Saturday, August 14, 2010

Spicy Vietnamese Sandwich. Banh Mi

This is a WONDERFUL sandwich...if you like spicy food. The sandwich itself is superb but you can also eat the cabbage slaw by itself as a great no fat salad.

Spicy Vietnamese Sandwich: Banh Mi
(adapted from a Sunset Magazine recipe)

Cabbage Slaw

3 C. finely shredded cabbage
1/2 C. finely shredded carrots
1/4 C. chopped cilantro
1/2 finely chopped jalapeno pepper (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 C. rice vinegar (it must be plain rice vinegar--not seasoned rice vinegar and not some other type of vinegar) You can vary the amount of vinegar and sugar to your taste.
1/2 t. salt
1 T. sugar (or more or less to taste)

Toss these ingredients together and let them marinate for at least a half an hour. I let my slaw marinate on the counter (tossing it occasionally) rather than in the refrigerator to keep it crisp.

The Sandwich

French Baguette cut into 4-5 " pieces
Sriracha Hot sauce (or Asian Chile Garlic Sauce) to taste
Pressed Tofu marinated and baked in Annie Chun's Korean Barbecue Sauce

Slice a baguette into sandwich-size pieces--about 4 inches long. Heat the baguette pieces in your oven for a few minutes until the bread is slightly crisp on the outside but still soft inside. Slice the baguette (don't slice all the way through) and spread Sriracha hot sauce on one half of each baguette piece. Stuff the bread with a few slices of the barbecued tofu and then fill the sandwich with a generous amount of the spicy cabbage slaw.

It is wonderful!


Feta and Spinach Salad with Basil Dressing

Tired of Spinach Salad with Bacon dressing. Give this a try. What a simple refreshing salad, with the richness of ripe avocado and toasted walnuts.

1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. dried basil
2 tsp. sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. fresh spinach, washed and torn
1 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
1/2 c. coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
Greek olives

For dressing: Combine first 7 ingredients in blender (we used our immersion blender. You have one, right?) Chill. Shake well before serving.

For salad: Combine rest of ingredients, except the olives in large bowl. Pour dressing over salad. Toss. Garnish with olives.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Halibut w/Potato Flake Crust

Courtesy of aunt Gerry. This is an easy and very tasty dish. Using potato flakes was new to us, but it works well, gives good flavor, and they can be found in small packets with a variety of flavorings. You'll find them with the big boxes of "instant mashed potatoes." A very forgiving dish.

2 egg yolks
1 packet dehydrated potato flakes (we used garlic/provolone seasoned)
1 pinch fresh thyme leaves
4 6 ounce halibut steaks
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Beat egg yolks salt and pepper in a wide shallow bowl or glass pie dish.
Combine potato flakes with thyme and spread out on a plate.
Season filets with Salt and Pepper on one side only.
Dip the seasoned side of filet in the egg mixture (only coat one side).
Place filets, egg-side down, onto potato flakes and press down to adhere (at this point we just left the filets on the potato flake pate as we only had two)
coat bottom of skillet with Olive Oil and place filets crust-side down into pan (no need to preheat).
Turn skillet to medium high and cook on crust side for 3 minutes (crust should be golden brown).
Flip filets and cook for an additional 1 minute.
Remove pan from heat and leave filets in pan for another minute.
Meanwhile, spoon a side-dish onto each place to place the fish on top of (we rice with spinach).
Remove filets and place on top of side-dish crust-side up (the classic "stack" as we call it @ DRI).
Deglaze pan with lemon juice and drizzle over top of filets.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Swiss Chard & Grilled Tofu

Here's our simple but very tasty Tofu and Greens "Stack" (where you pile a protein on top of greens (and sometimes a starch like mashed potatoes)). The lesson from this recipe, for the non-tofu-eaters? Treat tofu like meat. Put some BBQ sauce on it, and grill it like a steak. It's not the raw, bland tofu you're used to from the salad-bar.

1 bunch Swiss Chard
2 cups sliced Mushrooms (crimini usually)
1 clove garlic
1 package firm Tofu
Iron Chef Garlic Sesame barbecue sauce (or substitute your favorite BBQ sauce)

Slice tofu across the smallest face (as you would a loaf of bread) into 3/4 inch slices. You should get about 6 slices for a regular package of tofu. Press tofu"steaks" between double layers of paper towel placing a small cutting board on top to give a small "press". Leave for 15-20 minutes. Place tofu on a plate and marinate both sides with a generous amount of BBQ sauce and let stand for 20 minutes. Prepare a grill, brush grill with olive oil to prevent sticking.

Clean Chard, removing toughest part of stems. Grab the entire bunch of chard, rolling it into a bunch and slice crosswise to make strips 1/2 -3/4 inch wide.

