Glazed Salmon

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.

Ingredients:

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)

Glaze:

3/4 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup

Preparation:

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:

Chardonnay
Grenache
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Sangiovese
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves: 4

Total time: 30 minutes

*Derived from America’s Test Kitchen

PicFrame

Glazed Salmon


Cheeseburger Macaroni

This recipe was not a hit with the family. D doesn’t like meat. Berto doesn’t like cheese. The Hubs doesn’t like ground meat or cheddar cheese. Sigh. This meal, to me, was wonderful! I do believe, though, it had less to do with the actual meal than with the fact this dish is true comfort food and it’s been over 100 degrees here in Cali. Maybe dinner would have been more successful had I just served ice cream. Hmmm, things to ponder . . .

Ingredients:

1 Lb ground beef (I Texas Longhorn beef from the farmer’s market and it cooked up similar to ground turkey, but still had a wonderful beef flavor)
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 cups milk
2 cups whole grain elbow macaroni (or whatever you have on hand, I used penne)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I can see any number of types of cheese being used and it being wonderful)

Seasonings:

1 1/2 Tbs cornstarch
3 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preparation:

Heat a large skillet to meidum high and brown meat. Once cooked, drain any fat that remains.

While meat browns, mix together seasonings in a small bowl. When drained, return meat to skillet and add seasonings, stirring to combine. Pour in hot water, milk, and pasta. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until pasta is cooked.

Stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes until sauce thickens.

Serve immediately with melty garlic bread and a crisp salad.

Wine Pairing Suggestions (because no matter the dish, we always need wine)

Barbera
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves 6

Total time: 25 minutes


*Derived from FoodFanatic


Crispy Chicken Bites

You know how sometimes in life you just happen upon something and it turns out to be so amazing you are STILL talking about it?  Like the “Cowie” that I bought for my niece when she was two.  Cowie is a stuffed Precious Moments cow that I bought on the clearance table outside of a Hallmark store. I know I didn’t pay over $5 for him (if even that), and I had no idea the impact Cowie was going to have on Alyssa.  Lys immediately started carting Cowie everywhere with her.  I can’t tell you how many times my sister had to turn the car around because Lys had forgotten Cowie somewhere.  How Cowie was in Lys’s backpack through each and everyday as she navigated elementary and junior high school.  Well, Lys is now in high school.  I don’t think Cowie is still tucked away in her backpack, and I know that’s because my sister cannot repair Cowie anymore.  He’s too thread bear and been repaired too many times before.  So, Cowie rests at home now, waiting for the moment Lys will get home and hold him in her hand again. This recipe, admittedly somewhat less dramatic, is like that amazing purchase you make and can’t get over.  When I found this recipe, I read it, I rolled it around in my mind.  Thinking of ways to make it mine. This dinner was THE dinner of the week, if not the month!

Ingredients:

For the Sauce:

3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup honey
2 Tbs soy sauce (I always opt for low sodium)
2 Tbs barbecue sauce (check out Sweet Baby Ray’s Original)
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water

For the Chicken:

1 lb boneless / skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup panko
Oil for frying

Preparation:

To make the Sauce:

Add all sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until sauce starts to thicken. Set aside until the chicken is done.

To make the Chicken:

Add flour to a gallon Ziploc bag.  In a small, shallow dish (I usually use a Tupperware type dish), whisk eggs together.  In a second gallon Ziploc bag, add the panko.  To bread chicken, first add several pieces to the flour.  Shake your money-maker for all it’s worth!  Then dip the chicken in whisked eggs.  Finally, add chicken to panko Ziploc bag and again, shake it.

Add oil to a large, nonstick frying pan. Heat to medium high. Cook chicken in batches for 6-8 minutes or until golden and crispy. Chicken should be cooked through.

To Assemble:

Add cooked chicken back to pan and pour sauce over, coating chicken thoroughly.  Serve over rice and enjoy!

