Fat Tuesday: Cajun Blackened Grouper

Actually, you can use any firm-bodied white fish.

I’d never eaten grouper before — I picked up two filets, and got sticker shock at the cash register.  (Always pays to ask if prices aren’t posted.  Duh.)

Cajun blackened, grouper, fish, grilled, gluten-free, Paleo

Sizzle me good!

It turns out there are a lot of species of fish named grouper — they’re pretty much all in the same two genera of fish, Epinephelus and Mycteroperca.   A lot of them live in the Pacific and some live in the Persian Gulf, and they all look pretty ugly, being all mouth.

Anyhow, I made the first one Hawaiian style — if I took good enough notes, I may post that later — but this one I made blackened and spicy, in honor of Mardi Gras, which occurs tomorrow.  And Mardi Gras reminds me of New Orleans, which I visited twice, but neither time for Mardi Gras.  Halloween 2003 was more than plenty large for me.   The previous time had been for a conference in June in the mid-90’s, and I could see why they all come out at night.   The daytime weather even in June is horrid.  You could cut it with a knife, blacken it, and serve it.  (The male attendees at the convention were nearly all dressed in shorts, even the presenters.)

It turns out blackened seafood isn’t really an old Cajun tradition — apparently the late Paul Prudhomme of New Orleans had something to do with the development and popularization of this dish.  That’s okay; we’re living FAT!

Party hardy, folks!  (I’ll be staying home this year.)

2016-02-6-cajun-spice.jpg

Prep Time:  To make the Blackened Spice Mix:  10 minutes.  To prep the fish:  2 minutes plus 15 minutes to marinate.
Cook Time:  6-7 minutes on a hot George Foreman Grill (fish about 1 inch thick)
Rest Time: 3-5 minutes.
Serves 2.
Special Equipment:  George Foreman (or similar) grill.  (You can use a pan in a regular outdoor grill, or pan fry medium high, covered, too.)  

Cajun Blackened Grouper

For the Blackening Seasoning (this makes extra, seal and store for future use):

  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (medium hot, or otherwise)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix it all together and store with your other spices.

For the Cajun Blackened Fish:

  • 1.25 pounds of grouper (or other sturdy whitefish) filet.
  • 1 teaspoon oil (avocodo is good)
  • 2 teaspoons of the above Blackening Seasoning (after your first experiment, you may find you want to vary this up or down).
  • Lemon wedges for garnish.  Fresh parsley would be fun, too.

I left the skin on the grouper — helps keep the fish together and easy enough to remove when you are eating it.

Pre-heat your George Foreman or other grill.

Rub the fish, both sides, with the oil, removing excess.

On the non-skin side, add the Blackening seasoning, and rub it in.  You do not need to coat the other side, but if you do have a fish filet with no skin, rub both sides — there’s no need to add extra unless you like this REALLY hot.

Place, skin side down, into the George Foreman, and let ‘er rip for 6-7 minutes, assuming your filet is as mine was, nearly an inch thick in the thickest section.  It is recommended that you roll the thin flap of filet which would be near the fish’s tail up, so that portion doesn’t overcook.  (I tried to do that, but the fish flattened out when I closed the lid.  Didn’t seem to matter much with this fish, anyway.)

Serve with lemon garnish.

A note on the heat:  This turned out just right, for me.  I have friends who’d prefer their food milder, and friends who’d prefer hotter so take that into consideration when you apply the above blend.  (Also, the freshness of your herbs and spices will matter.)

Serving suggestions:  Mustard greens or fresh spinach, sauteed in butter and fresh garlic, barely wilted, with a dollop or two of hot sauce mixed in at the last moment.  (I am LONG on mustard greens!)

Leftovers:  Enjoy in a salad.

Cajun blackened, grouper, fish, gluten-free, Paleo

All prepped up and ready to cook

This recipe owes a lot to hopping around the Internet to learn there’s no true standardized ratio of herbs and spices for Cajun seasoning, but I borrowed most heavily from:  Big Daddy’s Blackened Tilapia.   And here’s the platter!

