Thursday, January 29, 2009

Salmon Pasta Toss

I kind of came up with this one night when we were having salmon and I was sick of the same old thing, so some of the measurements are approximates (i.e. the oil, the Parmesan)

-2 frozen or fresh salmon fillets
-1/2 each red and green pepper, julienned
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-2 tbsp olive oil
-2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
-spice mix of 2 tsp Mrs Dash, 1 tsp lemon pepper and 1/2 tsp rosemary
-pasta, such as rotini or penne, enough for two people

1. Sprinkle spice mix over both sides of the fish. If it is frozen, brush with a little olive oil so it will stick.
2. Bake fish in 450 F oven for 10 mins (fresh) 20 mins (frozen)
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta.
4. Saute peppers in a small amount of olive oil along with garlic until soft.
5. When salmon is done, remove from oven and break apart into small pieces.
6. Toss salmon, peppers, pasta, parmesan and olive oil until well combined/coated.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Beef Stew

So today I decided to make a big old batch of beef stew for dinner (it has been cold here!) I have never made stew and had no real recipe... here is what I came up with:

2lbs stewing beef cut into cubes
1/4 cup flour
S & P
2 tbsp olive oil
2 bottles dark beer
2 cans beef stock concentrate
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp rosemary
2 bay leaves
S & P
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2-3 carrots, chopped into large pieces (I like chunky stew)
3-4 stalks celery, chopped into large pieces
4 potatoes, chopped into large pieces
1 onion, chopped into large pieces

Mix flour, salt, and pepper. Toss beef cubes in flour until coated. Heat up olive oil in a large pot, toss in beef (in batches) and brown all sides. Add beer, stock, 2 cans water, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, garlic, and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil then turn down and simmer until beef is tender (mine took about 2 1/2 hours.) About 30 minutes before you want to eat, add carrots and celery. 10 minutes later, add potatoes (if you use smaller pieces, adjust this accordingly.) Cook for about 15-20 minutes of until all veggies are tender but not mushy. Serve and enjoy!

This is not a thick stew, more of a chunky soup smile.gif This would freeze very well (most of my batch is in the freezer already!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pork Cutlets with Mushroom Sauce

I made this a while back when I needed to bribe my husband to go Christmas shopping with me - it worked!

2 - 4 Pork Cutlets (as many as you need really)
1/2 cup flour
S & P
Olive oil for frying (enough for a thin layer on the bottom of your pan)

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 minced red onion
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced (I used button but you could use anything)
1 cup white wine
S & P
1 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
1/2 cream

Heat up 1 tsp olive oil in a frying pan and add onions,mushrooms, and S & P. Saute for a few minutes and toss in white wine and balsamic vinegar. Simmer for a few minutes to cook off alcohol and the tartness of the vinegar. Add cream and simmer until thickened (I cooked the the pork after I added the cream.) Stir occasionally while the pork is cooking.

Heat olive in a frying pan (med - med high heat). In a shallow bowl, mix flour and S & P. Lightly coat pork in flour mixture and cook in olive oil until done and browned, about 3-4 minutes per side depending on thickness.

Serve pork with yummy mushroom sauce on top. I served this with potatoes as well but it would be equally good with spatzle or even egg noodles

Mixed Bean Stew with Cottage Dumplings

Stolen from a friend of a friend

1 can (15 oz) great northern, cannelloni or navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
2.5 - 3 cups tomato sauce
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp dried basil leaves
2 tsp olive oil
¼ tsp pepper

Cottage Dumplings…
1 cup shredded cheese (mozza or cheddar or whatever else you have in the fridge!)
2/3 cup frozen (thawed) or canned (drained) corn
1/2 cup cottage cheese (drain if really runny)
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup cornmeal
3 egg whites

For stew, place all ingredients in first recipe in a 3-quart saucepan and bring to a simmer. For dumplings, combine all ingredients in 2nd recipe and shape into 12 balls. Carefully slide balls onto simmering bean mixture (do not drop directly onto stew – place ball in a spoon and place spoon on top of stew mixture and slide ball off using finger or another spoon – this prevents them from “sinking” into the stew). Simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes longer or until dumplings are firm.

Mushroom Lasagna

Mushroom Filling
2 lbs mushrooms, chopped (use what you like, I used a mix of buttons and crimini)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 onion, finely chopped
S &P

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups whole milk
S & P

1pk lasagna sheets (I used the fresh ones)

Parmesan cheese

Saute the chopped mushrooms, onion, garlic and S & P. Cook down and remove as much liquid as possible (you can reserve this and use it in place of some of the milk in the sauce, just add milk to make 4 cups.)

Melt butter over medium heat in a sauce pan. Add flour and whisk well. Allow to bubble a bit so the flour cooks off. Add 4 cups whole milk and S & P. Bring to a low boil and shut off, stirring frequently.

Place a small amount of sauce (about 1/6th) in the bottom of a 9 x 13" pan. Layer other ingredients:

1/2 mushrooms
1/3 sauce
handful parm
1/2 mushrooms
1/3 sauce
handful parm
remaining sauce
handful parm.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until hot. Let rest at least 15 minutes before you cut or it will run everywhere!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Enchilada Casserole

Adapted from Sandi Richard

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 can chopped green chilies
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 cup salsa
1 cup each (divided into 1/2 cup portions) mozzarella and cheddar cheese
14 oz can of tomatoes without liquid (or a few tomatoes you have a home, etc)
12-14 (depending on pan size) oven-ready lasagna noodles
2/3 cup water

Brown ground beef. Add onions and let cook until soft. Add chilies, soup, salsa, tomatoes and 1/2 cup of each cheese. Stir until all well combined.

