Crispy Coconut Curried Devils

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Today is about food. I know it’s been awhile. Moving forward the blog should mirror real life. Lately, real life is less about obvious grief and more about cooking, baking, photography, gardening and that little jelly bean better known as my grand-daughter. Make no mistake. My son is my first thought when I open my eyes in the morning, the last when I close them at night and many moments in between. I celebrate William in all that I do. Like grief, his inspiration is never ending. Enough said. Let’s move on. More food and less grief. I NEED it to be this way.

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Do you like deviled eggs? How about Crispy Coconut Curried Deviled eggs? I created this recipe for a contest sponsored by Eggland’s Best. As many of you know (because you have been voting for my entries non-stop) the contest theme is “foodtography” and I was lucky enough to have 3 of my food photos accepted. One, my smoothie bowl cake, made it to the final 4 (woot woot). While voting for the deviled eggs many of you asked for the recipe. Today, I am happy to be able to share it with you.

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Crispy Coconut Curried Devils

6 Eggland’s Best Eggs, hard-boiled, cooled and peeled

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon sweet Asian chili sauce

½ teaspoon curry powder

1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley, plus additional for garnish

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil for deep frying

1-cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs

½ cup flaked unsweetened coconut

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1 Eggland’s Best Egg, lightly beaten with 1-teaspoon water

1 scallion, finely chopped

Slice hard-boiled eggs in half lengthwise. Press yolks through a strainer into a bowl. Add mayonnaise, lemon juice, chili sauce and curry powder; blend well. Stir in parsley and salt and pepper to taste; set aside. Heat 3-inches of vegetable oil to 350°F. In another bowl, mix panko and coconut. Dredge each egg white half in flour. Dip in egg wash to coat and then dredge in panko-coconut mixture. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Pipe or spoon yolk mixture into hollows of egg whites. Arrange on serving platter. Sprinkle with parsley and scallions.

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Respect Your ElderBerries

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Retirement? What’s that? I have never been so busy in my life. On any given day I am cooking/baking up a storm, baby-sitting my grand-daughter, tending the garden and traveling here or there. I am not complaining, but here is the thing. While my mind still thinks I am 30, the body knows I am double that number. I get a bit tired a bit quicker, but that is not going to stop me. While I always taught my children to respect their elders I just can’t believe I am that person now. I will do whatever it takes to stay healthy, vibrant and energetic because I have a sweet grand-daughter who is no longer walking, but running. “Wait for Kiki Annabelle”!

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Enter elderberries. Recently, I was gifted some elderberry products from Ann & Rodger Lenhardt of Norm’s Farms. The information on the web site is fascinating. I didn’t know much about elderberries, but in my research learned that Hippocrates (ancient Greek father of medicine) referred to “elders” as his “medicine chest”. High in vitamin C, iron, antioxidants and potassium elderberries outshine all those other “super fruits” that seem to have gotten lots of press lately. Not only are the berries nutritious, but they are delicious and come in a variety of supplements, syrups and jams to boost your immune system and good health.

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I very much enjoyed developing a few recipes with Norm’s Farms products. First up is a very simple appetizer (great for those outdoor deck parties y’all are throwing right now) using the most sweet and savory Elderberry Ginger Pecan Jam. I love the crunch contrast of the pecans mixed in with the fruit. Next Thanksgiving skip the cranberry sauce and serve this jam with your roast turkey. You heard it here first.

Crispy Melted Cheese Cups with Elderberry Ginger Pecan Jam

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1-package (15 count) mini fillo shells

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Norm’s Farms Elderberry Ginger Pecan Jam

Heat oven 350F. Mix cream cheese, cheddar cheese and pepper until well blended. Remove shells from all packaging. Fill shells with cheese mixture and place on a baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes. Remove tray from oven and top each with a small spoonful of jam. Return to oven and bake 1 to 2 more minutes or until heated through. Makes 15 small bites.

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The next recipe uses Norm’s Farms Blueberry Elderberry Preserves. While developing a dessert recipe would have been the obvious choice I decided on another savory one. Plus this vinaigrette does double duty as a salad dressing and marinade taking full advantage of all the greens in my garden and the grill. After all, the weather is so fine right now I’m betting you’d rather be outside enjoying yourself rather than stuck in the kitchen.

Blueberry Elderberry Vinaigrette & Marinade

¼ cup Norm’s Farms Blueberry Elderberry Preserves

¼ cup canola oil

¼ cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce (regular or low-sodium)

2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Whisk all ingredients until well blended. Drizzle over your favorite salad as a vinaigrette or use as a marinade on fresh chicken and/or pork. I like to marinade meat overnight and grill the next day.

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Norm’s Farms products are sold in many stores across the USA and can also be ordered directly from their web site. Click on the link, Norm’s Farms for more great recipes, too. Enjoy.

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elderberries from Norm’s Farm

Saltfish Egg Roll Appetizers

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So a week has gone by and I know I said I wasn’t going to post this egg roll recipe, but husband and daughter convinced me that the world would be a much better place if I did. Basically, they said that everyone needs to try a saltfish egg roll because it is so delicious. Crispy on the outside and jam-packed with a flavorful Asian inspired saltfish filling these egg rolls can even be prepared ahead of time, frozen and then simply reheated. Let’s get this party started.

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The filling is super easy to prepare because it all gets buzzed up in the food processor. Then all you do is wrap and roll……..

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….and fry until golden brown and crispy

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Serve with your favorite dipping sauces and dig in. Delicious and party perfect.

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To prepare saltfish: soak it in cold water in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours changing the water 3 times.

Saltfish Egg Roll Appetizers

8 ounces Buena Ventura Salted Pollock Filets, prepared

3 cloves garlic

2 cups shredded napa cabbage

¼ cup shredded carrot

1 green onion, chopped

1 teaspoon grated ginger

3 tablespoons sweet Asian chile sauce

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

12 egg roll wrappers

vegetable oil for shallow frying

Cook fish in a pan of boiling water for about 2 minutes or until the fish flakes. Using a slotted spoon transfer fish to a cold water bath to stop the cooking. When fish is cool transfer to paper towels; pat dry. In a food processor, with processor running, drop garlic through feed tube to mince. Stop machine and add cabbage, carrot, green onion, ginger, chile sauce, cilantro, salt and pepper; pulse until blended. Add fish to food processor; pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and well combined. Working with 1 egg roll wrapper at a time, lay wrapper down on work surface with a point facing you. Using your finger, rub the edges of the wrapper with water. Place scant 1/3rd cup of filling across lower middle of wrapper. Bring bottom edge of wrapper tightly over filling and fold in sides. Continue rolling to opposite point, pressing to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, add egg rolls to skillet and fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until evenly golden brown on all sides. Transfer to a rack. Serve while hot with your favorite dipping sauces. Makes 12 egg rolls. Note: fully cooked egg rolls can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for a month and then reheated in a 350F oven when needed

611Store locations include: Cousins, H-Mart, Jetro, Price Chopper, Price Rite

For more information and recipes check out these social media links:

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And here is a tip for those of you who also love gyoza or Asian dumplings. Replace the egg roll wrappers with wonton skins, pan-fry and then add some water, cover and steam. Another delicious appetizer. The saltfish filling is so versatile.

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The saltfish filling can also be used to make Asian pan-fried & steamed dumplings