Monday, September 16, 2013

Making Meals Monday

Week Two!

Puff Pastry Salmon


Original recipe makes 2 pastries (which easily feeds 5-6 people)
  • 2 (12 ounce) skinless, boneless salmon fillets
  • seasoned salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 (17.25 ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1/3 cup pesto 
  • 1 (6 ounce) package spinach leaves


1. Preheat oven t 375 degrees

2. Season the salmon fillets with salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Divide 1/2 of the spinach between two sheets of puff pastry and mound in the center.  place a salmon patty on top of each mound of spinach.  Spread pesto on the salmon fillets and top with the remaining spinach.  Moisten the edges of the puff pastry with water, fold to the center, and seal the seams.

3. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden and the salmon has cooked all the way through.


Side Dish: 

Smoked Salmon Spread   

(this makes a TON so consider cutting down unless you are having a party)


8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish, drained
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound (4 ounces) smoked salmon, minced


Cream the cheese in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until just smooth. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, dill, horseradish, salt, and pepper, and mix. Add the smoked salmon and mix well. Chill and serve with crudites or crackers.

If you can find it, I prefer Norwegian salmon; it's drier and less salty than other smoked salmon.


Pineapple Chicken Tenders


  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce 
  • 2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins or strips 


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Remove from heat just before the mixture comes to a boil.
  2. Place chicken tenders in a medium bowl. Cover with the pineapple marinade, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread chicken lengthwise onto wooden skewers.
  4. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill chicken tenders 5 minutes per side, or until juices run clear. They cook quickly, so watch them closely


Side Dish: Simple Baked Apples

Original recipe makes 12 servings
  • 6 apples - peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup whole milk 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 2 quart casserole dish, or coat with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place apples in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Stir spice mixture into apples until evenly distributed. Fold in raisins and walnuts. Spoon into prepared dish. Pour milk evenly over apple mixture.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes, or until soft and bubbly. Allow to cool slightly before serving.


Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos

 Ingredients (makes a TON - cut back)

3 whole ancho chiles (I didn't find these, so I am using dried spice once)

3 whole pasilla chiles (I didn't find these, so I left them out)
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 to 3 chipotles in adobo sauce
1/2 medium white onion, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
3 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 pounds boneless pork shoulder (untrimmed), cut into chunks
Freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
Corn tortillas, warmed, for serving
Assorted taco toppings, for garnish


Put the ancho and pasilla chiles and the garlic in a bowl; add 2 to 3 tablespoons water. Microwave on high until soft and pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. Stem and seed the chiles; peel the garlic. Transfer the chiles and garlic to a blender.

Add the chipotles, onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt and the oregano to the blender; puree until smooth. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat; add the chile sauce and fry, stirring, until thick and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Pour in the broth and reduce until slightly thickened.

Season the pork all over with salt and pepper and transfer to a large slow cooker. Add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick, then pour in the sauce. Cover and cook on high until the meat is tender, about 5 hours. (Or cook the meat in a large Dutch oven, covered, for 1 hour 45 minutes at 350 degrees; uncover and cook 30 more


Discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Shred the pork with 2 forks; season with salt and pepper. Serve the shredded pork in the tortillas, along with toppings.

There is always a night during the week where we are eating something "fast" or MAt wants to cook something that might not be on my current diet plan.  So, I found this recipe, and am anxious to try it.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes


24 cherry tomatoes (preferably heirloom)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
2 ounces feta cheese, cut into 24 small cubes (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon black olive paste
Flaky sea salt
1/4 cup fresh mint, torn


Preheat the broiler. Slice off the top 1/4 inch of each tomato, then scoop out and discard some of the core using a melon baller or small spoon. Cut a thin sliver off the bottom of the tomatoes so they will sit flat. Put the tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, red pepper flakes and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, then stand them up and press a cube of feta about halfway inside each one. Broil until the cheese is browned and slightly soft, about 2 minutes.

Mix the olive paste with 1 tablespoon water and dot all over a serving plate. Arrange the broiled tomatoes on the plate; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Scatter the mint on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.





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