Backyard To Ballroom | Personal Chef Services

Scroll to Info & Navigation

Pomegranate Glazed Skirt Steak Fajitas

Fajitas are the most fun, right?! You get to play with your food and make yours exactly how you like it. These pomegranate glazed fajitas take your classic steak fajitas and take them over the top! The rub alone infuses the steak with sweet, salty, smoky flavors and the glaze is then like “woah” on your taste buds; tart, sweet, so good. And it all comes together in no time. This is a perfect Saturday night dinner in!

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 T chile powder
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1.5 lb skirt steak, cut into a few smaller pieces
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice (save the rest for margaritas!)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T dijon
  • 1 t cornstarch
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • Tortillas
  • Salsa
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Grated monterey jack

In a small bowl, mix the garlic, chile powder, 1 T salt, 1 T brown sugar and cumin.

Rub the spice mixture over the skirt steak and let sit for 25 to 30 minutes in a dish or ziplock bag.

Meanwhile, whisk the juice, remaining brown sugar, balsamic, dijon, cornstarch and remaining salt in a small saucepan. 

Boil over medium heat and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute.

Set aside.

Preheat a grill or grill pan over high heat.

Place the steak and vegetables on the grill, if it all fits.

If not, first cook the steak and then the vegetables while the steak rests.

Cook the steak 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Let rest 5 minutes then slice against the grain.

Grill the vegetables until softened and charred, about 10 minutes.

Serve the steak, onions and peppers with warmed tortillas, salsa, sliced avocado, cheese and pomegranate glaze.

Artichoke Fritters

These fritters are one of my new favorites! Light and fresh yet they feel a bit decadent because of the cheese and eggs that makes them crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside. They’re like a dreamy, savory pancake. Pair these fritters with roasted chicken for a simple date night dinner or a beautiful salad for a satisfying, vegetarian dinner. Make a big batch, they reheat really nicely!

  • 2 cans artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
  • 3 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup parmesan, grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chives, minced
  • 1/4 cup shallots, minced
  • 1 T parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 7 T flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 T butter

Mix first 8 ingredients in a large bowl.

Season.

In another small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt to taste. 

Gently mix the flour mixture into the wet, artichoke mixture. 

Melt 1 T butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Sear 1/3 cup of batter in batches, 3-4 at a time, gently flattening with the measuring cup once in the pan.

Fry until golden brown on each side, 5-10 minutes total. 

Remove to a wire rack set over a baking sheet and season with salt. 

After the first batch, you may need to add another T of butter to finish the fritters.

Fritters can be kept warm on the wire rack an oven on low heat, 200 degrees or lower. 

Makes about 10 fritters.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Want to pretend like you’re healthy? Put oats in your cookies so they don’t feel quite as indulgent. For these I just took an oatmeal raisin recipe and subbed the chocolate chips for the raisins. I actually love the cinnamon and brown sugar with the chocolate chips. Cookie time!

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 T pure vanilla extract
  • 3 T milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda.

Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter with sugars and beat until light and fluffy.

Add vanilla, milk, and eggs and mix well.

Add flour mixture and beat until just combined.

Remove bowl and stir in oats and chocolate chips.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Scoop 2 T of dough and roll into a ball.

Place on prepared sheet.

Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 3 inches apart.

Press down gently to flatten.

Bake until golden but still soft in center, about 16-18 minutes, rotating halfway through baking.

Cool on wire racks.

Enjoy!

Slow Cooked Salmon with Cumin Roasted Chickpeas, Mustard Greens, Shallot Vinaigrette & Fried Capers

One of my sisters asked me to “help” her make a healthy and delicious dinner for her and her friends one night. I flipped through a few magazines and gave her some options and this salmon was what she choose. She wanted light and yummy but I needed pretty fast since she wanted to serve dinner at 6 and it was going to be a stretch for me to finish my cooking for the day and get this on the table for the girls by then…but we did it! And it was really fantastic. A perfectly balanced protein packed meal in no time. Our dad, who has said he hates greens (except spinach) was raving about the “spinach” and couldn’t believe it when I told him they were mustard greens. This is sure to please even the picky eaters in your house!

  • 2 T olive oil + additional for drizzling
  • 1 15.5 oz can organic chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch mustard greens, ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 t honey
  • 4 6-oz salmon fillets
  • 1/2 small shallot, very finely chopped
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t dijon
  • 1/2 t honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 T capers, rinsed, patted dry

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Brush a large baking dish with oil.

Combine chickpeas, cumin and 1 T oil in a medium bowl.

Mash about half the chickpeas with a fork; season with salt and pepper.

