Thursday Night Nicoise Salad

Thursday Night Nicoise Salad
Allow all of your salad stars to shine on their own. Dress each component of your salad individually and pile onto a platter. Simple food is just so darn pretty. Make something like this whatever you have on hand!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Make This Ginger Dressing ASAP!


Here is an AMAZING copycat recipe for Benihana (or House of Kobe) or any great Japanese Teppanyaki style steakhouse GINGER SALAD DRESSING. I promise you that this is a delicious, easy, outstanding, flavorful and fabulous rendition of that mouthwatering favorite. There are quite a few versions online, but I find this recipe to be the "bomb". It is just right, so follow it exactly, at least the first time. After that, you can doctor it to suit your taste, but if you want it to be as close to the real deal as possible, use the amounts shown below. Double it if you wish. It will keep in the fridge for awhile. And no kidding, it will really freshen and excite your palate. If you're making anything with an Asian flair, be sure to throw this together and top some fresh greens for a perfect salad. It's excellent on a combination of super fresh butter lettuce and radicchio. Add some sliced radishes and some shredded carrot for color. Also, a bit of thinly sliced sweet onion, if you like. OMG, I know you will LOVE it! Let me know!

GINGER SALAD DRESSING

1/4 C. chopped onion
1/4 C. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. chopped ginger root
1 Tbsp. chopped celery
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Process until almost smooth. Store unused dressing in a covered container in the refrigerator.

エンジョイ

Love, Katie

KPK Tips: Use low-sodium soy sauce if you are a fluid retention professional as I am, : ) ~ Also, buy your tomato paste by the tube, rather than the can. That way, you can use what you need and just keep rolling the tube from the bottom . . . kinda like your toothpaste tube.


P.S. Pictured above is a Norma-inspired, Asian-influenced dinner of ginger and mirin marinated salmon, served with a soy-honey-lime sauce, wasabi, jasmine rice and thin green beans. It was a delectable flavor-packed trip to the far east. . . in the far south (side of Chicago, that is)...... lol........ xo, klf

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard Zuppa!


So, we're all snowed in, right? I had the idea earlier in the week to make a gigantic pot of vegetable soup and eat it all week long. Weight Watchers has a cabbage soup that's really simple and completely fat-free. What a great idea to have a hearty bowl of soup and eat as much as you want, without a worry! That recipe/idea has been around for years, I believe. I remember a "cabbage soup" diet from the 80's. Anyway, that was partially my motivation. The other part is that I really love a bowl of spicy and flavorful soup, brimming with vegetables and beans, drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with freshly grated cheese. It's warming, satisfying and simply delicious. So, during the storm, I was storming the produce department to stock up on color. I was short on everything, so, I picked up the following vegetables:

Onions
Celery
Carrots
Parsnips
Kale
Cabbage
Red Bell Pepper
Jalapeno Peppers
Red Potatoes

Unlike the Weight Watchers soup, I like a little more flavor and a little more fat. It's all healthy, no matter what. It's kind of a vegetarian (not vegan because of the chicken broth) minnestrone without the pasta. I used all of the above vegetables, plus the following ingredients which I had in stock:

Garlic
Cannelini Beans
Light Red Kidney Beans
Garbanzo Beans
Black Beans
Swanson 100% Fat Free Chicken Broth
Passata di Pomodoro*
Bay Leaves
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt & Pepper
Chili Powder
Red Pepper Flakes
Ground Red Pepper
Adobo Seasoning

