Thursday, September 25, 2014

Grilled Surf & Turf, Kohlrabi & Roasted Carrots

Something new…& we LOVE it : Kohlrabi! It’s not often we try a new vegetable and the fella mentions he’d like to have that again.

If you are looking for a Dinner Party meal with big flavors and elegance, wrapped up in a pretty easy package – this is just the one! Luscious Shrimp & Perfectly Grilled Steak over a puree of something exotic like Kohlrabi… Your guests may have never heard of this yummy little secret, but when they go home, they won’t be quick to forget it. Bonus round, this one is very Low Carb & yet the pureed Kohlrabi acts as a Mashed Potato substitute with a similar fluffy texture. The flavor is that of Broccoli & Red Potato’s lovechild. If you are worried about feeling cheated from a carb (you likely won’t but just in case) throw some garlic bread on to soak it all up.

Now we’re talking!


Surf & Turf over Puréed Kohlrabi & Roasted Carrots

Surf N Turf

1 lb Shrimp (or 1/3 lb per guest)
Zesy Shrimp Marinade (see recipe below)
Steaks (Filets, New Yorks or Ribeyes) 1 per person
Montreal Seasoning
Sprinkle of Garlic Powder
Sprinkle of Sea Salt


10 Carrots, peeled
3 Whole Kohlrabi
¼ Cup +3 Tbsp Cup Drippings (Turkey, Chicken or Beef)
2 Tbsp Half/Half (or cream)
1 Clove Garlic
4 Tbsp Reserved Water (from Kohlrabi)
Salt & Pepper

Zesty Dill Italian Shrimp Marinade:

2 Tbsp Jack Daniels Mustard
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1/3 Cup Olive Garden Italian Dressing (use your favorite Italian Dressing here)
1 ½  tsp Dried Dill
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Grated Lemon
Salt & Pepper

Frozen drippings thawing

***Kitchen Tip: Save your Drippings -  When I make a roasted Chicken, turkey or roast beef I always reserve the drippings and either make a soup or a gravy, a stock or I freeze for use another day. All that juice and flavor is just too good to throw away!  In this recipe, drippings come into good use for roasting the carrots in and add a ton of flavor to the Kohlrabi mash.

Start with the steaks. Give them the once over, check 'em out. Make sure there's nothing weird about them. They look good? Great! Get them going by sprinkling liberally, both sides, in Montreal Seasoning & a light sprinkle of garlic power & sea salt. Refrigerate while you work on prep.

Get your shrimp into a marinade about an hour before you plan to grill. Too long in the marinade, they start to cook and are overly flavored. Note, though, larger shrimp & shrimp still in their shells can withstand longer marinade times. I used 26/30 count shrimp here, shells on.

If not already done, remove the vein on the back of the shrimp. You might like to also peel them. I sometimes keep the shell on larger shrimp to lock in the moisture; smaller shrimp I usually remove the shell to allow them to soak in a good marinade for moisture and flavor. This is all personal preference, so go for whatever you like!

The Veggies

Peel & Half the Kohlrabi. Peel the tough outer shell, as you would a potato. 

Cut into halves; the inside of the Kohlrabi has the similar texture to a crisp apple/potato/broccoli heart. Their cook time is similar to potatoes, too!

Bring a pot of water to boiling; add halved Kohlrabi. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Looks like a Potato but it's Kohlrabi, halved and ready to simmer

While that simmers...

Peel & cut carrots into sticks or rounds – again personal preference. Toss them up with 3 Tbsp of drippings, salt and pepper. 

Roast on 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Mine. Were thick so 25 mins for me.

Back to the Kohlrabi...

Loosely chop the garlic clove. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add ¼ Cup drippings with 1 clove of garlic, chopped. Flash sauté for just a minute and pull off heat (don’t let the garlic get too brown.)

In a food processor, add the garlic drippings, 1 Tbsp Half/Half (or cream) and 2 Tbsp of Kohlrabi water. Process until smooth. Add a little salt and pepper and give it one last spin.

Pour Puree into an oven safe baking dish.

