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?Ā 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 šŸ˜‰ 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-onĀ salmon fillets, 4 ounces each, boned
  • 4 Tbsp molasses
  • 1Ā½ tsp freeze-dried shallots
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Ā½ tsp salt
  • Ā¼ tspĀ crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 TbspĀ 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,Ā 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
  • Ā¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp freeze-dried shallots
  • Ā½ tsp granulated roasted garlic
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Ā¼ cup dried cranberries
  • Ā¼ 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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Balsamic Salmon with Parmesan Potatoes and Sauteed Spinach

Balsamic Salmon with Parmesan Potatoes and Sauteed Spinach

I do not claim to be the wisest woman in all the land, with lo my 2 1/2 years of marriage, but let me impart some wisdom on to you, oh Internet. Wisdom which, hopefully, will lead you to a delicious and happy life.

Wisdom number 1: If your husband is from the Northern lands, trust him with fish. Even if you just wanted salmon to make sliders this week, and your eyes goggle out when he returns with a $24 package of just 1 3/4 pounds of fish. Trust him in this – he has magical knowledge which leads him to the delicious-est fishes.

Sub-wisdom number 1: If your husband knows how to divide and grill fish, make him do it. If you’re like me, you’ll wind up with some funky-sized and -shaped pieces which cook funny otherwise.

Wisdom number 2: If your husband declares dinner the best thing you’ve ever made, make it again. We had this recipe for dinner on Sunday, thinking just to use up some of the ‘extra’ Atlantic fresh-caught salmon Bill chose before I made sliders for dinner on Monday. Behold, we had this exact recipe 3 nights in a row. It is delicious.

Balsamic Salmon with Parmesan Potatoes and Sauteed Spinach

So, yeah. Bill and I made the best, most delicious salmon of all time. And it is the SIMPLEST marinade. I do not know what sort of hoodoo voodoo is contained within the Williams-Sonoma Newlywed Cookbook that my aunt gave us Ā when we got married, but I trust in it. And you should too.

Balsamic Salmon with Parmesan Potatoes and Sauteed Spinach

Succulent, flavorful, simple salmon, topped with a tasty herbed compound butter, served alongside oven potatoes with a salty Parmesan zip and spinach sauteed with shallots. I mean, are you drooling?

Balsamic Salmon with Parmesan Potatoes and Sauteed Spinach

I mean, the butter just melts into all the little crevices of the perfectly cooked salmon, turning in into this creamy luscious main dish, with the fresh green pop of spinach and the crispy crunch of the potatoes. The balsamic and parmesan used throughout the dish make it a truly cohesive dish that’s not too heavy, but is perfectly filling.

This recipe may seem a little complex, but I have timed just right after making it so many nights in a row!

Balsamic Salmon with Parmesan Potatoes and Sauteed Spinach

  • 6 fresh salmon fillets, skin on (Bill recommends North Atlantic)
  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • Ā¼ + Ā½ cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon + 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons herbes de Provence
  • 2 large garlic cloves, diced
  • 2/3 cup + 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound small gold potatoes, cut into thin rounds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or freeze-dried shallots
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  1. Preheat the oven to 425Ā° F.
  2. First, make your delicious compound butter.
    • Place butter, Ā¼ cup Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, and the herbes de Provence in a food processor.
    • Pulse butter mixture in food processor until well-combined, add pepper to taste.
    • Scoop out butter mixture into a plastic ziptop bag and squish into a cylinder. Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  3. Next, create the marinade
    • Combine 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar with diced garlic, 2/3 cup olive oil and thyme in a wide, shallow dish.
    • Add salmon fillets to marinade dish and turn to coat well.
    • Cover dish and place in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Now, get the potatoes going.
    • Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, and add potato rounds.
    • Add 1/3 cup olive oil, sea salt and pepper to potatoes on cookie sheet. Lift up edges of aluminum foil and shake to combine all ingredients.
    • Place cookie sheet in oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. When the oven timer goes off at 20 minutes:
    • Top potatoes with Ā½ cup Parmesan cheese, and return to oven for 5 minutes.
    • Heat a grill pan over medium heat.
    • Saute the spinach!
  6. Spinach time!
    • Melt a pat of the compound butter over medium heat in a medium pan. When butter is melted, add shallots and spinach.
    • Stir constantly until spinach is wilted, then cover the pan and remove heat.
  7. Turn the oven off, but keep the potatoes in to continue crisping up that yummy cheese.
  8. Letā€™s cook the salmon!
    • When grill pan is heated, add salmon fillets and a nice glug of marinade to the pan. (The oil from the marinade will keep the fish from sticking).
    • Cook the salmon for about 3 minutes on each side, or until crisp on the outside and opaque all the way through.
  9. Remove potatoes from oven.
  10. Serve salmon fillets with potatoes and spinach, topping the salmon with another slice of the compound butter.
  11. Enjoy! (make sure you remove the salmon skin before eating)

Based on a recipe from the Williams-Sonoma Newlywed Cookbook, plus potatoes and spinach from my brain šŸ˜‰

