Lemon Rosemary Salad Dressing

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Of course you can buy excellent salad dressing, but I always feel it should be like $2 and its like $5 or $6! I mean really. I can make my own b/c most dressings are oil, vinegar, and herbs…CHEAP and fresher…and makes me feel like GD Martha Stewart. Like I DID something today. ūüôā Anyways, its delicious, goes on everything, is bright and fresh and I hope you enjoy it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 glass jar w/ tight lid
  • 1¬†tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra light olive oil
  • the juice¬†of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:

  1. Put all the ingredients into the jar, shake well
  2. Refrigerate for 1 hour before using
  3. Shake again each time before use
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Salad w/ Chicken,Asparagus & Potato

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I get tired of the same old salads. We have a great garden full of fresh salad fixins – lettuce, spinach, herbs, tomatoes, etc.¬†(thank you husband), but I don’t just want lettuce/carrots/tomatoes/cucumbers over and over – that shiz gets OLD. I go to restaurants and always see yummy salad combinations, so I tried¬†to think of ways to make a healthy salad with some new ingredients. Pretty easy process here and quite yummy. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Lettuce mix of your preference
  • 1.5 cup small potatoes – cut into halves. You can use red potatoes and just cut them into quarters
  • One medium sized chicken breast
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1¬†tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Approx 10 stalks of asparagus – ends removed and chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese – your choice!
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Rosemary Salad Dressing

Directions

  1. Place chicken in tupperware container, lid off.
  2. Sprinkle chicken breast w/ salt and pepper. Add in 1 tbsp EVOO and rosemary, sage and garlic powder. Put lid on and shake well to coat chicken. Let marinate at least 1 hour.
  3. Before beginning rest of process, remove chicken from fridge and let warm up a bit, will cook faster if not ice cold from fridge
  4. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  5. Turn on grill (for chicken)
  6. In  bowl mix 1 tbsp EVOO and chopped asparagus, Add a small pinch of salt and pepper. Lay onto foil lined baking sheet.
  7. Repeat step 3, but this time do this with the potatoes and put on separate foil lined baking sheet.
  8. Put asparagus and potato trays into oven for 10 minutes.
  9. Cook your chicken on the grill. You can cook in a pan on stove top, but I prefer the grill. Usually takes about 10 min (5 min each side) on a hot grill.
  10. When oven timer goes off, test asparagus with fork. Should be easy to pierce with fork but not mushy at all. Usually asparagus are good at 10 minutes but continue to cook to your liking. I usually test one out to see how I like the texture. Snack! If asparagus done – pull from oven. Set aside.
  11. Turn potatoes and place back in oven for 5 more minutes. At end of 5 min test potatoes, should be soft, if not put in for 3 more minutes at a time to ensure you don’t over cook them. When potatoes are done, pull from oven. Set aside.
  12. To assemble salad, use large mixing bowl (can use same one used to toss veggies in olive oil).
  13. Place lettuce mix in bowl, add asparagus, add potatoes. Add 1/4 cup dressing and toss to coat. Add more dressing as you wish.
  14. Place salad mix into bowls for serving
  15. Slice chicken and place chicken on top of lettuce.
  16. Sprinkle with cheese.
  17. Serve!
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Lettuce and herbs from my garden

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chicken marinating

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asparagus and potatoes roasting in oven

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mixing all salad ingredients (step 13)

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salads topped with chicken and cheese!

 

Restaurant Redo: Apple, Fennel & Arugula Salad

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My husband and I took a trip to DC recently and went to visit Jose Andres’ restaurant Jaleo. He is a very awarded chef and restauranteur who I’ve watched on TV over and over again – just waiting for a chance to try his food! The wait was worth it!¬†We ordered a variety of tapas bread with tomato spread & jamon serrano, liquid olives¬†(and Jose Andres is the one on the left narrating in English),¬†saut√©ed cauliflower with dates and olives, paella, and the recipe here which is for the apple fennel salad.

I put my own twist on this dish¬†by changing up the dressing a bit and adding arugula. I actually like this combo a bit more, but all credit goes to Jose who inspired me to try it at home. This salad is¬†crisp, refreshing, sweet, tart — ¬†just the most perfect summer salad. The only thing that makes this situation better is that its SUPER easy while it seems difficult and advanced for a salad based on the ingredients. I mean who doesn’t love easy¬†work while getting¬†extra credit?! ūüôā

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Will and I in DC

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Original salad at Jaleo restaurant

Ingredients (for 2 larger appetizer salads)