2016-02-6-cajun-served

 

 

 

 

Posted in Cooking | 1 Comment

Chicken Wings Redux Plus Blue Cheese Dip

Well, just so everyone is prepared for an evening of Budweiser and Dorito ads tomorrow (frankly, the Bud ones have gone downhill the last few years – they’re getting cliched), with way too much football breaking the ads up — seriously, I don’t even know who’s playing.  (Which is why I’m not really interested in the event.  I love sporting events if I personally know someone to root for, even if it’s just at the Little League level.  I went to college with Joe Montana — I didn’t actually know him –, but he’s retired now; and I briefly dated a second-stringer football player at college, and took classes with others, including one who was truly interested in the sciences, not just there to play ball.)

Chicken wings, spicy wings, yogurt, gluten-free, blue cheese dip

It’s a cliche, but…

I did look up the performers for the event just now.  Lady Gaga will break out into the National Anthem, and she’ll either be really good or really bad.  She’s got a great voice — it depends on if she camps it up (bad) or not (good).  One thing she won’t do is appear dressed in raw sirloin steaks — been there, done that.  Thankfully, that’s Over.

Halftime is Coldplay and Beyonce.  Both are quality performers, although I’m just not into Beyonce’s style of music — which in this case is me, not her.  I’m more interested in Coldplay.

At any rate, I don’t have a TV subscription, so I will catch all those ads on YouTube Monday evening as I lay me down to sleepy-time.  There are other venues for Coldplay, although I will probably check to see if Lady Gaga’s version of the National Anthem is listenable.  (Mind you, it IS a difficult song to sing.  It’s based on the melody of an old British drinking song, which is hard to believe, but there you have it.  I’d really rather listen to America the Beautiful.  Lady Gaga MIGHT be able to pull it off, if she gets over herself before performing.)

Meanwhile, let the best team win (from whichever bunch is playing) and let’s get to the WINGS!  (And NOT Paul McCartney and…)  Oh, and no DeFlateGate this year.  They probably got excess monitors out there on football pressure this time.  It’s going to be the sports version of taking your shoes off to board an airplane.

The DIP:

2016-02-6-wings-cheese-yogurt

Danish blue cheese + yogurt

Prep Time: 10 minutes.  
Cook Time:  None.
Rest Time:  None needed, but store in the fridge no more than two days.
Serves:  Hey, it’s a condiment.  It serves how many it serves.  It should work for 2 pounds plus of chicken wings, and accompanying veggies.   

Reasonably Healthy Blue Cheese Dressing for Wing or Veggie Dipping

  • 1/2 cup quality plain organic yogurt (Stonyfield or a local brand, or goat yogurt.  Whole milk is fine, or low fat — NOT “no fat”.  Too many extenders in that to be healthy.   Umm, avoid the hype!)  Oh, if you don’t do loads of dairy, you can try coconut yogurt which should have similar enough properties.
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, chopped into small chunks.

Combine.  Let sit (in the fridge) until ready.

The WINGS:

2016-02-6-wings

One pound large chicken wings, portions separated.

Prep time:  5 minutes to prep and marinate the wings (unless you also need to cut them up).
They’ll marinate for 2 hours.

Cook time:30-35 minutes.
Rest time:  5 minutes.
Serves:  (I will assume, not rashly, that these are appetizers.  One recipe for three to four people, assuming you have multiple appetizers???)

Buffalo Chicken Wings Redux

  • 1 pound of buffalo wings.
  • about 3/4 cup plain yogurt, see above.
  • about 1/2 – 3/4 bottle of 2  ounce hot sauce, go for your favorite.  (I used Tabasco.)
  • Optional red pepper flakes

Separate the meaty parts of the wings into two, if you bought WHOLE attached wings, and omit the wing tips, which can be reserved in the freezer for eventual incorporation into soup, bone broth, or stew.

I forgot to buy buttermilk (which can be useful for this recipe) but there was plenty of yogurt to hand!

Mix all of the above together — in a plastic bag, or in a bowl.  (The bowl will be more healthy, as I’m not sure what’s getting leached out of plastics these days.)  Allow to marinate for two to twelve hours.

Pre-heat oven (broil on high).

Add optonal red pepper flakes, then remove from bowl, place in pan so that the wings aren’t touching one another, and broil in the oven, 12-15 minutes (depending on wing size); flip them over with tongs, and broil another 12-15 minutes.  If you want, slop on some more hot sauce when you pull them out of the oven.  Or set the bottle out for guests to play with as they will.  (REMINDER:  discard excess marinate, unless you can find a way to cook it — raw chicken has been sitting in it!)

