Palm Springs: Part II

Better late than never is what they say, right? Life has been majorly busy with work and family upon my return from vacation. It’s a good thing I got that vacation in when I did.

Here is Part II of the Palm Springs grub …

Stuffed Peppers

             

These are some seriously delicious stuffed peppers. The recipe comes from my friend Shenelle who has yet to dish over the exact details to these bad boys. But I got the basic ingredients down and I think one could manage to go off of just that. 
The following items are in her stuffed peppers …
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Ground Turkey
  • Jasmine White Rice
  • Diced Peppers
  • Whole Peppers (with the tops cut off)

So, what I do know about the details of the creation of Shenelle’s stuffed peppers is that it’s essentially a mixture of the Jasmine White Rice, Ground Turkey and some diced pepper. She cuts the tops of the peppers, that are to be stuffed, off. You want to soften the peppers that are to be stuffed a little bit so I think she boils them for about 10 minutes in a pot. Set aside those peppers tops and dice the remains up the best that you can. Then brown your ground turkey, cook your rice by the package instructions (I think she adds a little olive oil and salt to hers) and this is your mixture. Mostly rice, then turkey and then peppers. Stuff those ingredients in to your softened peppers and coat the top with shredded Mozzarella. Bake in oven at about 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until brown like pictured above. 
Seriously. So. Delicious. – And you don’t feel like a cow after eating them, but they are soooo satisfying!
Now on to MY feature dish …
Open Face Steak & Havarti Cheese Sandwiches

I had a house full of 8 people completely silent while indulging on these sandwiches. They are absolutely delicious! But man did I get in over my head by making 8!! It was proven to have been a bit much and I will seriously never do it again. I am going to go ahead and say that if you have to make more than 4 at one time, it’s going to be too much work. Unless you have a huge oven, or more than one stove, where you can have at least 2 baking sheets under a broiler at once.
The ingredients are as follows … 
  • French Baguette Loaf or Ciabatta Loaf
  • Steak (I’ve used both T-Bone steak & New York Strip)
  • Havarti Cheese
  • Sauteed Peppers, Onions & Mushrooms
    • Olive Oil
    • Balsamic Vinaigrette 
  • Garlic Aioli
    • Mayonnaise
    • Crushed Garlic Cloves (1-2)
    • Lemon Juice
    • Kosher Salt (to taste)
    • Ground Black Pepper (until it’s visible in your aioli after being mixed)
First, you want to get as much prepped as possible. So I start by making the garlic aioli. You just want to mix together all of the ingredients listed above (mayo, garlic, lemon juice, salt & pepper). Set it aside in the fridge when finished.

Next, I would suggest dicing up all of your vegetables. I usually cut up an even ratio of red, yellow and orange peppers as well as onion and mushrooms. I personally like lots of mushrooms. But I usually throw them all in to my saute pan and hold off on adding the olive oil and vinaigrette until I’m actually ready to cook them.

You want to finely shred your Havarti. Which let me tell you, is not easy. Havarti is a fairly soft cheese that does not shred easily if you are not patient and gentle. Don’t worry if you end up getting some crumbles in there though. Set that aside in the fridge also.
*It’s your lucky day if you shop at a grocery story that already has shredded Havarti – I have yet to find one.

Get your meat on the grill or start cooking it in which ever manner you plan. I would suggest cooking the meat no more than medium temperature unless you are completely against your meat being pink/red.
*If you’re grilling, feel free to split your baguette or ciabatta bread in half (the long way) and brush the insides with some olive oil and throw those on the grill for some crispy bread! 

Once you’ve started your meat, go ahead and add about about a tablespoon of Olive Oil and about 2-3 tablespoons of vinaigrette to your saute pan full of veggies and set your burner on low/medium heat, remembering to stir your veggies every couple of minutes.

Your meat should be ready or almost ready to be flipped to its other side. Once your meat is finished, slice it up in just slightly larger than bite size pieces.

Your bread should also be about crispy now. Remove it from the grill and set it aside face up on a baking sheet.

Turn your oven broiler on high. While that heats up, brush the insides of your bread with the aioli. When your veggies are finished, place a layer on top of the aioli. Then a layer of your steak. Now sprinkle a generous layer of shredded Havarti cheese on the very top.

When your broiler is ready, place your baking sheets of open face sandwiches on the rack directly underneath the flames. You want to keep a really close on eye on these, because the cheese will melt and brown very quickly (2-3 minutes tops!).

Aaaaand, enjoy!!!
*Can see you now why this would be a lot to do for 8 people!? 🙂 

Salmon Burger on a Bagel w/ Avocado Spread

These were seriously delicious! And a really easy and quick dinner idea!

We got the salmon burgers frozen from Trader Joe’s which turned out to be pretty tasty! I was however, a little disappointed when I pulled them out of their individually vacuum sealed packaging and they started to fall apart. I ended up kind of smooshing them back together by hand and cooking them in a piece of tin foil rather than just throwing them right on the grill, as I’d originally hoped.

The ingredients included, are as follows …

  • Salmon Burger
    • Added lemon juice, kosher salt and crushed black pepper for a little flavor
  • Avocado Spread
    • 1 whole Avocado, mashed
    • 1 Tbsp of Mayonnaise
    • Kosher Salt & Crushed Black Pepper to taste
  • Sauteed Mushrooms
  • Diced Pineapple
  • Everything Bagel

I threw some lemon juice, and a little bit of kosher salt and crushed black pepper in the tin foil w/ the salmon patty.

For the avocado spread I mashed up a whole avocado and added a tablespoon of mayonnaise and a little bit of kosher salt and crushed black pepper.

I also sautéed some mushrooms (I looooooove mushrooms). And I diced up some pineapple for a little sweet flavor to mix in there.

It’s a pretty basic puzzle to put together here. Spread your avocado mixture on to the top portion of your toasted bagel, add your mushrooms (or vegetable of choice) and the pineapple and then the salmon burger and place on the bottom portion of bagel.

I made this with some potato wedge fries, which I can assure you will end up making a feature in plenty more recipes to come!

Sweet Heat Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas are a classic meal and what better way to spruce them up, than with some jalapeños and pineapple! And I have to make sure to give credit to my friend Shenelle for coming up with the genius idea to throw in the pineapple.

I’m not going to indulge in this meal too much, only because I am going to make these for lunches this coming week, and I will go much more in to detail about what goes in to this delicious recipe at that time.

But for the ingredients, the basics are …

  • Bell Peppers (a variation of Red, Yellow & Orange is my favorite)
  • Onions
  • Pineapple
  • Jalapeno
  • Marinaded Chicken
  • Toppings (Salsa, sour cream, avocado, etc…) 

The rest is pretty self explanatory as far as preparation. But again, I will be posting later in the week, a little more in depth, about the recipe itself.

As usual, I would love to hear from you guys. Please send me your comments, suggestions, questions.

And if you get the chance, visit Palm Springs, California, it’s an absolutely beautiful place!! Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure …

      
Until next time, 
Crista

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Gimme Some Oven

I love food, and I like talking about food.

for the LOVE OF NOSH

I love food, and I like talking about food.

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