2011, Recipe 35: Alaskan Salmon Tetrazini

Recipe courtesy of Alaska Seafood

8 ounces spaghetti or thin spaghetti, uncooked
1 can (14.75 oz.) traditional pack Alaska salmon
1 Tablespoon margarine or butter
1 package (8 oz.) sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced or 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
2 Tablespoons dry sherry (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons flour
2/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions or chives
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, drain salmon, reserving liquid. Break salmon into chunks; set aside. Melt margarine in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sherry, if desired, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add milk and reserved salmon liquid; simmer 5 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Stir in salmon and green onions; heat through. Drain spaghetti; arrange on four serving plates. Top with salmon mixture and cheese.

Results: Yummmmmmmmm!!  I really enjoyed this.  Rashan needs to eat more fish to lower his cholesterol and I am extra excited about that!  I love fish!  This smelled and tasted great.  It was even better when I added sriracha!


2011, Recipe 34: Pea Puree

Recipe courtesy of Aarti Sequeira
  • 1 (32-ounce) package frozen peas, thawed in microwave about 5 minutes (or fresh cooked peas)
  • 6 sprigs fresh mint, leaves and softer stems only
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz until smooth. Done!

Results: Ummm... I should really stop using mint in savory dishes.  I DON'T LIKE IT!!  But I took this to a dinner party and it was a hit!  It was sweeter than I expected.  I loved the tang of the yogurt.  It could've used more garlic.  And why did I make this?  Because I saw it on Top Chef!  LOLOL


2011, Recipe 33: Louisiana Burger

Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay

Spicy "Remoulade" Mayonnaise:

  • 1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, or more if desired
  • 5 cornichons, diced
  • 1 green onion, white and pale green part, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (or ground turkey)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for brushing
  • 4 buns, split
  • 1 red onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
Whisk together the mayonnaise, mustards, hot sauce, cornichons, green onion and parsley in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Stir together the paprika, pepper, salt, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne in a small bowl.
Mold the meat into patties. Brush with oil, season both sides with salt. Sprinkle 1 side of each patty with the spice mixture, making sure to rub the spices into the meat, then drizzle with oil before grilling.
Preheat grill to high.
Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a cast iron skillet on top of the grates of the grill until it begins to shimmer. If using cast iron pan, place the burger in the pan and cook until slightly charred and the spices have formed a crust, about 1 1/2 minutes (be careful not to burn the spices.) Turn the burger over, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking to desired doneness. If using a grill, grill the burgers on the grates of the grill for about same amount of time.
Put the burgers on the buns, top with some of the onions and some of the mayonnaise sauce.

Results: Super delicious!!  I know this is probably wrong to say... but this "remoulade" tastes like a spicy special sauce.  LOL  I used ground turkey and it was delightful!


2011, Recipe 32: Crunchburger aka The Signature Burger

Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (80 percent lean) or ground turkey (90 percent lean)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 8 slices American cheese, each 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 potato hamburger buns, split; toasted, if desired (see below)
  • 4 slices beefsteak tomato (optional)
  • 4 leaves romaine lettuce (optional)
  • 4 slices red onion (optional)
  • Horseradish Mustard Mayonnaise, optional (recipe follows)
  • 4 handfuls of potato chips
Divide the meat into 4 equal portions (about 6 ounces each). Form each portion loosely into a 3/4-inch-thick burger and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb. Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper.

Cook the burgers, using the oil and topping each one with 2 slices of cheese and a basting cover during the last minute of cooking. (See Bobby's cheese melting tip)

Place the burgers on the bun bottoms and, if desired, top with tomato, lettuce, onion, and a dollop of horseradish mustard mayonnaise. Pile on the potato chips, top with the bun tops, and serve immediately.

Horseradish Mustard Mayonnaise
You would typically find this sauce served alongside a thick cut of prime rib. The blend of mellow mayonnaise, pungent horseradish, and sharp Dijon mustard complements steak so well that it is no surprise that it does the same for a beef burger. A rich salmon burger would also take beautifully to the sauce. For a touch of extra flavor and color, try adding a few tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs such as chives, dill, or tarragon
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons drained prepared horseradish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, and horseradish in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. The sauce can be prepared 1 day in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator.

