Tag Archives: lunch

Roasted Cheese Ratatouille-Versatile, (veggie only or with meat/egg)

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ratatouille casseroleratatouille w.egg

 

Roasted Ratatouille with Cheese and if you wish, eggs and/or meat

Lots of options here and all quite healthy

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  1. 1 small eggplant cut into 1/2 inch pieces. I left the skin on but if you wish, you can peel it. Also I salted it in a colander and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. After I rinsed it.
  2. 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  3. 1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  4. 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 4 or 5 large mushrooms, sliced.
  6. 1-2 Tblsp. olive oil
  7. 1/4 Tsp. (or more if you wish a more exotic taste) of each of the following: cinnamon & nutmeg and S&P to taste
  8. 1-28 oz. canned chopped tomatoes with juice or whole can tomatoes (w/juice) that you’ve chopped
  9. 2-3 Tblsp. torn fresh basil leaves
  10. 1 Tblsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  11. Half lb. lamb shoulder which you have ground (minus the bone of course) in your food processor. This I found is the most economical way of getting ground lamb. However, the butcher may have some as well for the same price and/or he also can grind up the shoulder meat for you. If you wish you can have even have up to 1 lb. or none at all if you want to be vegetarian. You can also substitute ground turkey, chicken or beef but lamb is delicious and more traditional. (optional)
  12. Mozarella, part skim, 4-6 ounces, thinly sliced and cut into 1/4 –inch strips
  13. 4 eggs (optional)
  14. Crusty French Bread with which to serve it or something else similar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a 9 X 14 inch Pyrex or other oven proof dish place ingredients 1 through 5 and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast until golden brown and tender. (about 45 minutes) About half way through, I stirred the veggies well. In fact, you can stir even more times if you wish.
  3. Brown the optional lamb, etc. in a bit of olive oil in a skillet stove top. Set aside.
  4. When the veggies are roasted, take your dish out and stir in the seasonings in # 7, the tomatoes and their juices in # 8, the basil leaves in #9 and the parsley in #10 and the optional ground meat in #11.
  5. Bake in the 400 F oven with a foil covering for 20 to 30 minutes till hot and bubbling.
  6. Now’s the time to top with the cheese and bake without the foil for another 10 minutes—or at least till the cheese is melted. I actually turned on the broiler for several minutes to get it browned.
  7. Alternative method of serving: If you didn’t add the meat and maybe want to add eggs to this dish, then before you add the cheese, make four indentations in your veggies, break in an egg and layer the cheese over all. Bake uncovered until the eggs are set and the cheese is melted—8-10 minutes.
  8. Another alternative for this dish: If you did use the meat and you’ve layered the cheese, and cooked it that way but still want an egg on top—fry the egg in a separate pan and when you serve the Ratatouille, place the egg on top. Plenty of protein here and it really is good. Remember, you can serve the left over Ratatouille (if you have any) for breakfast topped with an egg.

Margot’s Rainy Day Asian Shrimp Soup for One

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rainy day Asian Shrimp Soup

 

Margot’s Rainy Day Asian Shrimp Soup for One

It was our first blustery rainy day of the fall season and Hugo and I were by out lonesome’s reading a great book, “The Accursed” by Joyce Carol Oates. I had just finished another fabulous book: “A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story” that I hope you all will read. It actually truly is a “Must Read”.

I was a bit hungry so for a late lunch/early dinner, I felt like making something easy and light on the belly and something warm. For some reason, Asian came to my mind. From my freezer, I took out the remainder of my medium sized cooked, tail on shrimp and defrosted them. So, at least I knew what the main protein ingredient was going to be. I also found some rice noodles in the pantry. I’m not really an expert in cooking Asian flavored dishes, but those two ingredients are what came to my mind today. So, below is what the end result was and honestly, it was delicious and quite Asian tasting. It also was quick and easy to fix.

 

Ingredients:

  1. 18 precooked medium frozen shrimp w/o shell but w/tails—defrosted
  2. 1 medium yellow onion
  3. 1 stalk celery
  4. 2 garlic cloves
  5. 1 Tblsp. butter
  6. 1 Tblsp. olive oil
  7. 1/4 tsp. sesame oil
  8. 1/4 tsp. soy sauce
  9. Dash of red pepper flakes (depends how spicy hot you wish it to be)
  10. 1/4 tsp. Chinese 5 spices
  11. 2 cups heated vegetable bouillon
  12. Flat rice noodles—you judge how many but remember, this is just for one
  13. Whole peanuts (optional)
  14. Shredded coconut (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. In your food processor (I used my small one), place onion, celery, garlic cloves and process till finely chopped. Of course, you can do this by hand if you wish.
  2. In a large pot heated over medium heat add the butter, olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, pepper flakes and Chinese five spices till somewhat bubbly. Add the processed celery, garlic, onion and stir for about 3-5 minutes till veggies are softened.
  3. Add the heated vegetable bouillon and bring to a soft boil.
  4. Let simmer for about 3-5 minutes with a lid.
  5. Remove the lid and add the rice noodles. Gently boil for 8 minutes.
  6. Add the shrimp and boil another 2 minutes.
  7. Serve in a large soup bowl and if you wish garnish with whole peanuts, shredded coconut and even parsley or cilantro if you have some of that.