Balsamic Salmon with Parmesan Potatoes and Sauteed Spinach

 

Greek Baked Potato Soup

Greek Baked Potato Soup

I talk a lot about Bill and I’s food “love languages” here on the blog, usually in a sweet, dessert context. It’s not just sugar that shows our love, though, sometimes it can be savory too! Today’s recipe is speaking my language: potatoes. Straight up, I love potatoes in any way, shape, or form. Baked potatoes, french fries, hashbrowns, it’s all delicious. There’s something about starchy, salty, filling goodness that satisfies part of my soul šŸ™‚
Greek Baked Potato Soup from Mancktastic! at mancktastic.wordpress.com
Now, it may seem a little strange to be talking about a thick, warm soup in the middle of the heat of summer, but this tasty recipe demanded to be shared! We start with the traditional Baked Potato Soup, but then add the delightful flavors of Greek cuisine for a fresh and delicious twist. Feta, dill and Greek spices add a unique flavor to this familiar dish that will have you coming back for more!
Greek Baked Potato Soup from Mancktastic! at mancktastic.wordpress.com
This is the perfect soup to curl up with in some comfy clothes, a good book, and a cool glass of wine. The potatoes are filling without overpowering the delicate flavor of dill while you get the salty, savory undertones of both Feta and bacon. Greek yogurt adds a decadent, silky undertone to the soup that you’ll love.
Greek Baked Potato Soup from Mancktastic! at mancktastic.wordpress.com
If you want a little more texture, you can add in some of the cooked skins from your potatoes ala mashed potatoes. This recipe makes several folks’ worth of soup, so go ahead and freeze your leftovers now to enjoy on the cool Fall days that will be here before you know it!
Greek Baked Potato Soup from Mancktastic! at mancktastic.wordpress.com

Greek Baked Potato Soup

  • 8 potatoes, baked and skins removed
  • 6 slicesĀ bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 clovesĀ garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Greek spice mix
  • ā…“ cupsĀ flour
  • 4 cupsĀ chicken stock
  • Ā½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoonsĀ pepper
  • 2 cupsĀ Feta cheese
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 cupĀ Greek yogurt
  • Fresh dill, to taste
  1. Add 4 tablespoons butter to a stockpot over medium heat. Ā When the butter has melted, add minced garlic, shallot, oregano, Greek spice mix and flour. Stir flour until absorbed by the butter and cooked, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add chicken stock to the flour mixture, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Bring to a simmer then turn heat to low. Add potatoes, salt and pepper, smooshing the potatoes with a spoon. Cover pot and continue to cook over low heat until ingredients are well-incorporated.
  3. Add bacon, Feta and cheddar cheeses,Ā Greek yogurt and dill into the pot of soup. Stir well and continue to cook over low heat until heated through and cheese is melted.
  4. If you want an extra-smooth soup, use blender to reach desired consistency. Serve soup topped with additional bacon and cheese.

based on recipe from Tasty Kitchen

Greek Baked Potato Soup from Mancktastic! at mancktastic.wordpress.com

Easy-Peasy Fried Noodles

Easy-Peasy Fried Noodles

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope that your workday ends quickly, but your weekend is as long as you need it be : ) Today, I’m pleased to share one of my own recipe creations: a simple dish from Bill and I’s early days of dating when we had much more love than money. You can think of Easy-Peasy Fried Noodles as the lovechild of Fried Rice and Chow Mein, a tasty, saucy dish that’s both fool-proof and easy to customize for your family’s tastes!

Easy-Peasy Fried Noodles from Mancktastic!

We start with a large skillet over medium heat and about a Tablespoon sesame oil. The sesame oil adds a great, savory flavor to the whole dish while making your kitchen smell amazing! You can also use wok oil, which has a rich garlicky flavor, with in combination with or as a replacement for the sesame oil. As the oil heats up in the skillet, mince 2 cloves of fresh garlic and a 1″ piece of fresh ginger. Add the minced pieces to the skillet and sautĆ© for 1-2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Once your garlic and ginger are softened, add the cooked spaghetti noodles to the pan and toss to coat with oil. Cook, stirring every 30 seconds or so, for 2-3 minutes. Add frozen peas to the skillet and cook for an additional minute. At this point you can also add other veggies of your choice or pre-cooked meats like chicken tenders or shrimp.

Easy-Peasy Fried Noodles from Mancktastic!

Now is when we add the fun bits to the dish! First, crack an egg right in the middle of the pan and quickly stir throughout the noodles so they all get coated as the egg cooks. Then, add Ā¼ cup each of low-sodium soy sauce and oyster sauce to the pan and stir to coat the noodles once again. This combination of sauces gives you a deep, savory and sweet flavor that has a great earthy note as well. Cook this mixture all together for 1 minute or until nice and sizzly-sounding. Remove from the heat and serve immediately. You can top with sesame seeds, chopped scallions or additional sauce.

Easy-Peasy Fried Noodles from Mancktastic!

