Friday, 17 August 2012

Kitchen Experiment #9: Quinoa Salad

One no-fail dish that all my kids and my husband like is my baked salmon. It is a rich dish that you pretty much have to serve with something with a little acidity to balance out its richness. Since white wine is not an option (at least not in front of the kids during dinner time), I decided to serve it with a simple quinoa salad.


I chopped some fresh veggies and herbs -- yellow peppers, grape tomatoes, cucumber, parsley leaves.

Mixed some lime juice with olive oil, salt, and pepper to make the dressing...

Tossed everything together with the cooked quinoa...

It was a great accompaniment to my rich baked salmon...


Kitchen Experiment #8: Shrimp Scampi

What can you cook on a Thursday night when the fridge is almost empty ? With a few ingredients left in the fridge, an almost empty cupboard, and an ounce of energy left after a long day at work, I had to dig deep to come up with a quick dish for my hungry boys. Without much thinking, Shrimp Scampi it is !


I sautéed lots of chopped garlic in olive oil then added the canned diced tomatoes.

I poured in some white wine then tossed the frozen shrimps in...not to forget is a generous sprinkling of freshly cracked tri-colored pepper, salt and a dab of butter. If I had uncooked shrimps, I would've seared them to perfection but it is what it is.

Finished off the sauce with some spinach ...

Finally, I tossed the sauce into the cooked spaghettini to conclude this humble undertaking.

Dinner for 4 hungry boys is served...


Saturday, 4 August 2012

Kitchen Experiment #7: $50 Prime Rib Meal for 5, not bad !

When we were living in Chicago, one of our favorites was the charred prime rib at Gibsons Steakhouse. One slice can set you back a good $50 so we end up ordering just a slice of prime rib and a Chicago cut (22 oz) to share. Even with the restrained order, with the drinks, taxes and tip, our bill ends up outrageous. Since my kids eat meat at sordid quantities, I was forced to experiment on making prime rib at home for economical reasons.


Using Costco's bone-in AAA rib eye cut which I snagged for $45, I first tied the meat with kitchen twine and seasoned it generously with rosemary, thyme, sea salt and pepper.

I seared the meat on all sides to lock in the juices, after which I popped it inside the oven for some serious slow roasting.

For a side dish, I tossed some colorful baby carrots in olive oil, salt and pepper and blast roasted them.

For the finishing touch, I made some gravy by sautéing some baby bellas, adding a canned mushroom gravy mix, adding the flavorful drippings from the meat and simmering until incorporated. This is the preferred gravy in this house more than the thinner jus.

Time to slice ! The meat turned out juicy and perfectly pink to our liking.  With horseradish cream on the side, my boys relentlessly devoured it. The great thing about this meal is that it only set me back $50 ! Definitely not bad for a prime rib meal !



Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Kitchen Experiment #6: Salted Toffee Cookies

My youngest son has a sweet tooth. He does not appreciate majority of the savoury dishes I make but raves about my baking...that is, as long as I use one of his favorite ingredients -- chocolate, toffee, caramel, and peanut butter . Almost every day, as soon as I get home from work, he asks me to bake him some cookies. This is not a good thing because I barely have energy left to cook dinner, let alone bake some dessert. But today I gave in to his pleadings and baked him some salted toffee cookies.


I used the Hershey's Toffee Cookies recipe and added a sprinkling of sea salt (on my batch of cookies) to balance out the sweetness of the toffee bits. That way, I was able to come up with both a kiddie and adult version of the cookie.

10 minutes per batch was not that bad. My son waited impatiently, not taking his eyes off the blobs of cookie dough slowly melting away in the oven. He had to wait 10 more minutes to let the cookies cool down, asking every minute or two "Are they ready, Mom?"

It was worth the wait because it turned out moist and delicious.

Time for some cookies and milk ! He smiled a big smile with his front milk teeth hanging by a thread and uttered the sweetest "Thank you, Mom !" Now, that was worth staying up late for :)