It is officially Fall, but since the temperature hit 96 degrees today I really wasn’t feeling it! I went to the market with only a vague plan, cook something that requires little heat, fairly light and easy. I was thinking some juicy late summer tomatoes would be nice, maybe with some fresh mozzarella and add some pasta for my son. It was just the two of us tonight, so I was trying to make both of us happy and avoid the oven. Turned out my market had a terrible selection of heirloom tomatoes, so I had to come up with a new plan on the fly…I bought some shrimp, baby bok choy, and snow peas. Smallest market trip in a long time! I am really excited about this recipe since it was pretty fast and easy and you can put in any vegetables you happen to have in the fridge if you don’t feel like shopping. And the flavors are simple but delicious! Thank you again Woks of Life for the inspiration for this. I love your recipes!
Brine the shrimp by mixing 2 Tablespoons salt with 1 cup of water. Stir well and add shrimp. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.
Prepare vegetables while shrimp is brining.
Drain shrimp and dry on a paper towel.
Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add a bit of oil to pan and spread. When oil is hot add 1/2 the ginger and stir for about 30 seconds in the hot oil. Add the onion and carrot to the skillet and cook for a few minutes, add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes, add the bok choy and broccolini, cook another minute and then add the snow peas and cook another minute or two or until the vegetables are all tender but still a bit crunchy. Remove from pan and place in a large bowl.
Add a little more oil and when heated add the rest of the ginger. Add the shrimp and let sear for 30 seconds, then stir and add the vegetables and the wine, sesame oil, white pepper, sugar and soy sauce. Stir until well combined and coating the ingredients. Remove from heat and place stirfry in a bowl.
Serve with rice in bowls. Enjoy!
I bought bok choy and snow peas for this and then used the vegetables in my refrigerator – carrots, mushrooms, onions, and broccolini, and it was delicious. I think the vegetables you use are pretty flexible, good dish to make to clean out the produce drawer.
The pictures are 1/2 recipe since I was only cooking for two people when I photographed the recipe, so don’t be alarmed if you have a lot more vegetables.
Brining the shrimp is optional, but I find that it makes the shrimp a lot firmer and less fishy when you are using generic farmed shrimp because that is all one can access.
I have made this recipe all summer and it is really delicious! It is like summer in a bowl. It is a recipe from the New York Times Cooking site and I have modified it slightly by leaving out the cream, butter and jalapenos, and adding crab. It has a pretty short list of ingredients and is very light and healthy. I will say that shucking 12 pieces of corn can take some time, so it isn’t quick, but healthy natural food is often not quick, but worth the extra time.
Credit: The New York Times Cooking – I can’t post a link because you have to pay for their website now, so I no longer have access to it
12 ears of corn
1 sweet onion, small dice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 yellow or orange bell peppers, small dice
1 bay leaf
10 whole black peppercorns
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of fresh crab, shelled
8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade them
Remove the husk from all of the corn.
Cut the corn off the cob and put the cornless cobs in a large stockpot. Fill the stock pot with 16 cups of water, bay leaf, peppercorns and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and turn down heat to medium and lightly boil for 30 minutes.
While the corn cobs are boiling, cut the vegetables.
Saute the onion and bell pepper with a little oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot until it is soft and the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the corn and saute for 10 more minutes.
Add 6 cups of the corn stock to the corn mixture (avoiding the peppercorns and bay leaf). stir and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Puree about half the soup, so it turns creamy, but you still have a lot of vegetable chunks. Pour into bowls, garnish with fresh crab and basil. Enjoy!
Recipe updated Oct. 11, 2019. Added carrots, made it with chicken broth instead of vegetable for a more pleasant color and added more photos. Served it for dinner and all really liked it!
