Finger Licking Good!

I love this rib recipe because Glee and Huan love ribs and I can easily prepare these in advance. You can pre-bake the ribs and prepare the sauce and just refrigerate them.  When it comes time to eat just toss the ribs in the sauce and broil them for 5-8 minutes.  I paired these ribs with the cranberry apple quinoa salad because the tartness of the apples balanced off the sweet honey garlic.  Making this meal finger licking good!

Cooking Notes:

  • These ribs can also be served as part of an hors d’oeuvre at a cocktail party as it is individually cut.

Honey Garlic Ribs with Cranberry Apple Quinoa Salad

Serves 4
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Meal type Main Dish, Salad
Misc Child Friendly, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party
Region Canadian
Adapted From Just A Taste & Veggie Belly

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2lb Ribs (Membrane removed and cut into individual ribs)
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger (grated)
  • 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 3/4 cups Honey
  • 1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

Salad

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple (diced)
  • 1/2 Golden Gala apple (diced)
  • 1/2 cup English cucumber (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Dried cranberries
  • 4 tablespoons Lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon Basil leaves (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

Directions

Step 1
Place the quinoa and water in a medium skillet and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, and simmer covered for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked. Remove the lid, and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Let it cool to room temperature.
Step 2
While Quinoa is cooking. Preheat oven to 450ºF.
Step 3
Remove membrane from back and cut them into individual ribs. Rinse ribs and pat dry. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Position on baking racks in a single layer ensuring that ribs aren't touching.
Step 4
Bake, rotating pan half-way through, until fully cooked, 30-35 minutes. Remove ribs from oven and transfer to a large bowl.
Step 5
While ribs are being baked. Prepare the fruits and vegetables for the salad. Combine the fruits in a bowl and refrigerate till you are ready to serve the salad.
Step 6
Whisk together lemon juice, zest, EVOO, salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
Step 7
Add half the dressing to the quinoa and mix gently. Set aside.
Step 8
Meanwhile prepare the rib sauce. Add the sesame oil and olive oil to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes until golden brown.Add honey and hoisin sauce, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Step 9
Remove ribs from oven and add to sauce pan to toss and coat them. Lay them individually onto the baking sheet and put it back into the oven for another 5 minutes.
Step 10
Meanwhile, chop and add the basil to the dressing. Toss the quinoa, fruits and cucumbers together.
Step 11
To serve, divide the salad evenly onto the plate and serve it with the ribs.

Element of Surprise!

I love phyllo pastries. The flakiness and buttery taste is just so heavenly!  The only thing is that it is mostly done in desserts.  Once I saw this recipe, I had to give it a try!  Again, this looks a lot more work than it really is.  The mashed potatoes and cucumber salsa could be done in advance and stored in the fridge up to 48 hours.

This dinner is great for a formal party or a date night.  Not only does it look great, the taste of freshness from the salsa and the texture from the wrap just go so well with fish making this meal a memorable one.  When you bring out the meal, the element of surprise will be a great conversation starter.

Phyllo-Wrapped Cod with Cucumber Salsa and Mashed Potatoes

Serves 4
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Allergy Fish
Dietary Diabetic
Meal type Main Dish, Side Dish, Starter
Misc Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Formal Party, Valentines day
Region Canadian
Adapted From AllRecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 4 6-8oz Cod fillets (or any white fish fillets)
  • 8 sheets Phyllo pastry
  • 4 Russet potatoes (peeled and chopped in chunks)
  • 1 cup Frozen corn (thawed)
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

Salsa

  • 1 Medium English cucumber (seeded, peeled and chopped)
  • 1 Medium Tomato (seeded and chopped)
  • 1/2 Small Red onion (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh parsley (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh cilantro (minced)
  • 1 clove Garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Lime juice
  • 1 pinch Ground cumin

Directions

Step 1
Start boiling a pot of water. Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into chunks.
Step 2
Add potatoes to a pot with hot water. Add the bay leaf and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer and allow to cook until very tender, approximately 20-30 minutes.
Step 3
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt 4 tbsp of butter.
Step 4
Lightly butter 1 sheet of phyllo dough. Lay another sheet directly on top of the first sheet, and lightly butter it. Repeat with remaining 2 sheets of phyllo. Cut sheets in half.
Step 5
Season fillets with salt and pepper. Place a fillet near the bottom edge of one of the halved sheets of phyllo. Sprinkle with dill. Fold in the sides of the phyllo, then roll the fillet. Place on a baking sheet, and lightly brush with butter. Repeat with remaining fillet.
Step 6
Bake in a preheated oven until pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Step 7
Meanwhile prepare the salsa. In a small bowl, combine the cucumber, tomatoes, onion, parsley and cilantro. In another bowl, combine the Greek Yogurt, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and seasoned salt. Pour over cucumber mixture and toss gently to coat.
Step 8
Drain the potatoes, discard bay leaf, add corn and butter and start mashing.
Step 9
To serve, scoop the mashed potatoes onto a plate, place phyllo fish and top it with the cucumber salsa. Enjoy!

