Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Balsamic, Cilantro-Lime, And Lemon Vinaigrette

 

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I used to think there was no way I could ever make my own dressing. I learned that’s so not true. Watching cooking shows and reading cookbooks taught me how easy to make your own vinaigrette. I thought I’d share my three favorites with you, Balsamic, Cilantro-Lime, And Lemon Vinaigrette.

I mix all the ingredients for the Balsamic and the Lemon, right in their own 8-ounce jelly jar. The Cilantro-Lime takes an additional step of first processing the cilantro leaves. It’s simpler, for this vinaigrette, to be made in the food processor and then transferred to a jelly jar.

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Agave nectar, honey, or granulated sugar are a few of the sweeteners you can use when making your own vinaigrettes.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Yields 8 to 10 ounces of vinaigrette
Equipment: Food processor, blender, or an immersion blender, four 8-ounce jelly jars, small bowl

Ingredients For Balsamic Vinaigrette:
Yields: 8 ounces
2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon of freshly grated garlic
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard (substitute spicy mustard)
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar (substitute honey)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup of good balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of *E.V.O.O.
1 tablespoon of freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Ingredients For Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:
Yields:
10 ounces
1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon of garlic, freshly grated
2 tablespoons of shallots, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons of Agave nectar (substitute granulated sugar)
1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
1 cup of *E.V.O.O.

Ingredients For Lemon Vinaigrette:
Yields: 8 ounces
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice (3 juicy lemons)
2 tablespoons of shallot, minced (optional)
1 tablespoon of garlic, freshly grated (optional)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1/2 cup of *E.V.O.O.

Directions For Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette:
Start by placing cilantro leaves into a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add 2 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O. (the remaining olive oil will be added through the feeding tube) and pulse the leaves until they’re finely minced. Remove the processed cilantro and transfer to a small bowl. Back in the food processor add the ginger, garlic, shallots, fresh lime juice, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, agave nectar, and low sodium soy sauce. Pulse all the ingredients just enough to combine everything.

Once combined, add the processed cilantro leaves back into the food processor. Place the lid and feeding tube on. Turn the processor to the ON position and slowly add the remaining *E.V.O.O. through the feeding tube until combined. Remove the lid, add the red wine vinegar and using a spatula, stir once. This recipe yields 10 ounces of vinaigrette so you’ll need 2 jars. Transfer the vinaigrette to the jars, place the lids on tight and give a good couple of shakes to combine everything.

Directions For The  Balsamic And Lemon Vinaigrette:
Add all the ingredients for, both of, the vinaigrette into their 8-ounce jelly jars. Finish with the *E.V.O.O. Place the lids tightly on the jars and shake really well.

Notes:
1). I prefer my vinaigrette to be one part acid to two parts oil.
2). Place the dressing in the bottom of the bowl first. Right before serving the salad, add the lettuce/greens, toss to coat.
3). It’s important to wash and then dry the leaves really well so the dressing will adhere to the leaves.

*E.V.O.O. is extra virgin olive oil.

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Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry Over Basmati Rice

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This dish is full of flavor. The balance of sweet peas and spicy coconut milk is a roller coaster for your taste buds. This is my Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry Over Basmati Rice.

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Red Onion

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Cilantro

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 20 minutes (marinate the chicken)
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6-quart saucepot with a tight-fitting lid, 3-quart saucepot, aluminum foil, cast-iron skillet, 2 large mixing bowls

Ingredients For Basmati Rice:
1 cup of Basmati rice, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 cups of chicken broth, unsalted
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 cup of dried sweet cherries
1/4 cup of pistachios, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Ingredients For Stir-Fry:
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt plus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup of grapeseed oil
3 cloves of garlic, freshly grated
1 teaspoon of ginger, freshly grated
1 orange bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
!/2 an onion, sliced very thin into half-moons
1 Fresno chili, seeded, cut into thin rings
1 1/2 cups of frozen sweet peas, thawed
1 15-ounce can of unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons of Siracha
1/2 a cup of fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Directions For Basmati Rice:
I’m going to start with the Basmati rice. Now what I like to do is, to remove as much of the natural starch from the rice. Repeat the process until the water runs clear.

I place 1 cup of Basmati rice into a large bowl and cover it with 2 cups of water. Let the rice stand in the water for a couple, three minutes. I repeat this process, four times until the water, with the rice in the bowl is clear.

In the larger saucepot, add pour in the rinsed Basmati rice. In a smaller saucepot over medium heat, add the unsalted chicken broth, dried sweet cherries, Kosher salt, and olive oil. Once the chicken broth has come up to a low boil, pour the hot broth into the pot containing the Basmati rice.

Transfer that pot over to the burner already set on medium heat. Bring all this up to a boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Tightly cover the pot with a piece of foil (refer to the pictures above) and secure the saucepot’s lid on tight. Do not peek at the rice during the cooking process. Allow the rice cook for 15 minutes.

At the end of 15 minutes, cut the heat. Let the rice sit for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. You should see that every grain of rice has grown a little longer and is separate from all the other longs grains of rice.

To finish, add chopped pistachios gently stir to combine. Place the lid back on and set aside. Right before serving, add the fresh chopped cilantro, again gently toss to combine.

Directions For Marinating Chicken:
In a large mixing bowl add the chicken breast strips, grapeseed oil, freshly grated garlic, and ginger, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Toss until all the chicken is coated. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Prepping The Vegetables:
While the rice is simmering and the chicken is marinating start prepping the vegetables. Julienne the orange and yellow bell pepper, thinly slice the red onion into half-moons, seed, and sliced the Fresno chili. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl pour in the unsweetened coconut milk, Siracha, fresh lime juice, and sugar. Stir to combine.

