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Awesome Onion Goggles

Cedar-Plank Salmon

cedar-planked salmon

Here is a recipe that certainly will work outdoors on a grill but also worked quite well in the oven. I found these little 6 X 6 inch or so cedar grilling planks at Sur la Table for $10 and impulse-bought them. Then I on-purpose bought some salmon.

I soaked my plank for about an hour and a half. If it was going on a charcoal grill the fish *, I would have soaked it for at least two hours. I let the plank heat up in the oven for about 5 minutes, before placing the salmon on it. I don’t actually know how much flavor the cedar imparted on the salmon, but wow, did it smell good while in the oven. These planks were officially, single serving size but I found I could easily fit the two pieces of salmon on it.

Also, since my plank was not too charred, I rinsed it off with hot water (no soap) and plan on using it again.

Oh and I can not stress enough how good the maple-mustard-rosemary crust on the salmon was…really, I can’t. I just can’t at all. Nope, not even going to try. And, if . . . → Read More: Cedar-Plank Salmon

Lentil Soup #22

lentil soup

Recently, I found myself with a bag of lentils and a dream. Or something like that. Maybe it was just a bag of lentils, a craving for soup and memories of the awesome chicken tagine of last month. So I kind of combined the two for something I like to call Lentil Soup #22 (or Moroccan-Style Lentil Soup). I’ve posted lentil soups before, but this is way different.

I used Spanish lentils for this (they hold their shape really well) but any brown lentil will work fine. So would red or green, probably.

Lentil Soup #22 (or Moroccan-Style Lentil Soup)
Adapted from a recipe by ME!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp sun dried tomato paste
1 cinnamon stick
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/4 cups brown lentils
1 handful cilantro, chopped
Optional: 1/2 tsp Rogan Josh seasoning
Garnishes: more cilantro and yogurt

lentil soup

Heat the olive oil in a big soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and saute over medium, until a little golden and soft, 8-10 minutes.

lentil soup

Next comes the paprika, cumin, tomato paste and Rogan Josh seasoning, if using. Stir and . . . → Read More: Lentil Soup #22

Adventures in Bread #1: French-Style Country Bread

French bread

Ah, a new year. What better time to learn a new skill? And the new skill I have my heart set on is bread making…with yeast and everything. I have flirted a bit before with Parmesan Flatbread and Pizza Dough, but now I am talking full-on loaves of crusty, wonderful bread. I know, so scary!

Here is experiment number one. I’ll give myself about a C+.

I’ve started my bread learnin’ at the King Arthur Flour site because I happen have that brand of flour at home and they also have tons of free recipes online. I’m going to try and bake myself through some of their recipes, starting with French-Style Country Bread. I’ll intersperse the original recipe with my photos. Any notes that are mine will be in italics.

Full disclosure: I am kneading with the dough hook on my Kitchen Aid mixer.

Okay, let’s go!

French-Style Country Bread
From King Arthur Flour Online Recipes

Sponge Starter (Begin 2 to 16 hours ahead)
1 cup (8 ounces) cool to lukewarm water, preferably spring water (90 to 100°F)
1/2 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1/4 cup (1 ounce) King Arthur White Whole Wheat or Traditional . . . → Read More: Adventures in Bread #1: French-Style Country Bread

Kung Pao Shrimp

title

This is a weekday lunch staple. Since jwa and I both bring lunch to work pretty much everyday, if I do any cooking at night during the week, it’s most likely something to bring to lunch the next day. The original recipe was for beef, but I usually make it with chicken. The other night I tried some shrimp (about 3/4 of a pound) and that works really well too! In theory, you should really be able to use any one pound of protein that you want to here, but I can just vouch for chicken and shrimp so far.

Do all your chopping and dicing at once — mise en place! — before you start cooking anything (or while you are marinating).

kung pao

You can make it have as much spice or as little spice as you like. I usually use 3 dried chilies and it comes out medium spicy. And a good substitute for Szechwan pepper is some hot chili oil, which can be drizzled in at the end to adjust the heat.

Kung Pao Shrimp or Chicken (or Beef!)
Adapted from a recipe by Tyler Florence
1 pound shrimp (shelled & cleaned & detailed) or . . . → Read More: Kung Pao Shrimp

Sausages and Legumes with Tomato Salsa

title

We had this meal over New Year’s Weekend because I believe lentils are lucky to have around that time. Of course, I opted to not use lentils because I had some Christmas Lima Beans that I needed to use. I hope Christmas Lima Beans are still lucky. I soaked my beans for about 8 hours before I used them in the recipe, so make sure you do that if you are using larger dried beans. You could also just use lentils, like the original recipe calls for and skip the soaking all together. I think that’s what I’ll do next time.

That said, this meal was fantastic! The tomato salsa is really fragrant and good and I have discovered Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage at Trader Joe’s. Wow — it was so tasty in this. Feel free to use the sausage of your choice — chicken, turkey or traditional pork sausage. Note: If your sausage is not raw, I would just cook briefly in the pan, not bake in the oven too.

This will feed a lot, so invite people over or have lunches and dinners for the week to look forward too.

Sausages and Legumes with Tomato Salsa
Adapted from a . . . → Read More: Sausages and Legumes with Tomato Salsa