Sunday, June 10, 2007

a sad hiatus...

so, i'm going to be a little sporadic about my blogging for a bit. we're on some kind of budget that apparently does not allow me to go to the market, even for milk and eggs, which we have none of....and i'm starting a new diet pill on friday so untill i adjust to these new changes, i'm going to be a little kitchen depressed. as always, if by some miracle, i create a life changing dish straight from my pantry, the blog will be the first to hear about it, but untill then, i'm going be eating stale crackers and the rest of the tub of cool whip free......

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

oh, stuff it!

thanks to a couple of the super talented ladies on a cooking forum i frequent, i have been craving a stuffed bell pepper something fierce lately...never having made one before, or even eaten one for that matter, i hardly knew where to start. it did seem, however that they could be simple, outrageously delish and lend themselves easily to any kind of flavors you happened to be craving....and most importantly, of course, they are SO cute all stuffed and perky and festively colorful! i called in for a little help, got some great ideas and inspiration and here is what i came up was one of the best dinners i've made in awhile and the best part is, there are leftovers for tonight! yay!

Stuffed Southwest Peppers
4 large bell peppers, various colors, boiled for 3-4 minutes each just to soften slightly, tops cut off and reserved, seeds and ribs removed.
yellow spanish saffron rice, cooked according to package directions subbing chicken broth for water. about1 1/2 cups cooked.
1 T. unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup salsa
3 jalepeno chicken sausages, chopped (i used TJs pre-cooked, so they only needed to be heated through. if you use uncooked sausage, remove casing and brown in a pan)
1/2 cup shredded cheese
chopped cilantro.

pre-heat oven to 375, flash boil peppers and cook rice. transfer rice to a mixing bowl and peppers to a plate and set aside.

chop up the tops of the bell peppers (not the stems).
melt butter and heat oil together in a heavy skillet over medium high heat.
add onions and chopped bell pepper. season with salt and saute for 3 minutes until softened.
add garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute.
add salsa and jalepeno chicken sausage and continue cooking for a minute or so to heat sausage through.
remove pan from heat and add sausage and onion mixture to rice and stir to combine. add cheese and mix untill cheese is melted.
scoop filling into hollowed out bell peppers and place on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with pam.
bake for 30 minutes untill top is crispy.
sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

parmesan and bacon crusted wild salmon with spinach, corn and clam chowder sauce...

impressive name for a dish right? scott and i had our wedding reception at roy's restaurant in las vegas and as a gift from my mom and her best friend, we got the roy's cookbook. if you've never eaten at roy's, i can't reccomend it is consistently beyond, drinks, service. no matter the loaction or occasion...
i managed to follow the recipe almost exactly (which is quite a feat for me as i almost NEVER follow a recipe exactly). mostly because i was scared and wanted it to come out perfectly....although i halved it, as there were only 2 of us. it came together more quickly than it reads. once all the prep work was done (i always prep everything first for new recipes) it was a cinch. the final concensus is, in my opinion, it sounds better than it tastes and it tastes better than it looks. i expected it to be a me, it was only a 7 or so. if i made it again, i would definitely cut out all of the "season with salt" steps because the bacon in the crust and the reduced clam juice in the sauce make it salty enough without adding more...but the corn and spinach was a TOTAL knockout and would be a perfect, simple, easy side dish for other meals. also, one of the pieces of salmon i had was a little thick in the middle, so i finished it in the oven at 350 for about 5 minutes.

by: roy yamaguchi
Serving Size: 4

Clam chowder sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 cups bottled clam juice, or 1 cup canned clam juice
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Corn and spinach
4 ears sweet corn
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4-tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
4 cups packed spinach leaves

Parmesan bacon crust
3 slices bacon, cut into ¼ inch strips
8 cloves garlic minced
1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1 cup shaved or grated Parmesan cheese

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To prepare the sauce, heat the olive in a small, heavy stainless steel saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, shallots, and thyme, and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the clam juice, bring to a boil, and cook to reduce by half. Gradually whisk in the butter until it is melted and incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To prepare the corn and spinach, stand the corn upright on a cutting board and carefully cut the kernels from the cobs with a sharp knife. Transfer to a large, dry skillet and dry roast over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes until the kernels just begin to pop. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the butter and garlic. Cook until the corn browns slightly, about 2 minutes, and then add the thyme and spinach. Sauté 1 minute longer, until the spinach is just wilted. Set aside and keep warm.

To prepare the crust, put the bacon in a dry, heavy stainless-steel skillet or sauté pan over medium heat and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bacon is about half cooked and releasing its fat. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the bacon is cooked but not yet crisp. Stir in the panko and let it toast for about 10 seconds. Add the cheese and cook until melted. Remove from the heat.

Season the salmon with salt and pepper to taste and spread the fillets on one side with a layer of the crust mixture about 1/8 inch thick. Carefully return the salmon, crust side down, to the skillet or pan in which the crust was prepared, and sear over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, or until the crust browns. Turn over and cook the other side for 4 to 5 minutes, or until still slightly translucent in the center

Spoon the corn and spinach onto warmed serving plates and smooth out to form a bed for the salmon. Arrange the salmon on top and spoon the warm clam chowder sauce around the fish.

Monday, June 4, 2007


i can't even believe i am actually titling this post "shrimpalicious"'s so sickeningly rachael ray of me. my shameful confession is that i used to love i kind of want to hit her over the head with a meat tenderizer. not all the time...but let's be honest; most of it. anyway, this shrimp scampi has nothing to do with her...i whipped up this little gem last week for a quick, impromptu dinner for just my husband and myself...i stood, staring in the fridge, knowing i should be finding something to do with the chicken breasts and veggies hovering towards the end of their window of opportunity, but something about scampi was calling my name. i'd never made it before and i can say with 100% certainty that i WILL make it again. and if you know me, you know all to well that few dishes actually get made more than once in my kitchen. to quote RR and end this post as painfully as it began, "YUM-O!"

Shrimp Scampi for Two
adapted from Gourmet, April 2006

about 12-14 large shrimp, peeled and devained (i used frozen, but i think it would be better with fresh. most things are...)
3T - 1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white wine (i used pinot grigio, but next time i will opt for a chardonnay)
zest of one lemon
1T lemon juice
crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1-2T unsalted butter
salt and pepper

while you are making the shrimp, boil and salt a pot of water and cook 1/3 box of whatever long noodle you like. i used angel hair because that's all we had. next time i will use linguini. when the pasta is done, reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.

in a heavy skillet, heat olive oil over medium - medium high heat
season shrimp with salt and pepper and add to pan. saute untill pink and firm. 1-2 minutes per side. do not overcook.
remove the shrimp from the skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside.
to the shrimp pan, add the minced garlic and saute untill fragrant. about 30 seconds. add lemon juice and wine and cook to reduce just a pinch. add crushed pepper flakes (to taste), lemon zest and parsley. add butter and cook untill just melted. add the cooked shrimp back to the pan and and add pasta and as much pasta water as is needed for desired consistency of the "sauce".

serve with parmesan or without....simple and delicious!