Tag: olive oil

Trying to Make Thursday Supper a Thing

Recently I swapped my hours at work on Thursdays to the morning, so I found myself with more time to actually plan and execute a meal, instead of the usual leftovers we tend to have when both my husband and I get home between 5:30 and 6 pm and both feel not especially like cooking.

This week I made pan-seared salmon and broccoli gratin, and I felt weirdly empowered by cooking the salmon myself.  Generally I make the husband grill it.

Anyway!  Recipe links follow with pictures.

I don’t know if you could call it a recipe so much, but this lovely tidbit from Food & Wine made cooking the salmon super easy.

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I put a little bit of the marinade the salmon had been sitting in (just an equal mix of olive oil and lemon juice) in the pan as the oil.  I love my cast iron.  😀

The urge to try broccoli gratin came as I was flipping through my copy of Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 for All Seasons.  There is a recipe for broccoli gratin that sounded good, but I didn’t have some of the ingredients.  The description of the recipe, though, said it was a more gourmet version of regular broccoli gratin, which I proceeded to look up and find an awesome recipe on Food Network’s website that I had everything for and turned out deliciously.

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The breadcrumbs maybe got a little too toasty in the pan before I put them on top, but still great.

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The hubby’s finished plate.  A healthy meal that feels like cheating because, well, cheese.  No need for a starch!  🙂

You can combine with a salad if you’d like…I had a veggie blend after dinner because I forgot, or if you’d like the salmon would be great on top of some couscous or rice.

Happy eating!

 

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Spinach and Fruit Salad

I made up this recipe yesterday based on something I had at a wedding recently.  Simple, but tasty.  🙂

Ingredients

Half a bag (approx. 8 ounces) of fresh spinach (I tear off the stems)

1 apple, cubed or cut into small chunks

15-20 grapes, halved

Blue cheese

For dressing: (approx. amounts, always do to taste)

2 oz olive oil

1 oz balsamic vinegar

½ oz lemon juice

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Wash and drain spinach, placing in a large bowl.
  2. Cut up apple and grapes, and add to spinach.
  3. Combine all ingredients in dressing in a small bowl, whisking together until mixed thoroughly.
  4. Toss salad with dressing.
  5. Sprinkle blue cheese on top.
  6. Serve!

If you’re going to wait to serve, combine all ingredients except the dressing, and store in the refrigerator.  Dress the salad just before serving.

This salad is good even leftover the next day.  Be sure to store in an airtight container.

Stuffed Shells

A recipe I found on 101 Cookbooks…it is absolutely delicious, and the combo of ricotta and lemon in the filling is AWESOME.

Stuffed Shells

 

Ingredients

zest of one lemon

Sauce:
1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
scant 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
4 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 28-ounce can crushed red tomatoes
1 14-ounce can crushed red tomatoes

Filling:
1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup / ~5 oz grated mozzarella
1 bunch of chives, minced

25-30 jumbo dried pasta shells

Directions

Oil a 13 x 9-inch / 33 x 23-cm baking pan, or equivalent, and sprinkle the zest of 1/2 the lemon across it. Set aside. Get a big pot of water boiling, and preheat your oven to 350F / 180C with a rack in the middle.

To make the sauce, combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and garlic in a cold saucepan. Stir while you heat the saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute just 45 seconds or so until everything is fragrant – you don’t want the garlic to brown. Now stir in the tomatoes and heat to a gentle simmer, just a minute or two. Remove from heat and carefully take a taste (you don’t want to burn your tongue)…If the sauce needs more salt add it now. Let cool.

To make the filling, combine the ricotta, egg, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until combined, then stir in the mozzarella, remaining lemon zest, and 3/4 of the chives. Set aside.

Cook the shells according to package instructions in well-salted water – until al dente. If you overcook, the shells will tear as you attempt to fill them. Drain and let cool long enough to handle with your hands – see photo.

Spread 1/3 of sauce across the bottom of the prepared pan. Fill each shell with ricotta, and arrange in a single layer in the pan. Ladle the remaining sauce over the shells, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, uncover for the final 15 minutes or until the shells are cooked through. Sprinkle with the remaining chives and serve hot.

Serves 4 – 6.

Prep time: 30 min – Cook time: 45 min

Fried Brussel Sprouts, Chicken Tater Bake, and Baked Mac and Cheese

Three completely unrelated, though delicious, recipes I made on three different nights this past week.

The first one I made as a companion to some chicken and mashed potatoes, liberally stolen again from Michael Symon and The Chew.  I left out the capers, because neither Jeff nor I are fond of them, but you can include them if you’d like.
Michael Symon’s Fried Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Capers

Ingredients

canola oil for deep frying
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1/2 Serrano chile, seeded and minced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb Brussel sprouts (trimmed and quartered lengthwise)
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 tbsp capers
1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

1.  Pour enough oil into a medium pot so that the oil comes 3 in. deep up the sides.  Heat the oil to 350 degrees, or until you see the snakey lines.

2.  While the oil is heating, whisk together serrano, honey, red wine vinegar and olive oil in a bowl large enough to toss all the Brussel sprouts.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Keep the bowl near the stove top.

3.  Working in batches, deep-fry the Brussel sprouts until the edges begin to curl and brown, about 3 mins.  Add the walnuts and capers to the last batch.  If using capers, stand back because the capers will pop and sputter.  Give the contents of the pot a stir, remove with a skimmer and place directly into the bowl of dressing.  Toss to coat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

These are delicious and crunchy!
This picture is what was posted on The Chew’s site… mine didn’t look quite so elegant, but were just as tasty.

