Saturday, April 30, 2016

Mini corn cakes with smoked salmon or shrimp salad

My friend, Debbie, made these for Easter dinner, and they were phenomenal! Everything you could want in one bite.

(8.25-oz.) can cream-style corn 
1 cup plain white cornmeal 
1 cup sour cream 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoon table salt 
large eggs 
1 cup crème fraîche 
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill weed 
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
(4-oz.) packages thinly sliced smoked salmon, flaked 
Garnish: fresh dill weed

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together first 7 ingredients until smooth. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoonful corn mixture into each cup of a well-greased 24-cup miniature muffin pan.
2. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.
3. Stir together crème fraîche, dill, and lemon juice. Top muffins with crème fraîche and salmon.

Shrimp salad
1 ear of corn-on-the-cob, husk removed
1-1/4 cup finely diced avocado (about 1)
1-1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp finely minced red onion
1-1/2 lb cooked matane baby shrimp, thawed and chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander
salt and pepper

1. Preheat gas grill to high heat. Grill corn until charred lightly on all sides and kernels are bright yellow. Let cool and remove kernels into a bowl.
2. Toss all ingredients together and season to taste. The creaminess of the avocado will bind the salad together.

Put a tsp of salad on each muffin. Decorate with a coriander leaf.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Smashed potatoes

I made these last night to go with steak. They were excellent! You could add garlic, thyme, or rosemary, too.

Small red potatoes, 2-3 pr person
Kosher salt
Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 or 425 convection

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain. Line a cookie sheet with Release aluminum foil and place the potatoes on it.  With a dish towel protecting your hand, gently smash each potato. (You can do this several hours ahead. Drizzle with a good amount of oil. Move the potatoes around so they get oil on the bottom too. Season well with salt. Bake 30 minutes til crispy and brown.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bobby Flay's World Famous Steak Rub

Awesomely delicious!

1 cup ancho chili powder
1/3 cup Spanish paprika ( omitted some and added sweet smoked paprika)
3 tablespoons ground dried oregano
3 tablespoons ground coriander
3 tablespoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chile de arbol, optional (sub hot smoked Spanish paprika)

Mix all together. Rub on steak and let stand an hour before grilling. Store remainder in airtight container.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Braised sweet and sour red cabbage

I just made this, and it is delicious!


1 thick slice of pancetta or bacon, diced
    • 1 red onion, sliced
    • 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored, chopped
    • 1 small head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (in a pinch you could use cole slaw mix)
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1/8-1/4 cup sugar
    • Salt and pepper to taste 
    • Cook diced pancetta til brown and crispy; remove from pan, leaving the rendered fat. Add onion and apple and sauté until golden, about 7 minutes. Add cabbage, vinegar, sugar and cook until cabbage is crisp-tender and liquid is reduced to glaze, about 10 minutes. Mix in bacon. Season with salt and pepper.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

French Coconut Pie

Haven't tried this, but it sounds really good.

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 (9 inch) store bought frozen or homemade pie shell
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix all the filling ingredients until well combined; pour into the pie shell.
  3. Place pie on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour. Let set and cool completely before slicing.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chile Chicken from A Bird in the Hand

This sounds easy and delicious. Got to try it!


  • 1 ¾ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, or chicken tenders
  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 ½ tablespoons superfine sugar, to taste
  • 2 red chiles, halved, seeded, and shredded, divided
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or sunflower oil (or other oil of your choice)
  • 1 onion, halved, cut into slim crescent moon-shaped slices
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • Juice of ½ to 1 lime, plus extra if needed
  • 2 tablespoons purple amaranth or cilantro leaves, to serve (optional)
  • ½ tablespoon sesame seeds, to serve (optional)

Trim any fat from the thighs and cut the flesh into bite-sized pieces. 

Remove the tough outer layers of the lemongrass and trim the top and base. Mince the rest—the softer part of the lemongrass—as finely as you can. 

Put half of the minced lemongrass into a bowl with the fish sauce, garlic, sugar, half of the chiles, and the chopped chicken. Mix together with your hands, cover with plastic wrap, and put into the fridge. Let marinate for at least 4 hours; overnight is even better. Bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking.

Heat the oil in a wide-based saucepan or a wok set over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook on all sides, getting a really good color all over it. Add the reserved chiles, reserved lemongrass, and the onion and stir-fry until the onion starts to soften. Be careful not to burn the chiles or the lemongrass. Pour in the stock, reduce the heat, and cover. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes.

Remove the lid, increase the heat, and continue to cook until the liquid is reduced. You want a mixture that is wetter than a stir-fry but drier than a braise. Add lime juice to taste, then check for seasoning and sweet-sour balance, adjusting with sugar and lime. Scatter with the amaranth or cilantro leaves and sesame seeds, if using, and serve with brown rice and stir-fried greens.