Dee Gourmet

Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup w/ Roasted Veggies and Home Made Croutons


Serves 4


You won’t believe the flavor of this awesome soup. Everything comes together as an explosion in your palate!I made several changes to deepen and enhance the flavors of this recipe originally from a cooking magazine, but cannot take credit for the originality of this delicious and healthful soup!

What you’ll need:

3 green onions (white and green), sliced into 2 inch long pieces

½ large onion cut into quarters

6 cloves peeled garlic cloves

6 large carrots (unpeeled), sliced into 2 inch lengths

1 shallot, peeled and halved

3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided

Kosher flake salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cups butternut squash, cut into cubes (found bagged in most markets)

2 cups broccoli florets

Homemade croutons (recipe below), any amount desired OR

Roasted and salted Pepitas

3 Tablespoons fresh ginger, diced into small pieces

1 14-oz. can coconut milk (light or regular)

1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, un-drained


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. You will need two rimmed baking sheets.
  2. After prepping your veggies, mix together and spread the first 5 ingredients on one of the baking pans. Drizzle with 1 ½ to 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and a grind of pepper.
  3. Next, mix the butternut squash and broccoli florets together and likewise spread them out on the other baking pan.  Drizzle with remaining olive oil, sprinkle with salt and a grind of pepper.
  4. Bake both batches of veggies at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes or until everything is tender.  They should both take about the same amount of time to cook.
  5. Let the veggies cool. Once they are cool enough to handle, the veggie tray with the carrots can be placed into a blender.
  6. Add the coconut milk, cannellini beans, including liquid and fresh ginger.  If you have a Vitamix, all the better!  This will be done in a flash!  If not, you may have to do this in 2 batches.
  7. Pulse, then puree until completely smooth. You may also use a hand blender. If you choose this option, just pour everything into a saucepan and blend until smooth.
  8. Once done, heat the finished soup until hot and adjust for salt and pepper.
  9. For serving, top the soup with roasted squash and broccoli and add croutons or pepitas to your liking.

Homemade Croutons

This is a good use of old crusty bread, rolls or whole grain bread that is just a little over the edge for your sandwich. Onion rolls make particularly delicious croutons!

What you’ll need:

3 to 4 cups (or whatever you have) cubed bread

3-4 Tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, smashed through a garlic press

Finishing salt

Large rimmed baking pan


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Set rack in center of oven.
  2. Press garlic into olive oil and let it set at room temperature for about an hour to infuse a garlic flavor into the oil
  3. Spread bread over baking pan. Don’t crowd the pan. You want to allow enough room so that the croutons can brown on all sides.
  4. Drizzle with the garlic-infused olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  5. Bake the croutons for 12 to 15 minutes, but watch them!  Cooking time will depend on the density of the bread – the less dense the bread, the quicker they will brown.  They may take more or less time. You want a nice golden color.

NOTE: You can omit the garlic if you want plain croutons

January 26th, 2018

Okinawan Sweet Potato Salad w/ Creamy Coconut Dressing

Okinawan sweet potatoes have buff skin and a deep purple flesh.

They are earthy, delicately sweet and can be prepared in a variety of ways.


Okinawa Sweet Potato Salad

With Creamy Coconut Yogurt Dressing

Serves 6

This dish can be made Vegan by substituting the creamy yogurt with Veganaise.



Truly an exotic blend of flavors and so simple to prepare! I first tried this potato salad in Hawaii and was taken by its exotic flavors. I replicated the dish as close to the original as possible. Locating Okinawa sweet potatoes can be tricky; they are pale skinned but inside they are a vibrant purple!  Delicious!! I was able to locate some at an Asian market.


What you’ll need

For the dressing:

½ cup creamy yogurt or sour cream (also can substitute Veganaise)

½ cup coconut cream

Coconut milk for thinning if necessary

1 teaspoon tamari or low sodium soy sauce

1 Tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

2 garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press

For the Salad:

2 pounds Okinawa Sweet Potatoes, unpeeled

½ cup celery slices

½ sweet onion (such as Maui) sliced into crescents

2 green onions sliced (green and white parts)

Salt and pepper to taste


For dressing:

1. Mix the first 5 ingredients together with a whisk. You may want to thin the mixture slightly with coconut milk to more easily coat the potatoes.

2. Taste and adjust the flavors until it suits your personal taste.

For the salad:

1. Roast or boil the potatoes until cooked.  Do not overcook or they will become mushy. Cool, then refrigerate cooked potatoes until they are cooled through. This will make them easier to prep.

