Archive for the ‘Main Dishes’ Category

Baked Salmon Patties

August 24, 2013

Baked Salmon PattiesFor years fish has been labeled “brain food” and more recently nutritionists  have added “rich in Omega3” and “heart healthy” to the labels. It’s all true!  Fish is a good source of protein, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B6,  and Omega3 oils. The benefits of eating fish, in particular baked or broiled  salmon, three times per week include lowering: the risk of heart disease, blood  pressure, macular degeneration, ADHD in children, grumpy teenage syndrome,  dementia in seniors, and a whole host of other ailments and diseases. A recent  Purdue University study found that nearly 30% of the Americans studied have  un-measureable levels of omega3 fatty acids in their systems, placing them at  greater risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, behavioral and  learning problems.

So listen up folks! Adults and children need to eat fish every week. If you  think you don’t like fish, start off with fish sticks or fish burgers until you  develop a taste for it, then move on to tuna sandwiches, baked and broiled  salmon, halibut, and next thing you know the world will be your oyster.

This recipe is for canned salmon which is easy on the pocket book as well as  tasty.  Baking rather than frying further reduces the fat content and ensures even doneness.  If you must have a sauce, try non-fat Greek yogurt with tarragon, a dash of  Worcestershire sauce and salt.  Bake in mini muffin tins for tasty party hors d’oeuvres.

Salmon Cakes

Ingredients:  – makes 4 servings

  •  1 can (14.75 oz) salmon and its juice
  •  ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  •  ½ cup milk
  •  2 Tbsp. minced onion
  •  2 Tbsp. minced green bell pepper
  •  1 lemon, juice ½ and cut the other half into wedges for garnish
  •  2 to  3 dashes of Tabasco sauce or chili sauce of choice
  •  Fresh ground black pepper, about ¼ tsp. or 6 to 8  grinds
  •  1 egg, beaten

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly butter 4 mini-tart tins or muffin tins or use the cooking spray of your choice.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Use your hands and mix just until everything is well combined.
  3. Press into prepared tins.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Remove cakes from tins, serve with sauce if desired.

For more of JoAnn’s recipes go to:  http://EzineArticles.com/2338790

Liver and Onions Italian Style

August 2, 2013

Liver & OnionsIn the 1970s there was a terrific diner in the hard-hat area of San Francisco that served grilled calves liver steaks about 3/4 inch thick with gobs of sautéed onions, horseradish sauce and mashed potatoes.  I still remember the succulent caramelized flavor on the outside and the moist, tenderness on the inside of that medium-rare liver steak.  This was he-man food for construction crews.  It definitely wasn’t that shoe-leather that Mom cooked with heavy gravy that could only be masked with lots of French’s mustard.  But after all, liver is a good source of protein and iron and easy on the pocketbook so back in the day liver for dinner once or twice a month was not uncommon.

Over the years I’ve developed this flash method of sautéing liver and onions with a bit of lemon juice, a splash of Worcestershire sauce and some sage. It’s very similar to the Tuscan and Venetian style of preparing liver.  The acid of the lemon removes the gaminess of the liver and the Worcestershire sauce adds a little kick.  Served with polenta and garnished with garlic chives this is lighter in calories yet still filling.  The secret to tender liver is thin slices, flash-fried and rested while the onions sauté and you make polenta.  Dinner is ready in 30 minutes easily.

Read More

Navajo Fried Bread

May 26, 2013

ImageAnother rainy day in paradise complete with thunder that just about makes you jump out of your skin.  Hurricanes are swirling around Puerto Rico so its time to get out the lanterns, replenish the water supply and cook up some staples.  The Western side of Puerto Rico will probably just get the tail winds but it’s still a bit unnerving.

Comfort food is the ticket to soothe those frazzled nerves.  This chili is made with locally made  chorizo sausage, 3 kinds of mild chilies and red beans.  Make it as spicy hot as you like with jalapeno, habanera or cayenne but if you like your chili mild just use chili powder. In any case, it really goes down easy with Navajo fried bread…crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.  Whether you use the fried bread for a scoop or pile the chili on the bread and top it with lettuce, cheese and guacamole it is to die for. You can also split it open and fill the pocket with taco ingredients or honey and butter.  Yes, fried bread is just as good as a sweet pastry as it is a vehicle for savory bites.  Try it with fresh strawberries and whipped cream – WOW!

read more

Spaghetti Frittata – Pan-fried Leftovers

April 10, 2013
Spaghetti Frittata - Pan-fried Leftovers

Spaghetti Frittata – Pan-fried Leftovers

Baked frittata is magnificent for a crowd but this quick pan-fried frittata, which takes less than 15 minutes to throw together and cook, is perfect for one or two servings as a light dinner with a green salad and glass of wine.  Its just a little less than one serving of leftover cooked spaghetti pasta, about 1/2 cup of leftover marinara sauce, leftover mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses plus 2 eggs.  The outside is crusty and buttery, and the inside is tender with lots of Italian flavor.  Garnish with fresh basil before serving.

