Homemade Ranch Dip & Dressing

Homemade Ranch Dip & Dressing

Ranch dip and ranch dressing have become classic flavors that a lot of us could not picture life without  But do you really need to buy it in a bottle?  I don't think so.  It's so easy to make from just ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry & fridge, there's really no need to ever buy it again!

This is a light and tangy sour cream & yogurt based Ranch Dressing recipe.  A lot of ranch recipes call for mayonnaise. Now don't  get me wrong - I LOVE mayo.  But not in ranch.  I want my ranch dip to be light and tangy.  And by light I don't mean low fat - you'll notice that I'm using full fat sour cream, yogurt, and milk - but I mean not oily, not heavy, not that richer flavor that comes with mayo.  I just prefer it this way.  But honestly you could take this basic blend of seasonings and add it to whatever combination of cream/yogurt/mayo/milk/etc. that you like.  It will taste great. 

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These are no ordinary deviled eggs: Soy & Wasabi Deviled Eggs

Never let it be said that I don't love the classics. Deviled eggs are one of my all time favorite things. There is no other preparation of eggs that somehow tricks you into downing a half a dozen eggs without even realizing how much you've eaten. There are reason why some recipes become classics that keep appearing year after year - because they are that good. I love them so much - when I was pregnant a friend used to make a batch of them for me and just hand me the container every time she would see me. When you're pregnant with twins you don't even have to share!

Deviled eggs with soy sauce and wasabi.

I love the original way to make them - when I am making classic deviled eggs I keep them very simple - a little salt and pepper, a bit of mustard, and my secret ingredient (which also makes amazing potato salad) is a little splash of the juice out of a jar of dill pickles. No pickles in the eggs! Just the juice. Try it, trust me. 

But every now and then, I like to shake things up a bit. My deviled eggs made with soy sauce marinated eggs and wasabi mayo definitely fill that bill. I made a batch of these with leftover Easter eggs last year and they were a huge hit, so they are definitely on the menu for this year. This is a great way to use up those eggs in a way that you won't get tired of. They are far from ordinary.

But they are certainly not just for Easter - these are a great way to please a crowd any time of year. They are easy to make and one of those little appetizers that will really impress, but you'll know that they were actually quite simple. 

This recipe does require a little bit of advance preparation - marinating the eggs in soy sauce ahead of time. I've got a whole recipe just for that. But don't worry, it's super quick and easy. And you'll also need to either make or acquire some wasabi mayonnaise.  Once you have those two pieces - then these come together in no time. 

Wasabi + Soy Sauce Deviled Eggs

the best idea for deviled eggs ever!

Ingredients:

1 Dozen soy sauce marinated eggs

1/2 cup wasabi mayonnaise 

1/8 teaspoon salt

Hot sauce - to taste (Sriracha, or whatever you like)

You can read my quick version of wasabi mayo here, or you certainly can use a store-bought one. 

Directions:

As you would with any other deviled egg recipe - carefully slice your cooked and marinated eggs lengthwise and pop out the yolks. Put the yolks in a bowl and set the halved whites aside.

With a fork, mash the yolks a little and then add in the wasabi mayonnaise and salt and mix well. Then just carefully spoon the mixture back into your halved eggs, distributing evenly across all of them. I always inevitably break at least one the yolks, but that just means that I get a snack. 

Top with a dot of your favorite hot sauce - Sriracha or other Asian style hot sauce goes well with the soy and wasabi flavors here.

That's it. Too easy.  

Soy Sauce Eggs

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People seem to fall into two very distinct camps when it comes to boiled eggs - you either love them or you hate them.

As for me - I never met an egg I didn't love. I'm somewhat obsessed with them. My husband and I can go to a restaurant and he knows immediately that if there is something on the menu that boasts an egg of any sort on it or in it, that is definitely what I will be ordering. I love them.

One of my very favorite things is when I go to an Asian restaurant and order some kind of ramen or noodle soup dish and they serve it with a perfectly soft cooked and soy sauce marinated egg floating in the bowl. This is seriously top notch comfort food.

Let me just tell you - if you like eggs, and you like soy sauce, but you haven't yet tried combining the two flavors - you are seriously missing out. 

This is my version of a soy sauce marinated egg. If you haven't had them before - it's a bit like a pickled egg, but with added flavors from seasoned vinegar and soy sauce. As with everything I do, I took other recipes and methods that involve more ingredients and more preparation and I've distilled it down to what I think is the quickest and simplest way to get the same kind of flavor in as few steps as possible.  

This is the quick and easy road to satisfaction.

Soy Sauce Marinated Eggs

You'll need a clean quart sized jar for this, or similar sized container. 

easy soy sauce eggs from WhatLisaCooks.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen boiled eggs - cooled and peeled. Go here for my fool proof method of cooking eggs so they peel perfectly every time. I love to do these with soft cooked eggs, but this is a PERFECT use for all those extra dyed Easter eggs that you don't know what to do with!
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar (you should be able to get this in the Asian section at any big grocery store).

Directions:

If you haven't already cooked your eggs, do that first. If you follow my method, you can have soft cooked eggs peeled and ready in no time. They don't have to be perfectly cool to do this, just cool enough to peel. 

Easy soy sauce marinated eggs from WhatLisaCooks.com

Carefully place all your eggs in a quart sized jar, or similar container. One quart sized jar will hold 1 dozen large eggs. Or keep one out if you think you can't get them all in without squishing too much. 