 

 

Avocados Stuffed with Lemon-Tarragon (etc.) Chicken Salad Sided with Pickled Radishes

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avocados,chick salad, pickled radishes 1

Bandit and IBBA display 003

Avocados Stuffed with Lemon-Tarragon (etc.) Chicken Salad Sided with Pickled Radishes and Halved Tomatoes   3-6 servings

September is my birthday month so I plan to have lots of friends over for lunches and such to celebrate my longevity on this earth as we know it. Cooking and smoozing are some of my favorite activities therefore to celebrate another year gone by, I plan to do a lot of that this month.

 

To start the month off, I had today a little mid-day lunch for one old friend and one newfound friend.   That’s a nice combination, don’t you think? Avocados were on special at our markets, so this is the recipe that I served. I sided it with a platter containing a bit of goat cheese and antipasto meats, a basket of crusty, fresh French baguette slices, and on the individual serving plates I surrounded the stuffed avocados with fresh halved cherry tomatoes and quickly homemade pickled radishes.   I also shared a bit of wine for those of us who are winos and for my non-alcohol drinking friend, my wonderful homemade lemon/lavender drink.  For desert, I made a bit of coconut/lemon non-churn ice cream and topped it with fresh raspberries—a really wonderful combination. Of course a nice good strong cup of coffee and lots more great conversation followed. Before we knew it, my 1pm lunch turned into a 5:45pm good-bye. Nothing like a long lingering luncheon with good food and great people to help make your birthday month very special indeed!!!!

 

Oh yes, I almost forgot, for the background music, Bandit, my green singing finch, serenaded us with his songs, symphonies and sonatas.   Perfect indeed!!!!!

 

Ingredients for the Chicken Salad Mix:

  1. 1 Tblsp. or a bit more fresh tarragon
  2. 1/3 C. onion
  3. 1 ½ C. diced cooked chicken
  4. 2 celery stalks
  5. 1/4 C. chopped apple
  6. S&P
  7. 2 Tblsp.( or 1 more Tblsp. if you wish a creamier version) mayonnaise
  8. 1 ½ Tblsp. lemon juice plus some to sprinkle over the freshly cut avocados to keep them green
  9. 3 small/medium avocados and one extra to make sure you have enough good ones for your luncheon because I have found that some avocados are decidedly better than others.
  10. Lettuce leaves for serving.

 

Directions for the Chicken Salad Mix:

  1. In a processer, process for just a couple of pulses, so as to make a rough diced mix, ingredients # 1 through # 6.
  2. In the processer bowl (or if you wish, another bowl in which you have added the mix), add the mayonnaise & lemon juice.
  3. Put in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two or better yet, overnight.

 

To Serve:

  1. Halve and pit the avocados. Gently rub some lemon juice over the exposed flesh to prevent them from browning. Scoop 1/4 (more or less) of the chicken salad mix into each of the avocado halves.
  2. I served my stuffed avocado halves on a glass plate which sat on top of a larger white plate that I had lined with fresh large lettuce leaves. Each glass plate had 2 small stuffed avocado halves surrounded by halved cherry tomatoes and quartered pickled radishes.
  3. Below, please see the recipe for the pickled radishes (easy and not time consuming).

 

Pickled Radishes:

Ingredients for the Pickled Radishes:

  1. 1 bunch radishes
  2. 3/4 C. white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or champagne vinegar
  3. 3/4 C. water
  4. 3 Tblsp. honey, maple syrup or agave nectar
  5. 2 Tsp. salt
  6. 1 Tsp. red pepper flakes or less if you prefer less spice
  7. 1/2 Tsp. mustard seeds (optional)
  8. Optional add-ins: garlic cloves, peppercorns, fennel seeds, coriander seeds—use your imagination

 

Instructions for the Pickled Radishes:

  1. Prepare the radishes by slicing off the tops and bottoms; slice or cut into small quarters or eighths.
  2. For the brine, in a small sauce pan, combine ingredients # 2 through #8 and bring mixture to boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Take pan off heat and place radishes in pan; let mixture cool to room temp; or if you have just an hour to make this, cover the pan and place in frig. till cool.

