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Friday, July 29, 2011

Broiled Maple Soy Glazed Salmon with Spiced Carrots

My husband thought he didn't like salmon.  Salmon happens to be one of my favorite things, and it's jam packed with nutritional goodness.  Not to mention pretty easy and stress free to prepare.  So naturally I decided to attempt to convert him to a salmon lover like me!  I found success with this recipe:

Maple Soy Glazed Salmon  (Serves 4)
4 (6oz.) Salmon Fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
dash of dried ginger
dash of cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste

1.     Preheat broiler.
2.     In small bowl, whisk olive oil, maple syrup, soy sauce, ginger, and cayenne until combined.
3.     Place salmon fillets in broil safe dish, skin side down.  Brush with sauce, salt and pepper, and broil until cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
4.     (Optional:  Make a 2nd batch of sauce for spooning over salmon after plating for an extra bit of flavor.  I highly recommend doing so!)

Spiced Carrots
1 lb. carrots, cleaned and cut into thin coins
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1.     Preheat broiler.
2.     Toss carrots with olive oil and place in broil safe dish.  (NOTE:  You can make the carrots in the same dish as the salmon, if you like.  I used a metal 9" X 13" baking dish and spread carrots on one side, starting them 3 minutes before adding the salmon.) Broil until tender, 10-12 minutes.
3.     Remove cooked carrots to bowl and add salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Stir to combine, serve warm.

Easy Gourmet!!! Roasted Garlic Spread on Toasted Crusty Bread

Ever wanted to present your girlfriends with a knockout snack during a moving night???  Maybe you want an elegant (and incredibly easy) appetizer for a dinner party.  Look no further!  Make roasted garlic spread on toasted crusty bread!  Doing this couldn’t be easier and is really tasty.  Maybe not the best choice for a date night, unless you both just love garlic, but it’s still a crowd pleaser. 

Roasted Garlic Spread on Toasted Crusty Bread

4 Medium sized heads of garlic
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 loaves of crusty bread (I like sourdough, but French bread will work well too)
Aluminum Foil

1.      Preheat oven to 400°
2.      Remove outermost layer of skin from garlic, leaving individual cloves and their skin intact.
3.      Cut tops off cloves with large knife.
4.      Rip the foil into squares large enough to wrap the heads of garlic separately. 
5.      Place each garlic head in the center of a piece of foil.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil per head, and turn and rub to coat. 
6.      Wrap foil around each head and place in oven. 
7.      Bake 35-40 minutes, or until garlic is a brown color. 

Meanwhile, toast bread lightly.  Remove garlic from foil and serve one of two ways –
1.                  Either smear on bread yourself (top with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper) and serve to guests; or
2.                  Remove garlic head from foil and place in small ramekin with small knife and toasted bread on platter.
3.                  Enjoy!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Open Face Tomato Sandwiches with a side of Cucumber Salad

So this horrible heat wave has inspired me to create fresh and delicious dinners without weighing the hubby and I down.  Nothing is better than a fresh tomato from the garden, and this is another way to use the excess of tomatoes without doing another caprese salad.  The cucumber salad is an amazingly fresh salad to keep you cool during the hot summer months.

Open Faced Tomato Sandwiches  

4 Slices of Four Cheese Texas Toast
1 Tomato sliced into 4 slices
2 Tablespoons shredded basil
4 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
4 tablespoons Balsamic Vinaigrette
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bake Texas Toast according to package directions.  Remove from oven.  Preheat broiler.  Top toast with basil, tomato, and blue cheese.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Return to broiler until tomato is seared (Watch for this to happen - it's easy to lose food u[ in smoke to the broiler gods!!!)  When seared, remove from oven and top with balsamic vinaigrette.  Serve warm and accompany with cucumber salad (recipe to follow).

Cucumber Salad

2 medium sized cucumbers, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
dash garlic powder
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place cut cucumber in colander and salt generously.  Drain 30-60 minutes.  Squeeze out excess water and transfer cucumber to bowl.  Add yogurt, celery seeds, garlic powder, and black pepper.  Stir to combine.  Refrigerate until time to serve.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Another Delicious Summer Pasta!!!

This is my go to dish when I'm feeling lazy and still want to impress for dinner.  Fresh spinach and spongy feta make this pasta light enough to serve in the summer.  Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to heat up the pasta to your liking.  Leftovers get much hotter than the original dish!!!  I love to serve this with a Peach Bellini to counteract the heat.  I don't really measure this recipe so here are my best guestimates!  Hope you enjoy!!!

Pasta with Spinach & Feta

1 box of Penne
1/2 cup olive oil
1 regular sized bag baby spinach
2 tubs feta
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
Generous shaking of red pepper flakes
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper To Taste
1 cup freshly ground Parmesan cheese, reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish

Boil Penne according to package directions.  Drain and return to pan.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Saute red pepper flakes and garlic until fragrant, several seconds.  Remove from heat.  Add spinach to olive oil and turn with tongs until just covered with oil.  Add to pasta and stir to combine.  Add feta, salt, pepper, and Parmesan and stir to combine.  Pour into serving dish and top with remaining Parmesan.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Find my favorite Peach Bellini recipe here!