Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pan Seared White Wine Salmon

1lb. salmon, cut into individual portions
sea salt, to taste
coarse ground black pepper, to taste
olive oil

For the Sauce:
1/3c butter
1/4c white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dill weed

1.  Preheat oven to 400*  Preheat cast iron skillet on stove over medium high heat.

2.  Using a spray bottle (or your hands) coat both sides of the salmon with olive oil.

3.  Salt and pepper each salmon piece, to taste.

4.  Add to preheated skillet and sear on both sides, 2-3 minutes.

5.  Remove skillet from burner and place straight into the preheated oven, allowing fish to continue cooking 7-10 minutes, or until the internal temp. is 145*. 

6.  While salmon is in the oven, add butter to a small saucepan and heat over low until melted.  Add wine, lemon juice, paprika, basil and dill.  Heat through and keep warm until ready to use.

7.  Remove salmon from oven and arrange on plates.  Pour sauce over the tops and serve. 
Served this last night with Garlic and Parmesan Orzo
and sauteed asparagus.

Sherry Wine Cake

This is a semi-homemade recipe in that it involves mixes.  In other words, it's great when you don't want to mess around in the kitchen too long; you just want a fast, easy dessert.

1 (18.25oz.) pkg. yellow cake mix
1 (5 oz.) pkg. instant French vanilla pudding mix
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/3c water
3/4c vegetable oil
4 eggs
3/4c cream sherry

For the Glaze:
1/2c confectioners' sugar, or to taste
1/4c cream sherry, or taste

1.  Preheat oven to 350*  Butter and flour a Bundt pan.

2.  In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, pudding mix and nutmeg.

3.  Add water, oil, eggs and sherry.

4.  Beat on low speed just until blended.

5.  Beat another 4 minutes on medium speed.

6.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

7.  Bake 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

8.  Let cool in pan 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

9.  Make the glaze by stirring confectioner's sugar and sherry together (I just use a fork for this) until well blended.  If it's too thick, add more sherry.  Too thin, add more sugar.  You get the idea.  Just play with it until it's to your liking.

10.  Drizzle glaze over top of cake and serve or chill for later. 

This a great make-ahead recipe because
I swear it tastes even better the next day.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Creme Brulee with Irish Cream Liqueur

Break out your kitchen torch! 
2c heavy cream
1/3c granulated, white sugar
6 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 TBSP Irish cream liqueur (I used Bailey's)
4 tsp. granulated, white sugar, or to taste  

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees*. Place 4 ramekins in an 8"x8" baking dish.

2.  Stir together cream and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and cook until very hot, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves.

3.  In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, vanilla, and Irish cream until combined.

4.  Slowly add heavy cream mixture, whisking it in 2 TBSP at a time until incorporated. Once you have incorporated about 1/3 of the cream, stir in the remaining hot cream.

5.  Pour custard into the ramekins, then fill baking pan with hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

6.  Bake 50 to 60 min., or until set.

7.  Remove from oven and place ramekins on a wire rack to cool to room temperature, approximately 1 hour.

8.  Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

9.  When ready to serve, unwrap and sprinkle with the extra white sugar, shaking off excess.

10. Using a small hand torch, melt the sugar by making quick passes over top of the custards.  Continue melting the sugar until it turns deep brown and forms a crispy crust.  Serve immediately.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Middle Eastern Red Wine Chicken

1 tsp. olive oil
1 c onion, thin sliced
1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 TBSP garam masala
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/2c red wine
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1c chicken broth

1.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Remove onion from skillet, and set aside.

2.  Increase heat to medium-high. Season both sides of the chicken thighs with the garam masala and curry powder.

3.  Place chicken in skillet and cook until browned on both sides, adding additional seasoning, to taste.

4. Pour in the red wine and red wine vinegar. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes, scraping up and browned bits from the pan.

5.  Stir in the onion and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.

This was delicious over garlic couscous.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Guinness and Brown Sugar Glazed Corned Beef

This is what we will be having for dinner on St. Patrick's Day this year, along with fried cabbage and mustard mashed potatoes:

 2 lbs. corned beef brisket
1/2c packed light brown sugar
12oz. Irish stout beer (we prefer Guinness)

1.  Preheat oven to 300*

2.  Rub brown sugar on the corned beef until coated on all sides.
Place brisket on rack in a roasting pan.

3.  Pour the beer over the top of the brisket. Be sure to pour gently
so that you don’t knock off the brown sugar.

4.  Cover and bake for approximately 1½ - 2 hours, or until
cooked through. Allow to rest for a few minutes, then slice and serve.


Friday, March 4, 2011

White Wine Chicken Spaghetti

3 TBSP olive oil
1 lb. chicken breasts
6c chicken broth or water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder 
1/4 c red bell pepper, chopped
1/4c green bell pepper, chopped
1/2c mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2c onion, chopped
1 (10.75oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
3/4c dry white wine
2c Cheddar cheese, shredded
8oz. spaghetti
1/4c Parmesan cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350*

2. In large skillet, heat 1 TBSP oil  and cook chicken, seasoning with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste.  Remove chicken, shred it, and set aside.

3. Place spaghetti in a pot of boiling water and cook until it reaches al dente consistency, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

4. In large skillet, heat remaining 2 TBSP oil over medium high heat.  Add green peppers, red peppers, mushrooms, garlic, and onion. Saute until slightly tender, about 3-4 minutes.

5. In large mixing bowl, combine sautéed vegetables, cooked spaghetti, cooked chicken, white wine, and 1 1/2c Cheddar cheese.

6. Pour into prepared 9”x13” pan.  Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.

7. Uncover and top with remaining 1/2c Cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese. Return to oven and continue baking, uncovered, another 15 minutes.

Allow to stand 5-10 min. before serving.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Beer Braised Collard Greens

2 TBSP olive oil
1 small white or yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. fresh collard greens, cut into 2” pieces and stems removed
1 (12oz.) beer
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
Ground black pepper, to taste

1. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring continuously for 1-2 minutes or until onion is softened and garlic is light golden brown.

2. Add collard greens, beer, sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper.

3. Allow to simmer 30-45 minutes or until collard greens are wilted and beer is reduced slightly.

4. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Served this as a side with jambalaya.
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