Saturday, March 27, 2010

Coconut Macadamia Rice with Edamame ~IF I CAN DREAM~

While cooking at the If I Can Dream House, I seemed to be on a coconut kick. The cast, especially Gig and Amanda, loved this rice and it's delicious alone or with fish, chicken, shrimp or tofu prepared with Asian flavors. You can also make this with brown rice if you prefer.  Enjoy!

Serves 5-7

2 cups white rice (I like to use jasmine rice)
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
3 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt (any salt will do)
1 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, roasted and chopped finely
1/4 cup olive oil or grapseed oil and salt to taste
2 cups edamame(soy beans), shelled and frozen
1-2 teaspoons coconut extract (to taste)
1/4 cup butter, salted
2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a medium sized pot or rice cooker add rice, water, coconut milk and salt. If using pot, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer until all liquid has been absorbed; 25-30 minutes. With rice cooker, just turn on as directed.

2. While rice is cooking, place chopped macadamia nuts in preheated oven on lined cookie sheet and roast for 5-8 minutes, or until light golden brown. Use a spatula to turn them every few minutes for even roasting. Watch them closely so they don't burn. Remove from oven and let cool.

3. In large saute pan, add oil and heat on high for 1-2 minutes. Add edamame and sprinkle with salt. Cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes or until beans begin to brown in parts, appear "grilled" and are al dente in texture. Add macadamia nuts during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking and stir to combine. 

4. When rice is done put in large bowl. Add coconut extract and butter then fold in softly using large spoon until butter is melted. Add edamame mixture and coconut flakes and fold into rice. Serve while hot.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Tinsel Town Pizza Pie ~ IF I CAN DREAM ~ WEEK 3

This past Thursday I got a text around noon informing me I'd be cooking for David Cook + band that night! Um, no pressure right? Just add 6 extra people to the mix who happen to be celebrities. I momentarily thought about abandoning my "Tinsel Town Pizza" night idea in lieu of something a bit more impressive and gourmet but then I thought ... pizza is actually perfect! I can make all different kinds, to fit every palates ... couture pizza, custom crafted for each person.

You are more than welcome to make your own dough. I didn't have time to and happen to love Trader Joe's ball o' dough that comes in whole wheat, plain and herb. Use any dough you like and follow the directions on package. For pizzas with many toppings, brush the dough with olive oil and par bake for 5-6 minutes at 400 degrees.

I did make my own pizza sauce which is quick and simple, and oh so mouth-wateringly worth the bit of extra effort.

Makes enough for 8-10 twelve inch pizzas + left over sauce for pasta, next day. You can divide by half to make a smaller batch.  Left over sauce can be frozen.

4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup shallot, minced
5 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil
2 (28ounce) cans marinara sauce(I like TJ'S Brand, you cn also use crushed tomatoes)
1 10.75 oz can tomato puree√
2 6oz cans tomato paste
3 tablespoons agave or brown sugar
2 teaspoons turmeric (optional but very healthy)
1 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped finely (use dried if necessary)
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped finely (use dried if necessary)
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped finely
1 teaspoon salt
1-3 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you are :)

1. In a large saucepan or pot over medium high heat, saute garlic and shallots in oil until tender, about five minutes. 
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until sauce reaches desired thickness. Sauce may be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for about 1 month.

1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (or black)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
16 oz. of your favorite Alfredo Sauce  ss

1. Blend the basil, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a blender until smooth. 
2. In medium bowl whisk together Pesto and Alfredo sauce. Use immediately or refrigerate until use. 


Lindsay's Favorite
Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Black Olives, Red Onions with Tomato Sauce and shredded Pepper Jack Cheese

Bella Italiano
Whole Wheat Dough with Baby Mozzarella Balls (Bocconcini), Halved Cherry Tomatoes, and Prosciutto with Tomato Sauce.  Top with 2 cups arugula once pizza is cooked.

Pizza Bianco
Chicken Sausage, Sliced Almonds, Mushrooms and Shredded Mozzarella with Alfredo Pesto Sauce

Justin Gaston's 1/2 & 1/2
Whole Wheat Dough, half Pest Alfredo Sauce topped with shredded Mozzarella, Chicken Sausage and Mushrooms; Half Tomato Sauce + BBQ Sauce topped with shredded Pepper Jack, Red Onion, Sliced Tomato and Chicken Sausage.

