Tag Archives: herbs

Deviled Eggs

It is holiday season which means lots of family and friends entertaining.  It is always nice to have an easy but tasty appetizer to either serve or bring to a dinner party.  I love me some deviled eggs, and it is so simple to make.  There are tons of recipes out there and different variations (I recommend trying Martha’s Avocado Deviled Eggs).  I personally love straight forward mayo, mustard, egg style deviled eggs.  Nothing fancy in this recipe!  This one is courtesy of a good friend down in NOLA, Chef Anne.  She served these one time, and I seriously think I ate a dozen.  I made these last night, and Chef John and Claire (Mexican corn lover and daughter of the famous Peg from Peg’s Destin Shrimps) gave this recipe the the thumbs up!- ts

Chef Anne’s note:  You can boil the eggs and make the mixture a few hours in advance, store it in the frdige, and then put it all together right before people are ready to eat them.  Also, I use small eggs because they are more bite-size

1 dozen eggs
2 teaspoons dijon mustard (Zataran’s creole mustard is best)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp minced shallot
dashes of hot sauce (perhaps Sriracha!)
Salt and pepper
Paprika and Green Onion for garnish

  1. Hard boil the eggs.  Fill up a large saucepan half-way with water and gently add the eggs. Cover the eggs with at least an inch of water. Add a teaspoon of vinegar to the water.  Add a pinch of salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil. Cover, and remove from heat. Let sit covered for 12-15 minutes. Drain hot water from pan and run cold water over the eggs. (At this point if you crack the egg shells while the eggs are cooling, it will make it easier to peel the shells.) Let sit in the cool water a few minutes, changing the water if necessary to keep it cool.  If you kinda roll the eggs on the counter, the shells get all cracked and are a little easier to peel.
  2. Peel the eggs. Using a sharp knife, slice each egg in half, lengthwise. Gently remove the yolk halves and place in a small mixing bowl. (Egg yolks come out really easily, just kinda use a spoon and gently pop them out into the bowl).  Arrange the egg white halves on a serving platter.
  3. Using a fork, mash up the yolks and add mustard, mayonnaise, shallot, tabasco, chopped green onions (same some for on top) and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon egg yolk mixture into the egg white halves. (You can also use like a cake decorator thing, but I just kinda wing it…) Sprinkle with paprika and chopped green onions.
Optional: add chopped herbs to the mixture

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Filed under Appetizers, Comfort food, Party food, Snacks

Wild Mushroom and Leek Wild Rice Salad

I have not posted in a while, but that is because I have not been making new recipes recently.  We have so many great recipes on this site, and I had fallen into a trap of cooking the same 4 or 5 things because they are so tasty.   Yesterday I decided to browse my list of “to make” recipes and came across one that for months I kept meaning to make.  When it came down to buying the ingredients, it always just looked a little too healthy.  Since the holidays are around the corner, I thought it best to start getting the health in now.  This is a recipe for mushroom and leek wild rice I saw on Closet Cooking, with my own tweaks.  It is so tasty and surprisingly filling.  It reminds me of a healthier version of my mushroom and leek risotto recipe!  I highly recommend making this.  I served the rice over a bed of baby greens and added a couple slices of skirt steak for extra protein (quickly marinated in a soy, garlic, onion, sugar mixture and grilled).  
Wild rice takes longer to cook then regular rice so start it first!  The mushroom, leek, herb, rice mixture is tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.  Feel free to use your favorite recipe, I wrote down a standard one below.– ts

1 cup wild rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
2 – 3 leeks green and white parts cleaned and sliced
2 cloves garlic
8- 10 ounces mushrooms (sliced) – I used a mix of cremini, shiitake and oyster
1 teaspoon thyme (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
a large handful chopped pecans
about a 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)

  1. Simmer the wild rice in the broth on medium-low heat, covered, until it is tender and it has absorbed all of the broth, about 50-60 minutes and remove from heat.  Drain excess liquids.
  2. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a large dutch oven/pan.
  3. Add the leeks and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  5. Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper and saute until the mushrooms are just starting to caramelize, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Mix the wild rice, mushrooms, pecans and balsamic vinaigrette
Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1-2 large cloves garlic minced
chopped herbs (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Mix/shake everything together

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Filed under Main Course, Rice, Salad dressings, Side dishes, Veggies

Herb Roasted Baby Carrots from Whitton Farms

Because they’re adorable, that’s why.

