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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Toasted Quinoa Salad

 

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I took this salad to a graduation celebration and it  was a hit! Something as simple as a salad, using a few fresh ingredients, has had friends asking me for this recipe. I knew I needed to post this ASAP!

If you’ve never made quinoa, it’s really easy. First you always want to do a quick rinse of the quinoa first. The outer coating is called saponin and it’s bitter. Place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water for a few seconds.

The directions are basically two to one. Two parts liquid to one part quinoa. Cooking quinoa is very similar to cooking rice.  Follow the directions on the back of the package, then all you need to do is to add the other ingredients.

Many times I’ll toast the quinoa first. this adds another layer of flavor to the quinoa. All you do for that is to add canola oil ( a neutral oil), add your quinoa and stir over med-low heat for about 6-8 minutes. Next, you’ll add the boiling liquid to the pot and follow the timing directions on the package.

 

Whenever I’m adding different vegetables to a salad, I like to make sure they are about the same size. You can see above how I diced up the hothouse cucumber (English cucumber), the grape tomatoes are just halved.

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Yields: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes (add 6-8 minutes cooking time if you are toasting quinoa)
Total Time: 22-24 minutes

Ingredients:
1-12 ounce package=1-1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
3 cups of vegetable stock (optional choices are water or low sodium chicken broth)
1/2 diced red onion
1 diced red bell pepper
1 diced orange bell pepper
2 cup of diced feta cheese
1-1/2 pints of halved grape tomatoes
2 cups of diced hothouse cucumber
1/4 cup of fresh basil- Chiffonade style
2 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh Italian Parsley ( dried 1 tablespoon)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 lemon juiced
1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions For Toasting and Cooking Quinoa:
First, rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve before cooking.
Best with pot with a glass fitting lid.

In a pot, on med-low heat, add 2 tablespoons of Canola oil ( any neutral oil). Add in the quinoa. Stir slowly coating all the quinoa with the oil. Continue stirring for about 6-8 minutes or until quinoa is golden brown.

Directions:
In a another pot have you liquid ( vegetable stock) at a boil. Add the boiling liquid to the quinoa. Give a stir and cover. Turn the heat down to low simmer. Once all the liquid has been absorbed, the quinoa is done. It’s really important to keep your eye on the quinoa, it cook pretty fast. Remove from the heat and let the quinoa cool down for about 5 minutes.  I use a fork to fluff the quinoa around in the pot it helps it to cool down quicker.

While the quinoa is cooking dice up all the vegetables, zest and juice of a lemon, dice the feta, and place into a large bowl.  Add in the cooled cooked quinoa, season with salt and pepper. Finish by adding in the chopped basil and parsley and toss through gently. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Before serving I like to add a drizzle of really good E.V.O.O.

 

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Two-Heirloom Tomato Salads

Photo May 26, 6 31 09 PM

Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad

Heirloom tomatoes are in season right now, so I’m buying them fairly regularly. I have, two, really easy and delicious salads here that can be a main coarse or a side dish with any protein you like. The second one is completely vegetarian. Let’s talk about my first salad.

Photo May 26, 6 28 40 PM

Heirloom Tomato Salad With Bocconcini And Sopressata.

Photo May 26, 6 31 09 PM

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients:
1-1/2 heaping cups of diced Sopressata  (or diced Genoa Salami)
8 cups of heirloom tomatoes – halved and wedges ( depending on whole or grape size tomatoes)
1- 8 ounce package- herb marinated Bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls or pearls)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup e.v.o.o.
2 tablespoons Agave nectar
1-1/2  tablespoons Kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup of freshly chopped tarragon leaves

Dressing For Salad:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup e.v.o.o.
2 tablespoons Agave nectar
1-1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons of freshly cracked black pepper
Directions:
Place all ingredients in a “2 cup” measuring cup. Whisk all the ingredients together until well combined.

Marinate For Bocconcini:
1-8 ounce package of mini Bocconcini
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
Pinch of Kosher salt
Pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup of E.V.O.O

Directions:
Separate all the the mini mozzarella balls and place them into a small bowl along with the other ingredients. Using a spoon, gently mix together.

Direction For Heirloom Tomato Salad:
In a large salad bowl, place all the halved and tomato wedges. Add in the marinated mozzarella balls. Next, add in the chopped fresh tarragon leaves. Pour the dressing over and toss all the ingredients together. Serve with your favorite bread.

Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad

My second tomato salad called, Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad. This on is a vegetarian salad, totally meat free!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients:
1 pound of cooked drained and cooled orzo pasta
2 cup of arugula leaves
4 cups of diced and halved heirloom tomatoes ( depending whether whole or grape size)
1-14.6 ounce jar of long stemmed artichoke hearts, halved
1-8 ounce package of Bocconcini ( mini mozzarella balls
1 lemon juiced
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1-1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley

Directions:
Place the halved and diced heirloom tomatoes, cooked and cooled orzo pasta, halved artichokes hearts, mini mozzarella balls arugula leaves, Kosher salt, black pepper, and chopped parsley into a large salad bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and drizzle the two tablespoons of agave nectar over the top. Toss through gently. Next, refrigerate until your ready to serve as a colorful and tasty side dish.

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New York Strip Steak With A Tomato Salad

 

Let's DishLet’s  Dish Up

Some Color

And

Flavor!