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Albariño
Chenin Blanc
Fume Blanc
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves 4 small portions. For lunch tomorrow, double the chicken and adjust everything else

Total time:  About an hour and half

Displaying PicFrame.jpg

*Derived from Nora Rušev

Italian Breaded Chicken

Cool Update – Last night I was out of mayo (I know, right?!) so I used sour cream instead.  I got the wrinkled nose from the Hubs, “Sour cream??” nervous laugh “Um, should be interesting”, “talk about changing the taste.”  Well you know what?  It was really good.  It so was good that my son (who is 7!) asked to have it for lunch the next day.  Gasp!  What?!?!  You want something other than PB&J??  Be still my beating heart. 

Tuesday night was one of those nights, I had taken chicken out of the freezer, but what to do with it?  I’ve been cooking a lot of chicken lately.  I was sure my family would run screaming from the house if they were presented with yet more chicken.  I knew I’d have to really make something different.  Something that they wouldn’t turn their noses up at, but wasn’t my “Go To” chicken, or even resembled it.  While perusing my saved recipes on Pinterest, I cam across this amazing chicken dish from allyskitchen.com.  Ally’s Kitchen serves the chicken with Knorr® Italian Sides™ – Alfredo Broccoli.  I did not.  I served mine with a refrigerated alfredo sauce found in the refrigerated section of the store, so I am leaving that portion off of my post.  What an incredibly moist, flavorful chicken!  Everyone loved it, no one ran screaming from the table, and no cute little noses turned up in protest.  Enjoy!

Italian Breaded Chicken

Italian Breaded Chicken

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (I used thighs, I find them much more flavorful and they stay more moist than breasts)
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425°.  Brush chicken with mayonnaise, then coat with bread crumbs.  Line a cooking sheet with aluminum foil (be sure to spray with cooking spray, I forgot and left behind some of the topping) or parchment paper.

Bake chicken 20 minutes, or until cooked through.  Turn chicken over after about 10 minutes.

Wine Serving Suggestions:

Chardonnay
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Pinot Noir
Sangiovese
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves: 4

Total time: 30 minutes

Italian Breaded Chicken

Italian Breaded Chicken

*From Allyskitchen.com

Go To Chicken

We all have a “go to” recipe.  It’s a must for the days when the evening gets away from you, for when you are trying to do too many things at once, for when cooking seems like too much.  This chicken is so incredibly easy, so incredibly tasty.  I’m sure you’ll add it to your “go to” list as well.  PS – This is not healthy my friends, just a warning.

Ingredients:

2 sticks butter
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp minced garlic
4 Tbs worcesteshire sauce (such as Lea & Perrins)
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
4 whole chicken legs (original recipe calls for 24 whole chicken thighs, but that’s too much for us. I’ve adjusted it to please the adults, by adding the thighs, as well the kids, who get the drummies)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450°.  Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add lemon juice, salt, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce and stir.  Set aside.

With metal tongs, dip chicken one by one into the butter mixture and place on baking sheets.  Once all of the chicken is coated and on the baking sheet, take a pastry brush and give them another coating of mixture.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, turning them over and basting one more time after about 15 minutes.  For more color, turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes.  Remove when golden brown.  Serve immediately with rice or potatoes.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Chardonnay
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Pinot Noir
Sangiovese
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves 4 – 6

Total time:  40 minutes

Go To Chicken

Go To Chicken

*Derived from Ree Drummond’s Spicy Roasted Chicken Legs

Honey Soy Roasted Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs are so easy to work with.  And always are juicy.  I always make sure I’ve got a ready supply in my freezer.  And this is easily one of those “what do I make tonight?” recipes.  If you plan ahead, you can marinate these in the refrigerator while you are toiling away in the office, or you can simply marinate them when you get home and are getting the sides ready.  This recipe is so versatile, you can easily serve with either rice or potatoes.  A green salad.  Maybe a veggie or two, and I’d call it dinner!  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

3 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs low sodium soy sauce
5 Tbs honey
4 cloves garlic minced (time-saving tip: use pre-minced, such as Spice World)
½ tsp ground ginger (time-saving tip: use ginger paste, such as Gourmet Garden)
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 Lbs chicken thighs (feel free to sub your preferred chicken meat)
Salt to taste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425°.  Mix everything, except the chicken, in a large zip lock bag.  Add chicken, be sure to mix it around in the bag so each piece is thoroughly coated.  Place bag in the refrigerator until ready to cook (this can either be all day while at work, or simply while getting the rest of the dinner going.  I did not marinate mine all day and it was still wonderful!)

