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December 29, 2015

Yellow Rice with Raisins

This delicious South African side dish has turmeric which gives it the yellow color.

Serves 4

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

1 cup long grained rice, washed
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1 tablespoon butter
Enough water to cover rice
2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon turmeric
1 stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Ingredients:

Add the rice, turmeric, cinnamon and salt to a large saucepan, cover with water and boil for 20 min.

Remove from heat, pour off any remaining liquid, stir in the raisins and cover pan with lid to steam for 30 minutes.

Transfer to a serving dish and remove the cinnamon. Stir in the butter and sugar and serve at once.

Posted by terri at 02:29 AM | Comments (0)

Bobotie

Bobotie is a type of minced beef pie cooked with spices, herbs and dried fruit all topped with a mixture of egg and milk then baked until set. While we were in South Africa we tried many different foods and this was one of our favorites.

I was recently reading that this dish was most likely brought to South Africa by Asian settlers and it is now the national dish of the country.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

1 slice white bread
1 cup milk
2 lbs. Ground beef
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
½ cup seedless raisins
½ cup blanched almonds
1 tablespoon apricot jam
1 tablespoon fruit chutney
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh herbs
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons oil
3 large eggs
4 bay leaves

Instructions:

Soak the bread in half of the milk, then squeeze it dry and reserve the milk. Mix the bread with the ground beef.

Mix in all the other ingredients, except the remaining reserved milk, the oil, eggs and bay leaves.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the meat mixture lightly. Turn it out into a casserole dish. Beat the eggs with the remaining and reserved milk and pour over the meat. Garnish the top of the mixture with the bay leaves. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until set.

Serve with yellow rice with raisins and chutney.

Posted by terri at 01:13 AM | Comments (0)

December 28, 2015

Grilled Honey Lime Corn

This recipe is best with summer fresh corn but frozen will work when necessary.

Grilling corn gives it an amazing smoky flavor. With a few other ingredients you will be going back for seconds and thirds.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 tablespoon honey
juice and zest from 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon cumin, freshly ground
8 ears of corn

Instructions:

In a small bowl, combine honey, lime juice, zest and cumin. Stir until well blended.

With a pastry brush, brush all sides of the corn with honey mixture. Place on prepared medium heat grill. Grill until slightly golden. Turn and continue grilling until all sides are golden. Brush corn again with honey mixture right before removing it from grill.

Posted by terri at 02:03 AM | Comments (0)

Mixed Baby Lettuce with Sorghum Vinaigrette

Sorghum is a grass with corn like leaves and cereal grains at the end of the stalks. Even though it is a powerhouse of nutrition, it is used more for animal fodder. But the sweet juice extracted from the stalks is used to produce sorghum molasses.

Sorghum molasses are not as thick as sugar cane molasses and the taste is a little more tart making it a great sweetener for this vinaigrette.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

For the vinaigrette

1 tablespoon shallots, minced
1/2 cup sorghum
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
pinch cayenne
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups salad oil

For the salad

3-4 cups Mixed baby lettuce
1 pint grape or heirloom tomatoes
1 gala apple, thinly sliced
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup good quality cheddar cheese, grated

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients except for the oil in a blender or food processor. Slowly add the oil to the mixture and process until completely blended.

Plate lettuces onto 6 salad plates. Top with tomatoes, apples, walnuts and cheese. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Posted by terri at 01:43 AM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2015

Italian Dressing

Why should you make your own dressings and vinaigrettes? I'll tell you why:
They're better tasting and better for you.
You are in control of what goes into the dressing
And believe it or not, it is a very simple process.


Ingredients:

½ cup red or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons onion, finely minced


Instructions:

In a sealable jar or salad dressing container, combine vinegar and sugar and stir or shake until sugar dissolves. Add remaining ingredients and shake until well blended.

Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.


Posted by terri at 04:28 PM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2015

Pan Seared Salmon with Lemon

This quick and simple dish can be served as the entrée or as an appetizer. When possible select wild caught salmon for enhanced flavor and superior texture.

Though salmon is high in fat it is the healthy Omega-3 oils. Salmon is also high in protein and a rich source of vitamin A and B.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 (3 ounce) salmon fillets
1 lemon, cut in half
Kosher Salt and freshly grated black pepper
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 French Baguette, sliced 1/4 rounds
Enough Extra Virgin Olive Oil for bread

Instructions:

Heat oil in large saucepan on high heat. Season salmon with salt, pepper. Place salmon in hot saucepan and squeeze the juice from half of the lemon onto salmon. Allow salmon the get a good crust on bottom.

Slice other lemon half into 5 or 6 slices and place on top of salmon. Turn heat off and cover salmon and allow to sit for about 3-4 minutes. Check it to make sure it isn't over cooking. There should be a thin brighter pink line in the middle. Remove from heat if done or leave on heat until desired degree of doneness.

Mean while baste bread rounds with EV olive oil and toast in oven until golden.

Mix cream cheese, sour cream and capers together until well blended.

Serve cream cheese mixture with bread and salmon. The bread should be topped with cream cheese mixture and a slice of salmon.

Cooking Wiser:

Use low fat cream cheese and sour cream.

Minimize salt, the lemon will lift the flavors.

Make it your own:

Add 1 teaspoon minced fresh dill (or 1/3 teaspoon dry dill) to the salmon.

