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.
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  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!!!

 

Pork Pot Stickers


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I cook many things at home because I am very curious.  And if something appeals to me I want to try it. But because my husband does not stray much from his favorite ( potato, pasta and German food), it is difficult to cook new things for him. So when there is something out there, different that he likes, I will jump on it and make it;-)

I love Asian Food, I love sushi and Thai. Since he will not eat sushi, we occasionally eat thai food though we have to really twist his arms and help him turn left to the Thai Place, and not to the right to his favorite German restaurant Gerhard’s:-)

There he will order two things, Pork Pot stickers and Beef Pasta stir fry.

I have not tried to fix the latter because the pasta are quite different and I am not sure that i could duplicate that, but since Pot Stickers are well liked at our house, I decided one day that I would try my hands at it. And I will say that they are so easy to make, yummy, really cheap and and and…………they can be frozen to be used at a later time;-)

If you try to make them, give your self some times because they will make a large bunch and it takes a bit of times to make the “ravioli”.

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Ingredients for about 80:

  • 1 bag of brocoli slaw
  • 12 oz or 1 pack of ground chicken, turkey or pork(today I used pork).
  • 3 tbsp of fresh ginger grated
  • 2 garlic cloves pressed
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper
  • 1 pack of wontons

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tsbp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil
  1. Steam the brocoli slaw according to directions, (or place it into the large round mold, place the octogonal silpat on top of that and cook it for 5 minutes.) Let it cool.
  2. When the brocoli is cold, chop it.
  3. Place it into  a large bowl, add the meat, all the other ingredients and mix well.photo 1
  4. Place the rectangular roulpat on your counter and lay as many wonton on it as you can. Place about a teaspoon  of the meat mixture in the middle of each wonton.photo 2
  5. With a silicone brush, wet the sides of each wonton with water and close the wontons to make a triangle.photo 4photo 3
  6. If you do decide to freeze them, place them flat on a large silpat that you would place on a large perforated sheet. Make sure that they are not touching or they will stick to one another and it will be impossible to separate them as they are very fragile.  Freeze them as such and when they are frozen, place them in a ziploc bag to keep for later use. 
  7. Place a large frying pan on the stove, melt one tbsp of butter and when the butter is sizzling, place as many wontons as you can in the pan.
  8. Sear them for a minute and then turn them.photo 5
  9. Throw 1/4 cup of water over the pot stickers and place the lid over them. Cook them for 5 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile prepare the sauce that goes with it.photo
  11. Eat while they are warm. photo 1

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Fast and Yummy Mango Smoothie


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Smoothies have never been a favorite of mine. Perhaps because they did not feel me enough, perhaps because they often looked complicated to make, and I never had all the ingredients to make them. Well it all changed this week. For some reason, my traditional breakfast did not suit with me this week. I did not feel like eating toast, or scrambled eggs or anything else really. But as a firm believer that breakfast should not be skipped, i scouted my fridge for something to eat. Fruits did not appeal to me… so what???? I had bananas getting brown and that’s when I decided that instead of wasting them, I could use them for a smoothie. I will tell you that I did not follow any recipe here, I just used what I had on hand and threw things here and there in my mixer.

Ingredients for 2 tall glasses:

  • 1 large banana
  • 1 mango ripe
  • 1 cup of milk ( almond, coconut or regular ) I used skim lactaid.
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar, or honey, or agave.
  1. Place all ingredients besides the sugar in a mixer.
  2. Pulse
  3. Add sugar if you deem it necessary
  4. You may add more milk if you wish to make your smoothie more liquid.

You can substitute any fruit to the mango. One day i used strawberries, another day I used blueberries.

The recipe makes 2 tall glasses, so you can either share with a person in your household ( i did with my daughter Lisa one day), or you can keep one for snacks ( I also did that several days in a row.) Thos smoothies are very filling, and I was fully satisfied ans satiated. Give it a try, it is a nice healthy option for breakfast. Now I am a smoothie addict;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Sun-Dried Tomato coated Salmon with Couscous


Life as a working mom can be a challenge at times, isn’t it true ladies? because once our first job is over then starts our second job at home. It is anything from driving kids to and fro school, to going grocery shopping, and / or of course cooking and cleaning. If my husband asks at times if he can pick up dinner to help me with my tasks, my answer is always no. No.. because I watch my diet too closely to blow it on pizza or hamburgers, and no because I rather fix something that is healthy even it is quick and easy. This recipe is super easy. It may not be for everyone, but I enjoyed mine a lot.. then again, I loooooove fish;-)

Ingredients for 4: 4 tbsp of sun-dried tomatoes, 2 tbsp of fresh basil chopped, 4 tbsp of nuts ( I used pine nuts), 2 tsbp of dried onion, 2 tsbp of brown sugar, salt and pepper. 1 cup of water, 1 cup of chicken broth, 1 cup of semolina couscous, 1 tsp of paprika, 1 tsp of dried minced onion, 1/2 ts of garlic powder, 1 tsp of dried parsley,  1 tbsp of olive oil. salt and pepper, 4 tbsp of pine nuts.

Utensils: 1 large round mold, octogonal silpat, medium-sized perforated sheet, and medium-sized silpat, saute pan.

In a small chopper, place 4 tbsp of sun-dried tomatoes, 2 tbsp of fresh basil chopped, 4 tbsp of nuts ( I used pine nuts), 2 tsbp of dried onion, 2 tsbp of brown sugar and chop well until all the ingredients are well-blended. Place the salmon filet on the silpat, sprinkle salt and pepper and cover the filet with the sun-dried tomato “paste”. Cook in a warm oven at 375 for 8-10 minutes. While the salmon is cooking, place the couscous, water, broth, and the other ingredients ( 1 tsp of paprika, 1 tsp of dried minced onion, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp of dried parsley, 1/8 tsp of salt, and  1/16 tsp of pepper) in the large round mold. Cover with the octogonal silpat and cook for 5 minutes. When the couscous is cooked, fluff it up with a fork and add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Place a saute pan on a warm stove ( medium heat), and add the pine nuts. Saute the pine nuts until they become brown and golden. Keep stirring to prevent scorching.  Mix the pine nuts to the couscous. Et voila!

