My Cooking Blog

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Bok Choy

Posted by in The Kitchen

Ground turkey is a perfect vehicle for Asian seasonings. Bright notes of ginger, garlic, and sesame oil accent the light texture of the tender meatballs, which are contrasted by crisp bok choy and celery. A flavorful sauce of chicken stock and oyster sauce brings the dish together and creates a perfect pairing with steamed rice or chow mein noodles.

Braised Chinese Winter Melon

Posted by in The Kitchen

Not really a melon at all, Chinese winter melon is more of a squash-like vegetable. With a long shelf life, whole melons have been known to last for months! Usually prepared in a delicate chicken based-soup, the firm, mildly-flavored flesh takes to “braising” quite well in a flavorful sauce of bacon, onion, garlic, and pungent dried shrimp.

Groovy Guacamole

Posted by in The Kitchen

Lots of lime and lemon juice add fresh, bright notes to this luscious, rich guacamole. And yes, some secrets are revealed! Simple, “home style” salsa and bottled chipotle hot sauce add subtle heat and depth, while cumin and cilantro round out the flavor spectrum. Serve with chips, of course, but try using leftovers in omelettes the next day! And yeah, those are avocado pits!

Francesca’s Forno – Chicago

Posted by in The Dining Room

The Francesca’s group of Chicago-area restaurants has grown over 15 years to boast 16 different locations, each with its own unique, neighborhood-driven vibe. But infused in each restaurant is founder Scott Harris’ philosophy: “simple, rustic cooking and flavors, great service and good prices.” A recipe for success? You bet.

Roast Chicken – The Basic Bird

Posted by in The Kitchen

Nothing is more evocative of the comforts of home than the aroma of a perfectly roasted chicken. With its brown, crispy skin and moist, succulent interior, the basic bird will never go out of style. And, since it costs much less than pricier chicken parts, you can’t afford not to make this a menu staple.

Shrimp Remoulade with Avocado

Posted by in The Kitchen

Rich and creamy, nothing blends crisp, fresh cooked shrimp with avocado like a good, classic remoulade sauce. Cool and refreshing, yet somewhat rich and decadent, this appetizer is a terrific starter for that light summer meal as well as your most hearty fall menu. Or enjoy it alone as a lunch entree. Whatever you do, don’t forget to make extra shrimp to nibble on for a quick snack, right out of the fridge!

Slow Cooker Oxtails with Gingered Shiitake Sauce

Posted by in The Kitchen

The lowly oxtail has been eaten for centuries by cultures all around the world. Most recently, oxtails have been given a more upscale profile by reknowned chefs. Perfect for braising, this collagen-packed cut of cow brings an amazingly moist morsel of meat to your table, and the resulting stock or sauce is incredibly rich and flavorful. Earthly, aromatic shiitake mushrooms and zesty ginger add warm, spicy notes to this dish.

Orange Chili Noodle Salad

Posted by in The Kitchen

Cool and refreshing, but with a little bite, these delicious noodles get their heat from Asian chili paste. Fresh orange zest brings fresh, bright notes, while a garlic and ginger-infused oil gives depth and flavor. A perfect side dish; add cooked chicken, beef or shrimp to make this a delicious cold entree.