Happy New Year! When I made the Loaded Baked Potato-Style Cauliflower soup recently, my son and I decided that the same base would probably be really good as a clam chowder, and I could even make it completely dairy-free for those who prefer that. I love New England style clam chowder but it traditionally has a lot of milk and cream and butter…so I have not made it in many years and I am not inclined to order it in a restaurant because it is usually loaded with even more butter and cream than I would make at home. I am not lactose-intolerant, but I think that my morning latte and some cheese is enough dairy for me each day. This soup turned out rich and creamy without any dairy! I am so amazed at what one can do with cauliflower, so my cauliflower obsession continues along with my squash obsession (check out this amazing Parmesan Crusted Delicata Squash recipe from Skinnytaste – I can’t get enough of this — crispy like a high-quality french fry but so much better for you!). I am giving Cooking Light credit for inspiring me to create this soup from their cauliflower soup. Let me know what you think!
kosher salt to taste (the clam broth will have salt, so taste before salting)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon white miso
16 ounce package of frozen clams, shelled
1 Tablespoon chopped fennel fronds to garnish
Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven on medium heat. Add a little olive oil to the pot and heat. When oil is hot, add onion, fennel, carrots, thyme, and garlic to the pot and stir often until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, stock or broth, clam juice, pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes.
Ladle about 80% of the soup (liquid and vegetables) into a blender, add the miso and puree until smooth and creamy. Be careful not to burn yourself on the hot liquid while blending (put a towel over the blender lid).
Return the blended mixture to the pot. Add clams cook over medium heat for about 5 more minutes. Taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fennel fronds. Enjoy!
Today was a nice warm Spring day here in the Bay Area, so I thought a watermelon salad would be nice for dinner. I love watermelon and feta, although I did consider using grilled Halloumi cheese instead, but went with feta since it is a lot more economical, but I may try it next time with the Halloumi. Next was some protein to make it a complete meal in my husband’s eyes, started with chicken, but switched to shrimp to make all family members happy as my son currently is not loving chicken. I also think the salad would be good with some cherry tomatoes, but alas, my market only had small tomatoes that were a very under-ripe light red color, so I left them out. But if you have access to good vine-ripened tomatoes, include them. Enjoy with a glass of cold Rosé from Provence!
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus a Tablespoon more for the shrimp)
2 Tablespoons raw pinenuts
1 garlic clove, minced
freshly ground black pepper
About 4 cups cubed watermelon (about 1/2 small seedless watermelon)
1 large head of red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into small pieces
About 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tablespoons fresh chiffonade mint (cut in fine shreds)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a medium bowl mix 2 cups of water with 1 tablespoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Add the raw shrimp and let soak for 15 minutes to 1 hour in the refrigerator.
While the shrimp brines, whisk in a small bowl, the vinegar, miso, and honey. Gradually whisk in the oil. Set aside.
Roast the pine nuts for 4-5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and set aside.
Remove Shrimp from brine and drain completely. Coat shrimp with a mixture of olive oil, garlic and pepper. Grill or Broil shrimp for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside.
Place about a cup of torn lettuce on each plate. Add cut watermelon, grilled shrimp, a sprinkle of feta, a sprinkle of pine nuts and pour some dressing over the salad. Garnish with chopped mint. Enjoy!
I took a little blogging-break, but hopefully I am back for the next month or so. June blog entries will probably be very light if at all. But hey, who wants to cook in the summer anyway! This a a very simple and easy dish to slowly get myself back in the swing of writing again. This is a Food & Wine recipe that I added asparagus and mushrooms to. A very flavorful and nice quick weeknight dinner.
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms (or white button), cut into thick slices
1 pound asparagus, ends broken off and sliced into one-inch pieces
fresh ground pepper
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (save time and buy it deveined, it is worth it!)
2 tablespoon small capers, drained
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
In a very large skillet heat some olive oil until it shimmers. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes. Add the asparagus and the shrimp and cook over high heat until the shrimp are lightly browned and barely opaque, about 2 minutes.
Add the capers and cook for 30 seconds. Turn the shrimp and add the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley. Cover and cook over low heat for 4-5 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through and the sauce is slightly reduced. Transfer the shrimp mixture to a dish and spoon the sauce on top. Add a sprinkle of the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley and serve. Enjoy with some crusty whole wheat bread or rice.
Tonight is a Thursday and I start to get a little lazy by Thursday. I was pretty busy today and wanted to buy some specialty items at Trader Joe’s so I thought I would try to find dinner items there as well. I came across some pasteurized and packaged crab in the refrigerated section and decided I would make crab cakes and arugula (rocket) salad for dinner. Easy enough! Maybe throw in a hunk of garlic bread for my almost-teenage son (he is difficult to fill up lately!). I have been making crab cakes in the oven for years, but I keep trying slightly new recipes. I am not a fan of mayo, so I always use non-fat plain greek yogurt in it’s place, although I have experimented with leaving the yogurt out as well, I think the crab needs that moisture, so today I am leaving it in. One can also pan fry them, they may be better, but you have to be willing to use a little more oil with that method.
