Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon with Honey Glaze

I am so lucky that all of my kids LOVE fish.  I try to make some variety of fish at least once a week.  I have a few very good salmon recipes that we love, Grilled Salmon, for example.  This recipe requires a little bit more work than that one {still very easy though} but it is worth the extra time.  I do believe that it may now be my favorite.

Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon

1 1/2 pounds raw salmon, {I made 6 salmon fillets}
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
4 green onions, sliced
Sesame Ginger Honey Glaze, recipe below

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack over top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray. {I just used a baking dish for mine}.

In a large bowl or baking dish, combine olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, vinegar, brown sugar and whisk well until combined. Add salmon to the dish or place everything in a ziplock bag, then refrigerate and marinate for 30 minutes {or longer}.

Preheat the broiler in your oven. (Or preheat your grill, etc if you prefer to use something else.) {I baked mine at 400 for 20 minutes because I had foccacia going in the oven too}

Remove salmon with kitchen tongs and place directly on the wire rack. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper, then place directly under the broiler. Cook for 10-12 minutes, depending on the salmon’s thickness (our’s was just about an inch thick), until opaque and easily flakable with a fork. You can flip the salmon halfway through cooking if desired.

Remove and serve immediately, with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, green onions and the glaze below.

Sesame Ginger Honey Glaze

1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over salmon.

Source:  How Sweet Eats

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Easy Calzones

If I want a winning recipe, I often look to the Pioneer Woman.  She rocks, doesn't she?  I make pizza pretty much every other Friday night.  We love pizza, but I am easily bored and I need to keep lots of variety in my life.  On our last pizza night I got really wild and crazy and made PW's calzones instead of pizza.  They were pretty darn easy and very yummy!  I think that next time I might saute up some peppers/onions/etc. to throw in some of them.

Easy Calzones

16 whole Frozen, Unrisen Dinner Rolls (I Use Rhodes) Note: Can Also Use Frozen Bread Loaves.
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
1 pound Breakfast Or Italian Sausage
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
15 ounces, fluid Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1-1/2 cup Grated Mozzarella Cheese
2 whole Eggs
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Black Pepper To Taste
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
Marinara Sauce, For Serving
1 whole Egg Beaten
Preparation Instructions

Place frozen rolls (or frozen bread loaves) on a baking sheet to thaw. Cover with a tea towel and let thaw and rise for 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Add sausage and cook until brown, crumbling the sausage as you stir. Add Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a plate.

In a separate bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, eggs, salt, pepper, and parsley. When sausage is cool, stir it in. Set aside.

When rolls are thawed and risen, roll them out on a lightly floured surface until paper thin. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons (approximately) filling onto half of the dough circle. Fold half of the dough over itself, then press edges to seal.

*Note: If you want a larger calzone, use frozen bread loaves and use about 1/4 to 1/3 of the loaf for each calzone.

Brush surface of calzone with beaten egg, then bake for 10-13 minutes, or until nice and golden brown. Serve with warm marinara sauce.

Source: Pioneer Woman

Pretzel Buns with Grilled Dogs & Spicy Cheese Sauce

Sometimes, I think we all crave something salty and delicious.  These pretzel dogs fit the bill perfectly when that craving hits.  I can't claim that they are super fast, but they aren't really that complicated either.  The main things is that the require planning ahead so you have enough time to make the pretzel buns {which are delicious}.  The original recipe called for beef hot dogs but I went the Polish Sausage route.  We are just not big hot dog people around here.  I say, use whatever your family prefers.

I would like to add, the cheese sauce for this is delicious.  Several of us enjoyed dipping our french fries in it as well. 

As you can see in my picture, my buns were a bit big...even for my sausages.  The original recipe made 8 pretzel buns.  I modified it below to 12 because I think that would leave them a better size for the dogs or sausages.  

Pretzel Buns with Grilled Dogs & Spicy Cheese Sauce

Spicy Cheese Sauce:
12 ounces pasteurized cheese food, such as Velveeta, chopped
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon diced pickled cherry peppers in jar
1 tablespoon diced pickled jalapenos
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno juice
12 natural casing all-beef franks {I used Polish Sausages}
Sandwich Build:
12 Pretzel Hot Dog Buns, recipe below
1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, chopped for garnish, optional

For the cheese sauce: Add the cheese cubes, milk, pickled cherry and jalapeno peppers and jalapeno juice to a small saucepot and cook over low heat until melted and combined, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally {I put this in a small dip sized crockpot while I was making the buns which worked great for me}.
For the franks: Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the franks on the grill pan, making sure to turn and char on all sides. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
For the sandwich build: Split the Pretzel Hot Dog Buns in half, nestle the grilled franks in their pretzel blankets, pour over some spicy cheese sauce and top with some pickled jalapenos if you like. Enjoy!
Pretzel Hot Dog Buns:
1 cup milk
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 packet active dry yeast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small cloves garlic, grated
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup bread flour
1/2 cup baking soda
Pretzel salt or coarse ground sea salt, for sprinkling

In a small saucepan, heat the milk, 1/2 cup water, sugar and honey to 105 to 110 degrees F. Add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the water mixture and wait for at least 10 to 15 minutes until the yeast blooms.

In a separate saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and garlic and cook until the butter is melted and the garlic is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.

Combine the all-purpose flour and bread flour in a mixing bowl.

