Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

We enjoyed this recipe at our daughter-in-laws as an appetizer, so much so that I served it as a side with the previous blog – Baked Salmon. It is definitely a keeper! Once the asparagus is blanched, the recipe is K.I.S.S. So simple that even a child could prepare it up to the point of baking! Great for BBQ season, too. Unfortunately, I ran out of the prosciutto so I just put the extra on the pan and drizzled it with more extra virgin olive oil.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

  • 8-ounce asparagus fresh
  • 10 slices dry-cured ham prosciutto
  • 6 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • olive oil

1. Cut each prosciutto slice in half crosswise.

2. Spread cream cheese and garlic onto each half slice of prosciutto.

3. Wrap cream cheese topped prosciutto around each asparagus spear.

4. Place wrapped asparagus onto a parchment paper lined baking pan.

5. Bake at 400°F for about 15 minutes or until meat has browned

NOTES

If you want to use multiple slices of prosciutto, go ahead. Since they are cured, using more than one won’t affect the cooking time.

Sprinkle pepper on the cream cheese. This will give the roasted recipe a bolder flavor.

Brush the prosciutto with olive oil. This is optional, but it will make the prosciutto crispier.

Soften the cream cheese. It is so much easier to spread when you let it sit at room temperature for a bit first.

Sheet Pan Nachos

Last minute company for lunch? This is simple and tasted great using Costco’s Tostados Multigrano . The only real prep was in cooking the meat. Other than that this comes together quickly. I used ground beef, but turkey would work too.

Sheet Pan Nachos

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp. garlic-infused olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped green onion leaves (green tops only)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced jalapeno (optional)
  • 1 (16 oz.) package ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1 Tbsp. taco seasoning
  • 1 (11 oz.) multigrain tostados
  • ⅔ cup shredded cheddar cheese (or dairy-free cheese)

Optional Toppings

  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
  • ⅓ cup sliced green onion (green parts only)
  • ⅓ cup sliced black olives
  • 1–2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • sour cream
  • SalsaI prefer Pace brands

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion leaves and optional jalapeno. Sauté until leaves are bright green, fragrant, and soft. Add ground beef and brown, breaking apart into crumbles, until cooked. Once cooked, add taco seasoning, stir mixture, and adjust seasoning to taste. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.

3. Place tostados onto a rimmed baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Top with cooked beef mixture and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake for 5 minutes until cheese is slightly melted.

4. Remove pan from oven. Top with your favorite optional toppings and serve warm.

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

I was very tempted to buy a store-bought shrimp ring as an appetizer while Easter dinner was readying in the oven this year. After seeing the price this year, I opted to buy a package of shrimp and make my own sauce. Fortunately, I already had a shrimp ring type of platter with a dish for the sauce. Actual savings was about TEN DOLLARS!

Knowing that most of you are aware of what a shrimp ring looks like I have not included any photos. Below is the great sauce recipe I incorporated!

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce with Sriracha

  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup Sriracha (Chili Garlic Sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon horseradish
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

Feel free to double the sauce depending on how many shrimp you are using.

Pico de Gallo Mexican Salsa

Pico de Gallo

  • 6 tomatoes with seeds removed!
  • 1-3 jalapenos (warning: hot) OPTIONAL
  • 1 medium white onion
  • ½ a medium red onion
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 limes juice
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt (More can always be added but not taken away!)
  • 1 tsp chili powder

Mix all ingredients and chill until ready to use.

Christmas Cookies II Plus

It’s not too late to do some Christmas baking! If you look back over the blog you can find Christmas cookie recipes in December 2012 and December 2016 – Cranberry Orange Almond Shortbread, Raspberry Lemon Cookies, Brandied Fruit and Nut cookies and a wonderful Limoncello Tiramisu (2016) (okay they aren’t cookies, eh?) And then there are Cranberry Pistachio Salted Caramel Bars (2012). No holiday meal is complete without at least ONE of these!

For those looking for something more savory and less sweet, you will like this recipe –

Cheddar Jalapeno Shortbread

 Prep Time 10 minutes      Cook Time 12 minutes    Total Time 22 minutes     Servings 48 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter                                                   
  • 1/2 cup sugar                                                
  • 2 1/2 cups flour 
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese                 
  • 1/2 cup jalapeno, seeded and minced  

Instructions

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.

Slowly beat in the flour until it is fully combined and is an even consistency.

Mix in the cheddar cheese and minced jalapeno pepper.

Divide the cookie dough in thirds. Roll each portion into an 8 inch log. Chill the logs in the fridge for 2 hours.

Preheat oven for 350F.

Cut each log into 1/2-inch cookie slices. You should get about 16 slices per log. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

GREAT with a slice of extra old cheese! Some caramelized onion chutney?

Baked Chicken Drumsticks

In consideration of buying an air fryer, we had purchased some chicken drumsticks quite a while back. Discovering that there were still 5 in the freezer, I began a Pinterest search. Thankfully there were quite a few recipes for doing them in a regular oven. (We eventually talked ourselves out of the air fryer (too much electricity here in Mexico). I can happily say that both of us thought these were far superior to the AF recipe! AND, so very easy to prep, too.

Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken drumsticks (I used 5 but six would have been better than sharing the 5th one)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked pepper

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.

2. Add all of the ingredients to a large zip top bag and seal. Smush the chicken around in the bag to coat in the seasoning.

