Mussels In White Wine sauce

Mussels in Wine Sauce

Mussels in Wine Sauce

This week I decided to switch things up a bit with a few sea food recipes.  My husband isn’t a big fan of mussels unless they’re drenched in cream, but I prefer them a little more on the light side—although I agree a great cream sauce never hurt a mussel. My daughter isn’t a fan of eating sea food just yet, but she loved playing with the mussel shells. Mussels are  great for those of us who are budget minded, they cost just a few dollars a pound, and a pound is more than enough for 2 people. A few things worth noting about mussels, as with most seafood the fresher they are, the better tasting they are. Discard any mussels that are not closed and tightly sealed, remove the hairy beards before cooking, and clean them thoroughly by scrubbing each mussel shell and then soaking them, with 1-2 tablespoons of flour added to a large bowl of water, for 10-15 minutes before cooking in order to expell any remaining sand.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of Mussels

1/4 cup of shallot minced

1/2 cup of white wine Sauvignon Blanc works amazingly

2 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley

1 teaspoon of bonito flakes (optional)

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Directions: Heat olive oil, add garlic and shallot to a sauce pan, and sauté until shallots are translucent, add in the bonito flakes if you’re using them and mix for 10-20 seconds. Add in the wine, and bring to a simmer, add in the mussels and cover the pot, cook for 8-10 minutes then turn off the fire. Remove the cover, the mussels should be open, and cooked fully, sprinkle with lemon juice, and parsley transfer to a bowl and enjoy!

 

Basil Chicken

Basil Chicken

Basil Chicken

So everyone has that one friend whom they idolize, you know the one who is super intelligent, charismatic, gorgeous, and the kind of mother to her children you only wish you could be. Well that person for me is my friend Jennifer. She has the energy of the energizer bunny–actually I think she could out last that bunny 3 times over, She’s a great friend, reliable without fault, and on top of all that, she is a great cook. One of her signature dishes is basil Chicken.  It’s beyond delicious, the sweet notes of basil mixed with the Unami flavors imparted by the soy sauce in this dish make it heaven on a plate.  She makes hers with the whole parts of chicken, usually legs, or drummetts. I decided to try it using ground chicken, because who couldn’t use another way to use ground meat?  I’m so glad I did, it is equally as delicious as using chicken with bones, but much less time consuming, because there aren’t any bones.

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Prep time: 5-7 minutes

Cook time : 15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pound of ground chicken

3/4 cups of fresh basil chopped

1 small brown onion or shallot chopped

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 large cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons of olive oil/ghee

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

sea salt to taste

Directions: heat oil in skillet, add garlic, sauté for 30 seconds, then add the onion, and cook until translucent. Add the ground chicken and brown. Add in the soy sauce, basil and red pepper flakes, cook for 2 minutes then turn off the fire. Serve over brown rice, or in lettuce cups.

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Asparagus and Mushrooms

 

Asparagus and Mushrooms

Asparagus and Mushrooms

 

I don’t know what it is about the Vernal equinox and the ushering in of spring, but it floods me with inspiration, and the need to get things done. It’s like my body gets a signal on March 20th every single year to create, and I just feel so inspired. Maybe it’s because I’m a spring baby, my birthday falls just 2 days after the first day of spring. Maybe my need to create is attached to that as a reminder that I’m getting old and need to get things done! For the last few weeks I’ve lived in my kitchen, creating recipes for this blog and my book. I have so many in my cue.  Just yesterday I created four new dishes, in under 2 hours, and I’m still going to test out more recipes today. Yesterday I shared an avocado Pepita salad dressing, today I’m sharing another green recipe for asparagus and mushrooms. The season for asparagus is so short, so when it rolls around I always try to eat as much as I can.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

2.5 cups of crimini mushrooms sliced

2 cups of asparagus sliced on a bias

3 cloves of garlic chopped

1 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon of olive oil

sea salt & black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of soy sauce (optional)

Directions: Heat oil in a skillet with garlic. Add the mushrooms and season them with salt. The mushrooms will begin to release water, cook them until the water evaporates, about 7 minutes, then add the butter. Cook until mushrooms brown, then add in the asparagus and soy sauce if you’re using it. Cook until asparagus is tender, about 4 minutes, serve and enjoy!

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Ramen Momofuku Style and Gluten Free

D.I.Y. Ramen

D.I.Y. Ramen

 

Is it weird that I’m not a big fan of pasta, but that I love ramen? I’m not talking about cup o noodles here, but growing up I had my fair share of those, I’m talking about a rich and flavorful  bowl of ramen. The kind of ramen one might get at David Changs Momofuku Noodle bar in New York.  The kind of ramen people wait in line for, only I don’t want to wait in line. The beginning and end of any ramen–a good one anyway–is the broth! Without the foundation of a good broth, ramen is… well just ramen in water! The best way to get a good broth without spending hours in the kitchen is to use a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers aren’t as popular as crock pots, but in my opinion they should be! Other than cooking something slowly on the stove for hours, there is just no other way to get the amount of flavor you do from something cooked in a pressure cooker. You get out what you put into a pressure cooker, all the nutrients stay in the pot, they don’t cook out, unlike when you cook on the stove top, or in a slow cooker—the nutrients escape out during cooking through steam.  What’s better is that it takes less time to do it than both stove top cooking and crock pot cooking! I like to think that my pressure cooker provides the best of both worlds, the flavor of something cooked for hours on a stove, and the ease of non-active cooking–ie ability to throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot, leave it for an hour and come back to the finished product, lazy cooking at its best!

