Pickled Green Papaya

Pickled young (green) papaya was a favorite snack growing up on Guam.  In fact, it still is a favorite snack, and I make some whenever I find the young, green (unripe) papayas at my local Asian market.

I still remember walking to the village stores for milk or whatever my mom sent me there for.  I’d always use the change to buy a small baggie full of pickled papaya and snack on it on the walk back home.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Here’s how to make it:

Thoroughly wash one medium sized young, green (unripe) papaya.  You can also pickle a papaya that’s just turning ripe.

Peel the skin off the papaya.  Cut the papaya in half and scrape out all of the seeds.

Thinly slice the papaya.  I like to use a mandolin to do this; it makes for evenly cut slices and it’s quick!

Place the sliced papaya in a mixing bowl.  Add the vinegar, salt (to taste), and as much hot chili peppers as you like.  Other optional items you can add are sliced fresh garlic and onions.  Let the papaya marinate in the mixture for a couple of ours then enjoy!

Pickled Green Papaya
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 medium young (green, unripe) papaya
  • Distilled white vinegar, enough to cover the papaya
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chopped hot chili peppers, as much as you like
  • Optional: sliced or chopped garlic and sliced onions
Instructions
  1. Wash and peel the papaya; cut in half and remove the seeds.
  2. Thinly slice the papaya and place into a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the vinegar, salt, hot chili peppers, and other optional ingredients. Stir to mix well.
  4. Allow the papaya to marinate in the vinegar mixture for a couple of hours then enjoy!

 

Miso Salmon with Sake Butter Sauce

I love salmon, and this is one of my favorite ways to prepare it.  I first had this dish at a popular chain restaurant.  I wanted to recreate it at home, and luckily the basic recipe could be found all over the internet (I’m not sure who the original source is).

Give it a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Miso Salmon with Sake Butter Sauce

 

 

 

In a shallow baking pan, place the salmon filets, skin side down.

In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the miso sauce.  Pour the sauce over the salmon filets, covering each filet entirely.  Bake at 475 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

 

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, saute the ginger and shallots in two tablespoons of butter.  Cook for about two minutes.

Add one cup of sake; bring to a boil and cook until the sake has reduced by about half.

 

Add the heavy cream to the reduced sake mixture.  Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes.

Whisk in the remaining pieces of butter, one piece at a time.  Once all of the butter has been incorporated, whisk in the remaining sake, lime juice, and honey.  Add salt to taste.

Optional:  Use an immersion blender to puree the bits of shallots and ginger for a smooth sauce.

 

Spoon some sake butter sauce into a shallow dish.

Using a small bowl as a mold, fill with cooked rice.  Unmold the rice on top of the sake butter sauce.

Place one salmon filet on top of the rice.  Sprinkle chopped chives on top of the salmon.

Serve and enjoy!

 

Miso Salmon with Sake Butter Sauce
 
Author:
Ingredients
Miso Salmon:
  • 8 salmon filets, about one inch thick
  • Cooked (steamed) white rice
  • 2 tablespoons chives, sliced
Miso Sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons hot water
  • 4 tablespoons miso paste
Sake Butter Sauce
  • 1 one-inch piece ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons butter for sauteing
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sake
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Salt, to taste
Instructions
Bake the Miso Salmon:
  1. In a shallow baking pan, place the salmon filets, skin side down.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the miso sauce. Pour the sauce over the salmon filets, covering each filet entirely. Bake at 475 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
  3. Set aside.
Make the Sake Butter Sauce:
  1. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, saute the ginger and shallots in two tablespoons of butter. Cook for about two minutes.
  2. Add one cup of sake; bring to a boil and cook until the sake has reduced by about half.
  3. Add the heavy cream to the reduced sake mixture. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes.
  4. Whisk in the remaining pieces of butter, one piece at a time. Once all of the butter has been incorporated, whisk in the remaining sake, lime juice, and honey. Add salt to taste.
  5. Optional: Use an immersion blender to puree the bits of shallots and ginger for a smooth sauce.
Assemble the dish:
  1. Spoon some sake butter sauce into a shallow dish.
  2. Using a small bowl as a mold, fill with cooked rice.  Unmold the rice on top of the sake butter sauce.
  3. Place one salmon filet on top of the rice.  Sprinkle chopped chives on top of the salmon.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

 

Easy Strawberry Shortcake

This is super simple and classic dessert that you can put together in minutes. It’s one of the desserts that is perfect for picnics or to bring to pot lucks too.  Everyone just oohs and aahs over it!

 

Easy Strawberry Shortcake
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 small tub Cool Whip
  • 1 pkg instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 angel food cake loaf, sliced (or 12 individual shortcake cakes)
  • Sliced strawberries (1 container full, or approximately 2 dozen berries)
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the instant pudding mix and cold milk; set aside to thicken (about 5 minutes). After the pudding has thickened slightly, fold in the Cool Whip.
  2. Layer the sliced angel food cake in a shallow pan. Add a layer of the whipped topping mixture over the cake. Layer some of the sliced strawberries on top of the cake slices. Place dollops of the whipped topping mixture on top of the berries. Garnish with additional strawberries on top of the whipped topping.

 

Fruit Pizza with a Cookie Crust

This fruit pizza is one of my favorite desserts.  I have another fruit pizza version here, which adds a creamy, pudding-based filling.  So delicious!

You can make this into a fruit tart, just cut the recipe in half and use a tart pan.

It’s a fun recipe to make with kids too!

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.

