Creamy Lemon-Pepper Orzo with Grilled Chicken

Creamy Lem-Pepper Orzo GrilledChickenI am super excited about my Creamy Lemon-Pepper Orzo with seasoned grill chicken. If you love risotto as much as I do, but want something quick, this easy and simple orzo takes only half the time. Not only is it yummy, rich cheese and cream are switched out for tangy Greek yogurt and goat cheese for equally satisfying creaminess (and keeping it healthy).  This dish is a true classic year round.  You can use any type of protein making this dish, and I like to use chicken tights or chicken sausages.

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup whole-wheat or other whole-grain orzo
  • 1 cup frozen petite peas
  • 2 ounces finely crumbled goat cheese
  • 4 tbs chopped fresh herbs, basil & tarragon
  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Zest & juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 teaspoons EVOO
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon & Pepper Seasoning (Perfect Pinch by McCormick)

Let’s make this happen…

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil; prepare a grill or grill pan for medium heat.
  2. Whisk together the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper seasoning in a medium bowl until well combined.
  3. Rub the chicken thighs with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and sprinkle salt, pepper and Lemon & Pepper seasoning.  Season-Chicken-Thighs
  4. Grill until nicely marked and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand for at least 5 minutes.
  5. Add the orzo to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions for al dente, stirring in the peas during the last-minute of cooking. Drain the orzo and peas, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  6. Stir the orzo and peas into the yogurt mixture, along with the goat cheese, 3 tablespoons of the herbs and at least 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid, until well combined. Transfer to a platter.
  7. Thinly slice the chicken and arrange on top of the orzo. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and the remaining 1 tablespoon herbs.

 

 

PAIRING SUGGESTIONS

Chardonnay – White Burgundy | Chablis – this unoaked example of chardonnay will give you the highest acidity, best for super lemony dishes!  

Sauvignon Blanc – best with a grilled lemon chicken dish 

Riesling – if you want to go down this route, make sure you’re picking a completely dry example of Riesling, nothing sweet!

fork knive glass

Enjoy

Chef EdieM

Asian Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps

These Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps are one of my many favorite dinners.  Those who knows me and knows me well, I am always on the lookout for easy and fast dinners. This recipe is one that took me years of trial and error, and lots of fun taste-testing, to get it just right.  I’ve made a few versions in the past, but finally this is the best one because of its simplicity.  These Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps make the perfect easy dinner, but they’d also make an easy appetizer as well. I hope you love them as much as I do, enjoy!

chicken lettuce wraps

SUBSTITUTIONS | POTENTIAL 
Ground Chicken – finely diced chicken breasts are a great substitute for ground chicken
Peanut Oil – if you don’t have peanut oil or if anyone has a peanut allergy. Use Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
Soy Sauce – if you have a soy allergy you can substitute coconut amino(s) for the soy sauce
Peanut Butter – if you have a peanut (nuts) allergy; seed butter could work here

Let’s make this happen…

AsianChickLettWraps

Ingredients
¼ cup Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 lb ground chicken
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 scallions, whites and greens, chopped
1 large head of Japanese or Bibb Lettuce, leaves separated

 

 

Instructions
1. In a small bowl, combine the hoisin, soy sauce and ⅓ cup water.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and the chicken and cook, breaking up the chicken as it cooks, until browned, about 5 minutes.
3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the carrot and the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
4. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and the scallion whites and cook an additional minute.
5. Stir in the hoisin and continue to cook until the sauce thickens, another 1-2 minutes.

Be creative with your wraps!

 

Serve | Place some of the mixture in a lettuce leaf and top with some of the scallion greens.

Pear | Pinot Grigio: King Estate ‘Signature Collection’ Pinot Gris ~ $16 and/or Riesling: Red Tail Ridge Dry Riesling $17

Enjoy, Chef Edie M

Herring |Toast |Salted Cucumber |Horseradish

Herring is one of the best sources of vitamin D as well as other vitamins, proteins and minerals. Vitamin D plays a prominent role in the body’s absorption of phosphorus and calcium and in the formation of bones.

Herring & Toast

Like crisp bread and potatoes, numerous studies show that those who frequently eat fish are healthier. Herring, like salmon and other fatty fish, contains valuable Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that promote a healthy heart, regulate blood pressure, reduce blood clotting and strengthen the immune system.  Maybe you are a big fan of Herring or maybe you’re not. But don’t judge because you never had it prepared right, however if you don’t appreciate Herring you miss a fish that’s good for you, Omega 3 source, Vitamin D, Vitamin D12 and  besides being good for your health and all that for a very cheap price.

