We love a good dinner bowl that packs a lot of flavour. This dressing kicks everything up a notch with the combination of sweet, smoky and spicy. I use it on everything, and tonight it did triple duty as a dressing to brush on vegetables before grilling, a marinade for the steak and then a drizzle over the completed dish.
1/2 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a blender and simply whizz it up until smooth and creamy.
In the same blender you used for the dressing, whiz up 1 tomato, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chicken stock and some minced cilantro stems. Supplement that with water to give you enough for your usual ratio of water/rice.
Season the vegetables with the dressing above and grill until just cooked and still slightly crisp.
Brush the steaks with a little of the dressing above and allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour – Grill to desired temperature. We like ours medium rare.
Quarter mini tomatoes and mince up cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and give it all a squeeze of lime.
I think this would work equally well with any protein you chose to make – and at this time of year when the vegetables are coming in strong locally it would make an amazing vegetarian meal if you just added more of a variety of vegetables. I missed grilling onions tonight and I think that would have added a great punch of flavour.
The vinaigrette came from Love and Lemons, a great website with so many amazing recipes.
Is there anything better than a vinaigrette that you want to use on everything? I doubt it. We’ve used it to dress up grilled vegetables, served it drizzled over a Mexican steak bowl, and of course just as dressing for a simple salad. The added bonus is that this is the easiest dressing to make.
1/2 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 chipotle pepper from a can of chipotle in adobo sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
The directions are embarrassingly easy ….. simply toss it all in a blender and let it whizz until everything is creamy and smooth. The combination of chipotle, honey and lime is brilliant.
This recipe came from the the Love and Lemons website, and you can be sure anything from Jeanine Donofrio is going to be delicious.
I love a full meal deal salad! This tangle of vegetables, both fresh and grilled, served mixed with noodles and garnished with steak and nuts is just the best. It’s on repeat around here. Go ahead and splurge for the best steak – you don’t need much to make it a complete meal.
This dressing is the star of the show – it is light and bright with just the perfect amount of zing.
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tsp fresh lime juice
2-3 tbsp chili garlic sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce (reduced sodium)
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp raw sugar (or honey)
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp fresh Thai basil, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds **
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup peanut oil
kosher salt to taste
** I’m a big fan of toasting nuts or seeds as it adds so much flavour. Watch closely because they go from deeply toasted (my personal favourite) to black …. beware. (yes, I speak from experience)
Whisk all the ingredients, except the oils, together in a bowl. Once combined, slowly drizzle in the oils and continue to whisk until well blended. This is the part where you taste, and adjust if needed – sometimes you need a bit more lime juice, salt or sweetener. If you prefer your dressing on the spicy side, add in a bit of Thai chili or chili flakes.
This recipe is just as versatile as whatever you have on hand. Tonight this dish included:
Chinese wheat noodles (cooked)
grilled red pepper
steamed baby bok choy
grilled beef tenderloin
toasted sesame seeds
I like to make a salad out of the cold cooked noodles and fresh vegetables, and pile that in the bottom of my bowl. Arrange the cooked vegetables around the sides along with the grilled steak. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle the cashews and sesame seeds over.
If you have time, and have a steak that needs marinating, just use a bit of the dressing. This works equally well with chicken, pork or tofu. If you want to use shrimp make sure to only give it a quick marinade.
When grilling the vegetables, drizzle with a little of the dressing before and after grilling.
One of the dishes (among many) that we loved on our travels through Vietnam and Cambodia was Salt & Pepper squid. Naturally, that squid was ultra fresh, and so very tender it literally melted in your mouth. Typically served with a bowl of rice, and a pile of greens it is the perfect light dinner. I love the combination of flavours found in most Vietnamese dishes – fish sauce, lime juice and pepper. Those show up in so many tasty dishes – makes my mouth water just thinking about it!
SALT & PEPPER SQUID
400 gr squid **
1 tbsp coarse salt
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup rice flour (you can substitute corn starch)
OIL – to use for frying – make sure you use a high smoke point oil such as peanut, canola or vegetable. – heat to 350 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, stick a chopstick in there …. once it bubbles all around the chopstick it is ready.
SALAD OR GREENS TO SERVE
Prep whatever fresh vegetables or salad you want to serve.
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1-2 tbsp fresh red chili, seeded and finely chopped (or chili flakes to taste)
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1-2 tbsp sugar (I usually stick with 1)
4 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp water
If you try anything – make it this dressing! I use it for salads all the time and it is so light and refreshing while adding so much flavour to a simple salad.
