Welcome to Yummy Fixins!

Thanks so much for checking out my blog. My name is Arica, I am a Personal Chef serving the Lake Tahoe area. Please visit my new website at www.yummyfixins.com

Cooking is my passion, I love spending time in the kitchen creating yummy dishes. I originally created this blog to share healthy yummy recipes with my friends and family but now I'm sharing them with the world. Most of the dishes you will find here are very healthy and can be altered to fit any dietary restrictions. I hope you will find something delicious!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Creamy Polenta with Poached Egg and Kalamata Olive Tapenade

This week I was forced to eat only soft foods due to a not so fun dental procedure. The doctor suggest mashed potatoes and ice cream but that just seemed a little too boring.  I had quite a bit of cornmeal in the cabinet so I thought polenta would be the perfect soft meal. This is a quick and easy dish to make that can be eaten for any meal. I had it for dinner but this would surely make a great brunch. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Makes 4-6 servings

1 cup pitted kalamata &  olives, chopped
1 tbs capers, diced

1 tbs olive oil (plus more for garnish)
1/4 cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped

Make sure all of the ingredients are chopped. Set aside until the dish is ready.

Creamy Polenta
4 cups water
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups of medium grind cornmeal

1 cup shredded finely shredded pecorino romano or paremsan 

Heat the water and broth in a large pot, once it is boiling slowly pour in the cornmeal. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes. If you want the polenta creamier just add a little more broth. Once the polenta has absorbed all the water remove it from the heat and stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. 

Poached Egg
4 eggs
1 tsp white vinegar

Crack each egg into a small bowl. Fill a medium pot with water and add in the vinegar and bring the water to a simmer. When the water is simmering give it a little whirl making a gentle cyclone effect. Slowly pour in each egg, one at a time. Keep a spoon handy to keep the eggs separate. The eggs should only take about 3 minutes each. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon. If you've never poached an egg I suggest watching this you-tube video and give it a shot. 

To serve
Spoon the polenta into your serving bowls, top with a poached egg then the tapenade. Drizzle a little more olive oil over the polenta. Serve warm. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Blackened Red Snapper with Crawfish Cream Sauce

One things I miss most about home is the seafood. I grew up surrounded by some of the most tasty and fresh seafood in the country. When my parents were planning their trip to visit me in Tahoe I just had to request that they bring me some good ol' Louisiana seafood. And boy did they deliver! My mom brought me crawfish tails and jumbo shrimp, for the past few weeks it has all been in my freezer and on my mind! 
The one dish I could not stop thinking about once I saw the crawfish was red snapper with crawfish cream sauce. I don't remember the first place I ate this dish but I always remembered it tasting scrumptious. I looked though some recipe books I had from home but didn't find what I was looking for so I gave it a shot on my own and it turned out perfectly! 

If you have access to crawfish and haven't had this dish I highly recommend you give it a try. Ans stay tuned because I already have plans for the last pound of crawfish in my freezer,  crawfish bisque and crawfish etouffee... Yummy!  

Makes 4 Servings

2 lbs red snapper 

blackened seasoning (I use Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic Seasoning Blends but you can also make your own
juice from 1/2 lemon 

Crawfish Sauce
1/2 lb crawfish tails
1 tbs butter
1/2 small onion, minced
5 sprigs of parsley, leaves minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
1/2 small green bell pepper, minced
1/2 tbs oregano
1 tbs paprika
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
salt & pepper to taste
1 pint heavy cream

Coat the snapper in lemon juice then blackened seasoning, let it marinate whhile you prepare the crawfish sauce. 

Place a small pot on the stove and turn to medium/low heat. Place the butter in the pot and let it melt. Make sure your vegetables are finely minced then add them along with the seasonings to the melted butter, cook or 5 minutes or until softened. Once the vegetables have softened and add in the cream and increase to a simmer until it starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Let it set on low heat while you cook the fish.

Heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Once the pan is hot add in the fish. Cook for two minutes then flip and cook for another 3 minutes. If the fish is thicker cook it a little longer on each side. 

Place the fish on a plate and top with the crawsfish cream sauce and sprinkle with green onions. This dish goes great with a side of brown rice or cornbread. If the butter and cream are enough for you, don't worry this dish taste great any way you eat it!  

Buon Appetit! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Chicken, Pepper & Mushroom Rice with Arugula Pesto

I was in need of a filling and healthy lunch for work for this week but I had to get creative with what I had in the fridge, lucky me I had some yummy things to choose from. What makes this dish extra delicious is arugula pesto. I keep my homemade pesto frozen in an ice cube tray so I cand use them anytime in order to make meals like this quick and easy. If you are looking for a good lunch this week I promise this is a yummy one! 

Makes 4-6 servings

2 tbs olive oil
2 lbs chicken breast, cubed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
2 portobello mushroom caps, diced
3 cups of cooked brown rice
1/3 cup or 3 cubes of arugula pesto
white pepper 

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and toss in the garlic and onions once it is warm. When the onions and garlic become fragrant and add in the chicken, mushrooms and bell pepper. Cover and cook on low 5-10 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Once this is ready add in the rice and pesto, coat evenly. Serve warm and enjoy!