Sunday, April 20, 2014

Roast Beef and Cucumber Lettuce Wrap

Now that it is getting warmer my thoughts have turned to chilled soups, salads, sandwiches and lettuce wraps. Having just captured a childhood memory of Creamy Cucumber Dressing on a Roast Beef and Cucumber Sandwich. I just couldn't help but wonder how it would be in a lettuce wrap. I embellished it a little more with Greek ingredients. I added feta, tomato and red onion. It was amazing! I liked it better than the sandwich. The dressing really shines in the lettuce wrap version. I dipped my wrap in the dressing. It was nice and messy, so feel free to drizzle the dressing over the top if you prefer. Either way this is a delicious way to enjoy the freshness of a lettuce wrap and those amazing cucumbers.



Roast Beef and Cucumber Lettuce Wrap
Serves 1

Ingredients

1 or 2 Romaine lettuce leaves
3 to 6 slices Deli Roast Beef
6 to 12 English cucumber slices
5 to 10 Roma tomato slices
Red onion, thinly sliced
Feta cheese, crumbled
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Creamy Cucumber Dressing [Click here for the recipe]

Directions

Place one or two lettuce leaves on a plate. Place two or three slices of roast beef in each. Top with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve with Creamy Cucumber Dressing for dipping.






Roast Beef and Cucumber Sandwich

Well here is the sandwich that inspired the Creamy Cucumber Dressing. Well sort of... I could not find pita bread when I went to the store. So I modernized the recipe by using sandwich thins. They were perfect for this flavor combo. The thin bread let the savory roast beef, crispy cucumbers and creamy dreamy dressing shine through. It really brought me back to my childhood. I am so glad I, we all can make this sandwich or pita again. We don't have to rely on a bottle of dressing from the store any more. Smile!


Roast Beef and Cucumber Sandwich
Serves 1

Ingredients

1 Sandwich thin (or Pita)
3 slices Deli Roast Beef
6 or 7 English cucumber slices
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Creamy Cucumber Dressing [Click here for the recipe]

Directions

Place one sandwich thin on a plate. Spread the bottom half with a little dressing. Place two or three slices of roast beef on top of the dressing. Top with sliced cucumbers, season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little more dressing and top with other half of sandwich thin. Enjoy!




Creamy Cucumber Dressing

As a girl, I remember eating a Roast Beef and Cucumber Pita drizzled with Kraft Creamy Cucumber Dressing. They do not make that dressing anymore. I hear they make a Cucumber Ranch, but I haven't seen it in a long time. I really wanted to make one of those childhood pitas, so I started looking for recipes. So many recipes looked like ranch dressing with added cucumber. A few looked more like the Greek dip Tzatziki. Some recipes used non fat Greek yogurt. Some milk or buttermilk. I got so confused. As I remember the dressing, it was just a nice creamy cucumber flavor. So I skipped the yogurt and the buttermilk. I decided to let the cucumber thin out the dressing. It turned out really delicious. I had a hard time waiting for the flavors to blend. I could not wait to make a sandwich. This dressing was great on everything, the sandwich I described, a lettuce wrap and a garden salad. I am so happy to have this dressing with spring here and summer approaching.



Creamy Cucumber Dressing
Makes approx. 2 cups
        
Ingredients

1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
3/4 cup light sour cream
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 green onion, sliced
1/2 tsp dill, minced
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
Dash white pepper
A sprinkle cayenne pepper

Directions

Place the cucumber and all other ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. You may have to push or stir ingredients once to get things started. Once blended smooth, cover and place in the refrigerator to let flavors blend. Serve as a salad dressing or dipping sauce.



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Friday, April 18, 2014

Crab and Corn Soup

Confession time! I was planning to make a dip recipe when I bought crab meat at the store. But the Zapps potato chips did not make it. "Blushing" They were gone one day after I brought them home. I had help, so don't judge. Why make the dip now, right? How about Crab and Corn Soup instead? Dear sister and I would sometimes share Crab and Corn Soup for Two at the Chinese restaurant we went to as a family growing up.  It was a little like egg drop soup but made special with the addition of corn and crab. I haven't had it in years. I am not really sure what brought it to mind today? But it was perfect! Today there was still a chill in the air and this recipe was warm and quick to prepare. I love the delicate sweet flavor of the crab and corn. I think it is better warm not piping hot. When is was still bubbling the flavor was masked by the heat. My favorite garnishes were the green onions and hot chili oil. So good! I am sure more soy sauce, sesame oil or even Sriracha would be great too. I look forward to making this soup again in the future.


Crab and Corn Soup
Serves 4

Ingredients

4 cups chicken stock
1 can (14.75 oz.) cream-style corn
1 Tbsp. dry sherry
2 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup cornstarch, dissolved in
1/4 cup water
2 eggs, beaten
6 oz. lump crab, save some for a garnish
Kosher salt and white pepper, to taste
Green onions, sliced for a garnish
Hot chili oil (optional)

Directions

In a stock pot, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add the cream-style corn, sherry, soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix well and let simmer for 8 minutes. Add dissolved cornstarch stirring to combine; continue to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until the soup is thick. Add the eggs stirring in with a fork to make ribbons. Add the crab and season with salt, pepper and more soy sauce to taste. Continue to cook for a minute until the eggs have set. Serve garnished with crab, green onions and chili oil (optional).

Note: This soup is better slightly cooled. The delicate flavors are more apparent than when it is piping hot. It was also delicious re-heated.





