Tag: salt

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.

Swedish Meatballs

This recipe is courtesy of Jeff’s Grandma Baumann.  From everything I’ve heard, she was quite the cook, and from every recipe of hers that I’ve tried, it just confirms it.  These are a Christmas staple in the Anderson house, and I made them last week, as Jeff was craving them.  🙂

Swedish Meatballs

Ingredients

2 lb ground beef
1 lb lean ground pork
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 cup milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground allspice

Directions

Have the butcher double grind the beef and pork (we found at Jewel it comes this way), or mix and grind in the food processor.  Add all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Cover a jellyroll pan with parchment.  Roll small meatballs and place on parchment.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 mins or until browned.

Makes about 96 meatballs, which according to the recipe is 12 servings.

You can serve with any kind of sauce, but I recommend some lingonberry jam.  Delicious!

Pork and Potato Dumplings with Creamy Smoked Paprika Sauce

Rocco cheats in this recipe by using packaged potato gnocchi for the dumplings.  Still awesome.
Also, I would recommend, if you have any of the sauce left, to use it within the next couple of days for chicken.  It does not keep terribly long.

Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork chops (about 4-6)
salt
pepper
1 1/2 pounds fresh potato gnocchi (sold in packages in the pasta aisle)
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika (also called pimenton)  (I used regular paprika, works just as well)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives

Directions

1.  In a large cast iron skillet, heat vegetable oil over high heat.  (I had to reduce to medium-high: know your burners.)  Season pork chops with salt and pepper; add to the pan.  Cook until golden brown and just cooked through, about 4 mins per side.  Remove from pan; cover lightly with foil to keep warm.  Turn heat down to medium-high.

2.  While pork is cooking, bring a stockpot of salted water to a boil and cook gnocchi according to package directions.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water when gnocchi are done.

3.  After pork chops are cooked, add butter to the pan over medium-high heat.  When butter is hot, add onion.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender are caramelized, about 12 mins.

4.  Add the paprika, sour cream, and reserved gnocchi cooking water to the pan; toss to coat.  (Or stir, because I sure as heck can’t toss in a cast-iron pan).  Stir in chives; season to taste with salt and pepper, if necessary.

5.  Serve porks chops with gnocchi mixture.

Large Meatballs with Cherry Peppers and Potatoes

Another recipe from Rocco Gets Real.  I will say I could not find the bottle of sliced hot cherry peppers, so I used a jar of roasted red peppers instead.  It still tasted really good.

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 eggs, beaten well
1 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 tsp pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 large potato
2 – 13.5 oz jars pasta sauce
1/2 cup sliced hot cherry peppers, drained (again, I substituted a drained jar of roasted red peppers)
1/2 cup chopped parsley or basil (I used dried parsley)

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Divide mixture into 8 portions.  Roll each portion into a large meatball.

2. Peel potato and shred it on a box grater.  Wrap the shredded potato in a clean cotton kitchen towel (or paper towels).  Hold it over the sink and squeeze as much water out as you can.

3.  Combine the pasta sauce and cherry peppers in a medium microwave-safe bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until hot, 3 to 4 mins.  Stir in shredded potatoes.  Season generously with salt and pepper.

4.  Pour the pasta sauce mixture in a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Add the meatballs to the pan and season with salt and pepper.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 mins.  Turn each meatball over.  Continue to bake until meatballs are cooked through and potatoes are tender, another 20 to 30 mins.

5.  Sprinkle parsley on top and serve.

 

These do make HUGE meatballs, so I am of the opinion you get two meals out of this recipe.

Tiny Meatballs and Tortellini with Broccoli Rabe

This is a recipe from Rocco DiSpirito‘s cookbook Rocco Gets Real, which, I’m happy to say, has fairly quick recipes that are easy to figure out.  This cookbook also uses packaged or canned stuff when appropriate, so the recipes aren’t as expensive as they could be.  Anyway, on with the recipe!

 

Ingredients

1 lb frozen mini meatballs
salt
pepper
2 – 13.5 oz jars of pasta sauce
1 – 16 oz package refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 bunch broccoli rabe, roughly chopped (broccoli rabe is also known as rapini)
1/3 cup basil (fresh chopped if you have, if not, enough dried to add to sauce)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1.  Bring a stockpot of salted water to a boil.  Meanwhile, microwave meatballs in a large bowl until hot, according to package directions.  Add pasta sauce to bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and continue to microwave until sauce is hot, about 3 more min.

2.  Meanwhile, cook the tortellini according to the package instructions (in the boiling water, obviously).  About halfway through the cooking time, add the broccoli rabe to the water.  Continue to cook until tortellini are done and broccoli rabe is tender, about 3 mins.  Drain.

3.  Toss tortellini and broccoli rabe with the meatballs, sauce, and basil.

4.  Top with cheese and serve.

I will say that I almost like this recipe better without the meatballs, so it can be a great vegetarian option, too!

Two more recipes to come from Rocco, so stay tuned!

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