Friday, May 26, 2017

Ginger Marinated Tuna with Sesame Rice Steaks and Orange Cucumber Salad #BBQWeek

 Sometimes I cover several events with one recipe which I always look at as a gift to me.  Today I am posting several recipes for one event, consider it a gift to you.

Today is the final day of BBQ Week.  I hope you have enjoyed perusing all of the great recipes as much as I.  I also hope that you win the great giveaway from our sponsor Michigan Asparagus.

What's that?  You didn't know about the fantastic, generous giveaway?  Well, hurry over to my Welcome post and enter right now, before you miss your opportunity.

Welcome back.  I don't know how you managed to miss that fantastic raffle all week long.  So, as you saw when you read that first post, our friend, Ellen of Family Around the Table, invited several of us to join her in sharing our favorite BBQ recipes.  We posted this past Monday and Wednesday and today we are sharing our final recipes.  There are over 40 great recipes in all.  Heck, in just this one post you are getting three phenomenal recipes!!


I was thumbing through an old issue of Cuisine at Home and came across this entire meal.  It sounded so amazing.  Each component of this meal, perfectly complemented the next.  I knew that I was going to make all three dishes and serve them together and it was so absolutely wonderful that I wanted to share all three of them together in one post.  

These dishes are very slightly adapted to my family's tastes and to what I had stocked in my pantry on the day I made it.  Cuisine at Home included a recipe for a wasabi compound butter that I think would have been perfect but there was no way I was getting Frank to eat wasabi.  I served this entire meal to our friends, John and Kirsten, who loved it as much as we.  It was a great company meal because tuna takes only minutes to cook to perfection.



Ginger Marinated Tuna Steaks
adapted from Cuisine at Home, Issue #51

1/3 c. rice vinegar
3 T. sugar
3 T. dry sherry
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. chili garlic sauce
1 T. dark sesame oil
2 scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed
4 thin slices peeled ginger
4 (6 oz)  tuna steaks

Place vinegar, sugar, sherry, soy sauce, chili sauce, and sesame oil in a gallon size plastic bag that seals shut.  Shake to combine and dissolve sugar.  Add the scallions, garlic and ginger to the marinade.  Place tuna steaks in the bag, seal and refrigerate for 20 minutes.  

Remove tuna steaks from the bag.  Discard the marinade.  Spray the steaks with cooking spray and grill over hot coals for 3 minutes.  Flip the steaks and cook 2 minutes longer.  Print Recipe

Sesame Rice Cakes
adapted from Cuisine at Home, Issue #51

3 c. cooked jasmine rice, cooled to room temp.
1 T. sugar
1 T. rice vinegar
1 t. cornstarch
1 t. kosher salt
2 t. sesame seeds
2 T. peanut oil

Combine the rice, sugar, vinegar, cornstarch and salt.  Press the rice into a 1/4 c. measuring cup that has been treated with cooking spray to form the cakes.  Place them on parchment paper and press 1/4 t. of sesame seeds onto the top of each cake.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over med high heat.  Add the rice cakes and cook for 5 minutes per side, until golden brown.  Can be served immediately or at room temperature.  Print Recipe

Orange Cucumber Salad
adapted from Cuisine at Home, Issue #51

2 T. sugar
2 T. rice vinegar
1 T. sushi ginger, minced
salt to taste
pinch of crushed red pepper 
1 large orange, supremed
1/2 large, English cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 c. fresh bean sprouts
small handful cilantro  leaves, torn
2 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
4  mint leaves, minced

Whisk together the sugar, vinegar, ginger, salt and crushed red pepper in a large bowl.  Add the orange sections, cucumber, bean sprouts, cilantro, scallions and mint.  Toss to coat and serve. Print Recipe

Let's see the other's final recipes for #BBQWeek

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ginger Pork Soup and a Giveaway #worksmarter #sharpenyourkitchenIQ

KitchenIQ contacted my friend, Cam of Culinary Adventures of Camilla and offered her and some of her fellow bloggers an opportunity to receive product to use in recipe development.  They also generously donated products for each of us to raffle off to our readers.


I had received a KitchenIQ zester previously from our generous sponsor and I use it all the time.  It makes such quick and easy work of an otherwise tedious job.  I have never received any monetary compensation from KitchenIQ and have never been required to share anything other than my honest opinion of their products.


