Appetizers · Sides

Oven Roasted Okra

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A side dish or snack—simple, healthy and pays tribute to fried okra.  I like it hot from the oven with some spicy salsa.

Ingredients:

1lb of fresh okra, diced (frozen does not crisp up well)

1 tbsp of water, cornmeal and white poppy seeds

2tbsp of oil

salt, pepper and chilli powder according to taste

spicy, chunky salsa for serving!

Method:

Chop the okra and put in a bowl.

Add water, cornmeal, poppy seeds and seasonings.  Toss to combine and coat.

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Coat a cast-iron skillet with oil and add the okra.

Roast for 20 mins at 400F.  Halfway through roasting, stir and toss the okra a little bit.

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Serve hot!

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Appetizers · gluten-free · Mexican · Sides

A fresh snack – Tomato Avocado Salsa

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I am obsessed with avocados! Sometimes I get sushi just for the avocados.  Just because it’s winter does not mean I am not going to eat something summery.  It is a really healthy snack and it goes great as a topping for tacos–look at my previous post for pulled pork tacos.

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You will need:

1 avocados, chopped

2 tomatoes chopped

1 jalapeno, minced

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 (or 2) limes

1tsp of cumin

1tsp of garlic powder

salt to taste

Mix, everything !!!

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I like to eat it by the spoonful, but for a more civilized take on it, you could include some chips to the party

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Appetizers · Classics · Dinner · Indian Food · Italian · Pastry · Poultry · Sides

International Potluck !

I am very fortunate to work with a great group of people.  Not only are they smart scientists, they are thoughtful and kind friends.  The cherry on the sundae is that we all love FOOD !!! Eating food, talking about food and cooking food !  We will sit around, eat lunch together and make plans for the next meal.  Call us gluttonous, but if that is a sin–it sure tastes great !  To make matters more interesting, we all identify with various regions of the world.  It took us while to get organized but we finally had out Lab International Potluck !

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Menu:

American: Shrimp and grits and apple pie

French Canadian: Meat pies

Sweden: Swedish Meatballs and Sauerkraut

Poland: Kielbasa

Italy: Stuffed Shells

France: Floating Islands

Turkey: Grape Leaves and Figs stuffed with sweet rice and soaked in syrup

Indian: Jhalferezi and saffron rice

Vietnam: Chicken buns

Talk about a feast !!!!

Appetizers · Classics · Fish Course

Spanish Mussels with Chorizo and Tomato-Wine Sauce

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INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces chorizo sausage or turkey sausage, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

3 shallots, finely chopped

1/2 tsp. Spanish smoked paprika

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

3/4 cup white wine

A pinch of saffron

2 lb. fresh mussels, scrubbed

French bread, cut into slices, brushed with olive oil and grill

DIRECTIONS:

In a large sauté pan, cook the sausage with shallots and garlic till the shallots are pale golden.  Drain off most of the oil, reserving about 1 Tbsp.

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Add tomatoes, paprika, red pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Cook till tomatoes soften.

Add mussels and wine and bring to boil. Lower heat, add a pinch of saffron and cover, cooking until the mussel shells have opened, about 6-8 minutes.

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With a ladle, serve mussels with sausage and sauce into a bowl. Discard any shells that have not opened.

Serve immediately with French bread for dipping.

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Enjoy!

Appetizers · Fish Course

Coconut Shrimp

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A sweet, juicy tropical treat—perfect on  a cold gloomy day !

Ingredients:

10 cooked shrimp

¼ cup liquid egg whites

1 tsp of curry powder

½  tsp of ground ginger

1 tbsp of cornstarch

2/3 cup of ground almonds and sweetened coconut flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

Sweet chilli sauce for serving ( I like the trader joe’s brand)

Method:

Pat dry cooked shrimp

Toss with cornstarch, curry powder, ginger, salt and pepper

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Dip in egg and coat in almond and coconut flour mixture

Place on a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet

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Chill for 15-30mins

Preheat oven to 375

Bake for  10-15 mins till crust golden

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Serve hot with the sweet chilli sauce

 

 

Appetizers

Tarragon Shrimp Appetizers

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Tis the holiday season ! People will come and go and all I can think about is delicious food and baked goods.  I was putting up my christmas decorations and made this treat for myself.  This one bite appetizer is super easy and quick to whip up.  Elegant enough to entertain a crowd or to treat your own tummy on a cold night.  Might I suggest a glass of Pinot Grigio to go with it !

Ingredients:

1 lb of cooked shrimp ( you can use the frozen cocktail shrimp, just take the tails off)

1/2 Tbsp of olive oil

1 cup of finely chopped onions (use the frozen kind if you are in a time crunch)

1/2 Tbsp of finely minced garlic

2 Tbsp of Tomato paste

2 Tbsp of dried Tarragon

salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and a light squeeze of lemon juice– to taste.

Crackers to top with

Method:

In a pan, heat olive oil and saute garlic and onions till soft and fragrant.

Add in the tomato paste and cook for a min till the onions and tomatoes come together.

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Add the shrimp and tarragon and season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and lemon juice.

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Cook for a few minutes till all the ingredients come together.

Take off the heat and cool.

Top crackers with the shrimp and serve warm.

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Should you choose to turn it into a meal, toss the shrimp mixture with freshly cooked pasta and a dash of heavy cream and you have an elegant dinner !

Enjoy !

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Appetizers

Mini Vegetable Patties

Another way to get your kinds to eat vegetables.  If something looks deepfried and does not resemble vegetables, I have a feeling kids or even adults who behave like kids will eat it.  The beauty of this recipe is you can use any vegetables you like, I used cauliflower, carrots, turnips and beets.

Ingredients:

1 lb of frozen carrots and cauliflower

1 14oz can of beets.

Frozen, pureed turnips ( southland brand)

1/4 cup finely ground almonds

olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin and coriander–use accordingly.

Method:

In a blender, blend together all the vegetables, you might need to add some water to get the blender moving but the idea is that the whole vegetables will look like smushed baby food.

Pour the blended vegetable in a pot and cook it with salt, pepper, cumin and coriander, till all the water evaporates and the vegetables turn into a thick spreadable paste.  During this process, if the blend starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a little bit of olive oil and stir and scrape the bottom of the pan.

Cook till dry and has the consistency of thick peanut butter.

Let the mixture cool and in the meantime preheat the oven to 375F.

Once the mixture is cool, stir in the almonds and shape into mini patties.

Bake the patties till golden brown for about 20 mins.

Serve warm, with a side salad, or turn it into mini veggie sliders !