Monday, March 23, 2015

Roasted Garlic Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette



garlic roasted lemon dijon dressing marinade vinaigrette chicken shrimp

I've gotten into making my own dressing/vinaigrette more often of late.

Mostly because if I can't pronounce the ingredients in a vinaigrette or dressing I'm not buying it.
And frankly, there is something really cool about making your own.
It tastes better, it's fresh, I know what's in it and most of all it's delicious.

The roasted garlic adds a nice depth to the flavor and doesn't overpower the freshness the lemon and zest add, nor the nice zip the Dijon imparts. 

I especially love it over simple salad of arugula, tomato and cucumber.  It plays well with the peppery bite of the arugula.  

And if using it as a vinaigrette weren't enough, it makes a great marinade for chicken, turkey, pork and seafood, especially brushed over just grilled shrimp.

Trying making your own, it truly does make a difference.

Serves 2
arugula tomato cucumber lemon garlic dijon salad dressing marinade
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 -2 fat cloves of roasted garlic*, peel removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt or kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  1. Place the first 6 ingredients in a deep bowl
  2. Whisk vigorously until all ingredients are well incorporated
  3. Slowly drizzle in the walnut oil as you whisk, followed by the olive oil to thicken and emulsify the vinaigrette

Recipe Notes: If you don't have Himalayan pink salt or walnut oil no need to go out and buy any. You can use extra virgin olive oil and kosher salt. Then why do I bother using those ingredients?  Personally, I think they elevate the over-all taste of the vinaigrette. I'm having an intense romance at the moment with Himalayan pink salt. By the way, you can get both these items at a decent price at Trader Joe's. 
You can use a small food processor or an immersion blender to emulsify the oils into the other ingredients if you prefer not to hand whisk.  But I will say it's a good workout!  

*Roasted garlic is easy to make. Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Cut the garlic in half, no need to peel. Place garlic on a sheet of aluminum, make sure the sheet is big enough to wrap the garlic. Bring up the sides of sheet around the halved head. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt. Wrap shut. Place on a baking sheet. Roasted for 30-45 minutes or until the garlic has turned into a soft paste.
Once cooled you can squeeze out the paste as use as wanted. I usually will roast 3 - 4  garlic heads and use it in recipes, breads, soup and more. It keeps for about month in the fridge.  Keep in a glass container, tightly sealed.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ground Turkey Hash n' Fried Eggs

Ground Turkey, Eggs potatoes Cumin Coriander paprika turmeric


I bring you another great and satisfying weeknight meal. In this recipe I use ground turkey to make it lighter and healthier, but you can most definitely substitute the turkey with beef.
This is a great meal to experiment with using new or different spices, especially if you're planning on cleaning out your  spice pantry.

It's a great way to change the taste of the meal, while keeping it easy and fast to make.

Growing up my grandmother made a dish called Picadillo, which we have posted on the site in the past, that is a ground beef hash. This recipe reminds me of her. Although her recipe is completely different in seasonings and the beef is saucier, she would always accompany that hash with a fried egg.

I don't know what it is about the fried egg that adds a different touch to the meal; I think it adds a little fun too! You can leave the turkey mixture ready the night before so that when you get home from work all you need to do is saute everything up, eat and enjoy! It is ready in less than 20 minutes. I hope you enjoy this quick weeknight meal!

Serves 2 - 4
Today on Wednesdays with ErykaGround Turkey Hash n' Fried Eggs

1lb ground turkey
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4-5 fingerling potatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
salt and pepper
fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 eggs


  1. In a bowl, mix the ground turkey, bell pepper, potatoes, paprika, tumeric, ground coriander, salt and pepper and parsley.
  2. In a nonstick pan, heat oil to about medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it is soft and fragrant. Add in the turkey mixture and spread around the pan; do not touch once it is spread out. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3.  After 5 minutes, the underside should be crispy. Flip/stir to crisp the other side. Check to make sure turkey has been cooked through. Make two holes in the turkey to reveal the bottom of the pan to prepare to fry the eggs.
  4. Crack eggs into the two holes created. Season eggs with salt and pepper. Cover for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes to cook the egg. 
  5. When the egg looks set in the middle it is ready to eat. Use a spatula to serve the turkey hash with the egg onto each plate. Enjoy!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Curry-Garam Masala Baked Chicken Tenderloins


Curry Garam Masala Chicken Tenderloins greek yogurt


Requirements for loving a recipe...

I love recipes with a short list of ingredients.

I love recipes that require little effort but deliver big flavor.

I love recipes where the effort is made by the appliance and not by me.

I love a recipe that cooks up fast

In this case my recipe for Curry-Garam Masala Baked Chicken Tenderloins covers all four of these requirements...

Only seven ingredients.

