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Salmon Must Have a Good Fish Recipe

 

Salmon does have a good fish recipe and her name is Ina Garten…. get it…. ha ha. I find many people love or hate Ina, and I happen to love her. Her recipes are fantastic and her books inspire and motivate my entertaining goals. It was this very recipe that converted me to a salmon eater. I never liked salmon, until I found this recipe in her book. It sounded decent and I love panko, so I went for it. It was seriously delicious. So delicious in fact, that it’s been a staple in my dinner rotation for a couple years now. It’s easy to make and tastes fancy. Also, the mustard is like a secret/key ingredient that just enhances the dish. The fresh lemon zest….whoo! It’s just too good to pass over this recipe.  I never had the best luck trying to cook salmon. I have no idea what the issue was. To this day, I’m hesitant to make it any different, though I have had a few salmon dishes out and they were great. I’ve also made this using salmon without skin, and with. If you happen to have a filet that has skin, no worries here, pan frying that side first, makes it very easy to remove before you eat it. I mean really, how easy is that?

Panko Crusted Salmon

Panko Crusted Salmon

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in an oven safe skillet. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, mix the panko, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and remaining olive oil. Use a fork to combine ingredients.
  3. Lay out the salmon filets skin side down. Spread dijon mustard evenly over the tops of each. Top each filet with panko mixture pressing down slightly to get it to stick.
  4. Place the filets in the prepared skillet and sear for 3-4 minutes without turning. Carefully place the hot skillet into the oven and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Notes

Slightly Adapted from the barefoot contessa How easy is that? 

 

Chicken Soup for the Cold

This recipe right here is chicken soup for the cold. It just makes you feel so much better after eating it. It’s a very simple soup recipe that was given to me by a former colleague. I previously worked for an educational testing company. All was well there, until the account I worked on got transferred as did my team. I was relocated to Customer Service, of which I had no experience. At least in the call center sense. I suppose you could say I was happy to have still had a job, but it literally got to the point where I would tell people I would rather clean public restrooms with my bare hands. It was that bad. I worked for a woman who did not like me and was not shy about it. It was such a relief when she resigned, but it didn’t make the job any better. I have SO much respect for anyone working at a call center. That job was NOT easy. But, I did have some great colleagues (key word some….there were also a few not so great ones). One of the ways I coped with the anxiety that came along with this new role, was to cook. It was therapeutic for me to come home and make something delicious. It made me feel good.  There was a woman that I worked with who was fabulous. Like in the sense that she couldn’t have cared less what people thought about her. She was blond, tan, wore fantastic outfits, 80’s-esque makeup and always smiled. I looked forward to seeing her everyday. I don’t think I ever told her that, I was too caught up in hating every second I was there. But, I envy her confidence to this day. She was so kind and shared her favorite chicken soup recipe. I tried it…..and it was instantly a favorite. Everyone who tries it loves it. Since we’ve all been sick with a cold, I felt like it was only appropriate to make this soup. It was the ultimate comfort food while feeling under the weather. It’s also great when you’re not feeling ill and just want some yummy super easy soup.

Judie’s Chicken Soup

Judie’s Chicken Soup

Instructions

  1. Add chicken broth to a heavy stock pot. Heat over medium heat. Add in the tops of the celery with leaves intact. While broth is heating, season the drumsticks with seasoned salt. When the broth begins to simmer, place in the drumsticks, cover the pot with the lid, and cook for 20 minutes.
  2. After 20 minutes, remove the celery and discard. Place the chicken on a plate to cool. Add the prepared vegetables and bay leaves to the broth, cover, and let cook for another 20 minutes.
  3. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and remove the chicken from the bone. Add in the chicken, noodles, and scallions, and allow it cook for another 10 minutes, or until the noodles are done. You may need to add some additional broth to the pot.

Notes

Summer Cobb Salad

 

I know I’ve already said this in basically every blog post this summer, but I am loving our garden! So many delicious veggies to use. Between the veggies and the herb garden, I am feeling inspired. Summer salads are such a great way to use up some of those veggies and it’s especially great on a warm summer night. It was fairly easy to whip up which was great because I knew I was coming down with this cold that had basically taken us all down for the last few weeks. Also, it’s a great salad for leftovers. I’m usually wary of left over salad, but it’s really only an issue if you add the dressing to it. It will be wilted and just not great the following day. I highly encourage you to add it separately. Also, not everyone likes the same amount of dressing. My husband prefers way more than I do, so it’s a great way to preserve leftovers and keep everyone happy with their meal. Since I made the grilled corn guacamole I have been loving grilled corn. That was basically the reason I decided to make this salad. It was an opportunity to grill more corn.