3. Arrange chicken on the baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165 degrees.

4. Serve immediately.

Ahi Salmon Avocado Poke Bowl

In the last couple of years,”poke” bowls seem to be cropping up everywhere. Normally it is served with sashimi-grade salmon or tuna (both RAW). We first had these at a local Italian restaurant in the city and came to order it many times. I did find a recipe, where else but Pinterest, but finding the sashimi-grade salmon (raw and safe) proved more difficult until recently. Eureka! It turned out beautifully, well almost…details later.

Ahi Salmon Poke Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound Sashimi-grade salmon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes or pieces
  • 1/4 Sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 1 or 2 thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/4 English Cucumber, halved and sliced thin
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame oil
  • Black sesame seeds and sliced scallions for garnish
  • Steamed Cauliflower rice for serving OR Basmati rice

1. In a large bowl, combine the tuna or salmon, onion, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, Sriracha, and sesame oil.

2. Serve topped with black sesame seeds, sliced cucumber* , sliced scallions, and sliced radish in bowls with cauliflower or Basmati rice.

Putting the cucumbers in at Step one resulted in a greenish gray cucumber as you can see in the foto.

Keto Charcuterie Board

My apologies for the late posting, but the holiday season has begun and we had two guests for dinner on Sunday. This got me to thinking about holiday parties and how to cope if you are on Keto and want to host a small party (depending on your local restrictions during COVID 19).

This year in lieu of a larger party which usually sees us having 40 plus guests, we have had to make significant changes in how we entertain. In our region, we can have 6 people together and for the next four December weekends, we will be entertaining four other people beside ourselves each Saturday.

The easiest way to handle this is to avoid cooking!

Charcuterie is a way of entertaining in France which involves presenting a variety of cold meats and cheeses, along with some fresh fruits and nuts and a selection of breads and crackers. Keeping in mind KETO, a charcuterie can easily be assembled on a lovely wooden cutting board or two or just spread out on a layer of butcher block paper on a convenient hard surface, along with paper plates, napkins, etc. Make it finger foods by cutting up your items in bite sized portions in advance. BYOB means you don’t have to supply alcoholic drinks!

The trick is to choose KETO items ONLY , especially with the breads and crackers!!!

FYI… no two are ever alike! It all depends on what items you wish to choose. Vary the amounts depending on the number of guests you are contemplating. Whatever you choose be sure to carefully check the contents label for the total percentages of carbs, protein and fats !!!

A charcuterie can easily be modified for those who are not on a Keto program, by including non-KETO items.

The following is a suggested Keto board I came across on Pinterest. There are many more to view on that site.

INGREDIENTS for 5 servings…

  • 6 ounces sliced prosciutto
  • 6 ounces genoa salami
  • 5 ounces spicy capocollo
  • 4 ounces herbed chevre
  • 6-ounce sliced Manchego cheese
  • 5 ounces sliced peppercorn white cheddar
  • 4 ounces garlic white cheddar
  • ¼ cup Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts
  • ½ cup fresh blackberries
  • 10 strawberries hulled and halved
  • 5 pepperoncini
  • ½ cup pickled artichoke hearts
  • 10 garlic stuffed green olives
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • ¼ roasted red peppers
  • ½ cup Low Carb Pickled Red Onion
  • 20 pickled asparagus spears
  • ¼ cup stone ground mustard
  • 1 sleeve low carb crackers

INSTRUCTIONS

Select a large platter from the list of options in this post and carefully arrange all of the ingredients on top.

Happy Holidays!

Salt and Pepper Salmon Bites

My dilemma…do I buy a full side salmon filet or just three pieces at the fish counter? With the full side from Costco, there are thick and thin pieces, some cook faster than others.

Resolution, trim off the thinner sides of the piece, along with the tail end. Cut these into cubes or smaller slices and freeze them in a bag to make other salmon dishes not requiring small filets. The result was this recipe which makes a very nice dinner when served with some freshly steamed brussel sprouts and maybe a nice rice dish. Those pieces can also be used in a pasta dish.

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Salt and Pepper Salmon Bites

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2-pound skinless salmon filet
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp five spice
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • red pepper flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

Slice the salmon into strips about an inch thick.

In a bowl combine the pepper, salt, five spice and cornstarch.

Add the salmon pieces and toss well making sure the salmon is well coated.

In a medium sized pan stick pan heat the oil until hot.

Gently place the salmon into the hot oil and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn the salmon pieces over and repeat with the other side until salmon is fully cooked.

Transfer the salmon to a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

Serve with rice and garnish with chopped green onions and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and a bit of sour cream if you like.

Baked Feta Cheese with Olives and Lemon

If you should get invited to a Spanish ‘tapas’ party, this makes a perfect dish to bring. Okay, in English we might say appetizer, in French hors d’oeuvres ??? No matter it was another great find on Pinterest. It was also quick to prepare.

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Baked Feta Cheese with Olives and Lemons

Ingredients

  • one block of sheep’s milk feta (sold in the brine) about 10-14 ounces
  • 1/3 cup good extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 large lemon
  • 1 – 2 cups mixed olives* (recipe calls for whole and pitted) see below
  • a few sundried tomatoes chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • a few coarse grindings of black pepper

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Put the feta in a gratin dish or other small ovenproof dish that you will also serve out of.
  3. Pour the olive oil into the dish, followed by the lemon juice. Arrange the olives* (I would suggest using ONLY sliced olives as they whole ones fall off when you lay them on the cheese when serving) around the cheese, with the rosemary.  I quarter the squeezed lemon half and throw that in as well. Sprinkle the red and black pepper over all. I also added some slices of sundried tomatoes.
  4. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. I loosely laid a sheet of foil over mine. You can finish under the broiler if you like for a little charring effect.
  5. Serve hot with toasted bread