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Thai Basil Beef Bowls

Thought I could Thai one on since it is now summer…LOL. Sorry that there is no photo, but we were travelling and no camera available.

Thai Basil Beef Bowls

Yield: about 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice or long-grain white rice for serving
  • 1 lb. flank steak, sliced against the grain into thin strips
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, diced into 2-inch strips
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (roughly chop larger leaves), plus more for garnish
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp Sambal Oleek, or more to taste (optional)

Directions

  • Cook rice according to directions listed on package.
  • For the sauce:
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together soy sauce and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in water, fish sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, lime juice and Sambal Oleek if using, set aside.
  • For the beef and veggies:
  • Toss beef with 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp cornstarch. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet or wok over moderately high heat. Add beef and cook until browned on both sides but still slightly under-cooked in the center. Transfer beef to a plate while leaving oil in skillet. Reduce heat slightly, add bell pepper, onions and garlic and sauté until crisp tender, about 2 – 3 minutes (if needed you can add another 1 tsp of oil to the skillet). Add carrots, whisk sauce mixture once more then pour into skillet and allow to simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 1 minute. Return beef to skillet along with basil leaves, toss until basil has just wilted. Serve immediately over cooked rice garnished with small basil leaves and sesame seeds if desired.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy
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Chicken Pot Pie Soup

I LOVE chicken pot pie! I dont make crusts…LOL. Nor can I buy the store-bought crusts here. With some leftover Costco roasted chicken, I yearned for pie. FYI…Bisquick isn’t available here either. Turning to my trusty Pinterest, I found this recipe. It was awesome!!!! I left out the mushrooms and added chopped red pepper… The diced veggies looked great so I added a photo of them too!

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CHICKEN POT PIE SOUP

COOK TIME: 15 MINS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 4 ounces button or baby Bella mushrooms, diced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, diced (I used a can of diced potatoes)
  • 1 cup frozen corn (I used a small can )
  • 1 cup frozen peas (I used a small can)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • oyster crackers (instead of the crust)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat butter in large stockpot over medium-high heat until melted (or heat the olive oil until it is shimmering).  Add onion, carrots, peppers and celery.  Saute for 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent.  Add in the garlic and mushrooms, and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant.
  2. Stir in the flour until it is completely combined, and saute for an additional 1 minute, stirring occasionally.  Gradually add in the chicken stock and milk, stirring frequently.  Stir in the chicken, potatoes, corn, peas, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper until combined.
  3. Bring the mixture to a simmer (be careful not to bring it to a boil!), stirring occasionally so that the bottom of the soup does not stick to the pan.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering the soup for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are soft and cooked through.
  4. Taste the soup and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
  5. Serve immediately, with crackers on top or on the side, if desired.

Skillet Italian Sausage and Peppers with Penne

Canadians…Are you tired of turkey already? Try this easy one for something different.

Skillet Italian Sausage and Peppers with Penne

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes

This comforting Italian sausage and pepper penne pasta is cooked in one skillet and comes together in 30 minutes or less for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 1 pound Italian sausage links (1 package)
  • 1 small green pepper, sliced
  • 1 small red pepper, sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced thin
  • ½ cup red wine (merlot or pinot noir)
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 12 ounces water
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Parmesan Cheese for finishing

Instructions

  1. In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Reserve starchy cooking water.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Brown sausages on all sides, until almost cooked through, remove and cut into ¼ inch slices. You don’t have to worry about cooking them all the way through, they will finish cooking while the sauce simmers.
  3. In the same pan drizzle another teaspoon or so of olive oil and sauté the peppers and onions until slightly softened, about five minutes.
  4. Return sausage back to the pan and deglaze with red wine.
  5. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, Italian seasoning, sugar and salt. Stir to combine.
  6. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for ten minutes.
  7. Add penne to the skillet, toss with sauce. If needed add starchy pasta water to loosen the sauce up.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.

http://www.ohsweetbasil.com/skillet-italian-sausage-peppers-penne.html

Brown Rice Salad

Think this is great for all of you vegans…right Jaromey?

Brown Rice Salad

Ingredients Nutrition

  • For the salad
  • 1 12 cups brown rice
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • 12 cup raisins or 12 cup sultana
  • 12 cup cashews or 12 cup peanuts

 

  • For the dressing
  • 12 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • black pepper

 

Directions

  1. Cook brown rice until tender, allow to cool.
  2. To prepare the dressing put the ingredients into a large jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well. Put aside.
  3. In a large bowl add the rice and all other salad ingredients.
  4. Pour over the dressing and mix through. The flavours improve on standing as the rice soaks in the dressing. Enjoy!

 

 

Zesty Potato Salad and Cebollitas Asadas (Grilled Green Onions)

Two for one day. Both recipes are great for a BBQ party. The salad you can make ahead. The green onions should be done a half hour or so before you want to BBQ them.

