March 28, 2011

Martini with a starfish!

I know I'm being incredibly lazy, but, in my defense, I've been working long hours these past few weeks and have had little time to cook (except for the yummy split pea soup I put in the crock pot Saturday, but that takes 20 min of prep and 6 hours of - nothing!). 

Instead of cooking, I give you a starfish martini! Made by Obao on 53rd between 2nd & 3rd:

I love that place, and I last went there for dinner with my friend, M., a few weeks ago. We were delighted to find a starfish in her martini! A little touch like this certainly has the power to delight. After all, I did take photo and post it on the Internet! 

P.s. In case anyone is interested,  Obao also makes excellent crispy pork belly. So bad for your cholesterol, but sooooooo tasty.

March 23, 2011

Casserole with bacon, asparagus, and chicken

What a super simple casserole.  Leftover roasted chicken from the night before, lightly sauteed asparagus, crisped bacon, and penne rustica. 
Cook penne according to directions, add other ingredients. Pour a mornay sauce over (bechemal sauce with gruyere cheese) the mixture.  Add whatever herbs you like.  I used rosemary and ground mustard. Lightly toss.  Sprinkle shredded gruyere cheese on top (maybe 1/4 cup), bake 375 for 30 min. 
The great thing about this casserole, and any casserole for that matter, is they can be made larger or smaller, depending on how many need to be fed.

I don't really have any helpful hints because this is the easiest dish to make!


March 21, 2011

Breakfast Burritos

A few weeks ago, I made breakfast burritos because, as we all know, leftover taco materials are the mother of invention:

Flour tortillas
Scrambled eggs
Sauteed onions and mushrooms
Diced tomatoes
Sliced green onion
Shredded monterey jack cheese

March 16, 2011

...the end is almost here....

As soup season winds to a close, I reminisce about the wonderful, heavier, winter-type meals I've made (and the lack of meals my sister has made :-).   Hearty soups with beef, potatoes, vegetables, and cream.  All so good, and not so good for my health.  Today's inspiration came from the Sacramento Bee, again, yet was changed to incorporate healthier ingredients for a lighter, yet bolder flavor.

Turkey Kielbasa and Bean Soup
One large turkey kielbasa, cut into small chunks.  Brown in olive oil with diced red onion and garlic (the more the better) for about 15 minutes.  Add a small pinch of paprika.  Add six cups of vegetable stock (I make mine by mixing beef and chicken stock, equal amounts), one 14 oz can diced tomatoes, one medium can of navy beans rinsed well, one finely chopped chipotle from adobe sauce, and 2 cups finely shredded cabbage.  Bring to boil and turn down to simmer for approx. one hour.

Helpful Hints
The original recipe calls for chorizo, but substituting turkey kielbasa cuts the fat WAY down.  Also, the recipe did not call for cabbage, but I had some leftover from fish tacos and I like cabbage in soup, so...
Chipotle can be added to any dish for a bit of smokey, spicy flavor.  Just remember to peel it open and scrape out the seeds first.  Be sure to wash hands VERY well after doing this.
I didn't have navy beans on hand so I used white beans, which are very similar.  


March 3, 2011

Creamed Salmon on Biscuits

One of my favorite meals of all times.  This is pure comfort food for me, and is so super easy to make!

Creamed Salmon
Make a roux (basic butter and flour mix).  For liquid use any combination of cream, milk, half & half, or chicken stock.  For this recipe I used 1/4 c. cream (leftover in fridge so using it up), part milk, and half a can of chicken broth (again, already open in fridge and using it up).  Add sauteed celery and onion (1/4c. each), salt, pepper, and marjoram.  Let cook for a few minutes on low then add 1 can salmon (I used smoked salmon I got from my brother), about 1 1/2 cups.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes.  Pour over homemade (or store-bought) biscuits.  I use Bisquick brand baking mix for mine. Canned or frozen peas would be great in this recipe, but I'm the only in my family who likes them so I leave them out.  It's helpful to make extra biscuits so the kids can have some with butter and honey.