Transfer chickpea mixture to prepared dish.

Heat remaining 1 T oil in a large skillet over medium-hight heat.

Cook garlic, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add mustard greens and cook, tossing, until slightly wilted, about 1 minute.

Add honey and 1/4 cup water; season.

Cook, tossing until greens are completely wilted, about 2 minutes.

Transfer to dish with chickpea mixture.

Season salmon and arrange over greens and chickpeas and drizzle with oil.

Bake until salmon is opaque in the center, about 30 minutes.

Whisk shallot, lemon juice, mustard and honey in a small bowl and season.

Gradually whisk in olive oil; season.

Heat vegetable oil in a small pan over medium-high heat.

Cook capers until opened and crisp, about 30 seconds; drain on paper towels.

Drizzle salmon with vinaigrette and top with capers.

Enjoy!

Cauliflower Purée

I have learned to love cauliflower, just like all the other trendy veggies that have had their moment lately, Brussels, kale, etc. Some people though need an easy transition into cauliflower to see how amazing it can be. Enter cauliflower puree. This is non-threatening for all the nay-sayers. And for all the cauli lovers, it’s indulgent, but also healthy, I think…?

  • 1 3/4 lbs cauliflower florets
  • 1 qrt chicken stock
  • 2 T sour cream
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano
  • Kosher salt to taste

Cover the cauliflower with stock and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer and cook until fork tender.

Remove florets with a slotted spoon to a food processor and process with 2 T of the cooking stock until completely pureed.

Transfer a bowl and stir in sour cream, butter, and cheese until well mixed.

Season with salt to taste.

Enjoy!

*To make vegan, cook cauliflower in vegetable stock and replace sour cream, butter and cheese with coconut oil.

Asian-Inspired Shrimp and Brown Rice Bowl

I just discovered my love of brown rice since I started eating Lundberg’s short grain brown cooked using the technique shown below, and had been thinking there have got to be about a million delicious and nutritious ways to jazz it up! I reheated some with soy sauce, olive oil and Sriracha for lunch one day and it was so good and kept me full for hours, so that got me thinking about turning it into a dinner perfect for date night. These rice bowls are healthy, protein packed and beautiful! You can start cooking your rice and get everything else prepped while the rice cooks. Once your rice starts steaming, everything comes together quickly. You’ll have a hearty winter feast in under an hour!

  • 1 cup short brown rice
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 lb shrimp. peeled and deveined
  • 2 T olive oil, divided
  • 1.5 T toasted sesame oil
  • 1.5 T soy sauce
  • 1 T sriracha
  • 1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced + additional for garnish
  • 1/2 T rice vinegar
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs

Rinse rice in a strainer under cold, running water for 30 seconds.

Bring 12 cups water to a boil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid.

Add the rice, stir it once, and boil, uncovered for 30 minutes.

Pour the rice into a strainer over the sink.

Let the rice drain for 10 seconds, then return to the pot, off the heat.

Cover the pot and steam for 10 minutes.

Put rice in a large bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, once the rice is at the steaming point, steam the broccoli until tender.

Add the broccoli to rice in the bowl.

While the broccoli and rice are steaming, heat 1 T olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.

Sear the shrimp in a single layer, for 1-2 minutes per side, working in batches if necessary, until just cooked through, seasoning on both sides while cooking.

Transfer shrimp to the bowl with the rice.

Once, the rice, broccoli, and shrimp are all cooked and in the bowl, mix gently with the sesame oil, soy sauce, sriracha, rice vinegar, and green onion.

Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fry the eggs in the remaining T olive oil over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet. 

Divide the rice mixture amongst 4 bowls and top each bowl with an egg.

Season the egg with salt and pepper.

Garnish with green onions.

Enjoy!

Mustard and Herb-Crusted Trout

If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for another fresh and healthy recipe to add to your repertoire. This trout is perfect because it tastes and looks like a fancy, restaurant meal, but you made it right at home in a snap! It’s also packed with flavor from the garlic, mustard and thyme. Close your eyes and it’s like dinner on the Mediterranean… now that should get you excited!

image

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 T whole grain mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 T chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 whole trout, butterflied, about 2 lbs
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Whisk oil, mustard, garlic, and thyme in a small bowl.

Mix in breadcrumbs, squeezing or pressing with your hands or spoon to saturate the bread, until evenly coated.

Season.

Open up fish and place skin side down in an ovenproof pan or on a rimmed baking sheet.

Season fish with salt and pepper.

Top flesh with breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere.

Roast, 10-15 minutes, until fish is cooked through and breadcrumbs are browned.

Serve with lemon.

Enjoy!