 

Massouka Margot’s Way

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Massouka Margot’s Way

moussaka,tomato, bread plated

Serves 4-6

 

At the market today eggplant and shoulder lamb chops were on sale—so of course this led me to salivating for a good Massouka. In my estimation, this is not an absolutely gorgeous dish to view, even when plated, and I do like aesthetically pleasing dishes to serve. However, it’s so good to eat, particularly when you make it the time consuming way, that I have forgiven its looks. I prefer it without sliced potatoes, however, it’s good with as well. I add instead of potatoes a yellow, orange or red sliced pepper and 2 zucchini sliced. I also used my processor for most of the chopping, etc. They come in so handy! I serve it sided with a crusty loaf of French bread and a nice light salad. And for desert, it’s fun to have some fresh cut up fruit along with Greek yogurt.  So, when you have a minute to spare, do give it a try. Also remember, you don’t have to follow the amounts of the ingredients exactly—it’s a very versatile dish and you can alter and make it just to your very own taste and liking.

DSCN0970

 

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1 large eggplant-slightly peeled—leave strips of peel about 1 inch wide in-between peeled sections and slice in 1/2 inch slices.
  2. 1/4 lb. potatoes, peeled, boiled whole till just barely done, drained, cooled and sliced in 1/4 inch slices (optional)
  3. 1 yellow, orange or red pepper-seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
  4. 2 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/4 inch slices (optional)
  5. 2 egg whites slightly beaten with a dash of water and placed on a plate for primary eggplant dipping –SAVE THE YOLKS FOR THE BECHAMEL SAUCE
  6. 1 C. (or more if needed) plain bread crumbs placed on one plate for secondary eggplant dipping plus save some extra bread crumbs to place on the bottom of your final baking dish.
  1. Some olive oil to moisten your baking dish and also to moisten the aluminum foil on the cookie pan to bake your eggplant
  2. 1C to 1 ½ C. grated Parmesan cheese or grated/crumbled sheep or goat milk cheese

 

Ingredients for the meat filling: 

  1. 1 lb. shoulder lamb chops if you can’t find ground lamb in the store. Remove meat from chop bone and grind in processor. You can use ground beef but honestly, I love the lamb flavor in this dish.
  2. 1/2 to 3/4 large yellow onion—diced
  3. 1 garlic clove, minced
  4. 1 handful of sliced mushrooms
  5. 1/4 C. chopped parsley
  6. 1/4 C. red wine
  7. 1/2 Tsp. ground cinnamon
  8. 1/8 Tsp. ground allspice
  9. 1 C. (divided in two portions) fresh plum tomatoes, crushed in the processor
  10. 1/2 Tsp. sugar
  11. 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  12. S&P to taste

 

Ingredients for the Bechamel Sauce:

  1. 1/4 C. unsalted butter
  2. 1/4 C. flour
  3. 1 C. whole milk, warmed
  4. 2 egg yolks slightly beaten
  5. Dash of ground allspice

 

 

 

Directions:

 

For the Meat Filling

  1. In a large and deep pot (but you can use a sauté pan), brown the lamb until the pink color disappears. Add onion and mushrooms and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute or till fragrant. Add the wine and simmer until it reduces a bit. Add the spices, parsley, tomato paste, 1/2 C. crushed tomatoes and sugar. Allow the sauce to simmer on low uncovered for about 15 minutes so that the excess, if any, liquid disappears. It should look like a chunky tomato sauce. Season to taste with S&P. Now taste some more and see if you want to add some more cinnamon and allspice.

 

For the Eggplants

  1. Liberally salt each eggplant slice on each side and place them in a colander with a plate on top. Then place a heavy can on top of the plate. Let the eggplant slices sit and weep for at least 15 minutes but better if you can wait an hour.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Place aluminum foil on a large cookie sheet and oil it.
  4. When the eggplant slices are ready, wash each slice and pat dry it with a paper towel. Then dip each side of each slice first in the egg whites and then in the bread crumbs and place on the cookie sheet.
  5. Bake the eggplants for 30 minutes but at 15 minutes, turn the egg plants over to the undone side.
  6. When the eggplants are done, turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

 

For the Bechamel Sauce: (If you wish a liberal serving of this sauce, double the recipe)

  1. Melt butter in a skillet over low heat and using a whisk, add the flour to the melted butter whisking continually to make a smooth past. Allow the flour to cook for a minute but do NOT allow it to brown because otherwise it won’t be béchamel sauce; it’ll be brown sauce.
  2. Add the warmed milk to the mixture in a steady stream, whisking continually. Simmer over low heat until it thickens a bit. WATCH CAREFULLY.
  3. Take the skillet off the heat and slowly whisk in the egg yolks and a pinch of nutmeg. Return to low heat and keep whisking until the sauce thickens.