Let them rest five minutes, and serve with the dipping sauce, and some sliced celery sticks and/or bell pepper.

chicken wings, spicy wings, appetizer, yogurt, blue cheese dip

Sitting in marinate, nearly ready for oven.

My earlier chicken wing recipe is here:  Spicy Chicken Wings.

This post has joined the Fiesta Friday , the Real Food Friday, and the Savoring Saturdays link party, where it is having a good time without me… ;)

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Appetizers, Cooking, Meats, Poultry | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Moroccan Boneless Goat Leg Roast

There was an attractively nice looking piece of goat leg sitting in my freezer, looking up at me and begging for attention.

So, at any rate, I thawed it out overnight, and scratched my noodle for a good recipe.  Since goat is associated with a variety of cultural tastes around the world, there were plenty of notions to draw from.  I still wasn’t driving after the ankle issue, so I was limited to what I had at home.  (Which actually does involve a large spice selection.)

Moroccan, goat leg, harissa

I probably should have pulled the rope off for the photo shoot… oh well. (It kept the leg together fine for additional meals.)

Ultimately, I went Moroccan.  I have this tube of harissa paste in my fridge which I’d bought on a lark, and decided to use it.  (At some point I WILL make my own harissa seasoning — but I certainly didn’t have all the individual components to begin with — and, frankly, I’d never knowingly tasted harissa before — turns out I like it enough that once this tube is gone, I’ll make my own.)

So…

Moroccan, goat leg, harissa

Boneless goat leg rubbed with spices and seasonings, ready for the oven.

Prep time:  15 minutes
Cook time:  2.5 hours for medium rare
Rest time:  15-20 minutes
Serves:  Probably works nicely for a party of six.

Moroccan Boneless Leg of Goat

  • 2.75 pounds de-boned goat leg.  (Mine was wrapped with a netting string so it wouldn’t fall apart, when I got it.)
  • 2 nice-sized cloves of garlic, peeled and slivered.
  • 1 generous tablespoon harissa paste.
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Ground pepper

Preheat that oven to 425 F.

Poke slits into the leg using a paring knife.

Insert slivers of garlic into slits, and then rub harissa all over the leg, including into those slits.  Squeeze lemon over the meatiest side of the goat, and grind the pepper over it.

Put in oven, and promptly reduce temperature to 275 F if it’s a pastured goat leg (this was) or 300 F if otherwise.   Lean meat:  low and slow.

For medium rare, allow to roast for 2.5 hours.

I was going to baste halfway through, but there were not enough juices for that.  If you wish to cook the leg much beyond 2.5 hours — you’ll need to baste with something — perhaps either olive oil or ghee, if your goat leg isn’t producing large amounts of juices on its own.  Goat is much less fatty than lamb.

Allow to rest for 15-20 minutes, then carve and serve.

Moroccan, goat leg, harissa

Resting

 

This meal is served up at Fiesta Friday’s  and Real Food Friday’s link party.

 

 

 

Posted in Cooking, Meats | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Camaron Rebosado, from the Phillipines

Camaron Rebosado, Filipino, Philipines, shrimp, gluten-free

Camaron Rebosado a Filipino batter-fried shrimp dish, with Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce

This recipe is for the January Recipe Challenge from Lin’s Recipes.  In short, Lin picks a monthly theme, and selects recipes for that theme; and first come, first serve to select what you’ll make that month.  (The idea is for you to choose something you’ve never made before, nor eaten in the past, which is a fantastic idea to stretch us out of cooking doldrums!)

Click on Rare Recipe Challenge #1 for recipes the others of us have created.

rare recipe challenge

Rare Recipes Challenge #1

And our judge for this event is Jhuls of the Not So Creative Cook, which sounds like a misnomer to  me, because she is very creative.

Camaron Rebosado, shrimp, gluten-free, Filipino, Phillipines, fried

Shrimp marinating with lemon, pepper, and salt

I’ve never made anything specifically Filipino before — and this sounded yummers, once I tracked down a couple on-line recipes for it.  In the spirit of this blog being gluten-free (which it has been for over three years), I did a preliminary test to ascertain that some gluten-free flour choices would work equally well as wheat, for the coating on the shrimp.  By all means use wheat flour instead, if that’s what you want!  For the post here, I went with tapioca starch because both with my preliminary kitchen experimentation, and with what I’ve checked on line, tapioca starch/flour has similar qualities to wheat when it comes to batter frying and doesn’t impart its own flavor.  Rice flour should work as well.