ZESTY POTATO SALAD www.cooks.com

4 cups cooked potatoes
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup Miracle Whip
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon horseradish* (optional)
dash of green Tabasco or red pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Simmer potatoes until fork tender. Remove skins, and cut into cubes. At this point I usually cover the warm potatoes with the cider vinegar and celery seed (that’s how my Mom did it…LOL)
In a bowl, combine celery, eggs, potatoes, onions, vinegar* (see above note) and seasonings. Toss lightly to combine.
In a separate small bowl, mix mustard, and salad dressing. Stir into potatoes.
Refrigerate before serving.
Variation: Add cooked and crumbled bacon bits to the salad dressing and proceed as above.

Cebollitas Asadas (Grilled Green Onions)

Cebollitas is Spanish for little onions. It’s a Latin staple when it comes to grilling. These onions when grilled become soft, fragrant, sweet, and caramelized with a salty and tangy flavor.
Ingredients:
20 spring onions or large scallions (about 4 bunches) washed and trimmed
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt
1 lime, juiced (optional)
Directions:
Preheat grill.
Place onions on a large sheet of foil with butter and soy sauce. Seal onions securely in the foil. To do this lay the onions in the middle of the foil sheet, and fold in each side of the foil. Do the same with the remaining two sides. Wrap the foil around the onions like a present.
Grill onions or scallions on a rack set 5 to 6 inches over grill, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from foil and place on the grill (across the rungs) and grill on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes on each side until softened and lightly charred.
This recipe can also be made in the broiler about 3 inches from heat for 10 to 12 minutes.
Broil open for 6 to 8 minutes more until a desired char is achieved.
Transfer onions or scallions to a platter and sprinkle with salt and garnish with lime juice (if using).
www.muybuenocookbook.com

Thai Jicama Salad

Pachyrhizus erosus, commonly known as jicama or Mexican yam, Mexican turnip, or Mexican water chestnut is the name of a native Mexican vine, although the name most commonly refers to the plant’s edible tuberous root. Jícama is a species in the genus Pachyrhizus in the bean family (Fabaceae). Plants in this genus are commonly referred to as yam bean, although the term “yam bean” can be another name for jícama. The other major species of yam beans are also indigenous within the Americas.

imagesChopped, cubed, sliced into fine sticks, raw or cooked, jicama is versatile and great in stir-fries, salads, slaw, soup, and with other veggies and fruits like oranges, apples, carrots, and onions, as well as meats and seafood. A favorite Mexican recipe is chilled jicama slices sprinkled with chili powder, salt, and lime juice.

Our friend Lynda is a great Thai cook, having lived there for many years. This salad is awesome. FYI…yes jicama is available in Canada and the United States.

Thai Jicama Salad
Ingredients
2 green onions finely sliced
1 jicama sliced match sticks (2 to 3 cups)
1 cucumber chunk or match sticks
1 red pepper sliced
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup Thai basil (or any basil)

Salad Dressing
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. soya sauce
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tsp sugar
1 minced red chili or 1/2 tsp crushed chili flakes

Combine all dressing ingredients and stir to dissolve sugar.
Place all salad ingredients in a bowl. Pour dressing over & toss well.

Great for a potluck…

Chicken Stew

Tired of boring beef stew? Me too! This chicken stew was great even without the prerequisite dumplings…

  • Chicken Stew
    Ingredients
    5 cups (1.25 L) chicken stock
    4 lb (1.8 kg) skinned chicken thighs
    7 small carrots, peeled (WHY?) and cut in half diagonally
    4 potatoes, peeled and cubed I used yams peeled and cubed
    2 cups (500 mL) peeled pearl onions or 1 chopped white onion
  • 1 red pepper diced
    3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
    3 chopped celery stalks
    2 cups (500 mL) button mushrooms or 1 small can
    1/3 cup (75 mL) all-purpose flour
    1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
    1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
    1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
    1/2 cup (125 mL) peas, frozen or 1 small can
  • 1 platano chopped coarsely
    1/4 cup (60 mL) whipping cream I omitted this and used the chopped platano to thicken it. Can you tell I am into platanos?

Preparation
In a large Dutch oven, bring chicken stock to boil. Add chicken; cover and simmer over medium-low heat until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 30 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer to plate; let cool. Remove meat from bones; cut into bite-size chunks.Better still start with boneless thighs and save some time.

Add carrots, pepper, celery and potatoes to stock; cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add (pearl) onions; simmer, covered, just until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to plate. If necessary, add more chicken stock to make 5 cups (1.25 L). OR just add more water…

In same pan, melt butter over medium-high heat; cook celery, onion and mushrooms, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Truthfully I just threw them into the pot with the stock and veggies. Add flour, thyme, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Bring to boil, stirring. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until thick enough to coat back of spoon. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pan. Add carrot mixture, peas and cream* (if using), or the chopped platano stirring to combine.

If you are ambitious make up a batch of dumplings. They really are not necessary…This makes great leftovers!

Turkey Divan

With US Thanksgiving fast approaching, as well as Christmas (44 days), thoughts turn to turkey. I have previously posted a great recipe for preparing turkey which originated with Emerill Lagasse — check out Funky Brined Turkey elsewhere on the blog. Its awesome and I have used it for many years. AFTER US Thanksgiving and Christmas, there will undoubtedly be some leftover turkey. You could make pot pies, but who wants to fiddle with a crust? Turkey Divan is the perfect answer for leftovers!! The following recipe was adapted from Anna Olsen, Food Network Canada.

