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Apple-Filled Wonton Cups

Once apple picking season starts, you’ll want to go off to the orchards to fill the cart with all the fresh fruit you can find. When you get back home, get work on one of the easiest baking projects ever, and whip up these crisp wonton cups that cradle sweet, cinnamon laced apple cubes.

I promise you’ll fall in love with this fall dessert. Serve it alongside a bowl of ice cream, and it’ll be quite a treat.

Posted by Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Sauteed Shrimps and Leeks Jumbo Omelet

If you’re so busy with life that you forgot about dinner, yet long for something homemade, then this is the perfect dish for you. Omelets are great go-to when you’re out of ideas (or ingredients!) and I discovered that leeks, especially the organic ones, are at their best (and most affordable!) in the spring season. Even better, leeks are bursting with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. With an armful of fragrant leeks and a bundle of fresh jumbo shrimps, I knew I had a great thing going for a quick meal.

In the sizzling skillet filled with butter and olive oil, the ringlets of leeks let out a mellow, sweet onion aroma. The shrimps and bright yellow whisked eggs added a glorious gleam to the mix, and best of all, it only takes a few swift minutes to prep. Pull up a seat, pour some wine, and forget all the day’s cares with tasty slice of omelet!

Sauteed Shrimps and Leeks Jumbo Omelet

Servings: 2 to 3

½ pound fresh jumbo shrimps, washed, peeled, tails removed
1 can ginger ale, for pre-cooking shrimps
Juice from 1 lemon, save rinds, for cooking shrimps
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
2 large stalks of organic leeks, well rinsed and roots trimmed (see notes) and sliced in thing ringlets (use white and pale green parts only)
½ cup slice roasted red bell pepper, drained (in jars)
6 whole large eggs
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Good bread, for serving

1. In a small pot, over medium high heat, combine the shrimps with the ginger ale and lemon. Throw in the lemon rinds. Boil, then simmer till shrimps cook, about 8 minutes. When cooked, drain shrimps and set aside.

2. Separately, in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the cream till frothy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. In a large non-stick skillet, over medium heat, add the butter and extra virgin olive oil. When the butter starts to sizzle, add the sliced leeks. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes till leeks soften.

4. Add the pre-boiled shrimps to the leeks in the skillet. Mix in the sliced roasted red bell peppers. Cook and stir ingredients for 1 to 2 minutes to allow flavors to mingle.

5. Pour the beaten egg mixture over the shrimp mixture. Tilt the pan around to spread the eggs completely and evenly over the bottom of the skillet. Cover, and cook the omelet for 5 minutes or till no more liquid is visible. Turn off the heat. Serve hot with a good loaf of bread.

Recipe Notes: Leeks are abundant in the spring season but are available year round. To prepare, remove the outer greens on top by hand and trim the lower roots at the end of the white parts with a knife. To clean, put the whole bundle in a bowl of water and swirl it like a brush to remove residue and grits. Pat dry with paper towels. Aside from this recipe, leeks are good raw on salads, and are sweeter and less pungent than regular onions.

Elizabeth Quirino believes that “food brings the world together.” She loves to cook, develop recipes, photograph & write about her culinary adventures on her 2 blogs Asian in America. Outside the kitchen, Elizabeth paints watercolors, reads everything and ends every week with ballroom dancing. For great food stories find her on Facebook and follow Mango_Queen on Twitter.

Posted by Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Chicken and Potatoes in Wine, Mushrooms and Cream Sauce

This simple chicken dish is enhanced with wine and combined with cream sauces. It’s good for the family or great for company.

Simply layer the ingredients casserole-style. Cook this in a crock pot or else cover and bake it in the oven. Cook it low and slow and go about your regular routine of activities. Come back to it and uncover an amazing dish filled with savory, succulent chicken simmered in wine, mushrooms, potatoes and a luscious sauce base. Serve this on a bed of egg noodles, paired with a green salad and great wine.

Take a bow and accept the applause.

Posted by Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Pretzel-Chorizo and Pork Tapas

April 26th might be Pretzel Day, but here at Quirk, we’re celebrating Pretzel WEEK. Check back for fun pretzel recipes all week long. Because hey, we’re from Philadelphia. Pretzels are our thing. 

 “Tapas,” of Spanish origin, are appetizer-sized portions of anything you’d like for starters, snacks or meals. Have them at a bar or make some at home: these are as versatile as you can get. In honor of the crunchy pretzel, I’ve put some on these terrific tapas.

Posted by Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Potato-Apple-Bacon-Sausage Casserole with Irish Butter

Here’s a simple, tasty casserole that starts easily and ends beautifully. Just combine hearty boiled potatoes and sweet slices of apples with sautéed onions and sausages in a skillet coated with Irish butter for a homemade meal that’s comfort in a dish. The exceptionally creamy flavor of rich, Irish butter makes a wonderful base for this rustic, stovetop-to-oven meal, and the topping is perfected with crunchy bacon bits. This homey combination of flavors makes a great entrée or side dish for any meal, any day of the week.

Posted by Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Stir Fry Noodles with Pork Meatballs, Beef and Vegetables

This dish starts out with a little of everything, but sums up to a big, huge entree with layers of flavors and generous portions. Twirl your chopsticks through the silky, glass-like thin noodles which serve as the bed for the savory Asian-flavored pork meatballs, zesty beef slices, crisp vegetables all held together by the irresistible sauce.

Posted by Elizabeth Ann Quirino