Archive | September, 2014

For Patricia: Olive-Oil Poached Salmon with Greens

28 Sep

Today is a very special day.  One of my mom’s very best and oldest friends has a milestone birthday to celebrate! My sister and I have known this spectacular woman for as long as we can remember.  She is one of the biggest fans of this blog endeavor of mine.  She is probably the first to read my latest recipe, always asking my mom, “Have you seen Colby’s post today?!”  The continued support means the world.  So, I would like to give her a birthday surprise and dedicate this one to her! 🙂

I know my mom and the rest of their lady group will be dining together this evening, so I thought I would try a recipe that I know she would love even though I can’t be there to make it for all of them.  If you’ve been following this blog at all, you know I’m an avid salmon eater, and so is Patricia! In the past I have always cooked salmon on the grill or in the oven, but I saw a recipe in Women’s Health Magazine that peaked my interest: poached salmon in olive oil.  And let me tell you, it is definitely worthy of a birthday dinner.  Quick, healthy, affordable, and with an air of fancy.

You’ll need:

  • Water
  • Salt
  • 6 oz. salmon fillet (per person).  I got mine for $6 at Whole Foods because yes, we are nomming on a budget.
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Bottle of extra-virgin olive oil. The cheapest you can get is probably $8 but the rich flavor is worth it.

In a large bowl, whisk together a cup of water and 1/8 cup salt per fillet.  Add fillet and soak for 4 minutes.  Remove and pat dry.

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In a large skillet, squeeze half a lemon’s worth of juice.  Mince and add garlic clove (you can add as much garlic as you are prone to enjoying; for me that means a whole clove). Fill the skillet with enough olive oil to cover the fillet.  Try and use good-quality oil for the poaching, as the fish will pick up some of it’s flavor.  Heat on medium until a food thermometer reads about 125 degrees.  I do not possess such an instrument, so I kept the oil at a robust simmer and didn’t let it get close to boiling (which is 212 degrees).  Add the fillet and cook until internal temperature reaches 115 to 145 degrees.  I maintained the aggressive simmer, and did so for 12 minutes exactly.

 

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Remove fillet to a wire rack to drain for a few minutes.  I again do not have this kitchen accessory, so I simply kept the fish on a perforated spatula over a plate so the oil could drip down (#cookinghacks).  Serve with a lemon wedge and some greens (or any side of your choosing!).  I went with sauteed spinach and tomatoes, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

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Look at the pretty golden skin! Apparently this is because the “deep poach”, unlike frying, does not allow the liquid to get near boiling.

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Frankly, I was nervous to cut the fish open and see if it had actually cooked.  But look! Proof that it is a perfectly medium-rare and flaky fish.

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Patricia, I hope you enjoy your day and get to celebrate with lots of laughter and love! Feel free to try this new salmon recipe, and let me know how you like it!

Guest Post: Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies!

23 Sep

Happy official first day of fall! It is hands down my favorite season.  Fall and all things autumnal. Crisp weather, football games, pumpkin beer, colorful leaves, FLANNEL… what’s not to love?! And speaking of football games, a small group in my office started year two of our fantasy football league! Loser of each week must bring in delicious treats for the rest of the group to enjoy.  As you might remember from last fall, I did my fair share of bringing in sweet thangs.  I have yet to lose a week, but my lovely coworker lost in Week 1 and guess what she brought in?! Yup, cream-cheese filled pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies.  Everything in that sentence is glorious alone, nevermind combined for an office dessert we demolished almost instantaneously. She was gracious enough to share the recipe and some pictures to be featured as a guest post this week!  If you’re a chronic baker, you undoubtedly have most of these ingredients hiding somewhere in a cupboard.  If not, head to the closest Giant or Harris Teeter!

Ingredients:

Cookies:

  • 1C butter, softened
  • 1 1/2C granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4C pumpkin puree
  • 2 3/4C all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp allspice

Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cinnamon-sugar coating:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Dash of allspice

ingredients

 

Directions:

  • Make the cream cheese filling first, blend cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together. Chill for an hour.

filling

  • In a large stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and pumpkin. Mix until barely combined.
  • In a separate medium bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into the batter, continuing to mix until there are no streaks.

cookie dough1

  • If your dough is overly sticky, dough may be chilled at this point for an hour or longer until ready to proceed. Chilled dough is easier to work with.
  • Preheat oven to 350 and line your baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and spices for the coating and set aside.

coating

  • To make the cookies, take a tablespoon of the cookie batter. Flatten it like a pancake and place a teaspoon of the cream cheese in center. Form another tablespoon of the cookie batter into a flat pancake shape and place on top of the cream cheese. Pinch the edges together sealing in the cream cheese and roll into a ball. Roll in the cinnamon sugar coating and place on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart.

in the oven

  • Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on pan for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

baked cookies

 

 

 

 

Pair with your favorite fall beer!

cookies and blue moon

Some pro tips from the baker:

  • The dough will be sticky because of the pumpkin puree; you can chill the dough for an hour or if you are not patient like me, I just get my hands slightly wet and its easy enough to work with the stickiness.
    • o Use the same recipe without pumpkin puree and allspice for regular snickerdoodles. The cookie dough will be a lot less sticky and easier to work with (that is my favorite variation)
  • The cookies wont have an overwhelming pumpkin taste, which is how I like it, but feel free to load up the allspice.
  • I love cream of tarter, which is why I used it, it can be removed if that isn’t your thing.

ENJOY!

Petite Pizzas

9 Sep

Happy Monday eve!  This is going to be a quick one because I’m exhausted.  But before beauty rest comes this post– quick, simple, healthy, and creative.  Have 20 minutes on a weeknight?  Make petite pizzas! You’ll need some basics, and then can have some fun with whatever ingredients you have around.  I used whole wheat English Muffins, some leftover tomato sauce, and Mozzarella and Colby Jack cheese for my basics.  Then made two kinds of petite pizzas because variety is the spice of life, amirite?  One was prosciutto, mozzarella, and sauteed garlic spinach.  The second was a fried runny egg, cherry tomatoes, Colby Jack cheese, and chives.  DELISH.

Things you need to cook before the oven toaster: tomatoes, spinach, and egg

Cherry tomatoes

Assembly line!

Assembly line

NOM!

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I’m not usually a fan of the runny egg, but oy was it just the right amount of gooey to soak up into the muffin.  Pair with some white wine, a candle, and Monday Night Football, and you have yourself a treat.

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Discovering new Foodventures with each bite

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Madison Sheffer

a creative communicator

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