FYI, if you don’t have leftover turkey, just head down to the deli and get a precooked roasted turkey breast and either bring it home to slice or have the butcher cut thick pieces. Don’t use turkey lunch-meat!!! You could also substitute chicken… enuf said…hope you enjoy this one.

Turkey Divan by Anna Olsen Food Network Canada
Ingredients (my changes in red as always)

3 cup fresh broccoli, cut into florets (and peeled stem pieces)
4 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, diced into ½-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, diced into ½-inch pieces
5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp chopped fresh savory (I could not find any here)
1 tsp each thyme and oregano
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 cup chicken stock
½ cup half-and-half cream
½ cup dry white wine
2 cup Jarlsberg cheese or Manchego if in Mexico
salt & pepper
1 lb. cooked turkey breast meat (not luncheon meat), sliced
2 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
½ cup dry breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Directions
1. Blanch broccoli in boiling salted water (or steam) until just tender, then shock in ice water to halt cooking. Drain broccoli and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400 F.
3. In a large sauté pan with sides melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until almost translucent, about 4 minutes.
4. Add diced pepper and sauté 3 minutes more. Sift flour over vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes, until a faintly nutty aroma is emitted, but flour does not brown.
5. Stir in mustard, savory and zest. Stir in chicken stock, ½ cup at a time, blending well after each addition (this will prevent lumps). Bring liquid up to a simmer, then stir in cream.
6. Return to a simmer and stir in wine. Reduce heat to low and stir in 1 ½ cups Jarlsberg or Manchego cheese until melted. Season to taste.
7. Stir in broccoli and turkey, adjust seasoning if necessary, stir in parsley and pour into an 8-cup casserole dish.

This can be prepared to here and refrigerated until before dinner when you can apply the topping before baking. I usually put the refrigerated dish on the counter to warm it up a little before baking.
8. Sprinkle top with remaining ½ cup cheese mixed with breadcrumbs and olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, until sauce is bubbling along the sides.
9. Serve over cooked rice or buttered noodles.
10. Alternatively, the half-and-half cream can be replaced by ½ cup mascarpone cheese, for a more decadent version.

Serve it with a great Jasmine rice!

 

Scallops Stir Fry

Sorry dear followers, I fell asleep under a palm tree on the beach in a hammock…NOT…it has rained everyday now since last Thursday and my draft was waterlogged…LOL

Still in the process of cleaning out the freezer before we make the move to the new house next week. I found scallops and wanted to cook something quick.

Bay scallops may be sweet, but they’re not shy. Here, they stand up to the intense combo of soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and ginger. If you don’t find bay scallops, use the sea ones, but cut them in half. Actually I didn’t even make the rice. I just added a side of freshly steamed broccoli!

Bay Scallops Stir Fry [Inspired by Martha Stewart}

• Prep Time 15 minutes • Total Time 25 minutes • Serves 4
Ingredients

o Coarse salt and ground pepper
o 1 cup long-grain white rice
o 1/4 cup rice vinegar
o 1/4 cup soy sauce
o 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
o 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
o 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
o 1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
o 2 bunches scallions, white and green parts separated, cut into 2-inch lengths
o 2 carrots, halved lengthwise, or quartered if large, and cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
o 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
o 1 pound bay scallops, patted dry (or 10 larger ones)
Directions
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups salted water to a boil. Add rice, and return to a boil, stirring once. Reduce to a simmer; cover and cook until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let steam for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set sauce aside.
2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high. Add bell pepper, scallion whites, carrots, and ginger; cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add scallops and scallion greens; cook, stirring occasionally, until scallops are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Whisk sauce briefly, and add to skillet; cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Serve scallop stir-fry over rice.

 

 

Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Eggplant with Chorizo (Sausage)

Sunday at noon we usually head off to the symphony. Before we go I like to get a head start on dinner! Et voila…slow cooker….. This recipe was served by our friend, Kitti, and with or without the chorizo it was great. Serve with your preference of rice or maybe with quinoa. I think it wold also make an awesome spaghetti sauce!

SLOW COOKER EGGPLANT WITH CHORIZO AND TOMATOES

  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 1 eggplant sliced
  • 3  carrots  chopped
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 can of tomato sauce6 to 8 cut up Roma tomatoes
  • lots of garlic
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • browned chorizo or sausage pieces (omit if you want a vegan dish)
  • fresh baby arugula ( a handful)

Brown the chorizo in olive oil . Remove and place on a paper towel.

Add onion, garlic, and eggplant to frypan. Cook, stirring often (about 5 minutes).

Stir in the tomatoes, sauce and paste. Cook 5 minutes more.

Add seasonings: cumin- salt-pepper- OPTIONAL cayenne pepper.

Place all ingredients into the slow cooker, stirring well. Top with a handful of the arugula.

Cover and cook on high for two hours or less.

 Just before serving add more arugula to the individual dishes.