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Portland, Oregon food blog with over seven years worth of recipes, restaurant features and food photos.

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Awesome Onion Goggles

Spicy & Satisfying Asian Scallop Soup

scallop soup

I like this recipe a lot because you can substitute with abandon. No fish stock? Use chicken or vegetable! No lime leaves? Use some zest. It continues on like that…I’ve made this once with all the right ingredients and once with a lot of substitutions and both turned out delicious. They didn’t taste exactly the same but this is a recipe that lends itself (imho) to experimentation and variation. Also, jwa, who generally dislikes fish soups/stews loved this. That’s high praise right there, people.

This last time I didn’t have any lime leaves, green onions or lemongrass. My substitutions: strips of lime zest, a little lime juice, chopped white onion and two herbal lemongrass tea bags. Stash Lemon Blossom, to be exact.

Oh and also this is a great use of frozen scallops. Scallops are very expensive and you need the fresh, dry-packed ones to sear. This recipe is nice in that the scallops are cooked in the soup, no searing involved. So, if you find good frozen ones that you like (the Trader Joe’s Wild Japanese Scallops have always been sweet and tender for me), this is a great budget scallop recipe!

Asian Scallop Soup
Adapted from a recipe . . . → Read More: Spicy & Satisfying Asian Scallop Soup

The Simplest, Bestest Lamb Ever

title

I know I said there would be salad rolls next. I lied. Those will be soon Wednesday(!) because oh my, this meal was delicious and it bumped the salad rolls. You’ll notice the title image even has a bite taken out of it. Yeah. And I’m not sorry about it either.

The rack of lamb is from Trader Joe’s and is probably one of my most favorite products that they carry — the seasoned, Frenched, frozen rack of lamb from New Zealand. This was about $14 and some change for 1.3 pounds. Score. It has a garlic, sesame seed, rosemary marinade already but it’s not so strong that you can’t add more things to it. Like this pesto, for instance. All together, there’s only six ingredients here, which is also nice.

I was able to find one happy sprig of rosemary on one of plants outside, so that made me quite relieved! Our rosemary did not like all the snow, that’s for sure. Walking around town I see some rosemary bushes that seem perfectly fine. I hope all of ours comes back okay this Spring, because after 7 years, I am just not used to buying rosemary anymore…

Now the . . . → Read More: The Simplest, Bestest Lamb Ever

What’s For Lunch? Thai Basil!

thai basil
Lemongrass Chicken

Thai Basil
Corner of SW Oak & 2nd Ave
Portland, OR
503-330-1010

Well, as I’ve mentioned before, I have a new job downtown and one of the nice benefits of that is the lunch choices. My last position was up on Skyline and my lunch option was…Pizzicato. I mean, that was good, but that was it. That was the only choice nearby.

But now…the possibilities are endless! So, I thought I would start a little review of lunch carts in downtown Portland. The first is Thai Basil, which is right across the street from my office building. How convenient!

tb

Thai Basil Menu
Chicken or Tofu Curry — a red curry, green curry and a yellow curry
Chicken or Tofu Stir Fries — ginger, garlic, veggie lovers, spicy basil and cashew versions
Chicken or Tofu Noodle Dishes — pad thai and two other varieties
Chicken or Tofu Fried Rices — comes in pineapple, spicy basil and with extra chilis

They also have specials. These include Lemongrass Chicken, Pumpkin Curry with Chicken or Tofu, Spicy Mango Curry and Stir Fried Asparagus with Chicken or Tofu.

All of these menu items come with a salad roll and dipping sauce, and a drink (Thai ice tea or water) for . . . → Read More: What’s For Lunch? Thai Basil!

Trader Joe’s: Pizza Mascarpone

pizza

Yes, I realize that this is kind of a lame post. It’s short, it’s a packaged item and salad dressing hardly counts as a recipe! I know, you-know-who-you-are (jwa). Too bad, for I am sleepy! Ha!

There was a new kind of flat Italian pizza at Trader Joe’s the last time we went and I couldn’t resist as I am quite fond of these tasty, frozen pies. Pizza Mascarpone with artichokes, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. I just threw a few pine nuts on top and popped it in the oven last night.

pizza

While it cooked, I threw together an awesome spinach salad with just baby spinach and a peppery oil and vinegar dressing that both jwa and I really liked with the hearty spinach leaves.

Peppery-Dijon Dressing
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Penzey’s creamy peppercorn

Whisk together mustard, vinegar and creamy peppercorn. Drizzle in olive oil and whisk until it thickens. Let sit for at least 5 minutes. Whisk again before dressing the salad.

I think the goat cheese and kalamata olive is still my favorite Trader Joe’s frozen pizza but this one was not too bad at all. I’d buy . . . → Read More: Trader Joe’s: Pizza Mascarpone

TJ’s Flank Steak Stuffed with Spinach & Feta: Hey! These Were Good!

Whenever I buy chicken at Trader Joe’s I always see these rolled up steak things that look intriguing. They are, in fact, flank steak stuffed with feta, spinach and red pepper — but usually, I just see them and think, “huh, those look interesting,” but this week — I actually bought a package. For you see, I am easily lured by feta stuffing. In addition to the persuasive power of the feta, they were very cute — they looked like little meat wheels. . . . → Read More: TJ’s Flank Steak Stuffed with Spinach & Feta: Hey! These Were Good!