Browsing Category

Grilling

Appetizers Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Seafood

Grilled Crab and Avocado Quesadillas with Pineapple Cilantro Salsa

Crab and Avocado Quesadillas with Pineapple Cilantro Salsa // Karista's Kitchen

I’m jumping right to the point today.  No fluffy words or poetic verse, grand descriptions or other bits of loveliness because this post is all about kitchen equipment.. and delicious Grilled Crab and Avocado Quesadillas with a zany Pineapple Cilantro Salsa.

There is one kitchen appliance that I’ve owned since culinary school… my Cuisinart Food Processor.  It’s 16 years old this summer and it’s seen a load of use.  My food processor is a work horse.  I love it so much I now own the 4 cup mini-prep food processor and the Quick prep hand blender.  I’ve had these last two appliances for 10 years and they are still functioning as if they are new.

I’m not a kitchen gadget chef, I prefer to do most things by hand.  However, the few appliances that I do keep stocked in my kitchen must be able to handle all the heavy use.  Which is why I typically always reach for a Cuisinart product.  As you may have guessed this is a post sponsored by the lovely folks at Cuisinart.  They know how much I admire their products and they were kind enough to send me a new product to test and review.  And test we did!

Crab and Avocado Quesadillas with Pineapple Cilantro Salsa // Karista's Kitchen

I think my family was more excited than me about the arrival of the Griddler Deluxe.  Well built with solid construction, simple to use, no fussy buttons, just a straight forward high quality indoor grill.   The real test?  How well did it work.

We grilled pork chops, lamb chops, flank steak, asparagus, lettuce wedges, white peaches and of course, quesadillas.  The sear-blast feature is ideal for grilling meat and locks in the fresh juices and flavor.  It also has six cooking options with removable/reversible non-stick cooking plates that are dishwasher safe.  To say the least, I am impressed.  The Griddler Deluxe is easy to use, easy to clean and works like a charm.  My daughter has now claimed it for her college apartment but I doubt my husband will let it out of the house.

One of our favorite weekend dinners is quesadillas.  Sometimes I set out an assortment of fresh ingredients on the counter along with all the usual condiments so each of my family members can create their favorite quesadilla.  This time however it was fresh crab from the coast and ripe avocados along with several different kinds of cheese, cilantro, lime wedges and my Pineapple Cilantro Salsa.  A refreshing combination of flavors and texture that pair so deliciously together you will absolutely want seconds.

Get your grill on and create a delicious summer weekend with these Grilled Crab and Avocado Quesadillas with Pineapple Cilantro Salsa.  All that’s missing is the chilled Sangria!

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Grilled Crab and Avocado Quesadillas with Pineapple Cilantro Salsa

Serving Size: 4-6 as an entree

Grilled Crab and Avocado Quesadillas with Pineapple Cilantro Salsa

Ingredients

  • 3/4 - 1 lb of crab meat
  • 2-3 avocados, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeños
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (Mexican queso, Ranchero, Cotija, Mozzarella)
  • 12 flour tortillas (regular or gluten free)
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Serve with lime wedges
    For the salsa
  • 2 cups diced pineapple
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat the Griddler Deluxe to 450F. Push the Sear button for the bottom plate.
  • Brush the tortillas with olive oil and then on one half of the tortilla layer your ingredients; cheese, crab, pickled jalapeños, avocado, cilantro and then cheese. Cheese on both sides helps the quesadilla to stay together.
  • Fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling and place it on the grill. Grill each side for 3-4 minutes or until the outside of the tortilla is golden brown and cheese is melting.
  • Transfer the quesadillas to a plate and let them sit for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
  • While the quesadillas are cooling make the salsa.
  • Combine the pineapple, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve the quesadillas with the Pineapple Cilantro Salsa, lime wedges and a dollop of sour cream.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2015/06/10/grilled-crab-and-avocado-quesadillas-with-pineapple-cilantro-salsa/

     

    Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salmon Seafood

    Arugula Chimichurri over Roasted Salmon and a Virtual Baby Shower

    Salmon with Arugula Chimichurri // Karista's Kitchen

    I remember when my oldest daughter was about four years old and we were hanging out on the living room floor, reading books and talking about how someday she would have a baby brother or sister.

    As we were chatting, she turned her rosy cheeked, sweet blue eyed, blonde head to me and said “Mom, how did you know to pick me?”  I was a little surprised by the question and I asked “what do you mean?” She replied “you know, how did you know you wanted ME?”  The question caught me by surprise and as I tried to recover I said “Well… Dad and I saw all the baby angels playing in heaven and that’s when we spotted you. We instantly fell in love and knew we wanted you for our baby.”

    Everyday Maven's Baby Celebration

     

    Now, I know some of you might think that’s one tall tale to tell a four year old, but honestly, that is what I came up with.  My heart was so warmed by the question, I wanted my answer to reflect how much we wanted her and how much we cherished our little sassy blonde girl.

    Salmon with Arugula Chimichurri

    She clung to those words for years to come and when our second daughter arrived, my sassy little gal said to her Dad, “I guess this is the one you picked?”

    As you know, I have two sassy gals now and they are the food for my soul.  Motherhood and parenting have been a wild ride and I wouldn’t trade a minute.

