Sunday, February 22, 2009

Restaurant Rambling: Karam Restaurant

I have a friend who is from Lebanon. She came to the US for school and has been here since. We've talked a lot about going out for Lebanese food but have never made it. We finally got a group of 9 together to try out a Lebanese restaurant that she enjoys.

She says the Karam is one of the most authentic Lebanese restaurants she's tried in Portland. To start, we ordered a few orders of the Veggie Mezza (taboule, hummus, grape leaves, baba ganouj & falafel) for $10.95 each. They were serve with amazing fresh flat bread.

So many dishes sounded good. I had a hard time deciding what to get. Most people ordered the Lamb Kabobs or the Shawarma plate. I decided to be different and got the Eggplant Stew (roasted eggplant with vegetables in a tomato sauce with basmati rice) with Lamb Kafta (ground lamb cooked with onions) for $14.00. It was wonderful and I had lots of leftovers.

I will definitely be back to try more of the dishes.

Karam Restaurant
316 SW Stark Street
Portland, OR
ph: (503) 223-0830

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Restaurant Rambling: Giovanni's

I love pizza! One of my favorite pizza places in Beaverton is Giovanni's. It's located in downtown Beaverton. I've never had their other entrees but I can vouch for the pizza. The pizza dough is made fresh daily. The pizza is a thick crust and great for dipping in Italian or Ranch dressing! Yummy!!
Here's the Giovanni's special (salami, pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, olives and pepperoncinis). Don't forget a side of the Cheese Garlic Bread!

Giovanni's Italian Restaurant
12390 SW Broadway
Beaverton, OR
ph: 503-644-8767

Friday, February 20, 2009

What's Cookin?: Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce

Here in Oregon, salmon is plentiful. I love fresh wild salmon but it's usually a bit spendy. I will break down and buy it though because it's so good! I eat salmon quite a bit. I have my favorite recipes but sometimes it gets rough trying to come with something new. This is one salmon recipe that caught my eye. The payoff was fabulous! It's a great (and easy) recipe!

Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce
Modified from JessieD's recipe on
Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs salmon fillets
1 1/2 c. mayonnaise (I used less mayonnaise)
1/2 c. mustard (I used Dijon mustard)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
4 Tbsp fresh dill (chopped), reserved 2 Tbsp to sprinkle on fish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, stir together mayonnaise and mustard. Add thyme, oregano and only 2 Tbsp fresh dill. Place salmon fillets on a baking sheet and spread with the mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle the reserved 2 Tbsp dill on top of mayonnaise mixture.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the salmon is easily flaked with a fork. Serve with a great side like asparagus and brown rice. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Restaurant Rambling: Petite Provence

Mmmm....breakfast. I love breakfast! Although I normally don't like to eat breakfast first thing in the morning. I do love breakfast for brunch, lunch or dinner. I know, I'm weird like that. A friend and I were meeting for brunch to catch up. It had been a while. She lives across the river and our get togethers are becoming too infrequent.

I didn't want her to drive all the way to me so I asked if there was somewhere closer to her. She suggested a great place on Division called Petite Provence. It was perfect. It was a French style cafe that had a bakery as well as restaurant. They have several locations in Portland.

Everything on the menu sounded delish! I settled on the Northwest Salmon Hash (NW smoked salmon mixed with onions, tomatoes and peas then grilled with russet potatoes, topped with 2 eggs any style and drizzled with a fresh lemon dill sauce). It came with a choice of toast or a muffin. It was so much food but I was hungry! The salmon hash was devine! Totally yummy! In the end, the hash won. I couldn't finish...I took my muffin home for dessert later.

If you're looking for a great breakfast or brunch spot, try Petite Provence. They also serve lunch and dinner.

Petite Provence - Division
4834 SE Division
Portland, OR 97206
Tel : 503 233 1121

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What's Cookin?: Petrole Sole Parmesan

One of my favorite seafood restaurants has a Halibut Parmesan on the menu. I love this dish! I get suckered into ordering it frequently. After thinking about it, I thought to myself....this can't be too hard to make at home. I've made this recipe before with halibut and it's so easy you wouldn't believe it!

While at Whole Foods, they had a sale on fresh Petrole Sole from the Oregon Coast. Yum! I've cooked Dover Sole before but never Petrole. Just so you know, they are UGLY looking fish! The fishmonger told me that they're very similar but he says Petrole is better. Petrole is a little more durable but it's still a pretty delicate fish. I decided to make Petrole Sole Parmesan. It turned out beautifully. The delicate fish did very nicely with a nice golden parmesan crust. You can try this with halibut also but I love the sole! It kept the fish very moist and flaky. I made a 7 grain pilaf and sauteed spinach (in olive oil and crushed garlic) to go with it for a very yummy meal!

Petrole Sole Parmesan

Petrole sole filets
salt and pepper
garlic powder
egg, beaten
parmesan cheese (grated in long slices)
a few Tbsp butter

You will need 3 dipping stations: 1) flour, 2) beaten eggs mixed with 1-2 tbsp milk, 3) parmesan cheese. Prepare your stations. Salt and pepper your filets and sprinkle with a little garlic powder. Heat frying pan and add butter to coat pan. Dip each filet in flour, egg mixture, then coat with parmesan cheese. Place in pan and allow to brown on one side before flipping over (be careful as sole is very delicate). Flip and fry on the other side until golden brown. Repeat with each filet. Serve with a nice side dish or starch.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What's Cookin?: Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

This is a very quick and easy Chicken Noodle Soup recipe. I love making this when I have leftover chicken (like those rotisserie chickens). Dump ingredients in a pot and simmer for a quick dinner or lunch!

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
Makes about 6 servings

1 Tbsp butter

1/2 chopped onion

3 stalks of celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

4 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth

1 (14.5 oz) can vegetable broth

1/2 lb or leftover cooked chicken, shredded into bite sized pieces

1 1/2 cups cooked egg noodles (I used about 1/3 box of whole wheat Rotini pasta)

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Cook onions, celery and carrots in butter until it is just tender (about 5 minutes). Pour in chicken and vegetable broths. Stir in chicken, noodles, basil, oregano and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for another 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.