Camaron Rebosado, Filipino, Philipines, shrimp, gluten-free

Batter in large bowl

I went with this recipe for camaron rebosado.  This blogger, Lalaine, presents what turned out to be a great recipe for this  I also read other variants of this recipe online, and from this decided to decrease the amount of salt she calls for in this recipe.  Well, as well as making this dish gluten-free.

Camaron Rebosado, Filipino, Philipines, shrimp, gluten-free

Frying in about 3/4 inch of oil, simply because I don’t want to figure out how to dispose of excess oil… In this small skillet, 4-5 shrimp were fried at a time.

After cooking, the marinated, battered shrimp is dipped in either sweet and sour sauce, or in a banana ketchup — keep in mind that the original foodstuff that is ketchup did not have tomato in it.  Banana ketchup sounds fascinating, and not that hard to make — expect me to do so soon.  The other option is to buy it at an Asian market.

I’ve decided to make a sweet and sour sauce from scratch to go with the Camaron Rebosado.  (I’d have done the banana ketchup… but… we got no bananas today…). I posted the Asian Sweet and Sour sauce a few days ago — feel free to make this if you don’t wish to purchase it.  Sweet and Sour sauce has a good refrigerated lifespan.

Prep time:  15-20 minutes.
Cook time:  5 minutes per frying batch, at max
Rest time:  a couple minutes.
Serves:  4 for a pound of shrimp.  

Camaron Rebosado

  • 3/4ths to 1 pound large shrimp, shelled (except for tail) and cleaned.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper (black or white — I used black)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup ice cold water (i put this in the freezer for about 20 minutes).
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup flour (tapioca flour/starch or brown rice flour) – or if you don’t mind gluten, use all-purpose wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch (or corn starch if you’d rather)
  • High temperature co-oking oil – a volume to permit an inch/inch and a half layer in your cooking pan.  Choices could include:  Grapeseed, safflower, coconut, or peanut.
  • dipping sauce, either sweet and sour (click the link for my gluten-free version you make yourself) or banana ketchup.

Marinate the shrimp in the lemon juice and half the salt and pepper for 10-15 minutes, in the fridge.  I moved the shrimp around in the marinate by hand, about halfway through.  Lemon tends to slide to the bottom.

Beat the egg with the water, in a medium sized bowl.

Mix in the flour and the starch and the rest of the salt using a whisk or fork,until blended

Heat up your cooking oil on medium high — before adding the food, test the heat of the oil by dropping in a small piece of bread — it should brown up within a minute.  If the oil is not hot enough, this recipe won’t work right!

Using your fingers or a pair of tongs, dip each shrimp individually into the batter, mix around, then place each shrimp into the hot oil.  Only add as many shrimp as make up one layer of shrimp — the idea is NOT to make one big puppy pile of connecting batter with the shrimp in between.  If you have to cook in batches, so be it!

The shrimp need about 2 minutes per side — using tongs, flip them over for another 2 minutes.  Pull them out by the tails (using tongs) and drain on paper towels.

Fry up as many more batches as you need, then plate.

These are great as an appetizer, served hot and with one (or two) of the dips — or as a main, served with the dips and with rice.

This recipe was easy and quick (it seriously took longer to clean up after!  All those batter dribbles across my range!), and very worthwhile if you find quality shrimp.  This recipe is best served fresh and not re-heated.

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I had leftover batter.  I reserved it in the fridge until the next morning, when  I added in piles of ground cinnamon and allspice, and fried up fritters in leftover oil.  I assume not traditional, but it kept me from wasting the batter.  With the tapioca/potato starch mixture, you do need to re-suspend the batter vigorously.

2016-01-23-morning after fritters

Batter fritters, about 3 inch diameter.

 

This recipe may also be found at Fiesta Friday and Real Food Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Appetizers, Asian & Asian Influenced, Cooking, Seafood | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Asian Sweet and Sour Sauce

While this recipe is a gluten-free, grain-free adaptation of a Filipino recipe, this sauce is serviceable for sweet and sour sauces for Chinese, Malaysian, and Indochinese treatments of seafood, poultry, and vegetables.  Or for anything you would dip into, say, a duck sauce.

In a few days I will be posting a recipe you can enjoy this sauce with, but I wanted to get a dipping sauce or two up and ready for you in advance.

filipino sweet and sour-

You’ll note it is darker than most sweet and sour sauces — that’s the level of tomato in this.