Goulash to the Rescue

On top of the move, my baby was sick so I had to take time off from the move and work to take care of her since she had to stay home. It was really hard having to care of a sick baby.  I just know that Glee was uncomfortable but I had no idea what was really bothering her.  She barely ate anything which made me worried sick.  I’ve tried making her favourite foods, but nothing seemed to make her want to eat until this Goulash.  Luckily I made a big pot so we would reheat it whenever she was hungry. It was really easy to make, so if you have a really busy week ahead of you, make this because the leftovers tasted just as good!

American Goulash

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Meal type Main Dish, Soup
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Birthday Party, Halloween, Thanksgiving
Region American
Adapted From Gonna Want Seconds

Ingredients

  • 1lb Ground beef
  • 1 cup Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 Large Onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 can Tomato sauce (15 oz)
  • 1 can Diced tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 3 tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Basil
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions

Step 1
Heat a splash of olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium pot. Add garlic and onion. Cook until onions are translucent. About 2 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until the meat is cooked through. Another 5 minutes.
Step 2
Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, oregano, basil, bay leaves, 3 cups of water and season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
Step 3
Stir in the pasta and reduce heat to low. Cover, and simmer until the pasta is tender, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, discard bay leaves.

Can Kale be eaten raw?

This meal was actually put together with all the leftover ingredients from other meals.  I got the macaroni for American Goulash and bought kale for the soup.  The bag of macaroni was so big and so was the kale bunch.  I knew the macaroni could be stored but I really didn’t want the kale to go to waste, so I searched around and found this kale salad.  I decided to give it a try.  It was so good that I will definitely make it again.

You can actually make this salad in advance especially if you don’t have baby kale.  The dressing will marinate the kale a little making it less raw tasting by bringing out the sweetness of the kale.  You can also season the chicken in advance and precook the macaroni to ensure a fast dinner!

Chicken over Creamy Macaroni & Cranberry Kale Salad

Serves 4
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Allergy Tree Nuts
Dietary Diabetic
Meal type Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Christmas, Formal Party, Thanksgiving
Region Canadian
Adapted From Kitchen Confidante & Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 4 6oz Boneless & skinless chicken breasts
  • 11oz Elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup Chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup Heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Tarragon (chopped )
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

Salad

  • 4oz Fresh cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 1 cup Baby Kale
  • 1 cup Dried cranberries
  • 1 cup Pine nuts
  • 1/2 Small Red onion (thinly sliced)

Directions

Step 1
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Be sure to season on both sides. Set aside.
Step 2
In a small sauce pan, place fresh cranberries, 1/3 cup of water and sugar over medium heat. Let it come to a boil and once the first cranberry pops, simmer for about 5 minutes until all the cranberries pop open. Place in a blender and puree till smooth. Add the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper and blend. Add the olive oil and blend again.
Step 3
Trim kale by removing stems/stalks and tearing the leaves into bite sized pieces. Toss in a bowl with dried cranberries, pine nuts, red onion and just enough dressing to lightly coat the kale. Reserve remaining dressing until ready to serve. Cover and refrigerate the salad until ready to eat.
Step 4
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; saute until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes, turning once. Transfer to a plate; keep warm.
Step 5
Pour broth into hot skillet cook and stir until broth is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Whisk in cream, mustard, and tarragon. Cook, whisking, until thickened, about 2 minutes.
Step 6
Remove from heat and stir in cooked macaroni.
Step 7
To serve, divide the pasta evenly on each plate and top with chicken and a side of the kale salad. Drizzle additional dressing if desired.

Holiday Samosas

This week, we are moving the last bit from our condo to the new house. Things are all over the place, so I usually like to do all the prep work as much as I can when I get a chance to be in the kitchen.  With this meal, it might look like a lot of work, but it was a lot easier than it looks.  I made the filling and chopped the vegetables for the soup in advance.  I placed them in the refrigerator and when it was time to eat, I just preheated the oven and started wrapping the samosas.  By the time I was done, the oven was ready for me to pop them in.  While I was waiting, I just cooked the soup.  Dinner was ready in 20 minutes.

