Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pepper-Crusted Salmon

I have really enjoyed the salmon recipes that are on this blog
but even when you have great recipes sometimes you just need
something new. This recipe was definately very different
than the salmon recipes I typically cook.

Pepper-Crusted Salmon with Olive Sauce
from Williams Sonoma

2 tsp. freshly cracked pepper
4 salmon fillets, each about 6 oz.
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 cup unsalted fish or
vegetable broth
1 tsp. vegetable demi-glace, plus more as
1/4 cup chopped mixed black and green olives
1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Put the pepper in a shallow dish. Lay the salmon fillets, skin side up, in the dish and press lightly to coat evenly with the pepper on one side.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until smoking. Place the salmon, peppered side down, in the pan; do not overcrowd. Sear until golden brown underneath, about 2 minutes. Turn the salmon over and continue cooking until golden underneath, about 2 minutes more for medium-rare, or until done to your liking. Transfer the salmon to a warmed platter, season lightly with salt and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the oil from the pan. Set the pan over medium heat, add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and demi-glace, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally to scrape up any browned bits from the pan bottom, until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 3 minutes. Add the olives and parsley. Taste and season with salt and more demi-glace as needed.

Very good recipe. When we make this dish again we will use just a little less
black pepper b/c it was a little too strong for my taste. I did really enjoy
the olive topping. Thanks Jim!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tagine Chicken

We have recovered from our minor kitchen explosion.
Now that our kitchen is all cleaned up - my husband
ventured out into the world of Indian Food once again.

For this dinner he made:

Quick Tagine Style Chicken
By Rachel Ray

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
4 cloves garlic, smashed beneath the flat of your knife with the heel of your hand, discard skins
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large bite-size pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Seasoning by McCormick) or coarse salt and coarse pepper
2 medium or 1 large yellow skinned onion, quartered and sliced
10 pitted prunes, coarsely chopped
1-ounce box or 1/4 cup golden raisins
2 cups good quality, low sodium chicken stock, available in paper containers on soup aisle

Spice blend:
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika, eyeball it
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, eyeball it
1/2 teaspoon tumeric, eyeball it
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, a couple pinches
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups couscous
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
2 scallions, finely chopped

Chopped cilantro leaves or flat-leaf parsley
Finely chopped scallions
Mango chutney, any variety and brand -- available on the condiment or International food aisles
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, in a slow stream, and add smashed garlic. Season the chicken with seasoning blend. Scatter chicken around the pan in an even layer. Cook chicken pieces 2 minutes on each side to brown, then add the onions, prunes, raisins and stock. Mix spices in a small dish and scatter over the pot. Cover and reduce to moderate heat. Cook 7 or 8 minutes, remove the lid and stir.

To prepare the couscous, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add couscous, extra-virgin olive oil and scallions and remove the couscous from the stove immediately. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork.

Uncover chicken and cook another 2 to 3 minutes to thicken slightly. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, and serve chicken on a bed of couscous. Garnish with chopped cilantro and scallions. Serve with chutney.

This dish was full of wonderful spices and flavors.
After we finished dinner we talked about a few changes we
would make to the dish for the next time.

In our opinion, we would add a little more of the gold raisens and prunes.
A few chopped cashew nuts should be added on top as well as
a small spoonful of plain yogurt.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Explosion in the kitchen

Guess who cooked dinner ?

So the other night I was running a little later than I was planning.
I called my husband and asked if he would put a pan of pre-made
manicotti in the oven. I told him I was planning on making a salad
with dinner. He was being so sweet and put the pan in the oven to
bake and started making a salad. He decided that a boiled egg on the
top of salad would be good so he put two eggs in a glass bowl of water.
He placed the bowl with the water and eggs in the microwave and pressed
cook and this is what he got.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chicken, Artichokes, Mushrooms and SunDried Tomatoes

Decided to make a old favorite that I learned
from my family. Love all the ingredients in
this dish!

Chicken with Artichokes, Mushrooms and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

1-2 chicken breast
Italian Bread Crumbs with a parmesan cheese
1 egg/ 1/2 cup milk
1 yellow onion
1 package of mushrooms
1 can or jar of artichokes
6-7 Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1 cup wine
1/2 cup chicken broth

Cut the chicken into small pieces. Dip them in a egg/milk mixture
and the into the bread crumbs.
Dice the onion into small pieces
In a frying pan sauté the onion until soft. Then add the chicken and cook
on medium to high heat cooking the outside until brown.
(Don't overcook; the inside will cook more later).
Remove the onion and chicken from pan and place in a casserole dish.
Then dice and cook the mushroom, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes in
a little oil.
Add the wine and chicken broth and cook 1-2 more minutes.
Pour these ingredients over the chicken and onion.

Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake at 375 degrees for about
25-30 minutes.

This is a wonderful meal!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Chicken Parmesan

Back to the Basics tonight with a
classic Italian dish - Chicken Parmesan.

I don't really use a recipe for this dish so
let me tell you how I make Chicken Parmesan.

I take chicken breast and using a meat tenderizer
I pound the chicken out until it is thin.
Then I dip the chicken in an egg/ milk mixture
and next into Italian Breadcrumbs that have
a little extra parmesan cheese and basil added
into them because those are the flavors I really like.
After that I cook the chicken in a frying pan with a
little oil. Not too long just enough to cook the outside.

In a medium baking dish a add a little sauce. Luckily this
time I had a little tomato, pepper pasta sauce I made a few
weeks earlier and placed in the freezer for a moment like this.

After I put the sauce on the bottom of the pan, I add the
breaded chicken. Then my secret is I add a little ricotta
cheese and mozzarella on top of the chicken. I also sprinkle
a little fresh basil on top and of course a tad more sauce.

Next, it goes into the oven to bake at 375 for about 30 minutes
or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Chicken and Tomatillo Tacos with Queso Fresco

I have to thank my husband for this one.
He also enjoys making new recipes and found
this one to be very interesting.

Of course I was thankful because he cooked but
I was also thankful because we had a ton of cilantro
and several limes in the frig that needed to be used.

Chicken and Tomatillo Tacos with Queso Fresco
by Bobby Flay
6 tomatillos, husked, washed, and grilled until blackened
1 serrano, grilled until blackened
Olive oil
1/2 small red onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
8 blue corn tortillas
1 cup crumbled queso fresco
Preheat the grill to medium. Add the blackened tomatillos and serrano to a small saute pan and briefly saute in a little olive oil on the grates of the grill.

Place the tomatillos, serrano, onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and honey in a blender and blend until smooth. Place the tomatillo mixture in a large saute pan and place on the grates of the grill. Bring the mixture to a simmer, add the chicken, and heat through.

Place the tortillas on the grill, and grill for 20 seconds on each side. Spoon the chicken mixture into the tortillas and top with a few tablespoons of queso fresco. Fold the tortillas in half serve immediately.

We really enjoyed these fancy tacos. All the flavors worked really well
together. This will be a recipe we make again.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

Now that the holidays are over, it's time
to look in the frig and cabinets and try to
use all the leftover items before they go bad.

I have so many different odds and ends that
need to be used that I need to be a little
more creative with dinners this week.

This recipe is great because it allowed me
to use some of the sun-dried tomatoes and
the goat cheese that I had.

The recipe is from Everyday Food
Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Pasta

Coarse salt and ground pepper
12 ounces rigatoni, penne, or other short tubular pasta
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), thinly sliced
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
5 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled, plus more for topping (optional)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes less than package instructions. Add sun-dried tomatoes, and cook 3 minutes. Remove 2 cups pasta water; reserve. Drain and return pasta mixture to pot.
Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl; reserve. Return skillet to medium heat; add oil, garlic, and red-pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
To pasta mixture in pot, add garlic mixture, reserved pasta water, cheese, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper; stir to combine. Let stand until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Divide pasta among four shallow dishes; sprinkle with almonds and, if desired, additional cheese.

I really enjoyed this dish, mostly because I love goat cheese.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The BEST Banana Bread

This is an excellent recipe for Banana Bread!
It turns out so moist and delicious.

Chocolate Chip, Sour Cream, Banana Bread

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or chocolate extract
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together in a bowl. Then add the eggs one at a time and mix. In a another bowl mix the dry the ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the first mixture.

Add the bananas and sour cream and mix. Then add in the chocolate chips and pour into 3 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick that has been inserted into the center comes out clean.

MMM, good!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

This recipe is great for an appetizer or side dish.
I made the other night and brought these little
beauties to a party and they were very well received.

I did not follow a recipe per say, I just combined a few
yummy ingredients to create this fun dish.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
3-4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
1 cup cream cheese
6-8 chives chopped
1/4 cup onions chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped

Cut and cook the onions and garlic. Cook the bacon and cut into
small pieces. Mix all the ingredients together. Pour into a
pastry bag. Wash and core the tomatoes. Stuff tomatoes with
the filling and chill.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Wish

My Happy New Year wish for you

Is for your best year yet,

A year where life is peaceful,

And what you want, you get.

A year in which you cherish

The past year’s memories,

And live your life each new day

Full of bright expectancies.
I wish for you a holiday

With happiness galore;

And when it’s done,

I wish you Happy New Year,

and many, many more.

By Joanna Fuchs