Archive | December, 2012

Oven Poached Salmon

17 Dec

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Poaching fish sounds hard right? And it seems fancy. And dinner-party-esq. It doesn’t sound like a 30 minute after-work no-big-deal meal does it?

But you know what, it totally is. This was an easy breezy super delicious dinner. It’s also really healthy because I realized I didn’t use any oil or fats- and it didn’t matter nor was missed because the fish came out so moist and delicious. The thing I love best about cooking meat in the oven is you don’t really risk over-cooking it unless your timer is broken.

I’d recommend this as a main coarse if you want to impress dinner party guests but you don’t want to actually do a lot of work. But I’d also recommend it as a random Tuesday night at home. I served it with some brown rice and steam broccoli and it was just the best. (Gavin, attest.)

Oven Poached Salmon

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F
  • Place 2 salmon fillets (or however many you want- also can be any kind of fish that is meaty) on a lightly greased oven pot or dutch oven.
  • Add a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes and radishes around the fish
  • Pour in 1/3 cup of dry white wine
  • Pour in a 1/3 cup of chicken broth
  • Add 1 tbsp of capers
  • Sprinkle on salt and pepper and a generous amount of dried or fresh thyme over fish and veggies
  • Cover and bake for 12-15 minutes
  • If enjoying over brown rice, spoon the sauce in the pan over the rice.

So easy!

Merry Christmas to YOU

11 Dec

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(That’s right… I make tablescapes for cookie parties. With deer.)

So friends. It may have come to your attention that Mary and I are going for round two on this blogging thing. I have to say, I have a feeling it is going to be less soup centric since 1) good lord, we have eaten a lot of soup and 2) variety is the spice of America (also known as, we feel like it).

With that in mind and in the spirit of the season, I bring you my very favorite Christmas Cookies (White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut with Dried Cranberries). They are delicious, you can make the argument that they are healthy because they contain both fruit and nuts (note, you are also wrong), and they are festive looking – essentially making them the perfect Christmas Cookies. I’ve had special requests for them at the annual Christmas Cookie party every year since I started making them, and still think I should have won the Snauffer Christmas Cookie Exchange with them in 2006 (I was robbed).

With only the further ado of a very fancy paper and styrofoam wreath (I swear, life after grad school feels like SO MUCH TIME), Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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White Chocolate Chip, Cranberry, and Macadamia Nut Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit
  • In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, cream 1 stick of softened butter, 1 cup packed brown sugar, and 1 cup white granulated sugar together until light and fluffy
  • Add 2 large eggs and 1 tsp vanilla and beat until just combined
  • In a separate bowl, sift together 3 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and mix thoroughly
  • Slowly add in the flour mixture until completely integrated
  • Using a large spoon, fold in 1 cup of chopped macadamia nuts (extra points if you have the patience to roast them), 1/2 cup dried cranberries, and 1.5 cups of white chocolate chunks
  • Drop heaping spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and cook about 12 minutes
  • Let cool on wire rack and enjoy!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

3 Dec

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Peppers, aka God’s little bowls, waiting to be stuffed.

I like stuffing stuff. One time I had a dinner party and called it, “Stuffed Stuff.” Stuffed peppers, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed eggplant. You can stuff squash, you can stuff potatoes, you can stuff tomatoes. You can literally stuff anything with a peel or skin. And then you just eat the whole entire thing and it’s delicious.

Now that we discussed the art of stuffing, lets discuss quinoa. I don’t love quinoa as much as I should. I know, shocking right? I should be obsessed with it. It’s a complete protein. It’s probably the healthiest grain there is- it just doesn’t excite me that much. (Let me first set the barometer on the sorts of things that do excite me: Farro, wheat berry, my shower drain not clogging, when this grandmother who lives in the apartment across the street has her lights turned on when I’m walking home so I can pause and look in her windows- a ritual that strangely relaxes me…) What I am saying is I’m easily excitable so quinoa should, in theory, excite me, but it doesn’t that much. It tastes too… pilly or something.

But the quinoa in this recipe is the best quinoa I’ve ever made. I think it’s the fact that I roasted it that helped with the texture and made it exciting. I made extra “stuffing” that didn’t fit into the two peppers, which I just threw onto the cookie sheet and roasted everything together. Then put the extras on a pile of spinach next to the plated pepper. And poof, a complete meal and a complete protein.

And what’s even more exciting? Don’t put cheese on top of this and you got yourself a vegan recipe. And lastly, let it be noted that a man ate this with me, and he was really into it. I just like to say that to prove that these recipes don’t just please the rabbit-girls of the world.

So stuff some stuff and enjoy!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees, lightly oil a baking pan
  • Boil 1/2 cup of quinoa & 1 cup of water (or chicken broth- better!) together, and then simmer for 15 minutes until soft
  • Cut the pepper’s “hats” off and clean out the insides- brush or spray the peppers with olive oil inside and out (I have spray olive oil, best invention ever)- put the peppers top-side-down in the oven for 15 minutes (when peppers are roasted, reduce the oven to 350)
  • In skillet, warm some olive oil, add half an onion chopped, some garlic chopped, for about 5 minutes- Then stir in 1 teaspoons of cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes & salt
  • Add a handful of each: chopped carrots, celery, zucchini & corn… really add as much as you want, you like a lot of veggies, add more, whatevs
  • When veggies are tender add the quinoa and salt to taste
  • Stuff the peppers with the quinoa stuffing, if there is extra just toss it on the oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over the peppers and put back into the oven for 10-15 minutes
  • Place over a nice bed of spinach and you’re done!