2. Meanwhile, slice up the celery and prep the onion and green onion.  You want to add crunch to the salad, so keep the celery pieces bite sized.

NOTE: To make crescents, slice the onion in half parallel between the root end and top. Cut one of the halves straight through the middle.  Start cutting the quarter from the center to the edge of the onion in the thickness you desire.

3. Cut the cooled potatoes into desired sized pieces and add celery and onion. Mix together in a serving bowl.

4. Coat with the coconut cream-yogurt mixture and serve. You may also wish to drizzle some of the dressing over the salad just before serving.

January 26th, 2018

Grilled Sweet Potato and Pomegranate Salad

This is quite a unique side to serve either with your Thanksgiving meal or any time!

Healthful and delicious!



Grilled Sweet Potato and Pomegranate Salad with Pistachios and Mint

A Middle Eastern-inspired Salad

Serves 6 as a side


What you’ll need:

4 Medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

2/3 cup fresh orange juice

2 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses (more to taste)

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon ground sumac (optional)

½ teaspoon granulated sugar

Flake salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 Tablespoons honey

1 Tablespoon finely grated orange zest

2 Tablespoons chopped mint leaves plus more sliced for garnish

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/3 cup pistachios, chopped

1/3 cup fresh or frozen pomegranate seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and position rack to middle.
  2. Bake the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet until their skins loosen but their centers are still firm, 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Set aside to cool and refrigerate until cold, 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
  4. To make pomegranate vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of the oil with 1 Tablespoon orange juice, pomegranate molasses, vinegar, sumac and sugar. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  5. To make glaze for grilling potatoes: In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining orange juice, honey and orange zest. Slowly whisk in the remaining oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Stir the chopped mint into the yogurt and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  7. Prepare a medium gas or charcoal grill fire, Panini grill, or grill plate on your stove top. Brush with oil.
  8. Peel potatoes and cut them into wedges about ½ inch thick. Brush with the honey mixture and season lightly with salt. Grill, turning occasionally, until tender and nicely marked, 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Arrange the grilled potatoes on a platter or divide among plates. Drizzle with 5 to 6 Tablespoons of pomegranate vinaigrette.
  10. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and pomegranate seeds. Garnish with additional mint and serve with the yogurt sauce on the side or dolloped over the potatoes.
November 28th, 2017

Grilled Cabbage Wedges w/Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette

Something wonderful happens to cabbage when it is grilled or roasted—the flavor transforms from “cabbage-y” to sweet, mellow and nutty.  The tangy and slightly spicy dressing pulls it all together.


This has become one of my favorite salads.

Great for lunch with some crusty bread or as a beginning or side dish for dinner.

Grilled Cabbage Wedges w/Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette

Serves 4 to 6

What you’ll need

For the dressing:

¼ cup fresh lime juice

Zest of 1 lime

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 large cloves garlic, crushed

¼ cup cilantro, mostly leaves, coarsely chopped

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Salad:

1 large head fresh green cabbage

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

1 large clove garlic crushed into olive oil

Sea salt

Lime wedges for serving

Chopped chives or green onion tops for garnish



For dressing:

Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until the dressing is pale orange. Taste for salt and seasoning, adjust if necessary and set aside.


For the cabbage wedges:

1. Prepare coals or gas grill to medium high (400 degrees). If the width between grates is more than about ½ inch, you may want to use a grill plate. The grill plate is a flat heavy-duty pan with holes; this will prevent your cooked cabbage from falling through the grill rack, but still give you a nice char.

NOTE: If you do not want to grill the cabbage, you can bake it instead, however the grilling will make a much better salad adding grill lines and the crunch of the char.


2. While your grill is heating, wash the cabbage. Cut in half, then in quarters, then eighths, keeping wedges intact.

3. Drizzle with the olive oil in which you have crushed 1 large clove of garlic. Sprinkle with a little sea salt.

4. When grill is hot, place cabbage wedges on the hot grill plate. You will need to cook the cabbage for 7 to 9 minutes in total, carefully turning to cook both sides. You want the cabbage tender.

Be sure to get a nice char on the cabbage!

5. When the cabbage is cooked, plate directly onto serving plates and drizzle with dressing. To each plate, snip some fresh chives over the top and garnish with lime wedges.  Fantastic!

November 26th, 2017

Dee’s Thai Chicken Wings

This dish will never fail to impress and satisfy.

Serve at a party as an appetizer or at home as a meal with special fried rice

and watch them disappear!