    My Two Sassy Gals on Mother's Day 2014

    My Two Sassy Gals on Mother’s Day 2014

    I’m truly honored to have been asked to participate in my sweet friend’s virtual baby shower.  Alyssa, of Everyday Maven, her handsome husband and their adorable little boy will soon know the joy of welcoming a new baby boy to their family.

    Several years ago, I met Alyssa at a blog conference in Seattle – while noshing on the most divine appetizers.  I liked her immediately.  A breath of fresh air, exuding a warm and genuine personality, Alyssa is a most beautiful and lovely lady.

    I’m happy to say, we’ve been friends ever since.

    Alyssa writes the delicious food blog Everyday Maven and has published two fantastic e-Books.  Her recipes are drool worthy and written with good health and nutrition in mind. I think one of my favorite Everyday Maven recipes has to be the Cabbage Rolls.  And of course her guest post for my blog, Karista’s Kitchen,  gluten free Banana Chip Cookies.

    Today, several other bloggers and myself are hosting a virtual baby shower for Alyssa.  A plethora of delicious recipes to celebrate but also recipes to prepare during the first few months after the new baby’s arrival.  Recipes to comfort and nourish with ease of preparation for a quick meal or leisurely weekend.  Although as we know, there is nothing “leisurely” about a new baby in the house; just lots of love and smiles and hopefully, soon to be restful nights.

    Congratulations Alyssa and family!

    Here is a list of Alyssa’s Virtual Baby Shower Recipes, lovingly prepared by some fabulous food bloggers!

    Breakfast 

    Fried Egg Topped Curried Sweet Potatoes from A Beautiful Bite

    Chocolate Orange Protein Smoothie from The Lemon Bowl

    Spaghetti Squash Hash from Eats Well With Others

    Lunch 

    Hearty Garbanzo Soup from Sweet Life Bake

    Pumpkin White Bean Soup from Blue Kale Road

    Dinner

    Slow Cooker Red Wine Pot Roast from Jeanette’s Healthy Living

    Slow Cooker Beef and Bacon Stew from Girlichef

    Lemon Pepper Chicken with Arugala from Virtually Homemade

    Roast Chicken Ratatouille from An Edible Mosaic

    Snack

    Spiced Honey Nut and Seed Snack Mix from Fake Food Free

    Charred Brussel Sprout, Bacon, and Toasted Sesame Guacamole from Baker by Nature

    Quick and Easy Cucumber Bites, Three Ways from Hip Foodie Mom

    Arugula Chimichurri over Roasted Salmon

    About 1 1/2 cups

    Arugula Chimichurri over Roasted Salmon

    Ingredients

    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 1 cup fresh baby arugula leaves, packed
    • 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
    • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, packed
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
    • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon of sugar
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
    • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

    Instructions

  • In a food processor or blender, add all the ingredients and blend until ingredients are pureed into a smooth sauce. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve over pan seared or grilled halibut and serve with wild rice pilaf, white rice and/or roasted veggies.
  • For a step by step pictorial on how to pan sear salmon, click here
  • Notes

    I love serving this Arugula Chimichurri with roasted salmon, but it's also fabulous with pan seared or grilled scallops and makes a tasty dipping sauce for grilled or poached shrimp.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2014/12/05/arugula-chimichurri-over-roasted-salmon-and-a-virtual-baby-shower/

     

    Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Tips and Techniques

    Summer Grilling Ideas and Recipes Round-up

     

    Nectarine Chutney with Grilled Halibut // Karista's Kitchen

    For some reason I always feel as if summer begins the day after 4th of July.  The weather feels warmer and dryer – and most people seem to have vacation on the mind rather than work.  This would be me.

    Grilling season is in full swing and even though life feels just a bit more relaxed during the summer, on occasion I still draw a blank when it comes to dinner.  So when the good people over at Personal Creations put together their summer grilling guide they asked if I’d like to contribute to the fun as well.  Here are a few of my recipes, ideas and tips for the summer season.

    1. Keep the grilling simple and go big on the salad or sides  – I love to marinate chicken and pork chops in all kinds of vinaigrettes and marinades.  I usually whip up my own vinaigrettes but in a pinch I’ll purchase a simple olive oil based vinaigrette and use it for a marinade.  One of my store bought fave’s is Newman’s Own  Caesar vinaigrette.  It’s one of my old stand by’s for marinating chicken.  It’s quick, easy and allows you the time to create the “big” salad or side.

    Another quick and easy option is to whisk together 1 part balsamic vinaigrette with 2 parts olive oil, dash of honey, squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper.  This also makes a lovely marinade for pork chops or chicken.  I recommend letting chicken marinate for at least 4-6 hours and the pork chops for at least 2 hours, refrigerated.

    Here are several links to a few of my family’s favorite grilled meats, poultry and fish:

    Pancetta and Radicchio Wrapped and Grilled Scallops

    Grilled Salmon with a Savory Strawberry Sauce

    Yogurt and Pesto Marinated Grilled Chicken

    Hawaiian Grilled Chicken Chile Lime Chicken Burgers with Fresh Guacamole

    Cilantro Salmon

    Colombian Chimichurri for Steaks or Seafood

    Tuscan Grilled Rib-eye

    Summer Grilling Recipes and Menu Ideas from Karista's Kitchen

    2. Go Big and Bold with Summer Salads – Summer is the crown jewel of produce.  All the glorious fresh greens, veggies and fruit just beg to be combined into big and bold salads of the season.

