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Deep Fried Feta Cheese Recipe Recipe

Deep Fried Feta Cheese Recipe

02.03.12 by Jackie

This weekend is the Super Bowl, but Lulu and his friends are so disappointed that the Niners didn't quite make it (and with Kyle Williams in particular) that they're threatening not to watch the game. Even though the boys are being such party poopers, I still plan on putting out a nice spread. As they say, the game must go on!

This particular dish is my take on the traditional fare of breaded mozzarella cheese sticks. Instead of mozzarella though, I made my fried treats with raw feta cheese. The cheese is from Redwood Hill Farms, and it is just delicious! It has such a strong flavor and really holds up well to being deep-fried. Unlike mozzarella, feta cheese doesn't melt but keeps a very pleasant firm texture. 



To finish the plate, I drizzled a basil dressing on the appetizers for a contrast of color. For the party, I'll probably serve the fried feta cheese on a large tray, but you could also place a smaller portion as I did on a bed of diced vegetables.


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How to Make a Basic Vinaigrette Recipe

How to Make a Basic Vinaigrette

11.08.11 by Jackie

I’ve often heard from readers that the vinaigrette I’ve posted id either too difficult or requires ingredients that are too expensive to purchase for only one dish. Well, fear not; the ingredients in vinaigrettes can be easily swapped out for whatever may be available in your pantry. The real key to easily creating delicious vinaigrettes is to apply the basic rules. Almost all of my vinaigrettes requires a few basic ingredients: an acid (vinegar, concentrated sour-tasting fruit juice, lemon juice), mustard (coarse grained, honey, horseradish, flavored mustard), a sweetener (very sweet concentrated juice, syrup, honey, sorghum), an oil (olive, sesame, walnut, pistachio, etc.), seasoning (salt & pepper) and a mix of herbs and spices (oregano, basil, shallots, pickled garlic, etc) of your choosing. The acidic ingredient and sweetener help balance the salad dressing. The lecithin in the mustard acts as binder and helps emulsify the oil into the mixture.

I used this blueprint to create a dressing for garlic pan-seared artichokes (I pre-cooked them) accompanied by button mushrooms, tomatoes and capers that I drizzled with lemon juice and extra-virgin oil. If you want to recreate this particular vinaigrette but don’t have an ingredient or two on hand, have fun with it! Vinaigrettes are very forgiving, making them perfect candidates for kitchen experimentation. And if you come up with something fabulous, please let me know!


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Warm Vegetable Salad Recipe Recipe

Warm Vegetable Salad Recipe

10.19.11 by Jackie

I'm still on the quest to follow Joy Bauer's 90 |10 food philosophy. By that, she means eating healthy foods 90% of the time and splurge on treats the remaining 10% of the time. Today I paired a very healthy portion of seasonal vegetable salad with a much more reasonable serving of succulent roasted a leg of lamb, which I admit is probably not the healthiest dish (look out for that recipe soon - probably when I feel less guilty!). The salad consists of zucchini, white asparagus and carrots cut into long, thin linguine shape strips. The trio is quickly sautéed with coriander and ginger and finished with lemon juice. The result is a crunchy, naturally sweet, warm salad with a little fresh zing from the lemon.

What I like most about this dish is how vibrant the colors are. Over-cooking veggies depletes their nutrients and can result in less attractive hues, so make sure you give the veggies just enough time to soften and you'll have a beautiful dish.


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Shirataki Yam Noodles: Noodle Salad Recipe (+ Giveaway) Recipe

Similar to tofu, shirataki noodles can look and taste pretty bland on their own. When I received the package from AsianFoodGrocer.com, I knew I had to enhance the flavor with a sauce. I made a peanut salad dressing that I've used often to flavor tofu, but this time I made it with oyster sauce, miso paste and hot sauce. I added colors to the noodle salad with red bell pepper, pickled garlic, cilantro and green onions. I topped the salad with crushed nori, for a briny flavor and  also sesame seeds and crushed peanuts for texture. We eat with our eyes first, and I think the dark color of the bowl serves as a very attractive contrast to the noodles.

The noodles themselves are very healthy (almost no calories, gluten and cholesterol free). So if you're looking for a light meal, this recipe might be it!


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White Asparagus Salad Recipe (Goi Mang) Recipe

Traditional Vietnamese cooking is widely known for its healthy properties and for the freshness of the ingredients. The food is simply prepared with very easy cooking techniques, which is great if you’re in a rush.

Gơi măng tây (which literally translates to "French bamboo shoots" in Vietnamese) is a typical Vietnamese salad that embodies these qualities. What are French bamboo shoots you ask? Asparagus! Fresh white asparagus are available at my local market, so I decided to use them in this dish. They provide a different texture for this type of raw salad. It's a bit more work than cooking green ones, as white asparagus have to be carefully peeled for optimum tenderness. 


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