Risotto with Grilled Asparagus

For my restaurant recreation this month, I was inspired by a lobster & asparagus risotto dish at Davio’s but I wanted to make it at home. It also served as a reminder that risotto doesn’t only have to be winter food. With Mr. J’s new grill, this still allowed him to fill his grilling quota with the asparagus. Seriously, he wants to grill bfast/lunch/din.

I made this as a his/hers dinner that he had with steak and I had with lobster. The lobster wasn’t real so it was perfect to use in a cooked dish. I think I’ll use the remainder into some lobster mac & cheese.

The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Asparagus Risotto

Ingredients:

1/2 white onion, chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup water
1 cup broth
1 cup white wine
1 tsp dijon mustard
3 tbs grated Parmesan
1 bunch asparagus
lobster or steak

Directions:

In a large saucepan, saute the onion in some olive oil over medium heat until they are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add in the rice and stir regularly for a few minutes to toast it, then reduce heat to medium low.
In a medium saucepan, heat the water, broth, wine, and mustard to low heat.
Add a ladle of liquid to the rice until absorbed. Continue adding, stirring, and simmering until absorbed. Then adding the next ladle-ful in.
The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Asparagus Risotto
Grill the asparagus.
The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Asparagus Risotto
Chop into 1-inch sections.
Cook the lobster in butter and/or grill the steak.
Gently fold in the asparagus and Parmesan into the risotto.
The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Asparagus Risotto
Gently fold in the lobster meat.
The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Asparagus Risotto
Serve and enjoy!

Mr. J’s was asparagus topped with some grilled steak.
The Three Bite Rule - Grilled Asparagus Risotto
I liked the charred bits of the asparagus and I was careful to not overmix the asparagus. I didn’t want the pieces to be decimated or to lose all the grill marks into a blackened risotto!

The risotto was creamy and perfect. I think cooking it over medium-low heat is the ticket. If it is at a higher temp it really gets sticky versus creamy. It takes just a bit of patience, and about 25 min of cook time, but if somebody wants to keep an eye on it while the asparagus is grilling, it works out just fine. Or grill the asparagus first and let it hang out while cooking the risotto.

I could substitute grilled shrimp, or even salmon flaked apart, or grilled sausage…endless possibilities without even turning on the oven!

Tuna Nicoise Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

I’m capitalizing on salads while I’m home on maternity leave. It is a good reminder how lucky I am to a) get a freshly cooked lunch at work, and b) that there’s always salad all ready with lunch. This salad took a bit more prep than just tossing some veggies with greens but I loved it and was so happy with my quick dressing! I’m counting this as my monthly eat-more-fish goal and my make-more-salad-dressings goal, though I will get my act together and eat more fish that isn’t just on salad.

Tuna Nicoise is the French cousin to our cobb salad. The cooking required is for the potatoes, egg, and green beans. You could include artichokes or seared tuna, or sardines if you’re feeling especially French. It looks so pretty before you dress it or before scooping bites of this and that. It is definitely a salad that feels like a meal.

The Three Bite Rule - Tuna Nicoise Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

Dijon Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp honey
salt & pepper

Directions:

In a jar, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, honey, salt & pepper (I forgot the balsamic until after this pic)
The Three Bite Rule - Tuna Nicoise Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Shake well for 1 minute.
The Three Bite Rule - Tuna Nicoise Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Taste & adjust as needed. Add more honey if it is too bitter for you, or more vinegar if it needs more of a kick.
Enjoy!

Making salad dressing is so easy, which is why I wanted to make it more often. I have all these ingredients on hand AND I didn’t make a ton. That allows me to have different dressings all the time without making a gallon and feeling the need to use it all before going onto the next one. This dressing is light and easy to tweak to your tastes. By having it over this salad, it made me thing that salad dressing is a great use over steamed green beans or to mix into tuna.

Part of what I loved in this salad was the roasted potatoes. I nuked a potato, cut it into cubes then pan fried it in herbed butter until crisp. These potatoes were definitely a star of this salad. The butter was leftover from my salmon baked in herbed butter. I steamed the green beans while the potatoes were crisping then shocked them in ice water to keep them from going limp.
The Three Bite Rule - Tuna Nicoise Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Each bite had me thinking that this is the best bite. Then I’d be all “mmm tuna and potato”, no that’s the best bite…”mmm egg and green bean”, no that’s the best bite. I love the fun stuff in salad, aka the heavy stuff that makes it pricey at a salad bar, and this one delivers on that. The greens below aren’t quite an afterthought, but they’re not what this is all about. I didn’t mess around much with the tuna – just half of a can (of chunk white tuna in water) with a tiny bit of Italian salad dressing to dress it really lightly.
The Three Bite Rule - Tuna Nicoise Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
I ate the exact same thing the following day for lunch, it was that good.

Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing

I’m sooo psyched to share this one! I was excited to make it, even more thrilled when I ate it, and just couldn’t wait to share it with you! I came upon the salmon, courtesy of my parents buying a big piece and giving me some. They deserve all the credit for making this month’s fish adventure happen, and making my own salad dressing made this a double whammy. Spell-check deserves the credit to helping me correctly spell whammy.

The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing
Mr. J doesn’t do fish so this was lunch for one and was quick & easy to make a single serving. There. Nothing stopping you. A reminder we can all use. In the time it took for the fish to cook, I mixed the dressing & prepped the salad.

Ingredients:

1 piece of salmon
2 tbs butter
1 tsp fresh or dried herbs or spice blend
3 tbs sour cream
3 tbs mayo
1 tbs garlic, minced
1 tbs cider vinegar
1 tsp dill
1/4 cup English cucumber
leafy greens & tomatoes for salad

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
Cut butter into pieces onto a piece of plastic wrap. Top with herb mix, salt, & pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing
Twist up the plastic wrap and mash the butter together to incorporate the spices.
Put the salmon onto a piece of foil and dot with the herbed butter. Fold up the foil to form a packet.
The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing
Bake for 20 minutes until cooked through.
The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing
While salmon is cooking, add the sour cream, mayo, cider vinegar, garlic, dill, salt, and pepper. Mix well and refrigerate until serving.
The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing
Chop & plate salad ingredients. Optional: toss lightly with oil/vinegar. Place the salmon on top.
Add chopped cucumber to the dressing just before serving.
The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing
Spoon some dressing over the plate & enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing
Ohh wow. So good. I loooved the herb & buttered salmon. It was flaky and the dressing was perfect. I liked the crunch of the cucumber in the dressing rather than in the salad. This was a delightful reminder that the butter makes it feel decadent while a small amount of dressing kept it fresh yet flavorful. My parents lightly dress salad with a healthier dressing so a creamy one can just be for some touch of flavor.

Clearly I enjoyed it:
The Three Bite Rule - Salmon with Creamy Dill & Cucumber Dressing

Garlicky Mussels

I love ordering mussels at restaurants. The freshness of the mussels and the flavorful broth with some kind of bread to sop it all up. I never made them because it seemed like one of those foods that you just get at restaurants, not something I’d make myself.

Spoiler alert: they were so easy and cheap.

Garlic Mussels - The Three Bite Rule

Ingredients:

1 pound Mussels
2 tbs garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 tbs butter
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs cream
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

Rinse and debeard the mussels.
In a large pan over medium heat, add the garlic, broth, wine, butter, lemon juice, cream, and garlic powder.
Garlic Mussels - The Three Bite Rule
Then add in the mussels and cover for 8 minutes.
Stir the mussels and check for any that didn’t open, discard those.
Serve them in a bowl and top with parsley and some crusty bread.
Garlic Mussels - The Three Bite Rule
They were so good. I’d say they rival any restaurant I’ve had them in. It takes a lot to feel full so while they were my meal, that’s precisely why they’re always on the appetizer section of a menu.

What do you think of as a “restaurant food” that you have been hesitant to make yourself?

Spice Up Your Life

The Spice Girls may have formed 20 years ago, not to make you feel old, but today I’m talking about spices. I got some spice mixes from Healthy Solutions to try and I loved them. You can love them too by entering my giveaway below! I tried the Encrusted Haddock and the Ultimate Burger. Both were so good.

I tried the Encrusted Haddock mix too. I used this on a tilapia filet I had and it was wonderful.
The Three Bite Rule - Spice Mixes
I put the fish in a little packet with a little panko and Mr. J grilled it on a his/hers night.
The Three Bite Rule - Spice Mixes
The Encrusted Haddock mix had some garlic and onion flavors with a sweet touch. I served it over a couscous, tomato, and chopped arugula with a touch of mustard.

