Friday, February 18, 2011

Gayle's Pesto Scallops

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If you love scallops, you will enjoy this recipe.  This super easy recipe comes from Cliff and Patti's friend Gayle Miyake of Seattle.  Most of the ingredients can be purchased at Trader Joe's.  In the picture above, I drizzled fig balsamic vinegar syrup as a topping after the scallops were cooked.   Pictured here are Stephen, Patti and Cliff on TV at the Cal v. Huskies game in November.

1 bag of frozen Trader Joe scallops (large size)
1 package of Trader Joe prosciutto
1 jar of Trader Joe pesto
Balsamic syrup, optional

Thaw the scallops.  Cut the prosciutto strips in half lengthwise.  Wrap each scallop with a half length of prosciutto, and use a toothpick to secure it so it does not unravel.  Place a dollop of pesto on top of each scallop.  Bake 350 degrees for 15-20 min.  Check for doneness (do not overbake).  Drizzle balsamic syrup over all when served (optional).  Serve warm.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Jennifer's Beer Margaritas

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Here's a delicious margarita recipe from Jennifer Powell - perfect for a hot summer day or when entertaining guests.  You just pour everything into a large pitcher and stir.  Add ice to the pitcher, if you wish, or individually in each glass.  This may sound like a strange recipe with the beer in it, but it is quite good and refreshing -- Jenn's favorite margarita recipe and super easy to make. 

Large can of frozen limeade
1 bottle of beer (Light beer or Corona is best)
1 can of Tequila (can do 3/4 can then fill the rest of triple sec for a weaker version)
1 can of water

Here's Katie at a special tea party with her furry friends.  Also pictured is a sample of the cutest Hello Kitty cake-pops that Jennifer made for guests at Katie's recent birthday.  What a good mom she is!

Betty's Phyllo-Wrapped Halibut

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We had the most elegant meal at our neighbors' house.  Betty Yee made this dish for us and what a treat it was.  Fresh halibut fillets were wrapped in a delicate, phyllo crust, then baked in a hot oven.  The phyllo kept the halibut moist and tender.  You can add any sauce you wish to this, such as a lemon scallion sauce or dill sauce.  We drizzled an aged balsamic vinegar which they purchased on their recent Italian vacation.  It had a dark, rich, mellow taste and complemented the fish perfectly.

2 T extra virgin olive oil
4 sheets phyllo dough
2 (5 oz) halibut fillets
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp chopped fresh dill

Defrost the phyllos sheets according to package directions.  Lightly brush 1 sheet of phyllo dough with the olive oil.  Lay another sheet on top and lightly brush it with olive oil.  Repeat the remaining 2 sheets.  Cut the sheets in half.  Season the halibut with salt, pepper and dill.  Place the fillet near the bottom edge of one of the halved phyllo portions, fold in the sides, then roll the fillet.  Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.  Bake 425 degrees for 12-15 min.

Phyllis' Chicken Satay Peanut Dipping Sauce

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We went to a fabulous party at Phyllis and Dana Martin's house in Oceanside, celebrating the new year with their friends and neighbors.  Phyllis had a wonderful array of appetizers.  My favorite was her Chicken Satay Skewers which were the hit of the party.  The peanut sauce had a rich and tasty flavor - you couldn't stop eating it.  You won't be disappointed as this one's a keeper. When I made it, I used a panini maker to grill the chicken skewers, and it only took 3 minutes to cook. 

1/2 cup coconut milk
2 T red curry paste
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 T brown sugar
2 T fresh squeezed lim juice
1 T fish sauce
1/2 tsp salt

Warm the coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Heat the milk until it reaches a gentle boil and tiny beads of oil glisten on the surface, about 5 min.  Add the curry paste, stir until it dissolves, about 3 min. Serve with grilled, skewered chicken tenders or sliced chicken breasts.   

Betty's Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

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Betty Yuasa makes a super pumpkin zucchini bread that is easy to make, delicious and moist.  It was a bit hit over the holidays.  You can vary the nuts and dried fruit to your liking.  It tastes even better the second day after the flavors have a chance to blend together.  Here's a great family photo of Betty and James with their grandsons at a recent holiday party. 

3 cups sugar
1 cup salad oil
3 eggs
1 can (15oz) pumpkin
2/3 cup water
3-1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2-1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 cup coconut (optional)

Mix flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon together.  Set aside.  In another bowl, beat sugar, oil, eggs, pumpkin and water together until blended.  Add dry ingredients and mix until just blended (do not overmix).  Add zucchini, nuts and coconut.  You can substitute the coconut for raisins or dried cranberries if you wish.  Divide batter into 3 lightly greased and floured loaf pans.  Bake 350 degrees for 55-60 min. Cool before slicing.

Jim's Tempura Lettuce Wraps

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Here's a quick and easy appetizer that will surely impress your guests. It comes from Chef Jim Shinbo, who cooked for the Olschefski's holiday dinner party (a small sit-down dinner for 30 guests) in Bellevue, Washington. The lettuce wraps came together quickly and were the hit of the party.

Romaine lettuce, trimmed
Trader Joe's frozen shrimp tempura
Mayonnaise, mixed with a little salsa juice
Peach mango salsa (Costco) or any salsa
Mexican-mix cheese, grated

Heat the tempura according to package directions. Use medium-size romaine leaves and trim the romaine so it is a little longer than the shrimp. To assemble, on top of the romaine, spread some of the mayonnaise mixture, add some salsa, place shrimp on top, sprinkle with the cheese.

You can substitute the tempura with firm blackened fish, scallops, fried calamari or other seafood. For a lower fat version, I subsituted the mayonnaise with non-fat plain yogurt and light sour cream (half of each) mixed with salsa juice.