Kara's Creation
Whole Wheat Dough topped with Tomato Sauce, shredded Mozzarella, Pepperoni, Sliced Tomato, Mushrooms, and Prosciutto. Top with 2 handfuls of Arugula once pizza is cooked.

Gig's Viva Veggie
Shredded Pepper Jack, Feta, Marinated Artichokes, Kalamata Olives, Thinly Sliced Bell peppers, Red Onion, halved Cherry Tomatoes, and Egg Plant (cubed) with Tomato Sauce

Lovely Lox
Alfredo Pesto Sauce, Lox, Red Onion, and Capers

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cornish Games Hens with Citrus Berry BBQ Glaze & Wild Rice Stuffing ~ IF I CAN DREAM ~ WEEK 3

I heart Cornish Game Hens and if you are wondering why I'm not making them at the If I Can Dream House ... it's because they take about an hour and a half to two hours to roast so I am pre-roasting them at home. That means you get a sneak peek at what the cast and special guest Lacey Brown from American Idol will be enjoying tonight!



Cornish Games Hens with Citrus Berry BBQ Glaze

Pepperoni, Mushroom and Black Olive Pizza ... My Favorite
(From Thursday If I Can Dream Dinner with David Cook)
 Prosciutto, Mozzarella, Tomato, Arugula Whole Pizza with 
Honey Whole Wheat Crust
(From Thursday If I Can Dream Dinner with David Cook)

Triple Chocolate Therapy Cookies 
Money Mint Chocolate Cookies

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Saint Patty's Day Meatloaf Cupcakes ~ IF I CAN DREAM ~ WEEK3

Meatloaf Cupcakes? What?! That's not a typo my lovelies ... they are called savory cupcakes, a.k.a. meals on the go :). Chicago loves them and that town knows food. See The Meatloaf Bakery ... oh yeah!

For St. Patty's Day, I strayed from the norm (shocker) and decided to make a hybrid: Shepherds Pie/Cupcake made from turkey meatloaf. It's a healthier version of you Mama's meatloaf so hope you enjoy! Here's the recipe which is easy but always impressive.

3 tablespoons salted butter
2 cups yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. lean ground turkey
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup Italian bread crumbs (or fresh or plain)
 2 large eggs
1/4 c artichoke chutney (or any chutney you like)
1/3 cup ketchup + more for basting (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 tablespoons cup raspberry Chipotle sauce + more for basting (about 1/4 cup)
 4 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Line 2 muffin tins with papers. Spray with oil. Set aside.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  3. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; cool 5-10 minutes. Add turkey, bread crumbs, egg, artichoke chutney, 1/3 cup ketchup, raspberry Chipotle sauce, Worcestershire, turmeric, cayenne, salt and pepper to onion mixture; mix well using clean hands or a large spoon. 
  4. Use a large ice cream scoop (4oz) or a large spoon to drop approximately 1/3 cup of meatloaf mixture into each cupcake paper smoothing out tops. Fill meat to top of cup.
  5. In small bowl, whisk together ketchup and raspberry Chipotle sauce. Using a basting brush, brush each cupcake with ketchup/raspberry glaze. Cover and refrigerate. Start potatoes (see below).
  6. Once potatoes are boiling, bake meatloaf cupcakes for 35 to 40 minutes or until no longer pink in center and internal temperature of loaf reaches 160 degrees F. Let stand at room temperature 5 minutes before "frosting" with mashed potatoes.    
2 lb russet potatoes, peeled
1 cup warm buttermilk
1/4 cup whole milk
1 stick salted butter, melted
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2  teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tsp green food coloring if it's St. Patty's Day :)