Dee’s Thai Chicken Wings

This dish will become a favorite of friends and family.  From start to finish, this dish takes about 2 hours to prepare.  You can do it in advance, re-heat the wings in the oven and add the sauce just before serving.

What you’ll need:

3 pounds chicken wing drummets

For the sauce:

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons paprika (sweet or hot, your choice)

¼ cup fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

1 to 2 Tablespoon canola oil

1/3 cup minced garlic

3 Tablespoons fresh minced jalapeno peppers

Optional garnishes:

1/2 cup slivered fresh basil leaves

Roasted red pepper slices

Transparent basil leaves:

6 to8 fresh whole basil leaves, patted dry

¼ cup canola oil


1. Rinse wings and pat dry.  Place wings in 1 layer on a cookie sheet that you have lined with aluminum foil or parchment. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Bake, uncovered in a 400 degree oven until golden and crisp, about 1 hour, turn half-way through cooking process.   Drain off fat.

NOTE:  Do not overcook the drummets!

(If making ahead, cool, cover, and chill up to 1 day.  Reheat, uncovered  in a 350 degree oven until hot, about 15 minutes.)

3. While the wings are baking, begin the sweet and spicy garlic sauce.

In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients together: sugar, cornstarch and paprika.

4. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients together: chicken broth, fish sauce, soy sauce and cider vinegar.

5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.  Set aside.

6. Mince the garlic and jalapeno, seeds and all.  Do this separately because you want to cook the garlic first and then add the jalapeno.

NOTE: You can make quick work of this by pulsing in the food processor. You can hand-mince, but it will take you forever and you have to deal with the hot pepper oil on your hands.

7. Set a 4 to 5 quart pan or wok over high heat and add oil. When the oil is  hot, add the garlic and stir fry until the garlic begins to turn golden; now add the jalapeno and stir fry together until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes more.

8. Add broth and sugar mixture; stir often until sauce boils.  Low boil, stirring until reduced to about 1 1/4 cups, 10 to 15 minutes.  (Use, or cover and chill up to 1 day.  Reheat to use.)

9. With a slotted spoon, transfer wings to warm garlic sauce, mix well.

10. To serve, pour wings onto a platter, scatter with basil, red pepper and transparent basil leaves.

Transparent basil leaf

This is a little tricky, but will add to the presentation and flavor!

To make transparent basil leaves:

  1. Rinse 1 cup fresh basil leaves.  Spread out on towels and dry THOROUGHLY to minimize spattering.  Keep a lid near-by.
  2. In a deep 3 to 4 quart pan, heat 1 inch salad oil to 370 degrees.
  3. Fry a few leaves a time (these will pop and spatter, so use the lid until this subsides) until they turn bright green and somewhat transparent, 15 to 20 seconds.
  4. Take care not to scorch them.  Transfer leaves from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  Leaves are more transparent when cool.  Use as a garnish on your wings, or if making ahead, store airtight in a towel-lined container up to 3 days.


November 26th, 2017

Turkey Pho Dip Sandwich

“If a French dip and a banh mi had a baby, and it was born the day after




Turkey Pho Dip Sandwich

A unique and mouth watering way to use your leftover turkey!

What you’ll need:

For the pho broth

1 turkey carcass

1 bunch scallions, coarsely chopped

1 inch piece peeled ginger, sliced

2 star anise pods

2 inch piece cinnamon stick

¼ cup fish sauce

3 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons coriander seeds

2 Tablespoons fennel seeds

4 quarts water

For the sandwiches

½ cup olive oil mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon sambal oelek (or to taste)

Ciabatta rolls

Hoisin sauce

I bunch cilantro

1 bunch Thai basil and/or sweet basil

Sliced scallions

Mung bean sprouts

Sliced jalapenos

Lime wedges


  1. Put all the ingredients for the pho broth into a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, skim surface and simmer until liquid is reduced by nearly half, 2 to 2½ hours.
  3. Strain broth into a large saucepan. Taste and adjust with salt if needed. Broth can be refrigerated and stored at this  point if making ahead.
  4. When broth is done and you are ready to make the sandwiches, prep all herbs by washing thoroughly and assembling on a serving plate. Slice the jalapenos and scallions and arrange the sprouts as well.
  5. Mix the sambal oelek into the mayo and taste – start with less, and add more according to your personal taste. This will be the spread for the sandwiches.
  6. Place leftover sliced turkey in a skillet with enough pho broth to cover it. Gently warm through just to heat it.
  7. Toast the ciabatta rolls until they are nice and crunchy on the outside. Slice them for sandwiches and spread some of the mayo mixture on each half. Add a dollop of hoisin on top of mayo.
  8. Top with reheated turkey, then pile on the herbs, sprouts, green onions, mung bean sprouts and jalapenos.
  9. Using remaining pho broth for dipping and serve with lime wedges.