So, I coated the bottom of my 16 quart pot with olive oil and then sauteed these chopped veg: onions, garlic, carrots, celery, parsnip, red bell pepper and jalapeno peppers...... in quantity! Then, salt, pepper, a couple of bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Then I added the kale (ribs removed, chopped coarsely) and the cabbage (chopped coarsely). If you make this (or something similar), just add, stir and cook. Then, I added the chicken broth and the passata di pomodoro* (you can also add canned whole tomatoes, broken up, or tomato sauce, or fresh or canned chopped tomatoes or whatever you like). Season with your favorite seasonings. I used chili powder, ground red pepper and some Adobo seasoning. Use whatever makes you happy. If you don't add enough salt and seasonings, your soup is going to be bland. So, don't be shy. Once the soup simmers for awhile, the vegetables become tender and the flavor develops. Then, add peeled and cubed potatoes (red potatoes work well since they're waxy, they won't disintegrate . . . what potatoes? lol) and also add the beans, rinsed and drained. I always rinse and drain canned beans because I find that the liquid is sometimes salty and kind of gooey. I do believe that canned beans are a great product and one of the few canned items (plus tomatoes, for sure) that I have the utmost faith in....

OK... Taste, Taste, Taste. Adjust. You don't want to end up with a huge pot of bland and boring soup. I love the way ground red pepper and fresh hot peppers plus the tomatoes add zippiness to zuppa! Don't forget the salt because the broth is low sodium and it's up to you to flavor your food : ) : ) : ).

Barley or farro would be an outstanding addition to this soup, but be careful not to add too much or all of your flavorful broth will be absorbed and it won't be soup anymore. : )..... Pasta is always great. Make it separately and add it when you reheat a small pot or just add it in the bowl..... Ditalini or orzo would be great if you want to add more carbs and make it really filling. In any case, here's the best way to serve it up:

Drizzle with olive oil
Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan, Romano, Grana Padano or aged Asiago
Add freshly ground black pepper
Crusty, chewy, fresh, rustic bread on the side ~ buttered and ready to dunk
*Passata di Pomodoro - Try some! Super-fresh tasting, seeded & sieved tomatoes, imported from Italy. You can find them in bottles at your local Italian import store. Just tomatoes and salt. Really a nice addition for soups or even for a really fresh and simple pasta sauce.

Um, I'll ttyl. I'm gonna go eat another bowl. One of the bowls most people use as a serving dish. LOL.

Love ya,

Enjoy the snow and the soup,

Love,

Katie






Mediterranean Fish Stew

Mediterranean Fish Stew
A KPK cross between Spanish style Cod and French Boullabaisse

Smoky Spanish Albondigas Soup

Smoky Spanish Albondigas Soup

Summer Vegetable Soup

Summer Vegetable Soup
aka "Got-To-Go" Soup, inspired by Louie

MORE 4 U

From here, you can continue scrolling down to check out some of my favorite dishes and KPK highlights.

For more posts (articles), recipes, stories and pictures, you can scroll up (in the right column under "What You Missed") and click on 2008, 2009 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013. As of June, 2013, there are are total of 139 posts in KPK. You can spend more time here when you know where to look, right?! Another way to enjoy my kitchen is to click on any items of interest in the section entitled "Passion Posts", also up above in the right column.

Love, Katie ~ I am so glad you're here! Stay awhile!

Super Healthy Salad

Super Healthy Salad
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Grilled Corn with Tarragon Cream

Grilled Corn with Tarragon Cream
Click on the image to link to a simple and lovely recipe at Fine Cooking

Cinnamon Pecan Katies

Cinnamon Pecan Katies
Yes I Did

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Forbidden Rice Salad
Black "Forbidden Rice" from China is delicious and loaded with antioxidants

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Pasta with Hot Pancetta, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Parmesan & Power Greens

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an outdoor grill regular at the crib

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Roasted Beet & Potato Salad

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Italian Tuna & Cannellini Bean Salad with D'Amato's Focaccia

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Day Off Breakfast

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Boiled Eggs & Whole Grain Toast ~ Simple Pleasures are the BEST!

Last Minute Lentil Soup

Last Minute Lentil Soup
with carrots, celery, and a little kale . . . topped with a heap of conchigliette pasta and parmigiano reggiano

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A Sampling of Christmas
KPK Pecan Shortbread Cookies and Almond Cookies