  1. One fennel bulb – stems removed but keep small amount of fronds for garnish
  2. Two cups washed arugula – lightly packed
  3. 1 granny apple
  4. 1/2 cup walnuts
  5. 3/4 cup diced manchego cheese
  6. One tbsp chopped chives
  7. Two tsp dijon mustard
  8. Two tbsp sherry
  9. Two tbsp apple cider vinegar
  10. 3/4 cup good quality EVOO
  11. 1/2 tsp salt
  12. One tsp fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Dressing: In a mason jar or a container with a tight fitting lid, pour ingredients #7-#12 and shake well. Add more ingredients as you like based on test tasting. Place in fridge until ready to use.
  2. Slice the fennel bulb into long thin slices. For the full skinny on how to slice, use and store fennel – check out this video.
  3. Core and de-seed the green apple. If you need instruction on this Рhere is another good video.
  4. Take one half of the green apple, and slice the apple into long thin slices. They can almost be transparent if you can get them this thin. Using a mandolin slicer might help – but a sharp knife works just fine.
  5. Take the other half and dice he apple into small 1/2 inch cubes.
  6. Place all apple slices and dices in a bowl along with arugula, fennel, cheese and walnuts.
  7. Toss  gently in salad dressing. Start with about 2 tbsp of dressing and then add more as you wish.
  8. Garnish with chives and fennel frond(s).
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Ingredients for salad dressing

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Final salad dressing

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Sliciing fennel stems off, halving bulbs, coring and slicing fennel See video above for all details on how to do this.

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Diced manchego cheese.

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Final product!

Salmon Salad w/ Creamy Avocado Dressing

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DSC_0025 Salmon might be my favorite fish. I am a BIG fan of sea-bass too…but salmon is more affordable and easier to find and is full of health benefits. My husband likes it, but not as much as I do — so when he is out of town I do a lot of salmon cooking for one.¬†This salad is delicious, fresh, and healthy! Again, key here is fresh and ripe ingredients. Especially the AVOCADO. INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ripe avocado – peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • 3/4¬†cup¬†packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/2¬†cup light sour cream
  • 1 tbsp shallot chopped
  • 1 clove¬†garlic,¬†quartered
  • 1 tablespoon¬†lime¬†juice
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon¬†sugar
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon¬†salt
  • 1 filet of fresh salmon – 4-6 ounces
  • 2 cups mixed field greens
  • 1 small vine ripened tomato – seeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp of light shredded cheese
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil with a high smoke point
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place 1/2 of the avocado, cilantro, sour cream or yogurt, shallots, garlic, lime juice, sugar, and salt in a blender or food processor; blend until smooth. Set aside
  3. Pat dry salmon with paper towel. Sprinkle w/ salt and pepper.
  4. Heat oil to medium heat in a saute pan.
  5. Place salmon in pan, skin side up.
  6. Saute for 4-5 minutes and flip to skin side down.
  7. Keep skin-side down for another 2-3 minutes.
  8. Place saute pan in oven for about 7-10 minutes. If pan is not oven save, line baking sheet with foil and place salmon skin side down on pan.
  9. While salmon is cooking, mix lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and the remaining avocado into a bowl. Toss with about 1-2 tbsp of the dressing- depending on how much dressing you like.
  10. Salmon should register a 145 degrees internally when done.
  11. Pull from oven and let rest while you prepare to plate.
  12. Pull skin from bottom of salmon – due to the searing skin side down it should peel off easily.
  13. To plate: place salmon on plate or in bowl, lay salmon on salad, and top salmon with a dollop of dressing.
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All ingredients in food processor

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Dressing is complete!

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Salmon is done!

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Pulling skin off the salmon

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Mixing the salad while salmon cooks

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Salad complete!

Grilled Vegetable Salad

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I often make burgers in the spring and summer – after the mayo, cheese, and red meat – I feel¬†I need something healthy. There aren’t many veggies I don’t love, and mixing them together after coming off the grill makes a delicious, nutrients packed side-dish, that is beautiful and¬†looks really¬†impressive when it takes little time at all.

Cooking veggies on the grill is easy, but you need to be mindful and keep track of the different cooking temperatures of the various veggies. Its usually best to cook them in separate¬†grill pans or foil packets to ensure they are cooked perfectly and don’t end up mushy. If they are grilled¬†separately, you can pull them off as they are done and then combine once all are cooked. Veggies should be soft so they can be pierced easily with a fork, but still have a slight give/crispness to them on the outside.

I served this salad with my recent restaurant redo of In-N-Out burger. Very yummy dinner that I plan to do a few more times this season! Enjoy!