I had also previously been given their spice grater, which also works for zesting fruit as you can see.  Now I must admit that this item does not get used as often as the zester, which I also use for grating spices.  They both work equally well, however the zester is in a drawer right next to my work station and the grater is in a cupboard so it is just more convenient to grab the zester.


I received a new tool for this event.  The grate ginger tool.  This tool takes care of all your ginger needs.  It peels, grates and slices.  It works just as well for your other aromatics like garlic or horseradish.  As you can see, it did a great job of peeling the part of ginger that was, then, so easily grated.  We enjoy Asian food and flavors so I think I will get use out of this product.

All three of these products are being offered in a raffle for you, my readers, through the generosity of KitchenIQ.  You will find the raffle following my recipe for this amazing soup.


We have been on an Asian kick around here lately.  Yesterday I shared my recipe for Asian Inspired Pork Kabobs and tomorrow I will be sharing Ginger Marinated Tuna Steaks.  We enjoyed these dishes last week and I had some pork left that I had planned on making into Pork and Asparagus Stir Fry this past Saturday.  However, we ended up meeting our friends, Rob and Linda, for dinner out at a Mexican Restaurant.  

Faced with the pork which needed to be cooked, having company coming for dinner on Sunday, and the desire to serve soup as a first course sent me on a recipe quest and lead me to this great soup by Better Homes and Garden.  It not only took care of all those desires but it also gave me an opportunity to showcase the Grate Ginger Tool.  I had used KitchenIQ tools in the preparation of the other dishes I mentioned however the #BBQWeek event is being sponsored by another company, #Miasparagus. Michigan Asparagus is also sponsoring a giveaway.  You can find that raffle in my post for Grilled Asparagus Tart that I posted last Monday.


Ginger Pork Soup
adapted from BHG

6 c. chicken stock
8 oz. pork loin, trimmed and cut into 1/2" dice
salt and pepper to taste
1 lg. onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. grated ginger
1 T. olive oil
2 carrots, scraped and sliced
2 med tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 c. small pasta (I used mini farfalle)
4 c. thinly sliced napa cabbage
1/4 c. snipped mint leaves

Place the chicken stock in a soup pot over med high heat and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over med high heat.  Add the pork, garlic, ginger and onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook until pork is brown.  Add a ladle of the hot stock to the skillet, and deglaze, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Transfer all contents of the skillet to the soup pot.

Add the carrots and tomatoes, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Add the pasta and cook for an additional 6-10 minutes, until pasta is al dente. Stir in the cabbage and mint before serving.  Print Recipe




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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Asian Inspired Pork Kebabs #BBQWeek

Welcome to Day 2 of #BBQWeek.  If you missed the giveaway post on Day 1 you can find it along with my Grilled Asparagus Tart from Monday.  You still have time to enter so go do that now while you are thinking about it. I will wait for you.


Yesterday, I shared a recipe for Thai Noodle Salad that was TO DIE FOR!!  Today I am sharing the Pork Kebabs that I had made to go along with that salad. You are going to love them.


While your kebabs are grilling you will whip up a BBQ sauce that is chock full of Asian Flavors.


When the pork is cooked to your desired temperature (I like to serve mine at 140*) you slather it with the sauce and let it cook a couple of minutes until the sauce starts to caramelize a bit.


I want to take a moment to thank Ellen of Family Around the Table for all her hard work on this event.  I would also like to thank Michigan Asparagus for the wonderful gift package that you went and entered at the beginning of this post.  There are a lot of great recipes being shared today and we will be back again on Friday to finish up this party.  You will find links to the other recipes being shared today right below mine.  Happy Hump Day!!!


Asian Inspired Pork Kebabs
adapted from Women's Day

1  (1" thick) boneless pork loin chop, per person
1 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3 T. ketchup
2 T. creamy peanut butter
2 T. rice vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. honey ( I used tangerine flavored)
pinch of crushed red pepper, to taste

Cut the chop(s) into 1" pieces. Place in a bowl, season with salt and pepper.  Add the olive oil and toss to coat.  Thread onto skewers and set aside.

Whisk together the ketchup, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, honey and crushed red pepper.  

Grill the skewers over hot coals for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally.  Slather with the sauce, flip and cook for about 2 minutes. Slateher other side, flip and cook another minute or two until the sauce starts to caramelize a bit.  Print Recipe

More Great BBQ Week Recipes

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Thai Noodle Salad

Tomorrow I am sharing another BBQ Week recipe with you but today? Today I am sharing the side dish that I made to go with it, a Thai Noodle Salad.