Preheat the cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until smoking hot add the marinated chicken. Stirring frequently, cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the chicken is brown and caramelized. Remove the chicken from the skillet and onto a plate.

Place the skillet back over medium-high heat, add the julienned peppers, sliced red onion, and Fresno chili season with 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Stirring frequently, cook for another 3 to 5 minutes before adding the chicken back into the skillet, toss to combine.

It’s time to add the spicy coconut milk to the skillet, stir, and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, occasionally stirring until the sauce naturally thickens, another 3 to 5 minutes. Finally, turn the heat off and add the peas and stir to combine. The heat from the sauce will warm the peas through.

In a porcelain serving bowl, spoon a helping of the prepared rice into the bottom of a bowl. Ladle the Spicy Stir-Fry Chicken over the top. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Ther you have it my Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry Over Basmati Rice.

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Beef And Broccoli Stir-Fry

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Asain cuisine is known for its perfect balance of flavors. Incorporated are salty, sweet, hot, and bitter (or sour) ingredients performing together like a musical symphony.

The key to cooking any type of Asain cuisine is to have all your ingredients ready and all the prep work made in advance. Once the cooking starts everything moves really fast.

This is my Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry.

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Tamari

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Sesame Oil

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Shaoxing Rice Wine

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Jasmine Rice (2)

Basmati Rice (1)

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Cilantro

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Limes

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Garlic

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Peanut Oil

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Cornstarch

Wok

Beef And Broccoli Stir-Fry

 

 

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6-quart saucepot, 3-quart saucepot, 1 large mixing bowl, 1 medium-size mixing bowl, 1 small mixing bowl, Wok, chef’s knife, 1 gallon-size resealable plastic bag

Note: For best results, marinate the flank steak the day before.

Ingredients For the Marinade:
1/4 cup of soy sauce, low sodium
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of honey
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh ginger, minced

Directions For Marinating Flank Steak:
Place into the refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours to overnight. When ready to use discard the liquid transfer to the freezer to get hard but not frozen. Transfer to a cutting board and slice super thin.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds of flank steak, marinated and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of peanut oil (substitute Canola or vegetable oil)
1/2 cup of green onions, 1/4 cup green tops sliced on the bias, and 1/4 cup of sliced white parts
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 red onion, thinly sliced in half-moons
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
2 cups of frozen broccoli florets, thawed, room temperature
1 tablespoon of Shaoxing rice wine (substitute a dry Sherry)
1 tablespoon of Tamari
3 tablespoons of soy sauce, low sodium
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of cornstarch (reserve 1 tablespoon to thicken the sauce)
1/4 cup of beef stock, unsalted, plus an additional 2 tablespoons, chilled

Ingredients For Cilantro Lime Rice:
1 1/2 cups of Basmati long-grain white rice, uncooked
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 clove of garlic minced
2 1/4 cups of unsalted chicken broth
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
3 limes, 1 zested, 1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges
1 cup of lightly packed chopped cilantro, leaves and tender stems, extra leaves for garnish

Directions For Cilantro Lime Rice:
In a saucepot over medium heat bring the chicken broth up to a slow boil. Add 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt and the zest of a 1 lime.

In another large saucepot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the raw rice and stir to coat with the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally until the rice has started to brown. Add 1 clove of minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

Pour the hot flavored chicken broth over the rice. Bring to a rolling boil, then cover (with foil first then secure the lid on top as seen in the above picture). Lower the heat to low to maintain a very low simmer.

Cook undisturbed for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit still covered for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Transfer the rice to a serving bowl. Pour lime juice over the rice and toss with chopped cilantro. Set aside.

Directions:
Note: Place the beef in the freezer for about 30 minutes before slicing. Having the meat is somewhat hard makes slicing the beef very thin will be much easier.

In the meantime start by prepping all the vegetables for the dish set onto a large plate including the thawed broccoli florets. In a medium-size mixing bowl add Shaoxing rice wine, soy sauce, 1/4 cup beef stock, Tamari, and light brown sugar, stir to combine. In another small mixing bowl add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of beef stock, whisk until it becomes smooth and paste-like.

Take the meat out of the freezer and slice the sirloin(s) into very thin slices, transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, toss until all the slices of beef are coated. Set aside.

Preheat a wok over medium-high heat, add the peanut oil and swirl it around the wok. The wok should be just starting to smoke. Add the minced garlic, Fresno chili, and ginger, cook for 30 seconds. Immediately add the slices of beef spreading them out into a single layer, don’t overcrowd. If needed, do this step in batches transferring the seared beef to a plate until the next batch is finished. Allow the sliced beef to sear, do not stir allowing the meat to brown. Once the meat starts to caramelize on one side, 3 to 4 minutes, using a pair of tongs, turn the slices over and brown another 3 to 4 minutes.

Add all the seared meat back into the wok.

Add the julienned bell pepper, sliced green onions (the white parts) and sliced red onion, frequently stirring, cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Next, pour the Shaoxing rice wine mixture into the wok, stir to combine; cook for 30 seconds. Add the cornstarch *slurry and bring to a boil, cook for 1 more minute, or until sauce just starts to thicken. Finish by adding the broccoli florets, toss to warm through.

Remove the wok from the heat. Add sesame oil and toss.

To serve, ladle a generous helping of my Cilantro Lime Rice in the bottom of a porcelain serving bowl. Top with my Beef And Broccoli Stir-Fry. Garnish with sliced green onions (the green tops) and lemon wedges.

Serve hot.

*Cornstarch slurry: A cornstarch slurry is a mixture of cold liquid with cornstarch. It’s used as a thickening agent and is particularly common in Asain dishes.

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