Looks as Lovely as It Tastes! Saint Martinique Salmon and Shallot-Cranberry Green Beans

Looks as Lovely as It Tastes! Saint Martinique Salmon and Shallot-Cranberry Green Beans

I was so psyched to make maple-dijon salmon fillets for dinner this week. We had some frozen salmon in the freezer, and maple + dijon always equals so, so good. But then, when I started to make dinner and put together the sauce, I realized that our maple syrup had gone bad! Cue, saddest face.

Bill was on fillet duty since he is the fish boss in our house, so we scrambled together to improvise something to replace the icky syrup. Enter: MOLASSES!

I will admit, I was skeptical at first – won’t that be too sweet? It would overpower the fish? Right? WRONG!

Turns out, molasses is a truly delicious salmon glaze. The heartier taste of the fish stood up to the smoky sweetness of the molasses, and it was helped along by the herbaceousness of all the other delicious ingredients. We definitely needed to brighten up and serve as a base for this savory and sweet salmon.

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The next addition to our party: green beans! Shallots, cranberries, and red wine vinegar made a delicious, complex base of flavor, with some saltiness added by a last-minute addition of parmesan cheese.

All together, this was a truly delicious dinner and it photographed up so pretty too 😉 I asked Bill what we should call it, since molasses salmon doesn’t sound tasty. He decided that, based on the French flavors in the recipe and the Caribbean influence of the molasses, plus the salmon (of the sea) – a French island colony would lend the perfect name. Enjoy!

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Saint Martinique Salmon

Ingredients:
  • 4 skin-on salmon fillets, 4 ounces each, boned
  • 4 Tbsp molasses
  • 1½ tsp freeze-dried shallots
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  2. Place the salmon fillets on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, combine all the non-salmon ingredients until you have a thick paste. Add more spices and/or molasses to taste.
  4. Generously baste the salmon fillets with the molasses mixture. Use up all that molasses-y goodness!
  5. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and cook until the salmon is just cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove skin, and plate!

Based on a recipe from the Cookin’ Canuck

Shallot-Cranberry Green Beans

Ingredients:
  • 12 ounces fresh green beans
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp freeze-dried shallots
  • ½ tsp granulated roasted garlic
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Instructions:
  1. Steam your green beans – personally, I like the steam-in-the-bag ones I grab from HEB.
  2. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat, then add olive oil, salt, and green beans.
  3. Saute green beans for 1 minute, then add the shallots and roasted garlic.
  4. Saute green beans for 1 minute more, then drizzle with the red wine vinegar and add the dried cranberries.
  5. Continue stirring the green beans for 2-3 minutes more, or until they reach your desired crisp-ness.
  6. Top with the parmesan cheese, stir until cheese begins to melt, then serve!

Based on a recipe from Food Loves Writing

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Tang and Crunch: Honey-Mustard Pretzel Chicken

Tang and Crunch: Honey-Mustard Pretzel Chicken

I’ve used a lot of things to crust chicken breasts: flour, corn flakes, Ritz crackers, saltines and more, but it never occurred me to use salty, crunchy pretzels on tender, moist chicken breasts. Now that I’ve tried it, though, I may never go back, especially when you use a tangy honey-mustard sauce to not only sauce but bread the chicken!

Pretzel Honey Mustard Chicken from Mancktastic!

First, we crunch pretzels into smithereens and toast them with that perfectly crunchy texture maker: panko breadcrumbs! The toasting makes the coating extra crunchy with a deeper savory flavor. Then, we whip up a delightfully zesty honey mustard sauce with Dijon mustard, honey and red wine vinegar for a really tangy, sweet, spicy flavor. Then it’s dredging time!

Pretzel Honey Mustard Chicken from Mancktastic!

By dredging the chicken through both flour and honey mustard sauce before adhering the crumb coating, you get a hearty dose of flavor that really sticks to and permeates the chicken throughout. The thin-sliced chicken breasts cook up in a jif while remaining juicy and flavorful inside their delicious crust. Every bite will have a little crunch, a little tang, and succulent chicken within. I recommend serving this with couscous and spinach salad on the side so you can soak up every bit of that delicious sauce!

Pretzel Honey Mustard Chicken from Mancktastic!

Honey-Mustard Pretzel Chicken

  • 1 cup pretzels
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Dijon or whole-grain mustard
  • ⅙ cup honey
  • ⅛ cup water
  • 1½ Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound thin-sliced, boneless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup flour, plus more if needed
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Add pretzels to a food processor and pulse into small crumbs. Combine the pretzel crumbs and panko bread crumbs.
  3. Toast the mixed crumbs in a skillet over medium heat until golden, stirring constantly. Pour crumbs onto a plate and allow to cool.
  4. Rinse the food processor bowl, then add the olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, water and vinegar. Combine on low speed until smooth and well-incorporated. Add salt, pepper, honey or mustard to taste. Pour half of this mixture into a bowl and set aside.
  5. Season thin-sliced chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Pour flour on to a plate.
  6. One at a time, coat each piece of chicken in flour, then dunk into the set-aside bowl of dressing, and finally cover with pretzel crumbs on each side, patting well to ensure adhesion. Place in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and continue process until all chicken has been coated.
  7. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through.
  8. Allow chicken to rest for 2 minutes after you remove it from the oven, then top with the remaining honey-mustard dressing.