This quick and easy salad is wonderful.  I couldn't get enough of it and I can't wait to make it again.  I had it for dinner with Asian Inspired Pork Kebabs that I will be sharing with you tomorrow. Then I had it as a snack that night while watching tv.  The next day, I had it for lunch and was very disappointed when it was all gone.


It is chock full of fresh veggies, lightly dressed with Thai Flavors and then sprinkled with crushed dry roasted peanuts.


This was the perfect accompaniment to the kebabs and would be delicious with any grilled meat or even as a light Meatless meal.  It is going to be made again and again in this household.

Thai Noodle Salad
adapted from MyRecipes

8 oz. angel hair pasta, cooked per package directions
handful of cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
juice of large lime
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. tangerine honey
1 1/2 t. sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 of an English cucumber, thinly sliced
2 carrots, scraped and grated
1 c. finely shredded Napa cabbage
5-6 mint leaves, chopped
handful of dry roasted peanuts, crushed

Place cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, soy sauce, lime juice, honey and sesame oil in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.  Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

Toss together the pasta, carrots, cucumber, cabbage and mint leaves.  Add the dressing and toss to coat.  Place on a serving platter and sprinkle with the crushed peanuts.  Serve at room temperature. Print Recipe

Monday, May 22, 2017

Grilled Asparagus Tart and a Giveaway. Welcome to #BBQWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BBQWeek and Michigan Asparagus. All opinions are my own. I received product to make this recipe.

Good Monday morning to all of you and welcome to the first day of our BBQ Week celebration. This party is being hosted by my friend Ellen of Family Around the Table. Ellen says:
"Welcome to #BBQWeek. Let’s fire up the grill, serve up some burgers or steaks or chicken and some delicious sides and desserts! Follow #BBQWeek so you don’t miss one delicious recipe.There are more than 20 recipes this week from some amazing bloggers."

A group of us is gathering today, Wednesday and Friday to share some amazing BBQ recipes with you. I am interested to see what we all share. You see, here in the North/MidWest region of the Country BBQ and Grilling are one and the same. This is not true of our friends down south. BBQ is whole cooking style unto it's own. We understand this now, thanks to so many wonderful Southern BBQ restaurants available country wide but, at least I, still think of anything grilled when told that we are having a BBQ event.

So while I won't be sharing any "traditional" BBQ this month, I will be sharing 3 great recipes that are perfect for throwing on the grill (or "BBQ" as we call it) this summer.




I am starting with a great Grilled Asparagus Tart using seasonal and local produce from our wonderful and generous sponsor at Michigan Asparagus. Michigan Asparagus is offering our readers a great opportunity to win a gift card and two grilling trays. You can enter at the bottom of this post. Good Luck!!




My local grocer, Kroger, has taken to sending out seasonal recipes along with their coupons. Last month I used one of them in my first attempt at making Macarons and they turned out perfectly, so I was looking forward to this month's edition. I was delighted when the very first recipe featured asparagus and immediately adapted it to fit today's theme of BBQ.




I used fresh, local asparagus instead of frozen and grilled it instead of blanching it. Using a disposable grill pan makes life very easy when grilling veggies. Toss the asparagus in some olive oil with salt and pepper, place it on the grill pan and place the grill pan on the grill....easy peasy. I stuck pretty closely to the rest of the recipe and was very glad I did because it turned out beautifully. The filling was creamy and delicious, the grilled asparagus was perfectly toothsome and savory and the crust was flaky and light. This was a perfect appetizer but would also make a lovely lunch or brunch dish with a croissant and some fresh fruit.




Make sure you stop by and see what all the others are grilling up for today's kickoff. You will find the links following my recipe.

Grilled Asparagus Tart
adapted from Kroger

1 bunch fresh local Asparagus
olive oil
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 c. shredded gruyere cheese
1 c. ricotta cheese
2 egg yolks
1/2 t. kosher salt for filling
salt and pepper to taste

Snap woody ends from asparagus stalks, discarding the woody ends and placing the tender stalks in a bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Toss to coat and transfer to a grill pan.  Grill over med high flame until slightly charred and tender crisp.  Remove from grill and set aside to cool.

