Wednesday 21 March 2012

Seafood Salad with Cucumber & Fennel

This salad is really simple and so good for you.  The perfect salad to start off Spring. I love cooking with fennel and it really makes this salad pop.  The pomegranate seeds are so delicious and add the perfect amount of tart to go with the shrimp and calamari.  I also love that its a quick dish, really great for busy weekdays.  Enjoy!

Seafood Salad with Cucumber & Fennel

  • 2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced (use a food processor to make it easy)
  • 1 cucumber, halved down the middle and sliced
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. dill, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 mild chili (jalapeno), chopped
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 12 giant prawns, peeled, deveined, tails on
  • 1/2 lb. baby squid, cleaned
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. sumac spice
  • salt & pepper
  • Pomegranate seeds to garnish
-Trim base and tops of fennel then slice width ways as thinly as possible.  In a bowl, mix the fennel, cucumber, chili, onion, lemon juice & zest, garlic, dill, parsley and 2 Tbs. of oil.  Combine all ingredients until well mixed.  Place a heavy cast iron frying pan over high heat and allow the pan to get very hot.  Mix the prawns and squid with the remaining oil and add to the pan in small batches.  Cook them for 1 minute on each side or until just cooked, stirring often.  Transfer the squid to a chopping board and slice into rings.  Add both prawns and squid to the salad and toss well.  Add the cilantro, sumac, season with salt and pepper and toss again.  Garnish with pomegranate seeds in each individual bowl.  

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Hot Slow-Roasted Pork, Onion, and Mozzarella Sandwiches

These sandwiches are the ultimate comfort food.  It's the perfect sandwich for an early Sunday dinner while watching a game.  This baked pork is my most favorite, and I have made it also by itself with other vegetable sides for a meal.  Delicious!  If you can, splurge on a nice cut of pork shoulder with the bone in...makes a huge difference.  Enjoy!

Hot Slow-Roasted Pork, Onion and Mozzarella Sandwiches


  • 5 large garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tspns. coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tspns. dried basil
  • 2 tspns. dried oregano
  • 2 tspns. dried rosemary
  • 1 tspn. dried sage
  • 1 tspn. fennel seeds, ground in a mortar with pestle or spice grinder
  • 1 tspn. black pepper
  • 1 9lb whole pork shoulder with bone
  • 1 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar

  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1lb. onions, halved, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 1lb. red bell peppers, seeded, cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
  • 1/2lb. green bell peppers, seeded, cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
  • 10 crusty rolls, split, toasted
  • 1 1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
-For the Pork:  Chop garlic.  Sprinkle the garlic with 1 1/2 tspns. kosher salt and mince until paste forms.  Transfer the paste to a small bowl; mix in parsley and next 7 ingredients. 

Using a small sharp knife, make 20 evenly spaced 1 inch long, 2 inch-deep slits in pork.  Stuff seasoning mixture into slits. Sprinkle outside of pork with salt and pepper.  Let stand for 1 hour for seasonings to penetrate. 
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 325 degrees.  Place rack in large roasting pan; place pork on rack.  Roast until the thermometer inserted into the thickest park registers 170 degrees, about 4 1/2 hours.  Let pork rest 30 minutes.  Transfer to work surface.  Maintain oven temperature and reserve roasting pan.  Thickly slice pork off the bone.  Coarsely chop or tear slices and place in a large baking dish; cover with foil. 
Pour juices from roasting pan into 4 cup measuring cup.  Spoon off fat.  If necessary, add enough water to loosen juices to measure 2 cups.  Stir 2 Tbs. juices and cornstarch in small saucepan until cornstarch dissolves; whisk in remaining juices and vinegar.  Whisk over medium heat until sauce boils and thickens, about 2 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

-For the vegetables: Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions and all peppers; saute until vegetables are tender and brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Arrange roll bottoms on work surface; mound with warm pork and drizzle with sauce.  Cover with cheese, vegetables, and roll tops.  Server warm.

Thursday 1 March 2012

5 Layer Healthy Mexican Dip

I made this dip for Superbowl Sunday and was really pleased with the way it turned out.   I love that is not only good for you, but so delicious.  It takes a little time to put together, but well worth the wait in the end.  Enjoy!

5 Layer Healthy Mexican Dip

  • 2 tspns. olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed (low sodium)
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce from the can, minced (you can use less for not as spicy)
  • 4 Tbl. lime juice
  • 1/4 tspn. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbl.water
  • 1/2 tspn. salt
  • 2 cups corn kernels, frozen
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 4 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 Tbl. finely diced jalapeno pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar

-Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook until they soften, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.  Put half of the onion mixture into a food processor or blender with the black beans, chipotle peppers, 2 Tbl. of the lime juice, cumin, water and salt.  Puree until smooth. Set aside.  Add the corn to the skillet with the remaining onion mixture and cook for about 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro leaves.  In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the remaining lime juice.  In a medium bowl, toss together the tomatoes, scallion and jalapeno.  Season tomato mixture with salt and pepper to taste.  Spread the black bean dip into the bottom of an 8x8 glass baking dish or serving dish.  Top with the corn mixture, spreading it out to form a single layer over the beans, repeat with the avocado, then the tomatoes.  Top with cheese.  Serve with your choice of chips.