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  • The Low Fat Chick 2:14 pm on September 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: brandy, , , , tarragon   

    New Orleans Shrimp Bisque 

    Two weeks ago I went to a conference in New Orleans.  Freshly tired from only moving from Georgia 6 weeks earlier, I was honestly not in the mood nor happy to be traveling again. I love to travel and having the opportunity to attend was exciting but packing so soon I dreaded.  Anyway, I went, had a fantastic time, learned a lot, and found a new city to add to my foodie heaven collection.  I ate so many flavorful dishes, that I made it my business to visit the New Orleans School of Cooking before leaving.  I bought an excellent book called New Orleans Food and the minute I made it home, I began to use it. I am two dishes in deep and this Shrimp Bisque was the first dish. The effort of making fresh stock is priceless and fresh herbs add depth. Of course, because eating low fat is my thing, I made one substitution of fat free half and half for the cream.  This did not sacrifice taste in anyway, just made the soup less thick, but still dynamite. I recommend serving with an onion roll, as I love dipping bread in soup, and also adding a little extra hot sauce for a kick.  As a bonus, you will have left over cooked shrimp for other recipes. This is serious a favorite of mine now.


    3 lbs medium shrimp, with heads on
    2 Tbsp Creole seasoning, salt-free
    1 tsp salt
    1 bunch celery leaves and tops
    1/2 small onion, cut up
    1 bay leaf

    1 red bell pepper 
    1/4 cup brandy
    1 tsp lemon juice
    1 tsp tarragon
    1/2 tsp chervil
    1/2 tsp dill
    1 1/2 cups half and half, fat free
    1 tsp Louisiana hot pepper sauce
    salt and pepper to taste
    parsley, chopped


    To make the stock, put the shrimp, Creole seasoning, and salt into a saucepan with 12 cups water. Bring it to a light boil, then lower to a bare simmer.

    After 6 minutes, remove the shrimp and set aside to cool. Add the other stock ingredients and return to a simmer. Peel the shrimp. Reserve the meat but return the shells to the stock. Continue to simmer the stock, uncovered, for 25 minutes more. Strain the stock and discard the solids.

    While the stock is simmering, put the bell pepper under a hot broiler until the skin is blacked here and there. Allow to cool, then peel the skin off and roughly chop.

    Put the pepper pieces and about half the shrimp meat into a food processor with about cup of the stock.
    Process into a rough puree.

    Transfer the shrimp-pepper mixture to a saucepan over medium heat. Add the brandy and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring a little. Lower the heat and add the tarragon, chervil, and dill, plus the strained shrimp stock. Return to a simmer.

    After 5 minutes, stir in the half and half and hot sauce. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve topped with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and 2 or 3 whole shrimp tails.

    Nutrition Facts

    Servings: 8
    Serving size: 1/8 of recipe (12.8 ounces).
    Calories 202.64

    % Daily Value
    Calories From Fat  25.95  13%
    Total Fat 2.94g  5%
    Saturated Fat  0.73g  4%

  • The Low Fat Chick 12:31 am on April 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , tarragon   

    Tarragon Egg Salad Sandwiches 

    Tarragon is one of my favorite herbs. I fell in love with it when I first added it to a steak dish and ever since I have embraced it in many ways.  My latest way is with eggs for a flavorful egg salad. This dish is healthy in the calories and fat but because of the eggs, it is a little higher in cholesterol. But, I always say eat in moderation, so I had this tasty sandwich on a day which I ate lighter foods like fish and veggies.  Just balance out your day if you have to be concerned about cholesterol. Otherwise, this dish rocks and is now a new favorite!


    4 large hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
    2 Tbsp shallot, minced
    1/2 Tbsp tarragon, minced
    2 Tbsp celery stalks, finely chopped
    1 1/2 tsp champagne vinegar
    1 tsp whole grain mustard
    1/4 cup mayonnaise, reduced fat
    1 Tbsp lemon juice
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 cup Arugula
    8 sourdough bread (preferably wheat), thick slices


    Stir together, eggs, shallot, tarragon, celery, vinegar, mustard, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

    Place arugula on 4 pieces of bread. Spread egg salad on top of the arugula then top with remaining slices of bread.

