Archive | Dinner RSS feed for this section

Salmon Toast & Tomatoes with Mozzarella

30 Mar

This is going to be short and sweet.  Between a new role in my organization, loads of upcoming travel and grad school applications, you can expect the blog hiatus to continue a wee bit longer.  Here’s a lil’ something to satiate you!

As you may know, salmon is a fave on this blog.  One night when I was crammed for time, I made this super fast, healthy and cheap dinner dish! You’ll need a package of lox, goat cheese, whole wheat toast, capers (optional), a few juicy green tomatoes, mozzarella balls and balsamic vinegar.  I got all of these ingredients at Trader Joe’s, who has a small pack of smoked salmon for like $5- total steal! Salmon Toast Salmon Toast

 

Add these items to the grocery store list for this week and enjoy!

Advertisements

Snowday Steak Marinade & Baked Sriracha Cauliflower

18 Feb

Hello again! Apologies for the recent winter hiatus, and for all you fellow DC residents- Happy Snow Day! On days like these I get to work from home, which simultaneously enables me to spend my lunch  break in my own kitchen.  A perfect use of this lucky situation of mine is a marinade… I can mix it up in the morning, let it sit all day, and it will  be ready by the work day’s end!  I’ve come across many a steak marinade recipe on different food blogs and in various food magazines and cookbooks.  I decided to whip up one of my own, hopefully following my self-declared “culinary instincts”.   I chose an oil base, the typical salt and pepper (but more delicious versions), herbs, and some spice.  Below are Trader Joe’s lemon pepper, rosemary, black truffle sea salt, thyme, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Not pictured is garlic, which is a definite must. Mix together in a bowl of olive oil to taste.   Self-made steak marinade Put your steak tips (or any red meat/chicken) in a plastic bag.  Dump in the marinade, thoroughly massage with the steak, and seal.  Put in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours. Self made steak marinade self-made steak marinade Toss in a pan with some butter to sear both sides. After searing each side for roughly 2 minutes, finish in the oven (set to 350) for 10 minutes or until cooked to desired temperature. self-made steak marinade And now, what to pair it with?! I suggest one of my bestie’s go-to recipes- baked sriracha cauliflower! Break up cauliflower florets and place in baking pan.  Add a can of chickpeas, drained.  Combine sriracha, olive oil and white wine vinegar in a bowl.  Drizzle the sriracha mixture into pan and thoroughly coat the cauliflower and chickpeas.  When asked for specifications, my lovely friend stated verbatim “Umm I eyeball it. Most olive oil. Splash of vinegar. Hot to taste. (I like it hot hot hot). Bake 400 degrees for 40 minutes tossing once.”  Welp, there ya go! Sriracha Cauliflower Apologies for not having a finished picture of the meal, but just imagine how yummy it is 🙂

Homemade Puff Pastry-Crust Pizza with Pancetta, Ricotta & Honey Dijon Onions

9 Jan

Welcome to the Polar Vortex 2k15! I don’t know where you’re all located, but if you’re in DC, then you are FREEZING.  The cold has been so aggressive this week that my immune system finally succumbed to some sort of cold virus, and the water pipes in our house have frozen.  With temperatures expected to be sub-freezing going into the weekend, you best bundle up!  There is always, however, a silver lining to these situations.  You could stay indoors, cuddle up with a terrific meal and a glass or three of wine, and rewatch the last season of Game of Thrones in preparation for its mighty return in a few months’ time (#PUMPED).  In any event, I have an idea for this delectable meal of yours!  How about a homemade, treat yo’self kind of pizza?! This one has a crust of golden, flaky puff pastry dough, piled with ricotta cheese, my specialty onions, and pancetta (bacon’s cousin- yes please).  The puffy pastry dough is the most expensive item on the list ($10 at whole foods), and if you’re solo, you’ll have leftovers for days! You’ll need:

  • One box of puff pastry dough (one sheet, thawed)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Fresh basil
  • Small container of fresh ricotta cheese
  • One package pancetta
  • 1-2 vidalia or sweet onions, depending on how excited you are to make them
  • Honey and Dijon mustard (equal parts, 3 tablespoons each per onion)
  • Butter

