Thursday, May 31, 2007

Salmon with Pesto

Why Salmon is not served with pesto more often I will never know. I have been trying to eat a little healthier these days to shed a few pounds that I gained when I quit smoking last year and fish has been on the menu a lot. I once saw a recipe somewhere that had fish with some kind of pesto (it was not a traditional pesto) so I thought that I would try make my own version.

I had some homemade pesto in the freezer that I had made last fall and froze in ice cube trays, and once frozen I put them in a freezer bag for storage. So I took out two of those cubes of pesto out and defrosted them while I seasoned a 10 ounce salmon steak with course sea salt and fresh ground pepper and put a light coating of olive oil on the salmon. I then heated my cast iron grill pan and seared the salmon on for about 4 minutes per side. I then served the salmon topped with a little pesto and a quinoa salad. It was a big hit with my son and Hubby; however, my daughter was not even in the mood to try the salmon she eat all her quinoa salad.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Salade Nicoise


2 Cloves Garlic, minced

1 t. Dijon Mustard
3 T. Red wine Vinegar

juice of one lemon

1/2 cup olive oil

1 t. course salt

1 t. fresh ground pepper

Put minced garlic, Dijon mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a blender. Turn blender on low and slowly drizzle in olive oil, once all olive oil is added turn off blender and set dressing aside for salad.

~Salade Nicoise~

1 Pound new potatoes

10 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed

1 pound fresh Tuna steak, about 3/4" thick

1 T. olive oil

1/2 pound ripe medium tomatoes, cut into quarters

1/2 cup Nicoise olives, pitted

4 hard boiled eggs, quartered

1/4 cup capers

2 T. fresh parsley. chopped

1 T. fresh chives, snipped

1 can anchovy fillets packed in oil, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, drained, patted dry and cut in half.

Slices of crusty bread, toasted.

1. Dry the Tuna steak with paper towel, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron grill pan to hot. Place the tuna on the pan and cook on each side for about 4 minutes. I like my tuna done through so I cook it that way; however, tuna is typically cooked medium rare. If you prefer you can grill your tuna on a charcoal grill.

2. Boil the potatoes on salted water until they are just done. I find that it is best to boil the potatoes whole because when I cut them and then boil them they tend to get a little water logged. the time of this can very but give them about 20 minutes and then check doneness, when potatoes are done remove them from water and place them on cutting board to cook.

3. Add the green beans to the boiling potato water and cook for about 4 minutes. Drain the beans and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking. Cut the potatoes into quarters.

4. Place the potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, olives, and capers in a bowl and toss with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette. Gently add the remaining ingredients and serve with toasted crusty bread.

Even the kids like this salad, there is something for each of them in it and they have so much fun making it too.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I love this cornbread recipe. I started with a recipe from a 1987 Southern Living cookbook now it is a whole new bird. I mean bread.

1 cup Whole wheat pastry flour
4 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup corn meal
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/3 olive oil
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 with a 12 inch cast iron pan in the oven.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cornmeal, and sugar in a large bowl.
Combine eggs, milk, and 1/3 cup oil in a small bowl; add to dry ingredients. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened.
Add 2 T. oil to hot cast iron pan and then spoon in the cornbread batter. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If using a smaller cast iron pan cook time will be longer, but it will work fine.

Heating the pan first gives a nice dark crusty bottom to the cornbread that I just love. Everyone that I have ever served this to loved it also.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Everyday FOOD

This is my newest cookbook and today I made Lentil-walnut Burgers found on page 153 and they were great.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Vegetarian Southwest Eggrolls

Last year a friend of mine got online and looked up a recipe for Chili's southwest eggrolls; however, she is vegetarian so she went to work and came up with the following. I then made a few of my own changes.

8 oz package Tempeh (or a chicken breast- diced)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
vegetable broth

1 - 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
1/2 small onion, minced
1/3 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 tablespoons diced, canned jalapeno peppers
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash cayenne pepper
3/4 cup shredded monterey Jack cheese or habanero cheddar
five 7-inch flour

Using a large sauté pan.
1. Dice 3/4's the package of Tempeh, and simmer in vegetable broth & soy sauce.
2. Chop red bell pepper, onion, jalapenos, parsley, rinse black beans, let spinich defrost & drain out water, measure corn, and spices.
3. Remove Tempeh to cutting board to cool a bit.
4.In same pan heat oil, when hot add red pepper and onion to the pan and sauté for a couple minutes until tender.
5. Dice the Tempeh(or chicken) into small cubes and add it to the pan. Add the corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, parsley, cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper to the pan. Cook for another 4 minutes. Stir well so that the spinach separates and is incorporated into the mixture.
6. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted.
7. Wrap the tortillas in a moist cloth and microwave on high temperature for 1 1/2 minutes or until hot. Or wrap a damp cloth around tortillas, and bake in a oven safe pan till worm and moist -this will make it so they don't break when folding the ends in.
8. Spoon approximately one-fifth (or less) of the mixture into the center of a tortilla. Fold in the ends and then roll the tortilla over the mixture. Roll the tortilla very tight, then lay them open edge down on a oiled baking pan. Brush with olive oil, and bake 400F till golden brown. About 15min.

I was missing some ingredients so I make some substitutions. I added peas for the spinach omitted jalapeno, used smoked chipotle instead of cayenne and pepper Jack cheese, Misson wheat tortillas (20 grams of fiber per) and then deep fried them. This was not as good as the recipe above but I wanted you to know what I took pics of. I served with chopped tomatoes, avocado, and sour cream.

or you can use as a topping for nachos. I also vary the ratio to fit what I have so feel free to play with this!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Ramps & Chicken Marsala

    Every year for my birthday (April 22nd) I go Morel hunting, I love everything about it the smell of the leaves, the sounds of the wild, the fresh air, I mean what is not to love. This year was alat year for morels and we only found 6 of them; however, my sister and I found a beautiful forest full of ramps so we stopped and dug some up. Lacy and I did not plan to dig up wild leeks so here we are crouched down on the forest floor digging up leeks with our bare hands. there was a nice clean swamp just a few yards away so we were able to wash up with little problem and the ramps were wonderful added to Chicken Marsala.

  • gnocci in tomato sauce
  • grilled beef brisket with grilled potatoes, pineapple, glazed carrots, and grilled onions
  • brisket and blue cheese sandwich
  • homemade tomato soup
  • chicken Marsala
  • Amy's southwest eggrolls

Chicken Marsala

I have been trying to creat a good chicken marsala and Martha Stewart came through.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 (about 5 ounces each) boneless skinless chicken breast halves, butterflied
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
2 cups sweet Marsala wine
1 garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, (juice of 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a large shallow dish; set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Dredge chicken in seasoned flour, tapping off excess; set aside. Add oil to skillet. When oil is shimmering, add chicken, and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Turn over, and cook 3 minutes more. Remove chicken to a plate; set aside and keep warm.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet. Add mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden brown and all the released liquid has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Remove skillet from heat, and add wine. Return skillet to heat, scraping up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add garlic, lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and parsley. Cook for 2 minutes until reduced and slightly thickened. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Pour sauce over chicken and sprinkle with parsley.

I served the chicken with brown rice and steamed broccoli and cauliflower.

Friday, May 4, 2007