Shrimp and Corn are the Duo in this Heavenly Summer Soup!

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This Seafood Chowder highlights shrimp and my bi color non-GMO Talley Farms corn as the main attraction. Coconut milk takes the place of cream combined with chicken broth to create a full bodied, rich broth. In an effort to heighten the flavor even more, my secret is to simmer the corn cobs right in the soup and pull them out before adding the cooked bacon and shrimp.

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The flavor profile of this soup is really enhanced with the spice combination of cumin, coriander and smoked paprika. The addition of bacon also lends to the underlying smokiness, however can easily be omitted for those who don’t eat meat. In that case, just use olive oil to sauté the onion and vegetables instead of bacon fat.

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If you follow my blog, then you know that I love to garnish my soups!  I happened to have some pineapple sage in my herb garden that I thought would marry nicely with the mild flavors of the corn and shrimp. (Plain sage would work well also.) Rather than a chiffonade of fresh herbs, I decided to fry the sage for a nice crispy topping adding a little texture to the creamy soup. It gave me a wonderful result!

Shrimp & Corn Chowder

Shrimp & Corn Chowder

SHRIMP AND CORN CHOWDER

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut into a 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 cups corn (from 3 large ears) – save the corn cobs
  • 1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/3 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound medium/large shrimp, peeled, deveined and sliced in half lengthwise
  • Fried Sage Leaves
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 bunch sage leaves, stemmed and separated into individual leaves (I used pineapple sage)
    • flake salt 

Directions

  1. Cook the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until lightly crisp. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Remove all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, potatoes, and corn and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the coconut milk, broth, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add 2-3 of the corn cobs to the pot, breaking them in half if necessary to fit them in. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the cobs and discard.
  5. Return the bacon to the pan and add the shrimp and simmer until pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and top with some fried sage leaves.
Fried Sage Leaves
  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the sage leaves and fry for 15-30 seconds until crisp, stirring a couple times carefully so they don’t break. With a slotted spoon, remove them to a paper towel lined plate to drain. (Make sure not to let them brown or they will turn bitter)
Notes
  • Sage leaves can be stored up to 2 days in an airtight container on the counter.
  • Slicing the shrimp lengthwise allows the shrimp to be both bite size and plentiful!

(Printable recipe can be found in my recipe index under Soups)

 

 

Whole Grains and Fresh Vegetables make a Satisfying Meal

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Sautéing or wok frying fresh vegetables is one of the best ways to bring out their best flavor while keeping their nutrients intact. With a drizzle of lemon-tahini dressing served over a bed of whole grains, this meal is immensely satisfying!

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 I used red quinoa and brown rice for the grain mixture. It was made super easy by using Trader Joe’s frozen organic brown rice combined with their organic red quinoa. An abundance of vegetables is recommended to complete this dish. It is necessary to balance the ratio of grains to vegetables.

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The simple lemon-tahini sauce offers a nutty, citrus essence to the dish. Enough to make a wonderful meal on it’s own, it is however, garnished with raw bean sprouts and chopped avocado for an exciting finishing touch.

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A MEDLY OF FRESH VEGETABLES, RED QUINOA & BROWN RICE

Serves 6

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice or 1 packet Trader Joe’s frozen Organic Brown Rice
  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, stems trimmed and sliced
  • 2 medium yellow squash sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup snap peas, stem end and string removed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 head of broccoli—stems peeled and sliced into coins, heads cut into small florets
  • One 12-ounce bunch kale, large stems discarded
  • 1/4 cup tahini, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts

Directions

  1.  In a medium saucepan, cover the brown rice with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the rice is just tender, about 40 minutes. Drain and return the rice to the saucepan; keep covered. Conversely, microwave one packet of TJ’s frozen organic brown rice for 3 minutes.
  2.  Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and simmer over low heat until the quinoa is tender and all of the water has been absorbed, 20 minutes.
  3.  In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the carrot and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and snap peas, and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini, season with salt and cook, stirring a few times, until tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  4.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Add the broccoli, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until deep green, 5 minutes. Add the kale, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until the broccoli and kale are just tender, 4 minutes. Season with salt. Stir in the other vegetables.
  5.  In a small bowl, whisk the tahini with the lemon juice, garlic, warm water and crushed red pepper. Season with salt.
  6.  Transfer the brown rice and quinoa to a platter or individual plates. Top with the cooked vegetables, diced avocado and bean sprouts. Serve, passing the tahini sauce at the table.

(Printable recipe can be found in my recipe index under Main Entrees)

Greek Yogurt and Smoked Trout turn this Bean Salad into something Extraordinary!

