Thursday, March 20, 2008

Asian salmon and sweet potatoes

This is the recipe you pull out when you want to impress someone without really having much talent for cooking. I've made it a few times now, and it always comes out delicious. It does take a little more work to prepare, but don't be scared by the number of steps or ingredients. They're all easy steps and it will be worth it.

1.5-2 lb fresh or frozen salmon filet
2 lbs. sweet potatoes
1 T. cooking oil
2 T. sesame oil, divided
salt & pepper to taste

1/3 c. teriyaki sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. apricot or peach preserves
2 T. orange juice
2 t. grated fresh ginger
1 t. dijon mustard
1/4 t. black pepper

1/4 c. sliced green onion
1 T. toasted sesame seeds

Thaw fish (if frozen). Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1" chunks. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, oil, and 1 T. sesame oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Place in a large roasting pan and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, stir together 1 T. sesame oil, teriyaki, garlic, preserves, orange juice, ginger, mustard and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for ~5 minutes until slightly thickened.

Remove potatoes from the over and push to the side of the pan. Place salmon filet in the center of the pan. Set aside 1/4 c. of prepared sauce, and pour the rest over fish and potatoes. Roast uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes easily and potatoes are tender.

Drizzle with reserved sauce. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.

Mexican Corn Bread

Well, I'm bored at my current work assignment, so I'm going to post a few more. I know I can never stand up to the cooking prowess of J, but at least they'll be a few recipes on here for your amusement. This is another family classic that goes quite nicely with chile verde.

3 c. cornbread mix (1 large box, not Jiffy sized)
2 c. milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. chopped jalepenos (or 1 small can)
2 eggs, beaten
2 T. sugar
1/2 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled
medium onion, chopped
1 c. shredded yellow cheese

Mix it all together in a large bowl, then transfer to a 9x13 inch greased pan. Bake according to the directions on the box mix.

Chile Verde

One of the pleasant surprises of my pending marriage is the advantage of new (to me) family recipes. This is my absolute favorite dish that my future mother-in-law makes, and I think it's somewhat regional to California. Of course, there's just a little pressure to be able to cook this well and live up to its reputation. Good thing this is an easy one.

2-3 lbs. cubed pork
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans tomatillos (14.5oz each) or ~1.5 lbs fresh
1 large jar green salsa
1 T. cumin
1 T. chili powder
1 (or 2) small cans chopped jalepenos

I couldn't find cubed pork in my grocery store, so I cut up a pork tenderloin. Toss the cubed pork in flour, then brown with the onion in a small amount of oil. Put into a crock pot with all other ingredients and let simmer on low all day. The spices and jalepenos should be adjusted depending on how much heat you like. This can be served with tortillas and topped with cheese and sour cream. I've also had it over eggs for a delicious spicy omlet. It can also be cooked on the stove top, and doesn't really need to cook all day. It does need at least 1-2 hours to simmer and really let those flavors develop.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I'll be back

I have not forgotten about this blog, although my actions might reflect the contrary. In fact, I do have recipes that have been tried and are ready to be posted. The most recent success was a recipe from Cook's Country magazine, "Skillet Macaroni & Beef". It was quick, easy and kid-friendly, a new concern at our house. In fact, all three of those characteristics are suddenly much more important now that we are "parents." It's still hard for me to use that word and feel like it is actually true of us, but I'm sure it will grow on me. So, if you can be patient a while longer, I will promise more posts in the future. The first of which will be the recipe mentioned above. (Oh, and I tried a great new biscuit recipe that was delicious, especially covered in sausage gravy.)