Linking to:
Love Bakes Good Cakes: The Ultimate Soup Recipe List Linky

Thursday, April 17, 2014

5 Spice Sausage Tortellini Soup

The idea to combine 5 spice and tortellini came to me after making Sausage and Peppers Tortellini Soup. The flavor of fennel was so good with the sausage tortellini. I just knew 5 spice with the flavors of star anise, fennel, cinnamon, clove and pepper would be delicious too. This soup was never conceived to be "fusion" cuisine, but it turned out that way. If you like tortellini, pho or french onion soup; there is something in this soup for you. I set out to infuse the broth with onions and ginger like traditional pho; then garnish like pho. But I wanted this to be a quick one pot meal and did not want to strain the broth. That is when this broth started to remind me of french onion soup. The onions really add sweetness to this soup. But all in all, I think the pho inspiration wins out. I went whole hog on the garnishes. I used them all. I love the fresh herbs and lime. I even love how my hands smell "herby" fresh from handling them. I also like how the hoisin supports the 5 spice flavor. Don't forget the spicy sriracha! I love it, but if it's not for you just leave it out. The point of this soup is customization. Add what you like or don't add a thing, it was really good plain right from the pot. Just try it for a quick dinner soup.

One more thing this soup is like all the other tortellini soups, they are great leftovers. The flavor seems to blend and really infuse the tortellini by the next day!


5 Spice Sausage Tortellini Soup
Servings:  4 to 6

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 small onion, sliced into half moons
1-1/2 inch chunk of ginger, peeled and minced
1-1/2 tsp. 5 spice powder
6 cups beef stock
1-1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp. fish sauce
5 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
9 oz. package sausage tortellini

Garnishes:
Cilantro tops – leaves and tender stems
Basil leaves
Mint leaves
2 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup shaved red onions
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
1 jalapeno, sliced
Sriracha sauce
Hoisin sauce

Directions

Heat oil in a 3-1/2 qt Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion and ginger, saute stirring occasionally until they begin to brown. Stir in 5 spice powder and add broth deglazing the pot. Add sugar, fish sauce, and cilantro; bring to a boil. Add tortellini and mushrooms, reduce heat and simmer 9 minutes or according to package directions. To serve place tortellini and broth in each bowl. Let each person add their choice of garnishes.




Linking to:
Love Bakes Good Cakes: Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends
Love Bakes Good Cakes: The Ultimate Soup Recipe List Linky

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tomato and Breakfast Bacon Pizza

Dear sister and I have always liked to order pizzas with fresh tomato slices and breakfast bacon. It is such a different combination for pizza. I love the fresh and cooked tomato flavors together. The tomato and cheese reminds me of the broiled tomatoes Mom use to make when we were growing up. Delicious!

Today I decided to make this flavorful pizza at home. I used a flour tortilla for the crust like I did for my Breakfast Pizza. It worked beautifully. I added a lot of freshly ground black pepper which was so good with the bacon. Definitely a quick meal using simple ingredients.


Tomato and Breakfast Bacon Pizza
Serves 1 or 2

Ingredients

2 - 6" flour tortilla
2 Tbsp. pizza sauce
3 - 4 Tbsp. Italian cheese blend
1 tomato, sliced
2 slice precooked bacon, chopped
2 tsp. Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Place a sheet pan upside down on the middle rack of the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place tortillas on a piece of aluminum foil. Spread a tablespoon of pizza sauce on each. Top with 1 tbsp. or more of Italian cheese blend, tomato and bacon. Sprinkle the top of each pizza with 1 tsp. Parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper. Place your tortilla and foil on the sheet pan in the center of the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the foil and enjoy!


Linking to:
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
Jam Hands: Recipe Sharing Monday
Memories by the Mile: Treasure Box Tuesday
My Pinterventures: The YUCK Stops Here!
It's Your Life: Tuesday with a Twist
Dizzy Busy & Hungry: Wine'd Down Wednesday
Turnips 2 Tangerines: Four Season Blog Hop
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday
Love Bakes Good Cakes: Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends

Greek Seasoning

I have been cooking chicken in my Bundt pan again. I just love how the chicken gets a crispy skin all over and is still juicy inside. This time I used Greek seasoning on both the chicken and potatoes. It was so delicious. I really noticed the cinnamon and nutmeg notes this time. Of course the onion, garlic and oregano shine too. I have been using this seasoning for awhile now. It is delicious on any and all proteins. I love it on vegetables too, especially cucumbers. Oh! Popcorn, it is so good on popcorn. Just sprinkle on fresh hot popcorn and maybe add a little Parmesan cheese. Um! So good! If you are looking to add a little Greek flavor to your life this seasoning is definitely for you.



Greek Seasoning
Adapted from: Gifts in a Bag Rubs & Seasonings
Makes 3/8 cup

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2-1/4 tsp. onion powder
2-1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1-1/2 tsp. black pepper
1-1/2 tsp. beef bouillon powder
1-1/2 tsp. dried parsley
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Directions

Combine all ingredients and stir until well blended. Store in a air tight container.



Linking to:
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
Jam Hands: Recipe Sharing Monday
Memories by the Mile: Treasure Box Tuesday
My Pinterventures: The YUCK Stops Here!
It's Your Life: Tuesday with a Twist
Turnips 2 Tangerines: Four Season Blog Hop
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday
Love Bakes Good Cakes: Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends

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