Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Salmon with Pecan Coating

Salmon with Pecan Coating
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons butter, melted
5 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
3 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
6 (4 ounce) fillets salmon
salt and pepper to taste
6 lemon wedges

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, butter, and honey. In another bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, pecans, and parsley.
2. Season each salmon fillet with salt and pepper. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with mustard-honey mixture. Cover the top of each fillet with bread crumb mixture.
3. Bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at thickest part, or until salmon just flakes when tested with a fork. Serve garnished with lemon wedges.

**The only change I made was to use a whole plank of salmon instead of fillets**

Teddy Bear Snack Mix

I made this for my sweet little boy and his friends when we hosted a teddy bear picnic at the park.

Teddy Bear Snack Mix
-chocolate chip teddy grahams
-chocolate chocolate teddy grahams
-honeycomb cereal
-mini marshmallows
Toss all together and snack away!

Linguine with Clams

Whole clams, EVOO, parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, mushrooms...
Tossed with pasta...

Devil's Chicken Thighs & Braised Leeks

This recipe was courtesy of Smitten Kitchen.
It was quite time consuming, but very worth it.

Devil’s Chicken Thighs with Braised Leeks and Dijon Mustard
Adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques

We halved this but made a full recipe of the braised leeks. Hey, we all have our priorities.

Serves 6, or more if you have the kind of guests who only would want one thigh apiece.

12 chicken thighs, trimmed of excess skin and fat
1 cup thinly sliced onion
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
2 chiles de arbol, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 fresh bay leaves, thinly sliced, or 2 dried leaves, crumbled
3/4 cup dry vermouth
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup finely diced shallots
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1 extra-large egg
2 teaspoons chopped tarragon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chicken stock
Braised leeks (recipe below)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl with the sliced onion, 2 tablespoons thyme, chiles, bay leaves, and 1/4 cup vermouth. Using your hands, toss to coat the chicken well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Place the breadcrumbs in a medium bowl. Heat large saute pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons butter, and cook until it’s brown and smells nutty. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the brown butter over the breadcrumbs. Wait 1 minute, and then toss well with the parsley and 1 tablespoon thyme.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Return the saute pan to medium heat for 1 minute. Swirl in the remaining tablespoons butter, and when it foams, add the shallots and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme. Saute about 2 minutes, until the shallots are translucent. Add the remaining 1/2 cup vermouth and reduce by half. Transfer to a bowl and let cool a few minutes. Whisk in the mustard, egg, chopped tarragon, and a pinch of black pepper.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking, to bring it to room temperature. Discard the seasonings, and pat the chicken dry with paper towels. After 15 minutes, season the thighs well on both sides with salt and pepper.

Return the same saute pan to high heat for about 2 minutes. Swirl in the olive oil, and wait 1 minute. Place the chicken thighs in the pan, skin side down, and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until the skin is a deep golden brown. Turn the thighs over and cook a minute or two on the other side. Place the chicken on the braised leeks. Turn off the heat and discard the fat. Add the chicken stock to the pan, and scrape with a wooden spoon to release the crispy bits stuck to the bottom. Pour the chicken stock over the braised leeks.

Toss the chicken thighs in the bowl with the mustard mixture, slathering them completely, and then rearrange them over the braised leeks. Spoon any remaining mustard mixture over the chicken thighs. Top each thigh with breadcrumbs, patting with your hands to make sure they get nicely coated. (You want lots of mustard mixture and lots of breadcrumbs.) Bake about 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked through. To check for doneness, piece the meat near the bone with a paring knife; when ready, the juices from the chicken will run clear.

Turn the oven up to 475°F and cook the chicken thighs another 10 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Serve in the baking dish, or transfer to a large warm platter.

Braised Leeks
Adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques

You can pair these with the chicken dish above but seriously, if this recipe seems too daunting altogether, at least promise you’ll make these alone. With a hard or soft-cooked egg, a mustard vinaigrette, a sharp salad and crusty bread, you’ll have the best meal ever. And this dish reheats great — we actually made this part a day or two in advance.

6 large leeks
About 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (though I always skimp and use less)
1 cup sliced shallots
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Remove any bruised outer layers from the leeks. Trim off to the roots, leaving the root end intact. Trim the tops of the leeks on the diagonal, leaving 2 inches of the green part attached. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, and submerge in a large bowl of cold water to clean them. Shake the leeks well to dislodge the dirt stuck inside. Let them sit a few minutes, to allow any grit inside the layers to fall to the bottom of the bowl. Repeat the process until the water is clean. Place the leeks, cut side down, on a towel and pat dry completely.

