SALMON SPINACH EGGS BENEDICT

This is my favorite decadent brunch! The freshness of the salmon, spinach and fruit helps balance the richness of the Hollandaise sauce.

INGREDIENTS:

  • english muffins
  • smoked salmon
  • spinach – blanched
  • 3 egg yolks
  • water – 1 tablespoon
  • lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
  • butter – 2 sticks
  • salt & white pepper (to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Boil water in a pot, then lower to a simmer.
  2. Place a heat-proof bowl (glass or metal) on top of the pot. The water shouldn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Whisk egg yolks until thick. Add water and lemon juice, whisk until smooth and thickened (about 2-3 minutes).
  4. Slowly add pieces of butter while whisking.
  5. Season with lemon juice, salt and white pepper.
  6. Place spinach in a pot over medium heat and cook just until wilted.
  7. Toast english muffins.
  8. Assemble spinach and salmon, top with Hollandaise sauce.

TIP: To keep the sauce warm, place the bowl in lukewarm water or in a thermos.

 

SPICY MEAT & CHEESE LASAGNA

A few spices adds a little heat and tons of flavor to the classic lasagna. I like lots of sauce, so I always make extra to pour on top. This recipe requires many ingredients but once assembled, you can store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. It can be kept in the fridge for 5 days and reheats well in the microwave.

INGREDIENTS:

  • meatloaf mix (ground pork & beef) – 1 lb
  • tomato sauce – 24 oz jar
  • ricotta cheese – 16 oz
  • oven-ready lasagna noodles – 12 pieces
  • large onion (diced)
  • egg
  • grated parmesan – 1/2 cup
  • grated mozzerella – 1/2 lb
  • garlic – 4 cloves (chopped)
  • cayenne pepper
  • chipotle chili pepper
  • paprika
  • dried basil
  • dried oregano
  • sugar
  • salt
  • pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Saute garlic and onions, with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon sugar. Place into a pot with tomato sauce and simmer.
  3. Brown meat and add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, chili pepper, paprika, basil, oregano, salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add 1/2 cup tomato sauce and mix.
  4. In a large bowl, fold together the ricotta, egg, parmesan, mozzerella, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, paprika, basil, oregano, salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  5. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Lay oven-ready lasagna noodles on top (leaving some space between noodles).
  6. Spoon cheese mixture over the noodles and spread evenly. Cover with another layer of noodles.
  7. Spoon beef mixture over the noodles and spread evenly. Cover with another layer of noodles.
  8. Repeat with remaining ingredients, for a total of 4-6 layers of noodles.
  9. Cover with tomato sauce, sprinkle remaining mozzarella and parmesan on top.
  10. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake (covered) for 1 hour.
  11. Remove aluminum foil and bake (uncovered) for 10 minutes.

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BRAISED PORK SHOULDER

Shanghai dishes are often braised or stewed in sugar and soy sauce. This Chinese-style pulled pork dish has a rich flavorful sauce and goes great with all kinds of noodles, even ramen or egg noodles! And it’s easy to make in a slow cooker.

INGREDIENTS:

  • pork shoulder (half) – 4 pounds
  • 5 spice powder
  • chicken broth – 2 cups
  • soy sauce – 1/2 cup
  • brown sugar – 1/4 cup
  • rice wine – 2 tablespoons
  • chili flakes – 1/2 teaspoon
  • scallions – handful, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • ginger – 5 slices
  • garlic – 5 cloves, cut into halves
  • shitake mushrooms – 8, cut into halves

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Rub pork shoulder with 5 spice powder and place in slow cooker, skin side down.
  • Combine broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine & chili flakes in a bowl and mix well.
  • Add marinade, scallions, ginger, garlic & mushrooms to slow cooker.
  • Cook on LOW for 8 hours.

CREME BRULEE

This is a fancy dessert that is impressive and easy to make (especially if you like using a butane torch). It can be made in advance and stored for up to 2 days, making it perfect for dinner parties.

INGREDIENTS:  4 servings

  • egg yolks – 3
  • heavy cream – 1 cup
  • sugar – 1/3 cup
  • vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • sugar (for brulee top)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, slightly beat egg yolks with whisk.
  3. In a larger bowl, stir heavy cream, 1/3 cup sugar and vanilla extract until well mixed. Then add egg yolks and beat with whisk until well blended.
  4. Pour cream mixture evenly into 4 (4oz) ceramic ramekins in an oven-safe pan. Carefully pour boiling hot water into pan until it reaches 2/3 of the height of the ramekins.
  5. Bake 30-35 minutes or until top is light golden brown.
  6. Cool to room temperature (about 2 hours) and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  7. Gently blot any liquid from tops of custards with paper towel and sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons sugar over each chilled custard.
  8. Hold torch 3 to 4 inches from custard, moving flame continuously over sugar in circular motion, until sugar is melted and light golden brown.

BANANA BREAD

Don’t throw away over-ripe bananas, they are perfect for this simple recipe. The crunchy top and soft sweet center, tastes and smells amazing! Add walnuts or pecans for extra flavor and texture.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • butter – 1/3 cup
  • sugar – 3/4 cup
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • baking soda – 1 teaspoon
  • salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  • flour – 1.5 cups
  • cooking oil spray

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until smooth.
  • Stir in melted butter. Mix in baking soda and salt.
  • Stir in sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in flour.
  • Spray inside of loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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SOY HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN

The best part of this dish is mixing the sauce with rice and vegetables. The recipe is simple and can be made in the oven or slow cooker.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • light soy sauce – 1/3 cup
  • honey – 1/3 cup
  • ketchup – 1/4 cup
  • sesame oil – 1/2 teaspoon
  • dried oregano – 1/2 teaspoon
  • toasted sesame seeds – 1/2 tablespoon (optional garnish)

BAKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Arrange chicken thighs in an oven-safe pan. (Preferably glass, just big enough for the chicken.)
  3. In a mixing bowl combine ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour the sauce over the chicken thighs.
  5. Tightly cover pan with tin foil and bake for 35-40 minutes.

SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Arrange chicken thighs in slow cooker.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour the sauce over the chicken thighs.
  4. Cook on LOW for 6 hours.

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5 MINUTE LAMB CHOPS

The gamey smell of lamb can be a big turnoff but adding two spices, transforms it into deliciousness. Since they’re small, they cook quickly on a hot pan on a high flame.

INGREDIENTS:

  • lamb chops
  • dried sage
  • dried thyme
  • salt
  • pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat up a pan (high flame for about 30-60 seconds).
  2. Season one side of lamb chops with salt, pepper, sage & thyme.
  3. Using tongs, place chops (seasoned side down) on the hot pan.
  4. Season other side of chops with salt, pepper, sage & thyme.
  5. Once the bottom has a good sear (about 1-2 minutes, depending on thickness), flip and sear on other side.
  6. Sear both edges of the chops (30-60 seconds), especially where the bones are cut.