Saturday, July 22, 2017

How Sweet Eats: Sweet Chili Salmon Skewers with Coconut Cilantro Rice


I realized the other day that I haven't made fish in a while.  And I love fish.  That situation needed to be remedied.  So I'm playing around on Pinterest, and I see this lovely photo of this tender pink salmon, glistening and beckoning to me.  And it was like fate, because I had all of the ingredients except the fish.  I love how that works.  So I went to the store, and it was like double fate, because they had this beautiful wild coho salmon on sale.  This recipe doesn't look like much, but it's fantastic.  I really struggled with marking this as four servings because I honestly shoved two skewers in my greedy little mouth.  Maybe have a bunch of veggies ready on the side when you serve this for more than two hungry people.

Note:  Next time I think I'll double skewer these, because the fish cubes went a little wonky each time I turned the kebabs.  A double skewer setup would probably stabilize the delicate fish a bit more.  Live and learn.

Sweet Chili Salmon Skewers with Coconut Cilantro Rice
From How Sweet Eats blog

4 (4-ounce) salmon fillets, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper
1 bunch of green onions, sliced into 1 to 2-inch pieces
1 cup sweet chili sauce, plus extra for topping
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
2 limes, cut into wedges
Coconut Cilantro Rice

Place the salmon in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, then cover with the sweet chili sauce, tossing well to coat. Take the chunks and skewer them with about 3 or 4 pieces of green onion in between (5 to 6 salmon chunks per skewer), beginning and ending with the salmon.

Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat and add the coconut oil. Place the skewers in the skillet and cook until opaque and golden on all sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the salmon and place it on a plate. Brush with extra sweet chili sauce, drizzle with the toasted sesame oil, and sprinkle with the cilantro and sesame seeds. Finish with a spritz of lime. Serve over coconut cilantro rice with lime wedges and extra chili sauce on the side.

Makes 4 servings

Coconut Cilantro Rice
1½ cups white jasmine rice
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 cup water
1 tablespoon coconut oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and add rice, coconut milk, water and salt. Stir, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let cook for 15 to 18 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, then stir in coconut oil. Stir in the cilantro and serve.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Allrecipes: David's Yellow Cake


My nephew doesn't like sweets.  Not really.  I know!  We must not really be related.  It's a shocking turn of events.  So when it comes time for his birthday, I'm a bit at a loss for what to do about a cake.  What birthday cake do you make for someone who doesn't really like cake?  So my sister suggested a plain yellow cake with some chocolate frosting.  Just use a box mix, she says.  Nice and simple.  So what did I do?  I found the best danged from-scratch cake recipe I could and made a beautiful yellow cake.  What did the kids at the party do?  Licked the frosting right off the top.  They don't know what they're missing.

David's Yellow Cake
From Allrecipes

1 cup unsalted butter
1½ cups granulated sugar
8 large egg yolks
¾ cup whole milk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
Chocolate Frosting

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 8-inch round pans. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and end with flour, mixing just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks.

Chocolate Frosting
9 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 to 9 tablespoons milk
½ cup cocoa powder

Mix together the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and 6 tablespoons of milk until smooth. Add cocoa powder and enough additional milk to make the frosting spreadable.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Dash of Savory: Pork Chops with Morel Brandy Cream Sauce


I can't believe there were still morels at the store the other day.  It's like some sadistic deity knew that I was trying to stick to a budget, and that $20 in morels was not part of that budget.  So that deity flaunted the beauty that is nature's bounty right in my shocked little face.  And of course I gave right in and bought them.  And because there hasn't been enough pork in my life lately (**sarcasm**), I cooked those morels with some super-tender pork chops, thus achieving nirvana and became one with the sadistic deity.

Pork Chops with Morel Brandy Cream Sauce
From Dash of Savory blog

2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
4 bone-in pork chops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces morel mushrooms, trimmed and halved, if large
1 whole shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup brandy or Cognac
1 cup heavy cream
1 wedge lemon
1 pinch nutmeg

In a large heavy bottomed skillet add the olive oil and bring to high heat. Season pork chops with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown and seared. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add butter to the pan and add morel mushrooms. Saute in butter until mushrooms are tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add shallot and garlic, cook until fragrant and soft, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn heat down and add brandy. Careful when doing this, it could produce a flame. Simmer the brandy until reduced slightly. Add heavy cream and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until thickened. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. At this point, squeeze the lemon juice into the sauce and add the pinch of nutmeg. This will brighten the sauce.

Add pork chops back to the skillet and simmer together for 5 minutes. Turn heat off and garnish with chives. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Refinery 29: Broccolini with Cheese Sauce


I've never had a problem eating broccoli.  But that doesn't mean I have any problem with someone smothering a passel of it with cheese sauce.  Especially a smokey, rich cheese sauce that gets run under the broiler for just the right amount of brown patches.  I seriously considered just eating this for dinner.  Maybe over some plain rice.  That certainly says something.

Broccolini with Cheese Sauce
Adapted from Refinery 29 blog

1 pound broccolini or baby broccoli
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup half-and-half or whole milk
½ cup shredded smoked provolone cheese
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat broiler.

Trim the bottom inch off of the broccolini. Bring a medium pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the broccolini to the pot, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain and transfer the broccolini to a paper towel-lined baking dish and set aside.

In the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly until golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in the half-and-half and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and, whisk in the provolone and ½ cup of the Parmesan until smooth. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper and set aside.

Transfer the broccolini to a baking dish and drizzle sauce over the center of the stalks. Top with the remaining Parmesan and sprinkle with the smoked paprika. Transfer the baking dish into the oven and broil until cheese is golden and broccolini is tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 to 4 servings