The Three Bite Rule - Spice Mixes

For the Ultimate Burger I mixed some into my chicken burger and into Mr. J’s beef burger. It absolutely amped up an everyday burger into something really special.
The Three Bite Rule - Spice Mixes
I loved the onion, garlic, and pepper flavors. Every burger needs a kicker to come alive. Grill it up and you won’t want your ground meat to be naked again.
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Now, enter to win your choice of 3 mixes shipped right to you! Enter before Wednesday!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Full 3 Bite Rule Disclosure: Healthy Solutions Spice Blends were completely complimentary but my thoughts, opinions, and words are entirely my own.

Cheesy Polenta with Shrimp and Tomatoes

I was inspired to try my hand at polenta. It seemed like a good way to make a his (beef)/hers (fish) for dinner some night…also without needing the oven. Polenta cooks so quickly that it can really be a pantry shelf staple that becomes an afterthought.

The Three Bite Rule - Polenta & Shrimp

Ingredients:

1 cup polenta
1 cup water
1 cup milk
salt & pepper
1 cup grated white cheddar
5 large shrimp
olive oil
2 tbs butter.
1-2 cups arugula
1 cup red wine

Directions:

Over a low boil, reduce the red wine by half…about 10 minutes.
In a large pot, bring the water and milk to a boil. Add in the polenta and whisk to combine. Then cover and cook over medium for about 15 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Polenta & Shrimp
Peal and devein the shrimp.
In a flat skillet, cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil and melt 1 tbs of butter.
Add the other 1 tbs butter to the reduced wine.
Pan fry the shrimp, arugula, and tomatoes for about 3-5 minutes.
Check on the polenta. If it is too dry, add more milk or water and stir in the cheese.
Spoon the polenta into a bowl and top with the shrimp, then with the wine.
The Three Bite Rule - Polenta & Shrimp

Shrimp Tacos with Corn Lime Salsa

I love shrimp tacos and I wanted to mess with a different salsa. I didn’t go spicy and wanted the corn to be toasty and pop with each bite. I threw in some broccoli slaw for a crunch. The shrimp was fully cooked so the grill was for char and smokiness. This dinner took 15 minutes without turning the oven on. Perfect for summer!

Roasted Corn and Lime Salsa - The Three Bite Rule

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups corn
1 lime
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup red onion chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbs honey
6 jumbo shrimp
1 cup broccoli slaw
flour tortillas

Directions:

In a dry, hot pan, roast the corn until lightly browned, about 5 minutes on high heat. Then let cool to room temperature.
Roasted Corn and Lime Salsa - The Three Bite Rule
Mix together the tomato, lime juice, lime zest, onion, garlic, and honey.
Roasted Corn and Lime Salsa - The Three Bite Rule
Mix together and then let sit.
Skewer the shrimp, then brush with honey, lime juice, salt and pepper.
Roasted Corn and Lime Salsa - The Three Bite Rule
Grill the shrimp until lightly charred.
Toss the corn into the salsa.
Assemble tacos with tortilla, broccoli slaw, salsa, and shrimp.
Roasted Corn and Lime Salsa - The Three Bite Rule
The salsa was subtle. I liked the honey and lime flavors with the corn but I think I’d add more of kick next time. It was good and made dinner feel different, which is what I was going for. My grocery store never has cotija but had I found feta in the fridge I might have thrown that on there for more contrast.

Crabcakes with Remolade Sauce

I had my Momma over for lunch so I figured we’d have something only the two of us would like. I mixed up a couple of crabcakes and some remolade to be dressing, serving it over salad. It seemed springy and fresh. The remolade would be easy to make in advance. The crabcakes would be pretty fast fried, but baking them is easier, and keeps them from being greasy.

Plus, you’ll want to put the remolade on ev-ry-thing.

The Three Bite Rule - Crab cakes with Remolade

Ingredients for crab cakes:

8 oz crab meat
3 tbs chopped white onion
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
3 tbs mixed breadcrumbs & panko
2 tbs chopped parsley
1-2 tbs mayo
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper

Ingredients for remolade:

1 cup mayo
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 tbs paprika
1 tsp grill rub
1 1/2 tsp horseradish
1 tsp pickle juice (or relish)
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
Add crabmeat, onion, mushrooms, breadcrumbs, parsley, mayo, dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Crab cakes with Remolade
Gently mix together until combined.
Form into patties and bake 15 minutes, then flip and bake for 10 more minutes.
While the crabcakes are baking, mix together the remolade.
The Three Bite Rule - Crab cakes with Remolade
Blend together. Taste, add more horseradish or hot sauce to taste.
The Three Bite Rule - Crab cakes with Remolade
Toss together mixed greens, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
The Three Bite Rule - Crab cakes with Remolade
Drizzle remolade, or use to dip.
The Three Bite Rule - Crab cakes with Remolade
I loved the kick in the remolade without being spicy. The horseradish was perfect. Real remolade has cajon or creole  seasoning, but I substituted since I hate one-time ingredients.

