Burrata and Arugula Garlic Toast

I have made this easy dish for appetizers and also served along with pasta or a soup. I haven’t met anyone that eats this that doesn’t like it. You can add pine nuts for an extra texture to the arugula or drizzle over with glazed balsamic vinegar.

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Burrata and Arugula Garlic Toast

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • One french baguette (sliced diagonally, about 10 pieces)
  • 4 – 6 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 4-  6 tbsp butter (melted)
  • 1 container burrata (2 balls)
  • 1 – 2 large handful organic arugula
  • 1 – 2 tbsp high quality olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Melt butter and add garlic (stir well)
  • Brush mixture on each piece of bread and place in oven until toasted (about 5-10 minutes)
  • Remove from oven and place on a platter
  • Section out burrata into 10 servings and place on each piece of bread
  • In a bowl, mix arugula with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper
  • Place arugula on top of each piece
  • Ready to serve!

 

Thai Green Curry Paste

I’ve been searching for a good green curry paste that I can make from scratch and I’ve found it! Thank you David Thompson for making one of the best Thai food cookbooks I’ve read. I made this weekend and made a few changes, see my comments below.

Green Curry Paste

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp Thai Green Chilies (I used only 1-2 chilies)
  • Large pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp chopped galangal
  • 2 Tbsp chopped lemongrass
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped kaffir lime zest (I used lime)
  • 1 Tbsp scraped and chopped coriander root (i used cilantro stems)
  • 1 Tsp chopped red turmeric
  • 3 Tbsp chopped red shallot
  • 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 Tsp shrimp paste
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1/2 Tsp coriander seeds, roasted and ground
  • 1/4 Tsp cumin seeds, roasted and ground

Directions:

In a large mortar and pestle pound each ingredients together one by one until all ingredients come together until it becomes a nice paste.

Use to make Thai green curry (see my blog for recipe)

Easy Chicken Stock

Nothing makes a curry taste a millions times better than fresh chicken stock. Here’s a quick and easy recipe you can make and freeze for future use.

Easy Chicken Stock

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 – 2 pounds of fresh chicken bones (cleaned and washed)
  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger (cut)
  • 2-3 garlic pieces (smashed)
  • 1 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1 cup carrots (chopped)
  • 1 onion (cut)
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  • In a large pot fill with water and add all ingredients.
  • Boil and simmer for 2-3 hours
  • Skim any scum from the top
  • Drain and freeze any unused stock

 

Vanilla Custard Trifle

I’m always looking for an easy dessert to make ahead of time for my dinner parties. I typically will make pies or cheesecake but I wanted to try something different. Using the custard recipe I make for my banana cream pie I created this amazing trifle.

The custard recipe was shared by my friend Penny of Penny’s Pies. I have changed a few methods of her recipe as I have tested this out and made this many times.

Vanilla Custard Trifle

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: medium
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Trifle Ingredients:

  • 1 trifle bowl
  • 1 pound cake loaf  (cut in slices)
  • 2 cups fresh whipped cream (not in a can)
  • 1 package of strawberries (sliced and cut)
  • Custard

Custard Ingredients:

  • 1 package of unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 6 extra large egg yolks
  • 1 cup bakers sugar
  • 1 cup half and half (warmed to just tepid)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp chilled butter

Custard Directions:

  • Soften the gelatin in the 1/4 cup of water
  • In a medium size saucepan, off heat, beat egg yolks and gradually add 1 cup of sugar to the eggs, whisking continuously. Continue whisking by hand for 2 more minutes until egg yolks and sugar are thick and light yellow in color.
  • Slowly whisk in the warmed milk or half and half to the yolk/sugar mixture until well blended, about ¼ cup at a time.
  • Place saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly. Foam will form on the surface and as the filling comes to a boil the foam will start to disappear. When the filling comes to a full boil, remove from heat immediately. Add the softened gelatin and stir in until melted. Add vanilla extract, butter and stir until fully combined.
  • Pour filling into a large bowl, place in refrigerator for one to two hours until set.

Trifle Directions:

  • In a trifle bowl, place the cut slices of pound cake on the bottom
  • Add half the custard and smooth over the top of the pound cake
  • Add half the whipped cream and smooth over the top of custard
  • Add cut strawberries to layer the top of whipped cream
  • Add another round of pound cake
  • Add custard
  • Add whipped cream
  • Add strawberries
  • Chill for 3-4 hours
  • Serve cold

 

Green Papaya Salad

One of the many reasons I love living in California, is because we are able to get most of the ingredients needed to make authentic Thai food. Just 10 minutes from my house is a great Thai Market with all the fresh ingredients you need. This weekend I found a nice unripe papaya so I was inspired to make one of my favorite dishes, papaya salad.

Papaya Salad

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 unripe papaya (shredded)
  • 1 handful of roasted peanuts
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1 handful of Chinese long beans (cut)
  • 1-2 Tbsp of dried shrimp
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 fresh thai chilies (more if you want spicier)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp tamarind juice
  • 1 – 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp palm sugar (grated)

Directions:

  • In a large mortar and pestle pound the garlic, peanuts and shrimp together to make a loose paste.
  • Add chilies (per your taste) and pound together.
  • Add tomatoes and pound together.
  • Use a large metal spoon to mix the ingredients in the bottom of the mortar around to make sure you are mixing all ingredients.
  • Add the Chinese long beans and pound together.
  • Add the papaya and continue pounding until all ingredients are combined together. Continue to use the spoon to mix ingredients.
  • Add fresh lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind to taste.
  • The finished product should be a combination of sweet, spicy, and sour.
  • Serve on a plate with fresh cabbage and sticky rice.

