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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Brown And Wild Rice Medley

2016-07-08 14.37.09

Taking help from your local grocery store is not something you should feel guilty about. There’s nothing better than using a few simple ingredients to help make rice,  POP! I found that “Minute Rice” has come out with a brown and wild rice variety, in cups. Basically the rice is ready to serve in sealed cups. What I’ve done, is to jazz it up a bit.  I’m using a store bought Cantina style salsa. I absolutely love this variety of salsa and  I always have a container in my frig.  This is a side dish that pairs well with chicken, pork, or fish.

2016-07-08 14.37.09

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2-4.4 ounce cups of ready to serve Brown and Wild rice
1 can of reduced sodium rinsed and drained black beans
1 can of shoe peg corn ( large can 11 ounce)
1 plum tomato seeded in finely diced
1/2 a green bell pepper finely diced
1/2 a diced white Spanish onion
1 teaspoon of  Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons of Cantina style fresh salsa (available in most produce departments)
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro leaves

Directions:
First, I saute the diced tomatoes, onions, and green peppers in the olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle in the Kosher salt and pepper, stirring that though. Once they’ve started softening, about 2-3 minutes, add in the ready to serve Minute Brown and Wild rice. Then add the, drained and rinsed, shoe peg corn and black beans. Stir all this though to combine. Let the black beans and corn to come up to temperature. Finally, add the salsa and stir to combine. Turn the heat off and sprinkle in the chopped cilantro.

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Raspberry Panna Cotta

2016-06-25 14.53.53

2016-06-25 14.53.18

Whenever I serve this Panna Cotta (Italian translation, cooked cream) my friends tend to loose their minds and go CRAZY!   Serving dessert in a glass seems to add a touch of elegance. I love making this dessert because, you can make it a day in advance and garnish them right before serving.

Yields: 6 servings
Cook Time: bring just to a boil
Inactive Prep Time: 4 hours minimum,  to overnight
Ingredients:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin ( about 1 tablespoon)
3 tablespoons cold water
2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of half and half
1/3 cup of sugar
1 vanilla bean pod

Raspberry Topping
2 pints of fresh raspberries ( reserve 6 raspberries for garnish)
1 cup of granulated sugar divided in half cups
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of Chambord ( raspberry liqueur optional)
1/4 cup of raspberry jam ( jam with seeds optional)
1 heaping tablespoon of corn starch
2 tablespoons of cold water
6  chocolate hazelnut Pirouline rolled wafers for garnish
fresh mint for garnish
white chocolate chips for garnish

Directions:
Start with the raspberry  topping. In a food processor, add the fresh raspberries, fresh lemon juice, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, and Chambord. Pulse until the raspberries are completely pureed. In a medium size sauce pan, on medium heat, pour the pureed raspberry mixture. Next, add in the raspberry jam along with the other 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, and stir to combine.

In a small bowl, add the corn starch and water. Whisk the two together until combined and add that to the pan of raspberry mixture.Once the raspberry sauce comes up to a boil, about 5-8 minutes, the sauce will start to thicken. Turn the heat off. Remove the pan from the heat, and transfer the raspberry sauce to a medium size bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To start the Panna cotta, have a medium size sauce pan,. To the sauce pan, add the heavy cream, half and half, granulated sugar, and the seeded vanilla bean and pod.

In another small sauce pan. Place the 3 tablespoons of water and sprinkle the gelatin over the water, letting stand for about 1 minute to soften. Heat the gelatin over low heat, using a small whisk, stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Then remove the pan from the heat.

Over med-high heat, whisking continuously, bring the cream mixture just up to a boil. Once at the boil, remove from heat. Remove the vanilla bean pod and whisk in the prepared gelatin mixture.

Carefully, ladle the cream mixture evenly into the 6 glasses, on a baking tray. Let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

After the 4 hours is up, remove the Panna Cotta from the frig. Remove the plastic wrap, and evenly ladle the raspberry sauce carefully over the top of each one of the glasses. Garnish with white chocolate chips, fresh mint, a fresh raspberry for each one, and finely, a hazelnut Pirouline rolled wafer.

