Sunday, February 16, 2014

Salmon with Blood Orange-Cabbage Slaw

Bon Appetit included this recipe in their beginning-of-the-year 'foodie cleanse,' and it was a big hit in our house.  The salmon is cooked very simply with just salt and pepper, and you could easily substitute in another type of fish (or even chicken breast).  The fish is paired with a fantastic slaw made of cabbage, blood oranges, and Greek yogurt.  Everything comes together quickly, meaning this meal has it all -- it's fast enough for a weeknight, but also healthy and full of flavor.  You can always add bread on the side if you are not on a cleanse!

Salmon with Blood Orange-Cabbage Slaw (adapted from Bon Appetit)
Serves 4

2 blood oranges
1 small shallot, minced
Olive oil
4 skin-on salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
1 T plain Greek yogurt
1 very small (or 1/2 normal-sized) savoy cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced

1. Cut the peel off the oranges so that no pith remains, and then cut into rounds.  Working over a small bowl, break the rounds up into sections, discarding any large pieces of pith.  Reserve as much juice as possible as you work. Place the orange sections in a salad bowl and set aside.
2. Add the shallots to the small bowl with the orange juice.
3. Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add a swirl of olive oil and let it heat up for a minute or two.  Season the salmon with salt and pepper, and then add to the skillet, skin-side down.  Cook for about 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to medium and flip the fish.  Continue to cook until the fish is cooked through (as done as you like it).
4. While the fish cooks, add 1 T olive oil and the Greek yogurt to the bowl with the orange juice and shallots.  Season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine.  Add the savoy cabbage and the dressing to the salad bowl with the oranges, and toss to combine.
5. Divide the slaw among 4 plates and top with the salmon.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Rolled Turkey Breast with Couscous Stuffing

Whew, it's been way too long since I've posted here!  But -- for good reason...I just got engaged!  All my internet attention has turned to wedding blogs.  :)  That said, I have so many great recipes that I've made that I want to share, just as soon as I find time to write them up!  This one is from Christmas, and it is a perfect holiday meal.  Since we had a smaller group this year, we didn't want to roast a whole turkey.  Instead, we went with turkey breast -- but we didn't want it to be boring.  This version of turkey breast is pretty fancy!  First, it's pounded thin, and then it's filled with a super-delicious stuffing of couscous, nuts, and dried fruit.  The combination is delicious, and looks so pretty when cut open.  The turkey got a tad dry, as turkey breast tends to do, so I recommend serving it with cranberry sauce and/or gravy just in case.

Rolled turkey breast with couscous stuffing, cranberry sauce, dressing, Christmas stollen, broccoli salad, mashed potatoes, and Royal Riviera pears.

Rolled Turkey Breast with Couscous Stuffing (adapted from Fig and Cherry, original recipe here)

About 3 pounds turkey breast tenderloins
1 cup dry whole wheat couscouse
1 cup grape-cranberry juice
2 T butter
2 small shallots, minced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 T fresh sage, minced
1 tsp lemon zest
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Spray oil

For the topping:
2 T butter
2  T olive oil
1 T honey

1. Use a meat pounder to pound out the turkey to about 3/4-inch thick.  Set aside.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Make the stuffing.  Place the couscous in a large mixing bowl and pour the grape-cranberry juice over it.  Let sit while your prepare the shallots.
3. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the shallots.  Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until softened and starting to brown.
4. At this point, the couscous should have absorbed the juice.  Add the cooked shallots along with the cranberries, raisins, pine nuts, sage, lemon zest, and eggs.  Season with salt and pepper, and stir well to combine.
5. Lay out the turkey in a single layer.  Spread the stuffing all over in a thick layer, leaving a bit of a border around the edges.  Roll up each piece of turkey as tightly as possible.
6. Spray two glass baking pans with oil.  Divide the turkey between the pans, placing it seam-side down so that it does not unroll, and leaving space between each turkey roll.
7. Make the topping. Combine the butter, olive oil, and honey in a small bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds until everything is liquid.  Mix to combine and then brush over the turkey.
8. Roast for about an hour, or until the turkey is cooked through.  Let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Happy couple! Wine tasting on a trip up to Russian River to celebrate our engagement. :)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Secret Recipe Club: French Silk Pie

My partner for this month's Secret Recipe Club was Kate of Kitchen Trial and Error.  When I first explored her blog this month, I picked out her recipe for blueberry muffins to make.  As you might be able to tell from the title of this blog, I love muffins!  And, I thought Kate's idea of making a blueberry jam to swirl into the batter sounded delicious.  But...then I got to the grocery and couldn't find any good blueberries...the fresh ones just didn't look very fresh (and, of course, they're nowhere near in season), and the frozen berries were crazy expensive.  Time for a Plan B.  Luckily, while I was poking around in the freezer case looking at blueberries, my boyfriend spotted a French Silk Pie in the next case over.  We didn't buy the frozen version, but it gave me the idea to see if Kate had a recipe for the pie on her blog.  As it turned out, she did -- and this pie is so much better than anything you could get at the store!  It's definitely a labor of love, with lots of mixing in a double boiler over a hot stove, but the results are more than worth it.  The filling is rich, creamy, and almost fluffy, with absolutely amazing chocolate flavor.  You can use a store-bought crust to make your job a little easier (I did!), or click through to Kate's recipe to go 100% homemade.  Either way, definitely top each slice of pie with lightly sweetened, lightly whipped cream.  I guarantee you'll be in dessert heaven!

French Silk Pie (adapted from Kitchen Trial and Error, original recipe here)

1 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 T water
8 ounces bittersween chocolate, melted and cooled
1 T vanilla
8 T unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
1 prepared pie crust (I used a graham cracker crust)
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, to serve

1. Whip the cream into stiff peaks, and then cover and stash in the fridge while you make the rest of the filling.
2. Set up a double boiler (or set a large bowl over simmering water).  Make sure there is enough room for the eggs, sugar, and water to at least triple, as they will expand as you cook and beat them.  Once the double boiler is set up and the water is simmering, add the eggs, sugar, and water to the top part.  Use an electric mixer to beat the mixture continuously for about 10 minutes, until the mixture registers 160 degrees.  Remove the bowl from the double boiler, and beat the mixture for another 10 minutes, until it is fluffy and at room temperature (a stand mixer will save your arm in this case!)
3. Add the chocolate and vanilla to the egg mixture, and beat until well combined.  With the mixture running, add the butter a piece at a time, until it is fully incorporated and no lumps of butter remain.
4. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the reserved whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.  Spoon into the pie shell.  If you used a store bought graham cracker crust, you might have extra -- I did, and I just stashed it in the fridge separately to eat like chocolate mousse!  Cover the pie, pressing a piece of plastic wrap down onto the top to prevent a skin from forming.  Chill at least 3 hours, and then slice and serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.