The only effort here is stirring everything together but boy are the flavors spot on, warm, rich - but not heavy, and oh so yummy.

The oven does all the work, all you do is slide in a baking sheet.

15 minutes and you are done.

What's not love about this recipe?

Serves 2- 4
  • 2 tablespoons non fat greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Zest and juice of one blood orange (or regular orange )
  • 1/4 teaspoon pilpelchum or cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloin, cut into thin strips


  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl stir to incorporate
  2. Allowed to marinate in the refrigerator 2 to 8 hours - better overnight
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  4. Place chicken on a oiled foil lined rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.
  5. Bake 10 minutes, drain off any excess liquids . 
  6. Turn pieces over,  return to oven and cook another five minutes or till lightly golden.
Serve with yogurt and torn pieces of pita or toss into a salad or basmati rice. Enjoy!




Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hearty Four-Bean & Kielbasa Soup

Beans, soup, chili, kielbasa hearty comfort food


In South Florida, there is no such thing as "winter," just occasional, beautiful, coldish days. The lowest it has been so far is probably 49 degree, which believe it or not, is freezing for us Floridians. We break out our boots, scarfs, turtlenecks, and large sweaters, it is the funniest thing. My boyfriend is from New York, so obviously this weather is a joke to him. He goes out in shorts and I just freak out, but I digress and the point of me bringing up the weather is that in the event of these random cold days I make yummy, comforting warm soups, thus this recipe. This I made when I got home from work on Thursday evening with no plan of what to make. I'm trying to consume less red meat, so I knew chili was out of the question but I did have turkey kielbasa sitting in the fridge begging to be used. I put flavors together in my head with the kielbasa, the beans and the spices and the result is this yummy soup! You can almost clear out your pantry with this recipe. Use what beans you may like as well as regular kielbasa instead of turkey. The next day it was just as delicious if not more since the spices had even more time to mingle. I hope you enjoy my impromptu soup and hope it'll help warm up your chilly nights!

Recipe:
Eryka on Wednesday with Eryka
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 16oz turkey kielbasa, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 15.5oz can black beans
1 15.5oz can red kidney beans
1 15oz can pork and beans
1 8.3oz can baked beans
1 14.5oz can diced tomato
1 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large stew pot, heat oil on medium. Add the onions, peppers and onions. Cook until fragrant and soft. Add the kielbasa; cook together for about 5 minutes.

2. In the same pan, add all the canned products with their juices (important: do NOT drain). Stir to combine. Follow with the tomato paste and all the spices.

3. Stir and bring everything to a boil then lower to a simmer. Simmer for about 45 minutes. Taste to check to seasonings. If ready, serve in bowls, top with your favorite cheese and enjoy!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Chicken, Orzo & White Bean Soup


Chicken, Soup, White Bean, Orzo, Spinach


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion diced
1 bell pepper diced
 8 ounces of cremoni mushrooms sliced in thick slices
4 skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into chunks
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped 
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
1 tablespoon of fresh basil, finally minced
1 cup white wine
28 ounce can of San Marzano whole tomatoes (tear apart with your hand as you add to pan)
2 bay leaves
4 cups of chicken stock
2 cups of cannellini beans (previously soaked) or 1 can, drained and rinsed.
1/2 teaspoon of dried orange peel
Parmesan rind (optional)
1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup uncooked orzo
3-4 handfuls spinach
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese


  • Heat a dutch oven or deep pan over medium heat. Add oil followed by onions and peppers. Saute 5 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms, cook 3 minutes.
  • Add the chicken, allow to lightly brown, then add the garlic. Stir to incorporate.
  • Sprinkle the rosemary, oregano and basil over top and stir well to incorporate. Saute 2 minutes.
  • Deglaze the pan with wine, scrape brown bits from bottom of pan.
  • Add the tomatoes,  bay leaves,chicken stock, beans and orange peel. Bring to boil, then lower heat to a simmer. (At this point you can transfer everything to the slow cooker and set on high for 2 -3 hours or low for 6-8 hours.)
  • Cook until the beans are softened about 45 - 60 minutes
  • 30 minutes before serving, bring to a low boil add, salt, pepper, orzo and spinach, stir, lower heat to simmer.
  • (For the slow cooker, raise heat to high and stir in, salt, pepper, orzo and spinach - cook 30 minutes or till orzo is al dente).

To Serve: Grate parmesan over each serving and with your favorite bread.