Ingredients (for 5-6 people):

  • 2 small sweet potatoes – peeled and cubed into small 1 inch pieces
  • 1 bunch asparagus – white stalks trimmed
  • 1 zucchini – cubed into small 1 inch pieces
  • 2 ears of corn on the cob
  • 1 cup green beans – ends trimmed
  • 2.5 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt
  • pepper grinder
  • 1 tbsp balsamic reduction. I used store bought (yay Costco!) Or you can make your own with 2 cups of balsamic vinegar – reduce over medium¬†heat until its down to 1/4 cup – about 40 minutes. Should be consistency of syrup.
  • 5 sheets of aluminum foil – each about¬†1.5 to 2 feet long

Directions:

  1. Before getting started – you’ll be prepping each vegetable and then placing it into a foil packet to cook. As you get done with one vegetable – continue process with others.¬†Fold the foil¬†it in half so you‚Äôve got a double layer. Place your ingredients in the center, then pull over one side, folding the edges to seal. Then fold the remaining two edges. Don‚Äôt seal the packet too tightly (except for corn): leave some room for the steam to expand. If your grill isn’t large enough, do some of the vegetables in the oven at 400 degrees.
  2. Light grill.
  3. Place sweet potatoes in a bowl with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with two pinches of salt and about 3 twists of a pepper grinder. Mix well and place in foil packet.
  4. Repeat step 2 for asparagus.
  5. Repeat step 2 for green beans – but only use one pinch of salt.
  6. Repeat step 2 for zucchini – but only use one pinch of salt.
  7. For the ears of corn, rub with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, rub each ear with one pinch of salt and one pinch of ground pepper. Before closing pouch, pour in 2 tbsp of water and seal this packet tightly. The steam keeps the corn from drying out.
  8. Place all sweet potatoes on grill first. These will cook for approximately 20-25 minutes until done.
  9. After about 5 minutes place corn on the grill. These will cook for approximately 10-12 minutes until done.
  10. After another 5 minutes, place the green beans, zucchini and asparagus on the grill – these cooking times will vary from 8-12 minutes.
  11. Check on each vegetable a couple of times to see if they are done (after cooking times referenced above). Its smart to keep a fork handy so you can test the softness of each. When they are done Рpull and place aside until all are done.
  12. When corn is finished cooking, using a hot pad holder or a heat glove Рhold the cob on its end (vertically) and using a sharp knife cut the kernels from the cob.
  13. In large bowl place all vegetables. Add balsamic reduction and mix thoroughly.
  14. Serve while hot or warm.
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Packets of veggies ready for the grill! (Before I fold them over to enclose them)

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Items on grill

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Items on grill

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Cutting corn kernels from cob (thanks Rebecca!)

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Served salad with In-N-Out burger recipe (see the post – its delish!)

 

Restaurant Redo: Trezo Mare Seasonal Salad

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Trezo Mare is an amazing seafood restaurant here in Kansas City. It is north of the city and has the most amazing patio, and the food is even better. My husband and I used to go there once a month to share their calamari, one of their delicious salads, and the lobster mac & cheese. The calamari is the BEST I have ever had – which I know is unreal since we are in the middle of the USA – but I promise, its amazing.

I went recently with a good friend and they had a new salad on the menu cleverly named “the seasonal salad”. Asparagus, mozzarella, prosciutto, marinated artichokes – what’s not to love? This was just a yummy delicious salad and I thought – this is easy, quick, and I can make this at home no problem. TO THE BLOG!

INGREDIENTS: 2 dinner salads

  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 10 artichoke hearts
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO (get good EVOO since you are making a dressing)
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 24 spears asparagus
  • 6 slices prosciutto
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup light balsamic dressing* – I use store bought
  • Balsamic reduction for drizzle/garnish** – I use store bought
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The balsamic reduction/glaze I bought at Costco

*You can make your own balsamic dressing with this recipe:

  • 1/2 cup vinegar, balsamic, (choose a good-quality, aged brand if possible)
  • 3 tablespoon oil, olive, extra-virgin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon mustard, Dijon,
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Mix all ingredients together in a mason jar or jar with tight lid. Makes 2 tbsp.

**Balasmic reduction is great to have on hand for spicing up or garnishing a variety of dishes. Be careful to not breathe in the vinegar fumes – they can be strong. Definitely open a window — or again just buy store bought. ūüôā yay Costco!

  • 2 cups balsamic vinegar
  1. Place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and cook over medium low heat until the vinegar has reduced by at least half (about 30 minutes for 2 cups of vinegar to reduce to 1 cup). Cook it until it‚Äôs reduced to ¬Ĺ cup (1/4 of the original volume).
  2. As soon as the balsamic reduction reaches the consistency and concentration level that you prefer, remove it from the heat, and let it cool down. Place in container or bottle and use as needed.

