Tag Archives: sriracha

Baked Avocado Fries & a kicked up dipping sauce

Let the harvesting begin! This year we tried a couple of new crops in the garden; Eggplant and Brussels Sprouts. I did not realize that eggplants are pretty finicky, they need perfect soil to sun and water ratio. I garden but I am not a gardener. I really don’t have the time or the patience to cater to plants that need coddling. I have pretty good luck with most plants, though this year no zucchini; so sad!!! But you should see my cabbages and I have already canned a dozen jars of pickles from my cucumbers. Today I am going to try, for the first time mind you, to make my own sauerkraut.

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I planted the Brussels sprouts mainly because they look really cool; my guys were not thrilled because they knew if they grew, we would be eating them. I hate wasting food which is why I am making sauerkraut. We planted 6 cabbages and they were all HUGE, I gave a couple away to family but that still leaves more than we can eat in a sitting plus they all came at once. I really should learn how to stagger plantings I guess that would be the non-gardener part of me. Did I also mention that the plants are making a bunch of mini cabbages?

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SO CUTE!!! – that’s my husbands work trailer peaking thru the leaves

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we harvested all the broccoli, new shoots coming back!

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adorable, need to figure out when to harvest these baby’s

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more baby cabbages growing from when we harvested the huge one. See the butternut squash peaking out in the upper left corner, we are going to have a ton of those this fall!

To go along with my hate wasting food mantra I had some very ripe avocados that I needed to use up before they went bad. I didn’t want to make guacamole like I usually do. I had taken fish out and have always wanted to try making avocado fries. Fish and Chips with a healthier chip sounded kind of cool. They were baked not fried and had a little dipping sauce that wasn’t ketchup; we do love trying something a little different.

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The wine is for me!!!

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I put mine on my silpat – if you don’t have one get one!!!! You’ll thank me later…

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Baked Avocado Fries

1 avocado – sliced into fry lengths sized fries

1 cup flour

1 egg beaten

1 cup dried breadcrumbs

2 tbs grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Kosher salt

Fresh cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 450’

In 3 shallow bowls, I normally use a pie plates but these take out containers were just fine here. Flour in one, egg in another and bread crumbs in the third; season all with salt and pepper! Gently press avocado into the flour shaking off excess, dip into beaten egg and press into the bread crumbs. Place on a baking sheet once all placed, sprinkle with Parmigiano cheese. Bake in a preheated oven until cheese has melted and the fries are golden brown, about 15 minutes.

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Dipping sauce

3 tbs sour cream

2 tbs garlic powder

1 tbs tomatillo salsa – or use what you have on hand – I used salsa I had in the fridge

1 dash Sriracha or similar, or more to your liking

In a small bowl stir all ingredients together mixing thoroughly

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Shrimp, Sausage and Gnocchi weeknight dinner

What a beautiful weekend at the lake the weather was perfect; the water was cold but refreshing! We came back pretty late on Sunday and there was no time and actually not a lot of money; I’m sure some of you know when you come back from vacation no matter how long it was that money can be a little tight. I picked up a few basics just milk, bread and lunch meat for the guys and that was it for the week. Dinners for the week will have to be whatever I had on hand. Which in taking a quick inventory of my fridge, freezer and pantry; it didn’t look too bad.

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Tuesday night was just going to be me and the hubby; I opened the freezer and saw a half bag of shrimp, a handful of gnocchi, half package of Italian sausage and some broccoli. I opened the fridge and there was some leftover homemade chicken stock and yes even in my fridge a half a bottle of leftover white wine – it can happen! I figured a few fresh ingredients this might not be too bad. I had a couple of small shallots and a small onion from the garden and of course my all-time favorite garlic. Sounded like dinner to me.

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I know from a few cooking class students that without a recipe just by opening the fridge and freezer meals tend not to present themselves. I would like nothing else than to show people that with a few pantry/fridge staples. A homemade meal is just a few chops and a couple of stirs away.

Here is how I made a yummy meal from what I had on hand

2 small shallots diced

2 cloves minced garlic

1 small onion diced

2 tbs Olive oil

1 tbs Butter


Sausage – casing removed and chopped

Shrimp – cleaned and deveined


Fresh Sage chopped

White wine

Chicken stock

Sriracha – hot sauce opt.

Kosher salt

Fresh cracked black pepper

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Heat olive oil and butter in a saute pan over medium low heat. Add chopped shallots, onions and garlic till softened. Add sausage cook until browned. De-glaze pan with white wine. Let it reduce down; before it all evaporates add the chicken stock and the gnocchi; let it boil down till it makes a nice thick sauce in the last 10 minutes add the shrimp and broccoli; you don’t want to overcook either of them. The gnocchi actually helped thicken the sauce; which was an added bonus. Add some fresh chopped herbs of your choice and salt and pepper to taste; I also added some hot sauce to liven up the flavor a little.

Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry

Have you ever tried to re-create a dish you had while eating out?  I have definitely tried; some were successful some not so much.   I do make a mean Crab Rangoon and I love making Pan Fried Chicken Dumplings.  There is a recipe from my favorite local restaurant that I order every time we go that eludes me; Lemongrass Chicken with a Caramel Sauce served over Jasmine rice with seared greens.  I LOVE the taste and presentation of this dish!  I do wonder though if I were able to re-create it at home would the love fade.  I don’t think I am willing to risk it; I will save this special dish for when we have date night.

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This weekend I will be testing a few Asian Fusion recipes that I hope to be able to have a class on soon.  I have the ingredients to make Pad Thai and a Spring Roll that sounded delicious with a Thai Chili sauce that I am super excited to see how they come out.

My son just came back from visiting his sister in Japan and asked me to experiment with different Ramon dishes.  My daughter went to Vietnam over her Christmas New Year’s holiday and fell in love with their street food.  Next up on my testing list is Banh Mi which is a Vietnamese Sandwich; she literally tried every different vender she came upon.  She also mentioned that I really need to learn how to make Pho which is pronounced Fa.  They are definitely are on my foodie radar.

Last night we had some friends over and I made a Beef and Broccoli dish served over Jasmine rice.  A couple of weeks ago I tested a Portuguese Paella on a few friends. At least I had made the Beef and Broccoli one other time for my guys and they both really liked it.  The Paella was a true test as I have never made before.  I always have a backup plan if things don’t go the way I plan.  We have like 5 or 6 pizza places in our small town; just a phone call away.

This comes together pretty quickly; the rice will take the longest.  Unless you use boil-in-bag rice; I did not I just made some jasmine rice, because it is my favorite.

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Serves 4 – I doubled this last night to serve my friends

Note: pre-measure your ingredients ahead of time and place them by the stove, it will keep things moving along without the threat of burning and over cooking your ingredients.

2 Tablespoons dry white wine or dry sherry, divided

2 Tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce, divided

1 teaspoon sugar

1 pound boneless sirloin steak, cut diagonally across the grain into thin slices

½ Cup lower-sodium beef broth

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon Sriracha

2 Tablespoon canola oil, divided

1 Tablespoon bottled ground fresh ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic

4 cups trimmed up broccoli

¼ cup water

1/3 cup sliced green onions

Cook rice according to directions

Combine 1 Tablespoon wine, 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, sugar and beef.  Stir together 1 Tablespoon wine, 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, broth, cornstarch, hoisin and sriracha. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add beef mixture; sauté 3 minutes or until browned.  Remove beef from the pan.  Add ginger and garlic; cook 30 seconds stirring constantly. Add broccoli and water; cook 1 minute.  Add onions cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add broth and beef mixture; cook 2 minutes or until beef is thoroughly heated and sauce is slightly thick.  Serve over rice.