November 9th, 2017

Home-Made Chocolate Treats


Just in time for the ghouls and goblins on Halloween night!

The “Spicy” part is optional, but adds a flavorful yet gentle spark to each bite.



Spicy Fruit ‘n Nut Chocolate Clusters

What you’ll need:

(Note: all ingredients available from Trader Joe’s)

1/2 cup whole raw almonds

½ cup whole raw cashews

½ cup hulled pepitas (pumpkin seeds), salted

½ cup shelled raw pistachios

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup dried tart cherries

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate OR

2 oz. bittersweet and 2 oz. milk chocolate

½ teaspoon Ancho chile powder, or to taste

Coarse sea salt



  1. Place raw nuts on a lined baking sheet and toast all nuts in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until nuts are golden and fragrant.
  2. Transfer nuts to a bowl and mix together with cherries and cranberries.
  3. Melt chocolate in a large bowl in the microwave in 1 minute increments, stirring after each minute. Sprinkle in Ancho chile powder and stir to blend.
  4. Stir in fruit and nut mixture and combine so that the mixture is completely coated with chocolate.
  5. Spoon mixture onto parchment or waxed paper lined baking sheet in 1 Tablespoon increments.
  6. Sprinkle the tops with coarse sea salt.
  7. Chill until set, about 30 minutes. The clusters can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


Once you try these, you will wonder what you ever loved about Reese’s!

Melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness!


Dee’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Drops

Makes about 100 drops


What you’ll need:

18 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate pieces OR equivalent amount of your favorite chocolate

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups creamy peanut butter

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

4-5 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup chopped or grated paraffin

Pecan halves (optional)


  1. Mix butter, peanut butter and vanilla together with hand mixer or by hand. Blend in sugar.
  2. Form mixture into small balls (about 1 teaspoon dough per ball).
  3. Melt chocolate and paraffin together in the microwave, stirring in 1 minute increments until completely melted and combined.
  4. Dip balls into chocolate mixture one at a time and place on waxed paper. Top each piece with a pecan half, if desired.  If chocolate begins to harden during the dipping process, just return to the microwave and re-melt.
  5. Top with a pecan half if you like, or leave plain. Great either way!
  6. Refrigerate until hardened.

October 28th, 2017

Steamed Ginger-Shallot Fish w/ Bok Choy and Coconut Rice


A light, healthful and flavorful way to prepare a scrumptious Asian meal in minutes!

Serve with coconut rice* and bok choy or other Asian green of your choice.


Asian Ginger-Shallot Fish

With Bok Choy and Coconut Rice

Serves 4

What you’ll need:

4 white fish fillets, such as black cod (butter fish/sablefish) or sea bass

2 Tablespoons dry sherry

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons fine (Baker’s) sugar

2 Tablespoons Tamari (preferred) or light soy sauce

3-4 inch fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks

2 shallots finely chopped

1 fresh red chili (optional)

Steamed or sautéed Asian greens such as bok choy, Mizuna mustard greens, or Japanese spinach (Komatsuma)



  1. Combine sherry, sugar, oil and Tamari in a small bowl or shaker jar. Whisk or shake to blend and set aside.
  2. Prepare your steamer or wok. Be sure that the dish you will use for the fish fits inside and allows the lid to cover snugly.
  3. If using a steamer, prepare by adding water as you would for steaming veggies. Place the rack over the water.  If using a wok, fill the wok about 1/3 filled with water and place rack over water.  Make sure rack doesn’t touch the water.
  4. Place the fish in a shallow bowl. Top with shallot and ginger. Add red chili if using. Pour sherry-Tamari mixture over the fish.
  5. Cook for 5 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
  6. Divide Asian greens and fish among 4 serving plates. Drizzle over the juices from the bowl and serve with additional Tamari if desired.

*To make easy COCONUT RICE, rinse (3 times) 1 ½ cups white Basmati rice and place in your rice cooker. Add 1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk, 1 cinnamon stick and 1 green cardamom pod.  You may need to add a little water so that the liquid level is about ¾ to 1 inch above the rice.  Cook rice for 20 minutes and do not remove the lid or until your rice cooker indicates that rice is done.

