Thai Fish Cakes with Dipping Sauce

Thai Fish Cakes with Dipping Sauce

After a 5 long years at my current company, I’ve decided to accept a position at a new ad agency. I’m excited to try my hand at something new, and I took last week off as a bit of a post-work staycation.

Since I had some more time in my hands, I decided to revisit my resolution to eat more Southeastern Asia-inspired foods. Seeing as most take out places are far from super diet friendly, it had seemed like ages since we’d gotten some of our old favorites.

Finding this recipe seemed like it could be pretty easy weeknight fare, considering the use of canned tuna. While it is slightly more labor-intensive than originally planned, it wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t see whipping these up after work.

Finally, as a caveat: I normally don’t fry things at home. After setting my kitchen cabinets ablaze whilst making home fries in high school, I’m a little gun-shy when it comes to oil frying.  Still, I decided it was time to face my fears; this recipe was just meant to be pan fried.

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Apple Ginger Muffins

Apple Ginger Muffins

I do not get full-blown sick very often, usually around once a year or so. Since I’m not a huge fan of taking medication, I try to beat any oncoming illness, the way my gramma would; as soon as I get the telltale sneeze, cough, or sniffle, I hit the hay earlier than usual and try to drown it in fluids. Broth, OJ, tea, water – the works – and before you know it, the impending sickness seems to go away before it hits full force. Unfortunately, our schedule lately hasn’t really allowed for any such nursing, so here I am on the couch with a blanket, thick socks and chamomile. My record 2 year healthiness streak is shattered.

Luckily for me, I had made muffins for breakfast this week and therefore, don’t have to make anything for breakfast/lunch and we don’t have to order in or leave the house. Huzzah! Double luckily, they’re freaking delicious. Hopefully after a big broth dinner, I think I might just be able to turn the curve on this thing.

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Mustard Roasted Potatoes with Smoked Salmon & a Poached Egg

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Brunch – is there another word that evokes such delectable promise? Technically, it’s different from its lesser-known and more-awkwardly-pronounced first cousin “brinner,” by only by the time of day in which it is eaten. Still, I think we’d all agree that brunch is an event all of its own. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not knocking on brinner by any stretch of the imagination. Cholesterol be damned, I love eggs.

This is something I thought of when, in typical Roxie Ginger fashion, I had several ingredients that didn’t seem to go together and needed to figure out a way to make them mesh. Davis being the outspoken mustard hater that he is, it’s hard to sneak the condiment in. Topping that off with smoked salmon – another less than lauded ingredient in our house – and I figured this one would be a tough sell. Luckily though, we had company over for an impromptu movie night and this turned to be a quick, hearty winning dish. Maybe I’m a bigger brinner fan than I thought.

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Roasted Cauliflower & Fennel with Chicken Sausage

Roasted Cauliflower & Fennel with Chicken Sausage

We’re no stranger to roasted vegetables here at Roxie Ginger, but it’s fun to see the different combinations that can come together and taste amazing. Carrots and dill never seemed to make much sense to me once upon a time, and what do you know – they sing together in perfect harmony.

On a grocery run this week, we found a really interesting sounding package of chicken sausage stuffed with spinach and gruyere and decided to give it a shot. I head scratched for a bit to think of what would be a good accompaniment. For me, sausage always matches with potatoes, but catching in the corner of my eye was a pretty head cauliflower and I thought, “well don’t you look interesting.”

This is a really simple recipe good for a busy night. While individual ingredient tastes wonderful on its own, but the combination of all three goes together like bread and butter. Or cauliflower and fennel and chicken sausage. Whatever you prefer.

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Smoked Duck Teriyaki

Smoked Duck Teryiyaki

One cuisine type that I’m really looking forward to trying more frequently in 2013 is Asian-inspired food. It’s often pretty healthy for you, and radically diverse depending on which regions you are looking to pull ideas from, but I’ve always found it a bit intimidating. Furthermore, I learned to cook and get a feel for flavors with my grandmother. We didn’t cook or really eat a whole lot of non-American or German foods, and it is always difficult to cook things when you don’t necessarily have a full understanding of the taste you are trying to replicate. Especially when you realize that General Tso’s Chicken takeout doesn’t exactly qualify as “authentic Chinese dining.”

