Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Israeli Couscous and Tomato Salad with Arugula

2 cups Israeli couscous
4 tomatoes, cut into wedges
a handful or Baby Arugula, coarsely chopped
1/2 c extra virgin o.o.
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
2 large garlic cloves
1/4 c Parmesan - Regianno cheese
Salt and ground pepper to taste
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a oil. Add the couscous and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain, and spread out onto a  large baking sheet. Drizzle with oil to prevent sticking. When it has cooled, place the couscous, pine nuts, arugula and tomatoes in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and chill till ready to serve.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monday's Mention

It was a hot, hot, Saturday afternoon. Went to breakfast/lunch with sons and their Bahston ( Boston) friends. We chose Timothy O'Tooles because they would take a reservation for a party of less than 10.
Entering a dark bar, descending the steps to a lower level, surrounded in dark wood paneling and a winding bar. We went to the rear of the 'bar' area where we found an empty room. And, it was freezing. Slowly more customers began to fill the room and temperature seemed to even out.
I am writing about this restaurant/bar because of their unique 'help yourself' bar; they had a 'make your own Bloody Mary, and a make your own Mimosa!
I had a Bloody and the server brought me a large glass with ice and filled with vodka. I opted for one Bloody but you could also purchase the bottomless Bloody. Yikes!
Several of the 'kids' in the group got the bottomless Mimosa which actually was seven glasses per person. The server brought each one a flute filled with champagne. Sometimes the  glass was filled to the top, and others were filled 3/4 full.

And for the Mimosa:

Fun idea!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

making spring rolls

I like my spring rolls which are different from egg rolls and even the wrappers are different. I asked Fr. Nam to make Spring rolls:

Spring rolls

A few months ago, I made some spring rolls for my clients. They were made out of leftovers from dinner. When I returned 3 days later, I found 3/4 spring rolls still in the fridge. When I checked 4 days later, I found them still there. I was told I made them incorrectly.
So I was given a new package of spring roll wrappers.. ok.
Two days later, I was given another package of spring rolls. ok, again. I didn't get it.
Then, the next day I was given the correct kind of noodles to put in the spring roll. Ok.
When I received another package of another kind of noodle to put into the spring roll- I was really confused.
THEN, 3 days later I was given a hand made spring roll. With Shrimp.
I was to practice with these nice offerings. But my spring rolls didn't look any different than what was given to me!

I then decided to ask Nam,( who was shortly leaving to return to VietNam for a month) to make some Spring Rolls for me.
Guess what? I had him label the different packages for me. Apparently some things are to be used for egg rolls and others are to be used for Spring Rolls. Both are indigenous to Asian food. But they do look different. The egg roll wrappers are slightly thicker in texture- but very slightly. I thought rice was put into the spring rolls but it is actually rice vermicelli.
So, I made a video of Nam assembling some Spring Rolls and yes, he puts leftovers into them as well.

And I think, in the end, while I did everything from filling to folding, and dipping sauce, mine were just as good. The wrapper- ok, maybe that's what makes the difference. You will see how thin the spring roll wrapper looks compared to what I used which was an egg roll wrapper.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Coming from a little town outside of Kalamazoo, on my way to Hickory Corners, Gull Lake Michigan, my gf's stopped by Sweetwater's Doughnut shop.

Chicken Enchiladas

While cheffing at a Northwestern Frat house for a while, I learned to make many things, IN QUANTITY. One of the dishes were cheese enchiladas. But the boys also had steaks and salmon and baked chicken. All in one sitting. It was an interesting Summer gig. I liked it but the enchiladas, kinda left me thinking do they really like these ? It didn't look appetizing.
Lo and behold, I came across a recipe for chicken enchiladas. Made it elsewhere and  everyone really liked it. It has a fresher taste to it. I hope you'll give it a try!
5 T butter. divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium sized bell pepper, chopped
2 c cooked chicken
3 ( 4 oz.) can diced green chiles, divided
3 c shredded colby-Jack cheese blend, divided
8 ( 8 inch) flour tortillas
2 T flour
3/4 c chicken broth
1/2 c milk
Toppings: cilantro,chopped tomato, shredded lettuce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 2 T butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onion and bell pepper, and saute 5 minutes or until tender.
Stir together onion mixture, chicken, 1 can diced green chiles, and 2 cups shredded cheese. Spoon a heaping 1/3 cupful chicken mixture on 1 end of each tortilla and roll up. Arrange enchiladas, seam sides down, in a lightly greased 13 x 9 baking dish.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt remaining 3 T butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly 3 to 4 minutes until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 2 cans green chiles.
Remove enchiladas from oven. Pour green chile mixture over enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 - 25 minutes bubbly. Serve with toppings.