Thursday, August 17, 2006

Honey Hoisin Salmon

Easy, flavorful, pretty -- good for guests!

(much modified from original version on">recipezaar)

6-oz. salmon fillets

Marinade for salmon
1 Tbsp fresh ginger
2 Tbsp garlic (do not overdo)
2 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp rice vinegar

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil

Put the marinade in a plastic bag, set the salmon flesh-down in it and refrigerate 1 day (notes: Salmon only keeps a couple days in the fridge so don't dawdle. Might want to score the flesh for better absorption).

Preheat over to 350. Put fillets flesh-side up in an oiled baking dish. Coat with at least half the honey-hoisin glaze. Bake 15-20 minutes, stopping halfway through to glaze again.

Orrrrr --
To use frozen salmon fillets WITHOUT thawing them, which is not only a Lazy Chef ultimate goal but also a fairly amazing way to keep a very healthy food on hand without going to the grocery store every five minutes....

--Preheat oven to 400
--Rinse frozen fillets in cold water to remove "ice glaze" and pat dry with paper towels
--Put fillets on a greased baking sheet or foil-lined sheet
--Brush with marinade, or a low-smoke-point oil such as avocado plus seasonings
-- Bake 30-45 minutes.

One source recommends 5 minutes per oz of fillet, ie 30 min for 6-oz, 40 min for 8-oz; all sources pretty much say you can tell it's done properly when it flakes easily on the tines of a fork.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Tortilla soup, chipotle flautas, lemon-herb chicken

Kitty's Tortilla Soup (6 srv), Chipotle Chicken Flautas (3 srv) and Lemon-Herb Chicken (4 srv)

Yield: 13 meals, not bad
Labor: Somewhat heavy: about 2.5 hours.

Grocery: 6pack chicken breasts, corn tortillas, pico de gallo or salsa to top flautas, rice, 40 or more oz chicken broth, 16 oz RoTel Fiesta, 11 oz sweet corn, lemons, carrots, garlic, lime, small yellow onion, grated cheese

Have on hand: cumin, paprika, chipotle seasoning, oregano

Day 1 (est: 1.5 hr)

Trim chicken; put half (the thick pieces) in broth to simmer 20 min. Shred cooked chicken and save a third for flautas. (save any extra broth for lemon mix) Refrigerate thin chicken pieces.

Chop carrots for lemon chicken. Refrigerate.
Chop garlic and onion (plenty for soup; a little onion/garlic for flautas and a lot of garlic for lemon mix).

Combine the flauta chicken with a little onion and garlic, plus whichever seasonings you can find: chile powder, garlic powder, lime, cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne.

Finish soup: Toss in garlic, onions, Ro-Tel, corn, lime juice, shredded chicken. Heat.

Make flautas: Warm several tortillas in a little oil. Fill each with chicken mixture; spear with toothpick; fry. Top with cheese and pico or salsa.

Cut several tortillas into strips; fry in fairly deep hot oil. Serve soup with strips and cheese.

Day 2 (est: 1 hr)

Pull thin chicken pieces out of fridge and flour them. Cook rice.
Make lemon mix: Broth, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, rosemary, sugar.
Brown floured chicken in butter. Add lemon mix and carrots and simmer 20 min.
Pull chicken out and put atop rice. Add 2 Tbsp butter to sauce and whisk, then pour over chicken.

Week: Potstickers, Cajun shepherd's pie, ravioli

Ginger beef potstickers, Cajun shepherd's pie, store-bought ravioli.
With spinach salads and mandarin orange slices.

This is vastly streamlined from an earlier menu that left me utterly exhausted. Also new to this version: You get to eat food every single night!!

If the estimated time for this is right (3 hr 20 min) and the yield is 12 meals, that's the equivalent of 16 minutes per meal, which I suppose is not horrible. And it's all pretty tasty.
Still need: Price estimate _____

Day Zero: Shoppin' (est: 20 min prep)

Fancy store: Potsticker wrappers, cayenne, white pepper, garlic powder, thyme
Regular store: 1 lb ground beef; garlic, ginger, green pepper, carrots, potatoes, snow peas; spinach; 2 eggs; ravioli and sauce, jar of orange slices

Cook the ravioli and assemble the spinach salads (leaving some spinach for potstickers).

Day 1: Choppin' (est: 1 hour)

Chop/grate the ginger and garlic for the potstickers (and garlic for the shepherd's pie).
Chop spinach for potstickers; carrots and green pepper for shepherd's pie.
Trim and wash the snow peas.
Chop potatoes, boil, mash, refrigerate. (Make a lot.)

---Shepherd's Seasoning: Butter, tabasco, green pepper, cayenne, cumin, salt, pepper, thyme, garlic.
---Potsticker Stuffing: Ginger, garlic, spinach, sauces, beef.

Day 2: Cookin' (est: 1 hour)

Make Shepherd's meatloaf:
--Mix 2 eggs, breadcrumbs and ground beef.
--Saute Shepherd's Seasoning 5 min, scraping often. Let cool, add 1/4 c milk and mix with the meat.
--Make meat into 12x8 "patty," center in ungreased 13x9 pan, bake at 450 for 30 min. Save drippings.

(Build the potstickers while this is cooking, and refrigerate them.)

Pour meat drippings into pan with carrots, salt, garlic powder, pepper and cayenne. Saute 1 1/2 min on high, stirring.

Put the carrots on top of the meat, not around the edges. Layer the mashed potatoes over carrots and meat. (Try putting some potatoes in first so the carrots don't fall)

Bake at 525 until brown on top, about 8-10 minutes. Have dinner and parcel up the rest.

Day 3: More Cookin' (est: 1 hour)

Take the postickers out of the fridge.
Stirfry the snow peas until bright green.
Cook potstickers a dozen or so at a time: fry quickly on all three sides, then fill pan 2/3 full with chicken broth and simmer a half-hour or so till most of the liquid has cooked off.