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Friday, January 24, 2014

Zucchini-Corn Fritters

I was watching Guys Grocery Games last night (so addicted to that show) and one of the contestants made a fried zucchini cake for one of the challenges. I scoured the internet for the perfect recipe and came across this one! I love corn, so it was a nice extra:)

 Let me tell you, I was a bit nervous seeing that it was my first time creating these scrumptious little cakes, but they came out so good!!

My mom, who is a pretty picky eater loved these. They were so sweet, crunchy and just plain addicting.

My only suggestion is to wear long sleeves while cooking, some of the oil splattered on me, ouch! but oh so worth I tell you!


I served my Zucchini Cakes with some greek yogurt mixed with Sriracha and fresh parsley. Anything dipping sauce with some heat to it would pair nicely with this sweet side dish. 


Be careful! The oil tends to splatter and when it touches your skin its not fun! Keep your eyes far from the oil. Also, note that they fry very quickly. I burnt my first batch a bit because I was not watching in closley. Literally they will brown in about 30 seconds. 


Oh, man just looking at this picture makes me want to make them again for dinner tonight. Would that be so bad if I did!? This is the color you want them to look on both sides. You can also make them any size you would like. Say you are eating them for an entree, make them a large tablespoon. But say you want to serve them as appetizers, make them a teaspoon dollop. 


It's very important to put them down on a paper towel. It will soak up any of the added oil that you don't want puddled on your plate. 



Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup corn 
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
oil for frying 


Directions: 

In a large bowl, stir together all of the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, cumin, sugar, salt and pepper. 

Next, in a small bowl, whisk together: eggs, milk, butter. And whisk them into the dry ingredients. Stir in zucchini, corn and cheese and mix well. 

Warm oil (I used vegetable oil) in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Drop batter by the tablespoonful into hot oil. 
Fry until crisp and brown, turing once with tongs. Remove and set onto a paper towel. 

Serve hot! I served it with a mixture of greek yogurt and Sriracha sauce. So good!! 


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Swedish Meatballs




Oh, Swedish Meatballs how I adore you. I first tasted these morsels of meatballs as I was moving into my first apartment in Hollywood. Where do you go as a 19-year-old with no furniture and only $500 to spend? IKEA ! Oh, those were the days that I don't miss :) If you're like me, the food court at IKDEA drew you in. I wondered why all these people were in a line at the cafeteria? Were they tired from shopping all day? or is the food really that amazing? Yes! to the latter, and where I fell in love with Swedish Meatballs. 

Sweet, savory and in a creamy almost thanksgiving gravy like sacue. I was in love, sold, found my place in meatball heaven. Therefore almost ten years later bombarded the internet to find the perfect swedish meatball recipe. And to tell you the truth, I didn't have to look to far. Alton Brown, who is amongst my favorite chef to watch had a remarkable recipe. The only thing I adapted was adding one beef bullion cube to the gravy mixture. Remarkable I tell you! 

My boyfriend and even his father, who had never eaten a Swedish meatball was in love and licked his plate clean.We put it over rice, but egg noodles or any type of noodle for that matter would be divine.  

I have to tell you that I don't eat a lot of pork, so we used ground turkey. But let me know how yours turned out! 



Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. 

1/2 cup Planko breadcrumb 
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons clarified butter, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
A pinch plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 pound ground chuck 
3/4 pound ground pork
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups beef broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
Wylers bouillon beef cubes
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Directions: 
Mix the breadcrumbs and milk in a bowl. 

In a 12-inch straight sided saute pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sweat until the onions are soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the bread and milk mixture, ground chuck, pork, egg yolks, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, and onions. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes. (We had to keep adding more breadcrumbs because the meatball mixture seemed a bit runny, I'm guessing we used about 1 cup) 

Using your hands, shape the meatballs into rounds. Place on greased cookie sheet. (My boyfriend made tiny meatballs as I made big meatballs. I wanted one big gourmet meatball to put over my rice!) 

We baked our meatballs for around 20 min. Turning them over half way through. You can also saute your meatballs on a buttered skillet for 7-10 min. 
Once all of the meatballs are cooked, remove meatballs from the skillet (this is if you chose to skillet them, we baked them therefore they cooked in the oven while we made the gravy) decrease the heat to low and add the flour to the pan or skillet. Whisk until lightly browned, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the beef stock and whisk until sauce begins to thicken. Add the cream and continue to cook until the gravy reaches the desired consistency. Place the bullion cube in mixture until melted down. Remove the meatballs from the oven, cover with the gravy and serve. (serve alone, over rice or pasta) 


Recipe adapted from Alton Brown: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/swedish-meatballs-recipe/index.html

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Caprese Garlic Bread




Before I indulge into this delicious way of making garlic bread, I must give myself a big pat on the back if you don’t mind. My photos are becoming so much better then when I first started this food blog! Don’t you think? 

I downloaded the Pro Camera App and let me tell ya, the thing is amazing! It brightens my photos to my liking, has a creative lab to make your photos go from dull to professional and amazing. So thankful this exists… Enough with my tech rants, on to the food.