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

1lb of Organic chicken thighs, I used boneless, but a bone never hurt a good broth

1 large brown onion

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

1 bushel of organic Dino Kale, chopped roughly

3 large cloves of garlic chopped

1 10oz package of Organic Rice ramen, I used Lotus Food brand it’s gluten free.

1 tablespoon of olive oil or ghee

1/2 cup of fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes

7.5 cups of water

Directions: Heat the oil then add the chicken. IMPORTANT: Let it brown, do not move it, let it cook for 3-4 on one side before turning it. This browning makes a tremendous amount of difference between a broth that’s good, and a broth that’s great! Once brown turn over and add the onion, garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar.  Cook for another 4 minutes, then add the water. Bring to a boil, then cover and seal your pressure cooker, and let cook on medium heat for 45-50 minutes undisturbed. If you’re doing this on the stove top, without a pressure cooker, bring to a boil, cover and cook for 1.5 hours checking broth levels after an hour. At the 50 minute mark, turn off the fire, and depressurize your pressure cooker according to manufacturers instructions, remove the lid, add in the kale, turn the fire back on to medium, cover and seal the pressure cooker again. Let cook for 7 minutes, depressurize the cooker again.remove the lid, turn the fire back on, add the noodles, and cook for additional 4 minutes, add red pepper flakes and fresh cilantro, turn the fire off serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

Charbroiled Sardines with parsley and thyme

Charbroiled Sardines with Parsley and Thyme

Charbroiled Sardines with Parsley and Thyme

 

It’s not often here that I can walk up to my local Whole Foods Market fish counter and get fresh sardines. So when the opportunity to do so  occurred, I jumped at it.  I am a huge fan of small sustainable fish, like sardines, and smelt.  I’ll even go out on a limb and say that I like smelt fish more than sardines, but smelt fish are even harder to come by than fresh sardines.  If you’ve never made fresh sardines before, then you have been missing out! They’re so easy to make, and so delicious!

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Prep Time: 7 minutes

Cook Time: 7-10 minutes

1 pound of fresh Sardines split down the middle

1/2 cup of parsley

1/4 cup thyme

1 clove of garlic

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Sea salt and Black pepper to taste

Directions: Pre-heat the oven to 400F.  Line a bake sheet with parchment or foil. Pulse all the ingredients with the exception of the sardines in a small blender or processor. You can skip the processor and opt to chop all the herbs finely and then mix with the oil and lemon. Place the sardines on the lined bake sheet, add the herb mixture to the inside of each sardine. Season with sea salt and black pepper then place in the oven and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until sardines are cooked through and have charred on top a bit. Remove from the oven, serve and enjoy!

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Lamb Lettuce Wraps with Mint Chimichurri Sauce

Lamb Lettuce Wraps With Mint Chimichurri Sauce

Lamb Lettuce Wraps With Mint Chimichurri Sauce

One of my favorite “cook” books is The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. It is my go to book when I need inspiration for a new recipe. If you own it, then you know it’s not a cookbook in the traditional sense, because it doesn’t contain any recipes. It’s more of a reference for exactly what it title states, flavors that work well together. Yesterday I was browsing it for an idea for what I could do with some ground lamb that I needed to make for dinner. It was a hot day here in California–go figure–so I wanted something light and cooling. I opened The Flavor Bible up and landed on Chimichurri and it hit me! Inspiration at it’s best!! I decided to make lamb lettuce wraps with a mint Chimichurri! These are DELICIOUS!! My husband raved at every bite! If ground lamb isn’t your thing, or you can’t get it in your grocery store, try this with ground beef or chicken, the mint Chimichurri sauce will work with either.

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Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

 

 

Ingredients:
1 lb Lamb
9 leaves of organic Butter lettuce
1 cup of organic Green onion sliced white parts included
3 cloves of garlic minced
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 cup of fresh organic mint chopped

Ingredients for Mint Chimichurri
1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup of mint
3 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
2 cloves of garlic
Sea salt to taste

Directions:
Place all the ingredients for the Chimmichurri in a blender or processor and blend until smooth, set aside. Heat the tablespoon of oil in a skillet, add garlic, and green onion, toss for 20-30 seconds, then add in ground meat. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and cook until meat is browned and cooked through, add in the mint and toss, remove from the fire.
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Scoop meat into lettuce leaves, top with Chimmichurri and enjoy!

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Greek Marinated Lamb Chops

Greek Marinated Lamb Chops

Greek Marinated Lamb Chops

The FoodSaver that my husband gave me for Christmas this year has turned out to be one of my favorite kitchen gadgets of all time! I absolutely love it. I can place meat into a container and push a button and 10 minutes later I have marinated meat! And not just meat marinated on the surface, the marinade goes throughout the meat. The process of sucking the air out and pulsing the marinade in, produces tender, delicious, and fully marinaded meat. It’s so awesome that I’m smiling just typing this. I love it when a kitchen gadget does what it’s supposed to do, and I love it more when it saves me time in the kitchen. I’ve been using my new gadget a lot lately and testing out some fun marinades. This lamb marinade is just one of the many, many delicious marinades coming up on the blog for you.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
6 lamb chops
1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary chopped finely
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1 clove of garlic grated or crushed
1/4 cup of organic Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:
In a medium bowl combine ingredients 2-6. Season the lamb chops with sea salt and black pepper then place them in the marinade and toss. Let marinate for 10-20 minutes. Pre-heat the oven 425F, place the lamb chops on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, remove from the oven and enjoy!