Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Salmon Salad BLT

We made these Salmon Salad BLT sandwiches a few weeks ago. They tasted really great, sort of reminded me of some of those chicken salad sandwiches that people have at showers, but this one has salmon, dill, cucumbers, and bacon. Even Derk really liked these.

Salmon Salad BLT--4 sandwiches

3/4 C mayonnaise (I'd go for low-fat)
1/2 C English cucumber, seeded, diced
1/4 C plain yogurt (also low-fat)
2 T shallots, minced
2 T chopped fresh dill
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 and 1/4 pound salmon, cooked, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

For sandwiches:

Your favorite bread, toasted, romaine lettuce leaves, sliced tomato, and 8 strips of thick-sliced bacon, fried.

-Stir mayonnaise, cucumber, yogurt, shallots, dill, and lemon juice together in a bowl. Fold in salmon and season with salt and pepper.
-Toast bread, then assemble sandwiches with slice of tomato, 3/4 C salmon salad, and 2 strips of bacon.

--I would suggest adding maybe 1/2 C mayo and test to see if the salmon salad is the way you like it. If you need more mayo, then add it. We thought it was kind of juicy and there was a little too much mayo with 3/4 cup. Another nice thing about this recipe is that if you aren't able to buy the best quality salmon, or buy frozen salmon like we did, there's enough going on here that you won't notice it's not the highest quality salmon.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cinnamon Bear Popcorn

This recipe is for Derk! Hopefully it tastes as good as the sample I tried with the mom from Cael's school.

1 Cup butter
1/2 Cup Karo/light corn syrup
1 Cup sugar
3 Cups mini marshmallows
Few drops of red food coloring (if pink/red coloring of popcorn is desired)
1 Cup Cinnamon Bears, cut up
6-8 quarts popped corn (1 cup unpopped)

Combine butter, corn syrup and sugar in saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn to low. Cook for 5 minutes on low. Remove from heat and add marshmallows, red food coloring, and cinnamon bears. Pour over popped corn mix until well covered. You may also use gummy bears or any gummy candy in place of the cinnamon bears. Do not use sugar coated candy, as it will not work.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sage-Crusted Pork Tenderloin w/Apple-Thyme Compote

Sage-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Thyme Compote

This time we have pictures! (It appears the above plate was a little over-excited for the apples!) We made this last week and absolutely loved it. The apples are wonderful, the herbs really add a nice flavor, and the pork was really good. I don't especially love bacon or sausage, but pork tenderloin is very good, especially when paired with a really tasty apple compote.

Serves 4

For the pork:

3/4 C fresh bread crumbs (we used panko)
1 T minced fresh sage (or 1 tsp. dried rubbed sage)
salt and pepper to taste
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed, halved crosswise (1 pound)
1 T Dijon mustard
2 T olive oil

For sauce:

1/4 C sliced shallots (about 2)
4 tsp unsalted butter, divided
1 tsp olive oil
1 C sweet-tart apple (such as Braeburn), cored, thinly sliced
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme)
1/4 C brandy or dry white wine
1/4 C thawed apple juice concentrate
1/4 C low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp flour

-Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
-Combine bread crumbs, sage, salt, and pepper together on a baking sheet. Brush pork pieces with Dijon and roll in crumbs to coat, pressing them to adhere. Transfer to a rack and let stand 15 minutes.
-Heat 2 T oil in large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high. (We cooked in regular skillet, then transferred to a baking dish afterwards.) Add pork and saute on 1 side until crumbs are brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn pieces over, transfer pan to the oven, and roast until pork reaches 150-155 degrees, about 15-20 minutes. (Ours wasn't quite done, so we cooked it a little longer, maybe 10-15 minutes, so check it first.) Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before slicing into medallions.
-Saute shallots for the sauce in 3 tsp butter and 1 tsp oil in a second nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add apple and thyme, and saute 3 minutes. Deglaze with brandy/wine, simmer until nearly evaporated, then stir in juice concentrate and broth.
-Blend remaining 1 tsp butter and flour together in a dish, whisk into boiling sauce, and simmer until thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Butternut Squash-Tangerine Soup

This is called a butternut squash soup, but it's really more citrus-y, gingery, cinnamon-y goodness. It's nice and bright, smells really great and the bits of ginger taste really great in here. The squash seems to be more of a base rather than the actual flavor. And once you realize this, you'll realize how great this soup is! Oh, and again, we got this recipe from "Cuisine At Home", the December 2008 issue.

Citrus-y, Gingery, Cinnamon-y Soup

1 lb. peeled, cubed butternut squash (4 cups)
2 T chopped fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of saffron threads, optional
2 T unsalted butter
5 C water
1 1/2 C fresh tangerine juice or orange juice
1/4 C dried apricots
2 T honey

-Saute squash, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, and saffron for the soup in butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook until squash browns, about 5 minutes, stirring often.
-Add water, tangerine or orange juice, apricots, and honey. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until squash is tender, about 40 minutes. Let soup stand off heat for 10 minutes, then puree in a blender in batches until smooth. Return soup to pot and heat until warmed through.

The recipe also suggests making a gremolata, a garnish of sorts. We didn't opt for that, but I think it would make a nice contrast and add a little bite of flavor. The gremolata:

1/4 C chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 T chopped pistachios
1 T minced tangerine or orange zest
1/4 C plain yogurt

-Toss parsley, pistachios, and zest for gremolata together in a bowl. Spoon yogurt on each serving of soup, then garnish with parsley mixture.

The recipe says it makes 7 servings of 1 cup each. We decided it was probably closer to 4-5 servings, since, well, I don't really know anyone who actually sticks with the 1 cup serving suggestion. We definitely will make this soup again.