Tag Archives: oil

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

Zucchini Crudo ~ a.k.a. Zucchini Summer Salad

As many of you know, I started a new job this week, and I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing. And as it turns out, I’m not good at being clueless. At work, that is. I’m great at it on the weekends (See: the black eye I gave myself from tripping over Emily’s computer last Friday).

Photo from kissmyspatula.com

Anyway, my confusion over words and acronyms I don’t understand stops now, which is why I chose to dumb-down The Chef’s title of this post from “crudo” to “salad.” That is the speed I’m running on, people, so shift back a gear.

This salad reminds me of a simpler time when my biggest worry was what kind of wine I was going to drink alongside my Chef-prepared farm fresh MFM veggies… also known as  last week. Seems like a year.

Anywho, this salad was fresh and fantastic, and it was the perfect side to the Seared Scallops with Mango Vinaigrette. The adorable baby carrots we had with it didn’t hurt either (recipe coming soon).

Lemon thyme vinaigrette:
1 shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme

  1. Combine all ingredients except oil.
  2. Slowly add oil while whisking.

Zucchini Crudo:
2 lbs zucchini, sliced as thin as possible (a mandoline or the slicer on your food processor is perfect for this)
2 tbsp crushed walnuts
shaved parmesan cheese, about 6 thin slices
salt to taste

  1. Place zucchini in a strainer and sprinkle with salt.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Toss zucchini with dressing and add walnuts. Top with parmesan cheese. Serve cold. With lots of white wine.

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Filed under Italian food, Marinades, Salad, Salad dressings, Sauces, Side dishes, Veggies

Pan Roasted Red Snapper with Chile Citrus Vinaigrette

Aside from tuna, I know very little about fish. I know that I will order it if it’s served over mashed potatoes or comes covered in butter. Other than that, I am completely unprepared to make any educated decisions.

For example, I thought I knew what red snapper was, and I was pretty sure I liked it. I realized, however, that I was very confused when The Chef brought it out and it wasn’t red. The scales are, of course, but the actual meat is white.

(For those of you who knew that, enjoy a good laugh at my expense. I watch 5 hours of the Food Network a day and am still apparently Simple Jack when it comes to seafood.)

Anyway, I like most varieties of firm, white fish, and this is my new favorite. And not just because I braved the cold, rainy morning to get it from Paradise Seafood at the Memphis Farmers Market (I had to walk all the way across the street, y’all). Pan searing is super easy, and this vinaigrette is so fresh and tangy it will make you want to eat it straight out of the bowl.

Furthermore, the dude who own Paradise is crazy nice (I’ve since learned his name is Don), and he’ll let you pick our your own fillet for a very reasonable price. Plus he named his business after Jimmy Buffett’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” and that just spells good people.

Picture borrowed from Richard Swiecki Food Photography because my camera has the flu.

Fish:
2-3 red snapper fillets
flour
splash of white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Vinaigrette:
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 orange
1 tsp of sugar
salt to taste
1/2 cup of olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, minced

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. To make the vinaigrette:
    1. Combine all ingredients except oil.
    2. Whisk in oil slowly until emulsified.
  3. To make the fish:
    1. Heat oil in saute pan on medium high heat. Salt and pepper fish and dredge in flour (flesh side up, only dredging one side).
    2. Place fish flesh side down in pan and saute until golden brown.
    3. Turn fish and add wine. Then place in oven for 3-4 minutes.
    4. Remove and top with Chili Citrus Vinaigrette. Lots of it. Trust me, you’ll want it.

Sidenote: We also had some head-on shrimp from Paradise that were so good they tasted like little lobsters. Recipe coming soon.

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Filed under Fish, Fruit, Main Course, Marinades, Salad dressings, Sauces, Toppings

Sauteed Squash, Zucchini & Red Pepper

This recipe is an exercise in self control in that you really have to just not screw up good, fresh ingredients by getting too fussy with them.

These veggies are really yummy and bright (I keep hearing people on the Food Network use that word, so I’m taking it for a spin). The red pepper and basil kick the flavor up a notch, and it’s nutritious in the make-you-feel-good way, not the hippie-tree-hugging-granola way, and that’s always a plus.

1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced into thin half-moons
1 yellow squash, cut the same way as the zucchini
1 red bell pepper, diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon of basil, chiffonade (Don’t worry it only sounds intimidating.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 ounce olive oil

  1. Heat oil in a saute pan. Add garlic and saute until tender but not brown.
  2. Add zucchini, yellow squash, and red bell pepper. Saute until tender.
  3. Toss in basil and season with salt and pepper.

