Friday, December 17, 2010

Roast Salmon with Bacon and Leeks (Fine Cooking)

Roast Salmon with Bacon and Leeks - Fine Cooking Recipes

Oh my stars..... You MUST make the recipe above... The roast Salmon. With Bacon. And Leeks.... ** swoon **

I normally buy a side (fillet?) of salmon when it goes on sale for about $5 and keep one in my freezer for grilling or broiling. It's winter now, so no grilling and oven-roasting heats the house.
I had some "leftover" pancetta. Oh my... listen to me.. hoity-toity... as if I have pancetta every day and leftovers of it all the time. I don't even remember what I got it for originally, but I had used only one slice (round). I knew I needed to use the rest soon, and although I have not made this salmon recipe using regular smoked bacon, I think this was better. The smokiness would detract from the leeks and the salmon.
I did buy the leeks today since I've used all the ones I dehydrated. Remember to only use the white and light green parts and to slice them first and then wash them. It is MUCH easier than trying to get all the sand out of the whole leek.

The technique:
Preheat oven to 400°
Cut up the pancetta into small pieces (cubes). Brown/crisp the pancetta in a little EVOO in an oven-safe skillet. I used my large cast iron skillet.
While the bacon/pancetta is cooking, cut the salmon into 4 pieces. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, kosher salt and pepper. Set aside.
Remove the pancetta from the oil when crispy. Set aside.
The directions said to drain off all the bacon drippings and wipe out the pan and then use a tablespoon of oil. Say what? I simply drained off all but about a tablespoon. Add in the leek slices, some black pepper, some fresh thyme and 2 Tb. of vinegar (either cider or like me, use red wine vinegar -- it's what I had on hand). Cook the leeks until fairly soft. I didn't go the entire 10 mins but just until they were softened.
Place the salmon pieces, skin side down on the bed of partially cooked leeks, tucking the thin parts under or layer all the thin parts over one another so they don't overcook.
Cook/roast, uncovered for 20 mins. Top with crisp pancetta.

I served this with some leftover mushroom brown rice I found in the freezer (cook brown rice in rice cooker with chicken stock, EVOO, dried mushrooms and thyme), steamed frozen mixed veggies and cheese-herb biscuits (from the Schwan truck).
This was so amazingly delicious. The caramelized leeks/saucy bits mixed with the pancetta over the rich salmon.... to die for! The rice had a richness of it's own from the chicken broth and mushrooms. The veggies... simple and a nice counterpoint to all the richness. And who can go wrong with cheesy biscuits?

There are 2 pieces of salmon left, some veggies and rice. I see the ingredients to a lovely salmon soup there or perhaps some refried rice with salmon and veggies. Comfort food for another night.

This is just one of 3 recipes I had bookmarked from the Fine Cooking site. I know there are more, so keep watching for more cooking and reviews.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hattie's Cream Puff Dessert

(Hattie was a former boss's mother-in-law and a very wonderful woman.  She provided this dessert recipe and we made it at the cafe where I worked.  It was always a big hit and still is now, when I bring it to pot-luck dinners.)

Hattie's Cream Puff Dessert

1/2 c. butter
1 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs
Preheat oven to 400°.  Melt the butter in 1 c. boiling water and salt.  Add the flour and cook while stirring until dough forms a ball in the pan.  Let cool off the burner for 10 mins.  Mix in eggs, one at a time, using either a hand mixer or stand mixer.  Be sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next one.
Spread dough in a sprayed 9x13" pan.  Bake for 20-30 mins. or until golden brown and the crust shows no moisture in the cracks.
Let cool completely. (I usually make this the evening before and cover with a clean dish towel until I'm ready to fill.  You can freeze the crust.)

Filling & Topping:
3 1/2 c. milk
2 Lg packages instant vanilla pudding
1 c. sour cream (I used Greek yogurt, worked great!)
1 tsp. almond flavoring
1/2-1 tsp. vanilla flavoring (I use less if the yogurt is vanilla flavored.)
8-oz container whipped topping
1/4-1/2 c. chopped pecans
Chocolate syrup for drizzling (optional)
Mix all the ingredients using a mixer.  When thickened, pour or spoon into the cooled crust.  Spread with whipped topping.  Sprinkle with chopped pecans.  You can drizzle with chocolate syrup.

