A Happy Food Place


Are you Hungry for something Delicious? 

Calling all Foodies, Food Lovers and anyone who wants to try something new in the New Year. Restaurant Week DC 2011 will be January 17-23

Over 200 of  Washington, DC and surrounding area's finest restaurants will offer a variety of delicious and budget friendly three course menus. During Restaurant Week, each restaurant will offer 3-course lunches for $20.11 and 3-course dinners for $35.11. This is a fantastic time to try something new and delicious or visit a restaurant that you have been wanting to try. Either way, Restaurant Week is an exciting time in the World of Food.  

For a complete list of participating restaurants and to make reservations visit: www.opentable.com.  Restaurant week is proudly presented by Destination DC and the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington. This years events are held in January and August. For more details about Restaurant Week DC 2011 visit: http://washington.org/restaurantwk.

The possibilities are endless during Restaurant Week for you to find " A Happy Food Place"!

Enjoy!!

Let me be your Sous Chef this Holiday Season.

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Let me be your Sous Chef this Holiday Season.


The COUNTDOWN BEGINS...

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THANKSGIVING is just 3 days away!  

It is no secret, preparing for the Holidays can be joyful yet stressful.

But No Worries!

Just relax and let me be your Sous Chef. 


If you are in need of Shopping Tips, ideas to Plan your Menu, need Healthy side dish suggestions, have Turkey questions or any other questions about food...Ask me!


I will do my  best to answer all of your questions

This Holiday season let us make something Pretty & Delicious!!!


Chef Huda's Baked Cajun Chicken Alfredo


Who's Hungry???  My Baked Cajun Chicken Alfredo is a great way to add a flavorful and creamy kick to your everyday Alfredo. 


Rotini Pasta & Creamy Alfredo Sauce

3 Cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese-Save about 1/2 cup for topping.

1/2 Cup Butter

2 Cup of Heavy Cream

1/4 Cup fresh Parsley-Chopped

3/4 Cup of Breadcrumbs-Topping

1 Box of Rotini pasta

1 Red, Green and Yellow Bellpepper-Small dice or Thin strips

1 Cup of Cherry tomatoes



Cajun Chicken

1/2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning per Chicken breast

2-4 Large Chicken Breast-Skinless

1 Tbsp of Oil


**Preheat oven to 375 degrees F


Let's get Started.

Wait...Please, Wash your Hands.

Okay, now we are ready to start! 


Let's start wth our Cajun Chicken. Place the Chicken into a hollow dish or bowl. Lightly sprinkle the Chicken breast with the Cajun seasoning over breast. Gently pat the seasoning on to the Chicken. Place a medium or large saute-pan on medium high heat.  Lightly drizzle oil in to the pan. Once the pan is hot, gently set the seasoned Chicken breast into the pan.  Cook for 3-5 minutes on both sides until golden brown. After both sides are golden brown, place the Chicken into the oven on 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes. 

**Chef Huda Note: Your Chicken my take longer or shorter to cook depending on the size of the Chicken breast.  

While our Cajun Chicken is cooking let's get started on our Rotini Pasta & Creamy Alfredo Sauce.  Place a Large pot of water to boil, once the water boils, add in pasta.  Continue to follow the cooking directions on the Pasta box. While the Cajun Chicken & Rotini Pasta are finishing up. Let's get started on my favorite part of this whole dish the Creamy Alfredo Sauce.


In a medium or large saucepan over medium heat melt the Butter. Once the Butter is melted add the Heavy cream and whisk. Please Do not burn the Cream. Slowly add Parmesan cheese (in parts) and whisk. As the cheese melts and mixes into the sauce , the sauce will start to thicken. Add, in fresh parsley and salt and pepper to taste and continue to whisk. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce set for 2-3mins. 


Once the Cajun Chicken is done remove from pan and set aside for 3-5 minutes. 

Place the empty Chicken pan onto the stove over medium heat. Add oil and a few drops of water, Cherry tomatoes and Bell peppers. Cover the pan and let the veggies cook for 7-10 minutes.  Once the Veggies cookdown stir and taste the Veggies. Feel fee to season the Veggies lightly with salt and pepper. 


**Chef Huda Note: Remember the Veggies are going into the Creamy Alfredo Sauce. Please do not over Salt or season.


Once the Veggies are done add them to the Creamy Alfredo Sauce. Now that the Cajun Chicken has set cut it into medium sized cubes. Combine the Veggies, Creamy Alfredo sauce and Cajun Chicken into a large casserole dish. Top with Breadcrumbs and a layer of Parmesan cheese. 

