Sunday, February 27, 2011

Salmon with Bacon and Maple Glaze

EatingWell magazine published a recipe for a Spinach Salad with a warm Maple Dressing. I stumbled across this recipe for trying to come up with a new salmon recipe. My version is listed below, as I thought theirs needed a little work. The maple got me thinking and I decided to do a maple glaze on the salmon. Now what would I add to bring it all together? Obviously bacon, but I think bacon is the answer to a lot of things.

Salmon with Maple Glaze and Bacon
1 salmon steak for each person
1 slice of bacon for each salmon steak
1 tsp of maple syrup for each salmon steak

Spinach Salad with Maple Dressing
2 tbs chopped walnuts
2 oz chopped spinach per person
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tbs cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

Salmon Instructions
Preheat grill to medium high.
While grill is heating up place bacon in microwave on paper towels and cover with a paper towel and cook for 1 minute. This will make bacon partially cooked but not crisp. Pat excess grease off bacon and set aside. When Salmon is almost cooked to desired doneness, drizzle syrup over the salmon and place bacon on top. Remove when salmon is cooked to desired doneness.

Spinach Salad
Put spinach in bowl, if frozen defrost and drain first.
Heat nuts in a dry skillet, over medium heat, until they are fragrant about 2 -3 minutes. Put nuts in bowl with spinach.
Add oil and shallot to pan and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add vinegar and syrup heat until boiling. Add the salt and pepper. Poor mixture over the spinach.

Put spinach mixture on plate and top with salmon steak.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tilapia with Romesco Sauce

Today was another freakishly warm days, for winter, so I definitely wanted to grill out. Looked in the fridge and had a few veggies that needed to be eaten. Then off to the freezer and I see several packages of Tilapia. Now what can I do to tie this this altogether? Grilled fish and veggies are just a little to boring for my taste. Off to the pantry to figure out a sauce or something to bring this together. Almonds, hmm I have some roasted peppers...Romesco sauce.

This recipe is based on the Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health Romesco Sauce recipe. It makes about 1 1/2 cups of sauce, more than you will need for this recipe. Leftover sauce can be used as a dip, a sandwich spread, thin with pasta water and use as a pasta sauce or put some on a veggie omelet.

Tilapia with Romesco Sauce
1/3 cup Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 slice whole wheat bread, lightly toasted and crumbled
3/4 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup toasted almonds, put in fry pan and heat until fragrant
2/3 cup roasted red peppers, drained
1 tbs red wine vinegar
salt and fresh ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and heat until it starts to turn color. Then add the pepper flakes, bread and tomatoes.Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently to coat the bread on all sides and the tomato starts to soften. Remove from heat.

In a food processor place the nuts and pulse until they are roughly chopped. Add the other ingredients and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. This sauce will last in a refrigerator for a week. Just remove from fridge and bring to room temperature before serving.

I grilled the fish with a just a little salt and pepper and olive oil. The veggies were chopped, tossed with olive oil and dried herbs and grilled until they got some color on them (don't look to close at the picture the color was mostly black...oops).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ribs and Grits

My wife decided that she wanted crock pot ribs for dinner. Typically we would have baked potato wedges with ribs, but I was in the mood for something different. Actually, I am almost always in the mood for something different or this blog would have stopped after seven recipes. I read recently that the average American household rotates between 10 different recipes, I am glad I am not average I would think that would get a little tiresome. Back to my story, as I was making the ribs I realized I only had Honey Chipotle barbecue sauce. If I wasn't going to make them in the crock pot I would have made my own sauce. So I am thinking the barbecue sauce is southwestern what would go with that, corn. How do I make corn a hearty side dish? Well you make it into polenta. Now polenta is very southwestern sounding, so I better go with the grits/cornmeal name instead. My wife was originally put off by the idea but loved it after she tried it. Next time I might add corn or jalapenos to the grits to give them an extra kick.

Ribs and Grits

2 to 3 pounds ribs, trim off any large pieces of fat, I used pork ribs
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices and broke apart to make rings
1 bottle of barbecue sauce, I hold back 1/2 cup to cover ribs at the end
water enough to mostly cover the ribs (they don't need to be submerged just mostly covered)

Over medium high heat olive oil. When the oil is shimmering add the ribs and brown them on all sides. While the ribs are browning slice onions and place them in the crock pot. When ribs are browned place them on onions in the crock pot. Add the barbecue sauce and then enough water to mostly cover the ribs. Put the lid on turn crock pot on high for 5 to 6 hours. On low this takes about 8 to 10 hours. The ribs will be falling off the bones when they are done. You can remove them and put some extra sauce on them or you can serve the extra sauce as a dipping sauce. I plate the ribs on the polenta on a large platter.

Follow the directions on the package or make your favorite recipe. remember the only difference between cornmeal, polenta and grits is how fine they re ground. If you have one on hand you don't have to run out and buy grits just for this. When the grits are done stir in about 3/4 cup of cheese, I had cheddar and Jarlesburg on hand so that is what I used, just about any cheese or combination will work as long as they melt. You could add 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of corn and or some jalapeno slices to taste. After cheese is melted spread out the grits on a platter and place the ribs on top of the grits.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Carmel Apple Quesadilla

This is a recipe that was completely inspired by another blogger or should I say bloggers, Mr. & Mrs. P. In the teaser for their recipe they said Apple Quesadilla and I assumed it was a dessert, it turned out to be a cheese and apple quesadilla. I decided to do a dessert version. Click here and you can check out their recipe for Apple Quesadilla.

For my version I just winged it as I watched the Super Bowl, so taste and adjust to your liking. If I make this again I would consider toasting the tortillas a little longer to add some crunch to the recipe.

Carmel Apple Quesadilla
1 tbs. butter
1 apple but into bite sized pieces, I used Granny Smith
1 1/2 tbs brown sugar
2 tortillas
no stick cooking spray
carmel, melted or carmel sauce
cinnamon sugar

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the apples and cook until they are soft. While the apples are cooking spray both sides of the tortillas with no stick spray and put them one at a time into another skillet heated over medium heat. Cook tortillas until they start to form bubbles and take on some color. Flip over and cook other side until they bubble again. Put the tortilla on a plate.
When the apples are soft add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar melts and forms a glaze. Put 1/2 of apple mixture on half of the tortilla and then fold other half of tortilla over top of it. Drizzle the carmel over the tortilla shell and then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.