My recipe source is adapted from Vanjo Merano’s Filipino blog, Panlasang Pinoy.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Rest time:  Allow to cool to room temperature
Serves:  A lot of dipping can go on with this.  Reserve in fridge.

Gluten-Free Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  • 2.5 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free soy sauce/tamari
  • 5 teaspoons arrowroot powder
  • 5 teaspoons room temp tap water

In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot with the tap water with a whisk or fork; set aside.

Add everything else to a small skillet, heat on medium and stir while dissolving.  When the sugar is dissolved, add in the arrowroot/tap water slurry.

Remove from heat and mix gently; there may be a few lumps but most will eventually mellow out.  Return to low heat, and continue to stir until the mixture melds, probably no longer than a minute.

Set aside and allow to drop to room temperature before using (for use on future dates, refrigerate).  The sauce will thicken further as it cools.

This post may also be found at the Link Parties:   Fiesta Friday and Real Food Friday.

Posted in Asian & Asian Influenced, Condiments, Cooking, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Welcome, 2016!!! Littleneck Clams, Dipping Sauce, Salad

Resolutions?   We don’t need no stinkin’ resolutions!

Okay, well I’ve got one that’s food-related.  A vegetable with every meal.  And I don’t mean onions or home fries, or just that sprinkling of cilantro — I mean something green and/or brightly antioxidant colored, and serving-sized.  This may be hard if I have to grab breakfast out, but it’s manageable at home.  Once I get back to work and need to dash out the door, it may mean just eating a small salad — shred up some greens, toss on a splash of olive oil and vinegar — instead of making, say, eggs Florentine, or as with this morning, sautéed baby bok choy.

raw, littleneck clams, leafy salad, ponzu marninate

Let’s Go Raw!

Anyhow, today I figured we’d start out the blogging season with a recipe for lunch that requires no cooking.  Littleneck clams, dipping sauce, and a salad of greens.

raw, littleneck clams, ponzu marinate, recipe

About 1/8 spoonful sauce per clam works nicely. Sprinkle parsley as you will. Informal serve-yourself setting.

Prep time:  15 minutes.  (But for ease of shell opening, freeze the clams a minimum of 4-5 days in advance; let thaw in fridge.)
Cook time:  NOPE
Rest time:  NOPE
Recipe below is written to serve one, just multiply.

raw, leafy greens, salad

Close up on the salad

Littleneck Clams Served Raw, with Dipping Sauce and Salad

  • Clams, 9 or 10 per person
  • Dipping sauce (1 tablespoon Ponzu  marinade (NOT PONZU SAUCE) + 1/2 scallion chopped fine) and/or oyster mignonette and/or Tabasco (or other hot sauce)
  • Parsley (or cilantro) as condiment.  
  • Serving options are mentioned below.
  • Green leafy salad

Salad (this green leafy is a suggestion.  You may choose to make this into a heartier item):

  • 3-4 handfuls of leafy greens per person.
  • 1 heart of palm, cut bite-sized
  • 1 tablespoon rinsed capers
  • vinaigrette of choice
  • optional parsley (or cilantro) as condiment

Note about the Ponzu Marinate:  This is a translucent yellowish sauce without soy, based on citrus.  Make an approximation by using lemon, lime, and a splash of rice vinegar, with a little water to mellow things down a bit.

For the salad:  Simply assemble and toss individual bowls, adding the parsley or cilantro on top.

Before freezing the clams:  rinse them in cold water, then let them soak a couple hours (in the fridge) in salted water:

Drain, lightly dry them, then freeze them away for at least 4-5 days.

The reason to pre-freeze the clams for at least 4-5 days — they open on their own accord and you don’t need a sharp knife to wrestle with them.  The taste isn’t any different.

If you are being informal, people can open their own clams.  If you want to serve it as an appetizer platter, get a large platter that can hold some liquid, spread out crushed ice, and pre-open the clams, being careful to lose as little of the juice (liquor) as possible.  Use a knife or a spoon to separate the clam from the shell, including those adductor muscles, and lay the clam back on one shell half with as much liquor as possible.  You can keep both shells, or if you are short on space, just leave the half with the clam on the platter.  Sprinkle the platter with cilantro or parsley (I simply had a surplus of parsley from something else).