Grill the tofu slices over a medium flame for a few minutes on each side to get nice grill-marks. The tofu is now "rare", cooked on the surface, but still moist in the center. We love it this way, but some prefer a firmer texture, which you can get by moving the tofu away from the direct flame, covering the grill and "baking" the tofu further.

While tofu is grilling....

Saute sliced mushrooms in olive oil, adding a few grindings of salt, remove to a plate. Add garlic and a little more oil to hot pan and dump in all the chard with the water that clings to the leaves. Saute until just wilted, stir in mushrooms and heat through, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with two tofu steaks on top. For a little extra flavor, drizzle tofu with just a bit more of the BBQ sauce.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Szechuan Noodles


  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup good soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
  • 4 scallions, sliced diagonally (white and green parts)
  • Marinated Baked Tofu (in place of shredded roast chicken)


Place the garlic and ginger in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the vegetable oil, tahini, peanut butter, soy sauce, sherry, sherry vinegar, honey, chili oil, sesame oil, and ground peppers. Puree the sauce.

Add a splash of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook the spaghetti al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander, place it in a large bowl, and while still warm, toss with 3/4 of the sauce. Add the red and yellow bell peppers and scallions; toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature. The remaining sauce may be added, as needed, to moisten the pasta.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Broiled Steelhead Trout With Rosemary, Lemon and Garlic

  1. Prepare a baking or roasting pan by lining it with foil and brushing it with olive oil.
  2. Preheat broiler.
  3. Mix together all remaining ingredients except fish into a well-blended paste.
  4. Place fish skin-side down (if it has skin) on baking sheet, then spread seasoning over flesh.
  5. Broil fish at second rack away from heat for 5 minutes or less, just enough to sear flesh but not burn herbs.
  6. Lower fish to 3rd or 4th rack and lower oven heat to 325°F Bake for 10 additional minutes, or until fish is cooked through in the thickest portion.
  7. Serve with steamed vegetables, salad, orzo salad, whatever.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New favorite pickles!

Grillo's Hot. Fresh, crisp with great spices, and vinegar. Not sweet, but wonderfully tart and just slightly fragrant. And with a nice kick of heat! When you open the tub, you'll find nice fresh dill and spices right on the top. A quality food product, locally made, totally tasty. Lots of flavor for something that has roughly zero calories. Try them.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Simple Curry Marinade for Fish

Used this for marinated tuna skewers, grilled in grill pan, Excellent and easy. More heat than you'd think given how it's made.

1 small can coconut milk
2 tsp Thai Kitchen green curry paste
2 tsp fish sauce
1 Tbs ginger grated with microplaner
medium handful of cilantro chopped very fine (pulped)

mixed together and stored in jar in fridge for a few hours. Then smeared on tuna skewers and marinated for 2 hours or so. Reserving some of the marinade, heated in the jar and abbed on top after cooking.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Penne with Collards and Cennellini Beans

Classic DRI, easy, fast and yummy.
* 1 1/2 lb Collard Greens, washed but not dried
* 2 Tbs Olive oil
* 6 cloves Garlic (yes, 6, just do it)
* 1TBS tsp Crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like. we do)
* 1 cup Vegetable stock
* 1 1/2 cup Cooked cannellini or other white beans, rinsed & drained
* 1/4 tsp Salt
* 12 oz Uncooked pasta--penne, ziti, etc.
* Salt & ground pepper to taste
* 2 T Parmesan

Bring 3 quarts of water to boil.
Prepare greens by ripping leaves off stems.

Tear or cut leaves into bite-size pieces.
You should have about 12 cups.

Heat oil in large skillet over med-high heat.
Add garlic and red pepper flakes; saute for 2 minutes.
Stir in greens and stock; cover pan.
Cook until greens are wilted and tender yet still bright green, about 7 minutes.
Gently stir in beans and salt; keep warm.

While greens are cooking, drop pasta into boiling water; cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.
Drain; stir into greens mixture.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Portabella Burgers

2 large portabella mushrooms per person
Shaved provolone cheese
Roasted Red Peppers
Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 Sesame roll per person

If you don't have a balsamic vinaigrette on hand just make a quick one with olive oil, balsamic salt and crushed garlic.
Remove stalks and gills from mushrooms, and marinate in vinaigrette for at least 20 min.
place gill side up on broiling pan and broil 3" from broiler for 6 minutes per side (adding provolone cheese after 3 minutes on second side.
Toast buns
Serve open face, stacking mushroom-roasted pepper-mushroom, and topping with a large handful of arugula.

Easy, and very satisfying. Next time I think we'll try blue cheese in place of provolone