For Christmas Eve this year my sister-n-law and I decided to do something a little different…
In most Christmas comedy movies, the family ends up getting Chinese after the home cooked dinner goes wrong, so we decided let’s make our own Chinese dinner for Christmas Eve.
This homemade Asian Orange sauce is so easy! Make a tasty, quick and healthy dinner ready in under an hour, that you can use over fish or chicken!
This sauce has a delicious umami flavor and it’s full of ginger and garlic plus a little heat from the red chili paste. The best thing about making your own sauces and condiments is you can adjust the recipe to suit yourself.
Serve this fish with my Garlicky Ginger Green beans and white rice.
6 -4 oz. portions Grouper or white filets
6 Clove Garlic
1 tablespoon Ginger
½ teaspoon Red Chili Paste
¼ cup Orange marmalade
1 tablespoon Soy sauce, low sodium
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Olive oil
1 tablespoon Rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoon Sesame oil
Zest of one orange, for garnish
Green onions, for garnish
Cilantro, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
In a saucepan over medium high heat add orange marmalade, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar and paste. Stir until thoroughly combined and just beginning to boil. Set aside.
Add olive oil to an ovenproof frypan and turn to medium high heat. As it warms, pepper both sides of the fish and add to the frypan. Sauté fish 3-4 minutes until browned. Flip filets over and spoon about a tablespoon of sauce over each filet.
Place in the oven for 5-6 minutes until the fish flakes easily.
The Mediterranean flavors of fennel, garlic, and rosemary are perfect with chicken. The fennel and chicken are sautéed and then briefly braised in a chicken wine broth, which becomes a tasty light sauce.
Want to cook with wine? Always! Adding wine to a sauce makes it taste like it’s from a fancy restaurant…but it’s easy to make at home! The flavor is tangy from the wine and savory from the fennel rosemary, and garlic. It’s a perfect combination!
Why cook with wine? Italian and French style recipes often call for white wine in the ingredient list. It’s used to deglaze the pan or add a complex, acidic flavor to dishes. It adds incredible complexity to risotto or pan sauces like this dish!
What wine to use for cooking? You can use any dry white wine for this recipe. You’ll want a crisp white wine that doesn’t have any hint of sweetness. A few types of white wine that are great for cooking are:
Making a white wine sauce is easier than you think! It might sound fancy. But it takes just 15 minutes to whip up with a short list of ingredients.
So grab a bottle of your favorite dry white wine, pour yourself a glass and let’s get cooking!
The fennel and the rosemary will pair especially nicely with a full-bodied red wine such as Scout & Cellar’s ETNICO PINOT NOIR. Elegant and bright with black cherry, pomegranate, herbs, and a hint of turned earth on a light-bodied frame with a lingering finish.
In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan with 1 teaspoon of rosemary and cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until almost done, about 3 minutes longer. Remove chicken and set aside. We will finish cooking the chicken in the broth in the oven.
Deglaze the pan. Pour 2 tablespoons of wine in the pan, scrape the bottom with a wooden spatula vigorously as the liquid comes to a boil. Do not let it boil for more than a few seconds and you make sure you’ve released all the particles from the pan.
Add butter and melt. Add fennel, 1 teaspoon of the rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the fennel is golden brown and almost done, about 12 minutes. Add the onion and saute for 1-2 minutes, add the shallot and garlic, stir and cook for additional 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 more minutes.
Add the wine and broth bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the veggies are tender, about 3 minutes. Nestle the chicken into the pan and bake for 10 minutes until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 185 .
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, sprinkle a small amount of flour onto the sheet where you will be placing the bread.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, black pepper, parmesan cheese and sugar, whisk together until combined.
Add to the dry mixture the cheddar, herbs, garlic and green onions, mix.
Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture, mixing until combined.
Knead for 1-2 minutes, until the dough holds together. Add more liquid if dough is not forming.
Form dough into a round loaf and transfer to the floured parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Cut a cross into the top of the dough, about ½ inch deep and 2-inches long. Cover and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the cover, pour 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the top and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes, or until the soda bread is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom of the loaf.
Remove from the oven and place two tablespoons of butter on the top and allow it to melt.
