Thursday, June 28, 2012

Spice Rubbed Salmon with Cucumber Relish



I love finding new ways to cook fish. This salmon is similar to the BBQ Salmon, in that it has a delicious spice rub, but it's different in that it's finished with a refreshing summer vegetable relish. It's a wonderful combination, and it looks beautiful on the plate - bonus!

Start by making the spice rub - just take a look at all these herbs and spices - you know it's going to be good!



In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, garlic powder, oregano,



cumin, chili powder,



paprika, salt, thyme,



and stir to combine. Place the salmon fillets on a greased baking sheet and then sprinkle on the spice mixture.





Bake the salmon for 8-10 minutes or until it flakes easily with a fork. While it's cooking, prepare the relish. Chop up the cucumber, red pepper and onion and place it a medium bowl. Add the vinegar



and the salt and stir well to combine. Stir in the mint. (Oops, I forgot this part - it adds great flavor AND color so don't forget!)

To serve, top the salmon with the relish, and taste summer!

Find more great recipes at It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Bizzy's Recipe Box, Swanky Stuff Thursday, Thursday's Treasures, Tastetastic Thursday.

One year ago: Chicken with Zucchini and Mushrooms
Two years ago: Rhubarb Blueberry Muffins
Three years ago: Grilled Rubbed Pork

Spice Rubbed Salmon with Cucumber Relish

1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1/4 tsp. thyme
4 - 6 oz. salmon fillets
2 cups chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint

Combine brown sugar, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, chili powder, paprika and 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Place salmon fillets on a greased baking sheet. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the fish. Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, combine cucumber, red pepper, onion, remaining salt and mint. Add in vinegar and stir well to combine. Serve relish with fish. Serves 4.

Recipe Source: Cooking Light circa 2005 (many, many years ago!)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Black Bean and Veggie Quesadillas



I started making these a few years ago after having them at a local restaurant. They're incredibly versatile, because you can use whatever veggies you like or have on hand! I especially love the combination of zucchini and mushrooms with black beans, but red pepper, onion, or your favorite grilled veggies are great additions. These quesadillas also freeze well - if you can't use all 4, freeze them for a quick lunch later.

I start by chopping the zucchini and then seasoning them with a garlic blend. If you don't have a favorite garlic blend, just use some garlic salt, or salt and pepper, or whatever seasoning you like and have on hand.



Heat your grill pan over medium high heat, then toss in the zucchini and cook them, stirring once in a while, until they're tender and have those delicious grill marks.



Now add in the sliced mushrooms



and cook and stir until the mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the vegetables to a bowl. Now you can wipe out the skillet you just used, and return the pan to the heat - reduce the heat to medium. Place a tortilla in the skillet and top with a handful of cheese on one half.



Add the zucchini and mushrooms,



then spoon on some black beans.



Top with another handful of cheese.



Now flip the "blank" side over on top of the cheese



and press down lightly to help seal it. Then carefully turn it over



and cook on this side for 2 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted. Repeat with remaining tortillas and serve with salsa and your favorite fixings.

One year ago: Crispy Orange Beef
Two years ago: Banana Sherbet
Three years ago: Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie

Get more great ideas at Mangia Monday, Menu Monday, My Meatless Mondays, Mop it up Monday, Seasonal Inspiration, Mix it up Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday (#3), A Little Birdie Told Me, Tuesday Talent Show, Hearth and Soul, Cast Party Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Whatcha Whipped Up Wednesday.

Black Bean and Veggie Quesadillas

1 medium zucchini, cut into quarters lengthwise then sliced crosswise
1 tsp. garlic - herb seasoning blend
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup black beans (if from a can, rinsed and drained)
4 whole wheat tortillas
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend

Season the zucchini with the garlic-herb seasoning. Heat a grill pan to medium high heat, and add the zucchini. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is almost tender. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove the vegetables to a bowl.

Wipe out the grill pan and return it to the heat; reduce heat to medium. Place a tortilla in the pan and place a few tablespoons of cheese on one half. Add about 1/4 cup of black beans and about 1/2 cup of vegetables on top of the cheese, and cover with another few tablespoons of cheese.

Fold the blank half of the tortilla over the filling and press it down lightly with a spatula to help it seal. Carefully turn over the quesadilla and cook on this side for about 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Leftover quesadillas can be wrapped in foil and frozen, then reheated in a toaster oven or microwave. Serves 4.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cherry Berry Almond Streusel Tart



Cherries and almonds are two of my favorite flavors. So I couldn't have been more excited that it was the combination for this month's Improv Challenge! I decided to fancy up a "fruit crisp" and turn it into a tart, maintaining the yummy and crunchy streusel-like topping, but adding a traditional pie crust.

This also gave me a good excuse to practice my crust making - it was my New Year's resolution (two years ago, but who's counting?) and I've made a couple now. I think this was my best attempt - I got a nice, tender crust which was relatively easy to work with.

I use the food processor for my crust. If you don't have one, you can just cut in the butter the old fashioned way and then stir, stir, stir.

If you use a food processor, fit the bowl with the metal blade, and combine the flour, salt, shortening and butter in the bowl.



Pulse 6 or 7 times until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, but you still have a few pea-sized chunks of butter and shortening.



Now, with the machine running, add the cold water through the food tube. Continue processing until the mixture forms a ball.



Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and roll out - you want the piece to be slightly bigger than your tart pan.



(I know - there's a shadow on the dough. It's from my laptop, perched precariously on a Fresca box.)

Carefully transfer the dough to the tart pan, press into the pan and then trim the edges. (No pictures of this - too risky.)

