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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Savana Cafe (Ottawa) Pad Thai

She surfs - she SCORES! I found this recipe thanks to a web post I found on : .

I love this 'global' version of Pad Thai that I enjoyed when I lived in Ottawa. It's defined as global or international - not traditional, because it includes ketchup instead of tamarind sauce (oh, I'm a peasant - I know, but who has tamarind in the pantry?)

I'm not sure if I was introduced to the dish at Sante Restaurant (where the photo is from, thanks to ), or at the Savana Cafe , where this recipe is purported to originate. It's a toss up because both are similar. Anyway - this version, which I make at home, is much better than anything I've tried on the South Shore of MA, where Asian food means some variation of oil and sugar - bleck! (And why are there bacon bits in the egg rolls????)

Anyway, on to the recipe card! This may be modified, but I think it's very close to what they serve. I will transcribe the scanned version and add my own tweaks. This is a great, "I need comfort food" dish and is non-gluten friendly.
~ Enjoy!
Thai Spicy Noodles - Savana Cafe
Serves 4
3/4 cup diced raw chicken (I add more - bite sized pieces)
8 shrimp peeled and deviened (I add more, and use cooked shrimp which I add at the end)
1 square tofu - diced and deep fried (I omit this part - I prefer more shrimp or chicken)
4 eggs,
1 pkg rice noodles - soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes and drained. (I like the broader variety)
3/4 to 1 cup ketchup (you can always add more later if the sauce isn't to your liking)
4 small handfuls of beansprouts
1/2 cup minced green onions
3 - 4 tbsps of roasted peanuts (you can toast them like pine nuts)
4 tbsp Meme (what is that?) or soy sauce (I use vinegar to cut the sweetness of the ketchup)
2 tbsp fish sauce - VERY IMPORTANT - it ain't Pad Thai without the fish sauce. (I use more - but not until I've done the taste test and I'm tweaking)
- Lime juice and rind, and chili flakes to taste (I like my noodles more spicy so I use Asian chili/garlic sauce)
- Chopped cilantro to taste - (more is better in my opinion)
(I also include ginger and garlic to taste - real is better, but dried works as well)
Drain noodles. Heat oil in wok. Fry chicken and shrimp (unless you used the cooked version, then add at the end) until firm. Move the meat to the side and fry the eggs in the same wok - stir to scramble. Reduce heat. I mix the ketchup, vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice/rind, chili flakes and/or chili/garlic sauce together to form the base sauce. Add noodles and sauce to the wok.
Increase heat and stir until the noodles have absorbed the sauce. (This is where you may want to add more sauce - or parts of it, if your noodles have absorbed everything). Add bean sprouts, onions, (more lime juice/rind?), cilantro and peanuts. Toss and serve immediately.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Easy & Elegant Goat Cheese Appetizer from

Want to hit a 'home run' with your guests? Try this Goat Cheese with Thyme, Peppercorns and Garlic/Lemon Oil appetizer recipe from So easy and looks very 'swishy'. The color combination is wonderful: white, pink/red, green and yellow. You can even take an extra minute to mold the ball into a theme shape (ie: heart shaped for Valentine's Day, or Christmas tree, etc.) Be prepared to hand out the recipe at the end of the night.

The posted reviews for this recipe are very helpful. I like to make a little extra garlic/lemon oil and add it to the cheese (not to much because the oil will make the cheese become runny) and then pour the rest of the oil over the ball in advance of the event to allow the flavors to blend in the fridge.

To form the ball, I place a piece of plastic wrap on the inside of a cafe au lait bowl and push the cheese into it. I then lift away the bowl, place the cheese ball on a platter and peel away the wrap - very easy and you don't get your fingers messy.

~ Enjoy

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Barefoot Contessa's Chocolate Cupcakes and Yellow Birthday Sheet Cake

Shannon is back with two more recipes from the Food Network's Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten (I think she idolizes her, but that's another story). According to Shannon, and I have tasted the results, both are excellent recipes. The cupcakes always come out extremely moist and the recipe makes 24, so beware!

The Barefoot Contessa's Chocolate Cupcakes and Peanut Butter Icing

Shannon uses her own traditional butter cream for the icing, as seen in the photos:
covers 12 cupcakes

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white shortening
4 cups confectioners sugar
A few drops of vanilla
And a little milk to help smooth it out.