 DIRECTIONS

  1. Wash and dry the mixed greens
  2. Marinate artichokes by mixing 2 tbsp of EVOO, lemon juice, artichokes, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning into a small bowl or container with a lid. Cover and place into fridge while you complete the rest of the salad.
  3. Slice the ball of mozzarella into slices about 1/4 inch thick.
  4. Lay slices on cutting board and with the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil, brush EVOO on both sides of the mozzarella.
  5. Sprinkle both sides with fresh chopped parsley and set aside for salad assembly.
  6. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  7. Wash the asparagus and trim approximately 1-2 inches off the end. This link will show you how to trim asparagus the right way. 
  8. Taking 4 spears at a time, form a bunch. Wrap each asparagus bunch with a slice of prosciutto.
  9. Place bunches on baking sheet lined with foil.
  10. Cook in oven for 10-15 minutes until asparagus is easily pierced with a fork, but the asparagus is not mushy. It should still have a slight crisp to it.
  11. Remove from oven when asparagus are cooked.
  12. Remove artichoke hearts from fridge and cut them in half.
  13. Toss the salad greens in the balsamic salad dressing – using a bit at a time to ensure its not overdressed. Ensure the salad is dressed VERY LIGHTLY (remember you are topping w/ balsamic reduction).
  14. Place the salad greens onto a dinner plate.
  15. Top with the halved artichoke hearts.
  16. On the edge of the salad place the sliced mozzarella.
  17. Top the whole salad with the asparagus wrapped prosciutto.
  18. Drizzle the entire plate with balsamic reduction.
  19. TA DA!
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Marinating artichoke hearts

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Wrapping prosciutto

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Prosciutto wrapped asparagus cooking

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Brushing mozzarella with EVOO

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Sprinkling mozzarella with parsley

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Chopping marinated artichoke hearts in halves

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Tossing salad with the balsamic dressing

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Greens topped with artichokes & mozzarella

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Greens topped with prosciutto asparagus bunches

Crab Cakes w/ Lemon Arugula Salad

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Once again, I start a post by thanking Costco for the main ingredient for tonights dinner. CRAB MEAT. Two of my favorite words. Costco carries lump crab meat, in a pouch, that is moist, sweet, and delicious. There are so many things you can do with crab meat, but one of my favorites are crab cakes. If you make crab cakes the right way – crab should be the primary ingredient. Of course there are other goodies in the recipe…but crab is #1.

We have a deep fryer that we used for this recipe, but you can fry in a heavy-bottomed pot/pan or bake if you wish. These turned out quite yummy – they were creamy, sweet, a bit spicy and crispy on the outside. I served with arugula salad and a remoulade sauce that we buy at our local fish/meat store. There are many sauces you can serve w/ crab cakes: lemon aioli, horseradish cream, cocktail sauce, and many more. Chose whatever you prefer, and I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Crab Cake Ingredients:

  • 12 oz lump crab meat
  • 1 tbsp shallot minced
  • 2 green onions – white & green part diced small
  • 1/3 red bell pepper diced small
  • 1 celery heart diced small
  • 1 cup Ritz crackers – crumbled
  • 1 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Flour for dusting
  • Oil for frying – choose one that is good for deep frying

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups baby arugula – washed and lightly torn
  • Shredded parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
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Salad ingredients

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix all crab cake ingredients except cracker crumbs. (Flour and oil is reserved for later)
  2. Once the majority of ingredients are combined, add half the bread crumbs and stir. Continue to add cracker crumbs until the mixture is thick enough and enough moisture is absorbed to make the patties. If the mixture is too wet, they will fall apart when frying so check the mixture along the way and add in crackers as needed.
  3. Shape crab cake mixture into patties, dust with flour, and place onto a plate lined w/ foil.
  4. Place crab cake patties in fridge for at least 1 hour to allow them to set up – but no longer than 2 hours.
  5. Remove from fridge and use a deep fryer or in pot/pan with oil to fry the cakes. Oil should be approximately 350 degrees and cakes should be cooked for about 3-4 minutes. You could also bake them, and I would recommend broiling for a few minutes on low then flipping to broil the other side to help get a crispy crust.
  6. If frying – remove from oil and place on paper towels to dry.
  7. While drying, you can make the salad. First drizzle the olive oil onto the arugula and toss to coat.
  8. Add the lemon juice, a pinch of salt and about 1 tsp of pepper to the bowl and mix again.
  9. Add parmesan cheese, mix again and plate.
  10. Plate crab cakes next to salad and serve!
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Pouch of crab meat from Costco

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Crab meat, celery, red pepper, shallot, green onion

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Cracker Crumbs – place in ziploc bag and pound w/ small mallet

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Final crab cake filling

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Crab patties dusted in flour and ready for fridge

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Crab cakes ready for the fryer

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Mr. Potts getting his fry on

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Crab cakes resting on paper towels

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Final product!