De Ma Cuisine

Inspired By Archive

Wednesday

26

March 2014

2

COMMENTS

BLT Salad

Written by , Posted in Condiments, Fruit, Inspired By, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Pork, Salads, Toasting, Vegetables

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You’re welcome. I’ll just say it. I mean, if I were you, I’d be thanking me for this post. Because, when it comes to bacon and croutons, I can’t get enough. ;)

For example, today, after I’d finished taking pictures, I ate the salad right out of the bowl. All of it. Didn’t share. After dumping the bowl in the sink (in hopes that the dishes fairy will come while I’m typing this for you), I stood at fridge with the dressing whisk and serving spoon to make sure I got any remaining dressing off of them, while eating the leftover bacon and croutons (that are meant for something else). I continued to stand there eating bacon and croutons even after the dressing was gone.

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I did not give up bacon for Lent. Fact. You might not have been wondering.

I have bacon planned for 3 more meals in the next 7 days. It’s been a while since we’ve had bacon.

I’m so distracted by the photos of croutons and bacon that are on the other screen.

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And then there’s that dressing. It’s really just a few things that I think you have in your fridge and pantry right now: mayo, yogurt, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic. Oh the garlic… Garlic is good for you.

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You will want to choose a sturdy lettuce. It will be less likely to get soggy. If you don’t, that’s cool too. Just dress the salad right before serving and make sure there are no leftovers.

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You may want to take a moment, after you consume this salad, to give thanks for bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and bread… seriously. This is good stuff. Also, being thankful is important. Sooooo, yeah.

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The dishes fairy has not yet arrived.

Happy Eating!

BLT Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad, Main, Meat, Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
It’s like you chopped up your BLT and poured dressing over it.
Ingredients
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 C bread, torn into crouton sized pieces
  • olive oil
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • dressing: 1 T mayo
  • 2 T Greek (or plain) yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic (optional), minced
  • ¼ t dijon mustard
  • ½ T lemon juice
  • ½ T balsamic vinegar
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salad: 2-4 C lettuce, torn
  • 1 tomato, chopped
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon. Drain and let cool on paper towel lined plate. Crumble.
  2. Toss bread with a splash of olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Bake at 350F for about 10-15 minutes, or until crispy.
  3. Whisk mayo through pepper. Whisk while streaming in olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. Top lettuce with tomato, bacon, croutons, and dressing. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Notes
If cooking bacon in the oven, heat to 350F, place bacon on a cooling rack on a baking sheet (so it won’t sit in its grease). Bake for about 25-35 minutes, or until cooked to desired crispiness. Baking in the oven increases cooking time.

 

Friday

17

January 2014

1

COMMENTS

A Little Like Paris – Chicken and Rice Casserole

Written by , Posted in Cheese, Dinner, Gluten Free, Inspired By, Kid-Friendly, Leftovers, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Poultry, Rice, Sides, Travel, Vegetables

Chicken-and-Rice-Casserole-3We were in Paris in November. (I will never get tired of remembering that we went to Paris.) In Paris, we had some of the most wonderful food. Ever.

One of the dishes was at a café by the marché aux puces (flea market) called Café Le Paul Bert. We had the most phenomenal dish of chicken, rice, and veggies. It was the creamiest, dreamiest chicken and rice I could ever imagine. It was one of the dishes I most wanted to duplicate upon our return (third on my list of “musts” – after baguettes, which I have now successfully made, and our meal at Au Bon Coin - I have almost mastered the potatoes, but have yet to make the full meal).

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I don’t know exactly what it is about this dish. It seems like a pretty simple concept. It’s just chicken, rice, and veggies. Buuuut, there’s a whole lot more to it. There has to be, right?

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When I made it, about two weeks after we’d returned, I was surprised by how much it tasted like our beloved Paris dish. And I think I may have accidentally discovered the secret: almond milk. I’d been drinking a little more almond milk and a little less cow’s milk lately. Just kinda to see if I like it. At first I did not. At all. But it’s growing on me. One way that I have always enjoyed it is in cooking (same with coconut milk). I use it in soups, oatmeal, even cornbread.

I haven’t made this dish using cow’s milk, so I don’t actually know if the almond milk made it taste so much like our Paris dish. But, it’s more fun to think that I accidentally made something amazing than to just borringly have done it on purpose.

I’d originally called this Drunken Chicken Casserole, because there’s a cup of wine in it. A tribute to the wine drunk with lunches and dinners in Paris. However, this could be made using vegetable or chicken stock and I’m sure it would taste great too.

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Let’s talk about the veggies. I used carrots because they were in the Paris dish, and because I had them in the fridge. I used broccoli because it needed to be used. If I’d wanted to try to replicate it more exactly, I would have used carrots and leeks. But, I’m more of a “cook with what I have” kinda cooker, so yeah… You could use whatever veggies you like with chicken and rice. Cauliflower wouldn’t add much to the look of the dish, but it would taste great. Spinach would be yummy. Peas would be fun. Green onions would add a pop of color and a nice flavor. If you wanted to make this sans chicken, you could make it with fennel, carrots, and some mahi mahi. Have a look in your produce drawer. What looks good?

Aaaand now I’m super hungry.

Happy Eating!

Chicken and Rice Casserole
Author: 
Recipe type: cheese, dinner, gluten-free, inspired by, kid-friendly, leftovers, lunch, main dishes, meat, poultry, rice, sides, travel, vegetables
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
One of our favorite dishes from our time in Paris, recreated at home.
Ingredients
  • 1 t unsalted butter
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1 C brown rice
  • 1 C white wine (or vegetable or chicken stock)
  • 1 C cold water
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 carrot, cut into long slices
  • water (for steaming)
  • 1 C chicken, cooked and chopped – I used leftovers
  • 1 C almond milk
  • to taste, salt
  • to taste, pepper
  • ¼ C cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼ C parmesan cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Cook rice in water and wine according to package directions (about 35-45 minutes), adding more liquid if needed.
  2. Add water to a pot with a steamer basket, place carrots and broccoli to the steamer. Steam until veggies are tender, about 15 minutes or so (you could add carrots first and broccoli halfway through, since it will take a bit less time to cook). (Save steamer water and freeze, to use at a later time as vegetable stock.)
  3. When rice is done, add chicken, milk, veggies, salt, and pepper. Cook until the chicken is heated through and the milk has been absorbed.
  4. Stir in cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

 

Wednesday

27

November 2013

0

COMMENTS

What To Do With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Written by , Posted in Holiday, Inspired By, Leftovers, Menu Planning

Butternut-Squash-Soup-2I love Thanksgiving dinner so much that having it again the next day is just perfect, even after having a turkey sandwich for lunch. I could probably be talked into having it again two days later. But, there is a limit to how many times I can have the exact same dinner, even if it is one of my favorites.

So let’s talk about how to use those leftovers in a creative way. You worked so hard on that meal. It would be insane to just let it sit in the fridge and eventually go bad. Plus, it’s always fun to think of new ways to use an “old” dish.

If you used the non-traditional menu, here are some ideas:

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Herbed Roasted Chicken Thighs with Cherry Tomatoes and Roasted Broccoli gets chopped and added to Chicken and Rice Soup to go alongside the Garlic Bread that’s used to make Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, or could be used in Chicken Pot Pie.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup becomes Butternut Squash Risotto.

Crispy Potatoes get re-heated (in foil so they don’t burn) and topped with Chili to make Crispy Potatoes with Chili and Cheese.

Pomegranate juice can be simmered and reduced to make a syrup for Pancakes, Waffles, or French Toast.

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Apple Bourbon Galettes are perfect for breakfast, with your coffee, alongside a bowl of yogurt.

Gosh I’m hungry!

If you opted for a more traditional approach, here are some suggestions:

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Turkey can be made into Shepherd’s Pie of the South, Turkey Pot PieTurkey Caesar Wraps with homemade Caesar Salad Dressing, Spicy Turkey Chili, Honey Mustard Turkey Sandwiches, Thanksgiving Soup, Turkey Club Pizza.

Stuffing can be added to a Mushroom Frittata (add about 1 C or so).

Mashed Potatoes become Mashed Potato Soup, Sheila’s Potato Pan Rolls, or Thanksgiving Soup.

Green Beans can be used in Thanksgiving Soup.

Sweet Potatoes turn into Winter Veggie Salad.

Gravy can be used in Thanksgiving Soup.

Rolls can be French Toast topped with Cranberry Sauce, or Cream Cheesed Garlic Bread.

Pumpkin Pie filling becomes Pumpkin Pasta, or Pumpkin Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

Now I’m really starving!

I hope, dear friends, that you have the most wonderful Thanksgiving. If you live somewhere that doesn’t celebrate this holiday, I hope you have a lovely Thursday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday

11

September 2013

0

COMMENTS

Kale Party – How to Use Kale

Written by , Posted in Inspired By, Menu Planning, Thoughts

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Kale. Did you know about this dark green vegetable 5 years ago? Maybe you did. I hope so! But, if you didn’t, you probably do now.

It has become quite the favored little treat.