The other night I was looking for an appetizer to go along with my pasta I was cooking, which I must add was pretty plain, including just butter and freshly graded parmesan cheese. However, I wanted a bold and interesting appetizer, thus where I found this recipe from www.twopeasandtheirpod.com I was like, wait what? Garlic Bread Caprese!? I’m so in. May I add that since heirloom tomatoes were on their last couple of weeks of ripeness, I had to use them up.


Ingredients:

1 loaf ciabatta bread, horizontally cut in half
4 TB salted butter
3  minced garlic cloved
12 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 medium tomatoes, sliced (heirloom preferably)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

Place your horizontally sliced bread on a large baking sheet with the cut side up.

In a bowl, mix the butter and garlic together. Use this mixture and spread evenly over the bread.

Place your sliced mozzarella cheese on topo of the bread, make sure this covers the bread completely.

Bake the bread for 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted

While your bread is cooking, make the balsamic reduction. Place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring the vinegar to a boil, decrese the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionaly, until the mixture is reduced by ablout half. About 5 minutes.

Remove the bread from overn. Top with tomato slices. Season with salt and petter. Add fresh cut basic and drizzle balsamic reduction on top.

Cut and serve


Friday, September 27, 2013

Baked Eggplant Parmesan


Eggplant was never on my culinary list of "things to cook" But as I was viewing photos from an article I just wrote for The Daily Meal  http://www.thedailymeal.com/emmy-exclusives-photos-pre-and-after-party-feasts regarding the meals they made at the Emmy after-parties, I was obsessed with an Elegant Italian Parmigiana di Melanzane, or for us simple cooks, Eggplant Parmesan.
  
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Daniels
These small dishes looked so elegant and I thought they could be simple enough to make. Though I could not find the recipe from the exclusive Los Angeles restaurant RivaBella, I scoured the internet and combined a few recipes that could be used for us simple minded cooks




I whipped up a homemade tomato sauce that was so sweet yet perfectly pungent. It paired well with the eggplant, while not overpowering it. You could really taste the freshness of the veggie. I used mozzarella and Parmesan and baked (I don't like the mess of frying) Many other recipes use grated fontina and Romano cheese in combination with the mozzarella while frying it before they place it in the oven.


I even added my first video! I had to take a video as the eggplant came out of the oven. The sound of bubbling cheese needs to be captured on video at all times! 

video

Here is the sauce recipe that I used, which is INSANE! Bottle any lefrover you may have and you can use it on any other Italian dishes you whip up in the near future. This eggplant recipe was crafted from Whole Foods.com This is the recipe they have in the store at their buffet section. Its healthy, affordable and yummy! 


The Sauce:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium yellow onions, peeled, halved, and cut into thin slices
6 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 (28-ounce) cans San Marzano whole plum 
Directions: 
For the tomato sauce: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and season with salt and red pepper flakes. Cook until the onions become translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sugar and the canned tomatoes. Use a wooden spoon to break up some of the whole tomatoes and cook 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time. Taste for seasoning, the tomatoes should be fairly broken down and the flavors coming together. Cook for another few minutes if the tomatoes still taste like they need a little more time to break down. Set aside to cool.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alexandra-guarnaschelli/eggplant-parmigiana-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Whole Foods Baked Eggplant Parmesan:

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (about eight)
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a fork
  • 1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (sun-dried tomato or plain)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil*
  • Tomato Sauce (recipe above) 
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese*
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Eggplant Directions: 

Preheat oven with a baking sheet inside to 375°F. Coat eggplant slices with beaten egg, then bread with panko crumbs. Spread oil on hot baking sheet and place eggplant slices on it in a single layer. Bake 15 minutes, flip and bake another 10 minutes.

Increase oven temperature to 475°F. In an 8 x 10-inch ovenproof dish, layer pasta sauce, then eggplant, and top with cheeses. Repeat, finishing with cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and turns golden in spots, about 15 minutes

Friday, July 26, 2013

Chicken Bellagio- Cheesecake Factory Version


Set out flour, egg wash and seasoned breadcrumbs for your chicken dredging. It's important that after you dredge your chicken stick it in the fridge for 15 min. This will help the mixture stick while cooking. 

Drop the pasta into a pot of boiling water with salt. Cook "Al Dente" Read your pasta package for boiling times. 

Add heavy cream to saute pan and bring the cream to a simmer. Incorporate the basil pesto. Add salt and pepper. As it thickens add the parmesan cheese, stir. Keep warm. 

The sauce should be thick, yet pourable. 












Like most of the world I'm a HUGE Cheesecake Factory fan! I've already posted the recipe for their chicken madeira recipe. http://thehomecookingkitchen.blogspot.com/2012/12/cheesecake-factory-madeira-chicken.html So Good! Another Cheesecake Factory dish I crave is their Chicken Bellagio. A crispy coated chicken breast over a basil pasta and parmesan cream sauce topped with prosciutto and arugla salad. Come on, this sounds so amazing I had to try making it for myself.

The directions seem a bit complicated because their are many components to the dish, but it's pretty simple after you read it through a couple of times. This is also a great thing to prepare with someone else. I made it with my boyfriend and I just gave him a part of the recipe and he could do his own thing with it. Perfect!

