WENT RED!! #FRIED RED TOMATOES/AVOCADO DIP

Needed something to quiet and satisfy the craving within. What do you know? Bobby Flay came to my rescue. Stumbled on one of his Brunch shows. One of the items on the menu was fried red tomatoes.

Decided to create my version as I had the main ingredients on hand (red plum tomatoes). Sliced them up about an inch, sprinkled a pinch of salt for flavor as well to draw the excess fluid. These were then placed on a sheet of paper towel in order to absorb fluid.

Made an egg wash consisting of egg/milk/dollop of sour cream. This was seasoned with a pinch of salt. Also, did a mix of cornmeal/flour/cheddar cheese/squeeze of honey/pinch of salt/black pepper.

PREPPING FOR RED FRIED TOMATOES
PREPPING FOR RED FRIED TOMATOES

Placed tomatoes in egg wash for a few minutes. Then in cheesy cornmeal mix. These were then fried in a combination of hot canola and olive oil on both sides until they were crispy.

Served red fried tomatoes with an avocado dip. Oh, my red fried tomatoes were crispy and mouth-watering; just what my taste buds needed. Thank you, Bobby Flay.

GREEN EGGS WITHOUT THE HAM

I certainly didn’t miss the ham in my breakfast dish. And, thinking about it, Dr. Seuss would also approve. You see, I went with a couple of cage-free eggs and made a delightful and creamy scrabble with same.

In order to get the green contrast, I used up leftover kale/parsley pesto from a previous meal. After eggs were slowly cooked over low heat, kale/parsley pesto was folded in. In addition, a light sprinkle of cheddar cheese was added along with a pinch of salt and black pepper.

PROTEIN/FIBERS IN CUP CAKE FORM #MINI QUICHES

Breakfast was a protein and fiber-packed one. With a couple of beaten eggs, left-over vegetables (broccoli, asparagus) and fresh spinach, parsley, and tomatoes, I was on my way to a  satisfying affair.

MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR MINI-QUICHES
MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR MINI QUICHES

It was like having mini quiches in cup-cake format. Assorted vegetables were added to egg batter. I made sure to season with a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste along with a little grated cheddar cheese. In a muffin pan and I sprayed a Pam oil in three cups. At the bottom, I placed a piece of whole-wheat wrap and then added batter.

CUP-CAKE MINI-QUICHES READY FOR OVEN
CUP-CAKE MINI-QUICHES READY FOR OVEN

In a pre-heated 330 degree oven, mini cup cake quiches were baked for approximately 16 minutes until set. A fresh spinach and parsley pesto was served on the side along with avocado.

FRITTATA WITH A TWIST #RITZ CRACKERS

Breakfast was quite a protein-packed affair. I was in the mood for something super-filling and nutritious. All roads led me to my handy cast iron skillet. It has been sometime since I last used. With eggs sitting at room temperature, I had a perfect dish in my mind. Decided to make a frittata.

I love frittatas because they are versatile and satisfying. As a result, they can be had for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Moreover, one can have a free-hand with it. And, that’s what I did. I decided to incorporate the following which included Ritz crackers:

SOME OF THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR FRITTATA
SOME OF THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR FRITTATA

Method:( Both stove-top/oven were used)

  1. In a bowl, eggs were beaten with a splash of milk and seasoned with salt and black pepper to taste.
  2. All vegetables were added to batter along with shredded cheddar cheese.
  3. In hot cast iron skillet, a drizzle of olive oil was added along with a pat of butter. Finely chopped onions were added for softening.
  4. Batter was added under low heat to allow bottom to set.
  5. After approximately four to five minutes, this was placed in pre-heated 320 degree oven for another five minutes after adding left-over grated cheese.

    FRITTATA
    FRITTATA READY FOR OVEN
  6. Dish was placed under the broiler for another two minutes to melt cheese.

    FRITTATA (FINISHED DISH)
    FRITTATA (FINISHED DISH)

IT’S A WRAP #TORTILLA SCRAMBLED WRAPS

Trying my utmost best to maintain a fine balance. Thus, for breakfast, I went the whole grain route. I did so by employing the aid of Mexican tortilla wraps. These wraps are loaded with about 9 grams of fiber which was music to my ears as I like to incorporate as much fiber in my daily meal plan. Fiber keeps me satisfied for an extended period.

Wraps were warmed on both sides in a hot skillet just enough to maintain easy folding. They were then lightly buttered (optional) on the filler side. Wraps were filled same with:

SOME OF THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR TORTILLA WRAPS
SOME OF THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR TORTILLA WRAPS
  • Creamy scrambled eggs (seasoned with a pinch of salt, black pepper and finely chopped parsley)
  • Cheddar cheese (a few slices)
  • Vine-ripe tomatoes
  • Crispy cucumber slices

Wraps were then folded to a beautiful finish. They were then sliced with a serrated knife and served with a refreshing medley of fresh fruits.

