Thursday, February 2, 2012

Panko Crusted Salmon over Swiss Chard Quinoa

Inspired by watching the Barefoot Contessa and wanting to make use of some of the goodies from my 1/20 Urban Acres haul, I came up with this delicious combo!

The panko crusted salmon is 100% Ina Garten, and the recipe can be found here. Basically, you just spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard on the top of the salmon, and sprinkle on top a mix of panko, olive oil, and fresh herbs. Then you put it skin-side down in a hot skillet to get the skin crisp, and then stick the skillet in the oven to finish. So easy, so yummy and perfect with the quinoa. It's crunchy, kind of spicy (thanks to the Dijon mustard), and just plain delish.

For the quinoa, I wanted a creative way to use the Swiss chard I had in my basket. Here's the Robin original recipe:
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 bunch chard, stems removed and chopped finely, leaves torn or chopped into medium sized pieces
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. thyme (dried is fine, fresh is better)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add onion, chard stems, salt, pepper and thyme and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
  3. Add chard leaves and cook an additional 1-2 minutes or until leaves begin to wilt.
  4. Stir in quinoa until well blended, turning heat up to medium/high.
  5. Pour in 1/2 cup white wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed by the quinoa, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1 3/4 cups chicken broth and apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

The best thing about this recipe is that you can use any sturdy leafy green (spinach, kale, mustard greens, etc.) in place of the chard, and it's just as delicious! It also keeps well in the fridge and is just as good reheated the next day.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Robin Original: Cranberry and Kale Salad

Seeing this salad on my table this Christmas made me very proud. Not only was it healthy, it was also freakin' delicious! It's super-easy to make too, and the red and green color scheme made it feel special and Christmas-y.

1 bag cranberries
2 bunches kale
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup orange juice
2 tbs. honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. salt
2 lemons

Add the cranberries, orange juice, sugar, and 1 tsp. of salt to a pot, and bring it to a boil. Bring down to a simmer, and let it cook until the cranberries are soft (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat, stir in honey, and put in the cranberry mixture into the fridge to get cold. (This step can be done 1-2 days in advance, by the way).

While the cranberries are cooking, wash the kale, and then cut out all the stalks. Take the remaining leaves and slice them thinly. The easiest way to do this is to take 4-5 leaves, roll them up like a cigarette, and then slice them thinly while they're in the roll. It's hard to explain, but super-easy to do. There's actually a video here that will give you a better idea. Thank you, Aarti.

Once the kale is all sliced up, but it in a large serving bowl. Juice the two lemons on top of it, drizzle the olive oil over it, and sprinkle 1 tsp. kosher or sea salt over it. The next step sounds weird, but you then want to stick your (clean, of course) hands into the kale and massage it. Yes, that's right. Massage it. Again, watch the video above for a better explanation, but you want to knead the olive oil and lemon juice into it until it begins to break down and turn a really gorgeous emerald green color, like in the picture above.

Once the kale is properly massaged, take 1/2 of the (now cold) cranberry mixture and stir it into the salad to make a "dressing." Then put the rest of the cranberries into a nest in the center of your salad. And there you have it! A gorgeous, healthy and delicious alternative to the usual ho-hum side salad. Your guests will love it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Real Simple: Baked Spinach and Pea Risotto

I am still in shock at how good this recipe turned out! I saw it in my Real Simple a couple of months ago and kind of wrote it off as a bad idea, but when I saw that a blogger friend of mine tried it and liked it, I decided to give it a whirl.

Holy, geez was it delicious.

And it couldn't have been more simple. Get it? Simple? Because it's from Real Simple? Not funny? Okay, I'll move on.

I made the recipe almost exactly as indicated, sauteing some shallots (I added a couple of minced garlic cloves and about a tsp. of dried thyme as well during this step) and then adding white wine, broth and rice before popping it in the oven. It took me less than 10 minutes to put it together, and once it's in the oven you get to walk away for 20 minutes. Once it's done baking, you just stir in cheese, peas and spinach, and BOOM - risotto! Sure, maybe it's not exactly authentic risotto, but it's close enough to be super-delicious, and on a week night, I'd rather have that time back to sit on the couch with a glass of wine and watch the Vampire Diaries than stand in front of the stove stirring and adding broth, stirring and adding broth, stirring and adding broth...

It was seriously delicious. I made it as a main course with a salad on the side, but it would be great as a side with rotisserie chicken, or even some sauteed shrimp or scallops, as well.

I think next time I'll throw in some mushrooms with the shallots, as I like any excuse to eat mushrooms, but other than that, I thought it was great!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cornbread Casserole

So, a coworker of Mike's made this for a pot luck they had at the office, and it was so good I had to get the recipe so I could make it myself.

Usually I like to screw around with recipes to make them even better, but I seriously don't think this can be improved. It is fluffy, sweet and cheesy and turns out really moist - I think it's the sour cream. This is a must-try recipe, and will be great with chili when it's not 105 degrees outside.

Cornbread casserole

Grease 13x9 in. pan with oil or butter and heat oven to 375.

Mix together:
  • 2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 can corn
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
Pour all ingredients into pan and bake about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown on top. Then try not to eat the entire pan in one sitting.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Everyday Food: Beer-Braised Sausages and Warm Potato Salad

This is my favorite recipe right now. We've been eating it once a week for a couple of months now. It's really inexpensive, and REALLY yummy.

Since we've been making it so much, I've found a couple of things that I think make it even better. First of all, we always use either chicken sausage or turkey sausage. They work really well, and don't dry out at all. I like mild Italian in this recipe.

The major thing I do differently is that instead of just plain red wine vinegar on the potatoes, I use this vinaigrette recipe from Ina Garten. But instead of champagne vinegar, I use white wine vinegar. I still use the flat Italian parsley, though. It adds a nice touch of freshness.

Saturday, April 24, 2010 Banana Muffins II

We had a bunch of bananas that were on the verge of going bad, so I decided that I wanted to make some banana muffins to use them up. I found this recipe on, and I figured that the four and a half star rating probably made it worth trying.

Yum, yum, yum. Very easy recipe, and very quick to put together. A lot of these recipes involve the electric mixer, but this was very easy to put together by hand. I loved it, and so did Miller and Mike. The only complaints came from Miller when he was done with his muffin because he wanted more :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Melissa d'Arabian: Crispy-Skinned Chicken a l'Orange

This sweet/savory chicken dish was really easy, although it did dirty a saute pan, a ceramic dish for the oven and a cutting board. However, the dishes were totally worth it, because this was delicious and turned out exactly as promised - a sweet, sticky and citrus-y glaze over really moist chicken. My husband kept stopping while he was eating to tell me how good it was, if that tells you anything. I believe we'll be having it again in very short order.

I served it with roasted broccoli (toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and stick under the broiler for 10 minutes) and brown rice cooked in our handy-dandy new rice cooker.