Here’s how to do it:

Blend the leftovers in a bowl with the eggs, don’t forget the cheeses.  You shouldn’t need anymore seasoning if the marinara sauce was adequately seasoned when cooked. Use a 10-inch nonstick skillet and melt a tablespoon of butter or more over medium high heat, then pour in the pasta/cheese/egg mixture.  Let it cook undisturbed until the eggs set and the bottom is nicely golden brown.  The top will look slightly undone, not runny but not totally dry.  Slide the whole thing in one piece onto a plate bigger than the skillet.  Using hot pads or kitchen towel, invert the skillet over the plate.  Then flip the plate over so the frittata lands upside down in the skillet.  Return the skillet to the heat and cook 3 minutes more or until the bottom is nicely browned and crusty.  Slide the finished frittata onto the same plate you used for flipping and garnish with fresh basil.

Enjoy!

How to Make Sauerkraut in a Jar

January 18, 2013

SauerKrautI have a new batch of sauerkraut that will be ready next week, probably Thursday.  Easy Peasy method:  just shred cabbage on a mandolin, add salt (3 Tbsp per 5 pounds of cabbage), bruise the salted cabbage with your hands and pack it really, really tight into a jar. You want the juice to float above the cabbage at least 1 inch.   Place another jar inside to hold the cabbage under the juice…or use giant glass marbles (sterilized of-course).  Set it on your counter on a plate with a tea-towel covering.  Wait 10 or 12 days and voila, old world “sauerkraut”!  Refrigerate to stop fermenting.  Will keep in frig up to a month or longer.

 You can add Juniper berries to the fermenting cabbage for a real old-world flavor. Once the sauerkraut is ready, cook up some sauerbraten and add to a pot of hot sauerkraut cooked with chunks of apple and a teaspoon of caraway or fennel seeds.  Serve with mashed potatoes and homemade Dijon mustard.
read more

Chicken and Mushrooms over Sauteed Polenta

October 4, 2012

Living alone and cooking for one it seems there are always leftovers.  This dish was just a spur of the moment concoction thrown together with leftover polenta slices, a paillard of chicken breast, some mushrooms and a handful of baby spinach leaves.   It ended up being a tasty main that I will downsize for a starter dish the next time friends come for dinner.

The polenta was seasoned with Rosemary Salt, butter and grated parmigiano then poured into a mini loaf pan and refrigerated overnight.  The next day it popped right out of the pan and was super easy to slice 1/2-inch thick.   I sauteed the slices in nutty brown butter until they turned golden brown.

read more

If you’d like a list of ingredients and more specific information leave me a comment below.

 

Hamburger Sliders with Vinegar Peppers and Homemade Mayo on Focaccia

September 1, 2012

Start with slider size pieces of homemade rosemary focaccia.  Slice the pieces open horizontally and drizzle with a little olive oil infused with garlic. Toast them, cut side down, on a medium hot griddle until golden.  Slather some homemade mayonnaise on both sides (video by Food Wishes below) and top one side with a juicy hamburger seasoned with Adobo and fresh ground black pepper.  Top the other side of the focaccia with sliced avocado, sliced scallion bulbs and Vinegar Peppers.

read more

Dad’s Spaghetti Sauce

March 26, 2012

ImageDad learned to cook in the Navy during WWII aboard a ship in the Virgin Islands.  After the war he was a chef at the Top Hat Cafe in Bremerton, Washington, a naval port and my birthplace.  The words Bolognese and Ragu were not common in the 1940s so it was called Italian Spaghetti Sauce and  the star of the dish was Meatballs.  In fact, I can’t remember ever eating pasta as a child except for spaghetti and meatballs and macaroni and cheese.  Anyway, I inherited this recipe in the 1970s and tweaked the ingredients as our culinary world advanced into the 21st century.  My Italian friends from Milan and Naples love this sauce…and that’s quite an endorsement.  I think fresh herbs is the secret.

read more

Potato Casserole Peruvian Style

February 2, 2012

Three for lunch and this is all that’s left of my crazy Peruvian Potato Casserole…really delicious.  2012 may be the year of the Dragon but it’s also the year of the Potato.  This year is a double whammy for Peruvian food because Peruvian cuisine is not only all about the potato but its also on the list of culinary trends predicted for this year.  This dish is a hot version of a Peruvian causa which is filled layers of seasoned mashed potato.  This hot version is topped with a very simple cheese souffle, more like a meringue than a souffle.  Its cooking 101 here so don’t be intimidated with those French terms:  souffle and meringue…they’re no big deal.

This dish is real comfort food for the winter months and easy to make for a crowd.  I’ve used a pork picadillo and cheddar cheese for my filling but spinach and chicken with feta would be awesome and any sauteed veggie medley would work as a vegetarian alternative.   There’s no butter, sour cream or bacon to raise the calories of the potato so it’s nearly quilt free eating.  Give this a try next time you’re hungry for mashed potatoes.

read more

Chicken with Olives and Preserved Lemon

January 30, 2012

This started out as chicken noodle soup but when I went to grab the homemade stock from the freezer it wasn’t there.  So be it!  The mirepoix was ready so I deglazed with some white wine, threw in the chicken breast left over from a rotissery chicken, added herbs, olives, some preserved lemon and a small can of red kidney beans.  By the time the pasta was cooked al dente the chicken sauce was ready and dinner was served.  The preserved lemon and Spanish olives was the perfect addition for salt and tang.  The chicken was moist and tender with hints of fresh sage and rosemary.  Garlic bread, a simple Romaine salad with a lemon vinaigrette and a bottle of Chardonnay topped off the meal.  Amazing what can be created at a spur of the moment.  I will remember this improvisation next time I have to cook for company.  Quick and easy wins the day.

read more