I spent most of the day gardening-- clearing beds, pulling weeds, and planting flowers. At the end of the day my entire body hurts so I wanted a fairly easy dinner. In my world that means that Steven does part of it. We decided to make one of my favorite salmon dishes- red curry salmon. All I have to do is make the rub for the salmon, make the red curry sauces, and make the slaw. Steven makes the rice and grills the salmon. Tonight I also decided to stir fry some green beans.
This recipe seems complex at first but it is fairly easy. The most important thing about making the red curry sauce is to have everything ready before you start the sauce.
Red Curry Sauce
Take about a 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) of ginger root peeled and minced (it is really easy to peel ginger root with a spoon-- it works better than a knife) and 3-4 cloves of minced garlic and fry until golden in about 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add 3/4 teaspoon of coriander, 1 teaspoon of curry powder, 2 teaspoons (or more) of a Taste of Thai red curry paste, and 2 teaspoons of sweet paprika, and 1 teaspoon of cumin. Stir until fragrant. Add one can of light coconut milk, a small can of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar (adjust brown sugar to taste). Bring the sauce to a boil and keep warm.
I make a rub and grill the salmon on a cedar plank (actually I make the rub and Steven grills it). Sometimes I make a spicy rub-- tonight it was just salt (Kosher), pepper, and olive oil.
I like to make a coconut milk rice to go with the salmon but tonight I was too tired so we just had Basmati rice.
I like to have a little slaw on the side. It is really easy to make-- shred some cabbage in the food processor, add some cilantro, mint, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar and you have a nice slaw that will complement the salmon.
I think green beans go great with this meal. All I do is heat up some oil in a skillet, throw in some green beans, salt, back pepper, and red pepper, and cook them until they are al dente. Wonderful!!!!
Put it all together and garnish with peanuts and cilantro.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Chop in the food processor 2-3 cloves of garlic and 1/3 cup (50 g) of toasted almonds (I was out of pine nuts but they work too).
|The blended nuts and garlic|
|Adding the spinach|
It takes about 2 1/2 cups of leaves. Finally add salt and pepper to taste.
|The finished pesto|
Last Saturday we went to the Sand Springs Herb Festival. It was a wonderful mix of food, plants, people, and dogs. I bought multiple types of basil-- sweet, African blue, Caesar, lime, lemon, purple, and Greek columnar. Basil is one of my favorite culinary herbs. Basil is originally native to Iran, Indian and tropical parts of Asia where it has been cultivated for 5,000 years. I was first introduced to basil in Italian foods but now I look forward to eating basil in some wonderful Asian dishes as well.
|Spring Flowers in our Yard|
|A Perfect Spot for an Herb Garden|
|Our First Rose this Spring|
|It will take a lot of work to turn this into a garden|
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Shortbread originated in Scotland and was made with oats. It is traditionally a Christmas cookie, but I make and eat it all year round. The shortbread I make is crisp and light. Sometimes I use it as a pie crust or the basis for a bar cookie.
It is critical that you use a high quality butter and vanilla. When you have a cookie recipe that only has 6 ingredients, the quality of each ingredient makes a difference. When I make my own vanilla I use it in this recipe. I also try to use a high quality flour like Bob's Red Mill or King Arthur.
1 Cup (227g) of Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 Tsp of Salt
1/4 Cup (28g) of Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup (100g) of Granulated Sugar
1 Tsp (or more) of Vanilla
2 1/3 Cups (280g) of Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
Preheat the oven to 300 F/149C/ Gas Mark 2. Lightly grease 2 shortbread pans or two 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pans.
|Creaming the butter and sugars together|
Divide the dough in half and spread into the pans. Smooth the surface with your hands or the bottom of a glass. Prick the dough with a fork.
|The shortbread is ready for the oven|
|Finished shortbread - round pan|
|Finished shortbread- shortbread pan|
Sunday, April 5, 2009
|Italian wedding soup|
My mother made wedding soup for special occasions while I was growing up and I did not have the appreciation for the soup that I do now. It does take awhile to make (in part because I make my chicken broth from scratch). I think it makes a big difference with this soup (I always think that
homemade chicken broth make a difference and is worth the extra time).
|All the ingredients for a great broth|
To make the chicken broth, I take chicken quarters (I really like Smart Chicken) and cover them with chicken broth and water. I throw in some celery, onion, carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, and cook for about 45 minutes then remove the chicken, celery onion and carrots from the broth. The chicken can be used in another recipe.
|The meatballs are ready for the soup|
- 2 lbs (1 kg) of Beef (or a mixture of beef and pork)
- 2 Slices of White Bread with Crust Soaked in 3/4 Cup (180 ml) of Milk
- 1 Large Egg, Beaten
- 1-2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
- 1 Tsp of Salt
- 1/2 Tsp of Black Pepper
- 1/2 Cup (57g) Parmesan Cheese, Grated
- 1/3 Cup (20 g) Flat Leaf Parsley, Chopped
At last it is time to make the soup. Into the chicken broth I add a package of frozen chopped spinach, 1/3 cup (20 g) of chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley, and the meatballs. At this point you may want to add more salt and pepper. Simmer until the spinach and meatballs are cooked about 8-10 minutes. In a separate bowl whisk two eggs and 1/2 cup (57 g) of Parmesan cheese. Stir the soup in a circular motion and slowly add the egg cheese mixture to the moving soup. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper and serve. You can always add more shredded Parmesan cheese to the top of the soup (I do).
Enjoy the soup and stay warm.