For the filling, combine the cherries and berries



in a medium saucepan. Add the sugar and cornstarch,



and cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, stirring often. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until it thickens.



Remove from the heat and add the almond extract, then pour the filling into the crust.



For the topping, in a small bowl combine the oats, flour, brown sugar,



almonds,



cinnamon and butter.



Use your fingers or a pastry blender to cut in the butter, then sprinkle the streusel over the filling.



I can hardly wait til this is ready to eat!



Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the topping is golden brown, then cool on a wire rack.



You can serve this warm or at room temperature. When you're ready to serve, remove the outside of the tart pan.



Isn't this so beautiful?



Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, and enjoy the delicious summer flavors!

Check out more Cherry and Almond combinations below. Get more recipe inspiration at It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Sweet Treats Thursday, Bizzy's Recipe Box, Thursday's Treasures, Tastetastic Thursday, Food on Fridays, Foodie Friday, This Week's Cravings, Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Ingredient Spotlight.

Cherry Berry Almond Streusel Tart

Crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. cold butter
3 Tbsp. cold shortening
1/4 cup cold water

Filling:
2 cups cherries, pitted and halved
2 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
2/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Topping:
1/2 cup oats
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup sliced almonds


For the crust, put the metal blade in a food processor and add flour, salt, butter and shortening to the bowl. Pulse until mixture is the consistency of coarse crumbs with some pea-sized pieces of butter. With the processor running, add the water through the feed tube, a little at a time, until the dough forms into a ball.

Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll out slightly larger than your tart pan. Carefully transfer the crust to the tart pan, press in lightly, and trim the edges.

For the filling, combine the cherries, berries, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until it thickens. Remove from the heat. Stir in the almond extract, then pour into the crust.

For the topping, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of the filling.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until filling is bubbly and streusel is golden.

Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 8-10 servings.



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Individual Egg Bakes



I got the idea to put eggs and cheese and veggies in a muffin tin from a local restaurant who serves their "egg casserole" this way. It wasn't too long after I made these that I started seeing "mini quiches" pinned all over the place. So, call these what you will - they are super easy and super delicious. I found that they also freeze well and reheat beautifully in the toaster oven. (Perfect for taking to work for a healthy breakfast!)

The wonderful thing about these individual egg bakes, mini quiches, bites of yumminess, whatever you call them - is that you can use whatever vegetables and cheese that you like or have on hand. I'll give you the recipe for what I used, but I think there are probably limitless combinations. Peppers, onion, zucchini, spinach, even roasted potatoes (!), meatless or with bacon, ham, sausage, chicken, etc. -- get creative!

Start by combining the vegetables and meat in a medium bowl.



I used broccoli, mushrooms and keilbasa. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and milk.



Season with the garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Divide the meat and veggie mixture between 12 muffin cups.



Sprinkle with the cheese,



then pour the eggs over. The muffin cups will be mostly full.



Bake for 15-20 minutes or until eggs are set and tops are golden.



I love how nice these look,



and how chock full of veggies they are!



One year ago: Strawberry Scones
Two years ago: Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream
Three years ago: Frosty Coffee Pie

There are a lot more great recipes and ideas at Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday (#3), A Little Birdie Told Me, Tuesday Talent Show, Hearth and Soul, Cast Party Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Whatcha Whipped Up Wednesday.


Individual Egg Bakes

1 1/4 cup cooked, chopped broccoli
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup diced keilbasa
2/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Combine the vegetables and meat in a medium bowl. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and milk. Season with garlic powder and salt and pepper. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan, and divide the meat and veggie mixture between the 12 cups. Top with the shredded cheese.

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the vegetables. (Muffin cups will be full). Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until a knife inserted into a muffin cup comes out clean. Makes 12 individual egg bakes; plan on 2-3 per person.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Baby Bella "Fries"



It's another reveal day for Secret Recipe Club! This month I was assigned to the blog of our gracious hostess, Angie! I love finding new ways to prepare vegetables, so I knew I had my recipe when I found this fun new twist on mushrooms.

These would be great paired with any kind of meat, or for a meatless dinner with a big salad. Angie made hers with sliced portobellos, but I used baby bellas. I also changed it up slightly by using panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) instead of regular. I like the crunch that panko provides.

I also made a dipping sauce of equal parts Ranch salad dressing and chili garlic sauce. Between the red pepper flakes in the coating mix and this dip, it packed quite a punch spice-wise!

Start by creating the coating mixture. In a small shallow bowl or on a small plate, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese,



garlic powder, red pepper flakes, oregano,



and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to combine. In another small bowl, whisk the eggs. Slice the mushrooms,



then dip in the egg



and then the breadcrumbs, coating both sides of the mushroom.



Place the coated mushrooms on a large baking sheet, either greased or lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 8 minutes, flip each mushroom over then bake for an additional 6-8 minutes. There will be a wonderful aroma while these bake!

Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice, or enjoy them as is.

One year ago: Shaved Asparagus and Boursin Pizza
Two years ago: Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream
Three years ago: Frosty Coffee Pie

Find more great stuff at Mangia Monday, Menu Monday, Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays, My Meatless Mondays, Mop it Up Mondays, Seasonal Inspiration, Mix it Up Monday, Melt in your Mouth Monday.



Baby Bella "Fries"

1 cup panko
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. oregano
8 oz. package baby bella mushrooms
2 eggs, beaten

In a shallow bowl or on a plate, mix together the panko, Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl, beat the two large eggs.

Slice the mushrooms thickly, then dip in egg and then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Place in a single layer on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, flipping over halfway through. Makes 8 appetizer servings.



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