Posts tagged ‘quick cooking’

March 16, 2011

Irish Cooking | Poached Salmon on Brown Bread

It’s a marvelous, make ahead kind of a lunch.

Poach a bit of salmon the night before, bring along a slice of leftover pint bread, a tiny cup of homemade crème fraîche and add a few thin slices of onion, some fresh dill if you have it, a caper or two if you want.  It is perhaps one of the healthiest things you could take for lunch, plus it’s simple, and tastes luxurious.

PK tip: this assembles in moments.  Pack the salmon along with the dill and onion, but pack separately the crème fraîche and the bread.  Yet another thought: wouldn’t this also make fabulous little quick appetizers?

Your cube mates will be jealous.

 

 

March 14, 2011

Irish Cooking | Gaelic Steak

Steaks are the ultimate in quick cooking.  Fifteen minutes and dinner can be on the table.  Plus if you’re feeling a little sluggish, maybe you need a little more iron, or perhaps a Guinness.  Tonight’s Gaelic version was topped with sauteed onions, watercress and a whiskey reduction.  This is a wonderful combination, perhaps the best way to eat a steak, and like the Guinness it goes so well with, it gives you strength.

Gaelic Steak, Serves 3, Inspired by The Scottish Irish Pub and Hearth Cookbook

1 one pound rib steak

2T butter

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March 14, 2011

Irish Cooking | Quick Scallop Soup

In addition to being in love with Indian cuisine, English cuisine, Spanish cuisine, Mexican cuisine, Japanese cuisine and – I’m sensing a pattern here – all manner of cuisines, I figured it’d be a kindness to share a few Irish recipes that I love as well, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

This cream of scallop soup took nearly no time to cook (easy enough for lunch), had just a few ingredients (many already in the pantry and fridge) and tasted deliciously complex.  I’m banking on that it was the anchovies.

Yes, I know, you told me last time, you don’t like anchovies.  But here I am again, giving you another recipe that uses them and telling you, you’ll like it.  It’s delicious.  As my bowl was being licked clean, it occurred to me, that this soup base is fantastic for all manner of seafood; lobster would be equally at home here.  It would also serve as a perfect broth for a few potatoes and clams for a clam chowder.

Cream of Scallop Soup, Serves 3, Inspired by The Scottish-Irish Pub and Hearth Cookbook

1/2 pound small bay scallops

2 T butter

2 T onions, minced

1 1/2 T flour

3 c whole milk (I used Snowville, since the milk is crucial in this recipe)

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February 28, 2011

Scandinavian Crush | Sole and Vanilla-Scented Rutabaga

The culinary world is in love with Scandinavia.   The tiny, 42-seat restaurant Noma was named the best restaurant in the world last April.  Driven, innovative Marcus Samuelsson is a regular fixture in the Top Chef shows.  The cuisine as a whole has received a makeover of sorts.

I first became acquainted with the basic aspects of it through a great series that was broadcast on PBS several years ago and which lead me to pick up what has become one of my favorite cookbooks Kitchen of Light: The New Scandinavian Cooking.   Author Andreas Viestad gives a wonderful background on the region as well as a bounty of recipes pairing traditional ingredients with new flavor partners.  It is one I reach for on a regular basis during the winter months.

The humble rutabaga prepared in a wide variety of ways makes a regular appearance in Norwegian homes, and I have found that I love it now, as well.  This meal, inspired from Kitchen of Light, takes all of about 20 minutes to make and really only requires two main ingredients, if you exclude a couple of basic pantry staples and a fresh sprig of rosemary.  Give it a try on a night you’re pressed for time.

The rutabaga is prepared the same way you would for mashed potatoes (peel, cube and boil in heavily salted water).  When it is tender, drain (and transfer to a food processor for a silky puree or mash by hand for a bit more rusticity) and add butter, a bit of cream (my preference) or milk, season with a bit more salt and pepper to taste.  While you’re mashing, add in the seeds scraped from a split vanilla pod.

Serve with sole fillets that have been folded in half lengthwise, with a small slit in the top of each for a small bit of fresh rosemary.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.  I place them on parchment paper in my pan to prevent sticking.  Depending on the size of the fillets bake at 350 degrees for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the fish begins to flake when touched with a fork.

