"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon Fillets

This is a great quick and easy salmon dish. Sometimes I feel like fish can be a difficult menu item to tackle. But, this recipe is super simple and can be made any night of the week. It is plated in the picture with an orzo salad. The recipe for the salad can be found here. Both recipes are from Food Network chef, Robin Miller.

Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon Fillets
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
4 (5-ounce) salmon fillets
Salt and ground black pepper
Cooking spray

In an oiled shallow baking dish, combine lemon juice, Dijon, honey, and lemon zest. Stir together. Season both sides of salmon fillets with salt and pepper and place in the baking dish. Flip salmon to coat in glaze.

Bake immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 hours. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake 10 minutes or until fish is fork-tender.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Turkey Meatloaf

I have never actually had a turkey meatloaf. But two of my friends have mentioned cooking one in the last week. So, I thought I would look at a few recipes for ideas. I plan on making it soon! Garland recommended this recipe from Giade de Laurentiis:

Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sundried Tomatoes
Vegetable cooking spray
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped garlic and herb-marinated sun-dried tomatoes (usually in the produce department near the fresh tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic, minced, optional
2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, if using, eggs, milk, feta, salt, and pepper. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat.

Carefully pack the meat mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice. Put on a serving platter and serve.

*For a more traditional turkey meatloaf, Sally recommends this recipe from Ina Garten:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sirloin Steak with Tomato Caper Sauce

I recently posted a pork recipe with a tomato caper sauce. This recipe has a lighter flavor and is great if you don't like pork. Kent made this for me when were dating, and we decided to try it again recently. It was great!

Pan-seared Sirloin Steak
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 boneless shell sirloin steaks (top butt) or whole flap meat steaks, each about 1 pound and 1 1/4 inches thick (I used one large boneless sirloin, and it worked perfectly.)
Table salt and ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Meanwhile, season both sides of steaks with salt and pepper. Place steaks in skillet; cook without moving steaks until well browned, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, flip steaks; reduce heat to medium. Cook until well browned on second side and internal temperature registers 125 degrees (or medium rare). This should take about 6 minutes.
2. Transfer steaks to large plate and tent loosely with foil; let rest until internal temperature registers 130 degrees for medium-rare or 135 degrees for medium, 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare pan sauce.
3. Using a sharp knife, slice steak about 1/4 inch thick against grain on bias, arrange on platter or on individual plates, and spoon sauce over steak. Serve immediately.

Tomato Caper Pan Sauce
1 medium shallot, minced
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 medium tomato, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
Table salt and ground black pepper

After transferring steaks to large plate, pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from now-empty skillet. Return skillet to low heat and add shallot; cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

Sprinkle flour over shallot; cook, stirring constantly, until combined, about 1 minutes. Add wine and increase heat to medium-high; simmer rapidly, scraping up browned bits on pan bottom, until liquid is reduced to glaze, about 30 seconds; add broth and simmer until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 4 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium; add capers, tomatoes, and any meat juices, and cook until the flavors are blended, about 1 minute. Stir in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper; spoon sauce over sliced steak.
(Recipe from America's Test Kitchen)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Anniversary Celebration!

I apologize for the recent lack in posting. Things have been busy around here! Monday was our two year wedding anniversary!

We went to Oxford two weekends ago to celebrate the occasion. Since we spent most of the weekend eating at our favorite restaurants, I decided to share some of our experiences and recommendations.

Weekend in review....

Friday night we had a wonderful meal at City Grocery on the Square. I had the lobster and tamale dish, and it was amazing! Kent had the New York Strip and loved it as well. I've mentioned this restaurant in my blog before (you may remember the famous Shrimp and Grits!). I talked about the wonderful chef and owner, John Currence. After dinner Friday night, we went upstairs to the bar. John walked by, and I asked if I could have my picture made with him. He was so generous and talked with us for a while.

Saturday morning we went to Bottletree Bakery. Bottletree was my favorite place to go for breakfast all through college. I had really missed the onion parmesan bagel!

We went to Two Stick for lunch and had great sushi! Then we spent the afternoon shopping on the Square. For dinner we headed to Snackbar, one of John Currence's newer restaurants. Snackbar features French food and is especially known for its raw oysters and local foods. We had the oysters as an appetizer. I had to try the amazing French onion soup and had the steak sandwich with parmesan and parsley fries for my entree. Kent had the lobster cake sliders. I would certainly recommend trying Snackbar - everything I had was wonderful! We wanted to head back to the Square for the evening, so we stopped by Waltz for dessert and drinks.

