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Posts tagged ‘dinner’

Sesame Summer Salad

So….I did actually make this salad in the summer, but I have been a little slow about posting about it. Having a baby will do that to you– you just don’t have as much time to post on your blog anymore.

I found this recipe for a sesame summer salad in a Taste of Home magazine. I love sesame seeds and sesame oil so I had to try out this salad.  The salad came together pretty easily. However, I found that the recipe had too much dressing…so in my write up below I changed the instructions to only add 1/2 the dressing to the salad and then serve the rest alongside so that your dining companions can dress the salad to their taste.

Sesame Summer Salad

(from Taste of Home magazine)

makes 9 servings

  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 cups cut fresh asparagus (1 inch pieces)
  • 2 cups fresh snow peas
  • 1 package (3 oz.) ramen noodles
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 can (14 oz) bean sprouts, drained
  • 1 can (8 oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, divided
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. Using a vegetable peeler or metal cheese grater, cut carrots into very thin lengthwise strips. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil.   Add the carrots, asparagus, and snow peas; cover and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately place vegetables in ice water. Drain and pat dry. Set aside 3/4 cup carrots for garnish.
  2. Discard seasoning packet from noodles or save for another use. Break noodles into small pieces. Place in a large serving bowl; add blanched vegetables, red pepper, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the hoisin sauce, vinegar, canola oil, sesame oil, honey, salt, pepper flakes, and pepper.  Pour 1/2 of dressing over salad; toss to coat. Add more dressing if desired and toss to coat (and/or serve some on the side).
  4. Garnish with reserved carrots and remaining sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Pasta, Peas & Pesto Salad

Pasta salads are pretty much a summer potluck staple.  If you go to a cookout you will more often than not find at least one pasta salad being served. I went to one cookout this summer where there were 6 (yes 6) different pasta salads.

I made this salad from Barefoot Contessa because it sounded like a different twist on your basic pasta salad. The dressing from this salad is made from mayo, spinach and pesto….with the addition of peas, this salad is a fun, green dish.

Pasta, Pesto & Peas

(from Barefoot Contessa:

Makes 12 servings

  • 3/4 pounds fusilli pasta
  • 3/4 pounds bow tie pasta
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups pesto, packaged or see recipe below
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1/3 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pignolis, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.

Egg & Lentil Curry

I don’t recall eating many lentils in the first 23 years of my life…and then I met the man who would become my husband. Since then I probably eat lentils on average about once a week. We love to cook them up to make a basic dal to serve with rice.

I came across this idea in an Indian cookbook…spiced lentils cooked with a touch of coconut milk and served atop wedges of hard-boiled eggs and tomatoes.  Usually when I cook lentils, I don’t include coconut milk, otherwise most of the ingredients in this dal/lentil stew were similar to what I usually make. The coconut milk added just a hint of sweetness. I also liked the twist of spooning the lentils on top of tomatoes and eggs. Will definitely make this again!

Egg & Lentil Curry

(modified from recipe in perfect indian)

serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup red split lentils
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 8 oz. canned chopped tomatoes
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tomatoes cut into wedges
  • salt
  • fresh cilantro sprigs, to garnish
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan.  Add the onion, and gently fry for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, red pepper, and spices and cook gently stirring frequently for 1 minute.
  2. Stir in the lentils, stock, and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, place the eggs in a saucepan of cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and cover immediately with cold water.
  4. Stir the coconut milk into the lentil mixture and season well with salt. Process the mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to the pan and heat through.
  5. Shell the hard-cooked eggs and cut into wedges. Divide between 4 serving dishes. Arrange a tomato wedge between each egg wedge. Spoon the hot lentil sauce over the eggs and tomatoes, adding enough to flood the plate. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve with hot flat bread (chapatis, rotis, or pita bread)

Tandoori Chicken Tenders

So, having a baby has made me think of future family friendly meals. At this point the baby is still in the land of pureed peaches and mangoes but I am sure that he will be eating table food before I know it (time HAS been flying!). What little kid doesn’t like chicken tenders?  I decided to try these out since we tend to eat a lot of Indian/Pakistani food.  The spice level was kid friendly but enough flavor to keep the adults interested. 🙂

I really liked them. My husband voted that next time I should reduce the amount of panko on each tender. The superstar of the night though was the spinach raita (a super tasty spinach yogurt sauce) that we had to dip the tenders in.

