It’s turning to that farmer’s market time of year when you can get the best of the fresh vegetables and fruit in your area and make all kinds of fantastic dishes for everything from breakfast to dessert and all the meals and snacks in between. New York Times Cooking has put together 300 great summer fruit and vegetable recipes so you are all set with everything you could need for any occasion. Check it out!
My apologies for not posting as regularly as I would like lately. Work has gotten the better of me and I just have not had enough free time to get to everything. I am still cooking away and trying new recipes and accumulating them to put on, so I will be back to it when I get the time again. In the meantime, since it is coming up on that outdoor party and barbecue time of year where you may be going to different places, here are 36 recipes from Bon Appetit for great dishes that you can bring to any outdoor party as your contribution. You will find all kinds of great ideas listed here that can make a great addition to any buffet or party. Check it out!
The mantra for me right now has been busy, busy, busy. It seems like every time I might have an easy day coming up something pops along to disrupt it. I guess it’s a good thing when it’s work because it at least means I am staying busy instead of trying to scrounge around for more work. Anyway, all of the busy days means trying to find fast and simple dinners more and more, especially when Michelle is away and it is just Sean and I for dinner. I try not to do takeout dinners if I can avoid it, which makes dinners like this one great because they are easy to do with just a few ingredients and cost less than getting fast food, pizza, Chinese or going to some other casual restaurant. This recipe is from Williams-Sonoma and is for stir-fried shrimp with snow peas and mushrooms and makes use of really basic ingredients and is done in under twenty minutes, including time to make some rice to go with it.
Stir-Fried Shrimp with Sugar Snap Peas and Mushrooms
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon light soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1/2 pound mixed fresh mushrooms, such oyster or cremini
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, halved crosswise
2 green onions, white and tender green parts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons rice wine or sherry
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Cooked white rice for serving
In a non-reactive bowl, combine the shrimp, sesame oil, soy sauce or tamari and 1 teaspoon of salt. toss the ingredients gently to coat the shrimp.
In a wok or large frying pan, heat the peanut or canola oil over medium-high heat until it is just smoking. Add the garlic, ginger and shrimp and stir-fry the ingredients until the shrimp are evenly pink on both sides, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and transfer it to a separate bowl.
Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir-fry them over medium-high heat until they are softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and stir-fry until the peas are a bright green, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the green onions and the rice wine or sherry. Cover the pan and cook until the snap peas are crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Return the shrimp to the pan and stir-fry the shrimp just until they are heated through, about 1 minute. Garnish the stir-fry with the cilantro leaves and serve with the white rice.
It is a great, fresh dish that comes together very quickly. Shrimp cooks very quickly when you stir-fry it so you want to watch it carefully so you do not overcook it and make it rubbery. The sauce gives some great flavor to the shrimp and the simple mix of the snap peas and mushrooms are all you really need to round out the dish. Sean and I both really enjoyed it and I was able to have the leftovers for lunch the next day and they seemed even better after the shrimp had a chance to really absorb the sauce. I think it would be great with chicken or pork as well or even just with some extra vegetables and use the mushrooms as your main source of protein.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
There never seems to be enough hours in a day anymore to get to blog like I want to, so I am going to take some free time while I have it right now to share a recipe I just tried recently that fits perfectly for Cinco de Mayo if you want to try something with a Mexican flair for the night. I got this recipe from Bon Appetit when I was looking for something quick and easy to make for dinner one night for Sean and myself (Michelle has been away on business, so it’s been just the two of us lately). This is a very simple dish when it comes to making the steak for the meal but the real winner here is going to be this unique salsa that you can put together with radishes, cilantro and scallions for a real nice bite and crunch for your tacos.
Steak Tacos with Cilantro-Radish Salsa
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 pound skirt or flank steak
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems, divided
4 radishes, trimmed and chopped
2 spring onions or 4 scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
1/2 Serrano chile or jalapeno pepper, seeds removed if desired, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
8 corn or flour tortillas, warmed
2 ounces queso fresco or Cojita cheese, crumbled
Sour cream, for serving
Sliced avocado or guacamole, for serving
Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large skillet set over high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper and cook the steak in the skillet for about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove the steak to a cutting board and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop half of the cilantro and toss it with the chopped radishes, sliced onions or scallions, Serrano chile or jalapeno, lime juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium bowl. Season the radish salsa with salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the steak thinly and serve it on the tortillas topped with the radish salsa, queso fresco or Cojita cheese, sour cream, avocado or guacamole and the remaining cilantro.