It hasn’t been until the past few years that I’ve ventured out to try and eat more adventurously with foods from that particular portion of the world. I now want to try and re-create some of these flavors at home. There has been some trial and error, as with all things (my Pho recipe is a work in progress). I felt really fortunate to have stumbled upon this gem after buying smoked duck for another dish when inspiration struck.

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Roasted Parsnips & Carrots with Dill

Roasted Parsnips & Carrots with Dill

As we roll into mid-December, with its cooler temps and spatters of rain, I feel I missed New York’s most perfect season, fall. Luckily for me, some steaming root vegetables are right at home in the cold and wet.

This recipe actually makes a lot and is perfect on a colder day. Pair it with anything you want, or just eat it on its own. Due to the brevity of the ingredient list, it’s important you use really good olive oil and fresh dill. Otherwise, it’ll come out a bit meh-tastic. Nobody needs that; the weather’s “meh” enough on its own.

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Homemade Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

 

My Gramma Ginger is one of the best conversationalists in the world, in my opinion (she’s also one of the namesakes to this blog). This is probably due to the fact that she never sits down with a group of people without a list of prepared questions for any lull in the dialogue. Although she has never asked me this specific question, it came up during a recent get-together with friends. This certainly seems like a question that is quintessentially Ginger-esque – “what would you cook for the president if they came over for dinner?”

While I’m not 100% sure this my go-to presidential dish, it’s definitely in my top 5 contenders. I got the idea to add raisins from eating at Frankie’s Sputino in Brooklyn a few years ago, and their inclusion has been the only change to my recipe in the past 8 years. I make this dish at least once a month, and I consider these the perfect potluck or impromptu dinner party food.

You gotta get your hands a wee bit dirty here and allow yourself the time to let the flavors sit, but how long has it been since you’ve played with a big bowl of tomato chunks? C’mon, it’s fun.  Keep in mind – this takes a full 3 hours to make the sauce, but I promise you, the result is worth the wait.

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Crostinis with Blue Cheese and Requesón

In my quest to try all things Spanish during my last weeks abroad, I attempted to make dishes using ingredients that I’ve not had much experience cooking with in the past (or at all; who cooks with requesón in Los Estados Unidos?!). Also, I’ve been trying to eat as many tiny dishes as I can to get my fill of European-style dining – big lunches, little dinners – before heading back to the gigantic-dish-with-an-extra-side-of-ranch-dressing extravaganza that is my motherland. 

Requesón is a Spanish cheese that I’d never heard of, to be honest, but I see it in every grocery and even a few little corner stores here. Its consistency lies in limbo somewhere between cottage cheese and ricotta, without an overwhelming flavor with a creamy/crumbly texture. Through a bit of online research, it’s also apparently low in sodium and calories, so it makes for a great diet cheese as well. Good to know. Yes – diet food. Sure.

Crostinis are, in my opinion, the world’s best appetizer. Handheld, immensely customizable with as many toppings as you can think of, and “crostini” sounds so much fancier than “little toasts” ever will. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anyone to share these little guys with, but that was probably for the best since it would have broken my heart to part with any them.

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Jan & Robin – Home Fries

Being from the southern US, I grew up eating home fries almost every morning, and I still like to make them on weekends topped with an egg for an easy hash. I actually have a scar on my left hand from a grease fire caused by getting the oil too hot whilst making home fries for a class breakfast at 15; I’ve gotten a little better since then. I still have an aversion to frying, and now I put them in the oven. It also helps to use less oil and makes them a little less calorie-heavy.

So: less scarring and healthier. Everybody wins.

Jan & Robins are simply yummy things to look at. 

Just in case you aren’t familiar with how to make home fries there is a recipe after the break.

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Couscous Breaded Pork Chops with Honey Mustard

This is an idea I have been playing around with for a while. Last year we hosted some family over, and I realized I don’t have anything in my repertoire that would appease a picky eater. The original idea was to have this be the breading for chicken tenders, and while the breading works really well with chicken, I prefer it with pork chops. However, my husband is not really a mustard fan, so I have worked this up two separate ways.

The couscous allows the breading to be crumbly, but not crispy and stands up to a tougher cut of meat. It’s also incredibly easy to make and a versatile way to change up a standard breaded meat.

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