know what was going on in her mouth right that second, and so, the salmon grilled cheese experiment was born. Plans were made, cheese, bread, and salmon were bought. Aspirin was taken for its blood thinning properties to prevent any possible episodes that were about to take place. I was about to take that heart healthy protein, and make it my culinary bitch.

The main thing she said was missing was a sauce. Tomato soup is quite traditional to go along with grilled cheese. However, there was a slight allergy issue that was hindering that. I spent the rest of the week pondering that. Tarter is too thick, its also a bit crude for a grilled cheese, I thought about various salad dressings, oil and vinegar dips, and aiolis. It was all too rich. Hollandaise would be perfect but it was a bit too thick. Beurre blanc would also be magical but it was a bit too thin. What to do…. Combine the greatness of hollandaise with phenomenal flavor of beurre blanc, that’s what. Holland blanc… beurredaise..

So here’s the details of our little experiment. Bread: Sour dough. Cheeses: Swiss or cheddah. Salmon: Chinook or lox. Sauce: Beurredaise. Yes, I know there are about 400 other combinations, but in the interest of not weighing 400 pounds, and the fact that  there were only two bellies to fill, we narrowed it down a bit.

What it came down to was Swiss on sour dough, my salmon recipe sans tomato, and the Beurredaise sauce. I took the left over herbed butter from the salmon and used it to fry up my sammich. The lox was ok with the swiss, but when we put it with the cheddar and the sauce it turned out to be really overwhelmingly flavorful. Swiss had the perfect mild flavor to go along with the oven roasted salmon.

Beurredaise recipe

1 cup of chablis

2 bay leafs

a few peppercorns

1 sprig of dill

1 sprig of thyme

1/2 a coarsly chopped shallot

1 clove of garlic

1 egg yoke

the juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/4 cup of butter.

salt and pepper to taste

Put your wine, lemon juice shallot, garlic, peppercorns and herbs into a sauce pan. Bring that to a boil and reduce it by half. Run that through a strainer and let it cool for a few minutes. Put it back on the stove on low. Whisk up an egg until it thickens, and add that to your wine. Continue to whisk with all of your might until the whole mixture thickens. Place it in a bowl and serve it up with your delicious salmon grilled cheese.

And that was that. Salmon grill cheese with a lovely hybrid sauce. Thanks Jeni, for the wonderful idea!

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Tiliapia Fish Tacos with Pico de Gallo and chipotle Sour Cream

Summer weather means its time to pull out the recipes that don’t require much use of the oven or stove. Especially here in Washington where very few people have air conditioning. One of my favorite of these recipes is fish tacos. Believe it or not, you can really screw these up. I’ve done it several times while perfecting this recipe. Deviations are completely acceptable, but after several tries with different tortillas, various fish marinades, and a plethora of sauces, this is what I’ve come up with for my standard.

Marinade

1/2 lb tilapia

A dash of salt

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Juice of 2 limes

A generous splash of White wine vinegar

Corn tortillas (for later)

Generously sprinkle the salt over your fish. Throw in the cumin, vinegar, lime chili powder and cayenne pepper, and let it sit for a half hour to an hour. While that is sitting make your pico, slaw, and chipotle sauce. One the time is up toss your fish into a pan on high with a touch of olive oil and fry it until its edges are just getting crispy. While that’s frying up you can start cooking your corn tortillas.

For the Pico

2 tomatoes

1 purple onion

4 cloves of garlic

1 jalapeno, seeds removed

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

The juice and zest of 1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

Mince up the the ingredients, and toss them into a bowl. Squeeze in your lime juice and throw in your zest. Add the salt and pepper. And give it a quick stir.

chipotle Cream sauce

2 tbs of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1 8oz container of sour cream

Juice of one lime

1/2 tsp garlic salt to taste

I’m certain there is a way to make this sauce from scratch or just buy the sauce only, but because I’m in the dark for both of those things, I just take 2 tbs of the sauce out of the can and toss it in my sour cream, with the lime juice and salt. Then I give it a quick stir until everything is well combined.

Slaw

1 small bag of shredded cabbage

1 tbs white wine vinegar

the juice of more lime

and salt

Add the white wine, lime juice, and salt to your shredded cabbage. Swirl it around a bit. Fin.

Combine all of these wonderful concoctions together on a tortilla shell and enjoy. It looks like a lot, but it really only takes about 5 minutes past the the marinade time. The fish cooks up in a flash, and they are always a hit. Enjoy!

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Feast your eyes upon this Sockeye!

