January282012

Orange Glazed Salmon

If only I posted as regularly as I cooked…

Salmon was on sale recently, and, as it’s good for you, and the only fish I like, we went for it.  I had no particular plans for it, but I’d been reading the new Splendid Table book (How to Eat Weekends…from my lovely sister for Christmas!) and they were mentioning and orange juice reduction for all sorts of purposes…  So I kept that in mind and went at it.  This was the result.






I’m learning to write down what I use…even if I have to estimate amounts later.  I find measuring to be a pain in the neck…so I just don’t.  I’m improving on my eyeing-it-up ability, so the amounts here should be fairly accurate.  Feel free to improvise though.

Ingredients
Salmon
2 lbs salmon
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp cracked rosemary
dash of sea salt
dash of pepper
1/4 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
butter

Orange Glaze
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp cracked rosemary
dash of sea salt
dash of pepper
large dash Ceylon cinnamon

Method
Preheat oven to 425.

Salmon
In an oven proof frying pan, pour the 1/3 cup orange juice, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, sea salt, pepper and cinnamon into the pan.  Cook on stove top until sauce begins to reduce and thicken.  Add salmon, cut into three fillets.  Sprinkle salmon with just a bit of the salt, pepper and cinnamon.  Baste with the orange sauce.  When the salmon is approximately halfway done cooking, pop it in the oven.  Time will vary depending on the thickness of your fillets.  Baste it often with the glaze.  While it cooks, prepare the orange glaze.

Orange Glaze
Pour all the ingredients for the orange glaze above into a small sauce pan.  Cook until the sauce reduces in amount and thickens.  Pour it over the salmon when you’re ready to serve.

We were out of greens when I made this, but I’d highly recommend setting the salmon on a bed of greens and using the glaze as a bit of a dressing.

January82012

Herbed Lemon Perch

Charlie wanted fish recently, but something light.  So I invented this herbed lemon perch…  He wanted fish again, so I made it a second time.  You see, I had written down the recipe so that I could post it here and duplicate it in the future.  How smart, I thought!  And then I didn’t post for a while.  And we cleaned up our very messy house…  And now I can’t find the recipe.  You’ll have to make do with pictures for now until I (hopefully) rediscover the recipe.

December62011

Beer Braised Beef with Onions

My lovely mother-in-law gave us a whole bunch of beef when we visited last.  It’s finally getting cold out, and cold just begs for a nice roast in the crock pot.  We also were left with some bad beer after our Halloween party…but neither Charlie nor I can get rid of it.  Neither can we drink it.  It just sits in our fridge.  So I had to come up with some way of using it up…  So a roast seemed the way to go.  I know it would be better with a better beer…but as our budget allows for alcohol only rarely, it’s hard to be willing to use up one of the good ones on something (anything!) other than drinking it…  so bad beer went with the roast.  I’m not willing to name the beer.  I’m too ashamed it’s in our house to do that, let alone to admit that I used it.  Again to the internet, again to another food blog.  Thanks to all these wonderful people who like to cook as much as I do, and are more adept in their experimenting.  Some day all my posts will be my own inventions.  Until then, go here:  http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/08/beer-braised-beef-with-onions/

She takes better pictures than I do as well, but here are mine anyway…

November12011

Tomato Soup—minus the puff pastry

My mother in law gave me a bunch of cookbooks a while ago.  I intend to actually use them all…just some have things in them I make more often…and some don’t.  This one was called Soup’s On.  Full of soup recipes.  I don’t make soup.  I don’t particularly like soup.  (Not surprising…I don’t particularly like LOTS of things…  In fact, I rarely eat what’s posted on here…I just like to make things.)  I was flipping through it while making my bi-weekly menu before making the grocery list.  (Not specifically related, but I’m one of those crazy people that makes a menu by day, and then writes all the ingredients in columns based on where they are in the grocery store…and then writes her grocery list in order of the grocery store.  Yep.  Weird.  But convenient once you’re there!)  Anyway, sometimes the 14 days worth of meals come easily, and sometimes they don’t.  This time they didn’t.  So I was flipping through and remembered…  Actually, stop, hold on.  This flipping through (how many times can I say that, do you think?) happened a while ago after getting some tomatoes from my grandparents.  Yeah, that’s it.  And it was still warm out, and you can’t have tomato soup when it’s warm…so the tomatoes got frozen until such time as it was cool enough to eat tomato soup.