1. Wash and peel potatoes.
2. Place potatoes in large pot. Fill with cold water until it rises one inch above the potatoes. Add 2 tsp salt.
3. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 - 35 minutes or until potatoes are very tender and you can easily insert a fork or knife into the center. Do not over cook and let skin wilt or they will become starchy.
4. Drain potatoes and put back into pot.
5. In small saucepan, heat buttermilk and milk until just warm. Add melted butter to mixture. Pour over potatoes. Add sour cream, salt, garlic powder and food coloring (optional).
6. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes until creamy and of a desires consistency.  Do not over whip or they will become glue like and starchy.
7. Remove meatloaf from oven. Use icing spatula or butter knife to mound potatoes on meatloaf cupcakes.
8. Love yourself for being so creative and enjoy.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Garlic Ginger Shrimp Stir Fry ~ IF I CAN DREAM ~ WEEK 3

by Food Flirt 90210
This is a simple stir fry to make with a little bit of exotic mixed in ... just the way life should be :) Enjoy!

Garlic Ginger Shrimp Stir Fry

Serves 5-7

1.5 - 2 lbs large shrimp, tails removed and de-veined(defrost if frozen)
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or sake
2 tablespoons flour or cornstarch
2 tablespoons soy sauce


1.5 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons flour or cornstarch
4 tablespoons white rice vinegar or sake
1.5 teaspoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons salt or soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar

1/3 cup + 4 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oi
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red or green jalapeno, diced very small (remove seeds)
3 tablespoons ginger, minced
1/2 cup scallions, sliced thin
pinch salt
pinch sugar
6 cups of your favorite stir fry veggies, sliced or chopped
Tonight I'm using:
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup edamame, shelled
2 cups shiitake mushrooms, chopped or sliced
1 cup snap pead
1 cup asparagus, chopped into inch long pieces

1.  In small bowl whisk together egg whites, vinegar, flour or cornstarch and soy sauce. Add shrimp to bowl. Cover and marinade for 30 minutes to 1 hour, refrigerated.

2. In bowl mix all ingredients for sauce. Set near wok or frying pan.

3. Heat 1/3 cup oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook about 2 minutes. Transfer to plate, pour out oil and wipe down wok.

4. Heat wok over high, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons oil, garlic, jalapeno, ginger, scallions, salt and sugar. Stir fry for about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-high and add veggies beginning with the ones that take longer to cook. Stir-fry until crisp and tender but not mushy! About 5-8 minutes depending on what veggies you use.

5. Add the shrimp and sauce and stir until sauce is thick and veggies and protein are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Garnish with cilantro or crushed peanuts. Serve over brown or white coconut rice.

I will try to post the pot sticker and rice recipes tonight! Thanks for being patient.



Tuesday Night Menu at Casa If I Can Dream

by FoodFlirt 90210

Very Veggie Pot Stickers

Garlic Ginger Shrimp Stir Fry with Asparagus, Snap Peas, Edamame (soy beans), and Carrots

Coconut Brown Rice

Sugar Seared Mango with Toasted Coconut

Recipes will be posted this afternoon with any luck :)

Cooking begins at 5pm. See you in the kitchen!



Monday, March 15, 2010

Gourmet Grilled Cheese and Cali Tomato Soup ~ IF I CAN DREAM ~ WEEK3

At the end of last week, Amanda and Kara asked for some more homestyle cooking, so this week, I'll be putting a California spin on some down home foods. Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup is one of my favorite comfort meals and it makes for a fun dinner party. Below I list a variety of ingredients that your guests can choose from to create their own signature grilled cheese sandwich. Add anything you like to the options! Watch how to make these killer gourmet grillers this Monday night, 5pm at the If I Can Dream House! If you are in a time crunch, skip the homemade soup and add 1tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper to your favorite store bought tomato soup.


Gourmet Grilled Cheese and Creamy Cali Tomato Soup

Servings 5-7 

Ingredients :
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes in juice
1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon molasses
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoons dark rum   (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste 
¼ cup chopped fresh basil (optional)

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat until shimmering.

2. Add garlic, onion, cayenne, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes.

3. Stir in tomatoes with juices. Using a potato masher or whisk and mash tomatoes until no large pieces (2 in. max) remain.

4. Stir in sugar, molasses, vanilla, and bread and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or until bread breaks down completely. Remove bay leaf and toss out.