 

Fruit Pizza with a Cookie Crust
 
Author:
Ingredients
Crust:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
Filling:
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Topping:
  • Fresh strawberries, kiwi slices, blueberries, mandarin orange slices
Glaze:
  • 1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust:
  1. In a food processor, combine the confectioners' sugar, flour, and butter, and process until the mixture forms a ball.
  2. With your fingers, press the dough onto a pizza pan (or if you're making a tart, press into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, taking care to push the crust into the indentations in the sides).
  3. Pat until the crust is even. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
For the filling and topping:
  1. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Spread over the cooled crust.
  2. Cut the strawberries into ¼-inch slices and arrange around the edge of the crust.
  3. For the next circle, use mandarin slices.
  4. Add another circle of kiwis, filling in any spaces with blueberries.
  5. Cluster the remaining strawberries, mandarin, and blueberries in the center of the tart.
For the glaze:
  1. Combine the limeade, cornstarch, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until clear and thick, about 2 minutes. Let cool.
  2. With a pastry brush, glaze the entire pizza (or tart). You will not use all of the glaze.
Keep the pizza in the refrigerator. Remove about 15 minutes before serving. Slice into wedges and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional).

 

Air Fried Pickles

I’m a recent fan of fried pickles, and by recent, I mean I first tried this delicacy maybe two or three years ago.  Whaaaaaat????

It’s not that I disliked pickles that kept me away from them.  I mean, you can fry cheesecake, ice cream, Oreos, cookie dough.  Can you see the theme here?  Sweets are fried. I think pickles just never entered my mind as something TO fry.

But then there it was, the featured appetizer for happy hour.  I took the leap.  It WAS happy hour, after all. Everything during happy hour HAD to be good!  They were!

Fried pickles nowadays have been pretty skimpy, or at least they have been in my experience.  Lately, the fried pickles I’ve ordered have been paper thin, so thin that when fried they turn out chewy and just not good.  I don’t know if this is an easy way for establishments to cut costs, but with pickles?  C’mon.

I invested in an air fryer about a year ago, and I’ve made many things in it.  Fried pickles though are by far one of my favorites.  Now, whenever I have the craving for this treat, I can whip it up at home in no time.

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.

 

AIR FRIED PICKLES

Start by making a thin batter to coat the pickles.  You want to do this first, because as I’ll explain later, you don’t want to have your flour-coated pickles sit for a while as you prepare this batter.

Place your flour, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

Add water and whisk, making sure there are no lumps.  If you want to make your pickles a little spicy, add some hot sauce to the batter.

The batter should be the consistency of a thin pancake batter.  Set this aside for now.

At this point, you also want to place your breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl or small baking pan.  You want some room to work with, so just be sure your bowl or pan is wide enough that you have room to move the breadcrumbs around as you coat each pickle slice.

Now things will move pretty quickly.

Slice whole dill pickles into 1/4-inch “coins.”  You can also cut baby dill pickles in half lengthwise, but I prefer the smaller pieces.  Place the cut pieces on a paper towel-lined plate.

I even use additional paper towels to absorb excess pickle juice.  You want these to be as dry as you can make them.

Place a cup of flour in a resealable bag, then add the pickle slices.  This is why you want the pickles dry.  If you didn’t soak up the excess pickle juice from them, you’d have a goopy mess when you add the pickles to the flour.

Seal the bag then give the pickles a good shake to evenly coat each slice with flour.

Take the slices out of the bag and place them on a plate.  Don’t do what did here (don’t pile them on top of each other).  Place the coated slices in one layer, especially if you have a lot of them (slices).  Like with most moist things coated in flour, the flour will eventually soak up any remaining moisture.  If you have the coated pickle slices piled on top of each other, they will end up sticking together if you don’t work fast to coat them (shown in the following steps).

This is why I have you making the dipping batter first, so that you don’t let the coated pickles sit for too long.

Dip each coated pickle slice into the batter, coating all sides.

Place the batter-dipped pickle slice into the breadcrumbs. Place more crumbs over the top, gently pressing down to ensure the crumbs adhere to the batter.  Carefully flip the pickle slice over, cover with crumbs and press again.

Place the crumb-coated pickle slices in a single layer onto a plate or tray.  Continue until all of the pickle slices are dipped in batter then coated in breadcrumbs.

When all the pickle slices have been coated in breadcrumbs, you’re ready to air fry them.

Most air fryer recipes call for pre-heating before cooking.  If yours requires that, by all means, preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F.  I usually preheat mine for about 5 minutes.

Place the pickles in your air fryer basket in a single layer.  Lightly spray the tops with oil cooking spray.

Cook at 400 degrees F for ten minutes.

After ten minutes of cooking, flip each pickle slice over.

Lightly spray them once more with oil cooking spray.  Cook for an additional 7 minutes, or until the pickles are golden brown.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce (ranch dip is a favorite in my house) and enjoy!

 

Air Fried Pickles
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sliced dill pickles
  • 1 cup flour, for dusting pickles
  • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Hot sauce, to taste, optional
  • Oil cooking spray
Batter
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1¾ cups water
Instructions
  1. Place all of the batter ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Place the breadcrumbs into a small, shallow pan.
  3. Dry the sliced pickles with paper towels.
  4. Place the one cup of flour in a resealable bag. Place the pickle slices into the bag of flour. Seal the bag and shake to coat each of the pickle slices. Place the flour-coated pickles in a single layer on a plate or tray.
  5. Dip each flour-coated pickle slice into the batter, coating all sides.
  6. Cover the batter-coated pickle slice with breadcrumbs. Continue until all pickle slices have been coated with breadcrumbs.
  7. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F.
  8. Place a single layer of pickles into the fryer. Light spray the pickles with oil cooking spray. Cook at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  9. After ten minutes, flip each pickle slice over, spray lightly with oil cooking spray, then cook for seven more minutes.
  10. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!

 

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