Cooking Notes:

  • These samosas are also great as finger foods for any holiday get together.
  • You can make them even smaller if you cut the phyllo into thinner strips.
  • When you prepare the kale, save the baby leaves for the salad in the next meal.

Samosas with Kale Soup

Serves 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Meal type Main Dish, Side Dish, Soup, Starter
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving
Region Canadian
Adapted From For the Love of Cooking

Ingredients

Samosa

  • 6 sheets Phyllo pastry (thawed and cut in half lengthwise)
  • 1lb Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Small Onion (diced)
  • 2 stalks Celery (diced)
  • 1/2 Red pepper (diced)
  • 1/4 cup Dried cranberries (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Pecans (toasted and finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • 2 tablespoons Butter (melted)
  • 8-10 tablespoons Sour cream

Soup

  • 2 cups Kale (chopped)
  • 1 Medium Zucchini (chopped)
  • 3 Carrots (chopped)
  • 2 stalks Celery (chopped)
  • 4 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 Small Onion (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon Basil
  • 1 can Diced tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 1 can Kidney beans (15 oz)
  • 6 cups Vegetable Stock (or chicken stock)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions

Step 1
Prepare all the vegetables. We will start with the soup as it needs time to simmer.
Step 2
In a stock pot, heat up the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic once it’s warm and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, basil, diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Stir the soup, mixing everything together, then season with sea salt and black pepper. Simmer on medium low heat for 30-40 minutes (depending on how soft you like your veggies).
Step 3
Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan heat up a splash of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add onion, red pepper and celery, cook for 2 minutes or until soft. Add ground beef, thyme, salt and pepper, cook until brown. About 5 minutes.
Step 4
Remove from the heat and stir in pecans and cranberries.
Step 5
Preheat the oven to 450°F and melt the butter.
Step 6
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the 6 sheets of phyllo in half. Brush the sheet with melted butter and fold it in half lengthwise. Add 2 Spoonfuls of filling onto the sheet and start folding diagonally to make a triangle. Continue to fold until the sheet is wrapped up. Brush the triangle with butter and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat and make the rest of the samosas.
Step 7
Bake the samosa for 7-10 minutes or until the pastries start to brown.
Step 8
Meanwhile, Add the kale, zucchini, and beans to the soup. Taste and re season if needed. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
Step 9
To serve, ladle the soup into the cup and serve the samosas with a side of sour cream. Enjoy!

Homemade Wings for House Parties!

Throughout my university and early dating years, the holidays were dedicated for house parties with close friends!  We would take turns hosting parties where we sing karaoke, play board games, Mah Jong and video games until the wee hours.  Good old times! With this type of party, food usually was the least important.  Everyone just wants more time to play so we would just order in pizza and wings!

Most of us have kids now, so it is harder to have parties like this.  But it doesn’t mean we can’t or won’t have house parties any more.  We just have to modify the way we party.  Like we can start early and finish earlier and instead of ordering take-out, I would go with this healthier homemade baked chicken wings with a fresh salad.

If you are having a house party, give these wings a try.  You will never turn back to ordering take-out.  Especially when making these could be faster than waiting for take-out!

Baked Asian Wings with Edamame Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2lb Chicken Wings (tips removed, drumettes and flats separated)
  • 1 cup White rice
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese 5-Spice
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup Hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup Blackberry jam (or other berry jam)
  • 1 cup Edamame (shells removed)
  • 1/4 Red onion (diced)
  • 1/2 cup Carrots (shredded)
  • 1/2 Red pepper (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Cilantro (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon Red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Honey
  • 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 " Ginger (minced)
  • 1/8 cup Canola oil

Directions

Step 1
Cook rice according to package instructions. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Step 2
Rinse wings and drumettes and pat dry. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with vegetable oil and spice blend until well coated. Position wings on baking racks in a single layer ensuring that wings aren't touching.
Step 3
Bake, rotating pan half-way through, until fully cooked, 30 minutes. Remove wings from oven and transfer to a large bowl.
Step 4
Meanwhile prepare the salad. Peel and shred carrots, dice onion, cut the tomatoes in halves, thaw the edamame and chop the cilantro. Just put all the vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
Step 5
In a blender combine soy sauce, orange juice, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, garlic and ginger. Blend until the ginger and garlic are finely minced. Slowly drizzle in the Canola oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning and toss salad.
Step 6
Whisk together hoisin and blackberry jam in a small saucepot over medium-low heat until warm.
Step 7
Drizzle wings with sauce, tossing until well coated. Put it back into the oven for another 5 minutes.
Step 8
To serve, divide the wings evenly on each plate, add salad and rice on the side.