If using a pot, bring liquid to a boil prior to adding the rice, stir, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 20 minutes.

Fluff with a fork and serve. Delicious!

October 6th, 2017

Scallop, Shrimp and Crab Salad w/Creamy Tarragon Dressing

Scallop, Shrimp and Crab Salad w/Creamy Tarragon Dressing


The delicate sweetness of seared scallops  and tarragon balances with the tang of horseradish-

all tucked inside of a creamy avocado!



What you’ll need:

12 large “dry” scallops*

1/2 cup cooked lump crab meat

12 jumbo shrimp

2 Tablespoons clarified butter OR

2 Tablespoons canola oil

Sea salt


½ cup good quality olive oil mayonnaise (Best Foods/Hellman’s)

½ cup sour cream

½ cup Greek yogurt

Zest of 1 lemon

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2-3 Tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves

3 Tablespoons chopped celery leaves

1 green onion including green top, finely minced

1-2 Tablespoons good quality prepared horseradish

Sea salt to taste

2 large ripe avocados, halved and pitted

Butter lettuce leaves for serving (optional)

Garnish with tarragon leaves, chopped chives, or green onion tops for serving (also optional)

*Dry scallops are not treated with sodium tripolyphosphate  or STP, as “wet” scallops are. The chemical STP is reportedly safe to ingest, however prevents searing because it causes the scallop to suck up moisture which is released during cooking; thus, wet and gooey scallops that will never sear!


  1. Start by searing the scallops in oil or clarified butter. Not a good idea to use regular butter because the milk solids will fleck onto the scallop and the butter will blacken due to low smoking point.  Use a heavy cast iron or stainless steel pan, add the oil and let the pan become smoking hot.
  2. Add the scallops without crowding the pan and cook on one side until the bottom begins to form a nice golden crust. Once this happens, turn the scallop over ONCE and cook just long enough to warm through. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Add more oil or clarified butter to the pan and cook the shrimp as you did the scallops.  They will not take very long – maybe 1 minute total. Overcooking will result in rubbery shellfish – not the object here! Set cooked shrimp aside to cool.
  4. Once the scallops and shrimp are cooled, cut them up into 1/3 to ½ inch pieces and mix with picked crabmeat. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. In a medium bowl, blend the mayo, sour cream and yogurt together. Add minced green onion and finely chopped celery and tarragon leaves. Grate zest of 1 lemon into mixture and add lemon juice and salt to taste.  Add horseradish to taste, taking care not to overwhelm the delicate flavors.
  6. When ready to serve, mix the prepared seafood into the creamy dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  7. Spoon salad into avocado halves that are set inside butter lettuce leaves. You may want to top the salad with additional tarragon leaves, chives or green onion tops, but this is optional.

Grate freshly ground pepper over the top and voila!

Delightful creamy seafood salad a la Dee!

September 27th, 2017

Corn and Crab Chowder in Spicy Coconut Broth


Dee’s Corn and Crab Chowder

in Spicy Coconut Broth


This is a satisfying treat for cool nights. You can make it as spicy or as sweet as you like.  If you don’t like the taste of curry, simply use a seeded chile for flavor instead!

This chowder takes only about 30 minutes to prepare once all your ingredients are assembled.



What you’ll need:

3 ears fresh sweet corn, shucked

8 ounces freshly picked crab meat (or canned works just fine)

1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed

1 large shallot, finely minced

3 cups full fat coconut milk

3 cups rich seafood or chicken stock

6 to 8 small Yukon Gold or Dutch white potatoes, halved or quartered to bite-size

1 to 3 Tablespoons curry paste (hot or mild, according to taste)

OR ½ Thai or Serrano chile, seeded (do not chop or mince)

Olive oil and butter for frying, about 1 Tablespoon

Salt and white pepper to taste

Fresh cilantro leaves



  1. Shuck and wash corn to remove all silk. Cut corn from cobs and save cobs. Set corn aside.
  2. Pick crab and remove any shells or cartilage. Set aside.
  3. Sauté shallot and garlic in olive oil and butter until shallots are translucent.
  4. Pour in coconut milk and stock.  Add curry paste, if using and incorporate into broth mixture. Break corn cobs in half and add to broth.  Bring to a slow, rolling boil and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Add potatoes and chile (if not using curry) and cook until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes more. When potatoes are cooked, remove corn cobs from soup and discard.
  6. Add corn kernels and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and add crabmeat.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground white pepper.

Ladle into soup bowls and serve topped with cilantro leaves.

September 25th, 2017

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