Let’s make this happen,

A potent combination of fresh Herring, pungent horseradish and refreshing cucumber that’s a smashing start to any meal, here is what is needed to make it happen.  30 minutes to 1 hour preparation time | Serves 4

Ingredients:

½ Cucumbers, peeled, thinly sliced on a mandoline

4 tbsp Grated fresh horseradish

2 Heaped tablespoon crème fraîche

2 tsp English mustard powder

4 fresh Herring fillets

Salt | Freshly ground black pepper

1 Tsp butter

To serve:

4 Slices soda bread, toasted, buttered

1 Red onion, thinly sliced

1 Lemon

Preparation Method:

  1. For the salted cucumber and horseradish, place the cucumber slices into a colander and sprinkle with plenty of salt. Mix well and leave the contents to drain over the sink for half an hour.
  1. Rinse the salt off the cucumber with cold water, then leave to drain. Gently wring out any excess moisture from the cucumber with your hands, then set aside.
  1. In a clean bowl, mix the horseradish with the crème fraîche and mustard powder, making sure the mustard powder is well combined with no lumps. Set aside.
  1. Season the Herring fillets on their skin side with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  1. Heat the butter in a frying pan until it is foaming. Add the fillets skin-side down. Place a heat-proof plate onto the cooking fillets, as this will make sure they stay flat and cook evenly. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until nearly cooked through, then turn the fillets and cook for 30 seconds, or until just cooked through.
  1. To serve, place a small handful of the cucumber onto the toast. Place the cooked Herring fillets onto the cucumber. Place a dollop of the horseradish sauce on top and garnish with a little of the sliced red onion and a squeeze of lemon.

Chef  EdieM

Sweet Braided Loaves

“This recipe was handed down from my grandmother to my mother; my mother had told me stories that her mother made Sweet Braided Loaves during the winter months into early spring, because of cost efficiency and the loaves would last for days on. The Sweet Braided Loaves would be served with soups and stews. Back in the 50’s and 60’s living in “alphabet city”, known in Manhattan, NY that Sweet Braided Loaves were the common bread served with any dish. Throughout the years I made it for my son during the Easter Holiday changing the recipe from time to time.”

Read more: https://chefediem.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

1 PACKAGE ACTIVE DRY YEAST

1/4 CUP WARM WATER

1 CUP WARM 2% MILK

1/2 CUP SUGAR

1/2 CUP BUTTER, SOFTENED

3 EGGS, ROOM TEMPERATURE

1/2 TEASPOON SALT

5 1/2 CUPS ALL PURPOSE FLOUR

1 CUP GOLDEN RAISINS

Garnish:  2 Tablespoon sliced Almonds, 1 egg, lightly beaten

Let’s make this happen…

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, butter, eggs, salt and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth.  Stir in enough remaining flour to form soft an dough.  Stir in raisins.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough into six portions.  Shape each into a 12-in. rope. Place three ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under.  Repeat with remaining ropes. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  4. Brush with egg; sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on wire racks.
  5. Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each).

Enjoy!

Sweet Bread

Chef EdieM

Ensalada de Bacalao | Cod Fish Salad with Mojito

Puerto Rican Codfish Salad | Ensalada de Bacalao

Ensalada de Bacalao (Codfish Salad)

Ingredients
2 lbs, dry/salted bacalao, desalted
4 white potatoes, boiled and cubed
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced into rings
3 tomatoes, sliced
½ green bell pepper, thinly sliced
½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 hard boiled eggs, shelled cooled and sliced
4 Fresh garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 avocados, sliced
1 small jar of red pimientos, sliced
½ cup Spanish olives ½ cup olive oil 1 tbsp of white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s make this happen…

  1. Rinse codfish under warm running water to rinse off excess salt. Then add to a pot of boiling water, let it boil for about ½ hour. Drain the water, add fresh water and boil again for 20 minutes. Drain and let it cool.
  2. Shred or pull apart into bite size pieces using your fingers. Set aside to let drain and cool again.
  3. Clean, peel and dice potatoes into large cubes. Boil the potatoes for only 20 minutes. Let potatoes, sit and cool.
  4. Boil the eggs.
  5. Place the fish in the salad bowl as the first layer. Add the other ingredients except for the olive oil, vinegar & hard boiled eggs. Make other layers with the codfish and all the ingredients until all is used up., salt, and pepper. Combine vinegar & olive and drizzle over the salad. Gently toss until all ingredients are well coated with the dressing. Add sliced boiled eggs, & garnish with red pimientos.