    Here are a few salads that will get your salad creativity jump started.  Use the recipe as written, or get a little wild and crazy and use the recipes as a guideline for your own creations.

    Cucumber Greek Salad

    Carrot Cilantro Salad with Pumpkin Seeds and Ginger Peanut Dressing

    Arugula and White Bean Salad with a Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

    Mediterranean Cous Cous Salad

    Spicy Cabbage Salad

    Summer Salads from Karista's Kitchen

    3. Get a little Saucy! – If you’re not a fan of marinated meat, poultry or fish, or you forgot to marinate (that would be me)…  no worries, because there is always a sauce option.  Another great way to grill your fresh meat, fish, poultry and veggies simply – and then pair with a delicious sauce.

    Check out my post on:

    10 Sizzling Summer Sauces

    And just for good measure… here are a few of my blogging friends summer creations!

    Grilled Citrus and Chicken Skewers from Pink Patisserie

    BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad from Alaska From Scratch

    Berry Salsa from Taste, Love and Nourish

    Plantain Chips with Chorizo, Guacamole and Pickled Jalapeno’s from Everyday Maven

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Chicken Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly

    Hawaiian Grilled Chicken and The Writing Process Tour

    Pineapple Juice, soy sauce marinated and grilled chicken // karista's Kitchen

    Recently my friend and colleague, Wendy of Chez Chloe the food blog (and also by the same name – a gorgeous Home and Kitchen store on Orcas Island, Washington) asked if I would participate in an online writing process tour.

    Because I am completely nosy and curious about how other writers pen their poetic or educational prose, and because often, I stalk my favorite writers and then proceed to ask lots of writing related questions – I thought it would be fun to participate.

    What are you working on? 

    Hmmm… I think the best question would be, what am I not working on?  My work takes me in many different directions.  Which feeds my generous love for diversity in my daily schedule.

    Currently, I’m writing and testing recipes for a winter/holiday magazine issue for one of my lovely clients; writing and testing wine-pairing recipes for two more fantastic clients; writing and testing recipes for future issues of VRAI Magazine; writing food related content for an online e-commerce fashion and home accessories website; desperately trying to finish a small e-cookbook on salmon (to be released soon) and posting my personal recipes and musings on my website.

    How does your work differ from others of its genre?

    I learned a long time ago I’m not a traditional food blogger.  I tried. But I soon realized I arrived late to the party, as usual, and I’m not fiercely competitive.  I am however, passionate. Passionate about culinary arts, culinary education and quality, clean, local food.  I am passionate about the local farmer and how we can help each and every one of them sustain their farms. I am passionate about food products that use only the best, cleanest ingredients to help keep our bodies healthy.  In a sentence… I want my work to reflect my passion.

    I don’t typically write personal posts, going on and on about my day or how I’m feeling at the moment.  I don’t mind reading blogs that share more personal information, sometimes I rather enjoy them. But I feel my job and professional strengths are to inform, educate, inspire and sometimes amuse.  I love to laugh and I love to hear laughter.

    On occasion though, I might write about my sweet pup, Tank, who amuses me terribly. Or my two sassy gals – who make my life worth living.  Or my adventurous husband who always seems to take adventure to a new level.  He most definitely feeds my generous love of daily diversity!

    Karista's Kitchen

    The Bennett Five

    I believe my work only differs in that it reflects me.  It reflects my deep and profound love for what I do.  The passion, the art, the education and all the deliciousness that’s infused into every recipe and post I write.  I write to share. That’s how it all began.

    Why do you write what you do?

    I think I answered that in the paragraph above.  I’m famous for not directly answering a question.  Ask my husband.  He get’s half a novel with each question he asks.

    How does your writing process work?

    This too differs daily.  I develop recipes, write content about the recipe and photograph the recipe. Each portion is equally important, which is why I give lots of thought and research to every recipe I develop.

    Writing the related content about the recipe depends on my clients specifications.  Much of what I write is written specifically for the publication and their demographic.  I tailor the content as beautifully as I can, weaving in non-fiction stories if warranted, or poetic verse about the season.

    When I write, it’s usually always while sitting at my small, rather rustic, painted black desk in front of a window that faces east… with morning light.  Sometimes I play a little Josh Bell or cello music.  Vivaldi is my preferred music to write by, but on occasion some Wailin Jenny’s or Allison Krause will do the job.  I like the house to be quiet when I write. Which is why I write in the morning.  I never, ever answer my phone while I’m writing.  In fact, I turn it off.  This annoys my children.

    There are times when I’m testing a recipe – cooking, plating, photographing – when verse will come to mind and I’ll stop and jot it down.  I keep pens and notepaper all over the house and in my handbag.  I never know when something inspirational will pop into my head and I’ll need to write it down.

    Often my husband and I will be out and about or having dinner somewhere and I’ll grab my phone and start making notes.  It’s amazing how so many things around me can inspire me.  A beautifully plated creation at a new restaurant, a farmer’s market brimming with brilliantly colored produce,  dark and ominous storm clouds rolling past, threatening to unleash at any moment; an older couple strolling the sidewalk holding hands or a songbird singing his best song outside my window.  Little things that provoke or awaken and inspire.

    pineapple and tamari marinated grilled chicken // Karista's Kitchen

    Today, I’m sharing a recipe as well. This, a consolation for reading my very wordy post.