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You may have made a bean salad in the past and if not, you’ve surely eaten one. They are usually healthy and somewhat tasty, but often unexciting. However, if you combine these fantastic fresh Talley Farms French green and wax beans with the ingredients in this salad, you will have something utterly extraordinary!

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The base salad is made with a mixture of three beans; French green beans, wax beans and cannellini beans. I then added cucumber, fennel, red onion, garlic, lemon zest and yummy Castelvetrano olives. I used several herbs for seasoning; Italian parsley, fennel fronds and fresh marjoram leaves. The salad was dressed with a mix of lemon juice, red wine vinegar and some of the cooking oil used in sautéing the beans. But what makes this salad zing is topping it with creamy Greek yogurt and delicious chunks of smoked trout fillet. Incredibly scrumptious!

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So easy to make for a crowd. The recipe makes enough to serve 12 large side portions and is simple to assemble. You can easily halve the recipe and can also serve it as a main dish with a nice muffin or bread on the side. I served mine with some honey topped corn fritters and it made a fabulous meal!

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THREE BEAN SALAD WITH SMOKED TROUT

Yield:  12 side servings

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. (2-3/4 cups) green beans (or an assortment of string beans), string removed if tough, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seed or grapeseed oil
  • 2 cans cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 English cucumber, partially peeled in strips, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup Castelvetrano olives
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 fennel bulb, super thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, 1 tsp. reserved for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds, several whole pieces reserved for garnish
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. fresh marjoram leaves, coarsely chopped, 1 tsp. reserved for garnish
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 8 to 10 oz. skinless smoked trout fillet

Directions

  1. In a 12-inch skillet, cook the green beans in the oil over medium heat until they begin to sizzle, 1 minute. Add 1 Tbs. water, cover, and steam until crisp-tender, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the cannellini beans, cucumber, fennel, olives, onion, parsley, fennel fronds, lemon juice, vinegar, marjoram, lemon zest, and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix gently.
  3. Arrange the salad on a large serving platter and top with dollops of yogurt. Crumble the trout into chunks and scatter over the top. Garnish with the reserved herbs and more black pepper and serve.

Notes

  • You can easily cut this recipe in half.
  • I purchased canned smoked trout at Trader Joe’s and it worked fantastically. A full recipe takes 2 of their cans.
  • This recipe can be varied tremendously with other beans, herbs, vegetables, or other add in’s or substitutions based on your preference.

(Printable recipe can be found in my recipe index under Salads)

 

 

In the Mood for a little Nosh? Try the new Restaurant in Downtown Paso Robles!

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Nosh is a new breakfast and lunch restaurant in Paso Robles. Moving from Las Vegas, owners Fanny Alcantar and Executive Chef Esther Abobo, opened Nosh offering traditional American cuisine with a focus on local, fresh and wholesome ingredients. They are currently open from daily 7 AM to 3 PM. Once they obtain a liquor license, they will also be open from 5:00 – 8:00 PM for tapas and drinks.

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Upon my first experience there, I noted that these are definitely pros in the business. Clearly they know how to operate a restaurant from both the back and the front of the house. The staff was well trained and extremely hospitable. We were approached several times inquiring if we needed anything, offering more coffee and ensuring that we were completely satisfied. As an added courtesy, our waitress even offered us coffee to go!

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The food was presented well and was delicious! The Veggie Skillet was a medley of spinach, mushrooms, grilled onions, roasted peppers, tomatoes, and crispy home fries with 2 eggs. The ingredients were fresh and perfectly prepared. The potatoes nicely crisp, vegetables well seasoned and flavorful and the eggs cooked perfectly! 

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The Healthy Way was made with 3 egg whites packed with grilled onions, spinach, mushrooms, roasted peppers and topped with ripe avocado. It was served with a choice of brown rice, mixed greens or trail mix with toast. We selected the rye toast which to my delight was nicely crisp served with butter and jams on the side. Crisp rye toast is my favorite kind and is seldom served properly, as this was.

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Their menu is extensive and offers a nice variety of choices. I can’t wait to try them for lunch and will definitely be a tapas customer when it’s offered! For being their first week open, I give them an A+ to come out of the gate without a hiccup on our meal. The place was packed so I’m sure they were challenged for their first weekend. My guess is that they will weather through the start up quite well and be a favorite place to go in Paso.

White Miso and Soba Noodles are the base for this Yummy Chicken Vegetable Soup!!