 

 

 

 

 

NY Strip Steak With Heirloom Tomato Salad

NY Strip Steak With Heirloom Tomato Salad (2)

New York Strip Steak With A Tomato Salad is simple but this distinct combination of flavors that can’t be imitated.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Yields:  2 servings
Cook Time: 14-15 minutes
Equipment: 12-inch cast iron skillet

Seasoning Mix For Steaks:
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons of freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons of garlic powder

Ingredients:
2 8-ounce, 1 1/2-inch thick New York strip steaks
1 tablespoon of olive oil
4 cups of heirloom tomato wedges
1 14.6-ounce jar of long-stemmed artichoke hearts
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
Red wine vinaigrette

Ingredients For Dressing:
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/2 cup of *E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1 teaspoon freshly grated garlic
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Directions For Dressing:
Place all the ingredients into a jelly jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well until all the ingredients are well combined.

Directions For Heirloom Tomatoes:
Place the tomato wedges, artichoke hearts, chopped parsley, and sliced red onions into a large bowl. Pour on the dressing and toss through. Set the bowl aside until steak is ready.

Directions For Steaks:
Important: Let the steak come to room temperature, about 15 minutes, before placing it into the hot pan.

Preheat oven to 425-degrees F., convection, 400-degrees F.

Trim and season the steaks to your taste. In a 10 inch cast iron skillet over med-high heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the pan is hot, sear both sides of the steaks for 2 to 3 minutes. You want a golden brown crust on the outside of the steak.

Transfer pan the preheated oven. Now come the variables. The steaks thickness, how long they’re seared, and the temperature of the oven. Cook to the final internal temperature (medium-rare or medium) you want. Remember, after removal from the oven the steaks will continue to cook. I call this “carry over cooking time”.

It takes around 6 to 7 minutes to reach an internal temp of 135-degrees F. to 140-degrees F. for medium rare. Remove the steaks from the oven and transfer to a plate. Cover with foil, and let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.

To serve, slice the steaks on the bias. Fan the slices of steak out onto a plate alongside the heirloom tomato salad. Serve with some of your favorite bread.

*E.V.O.O. is Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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Chicken Milanese- Updated

 

Photo Jun 12, 4 12 07 PM

Chicken Milanese is my favorite of all my dishes. The idea of warm chicken on top of a cool, crisp green salad and  lightly dressed with lemon juice and olive oil and shaved pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, makes me, well….CRAZY

All Chicken Milanese is, is a breaded chicken cutlet that’s been shallow fried in olive oil. My grandmother had her method, she would dip the chicken breasts  in beaten eggs that had been seasoned, and then the chicken would be dredged in Italian bread crumbs.  I’ve updated that a bit.

To make the best fried chicken, chicken should be marinated in buttermilk, for a couple of hours or overnight, as a first step. It really tenderizes the chicken and then, of course, a flour or breading would follow.  I’ve decided to use a seasoned Greek yogurt as a first step then follow that up with the breading. It makes the chicken so tender and the spices really permeate the meat. Then I follow up with the breading.

I’m a really big fan of grilled chicken on top of a Caesar salad, so that gave me this idea! I’m using my favorite brand of a creamy chicken Caesar dressing as a marinate for my Milanese. The spices are already in the dressing, and I love the flavor of a Caesar dressing. This will make a great marinate and tenderizer for the chicken cutlets.

 

 

Photo Jun 12, 3 44 02 PM

 

Photo Jun 12, 4 10 23 PM

 

Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: Min- 2 hour- Max overnight
Total Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Equipment: Baking sheet and rack

Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound of chicken cutlets (breasts)
1-16 ounce bottle of creamy Caesar dressing
2-1/2 cups of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup of freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley (2 tablespoons of dried)
2 packages of prewashed mixed greens
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 lemons
1/4 cup of E.V.O.O.
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a large bowl, marinate chicken cutlets in 1 bottle of Creamy Caesar dressing. Note: Make sure each on the the cutlets are coated on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the frig for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with foil and spray rack with non-stick cooking spray.

Take the chicken out of the frig. Pour the bread crumbs into a large bowl, then dredge each breast in the bread crumbs. Once they are breaded, set them onto the baking sheet fitted with rack.

Preheat large saute pan on medium heat. Carefully add in the olive oil, tilting the pan away from you. Make sure the bottom of the pan is covered in oil. Once the oil has come up to temperature, ( you can test this by just submerging the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. If you notice the oil bubbling, surrounding the tip of the handle, the oil is ready.) carefully add the breaded chicken to the pan. Do not overcrowd the cutlets. You may have to do this shallow frying in batches and possibly add more olive oil. Pan fry about 2-3 minutes per side, just enough to get a golden brown color on both sides.

Transfer golden brown cutlets back onto the baking sheet fitted with the rack. Transfer the chicken to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through. Internal temperature 165 degrees F.

To serve:
Divide the mixed greens onto 4 salad plates. Squeeze about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice over each salad. Drizzle each with a couple of tablespoons of e.v.o.o.  Sprinkle each salad with salt and pepper. Using a potato peeler, shave a few shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano over each salad. Top each of the cold crisp salads with 2 of the hot pieces of the Chicken Milanese.  Take the remaining lemon and squeeze some of the juice over all of the chicken. Serve immediately and enjoy!!!

 

 

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