For the ponzu marinate:  add the scallions.  Find a very small spoon for serving — ideally people will use about 1/8th a spoonful per clam.  (I have one here, but cannot find, and I refused to use the ugly yellow plastic 1/8th measuring teaspoon for this purpose…)  For the mignonette, the same volume is probably ideal.  It is ideal to let people spoon these things themselves, of course.

recipe, raw, littleneck clams, ponzu marinate

Yum, Clam, Clam Liquor, Ponzu Marinate….

You can add the Tabasco directly to the ponzu marinate (just enough for a bare hint of heat), or let people hit the sauce (ahem) as they will.

recipe, clams, littleneck clams, raw, tabasco, hot sauce

Two or three drops is usually plenty. You can also use a milder hot sauce.

If serving as an appetizer on a platter, optionally consider a bed of large leaves of lettuce, along with lemon wedges.

recipe, raw, clams, littleneck clams, tabasco, hot sauce

And, as if there weren’t enough clams posing for their photo op…

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~Many notes for the New Year ~

Over at Lin’s Recipes I volunteered to try my hand at making Camaron Rebosado by month’s end, for her Rare Recipe Exchange.  It’s a shrimp dish, usually served with rice.  To add to my challenge, I’m going to make it gluten-free – I’ll try rice flour and maybe a few shrimps with other flours that happen to be in my house, since that’s how this blog rolls.  There are a few other recipes on her challenge list left as I write this, if you are interested…  Anyhow, expect the recipe for this later this month.   I’m looking forward to it!

Other things I’m planning this year for:  Vietnamese spring rolls.  I tried my hand at them last February and couldn’t get them to roll up properly for beans.  (Or for the ingredients I did use…)  I think I know where I went wrong:  I need to keep a bowl of water right at my workspace in the dining area, rather than running back and forth to the sink… (this is a terrible kitchen!)

There are a bundle of things in Maangchi’s cookbook (Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking),  (and on her blog and YouTube channel) that I’m dying to try.  There are a bundle of things, likewise, in Russ Crandall’s cookbooks (The Ancestral Table:  Traditional Recipes for a Paleo Lifestyle and Paleo Takeout: Restaurant Favorites without the Junk), and on his blog (The Domestic Man), that I’m also dying to try… and I did test-drive his hot and sour soup for the latter cookbook before publication, trying it both with home-made chicken broth, and with boxed broth — this is my definitive food to judge Chinese eateries by — maybe I don’t bother with this soup in the heart of authentic Chinatown, but I think you know what I mean.)

I also plan to explore true Mexican cuisines — it’s hardly all Tex Mex.

I’ve been working on a makeover of one of Mother’s old chicken dishes — her “fried” chicken.  She called it “fried” although she baked it, because it had batter.  I’m trying to find a substitute for the bread crumbs, and seem to have hit upon one.  (Yes, almond flour works, but I’m having digestive issues with tree nuts.)  Expect that recipe soon!

And I want to explore more vegetarian entrees — taking my cue from parts of the world where the diet is largely vegetarian — because it is there that true vegetarian food comes into its own, because it has been eaten this way for centuries.  Here in America, vegetarian “cuisine” often seems to be driven by the Standard American Diet concept of food — just pull out a Gardenburger or a slab of repulsive-looking Fakin’ Bacon, and call it “good”. I’ve just purchased a fascinating book by Dahlia Abraham-Klein: Silk Road Vegetarian.   These are recipes from along the Silk Road from the Mediterranean through Central Asia, and my mouth is watering.  (It is also a gluten-free cookbook.)

My own hopes for this blog, technically speaking:  I want to post recipes at least twice a month; I want to punch up my photography — I’m back into using Adobe LightRoom for post editing, which is great, but will wait until I can move around better to set up full staging for the meals, on the more suitable dishes I have (but which are hard to get to right now).

A great way to start the year!

A great, healthy way to start the year!  (More bok choy & onion lurking under the egg.)  PS, that’s turmeric, not Tabasco, at the edge of that egg!

PS:  the above was breakfast this morning, first meal of 2016:  a good healthy one to start the year off right.  In a skillet:  a splash of avocado oil, followed by half a small onion, coarsely chopped, some turmeric, garlic powder, black pepper.  Then when the onion was translucent, in went a baby bok choy, and one farm-fresh duck egg.  I covered the top so the egg white & veggie would cook through, then served with coffee.

Dinner?  Dinner will involve golden beets, other stuff to be decided later… Happy New Years!!!  And a big shout out to the 100th Fiesta Friday link party!