    This grilled chicken dish is one my husband and I have been making for at least the last 20 years. Prior to culinary school the marinade was extremely simple.  Teriyaki sauce and pineapple juice.  Recently I jazzed it up a bit adding garlic and honey and using gluten free Tamari instead of a Teriyaki sauce.

    Flavorful, moist and juicy grilled chicken that will have you licking your lips.  I serve this dish with my Carrot Cilantro Salad or my Mother in laws Macaroni Salad.  Perfect for the casual summer barbecue.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Hawaiian Grilled Chicken

    This is one of my simplest chicken recipes.  So easy, so delicious and perfect for a casual summer meal.

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    4-5lbs bone-in, skin on, chicken pieces (breast, legs, thighs)

    3 cups pineapple juice (not sweetened)

    10 ounces Tamari (soy sauce)

    1/4 cup honey

    4-5 garlic cloves, smashed

    1/4 cup sliced green onions for garnish

    Directions

    Whisk together the pineapple juice, Tamari, honey and garlic.  Place the chicken pieces in a large non-reactive dish or bowl and pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.  On occasion, I’ll prepare it first thing in the morning and it’s ready to grill by dinner time.

    Heat the grill to at least 400F.  Brush the grill grates with oil.  The chicken will stick at first, but should turn easily after a few minutes.  Watch the flame as the marinade can burn.  Turn the chicken a few times while grilling and in between turns, keep the grill lid down so the chicken will cook evenly.  Adjust the heat as needed.

    The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165F.  Depending on the type of grill you use it will take about 20-30 minutes.  Place the chicken on a platter and let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with sliced green onions and serve with grilled corn on the cob and my Carrot Cilantro Salad or Macaroni Salad.  A perfect summer meal!

     

     

     

    Beef Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly VRAI Magazine

    Grilled Rib-Eye with Tomato & Gorgonzola Vinaigrette

    Grilled Rib-Eye With Tomato Gorgonzola Vinaigrette Karista's Kitchen

    We’ve just launched the 4th fabulous issue of VRAI Magazine and I’m thrilled to be a part of this exciting and new online magazine!  Filled with food, travel, DIY, Gardening and more.

    VRAI Magazine is made up of real bloggers, with varying backgrounds, expertise and unique perspectives, who are passionate about sharing stories. In these stories, you’ll also find wonderful ideas, inspirations and information for everyday living, as well as topics of interest that are designed to spark genuine conversations. “Life is filled with stories both big and small. They can be found in big events and milestones throughout life or even in the most mundane acts of each day — there is always a story worth telling.  Through VRAI Magazine, we hope to capture and share some of them with you.”

    In this issue of VRAI Magazine I talk GRILLING!  Here’s a sneak peek:

    I get positively giddy this time of year.  With the longer days and warmer temperatures, grilling once again becomes my preferred method of cooking.  Gone are the cooler days and Pacific Northwest winter weather that requires rain gear while grilling. 

    Although I enjoy most methods of cooking, there is something about grilling that feels just a bit festive, carefree and whimsical. Maybe it’s the feeling of warm summer months when life is slower and less scheduled.  Fresh produce arriving with color and intense ripened flavors just aching to be tossed into some delicious concoction to share.

    Grilling steak couldn’t be easier, but there are a few simple steps that will make your steak taste like perfection. 

    1. Quality is key –  Purchasing a quality cut of beef is key to a delicious and flavorful steak.  I prefer purchasing local beef that has been grazing in a nice open pasture and preferably grass-fed only. (I know, I sound like the television show Portlandia) Truly, fresh is best for optimum flavor.  Not only does buying local mean your steak will be fresh, you will be supporting your local economy.  If  you don’t have access to a  local beef rancher, try to purchase beef from your region.  Most local markets purchase regionally,  or ask your local butcher.

    For the Grilled Rib-eye with Tomato Gorgonzola Vinaigrette and a Grilled Romaine Recipe head on over to VRAI Magazine…  Click Here!

    Stay Tuned – Coming up this week, I will be posting a most delicious and special pastry recipe from Italy.   Buon Appetito!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

     

    Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Pork

    Slow Oven Baked Ribs

    Slow Oven Baked Ribs // Karista's Kitchen

    If there is one thing the Bennett Crew loves, it’s a barbecue with Slow Oven Baked Ribs.  The deck table filled with Grandma Eilene’s Macaroni Salad, Chipotle Lime Grilled Corn on the Cob and  Slow Oven Baked Ribs.

    Once the weather turns lovely, we dine outside every evening.  A tradition since the two sassy gals were little ones.  Running around the house with bare feet, sliding across the wood floors, onto the earthy wood boards of the outside deck.  Clean fresh breezes swinging by with the scent of pine and fresh turned garden dirt, all ceremoniously accompanied by the melodies of returning songbirds.

    After a few glorious minutes savoring the beautiful and fragrant evening, I can always count on a scruffy little terrier patiently sitting by my chair hoping a crumb will drop.  Along with continuous laughter, bright and cheerful eyes gleaming and sweet souls comforted by the connection of family and the love of good food.

    Ranger Craig’s grilled baby back ribs are a must at every barbecue. As well as his secret spice grilled chicken and bleu cheese burgers.  But this weekend I decided to make these Slow Oven Baked Ribs and then finish them off on the gas grill.  Perfectly seasoned and perfectly “fall of the bone” tender with just a little crisp on the outside.