5. Transfer  1/3 of soup to a blender or food processor, add 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil and process until soup is smooth, silky and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes ( When using hot liquid, never fill past 2/3 of the way full and cover blender with dish towel in case hot liquid escapes!)Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with remaining soup and oil. Third batch, add no oil.

5. Rinse out soup pot and pour soup back in. Stir in vegetable broth and rum. Return soup to a boil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Sprinkle each portion with pepper and basil.  Serve gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.
    2 medium Red onions, sliced
    4 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided (or olive oil)
    1 package Chicken or Turkey Sausage, pre-cooked and sliced into 1/3" rounds
    1 large loaf Foccacia Bread
    1 loaf whole wheat bread
    1 small jar olive tapenade (or any type of spread you like)
    1/2 lb Pepper Jack Cheese,
    1/2 lb Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese,
    1/2 lb Brie Cheese (use your 3 favorite cheeses that melt)
    1-2 Granny Smith Apples, sliced thinly
    1/4 c salted butter, melted

    1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    2. Heat frying pan over high heat for 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons oil and reduce to medium-high heat. Add onions and saute for 5-7 minutes or until translucent. Place in small bowl and set aside.

    3. Add 2 tablespoons oil and sausage to same pan and cook over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes or until browned. Place in small bowl and set aside.

    4. Line cookie sheets with tin foil and spray with oil.

    5. Slice Foccacia bread into 4 inch wide slices, then slice those in two for sandwiches.

    6. Layer sandwiches as you like with spread, cheese, onions, sausage, and apples.

    7. Brush each sandwich lightly with butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper place on lined cookie sheet.

    8. Bake in oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Slice in half on the diagonal and serve with a piping hot bowl of Creamy Cali Tomato Soup. It's like sneaking back to your child hood in a sophisticated way :) Dip away!



    Saturday, March 13, 2010


    As promised, here is a new Food Flirt 90210 Video where I re-create two of Hollywood's favorite dishes, from two of their favorite restaurants. Watch me put my Food Flirt twist on The Ivy's Grilled Chopped Vegetable Salad and Koi's Crispy Rice Topped with Spicy Tuna.

    Lindsay Jones :: Food Flirt 90210 from Lindsay Jones on Vimeo.

    FOOD FLIRT COOKIE GIVEAWAY: Retweet or share this link on twitter (@foodflirt90210) and be entered for the chance to win one dozen cookies from Food Flirt 90210! I'll announced the winner on Monday March 21 from the If I Can Dream Kitchen!

    FUN FACT: I used to own a cookie company, "Cookies Couture" so I know what's up in the world of addicting cookies :)

    Good luck!


    Giglianne's Pasta Puttanesca ~ IF I CAN DREAM ~ WEEK 2

    Well, I've been cooking for 5-7 people at the If I Can Dream House for 2 weeks now. Time to give a serious nod to our Grandmother's who often had 5+ kids (mine had 7) and cooked for them every single night, often on a tight budget. It's a lot of work! Kudos also to Mom's and Dad's everywhere who cook for their families each night. While I was slightly, I mean completely exhausted by last night, it's been well worth it!

    In case you don't know, my BIG DREAM is to have my own cooking show that inspires people to explore new flavors and become creative and confident in the kitchen. Being a chef on If I Can Dream is obviously a killer opportunity for me and I am incredibly grateful. Earlier in the week, I asked the cast if they had any requests and Giglianne (Gig) wanted to make Pasta Puttanesca. This is a dish from Southern Italy that is simple and inexpensive to make but delicious with olives, garlic, capers, tomato sauce, and anchovies. I left those out to make it vegetarian for Gig. I also used whole wheat penne pasta to kick up the nutritional value and added some cumin and turmeric. And, since there are two strapping young men at the iicd house, I also made some scrumptious turkey meatballs to go on top.  Alriiiiiiight already, enough babble and on to the recipe!



