Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sweet Orange Glazed Salmon

Fish Tuesdays. This is my new goal. I want to have our family eat fish once a is going to be quite the challenge. The challenge is not cooking the fish, that is super easy. The challenge is making it different enough each week to keep my hubby interested. Right now we have only ventured out to salmon, tilapia, and halibut. I would love to try others, but for now this is all that is on our  menu. This recipe will be making an appearance quite often! It was perfectly sweet and surprisingly flavorful from the spices. It was great, I can’t wait to make it again...and most of important, neither can Hubbs!

Sweet Orange Glazed Salmon
Printable Version
3 Tbs. cajun seasoning
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 boneless, skinless, salmon filets
2 Tbs. EVOO
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 Tbs. lime juice

Combine cajun seasoning, brown sugar, and salt. Rub the mixture over both sides of the filets.
Saute filets in EVOO over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes, flip filets over and saute for 3-4 more minutes.
Blend marmalade and lime juice. When fish is cooked through, swirl marmamlade mixture in the skillet until melted, and turn fish to glaze on on all sides. Be careful not to add this before the fish is done or the mixture will crystalize...still delicious but hard to eat!

Recipe from cuisine at

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Homemade Creamy Rice Pudding

I have been trying to master rice pudding for....ever! This is truly amazing rice pudding. It is so creamy, flavorful, and DELICIOUS! It took me quite a while to cook it, I had it on too low. I would suggest putting it on medium low to simmer, and stirring constantly rather than low and checking back every now and then. But, no matter how you decide to do will love it!

Homemade Creamy Rice Pudding
Printable Version

3/4 cup Arborio rice, rinsed
6 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
desired toppings (ideas at the end of the recipe)

In a medium saucepan, combine rice, milk, vanilla bean and seeds, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until rice is tender and liquid has absorbed, about 40-45 minutes.
Remove vanilla bean; stir in heavy cream. Rice pudding may be served warm, at room temperature or chilled. Top with anything you can think of...coconut, mangos, fresh fruit, chocolate shavings, pureed graham crackers, crushed candy bars...the possibilites are endless!

Recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pork Banh Mi Sandwiches

These are fantastic. That is what my hubbs said, and all that he said for the entire 3.2 minutes we were stuffing our faces with these sandwiches. Seriously, I would be surprised if we were even breathing as we inhaled these delicious babies. Juicy, spicy meatballs coupled with crunchy, sweet veggies. Could it be more perfect? No. I wouldn’t change a thing. We were both heading back for seconds...and maybe thirds. These are soon to become a go-to meal in our home. O my heck I might make them again for dinner tomorrow.

Pork Banh Mi Sandwiches
Printable Version

Hot Chili Mayo
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 teaspon srircha hot chili sauce*

1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce*
1 tablespoon sriracha hot chili sauce*
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

2 cups coarsely grated carrots
2 cups coarsely grated peeled cucumber (Japanese white radish/daikon is preferred but not always available)
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
4 10-inch-long individual baguettes or four 10-inch-long pieces French-bread baguette (cut from 2 baguettes)
Thinly sliced jalapeño chiles
16 large fresh cilantro sprigs

Hot Chili Mayo: Stir all ingredients in small bowl. Season with salt. do ahead Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Meatballs: Line rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Gently mix all ingredients in large bowl. Using moistened hands and scant tablespoonful for each, roll meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat sesame oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of meatballs. Sauté until brown and cooked through, turning meatballs often and lowering heat if browning too quickly, about 15 minutes. Transfer meatballs to another rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven. Repeat with remaining meatballs.

Veggies: Toss all 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, tossing occasionally.

To Assemble: Cut each baguette or baguette piece horizontally in half. Pull out enough bread from each bread half to leave 1/2-inch-thick shell. Spread hot chili mayo over each bread shell. Arrange jalapeños, then cilantro, in bottom halves. Fill each with 1/4 of meatballs. Drain pickled vegetables; place atop meatballs. Press on baguette tops.

