Chicken Lettuce Wraps

On this over the top very hot Memorial Weekend, the idea of standing next to a BBQ adding to the already Florida heat was totally unappealing!

So I decided to make something that can be prepared inside under the wonderful air conditioning, and then transported pool side, that was tasty, light and refreshing…..

Original chicken wraps are usually done with minced chicken, but for the lack for such ingredient I replaced it with cubed chicken breasts and it turned out as good!

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For this particular recipe I used the following:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into tiny small cubes (or you can use a lb of minced chicken of course)
  • 1 large onion cubed
  • 4 sliced scallions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup of hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 12 tbsp Sriracha sauce (if you prefer it non spicy use just 1 tbsp)
  • 2 heads of Romaine lettuce

As stated above I didn’t have any minced chicken so I started by slicing and cubing my chicken.

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Once that is done quickly sauté in a tbsp of olive oil until nicely cooked, drain fat and add the chopped onions, chopped garlic, scallions, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, minced ginger and sriracha sauce.

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Cook for another 5 minutes and its ready!

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Now its time to grab that lovely crispy Romaine Lettuce, top up with a nicely loaded tablespoon, squeeze some lemon juice and add some fresh scallions and enjoy!

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I served them pool side with of course a refreshing cocktail in hand ❤

PS: You might wonder why there is no salt and pepper in the recipe but the seasoning in the Hoisin, Soy and Sriracha sauce are all you need :-).

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Pio Nono Relleno like my mama makes it…

A good memory of home is something we call a Pio Nono. We buy them frozen and they are very thin rolls of a heavenly slightly sweet very thin sponge cake that can then be filled with savory or sweet wonderful things.

A staple in my house made by my mama was the Pio Nono stuffed with Tuna, Hearts of Palm and sweet corn, mixed with a bit of mayo and spices, covered with a little bit of more mayo and decorated with green and red peppers.

A very special person (mama Gaye) asked that for her little birthday celebration I make her what we now call, my special Rolly Polly! Slight technical hitch, there was nowhere near the house where I could get hold of this frozen life saving rolled sponge cake!

In preparation for tonights dinner, last night I decided to make it myself, not that its a difficult thing, but it has a tendency to stick and crack easily (well that’s just me)!

The experiment was a success and by bedtime last night I had myself a Pio Nono ready to be filled out tonight!

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This evening as soon as I got home, I mixed the tuna, sweet corn and chopped hearts of palm, seasoned them with pepper, paprika, chopped chives, little mayo and a squirt of ketchup. Gave it a little taste for flavour approval and then spread it evenly on my Pio Nono!

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Then I gently rolled it up……

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And all that is left to do is add a few finished touches, a little mayo all over, some chopped chives and red peppers and a little fresh dill for the final decorating touch! 🙂

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This is all that was needed to make one very special person happy ❤

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY GAYE! 

Cheesy Cauliflower Garlic Breadsticks

I have been seeing this cheesy cauliflower garlic bread recipe around Facebook for a while, and today, a cold rainy day in south florida is the perfect day to put this recipe to a test!

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As usual I changed a few ingredients and happy to say that the result was great! One very important part of this recipe which is omitted in the original is the size of the baking pan you decide to use as it will determine the thickness of your so called “bread sticks”.

I started by using 15 x 11″ pan but had to change to a 13 x 9″ in order to nicely cover the entire bottom of the pan and still have some height in it!

Below is the recipe I used (the one from Facebook) with my changes in parenthesis.

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 c. shredded mozzarella, divided ( I replaced with 1 cup of shredded cheddar for the topping)
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. Freshly Chopped Parsley (I am a cilantro lover so used cilantro instead)
  • Marinara, for dipping (didn’t do this part, not a fan of marinara sauce 🙂 )

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I decided to be practical and place everything in my food processor – first I processed the cauliflower until it became a nice paste, then added the garlic cloves, eggs, oregano, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. I also sprinkled some cilantro and red pepper flakes onto the dough before I put it in the oven.

Placed the above concoction onto my baking tray lined with parchment paper and placed in the over at 425 °F for 25 – 30 minutes, until nice and golden.

Then topped it off with the rest of the shredded cheese, cilantro and red pepper flakes and baked for another 10 minutes.

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If you are looking for an alternate non carb garlic bread, I must say this perfectly fits the bill!

Hope you enjoy it as much as my daughter and I did, of course the hubby (a bread lover) was not too sold on it.

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Portabella Mushrooms….

Mushrooms are the type of veggies that I really like, they easily absorb any flavour you infuse them with and are a great alternative to meat!

I found a recipe for Stuffed Caprese Garlic Butter Portabella Mushrooms and decided to give it my usual twist.