On Sunday we visited First Presbyterian in Oxford where we had gone to church during college. We went to Old Venice for lunch and then went to the pool at our hotel for the afternoon. On Sunday night we decided to grab some dinner and go to Rowan Oak (Faulkner's home) to eat on the grounds. Then we went to the Grove and joined the crowd to watch the 4th of July fireworks!

Before leaving Oxford on Monday we went to another John Currence restaurant, Big Bad Breakfast. I had the oatmeal pancakes, and they were so great! I've got to try to find a good recipe for oatmeal pancakes. They taste similar to flour pancakes but have more flavor and a denser consistency. We had a wonderful weekend in Oxford! I can't wait to go back!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Open-faced Tian Sandwich

I got the idea for this recipe from a sandwich cookbook (Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book), but I changed some of the ingredients and preparation instructions to give it more flavor and make it easier to cook properly. I first made a tian when I was studying abroad in Arles, France. We stayed at a cooking school and studied the local foods and recipes of Provence. Making a tian can be very time-consuming, but yields a wonderful result! A tian, similar to a casserole, is both the name of the dish used for baking and the food inside the dish. The dish is usually a large rectangular earthenware dish - the food is a layered vegetable gratin (see picture). So, to make this sandwich, I layered the vegetables on slices of sourdough bread and then baked the bread and vegetables in a tian in the oven. I loved how it turned out - the flavors were amazing! I will definitely be making this again, even though it took several hours to put together! This is a great summer sandwich!

Open-faced Tian Sandwich
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, cut in half through the root and sliced into 1/8 inch-thick slices
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1-2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, sliced into 1/8 inch-thick rounds
2 crookneck yellow squashes, sliced into 1/8 inch-thick rounds (don't use the skinny parts)
2 or 3 ripe Roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/8 inch-thick rounds
4 tablespoons of your favorite tapenade or pesto
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
4-6 slices of fresh sour dough bread
Freshly grated Parmesean

In a small skillet, combine 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the onions, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Saute over medium-high heat, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes. When the onions begin to turn color, add a splash or so of water to deglaze the bottom of the pan and prevent them from burning. Continue cooking over medium heat about 20 minutes more, until the oinons are very soft and evenly caramelized. Stir in the sherry, and remove from heat.

As the onions are cooking, heat a small skilled over medium high heat. Place the peppers, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Saute these ingredients for about 20 minutes, stirring constantly, until they are soft and tender.

Add the caramelized onions to the peppers, stir in 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, and remove from heat. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Brush the bottom of a large baking dish (stoneware or glass will work best) with a little olive oil. Spread the tapenade or pesto evenly over the bread slices. Place them close together in the baking dish. Distribute the onion and pepper mixture over each slice.

At one end of the bread, place a round of yellow squash over the onion and pepper mixture. Then, place a tomato slice next to the squash, overlapping it about an inch. Follow the same procedure with a slice of the zucchini. Continue layering these ingredients until you reach the end of the bread slice - include as many vegetable pieces on each slice as possible!

Brush the vegetables with the remaining olive oil. Distribute the garlic, thyme leaves, and remaining salt over the vegetables. Cover the baking dish with foil and cook for one hour. Remove the foil and cook for 30 minutes more. The vegetables should be wrinkled and lightly browned - the salt pulls the liquid out of the vegetables so they will flatten out some on the bread. The longer you cook this dish, the better the flavors become! As soon as you take the dish out of the oven, sprinkle with Parmesan so that it melts. Serve warm. These sandwiches will easily reheat in the oven to make great leftovers!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kent's Famous Potato Salad

Okay, so maybe it's not famous - but it is really good! I wanted to post this in case anyone was looking for a good dish to take to a Fourth of July cookout this weekend. This recipe is my favorite potato salad and perfect as a side dish for a summer dinner.

Kent's Famous Potato Salad
2-3 lbs. red potatoes
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/3 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon grated black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2/3 cup celery, chopped
1 tablespoon grated onion
1/2 pound bacon, chopped and cooked (if you chop it before you cook it, it will be crispier)

Cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Put the potatoes in cold water in a stock pot. Heat the water until it boils. Continue to cook the potatoes until they are tender but not squishy. Then drain the potatoes. Let them stand until they cool.

Mix all of the other ingredients to make the dressing. Add the potatoes to the dressing and stir. Refrigerate the potato salad until serving.
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