Monday, September 26, 2011

15 minute meals...

For all of you moms, dads, or anyone else who is short on time & needs a really fast dinner to put together, I have a few solutions, true 15 minute meals- Rachael Ray's got nothing on me... No one said your "quick fix" meal has to be fish sticks (but if you do have the craving, don't worry, I'm totally with you on that one). This meal can literally be put together so quickly, & efficiently if you make it like Tim Gunn- make it work!!!! If you don't multi-task, you should learn, for dinners like this! Today I bought "salmon trout" which I've bought a number of times before- it's probably the fish that people pass over, because it essentially looks like yellow salmon. However, it's softer and lighter, kind of in between salmon & a white fish. Plus is that it's also very well-priced! If you can't find it, the technique can translate over to any kind of fish (i.e. salmon, seabass, tilapia...). The way I'm writing this post is the way I made the meal, so that everything is done right on time.

Maple Spiced Salmon Trout
-2 filets salmon trout or other fish
-Olive oil
-Variety of spices
-2 tbsp. maple syrup
Garlic Oil Angel Hair with Asparagus
-Angel Hair pasta (I use Barilla Plus)
-1/2 bunch of asparagus, cut diagonally
-3 large cloves garlic

-Bring a large pot of water to boil. When boiling, salt generously & add the angel hair pasta. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, & prepare the salmon: spray a round tin with canola spray, & put the (2) salmon filets in. Drizzle them with olive oil. I seasoned the fish with salt, pepper, nutmeg, garlic powder, onion flakes, Italian seasonng, & parsley. You can use any blend of spices you'd like. Drizzle about 1/2-1 tbsp. (REAL) Maple Syrup over each filet, and brush all over so that it's evenly distributed, & set aside.
-The  pasta should take around 7 minutes to cook. A few minutes in, put the cut asparagus in a deep metal collander, & sit it in the pot of pasta, so that some water comes up into the collander, doubling as cooking the asparagus. Alternatively, you can just add the asparagus into the pot with the pasta -it only needs a few minutes to cook- & then fish them out with a spider or slotted spoon. Shock the asparagus by transferring them to a bowl of cold water.
-Drain the pasta & put the salmon in the oven for 15-20 minutes
-In a large saute pan heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium heat. Grate the garlic cloves with a Microplane directly into the pan (this is essential, in my opinion, because you don't want to bite into a piece of garlic). Add a pinch of salt, & parsley, and stir. Add the asparagus & then the pasta (for this recipe, I only used enough pasta for tonight, for the 2 of us) & stir all together.
-Sprinkle parmesan over the pasta when serving.

So, in a little over 15 minutes, you've prepared a delicious & healthy dinner!!
(sorry about the poor picture)

I wish everyone a Shana Tova!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chicken with Lemon Caper Sauce

Hello foodies,
I'm back!!! (for now- as I usually say after I've taken a brief hiatus)... Between school starting which always stresses me out, & Rosie being sick on and off for like the last month, things have been hectic. I am in school now 3 nights a week and get home at 9 PM, so either I eat a quick fake dinner before or in school, or Avi helps prep dinner for when I get home. Therefore, things have been slow in the kitchen! Needless to say I am all for quick dinners, & this was a chicken cutlet dish I whipped up for Friday night in less than 20 minutes- take that Rachael Ray! Super fast & really good. Serve it up with some couscous, which takes all of 5 minutes to cook, & dinner can be on the table in no time. Plus, the sauce would be perfect spooned over couscous. You can also up this recipe by making it with bone chicken- perfect for Rosh Hashana.

Chicken with Lemon Caper Sauce
-2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (the reason I say 2-4 is because I used 2 large chicken cutlets for this, but depending on the size/thickness of your cutlets & how much "extra" sauce you like... you can be the judge)
-3 tbsp. flour
-Garlic powder
-Salt & pepper
-Dried Italian seasoning
-1 lemon, zested & juiced
-1/4-1/2 cup of low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
-2 tbsp. capers, roughly chopped
-Chopped parsley
-Canola oil

-Heat a skillet with a thin layer of canola oil over medium-high heat
-On a large plate, add the flour, some garlic powder, salt & pepper, & Italian seasoning, & mix. Pat the chicken cutlets dry & coat both sides in the flour
-When the pan is hot, add the chicken cutlets. They need a few minutes per side. I usually can tell when to flip them (after say 4 minutes) when the edges around the top of the cutlet start turning white-ish. The key is to to get them golden brown.
-When the cutlets are finished cooking, transfer them to a clean plate, lower the heat to medium-low, add the juice & zest of the lemon (if it's a small lemon, or not very juicy, you can use another 1/2 or whole lemon), scraping the bottom of the pan simultaneously. The heat should be low, or even off if you are doing it immediately after taking the cutlets out. Add the broth immediately, continuing to stir. Now you can slightly raise the heat.
-Add the chopped capers, & add more broth if it doesn't seem like enough (remember I used these amounts to make 2 cutlets).
-Sprinkle in about 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch (or flour)- I recommend putting it in a fine mesh strainer, while stirring or whisking- prevents cornstarch lumps (yuck).
-When the sauce starts to thicken, add the cutlets back in (this is where they can finish cooking if you didn't completely cook them before). Coat the chicken in the sauce, & garnish with chopped parsley.

Enjoy this easy recipe for when you are short on time!!!!