I decided to make this because luckily I had all the ingredients in my fridge. NOTE: I didn't have prosciutto so you wont see it in the pictures, but I would have loved to add it. Also, instead of making my own basil pesto I used the jar version I had in my fridge. Just as good!

For the Breading:
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup clour
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. oregano

For Frying:
6 oz. angel hair pasta
2 Tbsp. garlic pesto sauce

For the parmesan cream sauce:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp. garlic pesto sauce
1/3 cup Parmesean cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

For the Salad:
1 cup washed arugula
oil
red wine vinegar

Coat the breasts in flour, and then dip the beaten egg, and then into the seasoned bread crumbs. Coat completely flipping the breasts over a few times to completely coat. Refrigerate the breasts on a plate for 15 min, uncovered, to get the seasoned bread crumbs to really stick.

Boil the pasta in salted water until done, about 10 min. Reduce heat to low until needed.

To prep the parmesan cream sauce, add heavy cream to a saute pan and bring the cream to a simmer, and incorporate the basil pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste, and as it begins to thicken, add the parmesan cheese and still vigorously to incorporate it. Continue to stir until it thickens more. Reduce heat to low to keep warm.

Preheat over to 200 degrees F.

heat a non stick or well seasoned cast iron skillet over medium low to medium heat. Add olive oil and fry the breasts on the first side until golden brown, about 3 min. I pounded out my chicken.

To Assemble:
Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl. Stir in garlic basil pesto. Place the pasta on a plate. Pour some of the cream sauce over the pasta. Add the chicken breast. Top breast with more cream sauce. Top with Aruguala that has been tossed with olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Patriotic Pancakes


For those of you that have read my other blog postings regarding the 4th of July you know that I really get into the red, white and blue theme! I'm lucky enough to share a birthday with this great country! Yippi!

This 4th of July, I wanted to make a special breakfast for my family. Seeing that pancakes are a re-occuring theme every morning with my 2-year-old niece I decided to spoof up the plain white colors. I had also just got back from a tour of Driscoll's Farms and had a plethora of left over strawberries and blueberries. Can you say perfect!

Here is how I made this simple and fun Holiday treat! Also, you can use any colors and combinations of fruit to make these special pancakes. For example, for St, Patricks Day, use green food coloring, Kiwis and honey-doo melon!

Ingredients:

Boxed Pancake Mix (or you can make your own) I'm still on the lookout for the best pancake recipe!
Blue or Red Food Coloring
Strawberries
Blueberries
Star candles (you can find these in most grocery store cooking aisle)

Directions:

1. Mix one batch of pancake mix with blue or red food coloring
2. NOTE: for the "white" portion of the stacking, leave the mix color free. The pancake is white enough :)
3. Make all white pancakes first so you can make the colored batch last and not worry about color mixing together.
4. Stack your different colored pancakes accordingly
4. Sprinkle on cut strawberries and whole blueberries
5. Polk in your candles

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

I seriously think I'm going to be making these every other holiday. Such fun colors and fruit combinations out there. If only a bright pink fruit existed I would be in food creativity heaven.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Teriyaki Chicken with Sriracha Cream Sauce



As I was scrolling Pinterest at like 2am the other night :)  I came across a food bloggers recipe (posted below) for a Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce. I didn't feel like going out to the grocery store, working all day gives me an excuse not to deal with all those lines. Reading all the ingredients I was in luck and had everything already in my fridge and pantry! Ok It's on!

I'm a HUGE HUGE HUGE fan of Fair food. Seeing that it's summer time I think about the grilled corn, savory smoked hot dogs and my ultimate favorite, teriyaki rice bowls. Perfect! This is what I will make with this recipe! 

I can't stress enough how incredible this recipe is, I even ended up making an entire jar of the Sriracha Cream Sauce, it was that good! If you  have ever had a crab rangoon before, this is exactly what the sauce tastes like, well minus the crab taste, hehe. 

The Teriyaki sauce was the best I have ever tasted, I mean better then the Orange County Fair, or the teriyaki sauce at my local Yamas Teriyaki Bowl . Wow! Wow! I'm so happy I found this. 

FYI...I will never post unless I have tasted and approved a full cook thru. Therefore I only have a picture of the my finished product. I just wanted to share this with you all ASAP. I will probably be making this recipe weekly, no joke it's that good. So I should have some added pictures of the steps up shortly. Enjoy! And let me know what you think xoxox


INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 salmon filets
  • Cooked rice, for serving
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Sliced green onions, for garnish
For the Sriracha cream sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
DIRECTIONS:
To make the Sriracha cream sauce, whisk together the mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons Sriracha and condensed milk in a small bowl. Taste for spiciness and add more Sriracha as needed; set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic powder, honey and 1 cup water; bring to a simmer.
Stir in the cornstarch mixture until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine the teriyaki marinade and salmon filets; marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick spray.
Place the salmon filets along with the marinade onto the prepared baking dish and bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 20 minutes. 
Serve the salmon immediately with rice and a drizzle of the Sriracha cream sauce, garnished with sesame seeds and green onions.