Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Brown And Wild Rice Medley

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Taking help from your local grocery store is not something you should ever feel guilty about. For weeknight meals, I’ll use the grocery store as my sous chef.  I’m always taking advantage of, what I call, “short cuts”. There’s nothing better than adding a few great ingredients to quick-cooking rice to make it into something special. This is my Brown And Wild Rice Medley.

“Minute Rice” has come out with a brown and wild rice variety, in single-serving cups. Basically, the rice is ready to serve in sealed cups.

For this dish, I’m using a store-bought fresh Cantina-style salsa. I absolutely love this variety of salsa so it’s a staple in my house. This is a side dish that pairs great with chicken, pork, or fish.

Cilantro

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Cilantro

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 2 to 4 servings
Equipment: 12-inch sauté pan, serving bowl, chef’s knife

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 (4.4-ounce) cups of ready-to-serve Minute Rice, Brown and Wild Rice
1 15-ounce can of black beans, reduced sodium, drained and rinsed
1 11-ounce can of shoepeg white corn, drained and rinsed
1 plum tomato, seeded and finely diced
1/2 a green bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 a white Spanish onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon of  Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of fresh Cantina-style (restaurant-style) salsa (14-ounce container available in most produce departments of local grocery stores)
2 tablespoons of cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions:
Drain and rinse the black beans and shoepeg corn Seed and dice the plum tomato. Chop the cilantro.

Follow the directions for the rice. Pull (or cut) the film and remove it from the cup. Place the cup in the microwave and heat on high for 1 1/2 minutes (cooking time for 2 cups).

Important:  Remove the cups carefully, from the microwave, taking hold of the cup from the side using an oven mitt or potholder.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil, the diced onions, green peppers, and tomatoes. Sprinkle with the Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, stir to combine. Cook the vegetables for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the cooked ready-to-serve rice.

Next, add the drained and rinsed, black beans and shoepeg corn. Continue stirring allowing the vegetables to warm through for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the salsa, stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat, add in the chopped cilantro.

Serve my Brown And Wild Rice Medley warm or at room temperature.

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Burrata With Peaches

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A “small bites” or Tapas-style dishes are really popular in Spain. Here in Orlando, I’ve noticed new Tapas wine bars popping up everywhere. As I was checking out one of these wine bars, near my house. I looked over their menu and the dish that caught my eye was the Burrata With Peaches. I left there and headed right to my grocery store. This time of year fresh peaches is not in season. The next best option, frozen. Listen, don’t be afraid of using frozen fruit, they’re a really great substitute when you can’t find fresh.  Frozen fruit and berries are picked at the peak of freshness and are delicious.

I’m going to show you using peaches and burrata with a few added ingredients makes the perfect salad. Burrata With Peaches compliment each other so well it blows my mind.

A really unique ingredient I’m using in this dish is the Goji berry. Now, these berries can be found at Whole Food Markets, where they offer unique and organic nuts and berries. It’s best to store Goji berries 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.

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Arugula

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Burrata And Peaches

 

 

 

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: Overnight
Yields: 2 servings
Equipment: large mixing bowl, Microplane, 2 salad plates

Ingredients For Two Servings:
1 package frozen peaches, thawed

7 wedges per plate
1cup of baby arugula leaves, 1/2 cup per plate
2 tablespoons of Goji berries (substitute fresh blueberries or dried cranberries), per plate
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios (optional) per plate
1 teaspoon of Fresno chili, seeded and minced, divided (optional)
1 teaspoon of lemon zest, per plate
a spritz of fresh lemon juice (1 wedge of lemon juice) per plate
2 tablespoons of honey, 1 per plate
2 (4-ounce) balls of Burrata cheese, 6 tablespoons per plate
Kosher salt to taste, per plate
Freshly ground black pepper to taste, per plate

Directions:
The night before, fill a bowl with your frozen peaches. Let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the peaches into a bowl the next day.

Arrange 5 to 7 peach wedges, on a salad plate, in a star-like formation. Next, add tablespoons of Burrata cheese over the top of the peaches. Add 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 peaches and Burrata. Then add the delicate baby arugula leaves. Finally, sprinkle with Kosher salt,  fresh ground black pepper, and a drizzle of honey. When you’re ready to serve, squeeze a wedge of lemon juice over the top.

Light and delicious, my Burrata With Peaches is another example of how using really good ingredients makes all the difference in the world.

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Coconut Vanilla Sorbet

 

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When you’re looking for a cool treat that’s light and refreshing, you need to try my Coconut Vanilla Sorbet.

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Tip: Reserve the vanilla bean pod(s) for your granulated sugar. You’ll have vanilla-flavored sugar for future recipes.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes for churning
Inactive Prep Time: 49 hours
1). 1 hour to steep cooked coconut mixture before cooling.
2). 24 hours to chill (refrigerate before going into the ice cream machine)
3). 24 hours to freeze the sorbet mixture.
Total Time: 49 hours 30 minutes
Equipment: ice cream machine, large mixing bowl, mesh sieve, paring knife, 6-quart saucepan, 2 (1-quart) plastic containers with tight-fitting lid, ice cream scoop
Yields: 4 servings

Cooking Time and Temperature:
Medium-low heat, long enough to *scald the coconut milk mixture. Turn the heat off and steep for 1 hour.
Ice Cream Machine Churning Time:
30 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken.

Ingredients:
2 13.5-ounce cans of unsweetened coconut milk
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 extra for garnish
a pinch of Kosher salt
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted 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. *Scald the coconut milk stirring occasionally. You want to make sure all the sugar is dissolved. 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 for 24 hours.

Note: Refrigerate the bowl insert, for the ice cream maker, overnight. 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 as much as 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 airtight container, place it into the freezer for 24 hours.

Place your dessert glasses in the freezer for 30 minutes before serving. Remove the Coconut Vanilla Sorbet from the freezer for 10 minutes before serving. Scoop the Coconut Vanilla Sorbet into the dessert glasses. Sprinkle some toasted coconut over the top and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Toasted Coconut:
Add unsweetened coconut to a dry sauté pan over medium-low heat. Swirl the pan around until you start to smell the coconut flakes and they become a light golden brown color.

*Scald: As the liquid heats, bubbles will appear around the outer rim, just under the boiling point.

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