 

Assembling the Moussaka:

  1. In a well oiled large round (10” or 12”) Pyrex dish, sprinkle the bottom with breadcrumbs. You are going to make at least 2 layers but it can be even three—so divide your ingredients accordingly.
  2. Leaving about 1/4″ space around the edges, place a layer of all of the potatoes if you are using them and if not, then start with placing a layer of sliced eggplant, then some of the remainder of the 1/2 C. of crushed tomatoes, and then the zucchini and pepper, then some of the meat sauce, then some cheese and so on except be sure to save some cheese for placing on top of the béchamel sauce.
  3. Then pour the béchamel sauce over the eggplant and be sure to allow the sauce to fill the sides and corners of the dish. Smooth the sauce on top with a spatula and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  4. Bake in the 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until the béchamel sauce is a nice golden brown color. Allow to cool for 15-20 minu8tes before slicing and serving.
  5. This dish can be refrigerated and made ahead up to when you place the béchamel sauce. If you do that, let the dish come up to room temp and make the béchamel sauce right before baking.

 

 

 

Ten Wonderful Recipe Ideas for ALLLLL of that Zucchini in Your Yard

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10 ideas for eating all that zucchini in your garden

1 Pasta: Grab yourself one of those veggie spiral cutting gizmos, which let you render produce into pasta-like ribbons. Zucchini does particularly well. Toss the zucchini spirals in a hot skillet with a splash of oil for a minute or two, then dress with sauce and cheese as you would pasta. Or boil up real pasta, then add the zucchini for the last minute. Drain and dress.

2 Dip: Slice a zucchini in half and toss it on a medium hot grill. Cook until lightly browned and tender, then pop it into a food processor. Add tahini, garlic, salt, pepper and a splash of lemon juice, then process until very smooth. Use as a dip for vegetables and chips, or as a sandwich spread.

3 Salsa: Dice and toss together 1 medium zucchini, 1 large tomatillo and 1/2 red or orange bell pepper. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, a pinch of red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapenos and a splash of hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

4 Fries: Cut the zucchini into 1/2-inch-thick sticks, then toss them first in a beaten egg, then in seasoned bread crumbs. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, then bake until crisp outside and just tender inside. As soon as they come out of the oven, sprinkle them with grated Parmesan cheese.

5 Boats: Slice a zucchini in half, then use a melon baller to scoop out the insides of each half. Mix together loose sausage meat, grated cheese and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Pack the mixture into the hollowed out zucchini halves, then bake or grill (over low heat) until cooked through.

6 Frittata: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Whisk 6 or so eggs, then pour them into an oiled pan and cook over medium-high until the bottom is just set. Scatter the zucchini slices evenly over the top of the egg, then crumble feta over it. Broil until lightly browned and the center is set.

7 Grain salad: Toss finely diced raw zucchini with cooked and cooled farro or barley, halved cherry tomatoes, diced red onion and crumbled soft goat cheese. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

8 Tart: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Unfold a sheet of puff pastry (thawed according to package directions). Run a paring knife along the outside of the pastry about 1 inch from the edge and cutting only halfway down. Arrange the zucchini slices in the center, then sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Bake at 400 F until puffed and lightly browned.

9 Chips: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet, mist with cooking spray, then season with herbs, spices, salt and pepper, whatever you like. Bake at 375 F until the chips are nicely browned.

10 Casserole: Cut a whole mess of zucchini into 1/2-inch rounds. Arrange several layers of them in an oiled casserole dish. Top them with a bit of marinara and some ricotta cheese. Repeat this layering until you fill the casserole dish about three-quarters of the way. Bake at 350 F until tender, lightly browned and bubbling at the edges.

