Risotto was one of those dishes that I would only have when I ate out at a restaurant. For some strange reason, I had a fear of trying to make it myself. I knew it required a lot of stirring and with my luck, I just figured I’d end up messing it up by letting it burn or some other mess. Luckily, my attempts at it have been successful. I love that you can do so many things to risotto. Oh the possibilities are endless. No matter who you make this one for, they’d be sure to thank you all day/night and if you make it for yourself, you’d be patting yourself on the back for a while to come.
I absolutely love crab cakes. There was a year straight when whenever I went out, if crab cakes were on the menu, I would order them as my appetizer. Seriously, I love the stuff. BUT they can be pretty expensive. One crab cake with some fancy garnishes or two at most usually runs me between $16-$22 in a restaurant. Uh…right. I know it’s an appetizer and all but one hardly hits the spot no matter how delicious it is. So I gave up on buying crab cakes and I now find myself making them every now and again. At $10-$12 for a pound of lump crab meat, I can make at least 10 crab cakes myself. I think I much rather that.
The inspiration for this recipe came from the menu of a restaurant my PIC and I dined at about a month ago. The way they described it made it sound so luscious but at that time, neither of us wanted to be adventurous because we were starving and just didn’t want to take the risk of getting something we didn’t know much about, not liking it and then having to leave unsatisfied. It’s like that sometimes so on those occasions, we stick to the regular stuff. Anyways when we got home, I decided that I’d make the dish soon. I began my search for recipes and finally used two to come up with this dish. It’s spicy and garlicky but definitely yummy. But what’s more is that I have made this dish unknowingly before. Many, many times before.
Last week, I was honored when Florence from Perks Of Cancer asked me to guest post for her blog. Her request was simple; she wanted me to share with her audience a cancer-fighting dish/recipe. Well, when I got this request if I could have back flipped, trust me, I would have. I’ve never been good at gymnastics and since I’m getting down in age, now isn’t the time to start experimenting. I was overwhelmed, elated, stupefied (Yes, it was THAT serious). I couldn’t believe that Florence found me worthy of being featured on her blog and wanted to share me with her audience. After I calmed my excited self down, I started researching. I found out so much information about foods that are good for our bodies and foods that can actually help reduce the risk of getting cancer. It was truly a wonderful experience. I did this scrumptious pomegranate glazed salmon for Perks of Cancer
I’m a tuna fan. As I told you guys before, I cannot resist going to the grocery store and picking up lots of canned tuna. My favorite things to do with tuna are to make my Fully Loaded Tuna Salad Sandwich and Tuna cakes. The last Tuna Cakes I made consisted of some mashed potatoes but I was very excited to try this new recipe I spotted over at The Novice Chef. It’s light, luscious and definitely on the healthy side. I ate mine with a salad for dinner because I made jumbo size cakes but I think they’d also make great appetizers or a snack.
Last week I was on a little health kick at my house. I spent 2 days juicing/detoxing and I have to be honest and say that by the second morning I was feeling so much lighter. My routine for those two days was to wake up, drink a smoothie then have a snack around midmorning, a very light lunch at noon, early dinner at around 4pm and then a smoothie at 6pm. I’m so keeping that routine. Two day out of each week nothing but strictly healthy meals and juices/smoothie. My body NEEDS it. This salmon was my dinner for the first night. The entire meal was filling but not in the way that would have you feeling guilty afterwards. It certainly made me feel good! It was scrumptious and healthy and I don’t ever think you can go wrong with that.
This is another classic, hearty and tasty Italian-styled dish. I first had shrimp alfredo in a restaurant many moons ago and totally loved it. It was comforting and delicious. I have made this dish a few dozen times and can never get tired of it plus it’s so easy and quick to prepare. Can’t go wrong with that right? Some people opt to leave out the alcohol that I see in many recipes but if you’ve visited my blog enough times, you’ll know Tia misses no opportunity to incorporate liquor into her meals. I used a dry vermouth in place of the recommended white wine but it was great all the same.
Smoked salmon, I love and crave the stuff but fresh salmon? Sometimes, it’s a hit or miss. For me to enjoy it, it has to be PERFECT. My PIC and I have made a pact to eat a lot healthier than we’ve been doing in the past and so we have agreed to eat seafood at least three times a week. The pressure is going to be on me to prepare flavorful meals every time that aren’t repetitive and boring. Fresh salmon is never a fish that I look forward to preparing. Give me snapper, mahi mahi or king fish and I’m good to go but with salmon, I definitely have to recruit help and inspiration. Luckily, this recipe called out to me when I first saw it. I could tell the flavor was going to be great. I was not disappointed. The fish was moist and perfectly seasoned. If you like salmon at all, I urge you to try this recipe soon!
Every time I go to the grocery store I buy at least 4 cans of tuna (solid or chunk). I hardly use them but I keep buying as if I’m preparing for some disaster where loads of canned goods are needed. Recently, I looked into my pantry and realized that I NEED to stop buying tuna. They are just accumulating. So in an effort to get rid of some of the cans of tuna I have stockpiled, I decided to make these tuna-potato patties. They’re simple, very delicious, perfect for a snack or even entree.