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Filed under Side dishes, Veggies

Kale Chips

I cannot believe that I have not posted a kale chip recipe! I am sure it is very apparent that I love kale. If in season I have it at least 2-3 times a week. You cannot talk about kale without mentioning kale chips. They are the best. -ts

one bunch of kale, rinsed and dried
Olive oil
Salt, to taste
sprinkling of paprika or cayenne power (optional) Direc

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the kale leaves from their tough end and inner stems. Tear to smaller pieces. I use my hands for this.
  2. Place kale chips in large bowl. Start by tossing in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. The kale leaves only need to be lightly coated with oil. Too much will make the chips too limp and greasy. Only add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil at a time. Then sprinkle in sea salt.
  3. Put the kale pieces in a single layer in a baking. Bake for 15 minutes or until crisp. About 5 minutes before they are finished, turn them in oven. They will burn easy, be aware of how they are baking.

For more smoky or spicy flavor, lightly dust the kale chips with paprika or cayenne pepper.

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Filed under Appetizers, Party food, Snacks, 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

Cucumber Salad

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I want nothing to do with cucumbers… unless they’re part of some great-smelling lotion line by Dove, The texture, the seeds, the squishy texture – they are just not for me. Unless you pickle them.

I am a self-professed pickling junkie, and with this recipe The Chef proved that vinegar is so magical it can even make a cucumber palatable. He likes to serve these on top of Bulgogi (a truly delicious Korean taco alternative) or under grilled shrimp as an appetizer. Go. Make. Believe.

4 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced thin
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbsp chopped cilantro

  1. Start by making the dressing: Mix vinegar, sugar, salt, and oil.  Taste. If it’s too tart add sugar; if it’s too sweet add vinegar.
  2. Mix dressing and the rest of the ingredients together. Let sit in fridge for at least 2 hours.

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Filed under Salad, Toppings, Veggies

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Continuing in the delusional vein that spring has just about sprung, The Chef brings you an easy salad dressing that will make you feel downright seasonal. This is another one that can double as a seafood sauce, so feel free to get creative up in herr-ah if you like.

1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
salt to taste
3/4 cup of peanut oil
3/4 cup  of veg oil

  1. Mix all ingredients except the oils.  Allow the flavors to marry for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Slowly whisk in oils until all has been added and the vinaigrette is smooth and thickened.
  3. Serve on any spring salad or use it as a dressing for fish. Makes 2 cups.

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Filed under Marinades, Salad, Salad dressings, Sauces

Roasted Veggie Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This is by far my favorite salad The Chef has made to date. And not just because I got to eat it while watching The. Most. Shocking. Bachelor. Finale. EVER. (Which it wasn’t even – I mean, Brad picked Emily. That girl was so good-looking even I was in love with her, and I usually only go for Latinas. Sup Eva Mendes.)
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But I digress. Whenever you give me roasted mushrooms and tomatoes of any kind, I am happy, and the combination of both with the crunchy walnuts was fantastic. The Chef says the tangy vinaigrette is also great as a sauce on chicken or fish. I just thought it would be highly drinkable… if you’re into that sort of thing.
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Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2 shallot, minced
zest of one lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a mixing bowl, add everything except oil and combine.
  2. Slowly add oil to emulsify.

Roasted Veggie Salad:
1 pound portabella mushrooms, sliced
arugula, half of a container
6 *yellow tomatoes, quartered
crumbled goat cheese, a few “sprinkles” (We’re very technical here.)
walnuts, chopped, a few “handfuls”
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Toss mushrooms and tomatoes in oil, salt and pepper. Lay out on sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes. (The Chef likes to serve these veggies at room temp, and I agree.)
  3. Toss arugula with dressing and top with veggies, goat cheese, and walnuts.

*You can obviously use red tomatoes if necessary, but these are prettier and have a great flavor, so try to snag some if you can.
**Also fairly obvious is the fact that this picture is not of the same version of the salad written above. Mainly because I was too involved in finding out whether or not Chantal was gonna wig out and deck Brad when he basically denied ever liking her on “After the Final Rose” (She didn’t – LAME.), and I forgot to take a photo. The Chef says he makes this a lot, though, so we”ll replace this one shortly.

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Filed under Marinades, Salad, Salad dressings, Side dishes, Veggies