Friday, July 13, 2012

A Mother's Day Recap - Really Over Due, and Recipes

May is a crazy busy time for me and I never got around to recapping my awesome Mother's day. It was a complete surprise for me and I want to remedy that now.

The day before the kids hung out together and arrived home with a bunch of wild gathered flowers that one of them had arranged in a Starbucks cup. It was artful and fun. It made me smile.
The next day Ellie made me a special set of pancakes with hearts made of Nutella on them. She also decorated the cupboards in our kitchen to spell out, "I Love You Mom" (there was no room for a comma, though I am sure she would have put it in. She is careful about those kinds of things.)

She also made a new very Ellie-esque background for my computer monitors,
and a very carefully created card which went along with a set of photos of my beautiful children.

It all made my heart sing. I am not sure I will ever actually change out my background on my monitors. They make me feel loved every time I look at them. :)

Here's what we are having for dinner tonight. It smells good. :)

Caribbean Jerk Salmon Bowl with Mango Salsa

via: Pinch of Yum blog
time: 20 mins Cook time: 10 mins Total time: 30 mins Serves: 4

1 lb. wild caught salmon filet with skin (in one or several pieces)
1 teaspoon oil
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon curry
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
2 cups cooked white rice
1 12 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 mangoes, peeled and diced
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 squeeze lime juice
1 avocado (optional)

Stir the spices together. Rub over salmon filets (on the meat and also the skin if you want). Sprinkle with sea salt.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add salmon, starting skin side down, and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add more oil as necessary to prevent from sticking. Flip the salmon and cook another 3-5 minutes on the meat side. The salmon will start to get a brown crust on the outside from the spices.

When salmon is mostly cooked, pull off the skin, leaving just the pieces of meat in the skillet. Break up into smallish pieces and leave on heat until completely cooked through (not translucent). Once the pieces are cooked, remove from heat – salmon dries out quickly if you overcook it.

Combine mangoes, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and avocado in a small bowl and stir until combined. Season with sea salt.

Stir together rice and beans and season with several pinches of salt, adding a tablespoon water if necessary.

Divide between bowls, layering the rice and beans, salmon, and salsa into each bowl.

The reason I take the skin off is because I never have good luck cooking whole salmon filets and it allows me to make sure all of the fish is cooked through. Also, it makes for great texture in the bowl!


Zucchini Tart
via: Kitchen Konfidence blog
Crust adapted from 101 Cookbooks, filling adapted from Saveur.

(I made this without the crust due to our avoiding gluten, but I've included it here for those who would like to try it.)

Cornmeal Tart Crust:

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
scant 1 cup medium coarse corn meal
¾ teaspoon fine grain salt
1 ¼ cups cold unsalted butter, cut in cubes
1 large egg yolk
¼ cup – ¾ cup cold water

Zucchini, Ricotta, Feta Cheese Filling:

4 – 5 medium zucchini, trimmed (about 2 ½ lbs.)*
2 tablespoons butter plus 1 tablespoon melted butter
3 shallots, finely chopped
10 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped, drained of excess moisture
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup ricotta
2 tablespoons chopped dill (or to taste)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten

Begin with the cornmeal tart crust. Combine flours, cornmeal and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add cold butter cubes and continue to pulse until the butter is coarsely mixed in (stop pulsing when the mixture forms bits roughly the size of peas). Pulse in the egg yolk and ¼ cup of water. Trickle in more water if needed, just until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and form a ball. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, shape each into a ball, press into a flat disk and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place one rack in the middle of the oven.

Once the dough is chilled, place one of the disks on a lightly floured surface (I used a Silpat). and roll out until the dough is large enough to line your tart pan. You can also lightly flour your rolling pin if you find the dough is sticking. Try to complete this process quickly since the dough is easier to work with when it is cold. Transfer the dough to the pan. Working your way from the center out, press the dough along the bottom of the pan, then to the edges and finish with the sides. Trim any excess dough. Keep the scraps handy to patch any tears. Place the pan in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.

Take the pan out of the refrigerator and pierce the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Place the circular tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the pie weights and finish baking for another 5 minutes or until the crust is just barely starting to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

To make the filling, start by grating one of the zucchini into a large bowl (use the large holes of a box grater). Add 1 tablespoon of salt, toss well and let sit for 30 minutes. This will draw all of the moisture out of the zucchini. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel and wring out thoroughly.

During this 30 minute period, slice remaining zucchini into rounds with a mandolin (to ensure even slices). Blanch slices in a large pot of salted, boiling water for 1 minute. You will need to do this in several batches. Drain and transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet.

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add shallots and cook until soft (about 5 minutes). Add drained, grated zucchini and cook until just beginning to brown (about 6 minutes). Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

Stir tomatoes, ricotta, half of the feta cheese and dill into the zucchini-shallot mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the egg and spread the mixture evenly onto the cornmeal crust. Arrange zucchini rounds on top (get creative here!). Bake for 15 minutes, then brush the top with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Continue to bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool slightly and finish with a sprinkling of feta cheese over top.

Serves 4 – 8 based on if this a side dish or main course.

No comments: