June 25, 2020

Golden Orzo with Mushrooms and Kale


All I can say to this Golden Orzo dish is: Hello Lover!

I am currently eating the leftovers of this wonderful orzo dish, as I post this, and dare I say it? It tastes even better! You can definitely make this ahead of time, the savory flavors become more pronounced and they marry together even more.  For some reason, orzo is a comfort food for me.  There is something so satisfying about eating it out of a big bowl with a spoon.  I still love and make my favorite Creamy Orzo Dish, but I already know this will become a fast favorite.

This is such a satisfying dish to eat.  The texture of the kale mixed into the perfectly cooked orzo pasta is perfection.  Everything ends up tasting incredible - this packs a huge flavor punch even though it is so SO simple. I whipped this up in about 20 minutes so it's the perfect weeknight side dish!

Ingredients: 

1/2 Yellow Onion, Diced
1 Cup Mushroom, Diced
3 Cloves Garlic, Sliced
2 Tablespoons Butter + 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
3 Cups Kale, Chopped
4 Cups Cooked Orzo {about 1/2 box}
1/4 Cup Chicken Broth {or vegetable broth, for a vegan option!}
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Sage
Salt and Pepper to Taste


{^Start by dicing, chopping and slicing your onion, mushrooms and garlic.}



{^To a large hot skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter and olive oil.}


{^Next, add in the onion, mushrooms and garlic.}


{^Saute over medium high heat for about 4 minutes, or until the veggies start to sweat.  Season with salt, pepper and the crushed red pepper flakes.}

{^Continue cooking for about 2 minutes more until the veggies are golden brown and toasty, being careful not to burn the garlic.  Continuously stir until everything is evenly brown.}



{^Next, add in your kale. Mix to evenly coat each piece of kale with the butter/oil/toasted onion/garlic/mushroom mixture. Saute for about 3-4 minutes or just until the kale starts to wilt.}


{^Add in your cooked orzo. Make sure you cook it al dente, per the directions on the box.  For mine, that meant for exactly 7 minutes. You want your orzo to have some bite!  Continue mixing to evenly distribute the orzo throughout.}


{^Add your chicken broth and let it sizzle and reduce for about a minute.}


{^Stir and let this saute for about 2 minutes, scraping up any golden bits from the bottom of the pan.}


{^Now it's time to add more flavor.  Add in the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, ground sage, salt and a few good shakes of ground black pepper.  This combination of flavors will add a savory profile that will take this plain orzo the NEXT LEVEL!}


{^Mix well to combine and taste for additional seasoning. Continue to stir and saute until everything is golden and delicious.  I love the rich, golden, toasty color that the orzo takes on.}


{^Serve right away with the protein of your choice.  A beautiful filet of lemon pepper sauteed salmon was the perfect accompaniment to mine last night! This is seriously a restaurant quality dish, I was blown away.} 


{^When you look up "The Perfect Bite" in the dictionary.  It's the texture of the kale for me. :)  I hope you love this as much as I do.}

xoxo, thanks for reading and sharing! 









June 16, 2020

Magical Shrimp Rolls with Peanut Soy Dipping Sauce


When I tell you that these shrimp rolls that I am going to show you how to make are a complete flavor explosion, please trust that I am saying that with NO exaggeration whatsoever! The way the flavors danced around in my mouth when I dipped these magical shrimp rolls into the accompanying peanut soy dipping sauce, just cannot be explained.  LOL!! 

And the good news for you is: these are super duper easy to make so you, too, can experience the flavor explosion that you so very much deserve.  

Here's the step-by-step:

Ingredients:

For the Shrimp Rolls

1 Teaspoon Avocado Oil (or Olive Oil)
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
5 Green Onions, Chopped
2 1/2 Cups Shredded Cabbage and Carrot Mix (Coleslaw)
1/2 Cup Shredded Purple Cabbage
8 Large Uncooked Shrimp, Chopped
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Fish Sauce
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Egg Roll Wrappers
1 egg + a splash of water (the "glue" for the wrappers)
Oil for frying - I use peanut oil

For the Peanut Soy Dipping Sauce

1 Tablespoon Creamy Peanut Butter
1 Tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
2 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Rice Vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
2 Green Onions, Chopped
Black Pepper to taste




{Here's everything needed for the shrimp rolls.  These few ingredients pack a large punch!}



{Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the tablespoon of avocado oil and teaspoon of sesame oil. Sauté for 2 minutes to release the flavors of the onion.}


{Next add the shredded cabbage and carrot mix and purple cabbage. Mix and saute for a minute more.}




{Chop the shrimp into small pieces and add to the cabbage/onion mixture.}


{Season with the soy sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper.}


{Saute for about 2 minutes until the shrimp are just cooked through.  Remove from the heat and stir in the fish sauce.}


{Add the shrimp and cabbage mixture to a foil lined baking sheet and put it in the fridge to cool while you make the peanut soy dipping sauce.}