Can you guess how long I’ve been wanting to try my hand at gumbo? Not one year…or two…or three…but 6 long years. As a matter of fact, I wanted to go to New Orleans just to try gumbo and jambalaya because I wanted the real thing. I wanted authentic creole cooking. And maybe that was one of the reason I kept putting it off because I figured if I made it (using some random recipe on the web…well it mightn’t be so “Cajun”?) However, in the spirit of trying new things for 2012, I decided to put my foot down and tackle gumbo. Believe you me, the search for the right recipe was not easy. It took 2 long weeks (yup! I spent many hours of the last days of 2011 searching for this recipe). What made it even harder was that I couldn’t decide what meat combinations to use. In the end, in true Tia style, I ended up using 3 recipes as guidelines (with 3 different types of “meat”) and the finished product was out-of-this-world, insanely, amazingly, wonderfully DELICIOUS!
Quick Note: The images for this post aren’t the best at all but I promise if you click on them individually, you’ll be able to see them in a much better light. Go ahead. Click away.
When I did this, I really was looking for something simple to do with my salmon. Nothing complicated. A marinade. Bake. Done. BUT even though I wanted something what didn’t require a much preparation or cooking (and that’s one of the best things about salmon. 1.2.3 and you’re good to go), I also knew that whatever I did with my salmon shouldn’t be bland. I trolled the web and came across a rub to use with my salmon and I eagerly tried it. Best. Seafood. Rub. EVER.
This dish is another of my favorites to order at Chinese restaurants. And if you can’t tell by now, I love shrimp. There’s always shrimp here and I love incorporating it into delicious meals. When I made this I could have given Rachel Ray some serious competition. (Side Note: I do not watch her show (anymore) because I find her just a tad bit annoying. Is she still on Food Network? I digress…) The competition factor came from the time it took to prepare this meal; less than 30 minutes. Shrimp + Vegetables + Noodles = One Dish. Easy Peasy Meal. My PIC actually stood around the entire time watching (and helping) me make this. I was (and AM) happy about that because I’m confident that if I ever drop sick in the future, well, he’d be able to make me this absolutely delicious and comforting meal.
As long as I can remember, I’ve been eating fried rice. Growing up my mom made it and there was one Chinese restaurant in my island from where I would always get a mixture of fried rice and noodles with fried chicken. When I got to the US, in my college days, pizza and Chinese food were staples! When we called the Chinese restaurant for delivery, fried rice and lo mein were always ordered every.single.time! Luckily for me (older and more economical now), we cook a LOT of rice. What can I say? We’re rice loving people. There’s always rice left over in this house so I usually have a good reason to make fried rice. What I like most about fried rice is you can basically throw anything into the mix with it and violà: a meal! It’s so flexible. Leftover meat? Fried rice! Leftover veggies? Fried rice! Instead of throwing the extras in the trash, you can make a delicious and nutritious meal….at home….without the pool of grease you’d get when ordering out! You certainly can’t go wrong with that!
The name of this dish, which I had a little trouble pronouncing (Gotta roll your tongue for that R), basically translates to mean Cuban Style Shrimp in a tomato based Sauce or Shrimp Creole, if you prefer. This is one of those dishes that is a spicy but not too hot and it bursts with the taste of garlic, tomatoes and the flavor of plump, succulent shrimp. I first had this at a Cuban restaurant in NYC called “Habana Room” (now closed), and every time I went to Habana Room I would order this dish. Sometimes I would order another entree to eat there and then take this one to go (to eat later for dinner or the next day). I love shrimp but more so I love fiery shrimp. In the Caribbean, there’s a dish called “pepper shrimp”, I could eat that all day even though it would have my mouth burning immensely. Camarones Enchilados is similar because of the spicy factor and it was on my “Must Try” list of recipes. When I made it and ate it, I found it to be nearly as good as what I had in Habana Room dozens of times before. (Click on photos to see them better)
When I used to live in NY, I always bought saltfish from my local Korean grocers but now that I’m in Hicksville, I don’t see it as often so I make sure when I visit NY to buy enough to bring back home to last a while. Recently I was in the seafood section of a large supermarket and lo and behold, I saw saltfish. I excitedly pointed it out to my PIC and as it was his first time seeing it packaged, he came over to read the label. “Why do you call it saltfish? Cuz it says right here salted cod, so basically it’s just cod. What’s this saltfish you keep talking about?” he says. And I go “Well you see it says salted right? And cod is a fish right? Salted Fish. Salt Fish. Saltfish”. Then I had to go into the long detailed explanation of how saltfish is made. For those who are not familiar, saltfish is fish that has been salted and cured in the sun, is a very common part of Caribbean people’s diet. Saltfish is imported from places in Europe into other regions but it is a big part of many West Indian dishes. To this day, saltfish and breadfruit is my favorite West Indian dish. There’s no breadfruit around me and certainly no ground provisions, so a little rice with boiled plantain usually have to suffice.