Ok…now that we’ve got that sorted.  I made the menu and included the tomato soup.  The Tomato Soup with puff pastry.  The GORGEOUS tomato soup with puff pastry.  I haven’t told you how beautiful that picture was.  Wow.  It’s just wonderful.  SO great.  It just BEGGED me to make it.  And make it perfectly.  Yep, I can do that.  Haven’t done it before, but how hard can it be, right?   (My confidence in the kitchen knows knew no bounds.)

The tomato soup was really easy to make.  And the first night I made it, Charlie ate it without the puff pastry.  Not because it didn’t work, but because he had to wait for me to make the soup…and then was supposed to wait 2 hours for it to cool BEFORE you could work on it some more.  Psh.  So he had grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Good plan.  Here it is.



I think it looks nice.  Charlie said it tasted nice.  Arthur LOVED it too.  Hooray!

What’s the problem? you ask.

I’ll tell you.

Puff pastry!!!!!  (visualize me shaking my fist while saying that)

I tried 3 times to do it.  It fell straight into the soup.  It wouldn’t stick to the bowl.  It wouldn’t stretch.  It wouldn’t work.  I baked it on the side.  Charlie still got the flavors.  Everything should have been ok.  But it was one of those nights, you know?  Where you just can’t handle things not working.  Yeah, one of those.  So I cried.  Over puff pastry and tomato soup.  Sigh.  Oh well.  At least the pictures turned out well, and so did the soup.

October92011

Molasses Chicken—for lack of a better title

While Arthur has his morning squirm, and I have my morning coffee, I thought I’d take the opportunity to post about last night’s supper.

Unless I have a great recipe in mind, when I make our bi-weekly, pre-grocery shopping, meal plan, I simply put down “chicken” or “roast” or “fish” or whatever…  Then, when it comes to that day, I invent something new.  Last night was “chicken.”  Arthur and I took a walk after coming home from a first birthday party.  Charlie needed some creative time (check out his site at www.undertoadcomics.com), so we got out of the house for a bit.  It was a fantastic day, and we walked past a restaurant up on Bremen, north of Locust that smelled AMAZING!  So, I called Charlie on the way home and asked him to get the chicken out of the freezer if he was willing to grill.  He was, and did.  Got home, Arthur was hungry.  While he had his snack, I brainstormed.  I’ve been wanting to use molasses in my cooking lately.  So I thought molasses, ginger, cooking sherry and balsamic vinegar would be good.  I kept thinking and here’s roughly what I came up with. As usual, I didn’t measure a thing, so these are my best estimates.  I’ll likely do some tweaking, but this one was really, really good.



Ingredients:

5 chicken breasts

2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp cooking sherry
1.5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp chicken broth
1 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 curry powder
1/2 tsp Penzey’s minced garlic (they say 1/4 tsp is equal to one clove of fresh)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Since my chicken breasts were frozen, I did the microwave thaw thing…so sllllooooowwwwww and always begins to cook them.
I added all the marinade ingredients to a sauce pan and heated them slightly over low heat.  Mostly just to get the molasses slightly less thick and combining with the other ingredients.  Hoping their flavors would blend a bit.
Once the chicken was thawed enough to be able to break them apart, I added them, two at a time, to the sauce pan.  Figured if they were going to cook a bit while thawing, they may as well cook a bit in their marinade.  I flipped them once in the pan so both sides got it, and only left them in there till they were mostly thawed and just barely cooked.
Next, they sat in a big ole tupperware on the stove in their marinade while the oven preheated to cook the roasted potatoes and Charlie got the grill ready.
Finally, Charlie grilled them and we devoured them.  Fantastic!