Other than as side dishes on some high-falutin* Cooking Channel shows, I had no experience with baby carrots until I bought them on my last trip to the Whitton Farms stand at the Memphis Farmers Market 2 weeks ago. Obviously, I had to purchase them because I purchase anything tiny or orange (Go Vols!), but I was delighted to find out that they are not only cute as crap but really freaking tasty too.

The Chef gave these a good olive oil and herb bath and roasted them until they were like little bite-sized candies. Cooking them at this high temp makes every bit of them soft, right down to their little green hats.

Serve these up alongside the Zucchini Crudo and the Seared Scallops with Mango Vinaigrette and you have an embarrassment of farm-fresh riches. Whitton Farms, you’ve done right by us once again.

3 bunches of baby carrots
salt and pepper to taste
1.5 tbsp chopped herbs (sage and rosemary are great choices and they make the house smell amazing)
olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Toss carrot with oil, then salt and pepper, then herbs.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes.
  4. Eat with your hands. So much more fun that way.

*Many thanks to Carly whose blog came up first when I googled “What does the word falutin’ mean?” It does my heart good to know that the pressing Google issues I face are being taken care of by people who I already know.

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Filed under Side dishes, Veggies

Herb-Infused Oil

The Chef likes to make this when he has leftover herbs. I can’t ever use all of the fresh herbs I buy before they go bad, so having something constructive to do with them really quiets my inner OCD, and that I appreciate.

This oil is great for bread-dipping, for drizzling over steak or fish, or for basting chicken or veggies with while grilling. In short, it’s your all-purpose driz.

handful of thyme
handful of oregano
handful of rosemary
1/2 cup of live oil

  1. Add all ingredients to saucepan.
  2. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Store in bottle and driz when necessary.

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Filed under Dips, Marinades, Toppings

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

I make these rolls pretty much every time I make Vietnamese, which is a lot.  A well-known fact about me is that love Asian food, pretty much all Asian with Chinese takeout style as the exception.  When it is nice out, I like to head to Chinatown to discover new and exciting produce/dried seafood stuff/weird sauces pretty much Zimmern type things.  I love cooking with fish sauce and recently have been researching on all the different kinds out there.  If you are using it in a recipe, it really changes the flavors so it is important to stick to one kind that you like.  I prefer Vietnamese fish sauce over Thai.  Since there are tons of brands just look for ones that have “nhi” or “thuong hang” in the title.  Also, make sure it is a light amber color instead of dark.

Back to the recipe, these shrimp summer rolls are simple, delicious, healthy, and pretty.  You can add or take out whatever ingredients you like (sometimes I use shrimp and pork), but don’t overstuff your rolls!  They are finger foods and should not be drooping.  You should be able to find most ingredients at your grocery store, but may need to trek to the ethnic pet store for the rice paper.  I serve these with Nuoc cham sauce which I also use as a dressing when making vermicelli dishes.  You could also use a peanut sauce.  – ts
My tip: when rolling these make sure you have the imprinted side of rice paper roll facing up

Makes 6 rolls

1 ounce dried vermicelli noodles, cooked according to package directions
6 sheets (8 1/2-inch) rice paper- keep more on hand in case of tears
6 cooked prawns (shrimp), peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
Fresh mint and/or basil
Shredded Boston or Butter lettuce
1 bunch fresh chives

Dipping Fish Sauce:
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic minced or crushed
1 red chile, minced or crushed
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  1. Cook noodles in boiling water per package instructions, about 3 minutes, then rinse under cool water.
  2. Fill bowl with warm water. Dip rice paper in warm water for about 3-4 seconds, until rice paper becomes moistened with water.
  3. After dipping your rice paper in warm water, lay wrapper onto your dry work surface. Allow rice paper to soak up water and become soft and pliable (about 30 seconds to 1 minute) before you start to roll.
  4. Layer with a small amount of shrimp, noodles herbs, and lettuce.  Layer your filling ingredients on the edge of the wrapper closest to you, shrimp first.  I like to drizzle a little hoison sauce and siracha over the fillings.  To form the roll, first fold the sides into the center over the filling, then fold and roll, just before you complete the roll add 2 pieces of garlic chives so that they stick out at one end.
  5. For dipping sauce just combine all ingredients together in a small bowl.

