make it, pickling

Beets: pickling series

Hello Readers and happy Friday!

Last week we started our conversation on pickling, and how it is a great time to start thinking about preserving some of our summertime favorites. This weeks pick is the lovely beet. Beets are great for your body and you can read more on their benefits here.

Here is the process for pickling them it is only 3 steps!

  1. Slice your beets and place them in a mason jar. I chose to slice these into rounds since I plan on using them in sandwiches, but feel free to slice them however you want.

2. Next take 1/2 cup of white vinegar ( you can also use apple cider vinegar) 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1 tsp of pickling spice.

3. Boil vinegar mixture for about 5 min. Once boiled pour over beets in mason jar and let sit overnight.

Try this out at home and let me know how your experience was! Also comment what your favorite pickled fruits and vegetables are so we can make them together!

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make it

Cucumbers: an intro to pickling

Hello Readers, and Happy Monday!

This month I would like to highlight the cucumber. Here in Massachusetts cucumbers are in peak season and it makes a lot of sense. Cucumbers are have an extremely high water and fiber content aiding in hydration and weight loss. As you may already know, hydration is a small problem that has many large solutions, from fatigue, stress, cramp spasms and hunger, adding cucumbers into your rotation of produce will help make up for the water you don’t drink during the day.

The cucumber season in MA lasts from June to August, my recommendation is that here at the end of July you should make your own pickles for the upcoming fall and winter.

Here is a really simple recipe I like to use from the Food Network. It is a great way to store cucumbers for the upcoming season and can last up to two months!

Over the next few posts I will be sharing ideal fruits and veggies to pickle and when so when October and November hit we will have a variety of homemade special ingredients to choose from to spice up our recipes!

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Thank you for reading and until next time, Cheers!

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food, make it

Coconut lime curried chicken

Hello Readers and Happy Monday

One of my favorite things to do in my spare time is read other chefs cook books. I found this amazing coconut lime curried chicken recipe in one of Marcus Samuelsson books Marcus off Duty: the recipes I cook at home.

If you are interested click here to check out his books or you can also find it at your local library , that is where I got mine!

Anyways, back to the chicken: coconut and stewed meats in general is always a good match. It adds a creamy, slightly sweet flavor that you can’t quite achieve with other ingredients, and compliments spicy flavors tremendously. Next, is lime; I believe lime in this case helps to brighten up the sauce,making it easy to eat this heavier dish during the summer.

In the original recipe chef Samuelsson uses chicken breasts, golden raisins and red curry paste. I did not have these ingredients and used chicken thighs, and sofrito. Sofrito is a traditional base used in latin cuisine made with cilantro, bell pepper and other ingredients giving this a major latin flare.

To make this dish:

  1. Skin 4 chicken thighs ( if you are using chicken breast you do not need to skin anything) season with salt & pepper, set aside.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil ( of choice) in a large pan/ pot big enough to hold 4 pieces of chicken and deep enough to hold 3 cups of liquid.
  3. In heated oil, add 1 medium yellow onion chopped season with salt & pepper cook until onions lose color.
  4. Add in tablespoon of minced garlic, cook for about 5 min. (If you burn it a little like I did lol it is ok, your sauce will just be darker)
  5. Reduce heat and add curry paste or sofrito about 1 large tablespoon, stir and cook for about 2 min.
  6. At this point you should move over your veg mix to the side of your pot, add another tablespoon of oil, let it heat and sear chicken about 3 mins per side and flip only once.
  7. After chicken is seared and flipped add in 1 can of coconut milk, the zest of 1 lime and its juice, 1/2 cup of water, handful of golden raisin, 4 chopped mint leaves, and 1 teaspoon of chopped parsley. Season with salt & pepper.
  8. Cook for 10 to 20 mins on medium heat.
  9. Taste liquid, add zest of second lime if you feel it needs more lime flavor
  10. Serve with starch of choice, I used white rice.

If you try this recipe please let me know! I would love to hear how it came out and if you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Until next time!

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make it, sauces

Tzatziki

Hello Readers and Happy Monday,

Today we have tzatziki sauce! Typically used to dress gyro’s; tzatziki can also be used to dip veggies, dress regular salads or spread on crackers.

This delicious dressing is high protein, satisfying and really simple. Personally I enjoy whole milk plain yogurt, it is creamy, satisfies my fat craving and is less tangy; however, if you prefer a more tangy sauce I would recommend the low fat or fat free plain yogurt.

To make this sauce all you need is plain greek yogurt, salt, pepper, dill, and shredded cucumber. * You can substitute dill for mint or add both!*

Thank you for reading, until next time Cheers!

food, make it

Cajun Lemon Shrimp

Happy Monday Readers,

So shrimp, probably one of my personal favorite foods. I love spicy shrimp, coconut shrimp and fried shrimp, now before I go Forest Gump on you I will cut to this weeks GOT ( Game of Thrones ) dish which was a smoky Cajun seasoned lemon shrimp. Served with toasted baguettes to sop up all the yummy sauce.

Throw down half a stick of salted butter, and dried chives.
Toss in raw, deveined shrimp. add a pinch of salt and pepper. a teaspoon of paprika, teaspoon of cayenne, teaspoon of garlic powder, teaspoon of crushed red pepper, teaspoon of onion powder and teaspoon of dried parsley. Sauté for about 6 min.
Finished product topped with fresh curly parsley and extra lemon wedges. Don’t forget to toast up some French bread so sop up the sauce!

Thank you for reading and leave a comment with your favorite shrimp recipe!

Until next time, Cheers.

make it, sauces

Basil Tomato Sauce

Hello Readers, and Happy Monday!

This weeks blog is short and simple: tomato sauce. Now, we all have our own family recipe’s and there are ba-jillions yes ba-jillions of sauces for you too choose from at the grocery store, but sometimes it’s fun to make one on your own. If you are interested here is my tomato sauce recipe.

Beautiful basil bunch I found at my local Market basket.

This yields about 6 cups of sauce. Can be stored in refrigerator for no more than 3.5 weeks

Crushed tomato28 oz cans x2
tomato paste1 tbsp
minced garlic1 tbsp
butter2 tbsp
salt1/2 tbsp
pepper1 tsp
paprika1 tsp
dried oregano3 dashes
red wine1 cup
water3/4 cup
sugar1 tbsp

Method of Prep

  1. Melt butter in pan
  2. add garlic and cook for 3 min
  3. add crushed tomato, tomato paste and spices cook for 5 min
  4. add wine cook for 3 mins
  5. add water and sugar
  6. simmer for 10 min
  7. taste and adjust seasoning to your liking
  8. chop basil and add
  9. cook for 5 mins

As usual thank you for reading, until next time, Cheers!

food, make it, sweets

From a cake to a cookie

Happy Holidays Readers!

It’s Christmas Eve, and if you are like me, you may have committed yourself to making treats for people for the fast approaching festive season and probably do not have time to get to the store and buy ingredients. No problem I’ve got you covered. You know that box of cake mix by either good ol’ Betty crocker or sir Duncan that is sitting in your pantry? Well guess what you can make cookies out of that! Amazing right!

To turn this box into fresh yummy cookies all you need to do is disregard those instructions on the back and use these.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of oil

ANNND blend until the batter is thick and moldable usually about 3 mins on medium speed if you are using a hand blender. Bake at 375 for 6 to 9 min.

Here are red velvet cookies I made using the cake mix.

Good luck readers and again Merry Christmas