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 ūüėČ 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
  • 1¬Ĺ tsp freeze-dried shallots
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ¬Ĺ tsp salt
  • ¬ľ 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
  • ¬ľ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp freeze-dried shallots
  • ¬Ĺ tsp granulated roasted garlic
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¬ľ cup dried cranberries
  • ¬ľ 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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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
  • ¬Ĺ¬†teaspoon salt
  • ¬ľ¬†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

Crispy and Flavorful: Cheddar-Crusted Chicken Tenders

Crispy and Flavorful: Cheddar-Crusted Chicken Tenders

I think this blogging thing might be starting to drive my husband crazy. Each week he has to face down a planned menu full of recipes he’s never heard of, rather than his favorites from our years together. He’d eat Sesame Chicken¬†and Inside-Out Potstickers¬†each once a week, interspersed with frozen pizza and commercial honeybuns, if I let him. Instead, his nutty wife wants to try something new every night so she can make it their own.

Recently, I’ve stepped down my new, bloggy recipes to just 3 times a week so we can enjoy simple classics like pasta with red sauce or Chicken Puff Pastry Pot Pie¬†sometimes as well. ¬†Sometimes I stumble across dishes that Bill demands we add to the “list” of Manckwhite classics so he can enjoy it over and over again; one of the winners we recently found were these delicious¬†Cheddar-Crusted Chicken Tenders!

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I made these delicious double-crusted chicken fingers for us to enjoy with our neighbor Keri during the 2013 NLL finals last weekend. While they may not know it, I think that this tasty dinner is what helped push the Rochester Knighthawks into their 2nd consecutive national title!
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We start with a simple buttermilk bath for our boneless, skinless chicken tenders, then move onto to a hearty double dredging in a tasty breadcrumb and cheese mixture. The combination of the crunchy panko breadcrumbs, light seasoned breadcrumbs and the cheddar cheese makes a wonderful coating that’s both flavorful and filling. By doubling up on the crusting, we get an extra crispy crunch that goes really well with the juicy chicken with its buttermilk tang. We cook these bad boys on a wire baking rack to make sure they stay crispy all the way around, no gooey breading here! Pop ’em in the oven for 20-24 minutes and you’ve got a family (and finger) friendly dinner that everyone will love.

Bill, Keri and I enjoyed our delicious tenders with sides of ranch dressing, ketchup and box lacrosse, but we also recommend trying these with barbecue sauce!

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Cheddar-Crusted Chicken Tenders

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 cups Italian seasoned traditional bread crumbs
  • ¬Ĺ¬†cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¬ľ¬†teaspoon salt
  • ¬Ĺ¬†teaspoon pepper
  • ¬Ĺ¬†teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon thyme
  1. Place chicken tenders in a large bowl and cover with buttermilk. Allow this to sit, in the refrigerator, for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 450¬į F.¬†Lay a wire rack on a baking sheet.
  3. In a large bowl, combine panko and traditional bread crumbs, plus flour, salt, pepper, paprika and thyme and stir with a spoon. Fold in cheese.
  4. Remove each piece of chicken from the buttermilk and dredge through the breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Dip breaded tender back in the buttermilk, dredge through breadcrumbs again, then lay on the wire rack and repeat with the rest of the chicken.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes on each side, flipping midway through.

Cheddar-CrustedChickenTenders
Based on a recipe from How Sweet Eats