Category: Appetizer

Sorghum, Lentil and Brie Salad with Orange Maple Vinaigrette

Sorghum, Lentil and Brie Salad with Orange Maple Vinaigrette – so yes, I know this is a mouthful, however I feel like each flavor is integral which is why I included all of these ingredients in the title.  I felt it was important to give you an idea of all the deliciousness that is packed into this mouth watering salad.  I must re-iterate…this salad is mouth watering.

First I need to start with what exactly sorghum is.  Up until about a month ago I had no idea that this grain even existed.  I came across an article when going through my Flipboard that was titled, “Could 2017 be the breakout year for home-grown ancient grain sorghum?”  I highly recommend reading it, the article is very informative and describes the many health benefits.  A brief run down is that this grain is gluten-free, non GMO, rich in fiber, protein, iron magnesium and B6.   Sorghum also has a delicious, slightly nutty flavor and I would compare the grain to Israeli couscous.

Sorghum has one major drawback – it takes a while to cook, one hour to be precise.  I usually cook this over the weekend while I am milling around the house and keep it in the fridge to eat for lunch or if I want to make this salad.  Generally I am in a mad rush with everything so if I don’t cook this ahead of time, this salad is not getting made.  That said, if the sorghum is cooked, this dish will come together in a flash.

Now down to business, the recipe.   The very start of the recipe begins with bacon.  Yum!

Giada De Laurentiis Turkey Larb Recipe

One of my favorite parts of cooking, besides of course eating, is to be able to recreate a delicious dish from a restaurant.  Even better is when I am able to make that dish just as good.  I recently was at a Thai restaurant where I tasted a Larb dish that was spectacular.  In an effort to recreate this dish I perused the internet and came across  Giada De Laurentiis Turkey Larb recipe.

The Larb I ate at this restaurant was savory, spicy and very fresh thanks to the addition of what seemed to be a generous amount of lime juice.  Once I came across Giada’s recipe I knew that I had a winner.  I loved how the ingredients were fresh, simple and my favorite part was the citrus based dressing which brings the perfect amount of tart freshness that I absolutely love.

While I have yet to perfect other Thai dishes such as Pad Thai and Panang Curry that are favorites, this Larb is super simple and delicious.  My deep love of Thai food will keep me on the hunt and working towards making the perfect Thai dish, however in the meantime this one is a keeper and one I will continue to make over and over.

Giada De Laurentiis Turkey Larb Recipe

1/3 cup fresh lime juice, from about 5 limes
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons fish sauce*
2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1/2 red onion, diced
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 (4-inch) piece lemongrass, minced (about 1/4 cup)*
1 Thai chile, such as prik kee noo, or 1 serrano chile, stemmed and thinly sliced*
Kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey, preferably dark meat
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated
1 cup brown rice (this is not part of Giada’s recipe, but I served mine with brown rice and loved it)

Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lemon juice, fish sauce and honey. Set aside.

Larb: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, shallots, lemongrass, chile, and salt, to taste. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the turkey and season with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat and vegetables are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the dressing to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mint. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Spoon the turkey mixture onto the lettuce leaves and arrange on a serving platter. Serve with sticky rice.


Creamy Coleslaw Recipe

Coleslaw.   My first recollection of this heavy and sometimes goopy salad was from Kentucky Fried Chicken.  I remember waiting for my Extra Crispy Kernel Sanders Chicken while watching my parents order sides of coleslaw along with the mashed potatoes and gravy.  I loved KFC (actually I still do when I am nursing a hangover) but I never understood the allure of their coleslaw, or any coleslaw for that matter – until now.

I developed a love of coleslaw while enjoying it fresh, crisp and when accompanied within a sandwich.  In particular in a hamburger or a pulled pork sandwich.  Something about the crisp, cold coleslaw served with the warm, luscious meat creates a flarvorful masterpiece.

I have adapted the recipe below from Bobby Flay’s recipe that can be found on the Food Network.  This is the best one I have ever tried and I hope you agree.

Perfect Creamy Coleslaw
adapted from Bobby Flay

1 head green cabbage, finely shredded
2 large carrots, finely shredded
3/4 cup best-quality mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons grated onion
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons celery salt
Salt and freshly ground pepper
For a southwest version, I add juice of 1 fresh lime and 1 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder to the mixture

Combine the shredded cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery salt, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl, and then add to the cabbage mixture. Mix well to combine and taste for seasoning; add more salt, pepper, or sugar if desired.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy Perfect Creamy Coleslaw, on a burger…

DSC_0015 DSC_0005

Gluten Free Fried Ravioli

My oldest son loves to cook and I love his love of cooking.  Between football and lacrosse, he is very busy, but always finds time to watch one of the many cooking shows that is regularly on in the background.

One weekend morning we were watching “The Kitchen” and the Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro made Fried Ravioli.  My son was intrigued and became insistent that he make a batch.  Since we have recently gone gluten free I purchased a package of Three Bridges 3 Cheese Ravioli, with hopes that the ravioli would be tasty.  Normally fried ravioli consists of flour and breadcrumbs, however I decided to use rice flour in place of the flour and toasted breadcrumbs from several slices of Udi’s bread and we were good to go.  Aside from helping out with the ingredients my son made these all on his own.  I am so proud of him in general, but this is just another example of his creative and fun personality that is always up to try something new.

Chicken Larb

Have you ever gone out to eat and had something so delicious that out of the blue you will find yourself fixating on the sheer deliciousness of that meal and you can’t stop thinking about it?  Well…I tend to get that way and the only way I know to satisfy the craving is to of course – honor it!

My husband and I went out to eat at a restaurant called Black Bottle that is located in Seattle.  They have a Chicken Larb on their menu that is super spicy and amazing!  My mouth waters just thinking about it.  I have to warn you that this recipe is spicy, however you can adjust the spiciness based on how much Sriracha you add.  I use a heavy hand which you can tell by the pictures but this recipe would be just as yummy if you used less.   I concocted my own recipe using soy sauce and worcestershire sauce in lieu of fish sauce because I didn’t have any.  If you do have fish sauce by all means use that option.

Do you have any favorite recipes that you concocted after visiting a restaurant?  I would love to hear about them!

Chicken Larb
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 c. coarsely chopped shallots
1 garlic clove
1 T.  fish sauce or 2 tsp. soy sauce + 1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
3T. sriracha (or to taste)
2 T. vegetable oil
Lettuce Leaves (for serving)
3 T. cashews, finely chopped

Combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. oil over and pulse until chicken is very finely chopped. Heat remaining  oil in a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium–high heat. Add chicken mixture and sauté, breaking up into small pieces with the back of a spoon, until chicken is starting to turn golden brown and is cooked through, about 6 minutes.

Place 2 lettuce leaves on each plate. Top leaves with chicken mixture, dividing evenly. Garnish with cashews and serve.