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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

P.S. Flavor Spice Blends-Mocha Chili Spiced Roasted Asparagus

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Pam Smith’s daughter Nicole, and my daughter Melissa are longtime friends. Once I really got into blogging, it was important for me to acknowledge those people who inspire me.

Pam Smith is at the top of my list. She started out in the area of nutrition, had her own radio program, and now is affiliated with Epcot. She has developed her own line of spice blends and rubs that are AMAZING! My daughter and I have watched her narrate cooking demos, with well-known chefs at the EPCOT Food And Wine Festival. Now Pam has gone on to perform her own food demos with her daughter Nicole narrating them by her side. What a tremendous family achievement.

I received an early Christmas package, this year, from the girls. I was so excited to test a new recipe using this Mocha Chili Spice blend. I decided to test this spice blend on asparagus. This is my Mocha Chili Spiced Roasted Asparagus.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 to 15 minutes (times may vary slightly depending on the thickness of the asparagus)
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
Equipment: 1 rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
1 pound of Asparagus
2 tablespoons of Mocha Chili Spice Blend
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
Start by rinsing the Asparagus spears under cold water. Next, dry all the spears off really well. Once they’re all dry, hold each one at both ends, bend the spear until it snaps. They will naturally snap where it starts to get tough. Discard the bottom portion.

Place asparagus spears onto a sheet pan. Next, add the Mocha Chili, Kosher salt, and olive oil. Using clean hands, toss the asparagus spears so they are coated really well. Then spread them out evenly into one layer. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness. Add a final sprinkling of Kosher salt. WOW!, the Mocha Chili Spice Blend adds the perfect balance of heat with a touch of sweetness to the asparagus. Try my Mocha Chili Spiced Roasted Asparagus with your next meal. For more information visit…

           P.S. Flavor-Spice Blends by Pam Smith, RDN.
Pam Smith, with daughter and moderator Nicole Smith Talbott, holds monthly Facebook Live classes for P.S. Flavor Club. Available are 3-month seasonal kits, you can go to http://www.psflavorclub.com. or https://m.facebook.com/psflavor

Mai Chai Pumpkin Tarimisu

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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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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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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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