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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Clam Dip

Using seafood is a great way to add variety to your dips/appetizers. This dip utilizes canned clams, no need to deal with the expense and the hassle of fresh seafood with this simple recipe.

2- 8 oz. cans minced clams with juice
4 TBSP. olive oil
1 large onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp dried oregano
4 TBSP. fresh parsley
parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Saute onion in olive oil, add garlic and cook 2 additional minutes.
3. Add breadcrumbs, oregano, and parsley, mix well.
4. Turn off heat, add clams with juice. Stir until liquid is absorbed.
5. Put in baking dish and sprinkle liberally with parmesan cheese.
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, serve hot!

Eggplant Dip

Another delicious dip, serve with crackers or pita bread.

2 medium eggplants
2 whole roasted peppers (chopped)
1 large tomato (chopped)
2 celery stalks (chopped)
1 TBSP. capers
2 TBSP. chopped parsley
2 TBSP. olive oil
2 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves (pressed, or chopped very fine)

1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Roast eggplants for about an hour (until skin is wrinkled, and inside is soft)
3. Cut eggplants, scoop out inside, and chop.
4. Combine all ingredients in bowl, add eggplant.
5. Adjust seasoning with salt and tabasco ( to taste)
6. Marinate a few hours-overnight in refrigerator.


Having friends or family together this weekend? A great way to start off the festivities is a few simple dips. Making these yourself rather than buying them in the store, will save you money, and your guests will notice! Why over pay for something packed with preservatives, try this delicious hummus recipe. Amazing served with pita chips, or toast some pita bread and slice!

15 oz. can chick peas
1 clove garlic (smashed)
3 TBSP. olive oil
2 TBSP. lemon juice
salt and pepper

1. Drain chick peas, reserve liquid.
2. Put all ingredients in food processor.
3. Combine until smooth, adding chickpea liquid as needed.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tip of the Day- Keeping it Steady

When you are cooking at home, sometimes the most difficult situations arise from simply not having a helping hand. There are always ways around this, and you should be confident you could complete any recipe on your own! Here are a few simple ways to get the job done safely, and easily.

1. When using a cutting board, place a damp paper towel underneath it. This will prevent slipping and sliding, and allow you to maintain control of the knife and whatever you are cutting.

2. If you are making salad dressing, or any other type of emulsion, constant whisking is key. This means that you need to be slowly pouring oil into a bowl, while whisking. Don't have a third hand to hold the bowl? Me either! I simply take a moist dish towel, hold it by one corner and spin so that it is now long and twisted. Wrap the towel around the base of the bowl. You may have to wiggle the bowl a bit to make sure it is secure, but this should hold it in place for you.

Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad

A perfectly light and refreshing salad, always a hit at BBQ's. Some people are instantly turned off just hearing goat cheese, but I assure you this salad is family friendly, and has never disappointed even the pickiest of eaters. Just forget to mention there's goat cheese in it!

1 lb. fresh baby spinach
1 head bibb lettuce (torn)
1 pint strawberries (sliced)
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup red onion (thinly sliced)
1/4 cup toasted walnuts (finely chopped)

1/3 cup raspberry vinegar (Any like-fruit flavored vinegar will suffice, or plain old red wine)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 TBSP. poppy seeds
2 tsp. dried minced onions
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Simply combine all salad ingredients in a bowl.
2. Combine all dressing ingredients (omit oil) in a bowl.
3. Slowly whisk oil into dressing.
4. Pour over salad, immediately serve.

If you are working on this alone, my next post will be a tip on how to easily pour in oil and whisk away, while keeping the bowl steady. No need for a third hand!

Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass

This recipe is pure bliss, a bit on the expensive side, but easy, flavorful, and worth every penny. I try and purchase most/all items in an asian supermarket, as I know they will have everything, and tend to sell chilean sea bass at a cheaper price per pound. Be sure to only buy as much as you need, this fish is not cheap!

24 oz. chilean sea bass
1 cup sweet white miso paste
3 TBSP. dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup mirin (japanese rice wine)

1. Combine all ingredients in pot (besides fish)
2. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, cool completely.
3. Smother on fish and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours (overnight would be better)
4. Preheat oven to broil.
5. Wipe off marinade with paper towel and lightly brush with olive oil.
6. Broil until nice and dark on top.
7. Check for doneness and allow to rest.

Be sure to cut fish into portions prior to cooking/serving if you are purchasing a large piece. A great trick, if you do not want to struggle with wiping off the marinate when it is time to cook, is to wrap the fish in cheesecloth and than coat with marinate. The fish will still soak up all the delicious flavors overnight and allow you to simply unwrap and cook whenever you're ready.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

3 Bean Salad

Eating traditional, mostly lettuce, salads on hot days like today could become extremely monotonous. Occasionally switching to a bean salad adds variety and some extra protein to your diet. Here is a refreshing 3 bean salad thats full of flavor, while remaining guilt and lettuce free!

2 medium limes
1/2 jar chunky salsa (12 oz. jar)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. cumin (optional)
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 can black beans (~16 oz, drained)
1 can red kidney beans (~16 oz, drained)
1 can chick peas (~16 oz, drained)
2 celery stalks (thinly sliced)
1 small red onion (thinly sliced)
1 medium tomato (diced, red bell pepper makes a good replacement)
fresh pepper (to taste)
chopped parsley (garnish, optional)

1. Squeeze lime juice into large bowl, stir in salsa, oil, chili powder, salt, and cumin.
2. Add beans, celery, onions, and tomatoes.
3. Toss to mix thoroughly without destroying the beans.
4. Check seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve at room temperature.