Now, your carrots are done; pull them out of the oven and cover until serving time. 

Turn oven off. Let your kohlrabi rest in the oven while you grill everything, so it's nice and hot for serving.

Pureed Kohlrabi rested in a warm oven right before serving
Grill Steak

For a good medium rare steak, grill the steaks for 9 minutes total (for about 1 ½ inch steak); flip every 4 minutes approximately. Turn 90 degrees every 2 minutes for some good grill marks! Note- cook times vary with method of grilling, heat regulation and the cut of meat so it takes some practice to get *perfect* and even then, there’s always that one that gets a little overdone, it seems. I've found that the 9 minute mark is a pretty safe guide, in general.

Grill Shrimp Last

Let steaks rest while you grill the shrimp. For easy grilling and clean up, use a grill this:

If you don't have a grill basket, get one. Seriously. This is one of my favorite grill things ever.

Depending on your grill heat and size of shrimp, about 3 minutes per side will get you where they need to be. Not too dried out, not raw on the inside. 

Serve Kohlrabi puree as a base and layer the carrots, steak & shrimp over the top.

As you cut into the steak, expect all those meaty juice to add even more flavor to your puree

A beautiful plate to serve - anytime!

As I finish up this weeks recipes, #ClimateChange has been on my mind. I'm working on a post, something a little different, but important to me nonetheless. Never know where inspiration strikes so until next time...Happy Cooking!!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Conquering Succulent Grilled Rainbow Trout

I had an “Ah Ha” moment last night. For years I’ve admired whole fish in the market, from afar. So beautiful and glistening, on ice. Bright eyed (hopefully). Yet, also rather intimidating looking, if you ask me. The skin-crawling thought of touching...well, it's a whole little slippery animal there. Eek! Without fail, I would get right up to the moment when the butcher asks, “May I help you.” That’s on a good day. Other days it’s an annoyed, "Can I get you something" or the always welcoming Grunt that signals. “if you absolutely need something, I will begrudgingly assist with some eye rolling and judgment.” What’s up with all the rudeness lately, anyway?! Like Knox sings, “Why ya gotta be so RUuuuuUDE?!”

Like I was saying, I would get right up to pulling the trigger and would have an out-of-body moment my mind is thinking one thing but I hear myself say, "I’ll take a pound of…pause…(butcher's looking rather annoyed)… shrimp ::insert salmon, swordfish, any other already fileted fish here::” Then, I'd shrink away still thinking about that beautiful whole fish on ice. This is all really weird, because I'm usually fearless in the kitchen.  Okay, so yeah, yeah enough about this whole whole-fish anxiety! I’m here today to say I BEAT IT. Why THE HELL was I so hesitant?! Finally climbing that mountain and buying a whole fish, namely Rainbow Trout from Idaho (but in Las Vegas), was the best decision I made this week. Please, if you or someone you know are suffering from whole fish anxiety – seek help – I recommend facing your fear. With this recipe.

Grilling the Trout whole leaves succulent, tender fish that literally falls off the bone in one juicy beautiful fillet. No muss, no fuss. No picking bones with tweezers. No pulling bones out as you eat. So easy.
Now get out there and JUST DO IT!

 Whole Rainbow Trout

Grapeseed oil
Sea Salt
Granulated Garlic
1 Tbsp Butter per fish, softened
1 tsp Dried Dill per fish
1/2 Lemon, sliced thin
2 Whole Trout (Approx. 1.25 lbs)
Nonstick Cooking Spray

Let's start with little bit about buying the fish...I won't pretend to be an expert. I do know, if it smells funky, it IS funky. Not funky fresh, just funky. The eyes should be clear and bright. If they are cloudy, that's an old fish. 

Also, the fish should be firm. Like Jax Teller (a.k.a Charlie Hunnam, previously known as Christian Gray for a day, yet us XX chromosomes still wish it was so.) If your finger mushes into the fish or indents the flesh and the intention stays...that's an old fish.

Seriously...if you have a funky fish in question, trust your instinct, you will know...and don't forget:

So, get rid of that shit. That's a Proverb so thus goes for life, as well. I've been tossing those rotten fish and bleaching my kitchen. Life is fresher than ever!

