Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


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Stuffed Peppers

IMG_3255Pinterest strikes again.  That site is dangerous I tell you.  My husband especially loves stuffed peppers.  I came across a recipe that used ground beef as well as sausage.  It sounded good.  And I made them with a few adaptations. The original recipe can be found here.

Sad story, the first time I started to make them, I discovered that the store had sold me some sausage that had expired last month!   The meat smelled “off” – as I started cooking it – my family appreciates that I quickly changed my menu for that day!!  The store were kind enough to give me my money back on that item, but made not apologies for selling it in the first place, nor did I feel that they cared if I ever bought another thing at their store, so I will not be buying my meat there again (EVER). Why is customer service so hard to find nowadays? I find plenty of customer dis-service.  Thanks for letting me rant!

Stuffed Peppers

Serves 6 adapted from http://www.dearcrissy.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 package mild Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with basil and garlic
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided use
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 6 large bell peppers (I like to use red or orange or yellow ones)
  • olive oil, to drizzle over the peppers before cooking

Instructions:

Heat the oven to 375 F.

In a large skillet, brown the sausage, ground beef, 1 teaspoon of salt, and onion over medium high heat.  Add the garlic the last few minutes of cooking.  Drain off any excess fat. Turn off the heat.

Add the cooked rice, 1/2 cup cheddar, diced tomatoes, parsley, remaining salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine.

Wash the peppers and split them lengthwise.  Remove the stem, seed and white ribs from the peppers.  Place the peppers in a casserole.  Fill the peppers with the meat filling until full.  Sprinkle the tops with the remaining cheese.  Drizzle the peppers with a little olive oil.  Cover the casserole with foil.  Bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 375 F.  Remove the foil and continue baking for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned.  Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

This would also be great with heated up Queso if you wish.

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Ginger Crusted Salmon

Ginger Crusted Salmon

Ginger Crusted Salmon

One of my favorite preparations of salmon I have ever eaten has been at the Yard House.  They serve a ginger crusted salmon on  a bed of wasabi mashed potatoes with a peanut ginger sauce that is to die for.  Much to my surprise I found the recipe online and in print (link)! You mean I can make this myself now?  I added the recipe to my bucket list of things I wish to make.  I bought some beautiful salmon at my favorite market – and thought it was the perfect opportunity to make it myself.  It was not quite what the Yard House serves, because it was missing the deep fried strips of carrot on top for presentation, but it was still very good.  I doubled the sauce, because I thought it would go nicely with a satay later in the week.  This recipe takes a little prep work to get it perfected, but I was rather happy with the results.  I will make it again for a special dinner.

Yard House Ginger Crusted Salmon (at home)

adapted from Yard House recipe published in Miami New Times

by Executive Chef Carlito Jocson Serves 2

http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/shortorder/2009/06/yard_house_recipe_for_ginger_c.php (link)

Ingredients:

  • 2 (6 oz) fillet of salmon
  • 1/4 cup finely minced ginger (I used a microplane to grate it)
  • 1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups julienne carrots and snow peas (cut in matchsticks)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make ahead of time:

  • 1/2 cup Sesame Peanut Vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • Wasabi Mashed Potatoes (recipe below)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

In a small metal bowl, combine the grated ginger and sliced green onions.  Heat the olive oil in a small skillet.  Use caution to pour the hot oil over the ginger and green onions in the metal bowl.

Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to a large skillet and heat to medium high heat.  Sear the salmon on each side until golden brown.  Transfer the salmon to a baking dish and top with the ginger mixture.  Bake in the oven for 7 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

Steam the snow peas and carrots in two separate pans for about 3-10 minutes depending how tender you like them.  Drain any water, add some butter to each and season with salt and pepper if desired.  Tip: I bought a small bag of carrot slaw mix in the grocery store, so I did not have to spend hours slicing carrots.

To serve: Drizzle the plate with 1 Tbsp of the Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette.  Put a dollop of Wasabi mashed potatoes on the center of the plate.  Top with steamed julienne carrots and snow peas.  Top with the baked ginger crusted fish and drizzle about 1/4 cup more of the Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette over each servings.  Top with fried strips of carrot if you desire (I did not this time). Serve and have a party in your Mouth.

Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • water to cover the potatoes
  • 1/4 cup Wasabi Paste (I found some in a tube by S&B) See bottom of post for source)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • salt to taste

Instructions:

Prepare the potatoes: Bring the potato chunks, salted cold water to cover to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 12-15 minutes.  Test with a fork for tenderness.  Drain.  Mash the potatoes with the wasabi paste, heavy cream and butter.  Season with salt to taste.  These potatoes have quite the punch- my children opted for regular potatoes, but hubby and I enjoyed them.  If you are unsure how spicy they will be add less wasabi- you can always add more.

Sesame- Peanut Vinaigrette (doubled)

Yields about 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter (I used Jif)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped ginger
  • 2 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions:

Combine all the ingredients in your food processor or blender.  Process until smooth.  Refrigerate until needed.  I like this sauce so much I make extra and serve as a sauce with a beef or chicken satay later in the week.

Ingredients resource:

For the Wasabi paste:

http://www.sb-worldwide.com/products/paste.html (43 grams was the size of my tube and I used)

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Tzatsiki

I was searching IMG_3243for a good Tzatsiki sauce to go with my Gyro recipe.  My friend Sherilyn shared this recipe with me.

Tzatsiki Sauce

Yields: about 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and grated, wrung dry in a clean kitchen towel
  • 2 cups (500 ml) plain yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp minced dill
  • juice of 1 lime

Instructions:

Combine all the ingredients and mix well to combine.  Chill and serve with Gyros.  You can find my recipe at:

https://goodcookbecky.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/gyros/ (link)

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Bauernkrapfen

IMG_3110No, I did not choke.. that is the word for this delightfully wonderful fried pastry that I ate growing up in Austria.  “Bauernkrapfen” is a rustic version of a doughnut, with less sugar than the American equivalent.  Traditionally, it is brushed with Apricot jam and dusted with powdered sugar, but you can use any jam you wish- strawberry or red currant jam would also be very good choices. I woke up this morning thinking about the Bauernkrapfen, so I called my Mom for the recipe she had from the friend who first introduced us to them.  A “Bauer” is the German word for “farmer” – “Krapfen” is the German word for “doughnut” (usually the jelly filled type without a hole in it).  These are easy to make, though a little time consuming, and my kids enjoyed them too, but would have preferred a different type of jam on them.

Bauernkrapfen (Austrian Farmer’s Doughnut)

Yields: 15-20 recipe translated from German into English – it is an authentic recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz milk
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 yeast packets
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (400 grams)

Additional ingredients:

  • Apricot jam (or strawberry or red currant)
  • powdered sugar

Instructions:

Pour milk in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until it is steaming.  Turn off the heat and add the butter and allow it to melt in the milk, stirring a few times.  Allow to cool 5 minutes.  Pour the milk into a large mixing bowl.  Add the sugar to the milk mixture and stir to dissolve.  Allow to cool to lukewarm temperature (100-110)  Add the yeast and egg yolks.  Stir to combine.  Add the flour about a cup of it at a time, stirring to incorporate it to a dough.  Add a little more flour if it is sticking to the bowl, just enough to get it to release (I only had to add another tablespoon of flour, but it may vary depending on the size of the egg yolks you used).  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for at least 1 hour.  Form the dough into 15-20 balls, roll each ball in a little flour and cover with a tea towel and allow to rest 30 minutes.

Stretch each ball a little, similarly as you would pizza dough, a thin layer of dough in the center and a rim slightly thicker on outside.

Heat 3/4 inch- 1 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  When the oil is hot, carefully add 4-5 of the doughnuts to the oil and fry to a golden brown color on each side (this takes about 30-45 seconds per side).  Remove the doughnuts to a cookie rack to drain Tip:  I place my rack upside down on a cookie sheet that I have lined with paper towels, this allows the excess oil to be pulled away from your doughnut and keeps it from becoming soggy.

Heat the desired jam in a saucepan until it is slightly runny and warm.  Glaze the tops of the doughnuts with the warmed jam using a pastry brush.  Sprinkle a dusting of powdered sugar over the tops of the jam and doughnut.  Best still served warm, but tastes okay at room temperature as well.

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