Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Sriracha Cashew Chicken

This is such an easy recipe to adapt to your tastes and heat level.  If you don't like cashews, they can easily be omitted or peanuts substituted.  The amount of Sriracha is definitely adjustable.  I served this over Chinese noodles, but rice is, of course, a perfect accompaniment as well.

1 - 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed into 1/2 in pieces
3 T. cornstarch
1/2 t. kosher salt
 1/2 freshly ground black pepper
1 T. light olive oil
1 T. dark sesame oil
1 medium head broccoli, separated into florets.  You can also use the stems, thinly sliced
1 cup matchstick carrots
1 large yellow onion, halved lengthwise and then thinly sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 small can diced water chestnuts, drained
1 small can baby corn, drained
3 T. honey
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. rice vinegar
1 T. Sriracha hot sauce
1 cup dry roasted cashews
1 package Chinese noodles, cooked according to package directions and then drained

Mix the cornstarch with the salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Place chicken in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle cornstarch mixture over chicken.  Using tongs, toss the chicken pieces and make sure they're thoroughly coated.  Set aside.

After prepping the vegetables, place them in a separate bowl.  Set aside. 

In a small measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, vinegar and hot sauce.  Set aside.

In a large skillet or wok, warm the oils over medium high heat.  When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken and toss in the oil to coat.  Saute the chicken, stirring constantly until chicken is browned. 

Add the veggies and cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are just tender, about 3 - 4 minutes.  You want the vegetable colors to still be vibrant.

Stir in the cashews and the sauce over the chicken and vegetables.  Increase the heat slightly for a minute or two so the sauce will thicken slightly.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

Oriental Bok Choy & Shrimp Soup

If you're looking for a simple soup that packs a lot of flavor and tons of vitamin rich veggies, please try this one.  Prep time is less than 10 minutes and cook time averages less than 15.  In 30 minutes you'll have dinner on the table!

2 t. dark sesame oil
6 oz. mushrooms (your choice, I used white button), either chopped or thinly sliced
3 T. grated ginger
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 T. soy sauce
3 cups coarsely chopped bok choy (I diced the white part and shredded the green part)
1 cup matchstick carrots

2 T. sliced green onions
1 can bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined

2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about three limes)

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Saute mushrooms and ginger until mushrooms darken and soften, about 3 - 4 minutes.

Add broth, water and soy sauce. Bring this mixture to a boil. Stir in bok choy and next four ingredients. Cover the pot and reduce heat to simmer. Add shrimp and let cook for 3 - 4 minutes. Add cilantro and lime juice just before serving. 

Feel free to use Chinese (napa) cabbage if you prefer.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cafe Reconcile White Beans with Shrimp

This is a creamy, luxurious dish from Cafe Reconcile in New Orleans.  It can easily be halved or doubled for a large crowd.  Serve over white rice or with some crusty French bread.
2 pounds white northern beans
4 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped parsley
3 - 4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 T. thyme
black pepper
dash cayenne pepper
dash white pepper
chicken or shrimp stock (enough to cover beans)
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp
4 cups heavy cream
steamed white rice
Soak beans in enough water to cover in the refrigerator overnight.   Drain beans.
In a large pot, combine beans, veggies, seasonings and stock.  Simmer, covered, for 2 - 3 hours until beans are tender.
Add shrimp and cream and simmer until shrimp are cooked, approximately 5 minutes.
Serve over white rice.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cream Cheese King Cake and King Cake Martini

I purchased the cream cheese King Cake for our Mardi Gras party from a local bakery.  

The recipe for the King Cake Martini is from the January/February 2013 issue of Food Network magazine.

Green, purple and gold sanding sugar for the glass rim
2 ounces cake flavored vodka
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
1/2 ounce Bailey's Irish Cream
Ground cinnamon for dusting, if desired

Put a small pile each of green, purple and gold sanding sugar on a plate, keeping them separate.  Moisten the rim of a martini glass, then press part of the rim into each colored sugar.
Combine the alcohol into a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake well, then strain into the prepared glass.  Dust with cinnamon if you'd like.
I added 2 ounces of half and half just to cut the alcohol a bit.  It was very smooth, creamy and delicious.