Salmon is so simple to make taste wonderful. Summer usually starts with my father and I headed out to the tiny fishing town of Sekiu Wa, to attempt to catch some kings. Sekiu is NOT for the faint of heart. Stepping out of the car the smell of the town lets you know that yes, people catch fish here. The eagles happily search the beaches for carcasses, entrails, and lingering small dogs, and if the walls in the hotels could speak they’d be screaming. The local bate shops are manned by the usual suspects, and tall tales are told at the local diner and bar, which ever ones happen to be open that season. Now truth be told, most of the time we end up skunked. Its been a dismal for catching the last couple times we’ve gone, but according to a few science folks, this year will yield a massive return. They are boasting that it should rival the salmon return to the Columbia that happened in 1937 after the dams were put in.

dadsekiu Sekiu2

Its time to get started perfecting my salmon recipe. The easiest way to prep a salmon is to take olive oil, coat the flesh, along with salt and pepper, and strategically place onions tomatoes and slices of lemon all over the top. Then place the whole thing in tin foil and roast or bbq it until its tender and easily separated with a fork. Too easy.  This time I’m taking things up a knotch. I’m making a lightly herbed butter mixed with a lemon, onion and tomato puree.  I can honestly say after making this I’m ready for fishing with my father. May the fishing gods be kind!

salmon (12)

1 fillet of salmon

1 tomato

1 shallot

4 cloves of garlic

2 sprigs of fresh dill

the zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp pepper

salt to taste

1/2 cup butter

First salt your salmon and give it a gentle squeeze of lemon juice. Coarsely slice your tomato, and shallot, and toss them into your food processor with the garlic dill, zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Send that whirling around until its a lovely pink puree. Put the puree into a bowl with your butter and stir it until well mixed. Gently smear this butter mixture over the top of your salmon. It doesn’t have to be too thick, just a light spackle job. Place the salmon on a rack wrapped in tinfoil, and pop that in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes depending on thickness and amounts. Take that remaining butter, slice up a huge loaf of sour dough and put that in with your salmon. You can then spend the next 20 minutes making the difficult decision which one to crudely stuff your face with first.

bombass salmon

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Rhubarb and custard Tart

Guess what season it is kids?? Rhubarb season. I really think people don’t give this lovely vegetable enough credit. It goes great with fish, and makes lovely tart desserts, and it is possibly the easiest gigantic weed you’ll ever grow. I made some delicious rhubarb and custard tarts this weekend. My large tart was beautiful, and delicious however making this into mini tarts was the best option because its just a little impossible to serve them in pie slices.

For the rhubarb puree

4 large (deep red if you can) stocks of rhubarb

1 cup sugar

the juice and zest of 2 limes

1 cup of water

1 tsp salt

1 tsp flour

Put the rhubarb, sugar zest and juice in a sauce pan and mix the ingredients together. Add the water and bring it to a boil, occasionally stirring it. Once your rhubarb has softened drop the heat to medium low, add the salt and flour, let it simmer for about 30 more minutes, occasionally stirring it, and remove it from the heat.

rhubarb and custard (10)

For the custard

8 egg yokes

2 cups milk

2 cups heave whipping cream

1/2 cup of sugar

2 vanilla beans

This portion is adapted from Jamie Oliver’s version. The only real difference is I love the taste that the little seeds put out. The whole bean was just not enough the first time I made it.  Whisk your egg yokes and 1/4 cup of sugar until they thicken. Slice open your vanilla bean and scrape out the magical insides. Put your milk, cream, vanilla bean seeds, and the rest of the sugar into a medium sized sauce pan, and bring it to a boil. As soon as it boils, remove it from the burner and set it aside to cool for about 5 minutes. Add the cream to the egg mixture approximately 1/2 a cup at a time whisking in the ingredients as you go. Once you have finished, add the the mixture back into the sauce pan and put it on medium. Stir it constantly until just barely begins to simmer, and then remove it from the burner. It if curdles, pour it into a bowl, and take your whisk to it. Those little bastards can be beat back down. Set it aside to begin to cool. It should be thick, like a light gravy.

For the crust

1 1/2+ cups flour

1/2 cup cold butter cut into cubes

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 to 1 tsp cold water

Quickly mix the flour butter and salt together, until it forms into little nuggets of dough, add in the water, and kneed it once or twice to form it into  once big ball Separate it into 4 balls, roll them out, and gingerly place them into your little tart pans. Bake it at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove the pie crust from the pan and set it aside to cool.

Now for the grand finale. Place a layer of custard in the bottom of your tartlets, then drizzle a generous layer of your rhubarb, and then on more layer of custard, and then a final artistic layer of rhubarb on the top. Place them into the fridge to cool for several hour or over night and enjoy.

edited rhubarb

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