To serve, place the couscous on a plate and place the salmon on top. C’est tout!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Lemon and Garlic Pan Saute Trout with Dill Haricots Verts


Today is my youngest child’s birthday. He turned 14. We had chosen not to celebrate his birthday with a big family dinner since we had 2 family birthday parties this week-end already, and he had marching band rehearsal until 6:45. I really felt bad to postpone his birthday until next Sunday so I wanted to make sure that he would at least eat something he would love. So this morning, i inquired him about his wishes for dinner. Guess what he answered;-)….. “I don’t know” That’s what he said. Well, now I had to figure out what to cook. And I chose to prepare caesar’s salad, spaghetti carbonara and chocolate cake for them…So now that their meal was chosen, all I had to do is figure out my meal. And my answer came when I saw those good looking fresh trout filet at Publix this evening. Yum!!!

I love trout. It is very mild in taste and if prepared properly does not have a fishy taste. I love its meat. It is very fine and delicate. The fish is so thin that it requires very little cooking time. Great advantage when you are trying to fix two dinners at once ( like me). The best part of this fish is that it requires no frills. It is such a good fish, that just flash saute with a little bit of butter and parsley is enough! But what to fix with it… Haricots verts seemed like a great addition!

Ingredients ( for 1 person): 1 trout filet, garlic salt to taste, 1 tbsp of butter, half of a lemon.

Pat dry the trout filet with a paper towel, and sprinkle garlic salt and pepper on either side. Turn your stove to medium high. In a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter and let it sizzle. When the butter is browning, place the trout skin up in the pan. Saute the trout for 1-2 minutes until it goldens. Flip the trout and saute it for 1-2 minutes again until the skin is becoming brown and crispy. Squeeze half of a lemon all over the trout. Lower the temperature to low- medium, and cover the frying pan with a lid. Keep it covered for 1-2 minutes until the trout is cooked through, and the meat has turned to white ( and is no longer pink). Be careful not to overcook.

Lemon and Dill Haricots Verts: 1 bag of haricots verts, 1 tsp of lemon dill demarle herb mix, salt to taste.

While the trout is cooking, place the haricots  verts in the large fleximold, cover with the octogonal silpat and cook for 3 minutes. When the beans are cooked, add 1 tsp of lemon/ dill Demarle herb mix,  1/2 tsp of olive oil, and salt to taste to the beans and mix well.

To serve, place the dill haricots vert on the side of the plate, and place the trout filet on the other side. For decoration, slice very thin slice of lemon and place atop the fish. Not bad for a dinner cooked in less than 5 minutes:-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

The Healthy Chicken Tenders…


Do you have children? What do they like to eat? if your children are like mine, they probably like to eat pizzas, hamburgers, chicken, and pasta … basically everything that is not good for them…

Since I am a bit of healthy freak, I try to find ways to prepare food that is closed to what they want to eat, and chicken tenders is one of those food;-)

Since I was having lamb myself, and it wasn’t anything they wanted to eat, I had to come up with an alternative for them so I thought why not fix that healthy recipe of chicken tender I had seen in the “eat clean diet magazine”. This recipe is super easy, and I am certain your children would love it.

Ingredients: 3 chicken tenderloins per person, or one chicken breast per person cut in thin strips, 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of bread crumbs ( flavored or not), 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of parmesan, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 small onion diced thinly, 1 garlic clove crushed, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1/2 tsp of italian seasoning.

First prepare the sauce that will accompany the chicken. In a medium saucepan, add the olive oil and turn the heat to medium. Add the onion, and sizzle them until they become golden. Then add the garlic and stir. Add the italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste,  and stir again. Add the tomatoes, stir well and bring to boil. After it boiled, reduce the temperature to low heat and let the sauce simmer. If you think the sauce is too tart, add 1 tbsp of granulated sugar.

While the sauce is simmering, prepare the chicken. Take all 3 bowls. In one bowl, place the flour, in another one the eggs that you would have beaten, and in another one the parmesan and the breadcrumbs. Dip each strip of chicken first in the flour, then in the eggs, and finally in the bread/ parmesan mixture, and lay each strip on the silpat.

Cook the chicken tenders in a warm oven of 375 for 10 minutes.

To eat, serve the tomato sauce in individual bowls, and let your guest dip their chicken in the sauce.

You may serve this meal with any sides. My chidren had raviolis…

I hope you will give it a try…

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!

The Right Meal for YOU!!!!


Wouldn’t you like to learn to cook a quick, and easy meal that is also delicious and beautiful in appearance. Well, I hope your answer is “YES!!!!”.

So I invite you all to come to my cooking class this Thursday night to learn to cook:

  • Mozzarella and Tomato Caprese
  • Delight Ginger chicken
  • Rice Pilaf
  • Dill  Green Beans
  • and Summer Fruit Tartlets…
Doesn’t it sound amazing?! Now, what if I told you that preparing such a gourmet dinner would not take you more than 30 minutes… Are you sold yet?
So come on to my house this Thursday to learn to prepare such a delicious meal. Just let me know so I will know how much to prepare for at 864-494-4494 or e-mail me at Cecile.cuisine@yahoo.com
BYOB
Free for first time attendees ( $25 otherwise. Fee will be waived if an order is placed)