Spaghetti and Meatballs the Easy Way

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\spaghetti & meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs the Easy Way

Makes 6-8 servings and about 30 golf sized meatballs

 

Here is a dish that bases itself on simplicity and best of all, can be made one or two days ahead of time and then reheated very slowly. The sauce is extra creamy because of the butter in it and the meatballs are cheesy for a bit of a different twist. There are no added spices except for salt and pepper so that’s why I stress simplicity in nature. I made it for a friend of mine who just finished a brutal series of chemo treatments and could only taste and eat simple food. Pasta helps her settle her stomach and this was a perfect dish for her at this difficult moment in her life.  However, you don’t have to have been through that kind of hell to enjoy this dish. I used my 10 inch wide deep pot (though I wished I had a 12 inch wide pot) and my food processors. Processors make life in the kitchen so very easy don’t you agree? As well, if you wish a saucier dish, either cut down on the amount of spaghetti to use and/or add one more 28 oz. can of tomatoes plus some more butter to the initial recipe. And of course, if you wish to add your favorite seasonings to the sauce, that is always an alternative but it is very delicious just as stated and that also is what my friend requested.

 

Ingredients:

For the Sauce:

  1. 2- 28-oz. cans of whole peeled tomatoes in their juice
  2. 1/2 C. unsalted butter (1 cube)
  3. 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and halved through the root end
  4. 1/2 Tsp. salt (or more if you wish)

 

For the Meatballs:

  1. 1 C. fresh breadcrumbs made in the food processor from crust less French or country-style bread
  2. 1/3 C. whole milk
  3. 8 oz. ground beef
  4. 8 oz. ground pork
  5. 1 C. ground in the processor Parmesan cheese (about 5 oz. of the shaved variety will do the trick)
  6. 1/3 C. finely chopped Italian parsley (about 1 bunch) once again I used the processor
  7. 1 Tsp. salt
  8. 1/4 Tsp. ground pepper
  9. 2 large eggs
  10. 2 large garlic cloves that you’ll use your garlic presser to add to the eggs

Spaghetti, etc. 

  1. 1 pound spaghetti (cooked per directions al dente)
  2. Fresh grated Parmesan cheese for serving
  3. More Italian Parsley for decoration

 

Instructions for the sauce:

  1. In a 10 inch or preferably a 12 inch deep pot, place a strainer over the pot and pour the canned tomatoes into the strainer so that the juice goes in the pot and the tomatoes are reserved. Place the tomatoes in the processer and pulse very briefly—just so that they become finely chopped.
  2. Place the tomatoes in the pot along with the salt and onions.
  3. Simmer for 45 minutes without a top. I used a splatter pan to top my pot.
  4. Taste the sauce and if you feel it needs more salt and ground pepper, go for it.
  5. Also, if you want a smoother sauce, you can use an immersion blender the process the sauce briefly. But you don’t want a too smooth sauce and you do want to have texture. So, I skipped this step totally and find that my sauce is definitely smooth enough.

 

Instructions for the meatballs:

  1. Combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl; stir till the breadcrumbs are evenly moistened. Let stand for 10 minutes
  2. Place the beef and pork in a large bowl, mix the two and add the 1 C. ground Parmesan and parsley. I use my hands for the mixing.
  3. Whisk the 2 eggs in a separate bowl; press the garlic into the eggs along with the 1 Tsp. salt and 1/4 Tsp. ground pepper. Whisk once more to make sure it’s all blended
  4. Add the eggs to the meat mixture and combine it all with your hands. Try not to man handle it too much.
  5. If the breadcrumbs have been soaking for 10 minutes, now’s the time to squeeze the milk from the breadcrumbs and save the milk. My breadcrumbs sopped up all the milk so I didn’t have any to reserve and actually I didn’t need any more to form the meatballs. It all depends on the bread you use.
  6. Add the breadcrumbs to the meat mixture; using the hands, quickly and gently mix the meat mixture just until all the ingredients are evenly combined. Do not over mix.
  7. Place this bowl, covered with saran rap, in the frig for at least 15 minutes but it could be even one hour.
  8. By this time, I think that your sauce has finished its 45 minute simmering gig and you can then take the bowl with the meat out of the frig. and start forming golf sized meat balls to put in one layer in the tomato sauce. If the meat seems to be sticking to your hands, you can dip the hands in some milk and the balls will form easier.
  9. Bring the sauce with the meatballs to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer till meatballs are cooked through—about 15 to 20 minutes.

 

sauce in pot

 

Additional Hints:

  1. If you are making this ahead of time, cool slightly and chill in frig. uncovered till cold and then place a cover on it. Re-warm gently before serving.
  2. When you are ready to serve this dish, cook the spaghetti and drain it. I always run cold water over it when done so that it’ll stop cooking.
  3. When serving I use a huge serving dish which has been heated so that guests can help themselves. (You can also individual plate it.) However, for my platter, I remove the meatballs from the tomato sauce to a separate dish, place the cooked spaghetti in the middle of the platter, spoon the sauce over the spaghetti and surround this with the meatballs and some extra sprigs of Italian parsley. You can also throw some shredded Parmesan over it all and/or place a dish with the Parmesan to the side of the dish for guests to help themselves.
  4. Of course, DON’T FORGET the hearty red wine such as Chianti to go along with this dish. A baguette of French bread is also a nice addition. For the green stuff, I actually just make my Original Caesar Salad. Desert? Fresh black cherries and my no-churn coffee ice cream. Bon Appétit.