9AM

Herbed Roast

This post has been over a week in coming.  Apologies.  I had it written the night I made it…but the computer deleted it on me.  That combined with the fact that I was forced to use my phone’s poor camera for pictures AND my phone won’t allow me to get them off of there and onto the computer has made me procrastinate a bit in posting this.

Last week, I’d intended for us to have a roast in the crock pot for supper on Friday.  Got to work, realized the roast was still in the fridge.  In the words of Pat Steele “Doh!”  So…polled a couple friends and, naturally, they were at work and not able to help.  Then I remembered Whole Foods has recipes.  Hooray!  This one sounded tasty and definitely was.  http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/2823

That’s the link to the real recipe…now here are my modifications:

2 tsp dried herbs for the 3 Tbsp fresh
Olive oil for the canola
Chuck roast instead of the prime rib
Chicken bouillon instead of the beef broth

I also initially added onions, carrots and potatoes to the pot.  As the meat has a rub rather than a marinade, there wasn’t much liquid for the veggies.  After cooking with the meat for a while, they were getting a bit dry.  To salvage them, I mixed up some more bouillon, put them in their own casserole dish and sprinkled them liberally with the same herbs as the meat.  Charlie said they were great…and Arthur agreed.

September232011

Back from an over long hiatus (heh heh…always wanted to use that word!)

Hello blogger world!

I’m here to update you all finally.  I’d love to blame the birth of my wonderful son, Arthur, for my extended absence…but as I last posted on Nov. 7, 2010…and he wasn’t born until Mar. 29, 2011, well…

To prove that I haven’t been lazy these past months though, I’ll post some pictures of what I have been up to.  Rest assured, this is not a comprehensive list, but just a taster—if you will.  Regular updates will begin: Now!

A word of warning though, regular they may be, but less often as well.  I’d love to cook as often as I used to, but sadly, Arthur does not always allow for that.  I hope you understand.

And without further ado…here are some samples.  If you’re interested in anything, let me know and I’ll share the recipe to the best of my ability.  First follows a list of the next pictures:
Corn Dogs and Onion Rings from scratch
Cranberry Chicken—of my own devising
Crepes!  (dessert and savory)
Lemon Poundcake—thank you, fellow blogger
Raspberry-Peach Sorbet—back to The Splendid Table
Rhubarb Custard Pie—Betty Crocker and Julia Child mashup
Zucchini Bread and Honey Butter—thanks Kerry!

November72010

Jimmy’s Broiled Peppered Steak

Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of this meal. I don’t know how. I made it the same time as the post that will be after this one for the bread pudding. Alas. I suppose there had to be a day. Despite the lack of picture, this was a tasty meal. A bit too much pepper. And this is one of those times I really wish I had some of those flavored olive oils. Mmm. Or even a pepper that was something else too. You know, the stereotypical lemon-pepper, or something of that sort. Ah well. The steak was good. Really good piece of meat. As for cooking with the broiler: this was my first attempt. It came close, but we actually finished it on the George Foreman. I hate doing that, but the bread pudding needed to go into the oven at 350*.

Oh, and PS: it says one serving. We had two just fine. I mean a 16 oz steak would be fantastic! But 8 oz is perfectly respectable with other foods.
Ingredients
1 16oz New York steak
2 tablespoons of butter, melted (I may have gone overboard on this…)
2 tablespoons fresh coarse ground pepper
2 teaspoons kosher, sea or gray salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Method
In a small cup, combine oil and garlic. Stir for a few minutes to infuse garlic flavor, then discard the garlic. With a pastry brush, coat steak with oil on both sides. Cover steak with salt and pepper and pat down. Place steak over a hot broiler (about 500*) for 3-5 minutes on each side. Cook until desired doneness. Transfer steak to serving plate and top with one tablespoon of sliced butter.


D’Atri, Jan and D’Atri, Livia. Momma & Me & You: Making Beautiful Food and Memories Together. (Momma & Me, The D’Atri’s, LLC, 2006), 64.

