Sunday, March 1, 2009

Squid in a pesto sauce

What you’ll need for this recipe

1 lb of squid, washed and cut
1.5 cup fresh basil leaves
½ onion, chopped
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup pine nuts
½ teaspoon saffron (optional)
½ cup fresh parsley leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
½ cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, mix all the ingredients except squid and set aside. I like the sauce thick, but if you want it to be more watery, add olive oil until the pesto reaches the right consistency.
In a sauté pan heat a bit of olive oil. Add onion and sauté until soft. Add squid and cook until it is done, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in the pesto sauce. Serve over pasta or rice.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bok choy with cranberries and sun-dried tomatoes

Baby Bok choy with cranberries and soba noodles

5 baby bok choy, washed and roughly chopped (stem removed)
1/2 cup of cranberries (or sun dried tomatoes)
3 tablespoons of sesame oil
2 tablespoon of soy sauce
¼ cup of fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Sesame seeds for garnish
1/3 cup of water
2-4 serving of soba noodles (or noodles of your choice)
Serves 2-4 people, depending on the amount of noodles used

Cook noodles according to directions on the box and set aside in a bowl
Combine sesame oil and soy sauce in a frying pan and bring to medium high heat. Add bok choy, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes. Add water to the mixture and cover for 1 minute to steam. Place bok choy on top of the noodles and set aside. In the same pan, cook cranberries for approximately one minute. Sprinkle over bok choy and garnish with sesame seeds and basil.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Shrimp in Asian Peanut Sauce

Asian Shrimp

½ onion, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 lb precooked shrimp (or fresh shrimp)
Sesame seeds for garnish

Heat extra virgin olive oil on medium high heat in a sauté pan. Add onion and red bell pepper and cook until almost done. Add tomatoes and cook until they get warm. Stir in peanut butter. Add shrimp to the mixture and cook until they’re done, about 3 minutes. If you are using fresh shrimp it will take about 2-3 minutes on each side, so add the shrimp and peanut butter to the mixture earlier so you don’t overcook the red peppers. Turn off heat and stir in the green onions.
Serve over pasta or rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds for presentation.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Turkey Taco Pockets

Turkey Taco Pockets
This is a really easy meal that makes 10-12 taco pockets and feeds a group of 6. You can serve the tacos with salsa, sour cream, hummus or guacamole.

Here is what you’ll need:
1 lb ground turkey meat
1 packet of taco seasoning
12 tortillas

6 oz canned mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 Roma tomatoes, diced

½ onion, chopped
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Extra virgin olive oil

In a pan sauté onions until soft. Add ground turkey, mushrooms, tomatoes and bell pepper. Cook until the meat is browned. Add the taco seasoning and mix well. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set meat aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a nonstick pan. Take a tortilla and place two tablespoons of meat in the center. Sprinkle with cheese. Fold one side over, then fold two sides on top, and then fold the last side of the tortilla on top. Secure with a toothpick. Fry in the nonstick pan until tortilla is browned and crisp on both sides. Repeat until meat is gone. Serve hot.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cold Day Cure Chili

This is a fairly frugal recipe and could easily serve 10 people. I spent roughly $15 on all the ingredients. I have huge pot of it in my fridge now and am certain three dinners and one lunch for two out of it, which comes to $1.87 per person per meal. Not bad!

Here is what you’ll need to make chili

2 lb ground beef (I used ground pork, which I bought at Cub for $1/lb. You could also use turkey)
Vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
3 cups beef broth (or water, or vegetable broth or chicken broth) (99 cents a container)
16 oz tomato puree ($1.33)
Container of 26 oz chopped tomatoes $1.29)
Two containers 16 oz kidney beans, drained ($1 each)
Two 6.5 oz stems and pieces mushrooms (optional) (69 cents each)
1 packet of chili seasoning (33 cents)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 cup chopped celery ($1/bunch)
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (32 cents)
Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, shred as needed ($1/8 oz cube on sale at Cub)
Cilantro, for garnish
Tabasco sauce, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a soup kettle on medium-high eat. Add beef and brown. Remove beef from the kettle - try to keep the liquid that has formed in the kettle - and set aside. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the kettle and heat on medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir constantly. Add red bell pepper, celery, jalapeno pepper and mushrooms. Cook for another 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Sprinkle contents of the chili seasoning packet and garlic powder atop the vegetables and stir for about one minute. Add beef broth, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and kidney beans into the pot. Stir well. Add the beef back into the mixture. Bring the chili to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for three hours.
Stir the chili every 15-20 minutes during the process to make sure the chili is not sticking to the bottom of the pot. Toward the end, add salt and pepper as desired.
To serve: place chili in a bowl and garnish with shredded cheese, a few pieces of fresh cilantro and sprinkle of Tabasco sauce (if needed). I also had a bag of Mission cilantro lime tortilla triangles, which is substituted for oyster crackers.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Castillian Casserole

My husband consumed this so quickly I didn't have a chance to photograph the casserole. Enough said.

What you’ll need:
3 lb chicken breast, boiled cut into cubes (don’t forget to keep the stock for soup!)
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon of coarse salt
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon of paprika
1 ½ cups dry white wine
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon of parsley
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
1 cup of peas
1 teaspoon of Honey Dijon mustard
1 cup of matzo, crushed (you can substitute bread crumbs here)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
For the sauce: In a food processor process garlic, salt, bell pepper and paprika until very fine. Gradually add wine, vinegar and olive oil until well blended. Simmer in a sauce pan for 20 minutes and set aside. (You can make this sauce in advance and freeze it.)

For the casserole: In a bowl combine chicken, peas, parsley, oregano, mustard and cheddar. If you are using matzo, add that into the bowl. Add the sauce and stir until the chicken is well coated. Transfer into a casserole dish. If you plan to use breadcrumbs you can sprinkle them on top of the mixture. Place Parmesan cheese on top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes and serve.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Poor man's paella

This is an easy meal that can be prepared any night of the week. It cost me roughly $6 to make this meal and it could easily feed four people.

Here is what you'll need:

Box of instant rice
1 lb of cuttlefish * ($4) (or seafood of choice)
1/4 cup of white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon parsley
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 cloves garlic
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
Olive oil
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
* I purchased the cuttlefish, which tastes a bit like scallops, at the local Asian grocery store. You can easily substitute shrimp, scallops, squid, or any type of white fish cut into strips.

For the rice:
Cook the desired amount of rice for your family according to the rice directions. (I made four servings of rice and we had cuttlefish and sauce left over.)

For the sauce: In a blender or food processor combine lemon juice, fish sauce, parsley, cilantro, basil, onion, garlic, paprika and chili powder. Drizzle in olive oil a little at a time until the mixture becomes smooth, roughly 2-3 tablespoons.

Prepare the sauce and set aside. Heat oil (3 tablespoons) in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add cuttlefish and sprinkle with paprika. Cook until opaque. Add the wine and heavy cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the sauce and peas. Simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes, until the cuttlefish is tender.
Serve over rice.