The One Dish Oven Roasted Salmon with Asparagus, Fingerling Potatoes and Sliced Lemons

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salmon dish ready to eat  salmon roasted,plated

The One Dish Oven Roasted Salmon with Asparagus, Fingerling Potatoes and Sliced Lemons

Serves 4

Oh my—so easy and so delicious. It’s a country style dish— not quite the elegant dish that my previous oven poached salmon presents however in a different way, every bit as excellent and certainly a bit more economical. This time I bought a nice fresh flown-in salmon fillet for $6.99/lb. It weighed a little more than 1 lb.; it was not super thick but just perfect for the making of this one dish meal.

 

Spring time does bring some of the best foods around such as the fresh salmon from WA and Alaska; and then there is the fabulous fresh asparagus that appears. Lucky are we that there is a continual wonderful array of lemons, dill and fingerling potatoes that arrive in our markets for us to purchase. We are so spoiled; sometimes I really feel guilty being able to enjoy these feasts on a daily basis. I truly think about those in other parts of this world who are going hungry—no food for them—no glorious markets and displays for them. I think about that a lot however, that doesn’t stop me from writing these recipes for all of us to enjoy. So, here I am with another yummy recipe for you to cook for your family and friends—and maybe when enjoying your repast, you could send out a little prayer for those who aren’t fortunate enough to be able to enjoy a repast such as this. Sorry to have become maudlin but I do think that prayers are important. Enough Margot—-and on to the good stuff!!!!

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1 lb. plus a bit more if you wish of a nice fresh salmon fillet—skin on
  2. 1 lb. fingerling potatoes, washed and cut in half
  3. 4 Tbsp. olive oil divided in two parts plus some more
  4. 1/2 lb. asparagus—medium sized- washed, ends trimmed (if you wish you can cut the asparagus in 1-inch pieces but I like to leave them whole. If your asparagus are pencil thin and in particular if you have cut them they may only need 12-15 minutes of baking so you might have to add them a bit after you’ve added your salmon and then continue cooking the dish.)
  5. 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  6. 1 strip of lemon zest and 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  7. 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  8. S&P to taste
  9. 1 lemon sliced thin
  10. 1 other lemon for garnish—cut into wedges
  11. Dill sour cream sauce if desired (combine 1/4 C. sour cream with 1/2 tsp. dill and 1 Tsp. lemon juice; I like it plain like this but if you insist, you could add a bit of Dijon)

 

Directions:

Place the asparagus, lemon slices, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. chopped dill, 1 Tsp. grated lemon zest, garlic and a bit of salt in a plastic bag, close, shake and let marinade for at least 20 minutes up to 30 minutes. I also add a bit of my Gomasio (a sesame seed splash) to this mixture. For the Gomasio recipe please refer to my roasted vegetables on my blog: http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com

asparagus marinating

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a large Pyrex baking dish, place the cut potatoes with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and a bit of salt. Stir well and place in oven for about 10 minutes fingerlings in dish to roastor until the potatoes begin to brown a bit. At this point, shake the dish and roast the potatoes for another 10 minutes.Take the dish out of the oven, push aside the potatoes to the side and place the asparagus mixture in the dish and mix it all; then place the salmon, skin side down, on top of all and brush some olive oil on top of the salmon.Isalmon,etc. in dish ready to go in ovenI roasted my 1 lb. plus a bit salmon for about 20 minutes. (See below for further baking instructions for salmon.) The salmon was divine, the asparagus not too done and the potatoes were perfect. I did serve the sour cream sauce (minus the mustard addition) with the dish. Also, before serving the salmon, if you wish, lift it off the skin with a metal spatula.

All in all, it was a delicious and easy dish to serve.

And best of all, the next day I had the Real Deal Caesar with the left over salmon, etc.