Makes 1/2 cup

Results: Pretty good. This is in the book Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries and Shakes.  That man is serious about his burgers.  I can definitely dig that!  I must say I'm not a huge fan of American cheese.  But Bobby had a good rationale for using it so I went with it.  Still not a fan.  I just eyeballed the measurements on the horseradish mayo and needed more horseradish.  Rashan really enjoyed this burger.  I'm a total convert to doing nothing to the burgers but seasoning with salt and pepper.  Wow.  Potato buns are way too expensive and I don't believe in tomatoes outside of summer.  Those are the only modifications I made.  Oh yeah and y'all already know I don't do raw onion.


Color Scheming

It's been a while since I've done an outfit post.  Overdue!  Apparently I only do them when I have a challenge put before me.  LOL L from Avid Accents is doing a color scheming challenge based on a blue, white and yellow room.  The suggested colors included no yellow but I certainly couldn't have that!  I love bright yellow!  So here's my take! :)  (Ignore the skirt wrinkles! Casualty of a long day!)

Blazer: Old Navy
Tank: Cache
Necklace: Oh goodness... too long ago to remember. Guess? Maybe?
Skirt: BCBG Max Azria ($29 down from over $100!!)
Shoes: Nine West (Pretend you can see them-- suede black wedges)


2011, Recipes 29-31: Roasted Duck, Duck Fat Smashed Potatoes and Sauteed Savoy Cabbage

Roasted Duck
Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (5 pound) whole duck
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Rub salt, pepper, and paprika into the skin of the duck. Place in a roasting pan.
Roast duck in preheated oven for 1 hour. Spoon 1/4 cup melted butter over bird, and continue cooking for 45 more minutes. Spoon remaining 1/4 cup melted butter over duck, and cook for 15 more minutes, or until golden brown. 
Results: Yum!!  One recipe-maker suggested eliminating the butter because duck is very fatty anyway.  I agreed and it was still delicious!  Another person suggested adding garlic powder.  Wish I'd remembered!!  Next time.
Duck Fat Smashed Potatoes
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 lb. small Yukon Gold potatoes, 1-2" wide
  • 6 tbsp. duck fat 
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Salt the water, add the potatoes and boil for 15-20 minutes until tender when pierced. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a towel-lined baking sheet to cool and dry.

Using the smooth side of a meat tenderizer, carefully smash the potatoes so they are about 1/2" thick.

Preheat an oven to 200°F.  Set wire rack on baking sheet.

In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 3 tbsp. of duck fat and 1 tbsp. of canola oil until just smoking.  If using larger potatoes, cut in half, place the potatoes, cut side down, in the pan in a single layer.  Working in batches & adding more duck fat and oil as needed, sear the smashed potatoes, turning once until well browned and crispy, about 3 minutes per side.  Transfer to the rack-lined baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.   Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.  Serves 6-8.
Results: Yum! I would never make this w/o making a duck but since I knew I was cooking duck, I grabbed a recipe card at W-S.  Extra exciting!  Do you know how expensive it is to buy duck fat?  It's a shame!  $10.95 for 11 oz.???  So I saved mine for the next time I cook these potatoes or some other equally ridiculous recipe. LOL

Savoy Cabbage
  • 2 lbs. fresh wrinkly-skinned Savoy Cabbage
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. Peel away the outer leaves of the cabbage and discard them. Then slice the rest of the cabbage into thin 1/4" strips.
2. Heat the garlic cloves in the oil in a large nonstick pan.
3. When the oil is hot add the cabbage and salt.
4. Mix often until the cabbage is thouroughly cooked.
5. Salt and pepper to taste.

Results: YUM AGAIN!!! DING DING! WINNING!!! I'd never had savoy before but it was on sale so I bought it and I'll definitely buy it again!  Yummy meal!