Monday, August 26, 2013

Food Recipes for Infused Oils

So it's been about a month since I have posted those Infused Oils on my blog!  I'm guessing that all of your oils are well infused and ready to use.  Sorry it's taken a bit.  I think life and summer has taken over me as I've been spending time with my family and friends in the sun, entertaining on my patio, creating in the kitchen and just enjoying life.  If you are following me on Instagram  you can catch up with Greg and I and what we have been eating and expanding our palates with!

Here are the long awaited food recipes using those infused oils.

Strawberry Arugula Salad with Norwegian Cardamom Dressing

1 large bunch or 1 - 10 ounce bag Arugula
8-10 fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup shredded Manchego cheese
1/4 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons Norwegian Cardamom Oil
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
Salt and pepper to taste.

In a small jar or bowl combine the Norwegian Cardamom Oil and fresh squeezed orange juice.  Shake in the jar with the lid on or whisk to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl or large salad bowl combine the arugula, strawberries, manchego and almonds.  Drizzle with the desired amount of dressing and serve.  Serves 4-6.

Note:  There will most likely be left over dressing which can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 

Spicy Garlic Asian Shrimp with Quinoa and Baby Broccoli

1/2 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined with tails on
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Spicy Garlic Sesame Oil
1 small bunch baby broccoli, roughly chopped
2 shallots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa according to the package and set aside keeping it warm.  

Note: I saute the dry quinoa in a tablespoon of olive oil for about 2-3 minutes.  Then I add chicken or vegetable broth, bring it to a boil and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until all of the broth is absorbed.  I have found out this technique really brings out the flavor in the quinoa.

In a small bowl place the shrimp and add 2 tablespoons Spicy Garlic Asian Sesame Oil and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper (pepper is optional depending on desired amount of spice) and set aside to marinate, about 20-25 minutes.

On medium-high heat in a medium pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the Spicy Garlic Asian Sesame Oil.  Add the shallots and cook for about 2-3 minutes, constantly stirring.  Add the broccoli and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring to combine.  Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the broccoli is just tender.

In a medium pan heat 1 teaspoon of Spicy Garlic Asian Sesame Oil over medium heat-high heat.  Place the shrimp in the pan and cook for about 2 minutes.  Flip the shrimp and cook for about 1 minute more.

In a large mixing bowl combine the quinoa, baby broccoli shallot mixture. Gently toss.  Divide the quinoa mixture among plates and serve with the shrimp placed on top.  Serves 2-4.

Note: A drizzle of Hoisin sauce on top would be wonderful and a drizzle of your favorite hot sauce such as Siracha would be great for a bit extra heat! 

Creamy Herbed Ricotta Pasta with Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini

Herbed Ricotta
1 cup whole milk ricotta
3 tablespoons European Herbed Oil
2-3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves chopped
2-3 fresh oregano, sprigs, leaves chopped
Lemon zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste.

Place all ingredients into a small mixing bowl.  Stir to combine and set aside or store covered in the refrigerator until needed.

Creating the Pasta Dish

1 pound pasta, cooked
1 medium eggplant, sliced lengthwise (thick slices)
2 small to medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise (medium to thick slices)
1 cup herbed ricotta
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the eggplant and zucchini on a large baking sheet.  Using a silicone brush, brush the 1/4 cup olive oil onto the eggplant and zucchini on both sides.  Season with salt and pepper.

After your grill is properly heated, carefully place the eggplant and zucchini on the grill and cook for about 4-6 minutes on each side until browned and slightly charred.  Remove from the grill and chop the vegetables into 1/2 inch pieces an set aside.

In a large pot over the stove, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the herbed ricotta and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the ricotta softens and absorbs the olive oil.  Add the cooked pasta and stir to combine.  Add the grilled eggplant and zucchini and gently toss.  Divide among plates and lightly drizzle a bit of the European Herbed Oil on top.  Serves 4-6.

Coconut Lemongrass Chicken Skewers

2 large skinless, boneless chicken breast
3 tablespoons Asian Lemongrass Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Coconut lemongrass sauce (see notes)
8-10 - 12 inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water

Slice the chicken into 1-inch cubes.  Place the cubed chicken in a bowl.  Add the lemongrass oil and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside or refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes.

Make the the Coconut Lemongrass Sauce while the chicken marinates.

Coconut Lemongrass Sauce

1 - 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
1 fresh lemongrass stalk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Cut both ends of the lemongrass and discard.  Roughly chop the lemongrass.  Place the lemongrass into a food processor and grind until very fine.

In a medium saucepan over medium low heat pour in the coconut milk.  Add the lemongrass, sugar, and salt.  Continuously stir for about 5 minutes.  Do not allow the milk to boil.  Once heated through, place the cornstarch in a small bowl and add a bit of water, about 1-2 teaspoons.  Stir until the cornstarch blends into the water completely.  Pour the cornstarch mixture into the the coconut lemongrass milk.  Constantly stir until the sauce starts to thicken over low heat.  Turn off the burner and set aside covering with a lid to keep warm.  

Note:  Depending on how thick you prefer your sauce use more or less of the cornstarch.

Skewering and cooking the chicken.

Skewer the chicken, about 5-7 pieces per skewer. 

After your grill is properly heated, carefully place the chicken skewers on the grill and cook for about 5-8 minutes.  Flip the skewers and cook for another 5 minutes until browned and slightly charred. 

Remove the chicken skewers from the grill and drizzle with the coconut lemongrass sauce.  Serve with the extra sauce on the side for dipping.

Note:  This can be served alone as an appetizer or over rice (or your favorite grain) with veggies.