 

caesar,salmon,asparagus,potatoescaesar salmon lemmon

 

Please see below for “good rule of thumb’s “rules for baking salmon:

  • A good rule of thumb is that the salmon will bake about ten minutes per one inch thickness of your fillet. A two-inch thick fillet will bake for 20 minutes. A 1-1/2 filet will take 15 minutes and so on.
  • Check the salmon frequently. Start checking at about 10 minutes, and keep checking until the flesh of the fish is just barely an opaque pink.
  • As previously mentioned, salmon baked in a closed packet – whether parchment, foil or a covered dish – is likely too cook a bit more quickly. Check it starting at about ten minutes and re-cover the fish before continuing.
  • Remove the salmon from the oven as soon as the flesh becomes opaque. Serve immediately.

Margot’s Oven Poached Salmon with Dill Sauce

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before poaching                             after poaching                     ready to eat


I love fresh salmon and when I find some well priced, I buy it immediately. I was really lucky to have found this King Salmon for the same price as the North Atlantic variety–$6.99/lb. What a deal!!!! I have many recipes for salmon but there are two which I prefer: oven roasted and this recipe which is oven poached. Both are simple and easy to prepare yet make for a very elegant looking and tasting dish. As such it is a fine one to serve for guests.

 

I many times serve my poached salmon with couscous or roasted fingerling potatoes (see my blog for vegetable roasting recipes) as shown in the third food picture above; they took about 20 minutes to get done in the 450 oven so see how easy this dinner can be because you can roast them during the same time that you oven poach the salmon. Sometimes I’ll serve this dish with our wonderful Hagerman fresh corn which I so easily cook in the microwave (see my blog for the easy recipe). For the greens I really love making my Lemon Lovers’ Asparagus recipe (also found on my blog) which features roasted asparagus and freshly cut and roasted lemon slices.

 

You can use any kind of nice looking and fresh salmon fillets but the King Salmon makes for a very fine dish indeed. You can roast fewer fillets or more so for instance for one fillet in a smaller baking dish, I reduce the specified amounts of wine, water, etc. mentioned below to 1/2 of what the recipe calls for. As well, because my fillet (shown in picture) is one luxurious inch thick and measures 4” X 4”, it took about 13 minutes instead of 10 minutes to poach. So, take this all in consideration if you poach fewer or more fillets and as well as to the thickness and size of each one. The trick here I think is to keep a close eye on it all. You definitely don’t want an overdone fillet. Lastly, this is a dish that does not have to be steaming hot when served. It is fine served at medium hot temperatures or even at room or cold temps.

 

In conclusion, I think that this is an easy meal to serve for just yourself or for a crowd of people without sweating the preparation because actually you can make it well before you serve it and serve it at room temp.

 

Ingredients for the salmon poaching:

  1. Four 6-8 oz. salmon fillets with the skin. I lift the salmon off the skin with a metal spatula.
  2. For 4 filets, use 2/3 C. white wine or white dry vermouth. Adjust the amount for less or more filets.
  3. 1/4 C. water –once again adjust if necessary
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1 Tblsp. chopped FRESH dill and some more for presentation purposes
  6. 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  7. Lemon wedges for décor and individual use if desired

Directions for the oven poaching of the salmon:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Smear olive oil on a 7 X 11 nonreactive (glass, Pyrex, etc.) dish
  3. Place the fillets, skin side down, into your dish. Pour the wine and water over them, season lightly with salt and sprinkle the 1 Tblsp. dill and the scallions on top.
  4. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven.
  5. Bake until just cooked through and flaky usually about 10 minutes however, if your fillets are quite thin, you might check after 5-7 minutes. Be sure not to cook them too long. Even if they look a bit underdone, remember, they will cook a bit longer when out of the oven.

Ingredients for the Dill Sauce:

  1. 1/4 C. sour cream
  2. 1/2 Tsp. Dijon mustard
  3. 1 Tsp. lemon juice
  4. 1 Tsp. chopped FRESH dill
  5. Ground black pepper to taste

Directions for the Dill Sauce:

  1. In a small bowl place the above ingredients and stir well.
  2. I place a generous dollop of the sauce on top of the salmon, but if you wish you could pass the sauce around and let people serve themselves. In that case, I do put some extra chopped fresh dill on top of the salmon for the presentation.

 

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

Be sure to take a minute to visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com for over 200 more simple and delicious recipes. You also can call Margot for personal cooking help or hosting for small B&B kinds of food gatherings. Margot’s phone number is: 208-721-3551. Friend Margot on Facebook and also find her on Linkedin,Twitter,Pinterest and other social sites.

 

pic Pats oven poached salmon 6.14

Pat’s picture above of her oven poached Copper river salmon

 6/18/14  email from Pat below:

Hi Margot

Did your poached salmon with my Copper river salmon. It was outstanding !!!

