Monday, June 3, 2013

Mint, Mayo, Mediterranean and Don't Forget Mario for May #FoodieFinds

“The kitchen is a country in which there are always
discoveries to be made.”~Grimod de la Reyni√®re

This quote rang especially true as I read it today, because I think I'm finally at a wiser point in my life.  A place where I realize the best culinary adventures don't have to revolve around airline travel, or a racked up American Express bill from a Michelin Starred Restaurant.

Now, don't get me wrong... I love those things too.  But, these days I'm also finding much joy in the simpler things, like a new ingredient, technique, or a markdown cookbook that turns out to be a new favorite.  Here are a few of my new discoveries from the month of May.

1) Cookbook #foodiefind

Mediterranean Hot and Spicy by Aglaia Kremezi

Throughout my life, if you'd have asked me mild, medium or hot?  I'd have gone a tad to the left of mild... until now.  I'm not sure if it's from getting older, or from trying new ingredients and cuisines as a food blogger, but little by little I'm starting to crave some spice!

And for those of you who are already there, this hot and spicy cookbook is for you!  I found it marked down at TJ Maxx, but it's so beautiful and chock full of incredible recipes that it would well be worth full price.

So far, I've just tried the broiled wings in lemon honey chile sauce, and they were outstanding.  On my list to try next are the Skillet Pork from Kea and Roasted Leg of Lamb with North African Spices, Lemon and Onions.  Such a beautiful, rich in incredible photos, stories, recipes and techniques.

2) Recipes #foodiefinds

May was full of good eating (so what else is new!)  And throughout the month, my theme seemed to lean towards cute and simple.  And what could be cuter than stuffed shells, but with a twist!

Chicken Salad Stuffed in Shells

Giada's Shells Filled with Chicken Chopped Salad was nothing short of brilliant.  The perfect appetizer chock full of some of my favorite ingredients like fennel, olives, avocado and arugula.  Creative and practical, this appetizer is wrapped up in a convenient package.

Omelet in a Mug

And how about those days that you think you don't have time for breakfast?  This Denver Omelet in a mug by Hungry Girl is fast, healthy, and offers a simple solution for eating on the go.

First she sprayed the mug w/non stick spray, added in chopped veggies of choice, like peppers and onions and microwaved them for about a minute.  Then she blotted off the moisture off w/a paper towel.  She added in 1/2 c. of liquid eggs whites, and placed the mug back in the microwave for 1 minute (the omelet will be half cooked).  Next she stirred in 2 slices of ham, chopped and 2 tablespoons of cheddar cheese.  Back in the microwave for another minute, and you're ready to go.

What I love about this is, not only is it quick, but you can vary the meats and veggies that you use.


And finally, what could be cuter and more fun than corn on the cob all dressed up... on a stick?

This month, it seems that Elote, a traditional Mexican street food has popped up everywhere, from the Food Network, to food blogs.  Must be getting closer to BBQ season!

On the streets, Elote is most often boiled and flavored with ingredients like lime or lemon juice, chili powder, mayonnaise and sour cream.  And some of the other variations include barbecuing the corn and even rolling the cobs in Mexican cheeses... yum!

Here is an awesome recipe using Greek Yogurt, that's on my list to try next.

3) Tips #foodiefinds

Perfectly Seasoned Meat

Two tips really stood out to me last month, and the first is one that I learned from Mario on The Chew.  He taught us the way to perfectly season cooked meat is to drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt on your cutting board before you slice it.  Can I just say... genius!

The Many Uses of Mint

And the second one comes from my Facebook page. 

I've been thinking about using mint more in my cooking, but the first things that come to mind are Mint Chip Ice Cream and Candy Canes.  Good on their own, but not so much in my pasta or rice dishes.  Well, I was convinced by a few fan comments that the flavor of fresh mint is very different that what I'm imagining, so I gave it a try.  And they were right... I love the unique flavor in my dishes!  I also got a very nice tip for a use of mint in sweets, too.

Big Daddy from Big Daddy's Smokehouse and Southern Kitchen recommended adding a mint leaf inside each of your sugar cookies, for a wonderful taste and surprise!

Love it, John (Big Daddy)... you have the best recipes and creative approach to cooking.

4) Technique #foodiefind

No Raw Egg Mayo

My final #foodiefind of May, just might be my favorite.

So, if you're like me, you love mayonnaise on sandwiches, in dressings, and especially as a dip for artichoke leaves.  And you'd even go the homemade route... if it wasn't for the raw egg.

Well, here's a tip from Chef Daniel Boulud, the Chef/Owner of Boulud, that was highlighted on the Barefoot Contessa.  And man, I'm wondering how I never thought of it.

Per Chef Boulud: For mayonnaise with no raw egg, poach an egg in vinegar water for 2-3 minutes.  Take out and put into a blender.  Add in 1 tablespoon mustard and 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, and start to blend pouring in 1 cup peanut oil (I'll use canola, as I'm allergic to nuts).  Add seasoning and... "you'll have the lightest mayonnaise you'll ever have."

So. Much. Fun.

Have a great tip, technique, or recipe?  Send me an e-mail or leave a comment on my Facebook page and I just might feature you in my monthly #FoodieFinds!


  1. Um yes, those chicken salads in pasta shells are kind of genius. So glad you found it, so now I've found it! A perfect party food!

    1. Thanks Lori... I love discovering new ideas ;-)


Thank you for taking the time to comment! It makes me smile :-)