*Available in the Asian foods section of many supermarkets and at Asian markets.

Serves 4.
Recipe from Epicurious

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chili Rubbed Chicken with Mango Mint Salsa

This salsa could stand alone. In fact, both my best friend and I took large bites of this salsa right off the spoon as I was mixing it up! It is so delish that we are eating this again tomorrow, on tilapia instead of chicken breasts. This dish was awesome, the combination of the chile powder KICK and the sweet mango tang leave your tounge dancing. Can’t wait for more tomorrow!

Chile Rubbed Chicken with Mango Mint Salsa
Printable Version

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. chile powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. onion powder

2 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
1 Tbs. minced onion
2 tsp. seeded and minced jalepeno pepper
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
Grated zest of 1 lime

Toss chicken breasts with olive oil to coat. Combine all spices and rub over both sides of the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Grill chicken, turning once, just until charred on both sides.

To make salsa, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Serve salsa on top of chicken. Enjoy.

Serves 2.
Recipe adapted from Williams and Sonoma Chicken

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Golf Ball Cake + Fondant Recipe

I love the look of fondant cakes. They are very exact, neat, and pretty much perfect! I don’t love the cost of them, however. It costs $6 for a package fondant at the store. It has usually been on the shelf for months, and half of it is hard, therefore, un-usable, and tastes like crap. I have had many people tell me that making your own fondant is much cheaper and realitivley easy. I didn’t believe them, until now. I whipped this up in no time! It was super easy to make, cost me $2, easy to use, and it actually tasted good! I am excited for our next big day so I can do something like this again!

Fondant Recipe
Printable Version

1 package mini marshmallows
2 Tbs. water
1 tsp. vanilla
2 lbs. powdered sugar
1/2 cup shortening (for greasing counter and hands)

Place marshmallows in a large microwave safe bowl and add water. Microwave, on high, for 2 ½ minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir in vanilla. Add ½ of the powdered sugar, stirring with a spoon as long as possible, then grease your hands with shortening and continue to combine. Turn the dough onto a working surface greased with shortening and dusted with powdered sugar. Add last ½ of powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, kneading on countertop to combine. The dough will be very stiff. Continue to knead, adding shortening when necessary, until fondant is smooth and no longer sticky. 
To use, roll out fondant on a greased and powder sugared surface to desired thickness. For the cake above, I did about 1/8 of an inch to leave room for my indents. After rolled to desired thickness, roll up fondant like you would cinnamon rolls. Place over frosted cake, or rice krispie ball in this instance, (the frosting helps the fondant not to move) and smooth from the top down. Trim edges at the base.To store, roll fondant into a ball and cover the outside with shortening, then plastic wrap. Fondant can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature prior to rolling out on a surface covered with shortening and powdered sugar.

Makes enough for 2 9inch round cakes, rolled to 1/16 of an inch.

Asparagus Divan

I can't wait to make this again. This is about as close to a "casserole" aka "bake" as I am allowed to make in our house. Every time I even see the photo of this recipe my mouth waters. This was a very homey meal to me. Extremely creamy, some bite from the cheese, and a perfectly crunchy asparagus top. Yum. YUM. YUMMY.

Asparagus Divan
Printable Version

1 lb. asparagus spears, tough ends removed
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cup milk
3 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. flour
1/4 lb. gorgonzola cheese
4 slices firm-textured sandwich bread
2 cups bite-sized pieces roasted chicken
2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking dish. In a large saucepan, place asparagus in lightly salted water and cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the asparagus is barely crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.

In a saucepan over medium low heat, melt 3 Tbs. of butter. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk into a saucepan and heat over medium heat and stir, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the gorgonzola cheese and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the bread slices, overlapping as needed, in the prepared baking dish. Spread the chicken over the bread and top with the asparagus. Pour the gorgonzola sauce over the asparagus and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Serves 4.
Recipe from Williams and Sonoma Chicken