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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Easy Sides to Accompany FishPeople Coconut Yellow Curry Tuna

These sides are a great way to dress up a prepared entree. In Portland we are lucky to have FishPeople seafood entrees-ready to go, all you need to do is to heat them up! Look for high quality, locally made "shortcuts" wherever you are. FishPeople entrees are great on the road, when you're camping and especially on those occasional nights when you want a delicious restaurant type meal, but want to eat in the comfort of your own home (and for a lot less money)!

Coconut Rice

1 cup long grain rice (jasmine rice is my favorite for this dish)
1 14 ounce can coconut milk
1/2 cup water
slice of ginger or piece of lemongrass (optional)

Combine rice, coconut milk and water in a 2 quart pan. Add ginger or lemongrass (if using) and place on high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low (simmer), place lid on pan and cook for 20 minutes. Remove lid, turn off heat and fluff rice. Serve as a bed for curry dishes.

Asian Style Slaw

1/2 head cabbage, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
10 mint leaves, sliced or chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 nectarine or peach diced or 1/2 mango, peeled and diced
1/4 cup chopped basil (optional)
2 green onions, sliced (optional)

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix to combine. Add dressing and serve.

1-2 small limes, juiced
1 Tbls. fish sauce
1-2 Tbls. brown sugar

Add all ingredients to a small jar or bowl and combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. It should be a little intense as the cabbage will soak up the flavors. Pour on the slaw, toss, taste and adjust. Serve with additional cilantro or mint for garnish.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Frittata di Maccheroni Amalfi Coast Style with Guest Chef Renato Solpietro

Frittata di Maccheroni Amalfi Coast Style

Pasta stuffed with Basil Cream and Mozzarella
Serves 4-6
Frittata Base
1/2 # cooked spaghetti, cooled and tossed in olive oil
3 eggs, cracked and whisked with a dash of salt and pepper
1-2 Tbs each finely grated Pecorino Romano and Parmignano Reggiano cheese

Basil Cream
2 handfuls of basil leaves
1 handful of Italian parsley leaves
1-2 cloves of garlic
1-2 Tbs each finely grated Pecorino Romano and Parmignano Reggiano cheeses
1/2 tsp. Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
2 Tbs white wine
2-4 Tbs olive oil
Small glug of heavy cream

5 basil leaves
5 parsley leaves
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese


Set out all ingredients before you begin cooking. You will also need a 10 inch non-stick sauté pan, a heat resistant rubber spatula and a flat plate that is slightly larger than the sauté pan.
Place pasta in a bowl with eggs and cheese and mix to coat the noodles. Let rest for 20-30 minutes. Renato says, thirty is best. 

Basil Cream
In a small blender or food processor make the Basil Cream. Place all ingredients in the blender and process until you get a nice smooth consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings.  Remove from blender jar and set aside. 

Heat sauté pan on medium heat with a little olive oil. Add half of spaghetti mixture and arrange so that it is evenly placed in the pan.  Carefully spread the Basil Cream in the middle of the spaghetti nest, leaving a one inch border around the edges.  Place basil and parsley leaves over the top and then arrange the grated mozzarella cheese evenly across the top of the herbs. Place the remaining pasta on top and tuck in the edges to "accommodate" the cooking of the frittata. Let the frittata cook about 5-10 minutes. You will need to gently lift the edge with a spatula to check for doneness. When there is a nice golden brown crust on the bottom, you are ready to flip it! Turn off the heat. Place a plate, serving side down over the pan and using both hands, one to hold the pan handle and one placed firmly over the plate, flip the pan. Be confident and do it all in one steady move. Place the pan on the stove and gently slide the frittata back in, using the spatula to guide the placement. Tuck the pasta under around the edges and turn the heat back on to medium. Continue cooking about 10 more minutes or until the bottom is nice and golden brown. If it is browning too quickly, lower the heat. When it is done, place a clean plate on top and using the same technique, invert the frittata. Cut into wedges and serve! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Spice up your morning with simple Migas!