    Nutrition Facts

    Servings: 4
    Serving size: 1/4 of recipe (5.6 ounces).
    Calories 330.08

    % Daily Value
    Calories From Fat  90.51  27%
    Total Fat 10.15g  16%
    Saturated Fat  2.67g  13%

  • The Low Fat Chick 7:22 pm on April 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , tarragon   

    Tangy Potato Salad 

    This week was difficult to get through because I want so badly to be back in Ireland on vacation.  Going to Italy and Ireland was wonderful and the only activity keeping me sane is cooking recipes from the cookbooks I bought in each city.  While I am still trying to translate my 3 Italian cookbooks, it was a piece of cake using the large book I bought in Ireland. It was such a fantastic experience shopping for an Irish cookbook.  I walked into a small book store, while in Dublin, and asked the owner if she had any books specific to Irish cuisine. She immediately recognized I was an American and so our friendly conversation ensued. She was very accommodating and pulled a variety of books from the shelves, which made me feel special because we have nothing but large, impersonal bookstores in Atlanta.  She was so attentive, which illustrated the true friendliness of the Irish. After looking at many books, I settled on a book about potatoes, which is the staple veggie of Ireland. The book is simply called Potatoes, but it is 256 pages of full color photos and beautiful recipes. I have many recipes marked to try, but this tangy potato salad is my first choice. The only ingredient I changed was I used reduced fat mayonnaise. I am very pleased with this dish and it has become my lunch the last few days at work. It is light on the calories but very filling.


    3 lbs small new, red, and/or blue potatoes
    2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
    1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
    3 Tbsp olive oil
    6 Tbsp red onion, chopped
    1/2 cup mayonnaise, reduced fat
    2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
    1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
    black pepper
    tarragon leaves, to garnish


    Cook the potatoes in their skins in boiling salted water until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain well.

    Mix together the vinegar and mustard, then slowly whisk in the oil.

    When potatoes are cool enough to handle slice into a large bowl.

    Add the onion to the potatoes and pour the combined vinegar, mustard and oil mixture over them.

    Season, then toss gently to combine.

    Leave to stand at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

    Mix together the mayonnaise and tarragon. Gently stir into the potatoes along with the celery. Serve garnished with tarragon leaves.

    Nutrition Facts

    Servings: 8
    Serving size: 1/8 of recipe (7.5 ounces).
    Calories 202.90

    % Daily Value
    Calories From Fat  71.04  35%
    Total Fat 8.11g  12%
    Saturated Fat  1.23g  6%

    • Danny 6:45 pm on April 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award — congrats! 🙂

    • The Confluent Kitchen 10:58 pm on April 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I really think tarragon is an under-used spice. That sounds delicious!

      • The Low Fat Chick 3:51 pm on April 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I completely agree! I love it in compound butter with garlic and thyme. It tastes so good on meat and veggies. I also love the smell of tarragon.

  • The Low Fat Chick 10:14 am on February 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , tarragon   

    Spicy Ginger Green Beans 

    I really have come to love preparing vegetables once I learned how to add more flavor without additional fat.  Green beans are one of my favorite veggies, as it is right up there with broccoli.  I like spice but often pepper type spice, but this dish adds a different type of spice using fresh ginger. Ginger has a host of health benefits, along with packing a perfect punch in this dish accented with fresh tarragon. Just delish when coming out of the oven crispy!

    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1 tsp sesame oil
    3/4 tsp salt
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1/4 tsp fresh tarragon, minced
    1 lb fresh green beans, ends trimmed
    1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced


    Preheat oven to 400°F.

    In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Add beans and toss to coat.

    Transfer to a baking pan. Bake, uncovered, for 16-20 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with ginger and toss. 

    Nutrition Facts

    Servings: 4
    Serving size: 1/4 of recipe (4.3 ounces)
    Calories 77.28

    % Daily Value
    Calories From Fat 41.99 7%
    Total Fat 4.77g  7%
    Saturated Fat 0.69g  3%

  • The Low Fat Chick 5:38 pm on October 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , tarragon   

    Tarragon Chicken Salad Pitas 

    I am always looking for ways to have awesome lunches. After seeing tarragon chicken sandwiches at a few places, I decided I wanted to create my own lighter version of a tarragon chicken pita.  This recipe is so yummy with tasty shallots complimenting fresh tarragon. You would never know the amount of fat is reduced! Definitely a top-notch lunch, which I will make many times over. Enjoy!


    1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    Salt, to taste
    Pepper, to taste
    2/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
    1/2 cup low fat mayonnaise
    1 tablespoon coarse grained mustard
    1 tablespoon tarragon, finely chopped
    1/2 tablespoon salt
    1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
    3/4 cups diced celery
    1 shallot, finely chopped
    3 whole wheat pitas, cut in half
    shredded lettuce, optional
    swiss cheese, optional

    • Preheat oven to 350°F.
    • Arrange chicken in a glass baking dish large enough to hold it in a single layer. Rub chicken with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until no longer pink in the center. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board until cool enough to handle, then cut into cubes.
    • Stir sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, tarragon, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  Add celery, shallot, and chicken; stir to coat. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.
    • Cut pitas in half. Open pockets and scoop 1/2 cup salad into each half. Top with lettuce and cheese.

    Servings: 6 (1/2 cup of salad in a pita half).
    Calories: About 380 per serving.

