Posts Tagged 'lemon'

Thankgiving recipes…with a twist

As I posted last week, we are planning an epic endeavor…Bacon Wrapped Turducken. Now man and woman cannot live on bacon bird alone…we need side dishes. Now we cannot do with instant mashed potatoes, no we are going for recipes with a twist on the traditional. Whether they are a unique family recipe or a new creation. Here are a few of the sides I am planning on making.

Mashed Cauliflower

I want to make this partly to try and attempt to balance out the Turducken (ok honestly nothing will balance out that besides some diet pills and exlax) but also just to have a bit different flavor than plain potatoes. Personally I’ve always loved mashed cauliflower just because its got a better taste than boring plain potatoes. My recipe is adapted from Dani Spires L’s Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream ( prefer light sour cream)
  • 1 cup chives or green onions finely diced
  • ¼ cup of Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • paprika

Boil the cauliflower until it is soft…be sure not to overcook! About 8 minutes should be enough.  Allow the cauliflower to cool a bit then dump it in a blender with the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT for the paprika and chives.  Blend until everything is smooth then transfer back into a pot.  Stir until everything is warm then stir in the chives/green onion.  Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with paprika.

You could easily do some variations on this recipe…try roasting the garlic beforehand, adding curry for a spicy curry mash, more cheese for a cheesy cauliflower mash, or really anything else you would do to mashed potatoes!

Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds

I want to do something different than nasty green bean cassarole…honestly I dont know how this frozen canned soup monstrosity became a Thanksgiving staple.  Its the one dish I see getting passed over at every Thanksgiving dinner (except the grandparents…grandparents loooove green bean cassarole). So why not just do a delicious and light green bean side?  I mean with all the other rich heavy dishes we have going on, I want to save some room for Cesar’s homemade pumpkin pie.

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of green beans (about a pound)
  • olive oil
  • 4-6  medium sized shallots
  • lemon juice
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (you could easily substitute walnuts)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the green beans until they are bright green, about 3 minutes.  In a skillet heat some olive oil and saute the shallots until they are carmelized.  Toss in the green beans, a bit of lemon juice (just enough to coat the beans), the almonds and salt and pepper.

Voila! Easy huh?

So now that I have the green beams and cauliflower mash all figured out, i just need to figure out something to do with the sweet potatoes.  Im not a fan of the super sugary mini marshmallow sweet potatoes…so I want to do something different and more special. Im thinking either a cranberry and sweet potato dish…or ginger and honey sweet potatoes….something else that is a little more special.  When I figure it out, I’ll be sure to post it up ;)

OR you can help me out…anyone have any delicious and different sweet potato or yam recipes?

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What, me curry?

Last night my boyfriend calls me to tell me he will be working late at the office, but he wants to come home to see me for a bit and grab dinner. I had already been day dreaming at work of delicious piles of Thai food (I do this often) so I knew instantly I wanted to make curry. I usually make yellow curry since I have a small stock pile of yellow curry powder, but I was lacking some of the key ingredients like potatoes. Having splurged at the farmers market this past weekend I accumulated tons of fresh green peppers, chili, onions and both regular basil and lemon basil. Instantly I knew what I needed to make…green seafood curry.

This is probably one of my favorite dishes in the world. Although I prefer yellow curry when its Indian or Japanese curry, when it comes to Thai, nothing quite captures the marriage of sweet and spicy like green curry. Plus I love any opportunity to use basil and bamboo shoots. So off I headed to the market to pick up some fresh seafood and some green curry paste. The end result was a quick and deliciously low fat meal. While curry itself isnt terribly fattening, the coconut milk can quickly add up the calories and sugar. What I usually do is substitute some light chicken broth to add a little extra liquid without the extra fat. Personally I dont like my curry super milky, so I have always preferred it this way. But, if you favor a creamy heavy curry by all means throw in that extra coconut milk instead of broth!

Now a heads up on this recipe, I generally just make up recipes as I go along so my measurements arent an exact science but rather a guesstimate. Use discretion and taste as you go along! Thats the fun of cooking anyways ;)


Light Green Seafood Curry

Ingredients

  • 2 tbl spoons of curry paste
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 2 cups light chicken broth
  • 1/2 lb of raw shrimp 20-30 or 30-40 count
  • 1/2 lb fresh scallops
  • 10 live mussels (make sure to keep these chilled while you are cooking so that they dont die on you)
  • 1 small purple or white onion
  • 1 large green pepper
  • a handful of FRESH green beans (sorry cant give a better measurement of this one, besides, it all depends on how much you love green beans).
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 tbl spoon fish sauce
  • handful of kaffir lime
  • 1 can bamboo shoots
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • about a cup or so of fresh basil (if you have lemon basil as well, through an extra half cup of that in).

In a pot bring the coconut milk to a boil and add the curry paste. Once it has dissolved taste to see if its to your liking. I like things spicy so I tend to add a bit more, but if you like things on the mild side, pull it back a bit. Add in some salt and pepper to taste. Crush and mince the garlic and throw it on into the pot along with the kaffir lime. At this point I took some chilies and sliced them in half and removed some of the seeds, but as I said, I like spice so dont do this if you arent willing to play with heat. Tear up the basil and toss this on into the pot as well. I happen to love basil so I threw in a whole bunch, again, this is all about taste.

Oh and heads up if you are cutting chilies, dont scratch your nose after…it took a few hours for mine to quit burning even after I tried the olive oil trick!

After everything has come to a boil and the taste satisfies you dice up the onion and pepper and throw that in along with the green beans. Toss in the clean de-veined shrimp and scallops as well. Open and drain the bamboo shoots and throw those into the pot. Let everything simmer for a few minutes until the shrimp is no longer translucent. At this point take your live muscles and throws those puppies in for a sweet delicious death. Juice the lemon and give the pot a final stir to make sure everything is coated before you let it go for a final simmer of about 5-10 minutes.

Now at this point you may be asking where the chicken broth went. Well, I only use this when the dish needs some extra liquid. So as you are cooking, if you feel you want more liquid throw in a bit of the broth (or for extra creamy keep a second can of coconut milk on hand).

Once the muscles have opened up and cooked turn off the heat and serve over white jasmine rice. This should yield 2-3 servings depending on how hungry you are.

Remember curry is all about tasting, there is no science to it so try as you go along! Also play around and experiment with other proteins like chicken or tofu!

PS- I would include pictures but my camera is on the fritz so bare with me until I get it sorted out ;)


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