Add the flour mixture to the bowl with the blooming yeast, and then add in the melted butter and garlic mixture. Mix on medium speed until the dough has come together and is smooth and elastic in texture and pulling away from the sides of the bowl, 5 to 7 minutes.

Line 2 baking sheets with silicone mats.Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured cutting board and form into a ball. Cut into 6 equal pieces, and then cut those in half to form 12 equal pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a ball and place onto a prepared baking sheet. Cover with a dish cloth and let them rest in a warm place for 12 to 15 minutes.

Once rested, lightly dust your work surface again and roll the balls into 7-inch logs. Place onto the other prepared baking sheet, cover, place back in the warm spot and let rest for an additional 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place one oven rack high and one low. Line 2 more baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.

In a large pot, bring 8 cups water to a boil, and then add the baking soda. In batches, place the dough in the water and cook for 30 seconds on each side.

Using a slotted spatula, remove the logs and place onto the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle the logs with pretzel salt as they come out of the water, to ensure the salt sticks. Then cut 3 diagonal slits on top of the bread, not too deep.

Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, rotating between the top and bottom racks of the oven halfway through the cooking.

Source:  Jeff Murano, Food Network

Simply Delicious Beef Jerky

My boys love beef jerky.  OK, I love it too.  As a matter of fact, when my husband first met me I was a vegetarian....except for beef jerky;)  I buy bulk packages of it at Sams Club and it disappears.  It is expensive and I cannot afford that kind of beef jerky inhalation so I have been trying to come up with my own delicious recipes for a while now.  This one requires only simple ingredients that I usually have on hand and it is a winner.  The only other one that we have tried and liked as much was this Perfectly Spicy & Sweet Beef Jerky that I posted about a while ago {please excuse the terrible photo}.  I don't typically keep pineapple juice on hand so I don't always have the ingredients to make that one.  

Give this a try, you won't regret it!  If you don't have a dehydrator, you can dehydrate in your oven.  I have never done it but I am sure you can find some tutorials online!  

Simply Delicious Beef Jerky

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (e.g.
Tabasco™), or to taste 
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup brown sugar

Stir together soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and hot pepper sauce in a bowl. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and sugar; stir until mixed.

To use, toss one pound of thinly sliced meat with the marinade until well coated. Place into a resealable plastic bag, and squeeze out the air. Marinate in the refrigerator for 48 hours, mixing twice. Remove meat from marinade, and discard excess marinade. 

Prepare jerky according to the manufacturer's directions of your dehydrator.

Savory Bacon & Egg Cupcakes

My kids can be so insanely picky when it comes to "new" breakfast foods.  My boys in particular, pretty much always balk at every new breakfast casserole that I try.  When we have a big breakfast, they want the old stand-by's: french toast, pancakes, waffles, and bacon and eggs.  When I made these bacon & egg cupcakes a few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find that everyone really enjoyed them!  This is a great, easy way to serve breakfast to a crowd without spending all morning over the stove.  I will be making them again!  So simple, yet so delicious!

I apologize for my bad picture!

Savory Bacon & Egg Cupcakes
Makes 8 servings

16 slices bacon
can (16.3 oz) Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
Salt and pepper, if desired
Shredded Cheddar Cheese, optional  {I skipped it  but I might give it a try next time}

Heat oven to 350°F. In 10-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium heat about 4 minutes or until cooked but not crisp, turning once. (It will continue to cook in the oven.) Set aside.
Spray 8 jumbo muffin cups or 8 (6-oz) glass custard cups with cooking spray. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Place 1 biscuit in each muffin cup, pressing dough three-fourths of the way up sides of cups. Place 2 bacon slices in each biscuit cup, and crack an egg over each.  Top with a light sprinkling of cheese, if desired.  Season with salt and pepper.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until egg whites are set.  You might want to place a baking sheet on the rack under the muffin tin to catch any drips from the bacon.  

 Run a small knife around cups to loosen. Serve immediately.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Menu Plan

Just updating my menu plan for the remainder of this week and adding in next week!

Friday:  Hamburger Buns, Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Things, Sliders with Chipotle Mayo

Saturday:   French Toast Bake & Sausage Links, Pizza Corner Pizzas

Sunday:   Pork Sandwiches with Cilantro Jalapeno Slaw

Monday:  Chicken Makhani, Naan, & Veggie

Tuesday:  Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon, Olive Focaccia, & Veggie

Wednesday:  Killer Club Sandwich & Amish Macaroni Salad

Thursday:  BBQ Chicken Quesadilla with Smoked Tomato Relish and Buttermilk Dressing

Friday:  Pizza Crust & Assorted Toppings

Saturday:   Clone of a Cinnnabon  Chicken Lo Mein 

Sunday:  Eggs Benedict  Bacon Wrapped Scallops with Chili Butter, Orzo with Parmesan and Basil, & Veggie

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Weekly Menu Plan

Monday:  Man Pleasing Chicken, Sundried Tomato Risotto, & Side Salad

Tuesday:  Hamburger Buns, Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Things, Sliders with Chipotle Mayo

Wednesday:  Pretzel Buns with Grilled Dogs and Spicy Cheese Sauce, Fries, and Fruit

Thursday:   Pork Sandwiches with Cilantro Jalapeno Slaw & Chips

Friday:  Potato Oles & Tacos

Saturday: French Toast Bake Our Anniversary!

Sunday:  Chicken Makhani, Basmati Rice, & Veggie


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