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I am a verified soup lover! I don’t care if it is a warm or cold weather day – soup is soothing, comforting and delicious. It can be served as a soup shot, an appetizer, a partner to a sandwich or as a main entree. So many versions, and I love them all!

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Miso and Buckwheat are very complimentary to each other so they were a perfect combination to pair with my fresh kale, sugar snap peas and leeks from Talley Farms. One of the keys to this recipe is to cool the noodles and veggies after cooking to ensure that they don’t get mushy. It’s a very simple recipe and can be adapted quite easily to other vegetables you might have on hand such as broccoli, mushrooms or peas.

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VEGETABLE CHICKEN SOUP WITH MISO AND SOBA NOODLES

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  •  Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Sunflower oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 8 ounces soba (buckwheat noodles)
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 7 1/2 cups water
  • 2 medium leeks, white and tender green part, diced, about 2 cups
  • ¼ cup white miso, or more to taste
  • 5 ounces kale, center ribs removed and cut into 2 inch pieces (about 4 cups)
  •  A few basil leaves, julienned

Directions

  1. Season chicken thighs on all sides with salt and pepper. Put oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium high heat. Add thighs and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, reducing heat to keep meat from browning. Turn and cook other side for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and ginger and let sizzle without browning. Add mirin, sugar, soy sauce, broth and water, then bring mixture to boil. Lower heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Turn off heat. Remove thighs and chop into 1/2-inch chunks, then return meat to pot. Taste broth and adjust salt if necessary.
  3. In a separate pot, cook buckwheat noodles according to package directions, being careful not to overcook. Drain noodles and refresh with cool water, then leave at room temperature.
  4. Bring a small pot of salted water to boil. Add snap peas and leeks and simmer 1 minute, then drain and refresh with cool water. Leave at room temperature.
  5. To serve, reheat broth to just under a boil. Dilute miso with a little hot broth and whisk into soup. Add kale and let wilt slightly, then add leeks and snap peas and let them warm for 1 minute. Divide the noodles among 6 warmed bowls and ladle soup over. Top each bowl with a little basil.

Notes

  • Store soup and noodle leftovers separately.
  • For spice lovers, serve with sriracha sauce on the side!

(Printable recipe can be found in my recipe index under Soups)

Everything Tastes Better when you Grill It!

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Fresh grilled brussels sprouts, summer squash, carrots and French beans served with a balsamic herb flavored vinaigrette.

Grilling should not be relegated to only meat, poultry and fish! It is so quick and easy to prepare your fresh produce on the grill and the results are amazing. You get a wonderful smokey aroma and a delicious char flavor when you grill your fruits and vegetables. Plus it is super quick and easy to do!

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Especially if you have a gas grill, where there is no extra time needed to ready charcoals – just turn it on and heat it up! The weather is nice so get yourself outside and start grilling!

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The key to grilling vegetables is to oil them lightly and season with salt and pepper. Fruits just need a little oil. Cook them on a hot grill not letting them ignite with flames and refrain from moving them too quickly. To get great grill marks you need to let them sit until they are nicely charred and easy to turn. The best way to do this is to ensure your grill is hot enough and that both your vegetables and grill rack has been oiled. 

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I like to separate my vegetables/fruits and rather than cooking them all together so that I can monitor the cooking time for each as they may vary. For instance summer squash will cook much faster than carrots so if you separate them on the grill, you can remove each item as it is done. That way you won’t suffer from some items being overcooked or others not being done.

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For softer vegetables such as summer squash, cook with the top open so they don’t get too soft, but for heartier vegetables such as carrots or potatoes, cook with the top closed so they will bake while grilling. Depending on the type of vegetable, you can also par cook them ahead to ensure they are cooked through and nicely charred without burning on your grill. Make sure your vegetable pieces are similar in size so they will all cook at the same time.

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I use a variety of different grill racks and baskets for smaller items that might fall through the grates. I have several that are flat and used together will cover the surface of my grill so that I don’t have to worry about accidentally losing some when I am turning or flipping the vegetables over.  I spray them with oil so that the vegetables won’t stick to them as I would the grill rack if I were cooking directly on it.

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So much flavor is gained from grilling that you can minimize your meal preparation. Grilled fruits and vegetables are delicious eaten as is, when taken off the barbecue. Added to recipes, they will add a heavenly boost to whatever you are creating. It’s magical!

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Grilled baby romaine, avocado, chicken & corn along with grilled peach halves topped with balsamic glaze & blue cheese crumbles. Served with sungold cherry tomatoes, chopped bacon and buttermilk blue cheese dressing.