If you get the box of puff pastry dough the day before, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.  Otherwise, let it sit on the kitchen counter for 3-4 hours to thaw.  To accelerate thawing if it’s still not ready, CAREFULLY unfold the dough so it is a flat sheet, still in the plastic wrap, and wrap with kitchen towels.  I would not recommend thawing via microwave.  While the dough is on the tail-end of thawing, get your toppings ready! Chop up some fresh basil to put on the pizza, and set aside Basil Heat some butter in a frying pan and cook the pancetta.  Keep it on medium-high heat and make sure to pay attention, as each side of the pancetta takes only about a minute to cook.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Next, mix together your honey and dijon mustard in a bowl.  There should be equal parts honey:mustard, but feel free to taste and add to your liking.  Slice the onion(s) to about 1/4 inch thick, and place in a bigger  bowl.  Toss the onions in the honey mustard mix and let sit for a few minutes.  Heat up a pan on medium heat, throw in some butter, and add the onions and the leftover mix.  Cover and let cook down for about 15-20 minutes, or until onions are soft.  Make sure to stir occasionally so the mixture doesn’t burn or stick to the pan.  The smell of these bad boys will undoubtedly get your mouth watering.  Once finished, set aside along with the pancetta and basil. Pancetta w/ Honey Dijon onions Once the puff pastry dough is thawed, place on a baking sheet.  An important note, and thankfully one that I called my all-knowing mom about, is to bake the dough about halfway through before you put any toppings or sauce on it.  This ensures the dough cooks evenly and is stable enough to hold ingredients.  Following the baking directions on the box, set the oven to the appropriate temperature, and bake for half the time.  Remove from the oven, and spread on sauce.  Add pancetta, onions, basil, and dollups of ricotta cheese evenly on the pizza, layering the ingredients as necessary.  Bake in the oven for the remaining amount of time.  Make sure to check the pizza intermittently so the crust does not burn.  If it starts to darken, remove from the oven and cover those areas with aluminum foil so you can continue baking.  Once dough is cooked and cheese is molten, remove from the oven and serve!! Homemade pizza! Flaky Crust Pizza This works for 2-4 people.  If you’re a duo, which I was with a favorite dining companion, then I suggest you be HUNGRY.  Enjoy!

Easy Shrimp Salad

17 Dec

I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to head home for the holidays this weekend.  Family, friends, and FEASTS await! I’m getting antsy just thinking about it.  Alas, there are still two days standing in my way, and I think I might as well get some nutrition in now.  This shrimp salad is cheap, easy and deliciously satisfying.

You’ll need a tomato, 1 ball of mozzarella, spinach, avocado, lemon, olive oil, and 1 package peeled frozen shrimp.  Simply cook the shrimp in a pan on the stove top, chop up the tomato, mozzarella, and avocado, and toss on a bed of spinach.  For a super light dressing, drizzle on olive oil and squeeze half a lemon’s worth of juice.  Add on any other salad components you like!

Easy Shrimp Salad with Lemon

Easy Shrimp Salad

Easy Shrimp Salad

You’ll feel good, look good, and temporarily stave off the inevitable Christmas vacation pounds.  Enjoy!

Nommin’ Out: Medium Rare

6 Nov

My carnivorous people, pay attention. Medium Rare restaurant, originally started in the Cleveland Park metro area of DC, has expanded to Barracks Row in Eastern Market! My coworker, a staunch Arlington-dweller, mentioned that I need to make it a priority on my restaurant list, and a DC recommendation from him is a big deal.  I shared my desire with a fellow steak lover, and made it a dinner stop this week.  Let me break it down for ya: they serve one thing for dinner only.  Its a $19.75 pre-fixed menu of rustic bread, garden salad, and special-sauce covered steak with hand-cut fries cooked to perfection just the way you like it.  The best part? They serve the steak and fries to you TWICE. Your dinner comes in two parts to ensure the steak and fries stay warm and amazing, #thoughtful.  Paired with a $30 bottle of red wine and I was a happy camper!

Medium RareDC

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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.

 

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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!

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!

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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.

thewinelifestyle

So close to wine

culinarychronicles.wordpress.com/

Discovering new Foodventures with each bite

A Stairway To Fashion

contact: ralucastoica23@gmail.com

Madison Sheffer

a creative communicator

%d bloggers like this: