Forgive me for posting all these at once. From the way I post, it seems like we eat three meals at once, then starve for the rest of the week. hehe. Apologies, I always take pictures of our meals, but sometimes get a bit behind as far as posting them. Maybe if Taylor would learn how to post things every once in a while… *ahem*
This was actually tonights dinner. We had this lovely salad with a side of asparagus and sourdough bread. For a salad, this one was excellent. Taylor said all it was missing was some hard-boiled egg. We’d never had pea shoots before, and just so happened they had them at the farmers’ market. I’ve never seen them anywhere else though. If you can’t find them, this recipe would be just as good with all spinach or even mixed greens.
Pea Shoot and Spinach Salad with Bacon and Shiitake
Makes 4-6 servings. Recipe from Epicurious.
1 (1/4-lb) piece smoked bacon
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps quartered
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon coarse-grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 oz fresh pea shootspea shoots (4 cups)
4 oz baby spinach leaves (4 cups)
1 bunch fresh chives, cut into 1-inch lengths
6 radishes, cut into matchsticks
Cut bacon into 3/4-inch-thick matchsticks and cook in a heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring, until crisp but still chewy, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Pour off fat from skillet and add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, mushrooms, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden, about 8 minutes, then cool.
Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large salad bowl until blended.
Add pea shoots and spinach to dressing and toss to coat. Add bacon, mushrooms, chives, and radishes and toss again.
We splurge every now and then. We eat pretty economically for the most part, and usually get one ‘special’ thing every week, usually that means shrimp or scallops, but this week, lamb. This is maybe the 3rd time I’ve ever had it, and I have to say it was pretty good. Not something we’ll eat all the time, that’s for sure. But if you want to try lamb, this is a good way to eat it. The sauce was very good, and might work with something else too, chicken maybe? Or even ice cream. Hehe.
We couldn’t find sour cherries… and ended up with a bag of frozen sweet cherries. So our sauce may have been sweeter than it should have been. The fresh mint is a must though… it really adds a lot and shouldn’t be skipped.
Lamb Chops with Cherry Balsamic Glaze
Makes 4 servings. Recipe from Epicurious.
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) pitted sour cherries (1/2 lb)
1 tablespoon sugar
8 (3/4-inch-thick) rib lamb chops (2 lb total), trimmed of excess fat
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup thinly sliced shallot (4 oz)
1/2 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
Stir fresh cherries together with sugar and macerate while browning chops. If using frozen cherries, stir with any juices and sugar and thaw, about 1 1/2 hours.
Pat lamb dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sautÃ© 4 chops, turning over once, about 6 minutes total for medium-rare. Transfer to a plate and loosely cover with foil. Cook and transfer remaining 4 chops in same manner.
Pour off fat from skillet and add remaining tablespoon oil. Heat until hot but not smoking, then sautÃ© shallot, stirring, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add cherries with juices, broth, and vinegar and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and scraping up brown bits, then reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add butter and 2 tablespoons mint, stirring just until butter is melted.
Spoon sauce over chops and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons mint.
This was a good one. Made a lot of sauce, but we stuck the leftovers in the freezer for future use. Since peaches aren’t quite yet in season here, we used a jar of peaches (for like, peach pie or something), so our sauce was probably a bit sweeter than it should have been.
Grilled Salmon with Peach-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Makes 4 servings. Recipe from Emeril.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced onions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 serrano pepper, halved and thinly sliced
4 cups peeled, pitted, and diced peaches
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons peach bourbon liqueur (recommended: Southern Comfort)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skinned
2 teaspoons olive oil
Cooked wild rice, for serving
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and serrano (with the seeds) and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the peaches and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ketchup, orange juice, zest, lemon juice, cider vinegar, and brown sugar and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until thickened. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the sauce until smooth. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to extract all of the juices. Discard the solids. Stir the bourbon into the barbecue sauce and set aside until ready to use.
Preheat a grill to medium heat.
Brush the salmon on all sides with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the fish on the grill and cook for about 2 minutes then turn the fish 45 degrees and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook for an additional 2 minutes or until cooked through to the desired degree of doneness. During the last few minutes of cooking, brush the fish with the reserved peach sauce.
Serve the salmon over wild rice with the remaining warm Peach-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce.
A nice, hearty pasta. We made the entire recipe and had more than enough for lunch the next day and then some. I’m not usually a big tomato sauce fan, but this was good even by my standards. Next time: less parsley, more garlic. :)
Pasta with Roasted Provencal Vegetable Sauce
Recipe from Epicurious. Makes 6 servings.
1 16- to 18-ounce eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-ounce can seasoned crushed tomatoes with Italian herbs
12 ounces penne pasta
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 400Â°F. Arrange eggplant and onion on large rimmed nonstick baking sheet or casserole dish. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables until beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Stir zucchini and garlic into vegetables; continue to roast until all vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes longer. Stir crushed tomatoes into vegetables on baking sheet; roast until heated through, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Ladle 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid into small bowl; reserve. Drain pasta. Return pasta to same pot. Add roasted vegetable sauce and all herbs to pasta and toss to blend. Gradually add enough reserved pasta cooking liquid to moisten as desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to bowl and serve.