Place in oven on Broil until cheese is golden brown. Upon removal from oven let set for 2-3 minutes. 


Enjoy!!!



It's Wednesday...The weather has been crazy this week... I hope you are staying warm..... Tonight let's make something deliciously simple.  Let's make Pan seared Cajun Salmon, Savory Polenta and Sauteed Apples & Pears... Sounds good??.. Great, I'll show you how..




Chef Huda's Pan Seared Cajun Salmon served with Savory Polenta and Sautéed Apples & Pears 


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Pan Seared Cajun Salmon 

8 oz. Salmon Filets- 4 Pack or Whole Fillet

3 Tbsp of Cajun Seasoning

1 1/2 Tbsp of Oil


Sautéed Apples & Pears

3 Apples- Medium Sliced or Large Diced

3 Pears- Medium Sliced or Large Diced

3 Tbsp of Butter

4 Tbsp of Light Brown Sugar

2 Tsp of Nutmeg

2 Tbsp of Lemon juice

Cracked Black Pepper (optional)


Savory Polenta

1 Cup of Polenta

1/2 Cup of Fresh Parsley-Rough chopped

3 Cups Water

3 Tbsp of Butter

1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

2 Tsp of Garlic Powder

*Salt and Pepper-to Taste


*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


Wait...Please, Wash your Hands.

Okay, now we are ready to start!

Let's start with the Pan Seared Cajun Salmon Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and glaze the pan with Oil. Season the Salmon fillets on both sides with the Cajun Seasoning. Gently pat the seasoning on to the Salmon fillets. Place the Salmon in the pan, skin side down.  Let the Salmon fillet cook for about 2-3 minutes until the skin is golden brown. Remove the Salmon from the pan and place into a dish; place in the oven to finish. The Salmon, depending on size, will take about 10-15 minutes to finish. While your Cajun Salmon is in the oven let's get started on our Sauteed Apples & Pears

Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Melt the Butter. Once the Butter is melted add the Apples & Pears, Brown sugar, Nutmeg and Lemon juice.  Stir and cover. Let this cook for 5-7 minutes, cook until the juices thicken. Once the Apples & Pears cook down and are still a little firm, remove from heat and set aside. Finish with some cracked Black Pepper.  

Now is a good time to check on your Cajun Salmon. Once the Cajun Salmon is done let it rest for 2-3 minutes. The Cajun Salmon looks great and the Sautéed Apples & Pears smell incredible. Now let's make our Easy and Delicious Savory Polenta

Place the Water into a large saucepan and bring to a boil.  

DSC08643.JPGOnce the water comes to a boil, slowly whisk in the Polenta and remove from the heat. The Polenta will start to thicken. Once it has starts to thicken add in the Garlic powder, Salt, Pepper, Butter, Cream and fresh Parsley. Taste and add more Butter, Salt or Pepper, if needed.  Now that everything is finished... Let's start plating! 

~Chef Huda's Note: For this dish I recommend a Stacked plating in this order: Start by spooning the Savory Polenta on to the middle of the plate. Spoon a generous portion of the Sautéed Apples & Pears on top of the Savory Polenta. Gently place the Cajun Salmon in the center of the Sautéed Apples & Pears ....So Delicious!!

Enjoy!!




It's Wednesday...You are half way through your week... So today, I'm making a dish that's easy and full of flavor... Today we are making Garlic Roasted Red Potatoes paired with a Broiled Cajun Salmon, all topped with a velvety Citrus Beurre Blanc sauce.... I know.....sounds amazing right?  Well good because "You" are going to make it...... I'll show you how..


Garlic Roasted Red Potatoes

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds small Red potatoes-Cut into Quarters

1/4 Cup Extra-virgin Olive Oil

4 to 6 Cloves of Garlic-Crushed

1 Tablespoon fresh Parsley-Rough chopped

*Preheat the oven to 375 F.

**Please wash potatoes beforehand


Broiled Cajun Salmon

Ingredients

4 Salmon fillets- 8oz Fillets

2 Tablespoons of Olive oil

3 Tablespoons Cajun Seasoning 

Salt and Pepper for Seasoning



Citrus Beurre Blanc sauce

Ingredients

1 to 2 Shallots-Fine chop

8 oz White wine

2 oz Lemon juice

1 oz Lime Juice

1 Tablespoon Heavy Cream

12 Tablespoons Butter-Cold unsalted-Cubed

Salt and Pepper -To taste (use White pepper, if you can find it)


Let's get Started.

Wait...Please, Wash your Hands.

Okay, now we are ready to start!


Let's start with the Garlic Red Potatoes. In a large bowl toss in the crushed Garlic, Quartered Red potatoes, drizzle with Extra-virgin Olive Oil, toss with Parsley, Salt and ground Black Pepper. Once the Red potatoes are coated, evenly spread the Red potatoes onto a shallow baking pan. Place in the Oven on 375 F and cook them until potatoes are tender.  The Potatoes should take 15 to 20 minutes to cook through. While the Garlic Red Potatoes are cooking ... let's get ready for our Salmon ... 

For our Broiled Cajun Salmon grease a swallow baking sheet with Oil. Place the Salmon fillets on the baking sheet. Season the Fillets with a generous amount of Cajun seasoning and a pinch of Salt and Pepper. Lightly pat the Seasoning into the fish. Cover with plastic wrap, let the Salmon Fillets marinate while you wait for your potatoes to finish up.  

Once the  Garlic Red Potatoes are out of the oven. Change the temp to Broil. Then place the Salmon in the oven under the Broiler for about 5-15 minutes depending on the size of your Salmon Fillets.  The Salmon will firm up as it cooks. When the Salmon is done to your liken, set it aside for 2 minutes to rest.  While the Salmon is cooking let's get started on our yummy Citrus Beurre Blanc Sauce..

In a Saucepan over high heat cook the Shallots, White wine, Lime juice and Lemon juice until it reduces down to about 2 Tablespoons of liquid. Once it is reduced slowly add the Heavy cream to the reduction.  Bring the mixture to a broil and then reduce the heat to low. Now the fun part.... Once your mixture is on low you can start to add the Butter, 1/4 at a time. You should use a whisk to mix in the butter. ~Chef Huda Note: You can remove the pan from the heat, if it gets to hot during this process.  Continue to whisk until the sauce gets a velvety rich creamy consistency.  Season with salt and black pepper to taste.  

Now that everything is finish.. Lets start plating. 

~Chef Huda's Note: For this dish I recommend a Stacked plating in this order: Garlic Red Potatoes freely spooned on to the plate, the Broiled Cajun Salmon gently place on top of the potatoes with the Citrus Beurre Blanc Sauce drizzled or poured (Kidding...So wrong, but so right!!) all over the Garlic Red Potatoes with the Broiled Cajun Salmon......


Enjoy!!!


Rain ....Rain ...and more Rain ..It's officially Fall....Today was a cold and rainy day where I live.  Everyone I know is feeling under the weather and cold... When it's rainy like this All I want is something Good....something Warm...and something Delicious..... So what's better than soup on a Rainy Day....


Homemade Creamy Tomato & Basil Soup


Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons of Butter-Salted
  • 4 cups of Tomatoes-Large Diced
  • 1/4 Cup of Onion - Small Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic-Minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour-All Purpose
  • 1/4 cup of Fresh Basil Leaves (4 to 6 Leaves depending on the size)
  • 2 Leaves of Fresh Basil Leaves for Garnish-Roughly chopped
  • 1-2 Teaspoon-Salt, Sugar, Garlic Salt 
  • Fresh Black Pepper-Season to taste
  • 2-3 cups of Milk (Add more, if needed)


Let's get Started

Please Wash your Hands...

Okay, now we are ready to start....

In a large saucepan, over medium heat let the butter melt down then sauté the Onions and Garlic. 


Once the Onions and Garlic are cooked down add in the Flour then stir. 


Allow the Onions, Garlic and Flour to get friendly (let cook together for 1-2 minutes). 

Then slowly pour in the Milk  and continue to stir until mixture becomes thicker. 


In a separate pan heat the Tomatoes. Once the Tomatoes are cooked down combine everything into one pan (One big Happy Food Family). Let cook for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.  

Season to Taste and Blend in a blender.

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*Chef Huda Note: You do not have to blend the soup, if you do not want to...I like my soup Hearty and Chunky!!


Let the soup sit for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.



It's getting Cold outside so....



Enjoy!!

~This soup is great with warm toasted or grilled Italian or Sourdough Bread with Butter.. So yummy!!!~

It's Wednesday.. So. What's for Dinner? Tonight, we are making my nephew approved-Spinach & Tomato Ziti (Baking opitional). 

My nephew loves this dish...It is a delicious way to incorporate lots of tasty fresh vegetables in a fun and easy  cheesy dish. Watch the video below and I will show you how.

Bechemal Sauce

Ingredients

5 Tablespoons butter

4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour

4 Cups of Milk

1 1/2 Cups of Parmesan and Mozzarella Cheese-Shredded

2 Teaspoons Salt- season to taste 

1 Teaspoons Garlic Salt- season to taste 

1/2 Teaspoons ground Black Pepper- season to taste

1/2 Teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg-Yes Nutmeg!!

**You will need a Whisk..to mix with.


***Chef Huda Tip ~ Heat up the Milk beforehand for better results***


Lets get Started

Please Wash your Hands...

Okay, now we are ready to start....


In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. 

Add the flour slowly and stir with a Whisk until smooth. 

Continue to mix over medium heat, until the mixture (Flour & Butter) turns a light golden brown color. 

Start pouring in the milk into the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. 

Stir in Cheeses. 

Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with Salt, Garlic salt, Pepper and Nutmeg. 

Then Taste... 





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ENJOY!!!

Couscous.....

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Okay, so it's been a long week, but it's okay because it's Thursday and tonight for Dinner let's try something New.. Let's make Couscous.....Watch the video below and I'll show you how.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opykfMG6824

What's for Dinner Wednesday-Baked Cheesy Rotini

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Baked Cheesy Rotini..Your family will love you for this.


The Dish is Quick, Easy and Cheesy. You have the option of making your own sauce from scratch (which I recommend) or if you are in a rush... Purchase your Favorite sauce at your Local Grocery store. Either way enjoy the recipe Below.....


Homemade Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 cups of Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Onion - Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic-Minced
  • 1 cup of White Wine
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon of dry Oregano 
  • 1 Tablespoon of dry Thyme 
  • Salt, Sugar, Garlic Salt and Pepper-Season to taste
  • 2 cups of Water (Add more, if needed) 
  • Mozzarella or Provolone Cheese for Topping


Pasta 

  • One Box of Tricolor Rotini Pasta


Lets get Started

Please Wash your Hands...

Okay, now we are ready to start....


Now, if you are making your sauce from scratch start Here! But if not, move down on to the Rotini Pasta.

Pre-heat your oven for 450 F or on Broil.

Rinse the Tomatoes and place them into a oven safe pan.

Lightly drizzle some Oil on the Tomatoes and sprinkle with Salt and Pepper before placing in the oven.

Place the Tomatoes in the oven for 3-10 minutes.

Please note: The Tomatoes will start to shrink and will start to brown and split when they are roasted.  

**Please watch your Tomatoes, they will burn.

Meanwhile, In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and sauté the Onions and Garlic.

Remove the Tomatoes from the oven, when they are done. 

Add the Tomatoes to the pan with the sauteed Onions and Garlic.

Mix-in the remaining Ingredients and season lightly. 

Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

While your Sauce is simmering.  After the 30 minutes stir and taste your sauce. 

Season to Taste and Blend.



**Now the Rotini Starts Here!!

Great time to cook your Pasta. Pasta will take 10-12 minutes to cook. 

Make sure you only cook it until it is Al dente.

When the Sauce is done mix the Al Dente Rotini and the 

Sauce in a oven safe dish or Casserole dish.

Make sure you mix in a good ratio of Sauce to Noodle. 

Top with Plenty of Cheese!!  

Place in oven on 400 F and cook for 10-15 

minutes or until the Cheese is melted into bubbly cheesy deliciousness. 

Once your Baked Cheesy Rotini is done, let it sit for 3-5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!!


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Summer Yellow Tomato Pasta

Ingredients

2  lbs ripe Tomatoes 2 yellow and 2 Red or Heirloom, chopped

1 large clove Garlic, minced

3 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 & 1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Black pepper-fresh ground

2/3 Cup Fresh Basil

1/3 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese 

1 box of your desired Pasta

**You may need Parmesan cheese and Parsley for garnish.


In a food processor or blender, combine the Tomatoes, Garlic, Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper and mix.  You can make the sauce chunky or smooth it is up to you. Add the Basil and pulse 1-3 times just for a rough mix. Taste.

**Add more seasoning, if need be. 

Cook pasta according to package directions. 

Drain and Start plating. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and Basil. 

Wait 2-5 minutes then .....

Enjoy!!!

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**Chef Huda Tip: I love how light and easy this meal is. I usually pair it with a nice Garden Salad and Grilled French bread.