It’s been so long since my last post, and it’s not as if I stopped cooking. No, I’ve still been plugging away, cooking the majority of our dinners. And, I’ve been trying some wonderful recipes! My heart, however, just hasn’t been into blogging. Sometimes updating my blog, after everyone is quietly snuffling in their beds, can be difficult. Sometimes I just want to read. Sometimes I want to get lost in Pinterest. Sometimes I want to check in with my FB friends. Or play Hay Day. Sometimes that is the hard part of being a full-time wife and mom, as well as working outside the home full time. But, as winter sheds it’s coat (yes, we have a Cali version of winter) and spring dawns anew, we can all feel somewhat reborn. Throw aside what has been holding you down, sit outside and soak up the sun. Take a walk and marvel at what beauty springtime brings. Ride a bike and feel the warm breeze on your face. Ahhh, to start anew. It’s a wonderful thing!
What better way to pay homage to spring than wild caught salmon? Don’t get me wrong, I can eat salmon year-round. But there is something about salmon that speaks to warmer weather.
1 tsp packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 – 2 lbs skin-on salmon filet
Pepper to taste
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 recipe glaze (below)
3/4 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300°. Combine brown sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a 12″ oven-safe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place salmon, flesh side down, in skillet and cook until well browned, about 1 minute. Using tongs, carefully flip salmon and cook on skin side for 1 minute.
Remove skillet from heat and evenly spoon glaze over salmon. Transfer skillet to oven and cook until fillets register 125° (for medium-rare) and are still translucent when cut into, about 7 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Wine Pairing Suggestions:
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Total time: 30 minutes
*Derived from America’s Test Kitchen
I came across this recipe on Eating Well. My first thought, “Who does not like chicken wrapped in prosciutto.” Just so we’re clear: Wrapped. In. Prosciutto. This is taking chicken thighs, which have about a million ways to be yum, and wrapping them in prosciutto. That’s like taking bacon and wrapping . . . well, ANYTHING. But saltier and tastier. Then you’ve got the mushrooms. Mushrooms and sauce are amazing. And yes, of course, I made mashed potatoes. While this dish came together in at least 45 minutes, but more like an hour, as opposed to the 35 minute “total time” suggestion from Eating Well, it was still amazing. The hubs even commented that he didn’t realize he was coming home to a 5 Star Meal. Today is Veterans Day, and I’m a Veteran, of course you’re getting a 5 Star meal!
4 boneless, skinless thighs
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 thin slices prosciutto (If you are not familiar with prosciutto, accept that it will quickly become the higher-power of your bacon God)
4 tsp olive oil – divided (use extra-virgin if you’d like)
1 large shallot, halved and thinly sliced
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh oregano plus 1 tps, divided (ok, I don’t always have time to mess with fresh herbs, especially with the wonderful freeze-dried options, such as those available by Lighthouse)
8 oz sliced cremini mushrooms (I used 10 oz pre-sliced because that’s how it came and I’m not tossing out 2 oz of pre-sliced mushrooms)
1/2 cup Marsala or dry sherry (the best advice I can offer here, if you aren’t willing to drink it, don’t cook with it. Look in the wine section of your grocery store. Avoid “cooking” anything wines . Cooking wines tend to be higher in sodium and less flavorful.)
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth (you want to go with a nice ‘meaty’ broth here. There are so many that as you pour they look watered down. My tip, if they look watered down, they are, and that will translate to your dish.My personal favorite is Pacific Foods – Organic)
2 tsp cornstarch
Sprinkle chicken thighs with 1/4 tsp pepper and wrap each thigh with a slice of prosciutto.
Heat 2 tsp olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and cooked through, 4 – 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; wrap with foil to keep warm.
Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 2 tsp oil, shallot, and 1 tbs oregano to pan. Cook, stirring, until shallots are beginning to brown (about 1 – 2 minutes). Add mushrooms and cook, stirring until browned (4 – 6 minutes). Add Marsala (sherry will work here, too) and cook about 2 minutes.
In a separate small bowl, whisk broth, cornstarch, and the remaining 1/4 tsp pepper in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add to pan, stirring. Return to simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened (about 4 minutes)
Wine Pairing Suggestions:
Total time: About an hour
*Derived from Eating Well
This has got to be one of the easiest and tastiest enchilada sauces I have made. Not to mention so authentic the hubs gave it a thumbs up! He even asked that I make some more so he can make huevos rancheros for breakfast. This will make a regular rotation in my kitchen, and there is plenty with this recipe to freeze. (I promise to include a picture next time!)
2 Tbs cornstarch
2 Tbs Morton & Bassett Mexican Spice Blend (my “go to” Mexican seasoning)
Kosher salt to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 Tbs canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
In mixing bowl, combine cornstarch, Mexican Spice Blend, salt and pepper. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, broth, spice mixture, whisk to combine. Set aside.
In a medium skillet, over medium-low heat, add canola oil and sauté garlic until fragrant, being careful not to burn. Gradually stir in tomato sauce mixture. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Serve in and over your favorite Mexican dishes.
Total time: 40 minutes
*Derived from Skinnyms.com
I love Honey Walnut Prawns. I love them so much I even remember the first time I put one of the tasty morsels in my mouth, “Where have you been my whole life? Why have I not experienced you until now, my sweet little prawn?” Adding to the mix, we are one prawn loving family. The only caveat is that some restaurants use too much mayonnaise. Maybe it’s because mayonnaise is relatively cheep. Maybe it’s because the chef of that particular establishment really likes mayonnaise. If I can taste the mayonnaise and have a conscience understanding that my prawn is dripping with it, I’m not likely to eat it. I can handle mayonnaise if I don’t put too much thought into it. This recipe does the Honey Walnut Prawn justice and makes me want to eat in more often!
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup walnut halves (I, as always, used what I had on hand which was walnut pieces. Daniela gave them a hearty thumbs up after they had cooled)
1 ½ tsp honey
1 ½ tsp condensed milk (personally, I think this is the secret ingredient. SSSHHHHHhhhhhhh)
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup cornstarch
Heat 1/2 cup water in small saucepan and bring to boil. Add sugar and stir constantly, until golden and thickened. Add walnuts and gently toss to combine. Transfer to parchment paper lined flat surface to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, honey, and condensed milk. Set aside.
Heat vegetable oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season shrimp with salt and pepper to taste. Dip shrimp into egg mixture, being sure each prawn is well-coated. With cornstarch in a ziplock bag, add shrimp and gently shake to coat.
Add 8-10 shrimp to the heated skillet at a time. Fry until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to paper towel lined plate.
When all shrimp are cooked, combine shrimp and honey mixture. Gently stir to coat completely. Serve immediately over steamed rice and topped with walnuts.
Wine Pairing Suggestions:
Blanc de Blanc
Serves 4 (small portions)
Total time: 30 minutes