Left over Thursday – July 7th 2011

So guys, Its left over Thursdays’ part 1.

I have the below ingredients:

Half a block of tofu – cubed about 1″
Left over white rice
Half an eggplant —- Don’t ask !
Half an Onion —– Well it was too big to use the whole thing !

In my fridge and pantry, I have

2 filets of fish (tilapia)- cubed about 1″
Fresh tomatoes, Cilantro, basil, ginger and garlic

We will make:

Fish and tofu hotpot !

It’s delicious and healthy… and oh so light !!

Saute about 2 cloves of grated garlic and 1/2″ ginger root (sliced fine) in 2 Tbs OO. Add chopped up onions (1/2 cup) and fresh tomatoes (about 1.5 cups)
Saute till translucent.
Add basil, cilantro and eggplant and continue sauteeing (sp?) for about 5-7 minutes.

Add 2 cups of water and add the fish (cubed about 2″). Simmer on medium for about 10 min. Add a squeeze of lime and some fresh aromatics like chopped up cilantro, basil and curry leaves if you have them. Let some Salt and pepper rain !!!

Serve in a soup bowl and hit it with some white rice to make it hearty.

This is so light, fragrant and brothy, Trust me, it’ll hit the spot ! Who says you can’t have hot soup on a summer night ? With crazy thunderstorms, we’ve been having, this will work just fine 🙂

Not your traditional July 4th cookout fare

In the spirit of the traditional cookout celebrations, please enjoy the “not so traditional” grilling choices. Hope you all have a safe and a fabulous 4th !!

Grilled romaine and zucchini salad w/ homemade balsamic dressing

To serve 4

2 Heads of Romaine lettuce
4-6 baby zucchinis
3-4 Tbs Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash, pat dry and split the romaine heads and the zucchinis into halves.
Brush the oil and the salt and pepper onto the lettuce and zucchinis.
Grill on a medium heat for a 3-4 of min on both sides. (Till you get the fancy grill marks)
The zucchinis might take about 5-6 min on each side. (For softer veggies, keep them a little longer).
Take them off the grill and let them rest at room temperature.


½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup Extra virgin Olive oil (the fruitier the better)
2 tsp fresh ground mustard seeds (with a mortar and pestle)
1 tsp sugar
2 cloves roasted garlic – smashed/grated (You can use raw garlic for a more intense flavor)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl with a vacuum bottom, add all the ingredients except the olive oil.
With a whisk, start whisking the ingredients in the bowl and slowly add the OO.
Just add the oil gently, the slower the better. While whisking, you will notice the liquid turning into a semi liquid consistency. (I couldn’t find a better word than semi-liquid LOL)
You are done!! Dude!! Be proud. You just made your own vinaigrette. Now how many people can say that? They can’t even pronounce it.

So the next time you walk into a fancy restaurant and ask for that vinaigrette, let them know that you know what’s in it! Mystery solved….

Go ahead and use it as a salad dressing, a marinade, hell eat it with a spoon..

Yeah don’t do that…

Have fun!

Shrimp and NOT grits. 🙂

To serve 4

1.5 pounds of BIG Shrimp… .. (Skinned and deveined please!!)
1 tsp of Fresh mustard seeds ground
3-4 Tbsp of fresh orange juice
4-5 leaves of fresh mint, chopped fine.
2 cloves of garlic grated
1 tbsp honey (I use the bear bottle  )
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash, pat dry the shrimp.
In a Ziploc bag, add all the ingredients and give it a shake..
SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE.. Ok stop now.. Keep in the fridge for 2 hrs.
Grill 3-4 min on each side on medium heat till shrimp turn pink and look opaque.
You can taste a few and that’s why I said 1.5 pounds.. 

Not GRITS…. Quinoa

So what is Quinoa — pronounced Keenwa


I call it the next wonder grain. After we got bored with white rice, we moved onto brown, then wild, then couscous and now this…. Its’ a new carb option BUT so much better for you! Read up on it.. it’s got a crazy looking texture and is quite a conversation piece when people don’t know what they are eating. They are amazed by its little hooks that “germ” out of the little grain.. so go ahead and show them the “gourmet” side of you by serving this simple dish.

To serve 4

A Package of Quinoa – about a cup of uncooked grain (I used Ancient Harvest from HT)
2 cups of water to every cup of the grain (or use chicken broth to add more flavor)
2 Tbsp Olive oil
A handful of dried cranberries (Oh yeah, it’s a little sweet surprise)
4-5 leaves of fresh mint chopped (For that aroma when you open the lid of the pan)
Salt to taste

Heat up the oil on med heat in a wide saucepan. Roast the grain in it for 2-3 minutes.. (DO NOT BURN IT). Just on med heat, let the grain roast .. you will notice the nutty aroma.. Add the water/broth, the cranberries and the mint. Ooohhh and the salt.
Lid up the saucepan and cook on med heat for 10-12 min till the liquid is absorbed and the cranberries are plump. Flake the quinoa with a fork and serve..

Chicken Bites

To Serve 4
1 pound of chicken breasts cut up into 2” chunks
Marinade 1
Balle BalleTandoori
I don’t know why but everytime I say or think Tandoori food, I have a punjabi song playing in my head. No clue why.. I guess that’s why I am calling this quick and dirty tandoori recipe, the balle balle tandoori marinade.
1 cup of plain non fat yogurt
2-3 cloves of garlic grated
½” of ginger root, skin peeled and grated
1-2 tsp of garam masala (all spice)
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of cinnamon powder
½ a lemon juice
Salt, red chili powder to taste
1-2 drops of orange/red food coloring (pick your color.. I like the traditional orange)

Marinade 2
Green thai curry
I LOVE THAI FOOD!!! I just ADORE IT!!! I can eat THAI food anytime. See how excited I am?? I am capitalizing my letters, I am so excited…. Anyway back to work..

1 stalk lemongrass or 3 Tbsp minced lemongrass
2-3 green chillies
1 small onion minced
3-4 garlic cloves grated
½” ginger root skin peeled and grated
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
½ cup chopped basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup coconut milk

Grind all the above in a mixer/blender.

Now for the chicken bites. Spilt the chicken into two ziploc bags.
Add the balle balle Tandoori marinade in one bag and the Green thai curry paste in another.
Yes I like to shake it !!
Keep in fridge for 3-4 hrs at a minimum.
Grill the chicken (skwered or on a grill pan) for about 4-5 min per side. Make sure to use OO spray to coat the grill to avoid the food from sticking to the grill.

Serve with lemon/lime wedges and cold BEER !!

Nothing says 4th of july than a pack of cold beer and multi-cultural food..

Don’t you think ?