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Filed under Appetizers, Asian food, Sauces, Seafood, Side dishes, Veggies

Barrett’s Best Mashed Potatoes – Wasabi, Rosemary, Goat Cheese & More

The Chef likes to experiment… wait, that sounds wrong. What I mean to say is that he doesn’t like to cook the same thing twice. Unfortunately he is SOL when it comes to these taters because they are the bomb. (I’m sorry. That term is stupid and incredibly 1998, but it felt right, so I went with it.)

As Alton Brown would say on the hilariously hosted Iron Chef America, “the chef is here to offer his most succulent variations,” and so it is with Nummy. Here The Chef provides both the basics and some extra jazz for when you’re feeling frisky. My personal favorite is the horseradish, but I can lick a bowl clean no matter what kind is on the menu.

Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
6 Idaho potatoes, peeled
2 cup of half and half
8 tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 tablespoons of wasabi paste*
salt to taste

  1. Cut potatoes in half and place them in a pot of well-salted water.  Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife.
  2. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.
  3. In a saucepan, heat butter, half and half, and salt until the butter melts.  Pour over potatoes and mash together.
  4. Gently fold in the wasabi paste*. Season with salt.

*To make the other versions, simply substitute the items below for the wasabi. You’ll want to add them a little at a time until you’ve found the perfect amount for your taste. You can also use unpeeled red potatoes for these recipes for added texture and color.

Rosemary garlic mashed red potatoes

  • Rosemary and garlic
  • Lemon and thyme
  • Goat cheese and chives
  • Blue cheese
  • Pesto (1 tablespoon)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Truffle oil
  • Roasted garlic
  • Horseradish and parmesan
  • Cooked crawfish tails
  • Fresh dill and sour cream
  • Caramelized onions
  • Green onions, parsley and capers

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Filed under Comfort food, Potatoes, Side dishes, Southern food, Veggies

Parmesan Popovers

Warning: this recipe is extremely easy and extremely tasty.  You will be devouring these the minute you start smelling them from the oven.  They are great party food but normally do not make it out of my apartment.  You can use a variety of ingredients with this basic recipe, and I add cayenne pepper (of course) for some heat. This recipe calls for the use of a standard 12-cup muffin pan, but using a popover pan is even better! -ts

1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage

  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly coat the muffin pan with melted butter or high-heat canola-oil spray. Once the oven is fully heated, heat the prepared muffin pan in the oven for about 7 minutes.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, melted butter, flour and salt until well blended. Then add the herbs and cheese, blend well.
  3. Using a spatula, scrape the batter into a measuring cup. Remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Return the pan to the oven and bake for about 10- 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 400ºF and continue baking the popovers until they are puffed and deep golden brown color.
  4. Remove from oven and cool pan on rack for a few minutes. Remove popovers from pan and serve hot.

Note: These popovers will quickly deflate, and do not hold or store well. So try to eat them fresh and hot from the oven!

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Filed under Appetizers, Bread, Party food, Snacks

Herb Rack of Lamb

Introducing Chef John!  The man knows his meat, and this recipe is just incredible.  I serve it with roasted potatoes, onion and fennel and shepherd salad (tomatoes, cukes, red onion, parsley, red wine vinegar and olive oil).  The meat must go on top of Tanya’s Tzatziki with extra for dipping. 