She also likes the Contessa's yellow birthday sheet cake. However, since she made it in a 9 1/2 X 11 pan, she baked it for slightly longer than indicated. She also used her butter cream frosting because she was customizing the cake for an event - looks great...
~ Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Skinny Girls’ Margarita Recipe a la Real Housewives of New York

Summer's coming - time to break out the blender! I'm not a fan of the Real Housewives series (I made it through high school once... don't need to relive the drama again), but Bethenny has brought back the 'real' marg and now we can save ourselves from ingesting corn syrup, yellow dye and the hundreds of calories that come in the bottled mixes - Ole to you, girlfriend!
You can watch her prepare the recipe on Youtube (image from

Very nice on a hot day.
~ Enjoy

The Skinny Girls' Margarita

Blender drink (can be served over ice too)

What you’ll need:
* Half a blender full of slushy ice
* Clear Tequila (less chance of a hang over, according to Bethenny)
* (count 1, 2, 3, 4 while you pour, no need for measuring)
* A splash of fresh lime juice (I usually add the juice of one lime per drink)
* Bethenny cheats sometimes by using a splash of lemonade to extend the lime juice
* Micro plain the rind of one lime into the mix
* A splash of Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec (2 count per drink)

Combine all ingredients and blend and/or pour over a glass of ice.

Garnish with a lime wedge and salt/sugar combination if you’d like.

Makes one serving

Monday, May 10, 2010

Eric Ripert's Eggs Benedict

Ok, so I watch Live with Regis and Kelly - so sue me. Anyway, I find their banter very funny and every once in a while, there is something more than a celebrity interview. Eric Ripert's Eggs Benedict recipe is GREAT. It is the easiest Hollandaise sauce I've ever attempted and it works wonderfully AS LONG AS YOU FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS. Stay in the lines and everything will be fine. (And one day I hope to visit his restaurant, Le Bernadin in New York).

~ Enjoy:


4 English muffins, toasted
8 Slices smoked salmon, ham or Canadian bacon, cooked

For the Hollandaise:
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
10 ounces butter, melted and hot
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
(I add Tarragon - to taste)

For the Eggs:
8 eggs
1 teaspoon white vinegar
5 cups water

Combine egg yolks and lemon juice in a blender, turn the blender on medium and drizzle the butter into the blender in a steady stream until the butter has emulsified into the eggs and is fully incorporated. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and keep warm.

Fill a medium sauce pan with about 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and white vinegar to the sauce pan of water and reduce the heat to a simmer.Carefully break each egg into a small cup or bowl and gently slide the egg into the water; add more eggs, making sure not to crowd the pan.Let the eggs cook for about 2-3 minutes.Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and let drain on a towel lined pan or plate.Repeat with the remaining eggs.

To serve, top each half of a toasted English muffin with a slice of ham or Canadian bacon and a poached egg. Spoon the Hollandaise sauce on top and serve immediately. Serves 4

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Emeril's Ceviche from the Food Network

I’m feeling inspired! I’m heading to Louisville KY next month and can’t wait to go back to one of my favorite restaurants, Seviche, where I had the best Ceviche, EVER. Who knew Louisville was such a hot bed for seafood, but it’s fresh and delicious.

After my first visit, I tried to find a recipe that matched my memory of the taste I enjoyed so much. Again I turn to Emeril Lagasse of the Food Network. Of course it’s not authentic Ceviche, but it is tasty.

My tastes run more tart than sweet, so I skip the orange and pineapple juices (but a lot of people like the sweetness so play around with it). I almost perfer the Simple Ceviche recipe by Ingrid Hoffmann, but I like the color combination of Emeril's version. I substitute seeded and diced red tomatoes for the red pepper to compliment the color of the fish, yellow peppers, purple onions and green cilantro. Oh, and I’m a cilantro-freak, so I usually increase the quantity. Serve it in a martini glass with corn chips (to use as scoops) for a stylish appetizer. Someone also suggested serving it in half of a pitted avocado, which sounds quite good too. Hope you like it and I can’t wait until next month’s trip. (Photo source of similar recipe:

~ Enjoy!


Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2005
Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time: 4 hr 0 min
Cook Time: --

4 appetizer portions

12 ounces very fresh (sushi-grade) white-fleshed ocean fish, such as grouper, wahoo, sea bass, or red snapper (I use swordfish or scallops)
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons pineapple juice
1 1/2 tablespoons finely diced serrano pepper
2 tablespoons finely diced yellow bell pepper
2 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon good quality extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 (3-inch) plantain chips (I didn't have any so I used corn chips)
Lime wedges, for serving

Cut the fish into 1/4-inch dice. Place in a glass dish with the lime juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, peppers, onions, and garlic, tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the cilantro, olive oil, and salt. Fold gently to mix. Serve ceviche in martini glasses and garnish with fried plantain chips and lime wedges.