Sunday, June 24, 2007

Salmon with Farfalle

I really love salmon, but I tend to get tired of fixing it the same way - usually marinating it with whatever I have around the house and grilling it up. I decided to mix it up a bit by pairing it with pasta and a dijon sauce. It turned out great and even my husband, who is not a fish eater, loved it!

1 pound farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1 pound salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 teaspoons dried parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

Boil a large pot of salted water over high heat. Add the pasta and boil until al dente, about 10 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and garlic stirring, until soft - be careful not to let it brown. Add the mustard and stir to combine.

Salt and pepper the salmon. Add the salmon and cook, stirring, until it is just cooked through, being careful not to stir it too much. Add the parsley and the peas. Set aside.

Drain the pasta. Add it to the sauce and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cafe Rio House Ranch

We got together with a group of friends last week for "Cafe Rio Night". Living on the East Coast, we rarely get good TexMex, let alone Cafe Rio! We found some recipes through friends who swear it is the real deal. The food was great - but alas it was just not quite the same as Cafe Rio... At any rate, here is the recipe for Cafe Rio's House Ranch. If you can only get to Utah once a year like us, this will get you the fix you need!

Tomatillo Ranch Dressing
1 pkg of Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch Dressing dry mix
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tomatillos, peel
1 clove garlic, minced
½ bunch of cilantro, chopped
juice from one lime
1 small jalapeno, seeds and stem removed

Blend ingredients together in a blender. You can add additional mayonnaise if the dressing is too thin. Keep refrigerated.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sweet and Sour Shrimp in a Pineapple

I couldn't resist the pineapple I found at Costco the other day. I love fresh pineapple. It sat on my table for a few days until I could decide on something worthy of it! I love serving this dish in the pineapple; it adds such elegance and fun!

1 lb. fresh or frozen shrimp
3/4 t. crushed red pepper (divided)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 whole pineapple

Sweet and Sour Sauce

6 T chicken stock (divided)
3 T ketchup
3 T dark brown sugar
3 T fresh pineapple juice
2 T rice vinegar
2 t soy sauce

1 T cornstarch

Start by combining the deveined shrimp with the garlic and half of the crushed red pepper in a bowl. Set aside to marinate.

Next combine 4 T chicken stock with the next five ingredients through soy sauce in a small bowl. Add remaining crushed red pepper. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining chicken stock with the cornstarch.

You'll need to prepare the pineapple before you start cooking. Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise. Next, cut around the perimeter of the pineapple, and then dice it still in the rind. From here it is pretty easy to scoop out the fruit. Be sure to cut the core off the flesh.

Heat a wok with a high smoke point oil - such as sesame or vegetable oil. The oil is ready when it sizzles when you put a drop of water or small piece of garlic in it. Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes until the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through. Remove from heat.

Next, stir fry the onions a few minutes until they start to become tender. Add the green peppers and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and quickly add to the vegetables. Allow the sauce to heat until it starts to become thick and bubbly. Add the shrimp, pineapple, and tomatoes. Gently stir together until sauce is thick and bubbly.

Serve in scooped out pineapple along side hot white rice. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

ISO Turkish Lentil Soup

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to Turkey. Among the fresh breads and endless kebabs I discovered a hidden treasure - Lentil Soup! I know, I know... Lentils? Yes. Lentils.

Once I discovered the delectable treat, I had it nearly every day, keeping me warm in the cool spring days. Since returning, I've searched endlessly for a recipe for this soup. Unfortunately, all I can find is a recipe for Red Lentil and Mint soup (another Turkish soup, but not the one I'm looking for). The one I'm looking for is closer to a broth, spiked with paprika and cooled down with fresh lemon juice. I'm at a loss!

Does anyone know where a girl can find a good Lentil Soup recipe?!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Summer Veggies with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Summer is here! I love the first signs of summer when all the summer berries and vegetables. Some of my favorites are summer squash and zucchini. Here is one of my favorite ways to prepare them.

1/2 red onion
1 medium summer squash
1 medium zucchini
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
12 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 clove minced garlic
1/2 Tbsp. Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. White Balsamic Vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Start by placing thinly sliced onions in a saute pan. Grill until the onions start to caramelize. Add sliced summer squash and zucchini, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the squash and zucchini are fork tender.

For the vinaigrette, placed minced garlic in a bowl. Add vinegar and sugar. Let it sit for a few minutes so the garlic can infuse into the vinegar. While whisking the mixture, slowly add the olive oil until it is emulsified.

Toss squash mixture, vinaigrette, and cherry tomatoes. Serve immediately.