Sunday, December 27, 2015

Favorites of 2015 and Welcome to 2016!

Bonne Annee! And welcome to 2016! Last year had lots of ups and downs for me but the blog was one of my most favorite parts of the year and these were my favorite recipes to make.

Mei fun noodles made several appearances on our dinner table because they are muy fun! Here they are with ahi tuna, but I've made them as a side dish or with seared tofu. I think they'd be fantastic with seared scallops or pan fried prawns as well.

When I first began cooking Indian food for my beau he was appreciative but he finally said, "there's this dish that is muslim in origin...." And that sent me on a google search and sure enough I found gold! Massaman Curry is one of my favorite Indian dishes and really very simple to make.

Herb Crusted Tofu Cutlets are my answer to healthy junk food that happens quick. And it's breaded, I mean, really, what's not to love! You can go gourmet with a mustard sauce as I do here or just use BBQ sauce or Ranch dressing.

Sauteed Swiss Chard sounds so boring compared to Palakoora Vepadu, which is Indian spiced sauteed greens that are guaranteed to wow.

Faux meat bought at the store is usually full of gluten or soy and other stuff you can't pronounce, so I cobbled together this recipe for Vegetarian Breakfast Sausage which turned out really delicious and is gluten free to boot!

When I'm trying to get more vegetables into our brunch meals these Japaneses Vegetable Pancakes are my go to dish.

When I wanted to make a special brunch for father's day my beau told me his secret recipe for Gr'eggs' Orsini and I made this fun dish.

Larb may be something you're familiar with as a fun Thai dish so I vegetarianized and Hoisin Tofu Lettuce Cups became a hit with adults and kids alike.

Fish cakes were never high on my radar to make but once I searched out the best and found these Spectacular Fish Cakes, we were hooked. Potatoes mashed a little and added to fish blanched in cream with an out of this world tartar sauce.

Garam Masala Salmon with Mango Salsa is as delightful as it sounds. Make it and wow folks with this quick and easy gourmet meal.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Prawn Fried Rice

Fried rice was my guilty pleasure of choice in college; greasy, soy sauced deliciousness delivered to my door! It took me years to realize that this was a really simple dish to make at home, as long as you always used at least day old rice - it is a soggy mess if you use freshly cooked!

There are endless variations on this in terms of what veggies to add, but I always keep some frozen peas and corn on hand because they are often my favorite part of the dish, next to the prawns.  But it is also a great dish to clean out your vegetable drawers when things are starting to wane past their prime time. Just make sure to follow the firmness rule; if steaming a vegetable takes 15  plus minutes (broccoli, cauliflower, fennel) than it gets cooked first, and softer ones come later. Toss in the peas and corn with the softest ones (except greens, those always go in at the last second to keep their vibrant color!)

As with all wok meals, cook your proteins first and then make the veggies. This is pure comfort food for me and always brings back pleasant memories of guilty pleasures!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Beet and Herbed Chevre Napoleons

There is a wonderful French style bakery/cafe in Arcata call Cafe Brio and not only do the make the best French pastries and breads this side of the Atlantic, they also create fun salads like the one that inspired me to make these Napoleons. After having this delicious salad there a crisp Fall afternoon, I knew I needed to recreate it at home. Simply heaven!

Be careful with the garlic, it can overpower the other flavors, so err on the side of less. The fun thing about these stacks is that you can prepare both portions well in advance and then it all comes together quickly if you are trying to throw together a quick weeknight meal (no one ever has to do that!)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sweet and Spicy Asian Tempeh Balls with Rice Cakes

Ever wonder what to do with leftover sushi rice? It's something that has gnawed at me. Sure, you can make another sushi roll with cobbled together items from the frig, but next day rice is just kind of hard and crunchy and not in a good way.

Knowing intuitively that I was not the only cook who had faced this conundrum, I googled my query and found the answer. Rice cakes! So simple to add a little flour and form into cakes and boom, repurposed, day-old sushi rice! Adding these tempeh balls with a sauce rounded out my meal. Easy Peasy!

Don't be scared off by the long list of ingredients, you can easily use a store bought Asian-style marinade; I'm just lazy and make sauces based on what's in my pantry. Use what you've got, make it easy on yourself!