25 February 2011

Salmon Croquettes

 I came home tired on Friday night and had planned this for dinner.  Didn't want to cook at all, but didn't want to bother with anything else either.  Decided to grin and bear it and cook these as planned, boy was I glad I did.  The ingredients had been in my pantry for weeks, one of those put off recipes.  The ingredients will now be in my pantry as a delicious easy dinner.  The original recipe was for 8 cakes serving 4, I reduced to serve 2.  In the future, if it's not Friday night, I will make the whole recipe so we can enjoy the leftovers for lunch.

Preparation time:  20 miutes
Serves 2 (2 croquetttes and 1 tablespoon of sauce)


2 T.  mayonnaise, divided
2 teaspoons  fresh lemon juice, divided
1 1/2  teaspoons  Dijon mustard, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1  tablespoon  minced red bell pepper
1/4  teaspoon  garlic powder
1/8  teaspoon  salt
Pinch  teaspoon  ground red pepper
1 (6-ounce) packages skinless, boneless pink salmon
1  large egg, lightly beaten
1/2  cup  panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1  tablespoon  canola oil
1  teaspoon  finely chopped capers
1 small clove  minced garlic


1. Combine 1 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1/2 tablespoon juice, 3/4 teaspoon mustard, and next 7 ingredients (through egg), stirring well. Add panko; toss. Shape mixture into 4 (3-inch) patties.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add patties; cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned.
3. Combine remaining mayonnaise, juice, and mustard with parsley, capers, garlic, and salt, stirring well.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Tortellini Soup

 Arrived home after a late meeting and was sure glad I had planned this quick and easy soup.  What could be more satisfying on a cold rainy night than a bowl of hot soup with bread?  This one is so easy that I may have to teach Mark to make it....you know how easy that is Rob!  I used these brie stuffed purses they had at Safeway, they were tasty and fun.

Printable Recipe

Yield: 3-4 servings

1 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juices
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
9 oz. tortellini, any variety (fresh or frozen)
3 cups fresh baby spinach, loosely packed
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan, for serving


In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions to the pan and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add in the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, just until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Mix in the oregano and diced tomatoes.  Add the broth to the pot.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Add the tortellini to the pot and cook according to the package directions.  One minute before the tortellini is fully cooked, stir in the spinach.  Remove from the heat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm with grated Parmesan as desired.

From Annie's Eats

24 February 2011

Slow Cooked Carnitas

I promised Rob I’d post recipes that he could make on a budget.  My goal is to post one a week on this blog.  Being on the computer he’ll have easy access.  When I decided to make this I thought it would make enough for dinner and leftovers to do something else with.  This ended up being dinner, and being so good that we wanted a repeat as left overs later in the week.   I usually just by a jar of tomatillo salsa, since I had the time I decided to try the recipe that was linked, it was good and easy.  I need to use my crock pot more!


2 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs or pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder 
2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
2 garlic cloves smashed and roughly chopped
1 small onion, cut into 8 pieces
1 avocado, halved, pitted, sliced
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Corn tortillas


Toss pork in bowl of slow cooker with salt, black pepper, chili, garlic and dried oregano to coat. Place onion pieces atop pork. Cover slow cooker and cook pork on low setting until meat is very tender and falling apart, about 6 hours (or longer).
Using slotted spoon, transfer pork to cutting board. Discard onion pieces. Using fingers, shred pork; transfer carnitas to platter. Place avocado slices, cilantro sprigs, and sliced red bell peppers, if desired, alongside. Wrap corn tortillas in damp kitchen towel; microwave until warm, about 1 minute. Serve carnitas with warm tortillas and tomatillo salsa.

Adapted from Epicurious

22 February 2011

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

Yummy! I decided to make these because Mark loves all things blueberry, and I liked the way they went together.  There was no heating of milk and dissolving yeast.  I was worried about the consistency of the dough, but all for not!  Everything went together as stated.  Can't wait for summer when the four blueberry bushes I planted produce enough to make these again.

