Nibbles & Bits

Chef Liz was one of four finalists selected from among hundreds of applicants in the NBC 6 and Little Palm Island Chef’s Challenge. Her original recipe, Sautéed Snapper on a Bed of Grilled Romaine with Salsa Fresca, was featured in a live segment on the South Florida Today show. View the video.

Lucia’s Personal Chef Service received the People’s Choice Award for Best Chili in Miami at the 2007 annual Pinecrest Gardens Chili Cook-Off.

Contact Chef Liz

Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Before the storm
Purchase a refrigerator thermometer and keep frig between 35-40 degrees. In an extended power outage, you can monitor temperature of your food. Once food is warmer than 40 degrees, it is subject to contamination by airborne bacteria.   

Turn your refrigerator and freezer down to their lowest settings. Pack everything in tightly so it will keep colder longer.

Save large soda or juice bottles and when we go under a hurricane watch, fill them with water. Large, frozen blocks of ice defrost slower than small cubes.

Purchase shelf-stable fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, bananas, corn, and tomatoes.

Purchase pantry staples: canned tuna, chicken, dried fruits and nuts, spaghetti sauce, beans, diced tomatoes, pasta, rice, olive and vegetable oil, individually packaged Jell-O, pudding, and fruit cups.

After the storm
With a well-stocked pantry and a heating source (I like my grill with a side burner), you can prepare a number of meals. Here are just a few recipes:

Stir-fried Chicken and Vegetables

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 4 TBSP canola or peanut oil, divided
  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP fresh ginger root minced (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large bag of your favorite frozen mixed vegetables (bell peppers, broccoli, snow peas)
  • 1 can of sliced water chestnuts or bamboo shoots

Combine the broth, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger; set aside.

Heat half the oil in a wok or large sauté pan.  Season chicken with salt and pepper. Stirfry chicken and set aside.

Heat remaining oil. Stirfry the vegetables until they are just tender, but still crisp about 1-2 minutes. Add the broth mixture and stir in the water chestnuts and cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, about two-three minutes longer. Return the chicken to the pan and heat through.
Serve over spaghetti or rice.

Serves 4.

White Bean Salad

  • 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained (or 2 large tomatoes, diced)
  • 1 TBSP fresh basil, thinly sliced (or 1 tsp dried)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Toss the beans with the tomatoes. Add just enough olive oil to coat. Season with salt, pepper, and basil. Stir and serve at room temperature or warmed.

Serves 6-8 as a side.

Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches

  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • 2 TBSP pistachio nuts, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 4 small pita loaves cut in half

Place eggs in a pot large enough to hold them all in a single layer. Cover by 3 inches of coldwater and place on the stovetop over high heat. Once the water starts to boil, remove pan from theheat and cover for 13 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer eggs to a bowl of ice-cold water. Let cool for 5 or 10 minutes, then peel.

In a medium mixing bowl, mash eggs with the back of a fork. Combine mayonnaise, curry and pistachios in a small mixing bowl. Add mayonnaise mixture to eggs and combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Stuff pitas with arugula and egg salad and serve.

Serves 4.

Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato and Olive Sauce

  • 1 ½ cups kalamata olives, chopped fine
  • 5 sun dried tomatoes, minced
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/3 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 TBSP dried parsley
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 2 TBSP capers
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound rotini
  • 6 TBSP olive oil

Heat 2/3 of the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add olives, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, rosemary, marjoram, and 1/2 of the parsley. Cook until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the wine and capers and simmer until wine is reduced to 1/4 cup .

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in heavily salted boiling water. Drain the pasta and toss with remaining olive oil and parsley. Add the sun dried tomato mixture and top with
Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Grilled French Bread Pizza

  • 1 24-inch French baguette, cut in half lengthwise
  • 3-4 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 14-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 TBSP fresh basil minced (or 1 tsp dried)
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat a grill to medium  heat. Brush the cut side of the baguette with oil and place oil side down on the grill to brown. Remove from the grill.

Top with crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, and cheese.

Return to the grill and close the lid. Cook until the cheese melts and the sauce is warmed through.

Optional additional toppings, canned, sliced mushrooms, black olives, sun dried tomatoes, grilled onion slices.

Serves 2

© 2007 Lucia’s Personal Chef Service, Inc.
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