    Gig's Pasta Puttanesca

    1 box dried, whole wheat spaghetti or fettuccine 
    2 tablespoons salt
    1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil + 3 tablespoons for pasta water
    1 large head garlic, peeled and minced
    1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
    1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained and chopped
    1 (28-oz) can or jar of your favorite Marinara sauce
    2 tablespoons brine from olives
    1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
    1/3 cup capers, drained
    1 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
    1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    2 teaspoon white sugar or agave
    1 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
    1/2 cup Parmesan cheese,  freshly grated

    1. Fill large pot 3/4 full with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 2 Tbsp salt and 3 Tbsp oil to water. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 20-25 minutes for whole wheat spaghetti.  (Al dente refers to the texture of cooked pasta in Italian cooking. It literally means "to the tooth". When the pasta is cooked al dente, there should be a slight resistance in the center when the pasta is chewed. If you prefer softer pasta, cook a few minutes longer.)

    2. While pasta boils, add 1/2 cup olive oil to heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes.

    3. Add chopped tomatoes and marinara sauce to garlic oil mixture along with olive brine, olives, capers, balsamic vinegar, turmeric, cumin, and sugar, stirring occasionally until pasta is done. 

    4. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add sauce to pasta and simmer on medium-low heat, twirling pasta with tongs, for about 2 minutes. Plate immediately and sprinkle with basil and Parmesan. Take a bite and RELISH THE MOMENT:)

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Food Flirt Fish Tacos ~ IF I CAN DREAM ~ WEEK 2

    Thanks to my twitter pals who joined me at the If I Can Dream House for Thursday Taco Night! While I was calling these Baja Style Tacos I've decided to re-name this version as the fish is not battered and fried (which your mouth loves but your butt doesn't. Hehe.) I brought 2 pinatas up to the house to make our taco night a little more festive but I had to leave before they cast began smacking card board objects for candy. Well, maybe they forgot about them and I can witness the glorious event tomorrow night. Ok, on to the taco recipe!


    Photo Courtesy of @combattx who cooked with us tonight from his house!
    (My camera went dead this evening)


    Servings: 5
    Preparation Time: 1 hour(+ marinade time)

    3 pounds tilapia, catfish, or snapper
    1/2 Cup corn or canola oil
    4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    4 teaspoons lemon juice
    3 tablespoons agave, honey or sugar
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    2 teaspoons cumin
    1/2 teaspoon all spice (optional)
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 teaspoons hot sauce
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1/2 cup mexican beer (or any beer)

    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1/2 cup sour cream
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    2 teaspoons agave or honey
    1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

    1 head purple cabbage, washed and sliced thin
    1/2 cup onion (any color), diced
    1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped fine
    1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    pepper to taste

    12-15 white corn tortillas, as authentic as possible. Buy the cheap kind at the store that  smell the most like corn :)

    tin foil
    large zip-lock bag

    1.    FISH PREP: Use kitchen scissors to cut fish into 1 inch wide strips length wise, then cut strips into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in large zip-lock bag. Set aside and wash hands since they're slimy at this point :)

    2.    FOR MARINADE: In medium size bowl, whisk together all ingredients for marinade beginning with oil and ending with beer. Pour into zip-lock, zip bag, then shake gentle to coat fish and place in refrigerator for 4-6 hours. The longer the better.

    3.    Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

    4.    FOR FISH: Remove from marinade and pour into colander to drain. Add 2 tablespoons oil (olive or canola or corn) to large frying pan and heat on high for 1-2 minutes. Add fish and cook for 2-3 minutes on high heat. Reduce to medium heat and continue to cook 8-12 minutes or until fish flakes apart with fork. Cooking time may vary depending on fish type and stove top.

    5.    FOR DRESSING: In small bowl, whisk together all ingredients listed above for dressing. Set aside and refrigerate if not using immediately.

    6.    FOR CABBAGE MIX: In large bowl, combine cabbage, onion, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper. Prior to serving, pour dressing over cabbage mixture and toss with tongs or the cleanest of hands.

    7.    FOR TORTILLAS: Cut tin foil into rectangles, 9-12 inches in length depending on the size of your tortillas. Stack 2-3 tortillas in center of each piece of foil and brush with thin layer of oil to keep them from sticking together. Wrap foil around tortillas to form small packages then place in preheated oven for 10 minutes before serving.

