Grilled Scallops with Bacon-Shallot Vinaigrette

 

Have you ever eaten a bacon wrapped scallop?  If your experience was anything like mine, either the scallop was sweet and tender, and the bacon was raw and chewy, or the scallop was annihilated and the bacon perfectly crispy.  It’s pretty obvious the dish is virtually impossible to master.

As an alternative, this recipe still gives you the flavor pairing of the scallop and the bacon, except the bacon is crispy as it should be and the scallop is still tender and sweet.  The tangy vinaigrette also adds a nice level of acid to even out some of the fat from the bacon. I served the scallops with prepared couscous as an entrée. However, this would work well as an appetizer too.

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Oriental Pork and Habanero Dumplings

Here’s a spicy little appetizer to serve your Valentine this week, and they have everything you want in a dumpling.  The tender, chewy wontons filled with tender pork, spicy habanero pepper, fresh ginger, green onion, and just a touch of sesame oil burst with flavor.

You think a box of chocolates is addictive?  Wait until you try these.

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Rosemary and Gruyere Croissants

rosemary-and-gruyere-croissants

Looking for something different to serve with your holiday dinner this year other than boring crescent rolls or hot cross buns? These rosemary and gruyere croissants have delicate puff pastry swirled with creamy butter, melted gruyere cheese and just a hint of rosemary and black pepper. They literally melt in your mouth and present beautifully. They would even be great as an appetizer for your New Year’s Eve party!

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Habanero Pico de Salsa

habanero-pico-de-salsa

I’ve been making this “salsa” for about fifteen years and the bowl is always empty at the end of the night. I’ve heard some of my friends call it a salsa, a salsa fresco, and others call it a Pico de Gallo. I finally decided to name it a Pico de Salsa so everyone would be happy! Regardless of what we all call it, when I tell my friends, “Buy a bag of tortilla chips on your way home from work tonight,” they instantly know I’m going to be giving them a jar of the salsa the next day. The anticipated smile on their faces is always worth it!

So even though this isn’t a ‘secret recipe’ (I always share it when asked), it’s one I guarantee you’ll enjoy the simplicity of making and the joy of sharing. And seriously, it only takes twenty minutes from your cutting board to tortilla chip.

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Salmon Pillows with Basil Cream Sauce

Salmon Pillows with Basil Cream Sauce

I love the ease of using puff pastry dough. It bakes up crisp and flakey every time without fail, and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. These salmon pillows are light and flaky on the outside and delicate and silky on the inside. Plus they’re super easy to make. You can also control the ratio of salmon to cream cheese depending on your palate. The fresh basil cream sauce has a bright, nutty flavor, and pairs beautifully with the salmon. Give one a dip, take a bite and be prepared for a ‘yum’ moment!
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Leek and Gruyere Tartlets

Leek and Gruyere Tartlets

I was giggling all the way through preparing this post because of the movie ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,’ where everyone screams because there’s a leek in the boat. Ever since my family saw that movie, anytime I return from the grocery store with leeks as one of the items, someone inevitably exclaims, “There’s a leek in the car!” or “There’s a leek in that bag!” or “The fridge has a leek!”

Another reason for my giddiness is due to an old Friends episode featuring John Lovitz where he has a marijuana-induced case of the munchies for a batch of tartlets Monica prepares, and he repeats the word tartlet over and over and over in classic Lovitz-style. It still cracks me up thinking about it!

But there’s nothing funny about these tartlets. They’re a seriously great appetizer with a filling of smoky/cheesy/custardy/oniony goodness, and a flaky phyllo cup that melts in your mouth as you chew. Pair the tartlets with a bottle of your favorite chilled French Vouvray Chenin Blanc or buttery Chardonnay.

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Pizza Pretzel Poppers

Pizza Pretzel Poppers

What’s better than two hours in the kitchen, laughing and spending time with your daughter while making pizza filled pretzel poppers? Honestly, nothing could be better than that for me, however, eating the poppers when they’re done would have to be a close second! Especially when they’re fresh out of the oven and the cheese is all gooey and melted when you take your first bite…sigh. THIS was a fun day!

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Rosemary Dusted Asiago Sables

Rosemary Dusted Asiago Sables

About every four months or so, I invite my friends over for ‘ladies night’ and everyone brings a dish to share with the group. It’s a lot of fun because it not only gives us an opportunity to catch up on what’s going on in our lives, we also share our latest culinary discoveries with one another.

For our most recent ladies night, I decided to make these delicious, buttery rosemary dusted asiago sables. A sable is a French butter ‘cookie’, named because of its buttery, flakey taste, and texture. But don’t let the word cookie throw you, these sables are savory and can stand up to anything you would normally put on a cracker. Or, you could eat them on their own. The light dusting of powdered fresh rosemary and kosher salt give these little darlings a great flavor!

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Sriracha and Lime Glazed Chicken Wings

Sriracha and Lime Glazed Chicken Wings

This recipe evolved out of my experimentation with Vietnamese cooking when I made Pho a few weeks ago. I especially liked the spicy/acidic/sweet flavor profile in the seasonings and wanted to try it again. So I decided to use it on some chicken wings and they didn’t disappoint. (Having Sriracha on the list of ingredients didn’t hurt either!) I still got the heat I was looking for and the sweetness from the brown sugar, and the acidity from the fresh lime made them positively addicting. Before we knew it, the wings were gone, and the platter was empty!

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