Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fettuccine with Salmon and Vegetables


Salmon (about 2 cups, cooked and flaked)
16 oz. fettuccine
1 jar alfredo sauce
1 zucchini, sliced
2 red bell peppers, sliced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
(not pictured: butter, olive oil, fresh ground pepper)

Put some water on to boil for your fettuccine. Then, melt about 2 tablespoons of butter and 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a big pan.

Once it has melted, add your vegetables.

Stir these around and let them soften a bit.

Now, add the sauce and stir it together.

*Add the salmon.

Stir gently.

Put your fettuccine in boiling water and cook until it's al dente.

Drain the fettuccine and mix with the sauce.

Now, plate your dinner!

*Next time I make this I am going to do something else about the salmon. Serving it on top of the pasta-vegetable mixture would be better. Due to stirring, it ended up too incorporated and too spread out.

I have to admit I only ate about half of my fettuccine. The flavor was good but I was just so disgusted by this failure that I couldn't finish it. It did give me a good idea, though. I should try to make salmon puttanesca (in lieu of using tuna).

Monday, September 29, 2008

Food and Drink

Last night's cocktail:

Chai and Vanilla Vodka (as prescribed by a friend)

8 oz. water, heated
1 scoop chai mix
1/4 cup half and half
Vanilla vodka as desired

Last night's dinner:

The Pioneer Woman's lasagna, caesar salad, garlic bread

Tonight's dinner (feeling a lot more whiskey tango):

Chicken Top Ramen, vodka with Jones Soda Lemon Drop

Need to make a slight disclaimer here for new people on board. I don't drink every night. *grin*

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Greek Chicken with Orzo

One chicken, cut up (I had the butcher in my grocery store do this for me)
One can stewed tomatoes
One red onion
Kalamata olives
Marinated artichoke hearts
4 oz. feta cheese

Slice the red onion. I always cut it in half and then slice it so it's not too difficult to handle.

I pulled out the Greek seasoning for the chicken. I sprinkled this on.

Brown the chicken for 5 minutes in hot olive oil.

Remove to a plate.

Add the onions to the hot pan.

Sauté for a few minutes until they are brown and soft.

Add the chicken back to the pan.

Now, add the can of stewed tomatoes (undrained).

Cover, and cook on medium for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is done. While it is cooking, get your orzo going as well. Meanwhile, do a rough chop of the kalamata olives.

After the chicken is done, remove the cover and add the artichoke hearts.

Then add the olives. Stir and let sit for a few minutes to warm.

Serve the chicken on a mound of orzo and covered with the yummy things from the pot. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

This was so delicious I couldn't eat it all!! I was stuffed!

Salt Dome Salmon

This past Saturday my husband, coworker, and I were up in Ketchikan, Alaska fishing for coho salmon. We caught some!

We brought it home and the first thing I thought of was to use Alton Brown's Salt Dome fish recipe (I think he originally used a striped bass).

3 - 3 lb. boxes kosher salt
6 egg whites
1 cup (or more) water
One whole fish, preferably with tail and head on, gills removed (but mine was just fine)
Herbs of your choice
Lemon, cut into thin slices

Easy peasy, right? Pour half of the salt into a very large bowl.

Separate the whites from the yolks.

Pour the egg whites into the bowl.

Now, pour the water into the bowl.

Finally, finish with the second half of the salt.

Mix thoroughly. You want the mixture to be mortar-like. Very thick and wet (but not too wet!).

Slice your lemon fairly thinly.

Take a second to admire that beautiful fish.

Stuff it with some herbs and the lemon slices. I used dill and some thyme grown in my parents' garden.

Lay down a bed of salt on your pan. Then put the fish on the salt.

Pack the salt around the fish very well.

Bake in a 450 degree oven until the fish is done. We baked this one for about an hour (it was approximately 10 pounds of fish) and, arguably, it could have been in there for less time. You want the fish temperature to read 130 degrees. Ours was higher which resulted in having some dry spots but it was still a superior flavor to anything you'd get from the market.

Here is where I will defer to Alton Brown and his wisdom:

Open the fish at the table by hitting the dome several times with a small hammer and lifting off the slabs of salt. Brush away any stray salt. Gently pull out dorsal (back) fin. Using a fish knife or serrated pie server, make a single incision all the way down the back of the fish and around the gill plate. Then lift the skin off working from the head to the tail. Remove meat from top side of fish, going down one side of the spine then the other. Grasp the tail and remove the skeleton, (it should come up intact). The meat revealed below will slide right off the skin.

We ended up with quite a plateful of tasty fish! I served rolls and vegetables with this but all I ended up eating was salmon!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Dad's Ribs

My dad has legendary ribs. Seriously, they are the best ribs I have ever eaten. Before he gave me the recipe I used to beg him to make them for any special occasion. This is the second or third time I have made them on my own and I finally feel like I have mastered the recipe.

I bought some unmarked (as to type) ribs at the Grocery Outlet yesterday for $20. When I opened the package today I was pleased to find not two, as I suspected, but three racks of untrimmed spare ribs. I was in heaven! Only on two racks was there a membrane to remove on the underside. It's important to do this.

First, I made my dad's rub. It has pepper, chili powder, garlic, seasoning salt, and cayenne in it.

The middle kid took a couple of pictures for me while I rubbed the seasonings on the ribs.

Here they are, rubbed on both sides, in all of their glory:

Put them on a rack on a cookie sheet and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Let them cook for four hours in a 250-degree oven.

During the last 45 minutes or so you will want to make the sauce. Start with some chili powder and salt in a pot.

Then dice up some onion fairly finely. You'll need about 2 cups of it.

Now, pour the strong coffee and Worcestershire sauce into the pot.

Next comes the apple cider vinegar and Jack Daniel whiskey.

Mince up lots of garlic for the sauce.

Add some brown sugar to the pot.

You can also put in some honey. I did. You can now either use chiles, diced, or one chipotle chile, diced finely.

Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for about a half hour or so, until it's reduced.

You don't have to, but it's great to blend the sauce so it's a smoother consistency.

Get the ribs out of the oven. Sweet heaven, these look amazing already!

Get those babies on the grill!

Put sauce on one side, let it cook for about 8 minutes or so, flip them over, put the rest of the sauce on them, and let them cook for another 8 minutes.

This, my friends, is beauty and all that is good in the world.

Here is my and my parents' gift to you. The recipe:

BBQ Sauce

1⁄2 cup Jack Daniels
1 cup strong black coffee
1 cup Worcestershire sauce
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
2 cups onions, chopped
1⁄4 cup minced hot peppers or 1⁄2 chipotle chile, minced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1⁄2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp. salt

Sauté the onions until soft in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the remainder of the ingredients. Simmer for about an hour. You can puree either before or after the cooking.


2 Tbsp. coarse black pepper
2 Tbsp. seasoning salt
2 Tbsp. mild chili powder
1 1⁄2 tsp. dried minced garlic
1⁄2 tsp. cayenne (or to taste)

Combine and rub on the ribs.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Put ribs on a rack on a cookie sheet. Cover w/ aluminum foil and cook for 3 1⁄2 to 4 hours.

Brush the sauce on and broil or BBQ.