Monday, January 26, 2015

Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon

Trying to ween myself away from potatoes and pasta can be somewhat of a daunting task so in the hope that perhaps Sunday dinner could be a little more healthy, I reached out to my sister-in-law (aka my partner in crime especially when it comes to wine and pasta) to see what she had tucked away in her arsenal of recipes.

She came back with this one and to quote my brother when we poured the marinade into a ziplock back, "I want to zip my head up in there it smells so good"!

Needless to say the family liked it!

Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon
From the blog How Sweet It Is

1 1/2 pounds raw salmon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
4 green onions, sliced

sesame ginger honey glaze

1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack over top. 
Spray the rack with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl or baking dish, combine olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, vinegar, brown sugar and whisk well until combined. Add salmon to the dish or place everything in a ziplock bag, then refrigerate and marinate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the broiler in your oven. (Or preheat your grill, etc if you prefer to use something else.)

Remove salmon with kitchen tongs and place directly on the wire rack. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper, then place directly under the broiler. Cook for 10-12 minutes, depending on the salmon's thickness (our's was just about an inch thick), until opaque and easily flakable with a fork. You can flip the salmon halfway through cooking if desired.
Remove and serve immediately, with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, 
green onions and the glaze below.

sesame ginger honey glaze:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over salmon.
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Martha Stewart's Orecchiette with Sausage and Roasted Peppers

I always want to find those recipes that taste like you ordered it from a restaurant but cost a fortune in ingredients and take only a few minutes to throw together.  For a while I thought this was an impossible task but the more I search, the more I realize less is more you just have to pack a punch with the flavors you are using. 

This recipe covers every single one of my criteria!  Simple to throw together...easy to do after a long day of work....and minimal in its cleanup!

Note: we bought the sausage from Whole Foods and had the butcher grind up the meat.  I believe this simple additional step is what gave this dish the deep and rich flavor that made me devour my plate so fast you would have thought someone was going to take it away from me!

Martha Stewart's Orecchiette with 

Sausage and Roasted Peppers

2 medium red bell peppers, four flat sides sliced off core, ribs and seeds discarded
2 medium yellow bell peppers, four flat sides sliced off core, ribs and seeds discarded
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound orecchiette or other short pasta
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat broiler. Place peppers, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 4 inches from heat until charred, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; steam 2 to 3 minutes. Using a paper towel, rub off pepper skins, reserving any juices in bowl. Thinly slice peppers crosswise into 1/4-inch strips; return to bowl. Set aside.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 
Cook sausage, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned, 7 to 10 minutes. 
Add roasted peppers; cook until heated through.
Transfer sausage mixture to bowl; add pasta, butter, reserved pasta water, and Parmesan. 
Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. 
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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Arugula Gnocchi with Spicy Brown Butter Sauce

With the holidays behind us an my feeling of not wanting to have ham or turkey for at least another nine months, I am in the market for some different recipes....nothing that resembles the cranberry sauce and dressing of the festive season behind us now. 

As I search, the hungrier I get (is that a word? who cares...I am using it).

My boards on Pinterest are in direct conflict with one another...."Skinny Recipes" and "Recipes I Want To Try" have nothing in common except for the person who created them.

Torn between being so cold due to the weather outside and trying desperately to crave a salad that I came to this what looks good but all in moderation.  Maybe that will be my new motto! Stand by for a cross-stitched version!

This dish ended up being hearty and delicious with the fresh crisp bite of arugula!

Arugula Gnocchi with Spicy Brown Butter Sauce

for the gnocchi
a handful fresh arugula
1 large russet potato
1 egg yolk
1 cup all-purpose flour (you might need more while kneading)

for the sauce
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon chili flakes
zest of 1 lemon
parmesan cheese
fresh lemon juice
pine nutes

Boil the potato in salted water and while it’s still warm, carefully peel the skin. 
Using either a food mill or fork, mash the boiled potato in a bowl. 
Do not over mash but make sure there are no lumps.
Using a blender or food processor, grind arugula with egg yolk. 
Pour the mixture over mashed potatoes and give it a rough mix. 
Add a pinch of salt and drizzle some flour on top. 
Using a spatula, start working on the dough. 
Keep adding flour as you go until the dough is moist but not sticky.
Roll the dough into a log and using a knife, cut into several pieces. In my case, it was 5 pieces.
Work with one piece at a time. 
Dust some flour on it and roll it out to a much thinner log this time. Cut the thinner log into multiple pieces using a knife, each around 3/4 inch. Now using a fork or the gnocchi board, shape each piece. Place one piece at a time and press it with your finger lightly so it forms the ridges. Then, roll it to form a curl. Set it aside and move on to the next piece.
Once you are done creating the gnocchi, start with boiling the gnocchi and the sauce.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the gnocchi (in batches, if required). It will take about 3 to 4 minutes for it to become fluffy and float on top.
In the mean time, keep a pan ready with 1-tablespoon butter at medium heat. This will be used fry the gnocchi after boiling. Drop the boiled gnocchi and sauté it for about couple of minutes.
In another medium hot pan, add 3 tablespoons of butter. It will sizzle and melt slowly. Add chili flakes and lemon zest. 

In couple of minutes, the butter will turn brown in color. Keep an eye as it can turn from brown to black in a matter of seconds. Finally, drop fried gnocchi to the pan and mix it to coat the sauce properly.
Drizzle some fresh lemon juice, add parmesan cheese, toss with fresh arugula and serve immediately.

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