Monday, June 25, 2012

Baked Stuffed Jalapenos

I made this for two separate BBQs this weekend and they were a hit. These will spice up any fiesta!

15 jalapenos, sliced, seeded and deveined

Crab filling:
1can of crab, drained
4 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 Tbsp minced red bell pepper
1 green onion sprig, minced

Bacon and Cheddar filing:
4 bacon slices, crispy and chopped
4 oz cream cheese, softened
½ shredded Cheddar cheese
¼ shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In a bowl, mix filling of your choice and stuff jalapenos halves. Bake on 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer Corn and Zucchini Saute

I love summer and eating LOTS of fresh corn! I like to add to everything and anything….almost.

2 small zucchinis, chopped
1 ear of corn, corn cut off the cob
¼ cup walnuts pieces
Crumble goat cheese
Fresh chives, minced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

In a large pot of boiling water, cook corn for about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, cut corn off the cob.

In a skillet over med-high heat, drizzle EVOO and sauté zucchini for about 4 minutes. Add corn. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in walnuts.

To serve, top with crumble cheese and sprinkle with minced chives. Enjoy with BBQed chicken or fried pork chops.

·         Use feta cheese
·         Use toasted pine nuts

Friday, June 22, 2012

Steak and Veggie Salad

Who says salads are boring?

½ sirloin steak
Cajun seasoning
2 crushed garlic cloves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For Salad:
2 boiled eggs, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 small cucumber, sliced
3 large radishes, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
1 tomato, chopped
2 green onion sprigs, sliced
1 ripe avocado, sliced
Crumbled blue cheese
Mixed green salad

In a bag, marinade steak in Cajun seasoning, garlic and olive oil for 30+ minutes. Over med-high heat, grill steak for about 4-6 minutes per side, until desired doneness. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

To serve, make a bed of lettuce, add veggies and top with sliced steak. Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle with your favorite dressing.

-          Use marinated chicken instead of steak

Monday, June 18, 2012

Vegetable Soup with Turkey Meatballs

People ask me if I cook for myself when my husband is out of town. The answer is YES!!! I enjoy eating good food too! Cooking is also a stress release for me and a way to wind down after work. I made this pot of vegetable soup with turkey meatballs tonight, which I’ll eat (and enjoy) for the next few days. My husband was jealous that he wasn’t home to join me.

¾ lb ground turkey or chicken
3 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ yellow onion, minced
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 large carrots, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 large jalapeno, diced (optional)
5 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp dried mushrooms
1 cup broccoli florets
1 tsp minced fresh Rosemary
1 tsp minced fresh Italian flat leaf Parsley
2 Bay leaves
2-3 green onion sprigs, sliced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, garlic, onion, breadcrumbs, egg, salt and pepper. Mix until combine; do not over mix. In a large sauce pan, drizzle EVOO and preheat over med-high. With wet hands, shape mixture into walnut sized meatballs. Drop into sauce pan and brown all sides. Remove meatballs from pan and transfer to a plate; set aside.

In the same sauce pan, add more EVOO if necessary, sauté carrots, celery and jalapenos. In a large pot, add broth and dried mushrooms; bring to a boil. Add carrots, celery, jalapenos, broccoli and herbs. Carefully drop meatballs into the broth, turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.

Serve in a shallow bowl, sprinkle with fresh green onions and enjoy with sliced, crusty bread.

Note: If you don’t have dried mushrooms, use sliced, fresh mushrooms, such as baby bells, and sauté with the other veggies before adding to the broth.

·         Add corn, zucchini and/or diced potatoes
·         Add pasta or rice
·         Add a can of diced tomatoes
·        Make meatballs from beef, pork or a combination of both

Monday, June 11, 2012

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa over Mango Rice

This colorful dish is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy with a tropical flare.

Avocado Salsa:
I large avocado, diced
1/2 small red bell pepper, diced
1/2 small yellow bell pepper, diced
1 small jalapeno, seeded and diced
½ small red onion, diced
Juice from one lemon
Salt to taste
(I would have added minced cilantro too, except I didn’t have any on hand)

Mango Rice:
I cup of white long grained basmati rice
2 cups coconut water
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
½ tsp salt
1 mango, diced

2 Salmon filets
Cajun seasoning (or I also like to use Lemon Pepper on one side and crushed red pepper flakes on the other)

For salsa, combine all ingredients, toss with lemon juice and season with salt to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For rice, in a rice cooker, combine rice, coconut water, EVOO and salt; cook until ready. Stir in mango; set aside.

For grilled salmon, heat grill to med-high. Season salmon. Skin side down, cook salmon until skin is charred. Flip filets over, turn heat to low, remove charred skin, season other side and grill until salmon is cooked through. The filets should flake easily with a fork and still be a little translucent in the middle. Depending on thickness, cook time should be approx. 6-8 minutes per side.

To plate, make a bed of mango rice topped with salmon. Spoon avocado salsa over salmon. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Grilled Oysters on Tomales Bay... A Perfect Day

On my recent trip home, my mom and stepdad decided to take me and my brother to their favorite spot on Tomales Bay to grill oysters. They’ve done this several times and wanted to share this special experience with us.

First we stopped by Bovine Bakery in Point Reyes Station to pick up some amazing crusty, sourdough bread for our oyster feast, in addition to some extra treats, like the perfect flakey croissant, a fruit filled turnover, a gooey bear claw and a nutty chocolate bar.

Next, we picked up two dozen local, medium sized oysters from Drakes Bay Oyster Company. To get to the oyster farm, you drive down a long, dusty road of crushed oyster shells. At the farm, we watched the fishermen in action on the production line, separating and bagging the live oyster.

fishermen at work

Then we headed to a nearby picnic area in Tomales Bay State Park. We went to their usual spot, which overlooked the bay. I have to keep this part a secret in order to preserve this secluded, perfect spot.

Our view!
 While the coals were heating up on the grill, my mom prepared the sauce. In a small bowl, she combined about 6 crushed garlic cloves, 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil, juice from one lemon, a splash of white wine and minced parsley.

our oysters

preparing the sauce

To cook, add the oysters to the grill over high heat. Once they start to open and their juices start to bubble, they are ready to shuck.

Remove the top shell and be careful to not lose the juice. Add a spoonful of the garlic olive oil mixture to the oyster in the half shell.

Finish cooking to your liking. Enjoy with a nice crusty bread, a squirt of extra lemon and a glass of white wine.

We're a bunch of happy oyster eatin' fools!
Thanks, Mom and Larry, for this perfect day and sharing your special spot with us!  

And we ended the day with a pile of empty shells.