Playlist included I’d Rather Dance With You by Kings of Convenience.

February 21, 2011

Persephone’s Deli| Devi’s Curried Chicken on Homemade Naan

Sometimes it’s nice to have a sandwich for dinner.  There’s a feeling of simplicity to it.  There’s an even greater feeling of ease to if, if you’re using leftovers to start.  I had some of the white ginger chicken leftover that was already deliciously flavored. Why not work that into an Indian spiced chicken salad, make a few fries and call it a night?

I made homemade naan and fries, but you certainly don’t have to if you don’t feel you have the time (because secretly you do, it’s just how you choose to spend your time).  If you’re starting out at cooking, just make the chicken salad, buy the naan and spice some frozen fries with turmeric and sesame seeds and cashews.

Curried Chicken Salad on Naan Bread

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

3 T butter

Meat from 1/2 of a 3 to 4 pound whole chicken, picked, and chopped

2 t curry powder

1 stalk celery, finely diced

1/3 c currants or raisins

1/2 c mayonnaise or Greek yogurt

Salt and pepper to taste

In a small pan, add the butter and onion and season with a bit of salt and a few twists of pepper.  Cook over medium low heat until very soft and caramel brown.  Drain onions from the butter, keeping both separate.  In a bowl, combine chicken through mayo or yogurt and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Chill.

Make naan

9 oz self rising flour

2 t sugar

1/2 t salt

3 1/2 oz milk

2 T vegetable oil

Sesame seeds or nigella seeds

Combine all and knead for 10 minutes (a mixer with a dough hook works wonders here).  Let rest for 15.  Divide dough and shape into six small tear drop shaped pancakes.  Sprinkle and press a few seeds into each.  Bake on a preheated cookie sheet at 450 degrees for three to four minutes or until golden and bubbly.  Brush with the onion butter.  If using store bought naan, warm the naan then brush with the butter.  I think this is what makes the sandwich great, don’t skip this step.

Assemble the sandwiches and top each with some chopped cilantro or parsley (if you hate cilantro, and I know you haters are out there).

Serve with Guajarati Potatoes or toss cooked store bought frozen fries with 1 T oil that has fried a bit of ground tumeric, chili powder some sesame seeds and a small handful of cashew nuts.

Playlist included Young Blood by The Naked and Famous.

February 16, 2011

Using Crème Fraiche | Quick and Gorgeous Spring Tart

It’s been in the 50s here in Columbus.  It makes me think spring is here.  So since it feels like Spring, I’m starting to cook like it.  This quick rosemary ham tart with only six ingredients, is one of the simplest things you can make.   It is beautiful for brunch, great for a light dinner, even amazing as part of a little buffet of appetizers at a cocktail party.  So flexible, too.  You could certainly sub some roasted spring asparagus for the ham if you were feeling virtuous.

And oh my is it addictively tasty.

Spring Rosemary Ham Tart, inspired by John Torode

1 piece frozen puff pastry, thawed

2 eggs

1/2 c crème fraiche (you can certainly buy it, if you haven’t the time to make it)

1 t good English mustard (prepared, not ground)

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February 7, 2011

Variation on Dashi | Egg Drop Soup or Tamago Toji

I have met some of the nicest folks because of writing this blog.  One such person is Spenmax.  I first ran across her writing when I was looking for bento box ideas for Cherub.  She posts regularly about the authentic Japanese lunches that she carefully and lovingly packs for her little ones.  I have found a lot of inspiration from her posts to fill the adorable box I bought for Cherub at Tigertree.  She also has a delicious wealth of knowledge about Japanese food and is kind in sharing what she knows.  She gave me the extra details I needed to transform the egg drop soup I had planned for dinner into something similar to what she might have grown up eating.  It was, I’m sure, a pale imitation, but I do always try to honor the heritage of the food I’m making.  And I’m happy to highlight my blogging friend.

Spenmax’s Tamago Toji, serves 2

6 c. dashi broth

4 inch piece of daikon radish, sliced in small batons

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