Pretzel Honey Mustard Chicken from Mancktastic!

based on a recipe from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

Picnic Ready: Sweet Corn and Bacon Chicken Salad

Picnic Ready: Sweet Corn and Bacon Chicken Salad

It’s starting to reach the most humid time of the year down here in Houston; June is upon us and that means 90-100 degree days every day, plus at least 85% humidity most of the time. Hair is frizzing, everybody’s sweating and day time spent outside is kept to a minimum. This weather tends to sap my appetite for elaborate meals that require anything other than the fridge. Produce and snacks are the name of the game when visiting the great outdoors feels like wading through jello at best.

Picnic Ready Sweet Corn and Bacon Chicken Salad from Mancktastic! at mancktastic.wordpress.com

This simple dish combines summer staples to create a filling filling to spread on crackers, top a salad or a slap between two pieces of bread for a delicious salad. Use the bacon left over from breakfast, excess grilled chicken from another dinner and simply combine with Greek yogurt, dijon and corn for a refreshing and tasty treat. The yogurt keeps this chicken salad from feeling too heavy, while the saltiness of the bacon and fresh, bright corn keep it from being too ordinary 😉

Picnic Ready Sweet Corn and Bacon Chicken Salad from Mancktastic! at mancktastic.wordpress.com

Sweet Corn and Bacon Chicken Salad

  • 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ⅔ cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise or dijonnaise
  • 1½ Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • ⅔ cup crumbled bacon
  1. Add shredded chicken to a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add wet ingredients, tossing well to coat, then fold in the corn and bacon.

Picnic Ready Sweet Corn and Bacon Chicken Salad from Mancktastic! at mancktastic.wordpress.com

based on a recipe from How Sweet Eats

Tangy, Saucy Honey-Molasses Chicken

Tangy, Saucy Honey-Molasses Chicken

There are certain flavors and ingredients I gravitate towards in the kitchen and recipes. I have squeeze bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar right next to the stove, ready for a quick addition to dinner. There’s always a pot of herbes de Provence ready to go in the cabinet, along with thyme and roasted garlic slices. Our refrigerator always holds Dijon mustard, with fresh ginger lurking in the freezer and a pot full of garlic and shallots lying in wait within their comfortable darkness. Honey patiently sits next to the Keurig machine and there are always backup supplies of flour and 3 types of sugar in the pantry for baking emergencies.

Saucy, Tangy Honey Molasses Chicken from Mancktastic!

When I see any combo of these favored ingredients pop up while perusing the internet, I’m immediately drawn to hungrily peruse the recipe, hoping it’s right for our family and ready for some Manckwhite tweaking. When I found this recipe for Honey-Molasses Chicken, it was immediately added to the meal plan for the week. Bill asked every day if this was the day for delicious chicken and it finally was a few days back! I was so looking forward to the simple, but powerful combination of ingredients that were to come.

Saucy, Tangy Honey Molasses Chicken from Mancktastic!

I was fully prepared for a thick, tangy sauce coating simply spiced chicken tenders, but I was blown away by the depth of flavor that came out of that pan. It’s reminiscent of a vinaigrette, but with a thick, smooth texture like the sauce for Sesame Chicken. It’s a very summery dish with the bright, spiced sauce.

Saucy, Tangy Honey Molasses Chicken from Mancktastic!

You get the subtle and separate sweetnesses of honey, brown sugar and molasses, but it’s cut through with the tang of balsamic vinegar and spices of the Dijon mustard with the follow-through of the garlic powder. This sauce begs to be shared with more than just chicken, so I also sauced some apple pieces to top a simple spinach and goat cheese salad. I loved the combination of zesty sauce and tender chicken with the crunch of the apple, freshness of the spinach and creamy goat cheese. It’s a perfectly balanced plate altogether.

Saucy, Tangy Honey Molasses Chicken from Mancktastic!

We start with my basic, plain ol’ chicken tenders, liberally spiced with salt and pepper. They’re browned to hold in all their tender juiciness, then cooked through with the delicious sauce. We cover to cook, so the steam opens up the chicken for more flavor as the sauce thickens and develops all around it. A final minute to condense the sauce’s flavors make sure the chicken has a nice, healthy coating so the flavor is carried through in every bite.

Saucy, Tangy Honey Molasses Chicken from Mancktastic!

Honey-Molasses Chicken

  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 apple, cut into small pieces
  1. Combine brown sugar, water, honey, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, molasses and garlic powder in a small bowl; whisk together and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Add chicken to pan, cook for 3 minutes, then flip and repeat.
  3. When the chicken has browned on each side, but is not cooked through, add the  honey mixture to pan, turning chicken to coat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until chicken is done, turning chicken every 5 minutes.
  4. Uncover, turn heat to medium-high and cook for an additional minute, so the sauce thickens and the chicken is well coated. Remove from heat; serve immediately, reserving 2 Tablespoons of sauce.
  5. Toss the apple pieces with reserved sauce and serve on the side.