Just add some grilled protein, a little garnish like balsamic glaze, a sprinkle of cheese & salad dressing and you have a wonderful deconstructed salad!

 

Traditional Southern Goodness – Yellow Squash Casserole

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Last year when vacationing in Texas, I ate a side dish of Yellow Squash Casserole that was really scrumptious. Seeing all of the beautiful squash coming from my Talley Farms Fresh Harvest CSA box and my neighbor’s generous donation, I decided to combine them in a casserole. It turned out fantastic!

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I sliced and cut chunks in similar sized pieces and sautéed them with chopped onions in some butter. This allowed me to get them barely tender and let the liquid cook out so they wouldn’t be too watery for the casserole. I added some partially cooked chopped pancetta and mixed it in with the squash.

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For the sauce I used eggs, milk, a combination of cheddar and jack cheeses and a small bit of sour cream. Seasonings, a little extra butter and a topping of crushed ritz crackers finished my casserole to make it creamy inside and crunchy on top. It’s a great side dish to go along with any protein or can be served as a main dish paired with a hearty salad. Leftovers are best reheated in an oven/toaster oven to retain the crisp topping.

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YELLOW SQUASH CASSEROLE

Yield –  12 sides

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups sliced yellow crookneck and/or pattypan squash 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped pancetta, partially cooked to render fat
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated monterey jack cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large sleeve Ritz crackers

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium skillet or saute pan over medium-low heat. Add squash and onions and cook until tender. Mix in pancetta and heat through.
  3. To a large bowl, add eggs and lightly whisk. Add cheese, sour cream and milk and whisk into egg until well-combined. Add cooked squash, onions & pancetta to egg mixture and stir well to combined. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in skillet used to cook squash and onions. Add to squash casserole mixture. Add cayenne pepper, if using, along with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  4. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray and pour squash casserole mixture into the baking dish. Top evenly with crushed Ritz crackers. Place in preheated oven and bake 30 minutes, or until top has lightly browned and casserole does not “jiggle” when the dish is moved.
  5. Allow to sit for about 3 minutes before serving.

Note

  • Leftovers are best reheated in an oven/toaster oven to retain the crisp topping.
(Printable recipe can be found in my recipe index under Side Dishes) 
 

Awesome restaurant concept – it takes guts and talent!

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Known for their great seafood, we ventured out to find a bar called 4th Base in West Milwaukee. Upon entering, we were somewhat bewildered. It is a bit divey, loaded with sports memorabilia but has a cool feel. Certainly not what we expected to find in a top rated seafood restaurant, but I love to experience something a little different, so I was open to the experience.

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They don’t have a menu. You peruse their cold case and select from a variety of items; what you think you are in the mood for and might like to try. Their seafood selection was amazing. The largest specimens I have ever seen! They also had some incredible looking meat choices, but we were in the mood for seafood, so we opted for items in that genre.

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Everything we got was terrific. There were a couple small flaws that could have been easily rectified with specific instructions like ensuring that the vegetable plate was cooked al dente. The seafood was all done perfectly. 

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Next time I would be a bit more creative in my request, but we were short on time that day. You may want to note that their prices are in line with high quality products and custom preparation. This is not a discount establishment, and the quality of ingredients reflects it. Can’t wait to try them again when I can really fine tune my menu!

Hidden on Belden Alley in the Financial District of San Francisco is a very cool restaurant called Plouf!

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If you didn’t know it was there, you might surely miss this strip of restaurants hidden away in Belden Alley. The area has a very European feel and is bustling with people so you know the word has gotten out! Upon a friends’ recommendation, we selected the restaurant – Plouf and sat outside on their patio. 

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The restaurant is a French Seafood Bistro and they specialize in mussels along with a complete menu. The decor was casual and funky and I loved it! We were very excited to try their mussels so we ordered them in two different versions. Plouf with pastis, cream, shallots, roasted garlic, chili flakes & fine herbs and Coconut Broth with lime mice, garlic, shallots, cilantro, chili and coconut milk. They were served with delicious crusty bread for dipping in the broth and both were equally scrumptious!

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Moving through their menu, we ordered several appetizers to share. The Crab Cakes made with caramelized pancetta, spicy remoulade and lemon, Fried Local Calamari with fennel, scallions, lemon and spicy marinara, and Foie Gras Torchon with aged balsamic vinegar, strawberry salad and brioche toast. They were all fantastic, but one of the most amazing items was the fried scallions on the calamari dish. Innovative and delish!