 

Greek Spiralized Cucumber Salad

I got a new toy for Christmas! I got a spiralizer! This new gadget is going to inspire me to make more vegetables for my family. Here’s a big greek salad you can make for any potluck, party or just for your family.

You can change up the amounts based on your needs, it’s so simple you can’t go wrong!

Greek Spiralized Salad

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 4-5 seedless English cucumber
  • 2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced thin on spiralizer
  • 2 fresh lemon
  • 1 package of fresh feta
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves, minced

Directions:

  • Spiralize the cucumbers using the chipper blade on the spiralizer.
  • Cut the strands into smaller bite size pieces
  • Place on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt to help remove the excess water. Let sit for 1 hour
  • In a large bowl mix the bell pepper, tomatoes, olives and onion
  • Add cucumber
  • When ready to serve, toss with fresh feta and dressing

Dressing:

  • In a small bowl combine juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Chicken Fried Rice

I love fried rice, It’s one of my favorite meals to make! I love making it with different proteins (chicken, pork, beef, crab, and shrimp). You can’t really mess this dish up, it is so easy. Of course use the freshest organic vegetables for a better taste.

Chicken Fried Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups Jasmine rice (cooked and cooled)
  • 2 chicken breasts (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup thin sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup cut fresh green beans
  • Handful cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp sweet soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp thin soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp golden mountain soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • Sliced cucumbers to garnish

Directions:

  • In a wok or large skillet heat on high
  • Add garlic
  • Add chicken and cook until no longer pink
  • Add beans and carrots and cook for 2 minutes
  • Add rice and separate and stir well
  • Add all soy sauces and mix together until the rice is brown
  • Add peas
  • In the center of the pan make space for the egg and scramble until thicker and then mix rice in
  • Add pepper
  • Add cilantro
  • Taste and add additional soy sauce if needed
  • Serve hot with garnish of cucumbers

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Horseradish Creamy Sauce

Christmas Eve dinner with our Aunt Patty has been an event we look forward to each year. She is an incredible chef and hostess. This year I was able to help her in the kitchen to learn her recipes that she has been making for many years. I was surprised on how simple each dish was to make! The biggest key to a successful dinner party is timing, patience and organization.

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There are many dishes in her holiday meal and I will post each separately but categorize them under the menu “Holiday Meal” so that you can find them with ease.

Horseradish Creamy Sauce

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Fresh Ground Horseradish
  • Hot Cream Horseradish
  • 24 oz Sour Cream

Directions:

  • In a bowl combine entire carton of sour cream
  • Add 1-2 Tbsp of fresh ground horseradish (to taste)
  • Add 1-2 Tbsp of cream horseradish (to taste)
  • Taste until the flavor desired
  • Refrigerate and serve cold

Creamy Brussel Sprouts

Christmas Eve dinner with our Aunt Patty has been an event we look forward to each year. She is an incredible chef and hostess. This year I was able to help her in the kitchen to learn her recipes that she has been making for many years. I was surprised on how simple each dish was to make! The biggest key to a successful dinner party is timing, patience and organization.

IMG_3396There are many dishes in her holiday meal and I will post each separately but categorize them under the menu “Holiday Meal” so that you can find them with ease.

Creamy Brussel Sprouts

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 1-2 pounds of Brussel sprouts
  • 2 cups heavy cream (more if your pan is large)
  • 1 tsp fresh nutmeg

Directions:

  • In a large skillet, add the Brussel sprouts
  • Add cream to pan and coat all Brussel sprouts until covered
  • Cook on low heat for one hour or until fork soft
  • Grate fresh nutmeg over the top
  • Serve hot!

BLT Steak Gruyère Popovers

Christmas Eve dinner with our Aunt Patty has been an event we look forward to each year. She is an incredible chef and hostess. This year I was able to help her in the kitchen to learn her recipes that she has been making for many years. I was surprised on how simple each dish was to make! The biggest key to a successful dinner party is timing, patience and organization.

IMG_3400There are many dishes in her holiday meal and I will post each separately but categorize them under the menu “Holiday Meal” so that you can find them with ease.

Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma – http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/blt-steak-gruyere-popovers.html

These airy golden puffs are served warm from the oven at BLT Steak, a modern American steakhouse opened by acclaimed French chef Laurent Tourondel. After rotating the pan partway through the baking time, don’t open the oven door again until the popovers are done; this will help ensure they rise evenly.

BLT Steak Gruyère Popovers

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 oz. Gruyère cheese, grated

Directions:

Place a 6-cup popover pan in the bottom third of an oven. Place a baking sheet on the rack underneath to catch any drips. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the milk until small bubbles form around the edges. Put the flour and salt in a fine-mesh sieve and sift onto a sheet of waxed paper. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the hot milk, whisking constantly so the eggs don’t cook, then gradually whisk in the flour mixture until almost smooth.

Remove the popover pan from the oven and spray the cups with nonstick vegetable spray or 1 tsp of melted butter. Fill the prepared cups about three-fourths full with batter and sprinkle each with 1/2 oz. cheese.

Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees. Continue baking until the popovers are browned and puffed, 30 minutes more; do not open the oven after rotating the pan.

Invert the pan and remove the popovers. Serve immediately. Using a paper towel, wipe out the excess fat from the popover cups. Heat the pan in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat to bake the remaining batter. Makes 12 popovers.