Friday, January 22, 2016

crispy salmon fish tacos... 30 minutes

the goods:

1 quart canola oil
1 avocado, peeled and halved
1/2 cup sour cream
1 pinch cumin
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup beer
1/2 pound skinless salmon
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
6 small flour tortillas

Heat oil slowly in a deep pot until it reaches 380 degrees on a candy thermometer.
While the oil heat, place 1/2 of the avocado in a food processor, or blender. Add the sour cream, cumin, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse or blend until smooth.
In a bowl combine the flour and beer and whisk until smooth like pancake batter. You may need to add a little bit more beer as needed.
Cut the salmon into 2-inch strips. Once the oil is hot, place a paper-towel-lined plate nearby. Dip the fish into the batter, one piece at a time, and then gently drop into the oil. You can fry about 3 pieces at a time. Cook for about a minute per side until the batter is golden brown. Transfer to a the lined plate and repeat until all the fish has been cooked. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Place some romaine in a tortilla, then top with fish, drizzle with sauce. and garnish with cilantro.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

BLT wraps... 20 minutes

the goods:

10 slices bacon, cooked
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 green apple, thinly sliced
4 burrito-sized tortillas
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dijon mustard

In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese with the mayonnaise and dijon mustard. Mix well.
Spread each tortilla with the cream cheese mixture. Layer with bacon, tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, continue layering with apple slices, and lettuce. Roll and wrap tightly, then slice in half on the diagonal and serve with some homemade ranch to dip it in!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

blackberry balsamic glazed chicken... 20 minutes (plus marinating)

the goods:

2 cups blackberries, mashed
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
a few dashes of hot sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons steak seasoning
6 chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness

1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup blackberries

In a medium bowl, mash the 2 cups blackberries. Add berries to a large zip-top bag, along with the olive oil, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, 2 tablespoons sugar, and steak seasoning. Add the chicken and massage it around so everything gets coated and combined.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Turn every couple of hours.
Heat grill to medium heat. Grill the chicken 3-5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes until cooked through.
While the chicken is grilling, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan combine cold water and cornstarch with a whisk. Turn heat to medium. Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, and 1 cup blackberries. Mash the berries. Stir over medium heat until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. Serve chicken with warm glaze spooned over the top.

Friday, January 15, 2016

broccoli and bell pepper stir fry... 40 minutes

When my cousin Natalie claimed to have the "best stir fry sauce" I'm not going to lie, I was a skeptic. But she sure delivered! I tweaked her recipe for the stir fry just a tad, but the sauce I wouldn't dare touch! Perfection!

the goods:

"the best" stir fry sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled, grated, or finely minced
2 garlic cloves, grated, or finely minced

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 large head of broccoli, chopped
2 red bell peppers, ribs and seeds removed, chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
olive oil
2 cups long-grain rice, cooked according to package instructions

In a mason jar, combine the stir fry sauce ingredients, shut lid, and shake to combine. Set aside.
Cook the rice according to package instructions.
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, and add the chicken. Cook chicken about 5-7 minutes (depending on how big your chunks are), until cooked through. Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle in a little more olive oil, add onion to the pan, and cook until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Transfer onions to bowl with chicken. Add bell peppers to pan and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes; transfer to bowl. Add broccoli to pan and cook until crisp tender (adding olive oil as needed), about 5 minutes; transfer to bowl. Add zucchini to pan and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Return all the veggies and chicken in the bowl back into the wok. Pour in the stir fry sauce, reduce heat to medium, and cook for about 3-5 minutes more until the sauce has thickened. Serve over warm rice.

Monday, January 11, 2016

steak sandwiches with roasted tomato and caramelized onions... 1 hour and 30 minutes

Let me just say these are horrible pictures of a really fantastic sandwich... I must have been too hungry to care!
 the goods:

caramelized onions:
1 sweet onion (vidalia)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

roasted tomatoes:
4 roma tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

everything else:
1 flank steak
4 slices white cheddar cheese
4 brioche buns

Remove the tip and root ends of the onion, cut in half, peel, and thinly slice. In a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat melt the butter and ass the olive oil. Add the sliced onion to the pan and stir to coat. Cook over medium heat until the onions start to soften and brown slightly, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to saute the onions, stirring them every 5-10 minutes, scraping up the browned bite off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking for 30 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the balsamic and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and place in a bowl.
While the onions are cooking, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tomatoes in a bowl and toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Place them skin-side-down on the baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes. Allow to cool.
Season steak generously with salt and pepper. Grill the steak about 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.
Lightly butter the inside of the brioche buns and toast on the grill for about a minute, watch closely! Spread pesto on each bun, top with steak, cheese, onions, tomatoes, and a bun!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

baked garlic parmesan potato wedges... 45 minutes

...and if you want amazing Dr. Pepper ribs to go with them, visit my cousin Natalie's blog!

the goods:

3-4 large russet potatoes, sliced into wedges
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet and place potato wedges on it. Drizzle with olive oil and using clean hands, toss to coat. In a small bowl, whisk together the salt, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle potato wedges with shredded cheese, tossing to coat, then sprinkle with the seasoning mixture. Toss with your hands until evenly distributed. Shake pan until potato wedges are in a single layer and arrange them to be skin-sided down. Bake for 25-35 minutes until potatoes are fork-tender and golden.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

slow-cooker honey garlic chicken... 5 hours

Forgive the photo quality, it gets dark so early these days!
 the goods:

2 large bone-in, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup blackberry jam
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
sliced scallions, for garnish
prepared white rice, for serving

Arrange chicken breasts in the slow cooker so they are not overlapping.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, blackberry jam, hoisin, olive oil. garlic, onion, and crushed red pepper flakes. Pour sauce over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours until the chicken is fully cooked.
Using tongs, remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board (reserving liquids). Remove the bones, then use 2 forks to shred the chicken. Transfer chicken to a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of cold water to make a slurry. Transfer liquids from the slow cooker into a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Whisk in the slurry. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook until it has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken, tossing to combine. Serve the chicken over rice topped with scallions.