Will do again in SV

Yummy. Pat

 

Pork Tenderloin, Margot’s Easy Way

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Pork Tenderloin Margot’s Easy Way

Serves 6

 

This is a fun and easy dish to prepare: fun because I decided to do some colorful accompaniments for my presentation and certainly easy because there was so little prep work. But best of all, the roast was even better the next day— sliced and served cold. So I am thinking that this might be a good dish to make the day before and then slice and serve it at a picnic or for a cold buffet for your family or guests. Even the veggies were delicious cold. Think ahead to our wonderful SVSS picnics and other summer events as well.

 

Ingredients:

  1. One 2 lb. pork tenderloin
  2. 2 C. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  3. 1/2 C. olive oil or more if you need it
  4. Some mini sized mixed bell peppers
  5. Some whole mushrooms
  6. Use your imagination for more veggies
  7. Parsley and some large leaves of some sort of lettuce for décor

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Place the pork roast on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet that has some sides to it. (You don’t have to use aluminum foil but I find it easy with which to wrap the roast for later refrigerator storage and also for the cleaning of the baking sheet.)
  3. In a bowl, mix the bread crumbs and olive oil so that he makes a nice consistency to pat all over the roast and so that it sticks to it.
  4. Bake the roast for at least 35-45 minutes or until there is no rare pink showing when you poke it a bit or/and if a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Frankly, a little pink does not scare me in this day and age.
  5. Let the roast rest for at least 10 minutes and then slice it into 1/2 inch slices if you wish to serve it the same day. If you are planning on serving it the next day, wrap it in the foil and slice it then.
  6. For the veggies (mushrooms and mini peppers)—you can roast them along with the roast or if you wish, sauté them in some olive oil in a frying pan; then surround the roast on a platter (lately I favor white dishes) with your colorful veggies. By the way, with the peppers, I actually left them whole—stem, seeds and all. Roasted they were delicious and it was fun to pick up the pepper and discard the stem (not for the feint of heart I guess—) As well as I mentioned previously, this is a dish that is almost more excellent the next day—served cold.
  7. Please see my blog for multiple vegetable oven roasting directions: http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com P.S. I like my roasted veggies to have a little “burnt” character to them–but you don’t have to do this.

 

Braised Chicken Thighs with Collards & Mushrooms

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Braised Chicken Thighs with Collards and Mushrooms

Serves 4

This could easily be a very economical company dish—but it’s good for your lonesome as well as for your family. Chicken thighs really are very economical to buy and frankly, though I know they are dark meat and have skin, I feel are much better tasting than your almost tasteless skinless chicken breasts—which by the way have become terribly pricey. Collards are so good for you but if you insist, you can use kale, spinach or some other kind of green. You can also introduce carrots in this dish to give it some color jazz. I really like this served over rice or some pasta, however the scales were not kind to me this morning and our fresh corn is in, so that’s the way I had it—sided with an ear of corn. I used my large cast iron skillet for this and it was perfect for the cooking of this dish.

Ingredients:

  1. 8 chicken thighs with skin
  2. 1-8-oz basket of mushrooms
  3. 4 or 5 garlic cloves—cut in half
  4. 1/4 C. balsamic vinegar or red wine but I like the vinegar and save the wine for the drinking
  5. 1 Tblsp. butter
  6. 3 cups chicken broth
  7. S&P to taste
  8. 1 bunch of collards (or some sort of similar greens) washed well, rough chopped and include the better part of the stems also rough chopped.

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400.
  2. After having rinsed and pat dried the chicken thighs, brown them over medium high heat in the skillet. When they are nice, crisp and brown, remove them to a platter.
  3. Add 1 Tblsp. butter to the skillet and over medium heat brown the mushrooms until they become moist and glistened; add the garlic and keep on stirring. Then add the vinegar or wine and keep simmering till the liquid is reduced by half. S&P to taste.
  4. Place the chicken thighs back in the skillet and add the chicken broth. The broth should ALMOST reach the top of the thighs, but it should NOT cover the thighs. You want them to remain crispy.
  5. Place the skillet in the oven and bake uncovered for 45 minutes to 60 minutes (depending on the size of the thighs). At 45 minutes, test the thighs to see if they are done because you don’t want them to dry out.
  6. When the thighs are done, take the skillet out of the oven, remove the thighs to a warm platter. Place the skillet on the stove top over medium heat and add the greens. The collards will take longer to cook than spinach. The collards take about 10 minutes of cooking where as if you use spinach, that should take just a couple of minutes. Just to make sure everything is equally heated, you can add at the last minute the thighs back to your pan and finally after the thighs are really warm, place the mushrooms and greens on top of each thigh and keep on a low heat for several minutes more.