Tandoori Chicken Tenders

Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup light plain yogurt
  • 3/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1-1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloin/tenders
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1) In a small bowl, mix yogurt, salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, cayenne, garlic, and ginger.

2) Put tenders in a resealable plastic bag and add the yogurt mixture to the bag. Toss to coat the chicken.

3) Seal bag and marinate, refrigerated, at least 20 minutes and up to overnight.

4) When ready to cook chicken, remove tenders from marinade. Pour panko on to a plate and press tenders into panko, turning, until well coated.

5) Heat oil in large skillet until shimmering. Cook tenders, in batches if needed to avoid crowding, 3 to 4 minutes per side (or to 165 degrees). Add additional oil to pan as needed. Transfer tenders to a serving plate.

Serve with naan or roti and spinach raita.

Eats: Stix

35 Stanhope St.
Boston, MA 02116

My book club read (or at least some of us did) Supercapitalism and we met at Stix to dine and discuss. None of us had ever eaten here before. I had dined at the restaurant, Bambara,  that formerly occuppied the space a couple of times and gave it mixed reviews.  Stix is owned and operated by the same folks who ran Bambara and 33 Restaurant (which is nextdoor).

To be honest with you, when I originally heard about Stix right around when they opened (Fall of 2007 ) I thought it sounded like an interesting place that I would like to try. Their “shtick” is that they have a selection of small plates that feature various things served on flavor-infused wooden skewers.  But then…. I started hearing bad word-of-mouth reviews, and reading mediocre or bad reviews on Chowhound and Yelp.  I went to my book club dinner with an empty stomach and an open mind.

The decor at Stix is modern and trendy, but nothing that bowled me over. The space is long and narrow. One wall is lined by a bar that had a cool color-changing light wall behind it. The tables ran the length of the room on the opposite wall.  There is supposedly a lounge area downstairs, but I didn’t check it out. The walls are exposed brick with blonde wood panels that match the tables.


We all ordered one or two small plates each. I ordered the tuna sashimi ginger mango Stix ($9)and the pickled shitake potstickers ($9). The Stix came out first.  There were 3 skewers of tuna sashimi with soy sauce for dipping. The tuna was coated with togarashi (red chili peppers), wasabi, and tobiko (fish roe). I found the tuna to be WAY to salty.  If the tuna was infused with any of the ginger mango flavor from the sticks it was completely masked by the saltiness. One of my fellow diners also got the tuna and felt that they were too salty.


The Shitake Potstickers were the best part of the meal for me. The wonton wrappers were filled with chopped shitake mushrooms, topped with scallions and served with a ginger dipping sauce. The wontons were flavorful and thankfully didn’t have the salt overload that the tuna had.

 A couple of my fellow book clubbers ordered the mini lobster tacos. When they were brought out to the table, I had a moment of envy and thought “I wish that I ordered those!”. They were so cute and looked to be little tasty bites. Turned out that I had nothing to be jealous about. The lobster tacos were bland, bland, bland.

We were the only party in the restaurant for about the first 40 minutes of our meal, which even in these times of economic downturn was a bit odd. At least we had the $10 off coupon from their website. (Our waitress told us that there was a $25 off coupon available on We all left hungry,  but firm in the knowledge that our book club will not be returning to Stix.


rating: 3 out of 5 mangoes

Stix on Urbanspoon

Fried Sauerkraut Cakes with Kielbasa

 I had some leftover turkey kielbasa from when I made the Caribbean Rice & Peasand searched for a recipe to use with the rest of it.  What I found was a dish that featured kielbasa and something that sounded different from anyway that I’ve ever eaten sauerkraut…fried up into little cakes. I’ve made plenty of other savory cakes before including Indian spiced potato cakes, Chive Risotto Cakes and more… this recipe sounded too good to pass up on.


End Result: I really liked them. The pickling from the sauerkraut gave them a slightly tangy flavor and the crispiness of the cakes was went perfectly with the juicy grilled kielbasa. These sauerkraut cakes will go into my rotation as a side dish to kielbasa or hot dogs.

