Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I picked up some pork stir-fry from Skagit River Ranch at the Ballard Farmers Market last week, along with their recipe for Bulgogi (Korean Stirfry). I marinated it two nights ago and then cooked it last night. It's hard not to love a main course recipe that literally says "the meat should not need to cook for more than 1 minute"! I made a batch of white rice (Niko Niko Calrose Rice is the only way to go) and some of my uncle's asparagus. (I blanched asparagus and then used half for the stir-fry and half for my uncle's recipe. Definitely not necessary to have it both ways but I'm crazy like that.) Super easy dinner.
I recommend doing 1.5 or 2 times the recipe so you have leftovers.
Bulgogi (Korean Stirfry)
Adapted from Skagit River Ranch
1lb thinly sliced pork or beef stir-fry meat, cut into 2" x 1/2" strips (I used pork)
1 T peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 bunch asparagus
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
2 T mirin or sherry (I used sherry)
3 T sugar or honey (I used honey)
1 t salt
1 bunch green onion, chopped into 1" pieces
6 cloves garlic, minced
Place all the ingredients for marinade in a large ziploc. Add the meat and moosh around in your hands. Marinate for at least 1 hour or refrigerate overnight (I refrigerated overnight) making sure to moosh it around every so often (my own weird habit).
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook for 1 minute 45 seconds. Transfer immediately to an ice bath. Once cooled, drain and cut into 2" spears on the diagonal. This can be done the night before, then stored in the fridge overnight.
Bring meat to room temperature. Mix in mini asparagus spears. Heat a large wok over medium-high heat (I used a large All Clad saute pan because I haven't seasoned my new Mother's Day wok yet). Heat oil, then add the meat until it is nicely browned. Be careful not to overcook. The meat should not need to cook for more than 1 minute. Depending on the size and shape of your pan, you may need to cook the meat in batches to avoid overcooking. You want to stir-fry the meat - quickly, over high heat to brown it and lock in the moisture. If you overcrowd or overcook the meat, it will get chewy and/or dry. I overcrowded my pan and it ended up steaming instead of browning. I now know better for next time.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
My friend Stephanie gave me this recipe over five years ago for Broiled Salmon in Parchment Paper. I still remember sitting at her dining room table when she pulled these little parchment pockets out of the oven and unveiled beautiful fillets of perfectly cooked salmon. I've been making it ever since.
Broiled Salmon in Parchment Paper
1 lb salmon fillet, rinsed and cut into two pieces
2 T butter
few sprigs dill (my addition, optional)
salt & pepper
Turn oven to broil.
Lay out two pieces of parchment paper. Set one fillet on each piece. Squeeze a quarter of a lemon over each piece. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay the springs of dill on the fillet (if using). Thinly slice the butter and lay on top of the dill, then top with slices of lemon. Top with another sheet of parchment paper and fold the edges to create a little pocket. You don't want the air to get out so it will steam the fish. Place parchment pockets on a cookie sheet and into the oven for 10-12 minutes. Transfer fish to a plate and pour liquid from parchment pocket over the top.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
I love this room and I ADORE the monogrammed pillows on this bed. How fun to do each person's own initials versus your combined monogram. So fun and different. I have never seen this done. I couldn't love it more.
Courtesy of Elle Decor via Habitually Chic.
Friday, June 25, 2010
I enjoyed the article "Dysregulation Nation" about our culture of excess and our "treadmill existence". Quite interesting and a bit disturbing. As a parent, scared for my children growing up in today's world, I like little reminders like this about the effects of our behavior as a society.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
The other day I was taking a Bar Method class and while deep in the burn of one of the exercises, I escaped to a happy place. A place where I thought of all the reasons I come to this class and how much I love it, despite the burn. Here are some of the reasons that crossed my mind while I was going "up an inch" and "down an inch". If you heart Bar like I heart Bar, let me know if I missed anything.
11. You don't risk an injury. They are very specific about body alignment to avoid excess or incorrect weight on any joints.
12. Similar to yoga, everyone is at their own level and going for their own personal best. No need to keep up with the person near you or do the advanced version before you're ready.
13. Since you don't really sweat, you don't have to run home and shower like a traditional class and I never get red faced like I do after a cardio workout.
14. The studio feels so clean. You don't leave with that "ick" feeling like so many gyms or clubs.
15. The teachers adjust your form during class if you're not in the right position. Sometimes they'll move your leg a few inches and it will completely change the exercise. I love this about Bar. If you're going to take the time and spend the money to do a class, don't you want to do the moves properly so you can get the most out of it? Never take offense. They are only doing it to help you, and you will thank them later!
16. The teachers also give a lot of positive feedback which helps you not give up when you're feeling like you can't go on for one more second. Anytime I'm trying to step it up to the advance version of a move, they notice and cheer me on.
17. And for Seattleites thinking about taking a class in Redmond... I love my teachers Bev & Maika. They are so friendly, positive and encouraging.
Now go find your closest Bar class and get going.... tuck, tuck, tuck, tuck....