Chef John says: This is it for me… Strap me into the chair and let errrr rip because I’ll die happy if this is my last meal. Every element of this meal works so well together that I get weak in the knees just thinking about making it. Looking to “seal the deal”?? Well look no further my friend, I’ve got your golden ticket right here. -ts

Rack of lamb
Handful of herbs- rosemary, mint
2 cloves garlic minced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

  1. Finely chop rosemary, mint and garlic and add to bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of good olive oil, whisk together.
  2. Preheat oven to 400
  3. Salt and pepper all sides of rack then rub herb and garlic mixture on every square inch of the lamb
  4. Heat a large saute pan on high heat for 5-7 min.
  5. Sear the fat portion and meat portion for 2 min each and then sear the ends for 1 min each.
  6. Put saute pan with lamb fat side up into oven for 25 min then remove and cover with foil.
  7. Let it sit for 10 min and serve on top of Tanya’s Tzatziki (yogurt dip)

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Filed under Main Course, Meat, Special Occasion

Blue Cheese & Herb Butter

We used this buttah on our steaks during Snomaggedon 2K11, and it was certifiably nummy. I know some of you out there are skeered to go full fat, but sometimes it just has to be done. See below The Chef’s other variations if you want to get mixy. Some even have fruit in them, so that’s like healthy and stuff, right?

2 sticks of unsalted butter
handful of blue cheese crumbles
2 tablespoons  of chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons of chopped sage

  1. Take butter out of fridge to soften.  Once it becomes soft, add herbs and blue cheese.
  2. Mix very well. You can do this in a food processor or  a mixer if you don’t have enough elbow grease (incidentally, that is a totally gross saying)
  3. Once mixed, reform it into the butter shape and wrap in plastic wrap.  Place in fridge and chill until it is firm enough for slicing.

Variations:
Add lime zest, lime juice, and chili powder – Great for grilled corn on the cob
Add fresh dill and lemon zest – Perfect for fish
Add grated Parmesan cheese, roasted garlic, and parsley – Awesome for garlic bread

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Filed under Meat, Sauces

Mushroom Risotto

After many trials at different risotto methods and recipes, I have finally found the one.  This is based off of my favorite leading lady in the kitchen (other then Julia) Lidia Bastianich’s Basic Risotto recipe.  This recipe is so good.  I use the leftovers and make Risotto balls, creamy and cheesy meets deep-fried, yes please!  You just dredge them in a batter and fry.  I add more cheese in the middle of the balls.  – ts

1 package hot chicken stock (preferably homemade, it will change the whole experience of this dish)
3 tablespoon olive oil- enough to sauté onions, leeks, and mushrooms (add more during cooking process if needed)
1 medium yellow onion minced
1 medium leek, white parts only, trimmed, cleaned and chopped
4 to 6 scallions, trimmed, white and green parts chopped separately
12 ounce mixed mushrooms
2 cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine or red wine (good wine please)
Salt
zest and juice of 1 lemon
handful of herbs (thyme or rosemary will work)
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Pour the stock into a 2-quart saucepan and keep it hot over low heat.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot (dutch oven) medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the leek and the white parts of the scallions and cook, stirring, until the onion is golden, about 6 minutes. Adjust the heat under the pan as the onion browns so that it cooks slowly with gentle bubbling.
  3. Add the mushrooms along with salt and pepper for seasonings, add herbs, lemon zest and juice of half a lemon.  Let sauté for about 7 mins.
  4. Stir in the rice and continue stirring until the grains are coated with oil and toasted (the edges will become translucent), 1 to 2 minute.  Toasting your rice is very important so don’t skip out on this step!  
  5. Pour in the wine and let it boil, stirring the rice, until evaporated.
  6.  Season the rice lightly with salt and ladle enough of the hot stock into the pan to barely cover the rice. Bring to a boil, lower the heat so the stock is at a lively simmer. Cook, stirring constantly, until all the stock has been absorbed and you can see the bottom of the pan when you stir.
  7. Continue cooking, pouring in the remaining hot stock in small batches–each addition should be just enough to completely moisten the rice–and cook until each batch of stock has been absorbed. Stir constantly until the rice mixture is creamy but al dente. This will take anywhere from 15-30 minutes from the time the wine was added. Make sure to taste the rice during the process to test for doneness.  When in doubt, undercook–risotto continues to cook, even after it is removed from the heat. 
  8. Towards end of cooking process, taste for additional seasons of salt and lemon juice.  I like everything lemony so I add the rest of the lemon juice.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the butter and green parts of the scallion until the butter is completely melted. Stir in half the grated cheese. Taste the risotto and add salt, if necessary, and pepper. Top with freshly grated cheese.

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Filed under Comfort food, Italian food, Main Course, Rice