The Reddest Salad Ever

Super simple, super tasty.

This was a more or less last minute in-the-grocery-store-on-the-way-to-the-party recipe. Very largely based on a recipe I ready in Ingrid Hoffman's "Simply Delicioso" earlier that day.

Anyway here it is.

6 medium-to-large beets
3 blood oranges
1 medium yellow onion
1 cup good olives
a big handful of mint
juice from 2 limes
salt & pepper

roast the beets. depending on the consistency you desire in beets, this can take anywhere between 40 minutes and 2 hours. This time around, I did about 50-60 minutes at 400 degrees. (I wish i had done about 20-30 minutes more, but i was in a hurry, and the slight retained crunchiness worked pretty well)

CUT the peel off the oranges. if you actually peel them, it leaves too much membrane and just doesn't work the same. split into individual segments.

chop the onion into very thin crescents.

pit the olives (if necessary) and mince.

mince the mint.

combine the orange segments, onion, olives, mint, and lime juice in a large bowl.

once the beets are done roasting, let them cool a bit, peel and dice them, and add them to the bowl.

salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

bonus picture:

this moment made my day. this kid knows way more about an iphone than i do. Not sure if he had any of the salad.



I've been too busy/lazy/distracted to keep up with this the last few days.

so i'm doing a photos only update (apart from this... duh). Enjoy!


Creole Seafood Risotto

Finally got around to using this great Creole cookbook that a friend gave me last Christmas. (thanks again, Kim!)

I'm a huge fan of Creole cuisine and soooo many of the recipes in this book look great.  However, as Creole draws a lot of influence from France, many of the recipes look a lot like big daunting french recipes, with massive cook/prepare/marinade times.  I wanted food that night, so I chose one with a very small prep time and moderate cook time with no "the day before" steps (though i would have had to start the day before if i made my own crème fraîche): Creole Seafood Risotto.   (I also made a few modifications cause that's what i do)

Anyway, it was pretty simple and VERY good.  A hit for sure.


2 sweet onions, finely chopped
6 basil leaves, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 shallots, finely chopped
0.5 scotch bonnet chili
1.5 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp saffron threads
salt and black pepper
juice of 1 lime
1 cup arborio rice
3 Tbsp. crème fraîche
1/2 cup grated parmesan
6 cups fish stock
8 prawns or jumbo shrimp
a pound or more of mixed seafood
i used the following:
0.5 lb scallops
0.5 lb wild squid
8 mussels


shell and devein the prawns (remove heads if not already done for you)

finely chop the sweet onions, basil, shallots and the scotch bonnet (could easily have used the whole thing, but i wanted to keep the spice relatively low so it didn't overpower the seafood). chop the garlic coarsely and combine all of that stuff.

heat oil in large frying pan or skillet over medium heat and fry the chopped vegetables gently for several minutes until aromatic and the shallots begin to become translucent.

Stir in the seafood and the saffron and continue cooking over medium-high heat for another few minutes.

Add the fish stock and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook for another 2 minutes.

Rinse the rice in cold water and add.  Cook over very low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.  Stir very gently, but frequently enough to keep the rice from burning. If done properly, the rice ends up SUPER creamy.

Add the crème fraîche and lime juice.  mix well and serve immediately, sprinkled with parmesan.