    Served up with our favorite sides, a lovely Oregon Pinot Noir and a sunset filled sky, gracefully announcing the return of summer.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Slow Oven Baked Ribs

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Slow Oven Baked Ribs

    I love this method of slow baking ribs. Simple as adding a little seasoning, popping in the oven and then slathering on your favorite barbecue sauce. Adding a different barbecue sauce each time I make them is half the fun.

    Ingredients

    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 slabs baby back ribs
      Quick Barbecue Sauce
    • 1 cup ketchup
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 2-3 tablespoons dark brown sugar or homemade preserves
    • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • Dash of cayenne

    Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with foil. Season the ribs with salt and pepper.
  • In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, onion powder, ground cumin, ground chili powder, smoked paprika and cayenne.
  • Rub the spice blend over both slabs of ribs. Let the ribs sit while you preheat the oven to 300F.
  • When the oven has reached temperature, place the baking sheet in the oven and let them bake for about 1 ½ - 2 hours, or a little longer should they be meaty ribs. The meat should be tender and easily separate from the bone when the ribs are done.
  • Once the ribs are done, brush with your favorite barbecue sauce, or use the sauce recipe below. If you like a crisp outside texture, fire up your gas grill and let the ribs crisp a bit over the grill. Or place directly under the broiler until you achieve the desired amount of crisping.
  • Slice up the ribs and place them on a platter. Serve immediately. These are also delicious re-heated the second or third day… if they last that long.
  • For the barbecue sauce: Mix all the ingredients together and season to taste with salt and pepper. Adjust sweet and spicy according to taste.
  • Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2013/06/11/slow-oven-baked-ribs/

     

     

    Beef Grilling Karista's Kitchen

    Tuscan Grilled Rib-eye

    Tuscan Grilled Rib-eye with Rosemary and Garlic

    The sun is slowly setting, gradually creating a luminescent twilight.  With twilight comes the warm fragrance of fresh and earthy rosemary, combined with the spicy knowing scent of simmered garlic in the freshest of olive oil.

    Two perfectly grilled rib eye steaks bask in the fragrant and luxurious liquid.  With just a moment of time, the tender and flavorful beef will be infused and ready to serve with the deepest ruby-red Cabernet Sauvignon.

    We dined in silence, Ranger Craig and I.  Savoring every bite, savoring every sip, and feeling as if we’d been transported to a grassy knoll on a Tuscan hillside.

    There is something magical about simplicity.  A Tuscan grilled rib-eye and a glass of Rocca Family Vineyards newest release, the 2009 Collinetta Cabernet Sauvignon.  A brilliant red, big without being too bold, velvet to the tongue and elegant to the senses.

    I was elated to discover this lovely little vineyard on my last visit to Napa.  A small family vineyard with a beautiful story of passionate and sweet beginnings, transformed into world-class and award-winning wines.

    A cool spring sunset, gastronomy at its most indulgent and a brilliant wine.  For just an evening, life was simply perfect.

    Tuscan Grilled Ribeye

    Serves 2-4

    Ingredients

    2-4 bone in beef ribeyes

    Extra virgin olive oil (I use California Olive Ranch)

    Sea salt

    Fresh cracked black pepper

    3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary

    3 medium cloves garlic, thin sliced

    Directions

    Set out the steaks while pre-heating a charcoal or gas grill, preferably around 400F.

    Brush steaks with a little oil and then season with sea salt and pepper.  Place on the preheated grill and cook to desired doneness.

    While steaks are grilling, in a small pan on low heat gently warm ½ cup olive oil, rosemary and garlic.  Do not boil; just gently warm for about 5 minutes.

    Pour the warm herbed and garlic oil into a large baking dish.  When the steaks are done, immediately transfer the steaks to the oil.  Coat each side of the steaks and let them sit in the oil for about 5 minutes.

    Serve immediately topping each steak with the herbed, garlic and steak jus oil.  A fresh salad of spring greens topped with Smokey bleu and candied hazelnuts is the perfect complement to the steaks.

    Serve with the 2009 Collinetta Cabernet Sauvignon from Rocca Family Vineyards

    *This is not a sponsored post.  I just wanted to share my love and heartfelt enthusiasm of Rocca Family Vineyards wine and California Olive Ranch Olive Oil.

    Chicken Grilling Karista's Kitchen Sauces, Salsas and More vegetarian

    Cardamom and Ginger Spiced Yogurt Sauce

    Cardamom and Ginger Spiced Yogurt Sauce over Roasted Eggplant

    I’ve been a member of several book clubs over the years.  Each time, I joined with the exuberance of a puppy playing with a new bone.  Excited about all the new books I’d be discovering and reading, all the new friendships to be made and girlfriend time to be savored.

    Unfortunately each time, my enthusiastic participation ended much too soon.  Either work or other commitments inhibited my attendance and sometimes my busy schedule caused my eyes to close 15 minutes into opening my book.

    Yep, book clubs have come and gone and with them my humiliation of not being able to meet my reading or attendance commitment.  My head bows in shame and disappointment.

    So when I was asked to join this “new” kind of book club, I was a little hesitant.  Until I realized it was right up my alley, Cook this Book.  I have no problem staying awake reading cookbooks.  Browsing the beautiful pages of deliciousness that sometimes inspires new culinary creations or simply reminds me of one I haven’t prepared in years.  A discovery of new types of cuisine and how it relates to the culture it originates.  Exciting!