** Squid – if you can get it fresh then clean it and slice into rings – leaving tentacles whole. I’ve only used frozen at this point but you know I will be sourcing some fresh squid!!
Once your squid is prepped, bash up the salt and pepper in a mortar and pestle – bash until cracked and broken but don’t turn it in to a fine grind. Sprinkle a little directly onto the prepared squid. Pour the rest into a bowl with the flours and stir until combined.
When oil is hot enough, put a handful of the squid into the salt/pepper/flour mix and toss to coat lightly and cook in batches in the hot oil. Do not overcrowd your oil or it will cool down and your squid will absorb more of the oil.
Remove from oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
If you like a dipping sauce – just bash up a bit more salt and pepper, mixing it with fresh lime juice.
The dressing couldn’t be easier! Again, the mortar and pestle comes into action so I hope you didn’t clean it after bashing salt and pepper …… Drop in garlic, ginger, spring onion and chili …give it a good bit of action until you have created a paste. Add lime juice, sugar, fish sauce and water. TASTE. TASTE IT AGAIN. Every single item can be a slightly different taste profile from what I am using and for your individual tastes. Adjust if necessary. It should be slightly sweet, slightly salty, slightly hot and slightly tangy.
If you don’t have a mortar and pestle then just chop everything quite fine and add in the other ingredients … I have about 3 of them so I love using them but don’t run out and buy one if you don’t love the process!
To serve lightly dress your salad with the dressing, pile the squid on and serve with a side of rice if you like, just the way it is served in Cambodia & Vietnam ….. oh take me back! We bought our pepper from the Kampot Pepper Plantation in Cambodia. Touted as the best pepper in the world we had no choice. It really does make a difference when the pepper is that fresh.
I love making scallion pancakes, really wanted something that could be a whole meal deal, and ended up with this – a bit of mash up between Korean Pajeon pancakes, Japanese Okonomiyaki and Chinese scallion pancakes. This gojuchang dipping sauce makes it slightly more Korean influenced, but if you don’t have gojuchang in your fridge then you could easily make a dipping sauce of soy sauce and rice vinegar. (or buy something!)
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup potato starch (could sub corn starch if this isn’t one of your staples)
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups ice water
2 garlic cloves, minced
Oil for cooking
slivers of spinach
very thinly sliced cauliflower
minced red onion
very thinly sliced red pepper
lots of thinly sliced scallions (spring onions)
Prepare all your vegetables and set aside
If you are inclined to do so, go ahead and add shrimp or cooked shredded chicken to make it a heartier pancake.If you do – I’d add it as soon as the batter is spread out in the pan so you can distribute evenly.
1/4 cup light soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp gojuchang
1/2 tsp finely slivered ginger
1 minced garlic clove
1 finely sliced spring onion
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Mix well and taste. NO REALLY, SERIOUSLY, TASTE!!! Every different product has a slightly different flavour profile, and you have your own taste preferences so make sure this dipping sauce hits all the notes you are looking for and adjust as needed. Of course, if you aren’t a cooking nut like myself, you may not have all that in your pantry so just buy a jar of dumpling/gyoza dipping sauce! ha ha
Whisk together dry ingredients until well combined. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and stir in the ice water and minced garlic. Stir just until combined, then add in the vegetables.
I haven’t specified any amounts for the vegetables, so feel free to experiment with how you like the pancakes. This amount of batter will make 4 good size pancakes with a generous serving of vegetables in each one – feel free to pack in as many veg as you like – you literally only need enough batter to hold it all together in the fry pan.
In a non stick pan, heat about 3 tbsp oil until quite hot – stick a wooden chopstick in, and if it sizzles you are ready!
Scoop in about 1 cup of batter and quickly spread it out so it resembles a pancake. Gently swirl the pan allowing the oil to circulate so the pancake gets crispy bits and nicely browned. Like any pancake, only flip it once you start to see bubbles popping on the surface.
Flip, drizzle another tablespoon or so of oil around the edges and swirl so this second side also gets crispy around the edges.
When nicely browned on both sides, remove to paper towel lined plate and keep warm. As soon as you remove it from the heat sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, and a fresh grate of salt.
If you have never tried gojuchang, then do so! I love it. My first foray into cooking with it was for KFC, Korean Fried Cauliflower and was immediately hooked. It is a Korean chili paste that has so much flavour – slightly tangy and not too spicy.