    8.    OPTIONAL GARNISHES: Lime wedges, minced red or green jalapeno.

    Serving Ideas: Serve with, homemade lime garlic guacamole, baked whole wheat tortilla chips,  Mexican style rice and black beans with green chilies.

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Sweet Chili Pomegranate Tilapia ~ IF I CAN DREAM ~ WEEK 2

    It's Wednesday. Hump day. For those of you who may not know, I have another job besides being the private chef for the If I Can Dream Team. I work for POM Wonderful managing their online community and assisting them in recipe based content. Let it be known I truly do LOVE pomegranates. Anyway, after leaving the office today, I felt a little low low on energy so I wanted to cook something simple, and fast that would still live up to my FoodFlirt standards: amazing flavors, uniquely paired, fresh, healthy, and crave-able. How'd the cast like it? Ben told me everything so far has been good, but that each night seems to get better. "I think you're getting better and better." Aw, thanks Ben :)

    ~ xoxo~

    Sweet Chili Pomegranate Tilapia

    Servings: 5
    1 cup 100% pomegranate juice
    1 cup orange juice
    1 cup white wine
    1/4 cup pineapple vodka or juice (optional)
    1/4 cup molasses
    3 tablespoons soy sauce
    6 pieces Tilapia (about 1.5 pounds) (can sub Catfish, Dover sole, or Snapper), fillets

    2 cups 100% pomegranate juice
    3 tablespoons molasses or honey
    1/4 cup shallots, diced

    sea salt
    pepper (fresh ground if you have it)
    3 tablespoons butter, salted AA, melted
    1/2 cup sweet chili sauce

    FOR MARINADE: In large bowl whisk together first six ingredients. Place Tilapia in bowl making sure all pieces are covered with marinade. Cover and place in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

    2.    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking dish or cookie sheet with tinfoil and spray with oil.

    3.    FOR POMEGRANATE REDUCTION: To medium sized sauce  pan add pomegranate juice, molasses, and shallots and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring periodically. Continue to simmer for 30-40 minutes or until liquid reduces by half and becomes syrup-like. Be sure to stir sauce every few minutes and keep heat at medium-high to avoid burning.
    4.    FOR TILAPIA: Remove fish from marinade and place in one layer on lined baking dish. Discard liquid. Salt and pepper both sides of fillets to taste. Drizzle one side with  melted butter. Use a basting brush to brush sweet chili sauce generously over both sides of fillets. You can also use clean hands for this ... give the Tilapia a lil' rub down :) About 15 minutes before your pomegranate reduction is done, place fish in preheated 375 degree oven on center rack to bake for 10-14 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish. When done, fish should flake apart easily with a fork. Plate fish and drizzle approx. 1 tablespoon pomegranate reduction over each fillet. Serve immediately and relish the moment.

    Preparation Time: 30 minutes
    Start to Finish: 2 hours 45 minutes

    Serving Ideas: Serve with oven roasted lemon shallot asparagus and roasted new potatoes with onion.

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Panko Crumb Lemon Pepper Catfish ~ IF I CAN DREAM ~ WEEK 2

    Tonight I decided to make a Southern inspired meal with a Food Flirt twist. That means it's lighter, healthier and accompanied by an awesome grain called quinoa instead of buttery grits or mashed potatoes. (Pictures coming soon.)

    Panko Crumb Lemon Pepper Catfish

    Serves 4-6

    1 c white wine
    1/3 c lemon juice
    1/4 c olive oil
    4 tbsp honey mustard (or any mustard)
    3 tbsp honey
    2 tsp salt
    1 tsp pepper
    6 catfish fillets - deboned

    1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
    3/4 cup corn meal
    2 tsp salt
    2 tsp pepper
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

    2 egg whites
    2 tbsp water

    In large bowl or zip lock bag, mix together the first seven ingredients beginning with white wine and ending with pepper. Add fish to the marinade and refrigerate for 4-8 hours (the longer the better). If using a bowl, cover with tinfoil or plastic wrap.

    Upon removing fish from refrigerator, preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

    In shallow pan mix together ingredients for crumb crust beginning with panko bread crumbs. Use clean, dry hands or whisk to make sure it is thoroughly blended. Set aside.