2 green or spring onions, green part only finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, finely chopped
2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt (I used non-fat)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
dash of paprika
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 large egg , lightly beaten
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 1/3 cups Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
1 pound lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed (today I used some I bought from Trader Joe’s in a refrigerated package, when it is available I use fresh crab, but today I used what is quick and easy – it is Thursday)
Canola oil or cooking spray
Quick Cocktail Sauce
1/2 cup of organic ketchup
2 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon lemon juice
dash of hot sauce
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a medium sized bowl mix the first 11 ingredients together (red bell pepper through egg yolk). Add 1/3 cup of the Panko to the mix and put the other cup of Panko in a shallow bowl to use later to coat the patties. Add the crab and mix the ingredients thoroughly.
Shape the mixture into 8 patties and set on a plate. If you have time put the patties in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (you can make cocktail sauce and a salad while they sit in the fridge!). This helps them to firm up a bit, but will be ok either way.
If you are making cocktail sauce, just mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Easy! I probably add a lot more horseradish, but I like it spicy!
Remove crab cakes from the fridge. Lightly dredge in the reserved Panko. Place Panko-crusted crab cakes on a pan lightly coated with cooking spray or oil of choice. Bake for 15 minutes on each side or until golden on each side. Serve with cocktail sauce or sauce of choice. I also made a simple salad with arugula, sliced cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and very thin shavings of parmigiano Reggiano cheese with a light lemony vinaigrette. Enjoy!
This is pretty much a straight-up Food and Wine/Andrew Zimmern recipe. Really easy and really flavorful! Original recipe included 2 scallions, thinly sliced and did not include the mushrooms or avocado (or sometimes tomatoes) that I added. I think some grilled shrimp or hardboiled egg would be really good in this as well. I served this with Quick Brined Roasted Salmon with Lemon Garlic Oil and some simple brown Jasmine rice. Very easy and delicious meal. My son could not get enough of the salmon and the salmon’s savory sauce.
I haven’t written for over two weeks and I am feeling bad about that. Sorry! Life has been quite busy, so that is part of the reason but the other reason is that my dear husband gave me a week-long class at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa as a holiday gift and I went to my classes last week. Such an amazing program! I went to the Basic Training Boot Camp and I feel like I learned a lot about the “why” we do certain things when we are cooking. I also learned many traditional French techniques, that I still need a lot of work to master and I am interested in tweaking to make the dishes more healthy.
Unfortunately I didn’t use my new skills/knowledge for today’s dinner. It was a very spontaneous choice as I was at the Grocery store and saw lobster tails on sale and decided that it was hard to pass up lobster, so I bought a few and made up a simple Asian-style sauce to put on them. Very simple and quick. I served it with some kale chips (which I thought I posted here but apparently I have not so you can get the recipe on my Medium site-I will have to post it on Word Press in the future) and a little leftover chicken soup from yesterday. Yum!
Very flavorful and simple lobster recipe that can come together quickly on a weeknight.
Unfortunately I didn’t really measure my sauce ingredients so they are very approximate – use your judgement with the quantities.
1/4 cup Mirin
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely grated or minced
fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons light sweet miso
4-8 lobster tails (their size can vary so much!)
fresh ground pepper
small drizzle of olive oil (or sesame oil for a stronger flavor)
In a very small sauce pan mix the Mirin, soy sauce, and ginger and then bring to a boil.
Turn down to simmer and reduce the sauce in half so it is thickened.
Take sauce off the heat and stir in the miso. Set aside.
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray.
With kitchen shears cut the lobster tail shells lengthwise through the top cutting through the shell but not through the lobster meat. Gently pry open the shell exposing the meat and gently loosen the lobster from the shell (but keep the meat in the shell).
Place the tails on the baking sheet meat side up. Sprinkle a little pepper and sauce on the tails and then cook in the oven for 7-8 minutes for very small lobster tails and up to 15 minutes for larger ones, or until the meat turns opaque and feels firm.
Serve the lobster with additional sauce and vegetables. Enjoy!