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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Fried Smoked Mozzarella

Before there were the ubiquitous "cheese sticks" on every fried food menu, there was the original, breaded fried mozzarella, Sicilian style.

Yes, it existed before those frozen mini logs were the only version of "fried cheese" that everyone now knows. So wow your family and make the real deal and watch their eyes light up in ecstacy!

I guilded the lily with a smoked mozzarella here, but plain mozzarella will do just as well. It doesn't really matter whether you use whole milk or part skim, but the double breading is a must; otherwise you will have more cheese leaking into the oil than in the crust!

Serve them hot! And with lots of good tomato sauce. Cheers!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

(Faux) Lobster Salad

Olives for Dinner is a verrrrry creative vegan blogger, and sometimes her stuff is just to cheffy for me (but always gorgeous!) But her vegan take on seafood always shines. So faux lobster salad with palm hearts, had to try it!

If nothing else, my version below will make you love Old Bay Seasoning (DIY Pantry!) and make you realize that it will be easier to vegetarianize recipes using this classic spice mix. While the texture of the palm hearts certainly is close to lobster, it doesn't quite have that tender sweet fleshy flavor of lobster. But who were we kidding? It is nearly impossible to fake the flavor and texture of fruits de mer!

Nonetheless, you will be surprised at the light delicate flavor and texture of this salad. I highly recommend it with toasted baguette or as a filling for lettuce cups!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies - Vegan

I know I know, it's really hard to claim that cookies are healthy...and I'm not. But made with coconut oil is a move in the right direction, right?

Ok, all rationalizations aside, these are amazingly delicious cookies! And yes, they are vegan, so your friends who eat cruelty free can indulge as well!

By the way, the school lunch kids got these and no one was the wiser, nor were there any complaints. Rather it was, "may I have another, please!?"

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Poultry Seasoning - DIY Pantry

Poultry seasoning sounds like such an old fashioned ingredient...and it is. But that doesn't make it irrelevant. As a mostly vegetarian (fish at home, occasional meat at other people's homes), I use it in broth to make Tofu Chickenless Nuggets or the Provencal Mock Chicken Salad pictured above. The recipe listed below will make just enough to last you a few months, which is how long the potency will survive.

Poultry Seasoning - DIY Pantry (adapted from Sage Trifle)
(makes about 1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

Place all in a spice grinder (coffee grinder wiped clean) and grind until fine. Store in an air tight spice jar in a cool dark place.

Hugs!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mustard Glazed Salmon

This is one of those almost no-recipe recipes that the New York Times Cooking email sends out to my inbox each day. And one day I decided it looked interesting and possibly delicious. And it was!

The North Coast is blessed with salmon year round, so I am always looking for new ways to cook it. This one is a winner: quick, easy, delicious!

Mustard Glazed Salmon
(serves 2)

1/2 cup Dijjon mustard
1-2 teaspoons brown sugar to taste,
1-2 teaspoons coarse country mustard (optional)
2/3 lb salmon
salt
lemon for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together mustard(s), brown sugar and salt salmon. Spread mustard mixture on salmon and roast for 15 minutes or so until salmon is cooked through, stick a sharp knife in the center and see if it is cooked through, slightly paler than when it is raw. Serve with lemon wedges.

Hugs!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Portabellos Stuffed with Herbs and Feta

The above picture may not look super enticing (we will conveniently forget what my husband said upon first beholding the above pictured mushroom) but then he tasted it...Yes, we have a winner!

Most stuffed mushrooms are heavy on the breadcrumbs to hold everything together. This one uses my new favorite secret ingredient, cottage cheese. Yup, the lowly cottage cheese is a great binder, when whizzed in a food processor for a minute or two. It imparts a super creamy texture and blends well with feta and the bits of cooked mushroom. Add in flavor enhancers like caramelized onion, parsley, basil and Asiago cheese, and really, how can you not win!

These could be baby bella, AKA cremini's, but portabella are just easier, less to stuff. Definitely include something to mop up the extra sauciness of the stuffing. Pictured here is a cauliflower gratin. Either way, do not plan on leftovers.