Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Blackened Salmon with Potatoes and Green Beans----20 minutes or less!!

This is one of our favorite meals. Blackened Salmon. I buy our salmon at Sam's Club in the frozen section. The salmon comes in individual portions and is ready to go without any de-boning or skinning.

Blackened Salmon

I make a mixture in a shallow bowl of paprika, garlic, seasoning salt, pepper, red pepper (cayenne), and anything else that sounds yummy at the time. I just rub that seasoning into the salmon while I have a pat of butter and a couple tablespoons of olive oil heating in a pan (I like to use cast iron). Once the butter is melted, I put the salmon in the pan on a medium heat. I let the salmon cook, without moving it around, until it starts to cook atleast half way through. Sometimes I cover the pan with a lid, sometimes I don't. Once it has cooked half way through, flip the salmon and finish cooking.


For this dinner I was craving potato skins. But with potato skins you scoop out all the actual potato leaving just the skins and all the fattening stuff. For this recipe I left the potato in, just scooping out a tiny bit so the cheese didn't fall off.

After scrubbing 3 potatoes, I pricked them and put them in the microwave until they were soft enough that a fork went through them fairly easily. I then sliced them in half lengthwise and let them cool a minute. Once they cooled enough to touch, I scooped out just a slight bit of potato--enough to make a little pool for the stuffing. Then I used "real" bacon bits (or if you wanted to take the time to fry bacon and crumble it, you could), then I sprinkled on the cheddar cheese. Next, stick them under the broiler on low for a minute or two to melt the cheese. Serve them with sour cream. YUM!

Green Beans

I love fresh green beans but this time of year, they aren't looking too good in the stores. So I resort to frozen ones. I use a small pan with a touch of butter and olive oil heated. Then I throw in the beans and let them saute for a minute with some salt and pepper. Next I add a key ingredient; stock or broth. I use any kind I have around. Chicken, beef, or vegetable. This gives the beans a great flavor. I put just enough broth in the pan to steam the beans for a few minutes. Cook till tender.

Enjoy!!!! Dinner in under 20! Leftover blackened salmon is great too!! I love to make a green salad for lunch and top it with the cold salmon. Super healthy and yummy.

Friday, December 08, 2006

We had friends over last night for dinner. They brought Chinese and I made desserts. I remembered them saying that on a trip to France they had fallen in love with macaroons. So yesterday I attempted to make french macaroons. I researched and realized that french macaroons are vastly different than the macaroons I was used to seeing here in the States. The ones I see are all coconut lumps. (I did make a batch of those as well). But the french macaroons are essentially pulverized almonds and sugar. They were a bit time consuming and after seeing the finished product I was skeptical. I chilled them as directed (an ESSENTIAL step) and served them last night. As I put them on the table our guests gasped and said "are those macaroons"? The first good sign---they looked the way they were supposed to. They took a bite and said they were just like the ones they had eaten in France.---YEAH!!!! And my skepticizm was laid to rest when I ate one myself. They were suprisingly delish even though they did look like a plastic hamburger.
All that to say---try these!!! They are worth the effort and taste amazing! They need to be served cold. YUMMY!!!!!

Chocolate Macaroons with Chocolate Filling

Chocolate filling
3/4 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 1-pound box powdered sugar
2 cups whole blanched almonds
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup egg whites (about 6 large)

For chocolate filling: Bring milk and butter to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer to small bowl. Cool. Cover and refrigerate until thick and cold, at least 1 day and up to 3 days.

For macaroons: Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Blend powdered sugar and almonds in processor until nuts are ground to powder, scraping sides of bowl often, about 8 minutes. Add cocoa and blend 1 minute more. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold nut mixture into whites in 4 additions, making thick batter.

Spoon half of batter into pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain round tip. Pipe batter onto each prepared sheet in 12 walnut-size mounds, spacing mounds apart (cookies will spread slightly). ** note: I used the bag but ended up finding it much easier to just use a spoon to put them on the parchment paper.

Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until firm to touch in center and dry and cracked on top, about 11 minutes. Slide parchment with cookies onto work surface; cool cookies. Repeat with remaining batter, cooling sheets completely.

Assembly and serving: Arrange 1 macaroon, flat side up, on work surface. Drop 1 scant tablespoon filling onto cookie. Top with second macaroon, flat side down. Press lightly to adhere, making sandwich. Repeat with remaining macaroons and filling. Arrange macaroons on platter. Cover; chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Serve cold.

