Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sensational Spiced Salmon

Adapted from Healthy Cooking (Dec./Jan. 2011), page 63.

Prep/Total Time: 25 min
Yield: 4 servings

This is one of the easiest salmon recipes we've tried so far, and it just happens to be delicious, too.  The blend of sweet and savory seasonings is amazing.

2 Tbs. brown sugar
4 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 salmon fillets (4 oz each)

Combine the first six ingredients; rub over salmon (both sides if fillets are skinless).  Place in a single layer in a greased baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Nutrition Facts:
1 fillet = 244 calories, 13 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 67 mg cholesterol, 196 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 23 g protein

- All I changed from the original recipe was the amount of salt; I'm always reducing it.
- I used two frozen salmon fillets from Costco and cut the rest of the ingredients in half (even though I'm sure the fillets were more than 4 oz each).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dark Chocolate Chip Scones

From Hershey's Made Simple, page 82.

Yield: 24 scones
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups (12-oz. pkg) dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
2 cups whipping cream, chilled
2 Tbs. butter, melted
Additional sugar
Powdered sugar, optional

Stir together 3 1/4 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if desired.

Stir whipping cream into flour mixture just until ingredients are moistened.

Turn mixture out onto floured surface.  Knead gently until soft dough forms, about 2 minutes.  Divide dough into three equal balls.  One at a time, flatten into 7-inch circle; cut into 8 triangles.  Transfer triangles to greased baking sheets, spacing 1-2 inches apart.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with additional sugar.

Bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Serve warm, sprinkled with powdered sugar, if desired.

- The dough is really, really sticky!!  Don't be afraid to use flour when you're handling it.
- I used one package of mini semi-sweet chips by accident, but it was still delicious.

Curried Tofu with Rice

Adapted from Healthy Cooking (Feb./March 2011), page 61.

Prep: 10 min / Cook: 20 min
Yield: 4 servings
1 pkg (12.3 oz) extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 Tbs. canola oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
3 tsp. curry powder
Cooked rice (brown is best)
Salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle tofu with seasoned salt.  In a large nonstick skillet, saute tofu in oil until golden.  Remove; keep warm.  Add mushrooms to skillet and saute until lightly browned but not completely cooked.  Remove and set aside with tofu.

In the same skillet, saute onion and garlic until tender.  Stir in the coconut milk, cilantro, curry, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.  Stir in tofu and mushrooms; heat through.  Serve with rice.

- Consider adding vegetables, like carrots, potatoes, or zucchini.  If you're not trying to make a meatless meal, adding cubed chicken would be good, too.  My son really liked shredded coconut and chopped hard-boiled egg on top of his.
- Originally, the recipe called for 3 cloves garlic, minced.  That's a bit much for me; in fact, the last time I made it, I didn't add any garlic.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Raspberry-Chipotle Chicken Panini with Smoked Gouda and Spinach

Prep: 5-10 min. / Cook: 5 min.

We made up this panini recipe last night and really enjoyed it.  I'll apologize now that I didn't measure anything; just use as much of each ingredient as you want.  If you don't have exact ingredients, improvise!

Ciabatta bread
Cooked chicken, sliced
Portobella mushrooms, sliced
Fresh spinach
Smoked Gouda, sliced
Mayonnaise (use the kind with olive oil if you can--it's better for you)
Raspberry-roasted chipotle grill sauce

Briefly cook mushroom slices in a small amount of olive oil (or even cooking spray) over medium to medium-high heat (about a minute total).

Spread mayonnaise on one piece of ciabatta bread and grill sauce on the other.  Cover each piece with slices of smoked Gouda.  Spread a little more grill sauce over the cheese on the mayo piece.

Layer spinach, mushrooms, and chicken over one piece of bread; top with other half.

Grill in a hot panini press for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Slice and serve!

- I sliced a chicken breast in half (as if I was attempting to butterfly it and cut too far--which didn't happen), seasoned each side with ground pepper and rosemary (you could add salt, but you know me), and cooked it in a little olive oil over medium heat for probably 5-8 min on each side.  Then I sliced it.  (I didn't account for using raw chicken in the time estimate.)
- Slice the mushrooms about twice as thick as you think you'll want them.
- Use at least twice as much spinach as you think you'll want.  Like the mushrooms, it will cook down significantly.
- Next time we're going to try regular Gouda.  Although we liked the smokiness, it was ever so slightly overpowering (though still delicious).
- I realize not everyone has raspberry-roasted chipotle grill sauce on hand.  If you fit into that category, you could probably make your own by mixing raspberry jam with a little finely diced or pureed chipotle pepper (you can find cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the Mexican food section at most grocery stores).  Start small with add more to taste.  I probably wouldn't use more than 1/2 a chipotle pepper in 1/4 cup of raspberry jam.  That's totally guessing, so you may want to start with less.
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