Yield: 8-12 large cinnamon rolls or 12-16 smaller rolls

For the cinnamon rolls:
6½ tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
5½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. lemon zest
3½ cups bread flour
2 tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
1 cup plus 2-4 tbsp. whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature
For the filling:
3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
1½ cups fresh blueberries
For the glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
6-7 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. lemon zest

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the sugar, salt and butter on medium-high speed until smooth.  Mix in the egg and lemon zest until incorporated.  Mix in the flour, yeast and milk until a dough forms.  Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed, about 8 minutes until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky.  (You may need to add a little extra flour or liquid to achieve this texture.)  Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Mist a work surface with spray oil.  Roll it out into a rectangle with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the dough with flour if needed to keep it from sticking (about 12 x 14 inches for larger rolls or 9 x 18 inches for smaller rolls).  Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix to blend.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the surface of the dough.  Sprinkle the berries over the top evenly of the dough.  Starting with the wide edge, roll up the dough into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon sugar spiral as you roll.  Pinch the seam shut, and with the seam side down, slice the log into your desired number of rolls.  Transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, placing the rolls about ½-1 inch apart.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 75-90 minutes, until the rolls have grown into each other and have nearly doubled in size.  At this point, the rolls can also be covered and retarded in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.  Pull the pan out of the refrigerator 3-4 hours before baking to let the dough proof.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let cool in the baking about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Whisk together the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth and then swirl over the top of the cinnamon rolls.  Let cool at least 15-20 minutes before serving.

From Annie's Eats

21 February 2011

Rocky Ledge Bars

This looked too good not to try.  I think I’ve found a new favorite. Before sampling we sent some home with company and over to daughter's boyfriend.  Little did we know we'd wish we'd kept more!  The original recipe called for using chopped white and semi-sweet chocolate, to make it simpler I used chips of all.


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 cups packed dark-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup miniature marshmallow
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
18 soft caramel-candy cubes, coarsely chopped


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang on the longer sides. Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Set the pan aside.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter and brown sugar until smooth.  Add eggs and vanilla extract, mix until smooth.
3. Slowly add in the  flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in half of each of the marshmallows, chocolates, butterscotch chips, and caramels.
4. Spread batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining marshmallows, chocolates, butterscotch chips, and caramels on top.
5. Bake until top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Lift out of pan, and transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate until set, at least 30 minutes.
6. Remove parchment, and cut into about triangles or squares.

20 February 2011

Poblanos stuffed with Cheddar Cheese and Chicken

  I decided to make this because I had about a cup of left over rotisserie chicken and the recipe looked like a good base for some changes.  The original recipe called for 2 cups of chicken and no black beans.  I decided to add the beans as a substitute for my lack of chicken, I think it was a good choice!  Next time I might try pepper jack  cheese in place of the cheddar.  No need to change anything, they were yummy as printed!  I always put my chilies in a paper bag for about 15 minutes to steam before I attempt to peel them.

Serves 4


4 large poblano chiles
I can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
1 tsp. ground cumin
Generous pinch ground cinnamon
Kosher salt
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup shredded cooked chicken, preferably dark meat
1 can drained black beans
1-1/2 cups cooked brown or white rice
2 cups grated sharp or extra-sharp white Cheddar (about 7 oz.)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (including some tender stems)
1 Tbs. lime juice

Position an oven rack about 4 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Slit the chiles from stem to tip and set on the baking sheet. Broil, turning every few minutes, until blackened all over, 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, peel off the skins, and cut out the seed cores, leaving the stems on. Turn the chiles inside out, flick out any remaining seeds, and turn right side out. Return the poblanos to the baking sheet.
Purée the tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a food processor. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the purée and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture looks thick and pulpy, 8 to 11 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the chicken and rice, and then 1 cup of the cheese, the cilantro, and the lime juice. Season to taste with salt. Divide the filling among the peppers, wrapping the sides of the peppers up and around the filling, some of which will still be exposed.
Broil the peppers until the cheese is melting and the top is beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Top with the remaining 1 cup cheese and broil until the cheese is completely melted, about 2 minutes.

Adapted from Fine Cooking