Note: Keep Panna Cotta desserts refrigerated until ready to serve.

 

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Burrata And Peaches

2016-03-10 13.41.13

This dish is what I call a “small bites” or Tapas. Burrata And Peaches, because of how they compliment each other is off the chain delicious. The one special ingredient I’m using in this dish is Goji berries. Now, these berries can be found at Whole Food Markets, where they specialize in organic ingredients. I keep them in the refrigerator for longer shelf life. The Goji berry is packed with antioxidants and a great addition to any salad. You could, of course, substitute fresh blueberries, dried cranberries, even a few pistachios, whatever you like.

The stars of this small bite plate are the Peaches And Burrata. I’m using frozen peaches today because fresh peaches aren’t in season. Frozen peaches, along with other fruits, are packaged at their peak of freshness.

Yields: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: overnight, thaw in the refrigerator

Ingredients:
I package frozen peaches, 5-7 peach wedges per plate
1/4 cup of baby arugula leaves
1 tablespoon of Goji berries (fresh blueberries or dried cranberries)
1 tablespoon chopped Pistachios- optional
1 teaspoon of finely diced Fresno chili- optional
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
a spritz of fresh lemon juice from 1 wedge of lemon
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar
6 tablespoons of Burrata cheese
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

Directions:
Start with 5-7 wedges of thawed frozen peaches on a plate arranged beautifully. Next, add the Burrata cheese over the top in small spoonfuls. Then add the grated lemon zest, letting the zest flakes fall where they may. Gently drop the berries all over the dish so they fall nestling themselves throughout the dish. Then add the delicate baby arugula leaves. Finally, sprinkle with Kosher salt,  pepper, and a drizzle of Agave nectar. Right when you’re ready to serve, squeeze a wedge of lemon juice over the top.

Light and delicious, this “small bite” is another example of how a few simple ingredients, are still a roller coaster for your taste buds!

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Vanilla Coconut Sorbet Topped With Toasted Coconut

 

 

 

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5-7 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1). 1 hour to steep cooked coconut mixture before cooling.
2). 24 hours to cool mixture before going into the ice cream machine. 3). 24 hours to freeze the sorbet mixture.
Cooking Time and Temperature:
Medium low heat, long enough to scald the coconut milk mixture. ( This means when bubbles appear around the outer rim of the pot, turn the heat off and steep for 1 hour.
Ice Cream Machine Churning Time: 30 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken.

Ingredients:
1-1/4 cups of granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups of coconut water
1 whole vanilla bean, halved, seeded, and scraped
1 spring of fresh mint leaves
pinch of Kosher salt
2- 13.5 ounce cans of unsweetened coconut milk
toasted coconut and mint for garnish

Directions:
Combine the coconut water, sugar, 1 sprig of fresh mint leaves, vanilla bean (including the pod), salt, and coconut milk into a saucepan set over med-low heat. Bring the mixture just up to the scalding point stirring occasionally. You want to make sure all the sugar dissolves completely.  Remove from the heat. Let the mixture steep for 1 hour. Strain into a bowl, removing the mint and vanilla pod.

Next, cover and refrigerate the mixture overnight. Note: refrigerate the bowl insert, for the ice cream maker, overnight  as well. Pour the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl, turn the machine on and churn for 30  minutes. Note: Don’t worry if the mixture doesn’t thicken like you’d like. Whenever any type of sugar and water mixture is used without the proteins that eggs add  there becomes a lower freezing temperature.

Transfer the mixture into an air tight container, place into the freezer for 24 hours. Remove from the freezer for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle some toasted coconut over the top and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Toasted  coconut: Place  1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut into a dry saute pan on med-low heat. Swirl the pan around until you start to smell the coconut flakes and they become a light golden brown color.

 

 

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