Sunday, February 28, 2010

Salmon en Papillote

adapted from Simply Organic by Jesse Ziff Cool.

This terrific salmon recipe sounded pretty weird to me (goat cheese and salmon, are you kidding?) but I took a chance with it and it turned out to be one of my favorite ways to prepare salmon.  Serve it with white rice (or brown if you are just one of those people who HAS to do the right thing) to soak up the yummy juices.  Make sure you have parchment paper for this.  I buy rectangular sheets of the stuff but you can use the rolled up grocery store stuff, too.  If worse comes to worse, foil will do as well.

4 oz goat cheese
1/2 c raisins
1/8 t nutmeg (preferably freshly grated...easy to do with big seeds and microplane grater)
1 1/2 T capers
4 salmon fillets (about 1 lb. total)
freshly ground pepper
juice of one orange
2 T finely chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine the cheese, raisins, nutmeg and capers (yeah, I know it sounds weird, but it totally works!)

Cut 4 sheets of parchment, approximately one foot longish off the roll or cut a rectangular sheet in half.  Rinse the salmon and pat dry.  Place each one one fillet in each sheet, about 1 1/2 - 2 inches from one of the edges of the paper.  Sprinkle each fillet with salt and pepper.

Place one quarter of the cheese mixture on top of each fillet.  Sprinkle with one quarter of the orange juice and the chives.  Fold the parchment in half and starting in one corner, make small folds to seal the  parchment paper into a half circle.  Place the packets on a baking sheet and cook for 5 minutes.

Mound some of your rice on the side of a plate and put a parchment packet on it as well.  Instruct your guests to open their packs and wait for them to say...oooh and ahhhh... because everyone likes getting a wrapped present for dinner!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Poached Eggs with Prosciutto on Toast (or the best egg mcmuffin ever)

This is a very simple breakfast, lunch or light dinner that ends up being a whole lot better for you than the old brunch stand by, Eggs Benedict.  It's not fancy, so I wouldn't serve it as part of a brunch, but it sure is delicious. 


1/4 lb prosciutto

Really good sliced bread

parm cheese, sliced

So, the key is really the poaching of the eggs, which I used to screw up monumentally in the past.  But then I came across this lovely under 4 minute video on Facebook and it changed my egg poaching life for the better:  Perfect Poached Egg.  So, now you poach your eggs, toast up your bread, put the eggs on the toast, add salt and pepper, cover with a slice or so of prosciutto and shred a few slices of parm cheese on top.  You can even eat it with your hands.  But make sure you have a napkin, as that runny yummy yolk can be a bit of a mess.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Spicy Corn and Chick Pea Soup w/ Chiles

This recipe is adapted from Field of Greens by Anne Sommerville.  The Greens restaurant in San Francisco is a terrific vegetarian place, elegant and delicious.  Although the book is quite bare bones, i.e. not one photo in the whole thing, everything I have made from it is beautiful and tasty.  The original recipe called for soaking dried chick peas for an hour, using the resulting liquid as the broth base for the soup.  I am lazy, so I use boxed veggie or, gasp, chicken broth and canned beans.  It is a great cold weather soup with very clear and distinctive flavors.

1 large yellow onion, diced


1 1/2 t cumin (preferably whole seeds, toasted over heat and ground)

1/2 t dried oregano (no, you don't have to grow it, dry it and flake it.)

cayenne pepper

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 large yellow or red bell pepper, diced

2 ears of corn, shaved, or 2 c frozen

1/2 c hominy (look for it in the Hispanic section of Ralphs or your local supermarket)

1 can chick peas

1 28 oz can of tomatoes w/ juice, chopped

1/2 t chipotle puree (get a small can in the Hispanic section, puree contents of can in blender or food processor, put in tupperware and leave there for a very long time after using it for this recipe, or you can mix a bit into mayo for tuna, or look for my chicken salad #2 recipe elsewhere on this blog)

2 green jalepenos, seeded, coarsely chopped and pureed w/ 1/2 c water (yes, this is the biggest pain of this recipe, but necessary.)

2 Q chicken or veggie broth

2 t lime juice

1 T chopped sage (I just used rubbed since it was in the pantry.)

Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium heat.  Add onions, 1/2 t salt, toasted cumin and oregano and add a pinch of cayenne pepper.  Saute until onions are soft, about 7-8 min.  Then add garlic, peppers, corn and hominy.  Cook for about 5 min and then add the chickpeas, tomatoes, 11/2 t salt, chipotle puree  and the broth. 

Season the soup with the jalepeno puree (I used the whole 1/2 c), lime juice, sage and you can add a pinch of sugar to brighten it up if you want.  Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.  Season to taste with salt.  You can pretty it up with cilantro if you want before serving.