{To a microwave safe bowl, add your peanut butter and microwave for 15 seconds to soften.}


{To that same bowl, add the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, brown sugar, black pepper, garlic powder and chopped green onion.}



{Mix it well and set aside. This is such a yummy and flavorful sauce! It would even be good as a salad dressing!}


{Ok, almost there.  Now it's time to start making the shrimp rolls. Add 1 egg and a splash of water to a small bowl and mix.  This will be the "glue" for your rolls.}


{1. Start with the egg roll wrapper in a diagonal direction, with a pointed end towards you.  Brush all sides with some of the beaten egg/water mixture.  2. Fold the corner facing you up and over the filling.  3. Fold in one side. 4. Then the other. 5 Roll it up toward the top corner.  6. Continue to roll until it is sealed.}



{Rolled and ready for frying!}


{Heat some frying oil in a large pan.  You want about 2 inches of oil for these.  If you try and deep fry them, they will rotate as they fry and will not brown evenly.  I learned that the hard way. LOL}



{Fry for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until they are beautiful and golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately!}


Serve with that amazing peanut soy dipping sauce that you made and whatever other sauce you have on hand.  I also had a store bought sweet chili sauce and some Chinese hot mustard.  Perfection!




{Look at that crunchy goodness. These are so savory and delicious, every single bite was delightful.}


{And with this sauce?!? Next level yumminess!}


{Dip baby DIP! I can't stop thinking of all the yummy rolls I want to make now.}

xoxo, thanks for reading and sharing! 




May 23, 2020

How to Make the Best Potato Salad



The summertime staple.  The picnic superstar.  The Sunday dinner companion.  Behold: POTATO SALAD. Admittedly, this recipe was a little tough to write out as I don't accurately measure the ingredients when I make my potato salad. But that's really the reality of a GOOD potato salad.  You have to kind of wing it and mix the ingredients until you get the right consistency and taste.  Especially since potato size varies so much with each batch. The key is to make a dressing before mixing in any of the other ingredients into the bowl with the potatoes.  That way you can control the "wetness" of the mixture. The last thing you want is a loose and runny potato salad.  

Here are a few of my cardinal rules for making GOOD potato salad:
  1.  This is the only time you will EVER hear me say this... but...If it ain't white, it ain't right! LOL No bright yellow potato salad, PLEASE! If it's too yellow, that means that there has been way too much mustard added and that's just not ok.
  2. A good potato salad should cling to the fork when it's turned upside down.  If it slides off, it's too runny, which means too much mayo was added.
  3. Your veggies should be MINCED. I use a mini food processor to ensure this. There should be no huge chunks of crunchy veggies in potato salad. 
  4. Sugar is NOT an optional ingredient. There has to be some sweetness added to balance the vinegar.
  5. Hellman's mayonnaise is the BEST. 
Now keep in mind - every single person who makes potato salad makes it differently. So this is just my yummy recipe that we love and devour every single time. :) 

Whew! Now that we got that out the way, here's the recipe:

Ingredients
6 Medium Yellow Potatoes, Diced 
1/2 Yellow Onion, Minced
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, Minced
1 Stalk Celery, Minced
3 Eggs, Boiled and Grated
1 Cup Hellman's Mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons Sweet Relish, Drained
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Heaping Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Seasoned Salt
1 Teaspoon Celery Seed
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Paprika for Garnish




{The simple line up of ingredients.}


{Peel your potatoes and cut them into uniform bite size pieces, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Add them to a pot of cold, salted water and boil until they are soft and tender. Simultaneously boil the eggs so that they are ready when the potatoes are.}


{When the potatoes are soft (but not too mushy!} remove from the pot and drain.  Put them on a foil lined cookie sheet in a single layer. Put the tray in the refrigerator until the potatoes are chilled.}




{Meanwhile, mince the onion, green bell pepper and celery.  I use my mini food processor!}


{Next, shred or chop the boiled eggs. I use a cheese grater. :)}


{To a large bowl, add the chilled potatoes, shredded egg and minced veggies.}



{In a separate bowl, make the dressing by adding the mayonnaise, relish, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, sugar, seasoned salt, celery seed. Mix well to combine.}


{Gradually add the dressing to the potato, egg, veggie mixture until well combined and the texture is chunky and comes together nicely. Depending on the size of the potatoes, this may be too much mixture or not enough.  If you need more dressing, make more. If you don't need it all, that's fine! This is why we add the dressing gradually, so you can control the moisture. :)}



{Perfection!! Taste for salt and pepper, or anything else you think it needs! The texture is perfect, it's so flavorful - perfectly sweet and salty.  Absolutely delish, I hope you try this one ...it's a keeper.}


Add to a serving dish and sprinkle with paprika for garnish. This is exactly what your summer needs! :) Enjoy! 

xoxo, thanks for reading!