French Salad with Lemon Flavored Oven Roasted Salmon


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What do you eat when you are not very hungry, you do not really want to cook, but you are trying to be really good??? Most people would say cereals, some people would say popcorn and some would say salad. It is not very often that I don’t want to cook, but with the beautiful days coming, I have been more keen on reading my book in the sun, than spending time in my kitchen. Still one has to eat, and since we don’t generally eat out, or order out, someone ( me) has to cook. Last night was meat salad and pan roasted potatoes for my husband, and salad and salmon for me- good, easy and satisfying;-)

Ingredients for 1-2 person:

  • 1 petite filet of salmon ( fresh or frozen that you would have thawn out)
  • 1 small head of boston lettuce
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 -1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp of strong mustard ( grey poupon or even stronger)
  • 1/16 tsp of pepper
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • lemon
  1. Place the salmon on a pan. Here we will be using either the deep flexipan or the medium silpat that we would have placed on the medium perforared sheet.
  2. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and drizzle a bit of lemon juice over the salmon. Cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes ( depending on how you like it).
  3. Meanwhile rinse the salad, and prepare the salad dressing. In a small bowl, mix all together the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper and stir well so that it will thicken ( yes this is the true French dressing ( not that yucky orange looking dressing that we sell here;-(
  4. Add the salad to the dressing and toss well.
  5. Then add the salmon that you would have cut in smaller pieces.
  6. Toss again and serve. Yum!! A real delight, fresh, light and tasty;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

French Salad with Lemon Flavored Oven Roasted Salmon

  • Servings: 1-2 people
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 1-2 person:

  • 1 petite filet of salmon ( fresh or frozen that you would have thawn out)
  • 1 small head of boston lettuce
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 -1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp of strong mustard ( grey poupon or even stronger)
  • 1/16 tsp of pepper
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • lemon
  1. Place the salmon on a pan. Here we will be using either the deep flexipan or the medium silpat that we would have placed on the medium perforated sheet.
  2. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and drizzle a bit of lemon juice over the salmon. Cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes ( depending on how you like it).
  3. Meanwhile rinse the salad, and prepare the salad dressing. In a small bowl, mix all together the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper and stir well so that it will thicken ( yes this is the true French dressing ( not that yucky orange looking dressing that we sell here;-(
  4. Add the salad to the dressing and toss well. Then add the salmon that you would have cut in smaller pieces.
  5. Toss again and serve. Yum!! A real delight, fresh, light and tasty;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Bite-size Spicy Surimi Crab Salad


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I love, love sushi but my family besides my son does not like it at all. So at default of going to a sushi restaurant, I often buy some sushi at the Fresh market for Lunch. My top favorite is Spicy tuna, Spicy shrimps and Spicy crab salad in Fried Tofu. It is outstanding!!!

One week, I craved that one so much that I actually purchased it three days in a row. It is not that expensive, but more than I really want to keep on spending so one day I just asked the Sushi Chef what he used to make the spicy sauce so that I too could make it at home. So now instead of buying it one,  i can fix it myself at home as often as I want to eat it. Yeah!!!!

Ingredients for 12-15 bite size Appetizers:

  • 1 pack on wontons
  • olive oil to spray
  • 1 pack of Surimi Crab ( 8 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp of sriracha sauce ( You can also substitute the mayo and the sriracha sauce with 1/4 cup of sriracha mayo found in the Asian Aisle of your supermarket)
  • 2 avocados cut and diced thinly
  • 1 small can of candied ginger
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Turn the oven to 400.Place the mini muffin tray onto a medium perforated sheet.
  2. Place one wonton in each mini muffin indentation, and push the wonton down so that it will lay flat.photo 1
  3. Spray some olive oil and cook them for about 5-7 minutes or until they are golden brown.photo 2
  4. Chop the crab, add the mayonnaise and the sriracha sauce and mix well. Set aside.
  5. Dice the avocado very thinly and season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  6. Now it is time to assemble. In each wonton cup, place a bit of the diced avocado,photo 3
  7. then spoon the spicy crab salad and top it all with a bit of ginger.photo 4
  8. Et voila!!!

 Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

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Bite-Size Spicy Surimi Crab Salad

  • Servings: 3-5
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for 12-16 bite size Appetizers:

  • 1 pack on wontons
  • olive oil to spray
  • 1 pack of Surimi Crab ( 8 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp of sriracha sauce ( You can also substitute the mayo and the sriracha sauce with 1/4 cup of sriracha mayo found in the Asian Aisle of your supermarket)
  • 1 avocado cut and diced thinly
  • 1 small can of candied ginger
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Turn the oven to 400. Place the mini muffin on top of the medium perforated sheet.
  2. Place one wonton in each mini muffin indentation and push the wonton down so that it will be flat.
  3. Spray some olive oil and cook them for about 5-7 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  4. Chop the crab, add the mayonnaise and the sriracha sauce and mix well. Set aside.
  5. Dice the avocado very thinly and season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  6. Now it is time to assemble it. In each wonton cup, place a bit of the diced avocado, then spoon the spicy crab salad and top it all with a bit of ginger. Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Cute Small Caesar Salad Cups


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I love desserts, yummy scrumptious desserts. You probably figured out that from a few of my blog entries. But I also like to eat healthy because I feel better if I do, and i can still fit in my clothes that are 10 years old ( provided I still wear them, right???).

So when I offer cooking classes, I like to do the same. I like to offer recipes that are easy to make, pretty, yummy and healthy ( though sometimes they are not, and that is okay too. )

For one of the latest cooking class, i decided to make those caesar salad cups because they were different, and they presented vegetables in a fun way.

The idea of using bread as a pie shell came from one of the book from Martha Stewart. She is so creative!!!

Ingredients for 20 mini cups ( for about 6-5 people):

  • 1 1/4 romaine salad
  • 1/4 cup of caesar salad dressing. I used Creamy Caesar Salad dressing from Hidden Valley, but you can make your own. Recipe here.
  • 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese ( plus a bit more for sprinkling for decoration)
  • 1 loaf of sandwich bread of about 20 oz. ( or exactly 20 slices.
  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Cut each slice into a round of 3 inch. Place each round of bread in each indentation of the medium tartlet or the medium tartlet silform that you would have placed on a medium perforated sheet.
  3. Cook the tartlet for 6-8 minutes or until they are golden.photo 1
  4. Meanwhile, chop the salad very thinly.photo 3
  5. Add the dressing and the parmesan and mix well.
    photo 4
  6. When the cups of bread are cooked, and completely cold, fill them up with the salad mixture.
  7. Sprinkle a bit of parmesan for decoration and enjoy!photo 5

Cute, yummy and guilt free since it is salad;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Caesar Salad


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My daughter loves, loves caesar salad. She loves it so much, in fact, that every time we eat out ( which is not that often;-) she orders a caesar salad as an appetizer.

In all the years that she has asked for them, I have come to realize what a good caesar salad is. A good salad is not one that has chopped romaine lettuce, croutons,  shredded parmesan and caesar dressing. Everybody can do that!!!

A good caesar salad needs to have a real caesar dressing made from scratch!!!

Gerhard’s cafe, here in Spartanburg makes his from scratch and it is fabulous. My brother-in-law also makes a good one. I actually learned to make my dressing from him. Though in 20 years, my recipe may have changes a bit from his.

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Ingredients for 4-6 people:

  •  1/2 tsp of anchovy paste
  •  1/2 tsp of dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove minced or pressed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/16 tsp of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp of grated parmesan
  • salt to taste ( you may need any as the anchovies are salty
  • 2 heads of romaine salad, rinsed, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup or more of croutons
  • 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan
  1. In a large bowl, mix the garlic, anchovy paste, egg, lemon juice, and pepper together.
  2. In a slow stream pour the olive oil slowly in this mixture while whisking the dressing. Whisk until the dressing is thickening.
  3. Add the parmesan to the dressing and whisk.
  4. Add more salt, pepper or lemon juice if you deem necessary.
  5. Add the chopped salad and toss.
  6. Add the croutons, the shredded parmesan and toss again.
  7. Serve on individual plates and eat up;-)

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So easy and so yummy!!!