TORTILLA SCRAMBLED WRAP WITH FRESH FRUITS
TORTILLA SCRAMBLED WRAP WITH FRESH FRUITS

A RUSTIC MOOD #GRILLED WHOLE SNAPPER AND VEGGIES

Though the temperatures are flirting in the triple digits, it’s evident that summer is disappearing before my eyes. I guess the dwindling days have placed me in a grilling frame of mind.I couldn’t help myself. Didn’t have the craving for nothing else so I fired up my indoor grill pan. I was on a mission. I intended to grill everything in sight. My poor scotch bonnet pepper wasn’t going escape the cooking process.

Had me a whole snapper fish for roasting; however, that plan was quickly altered. With glee I scored my fish and seasoned with a sprinkle of black pepper, salt and crushed garlic. I made sure to season inside the head (love me the head) and cavity.

When it was time to grill I removed garlic and drizzled with olive oil inside and out and stuffed fresh tarragon and thyme within for more intense flavors. I also chopped an onion, wedges of  different color bell peppers and okra.

PREPPING SNAPPER AND VEGGIES FOR GRILLING
PREPPING SNAPPER AND VEGGIES FOR GRILLING

I made sure to do a quick one minute pre-cook of the hearty okra before I brushed same and other veggies with a warm tarragon and thyme oil. First, I started with the veggies.

VEGGIES ON GRILL
VEGGIES ON GRILL

I removed the okra and onions and sprinkled a very light layer of whole-wheat flour to prevent fish from sticking.

SNAPPER FISH AND VEGGIES ON GRILL
SNAPPER FISH AND VEGGIES ON GRILL

I smiled as I also added scotch bonnet pepper in on the action. My snapper needed a few minutes internal cooking But first, I removed the other veggies. Then, I placed it in the oven for another five minutes at 360 degrees with the squeeze of fresh lime.

My fish came out  a little crusty on the outside and quite flaky within. Each bite was full of amazing flavors that were spicy and lemony. The tarragon and the thyme gave the snapper an even more flavorful and aromatic taste. As for the veggies, the grilling brought out all the natural sugars that reminded me of summer. On the side, a creamy/cheesy polenta (turned cornmeal) was served.

HERB/CHEDDAR CRUSTED ROAST CHICKEN ON CARROT/GINGER SAUCE

It seems like guacamole was on my mind. Maybe because I had a couple of the main ingredients (cilantro and avocado) on hand. Never went there though. Instead, I prepped a combination of chopped avocado and cilantro and sprinkled with a pinch of salt and black pepper with a squeeze of lime. I placed that to chill in the refrigerator for a garnish.

My intention was to cook a roasted chicken with a crust of herbs (cilantro/thyme), bread crumbs and cheddar cheese. And that’s what I did. With the drizzle of  olive oil, my crust was ready to be administered on my chicken parts (legs/thighs) when the roasting was completed.

CRUST MADE UP OF BREAD CRUMBS, CHEDDAR CHEESE, THYME, CILANTRO, OLIVE OIL
CRUST MADE UP OF BREAD CRUMBS, CHEDDAR CHEESE, THYME, CILANTRO, OLIVE OIL

Chicken parts (legs/thighs) were seasoned with salt, black pepper, balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic from the previous night. Decided to cook my chicken in a cast iron skillet as it’s a great conductor of heat. So, after my skillet was heated stove top, a drizzle of coconut oil was added.  Garlic was removed from chicken parts and then they were dried with paper towel. Chicken were seared on both sides.

BROWNED CHICKEN PARTS READY FOR ROASTING IN OVEN
BROWNED CHICKEN PARTS READY FOR ROASTING IN OVEN

A splash of water was added to skillet along with thyme/cilantro. Chicken was placed in a heated oven on 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Chicken parts were turned once. Then, the herb/cheddar cheese crust was added to each piece. Skillet was then placed back inside oven for another five to six minutes under broiler.

CHICKEN PARTS WITH HERB/CHEDDAR CHEESE CRUST FOR COMPLETION UNDER BROILER
CHICKEN PARTS WITH HERB/CHEDDAR CHEESE CRUST FOR COMPLETION UNDER BROILER

While chicken was completing I did a quick sauce of carrot and ginger root.

MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR CARROT/GINGER SAUCE
MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR CARROT/GINGER SAUCE

Carrots, a small piece of ginger(a little goes a far way) were chopped and placed in a small stock pot along with a sprig of cilantro and water for approximately 12 minutes. These were cooled and placed in food processor along with a dollop of sour cream, pinch of salt and pepper. This was pureed to a thick but runny consistency.

