Monday, November 28, 2011

Dijon Salmon Topped with Mashed Potatoes, & Sauteed Collard Greens with Garlic Chips (on the side)

I just realized that I missed my "blogaversary" which was November 14, it's been a great year of blogging and thank you to whoever you are out there who read it, regardless of the fact that I don't update constantly :-)

Anyways, consider this post a heaven sent meal in writing, if I may say so myself. We just finished eating & it was everything in one-all my priorities in a meal: easy, delicious, and most importantly, healthy. In January, I posted Potato Crusted Salmon which was basically thinly sliced red bliss potato layered on a filet of salmon. Let's call this an updated version of that. I saw the idea in Rachael Ray magazine but it could not have gotten more boring: "take mashed potatoes and put on top of a salmon filet. Bake." That was it! Well, I knew I was gonna make it and way better than RR! It's mashed potatoes, which is fairly simple, on top of the salmon, and hit the broiler at the very end for "the golden touch." If you don't already know, I could eat an entire bag / bunch of sauteed kale singlehandedly aside anything in the world for dinner. Here I used collard greens (when I think of collard greens I hear Paula Deen in my head, but it's just as versatile as spinach and kale alike). The best part about this dish is that it is super likely that you will have all the ingredients on hand- salmon in the freezer or fresh, potatoes, and a vegetable, fresh or frozen.

Dijon Salmon Topped
-2 salmon filets
-2.5 tbsp Grey Poupon Mild & Creamy Dijon Mustard (basically regular Dijon mustard, but whole grain, mixed with mayonnaise - it's GREAT)
-1.5 tbsp. brown sugar
-2 tsp. pure maple syrup
-Garlic powder
Mashed Potatoes
-3 Yukon Gold potatoes
-2-4 tbsp. light mayonnaise
-2 tbsp. Earth Balance
-2 tsp. mild & creamy dijon
-Minced garlic, garlic powder, salt, pepper, nutmeg, Italian seasoning, dried parsley, onion powder

-Combine the dijon, maple syrup, some garlic powder, and the brown sugar in a bowl and mix with a fork. Add the salmon to the bowl & let marinate (you can marinate this for hours, or as little as 15 minutes if that's all the time you have), making sure all sides are coated with the sauce.
-Preheat the oven to 375
-In the meantime, peel and quarter the potatoes and place in a pot of water, bring to a boil (pot covered). Boil 10-12 minutes or so until fork tender. Drain. Mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher (I suggest quartering the potatoes, or even smaller, because it makes for easier mashing). If time allows, I also suggest steaming the potatoes as an alternative cooking method, as it retains way more nutrients than boiling them (it does take longer though).
-Mix in the Earth Balance, mayonnaise, dijon, and any spices you like. I used a little of all the ones I listed above, and just added more salt & pepper to taste.
-Place the salmon on a foil lined baking sheet sprayed with Pam, and brush any remaining sauce on top. With your hands (easiest way) spread the mashed potatoes on top of the salmon (you don't need to use it all- I have leftover mashed potatoes for the hubs for lunch!)
-Bake for 10 minutes. Then turn the broiler on high and broil for a few minutes until the top gets slightly golden brown.

-While the salmon is baking prepare the
Sauteed Collard Greens with Garlic Chips
-Wash and dry well. Remove the stems, roll up the leaves, and cut into ribbons (medium sized?).
-Thinly slice 2 large cloves of garlic. Add a few drizzles of olive oil to a large saute pan over medium-high heat, and immediately add the garlic (while the oil is still cold). Saute until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and then add the collards to the pan.
-Sprinkle some salt, and toss with tongs. Pour in some water, and cook greens until absorbed.
-Drizzle in just a teaspoon or 2 of lemon juice, and add the garlic chips back in and toss well.

-When the salmon is done, mix a little of the dijon with some honey in a bowl to drizzle over the top of the salmon. Top with french fried onions (product alert- Trader Joe's now sells them! Copycat of French's but just as good!), and the greens on the side. I added some golden raisins to my collards too.

If anyone wants to object to the deliciousness of this dinner, feel free. You know where to reach me ;-)

P.S. This picture is from my phone, which doesn't have the best quality. I took a better picture on my real camera but wanted to post this asap!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oh What a Side!