Fried Sauerkraut Cakes with Kielbasa (from Gourmet Magazine)

makes 4 servings


  • 1 (1-pound) package sauerkraut (not canned), (2 3/4 cups)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallion greens
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound turkey kielbasa, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices

Accompaniment: warm chunky applesauce


  1. Pat sauerkraut dry between paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible, then transfer to a bowl and stir in eggs, flour, scallion greens, salt, and pepper until combined.
  2. Heat 1/4 inch oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Fill a 1/4-cup measure three-fourths full with sauerkraut mixture, then turn out into oil, using a fork to release, and flatten to 3 1/2 inches in diameter with fork. Form 2 more cakes in skillet, then fry, turning over once, until golden, about 4 minutes total. Transfer cakes with a slotted spatula to paper towels to drain.  Fry more cakes in same manner with remaining mixture.
  3. While cakes are cooking, brown kielbasa in oil in 2 batches in another  skillet over moderate heat, turning, 2 minutes per batch, then transfer to paper towels to drain.
  4. Serve cakes topped with kielbasa.

Anguilla Eats: Veya

Sandy Ground, Anguilla
264-498-VEYA (8392)


The word veya means “ray of sun” in the Carib language. Veya bills themselves as serving the “Cuisine of the Sun”.   Veya’s  focus is on serving food that is inspired by the food you find around equatorial regions of the world. This includes the Caribbean, Morocco, and India.


Veya is located on the road to Sandy Ground and is about 1/2 a mile a so on the right from the rotary off of the main road.  We were able to find it with no trouble at all. We stopped in for dinner late one evening after having a couple of drinks at Elvis’s Beach Bar.

The vibe of Veya is what I will call posh tree-house chic. Veya’s dining room is up a set of stairs and the center of the space is the bar area pictured above. All of the dinner tables are along the outside of the restaurant that wraps around the bar. The dining area is surrounded by open windows with flowing white curtains framing ocean views. The ceilings are all dark wood with the beams exposed. The climb up the stairs, all the dark wood and open windows are what gave me the feeling that I was in a tree-house. It was very elegant and contemporary.


The waitstaff was very friendly and once we’d placed our order they brought out a basket of assorted bread including spice bread and Johnny cakes. The appetizer was shortly followed by an amuse bouche and I am sorry to report that my memory fails me as to what exactly that amuse bouche was. My mind is going in my old age. 😉

My husband ordered an appetizer of Velvety Yellow Split Pea Soup ($11).  This soup was flavored with coconut, lime, and Indian spices. It was reminiscent of Mulligatawny soup by much smoother and richer in both texture and flavor. Our meal was off to a great start. Of course I stole a few spoonfuls of soup from him. I just couldn’t help myself since he was raving about it so much.   The mister said to me “find out a recipe to make a soup like this at home!”.  We frequently make dal (Indian stewed lentils) and lentil soup in our house and therefor have a cabinet full of canisters of dried lentils, split peas, and beans. So, I just may try to recreate this soup in my own home someday soon.


For his main course, my husband order the Tamarind Glazed Roast Chicken with Christophene Gratin and tropical fruit chutney ($28). Chicken is not something that either of usually orders in a restaurant, but I guess he was drawn in by the allure of the tamarind glaze. Tamarind is another flavor that we frequently use in our home cooking. Veya’s roast chicken was juicy and loaded with tamarind flavor. MrMango love it and I loved that his tropical fruit chutney was comprised largely of mangoes!


I ordered the sauteed red snapper with green papaya , mint and avocado ($34). I ate a lot of fish, particularly snapper, on this trip and this was one of my favorite fish dishes on Anguilla. It was light and fresh and I loved the touch of the avocado to add a different texture to the plate.


We were both too full for dessert, although they did have some tempting options like coconut cake and tropical creme brulee. We were satisfied with our dinner and my husband declared it a better value for the money than Blanchard’s.

Veya is open for dinner only and is closed on Sundays. Their cafe on the ground floor is open for breakfast and lunch.

Rating: 4 out of 5 mangoes