Presenting Acorn Squash at a Cocktail Party!

When I have a large guest list, I would choose to host a cocktail party. It is understood that a full meal won’t be served, instead there will be a number of hors d’oeuvres and drinks.  The focus of this type of party is the company.  People usually mingle and catch up with others they haven’t seen for a while.

In terms of food, cocktail parties are all about presentation!  That’s why I highly recommend this roasted acorn squash with chicken and wild rice stuffing as one of your dishes.  Not only will the half acorn squash make the presentation interesting, the stuffing will wow everyone!

Cooking Notes:

  • To make this vegetarian, just omit the chicken.
  • To serve this as part of the buffet table at a cocktail party, get the biggest acorn squash you can find.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing

Serves 4
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Allergy Tree Nuts
Meal type Main Dish, Side Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Gourmet, Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party, Christmas, Thanksgiving
Region Canadian
Adapted From Chow

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium Acorn squash (halved lengthwise and seeds removed)
  • 1lb Skinless and boneless chicken breasts (cubed)
  • 1 Small Onion (diced)
  • 2 stalks Celery (diced)
  • 1 cup Wild rice mix (cooked)
  • 1/2 cup Pecans (toasted and finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Dried cranberries (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Thyme
  • 2 tablespoons Butter (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon Brown sugar
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions

Step 1
Cook rice according to package instructions.
Step 2
Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Step 3
Place the squash cut-side up on a baking sheet, brush 1/3 of the melted butter over the tops and insides of the squash halves, sprinkle with the brown sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until just fork tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Step 4
Meanwhile, prepare the chicken and vegetables.
Step 5
Place 1 tablespoon of the melted butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When it foams, add the onion and celery, cook for 2 minutes or until soft. Add chicken, season with salt, pepper and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes until just fragrant.
Step 6
Remove from the heat and stir in the rice, pecans and cranberries.
Step 7
Divide the rice filling among the roasted squash halves (about 1/2 cup for each) and drizzle the remaining tablespoon of butter over the top. Continue roasting until the squash is completely fork tender, the edges have started to brown, and the filling is heated through, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Small Get-Together? Roasting is the way to go!

When I have a small get-together of 6-8 people, I usually like to do a roast.  The prep work is very minimal.  After I prep it, which takes no time at all, I just pop the roast into the oven and the aroma will fill the room as I set the table and do the decorations to get ready for the party.

I’ve chosen this beef roast because all sides are incorporated into the roast.  The tender roasted red potatoes and the sweet carrots with fresh spinach go perfectly with the beef.   The combination of thyme, rosemary and bacon topper is just incredible! The other great thing about a roast is that everyone can choose how well done they want their meat to be.  The outer edge pieces are usually well done, while the centre is medium rare.  I am sure once you serve this, you will leave your guests hungry for more!

Beef Roast

Serves 4-6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Dietary Diabetic
Meal type Main Dish, Side Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Gourmet, Serve Hot
Occasion Christmas, Formal Party, Valentines day
Region American
Adapted From Better Homes & Gardens

Ingredients

Herb-Bacon Topper

  • 4 Slices Bacon
  • 1 tablespoon Thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Rosemary

Roast

  • 2-3 lbs Beef Chuck Roast
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2lb Baby carrots (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 1/2lb Small red potatoes (cut in halves)
  • 3 cups Baby spinach
  • 15oz Butter beans (or your family favorite)
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions

Herb-Bacon Topper
Step 1
Cook bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels. Chop half the bacon; stir in thyme and rosemary. Break remaining half of the bacon into pieces to sprinkle into the spinach and beans before serving.
Roast
Step 2
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Step 3
Cut 3 garlic cloves into slivers. Before roasting, cut shallow slits all over meat; insert garlic slivers into slits.
Step 4
Sprinkle beef roast with salt, pepper and half of the Herb-Bacon Topper. Place meat in a shallow roasting pan.
Step 5
Roast, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Arrange carrots and potatoes around roast and toss to gently coat.
Step 6
Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and roast for 40 minutes for medium-rare. Sprinkle meat with remaining Herb-Bacon Topper; push meat and carrots to one side of pan. Stir spinach and beans into drippings in other side of pan; sprinkle with reserved bacon pieces. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Diverse Guest List? Cover Asia with Coconut Ginger Chicken!