Roll pastry, on a  lightly floured surface, into a 10x13" rectangle.  Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Using the tip of a sharp paring knife make a shallow cut along each side form a 1" border, being careful not to cut all the way through.  Using a fork, pierce holes inside the inner rectangle, covering the entire area. Place in refrigerator while preparing the filling.

Whisk together the ricotta, gruyere, egg yolks, salt and a couple of grinds of cracked pepper to taste. Spread over the inner rectangle of the chilled pastry crust.  Arrange the grilled asparagus over the filling and return to the refrigerator while the oven preheats to 400*.

Bake in a preheated 400* oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350* and bake for another 15 minutes until pastry is golden and filling is set.  Let cool for a few minutes before cutting.  Can be served warm or at room temperature.  Refrigerate leftovers.  Print Recipe

More Amazing #BBQWeek Recipes




    Asparagus_PanPrize.png

    Thank you to Michigan Asparagus for sponsoring #BBQWeek and offering this amazing prize package.


    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    Fresh asparagus is the taste of spring and Michigan is one of the largest domestic asparagus growers in the United States. Michigan Asparagus is available mid-May through June and is the only hand snapped harvested asparagus which means more usable asparagus and less waste. Local Michigan farmers produce approximately 25 million pounds of Michigan Asparagus during the state's 6-7 week harvest. Michigan Asparagus has excellent flavor and a long shelf life. It is a nutrient-dense, low-calorie vegetable with no fat, no cholesterol, and very little sodium.






Saturday, May 20, 2017

Chilled Avocado Shooters #SoupSaturdaySwappers

Do you consider Avocado a vegetable or a fruit?  You may be surprised to know that, not only is it a fruit, it is actually a single seeded berry.  This I learned while reading an article all about Avocados by the Huffington Post. They also said that it was one of the few high protein fruits.  That got me thinking so, of course, I googled to see which other fruits are high in protein.

It turns out, according to this article at Healthaliciousness.com, that avocados contain 4 grams of protein per fruit.  This is beat out only by pomegranate at 4.7 grams per fruit and passion fruit at 5.2 grams. Who knew?  Now we do.



I found this all out on Thursday evening, by the way.  I got home from choir and went onto my scheduled blog posts, noting that my Fish Friday Foodies post was all set to go.  I checked my Crazy Ingredient Challenge post and made sure the link up was included and scheduled it to go out first thing this morning.  Then I went to my Soup Saturday Swappers post, Pot Roast Stew, and went to get the code for the linkup (which, by the way, I am in charge of) and it wasn't there.  Hmmmm.....I went to my inlinkz page and saw that I had indeed made the code and went back to the month's theme of English Stews.  Nope, it still wasn't there.

That was when I noticed that English Stew was June's theme and, as you know (and I should know) this is only May.  That led me to rush to the refrigerator in a panic where I found a few shriveled strawberries, a handful of raspberries growing fuzz, 1 clementine, a kiwi, an apple, an orange and an avocado.


At least my refrigerator got cleaned out and my hens were thrilled with their extra treats of strawberries and raspberries.  Their favorite fruit is watermelon.  They can barely wait for watermelon season!

Back to the couch to find out if I remembered correctly reading that avocado was actually a fruit or if it was just wishful thinking and rejoicing because I could work on a soup Friday morning without having to run to the store.  I shut off my computer and tuned in to the Master Chef Junior finale.  I was rooting for Justise.  And she choked.....Calamity......worse Calamity than my Calamity that I shared on Thursday morning.  I watched her grab her ramekin, hot from the oven, with her bare hand and I wanted to grab that strong, brave, little darling and kiss her booboo away.  Luckily, it wasn't an elimination round.....that came next.

Spoiler alert....if you are watching and haven't seen the finale yet....stop reading now and skip to the next bolded section.

The elimination round found Justise cooking goat.  She was pretty happy with the assignment as she knew she needed to impress and making a great dish with a difficult ingredient would ensure her making the final two.  And......she nailed it!!! Coming in first with her Goat Curry made in an hour using a pressure cooker.  Jasmine, the winner of the first challenge, took the other spot in the finale.

Image result for masterchef junior

Do you watch Master Chef Junior?  These are the most impressive kids ever!!  Sometimes, I feel like it is way too much stress to put on a young child but I guess it is not much different than the stress of any other competition.

These kids are amazingly talented and very driven but they are also very kind and helpful to each other.  There is no backbiting, no disrespect, no criticism.  I wish the adults who participate in cooking competitions would take some lessons from these kids.  One of the reasons that I love our food blogging community is that you find many of the qualities that these kids have, shared among us.