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We ordered two entrees to share. The Pastis (anise flavored aperitif) Flamed Shrimp on a polenta cake with caramelized cauliflower and parsley lemon butter and the Seared Duck Breast with new potato hash, pancetta, sweet & sour cabbage and vincotto (cooked wine).

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I was quite impressed with the attention to detail on every ingredient of the dish, the exquisite plating and the fact that everything was amazingly delicious! We were also intrigued with the fact that this was not your typical overly adorned establishment. Just a great place to hang out with friends and have really excellent food, wonderful service and a good time!

Feature beautiful baby lettuce leaves in these scrumptious Turkey Lettuce Wraps!

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If you are fortunate enough to be a Talley Farms Fresh Harvest CSA customer, then you know about their exquisite baby lettuces. The best way to feature them is in this recipe for the most scrumptious ever – Turkey Lettuce Wraps!

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This recipe is made super simple by using a food processor to do all of the work for you. It calls for fresh ginger, garlic, carrots, green onions, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots – all prepared by mincing them in a food processor! So quick and easy and you don’t even have to clean it in between steps. (If you don’t own a food processor, not to worry, as you can mince the vegetables by hand)

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The rest of the process is also quite quick and easy. Just brown the meat, add the veggies and cook until tender. Then add the sauce mixture and cook until heated through. This is so delicious, you will want to make extra and freeze some for another meal. Also simple, as you can just load the extra in freezer bags and flatten out so they will take up barely any space in your freezer! 

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Dipping sauces will elevate your wraps to the utmost level. I served mine with two sauces that can be used individually or together. One was a Peanut Sauce and the other a Soy/Vinegar Dipping Sauce. They both got rave reviews. To garnish the wraps, I offered chopped peanuts and cilantro.

Quick, easy and healthy. A winning combination!

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TURKEY LETTUCE WRAPS WITH TWO DIPPING SAUCES

Serves 10-12

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 1-1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled (1 tablespoon minced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (1 tablespoon minced)
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 10 green onions (white and green parts) 
  • 1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 (8 oz) can bamboo shoots
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha or other hot chili sauce or paste
  • baby lettuce leaves (for a meal, allow 3-4 leaves per person); use any lettuce with small, cup-shaped leaves
  • Brown rice, cooked (optional)
  • TOPPINGS:
  • chopped peanuts
  • chopped cilantro
  • Sriracha chili sauce
  • Dipping Sauces (recipes to follow)

Directions

  1. MINCE THE VEGGIES: Vegetables may all be minced by hand; however it’s easier to use a food processor if you have one. Process in this order: 1. mince the garlic and ginger together in food processor ; 2. chop the carrots into 1″ chunks and add them to food processor and process until minced; 3. remove garlic/ginger/carrots to separate bowl; 4. chop green onions into 2″ pieces and add with bamboo shoots and water chestnuts to food processor; process until minced.
  2. COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Add vegetable oil to skillet and heat on stove-top on med-high heat. Add turkey, cook until browned with no pink remaining; break apart chunks with spatula as turkey browns. Add minced veggies (garlic, ginger, carrots, onions, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts) and cook 5-10 min., until tender. In separate bowl, whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sherry, sesame oil and chili sauce; add to turkey mixture. Stir and cook until heated through, approx. 5 minutes.
  3. TO SERVE: Spoon rice (if using) and turkey mixture into a lettuce leaf. Add toppings, if desired. Roll the lettuce leaf and eat.
  4. TO FREEZE: Add turkey mixture to ziploc freezer bags – 2 cups of turkey mix per quart size bag. Flatten the bag, press out as much air as possible, and seal. Put in the freezer on a tray to keep it flat. Once frozen, remove from tray and stack bags in your freezer. May be frozen for several months. Reheats quickly in microwave.

DIPPING SAUCES

Asian Peanut Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy or tamari sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce OR 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional–omit or reduce for less heat)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey or sugar
  • 3/4 cup (or more) unsweetened canned coconut milk; may substitute water

Directions

  1. Whisk together Peanut Sauce ingredients in sauce pan over med-low heat. Cook uncovered on low for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in additional coconut milk or water if a thinner consistency is desired.
  2. Toss with noddles, or serve as a condiment with satay, lettuce wraps, or raw veggies. 
  3. Will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. May be reheated in microwave or over low heat on stove top; if too thick whisk in water or coconut milk until desired consistency is achieved.
  4. This recipe freezes well. Try making a double or triple batch of peanut sauce and freezing it in 1-cup portions for future use.

Asian Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard or spicy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, mustard, Sriracha, sesame oil and 1/4 cup water.

(Printable recipe can be found in my recipe index under Main Entrees)