This salad dressing will only keep for 1-2 day as the yolk is fresh and not cooked!!! Do not keep longer!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Portobello Pizza


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I love mushrooms, but neither of my children like them so it is not often that i will have them for dinner. Sometimes I will fix sautéed mushrooms as a side to my dinner, but more so in the winter.

Two days ago however, one of my customer, asked me to do a cooking class for her friends and asked that I do a vegetarian menu. She even suggested that I presented a recipe of Portobello mushroom as the “main entrée”. I love Portobello mushroom but i never ever thought to fix them at home until them  and had no clue what I was going to do.

I guess I could have gone to a cookbook, or search for a recipe but instead i decided to duplicate a dish that was once my favorite: Gerhard’s Cafe Portobello Pizza. I said that this was once my favorite because they stopped offering this wonderful appetizer a few years ago.

I tried to remember what was on his pizza and tried to come up with something similar. What I came up is very very similar. I hope that you will enjoy this. It has been my lunch for a couple of days now and I am loving it;-)

Ingredients for 1:

  • 1 Portobello mushroom
  • 1 Roma tomato sliced very thinly
  • 1 tbsp of fresh basil chopped thinly
  • 1/3 cup of grated feta cheese
  • 1 tbsp of mediterranean vinegar from Demarle
  • 1 tbsp of basil olive oil
  • 1/16 tsp of salt
  • 1/32 tsp of pepper
  1. With a dry paper towel, wipe the mushroom clean.
  2. Place the mushroom face up on a silpat that you would have placed on a perforated sheet, or on a flexipat if you are fixing more than one.
  3. Place the tomatoes on top of the mushroom as shown below.photo 1
  4. Disperse the chopped basil over the tomatoes.
  5. Add the cheese.photo 2
  6. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and drizzle this on top  of the mushroom.
  7. Cook the mushroom in a warm oven of 400 for 15 minutes.
  8. Eat as soon as it comes out of the oven, as an entrée or appetizer. YUM!!!photo

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Mixed Green Salad


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I get so busy that sometimes putting food on the table can be a challenge. This past Monday was one of those days. I was out running errands when I got a text saying:” what’s for dinner?” I am not one that likes to eat out, or order out so i rushed home to cook dinner, an easy and fast dinner: Quiche Lorraine and Salad. But I get so bored with salad, that i tried to search for things to put in it. And this is what I came up with. Doesn’t it look pretty???;-)

Ingredients for 4:

  • 1/2 box of aragula
  • 1 fresh corn or a small box of corn
  • 1/4 cup of shredded carrots
  • 4 fresh asparagus
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes halves
  • 2 tbsp of balsalmic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1/16 tsp of pepper
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Set aside
  2. Trim the asparagus, then cut them in about 1/4″ pieces. Set aside.
  3. Place the corn in the large round mold, place the octogonal silpat on top of the round mold and cook it for 2 minutes. Cook, then trim the corn of the cobb.
  4. Add all the vegetables to the bowl where the dressing was made and toss the salad. Serve on individual plates with a piece of Quiche Lorraine.

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Arugula, Pineapple and Teriyaki Chicken Salad


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If you read my previous posts, you may have seen the red curry Shrimps that I posted. Well I enjoyed that recipe so much that I decided to fix another curry dish a few days later. Except that that time I wanted to use green curry, sweet potato and pineapple. It was almost as good.