Makes 24 sandwich cookies.
Bon App├ętit
Cooking Class
May 2001

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Happy Holidays everyone!!!! As you may have noticed, I have been slacking a bit in my postings and communication with you all. The holidays sure can be a crazy time, eh? I am 99% done with Christmas shopping. Now it is a matter of wrapping, packaging, and shipping many of the gifts to family and friends around the country.
Needless to say, I am sure many, if not all of you, are as busy or busier than me. So on that note, lets aim at picking up the recipe swap again in January. Sound ok?
I am going to try to post some recipes with pics of my own on here throughout the month so check back for some recipe ideas. Tomorrow I am making a trifle, some macaroons, and chocolate cookies for some guests we are having over. I'll post the results tomorrow or the next day so look for that!
Feel free to drop a line, a recipe, a Christmas idea, or whatever is on your mind.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's not even Thanksgiving and I already have leftover turkey. Mike's work had a little Thanksgiving lunch schindig and he came home with the leftover turkey I sent him with. At any rate, I found a recipe for Turkey Tetrazzini and adapted it to what you see here. Its super easy, fast, tasty, and healthy. Enjoy!!


10 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin (about 4 cups)--you don't have to use. Its fine without
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2T all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk (or water)
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
10 ounces whole wheat pasta (I used spiral)
3 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey
1 cup cooked peas or any other vegetables you desire
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/3 cup bread crumbs

In a large heavy saucepan cook the mushrooms in 1/4 cup of the butter over moderate heat, stirring, until most of the liquid they give off has evaporated, stir in the flour, and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add in a stream the milk, the broth, and the wine, stirring, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring, and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes. In a kettle of boiling salted water cook the spaghetti until it is al dente and drain it well. Put the pasta into the mushroom sauce.
Add the turkey, the peas, and salt and pepper to taste, stir in 1/3 cup of the Parmesan, and transfer the mixture to a buttered shallow 3-quart casserole. In a small bowl combine well the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan, the bread crumbs, and salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle the mixture evenly over the Tetrazzini. Bake the Tetrazzini in the middle of a preheated 375°F. oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is bubbling and the top is golden.

Serves 4 to 6.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I love it that you sent a picture along, Leslie...Thanks so much!
Also, thanks to Carrie for the neat Thanksgiving ideas!! I love the great idea of tackling the Thanksgiving day-post eating- clean up.
Now that I have you girls at the blog.... scroll down to see anything that you may have missed. Please let me know "yea", or "nay" about the apron swap. I hope to get those who want to be involved details on it later this week.
Hope everyone will be trying out some of these recipes this month. I know I am dying to try the Carmalized Onion and Gruyere Cheese dish submitted by Heather.
Also, I have another blog running at http://hiphome.blogspot.com Let me know what you think. I am going to post later on today or tomorrow my new FAVORITE fabric that I found at Walmart of all places!!! And my new cookbook find on Ebay that I am super excited about!
Leslie's Ginger Molasses Cookies

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ok, gals! I am sitting here looking at my calendar and it seems that if we could have recipes submitted by Sunday the 29th of October then I can get them out to you gals by the beginning of November. (a week and a half for you non calendar users:)
Lets try to theme this month around Fall foods. Maybe our favorite Thanksgiving recipe or something along those lines. Don't forget to give a little explaination about your recipe and remeber that it needs to be a recipe you have already tried and like.
Email them to me at moprik@yahoo.com. I will compile them and post them on this blog together.

I have heard from only a couple of you about the apron swap. What does everyone think? Please take a moment to post your thoughts on it-good or bad.
I am open to any suggestions to make Gourmet Gals as easy and fun as possible. Please get involved!

Friday, October 13, 2006

The quote at the top of this page was so profound to me. There is never a time I am cooking that an ingredient, a recipe, a smell, or a taste doesn't envoke some sort of memory of someone or somewhere. There is something very magical about food and I am glad that we can all share, in some small way, the magic together!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

So many of you are on board for another round of recipe swaps! Hooray! I'll send around an email to let everyone know when to get recipes in by. I am thinking if we can have them in by the last week of October then I can have them compiled and posted on this blog for the beginning of November. I haven't heard from you gals concerning the apron swap. What do you think??? Any interest?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Great Apron Exchange

I mentioned in the email that I thought we could have an apron exchange for the upcoming holiday season. What do you think? I discovered this idea from another blogspot called
http://apronswap.blogspot.com/ Check it out to see what I am talking about.
That particular one is more involved. Each of the members has their own blog and the swap is secret. You only know who you are sending one to not who is sending to you. It is your responsibility to research the person you are making an apron for and try to make one that fits their personality. It is a bit more involved. I am willing to get as involved in it as you girls are.
Post some thoughts on it and let me know what you think. I would ideally like to do the swap by the week of Thanksgiving so we can have them to wear for the holidays. But if that is too soon we can do it the first week of December.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hello girls! Time to start swapping recipes again. This time I will be posting the recipes on this blog instead of sending them through email. Hopefully this will make it more convinient for you gals to access them and use them. Also it will allow us to share our thoughts and ideas by posting comments as well. I hope you will all find this to be as fun and interactive as I hope it will be.