 

I also increased the protein by marinating some chicken and grilling it up. In the previous picture, I completely FORGOT to add on the chicken. So here it is! I let this marinate overnight and salted it well. It was so tender and perfect. I just tossed everything together and added some salt and pepper and we were back in business. I also wanted to make a dill dressing. I had so much dill that I needed to use up. I decided to make a creamy dill dressing to go with it. I was so happy with how it turned out. I’ll share basic ingredients in the recipe details below. Unfortunately I really didn’t measure much, just tossed a bunch of things into the blender and hoped for the best. I was pleasantly surprised, so I’ll have to recreate this with actual measurements and share it again.

 

Summer Cobb Salad

Summer Cobb Salad

Instructions

  1. To make the salad place the lettuce in a bowl. Layer the eggs, avocado, tomato, cucumber, corn and chicken. Sprinkle blue cheese over the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.
  2. To make the dill dressing I used plain Greek yogurt, mayo, salt and pepper, 1 lemon, chives, dill, one clove of garlic, Parmesan cheese. Blend together and serve!

Notes

Summer Veggie Pizza

 

I have been very fortunate this summer. Our garden has been doing SO well. It’s so much fun to head out there and check on the plants and see what’s growing. Last year was tough because we got so little rain, most plats just didn’t make it. I got a few things, but certainly nothing to write home about. This year though….I almost cannot keep up! I’ve got to get creative with ideas to use up the vegetables we have. I also like to make weeknight meals that are not going to take an hour. Pillsbury pizza crust is a delicious. It was so easy to prepare. Just pop it open and roll it out!

You pre-bake the crust for 6 minutes. So while this was cooking, I cut up the veggies. I used some green pepper, basil, garlic scapes, Japanese eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash.

Once the crust comes out you can prepare it was you want. I added some sauce, the veggies and cheese….. you’ve got to have cheese!

Then just pop it in the oven for another 6-8 minutes or more depending one your preferred doneness. I cooked this for 8 additional minutes, because I wanted the veggies to be a bit firm. You could always pre-roast them, if you wanted to enhance the flavor of the vegetables as well.

This beautiful creation also made fantastic left overs for lunch today!

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Garlic Rice Pilaf

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Now onto today’s post!

Rice pilaf is such an easy yummy side that goes with pretty much anything you are serving. The boxed variety is a great/quick option, but it’s just as easy to make homemade. We make this a lot because it’s literally my husbands favorite thing that I make. Also, being Greek, it feels like a requirement to have a good rice pilaf recipe under your belt. I have to be honest, cooking rice was a challenge for me. I always find a way to make the rice just as crunchy as it was when it came out of the box. Even minute rice was an issue. When I found this recipe I was determined to make it and it came out fantastic. I shocked myself. I was amazed that I pulled it off. Apparently baking rice was just what I needed to do. I am happy to share, that I have now successfully cooked rice on the stove top and it has come out delicious. I think I just needed this confidence boost. What I love is the nice garlic flavor without overpowering the dish. Bonus, if you love garlic like I do, you can add a bit more. Also, you can substitute the fat and opt for olive oil to make it a tad healthier. I have also made this with brown rice, which for me tasted just as good. My husband does not like brown rice, so we typically use white rice instead. If you did want to substitute you may have to adjust the liquid/cooking time just a bit to accommodate for the denser texture of brown rice.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In an oven safe pot (with a lid) melt the butter, on the stove top, over medium heat. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add in the rice and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the rice is golden brown. Add in 1 cup of chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  2. Cover the pot and place in the oven. Bake covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and add in remaining chicken broth and stir. Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 25 minutes. The rice should be done cooking. If not, place back in the oven for 10 minutes. The original recipe calls for longer cooking times, but I have had better results with the shorter times. Remove from the oven and season with salt and pepper. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and stir to combine.

Notes

Adapted from Annie’s Eats.