24th April 2010

    Seared Salmon with Spinach and Creamy Roasted Peppers


    This recipe comes from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless. The recipes in this book could mostly be considered weeknight-friendly; no three-hour ordeals. We really enjoyed this dish, where salmon is simply seared and then topped with a mexican-inspired creamed spinach. We served it a simple steamed green-bean and red onion salad.


    Chris says:

    Is there anything better than a seared piece of salmon?

    Lisa says:

    I’m sure there is, but I can’t think of anything right now.

    Chris says:

    What do you think of the spinach?

    Lisa says:

    You’re right, it just tastes like creamed spinach, but better.

    Chris says:

    You can actually taste the masa harina in the spinach; I really like it.

    Lisa says:

    You, me and Popeye.

    Seared Salmon with Spinach and Creamy Roasted Peppers
    1 fresh poblano pepper
    ~5 cups cleaned spinach
    1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
    2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
    1 tbsp masa harina
    3/4 cup fat-free milk
    2 6-oz skinless salmon fillets
    salt and pepper

    Roast the poblanos over an open flame, turning regularly until blackened all over. Place in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.
    Steam or microwave the spinach just until wilted and set aside.
    Turn the oven on to its lowest setting. In a very large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until browned, about 4 minutes. Scoop into a blender and set the skillet aside.
    Rub the skin off the poblano pepper with a paper towel and remove the seeds and stems. Roughly chop and add to the blender, along with the milk and masa harina. Blend until smooth.
    Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper. Lay the fillets in the oil and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the fillets and cook until the fish just barely flakes when pressed. Transfer the fish to an ovenproof plate and set in the oven.
    Pour the poblano mixture into the skillet and whisk until it boils, about a minute. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes, whisking in some more milk if it gets too thick. Season, add the spinach, and stir until warmed throughout.
    Top each salmon fillet with a portion of the sauce.

    2 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mexican, Mexican Everyday | 7 Comments

    12th April 2010

    Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad

    I find myself turning to epicurious more and more often when I have something sitting in the fridge that I just don’t feel inspired by. We had an eggplant from our CSA box hanging out for a few days, and a few minutes at epicurious turned up this recipe from Gourmet Magazine a couple years back. Eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms are oven roasted and then tossed with barley cooked in stock, green onions, and spices, cooled, and tossed with a lemon vinaigrette. Delicious!


    Chris says:

    Oh, happy day!

    Lisa says:

    What? What?

    Chris says:

    I figured out what to make with the eggplant, and it ain’t baba ghanoush… not only that, you’re gonna love it.

    Lisa says:

    Why, is it some sort of grain salad with a bunch of veggies?

    Chris says:

    How the — what? Hey!

    Lisa says:

    Man, I’m good. Yum — so is this dish! You’re right, I love it.

    Chris says:

    I’m still trying to figure out…. whatever. Yeah — I really like the tomatoes… and I’m glad I threw in those mushrooms, too.

    Lisa says:

    That’s good for the blog, too. It missed featuring shrooms.

    Chris says:

    If we didn’t know so many picky eaters, I’d suggest we bring this to parties.

    Lisa says:

    Hey, more for us.

    Chris says:

    I love the way you think.

    Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad
    1 1/2 lb eggplant, cut into 1/2″ cubes
    3/4 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2″ cubes
    6 oz cremini mushrooms
    10 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp black pepper
    1 cup chopped green onions
    1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tsp ground coriander
    1/4 tsp cayenne
    1 1/4 cups pearl barley (8 oz)
    1 14-oz can reduced-sodium chicken broth (1 3/4 cups)
    3/4 cup water
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1/4 tsp sugar
    1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, quartered
    1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
    1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, rinsed and drained if desired
    1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

    Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.

    Cook barley:
    Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot, then cook green onions, cumin, coriander, and cayenne, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add barley and cook, stirring until well coated with oil, 2 minutes more. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all of liquid is absorbed and barley is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.

    Roast eggplant and zucchini:
    Meanwhile, toss eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms with 5 tablespoons oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then spread in 2 oiled large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pans. Roast vegetables in oven, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes total. Combine vegetables in 1 pan and cool, reserving other pan for cooling barley.

    Transfer the barley to reserved shallow baking pan and spread to quickly cool, uncovered, to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

    Make dressing and assemble salad:
    Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Add barley, roasted vegetables, and remaining ingredients to bowl with dressing and toss until combined well. Eat, eat, eat.

    4 Main-dish Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mediterranean, Salads and Light Soups, Vegetarian | 5 Comments

    11th April 2010

    Black-Eyed Pea, Ground Turkey, and Chard Stew


    This stew is based on one made with ground lamb in Mediterranean Hot and Spicy. I don’t usually cook with black-eyed peas, and don’t think I’ve had many dishes where they were a main component — usually I’ve experienced them as a side dish. This stew was bursting with flavor and, according to Lisa, was even better the next day as delicious leftovers for lunch.


    Chris says:

    Oh, I love the spices in this. The flavors are awesome.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah I really like all the different ways we’re finding to use the chard in our CSA box.

    Chris says:

    I want to make this with lamb some time, but actually, it really works with the ground turkey.

    Lisa says:

    I think it’s great with the turkey — I just haven’t been in a lamby mood lately.

    Chris says:

    Well don’t feel baa-aa-aa-aad; this is definitely one of those recipes that’ll enter the rotation.

    Lisa says:

    I only feel “baa-aa-aa-aad” for anyone reading this who had to put up with that pun.