Add the vinegar to the jar. Then combine the soy sauce and water together and pour that mixture into the jar until it's filled to the top. Depending on the size of your eggs you might not use quite all of this. If you do use it all and you still have room at the top of your jar, add a bit more water. Or if you want a little extra flavor, you could top if off with more vinegar instead. 

Close the jar tightly, give it a few gentle turns to get the soy sauce and vinegar mixed together and distributed around all the eggs.

Refrigerate and marinade for as long as you can stand it. A couple hours is enough to start, but these will keep for weeks too and the longer they sit the more flavorful they get. 

These are amazing for snacking on straight out of the jar. I've had one for breakfast every day this week.

Or you can take this to the next level and use these marinated eggs for a whole new twist on the classic deviled eggs.  

This is after marinating for only a little over an hour. 

This is after marinating for only a little over an hour. 

This is after a full 24 hours. 

This is after a full 24 hours. 

 
 
Not sure what to do with all those leftover boiled eggs from Easter? Try marinating them in soy sauce!
 

Spanish Tapas Dinner

Wow, what an amazing dinner we had last night.

We have a tradition with a group of friends of getting together to watch Formula 1 races and having dinner.  We don't always make it happen (we have been known to order pizza), but most of the time we try to have the food for the dinner be at least somewhat related to the cuisine of the country where the race is being held.  We've had some really delicious and creative meals representing the various countries, and I've discovered some of my favorite recipes in searching for traditional things from some of these countries.

Last night was the Spanish Grand Prix, and so we decided to do an evening of Tapas.  We've done this before and have mostly just picked up some appetizer and finger food type things at Trader Joes and called it Tapas.  But yesterday I decided to do a little recipe searching and see if I could come up with a few easy and quick, but actually Spanish style, recipes.  And I found a few winners.

I made four dishes - all so easy that I had them all done in about 45 minutes while at the same time making some mac & cheese for my kids and watching them eat.  I found recipes for Chorizo in Red Wine, Garlicky Shrimp, and Romesco sauce/dip.  And I made up one of my own, that I think might be a new favorite.

Here is our amazing spread on the table - I did some cut up veggies to have with the Romesco dip, and some cheese and olives, friends also brought some bread, cheeses, another chorizo dish and several more dips.  This is my favorite kind of meal - lots of little tastes of things.

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My super simple but amazing Tapas creation.  I don't know if something like this actually exists in Spanish food, but the combination of flavors sounded really good to me so I put it together.  This is a small jar of anchovies (2 ounces, drained), a few ounces of jarred roasted red peppers (I bought a 16 ounce jar for the romesco recipe, and used probably a half a cup of them here - sliced), a tablespoon or so of capers, and zest from most of 1 lemon.  Stirred together gently with a fork, to separate the anchovies without breaking them down too much, and then let it sit for an hour or so.  It was amazing.   Great on slices of baguette for those that were eating bread.  I just ate it with a fork.  I could have eaten the whole bowl. 20140513-055646.jpg

 

This is the Chorizo in Red Wine.  I followed the recipe, such as it is, although probably a little more red wine.  This is literally just sliced chorizo, cooked until nicely browned, and some red wine added to reduce at the end.  And I added some chopped fresh flat leaf parsley on top for serving.  20140513-055634.jpg

 

Romesco Sauce.  I think this is going to be a summertime staple.  So easy, and such amazing flavors - tomato, garlic, almonds all browned a little, and blended with roasted red peppers, vinegar, olive oil, salt and paprika.  I probably made about 1 1/2 times the recipe amount - I didn't really measure. I used white wine vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, because that's what I had, and probably more olive oil than called for (it seemed a little too thick at first). I used 1 piece of bread (actually it was half a bagel) and I think next time I might try leaving out the bread altogether to just see if I can get away with it.   And I also added the juice from a half a lemon, just because it sounded good, I like dips with a little acidity and brightness.  We had it with sliced baguettes or veggies to dip in.  I think it would me amazing on a sandwich or in a wrap, or on top of a piece of grilled chicken or fish.  I'm going to be experimenting with this one.  I feel like I've been in the dark - how can I not have know about this already?20140513-055623.jpg

 

Garlicky Shrimp.  So easy!  Butter and olive oil, saute some diced garlic and crushed red pepper in it, then remove from heat and add cooked shrimp, salt and sliced scallions.  The flavor was amazing.  It's butter and garlic, so of course.

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Everything was served room temperature, it was a warmish evening so that seemed just right.  In the winter I might have wanted things hotter but for this time of year room temp seems perfect.  We loaded up our plates and ate, and ate, and ate.  There wasn't much leftover.  I love it when I find things that are so simple and easy, and yet taste so amazing.

 

 

 

 

Taco Dip

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Here is a really quick and simple dip idea for you - "taco dip". This is just 2 cups of nonfat plain Greek yogurt, and a package of taco seasoning.  Mixed together.  That's all.  Creamy, tangy, spicy. It's maybe even better if you use sour cream instead of yogurt, but the yogurt version is certainly healthier, especially if you eat as much dip as I do.  I made this today for an appetizer tomorrow - it's really good right now and will be even better after it sits for a day.  I often make my own taco seasoning, there are lots of recipes on the web and it's all ingredients you probably already have in your cabinet.  But today I was in a hurry so I just used a package of seasoning from Trader Joes, it's a good one without a lot of weird mystery ingredients, just spices.