What I Ate: His & Hers Caesar Salad

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I love caesar salad for the fresh greens, the salty Parmesan, and crunchy croutons, and garlicky dressing. It isn’t the healthiest salad, but it is ohh-so-good. It made for such a quick dinner to welcome spring. The simplicity is the charm.

I topped mine with grilled shrimp. I squirted the shrimp with a touch of lemon, salt, and pepper. They only needed to grill for a few minutes for the charred flavor.

The Three Bite Rule - Caesar Salad with Grilled Shrimp
Mr. J had his topped with steak. The steak marinated all day in a teriyaki marinade.

The Three Bite Rule - Caesar Salad with Grilled Steak
I toasted a few slices of wheat bread, tossed with olive oil, Italian seasoning, and salt. Instant croutons! While the steak & shrimp was grilling, I whipped up a quick caesar dressing I’ve made before.

Sometimes the easiest meals are exactly what I want. Other times I want lots of complicated components juggling more than is necessary for a random week night. It was awesome to blend the dressing, toss the salad together, and get the grill going. I had everything made, cleaned up, and plated by the time the steak & shrimp was off the grill. #winning

Mojito Shrimp

It was another his/hers night here at the Chilton household…I’m seriously on a quest to get more deer out of the freezer. I was planning something with shrimp and Mr. J was forced to eat some venison. He braised it. It smelled to-die-for but my 3 ingredient shrimp was so amazing and such a reminder how easy shrimp is to throw together. Also, my shrimp had taken up some permanent residence in the freezer so I was also a culprit of freezer real estate taken over by food we’re not using.

I often cook shrimp in lemon and garlic but wanted to think about what else goes well with the flavor of shrimp. Not lemon this time, but lime! Perfect! Fresh herbs were on sale so I didn’t feel as bad shelling out big bucks for an herb I had 1 plan to use. I did get a fancy herb keeper for xmas so there’s hope that the mint can find another use. I’d be all about mojitos if it weren’t 4-degrees outside.
The Three Bite Rule - Mojito Shrimp

I made shaved brussels sprouts as a side dish but thought it’d be a perfect bed for my little shrimp. Trader Joe’s sells them shaved, which is awesome, or you can chop up whole ones, discarding the base. Jasper’s Corner Tap in San Fran does a side dish of brussels sprout petals which is also an amazing way to use them.

Mojito Shrimp over Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

~5 large shrimp
10 mint leaves
3 tbs lime juice
2 tbs melted butter
3 tbs bread/cracker crumbs (optional)
2 slices of bacon (optional)
10 oz bag of shaved brussels sprouts, or 1 pound fresh brussels sprouts

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Defrost, peal, devein the shrimp (as needed).
Chop the mint.
Toss together shrimp, lime juice, butter, and shrimp in a small baking dish.
The Three Bite Rule - Mojito Shrimp
Sprinkle with salt & pepper and bake for 5-7 minutes (my shrimp was fully cooked already).
Heat a large pan to medium high heat.
Fry the bacon until crisp and 75% cooked.
While bacon is cooking, chop brussels sprouts if using whole ones.
Add in the shaved brussels sprouts, salt, and pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Mojito Shrimp
After the shrimp has cooked for the 5-7 minutes, stir, then top with breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs (optional) and bake another 5 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Mojito Shrimp
Toss the brussels sprouts letting them caramelize a little bit.
Lay a bed of brussels sprouts onto the center of the plate.
The Three Bite Rule - Mojito Shrimp
Top with shrimp and drizzle a spoonful of the liquid on top of the shrimp.
The Three Bite Rule - Mojito Shrimp
I went a little overboard with the lime juice so I toned it back for your quantities, and increased the butter a bit so your liquids have better balance than mine did initially. The lime was quite strong so I added the breadcrumbs to it. It would be fine without those…just use my lime/butter quantities as a reference.

This was really good. The mojito (aka lime & mint) flavors would be great with chicken, or pork, or other fish…such a great way to have fresh flavor in the dead of winter! The shrimp would be great on a grill, or even indoors on a grill pan. I popped mine into the toaster oven, since they were fully cooked I was just looking to get them warmed and the flavors incorporated.