Started by mixing some melted butter, parsley and minced garlic, placing the mushroom caps on a baking sheet lined with foil, and then gave the mushrooms a good brushing with it on both sides.

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I seasoned both sides with some salt and pepper, nothing worse than eating a bland mushroom, lol and left them upside down.

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I topped them with sliced  vine ripened tomatoes and then grabbed some goats cheese, which I lovingly sprinkled all over the tomatoes (you can leave this out but I ❤ goats cheese).

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Then I thinly sliced some creamy mozzarella and broke into pieces and sparingly covered the tomatoes on each mushroom.

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I don’t particularly like raw mushrooms and the recipe said to just place under broiler for 8 minutes. Instead I placed them in a 350 °F for about 10-15 minutes and then placed them under the broiler for about 6 minutes. They turned out just perfect!

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Whilst the mushrooms were baking, I placed about 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar and 2 tbsp of brown sugar in a casserole and reduced it till it was nice and thick.

As soon as the mushrooms came out of the oven, I covered them in chopped basil and gave them a nice drizzle of the balsamic reduction!

They were sooooo good, that my daughter Phoebe ended up going back for seconds, which is always a good sign ❤

 

 

Southern Hospitality in full swing….

I had the pleasure of doing a fabulous road trip from Arizona to Northern Florida with my  good friend Maureen. One of our stops took us into this small little town in Louisiana called Sulphur.

We drove into this place after having driven across the entire state of Texas so the need for a rest and a good hot meal was imminent!

Nothing like a quick chat with the locals to find out what the best place for a good meal is that does NOT involve fast food! 🙂

The recommendation took us to this empty restaurant called Hollier’s Cajun Kitchen. I say empty because other than the staff there wasn’t a soul to be seen. We did debate about going elsewhere and glad we didn’t! First thing we asked when we walked in was “Are you still open”?

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Immediately the entire staff pulled us in and said, as long as we are in the establishment, we must be served and served we were!

We had everyone’s attention, got offered the option of the buffet or food of the menu and got chatting with one of the waitresses who was full of history, stories about the town, about the owner and everything you might want or need to know!

We ordered the Seafood Gumbo and I have to say, my first impression was, why am I getting what looks like dirty water? But one taste of it and the first impression flew straight out of the window.

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Our dinner was just what we needed, comfort food, warmed up our tummies and had that lovely spicy kick.

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This is what I call Southern Hospitality, they made sure we took our time, they never rushed us out, thanked us over and over for stopping by and were full of smiles ❤

So, if you ever find yourself in Sulphur, Louisiana, stop by Hollier’s for a Southern Cajun meal!

 

Stuffed Eggplant

I couple of days ago I came across a recipe on Facebook for “Roasted Eggplant Fan” – I have a special ❤ for eggplant, being that it’s my favourite vegetable. It’s so versatile and in my books, a vegetable that makes a statement!

Of course, right from the beginning I had to twist the recipe around. It starts by slicing the eggplant lengthwise so that you can fan it out, I decided to slice it the other way and ended up with this long accordion looking eggplant. Make sure not to cut all the way through as you want the slices to still be attached.

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I then followed the recipe that called for sliced tomatoes and sliced mozzarella wedged into each slice. By now I already knew that I would have to alter the roasting time for this baby. Little side note, add a tad of salt to each slice of eggplant before you stuff it!

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After stuffing each slice, I added crumbled mediterranean seasoned feta cheese instead of the plain one, I gave it a good salt and pepper dusting and then added lots of oregano instead of thyme. A drizzle of olive oil and a nice squeeze of 2 lemons and its now ready to go into the oven.

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Recipe called for it to roast in the oven at 220 ° C which is aprox 425 ° F for 15 minutes. I ended up roasting mine for 45 minutes.

Unfortunately only my daughter and I got to enjoy it because the “men” in the house do not get along with the purple looking vegetable 🙂

And with my love for lemons – I added another extra squeeze of lemon right before eating it, it was just heavenly!

Oh and don’t forget to check out my first cookbook on Amazon – “For the Love of Lemons” available on paperback and kindle edition!

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Lemons-First-upcoming/dp/153910592X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1482862062&sr=1-1&keywords=for+the+love+of+lemons

 

 

 

 

For the Love of Lemons

To all my food blog followers and lemon lovers, I have finally followed my dream and written and published my first humble cook book. This one in particular focuses on Lemons, but there will be many to follow, all concentrating on different flavours!

So if you are in need of stocking stuffers, lemon recipes and willing to support me you can now purchase my book on amazon – For the Love of Lemons

Would love to get comments and feedback and will happily answers any questions you might have on any of the recipes!

Of course the most popular recipe in this book will probably be my most followed blog post – the Lemon Caper Capellini Salad Obsession!

Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday Season 🙂 and thank you for being such a great audience ❤

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