I love to read menus to get inspired to make new salad and sandwich combinations at home. Reading the menu was always a fave part of dining out, deciding what sounded good in the moment, reading the ingredients and realizing wow I can do that at home! Here were some faves from the now closed Tempo Bistro To go in Gainesville, FL:
I’m not someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen. Maybe because I worked from home for so long that I got in the habit of eating most of my meals out. I have a handful of favorite dishes I cook for myself and for friends and one of my favorite things to cook is soup. Sometimes I’m just looking in the fridge at the leftovers. Sometimes I do this in a structured manner, like deciding on split pea soup and buying just those ingredients, but most often I find myself in the store looking at a juicy stalk of fennel next to a fat leek and the ideas start to flow. If I have no direction in mind, I can just let the fresh vegetables of the day direct me.
Andrea’s Spicy Low Fat Seafood Chowder
Marinate 1 lb of shrimp or bay scallops in the juice of 2 lemons while you begin
Saute 6 cloves freshly chopped garlic in 2 tblsp olive oil
Dice and add:
I giant whole leek
1 fat stalk of fennel
2 whole carrots
Corn from one raw ear
4 stalks celery
ITEMS TO BUY AT AN ASIAN MARKET Keep these items on hand and by the time you read the recipes about them a few times, you’ll feel adventuresome enough to make the delicious, classic tom yum soup.
Split pea is a favorite of mine because I can make it in 35 minutes. Even though I make only one quart of it at a time, I saute my vegs in a 2 quart pot so I can get them all browning and carmelizing. (Double the recipe if you want 2 quarts.)
Mmmm breaded Roma tomato slices roasted, crispy AND chewy! Basically 1/3 of the way to a dried tomato. The resident food critic pronounced them the best he’s ever had, anywhere. I’d have to agree. I like Roma tomatoes because they’re not very watery, they stay firm and flavorful. Plus I can grow tomatoes from the slices!
I love a good omelet but I’m not good at making them. What I can do tho is make a killer stovetop frittata.
(1) First I basically make a stirfry of all my fave veggies. For me that’s onion, red pepper strips, halved brocolli florets, mushrooms, scallions. Fill the bottom of the pan with them, it will cook down by half. Cook til golden.
(2) pour *egg mixture to cover the vegs.
(3) lower the heat (for me it’s medium low)
(4) after 5 mins, top with fresh tomato and strips of cheese, cover and let it all melt
(5) serve alone or inside a grilled soft taco with sour cream and lettuce
Za’atar is a flavorful condiment to sprinkle over soups, salads, hummus, roasted vegetables, olive oil for bread dipping and croutons.
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp cumin seeds, freshly ground
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, freshly ground
1 tbsp sumac
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes if you like heat
What I like about making the adobo and sazon seasoning mixes myself is I can control the sodium. I use less because I typically add soy sauce. Some add chili powder to these, some add cayenne pepper. Here is a Cuban version and a Puerto Rican version. Both yummy!