Chicken Tater Bake

This is a recipe from Jeff’s Aunt Carol.  It’s extremely easy, but extremely awesome.

Ingredients

1 3-4 lb chicken or 3 boneless chicken breasts
1 32-oz package of tater tots
2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
6 tbsp margarine
6 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
1/2 to 1 onion, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
Topping
2 cups corn flake crumbs
1/2 cup margarine (or enough to coat crumbs)

Directions

Cook chicken until done.  Remove from bones if using a whole chicken, and cut into bite size pieces.  Grease a 9 x13 pan and place tater tots in bottom of pan.  Cover with chopped chicken.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt margarine.  Stir in flour and make a paste.  Add milk, onion and soup.  Stir until thick and pour over cheese layer.  Melt 1/2 cup of margarine, add corn flakes and stir to coat.  Pour over casserole and bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until bubbly.

This last recipe was a variation of baked mac and cheese that I took from Alton Brown, because I needed a quick Sunday lunch before some work.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

1/2 lb elbow macaroni
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 tsp salt
pepper
Topping
3 tbsp butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five mins.  Make sure it’s free of lumps.  Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika.  Simmer for ten mins and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg.  Stir in 3/4 of the cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2 quart casserole dish.  Top with remaining cheese.

Melt butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat.  Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs.  Bake for 30 mins.  Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Please enjoy these recipes!   …Though not necessarily all together.  🙂

Michael Symon’s American Ghoul-ash

This was a recipe that Michael Symon did on The Chew…it’s extremely tasty and makes lots of leftovers!

Time: about 20 minutes
Servings: at least 4

Ingredients:

1/2 lb elbow pasta
1 lb ground beef
salt to taste
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp red pepper flakes
olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

1.  In a large pot cook elbow pasta according to directions

2.  Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add a drizzle of olive oil to pan.

3.  Add ground beef to pan and cook until brown.  Move meat to one side of pan and add onions in on the open side.  Season with salt.  Smash the garlic cloves and add them to the pan.  Mix the beef, onion and garlic together, and add tomato paste and canned tomatoes.  Stir to combine.  Add chili flakes to taste.

4.  Drain pasta, and put back in pot.  Add meat and tomato sauce to pasta, stir to combine.  Add freshly grated parmesan (or the parmesan from a container), remove from heat, and serve.

And just for your edification, here’s my one of my favorite pictures of Michael Symon:

That’s right, the man has a tattoo that says “Got Pork”.  🙂

Italian Breaded Pork Chops, Honey Glazed Carrots, and Ice Cream Bread

I was more ambitious yesterday in the kitchen than I’ve been in a week or so, so you get to enjoy the (recipe) fruits of my labors.  I actually made the ice cream bread first yesterday, but I’m going to put the recipe last so you get more than dessert.  🙂

Main course I modified a bit, because it’s a recipe that I’ve done before.  I made the pork into medallions, as you’ll see in the picture, instead of keeping them as chops.  I found the pork stays more moist and is easier to eat that way.

So, onward!

Main Course: Italian Breaded Pork Chops
(allrecipes.com)

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients

3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp milk
1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs (I made my own by blending regular bread crumbs with Italian seasoning)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (you can use the stuff in the container, you don’t have to grate yourself)
2 tbsp dried parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 pork chops  (I’ve used 2 cut in half, or pork medallions.  Actual pork chops tend to be kind of thick.)

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

2.  In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and milk.  In a separate small bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and parsley.

3.  Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet (if you don’t have one, that’s fine, just use a regular skillet.  I’ll explain later.)  Stir in the garlic and cook until lightly browned.  Remove the garlic, reserving for other uses (or chuck).

4.  Dip each pork piece into the egg mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating evenly.  Place coated pork chops in the skillet, and brown about 5 minutes on each side.  (until golden brown)

5.  Place the skillet in the preheated oven.  If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, transfer the pork to a casserole dish large enough for them, then place in oven.  Cook for 25 minutes, or to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

They should look like this (if medallion style):

 

Veggie: Honey Glazed Carrots

This one’s rather short, because I glanced at a recipe by Sunny Anderson and did it on the fly.  These are done in no time at all.

Ingredients

Can of carrots, sliced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

Directions

1.  Cook can of carrots in their own juice in a medium saucepan.  They will become tender.  Drain off liquid.

2.  Add the butter, honey, and lemon juice, cooking until the carrots are coated.  Cook about 5 more minutes for a glaze to form.  Finish with salt and pepper, and serve.

 

And now the piece de resistance, which Jeff can’t stop eating –

Dessert: Ice Cream Bread

Yes, I stole this liberally from The Hungry Housewife, because she’s so amazing.  And this recipe is so fool-proof even I got it to rise, and I am not the best baker on the planet.  And you should read what she wrote for the entry on Ice Cream Bread anyway, because it’s hilarious.
…Anyway.

Ingredients

2 cups of ice cream, any flavor, softened
1 1/2 cups Self-Rising flour (Self-Rising flour is for every 1 cup flour, add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt.)

Directions

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray and flour an 8×4 loaf pan, or line with parchment paper.

2.  In a medium bowl mix the ice cream and flour together until just combined.  Scoop into the pan and smooth out.

3.  Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the loaf comes out with a few crumbs stuck to it.

4.  Remove from pan and allow to cool.

I used Cookies and Cream ice cream, and it was AWESOME.  I cannot say enough how good a balance between ice cream and bread this is.  You’ll just have to try it for yourself.

Behold, the loaf in all its glory:

 

 

That’s about it for this time.  Next week I think I’m going to try an American Goulash I saw Michael Symon make on The Chew.  🙂