Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crispin Honey Crisp Cider Sorbet

I have spent the summer out enjoying the nice warm weather and not writing recipes, but I have to share this one. It's made with one of my favorite varieties of Crispin Cider, Honey Crisp, it's gluten free and vegetarian. After drinking this all summer I wanted another way to enjoy the honey sweetened hard cider. This recipe is very easy and so tasty!

I went out and bought an ice cream maker just to try it out. (So look out for more icy sweets from Tasty Stuffs MN.) If you don't own one, maybe you could make this as a granita by chilling the ingredients in a shallow pan and scraping it with a spoon ever fifteen minutes or so as it sets to create an frozen dessert.

Hint: Be sure all of the ingredients and the ice cream maker's blow are chilled before you start to make the sorbet.

1 3/4 cup Honey Crisp Cider
3/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Simply Apple Juice (or use your favorite brand)
1 Tart Apple (I used Granny Smith) - peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 t Grand Marnier

Combine Crispin Cider and sugar in a small sauce pot. Simmer, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. (The left over Crispin should be drunk immediately over ice, by you!)

Add apple slices to cider mixture and cook until soft, about 2 - 4 minutes depending on the thickness of the slices.

Remove pan from heat and stir in your apple juice.

Use a blender or food processor to puree the apple mixture. Don't try to make it too smooth. Think of the texture of fine apple sauce.

Cover the mixture and place it in the fridge until it's completely chilled. Overnight is best.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fresh Pineapple Sweet and Sour Chicken

I learned to make this tasty dish when I lived in Hawaii. I make it in a wok, but it's also great cooked in an electric skillet, stove top, or on the grill outside. When I cook with my wok, I like to cook in stages, that way the wok doesn't cool down too much. When you're cooking in a wok you want to cook the food quickly at a high temperature, so cut the food into large, bit sized pieces before cooking and don't over crowd the pan.

This dish is versatile (and gluten free), so add or subtract the foods that you do or don't like. For instance, for a vegetarian meal, subtract the chicken and add extra veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, bok chow, mushrooms, snow peas, or any that you prefer.

14 oz Chicken Tenders (breast or boneless thighs also work well)
1 T Onion - chopped
2 cloves Garlic - smashed
1/4 cup Pineapple Juice
3 T Soy Sauce
1/4 Serrano Pepper
Splash of Water

1/3 cup Pineapple Juice
1 T Brown Sugar
1 T Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1 T Soy Sauce
1/4 t Tomato Paste
1 T Cornstarch

5 Cloves of Garlic (split) 2 cloves sliced (optional) and 3 chopped
2 small or 1 large Carrot -sliced
1/2 Green Bell Pepper - diced
Serrano Pepper - very thinly sliced or finely chopped (optional)
1/2 Onion - diced
2 Roma Tomatoes - diced (seeds removed)
1/ fresh Pineapple - diced (skin/rind and core removed)

You'll also need cooking oil and a 1/4 cup of chicken stock or a combination of stock and sweet white wine.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I used ground turkey for my stroganoff but you can use any ground meat or steak instead. I think that using steamed or roasted cauliflower in your stroganoff sauce, instead of meat, would make a great vegetarian dish. You should make it with whatever ingredients sound best to you.

2 T Butter or EVOO - split
1 small or 1/2 a large Onion - diced
5-10 Baby Portabella (Cremini) Mushrooms - cleaned with a damp cloth and sliced
3-6 cloves Garlic - chopped or pressed
1-1.5 lb Ground Meat
s/p - to taste
CRP - to taste
1/4 t Smoked Paprika
1 heaping T fresh oregano
1 heaping T flour
1 cup Stock (or 1/2 cup wine and 1/2 cup stock)
8-10 oz Sour Cream
Egg Noodles

Sauté the onion and mushrooms in EVOO and/or butter over medium low heat until they are cooked. Then add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. This will take about ten minutes all together.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mac-N-Cheese Stuffed Meatballs

I used a box of macaroni and cheese when I made these balls. Next time, I would make my own. The cheese wasn't as gooey as I would of liked it to be. Overall though, I was very happy with the outcome of this crazy idea that I literally dreamt up one night.

Macaroni and Cheese
Fresh Basil
1 Egg
1/2 package Italian Dressing Mix or 1 T Italian Seasoning
Dried Oregano
3-4 cloves Garlic
1 Onion
Italian Style Bread Crumbs
1 lb Ground Meat (I used turkey. Beef, pork, chicken or a combo would also be tasty.)
Cooking oil

Cook your mac and cheese as you normally would, weather with a box mix or by scratch. When the mac-n-cheese is cooked, stir in a handful of chiffonade basil (thinly sliced or ribbons).

Then put the prepared mac and cheese in a storage dish. (I sprayed the dish with non-stick cooking spray first.) Cover and place the dish in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

After the mac-n-cheese has completely cooled, turn it out of the storage dish onto a cutting board.

Cut the macaroni into cubes about the size of a large die and set them on a tray. Loosely cover the tray and place it in the freezer while you season the meat.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sweet Onion and Sun Dried Tomato Dip

This dip is simple to make and fun to eat! Sprinkle a few extra bits of sun dried tomato and green onion on top of the dip, just before you serve to add color.