Serves 6

Pairing: Ice Cold Mojito

Mojito Ingredients: Original recipe makes 1 cocktail Change Servings

10 Fresh mint leaves

½ Lime cut into 4 wedges

2 tablespoons white sugar, or to taste

1 cup ice cubes

1 ½ Ounces White Bacardi Rum

1/2 cup Club Soda

Let’s make this happen…

  1. Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice.
  2. Add 2 more lime wedges and the sugar, and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture.
  3. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice.
  4. Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with carbonated water. Stir, taste, and add more sugar if desired.
  5. Garnish with the remaining lime wedge.

Note: If you’re going to muddle the mint leaves in the glass, add a little sugar to it too. The sugar is an abrasive and will grind up the leaves very well

Mojito Drinks

 

 

Enjoy Chef EdieM

Food & Clothing Drive for the Rabinowitz Family

Hurricane Sandy the Aftermath

On October 31 Lauryn Rabinowitz wrote on her Facebook wall,

“Today finally made it all real that I no longer have a house 😦 sorry for everyone else who has to go through the same thing”….

In the following days to come Lauryn wrote again on her Facebook wall,

…“Even though I no longer have a house or clothes or anything along those lines I’m so thankful to have my family and boyfriend and happy that we are all safe thank you everyone who has been there for us it really means a lot”….

The aftermath of Sandy has left many homeless and helpless, please I am asking my friends, family members and co-workers, and to those on the social network to join me and to help out the Rabinowitz Family.

Lauryn Rabinowitz and my son, Peter a month prior Hurricane Sandy in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

I am organizing a charity clothing drive for Lauryn Rabinowitz and her Family. I am collecting old, never used or gently used clothing from around the New Jersey area in hopes of helping the Rabinowitz Family. The Rabinowitz family lost everything; they had fled from their home during the storm with only the cloths on their back. The family includes both parents, three girls and a 24 month old baby boy.

Articles of clothing most needed are: Jeans, sweaters, undergarments, shoes, warm coats; shoes female 7 ½ – 9, male 10-11 ½, baby boy 24 months old. Blankets, sheets or anything that can keep them warm would be a great help also.

Food needed: I am gratefully accepting food donations also, any type of store cards (i.e. Target, Shop Rite, A&P, Kids R Us, CVS, and Walgreen). Dry and canned goods are best for the family; as for the baby I strongly recommend store food cards since I am not sure what the baby needs are at the moment (eating habits or needs).

The economy’s fragile condition has eliminated many jobs in the area, leaving more and more local families like the Rabinowitz to fall into financial ruin. Then this storm “Sandy” comes and has made it worse than ever. The small task of donating your unused or old clothing can go a long way in the lives of the Rabinowitz family.

Please Donate to the Rabinowitz Family

If you wish to make a donation of any kind, clothing, food or stores cards, please mail them directly to the following:

Iris Marin C/O Rabinowitz Family
224 71st Street, Ground Level Rear
Guttenberg, NJ 07093

Your contribution would be greatly appreciated. All donations of any kind must in before the next storm.  Pick up will be made by the Rabinowitz. If you have any further questions please contact me at ediem22@yahoo.com.

Chef EdieM

Fresh Pumpkin Soup

Hum…Autumn it’s a time when you can’t escape pumpkins even if you wanted to. You see them everywhere, at the farms stands, farmer’s markets, grocery stores, and even wholesale stores. There are giant sizes from miniature sizes, yellow, orange and green. You can make good use of pumpkins in delicious foods throughout the season such as breads, pies, ice-cream and soups. Yes, pumpkin soup its appealing fall flavors of just-picked pumpkins and tart apples…and is sure to warm you up on a crisp autumn day. I like to top the creamy puree with a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds. Oh boy, I’m getting hungry. You can serve pumpkin soup with brown sweet bread (molasses, oatmeal, or grain), and a salad. If you need/want the protein you can make an open-faced turkey sandwiches with apples and Havarti (a really good combination).  All great fall flavors.

Let’s make this happens…

8 cups chopped fresh pumpkin (about 3 pounds)
4 cups chicken broth
3 small tart apples, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first eight ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until pumpkin and apples are tender.

2. Meanwhile, toss pumpkin seeds with oil and salt. Spread onto an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 250° for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.

TOASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS:
1/2 cup fresh pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/8 teaspoon salt

3. Cool soup slightly; process in batches in a blender. Transfer to a large saucepan; heat through. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds*To make pumpkin purée, cut a sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on a tin-foil lined baking pan. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don’t use for future use.

Salty & Sweet Apple-Citrus Salad

2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 of each lettuces (curly endive, arugula, spinach) rinsed well and torn into pieces
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and ½” dice
2 pears, cored and ½ “dice
4-6 oz. Blue cheese or Gorgonzola (crumbled)
2 ruby red grapefruits, peeled and sectioned
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
½ cup Almonds (toasted optional)
½ sun-dried cranberries
1 bunch green onions, green portion only, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard and vinegar. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream and whisk until smooth and blended.

2. In a large bowl, combine the lettuces, apples, grapefruits, oranges, green onions, salt, pepper and half of the vinaigrette and toss to mix.

3. Divide the salad among chilled salad plates, add cheese. Drizzle a little of the remaining vinaigrette over each salad and serve immediately.

 

Lucy & Chef EdieM

 

 

 

Lucy & Chef EdieM

Sweet Chili Salmon Hand Rolls

Japanese cuisine is one of the healthiest, most varied and beautifully presented in the world. Its dishes are characterized by delicate flavors and fresh ingredients. These tenets are most important to the meals that accompany the tea ceremony, or cha-kaiseki, but are applied throughout Japanese cuisine. The use of hashi (chopsticks) dictates that many ingredients are cut into bite-size pieces. It is said that if food cannot be drunk from a bowl or eaten with chopsticks, then it is not Japanese.

Makes 6 pieces
1 skin-on Salmon fillet, about 5 ½ oz
1 tbsp EVOO
3 large sheets of toasted nori, halved
¼ quantity freshly cooked Sushi rice
2 Scallions, halved and shredded
4 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
Salt and pepper
Thin cucumber sticks to serve

Let’s make this happen…

1. Season the salmon with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Heat the oil in a skillet until very hot, add the salmon skin-side down, and cook for 2 minutes or until the skin is very crisp.

3. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Turn the salmon over and cook until it is cooked through.

4. Remove from skillet and let cool, then flake the salmon, keeping some pieces attached to the crispy skin.

5. Lay a piece of nori out on the counter and put some rice on the sheet and spread the rice out evenly so that it takes up the bottom two-thirds of the sheet.

6. Lay a sixth of the salmon, salmon skin and scallion of the rice, then drizzle over a little mayonnaise and dot on a tiny amount of the sweet chili sauce.

7. Roll the nori into a cone, folding the bottom corner in as you roll (you will have to paste the join together with a couple of crushed grains of rice).

8. Repeat the remaining ingredients.

Serve with thin cucumber sticks and the remaining sweet chili sauce.

End of summer

We all need to say farewell to the fresh flavors of Summer, the warm sand at the beaches and free movies in the park. But don’t let summer slip away without a proper send-off. The calendar tells us that the seasons change in mid-September, but we all know that the unofficial end to summer is Labor Day. So before the routines and formality of autumn set in, let’s enjoy one last summer party to say farewell to summer. Let’s all savor and stay out late to enjoy the final strains of summer’s nightly serenades, walks at the beach, BBQ at the parks and staying at home with good food, good spirits and great company!

Edie’s Orzo Clam & Shrimp Soup

…my signature dish, which I enjoy making during the End of Summer and throughout the winter! 

Lets make this happen…

3 Doz Little necks
2 Lb Chopped clams
2 Lbs Jumbo cleaned|deveined shrimp
½ Cup Clam juice
½ Cup Lemon juice
3 Cups Water
1 Lbs Butter
1¾ Cups Chicken stock
1 Cups White cooking wine
½ Cup Orzo
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp Flour
5 Cloves Garlic
Salt and pepper

1. In large soup kettle melt butter and add in olive oil.

2. Add garlic (chopped); cook gently 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Blend in flour, stirring constantly for about 1 minute. Let the flour absorb the oil.

4. Add all liquids bring to a boil; stirring constantly. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

5. Add Orzo noodles, stirring occasionally cook for 5 minutes; shut off and let it stand for 5 minutes.

6. Wash and peel shrimp; clean and brush the little necks; rinse out fresh chopped clams.

7. Turn on soup to a medium heat and add the rest of the seafood. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cover, reduce low and simmer 5 minutes.

Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with dill, if desired, and serve hot.

VARIATION: Add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or cilantro just before serving.
Can be served as a starter with French bread and a glass of wine!