    Black-Eyed Pea, Ground Turkey, and Chard Stew
    1 cup dried black-eyed peas
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 cup chopped onion
    Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
    1/2 lb ground turkey
    2 tbsp red pepper paste
    1 cup canned chopped tomatoes, with juice
    pinch of hot red pepper flakes
    1 cup vegetable stock
    leaves from 1 bunch of chard, coarsely chopped

    In a medium saucepan, cover the black-eyed peas with water by 2 inches, bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, add fresh water just to cover the peas, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain once again.
    In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, salt to taste, and saute for four minutes until tender. Add the turkey and saute until firm and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add the pepper paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, black-eyed peas, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the peas are very tender. Add the chard and toss to wilt. If the dish is watery, increase the heat and stir until mostly evaporated. Adjust seasonings, and serve.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mediterranean, Mediterranean Hot and Spicy, Middle Eastern | 2 Comments

    10th April 2010

    Tahini Brownies

    When I spotted this recipe for Tahini Brownies on Taste of Beirut, I knew it was just a matter of time before we would tackle it ourselves.  Actually, “tackle” is very much an overstatement; this is one of the easiest brownie recipes we’ve ever made.  It literally took more time to figure out the approximate grams-to-cups conversions than to throw everything together and get them baking.  A birthday party was the perfect excuse to make, and give away (lest we eat them all ourselves), these egg-free, butter-free, sesame-sweet treats.


    Lisa says:

    Yay, we’re finally making these!

    Chris says:

    I know it — the batter is awesome.

    Lisa says:

    You sure it’s a good idea to bring these to a party with kids? There’s rum in here.

    Chris says:

    Heck yes — I’m sure there will be plenty of kid-friendly treats. Besides, I’m sure most of the alcohol is gonna burn off during baking.

    Lisa says:

    True! Um, I think we should cut these before the party.

    Chris says:

    Well of course, how else are we gonna taste-test them?

    Lisa says:

    Wanna split one?

    Chris says:

    Yes please…

    Lisa says:

    Ooooh, they’re good… you can definitely taste the tahini!

    Chris says:

    Yeah, at the end… not overpowering, but you can definitely place it. Okay, these were a success.

    Lisa says:

    *Totally* — and so easy! Now let’s go before I eat any more of them.

    Tahini Brownies
    1 Bar of cooking chocolate, such as 60 or 70% bittersweet, 100 g
    1/2 cup, plus one tablespoon of tahini
    1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1 heaping tsp baking powder
    1 cup powdered sugar
    ~ 2/3 cup combination of rum and orange juice

    Preheat the oven to 350F.
    Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler. Meanwhile, mix the tahini, orange juice and rum in a large bowl.
    Add the melted chocolate and the powdered sugar. Mix well.
    Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture, and again mix well.
    Grease an 8 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper. Pour in the batter, spreading it as evenly as possible.
    Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the outside is crispy, and still slightly gooey inside.

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    posted in Desserts, Vegetarian | 15 Comments

    6th April 2010

    Salmon and Baby Bok Choy Ramen

    Here’s a dish we made a few weeks ago from The Ultimate Soup Bible. A salmon fillet is cut on the diagonal into thin slices which are seared and then placed into a bowl of steaming hot, richly-flavored broth and udon noodles. Baby bok choy adds color and some crunch.


    Lisa says:

    Oh my god, it’s a miracle.

    Chris says:

    What?

    Lisa says:

    Okay, two miracles. One, you’re updating the blog. Two, the recipe doesn’t include mushrooms.

    Chris says:

    Since when are mushrooms a problem?

    Lisa says:

    They’re not… it’s just… I’ve gotten comments. I’ve heard things.

    Chris says:

    Uh…

    Lisa says:

    Yeah. People are starting to think that’s all we eat.

    Chris says:

    Well we do like mushrooms.

    Lisa says:

    That’s true… but… I’m just saying. That last post has been up there for a while. I was wondering if we were going to change the blog’s name to WeHeartShrooms.com…

    Chris says:

    Hey if that’s not registered yet, I’m gonna grab it. So…

    Lisa says:

    …yeah?

    Chris says:

    You want to talk about this dish at all?

    Lisa says:

    Oh yeah, right! I loved it! Those really thin slices of salmon were awesome. And I just love a big bowl of soup.

    Chris says:

    Same here — I hadn’t grilled such thin slices like that before. It worked out well. And those thick udon noodles are great for slurping. You know how much I love the slurping.

    Lisa says:

    Yes. Yes I do. And I guess if the biggest complaint about a dish is how loud it is when your dining partner eats it… well that’s really not much to complain about at all.

    Salmon and Baby Bok Choy Ramen
    6 cups vegetable stock
    1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    6 green onions, sliced
    3 tbsp soy sauce
    3 tbsp sake
    1 lb salmon fillet, skinned
    1 tsp peanut oil
    12 oz udon noodles
    4-5 baby bok choy, broken into leaves
    1 fresh red chili pepper, seeded and sliced
    1 cup bean sprouts
    salt and pepper

    Pour the stock into a pot and add the ginger, garlic, and a third of the green onions. Add the soy sauce and sake, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
    Meanwhile, cut the salmon at a severe angle into 12 slices. Brush a grill pan with the oil and heat until very hot. Sear the salmon slices for 1-2 minutes on each side until tender. Set aside.
    Cook the udon noodles as per the directions, then drain and cool under cold running water. Drain again.
    Strain the broth into a clean pot, season, and bring to a low boil. Add the bok choy.
    Divide the noodles among 4 deep bowls, along with the salmon slices, green onions, chili, and bean sprouts. Ladle in the broth.

    4 Servings.

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    posted in Asian, Main Dishes, Soups and Stews, The Soup Bible | 2 Comments


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