    Line cookie sheet with tinfoil and spray with oil. Remove fish from marinade letting liquid drip off and then discard marinade. Lay fish in single layer on foil lined sheet. In small bowl, whisk together egg whites and water until slightly foamy. Coat each piece of catfish with a thin layer of egg white wash using basting brush.

    Dredge fish in crumb mixture on both sides, pressing down firmly to ensure crumbs stick in a thick layer. Return to cookie sheet and place fish in preheated 450 degree oven on middle rack for 12-16 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillets.

    Remove from oven once fish flakes apart easily with fork and crumb crust on lightly golden. Serve immediately, otherwise you'll need to microwave it like the cast of If I Can Dream had to ;) BTW, the amazing miso dressing I used in the salad tonight is Galeos. TO DIE FOR and SO freakin' healthy.

    Ok, time for bed so I can wake up early and make a caffeine stop before hitting the If I Can Dream House to cook up some breakfast. Will post Pan Fried Okra recipe tomorrow!!



    ~Food Flirt~

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    L.A. Enchilasagna ~ IF I CAN DREAM ~ WEEK 1

    Here is my first recipe from the dinners I made at the If I Can Dream House Last Week. I will post the rest of the recipes soon :) Check back often.

    This dish is perfect for Hollywood Stars because it's healthy but tastes rich and satisfying. It's like a hybrid of lasagna and enchiladas. Yum! Here we go ...

    Serves 6-8 people or 1-2 people for a week!
    Start to finish time: 1:15 with five minutes used to crack a bottle of vino and pour a glass ;)


    salt (fresh ground sea salt is best)
    pepper (fresh ground is best)
    1 large egg plant - sliced into 1/3" thick rounds
    olive oil
    1 sweet potato - peeled and sliced into 1/3" thick rounds
    2 medium red or yellow onions - chopped
    2 T red wine
    1-2 jalapenos - seeded and diced
    1 small head broccoli - roughly chopped
    1 T Turmeric (optional)
    6 corn tortillas - sliced into inch wide strips
    1 large jar or 2 1/2 cups marinara sauce
    6 slices Colby Jack cheese (you can substitute your favorite cheese but I recommend choosing one with a bit stronger flavor than mozzarella)
    Sprinkle with Gorgonzola five minutes before removing from oven if desired.

    FYI - you can add any other veggies you want to ... just slice them thin enough or dice them small enough so they all cook at the same time. Spinach, mushrooms, squash, would all be great!


    - Preheat oven to 400

    - Spray a 9X13 in baking pan (I like glass) with cooking spray or line it with tin foil and spray that for easy cleanup.

    - Dissolve 1T salt into medium bowl of cold water and add eggplant slices for 20minutes; drain and set aside.

    - In large oiled frying pan over medium-high heat, saute the onions and red wine; about 3-5 minutes; set aside.

    - Place eggplant slices on cookie sheet, brush both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 10 minutes in preheated oven at 400 degrees. Set aside.

    - While eggplant roasts, in large frying pan saute jalapenos and broccoli with 1T olive oil for 5-7 minutes over medium heat. Salt and pepper to taste; set aside.

    - Remove eggplant from oven.

    - Line bottom of baking dish with sweet potato slices. Layer with broccoli jalapeno mixture. Then layer onions on top of that.

    - Layer eggplant slices next and sprinkle those with the Turmeric.

    - Layer 1/2 of the tortilla strips across the eggplant as shown.

    - Use 1/2 of the marinara sauce and spread it evenly over tortilla strips.

    - Layer with the remaining tortilla strips then place rounds of Gouda over top evenly to cover entire pan. If using shredded cheese, sprinkle evenly over top.

    - Spread last of the marinara over the cheese.

    - Reduce oven to 375 and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese starts to turn golden brown.

    - Remove from oven and sprinkle Gorgonzola over top. Chopped, roasted nuts can be added in place of or in addition to the Gorgonzola. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and blissing out on the LA Veggie Bake. BTW, even meat lover men seem to enjoy this recipe. Also a good way to get kids to eat their vegetables.

    "No matter what Google says ... the way to a man's heart is still through his stomach."