This soup totally reminds me of Spring! It is cozy, healthy, and loaded with spring flavors like garlic, lemon, fresh dill and baby spinach. The orzo and chickpeas swirl to the surface with every spoonful. A sight that lifts the spirit and warms the belly.
This recipe is pretty straightforward and simple to make so enjoy!
Simply sauté the carrots, onion and minced garlic for 3-4 minutes to soften.
Add the broth, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper to the pot. Raise the heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium.
Stir in the orzo, salt, and black pepper to taste and cook until orzo al dente.
Simmer for another 5 minutes. Then turn the heat off.
Whisk together the eggs, lemon juice and chopped fresh dill.
Take two cups of the broth and whisk in with the eggs. Then slowly add mixture to the pot while whisking the soup.
Turn the heat back on to low heat and Stir in the cheese and baby spinach.
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add carrots and garlic and sauté for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the bay leaf and red pepper flakes and stir to combine.
Add broth and chickpeas, and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium (or medium-low), whatever works to maintain a steady low simmer.
Add orzo and stir to combine.
Continue cooking until the orzo is al dente, stirring occasionally so that the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Meanwhile, as the orzo is cooking, whisk together the eggs, cheese and lemon juice in a separate mixing bowl or measuring cup until combined. Ladle out 1 cup of the hot soup broth, and while whisking the egg mixture with one hand continuously, very very slowly drizzle the broth into the eggs until combined. Repeat with 1 more cup of hot broth.
Once the orzo is ready to go, remove the stockpot from the heat. Then while stirring the entire soup with one hand continuously, very very slowly drizzle the egg mixture into the soup until combined.
The egg mixture should make the soup nice and creamy.
(But if the eggs look like they are scrambling when you add them in — kind of like in egg drop soup — stop and let the soup cool down for a few minutes before adding the rest of the eggs.)
Return the soup to low heat.
Stir in the spinach and dill and stir for 1-2 minutes until the spinach has wilted.
Then taste and season the soup with a few pinches of salt and black pepper, as needed.
Serve warm, garnished with extra dill and lemon wedges.
Did you know in China, soup is something that is always on the table, particularly at dinner. According to Chinese tradition, dinner should always include at least three dishes and one soup. Chinese soups are very easy to make and usually made with simple ingredients. And this recipe is no exception!
I absolutely LOVE the flavor and crunch bok choy brings to this fragrant garlicky ginger soup! If you can’t find Bok Choy, you can use any green, such as cabbage, spinach or other Asian greens.
This recipe also calls for one of my new favorite spices…Star Anise. I was first introduced to Star Anise by one of Gordon Ramsay’s recipes.The star-shaped pods look beautiful and have an exotic flavor you’ll fall in love with. It has earthy, subtly sweet spice that is perfect in savory dishes. Star Anise is also an ingredient in Chinese five spice, where it’s combined with fennel, cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns and cloves. So if you can not find Star Anise, you can use Chinese five spice.
Honestly this is one of my go to soups, it’s perfect in cold or even warm weather, who doesn’t love a nutritious, comforting, and flu-fighting soup! Get your grocery list together and let’s get cooking!
1 tbsp olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped, green and white divided
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp ginger, fresh, minced)
5 ½ cups chicken broth (or water)
2 whole star anise or ¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice season
2 tbsp soy sauce
10 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
6 oz rice noodles
1.5 heads bok choy, roughly chopped
sesame seeds (for topping)
red pepper flakes (for topping)
Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium-sized stockpot over medium heat. Saute the shallots over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the shallots turn translucent and start to soften. Stir often. Add the white part of the green onions, garlic, and ginger to the shallots and mix. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes or until garlic and ginger is fragrant. Carefully pour the chicken broth into the pot and bring to a simmer. Add the star anise and soy sauce. Cover and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the lid from the pot and carefully remove and discard each star anise from the soup. Add the mushrooms, uncooked noodles, and bok choy to the pot and simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until noodles and bok choy are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with sesame seeds, the green parts of green onions and red pepper flakes.
Who doesn’t love lasagna and a nice salad for dinner? Well how about that dinner but in soup form… that’s exactly what this soup is! I received my inspiration for this recipe from a Publix Apron’s recipe. It’s a quick and easy recipe with easily-found ingredients.