Turn the leeks over so their cut sides are facing up, and season with 2 teaspoons salt and a few grindings of black pepper.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil, and wait 1 minute. Place the leeks in the pan, cut side down, being careful not to crowd them. (you will probably need to saute them in batches or in two pans. Add more olive oil to the pan as needed, for each batch.) Sear them 4 to 5 minutes, until they are golden brown. Season the backs of the leeks with salt and pepper, and turn them over to cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer them to a large gratin dish, lining them up, cut sides facing up. (Choose a baking dish or gratin dish that can go from oven to table and that will accommodate all the leeks and chick thighs, or use two smaller dishes.)

Pour 1/4 cup olive oil into the pan and heat over medium heat. Add the shallots, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, until the shallots are just beginning to color. Add the white wine and reduce by half. Add 1 1/2 cups stock, and bring to a boil over high heat.

Pour the liquid over the leeks. The stock should not quite cover them; add more stock if necessary.

Braise in the oven 30 minutes, until the leeks are tender when pierced. (This always takes longer in my oven, but is less to be concerned about if you’re going to top them with the chicken, in which case they’ll have plenty of additional baking time.)

And I have to does not look pretty at all, but wow did it ever hit the spot. We ate it with sliced hard boiled eggs. So so so devilish indeed!

Happy Shrimp!

I can't remember for the life of me where I got this recipe. I just had it saved on my computer, so I apologize for not giving credit where credit is due because this was quite tasty.

Happy Shrimp!
The Cast of Characters: Shrimp, Olive Oil, Tabasco, Worcestershire, Salt, Pepper, Butter, and Lemon. Get ready to party!

First, thoroughly rinse raw shrimp w/ shells still on. I used 21-26 count (that means 21-26 shrimp per pound) but I’ve certainly used bigger. Any smaller than this, and it’s difficult to peel, so stick with 21-26 or bigger.)

Place the shrimp in large baking pan

Arrange them in somewhat of a single layer.

Now take Extra Virgin Olive Oil…and drizzle it over the shrimp.
I probably used about 1/2 cup

begin GENEROUSLY sprinkling black pepper all over the shrimp

Now for the salt. I use Kosher because I’m madly in love with it, but of course, regular table salt will do just fine.Sprinkle generously with salt

Now cut some lemons in half. I used about three or four.Generously squeeze lemon juice all over the shrimp.

GENEROUSLY drizzle Worcestershire all over the shrimp.1/4 to 1/2 cup

GENEROUSLY you choose to add Tabasco depends entirely upon how much heat you can stand.maybe twenty shakes

Cut the butter into pats and begin placing it on top of the shrimp.two sticks of butter.

Now put the pan under the broiler in your oven for just about ten minutes, until the shrimp are no longer translucent. Don’t overdo it; you don’t want the shrimp to dry out.

Now, for your party you’ll want to have a loaf of crusty French bread on hand. Warm it in the oven, then wrap it in a nice napkin.

Just take a chunk of bread.And dip it into the pan, absorbing the juice.

Italian Meatloaf

Okay, so I realized lately I must be on a huge tomato
But that's always true I guess...I love tomatoes.
Anyways, this has become our new favorite meatloaf.

Italian Meatloaf

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Italian-style seasoning
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs and ketchup. Season with Italian-style seasoning, oregano, basil, garlic salt, diced tomatoes and cheese. Press into a 9x5 inch loaf pan, and cover loosely with foil.
Bake in the preheated oven approximately 1 hour

Roasted Tomato Soup

I got this recipe from Family Fun Magazine. It was so so good! With grilled cheese sandwiches for dunking of course.

Roasted Tomato Soup

6 cups(3 pints) of cherry tomatoes
3 T olive oil
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
2 T unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup onion, chopped
1 (28oz) can of diced tomatoes
4 cups of chicken broth
1/2 t thyme
1 cup whipping cream

Heat the oven to 400. On a baking sheet combine cherry tomatoes, 2 T olive oil and the salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly and spread in a single layer. Roast 30-45 minutes.

In a large pot, heat the butter and the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes with their juice, the broth, thyme and the roasted tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 40 minutes.

Using a food processor or blender, puree the soup until its smooth. Return to the pot and stir in the cream. Warm over medium heat, stirring often. Do not let boil. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

**Again I forgot to take the final picture after it was done....***

***My only change was that I used fresh basil instead of thyme because I had it on hand and just love the flavor of basil with tomatoes.***

Tomato Basil Chicken

I'm so behind on blogging, so time for some quick catching up.

These turned out really good. I forgot to take a picture after they cooked because we gobbled them up too quickly.

I pounded some chicken breasts thinned and marinated them in fat free italian dressing. Placed some mozzarella, sundried tomatoes and fresh basil in the center, rolled up and held closed with toothpicks. Wrapped in bacon and broiled.