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
After three weeks of Olive Oil Poached Salmon, it was time for a new preparation for my weekly fish night. My friend Marly said she and her mom made an amazing new salmon recipe using a homemade rub. I tried it this week and it was a hit. Combine a really fresh piece of salmon with this rub and you will be amazed at the flavor. I loved the golden crust that formed on top, and it was perfectly matched with the delicate, fresh flavor of the fish. I followed the directions to the minute and it was cooked to perfection (not an easy thing to do with fish as I generally over or undercook it). The flavor was actually quite different than I expected and had a teensy bit of a Cajun flare. Now that I know what to expect, I might serve it with something that complements that Cajuny flavor a little better (ideas?). If you want to mix it up a bit, give this recipe a try. I really liked it.
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
2 salmon fillets, each 6-8oz with skin intact, pin bones removed
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Heat a small fry pan over medium-high heat. Put coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in pan; toast, stirring constantly, until golden brown and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Grind spices in a spice grinder or in a mortar with a pestle. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in brown sugar and salt.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
In a large ovenproof fry pan over medium-high heat, warm olive oil until nearly smoking Place salmon, skin side up , in pan and sear 2 minutes. Carefully turn salmon over and transfer pan to oven. Cook until fish is golden brown underneath and flesh is opaque throughout, 5-6 minutes. Transfer salmon to warmed plates and serve immediately.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
No surpirse but worth sharing...
"...sexualizing little girls - whether through images, music or play - actually undermines healthy sexuality rather than promoting it."
Friday, June 18, 2010
Words cannot describe how excited I am to have a new laundry basket. This blue collapsible rectangular tote from Storables is the perfect hamper and the perfect replacement for the enormous wicker basket I inherited when I moved into my husband's bachelor pad. His hamper is so enormous that when full, I cannot carry it up or down the stairs. So annoying. This little navy beauty is a dream come true with it's size, shape, and handles. It also forces me to do laundry more often so I don't end up on Sunday with twelve loads ahead of me. This little hamper makes me happy.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
My friend Tara bought me this jar of Preserved Meyer Lemons from Amy Pennigton, author of Go Go Green Garden blog and the new cookbook Urban Pantry: Tips and Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable and Seasonal Kitchen. I love. Such a pretty presentation and how exciting to have a new homemade specialty item to try. I always shy away from recipes with preserved meyer lemons (odd, I know) and now I have a reason to try them. Tonight I made a variation of a recipe I found on Epicurious for Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Meyer Lemons and Green Olives. I went to PFI and bought some fantastic pitted green olives for the dish. I served with cous cous and broccoli (boiled for 2 or 3 minutes, then seasoned with butter and chicken bouillon). It was light and flavorful. I will definitely make it again.
Do you have any great recipes calling for preserved meyer lemons? If so, please share. I'm antsy to keep using these while they're good.
Moroccan Chicken w/ Preserved Meyer Lemons & Green Olives
Adapted from Epicurious
4 chicken legs, cut apart into drumsticks and thighs (or 6 thighs)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6-8 pieces preserved Meyer lemons (1 1/2 or 2 lemons)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups pitted green olives, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
Scrape pulp from preserved lemon, reserving for another use. Cut rind into thin strips and set aside.
Pat chicken dry, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Saute chicken until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm, covered.
Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and reduce heat to moderate. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute for a few minutes (I threw in a little butter too since a little butter never hurt a recipe). Add turmeric and pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Add wine and deglaze pan, scraping up brown bits. Add broth and bring to a quick boil. Add strips of preserved lemon and olives.
Return chicken to the pan, along with any juices that accumulated on the plate. Cover and braise chicken until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Check seasoning. (I added a little squeeze of lemon juice.)
Serve chicken over cous cous. Then spoon sauce over the top of the chicken and sprinkle with cilantro.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I called my friend Lynne last night for some chicken inspiration and she threw out panko. I tracked down this recipe for Garlic Panko Chicken Strips and voila, a new favorite. Easy and delicious. I made two chicken breasts and it was gone lickety split. Next time I will make four and have leftovers.
It was great as is, but my husband started dipping his in chili garlic sauce (Huy Fong Foods brand) and once I started, I couldn't stop. Next time I will serve it with the chili garlic sauce, white rice and buttered broccoli.
Did you know that new furniture can off-gas formaldehyde which is toxic to humans and the environment?
Did you know that breast-milk contains pesticides, dioxins, fire-retardents, toxic metals, phthalates and other toxic chemicals?
Watch the CNN specials to learn more!
I'm inspired by this rustic Italian martini bar and dinner spread courtesy of the incredibly talented gals at Sunday Suppers. I wish I had a talent for presentation like them (and cooking, and photography, and creativity). Those gals rock!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
I woke up salivating. I couldn't wait for lunch. I was so excited to eat the rest of my olive oil poached salmon and asparagus. I threw together a quick vinaigrette and tossed it with some butter lettuce from the farmers market. I put the salad greens on a plate, topped it with the salmon and asparagus, and sprinkled with some leftover minced chives. It was light, refreshing and oh so good. It also looked really pretty and felt much fancier than most of the things I cook. It would make a great salad for a plated lunch (bridal shower, baby shower, lunch with friends on a hot summer day, you name it).