  • The Low Fat Chick 9:14 am on September 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , tarragon   

    Buttery Tarragon Green Beans 

    Fresh vegetables steamed are the best because they retain all their nutrients.  I did not used to be a big fan of steamed veggies because every time I ate steamed veggies at a restaurant, the veggies were bland. But I have discovered adding fresh herbs to veggies makes me happy and I have been rollin’ with it ever since. I receive two benefits when eating steamed veggies: (1) Vitamins (2) Bold flavor.  Recently, I made Tarragon Butter, which is a bold blend of tarragon, chives, and garlic combined with butter.  To create tasty green beans to go with my Five-Spice Roasted Chicken, I simply steamed the beans and topped with the Tarragon butter.  This is a very simple, but full of flavor recipe.  The beans have a gourmet flavor, which will impress your dinner guests.  Making the butter ahead is a great idea for this recipe and other uses, because the butter will keep for months.


    1 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
    Tarragon Butter


      Rinse beans and drain.

      Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil.  Place steamer basket on top of water, and make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the basket and only steam is coming through.

      Place beans in basket. Place lid on basket.

      Steam for 25 minutes.

      Serve each plate topped with 1 Tbsp Tarragon butter.

    Nutrition Facts

    Servings: 4
    Serving size: 1/4 of recipe (5.1 ounces)
    Calories 241.61

    % Daily Value
    Calories From Fat 204.72  85%
    Total Fat 23.30g  36%
    Saturated Fat 14.64g  73%

  • The Low Fat Chick 7:13 pm on September 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , tarragon   

    Tarragon Butter 

    I purchased fresh rosemary, thyme, chives, and tarragon last week.  I do not grow these herbs in my home like I do basil and Italian parsley, so I often purchase in bundles from the market. Once I cook with these herbs, I sometimes have much left over, as I get a nice bundle of each herb for only a $1. What a deal for so much flavor!  Fresh herbs can tend to dry out within a week after purchasing, so I try to find alternative ways to get full use out of them.  For the rosemary, I made Rosemary Tuna Melts and whipped up rosemary wheat bread sticks. For the thyme, I made Mustard Pork Loin Chops and biscuits. I made a few other recipes but still had some chives and tarragon left over and did not want to waste them. I decided to make a herb butter. Often people buy herbed butters and cheeses, but why buy when you can make at home yourself without preservatives?  This recipe for tarragon butter is fantastic and a favorite of mine. Just today, I grilled a piece of fish and topped it and green beans with this butter. The best thing is this butter lasts months so I can top anything I like with it, including, beef, chicken, bread, or veggies.  Butter might be high in saturated fat, but using in moderation and in small amounts complimented with herbs provides some of the most flavorful dishes. I truely think this is why the French love butter so much.


    1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1 1/2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, minced
    1 tsp fresh chives, minced
    1 garlic clove, pressed
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp black pepper


    In a mortal and pestle, combine all the ingredients. Place in a sealed containted and store in the refrigerator.

    Nutrition Facts

    Servings: 8 (1/2 Tbsp is a serving)
    Serving size: 1/8 of recipe (0.6 ounces)
    Calories 103.23

    % Daily Value
    Calories From Fat 101.32  98%
    Total Fat 11.52g  18%
    Saturated Fat 7.29g  26%

  • The Low Fat Chick 11:37 pm on September 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , tarragon   

    Porcini London Broil Steaks 

    My boss gave me a fabulous recipe for porcini crusted filet Mignon. It sounded delicious and I was ready to buy all the ingredients on my Sunday afternoon trip to the Farmer’s market. But, when I arrived, I had an intuition to forgo the filet Mignon and buy the London Broil. It looked fabulous and the price was so right. I decided to have them wrap it up and when I got home, I took my time and trimmed of the fat to get to a beautiful cut of beef. I then cut the beef into four 5 oz steaks, which is perfect for this recipe. I cooked the steaks in a skillet on medium heat to achieve a medium-rare steak.  I do not recommend this recipe if you like well done, as you most likely will burn the porcini mushroom crust and London broil is tough when cooked too long. All I can say, is that this recipe is top notch gourmet quality, as the herb butter has the ultimate flavors. Fresh herbs is the only way to go with this recipe. This is now on my favorites list, as I will be making many times, and it made me feel like I was dining at a fabulous restaurant.


    1/2 stick reduced fat butter, lightly salted, room temperature
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
    1 small garlic clove, pressed
    1 (1/2-ounce) package dried porcini mushrooms
    4, 5oz, 1-inch-thick London Broil (Beef top round) steaks
    Sea Salt


    • Mix first 4 ingredients in small bowl for herb butter. Season butter to taste with salt and pepper. Because the butter is lightly salted, you may not have to add additional salt.
    • Process dried porcini mushrooms in spice grinder or food processor to a fine powder. Transfer powder to plate. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. Press steaks into porcini powder to coat both sides well.
    • Melt 2 tablespoons herb butter in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add steaks to skillet and cook to desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to plates. Spoon 1 teaspoon of herb butter atop each steak and serve.

    Servings: 4 servings.
    Calories: About 400.

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