Easy-Peasy Fried Noodles

  • 8 ounces spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1″ piece of ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 egg
  • Ā¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • Ā¼ cup oyster sauce
  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon of sesame oil in a large skillet on medium heat. When oil is heated, add garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook until softened and fragrant.
  2. Add cooked spaghetti noodles to the pan and toss to coat well with oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add frozen peas to the skillet and cook for an additional minute.
  3. Crack an egg into the skillet and quickly stir through the noodles, tossing until the egg is thoroughly cooked.
  4. Add Ā¼ cup each of low-sodium soy sauce and oyster sauce to the pan and stir to coat the noodles. Cook this mixture for 1 minute, or until nice and sizzly-sounding. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Easy-Peasy Fried Noodles from Mancktastic!

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
  • Ā½Ā teaspoon salt
  • Ā¼Ā 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 Ā 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

The Perfect Food: Cheesy Pearl Couscous with Broccoli and Bacon

The Perfect Food: Cheesy Pearl Couscous with Broccoli and Bacon

I’m sure you’re thinking that today’s post title is hyperbole; really, Emily, the perfect food?Ā This is no exaggeration though!

This is a perfectly decadent and delicious meal: creamy, salty, fresh, filling and satisfying.Ā This amazing marvel of a meal combines roasted broccoli and garlic, bacon hunks, creamy and filling pearl couscous, the decadence of gouda, and fresh pops of corn, resulting in a delicious mishmash meal that I never wanted to stop eating.

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First, fresh garlic and broccoli are combined with butter, then cooked in the oven until that delicious roasted flavor permeates each and every floret. As the broccoli sizzles away, tiny bacon pieces areĀ sautĆ©edĀ until delightfully crispy then set aside so corn and garlic can sizzle in the bacon fat’s flavor. Hearty, lovely pearl couscous is cooked until al dente, then added to the pan with chicken stock so absorb all the flavor. Smoked gouda adds an especially satisfying creaminess to the dish when stirred in with the bacon pieces. Topped with the happily roasted garlicky broccoli, this meal satisfies every savory craving with the amazing mix of flavors and textures.

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Seriously, I think it’s my favorite food now. It may look a bit likeĀ porridge, and Bill said, but it tastes like heaven… and bacon : )

Cheesy Pearl Couscous with Broccoli and Bacon

  • 5 TablespoonsĀ butter, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped and divided
  • 1Ā bunch broccoli, cut into florets
  • 8 ounces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 ounces pearl couscous
  • 1Ā½ cupsĀ frozen corn
  • 2Ā cupsĀ chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3Ā cups smoked gouda, grated
  1. Preheat the oven to 450Ā° F.
  2. In a small bowl, melt 3Ā TablespoonsĀ butter in the microwave, then stir in 2 chopped cloves of garlic. Spread the broccoli in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the the garlic butter. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the couscous until just al dente, 5 to 6 minutes; drain.
  4. As the broccoli roasts and couscous cooks, Ā cook the bacon over medium-high heat inĀ a large straight-sidedĀ sautĆ©Ā pan, until crisp. Reserve the skillet, discarding all but 1 Tablespoon of the bacon fat and set bacon pieces aside.
  5. Add the corn and remaining garlic to the reserved skillet and cook over medium-high heat until warmed through, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the boiled, drained couscous and chicken stock and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
  7. Stir in the remaining 2 Tablespoons butter, the cheese and reserved bacon. Serve topped with the roasted broccoli.

Cheesy-Pearl-Couscous-with-Broccoli-and-Bacon

Based on a recipe from Rachel Ray Magazine

Healthy and Flavorful: Mediterranean Chicken Sausage Skillet

Healthy and Flavorful: Mediterranean Chicken Sausage Skillet

It’s time for another recipe from slightly questionable literary providence… I found this recipe in an ad within Real Simple magazine and gravitated towards it because a) it looked delicious and b) I had a package of garlic and rosemary chicken sausage languishing in the freezer that needed used. We had all of the other ingredients on hand, so this week we delved into the Mediterranean for dinner!

I just love the flavors in this easy skillet: fresh pops from the grapes, savory herbal tones from the basmati rice and spices, hearty rich flavors from the chicken sausage plus the creamy, almost-cheesey taste from the simple addition of Greek yogurt. This is one delicious, lean and healthy dinner!

Mediterranean Chicken Sausage Skillet

  • 12 ounces chicken sausage, cut into 1/2″ slices
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked basmati rice
  • Ā½ cup chicken broth
  • Ā¼ teaspoon sage, ground
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Ā¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Ā¼ cup almonds, slivered
  • 1 cup red grapes, quartered
  1. In a large saute pan, sautƩ oil and garlic for 3-5 minutes. Add the sausage slices to the pan and sautƩ for 5 minutes, or until sausage is cooked and warmed through.
  2. Add rice, broth and sage to the pan and simmer 3-4 minutes. Add yogurt to the pan and stir well to coat, cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Season dish with salt and pepper. Fold in grapes and almonds.

MediterraneanChickenSausageSkillet

Click here to download a PDF of this recipe!

Based on a recipe from Al Fresco sausage