CARROT/GINGER SAUCE IN FOOD PROCESSOR
CARROT/GINGER SAUCE IN FOOD PROCESSOR

After herb/cheddar crusted roast chicken was finished,

FINISHED HERB AND CHEDDAR CRUSTED ROAST CHICKEN IN CAST IRON SKILLET
FINISHED HERB AND CHEDDAR CRUSTED ROAST CHICKEN IN CAST IRON SKILLET

it was served on carrot and ginger sauce with a garnish of avocado and cilantro.

PLATED DISH OF HERB & CHEDDAR CRUSTED ROAST CHICKEN ON CARROT/GINGER SAUCE WITH GARNISH OF CILANTRO/AVOCADO
PLATED DISH OF HERB & CHEDDAR CRUSTED ROAST CHICKEN ON CARROT/GINGER SAUCE WITH GARNISH OF CILANTRO/AVOCADO

Guys, the finished dish was amazing. All the flavors and spices came together in a very tantalizing way. By the way, I added a little Jasmine rice to the mix.(not in pic). After all, I had that beautiful bed of carrot and ginger sauce to soak up. The chicken parts were still crusty with the mix of cheddar cheese and cilantro. Nature’s butter (avocado) provided a smooth and velvety balance to the dish.

A LIGHT SPRING TREAT ##ASPARAGUS/BROCCOLI SOUP WITH CRUSTY FLOUNDER CATCH

With spring in the air, I decided to tread on the lighter side of things.Thanks to my refrigerator, it had just the supplies I needed for a quick and easy asparagus and broccoli soup along with a crusty serving of wild flounder.

THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR ASPARAGUS AND BROCCOLI SOUP
THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR ASPARAGUS AND BROCCOLI SOUP

The ingredients:

  1. Asparagus
  2. Broccoli
  3. Kale
  4. Onion
  5. Garlic
  6. Water (cold tap) or chicken broth
  7. Salt/black pepper to taste
  8. Cheddar cheese
  9. Sour cream
  10. Whole milk
  11. Lime
  12. Wild flounder
  13. Whole wheat flour
  14. Olive oil

Method:

  1. Vegetables were roughly chopped and added to a heated stock pot with a drizzle of olive oil.
  2. After a quick softening of veggies, cold water was added along with a veggie bouillon cube, salt, black pepper, thyme,garlic. Didn’t have chicken broth so veggie bouillon cube was added for extra flavors.

    VEGETABLES/OTHER INGREDIENTS IN STOCK POT FOR ASPARAGUS AND BROCCOLI SOUP
    VEGETABLES/OTHER INGREDIENTS IN STOCK POT FOR ASPARAGUS AND BROCCOLI SOUP
  3. When pot came to a boil, soup was simmered on low to medium heat until veggies were fork tender.
  4. After soup was cool enough to handle, this was placed in standing blender along with a handful of kale for extra green hue.
  5. Pureed soup was returned to pot with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese for a quick heating to melt cheese.

I served my broccoli and asparagus soup with a crusty piece of wild flounder fish that was pan-seared in a little olive oil after a very light dredge in whole wheat flour.

CRUSTY WILD FLOUNDER FISH WITH LIME
CRUSTY WILD FLOUNDER FISH WITH LIME

I made sure to reserve a few pieces of asparagus as garnish. Also, I added a few crispy crackers (not in pic) to provide extra texture to my soup.

LUNCH WAS QUITE A CHEESY ONE #CHEESY SCRAMBLED EGGS/BREAD

I  was in quite a cheesy mood today and I didn’t mind. You see, I’ve never indulged in a cheese bread before. So, it was out sheer curiosity that I bought a loaf of this bread. It looked very appealing, a tad shiny and soft to the eyes from a few feet away. Just as I thought, on feeling same, it was soft and looked even more delicious.

Took home the specimen and couldn’t wait to partake. As a matter a fact, I started nibbling from one of the ends and it was super tasty and loaded with cheddar cheese. I had to pull myself away.  I grabbed me a couple of eggs and did a quick scramble in a hot skillet. I made sure to add a little chopped parsley, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

I slowly folded my eggs under low heat. That scramble egg needed no liquid in the form of water or milk. I like to have my eggs stand on their own. After my eggs were cooked with a soft finish,( hate rubbery eggs) I pulled skillet from the burner and added a little shredded cheddar cheese.

My cheesy plate was served with sliced tomatoes sprinkled with salt and pepper along with nature’s butter (avocado). A cool cantaloupe drink completed my  cheesy and simple meal.