Migas with Chorizo and Charred Tomato Salsa

Charred Tomato Salsa
1 pint cherry tomatoes stems removed or 1 lb. tomatoes, cored and rinsed
1 jalapeno pepper
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 medium onion, cut into chunks
Juice of 1-2 limes

Heat a cast iron skillet or comal on medium high heat. Add jalapeno, garlic and onion to the pan and char on all sides by stirring or turning every few minutes. Remove from pan and let cool. Add tomatoes to skillet and turn and stir to get a nice char on them as well. Remove from pan and place in a small food processor or blender. Add the garlic, with the skin removed, 1/2 of the jalapeno* and the onions. Pulse until you get a nice roughly chopped salsa consistency. Taste and add more jalapeno if you desire. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lime juice. Serve with the Migas or your favorite chips!

*(If you remove the seeds before using, it won't be so spicy. Be careful and wear gloves when handling hot chilies as the oil from the jalapeno will burn hours after you have touched it!)

Migas with Chorizo

1/2 lb. bulk Mexican style chorizo, or if it is a link, remove the casing (Mexican style chorizo is fresh and uncooked while Spanish style is cured, like salami)
1 small onion, chopped
1 bell pepper or poblano, anaheim
3-4 corn tortillas (the staler the better) or 1-2 cups tortilla chips
6-8 eggs, beaten

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium high heat and add the chorizo. Cook while stirring with a wooden spatula to break into small pieces. It will take about 5-7 minutes to fully cook the chorizo. Add onions and peppers and a little salt. Sauté until vegetables are nice and soft. Add torn tortillas or chips and stir to combine. Cook a few minutes to soften the tortillas. Add beaten eggs and scramble until cooked through. Taste and season with salt and pepper and then serve with the Charred Tomato Salsa on the side. Serve with sliced avocado or guacamole, chopped cilantro and sour cream for a really fabulous feast! Migas can be served at any time and are a great way to make a meal in a few minutes with what you have on hand. Try making them with bacon instead of chorizo or make them vegetarian, adding more vegetables and garnish with your favorite cheese. You can add chilies, green onions, mushrooms or zucchini to change it up. Just get creative with what you have on hand and see what you come up with.

Mexican Style Fruit

Peel and slice a selection of your favorite fruits (and vegetables) such as mangoes, papayas, melons, oranges, jicama, cucumbers, nectarines and pineapple. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the fruit and sprinkle with cayenne pepper and salt. Eat immediately!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chop Chop Salad in a Jar

Note: This is part of the Traveling Picnic episode were we featured three ethnic inspired lunches (French, Asian & Italian). I separated the recipes out individually to provide you with a better search option.

This is an Italian inspired lunch in the form of a salad - it's like an antipasto in a jar. Travels very well but because it has meat and cheese,  it should be kept in a cooler. For dessert, pick up some fresh fruit from a roadside stand, dip it in some cool and creamy mascarpone cheese and you have a fabulous roadside lunch. For a little extra zip, try drizzling the balsamic vinegar on the mascarpone before dipping fruit into it. Delizioso!

Serves 2       
Prep time: 20 minutes     
Cook time: zero

1 romaine heart, washed, dried and chopped
½ pint cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
10-20 pitted Kalamata olives, rough chopped
10 basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons or torn
1/3 lb. fresh mozzarella, cut into small dice
1/3 lb. salami, cut into small dice

2 tsp. Diamond Kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, smashed (optional)
1/3 cup Lucini Balsamic vinegar
¾ to 1 cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil

Layer the salad ingredients in a large Mason jar. In a small jar that has a lid, add the salt, garlic (if using) and vinegar. Close jar and shake to dissolve salt. Add ¾ cup of olive oil, close jar and shake well. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. You may add additional oil and shake if you like your vinaigrette less piquant.

Pack the vinaigrette separately from the salad. Five to ten minutes before eating, dress the salad. You should start by using a third of the dressing and adding more to taste. You can dress the salad in the jar and give it a few good shakes, or toss the salad in a bowl to serve. Refrigerate and save any remaining dressing for your next salad.

