Wednesday, November 17, 2010

shrimp with curry coconut milk sauce

this is the second part of the dinner i made for my family over the weekend. it's another 30-minute seafood dish that i had while volunteering at CulinAerie.  when i first saw this on the menu, i was disappointed because i absolutely hate the smell of curry. something about it makes me want to gag every time. i was pleasantly surprised that red curry paste does not smell or taste like that yellow curry powder stuff. when making this, don't forget to add the lime juice - it helps to cut the fatty/creaminess of the coconut milk.  

note: this recipe serves 2.

1/2 lb jumbo shrimp
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon red curry paste
juice of one lime
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup baby bok choy, sliced thinly
cilantro, to garnish
cooked rice, as a side

heat evoo in large saucepan over medium heat. saute onion, ginger, bok choy and garlic about 3-4 minutes, just until soft. stir in coconut milk, water, red curry paste and s&p. bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. stir in shrimp and increase heat to medium-high. cook and stir until shrimp is cooked through, about 5 minutes. add juice of lime at the last minute. serve over a bed of rice with a garnish of cilantro.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

tuna tartare on crostini

my roommate, suz and i, have recently been volunteering our time at the dc cooking school, CulinAerie. it's a pretty sweet gig. we get there early to prep for the classes, assist the customers during the class (mostly we're there to make sure their wine glasses are always full, but every once in awhile we'll get asked a question) and clean up afterwards. at the end of the night, when everyone has left and the kitchen is cleaned, all of the volunteers and the chef/instructor sit down and enjoy dinner together. the chef prepares whatever was on the menu for the class that night.

last week's class featured how to make seafood dishes in 30 minutes. i re-created part of the meal at home for my parents and brother. i definitely tried this out on the wrong crowd because i got mixed reviews - the men hated it and peg said it was good, but she didn't like it on the bread. i on the other hand, really loved it. raw tuna is definitely an acquired taste and it's not for all. however, if you dig tuna tartare this is a great recipe for you to try - it's an elegant appetizer and pretty simple to make. enjoy!

8 ounces sushi-grade tuna, cut into 1/4-inch dice (watch that video to see how to cut it into small pieces)
2 tablespoons green onions, green parts only, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1/2 lemon, juiced
baguette, cut into slices
sesame seeds, for garnish

preheat oven to 365 degrees. place bread slices on baking sheet, drizzle liberally with evoo and cook for 7 minutes in oven. meanwhile, mix tuna, green onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, lemon juice and pepper in a medium bowl. to assemble, place a heaping tablespoon of the tuna mixture on each crostini. garnish with sesame seeds. serve immediately. it is important that the tuna is not left at room temperature for more than 1 hour because you're eating it raw!

Friday, November 12, 2010

honey pecan glazed salmon

this recipe comes from a weightwatchers five-ingredient 15-minute cookbook i bought awhile ago.  you can't beat a meal that uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and that combines salty with sweet!


1/4 cup honey
4 teaspoons finely chopped pecans
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 (6 oz) salmon fillets


preheat oven to 425 degrees. combine first three ingredients in a large zip-top bag. sprinkle fish with pepper and add to bag and seal. marinate in refrigerator at least 15 minutes (don't do it much longer than this - fish doesn't need to marinate that long or else it will start to break apart). remove fish and nuts from bag, reserving marinade. place fish on foil lined pan and top with nuts. bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork, basting fish twice with reserved marinade while baking.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

beef and barley soup

such a simple recipe for a simple gal trying to stay warm. this soup comes together in a flash - you basically put everything in the pot and let it simmer for an hour to let all of the flavors come together. the end result is the perfect low-maintenance hearty meal that tastes like it's been cooking all day.

1 pound ribeye steak, fat trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups low sodium beef stock
16 oz no-salt added tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/2 cup medium barley grains (i used quarkter brand)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 bay leaf
8 oz frozen mixed vegetables

heat evoo over medium high heat in a dutch oven. add meat and brown on all sides. add onion and garlic. add remaining ingredients except for the frozen vegeables. bring to boil, reduce heat to low and cover. simmer for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. add frozen vegetables and cook for 10 minutes until vegetables and barely are tender. season with more s&p if needed.

do you feel warm yet?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

ina garten's baked fontina

$&(*^%@#!!!!!!! is the best way to describe this appetizer - it's basically an easier way to make fondue while still looking elegant.  this recipe is from ina's new cookbook (how easy is that?) that came out a few weeks ago.  foodies on the blogosphere were already going crazy over this dish and i knew i was going to have to join in on the fun. we had a girls night last weekend and i asked one of the gals (lynn) if she would mind making this. there were only four of us and we basically devoured the entire thing. enjoy!

1 1/2 pounds italian fontina, cut into 1-inch dice
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 crusty french baguette

preheat the broiler and adjust the oven rack to 5-6 inches from the heat source.

scatter the fontina cubes evenly in a 12-inch skillet or cast-iron pan.  drizzle with the olive oil. combine the garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and sprinkle evenly over the cheese.  sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

place the pan under the broiler for 5-6 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, bubbling, and starting to brown.

serve family-style:  right out of the oven with crusty chunks of bread for dipping.

gooey, cheesey, deliciousness.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

fish in a flash: tilapia with tomato caper salsa

the good thing about tilapia is its mildness. you can go any direction with it - italian, indian, greek, mexican, caribbean, asian, american, etc. last night i decided to go with mexi-italian. from start to finish this meal took 15 minutes to make. i served it with a side salad of mixed greens, feta and more tomatoes. yum.

(note: this recipe only serves one, but it's just as easy to make for four people as it is for one.)

1/2 tomato, chopped with seeds removed
1/2 tablesoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 tablespoon capers, drained
1/4 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, mashed into a paste (this helps to spread the garlic more evenly so you don't get a big chunk of raw's how to do it)
3/4 tablespoon evoo
1 (6-ounce) tilapia fillet
cooking spray

preheat broiler. combine tomato, parsley, capers, vinegar, garlic paste, evoo and s&p in small bowl. brush fish with more evoo and season with garlic salt and pepper. place fillet on baking sheet (greased with cooking spray) and broil for about 6 minutes until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. garnish with salsa and serve immediately.

up close and personal.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

roasted cauliflower with gremolata bread crumbs

ever find yourself looking for that perfect side dish that comes together in a flash? well, i've found it for you courtesy of food 52 via the thin chef. the herbed gremolata is a mixture of lemon zest, panko, garlic and parsley. cauliflower can be pretty bland, but this recipe adds a great punch.

2 large heads cauliflower
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup panko (japanese bread crumbs)
zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley

preheat oven to 425 degrees. trim tough stem and core from cauliflower and discard. using a paring knife, cut cauliflower into smaller spears. place in a large bowl. add 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; toss to combine. spread cauliflower out on 2 large, rimmed baking sheets. roast until edges start to brown, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. add panko and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir to coat in oil. cook, stirring constantly, until bread crumbs are golden. add lemon zest and garlic and toss until mixture is very fragrant and bread crumbs are golden brown, about 2 minutes. place in a medium bowl and add parsley, stirring to combine. set aside. remove cauliflower from oven and place on serving platter. top with bread crumbs and serve immediately.