Main Course Recipes

Risotto with Collard Greens Recipe

Risotto with Collard Greens

11.20.14 by Jackie

The temperature has been dropping in the Bay Area. As the morning mist cleared, I decided to prepare comfort food for Aria's lunch today. I made a decadent risotto flavored with smoked Gouda, a bit of red bell pepper and collard greens. You would pobably never have paired adjectives such as luscious or decadent with healthful collard greens but this rice dish fulfilled my goal.

I got my little toddler to eat her vegetables and I'm delighted to see she actually enjoyed collard greens!


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Beef Prime Brisket Recipe Recipe

Beef Prime Brisket Recipe

10.15.14 by Jackie

My daughter Aria and I are huge fans of fork-tender beef brisket. My secret tenderizer is a combination of baking powder, dried spices and coarsely-ground black pepper for the dry rub. I kept the flavorings pretty simple, using garlic, onion, sugar, dry mustard, dried oregano and bay leaf.

For a nice contrast of texture, I served the slices of brisket on a bed of red cabbage slaw. 


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Ca Bong Lau Kho To (Vietnamese Claypot Catfish) Recipe

Ca Bong Lau Kho To (Vietnamese Claypot Catfish)

10.09.14 by Jackie

This is probably one of the quickest and easiest Vietnamese fish dishes. The only requirement is to use flawless, very fresh catfish called "cá bông lau" in Vietnamese. Whenever I go to the Asian grocery stores, if I find fish with bright clear eyes and the skin looks shiny and clean, chances are I bring some seafood home. Also, most important, fresh fish should smell briny and pleasant. 

The steps for preparing cá bông lau kho tá»™  are simple but crucial. First, soak the fish in vinegar; that way the fish texture will maintain a firm texture, even once it's cooked. Then, frying onions and the use of red chili powder covers the fish-y flavor and lastly, braising the fish in a combination of soy sauce (not fish sauce) and coconut sauce will bring wonderful, lightly sweet flavor to the seafood dish. 

 


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Wine-Braised Chuck Roast with Pasta Recipe

Wine-Braised Chuck Roast with Pasta

09.30.14 by Jackie

Baby Aria's choice of meat, by far, is beef. And the more tender it is, the more she likes it. I really enjoy making one-dish meals for her. Today, I seared boneless beef chuck steaks, then braised them in wine (the alcohol cooks off during the braising process). Once tender, I boiled campanelle pasta and transferred it to the beef pot. The flavorful gravy sneaked into the cavities of the odd-shaped trumpet-like pasta, which made it more fun for Aria to eat.

I flavored the dish wth fresh thyme, clove, parsley, tomato paste. bay leaf, turnips, onions and garlic. The key ingredient, though, is drinking-quality red wine. C'est tout ("that's it!")!


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Tri-Color Green Bean Salad Recipe Recipe

Tri-Color Green Bean Salad Recipe

09.08.14 by Jackie

At this time of the year I think I've reached the last crop of green beans to harvest from our garden. I simply steamed them and served them the healthy way. In addition to regular green beans, I bought fresh purple beans and wax beans to complete the dish. 

I seasoned the steamed bean salad with a sauce that I concocted using green beans, sweet basil, almond powder and fruity olive oil. As a reminder of the sauce flavor, I garnished the salad with lightly toasted sliced almonds. 


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