Mardi Gras Party Table

Last Tuesday night we celebrated Mardi Gras using my favorite combination of Fiestaware colors. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Original Oyster House - Mobile, Alabama

We had a quick weekend trip to Mobile last weekend and had Saturday night dinner at the Original Oyster House on the Battleship Parkway.  http://www.theoysterhouse.com/

I can honestly say these were some of the largest raw oysters I've ever seen.  They were ice cold, briny and delicious.

I had a HUGE platter of fried oysters for my dinner.  These were perfectly fried.

with a perfect side new potatoes!

Sweet Harold enjoyed grilled salmon with a bourbon glaze and fried shrimp.

I can't wait for another trip!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Baked Southwestern Flounder Filets

It was baked fish night at Chez Lolly.  But who wants boring, blah flounder?  Not our group that's for sure.  The addition of Southwestern spices and the topping of guacasalsa elevated this fish to new levels of tastiness.  I served some yellow rice and black beans alongside.  The fish baked in 12 minutes.  The rice cooked in about 20 and the guacasalsa was mixed together in about 10.  Now you tell me .... better and faster than take out?  You bet!

8 flounder filets, rinsed and patted dry
olive oil
Tone's Southwestern Chipotle Seasoning

If you can't find Tone's SW Chipotle seasoning, simply mix up some chili powder, garlic powder, salt, cumin, etc. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray.  Gently drizzle olive oil over filets and place on baking sheet.  Sprinkle with the Southwestern seasoning.  Bake 12 minutes.  You may turn on the broiler for the last minute or so to brown the fish a little more if you'd like. 

Top with guacasalsa!


So you're hungry for some salsa.  Yet you're craving guacamole.  What to do, what to do?  You do as my friend did and combine the two recipe ingredients for.......GUACASALSA!  Pay attention to that word because this may be the latest dish to sweep the nation.  And remember you heard it on Fleurdelolly FIRST. 

This recipe was mixed up before my very eyes at my kitchen butcher block in about 10 minutes.  We served it on top of baked flounder filets and it was the perfect accompaniment.  But I can see this being a great addition for tacos, burritos, nibbled with tortilla chips, or yes.......late night in front of the fridge with a spoon eating directly from the leftover bowl.  This recipe can easily be doubled.  Or tripled. 

1/2 ripe avocado, chopped
1/2 tomato, chopped
1 large or 2 small jalapenos, seeded and diced
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of one lime
1 t. Agave Nectar
salt to taste
Cilantro* (if desired)

Gently mix all ingredients together and serve.  Now how easy was that?!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lemon Pepper Chicken with White Wine Pan Sauce

I was hungry for some lemon pepper chicken and last night this recipe was the result of my playing in the kitchen. I served it over some nice couscous cooked in chicken stock with a nice side a steamed asparagus drizzled with a little olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and topped with lemon zest.  This meal took about 30 minutes tops from beginning to plating. You can do this after work. Trust me. 

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise and pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
Lemon Pepper
2 T. olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Liberally sprinkle chicken cutlets with lemon pepper. In 2 or three batches (depending on how large the chicken pieces are), cook chicken about 2 minutes per side until done and golden brown.

Remove to a plate and set aside while you make the sauce.

1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 T. Dijon mustard
Juice from one lemon
1 T. cornstarch (optional)

Drain any remaining olive oil from pan. Deglaze with wine and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in Dijon mustard and lemon juice and make sure it is fully incorporated into the liquid. Lower heat and continue to stir until sauce thickens. If you want it a little thicker, simply stir a little cornstarch into a small bowl with a little cool water. Pour that into the sauce mixture and it should thicken immediately. Serve over chicken cutlets.

Of course if you don't want to make the pan sauce and would prefer it plain, enjoy it that way. Here's a picture without the sauce.