Recipe notes:  You can use dried herbs in place of fresh just be sure to adjust  quantities as dried herbs are much more potent.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Easy 3-Course Valentine's Dinner

I am not fond of going out to dinner on Valentine's Day. The restaurants are crowded, the service is lacking and the food generally atrocious. I'd rather make a delicious dinner at home that I know we will enjoy more. Today I am sharing a 3-course dinner that is high on the flavor barometer and low on the fuss, a beautifully light pea soup, a parchment baked fish and yummy nutella and banana pastry bundles. If you do some of the prep work ahead of time (like chopping or slicing the veggies etc), it will all come together in about 30 minutes. The soup you can make ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for a day or two. You can even make it at the beginning of week and freeze it till you are ready to serve it, just defrost it and gently warm through. 
I hope you and your loved one have a beautiful Valentine's celebration!

First Course

Spring Pea Soup

Serves 2
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 tablespoon light butter
3 - 4 shallots, small dice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic gloves, crushed
5-6 leaves fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup milk (use your preference, whole, 2%, skim etc)
1/2 cup half and half

In a medium stainless steel pot heat the oil and butter over medium heat and add shallots, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, saute for 3 minutes. Next add garlic gloves, basil and parsley, cook for another 2 minutes and add stock and the peas. Cover and cook over medium low heat for 5-7 minutes.


Using either a blender or immersion stick blender, process until smooth. Stir in milk and half & half, heat through but do not boil. Add remaining salt or season to taste.

Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream.

Second Course

Lemon & Paprika Infused Parchment Roasted Grouper

1/8 cup of olive oil
1/2  teaspoon of minced garlic
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika (sweet or hot your choice)
3 shallots*, sliced into rings
2 fish fillets* - use your favorite firm whitefish -  I used grouper
Salt
Pepper

Place the first 5 ingredients into a medium bowl. Whisk together until ingredients are incorporated. Add the sliced shallots rings. Let sit for 15 minutes or a few hours (you can even prep this part the night before).

Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees F

Cut two sheets of parchment* enough to create an envelope around the fish. Pat fish dry. Salt and pepper both sides to taste and place in the bottom half of the sheet. Place shallots ring atop each fish fillets and spoon marinade over each fillet. Like you would for an empanada or hand-pie make a pouch with the parchment to enclose the fish.  Place pouches on a lipped baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or 15 minutes per inch of thickness if you are using a thicker cut of fish.

Third Course

Banana and Nutella Pastry Bundles

1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
1 banana, sliced in 1/2 inch pieces, 9 pieces total
9 teaspoons of Nutella
1 egg, beaten


1. Thaw the puff pastry until you can easy handle it. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Lightly flour your work surface and place your puff pastry down to cut it into 9 squares (remember do not worry about being perfect, it's ok!).

3. In each square, place a teaspoon of nutella topped by the banana slice. Brush the egg along each edge. Take each opposite corner and press tightly together. Repeat to all pastry pieces.

4. Place the pastries on a baking sheet and brush all over with the egg for the extra golden color when baking. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden in color.

5. Place on a cooling rack when done for about 5 minutes


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mayo-Panko Crusted Chicken


Mayonnaise Panko Bread Crumb Chicken Breast Baked



It is Tuesday afternoon, 5pm after work and I'm staring at a defrosted bag of chicken breast. What to do?!

I had no time for a decent marinade or for a brine to make the forever dry chicken breast moist.... but alas it hit me! Mayonnaise!

You must be thinking, what in the world? How does that make sense?

Baking chicken is, to me, the fastest, easiest way to cook chicken but baking tends to make the chicken breast dry out.  Here's how I fixed that little problem...

The mayonnaise in this breaded chicken recipe not only does the job of adhering the panko but adding much needed moisture and flavor to the breast. The panko makes it fluffy and crunchy ... it a perfect marriage. The recipe was a hit at home! I even shared it with a co-worker and it was a hit at her home; we were both successful in feeding our tired, hungry men AND they both asked that it be added to our cooking routine. Now that is a compliment. You could substitute chicken breast for chicken tenders. For an accompaniment, I made macaroni and cheese but the options are endless: pasta, corn on the cobb, baked potato, steamed veggies, rice pilaf, salad, beans, coleslaw, French fries and the list goes on. Have fun with it and enjoy!

Recipe:
Mayo-Panko Crusted Chicken is a
Wednesdays with Eryka Recipe
1lb chicken breast, halved
salt and pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup panko
1/2 grated parmesan cheese

1. Butterfly the chicken breast so that they are thin resulting in faster cooking time and more pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In one bowl or shallow dish, place the mayonnaise. In another dish, combine panko and parmesan cheese. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with non-stick spray.

3. Take the first piece of chicken breast and coat in mayonnaise. Followed by coating the chicken with the panko-parmesan mixture then place on the baking sheet. Repeat for all pieces of breast.

4. Place baking sheet in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes or until cooked through. Flip half way through cooking to ensure browning (it also adds a pretty color). Once done, serve and enjoy!