 

 

 

Posted in Appetizers, Salads, Seafood | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Year’s End

2015 was a good and promising year in the food exploration department.

This is the 50th post for the year — I’m not including any actual recipes today, but just a tying up of 2015, and some photos for meals I never got a chance to write-up (or simply didn’t take sufficient notes for, or are just not ready for prime time — such as the below).

Vietnamese Spring Roll: This is probably the only roll that rolled up decently. Expect a new (and publishable) effort in 2016!

Vietnamese Spring Roll: This is probably the only example that rolled up somewhat decently. Expect a new (and publishable) effort in 2016!

And some links to meals that were memorable this past year:

I discovered two new (to me) foods:

  • Callaloo (a Jamaican steamed green in the amaranth family)
  • Cucamelon (a small fruit related to the cucumber, which is great in salads)

I discovered a new cooking technique:

  • Using the rice cooker for things other than rice.  Namely, Quinoa.

I got adventurous in the Korean and the Tex-Mex cuisine arenas.

And, I tried my hand for the very first time on stuffed squid, which I simply LOVE!

Martha's Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard

Other landmarks of the year:

  • February onwards:  at least two blog posts per month.
  • April:  broke ground on my future home in Massachusetts
  • June:  first ever trip to Martha’s Vineyard, staying nearly a week and enjoying some GREAT food and company.
  • July:  first great-nephew arrived into the world on Bastille Day (great way to remember the date, too!)  His name is Charl, he’s a red-head like his mother and my brother, and I hope to go to Florida this spring to meet him, finally.  Had hoped to do so over New Years, but read on…
  • July:  after 11 years and 183 thousand miles on my Subaru Forester, I traded it in for a used (pardon, “pre-owned”) Hyundai Santa Fe with 22,000 miles on it.
  • October:  fell and broke my tibia in the ankle region at the end of the month.  I’m still out on worker’s comp.
  • December:  Managed to join some friends nearby for a fantastic Christmas dinner that couldn’t be beat.
  • December:  Started working from home.  Yesterday.  However, this here is my break… (and besides the system there seems to be having difficulties)
2015 - Feast of the Seven FIshes, Dec. 24: Rhode Island clam chowder & Scallop sashimi with wasabi and tamari. (Didn't like the photo of the 3 other fishes: eel with teryaki sauce, smoked salmon, and squid stuffed with mushrooms and scallops, topped with mustard aioli)

2015 – Feast of the Seven Fishes, Minus Two, Dec. 24: Rhode Island clam chowder & Scallop thinly sliced sashimi with wasabi and tamari. (Didn’t like the photo of the 3 other fishes: eel with teriyaki sauce; smoked salmon & dill; and squid stuffed with mushrooms and scallops, topped with mustard aioli)

WordPress has sent me info on my year in review as far as WordPress is concerned.

My most popular posts:

Most popular posts I put up this year:

This blog has had visitors from 127 countries this year.  The Recipe Index and the Dining Out pages were started this year.  Only three Dining Out additions were blogged about this year, and no desserts.

Have a Great New Year, everyone!!!

I’ll be asleep before the ball drops.  Even if I weren’t on crutches, I’m far less likely to go out on New Year’s Eve these years than in my younger days.  Restaurants serve limited and overpriced selections, and the ambiance yells “CROWD”.  I used to go to parties held at homes, but there are few of those locally nowadays.  Not really missing that, even if they were fun back in the day.

2015 recipe wrap up

Last Breakfast, 2015: 2 fried eggs, button mushrooms, pair of lamb kidneys.

Last Lunch, 2015: Pasta, many mushrooms, onion, parsley, other seasonings. (Yes, this one contains gluten.)

Last Lunch, 2015: Pasta, many mushrooms, sour cream, onion, parsley, other seasonings. (Yes, this one contains gluten.  It is also the first time I home-cooked with wheat all year — someone gave me a gift basket with pasta as one ingredient in it.)

Last Dinner, 2015: 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs braised in mushroom broth, with one small gold potato and baby bok choy.

Last Dinner, 2015: 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs braised in mushroom broth, with one small gold potato and baby bok choy.  And seasonings.

Last Whine, 2015:  Wente – Louis Mel Sauvignon Blanc. 

We are having fun at the two-week long 100th link-exchange running of Fiesta Friday, over at Cooking with Aunt Juju

 

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