Image result for masterchef junior 2017 justice

What a competition!! I would not want to put my skills up against either of these two young ladies. Nose to nose after the appetizer course, we moved onto the main course, Jerk Lobster Tail for Jasmine and Cider Braised Pork Belly for Justise.  This course went to Jasmine.....Justise needed to let her pork belly cook just a bit longer.  As I watched this final show, it occurred to me that the reason I love Justise so much is that she reminds me, very much, of my Lili.  My Lili is one of the kindest, determined,  most respectful and empathetic young women I know and Justise seems to have all those same qualities.
Image result for masterchef junior 2017 jasmine and justice

Jasmine nailed dessert. I was on pins and needles as Justise presented her panna cotta.  The judges loved Justise's dessert.  As they went off to deliberate, I was worried that Justise's main course would lose this competition for her.  The guest judges had wonderful things to say about her so that gave me a little hope.  Alas, she lost but I am very happy for Jasmine who also was a very wonderful and humble competitor and deserved this victory.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled blog post.

The following morning I found this recipe for Chilled Avocado Soup Shots from Bon Appetit.  I thought that these would make a great appetizer or for the dinner I was serving our friends, John and Kirsten, that evening AND I had everything I need to make it work with some minor adaptations.



I used a small avocado and reduced the other ingredients to make 4 servings instead of 8.  I added some cilantro and a dash of hot sauce to the mixture and garnished with cilantro leaves instead of breadcrumbs.


You will find links to the other Fruit Soup recipes right below mine.  Enjoy!!

Chilled Avocado Shooters
Adapted from Bon Appetit

1 medium avocado
1 c. chicken stock
2 T. heavy cream
small handful cilantro leaves, reserve a bit for garnish
juice of 1/2 a lime
Sea Salt to taste
dash of hot sauce

Place the avocado, chicken stock, cream, cilantro and lime juice in a blender and puree until smooth, scraping sides as necessary.  Taste and season with salt and hot sauce.  Add more chicken stock, if needed, for desired consistency.   Chill for at least 2 hrs and up to 4 hrs before pouring into shot glasses and garnishing with cilantro leaves to serve.  Print Recipe

More Fruit Soups



Onion Cuts #CrazyIngredientChallenge

You open your basket to find....Potato Chips and Soy Sauce.....Now that is some serious sodium overload!  That is exactly the ingredients we voted to use in this month's Crazy Ingredient Challenge.

CIC is a fun little group in which the members vote from items on two lists of ingredients.  The top vote getter from each group then determines what the group will be required to use in a recipe of their choosing.  Kinda like Chopped but with only 2 ingredients instead of 4.


I decided to peruse the Lay's Potato Chip website for recipes in which I could include soy sauce and found this recipe for an onion pie. It was a very basic recipe and I knew that it would be easily adaptable to this challenge.


The pie already had a potato chip crust with a quiche like filling.  I used the soy sauce to help caramelize the onions. I used whole eggs instead of egg whites, butter instead of margarine and some Alpine Cheddar cheese that I had gotten from Cabot Creamery for another event in which I had participated.


I baked it up in an 8x8x2" pan instead of a pie pan however, next time, I will use the pie pan as I think the pie slices would make a better presentation than the cuts.  I had decided to use cuts because I made this dish as part of an appetizer table and wanted smaller bites.


These little bites were not too salty as I had feared and seemed to be well liked. Guests were very surprised when told that the crust was made of potato chips as it was evident from the looks or taste of this dish.  One of the guests requested the recipe so I always feel the dish was successful when someone wishes to recreate it.

Onion Cuts
adapted from Lays Potato Chips

2 oz. (approx. 30) potato chips
1 large vidalia onion, thinly sliced
1 t. butter
1 t. low sodium soy sauce
1 c. milk
3 eggs
1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
freshly cracked pepper to taste

Crush potato chips and place in the bottom of an 8x8x2" baking pan that has been treated with cooking spray. 

Melt butter in a large skillet, add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften.  Sprinkle onions with soy sauce and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and caramelized.  Transfer to the baking pan, covering the potato chips.  Sprinkle the cheese over all.

Whisk together the eggs, milk and cracked pepper.  Pour over the onion and cheese mixture.  Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 30-35 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.  Can be served warm or at room temperature.  Print Recipe

More Onion and Soy Sauce Creations