Sunday, July 5, 2015

Pesto Pita Pizza

If you like quick and easy, this one's for you. I recently found some great pita bread in the frozen section of New Seasons. I knew it would be a great base for a pesto pizza. I also love fresh mozzarella pearls for salads and Italian dishes, so they're also a great inclusion in this recipe. And who doesn't need some good lycopene in your life every once in a while?

Just a few minutes in the oven, and it's ready to be eaten!

Ingredients:
  • Pita Bread
  • Fresh mozzarella pearls
  • Grape tomatoes, sliced in half or thirds
  • Pesto from Rasico's Sauce Co
  • Optional: Tuscan Herb Oil
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place about 1 tbsp of pesto onto the pita, then spread, leaving an outer crust.
  3. Place some of the mozzarella pearls on top.
  4. Add the tomatoes.
  5. Cook about 7 - 10 minutes in the oven, monitoring closely to watch the cheese melt near the end.
  6. Drizzle with Tuscan Herb Oil if desired.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Ribeye Medallion

I had never seen a ribeye medallion before this past week. I noticed it inside the meat case at our local Haggen grocery store. It looked like that good outer part of the ribeye that a butcher once told me to look for when buying the steaks. But the ribeye medallion looks like just the outer part of the steak that has been coiled up into a circle and tied with twine. The girl at the meat counter described it to me as similar to a filet. It ran about $18.99 per pound, and the piece above was almost a pound. It was worth every penny!

The before picture.

The after - I like my steaks between rare and medium rare. Even better with a rustic chimichurri on top!!

Ingredients:
  • 1 Ribeye Medallion, about 1 lb.
  • Fish Sauce, about 1 tbsp
  • Liquid Aminos, about 1 tbsp
  • Garlic Powder, about 1 tbsp
  • Turbinado Sugar, about 1 tsp
Directions:
  1. Marinate the steak in the following ingredients overnight in a sealable bag. Mix well.
  2. Broil about 10 minutes per side for medium rare.
I also enjoyed my steak finished with some smoked Jacobsen Sea Salt!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Hoisin Baked Chicken

Hoisin is the Asian style sauce that pairs really well with proteins! You can find it easily in mainstream grocery stores. So hoisin chicken goes really well with some good noodles and some shiitake mushrooms, as seen above!

Ingredients:
  • 6 chicken legs (drumsticks)
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce, plus 1 tbsp for broiling
  • 1 tsp lemongrass
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic
Directions:
  1. Marinate the chicken in the ingredients above in a large sealable bag overnight.
  2. Bake in the oven 40 minutes at 375 degrees.
  3. Brush with additional hoisin sauce, then broil about 5 more minutes.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Calamari Noodle Salad

I love eating lean protein like squid, combined with my favorite herbs and a little bit of bean thread noodles for interesting texture. 
What I love about this dish is how easy it is to make, and how tasty and filling it is!

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound of squid, cleaned, tubes cut in half
  • Herbs such as cilantro, mint, perilla, some red onions sliced
  • 1 small bundle of bean thread noodles
  • Nuoc Mam Cham
Directions:
  1. Dry the squid on paper towels.
  2. Saute in a pan with some canola spray just a few minutes, adding a little white wine or water to finish.
  3. Cook the noodles about 90 seconds, drain, then cut with scissors.
  4. Combine the calamari with the noodles, herbs, and sauce. 

Lately, when I'm not cooking, I've been eating at some great restaurants in Portland that also serve delicious Asian food. One example is Smallwares, a cuisine the owner calls "inauthentic Asian." Check it out!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Vote for Food and Wine's Best New Chefs

You can vote for The People's Best New Chef of 2015 now through April 8th! Above you'll see an exquisite dish I enjoyed while dining at The Hive. For more about that visit, check out the entire meal here: The Hive 2014. Executive Chef Matthew McClure deserves the vote for the Midwest!!

I was fortunate enough to visit with Chef McClure on my visit to The Hive. I know all chefs can't make table visits to all of their patrons, so I'm extremely appreciative when I receive one! It was an unforgettable dinner for me!

In the Northwest and Pacific, give a vote to Portland, Oregon's Johanna Ware of Smallwares! 
Smallwares was one of the first places I visited when I first moved to Portland, and Johanna's timely interview in the Willamette Week may have had something to do with that! I can see how she was a part of the Momofuku group in NYC!
The smoked potatoes on the brunch menu completely wowed me. I love what they're doing over there!

To vote for The People's Best New Chef of 2015 in Food and Wine, click here!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Steamed Pearl Balls

My husband Jereme and daughter Gianna love sticky rice so much. I grew up eating it, but had never made it before. Gianna likes to order packets of sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves with the ground meat and Chinese sausage in dim sum restaurants. Jereme always enjoyed it at my mother's house back home.
I was never sure which rice was the right one until I found the recipe in Lee Ann Wong's book Dumplings All Day Wong. That's where I found this unusual recipe that I'd never seen before. Then, I researched how others did it......
  You just soak a cup of the rice in a bowl of water overnight, drain it, then let it dry.
Season the meat well. You can use ground pork or chicken.
The texture and flavors are very unusual and delicious.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of Premium Sweet Rice
  • 1 pound of ground pork or chicken
  • 2 green onions, choppped finely
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp of liquid aminos, tamari, or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp shao xing rice wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
Directions:
  1. Place the rice in a bowl, add just enough water to cover, and let sit overnight.
  2. Drain rice and let dry. Spread onto a sheet pan.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. 
  4. Make small meatballs of the meat mixture, then roll in the rice until coated.
  5. Prepare a steamer with parchment paper or banana leaves. Place the rice - coated meatballs an inch apart. Heat on high, then lower to medium high heat to steam.
  6. Steam about 15 or 20 minutes or until done.
Make a dipping sauce of liquid aminos or tamari or soy sauce with rice vinegar and sesame oil.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Shrimp Stuffed Mushrooms

I was surprised the first time I saw Oregon shrimp. I found them packaged in the seafood department at New Seasons........super small, cooked, and peeled. 
At Fred Meyer, you can find this Oregon shrimp in the frozen section. You see it's all done in Astoria, Oregon and Bellingham, Washington. Very local. Very sustainable fishing practices.
I decided the best way to enjoy these tiny, sweet-ish shrimp: tuck them inside a vessel such as a baby portobello mushroom alongside some freshly shredded asiago cheese and chives. Ten minutes or so in the oven, and they're ready.

I can't wait to try some more ways to cook with these Oregon shrimp!

Ingredients:
  • 8-10 baby portobella mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
  • 1/2 cup of freshly shredded asiago cheese
  • 1/2 pound of Oregon shrimp
  • Chopped chives
  • Granulated garlic, to taste
  • Ramekin of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine the shrimp, cheese, chives and garlic.
  3. Dip each mushroom cap in the olive oil, then place onto a foil lined pan.
  4. Stuff each cap with some of the shrimp mixture.
  5. Cook about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.