Saucy, Tangy Honey Molasses Chicken from Mancktastic!

Based on a recipe from Recipe Girl

Savory and Tender: Honey-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Savory and Tender: Honey-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

I just love a good pork tenderloin, don’t you? It’s an inexpensive cut of meat that can turn out flavorful, juicy and delicious with just a little marinade and some baking. This moist and flavorful pork is one of my new favorites. I love the flavors you get from the dijon mustard and red wine vinegar, mixed with the sweetness of the honey. The tenderloins turn out fork-tender and delicious with a delicious sort of crust from the glaze. This pork would be delicious as a main course, or incorporated into a salad or sandwiches. Try this for your Sunday dinner this week as a simple, but impressive dish, or make a weeknight special with this easy recipe!
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Honey-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Place pork tenderloins in a shallow baking dish.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, honey, garlic, rosemary, and olive oil to create a glaze.
  3. Pour glaze over pork, turning to coat evenly. Sprinkle with salt and season with pepper.
  4. Roast pork  in oven, spooning glaze over pork occasionally, until thickest part of pork reaches 155 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 30 to 35 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven; let rest until pork reaches 160 degrees, about 10 minutes.

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Based on a recipe from Martha Stewart

Click here to download a PDF of this recipe!

Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Quiche

Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Quiche

Last week I had to keep an eagle eye on our refrigerator to make sure Bill didn’t abscond with the prosciutto I had earmarked for this recipe. Cured meats don’t tend to last long in our house, but I’m glad I successfully protected the tasty treats to include in this quiche. Originally billed as a gluten-free Swiss Chard, Goat Cheese and Prosciutto Tart on Tartelette, I added the gluten back in and replace swiss chard with spinach for the Manckwhite version. Ours turned out as more of a quiche than a tart, but I think I prefer it that way. Try this recipe for breakfast, lunch or dinner, just be prepared to be in the kitchen for quite a while since the dough requires both refrigeration and par-baking before you add the filling.  The dijon mustard adds a savory quality to the crust and the pockets of goat cheese scattered throughout the egg filling made Bill declare this one of his favorite things I’ve ever made! Next time I make this recipe, I think I’ll make it in jumbo muffin tins so the portions are a little more portable.

Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Quiche

  • 5 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 4-6 slices prosciutto
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • ²/3 cup whole milk
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a mixer, whip together the butter and mustard on medium speed until light and airy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Mix until incorporated. Add flour and mix briefly, until the dough comes together.
  2. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. After dough has chilled, roll it out to fit into the pie dish of your choice. Bake for 15-20 minutes until completely done.
  3. Heat the oil in a large sautee pan over medium high heat and cook the
  4. spinach until wilted. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. In the same pan, quickly cook the prosciutto until it’s crispy.
  5. Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a large bowl. Place the spinach in the bottom of the crust, then slowly pour the egg mixture over it. Top custard with the prosciutto and crumbled goat cheese.
  6. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the crust becomes golden-brown and the custard is cooked.

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This recipe make take a while to come together since the crust and filling cook seperately, but the end product is worth the work! The tangy goat cheese mixes with the taste of the crispy prosciutto and crumbly crust for a real treat.

Click here to download a PDF of the recipe!

ManckWhite Mac & Cheese

ManckWhite Mac & Cheese

Finally, I’m back to a meal plan and blogging on a schedule! We’re actually having some winter weather in Houston, so this week will feature some warm, comforting dishes to fill you up and keep you from freezing ; )

I’ve gotten into the (adorably) domestic habit of making Bill a lunch in the morning which is generally just a sandwich, chips and a treat. When I was staring at the fridge brainstorming the week’s meal plan, I noticed a happy little pot of whole-grain Dijon mustard, usually reserved for lunches, waiting there to be incorporated into something a little higher-brow. My mind immediately jumped to a delicious Macaroni and Cheese I’d made in the past, complete with crunchy crust. With the addition of some Brie that Bill grudingly contributed, we had ourselves one high-brow Mac & Cheese last night ; )

Manckwhite Macaroni and Cheese 
(based on recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook)

  • 2.5 cups tube pasta, such as ziti, uncooked
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon whole-grain prepared mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (3-Cheddar blend)
  • ¼ cup Brie, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cook and drain pasta according to package directions.
  3. In a 3-quart saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, mustard and Worcestershire sauce; continue cooking on low heat until smooth and bubbling.
  4. Add milk to butter-flour mixture and heat until boiling, stirring constantly. Boil, while stirring, for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Stir in cheeses until melted and smooth.
  5. Combine pasta and cheese sauce in a 2-quart casserole dish and mix well.
  6. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, paprika, and thyme. Pour mixture over the top of the casserole dish.
  7. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, enjoy!

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We love the tang from the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and Brie in this hearty pasta dish, combined with the crunch and herbal flavor from the breadcrumb topping. This is one of those dishes you keep eating, even when you’ve already had way too much : )

Click here to download a PDF of this recipe!