3PM

Momma’s Golden Chicken



I ended up making a lot more meat this two week period than I expected…and probably more than our budget was happy with… I couldn’t help it. I found good recipes. And, I mean, I’m pregnant, and I’m supposed to get more protein…so that’s ok, right? Hm. Yeah, explain that to the budget. Oh well. We ate well this week, and will continue to. (Tomorrow is pork, and Tuesday is shrimp.) Anyway, I found a couple recipes in this Italian cookbook I got from my mother-in-law. Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of the peppered steak, so that’ll have to be a picture-less entry. Ok, back to the chicken. This sounded super tasty, and did not disappoint. I’d highly recommend it. (Oh and I halved the recipe and it worked just fine, but the full recipe is listed below.)

Pollo Dorato
"Momma’s Golden Chicken"
Ingredients
4 boneless chicken breasts
3 eggs
1/4 cup half and half (heavy whipping cream worked just fine)
1 cup flour
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 tablespoon parsley (I strangely didn’t have any, so I used Herbes de Provence)
1 and 1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup romano cheese, grated
1/4 cup sherry wine
Method
Wash, dry and cut chicken breasts into 12 slices. Gently pound each piece to 1/4 inch thick (I don’t have a meat hammer or tenderizer, so I didn’t pound them.) In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, cream, cheese (didn’t have this either), garlic, parsley, wine, pepper and salt. Divide mixture into two bowls. Place the chicken in one of the bowls, cover and marinate for one hour. Remove chicken and discard egg mixture. Dredge chicken pieces in flour then dunk in second bowl of egg mixture. Place bread crumbs in a dish and coat each piece of chicken. In a large frying pan on medium high heat, fry chicken in olive oil until golden brown on both sides. (I stopped here and it was delicious.) Place the chicken in a baking dish or casserole. Pour broth over and dab with pieces of butter. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and cook for another 15 minutes. When done, serve and garnish with parsley. Serves 4.
D’Atri, Jan and D’Atri, Livia. Momma & Me & You: Making Beautiful Food and Memories Together. (Momma & Me, The D’Atri’s, LLC, 2006), 59.
October242010

Walleye #2


Grandma and Grandpa gave us enough walleye to make it twice. I wasn’t sure what to do with it this time, and Charlie’s only stipulation was “cook it in butter and don’t bread it this time.” So…on went the search. I ended up mostly using a recipe from The Splendid Table. That recipe was for Salmon Pan Roast with Garlic Shavings and Basil on Fresh Greens. Sounds tasty. We skipped the fresh greens (because we didn’t have any) and made some asparagus instead. The asparagus I just made up, but with ideas taken from the fish.

Fish Ingredients
Walleye
Butter (lots)
salt
pepper
3 garlic cloves (it says sliced paper thin, I tried using a vegetable peeler, figuring that would be my best bet, but I was doing it over the pan and dropped the second one in. It got covered in butter and kept slipping out of my hand as I tried to shave it. I gave up and chopped it. Seems to have worked just fine.)
12 fresh basil leaves, torn into large pieces
dry white wine
lemon
Method
Rinse the fish.
Put the butter in the frying pan and melt it. Season the fish with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear them for 1 minute and then flip them carefully.
Sprinkle the garlic and basil around the fish. Turn the heat to medium low and cook for 6-7 minutes, turning the fish midway through.
Remove the fish from the skillet and keep it warm. Add the wine, turn the heat to high and stir, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Simmer until the pan juices are sizzling and syrupy.
Drizzle the hot sauce over the fish and asparagus. Squeeze lemon juice over both and serve.
Asparagus Ingredients
Asparagus
Butter
Lemon juice
Basil
Chopped onion
Method
Melt the butter into a small bread pan. Lay the asparagus in the pan. Add a small amount of chopped onion, a squeeze of lemon juice and maybe three torn basil leaves. Put in the oven on roughly 400*. Bake until it looks ready to eat.
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