The broth of this soup consists of chicken broth and a jar of your favorite pasta sauce! I mean it doesn’t get much easier than a jar of pasta sauce. When my grandparents, Papa and Meme were not making their own homemade sauce, my Meme would have my Papa buy a jar of Ragu. I know, can you believe it… Ragu! Now, for me my go-to jar is Barilla. But this is your creation so you pick what your go-to sauce is. No judgement!
After browning the ground sausage, you start with “humble beginnings”. Have you ever heard of that? Maybe you have heard of Sofrito, Mirepoix, or the Holy Trinity of cooking. These are all the foundation of some of the world’s greatest dishes. It’s simply a group of vegetables sauteed together, disappearing into the dish as it cooks. But their flavors linger and would most definitely be missed if left out. In this soup, we make a “humble beginnings” of carrot, celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to start the soup.
Most lasagna soup calls for lasagna noodles, you know the long thick noodles that are for a baked lasagna. Well I just don’t agree that those noodles should be in a soup, they end up taking up the whole bowl. So I used a package of Buitoni Three Cheese Tortellini, it usually can be found in the refrigerated section near the cheese. These little tortellinis are stuffed with creamy ricotta, aged Parmesan and Romano. You simply plop them into the soup and you have the noodle and all the delicious cheeses in one bite.
Do not skip the salad kit’s toppings and dressing, trust me!. I used the Fresh Express Sweet Kale salad kit, it comes with broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, chicory, dried cranberries, roasted pumpkin seeds, poppyseed dressing. That’s 7 superfoods! The cranberries and the poppyseed dressing give the soup a sweet tangy twist, that cuts through the acid from the tomatoes, it’s a delicious combination!! But you can use any salad mix, a Cesar salad kit would be tasty too. If you buy a kit, it comes with everything which means you don’t have to buy a bunch of different ingredients.
Lastly you plop a nice size dollop of Ricotta cheese into the bowl and you have yourself the perfect one-bowl meal!
Here’s a super easy pasta dish with a creamy sun-dried tomato sauce loaded with garlic, mozzarella & parmesan cheese! You can add in your favorite meats and/or veggies – the possibilities are endless.
Did you know?
Italians originally dried tomatoes on their ceramic rooftops. And it’s thought that the technique may even date as far back 700 AD when Aztecs would salt and dry tomatoes in the sun to preserve their freshness. Well, whoever started this process, I am beyond grateful. I seriously rather eat Sun-dried tomatoes than raisins any day! Not only are they delicious in pasta dishes, they are a great snack too!
This recipe pairs great with Scout & Cellar…
Fiddleneck Sauvignon Blanc, pairs very nicely with this rich, creamy sauce.
Che Fico Pinot Grigio is another great match – With bright acidity and notes of citrus, it’ll pair well.
4 ounce sun-dried tomatoes – not in oil
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half and half
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ Parmesan cheese, freshly grated plus more for serving
¼ cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Salt & Pepper to taste
8 oz. box of Angel Hair pasta
Cook pasta according to package instructions, until al dente. Drain, reserving some pasta water and set aside- about 1/2 cup.
While pasta cooks, saute garlic, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes in a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Saute for 1 minute until fragrant.
Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes more.
Add Parmesan cheese and Mozzarella cheese, half and half and chicken broth to the skillet and bring to a simmer.
Remove the sauce from the heat. Stir in reserved pasta water and cooked pasta, coating the pasta in the sauce.
Adjust seasoning, sprinkle with parmesan, and more crushed red pepper if desired.
I recently had an abundance of leeks and asked my friends to give me some recipe ideas. My friend, Natasha suggested Stir fry and I am so glad she did!! This recipe was inspired by the Food & Wine Stir Fry recipe, Natasha shared with me.
This is one of those dishes that is unbelievably simple and super tasty. I love spicy Asian food! So when I found this chili paste, Dragon Fly Fried Chili Paste at my local Asian market, I fell in love! It is absolutely delicious but be careful it is SPICY! A ½ teaspoon gives you the perfect amount of heat! If you like your food spicier then by all means add a full teaspoon.
You can eat this stir fry alone or over rice. I served it alongside Chicken thighs and a side of brown rice.
3 tablespoons olive oil
10 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 large leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
½ onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon Chinese chile paste, II love DragonFly Fried Chili Paste
Heat a large skillet.
Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, tilting to coat the skillet.
Add the mushrooms and onions, stir-fry over high heat until golden, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Add the leek, garlic and ginger and stir-fry until the leek is tender, about 2 minutes.
Add the soy sauce, sesame oil and chile paste and stir-fry for 1 minute.
In this recipe, we have crispy tofu that has been pan-fried until golden brown, coated with a chili lime seasoning. Tofu can taste great if well prepared, but if you are one of the few tofu haters who think it’s a mushy, tasteless piece of cardboard you haven’t tried this recipe yet.
It’s easy to make, doesn’t require hard to find ingredients, and it’s ready in less than 30 minutes!
The key is to start by draining the tofu to remove excess water, this step is essential to get it crispy on the outside. Make sure to use firm, or extra firm tofu. Once this is done, we cut it into cubes and coat it with cornstarch, and chili lime seasoning, I use Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning Blend but any Chili Lime seasoning works! Cornstarch helps make the tofu extra crispy.
Then pan-fry the tofu in a small amount of oil, you can use vegetable oil or coconut oil- you want to make it healthier!
Next, sauté the onion, pepper and garlic.
While the veggies are in the pan, prepare the sauce.
The sauce is super easy, savory, sweet, and slightly spicy. The base of the sauce is lime juice, soy sauce, cumin, paprika, brown sugar and red pepper flakes.
I recommend returning the tofu to the pan and coating it with the sauce just before serving if you want to keep its crispiness.
These bowls are healthy, filling and packed with nutrients. You get healthy fats from the avocado, carbs from the rice, and protein coming from the tofu!
Trust me! You will love it, even those of you unsure of tofu!
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
1 tablespoons Chili Lime seasoning,
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or another high heat cooking oil)
1 (14 ounce) package extra firm tofu, drained and pressed, then cut into cubes or small strips (1-2 inch sides)
1 large bell peppers (any color), sliced into strips
1 medium red onion, sliced into strips
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 Avocado, pitted and sliced
1 cup cooked white rice
Stir the lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, and black pepper together in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix together the cornstarch and Chili Lime seasoning.
Toss the tofu in the cornstarch and Chili lime seasoning.
Coat the bottom of a large skillet with the oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the tofu in an even layer. Cook for about 10 minutes, flipping once or twice, until the pieces are browned on multiple sides. Remove the tofu from the pan and transfer it to a plate.
Raise the heat to high and add a dash more of oil to the skillet if it seems too dry. Add the peppers and onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until browned in spots and tender-crisp, 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
Remove saute veggies from pan.
Return the tofu to the pan and pour the sauce over the tofu. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat.
Scoop white rice into a bowl and top with tofu,
sautéed veggies and avocado slices. Sprinkle cilantro on top and a dollop of sour cream.
This Cauliflower mash recipe is an easy way to cut down on carbs without sacrificing flavor. I mean, what’s the point in eating something at all if it doesn’t taste good, right?
In my opinion, food should be all about balance, so this recipe is a great way to cut out the carbs from regular mashed potatoes, but keep all the amazing flavor. And if you really want to be healthy, the cheese is totally optional. Either way, you’re going to love this tasty Cauliflower Mash recipe!
And Cauliflower mash is actually so easy to make. It’s basically the same process as making mashed potatoes, but with cauliflower instead! Boil the cauliflower, blend it into a creamy consistency, then add in the extras.
You can use a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. (Or smash by hand!)
1 Large Head Cauliflower leaves removed and broken into large florets
4-6 Garlic Cloves finely chopped and divided
2 cups Chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups Water
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ cup cup milk
1 teaspoon Chopped Thyme
1 teaspoon Chopped Rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place the cauliflower florets in a large pot and cover with broth and water.
Add in half of the garlic and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-18 minutes, or until cauliflower is fork-tender.
Using a colander, strain the cooked cauliflower and place it into a food processor.
Add in the remaining garlic, herbs, grated cheese and butter. As the food processor is processing, slowly add in the milk.
Process until smoothly pureed.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Sprinkle with fresh chopped herbs.
Tip: The cauliflower is not covered fully by the water and broth, this way it will get steamed.
Cauliflower Mash is a great side with Steak and a glass of Scout and Cellar The Resident Zinfandel!