It is a very easy recipe to put together in about 15 minutes or so and gives you some great flavor. I did make a couple of changes myself by sprinkling the steak with a little bit of cumin and coriander before cooking it to get some extra flavor and I did add a diced tomato to the salsa as well for some extra flavor, but other than that everything else was the same. It was great flavor from the steak with the cilantro and the slsa had a really nice bite to it from the radishes, scallions and jalapeno and it went really well with the dish. You could do this same dish with chicken or shrimp and I think it would turn out just as well.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
I love to have a sandwich for lunch (or for dinner for that matter) and very often, if I have some leftover chicken, I will make some chicken salad to have on a sandwich. I guess I have always tried it the traditional way with some mayonnaise, a little bit of celery and some salt and pepper and that’s about it. For me that is all I really need. When I had some leftover boneless chicken breasts I had made for dinner recently I really wanted some chicken salad but I wanted to mix things up a little bit and try something different and maybe even a touch healthier. This recipe was in the last issue of Cook’s Country and is for chicken-avocado salad sandwiches, where the avocado and a simple vinaigrette combine together to take the place of the mayonnaise to make a nice alternative for you.
Chicken-Avocado Salad Sandwiches
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
1 rip avocado, halved, pitted and chopped coarse
2 1/2 pounds cooked chicken, shredded or diced into bite-size pieces (about 3 cups)
8 slices sandwich bread, toasted
8-10 lettuce leaves (any variety)
2 tomatoes, cored and sliced thin
Combine the buttermilk, lime juice, olive oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper together in a medium bowl and mix until the ingredients are blended. Add the avocado and mash the avocado into the dressing with a fork. Stir in the chicken until it is fully combined into the avocado mixture. Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
Place a heaping 1/2 cup of the chicken salad on each of 4 bread slices. Divide and arrange the lettuce leaves and the tomatoes over the chicken salad, then top the sandwiches with the remaining bread slices and serve.
I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by the flavor and texture of the chicken salad using these ingredients. I didn’t miss the mayonnaise at all in the mixture and I really liked the mix of the avocado, lime juice and buttermilk as it all seemed to come together very nicely. I used some spinach leaves and tomatoes to finish off the sandwich, but you could really add just about anything you want to this one to make it special – Romaine lettuce, Bibb lettuce, sliced red onion, pickles, some slices of bacon or anything else that you like to have with your chicken salad. I had mine on some homemade white bread and it was perfect, though I wish I had some homemade rye on hand because I think it would have been even better! All in all I think this is a great alternative when you want to have some chicken salad without the use of mayonnaise. I’ll definitely be making this one again next time I have some leftover chicken around.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Work has been keeping me pretty occupied so I haven’t had as much time as I would like to get on here, but I do have lots of other recipes to share and some new things to try, so keep checking back to see what comes along. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
For me, very often quick recipes are what it is all about when it comes to dinnertime, particularly lately with lots going on with work and Michelle traveling so often. These 20 recipes from Bon Appetit help to give me (and you) some quick ideas for meals using a meat when you don’t always have time to marinade or cook a long, big meal. Check it out!
Just because it might not exactly be grill weather, at least in my area of New York, just yet, doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in some steak every now and then. For me, since I don’t have an outdoor grill to use, all of my steak is done on grill pans, skillets or the oven to try to make up for the loss of the grill here. This particular recipe was nice change of pace from the regular steak dinners in that it adds a really nice glaze to the steak for the meal. The original recipe comes from Cook’s Country and is for sesame-hoisin-glazed flank steak. I did change things up a little bit for my own purposes, making use of London broil that I had purchased on sale instead of the regular flank steak, which costs a lot more money here. I did make one other change to the recipe in that I marinated the steak overnight to really get the flavors in and to help break down the London broil a bit since it can be a little tough sometimes. The end results were really good, so if you want to try it my way the only difference is that after the marinade I refrigerated the steak in the marinade in a resealable bag overnight. Otherwise, this is the original recipe from Cook’s Country.
Sesame-Hoisin-Glazed Flank Steak
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 (1 1/2 pounds) flank steak or London broil, trimmed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Whisk the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, Sriracha sauce and cornstarch together in a medium bowl. Pat the steak dry with paper towels. At this point for my version of the recipe, place the steak inside a large, resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over the steak. Close the bag and allow the steak to marinade in the refrigerator overnight before proceeding.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat until the oil is just smoking. Remove the steak from the marinade, if you did this step, and reserve the marinade. Cook the steak until it is well browned and the meat registers 125 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak (for medium-rare), about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer the steak to a carving board and tent it loosely with aluminum foil, allowing the steak to rest for 5 minutes.
Stir the hoisin mixture into the now-empty skillet and cook over medium-high heat, scraping up any browned bits, until the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes. Slice the steak thin on the bias against the grain and transfer it to a platter. Stir in any accumulated meat juices into the sauce and spoon the sauce over the meat. Sprinkle the meat with the cilantro and toasted sesame seeds and serve.
You get quite a combination of flavors here with the hoisin sauce, sesame oil and the rice vinegar, not to mention the nice kick of heat you get from Sriracha and the cornstarch really does add something to the texture of the glaze for the steak. The meat was perfectly done and marinating overnight seemed to really enhance the London broil in my eyes. If you have the time to plan ahead the marinade works well but if you are looking for an easy meal for during the week that you can do in under 30 minutes, skipping marinating the meat and just make the glaze and you will be fine.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!