When ready to cook, coat baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Place chicken, skin side up, in baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.  Turn chicken over and continue to cook additional 15 minutes.  Turn chicken once more to skin side up and bake a remaining 10 minutes, to crisp the skin.  Serve with either potatoes or rice.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Chardonnay
Pinot Gris / Pinto Grigio
Pinto Noir
Sangiovese
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves 6

Total cook time: About an hour

Honey Soy Roasted Chicken

Honey Soy Roasted Chicken

*Courtesy: shewearsmanyhats.com

Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

It seems like lately I’ve had those, “This recipe says what?? How am I going to do that??” only because when preparing my menu I haven’t thoroughly read the recipe.  This is one of those times.  I pulled a great looking recipe from Annie’s Eats on Pinterest.  I quickly scanned the ingredients, no worries there.  And that is where I went wrong.  The recipe called for marinating 2 hours.  Yes, I gave the kids a snack but not a great enough snack that I could add 2 hours to the dinner prep.  Sure, we could get more homework done in that 2 hours, but dinner would be ready at bedtime!  So, below is what I came up with by morphing two recipes together.  And wow, it was a huge hit!

Ingredients:

2 small lemons; zested and juiced
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp each thyme and crushed rosemary
1 tsp Kosher salt
4-6 Tbs olive oil
2-4 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks (I used mostly drumsticks)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425°.  Combine garlic, lemon zest and juice, herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a large ziplock bag.  Add chicken and move it around in plastic bag to ensure even coverage.  Let sit for about 20 minutes (enough time to start your side dishes).

Remove chicken from marinade and place in a baking dish lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray.  Use the marinade to brush over the top of each piece.  Bake for 50 – 55 minutes, until skin is well-browned.  Let stand for 10 minutes and then transfer to a serving platter.  Garnish with lemon slices.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Chardonnay
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Riesling
Sangiovese
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves: 6

Total Time: 1 hour

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

*Derived from Annie’s Eats and Our Best Bites

Pancetta Risotto with Truffle Oil

There are two things always welcome in my home, risotto and pancetta.  Ok, there are a whole lot more than that, but for the purposes of this post, let’s just go with it.  Now that we are fully ensconced in the comfort food time of year, I just naturally gravitate towards risotto.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be making spring risotto, too!  But the pancetta and the rosemary in this one screams comfort.  With the first bite you feel as if you are being lovingly  wrapped in a cozy blanket.  Nothing beats that feeling on a cold night after a long day!

Ingredients:

5 cups unsalted chicken broth
1 Tbs olive oil
3 oz chopped pancetta (you can often find it already chopped and packaged in the deli section of national grocery stores)
½ cup minced shallots
1½ cups Arborio rice
1½ tsp chopped rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dry white wine (might as well pour a glass for yourself, too!)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white truffle oil
½ tsp kosher salt

Preparation:

Bring stock to simmer in small saucepan.  Keep warm over low heat

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add olive oil, swirl to coat.  Add pancetta; sauté 6 minutes, or until crisp.  Remove pancetta from pan and drain on a paper towel.  Add shallots to pan drippings and cook 2 minutes (being careful not to brown), stirring frequently.  Stir in rice, rosemary, and garlic.  Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add wine and cook for 2 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.  Stir in 1½ cups of stock; cook 4 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.  Add remaining stock, ¾ cup at a time (reserve 1/3 cup for end), until each portion of stock is absorbed, stirring near constantly (it will take about 20 minutes).  Stir in pepper, truffle oil, and salt.  Remove from heat and stir in reserved 1/3 cup broth.  Top with pancetta.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Albariño
Grüner
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio

Serves 5
Total time: 40 minutes

Pancetta Risotto with Truffle Oil

Pancetta Risotto with Truffle Oil

*From Cooking Light

Pancetta Lemon-Garlic Chicken Thighs with ‘Rice Pilaf’

Spanish chorizo and Mexican chorizo are totally different, but each have their place and bring their own flavor (and I’m sorry Friends, soyrizo does not count. It, too, has its place, but not here). I know you are asking why I am talking about chorizo. It’s because this recipe originally called for Spanish chorizo. I wasn’t worried, I had bought it before. I could even picture exactly where I had seen it in the store (deli section, by the way). So of course, feeling all chorizo full of myself, I waited until the last minute. I know that you know what comes next. No Chorizo!! Imagine the sound from The Shining and the knife going through the shower curtain. I can’t even try to duplicate it here. But that is what I heard through my head. What to do, what go do. Oh, look! Pancetta! It will give me the salt I need and the fat. I’ll be missing the spice, but I can work around that. This is the result.  PS – I got to use my rice cooker again!  Swoon!

Ingredients:

4 Tbs butter
1/4 cup cut spaghetti (such as Barilla)
1 cup rice
3 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs olive oil
4 oz chopped pancetta (I buy the little prechopped package in the deli section)
8 Chicken thighs (I used boneless skinless, it what I had on hand)
4 small onions, quartered
2 small lemons sliced about 1/2″ thick
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preparation:

For Rice:  In rice cooker melt 3 Tbs butter.  Add spaghetti and toast for 3 minutes.  Stir in rice to coat.  Add 2 cups chicken stock, stir to combine.  Cover and let it do its t hing.

For chicken: In a large deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat 1 Tbs olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add pancetta and cook, turning, until browned.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper-towel lined plate.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Cook over medium-high heat turning once, until browned (about 15 minutes).  Transfer to a plate.  Add remaining 1 Tbs olive oil to skillet.  Add onions, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing frequently, for 2 minutes.  Add the lemons, garlic, and paprika.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 2  minutes.  Add wine and cook, scraping up browned bits from the pan.  Stir in remaining 1 cup chicken stock.  Return chick and pancetta to skillet, cover and lower heat and simmer for about 5  minutes.

Transfer solid ingredients to platter.  Reduce sauce for a minute over high heat, then stir in the remaining 1 Tbs butter and parsley.  Serve chicken over rice pilaf, pour sauce over both.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Blanc de Blancs
Chenin Blanc
Pinot Gris/ Pinot Grigio
Riesling
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves 6 large portions
Total time: 45 minutes

 

 

Chicken

*Derived from 30 Minute Meals

Maple Salmon

We know I like salmon, that is an undisputed fact. But did we know I like maple, because apparently I do. It seems like I make a lot of salmon and maple recipes. I can’t help it, I love the savory with the sweet. If done right, the salmon almost looks pickled by the syrup, in that you can see that the fish has completely accepted the syrup, invited it into its flesh. THIS is when I know I’ve got a great dish emerging before my eyes. This one, I’ll be honest, I questioned. I made it completely off the cuff. I overslept by, oh, I don’t know, maybe an hour this morning ( 1 FULL HOUR! Hello office, I think I’m going to be late . . .). So, in the mad dash to get the four of us out the door I grabbed what I thought I could work with when I got home from work. Of course I had salmon. 🙂 I didn’t even have to stand, tapping my foot, in front of the pantry wondering, “What am I going to do? What am I going to do?” I spied the brown sugar. I spied the maple syrup. A dish was coming together.

Ingredients:

3/4 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 (6 oz) salmon fillets

Preparation:

Combine sea salt, brown sugar, and maple syrup.  Spread evenly over salmon fillets.  Let stand 30 minutes.  About 5 – 10 minutes before salmon is done, preheat broiler to high.

Spray broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Add salmon, skin side down.  Broil 12-15 minutes, check for doneness after about 10.  Serve with salad, rice or mashed potatoes, and some warm, buttery bread.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Chardonnay
Pinot Gris
Riesling
Viognier

Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes; Total time: 25 minutes

Salmon

*Original Serves 4 Recipe