(Note:  You can top this with "Real" whipped cream.  I just don't take the time to make it.  If you do that, I would imagine you would top it right before serving or dollop each piece.
You can also use other flavors of pudding.  I'm imagining chocolate with some expresso powder added in for a mocha flavor, maybe some rum rather than almond flavoring.)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

2 Different Chicken Enchilada Recipes

#1  Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

by Dianne Makovicka from the Brainard NE. Q125 Cookbook 2000

3 large chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 c. sour cream
1 1/2 tsp minced onion
1 4-oz. can chopped mild green chilis
1/2c. oil
12 tortillas
Cook chicken, remove skin and cut up or shred.  Cook soup, sour cream, onion and chilis in saucepan on medium heat for 5 mins.  Do not boil.  Heat the oil in a skillet.  Soften the tortillas in the oil and drain well.  Top each tortilla with chicken and 2 Tb. soup mixture.  Roll up and arrange in a buttered 9x13" baking dish.  Pour remaining soup over top.  Bake at 350° for 30 mins.

(Kay's note:  I topped it all with some finely shredded Cheddar cheese before baking.  I also halved this and baked it in a 8x8" baking dish.  It made 4 enchiladas using the large size tortillas.  Also, as in the other recipe, I seasoned the chicken with Adobo seasoning (garlic/onion based seasoning- Goyo brand is what I have) and the also the oil in the skillet when heating the tortillas.)

#2 Spicy Chicken Enchiladas 

by Kris Hansen, from the St. Vincent DePaul Catholic Church Cookbook 1998

1 lb approximately chicken breasts
1 10oz can enchilada sauce
1 can green chilis
1 pkg corn tortillas
1 8oz pkg shredded cheese
1 small onion, chopped
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 pt sour cream

Debone chicken, cut into this strips and brown lightly in oil.  Drain.  Combine enchilada sauce, chilies, onions and taco mix in a small pan.  Simmer for about 20 mins.  Heat each tortilla in oil in a skillet.  Drain.  Place chicken on tortillas and sprinkle with cheese.  Place in greased 9x13" baking dish.  Pour sauce over enchiladas to coat and top with leftover cheese.  Bake for 20 mins at 375°. Serve with sour cream.

(Kay's note:  Instead of the taco seasoning, I just added some cumin and chili powder to the sauce.  As in the other recipe, I seasoned the chicken with Adobo seasoning (garlic/onion based seasoning- Goyo brand is what I have) and the also the oil in the skillet when heating the tortillas.  These are pretty spicy, so you may want to leave out the chili powder/taco seasoning.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mom's Apple Crisp

(I think this is an old 4-H recipe.  All I know for sure is that it's been in my taste experience forever.  It is the first dessert I make every Fall.  Its simplicity highlights the flavors of Autumn... apples and cinnamon.)

Mom's Apple Crisp

1 c. sugar (white or brown or combination of the two)
1 c. flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c. butter
4 c. cored, peeled, sliced apples
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tb. water (optional... use if apples are not very juicy)

Preheat oven to 375°.  Combine the dry ingredients.  Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Set aside.
Combine apple slices and cinnamon.  Place in a 8" baking dish.  Top with butter mixture.  Bake for 45 mins. or until apples are soft and crisp is bubbling.  (You may need to place a baking sheet on the rack below the crisp if the apples are extra juicy.)
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream while watching the harvest moon rise.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Amish Sugar Cookies

Amish Sugar Cookies

Preheat oven to 350°.

1c. sugar
1c. powdered sugar
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. oil

Combine all these very well.

Add 2 eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla, beat well.

Combine 4 1/2 c. flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. cream of tarter and add to sugar/egg mixture.  Stir until well combined.
(At this point you can chill for several hours.  I do this if the dough seems too soft.)

Drop small balls of dough onto greased cookie sheets.  (I used just parchment paper.  No extra fat that way.)  Flatten each ball with a fork and sprinkle with sugar.  (I dip  my fork into sugar between cookies to keep it from sticking.  And I use colored sugar for sprinkling.)

Bake for 10-12 mins, just until the edges are starting to get golden.  Cool on rack.