Yikes, my last blog on my site was in August. A lot has happened between Jerk Tofu and Cucumber Sauce. I completed my course work at the Natural Gourmet Institute and also moved to Florida. A new venture as a private chef for a client that is recuperating from breast and lung cancer. Literally they packed up the Diva in a suitcase.
I made some chickpea burgers for dinner last week and it needed something, so I texted by Chef friend for some advice. He suggested a cucumber sauce. With the ingredients that I had on hand I concocted a cucumber sauce.
Tzatziki – Greek Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce
Yield: 3 1/2 cups
3 cups Greek Yogurt (or regular plain yogurt, strained as described above)
juice of one lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 medium cucumbers, seeded and diced
about 1 tablespoon sea salt for salting cucumbers
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
A few weeks ago Ilka asked to do a cooking demonstration for Project Hip Hop's mother's group. No problem any thing for these guys. My first question was is there anything specific that they want to learn how to make? Ilka responded anything thats fast, healthy and kid friendly. I silently chuckled to myself. I paced back and forth and had to think about this one for a while. All three elements, tired moms that need to cook after work and I only have an hour and half, Rachael Ray makes it seem all too simple. ..its possible..the Gourmet Diva will make it work.
Its summertime, so a BBQ would work. Ahhh after reading Parents Magazine, there is was Chicken Plum Burger recipe that I came across. Hamburgers made with ground chicken meat seasoned with fresh herbs with grilled plums on top.
Amare and I did a run through of the recipe to make sure it was legit. It passed the test. I wrote up
some tips on how to eat healthy on a budget. Viola we are ready to go.
The demo went great, everyone got there hands 'dirty' cooking and grilling. The kids kept themselves occupied playing with each other. The general consensus, everyone preferred the taste of ground chicken over ground turkey. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
In addition to burgers we had some fish to eat as well. One of the ladies brought some fresh salmon, a mango, and an mango terikyi marinade. Great we can work with this.
She went inside the house to prep the fish and brought it out. I broke down what she did below.
The fish was great and can be easily adapted to be put in the oven as well. Today you get a two for one
with recipes and tips. Burgers and Salmon. In a separate blog entry, Ill also show you how to pick out a ripe mango and how to cut it.
Plum – Good Chicken Burgers
1 lb. Ground chicken breast
¼ cup panko bread crumbs (Panko can be found in the Asian food section of your local grocery store)
1 Tbs. Fresh basil chopped
½ tsp. Ground ginger
salt and pepper to taste
4 tsp olive oil, divided
6 square – shaped, 3 – inch whole grain buns split
1 Tbs. Sweet and sour sauce
12 baby spinach leaves
1)In a bowl, combine chicken, bread crumbs, basil, ginger, salt and pepper. Pat mixture into a 6 inch square on a piece of foil. Cover and freeze for 30 minutes so it gets firm. Meanwhile halve the plum and remove the pit. Cut three ¼ inch thick slices to make flower shapes with a cookie cutter. Don't discard the leftover pieces; they'll look cute on the burgers too and the plum's skin is rich in antioxidants. Toss the plum slices with a teaspoon of oil.
2.Cut chicken mixture into 6 patties; brush with remaining oil. Grill on medium for 10 minutes or until done turning once. Add plums to grill after you flip the patties; turn once. Toast cut sides of buns on grill rack for a minute.
3.Brush bottoms of the buns with sweet and sour sauce. Add 2 spinach leaves, chicken patty, plum cutout and the bun top.
Recipe courtesy of Parents Magazine August 2009
Salmon Mango Teriyaki
Filet of Salmon
salt and pepper to taste
1 Onion Chopped
1 mango diced
Mango Teriyaki marinade
1) Season salmon with salt and pepper.
2) Pour marinade over salmon, sit for at least 1/2 hr.
3) Chop onion and dice mango
4) Wrap salmon with marine onion and mango in foil
5) Place ontop of grill or place in oven to broil
6) Cook for about 15 minutes or until salmon is done
I hope you all enjoy this weeks session. I didn't realize how hard it is to cook and talk at the same time. Getting better with time. My friend Al made this dish
Kitchen Coaching: Not your traditional BBQ. Peach Glazed Wings &. Peach Mango Glazed Chicken
Final Product - Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes
I went to a friends house the other day to work out, after biking 4 miles to her house she yells “ I got a surprise”.. I love surprises., What is it? I'm going to make blueberry pancakes and your going to help me. I can handle pancakes.
She shows me a recipe for Blueberry Ricotta pancakes . Yes, ricotta (the white cheese you usually see in lasagna). I'll give anything a try at least once.
We used the following recipe below.
I coached her threw a few techniques while she was making the pancakes:
1) How do I separate eggs? I use the egg shell method when I don't have an egg separator handy.
2) What do egg whites at medium peaks look like? When you beat them they start to froth and thicken up.
3) Why is there ricotta in here?! I asked the same thing, we had a guest show up at the house and we could not get him to eat the pancakes because we said 'ricotta'. Adding fresh ricotta to the batter makes these pancakes incredibly moist and light.
Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes with Real Maple Syrup
Hint: Don't tell anyone one that there is cheese in the pancakes beforehand
1 1/4 cup All Purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch Kosher salt
2 whole eggs, separated
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon ‘pure’ vanilla extract
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup fresh blueberries, if using frozen blueberries, thaw first
3 tablespoons unsalted butter – melted
Real maple syrup, as needed
In a large bowl sift together the dry ingredients. In a second bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients, minus the egg whites. In a very clean third bowl, whip the 2 egg whites until medium peaks. Slowly combine the dry mixture into the wet. Gently fold in the egg whites, only until just incorporated. Lastly, add the blueberries. Spray or butter a non-stick griddle or sauté pan. Place over medium heat until hot, and add 1/3 cup pancake mixture. Cook for 2 minutes on first side, gently flip the pancake, and cook for approximately 2 minutes on the second. The edges will be dry, and when lifted, the bottom should be light brown in color. Transfer to a plate, keep warm in an oven, and serve on heated plates with real maple syrup.n-stick griddle or sauté pan. Place over medium heat until hot, and add 1/3 cup pancake mixture. Cook for 2 minutes on first side, gently flip the pancake, and cook for approximately 2 minutes on the second. The edges will be dry, and when lifted, the bottom should be light brown in color. Transfer to a plate, keep warm in an oven, and serve on heated plates with real maple syrup.