Orange Glazed Salmon with Rosemary

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We tried yet another excellent recipe recently. This pan roasted salmon glazed with fresh orange sauce and layered with the flavor and fragrance of rosemary from our garden is one we will repeat soon.

Orange Glazed Salmon with Rosemary

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4 (6-8 oz) skinless salmon fillets, (leave out at room temperature 10 minute)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon minced fresh rosemary plus a few sprigs for garnish

1/2  cup chicken broth, plus 1 Tablespoon( to be mixed with cornstarch)

2 teaspoons orange zest

1 cup fresh orange juice

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 Tablespoons honey

3 teaspoons cornstarcheat

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Season both sides of salmon with salt and pepper. Place in hot olive oil and sear until browned on both sides and cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side, depending on thickness of salmon.Transfer to a plate, leaving oil in pan.

Add garlic and rosemary to pan and saute 20 seconds, then add 1/2 cup chicken broth and simmer to reduce. Stir in orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice and honey. In a small bowl whisk together remaining 1 Tablespoon chicken broth with cornstarch.

Pour into pan, season sauce with salt and pepper to taste, then bring to a boil and allow to thicken 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return salmon to pan, spoon sauce over salmon. Garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary and orange slices.

Colcannon

ColcannonSt. Patrick’s Day 2016!  No green beer here, just some good hearty Irish food, combining 3 favorites – cabbage, potatoes, and leeks!  We cut a small head of cabbage growing in our garden, peeled some potatoes and cleaned 3 leeks and before long, this tasty lunch was on the table.  I diced some bits of ham and bacon to pass in a bowl separately for topping, and baked some 2 ingredient yogurt bread to serve with it – what a feast!

Colcannon

1 small head of cabbage, outer leaves included if they are not too tough

4 medium potatoes, or about a pound, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 leeks (use a bunch of green onions if you do not have leeks)

1 cup milk

1/2 cup butter, melted

diced ham and/or bacon, optional, for topping

Wash and cut cabbage into pieces.  Bring to simmer in salted water over medium heat and cook until tender. Remove from water and set aside, keeping water to add potatoes.  Cook potatoes until fork tender.  While potatoes are cooking, carefully wash and slice leeks, both white and green parts, and drop into bowl of water, separating rings and letting any additional sandy bits fall to the bottom.  Lift leeks out with fingertips (pouring just gets the sand back on) and place in a sauce pan with 1 cup milk.  Simmer in milk until leeks are tender,

Cut cabbage into smaller pieces.  I do this by placing the cabbage in the large bowl I intend to serve in, and cutting them with kitchen shears.  Drain and rough mash the potatoes (there will be some chunks) and add to the cabbage along with the leeks and the milk they have cooked in.  Blend well, make a well in the middle of the bowl and pour melted butter into this. Pass a small bowl of diced bacon and ham cooked crisp for topping. Serve with a nice crusty loaf of bread.

 

Play Dough!

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Among the inedible things cooked in our kitchen through the years is play dough!  Our boys always loved making it when they were little.  Nora discovered the fun of “cooking” it instead of opening a store bought can last week.  Since then, she has played with it over and over using hands and fingers and various lids and rollers for making new shapes.  I pulled our old frayed recipe out of the back of the recipe box and used it, but I see that now there are several ways to make it, including one using Jello!  Tried and true works for mel

Homemade Play Dough

1 cup salt

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups water

1 Tablespoon cooking oil

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

food coloring

peppermint or lemon extract (optional)

Place in sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Cook for a few more minutes after it begins to pull away from the pan.  Turn out onto waxed paper or a silpat baking sheet and knead until smooth.  Keep in covered container when not in use.

Texas Pecan Pound Cake

20160303_151528I read this morning that today, March 4, is National Pound Cake Day. I must have known it was coming because yesterday I pulled out an old favorite recipe for pound cake and baked it. As with most pound cakes, the list of ingredients and mixing are fairly simple.  This one’s claim to fame is the addition of a cup of Texas pecans.  The recipe was given to me over 40 years ago by my neighbor on McCree Road, Jean Merrill. She wrote it on a note pad from her kitchen and I still pull out the yellowed slip of paper and use it, remembering what a good neighbor she was and how much our chldren enjoyed playing together. I believe the recipe itself came from Jean’s father, who owned a restaurant in San Antonio.

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In the middle of heated campaigns in a presidential election year, I smile when I see the notepad, likely a campaign freebie from John Traeger, who served as State Senator from District 21 in Texas.  Mr. Traeger’s daughter Cam and her husband previously owned the house we lived in when Jean gave me the recipe.  They had been friends of Jean and Ralph, who became our neighbors and friends when we bought the house in 1972.  My goodness, the memories that baking a cake can bring to surface!

We like the addition of a generous splash of good vanilla extract!

Texas Pecan Pound Cake

2 sticks of butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

5 eggs

1 cup chopped pecans.

As you can see, I was given a minimum of directions, which I consider a compliment.  Jean knew that I knew the order and manner of mixing!  I will expand instructions but after you have baked this cake as many times as I have, you won’t need them!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a tube or bundt pan. With electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating after each.  Add flour gradually.  Stir in pecans and spoon into pan.  Bake 55 minutes.

 

Chicken Nogales

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Perhaps my favorite chicken entrée ever, Chicken Nogales is our version of a recipe given to me while we lived in Jakarta, Indonesia by my friend Barbara. I made it many times while we lived there, and have made it often ever since, so that means for about 30 years, family and guests alike have enjoyed it. It is nutritious, delicious, and is a beautiful, colorful platter to set on your table. Serve with rice and black beans and hot tortillas if you wish.

Chicken Nogales

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

2 eggs

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup green salsa (I have substituted red with equal success)

1 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground oregano

6 Tablespoons butter

1 large ripe avocado

5-6 cups shredded Romaine lettuce

1 cup sour cream (may use yogurt)

1 bunch green onions, sliced, including tops

18 cherry tomatoes (may use large tomatoes, chopped)

3 limes, cut into quarters

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse chicken and pat dry.Set aside. In a shallow bowl, beat together eggs, garlic, and salsa.. In another shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, chili powder, cumin, and oregano.

Dip each chicken piece in egg mixture; drain briefly, then coat with crumb mixture. Shake off excess. In a rimmed, parchment-lined 15-inch baking pan, melt butter in  oven. Add chicken; turn to coat with butter. Bake,  uncovered, until meat in thickest part is no longer pink when slashed (30 to 35 minutes)..

While chicken is baking, pit, peel, and slice avocado. Arrange chicken on a bed of shredded lettuce on a serving platter and top each piece with a dollop of sour cream..
Garnish with avocado, onions, tomatoes, and lime slices.  Offer extra sour cream and salsa at the table.  Makes 6 servings.