    Even more exciting, the dynamic and brilliant women that are part of this book club.  Writers, chef’s, professors, food bloggers, professionals and of course fellow lovers of all things foodie, lovely, gracious women from all walks of life.

    Roasted chicken with cardamom and ginger spiced yogurt sauce

    Cardamom and Ginger Yogurt Sauce with Roasted Chicken

    The event has come and gone and my taste buds have never sampled such a mingling of beautiful and fragrant flavors.  Our book for the month was Claudia Roden’s The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.  Middle Eastern cuisine encompasses a variety of styles and flavors that creates a plethora of dinner options.

    One particular dish from this book is now one of my family’s favorites.  A spiced yogurt sauce that is laced with cardamom and ginger and so beautifully compliments poultry, lamb and grilled or roasted vegetables.

    Honestly, I kept sticking my spoon in the sauce bowl, swiping mouthfuls of the sauce when no one was looking.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Cardamom and Ginger Spiced Yogurt Sauce for Roasted Chicken or Vegetables

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    2 cups plain whole milk yogurt

    1 teaspoon ground cardamom, or the seeds toasted and crushed

    1 1/2 inches fresh ginger, grated

    1 small onion, finely diced

    Serve with roasted or grilled chicken pieces, pan seared chicken cutlets or roasted eggplant, winter squash and zucchini.

    Directions

    In a bowl, mix the yogurt with the cardamom and ginger.  Set aside while you saute the onions.  Heat a skillet and a tablespoon or two of oil over medium heat and saute the onions until golden.  Remove the onions from the heat and stir in the spiced yogurt.  Do not put your skillet over the heat or your yogurt will separate.  The warmth of the skillet and onions will warm the yogurt nicely.

    Serve the spiced sauce with grilled or roasted chicken pieces, pan seared chicken breast cutlets or roasted eggplant, zucchini or winter squash.  I love a dollop of this yogurt sauce over a roasted butternut squash. 🙂

    Recipe ever so slightly adapted from Claudia Roden’s New Book of Middle Eastern Food

    Appetizers Grilling Karista's Kitchen Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood

    Proscuitto Wrapped Scallops with a Raspberry Chipotle Glaze

    www.karistaskitchen.com

    www.karistaskitchen.com

    I’m basking in the quiet this morning.  A rare moment.  The day will get busier and by the end, I’ll wonder where time went.

    With a full daily schedule, I constantly remind myself “be present in the moment”.  Sage advice from my lovely yoga Instructor.  Advice that has allowed me to relish time, instead of passing through it at mach speed.

    I walk around mumbling these words.  So often that I found myself reciting this phrase in the market yesterday.  To my embarrassment, a fellow shopper thought I was talking to her.  No, just talking to myself.

    I realized how much I miss in life when I’m not present in the moment.  Little things my daughters say, a hidden smile from my husband, sadness in a friend’s voice or joy in my niece’s email telling me she got into the college of her choice.

    Even the pained look on Tank’s face when I’ve forgotten to feed him.  Although he usually won’t let anyone forget to feed him.  Even though he’s sporting a little extra “husky” these days and could use a tiny reduction in his food consumption.

    Being present in the moment has become more important to me as of late. The tragedy in Newtown is devastating.  I cannot imagine.

    Like many, I’ve shed a thousand tears. My heart continues to grieve for those who lost their precious children and loved ones.  My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with them.

    I wish you all true joy, much love and peace this holiday season!

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Proscuitto Wrapped Scallops with a Raspberry Chipotle Glaze

    I love this dish as an entree with Mexican Diver Scallops or as an appetizer with smaller scallops U 20-30.   The Raspberry Chipotle Glaze is even fabulous on grilled salmon, chicken and shrimp.  A lovely and versatile sauce. 🙂

    Ingredients

    Serves 2-3

    10 large dry packed scallops (for appetizer use smaller dry packed scallops U 20-30, but not Bay Scallops)

    5-8 slices prosciutto (sliced in half lengthwise)

    10 rosemary stalks for skewers (or pretty party picks that can withstand heat)

    Salt and Pepper

    2-4 tablespoons clarified butter or high heat oil

    1 cup raspberry preserves (with or without seeds, although I prefer without seeds.  If you can’t find without seed, just strain the glaze before using)

    1/4 – 1/3 cup white wine or port

    1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce

    Pinch of black pepper

    Directions

    To make the sauce,  in a blender or food processor, pulse the preserves, chipotle chili and wine.  Just until nicely combined.  Transfer to a small pot and heat on low.  Stir in a pinch of black pepper.  The heat thin the sauce a bit.  The sauce thickens as it cools.

    To make the scallops, wrap one strip of prosciutto around the scallop and secure with a rosemary skewer.  Continue to do this with the remaining scallops.

    Heat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat and add a tablespoon or two of clarified butter or high heat oil.  Season the scallops lightly with salt and pepper.  When the butter is hot, brown the scallops on both sides.  About 1-2 minutes on each side depending on size of the scallop.  You may need to adjust your heat and turn it down to medium if your pan gets too hot.  You want the scallops to have a nice golden brown crust on each side.  Click on this link for a visual tutorial on how to perfectly pan sear scallops.  http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/fishseafood/ss/searseascallops.htm

    Drizzle sauce on plates or a platter and then place the cooked scallops on top of the sauce and serve immediately.  As well, you can plate the scallops and then drizzle the sauce on top.  Either way, it’ll taste fantastic!

