Pretty Little Cast Iron Skillet Pizzas

Irresistible Mini Cast Iron Skillet Pizzas

Pretty Little Cast Iron Skillet Pizzas

Ricotta & Mozzarella
with
Roasted Butternut Squash, Agave Syrup, Fried Sage, Violas
and
Arugula, Toasted Hazelnuts, Hazelnut Oil, Borage

I just couldn’t put them away, not just yet. Those mini cast iron skillets in which I served Shrimp & Grits last week were still hanging out on the counter…ready for the next irresistible presentation.

Inspired by my borage plant which is thriving in January and my violas which are still hanging on (condolences to my Chicago peeps), I set out to make some really pretty little pizzas.

Borage Arugula Pizza

Pretty Little Cast Iron Skillet Pizza Recipes

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Shrimp and Carrot Salad, Ají-Soy-Limón Dressing

Peruvian Shrimp and Carrot Salad, Aji Amarillo Soy Limon Dressing

Shrimp and Carrot Salad
Okra, Cherry Tomato, Red Onion, Caperberry, Feta, Nasturtium
Ají Amarillo Soy Limón Dressing

Colorful baby carrots and my tree bursting with key limes became the source of inspiration for this sprightly salad. Carrots and limes have a curious affinity for one another. Key limes, called limones in Peru are used extensively in Peruvian cuisine. I mix the lime juice with ají amarillo paste and soy sauce to make the refreshing dressing. Ají amarillo, a yellow-orange Peruvian chile pepper is simultaneously spicy and fruity. Just a couple teaspoons of the paste gives the dressing its zing and along with the shrimp and carrots paired with feta, okra, onion, and tomatoes – the result is a really zesty salad with piquant Peruvian flair.

Peruvian Shrimp and Carrot Salad Recipe

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Crusted Ahi over Ponzu with Roasted Garlic Tahini

Togarashi Crusted Ahi over Ponzu with Roasted Garlic Tahini, Serrano, Kaffir Lime, Wasabi, Borage

Togarashi Furikake Crusted Ahi
Over Ponzu
Roasted Garlic Tahini Sauce
Garnished with Serrano, Kaffir Lime Shards, Wasabi, Borage

Choosing the right fish for your dish can have a positive impact on the marine environment and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium would like to help educate local consumers on this important topic. Today, FRIENDS of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium hosted its first Sustainable Seafood Expo, a fun and delicious way to sample new seafood dishes, wines and craft beers while learning how to make the best selections when dining out or cooking at home.

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is one of 200 partners in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, which produces pocket guides and a smart phone app recommending which seafood items are “best choices,” “good alternatives” or “avoid.”

sustainable seafood

Seafood Watch recommendations consider the fishery, habitat, species, management, and a host of factors that affect each species. The goal is to help sustain wild, diverse and healthy ocean ecosystems that will exist long into the future. Consumers are encouraged to purchase seafood that is fished or farmed in ways that don’t harm the environment. (from Sustainable Seafood Expo press release)

yellowfin tuna

My “contribution” to the event is a recipe for sustainable Yellowfin (Ahi) Tuna, Pole Caught right here off our Pacific Coast.

Togarashi Crusted Ahi Recipe

Yellowfin tuna is found throughout most of the world’s oceans. Many types of gear are used to catch tuna. Not all yellowfin fisheries use ocean-friendly methods and some populations are overfished. Look for troll- or pole-caught yellowfin as the most sustainable option. (from SeafoodWatch here)

Crusted Ahi Recipe

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Welcome Fall: Radicchio and Sautéed Mushroom Salad

Radicchio and Sautéed Mushroom Salad
Radicchio and Sautéed Mushroom Salad
with
Frisee, Point Reyes Blue Cheese, Toasted Pine Nuts, Golden Raisins
Garlic Chives, Warm Balsamic Vinaigrette

Deeper colors, warm earthy mushrooms, and crisp bitter lettuces make this a perfect salad to serve as we transition into Fall. Creamy pungent blue cheese and rich toasted pine nuts harmonize with the smooth flavors of a fine balsamic vinaigrette. And to bring the entire salad into balance, golden raisins add the perfect touch of sweetness.

Speaking of balance, today, the earth will be rotating upright on its axis. The northern and southern hemispheres will have equal sunlight and the sun will be rising due east, and setting due west. Happy Autumnal Equinox!

Radicchio and Sautéed Mushroom Salad Recipe

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Inspired by Egg Foo Young: Bay Shrimp & Bean Sprout Omelette

Inspired by Egg Foo Young: Bay Shrimp and Bean Sprout Omelette

Inspired by Egg Foo Young:

Bay Shrimp and Bean Sprout Omelette
Mirin, Tamari, and Sesame Dipping Sauce
Chive and Chinese Chive Blossom Garnish

As a kid, one of my favorite dishes on “Chinese Take-Out Sunday Night” was the mysterious egg foo young. Back then, the only ingredient that I knew it contained for sure, was egg. I adored those deep-fried thick egg patties smothered in gravy. It was years later that I would re-create egg foo young in my own kitchen. Mystery solved. The filling was mung bean sprouts. Really?

I often fill my omelettes with bean sprouts now, they are high in protein and low in calories. They have a delightful crunch and a mild sweet earthy flavor. Here I pair them with bay shrimp for a light and lovely filling. A dipping sauce of mirin, tamari, and sesame oil takes the place of egg foo young’s traditionally rich gravy. The sweet, salty, toasty flavors are a refreshing complement to the omelette.

Bay Shrimp and Bean Sprout Omelette Recipe

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Patriotic Grilled Chicken, Savory Blueberry Compote, Strawberry Arugula Salad

Patriotic Grilled Chicken, Blueberry Compote, Strawberry Arugula Salad
Patriotic Grilled Chicken, Savory Blueberry Compote, Strawberry Arugula Salad

Happy Birthday America, Sweet Land of Liberty!

As much as we have a passion for food and cooking – holidays, of course – have significance beyond what we’re eating. In addition to roasting a big beautiful turkey on Thanksgiving, we spend time giving thanks and sharing our gratitude. On Independence Day, while we relish our BBQ chicken and burgers, we celebrate our LIBERTY and FREEDOM!

Patriotic Grilled Chicken, Savory Blueberry Compote, Strawberry Arugula Salad

Patriotic Grilled Chicken Recipe

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