Brussel sprouts are a completely underrated vegetable. They can come out bitter if not treated correctly, and are also often overcooked to the point of no return, resulting in mushy, brown remnants of what were once beautifully green mini cabbages (if not cooked correctly, that is). Though there are many ways to cook them, here is one of my favorite ways, I call it a "flash braise" because of the addition to water to the hot pan, allowing the brussels to absorb it, cooking it quickly without sacrificing many nutrients. After all, steaming can be, well, boring. I infuse the brussel sprouts with garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest, just for a little hit. Don't forget to season well with salt and pepper or you will fall victim to the awful, under-seasoned vegi. This method can really be used for any green vegi (string beans, snap peas, asparagus, kale). So quick and easy, healthy, and goes alongside practically anything. Even tofu (stay tuned for my next post which will be some killer tofu recipes. [Though it may actually kill some of you to try them, and those of you know who I am referring to!!!!])

Lemon-Garlic Brussel Sprouts
-1 lb brussel sprouts
-Olive oil
-1 tbsp. lemon juice
-2 tbsp. finely chopped flat leaf parsley
-4 cloves finely minced garlic (roughly 1-1.5 tbsp. or so)
-1.5 tsp lemon zest (from about half a lemon)

-Cut the very ends of the core off each brussel sprout (dont go too deep though, otherwise will fall apart). Trim the outer leaves, if they are bruised, & slice each sprout into about 3 or 4 slices, depending on their size (lengthwise).
-Soak for a while in water with a capful of vinegar in a salad spinner. Drain, rinse, and spin dry well.
-Heat some olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the brussel sprouts, stir to coat with the oil, cook 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
-Slowly add 1/4 cup of water, and let saute until the brussel sprouts are tender, and the water evaporates (5-6 minutes).
-Stir in the parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and some of the lemon zest (leave some for serving), and saute 30 seconds-1 minute until the garlic is pretty much cooked and becomes fragrant. Season again with salt and pepper if needed.
-Transfer to a serving dish, and sprinkle with the rest of the lemon zest.
-Immediately before serving, top the sprouts with some lightly toasted slivered almonds (optional). They give the brussel sprouts an unexpected crunch (Not shown in picture).

Try this side for Thanksgiving, it wont disappoint.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

1 Filling... 3 Ways

This recipe I made quite a while ago, but it is so versatile for so many things. It's a spinach/onion/cheese filling, & I've made it in mini raviolis, mini quiche cups (both courtesy of wonton wrappers), & knishes. Its SO simple, and easy.

-In a large saute pan, saute one large onion with a drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper
-Let it brown for a few minutes & add in 3 cloves of finely minced garlic and continue to saute, adding more olive oil if necessary (if the pan gets dry).
-Chop up a 16 oz. bag of fresh spinach (or about 2-3 cups frozen spinach, thaw and squeeze out)
-Add it to the pan and cook until wilted
-In the meantime, crack an egg into a bowl and whisk
-When the mixture cools, add it to the egg
-Add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, & 1/4 cup of Panko crumbs or cornflake crumbs, and a tbsp. of light mayonnaise
-Season with garlic salt, pepper, nutmeg
-To make the raviolis, or the quiche cups get a package of Nesoya wonton wrappers (usually in the refrigerated area of the grocery store. There are frozen brands but they aren't as good).
-For the quiche cups, prepare a 12-cup muffin tin (you might need more than one pan). Place a wonton wrapper in each, it doesn't have to be perfect, just lightly press the center down. Lightly spray each with cooking spray, then add the filling. You don't close them, so you can add a tbsp. or more of filling. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until the edges are browned and the inside has set. They freeze well also!

-For the raviolis, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a foil-lined sheet pan. With a little bowl of water, rub the edges of the wonton wrapper, for sealing. Place a heaping teaspoon amount of filling in the center of each wrapper, and fold as you wish. You can make triangles, or follow the instruction on the back of the package. I made little "envelopes." Bake for 15 minutes, serve with tomato sauce.

The third way I used this filling was in knishes. Just roll out a sheet of puff pastry with some flour, it can be in an oblong shape, doesn't have to be perfect. Fill with the filling, and pull the edges of the pastry up & pinch together. Brush with egg wash, & sprinkle with Italian seasoning and sesame seeds. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Another variation of the knish is to make a danish shape (triangle). With this one, I used the same base recipe, but also added in sauteed mushrooms. Instead of the Parmesan cheese, I used a mixture of feta and shredded mozzarella! Take that, Zomicks!

These little bites (and bigger ones) are great for appetizers, dairy or pareve- or even for Thanksgiving!