Alright, so now you've chosen the freshest, most beautiful trout in the bunch and you are ready to grill!


Rub both sides of the fish with oil. Sprinkle skin on both sides with plenty of sea salt and black pepper, some dill and garlic powder. 

Open the fish by separating at the middle – where the fish has been sliced to clean the “stuff” out (by the butcher because I'm not THERE yet!) Sprinkle the inside liberally with dill, garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper. 

Coat the inside of the fish with softened butter – about 1 tablespoon per fish (both sides of the filets should be exposed by a slit down the belly of the fish when cleaned properly). I used ½ the butter on one side of the exposed flesh and then the other half on the other side.

Slide two or three slices of thinly sliced lemon into the fish and close, like a sandwich.

Prepped & Ready for the Heat


Preheat grill to medium heat.

Spray a grilling basket lightly with Cooking Spray. Place the fish in the basket and then on the pre-heated grill. Turn grill down to low and close the lid. Come back in 6 minutes and flip.

A Doors song reference comes to mind here

Cook another 6 minutes and remove from heat.

Let fish rest for a few minutes to cool.

Pull the skin from the meat and discard. GENTLY. Using two forks, slide the filet off of the bone in one piece. I found using two utencils helps, by gently pressing the filet away from the bone, while stabilizing the bone with the other fork. The tiny little bones will start to pull away from the meat, just keep gently wiggling them free and soon you'll have the full filet sans bones free and beautiful.


Garnish with a couple of the slices of grilled lemon from inside the fish, salt and pepper. Serve over rice.

Glistening, moist & flavorful...this will be a fan favorite!!!

For proof of fear conquered...

The bone came out whole, the first try!! Score!

Onto the next!

Until next time...Happy Cooking!!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Vert & Violette Salad & Yogurt Bleu Dressing

Life Hack: Here's a little info graphic laying out all the nutritional details

Originally, I made this dressing as a dip for these Crispy Baked Chipper Chicken Fingers.

Then, it turned into a whole salad thing. Then, it was all so good, I decided I must share. After researching the calories in a typical Blue Cheese, I did the calculations for this delicious recipe. We are talking HUGE!

2 Tbsp of Litehouse's Original Bleu Dressing rings in at 150 calories...
2 Tbsp of  this Yogurt Bleu Dressing rings in at 45 calories! I had to do the calculation several times, on different websites - just to be sure. This is crazy good dressing, crazy low cal!

Yogurt Bleu Dressing

1 ½ Cup Plain Yogurt

3” x 2” chunk Castillo Blue Cheese (about 1/3 Cup crumbled)

Heaping tsp “Really Raw” Honey (1 ¼ approx. tsp)

1 Tbsp  Red Wine Vinegar

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp Black Pepper

½ tsp Salt

Very & Violette Salad

Radicchio (Used Treviso variety here)
Bunch of Radish
Mix up your dressing first.

Measure out the ingredients into a small mixing bowl. 

Salt and pepper - don't skimp on either

A little sprinkle of garlic powder

Adding a little dash of honey enhances the sweetness - needed against the tart yogurt/bleu blend

Red wine vinegar gives it all a little sweet snap

If using block blue cheese, chop it up a bit first for easier stirring. 

Crumble the Bleu Cheese first - it blends much easier

Bleu Cheese in....time to whisk, whisk, whisk 'til smooth

I whisked and whisked and whisked to help the blue cheese smooth out into the yogurt – these things take a little time. Use your whisk to chop up bigger clumps as you go.

Chill dressing while you clean, chop and slice up the lettuce and radish for the salad.

Serve dressing over salad or even as a dip for chicken fingers, fries, hot wings, or veggie sticks.

Toss the greens and serve them as a bed under the Cripsy Baked Chippy Chicken, with a little cup of dressing and some sliced radishes to dip in place of real chips (since we’ve got our fill of potato chips crusted around the chicken). Yum!!

Until next time everyone...Happy Cooking!!!