So why do I even mentioned this in my post, because the reason I made this salad is because I wanted to use the pineapple I forgot to add to my curry dish. Silly me;-)

Ingredients for 2: 

  • 1 box of Baby arugula ( or about 5 oz.)
  •  5 oz. of fresh pineapple cut in cubes 
  • 1-2 chicken breast cooked with teriyaki sauce and sliced thinly
  • 4 tbsp of pralines broken in pieces

Dressing:photo

  • 1 tbsp  of rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of sesame seed oil
  • 1 tsp of ginger garlic seasoning from Costco
  1. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients mentioned above for the dressing and with a fork or a whisk, mix the dressing.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and toss well.
  3. Eat. Et voila;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

An Easy and Healthy Dinner Option: Spring Roll


I don’t know how people eat out everyday. Do they just pick up food and eat at home or they just eat out? I must be disorganized or something because I can’t seem to find the time to go out for dinner, do all that needs to be done at the house and have the kids do homework. As a result, I find it easier to pick up things at the grocery store and prepare my dinner while the kids are studying or are doing what is expected of them.
This evening I was in the mood for spring roll. They do require a bit of patience and a bit of organization but they are quite easy to make.

There are a few rules, however, that you should follow and this will provide you with success and not frustration;-).
1. Have all the ingredients chopped and sliced in small bowls around your working place.
2. Only soak 1 rice paper sheet at a time, or it will get too wet, too soggy and will rip.
3. Lay a wet paper towel on your working area so that the rice paper will not stick to the surface of your working area.

Ingredients for 4-6:

  • 12 Rice paper ( you will need one per spring roll)
  •  2 oz. of Rice noodle 
  • 60 Medium sized shrimp cooked and cut in half
  • A small head of Boston lettuce
  • 1 / 2 of English cucumber cut in very thin slices.
  • 2 carrots grated in julienne
  • Fresh mint

Peanut Dipping Sauce ( yields about 1 1/2 cup)

  •  1 Tbsp. of Low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Thai Red Curry past
  • 1/2 cup of Coarse Peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp of light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup of lower salt chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp of lime juice
  • 2 tbsp of hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 8 basil leaves minced

In a small saucepan, warm up the oil and add the curry. Cook the curry until it is starting to become fragrant. Add the peanut butter and cook until it is becoming a darker color. Then add the sugar and stir until it is caramelized. Add the coconut milk, broth, lime juice, hoisin sauce, fish sauce and mix well. Cook on medium temperature for about 20 minutes or until the mixture has reduced to half. Remove the sauce from the stove and add the basil. Et voila!

While the sauce is cooking, get ready to make the spring rolls. Pour some water in a small pot, add some salt, and bring to boil. When the water is boiling, add the rice noodles and cook for a few minutes or until they are pliable. When they are cooked, scoop them out with the colander and run some water over them so that they will not stick. Drain the water, transfer them to a bowl and set them aside. Prepare the rest of your ingredients and place them into bowls around your working area.

Whenever you are all ready. Place a soup plate near your working area, and add some lukewarm water. Also place a wet paper towel over your working area.

Place a rice paper into the plate and let it soak for a few seconds until it is soft.

Lay the rice paper onto the wet towel, and lay 6 shrimps halves.

 Cover the shrimp with one boston lettuce and fill the boston lettuce with cucumber, carrots, more shrimps, mint and rice noodles. Fold the boston lettuce onto itself ( it should not be thicker than 1 inch), fold the rice noodle onto the lettuce and roll it. Fold the sides and continue rolling and should have a tube like spring roll. Remove the spring roll from your working area, place it onto a tray that has also been covered with a wet paper towel. Repeat this process until you have used all rice paper.

Eat or devour with the sauce. YUM;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Arugula, Asian Pear, Asparagus, and Wasabi Soy Peas Salad


Yesterday I wanted to change things up, so i bought a flank steak for our dinner. Because neither my husband, not my daughter were fan of the meat ( they found it tough;-(, they only like beef tenderloin). I was left with a bit of meat left-over. So tonite I fixed myself this salad to accompany the cold flank steak meat I had left, and it made me feel so happy from inside and out.