1 large Sweet Onion - diced
4-8 Sun Dried Tomatoes (oil patted off) - diced
8 oz Cream Cheese - softened
3/4 cup Mayo or Salad Dressing
3 oz Parmesan Cheese - freshly grated

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Garlic Basil Oil

This oil is super easy to make yet it's packed with flavor. I like to drizzle it over so many foods: lentils, chicken, fish, potatoes, salad, and toast all benefit from the oils fresh flavors.

Fresh Basil - about an ounce
3-5 Garlic cloves - peeled and roughly chopped
White Balsamic Vinegar

Place the basil and garlic in a food processor or blender.

Pour just enough oil in to top the herbs and garlic.

Use the pulse setting, if you have one, to blend the basil and garlic together.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Review - Sea Salt Eatery

Sea Salt Eatery
4801 Minnehaha Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55417
(612) 721-8990 ‎

*Update - Sea Salt Eatery is now open for spring and summer! 04/07/11 - 10/30/11*

April 13, 2011

We ate dinner a Sea Salt yesterday, our first visit of the year. I was happy to see a short line but then disappointed when I saw that the whole fried fish special that I read about online was sold out. The line was moving fast and my decision making skills had to keep up. Tony and I quickly decided to share the Fried Fish Tacos (two for $5) and the Crab Cake Basket (1 for $11).

The fish had a crispy batter filled with steaming flaky white fish. Each piece of fish was served on two grilled corn tortillas with sauce, onion and cilantro. I gave Tony my cilantro, it's not my thing. I did really enjoy the grilled tortillas, the char was excellent and so was the price of these tasty tacos!

The crab cake had lots of large chunks of crab meat with a nice proportion of breading, vegetable and crab. The basket included slaw, corn salad/relish and melon. Only the cake was spectacular, I think I would prefer two à la carte crab cakes over the basket if that was an option. Ummm a crab cake taco would be good, maybe I should drop Sea Salt a line.

It was great to sit outside again and enjoy a cold beverage without shivering. The winter was long and all the snow that collected has melted and is now flying over the falls and down the river. It's a great sight to see! I'm looking forward to many more tasty visits to the Sea Salt Eatery and Minnehaha Falls this summer!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pasta, Green Bean and Tomato Salad

The al dente pasta in this salad makes it nice and hardy, while the vegetables keep it fresh and light. This salad is great to take to a party, or at the dinner table as a main or side dish.

Large Pot of Water
handful of Green Beans - ends trimmed, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 pint Cherry Tomatoes - cut in half
1/2-1 Yellow Hot Chili/Hungarian Wax pepper - thinly sliced, seeds removed
Green Onion or Chives - use scissors a sharp knife to cut into thin slices
2 cloves Garlic - pressed or finely chopped
Lemon Zest
Lemon juice from half a lemon
Fresh herbs - chopped (I used Sage. Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, or Thyme would also taste great.)
Ziti or any bite size shaped pasta
Fresh Spinach or any hearty leafy green such as romaine lettuce, watercress, endive, young mustard greens, arugula, or a blend of greens

Cover the pot of water and bring it up to a boil over medium-high to high heat. When the water boils remove the lid, heavily salt the water, and add the green beans. Cook the beans for about two minuets, no longer.

In the meantime, put the tomatoes, hot peppers, green onion, garlic, lemon zest and juice in a large bowl.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tarragon Dijon Baked Salmon w/ Cream Sauce

This salmon is baked, but you can cook it on your grill too. Try different flavors of mustard on the salmon for a new taste.

Fresh Salmon -Cut into single sized servings, rinse and pat dry
Tarragon Dijon
Dried Bread Crumbs
1-2 T. Melted Butter (optional)
Tarragon Dijon Cream

Put just enough oil into an oven proof pan to lightly cover the bottom. Heat the oil over medium-high heat.

Rub your mustard all over the non-skin sides of the salmon (top and sides). Your fingers work best for this.

Sprinkle bread crumbs over the fish in a light even layer.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tip - How to Roast Garlic

To roast garlic, this one's for you Tim, you take a whole head and cut the top off of it.

Place the garlic on foil cut side up.

Drizzle oil over the garlic.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Roasted Potatoes

This recipe is for Traveling Tina.

small Red Potatoes
pot of Water
Smoked Paprika or your favorite dry seasonings

Pre-heat oven to 400°.

Clean the potatoes and then drop them into the pot of water.

Bring the water up to a boil, then reduce the heat so that the water goes down to a simmer.

As soon as the potatoes are fork tender, but not fully cooked, remove them from the water.

Cut each potato into quarters. Do this carefully, they will be hot.

Place the wedges on a baking sheet.

Drizzle oil on the potatoes. Sprinkle them with s/p and paprika. Use your fingers to evenly spread the oil and seasonings around.

Place the tray in the oven and cook to your desired crispy/brownness. It wont take too long, so keep an eye on the potatoes!

Serve with gluten freeTarragon Dijon Mustard Cream.

-The potatoes don't have to be parboiled before roasting, I just like the texture it produces and they seem to cook a bit quicker that way.

-You can also roast potatoes and vegetables on the grill outside. Follow the above steps, but put the veggies on the grill, away from direct heat and close the lid. Flip once, if desired. Remove them when they are light in some spots, dark in others. If you're roasting vegetables, they should still be a bit crisp when you remove them from the grill (or oven). Tender crisp, as they say.

You can roast many vegetables by rubbing them with oil, salt and pepper and then baking at a high degree. It's a simple technique that yields great flavor and texture!

A 'How to Roast Garlic' tip will be posted tomorrow. Till then, bon appetit!