Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Potatoes formally known as Ginger

We are huge on holiday food traditions around here. I love making the same things, once a year, and know that my kids have come to love and associate certain dishes with specific holidays. I incorporate dishes my grandmother made with dishes I especially love, and we end up with a smattering of holiday fav's.

This particular dish was my grandmother's, or rather her friend Ginger's. At least that's what I am assuming because my grandmother always made them, and they were always known as "Ginger's potatoes." I've 'moderned' them up a bit... making them a little bit fresher, and removing a lot of the processed ingredients...Because of this, they've become similar to an au gratin potato and could certainly be used in the place of, for any occasion that calls for them. Note that I removed some processed ingredients, but NOT the fat... this is not a diet conscious recipe.


6 russet potatoes, peeled, diced, and thrust in lightly salted ice water until use
2 yellow or orange bell peppers, diced (can be omitted)
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TBS butter
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 sticks of butter, melted (reserve 1/4 cup for second use)
1 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 cups of panko bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 350. Melt 1 TBS butter over medium heat. Sautee onions, garlic, and peppers until just soft. Drain potatoes, and add to pan. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine melted butter (reserving 1/4 cup for later use), shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and chicken stock. This will look like one big mess, but don't worry. Add potato/pepper mixture to bowl and combine. Pour ingredients into a 9x13 baking dish. Cover top with panko crumbs and drizzle reserved butter over the top.

Cover with tin foil and bake in 350 oven for 30 minutes. Remove tin foil and continue baking for 15 minutes, until panko is golden brown.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Baked Salmon

Marinade Ingredients:

1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
5 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/4 cup of honey

For the Salmon, you can either use a large side of salmon (like I tend to do) or portion out a number of fillets. The marinade will work for either.

1/4 cup of butter, sliced thinly
Salt and pepper


Whisk together marinade ingredients. 

Preheat oven to 400. Salt and pepper all sides of the salmon. Place in a large baking dish (I used a 9 x 13 below). Pour whisked marinade over salmon. It should come up to the sides, but not completely cover the fish. 

Place the slices of butter on top of your salmon. One on each fillet (if you are using fillets).  

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and let sit for 10 minutes. 

* To make non-dairy, rub extra virgin olive oil over each piece of salmon, or the entire side, and then salt and pepper each piece. Omit butter.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Homemade Bread

Nothing smells better than fresh bread baking in the oven. And nothing tastes better than ripping a big hunk of that bread apart and eating it while it's still warm. I love baking my own bread, although these days, it takes more than just one loaf to satisfy all six of us.  Here's my favorite, most basic, bread recipe.


2 tsp Active Dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup warm water
2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 cup warm water
3 1/2 cups of bread flour
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


In an electric mixing bowl, using a ball-bearing whisk, mix yeast, sugar and 1/3 cup of warm water. Set out until doubles in size and yeast is activated-- about 5 minutes.

Whisk in salt and 1 1/4 cups of water. Add flour. Using a dough hook, mix on medium speed in your electric mixer... 5 minutes. Dough should be gathered on the hook, and relatively sticky to touch. Remove dough, and coat the mixing bowl with extra virgin olive oil. Replace dough. Cover bowl loosely with a kitchen towel. Let sit for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Line a baking pan with parchment, and sprinkle bread flour on it. Remove dough from bowl, and press out any air onto the baking pan. Shape dough into a rough loaf, or circle... depending on what you want your bread to look like. Let sit for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400. Bake bread for 45 minutes. You want the bread to be golden brown, but not burnt.

Best if served immediately, but will last up to 3 days. But trust me... you won't be able to keep it around that long.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Asian Sesame Chicken Salad

This is one of those recipes, where I (gasp) use not only a canned ingredient, but also a packed flavoring for salad dressing. So NOT like me, but I've yet to find a better substitute even in fresh ingredients... there's just something about this flavor combination that makes this salad WORK. So please, forgive me, and hold your critique until you taste it.


2 Panko crusted sesame chicken breasts, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 head of Napa Cabbage, core removed and shredded thin
2 TBS sesame seeds
1 package of Oriental Flavor Top Ramen Noodles
2 TBS slivered almonds
1 cup edamame (shelled)
1 English cucumber, peeled and julienned
1 large can of mandarin oranges
6 green onions, sliced


Pre-heat oven to 400. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Crumble the ramen noodles (do NOT cook) into bite sized pieces on the baking sheet.  Toss noodles with sesame seeds and slivered almonds. Bake until golden brown, just about 10 minutes, but watch them carefully! They will go from golden brown to burnt in a few seconds.  Let cool.

In a large bowl mix cabbage, chicken, edamame, cucumber, onions, and oranges. When cooled, add toasted ingredients. Toss with tongs.

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable or grape seed oil
Oriental flavoring package from the Top Ramen
2 TBS sugar

Combine ingredients in a bowl or container that has a lid. Close and shake to combine. This will make more dressing than you need, so toss a little bit at a time with the salad until cabbage is just glistening.