Use dill, basil or chives to replace capers

Serve as a sandwich or serve the salmon as the main dish with herbed orzo and sautéed spinach.

Posted by terri at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2015

Rum Fudge Mini Bites

Oh boy, time to bake Christmas/Holiday Cookies. This is another favorite cookie to add to last year's list. It boasts of chocolate yumminess.

Makes 4 dozen

Ingredients

1 cup butter
8 ounces semisweet chocolate squares
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons rum or rum extract
3 large eggs
1 cup all purpose flour

For topping

Powdered sugar or Toffee bites, even M&Ms will work (see below)

Instructions

Melt butter and 8 ounces unsweet and semisweet chocolate in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often or melt in microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring until completely melted. Remove from heat and cool completely. Stir in sugar, whipping cream and rum until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time stirring until blended. Gradually fold in flour.

Spoon batter into lightly greased mini muffin pans, filling almost full. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center of cakes comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle bites with powdered sugar before serving.

Create your own

Add toffee bites or M & Ms to top before baking
Push a sweetened cherry into each muffin before baking
Add crushed nuts of choice, about 1/3 cup

Posted by terri at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2015

Parmesan stuffed mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms make a tasty appetizer for any occasion. Stuffing them with the sautéed stems, garlic and cheese makes them moist and flavorful.

Ingredients:

12 large stuffing mushrooms
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup fresh breadcrumb
3⁄4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese and more for topping, about ¼ cups
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon oregano
1 -2 garlic clove, finely chopped

Ingredients

Remove stems from mushroom caps and chop stems.
Heat oil and butter in large skillet and cook stems until liquid is evaporated.
Combine cooked stems with breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, oregano and garlic.
Arrange mushrooms in a baking dish.
Stuff mushrooms with breadcrumb mixture and top with additional cheese
Bake in a preheated 350º oven.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

You can add other chopped vegetables or even ground sausage to the stuffing mix.

Posted by terri at 02:42 AM | Comments (0)

Hot Chocolate Fun for the Kids

This is an great way to create a little fun for the kids and end up with a hot chocolate that the adults will also enjoy. To save time use instant hot chocolate mix and follow package instructions or be in more control of the ingredients by using this simple recipe with optional add ins. Decorate chocolate covered spoons and let the fun begin!

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

For the hot chocolate

Instant hot chocolate mix (use milk, not water)
OR Make YOUR OWN
2 cups milk (1%, 2% or whole)
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

If using instant hot chocolate mix, follow the directions but use milk to replace water! I mean really- water and chocolate don't mix.

If making your own:

Heat milk in a small sauce pan on low heat and add any of the optional ingredients below. When little bubbles begin to form around the edges add the chocolate chips and turn off the heat. Stir until chocolate completely melts. If it appears to be too thick add a little extra milk to desired consistency.

Optional ingredients for hot chocolate:
Pinch of:
Cayenne, cinnamon, or nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
marshmallows
whipped cream

To make the spoons:

Ingredients:

1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup whipping cream

Instructions:

Add cream and chocolate to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, remove and stir. Continue to microwave in 10 second increments stirring after each 10 seconds until chocolate completely melts. Remove and cool to room temperature. Dip spoons into chocolate to evenly coat. After dipping, place spoons on wax paper and cover with decorations of choice before chocolate completely sets. If chocolate becomes too thick for dipping, microwave for 10 seconds and stir.

You can also top the hot chocolate with marshmallows or whipped cream

Decorations:

Sprinkles
Crushed nuts- almonds, walnuts or pecans
Crushed peppermints or other hard candy of choice

Once the hot chocolate is poured into individual cups, provide a spoon to stir or top with marshmallow or whipped cream. The chocolate and decorations from the spoons will melt into the hot chocolate. It is so much fun!

Other options for dipping besides spoons:
Butter cookies
Animal cookies
Nutter Butter Cookies
Pretzels
Strawberries
Bananas
Pecans

I usually half dip the cookies, strawberries, and other optional ingredients. Bananas can also be rolled in the nuts. Get creative. Set up stations for the kids to get creative and have FUN!

Posted by terri at 12:11 AM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2015

Adult Hot Chocolate Bar

Let the festivities begin with this delicious adult hot chocolate bar. Now let me tell you that this isn't a low calorie hot chocolate. It is loaded in sugar but not too high in fat. If you want to indulge and pay later this one is for you. If you love chocolate and you feel cold to the bone and need a little warm comfort this one is for you. I use one of my favorite ingredients to decrease the fat.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

16 ounces evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups milk (whole, 2% or 1%- your choice)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, more if you like it a little more chocolaty

Instructions:

Heat the evaporated milk, condensed milk and milk in a large sauce pan on medium high heat. Add the cocoa powder and cook on low until dissolved.

Optional:

For the spirits:
I like pralines and cream but Bailey's, Kahlua, Godiva chocolate and Chambord are also good. It only takes a little to add the flavor; about 1 tablespoon/cup.

Cooking Wiser:

Evaporated milk is low in fat. To decrease the amount of fat even more use low fat or fat free condensed milk and 1% milk.

Sugar is a tough one. I don't like the bitter taste of artificial sweeteners but if you need to control sugar, use 1 package instant sugar free chocolate pudding mix and add 1 additional cup of milk (1 or 2%).

Posted by terri at 10:42 PM | Comments (0)