Good looking food makes me happy, and if it tastes great and has the advantage to make me feel great, then it makes me even more happy from the inside. I loved the balance between the sweetness of the vinaigrette/the asian pear, the tartness of the arugula salad, and the spiciness of the wasabi soy bean. Un vrai delice!!!

Ingredients for  the salad for 2:

  • 4 handful or about 2 oz. of arugula salad
  • 4 fresh asparagus sliced in an angle with a potato peeler
  • 2-4 tbsp of wasabi coated peas ( whole, or broken in pieces)
  • 1/2 of an Asian pear

Ingredients for the dressing: 

  • 2 tbsp of champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of walnut oil
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup ( of good quality)
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1/16 tsp of pepper

First you will want to prepare all the ingredients that will go into the salad. With a potato peeler, slice in an angle the asparagus into small and thin strips. Set aside. Then cut the pear in half. Core the half that you will use. Then with a sharp knife, cut thin half slices out of the Asian Pear. Set aside.

Prepare the vinaigrette. In a large bowl, mix the walnut oil with the champagne vinegar. Then add the maple, salt and pepper and mix well to emulsify the vinaigrette ( or dressing) a bit.

Add the arugula salad to the bowl. Then add the sliced pears, sliced asparagus, and wasabi soy peas. You can add them as they are, but if you are worried about your teeth, then break them in pieces ( those things are quite hard)using a mortar. Toss the salad.

If you don’t have any left-over meat, but wish to have the same. Get a small flank steak. Place the flank steak on a plate. With a pastry brush, brush a little bit of olive oil on once side. Sprinkle salt, pepper and 1 tsp of green onion herb blend on that one side.

Place a frying pan on a stove and turn the heat to medium-high. In a large frying pan, melt 1 tbsp of butter. When the butter is sizzling, place the meat and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then with a fork, turn the meat. Brush olive oil, sprinkle salt, pepper and green onion herb bland and cook for another 2-3 minutes (5 to 7 minutes total for medium-rare). Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let it stand covered with foil for 5 minutes. Then slice very very thinly.

Serve on individual plates. Disperse the meat on top of the salad and eat up. So so yummy!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Salmon Ceviche


Ceviche and tartare are a bit similar in that they are dishes of raw meat or fish. The main difference between tartare and ceviche is that in ceviche, the raw meat or fish is cooked in citrus juice. However the difference is, both are wonderful for the hot summer days because they are easy recipes that require no cooking time, very few ingredients, and that are very very healthy.

Ceviche and tartare are even more to me than a simple healthy recipe, they just make me happy inside and out. They probably do because they are made of only the best and the freshest ingredients. And even though they are very very healthy, they taste divine to my palate, and satisfy my hunger or my cravings for anything else. They are the perfect comfort food for me.

Tartare and Ceviche have found their common place on French menu. Here in the USA, however, they are almost nonexistent, unless you go to more urban cities. I love ceviche and tartare but do not fix them often as it is difficult to buy small filet of fish. I had been cravings to eat ceviches, but never found the time to prepare it until this evening.

Recipe for 3-4: 1 filet of salmon of about 12 oz., 250 gr. or about 9 oz of smoked salmon, 1 lime, 1 inch of fresh ginger, 1/3 of a long european cucumber, 2 tbsp of olive oil, sea salt, pepper, 2 tbsp of shaved red onion.

Remove the skin from the salmon and trim the salmon of any nerves, and darker parts. Cut the salmon in 1/2 inches strips, and then cut the strips into tiny squares. Chop the smoked salmon. Place both the diced salmon and the chopped smoked salmon in a large bowl. Peel, shave and chop the cucumber very thinly and place it with the salmon. Zest the lime, press the juice of the lime and empty both into the bowl with the salmon. Peel the ginger and grind it into the salmon also. Add the shaved red onion, 2 tbsp of olive oil, a dash of salt and pepper and stir so that all the ingredients are well- blended. Taste to see if more salt and pepper need to be added. Place the mixture into the fridge and let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour.

Serve as it, or with cucumber slices. C’est tout!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!