    Recipe inspired by my favorite fishmonger, Jim at Gemini Fish Market 🙂

    Grilling Karista's Kitchen Pork Sauces, Salsas and More

    Sweet Onion Marmalade with Pork Chops

    sweet onion marmalade

    www.karistaskitchen.com

    Nothing says Washington State like sweet onions, apples, stone fruit, blackberries, Dungeness crab, lavender and of course…. rain.   Just to name a few.

    Seattle is a culinary heaven.  James Beard award-winning chefs, a divine selection of restaurants that garner national attention, organic and sustainable farms and ranches, food artisans, and of course a wealth of fabulous food bloggers.

    To celebrate these delightfully food passionate people,  Keren Brown, Author of Food Lover’s Guide to Seattle and the food blog Frantic Foodie, created the local event called Foodportunity.

    Sweet Onions, Photo Credit www.dosomethingfarm.com

    This past June, I had the opportunity to attend a Foodportunity event with my good friend and fellow blogger, Maria, from Pink Patisserie.

    As I was walking up the stairs in the Pan Pacific Hotel, who did I run into but one of my fave Seattle Food Bloggers and fellow farm girl at heart, Janelle from Talk of Tomatoes.  The day was off to a brilliant beginning.

    sweet onion marmalade

    www.karistaskitchen.com

    And to think I almost didn’t attend.  I’m not much of a social butterfly.  I love meeting new people, but placed in a room full of people makes me break out into a serious sweat.

    Where do I start?  Who do I talk to first?  So, I casually saunter over to the food table.  Although I wish my saunter were a bit more “look at me glide across the room in these heels”.  But it’s not.  It’s sort of a march, I just prefer the word saunter.  In a few paragraphs down I use the word mosy.  I like that word too.

    While standing at the food table, with a mouth full of food, I met Erina, from the blog, Shut Up and Cook.  Cool title huh?  Erina is a dynamo.  She’s a hot tamale, firecracker, and ready to set the food writing world on fire.  And maybe the airwaves too.  Erina is a competitor in a local food event developed by our very own Theirry Rautreau, Kitchen Circus.  Check it out and cheer Erina on!

    After polishing off seconds of the quail egg and salmon apps, I decided to “mosy” on over to the wine table.  One must sample the wine at these events 🙂

    Lucky for me, en route to the wine table I ran into Emmy, from Emmy Cooks and Alyssa, from Everyday Maven.  Lovely ladies with delicious and creative food blogs, who I now consider my good foodie friends.

    I left that day feeling pretty darn good.  I even won a cook book!  That never happens.

    I’m still not a social butterfly, but I do love a good Foodportunity.  Especially when there’s really great food.  And of course wine. 🙂

    Sweet Onion Marmalade with Pork Chops

    Makes about 1 ½ cups marmalade (recipe can be doubled)

    Ingredients

    3 large sweet onions, halved and thin sliced (I used Walla Walla)

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds

    ¼ cup dark brown sugar

    ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

    Sprig of fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves

    Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

    Directions

    Heat the butter over medium heat in a heavy bottom sauté or sauce pan.  When the butter is melted add the onions and brown mustard seeds.  Let the onions cook down for about 10 minutes and then add the sprig of thyme.

    Simmer the onions until they are golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.

    Stir in the brown sugar and vinegar and let the onions simmer for another 15-30 minutes depending on how caramelized you like your onions.  My marmalade simmered for about an hour.

    Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

    Lovely additions to this marmalade are dried cherries, cranberries, currents or raisins.   

    Serve with grilled or pan seared pork chops, roast pork loin, roast pork tenderloin or slow cooked pork shoulder.

    Grilling Karista's Kitchen Seafood

    Miso-Saki Glazed Scallops

    scallops

    www.karistaskitchen.com

    My baby chicks arrived!  They are just as sweet as I imagined.

    scallops

    Miso-Saki Glazed Scallops

    Ginger, Rosemary, Cocoa and Pepper.

    Baby Chick

    Cocoa, a Silver Laced Wyandotte

    Four little ladies currently basking in the warmth of a heat lamp, or wrapped in a towel and snuggled up with one of the two sassy gals.

    baby chicks

    Ginger and Rosemary

    I keep finding Tank sitting by the brooding crate watching the little ladies.  He seems highly entertained by the baby chicks comedic behavior.

    baby chicks

    Suzie Q and her baby chick Pepper

    In honor of our new little ladies I wanted to post my most delicious Cajun Quiche recipe.  But with my schedule, snapping a picture before the Quiche gets eaten has been challenging.

    baby chicks

    Tink and her little chick Rosemary

    I did manage to snap a few pictures of a new fave scallop dish.  Miso-Saki Glazed Scallops.

    baby chicks

    Sweet little Rosemary with Pepper and Cocoa

    I use this heavenly glaze for a black cod recipe in one of my seafood classes.  However, its divine over pan seared scallops.

    Me and Ginger

    Pair with Cococnut Rice or Coconut Sweet Potato Mashers and dinner is a little slice of heaven.

    Wishing you a most delicious Autumn!