When I am hosting a party, food selection is one of the biggest challenges, especially when I have a really diverse guest list.  My mother for one only likes Eastern food and the younger generation usually prefers Western.  As a good host, I always want to make sure that all my guests feel comfortable by finding at least some familiarity in one of the dishes, yet I want to be able to enjoy the party myself without slaving in the kitchen.  So I need to come up with a plan.  The most worrisome cuisine is the Eastern as most of the dishes were quite labour intensive.  That’s why I’ve chosen this Coconut Ginger Chicken because it covers most of Asia and it can be done in a slow cooker.  It can also be paired with any baguette, naan, pita or rice.

Cooking Notes:

  • To use the slow cooker, after you sear the chicken transfer them to the slow cooker and add everything else.  Set it for 3-4 hours on low and 2-3 hours on high.

Coconut Ginger Chicken with Naan

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Meal type Main Dish, Soup
Misc Child Friendly, Gourmet, Serve Hot
Region Indian
Adapted From Simple Bites

Ingredients

  • 2lb Chicken thighs
  • 4 cloves Garlic (peeled)
  • 2 " Ginger (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 Small Onion (peeled and quartered)
  • 1 can Baby corn cobs
  • 1 cup Frozen vegetables (of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Tumeric
  • 1 can Coconut milk (10oz )
  • 2 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • 4 Naan (ready to bake)

Directions

Step 1
Combine cumin, coriander, tumeric, salt & pepper together and set aside.
Step 2
In a mini food processor, combine garlic, ginger and onion and pulse until it forms a paste.
Step 3
In a medium pot, heat olive oil and melt butter. Add aromatic paste and stir well. Cook for a few minutes, then add the spice blend. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Step 4
Add chicken to the pot. Cook chicken on all sides until brown.
Step 5
Open the cans of coconut milk and remove the cream from the top using a soup spoon. You should have about 1 cup. Pour the coconut milk over the chicken. Bring it to a boil.
Step 6
Drain the corn cobs and chop in half. Add to pot.
Step 7
Whisk cornstarch with coconut cream until smooth and add to the chicken. Stir well. Add frozen vegetables. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until you deem the chicken cooked and the vegetables hot.

Lucky Salad for Pot Luck

When I had a pot luck party to attend I always ended up bringing a salad of some sort.  Apparently I was the only one who cared for salads.  Everyone else preferred meats, pasta and snacks.  If I wasn’t going to bring a salad, there wouldn’t be any.  I loved salads; I felt that a meal wouldn’t be complete without some sort of vegetables or salads.  The great news was that I never had to fight anyone for bringing a salad.  However, it was always a challenge for me because I wanted my salad to be liked and eaten by everyone.  So I  was always on the search for new salad ideas.

When I found this asparagus tomato orzo salad, I thought it was perfect because of the colourful red tomatoes and green asparagus just in time for Christmas!  It is really easy to make and you can make them in advance and chill it!  It will go with pretty much any meat dish!  Instead of bringing frozen pizza or boxed chicken wings, why not bring this lucky salad to your next pot luck?!  I guarantee you that it will get the attention.

Steak with Asparagus & Tomatoes Orzo Salad

Serves 4
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Meal type Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party, Formal Party
Region American
Adapted From A Big Mouthful Adventures in Food

Ingredients

  • 4 6-8oz Steaks
  • 12oz Orzo
  • 1 bunch Asparagus (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 Lemon (zested & juiced)
  • 4 tablespoons EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 clove Garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon Dry thyme
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Directions

Step 1
Season the steak with salt & pepper, thyme and lemon zest. Set aside.
Step 2
Bring 2 large pots of water to boil. Add a big pinch of salt in each.
Step 3
Wash and cut the asparagus, cut the cherry tomatoes into halves, mince garlic and parsley.
Step 4
To one pot, add asparagus and blanch, about 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the thickness of your asparagus. Place blanched asparagus in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and keep them green.
Step 5
To the second pot, add the orzo. Cook per package instructions. When tender, drain and place in a large bowl. Add blanched asparagus and tomato halves.
Step 6
Heat up your searing pan on high heat.
Step 7
Mix olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir into orzo and vegetables.
Step 8
Lay the steaks in the screaming hot pan. Press down on them lightly with tongs to make sure they're in good contact with the pan.
Step 9
Cook on each side for about 2 minutes for a 1 inch thick steak - this will give you a medium rare steak, but cook for less or more time on each side depending on how you like your steak.
Step 10
Once done, use tongs to transfer the steaks to a plate to rest for a minute or two.
Step 11
Pour the resting juices from the steak into the orzo salad and add parsley mix well.
Step 12
To serve, divide the orzo evenly onto the plates and pair it with a piece of steak! Enjoy!