Place 3 noodles in the bottom of a lasagna dish (I often put three lengthwise and then 1/2 of one perpendicular at the "top") and coat with 1/3 of the sauce. Continue 2 more times. Top with remaining cheese. Pour water over the whole thing (if you've used more than 12 noodles add a little more water, but not much. I rarely add more than 3/4 of a cup).

Cover tightly with tin foil (water helps steam cook the noodles).

Cook in oven 350 F for 50 mins. Remove and let rest 5 mins. If you find it looks watery when it comes out (only happened to me once) put it back in for a few more minutes.

Serve with salad.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Adapted from a Canadian Living cookbook

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 corn tortillas cut into strips
veg or olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp cumin (the recipe calls for 1 tsp but we found it had no taste so I upped it)
1 tbsp chili powder (ditto)
1 each red and yellow pepper, chopped
4 plum tomatoes, chopped (or I often use one carton of small grape tomatoes)
4 cups (or 1 large tetra pack) of chicken stock
1 cup frozen corn
dash of lime juice

Heat some oil in a frying pan and on medium low heat toast the tortillas (this can also be done in the oven to be healthier or just use crushed tortilla chips to save time).

Remove chips and let rest on a paper towel. Cook chicken in frying pan. When nearly done, add onions and garlic and cook until softened. Add cumin and chili powder and cook for a few minutes more. Add peppers and let cook for a few minutes to soften. Then add stock and tomatoes, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 7 minutes.

Add the frozen corn, cook for a few minutes until corn is softened. Add a splash of lime juice and top each individual bowl with tortilla chips.

Baked Yam Medallions

From the Looneyspoons cookbook

4 medium yams/sweet potatoes scrubbed, unpeeled
2 egg whites
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp dried rosemary

Preheat oven to 425 F

Slice yams into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Combine egg whites and garlic in a large bowl. Combine other ingredients and place on a plate or shallow dish.

Add yams to egg mixture, toss to coat. Then coat both sides of yams in the bread crumb mixture. Place on a single layer on a cookie sheet that was sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 15 minutes, flip yams, then bake 15 mins more.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Italian Sausage and Pasta Soup

Italian sausage was on sale today so I dragged out this old favorite with every intention of making it for dinner. I quickly learned that I was missing a bunch of ingredients and ate KD instead. Oops?

Time: about an hour to prep and cook
Makes about 10 1-Cup servings.

• 1 lb hot or mild Italian sausage
• 3 medium carrots peeled and chopped
• 1 large onion, peeled and chopped (works with shallots or leeks, too)
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped or crushed
• 8 C lowfat or fat free chicken broth
• 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
• 1 15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 T dried basil
• 1 ½ C large shell pasta
• 6 oz spinach leaves, rinsed and slightly chopped (I use bagged baby spinach)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Grated parmesan cheese

1. Squeeze sausages from their casings into a 5-6 qt pan over high heat and stir often, breaking up sausages with a spoon. Cook until brown and crumbly. Spoon out and discard all but 1 T fat from pan.
2. Add carrots, onion and garlic; stir often until onion is limp, 5-7 mins.
3. Add broth, basil, tomatoes (including juice), and beans and bring to a boil.
4. Add pasta, reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally until pasta is just enter to the bite about 10 mins. Skim and discard any fat.
5. Stir in spinach and cook just until it is wilted, about 30 seconds.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parmesan.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Flourless chocolate cake

Source : Gourmet magazine via epicurious

An easy and fast and delicious recipe. The cake is moist and fudgey. Good quality chocolate is key!
  • 4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus additional for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper. (I use parchment)

Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes (if you can wait that long) and invert onto a serving plate. (I just leave it in the pan and let the family pick at it every time they walk by)

Dust cake with additional cocoa powder and serve with sorbet if desired. (Cake keeps, after being cooled completely, in an airtight container, 1 week. But it won't last that long)

Blueberry buttermilk pancakes

My quest for the perfect buttermilk pancake ended with this recipe. The batter and resulting pancakes are thick and fluffy. I've substituted strawberries or chocolate chips for the blueberries and also make them plain for my kid. I use some metal cookie cutters from Ikea to make pancake hearts and stars for her (remember to butter the edges of the cutter) or if I'm feeling ambitious, a free-form pancake turtle.

Also, because they're so thick, I find I have to play with the heat a little to make sure the outsides aren't burnt and the insides are cooked. I turn the heat down a bit after flipping to avoid the dreaded "sashimi pancake".

  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (I reduce this to 1 tbsp)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (sometimes a bit more if the batter is really thick)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • Pure maple syrup (Ha, like Canadians would use anything else)

Preheat oven to 250°F. Place baking sheet in oven. Whisk first 4 ingredients in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, and 2 tablespoons butter in medium bowl; stir into dry ingredients. Fold in berries.

Heat large nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat; brush with butter. Drop batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto griddle. Cook pancakes until brown, brushing griddle with more butter as needed, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to sheet in oven to keep warm. Serve pancakes with maple syrup.