Yes, I consider kale a treat.

In light of its popularity, let’s plan a party around it. Invite your friends, your co-workers, your in-laws… Let’s have a Kale Party!

Your table could feature: Kale and lemons in old canning jars, mismatched vintage china (totally ok if it’s chipped or imperfect – it has a story), a burlap table runner, rust or dark green napkins, heavy silverware, hand cut wine glasses, large antique bowls and serving platters, and cast-iron soup pots and skillets. Simple, rustic elegance.

Here are some menu ideas for your first Kale Party:

Appetizer/Snack for your guests to munch on while you (calmly) finish any last minute preparations – Spicy Kale Chips

Salad – Massaged Kale Salad

Main Dish – Minestrone Soup

Bread – Kale and Cheddar Flat Bread

Dessert – Vegan Kale Spice Cake

Drinks – Apple Cider, Red Wine

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This party is going to be such a hit that you’re going to have other friends dying to be invited to your next one.

Second Kale Party:

Appetizer/Snack - Spicy Kale Chips

Salad - Massaged Kale Salad

Main Dish – Spaghetti and Meatballs

Bread – Kale Pesto Braided Bread

Dessert – Chocolate Kale Cake with Sea Salt

Drinks – Red Wine, Mint Iced Tea, Tart Lemonade

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Since you’re now totally in love with kale, and you really want to continue the Kale Party tradition, you’ll probably want to add a Kale Brunch to your list of things to do:

Main – Savory French Toast

Main – Mushroom Frittata with Kale

Side – Crispy Potatoes

Side – Wilt ‘Em Greens

Bread – Kale Apple Muffins

Drinks – Kale Smoothies, Coffee, Hot Lemon Tea, Ginger Beer, Mimosas

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I’ve just scratched the surface here. There are so many things you can do with kale. I mean, really, I’d be happy with some raw kale drizzled with excellent olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, a dash of cayenne, and a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Serve that with a side of Crispy Potatoes and I’d gladly call it dinner. (Great, now I’m hungry. And I’m wishing we were having this for dinner tonight instead of the Spaghetti that I have planned…)

I think that you will most definitely agree that kale is a wonderful thing. Go call your friends… it’s time for a Kale Party!

Happy Eating!

Thursday

4

July 2013

0

COMMENTS

A Perfect Day for a BBQ

Written by , Posted in Inspired By, Potlucks, Thoughts

FennelPollenBurgersI think I would like to enjoy some burgers and hot dogs, some potato salad and coleslaw, some onion rings and french fries. We’re going to a BBQ this afternoon, so I’m guessing I will get my wish.

Are you going to BBQ today, this weekend, sometime soon? Maybe you need some ideas for your menu. I’m on it.

I love a good burger. This burger might be a little messy, but it’s oh so good. Yes, there’s an egg on it. Try it. Just trust me. If you’re not into bacon and egg on a burger, that’s cool too. Here are two other favorites.

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I’m crazy about this Spicy Roasted Potato Salad. It has a good kick to it, but it’s also nice and creamy. Mmmm potatoes.

Cabbage isn’t really in season right now, but, if you’ve just gotta have Coleslaw, here’s one I like.

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If you like the idea of hearty salads, Taco Salad is always delicious. Or, the Tomato Corn and Quinoa Salad that I made for this week’s episode was really tasty too (and it’s what I’m bringing to the BBQ that we’re going to).

Maybe you like to have some Summer Chili for people to have on their burgers and hot dogs, or just on its own. It could also be eaten the way I made it for a recent episode, on Crispy Potatoes. That was a great idea!

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I love dipping chips into dip. Corn chips and this Avocado, Tomato, and Fava Bean Dip are amazing. Seriously. I could eat a whole bowl of it all myself. If you prefer Guacamole, I’m happy with that option too.

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And then there’s dessert. I’m more of a savory than sweets person, but I do still enjoy dessert once in a while. And I know there are many who would much prefer to eat dessert than the main course. I’m glad we’re not all the same. If you want simple, may I suggest some really good quality Vanilla Ice Cream (I’m partial to Trader Joe’s French Vanilla) with a spoonful of homemade jam over each helping? Or, Roasted Berries and Apriums over that ice cream, or Aunt Sue’s Chocolate Fudge Sauce… If you’d like something less ice creamy, more tarty, how about a Pluot Tart with Black Pepper! Or a Strawberry-Balsamic Tart… I don’t think you’ll be sad about any of these options really.

Whatever you do, however you celebrate summer, the 4th, Canada Day, and just being alive, I hope you eat well, enjoy your family and friends, and have a great time!

Happy Eating!