Spring is here! This fruit may not be in season here yet, and I can’t wait to make this when it is, but berries and mango are often available and you can use whatever fruit you like to make this refreshing dessert.
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter unsalted, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl mix together the all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer add the sugar and butter and beat for a couple minutes until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract and continue mixing until the egg is fully incorporated. Add the flour and mix for an additional 2 minutes. Take the cookie dough and form it into a ball. Place it over the prepared baking sheet. Roll the ball into a round large cookie or any shape you prefer. You might need to add some more flour over your roll or over the cookie so that it doesn’t stick.The cookie should be at least 1/4 of an inch in thickness.
Bake the cookie for about 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden. Let it cool completely.
Make this cookie crust ahead of time – even a day ahead is fine, but be sure to let it cool down.
3 tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla bean extract
In heavy bottom saucepan stir corn starch, sugar and salt together. Slowly add the beaten egg yolks and milk. Stir until thickened, remove from heat and add in the vanilla. Cover the top wth plastic wrap to avoid a skin forming and allow to cool completely.
(You can also do this in the microwave, but watch it! I’ve had it spill up and over more than a few times …..)
Spread the cooled custard on the cold cookie crust. Arrange fruit of your choice to cover the custard and allow to set completely before serving.
I don’t know about you, but an advertised 20 minute recipe NEVER takes me 20 minutes. This one was close tho ….. and very easy. Not only easy, but delicious and I’m more than happy to spend a few more minutes to achieve delicious.
8 ounces dried tagliatelle pasta (or really, any pasta you like!)
2 tbsp butter (separated, see below)
10 ounces small, peeled and cleaned shrimp
3 garlic cloves (yes, really)
1/4 cup dry white wine (I like sauvignon blanc but any dry white will work – stay away from sweet tho)
1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
1 cup asparagus (cut into 1″ pieces)
1/2 cup minced sun dried tomatoes
1/2 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan (do NOT use purchased grated!)
2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
more parmesan for serving
Get a large pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Salt and add pasta. Cook to one minute short of the cooking instructions …. (in order to finish in the cream sauce).
Before draining, scoop out about 1/2 cup of pasta water.
Get a nice flat bottom skillet (non-stick works great here) and melt 1 tbsp butter. Drain your shrimp and pat dry (you don’t want them to steam) ….. toss the shrimp into the melted butter and sauté quickly – until ALMOST cooked. Depending on your shrimp size this might only take a minute or two. There is nothing worse than rubbery, overcooked shrimp. Well, okay, lots of things are worse including this COVID nightmare we are living through…. Remove from heat and lightly season with salt and pepper.
In the same skillet heat the other tbsp butter and add a splash of olive oil – once melted add the onions, sauté until soft, add mushrooms and cook until just lightly browned, then add the garlic, asparagus and sun dried tomatoes. Add chili flakes.
Stir in the white wine and allow to reduce slightly, then add the chicken broth, cream and parmesan. Season to taste …. I didn’t need to add any more salt but that finishing black pepper is great.
Add your mostly cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to cover. The sauce will continue to thicken and this is the time to add some of your reserved pasta water a bit at a time, only as needed. Stir in the shrimp to heat through, toss with parsley and serve with a grating of fresh parmesan and black pepper.
Mix the honey & water to dissolve. Add the starter into the water and combine thoroughly with a whisk.
Pour the water/starter/honey mixture into the flour bowl and mix by hand to combine (either with your hand or with a wooden spatula). Mix until you see no dry bits of flour. Cover and let rest for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, sprinkle the salt on top and pinch it into the dough with lightly wet hands. Pull the dough around to create a smooth ball. Let rest for 1.5 hours. This dough is lower hydration, so you won’t need to build up as much structure. It’s mostly about time and letting the dough ferment.
After 1.5 hours perform pull/folds all around the dough by stretching the dough up on one side and folding it back over into the center. Again, it helps to do this with wet hands. Do this on all sides until you have a smooth round of dough in the bowl. Cover and let rest for another 2 hours.
After two hours have passed, it should be ready to go into the fridge for the night. No need to move it to a new container, just pop it right in. Timings will vary depending on the time of year, the temperature, humidity, strength of your starter, etc.
In the morning, line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper and flour a work surface. Turn the dough out, gently press it into a flat-ish circle, & divide into 8 equal pieces.
Shape each piece into a ball, pinching it up and then rolling it around a bit with the pinched/seam side down. Make little circles of flour on the parchment paper where each ball will sit, seam side down. Sprinkle a little flour on top of each dough ball, and then cover with plastic wrap, a damp linen, or place it into a giant plastic bag. Let them rest for about two hours.
