Friday, December 10, 2021

Pan Seared Salmon with Quinoa














So now and then I get health conscious. Not that often but now and then. You know the feeling.... right after you've had a big juicy burger, large fries and a vanilla shake. Being health conscious, also known as having a guilt trip, is good now and then and when I decide it's time to get healthy (for a day) I reach for the Quinoa (Keen-wah) and a nice filet of salmon. You just can't get much more healthy than this my friends. And the bonus? It is absolutely the most delicious and healthy meal I know how to make. This pan seared Salmon is so tender and flaky and the nutty flavored steamed quinoa.... oh my goodness. I might eat healthy more often!



















Delicious Quinoa (Keen-Wah)

2 cups water or chicken stock

A pinch of sea salt











Pour your quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water.  Add the rinsed quinoa and sea salt to boiling water and stir to combine. Lower the heat to maintain a steady, gentle simmer.











Simmer uncovered, for 12 to 16 minutes, or until the tiny spirals separate and curl around the seeds. The water should be completely absorbed, but just to make sure, use a wooden spoon to dig down to the bottom of the pot and check to see if the water has evaporated. If not, cook for a few more minutes.  
















 When it’s tender, remove from heat and drain the quinoa completely through a fine mesh strainer.  Here’s my secret: transfer the quinoa back to the saucepan, and remove the saucepan from the heat. Cover with a clean dish towel (or use a lid) and let the quinoa rest for 5-10 minutes so that it can steam.  Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Season with salt, pepper and other seasonings. 








NOTE:  The general rule of thumb for quinoa to water ratio is 1:2. So, for 1 cup of uncooked quinoa, you need 2 cups of water. For 2 cups of quinoa, you need 4 cups of water. This is the perfect quinoa to water ratio.

NOTE:  How much quinoa per person?

1 cup of uncooked quinoa will make 3 cups of cooked quinoa, which will serve between 3 and 4 people.














Pan Seared Salmon with Quinoa

 2 skinless Atlantic salmon fillets, 6 ounces each

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

Take your salmon out of the refrigerator at least 10 minutes before cooking.  Adding cold food directly from the refrigerator into a hot skillet will cause it to stick more. Let the salmon sit at room temperature for at least 10-minutes.











Pat down your fillets with a paper towel to remove moisture. Season generously with salt and pepper on both sides. I do this right before searing because the salt draws moisture to the surface. If needed, dry it one more time. 

Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet, and then swirl the pan so there’s a thin coating of oil over the entire surface. Turn the heat to medium-high. Heat the pan for 3 minutes or just until the oil starts to shimmer and pale wisps of smoke rise. Add about 2 tablespoons butter and let it melt.  Get the surface very hot.













Sear the skinless fillet flesh-side down to create a golden, crisp surface.  You can actually see the fish turning from translucent to opaque on the sides so pay attention.  This allows you to get this side crisp without over cooking.   

When about half of fillet turns a light pink, use a spatula or tongs to flip it over.  Let this side cook until a nice golden color, about 3 minutes.  Timing depends on how thick the fillet. You’ll know it’s ready when the flesh flakes with a fork but is still translucent in the center. An instant read thermometer inserted in the center of the fillet should give you a  temperature of 125 degrees when done.











Turn off the heat and add your Quinoa to the skillet surrounding your salmon. Stir to gather the flavorings from the salmon drippings and the butter in the pan. Cover and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.










 Absolutely delicious and healthy too!  Want a bite?










NOTE:   Quinoa is a complete protein, which means that it includes all 9 of the essential amino acids. It’s also incredibly rich in fiber and has vitamins B and E, and other minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. It is naturally gluten-free and has a low glycemic index. And the added bonus: it’s easy to whip up in just minutes!

NOTE:  For your salmon fillet you can use Atlantic, Sockeye, or Coho


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Monday, November 29, 2021

Homemade Italian Meatball Subs


Who needs to call a sub shop when you can make these delicious meatball subs at home?  So easy to make and this recipe is far better than what you will get in a sub shop. These are filled with juicy and tender homemade meatballs that have been simmered in a delicious sauce and loaded into a toasted bun with melty Italian cheese. What more could you want?

Homemade Italian Meatball Subs

1 lb ground beef
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 24 oz. Ragu Tomato, Garlic and Onion
Hoagie Rolls
Sliced Mozzarella or Provolone cheese

In a large bowl add all your meatball ingredients.  Using your hands mix everything until combined. Do not over mix or meatballs will be tough.  Mix until just combined. 

Shape into 2 inch meatballs and set aside.  In a large skillet add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and set temperature to medium high heat.  Brown each meatball on all sides.  Add your Ragu tomato sauce to the meatballs.  I like this Ragu because it has lots of onions, garlic and bits of sweet tomatoes among other ingredients that make it like home-made.


Cover skillet and turn the heat down to simmer.
  Allow to cook for about 30 minutes.  Remove from skillet and put in a bowl. 

Prepare your sandwich. 

First toast your rolls.  I like to spread butter on my rolls and lay them on a baking sheet. Then I put them under the broiler for about 3 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and spoon a little sauce over the bun.

Place 3 meatballs on each hoagie bun.  Spoon a little more sauce over the meatballs.  Top with slices of provolone or Mozzarella cheese. 

Put baking sheet back in the oven and broil until cheese has melted down over the meatballs and bun.


Any leftover meatballs, save for another sub or spaghetti and meatballs! 


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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Chicken Tetrazzini


I love this casserole. It makes it way up on the list of my favorite comfort foods.  Traditionally, it’s made with spaghetti noodles and you always see peas in Tetrazzini.  Not at my house.  I love to make it with mushrooms and egg noodles. The chicken is tender and moist, the sauce is thick and delicious.  You can make it with leftover Thanksgiving turkey or chicken. I make it with a rotisserie chicken because it’s easy and already seasoned.  Add this casserole to your list of keepers.  So good!

Chicken Tetrazzini

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted

8 oz sliced cremini mushrooms (baby Bellas)

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

16 oz egg noodles, cooked according to package directions

3 cups cooked, shredded rotisserie chicken 

2 cups baby spinach

1 cup shredded gruyere cheese, Divided (or Monterrey Jack)

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.













Boil noodles in salted water as directed on package.  When finished cooking, drain noodles in a colander and set aside.  Grease or butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish; set aside.










Add olive oil to large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add thyme, salt, pepper and garlic and cook an additional minute.  Transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking occasionally, until the flour is lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

Slowly whisk in the cream and chicken stock into the butter/flour mixture. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in baby spinach and allow it to cook down. 

Add in the noodles, chicken and ½ cup of Parmesan and ½ cup of Gruyere. Stir well and pour everything into prepared baking dish. 

















In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon melted butter with panko breadcrumbs. Add remaining cheeses and sprinkle over top of the dish.  

Bake, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.






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