April 26, 2009

Mushroom & Jicama Salad

I've been on a side dish, salad, quick and easy kick for a few weeks now. This is one of the easiest salads to make and watch out, you may end up eating the entire dish in one sitting! I've had jicama before, and at the time, it was served in slices with no additional seasoning. Honestly, I wasn't impressed. It's a type of food that is good while you are eating it, but not exciting enough to make you run out and buy several to eat again for the next few days. (Like I do often with mushrooms, tomatos, squash, cheese....) It wasn't until a recent trip to Hawaii with my sister that I had jicama again - cut into cubes with other raw vegetables in a citrus dressing. We couldn't figure out every ingredient in the dish. It was good enough that we went back for tres servings each - good thing it was a buffet!
I saw this recipe from Giadda a few weeks later - pretty perfect in that it included cheese and mushrooms. Fresh from Hawaii, I thought Jicama would make a perfect addition to this dish - and I was right! White button mushrooms have a contrasting light vs. dense consistency so the jicama adds a juicy and sweet side to the dish. I pretty much ate half - 2 servings - in one sitting and skipped my main dish since I was full on this salad. The below recipe is the original recipe from Giadda - I just added in Jicama slices and lemon zest.
Fresh Mushroom & Parsley Salad
Recipe from Giadda

1 pound large button mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (I squeezed approximately 2 large lemons)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-ounce piece Parmesan
(I added in 1 half medium sized Jicama sliced)
(I added in the zest of one lemon)

In a medium salad bowl, mix together the mushrooms and parsley. (Add Jicama here)

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and lemon juice until smooth (also added in lemon zest here). Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the oil mixture to the salad bowl and toss until all the ingredients are coated. Shave the Parmesan on top and serve.

April 21, 2009

Caramelized Shallots

Ross would tell you that I'm no fan of onions. I pick them out of almost anything - raw, cooked, caramelized, doesn't matter. I'm not a fan. Which bodes well for Ross because he loves them! So I was suprised that I liked shallots so much. After taking a cooking class with a few friends and making an edamame salad with sliced shallots - I pretty much became a huge fan and use them whenever I can.

I'm not sure what it is about shallots. Maybe its that subtle sweet flavor it brings to dishes the longer you cook them or that it adds a not too overwhelming sweet and spicy flavor to a dish. Making this dish was shamelessly easy but so delicious, I thought it deserved its own post.

I wish there was a way to capture the smell of this dish. My cat can attest to this - she sat on the counter above the oven constantly smelling the air the entire time it was in the oven. As for my own take, I thought ti was a little too sweet so added in a little lemon to bring a bright hit of flavor. Perfect complement to chicken (that's another post to come) and some extra veggies (chinese broccoli) in the below picture.

Caramelized Shallots

Recipe from Ina Garten (via Smitten Kitchen)

6 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 lbs fresh shallots, peeled with roots intact

3 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoon good red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 teaspon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 400F.

Melt butter in oven proof pan, add shallots and sugar (toss to coat). Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally until shallots start to brown. Add vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss well.

Place pan in the oven and roast for 15 to 30 minutes until they are tender. Season to taste and add parsley. Serve hot. (I added in a little fresh lemon juice to help tone down the sweetness of the shallots.)

April 20, 2009

Dill Shrimp Salad

Yes, I admit it. I enjoy mayo and I probably enjoy it more than the average person. Yeps, no shame in that! This is probably why I gawked at friends who said they love visiting London but hated the food - they put mayo in every sandwich possible. Who can resist! Even better......who can resist it in a salad? Tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad, you name it - I'm all ears. So when I saw this recipe for a Dill Shrimp Salad - I pretty much knew that was going to be my dinner the next day.
Okay, I know too much mayo can be overwhelming and can hit a point of the "ugh, that was too much mayo," but when used right, it can bring a creamy, fresh take to a food that needs a little boost in extra flavor, such as shrimp. So, what's so different with this salad? Fresh orange juice and zest. I never even thought about combining orange juice/zest with mayo. It leaves this wonderful sweet zang that adds a little kick to the salad. Not only does it make the dressing that much creamier, the shrimp tastes like its been marinated in juice for a few hours. Delicious!

Directions said to roast the shrimp in the oven for 8 minutes. Next time, I think I'll cook it for around 6 minutes and actually let it marinate in the salt, pepper and olive oil for about 20 minutes before roasting. I put the finished salad on top of a bed of arugula and baby spinach salad and lightly tossed with a little olive oil. *Please pardon 'yellowness' in the images, due to a not so great camera.

Dill Shrimp Salad
Recipe from Ina Garten

1 lb fresh shrimp
1/2 cup mayo
2 tablespoon of chopped dill
1 orange
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Peel, devein and rinse the shrimp. Pat dry and place on baking sheet. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil - make sure to mix to thoroughly cover shrimp. Bake 400 for 8 minutes. (I recommend marinating the shrimp in the olive oil mixture for about 20 minutes before baking.)

Zest one orange and squeeze juice from half of orange. Mix in mayo (I only used 1/4 cup instead of the 1/2 cup), dill and white wine vinegar. Mix and add salt/pepper to taste.

Once shrimp is slightly cooled, add a spoonful of mayo mixture to shrimp to test. Add more as appropriate. Serve on top of fresh arugula and baby spinach salad - enjoy!

April 14, 2009

Welcome to my food blog!

I enjoy cooking and baking, but most importantly, I love eating. I love sharing recipes and trying new ones. After reading a variety of food blogs, I was inspired to create my own so welcome to my blog! Hope you enjoy the recipes and look out for posts from other foodies as well.