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Miso-Saki Glazed Scallops

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    1- 1 1/2 lbs Dry packed scallops

    2-4 tablespoons clarified butter

    1/3 cup white miso paste

    2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

    ¼ cup sake (add more to thin the sauce if you like)

    2-3 teaspoons fresh minced ginger

    1 clove garlic, minced

    ½ teaspoon Thai Kitchen Chili paste

    Fresh ground black pepper

    Sliced green onion (garnish optional)

    Directions

    Whisk together the miso paste, sake, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and chili paste, either by hand or in a blender.  Ladle a bit of sauce on four plates or one large platter.  When the scallops are done you will set the scallops on the sauce and then garnish with the green onion.

    In a large heavy bottom skillet heat 2 tablespoons clarified butter over medium high heat.  Season the scallops with a little salt and pepper.

    When the butter is hot and frothy, add the scallops but don’t over crowd the pan. You may need to cook the scallops in batches.

    Let the scallops brown (about 1-2 minutes) and when they easily pull off the bottom of the pan, turn them over and brown the other side, adjusting heat as necessary.

    Transfer the scallops to the plates or platter laced with the Miso-Saki glaze.  Garnish with sliced green onion and serve immediately.

    Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sauces, Salsas and More

    10 Sizzling Summer Sauces

    Nectarine Chutney with Grilled Halibut // Karista's Kitchen

    If you haven’t noticed by now I’m a saucy gal. 😉

    We love sauces here at the Bennett Camp.   All kinds of sauces, salsa, compotes, drizzles, chutney’s and relishes.  You name it, I can top it with a sauce.

    So, in honor of all things saucy (and summer) I thought I’d share with you my 10 favorite sizzling summer sauces.  Enjoy!

    1.  A very special Chimichurri Sauce and my most favorite sauce of all.  Fantastic over grilled beef or grilled fish.  It’s a plate lickin’ good sauce!

    chimichurri sauce

    Chimichurri Sauce

    2.  Savory Strawberry Sauce.  So perfect for grilled salmon but just as delicious with grilled chicken.

    Savory Strawberry Sauce

    Savory Strawberry Sauce with Grilled Salmon

    3.  Huckleberry Barbeque Sauce.  One tasty sauce over barbecue pork or chicken and a great way to use all those summer huckleberries.

    Huckleberry Barbecue Sauce

    Huckleberry Barbecue Sauce

    4.  Blueberry Ginger Salsa.  A savory fresh tasting salsa that will WOW your tastebuds!  Perfect over grilled halibut or chicken.

    blueberry ginger salsa

    Blueberry Ginger Salsa

    5.  Coconut, Lemongrass and Ginger Sauce.  I adore this sauce over grilled fish.  Almost any grilled fish but especially Black cod or Hawaiian Opah.

    coconut, lemongrass, ginger sauce

    Coconut, Lemongrass and Ginger Sauce with Grilled Fish

    6.  Mini Sweet Pepper Relish.  Perfectly delicious over grilled fresh salmon or grilled chicken.

    mini pepper relish

    Mini Pepper Relish

    7.  Spiced Dried Plum Sauce.  A favorite sauce over any grilled or roasted pork.

    spiced dried plum sauce

    Spiced Dried Plum Sauce with Grilled Pork Chops

    8.  Spicy Apricot Ginger Sauce.  Perfect with grilled shrimp, poached shrimp, coconut shrimp or shrimp cakes!

    Spicy Apricot Ginger Sauce

    Spicy Apricot Ginger Sauce with Shrimp Cakes

    9. Mexican Chocolate Sauce.  A perfect summer dessert sauce over pound cake, angel food cake, chocolate or vanilla cake or even homemade ice cream and topped with fresh papaya slices.

    Mexican Chocolate Sauce

    Mexican Chocolate Sauce with Fresh Papaya Slices

    And number 10…  Nectarine, Golden Raisin and Five Spice Powder Chutney served with Roasted Halibut or delightful over roast pork in the fall and winter months.

    Mini Pepper Relish

    Nectarine, Golden Raisin and Five Spice Powder Chutney with Grilled or Roasted Halibut

    Nectarine, Golden Raisin and Five Spice Chutney with Roasted or Grilled Halibut

    Ingredients

    Serves 4

    2-3 cups peeled and chopped nectarines (about 2-3 large nectarines)

    ½ cup diced onions

    1 tablespoon butter

    1/3 cup golden raisins

    1 tablespoon sugar, or more if needed

    1/2 – 1 teaspoon five spice powder

    Pinch red pepper flakes

    ¼ cup white wine vinegar

    Salt and pepper to taste

    2 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter), grapeseed oil or high heat veggie oil

    1 ½ lbs fresh Halibut, cut into 3-4 pieces

    Directions

    In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add the tablespoon of butter.

    When the butter is melted and frothy add the onions and sauté for a minute or two to soften.

    Next, stir in the chopped nectarines, raisins, sugar, five spice powder, pinch of red pepper flakes and white wine vinegar.

    Turn the heat to low and let the chutney simmer for about 15 minutes.  Season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.

    While the chutney is simmering, prepare the halibut.

    Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

    Add the Ghee or oil to a large oven proof skillet over medium high heat.  When the butter/oil is sizzling, add the halibut skin side down.

    Let the halibut cook for a few minutes, until the skin side is nicely browned.  Place the skillet in the oven and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, or until the fish is flaky and cooked through.

    Remove from the oven and plate the fish.  Top each piece of fish with a few tablespoons of chutney and serve immediately.

    I like this dish with pearled couscous, brown rice, or coconut rice and mixed spring greens with a light vinaigrette.