Pre-heat the oven to 425F. Bring a large pot of water + 1/4 cup maple syrup to a low boil. Uncover the bagel dough balls and get ready to shape them!
To shape the bagels, flour your hands, pick up a dough ball and press your thumbs into the center top of the dough. Press all the way through until you form a hole in the center. Then with your other fingers under the dough, gently pull the inside of the bagel toward the outside, but don’t fully inside out the bagel.
Once you’ve shaped all the bagels, bring the pot of water/maple syrup to a roiling boil. Carefully place two bagels at a time into the boiling water (“seam” side down) and let them poach for 30 seconds before flipping them over and letting them poach for another 30 seconds. Remove the bagels using a spider or slotted spoon. Let the excess water drip off before you place them down on the parchment paper again, the same side up as before (“seam” side down).
Prepare an egg wash by beating 1 egg with 1 tbsp of water. Let the boiled bagels cool for a couple of minutes before brushing them with the egg wash. (If you don’t have eggs or are vegan, you can brush the bagels with a bit of non-dairy or dairy milk).
Brush the egg wash (or milk) generously onto all the bagels, and then sprinkle toppings on OR pick up the bagels and dip them down into a shallow bowl full of toppings.
Bake the bagels for 25-30 minutes at 425F. When you take them out, they might feel hard initially but will soften up as they cool. Immediately move them to a cooling rack and let them sit for about an hour.
Slice and enjoy!!
This recipe came from the blog nokneadtoworry.com and it was perfect! Lots of recipes have malt syrups or powders but this recipe was so simple and yielded delicious bagels. Paulina has lots of tips and videos to help with whatever dough you are creating.
These chicken meatballs were so moist, bursting with spinach and feta that Grant was still raving about them the next morning, and trust me – he is not usually a fan of chicken meatballs!
Quick and easy, this makes a perfect week night dinner. No fancy plating required. Well my husband and son in laws never think fancy plating is required. (They are usually involved in clean up so that’s understandable!)
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup minced onion
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
Start by warming a splash of olive oil in your saute pan, as soon as it has heated up add the minced onions and allow to soften, then add your garlic and just warm through. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Take pan off the heat and add the spinach, stirring just until it is wilted. Remove the mixture from your pan and place in a bowl in the fridge. You don’t want to add anything hot to your raw chicken! Please don’t skip the step with sweating out the onions. A raw onion is a totally different item when compared to a softened, slightly carmelized onion.
Season ground chicken with salt, pepper and basil (fresh if you have it). Crumble in feta cheese and stir to combine. Add the cooled onion spinach mixture and bread crumbs. Stir gently to combine.
Form golf ball size meatballs and brown in your saute pan on all sides, then add to your sauce.
Use the same saute pan for everything! Sweat your onion mixture, and reserve the pan to fry the meatballs, then remove the browned meatballs and heat up your sauce. Once the sauce is warm return the meatballs to the sauce and heat through.
1/3 cup rendered lard, duck fat, vegetable shortening or unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges of the pan (the milk should be 180 degrees F), 4 to 5 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the lard until melted. Let cool for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl until completely combined. Pour in the warm milk mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until a shaggy dough forms.
When cool enough to handle, knead the dough in the bowl until almost completely smooth, about 3 minutes; do not overwork, the dough should be soft and only slightly elastic and not sticky. Wrap in plastic and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour to relax dough.
Divide the dough into 16 balls about a scant 3 tablespoons each (or 46g.). Arrange the balls on a rimmed baking sheet and cover with a damp kitchen towel until ready to use.
Working with one dough ball at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 7-inch round.
Heat a medium cast-iron skillet or large griddle over medium-high heat.
Working with one at a time (unless using a large griddle), cook the tortillas, reducing the heat if they are getting dark too quickly, until air bubbles form on the surface and the bottom is brown in spots, about 30 seconds. Poke any large bubbles with a fork to release steam, flip the tortillas and cook until brown in spots on the other side, about 30 seconds. Stack and wrap the tortillas in a clean kitchen towel and keep warm. Repeat rolling and cooking the remaining dough balls.
Rick Andrew Martinez is my idol. His recipes are always amazing, and this one is no exception. By far it was the easiest recipe to work with and roll out, but what made this recipe SO amazing was the taste. Can’t be beat. Seriously, can’t be beat. I copied this recipe right from his post on Food Network, and if you want more amazing content just check out anything he does.