Monday, July 28, 2008

Mandarin Salmon

I was talking on the phone the whole time I put together this salmon dinner, which turned out to be major hit. Wish I had paid closer attention to what I was time I'll measure everything.

1 8 ounce Salmon Filet
6 Asparagus Spears, washed and trimmed

Hoisin Sauce
Soy Sauce
Sesame Oil
Dijon Mustard
Garlic Powder
Powdered Ginger

Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Line up the asparagus spears on the foil and lay the salmon filet on top of the bed of asparagus. Pour the marinade over the salmon and let sit for 15 minutes or up to one hour. Fold the aluminum foil around the fish and crimp into an airtight package. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until medium.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Gloria Burger

Of course, this is really the Mar-a-lago turkey burger that rose to fame on Oprah's top ten list, but Gloria wanted me to test it, so I've clipped the recipe and renamed it, as a first step.

* 1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
* 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
* 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
* 1/8 cup canola oil
* 4 pounds ground turkey breast
* 2 Tbsp. salt
* 1 Tbsp. black pepper
* 2 tsp. chipotle Tabasco™
* 1 lemon, juice and grated zest
* 1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
* 1/4 cup Major Grey's Chutney, pureed

Sauté the scallions, celery and apples in the canola oil until tender. Let cool.

Place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add sautéed items and the remaining ingredients. Shape into eight 8-ounce burgers. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Season the turkey burgers with salt and pepper. Place on a preheated, lightly oiled grill. Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Serve with a side of Mar-a-Lago Pear Chutney and your favorite toasted bread, pita or hamburger roll.

Mar-a-lago Pear Chutney

* 1 Anjou pear, peeled and diced
* 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
* 1 tsp. sea salt
* 1 1/2 cups Major Grey's Chutney
* 1/4 cup dried currants or raisins

Preheat oven to 350°.

Toss the diced pears with the cinnamon and salt. Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

Cool and mix with the chutney and currants or raisins.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Apple Tart with Frangipane

Tart apples paired with crumbly almond frangipane and fresh, buttery puff pastry form a classical French combination that I've been meaning to play around with for a while now. I've made a few minor changes (most notably substituting almond pie filling for the super expensive and hard to find frangipane) and I'm probably going to tweak the dessert further in future trials, but for a first attempt (and considering that I was flying blind with no recipe to work from) this actually came very close to being exactly what I had in mind. The tarts disappeared in the blink of an eye at the family barbecue -- always a good sign.

1 box Dufour puff pastry, thawed
1/2 can Solo almond pie filling
3-4 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced as thin as possible
1 T cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 t vanilla sugar
1/4 cup apricot jam, thinned witha little water and heated to form a syrup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out the puff pastry on a piece of parchment paper and trim the edges so that it is a neat and even rectangle. Transfer pastry on parchment to a baking sheet.
With a knife, cut a 3/4 inch border all the way around the perimeter. Dock the entire space within the border with a fork.
Spread the almond filling over the docked pastry, leaving the border uncovered. Fan the apple slices on top of filling. Dot with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is cooked all the way through.
Brush the apple slices with the apricot jam. Serve warm.

Giant Popovers with Strawberry Butter

My mother-in-law has been nostalgic for her mom's popovers lately, so I broke out the popover pan for the first time in twelve years. I remember the approximate date because the circumstances were, um... memorable, involving a batch of popovers and a raucous band of hungry Buddhist monks (don't ask!)
Anyway, the first batch for Gloria turned out dreamy. I was pretty thrilled.
There are many different camps of opinion when it comes to popover methodology, and bakers get so shrill and pushy when the topic comes up, that I probably wouldn't be able to do the debate justice in just a few words: cold oven, hot oven, etc, etc. As a result of all the wildly differing opinions, I actually have no idea what the science of the dish actually demands; but since this particular method worked so well for me, I'm going to record it.
The strawberry butter couldn't have been simpler (sweet butter whipped with some pureed fresh strawberries and a dollop of honey), and it pushes the flavors completely over the top. This recipe is designed for the Chicago brand 4 cup popover pan

1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 even pieces
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Oil or spray popover pan. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and set rack in middle of oven. Preheat popover pan in oven for 2 minutes. Blend flour, salt, eggs, milk and melted butter until mixture is the consistency of heavy cream, about 1 to 2 minutes. (A hand mixer is great for this.) The batter can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, but the batter must be at room temperature before baking.

Place 1 small piece of butter in each cup, and return pan to heated oven for one minute.
Fill each cup half full with batter and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees and continue baking for 20 minutes.
Serve HOT. Popovers are best straight from the oven.
Makes 4 giant popovers