Encores: Chop Chop salad is like an antipasto plate chopped up and made into a salad. It lends itself well to improvisation. If you have some leftover chicken, ham or steak, chop it up and add it to the salad in addition to or instead of the salami. You can experiment with the cheese as well. Substitute feta, chicken and rosemary in place of the fresh mozzarella, salami and basil and you will have a totally different and delicious salad. You may also add additional fresh or pickled vegetables that you have on hand.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Solstice Salmon Breakfast

This weekend, the store where I work is having an incredible sale on wild Bristol Bay Sockeye salmon-$7.99 lb cut and wrapped! Incredible. Needless to say, I cleaned out my little freezer and bought one. I'm thinking I'll buy two more, maybe three. This Sockeye is soo delicious and fresh, you barely need to do any preparation.  I simply drizzled it with good olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and pepper and baked it at 325' for about 15-20 minutes. When it is done to your liking (and I prefer mine a little more rare in the middle) squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top and boom! Done, divine and delicious.  I refrigerated what I didn't devour last night and made this beautiful breakfast to celebrate the Solstice. I prefer a savory breakfast and this was quick and easy and so satisfying. In five minutes I had breakfast: a bowl of baby arugula, half an avocado diced,  a hunk of salmon, two forkfuls of raw sauerkraut, half a lemon squeezed over the top, a drizzle of that good olive oil, sesame seeds and for the grand finale Jacobsen salt. To round it off, a lovely smattering of fresh picked raspberries from Sauvie Island from my friend Els. Try it, what a lovely way to begin your day with a healthy bowl of Superfoods!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sweet Oregon Strawberry Tarts

Nothing is sweeter or more delicious than Oregon ruby red strawberries. The only downside to these little gems is their season is so short. When they come on, DON'T DILLY DALLY!

So that you will be ready for them, my friend and guest Gretchen from Portland's Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry, and I created a wonderfully simple tart recipe to wet your appetite for the fast approaching strawberry season.

Fresh Oregon Strawberry Tarts

Individual Strawberry Ricotta Tarts
Prep Time: 20 minutes 
Cooking Time: less than 10 minutes

Tart Shell Dough
1 ½ cups Bob’s Red Mill all purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp Diamond Kosher salt
4 ounces (1/2 stick) cold unsalted Tillamook butter cut into cubes
2 Tbls heavy cream
1 egg yolk


Place dry ingredients in a medium bowl. With fingers, pastry blender or mixer, work the butter into the dry mixture until it resembles coarse cornmeal. In a small bowl, whisk cream and yolk together and add to dry mixture. Work gently until just comes together and then form it into a disk. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll dough out to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into desired shape for tart shells.  We made circles about 3 inches in diameter and then froze them. When you are ready to bake the shells, preheat the oven to 350’ degrees. Place a muffin pan upside down on a baking sheet and place a circle of frozen dough on the top of each muffin mold. As it bakes it will hang over the edge to form a cup. Place in the preheated oven and bake 4 minutes. Check for doneness and bake approximately 4 to 6 more minutes. The shells are done when crisp, golden brown and shaped into a cup. Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before carefully removing them and letting fully cool. Store in an airtight container until you are ready to fill them.  

2 cups whole milk Sargento ricotta cheese
1 tsp. orange zest
2 Tbls. honey or sugar

In a small bowl, mix until combined. Taste and adjust with sweetener.  You can make this ahead and store covered in the refrigerator.

Just before serving hull and halve 2 pints strawberries and toss with
1 Tbls. orange juice
2-4 Tbls. honey
about 15 torn leaves of mint (or basil)

To assemble: Place tart shells on a plate, fill halfway with ricotta mixture and top with berries. Serve and enjoy!

Combinations to experiment with:
  • Sweetened whipped cream and berries or halved cherries
  • Honey Greek yogurt and peaches, nectarines or apricots with honey and toasted nuts
  • Lemon curd and blueberries
  • Ice cream and fruit
  • Coconut pudding, sliced banana, chocolate or caramel sauce