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Wednesday
Jan052011

Pomegranate-glazed salmon

This is Week #1 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Woooo! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010: An Entire Year of Recipes.

This was a good recipe to start with because, well, it was good! Delicious, actually. And so very colorful and festive. It was a healthy way to start the new year!

First, you will need to prepare a marinade for the salmon. Plan on at least an hour for marinating.

Combine:

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp. agave nectar (this wasn't available at the store by our house, so I used honey as a replacement)

4 smashed cloves of garlic

1 Tbsp. finely grated ginger

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Mix well and place in a shallow baking dish. Add eight 6-oz. skinless salmon fillets to the dish and coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, turning fish a few times.

While the salmon is absorbing all of those delicious flavors, prepare the glaze.

In a medium bowl, combine:

1/4 cup pomegranate molasses (you can make your own or purchase it)

2 Tbsp. agave nectar (again, I used honey)

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 minced cloves of garlic

1 Tbsp. finely grated ginger

1 Tbsp. finely grated lime zest

Mix well.

When the salmon is done marinating, preheat your broiler.

Transfer the salmon to a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and brush with half of the glaze. Broil 4 inches from the heat source for 3 minutes, until the fillets begin to brown.

Brush with the remaining glaze and broil for 3 additional minutes, until salmon is richly glazed and just cooked through.

Serve with Armenian Rice.

Garnish with shelled edamame and pomegranate seeds.

Isn't it pretty?

Click here for a printable recipe!

Wednesday
Jan052011

Armenian rice

I made this side dish for the sole purpose of pairing it with my Pomegranate-Glazed Salmon. Because Armenian Rice is what the recipe book recommended I eat the salmon with. My whole reason for taking on this cooking challenge is to step away from my comfort zone. In the case of this rice dish, I most definitely did that. Never in a hundred years would I have picked this recipe out of a cookbook on my own. When I read through the ingredients, I knew it must be fate. It required the EXACT amount of pine nuts I had sitting on the shelf in my spice cupboard. I refuse to let those expensive nuts go to waste!

So, here you go. Armenian Rice. A side dish that helped me to expand my cooking horizons.

(Source: Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2010)

In a large pot (or skillet), melt 1 1/2 sticks of butter.

Stir in:

3 oz. vermicelli or angel hair pasta, broken into 2-inch lengths (1 cup)

1/2 cup pine nuts

Cook over high heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Add:

4 cups long-grain white rice

8 cups chicken stock, warmed

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Cover and cook over low heat for 25 minutes, until the rice is tender and the stock has been absorbed.

Uncover, fluff with a fork and cover again. Let stand for 20 minutes.

Stir in half of a 1/3 cup of fresh, thinly sliced mint leaves (reserve the other half). Season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with the remaining mint and serve!

Click here for a printable recipe!

Monday
Jan032011

Grilled artichoke sun-dried tomato sandwich

This grilled cheese creation contains two of my favorite ingredients on the planet: sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes. Whenever my friend Laurie and I go out to eat together, we both order the item on the menu that has one or both of these ingredients. They are too mouth-watering to pass up. Sauteed skunk liver with sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes? Yum! Sign me up!

I have a hard time looking at these photos without trying to jump into my monitor and bathe myself in artichoke, sun-dried tomato, cheesy yumminess.

Grilled Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Sandwich

Artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes are the stars of this sandwich!

Serves: 1

Total time: 15 min

Grilled Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices white or wheat bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 slices provolone cheese
  • Small handful fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
Instructions:
  1. Place the bread slices on a flat work surface. Spread 1 tablespoon of butter evenly over one side of each slice of bread.
  2. Warm a skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Layer the sandwich as follows: Slice of bread, butter side down, 1 slice cheese, spinach, artichokes, tomatoes, 1 slice cheese and remaining slice of bread, butter side up.
  3. Place sandwich onto the hot skillet. Cook on each side for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bottom layer of cheese begins to melt around the edges. Cut in half and serve!

 

 

Monday
Jan032011

White sangria

My husband and I love hosting parties. It is such fun to make a ton of food and create a fun, safe environment for friends for an evening. Since we've had kids, our gatherings have become much more low-key, much smaller and much less frequent. We hadn't had people over for an official gathering since well before I was pregnant with Samson, a year and a half ago. So, to slowly get ourselves back into the hosting scene, we decided to have a few people over for New Year's Eve. Just a few. We made it super low-key because we had just gotten home from our vacation in North Carolina the day before. I'm already planning a bigger gathering in my head. One involving a lot of cooking, Ebby and hungry friends.

Anyway, back to New Year's Eve. I wanted to make a festive drink to go with our spread of food that we could toast to the new year with! Except, it didn't last until 2011. It was tasty, though! And so pretty.

All you need is:

1 bottle sparkling wine or champagne

1 1/2 cups cranberry juice (I used cran-grape)

12 red grapes

1 apple, thinly sliced

1 orange, thinly sliced

1 lime, thinly sliced

1 lemon, thinly sliced

Throw everything into a pitcher, mix, and pour into champagne flutes. So simple, yet so refreshingly tasty! Happy New Year!

Click here for a printable recipe!

Monday
Jan032011

Chocolate caramel brownies

This brownie recipe is by far my favorite of all time. That is saying a lot. ALL TIME FAVORITE BROWNIES. I discovered the recipe years ago and have made it about a million times since. If someone asks me to bring a dessert to a party, I almost always make these. And they last about 10 minutes in the pan. I'm not kidding. Gooey, chocolatey (but not too chocolatey), crunchy, mouth-watering deliciousness.

Before you get dressed for your party tonight, throw these together. Everyone will thank you for it!

Preaheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine:

An 18.25-oz. package of German chocolate cake mix

3/4 cup melted butter

1/3 cup evaporated milk (I used sweetened condensed milk this time because it's what I had in the house. I typically use evaporated milk, but both work great!)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Spread half (only half!) of the batter into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes.

While you are waiting, unwrap an entire 14-oz. bag of individually wrapped caramels. Throw them into a saucepan, along with another 1/3 cup of evaporated milk (or sweetened condensed, if that is what you have in the cupboard).

Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until caramel is smooth.

Sprinkle 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips evenly over the partially cooked brownies.

Pour the melted caramel mixture over top of that.

With a spoon, drop the remaining half of the batter over the very top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

I always have a hard time waiting for these to cool, so I throw them in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.

And I eat a large brownie as I take photos of three others. What?! I couldn't help it!

Click here for a printable recipe!