I love Costco. I’m not ashamed to admit that some of my favorite sweaters and my favorite pair of leather leggings (yes, leather) come from Costco. Because they only carry about 4,000 unique items at any given time- compared to a typical grocery store which carries between 30,000 to 50,000- there isn’t any room for sub-par products. One of my favorite products they carry is the frozen Alaskan Salmon Burgers. In the past, I’ve heated them up and eaten them as burgers, or on to top of salads, as you can see here:But today I came to the realization that the 5 extra minutes it takes to make salmon burgers from scratch is completely worth it. I had a leftover filet of salmon that I had baked two nights ago and I needed to use it soon. So I chopped some red onion and carrot and added them to my nutribullet along with my roughly chopped salmon.Then I added one egg, S/P, and some focaccia seasoning before forming the mixture into two patties. After pan searing for a couple of minutes on each side, I ended up with this beauty: I know that eating a salmon patty over a kale salad doesn’t quite constitute the use of the name “burger”, but it’s really the same principle. Although I love Costco’s burgers, mine had a much more distinct “fresh flaked salmon” flavor because it wasn’t as dense. It also liked that it wasn’t nearly as salty, but that I could still choose my own spices to flavor the patties. The best part is that I froze the second burger, meaning that I now have my own frozen salmon burger, perfectly fit for a quick lunch or dinner fix.
Archives for April 2015
After making my fish taco bowl the other day, I ended up with a good amount of leftover black beans that I knew I needed to use soon. So yesterday I threw together a quick chili that made for a perfect brunch when topped with an over easy fried egg. Unfortunately, I didn’t document the process as well as I should have, as I was still relatively sleepy and still in my pajamas.My chili included two spicy sausages (casings removed and cooked through), two chopped sweet potatoes, a red onion, two cloves of garlic, a red bell pepper, my leftover black beans, a can of diced tomatoes, two cups of chicken stock, chili powder, cumin, and paprika. I let this all simmer on low for about an hour before topping a steaming bowl of chili with a fried egg, cheddar cheese, and a sprinkling of green onions. Although I’ve never considered chili to be a brunch food, it isn’t too dissimilar from breakfast hashes that have become so popular recently. In fact, this chili would likely keep a lot better in the refrigerator and taste even better the next day.
This week I’ve been in a deconstructive mood. By that I mean that I’ve been experimenting with some non-traditional presentations of classic recipes, including fish tacos, and now burgers. Although it’s not quite warm enough to grill outside, I can still make hamburger steaks that suit my purposes just fine. For my burger bowl burger patty, I started by first chopping some green onion, carrots, and red onion.I mixed these with my ground chuck, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika and formed them into four patties.
Then fried away… It makes such a big difference using 80/20 ground beef compared to my usual 90/10 that I use in meat sauce, soups, and stir frys. When the beef is the star of the meal, it’s really worth it to have a juicer, fattier flavor.
I plated my hamburger steak atop a bed of mashed sweet potato, sautéed spinach and red pepper, and garnished it all with a generous helping of avocado and a sprinkle of feta cheese. I love this picture angle because it makes my patty look like he’s wearing an avocado beret…Although I’m sure that this would taste delicious with dollops of ketchup, mustard, and relish, I decided to leave them out so that I could really appreciate all of the other fresh and sweet flavors. This burger bowl can also easily be transformed to have a “Cowboy style” with cheddar cheese, bacon and jalepeños, or maybe “Southwestern style” with salsa, pepper jack, and black beans. If the array of crazy burgers on restaurant menus today is any indication (PBJ burger, spaghetti burger, donut burger, etc.), there is really no wrong way to dress a burger patty.
Sometimes out of nowhere it just hits you. That super intense craving for something so specific, and then you just can’t get it out of your head! This time for me, it was the memories of paninis in Rome that struck me, and all I could think about was fresh mozzarella, juicy tomatoes and refreshing basil between two pieces of salty ciabatta bread……I first tried to come up with a place where I could go to find this Italian inspired sandwich, but then I came up with the much better idea to make one myself.
First, the bread. I wanted a bread that was light and fluffy on the inside with a good crunch on the outside, with a bit of saltiness. That is what Italian bread is to me. I picked up a loaf of ciabatta from a local bakery that supplies the bread for my favorite Italian restaurant.
Beautiful. And the best part was that it made my car smell amazing on the way home.
I spread pesto sauce on one half and layered some fresh mozzarella slices on the other.
Since I don’t have a panini press, I used the George Foreman. Maybe I didn’t wait long enough for it to heat up or something, but I didn’t quite achieve the level of melty-ness that I had in mind. However, I was actually quite pleased with the end result because the cheese still had that freshness to it that I think would have been lost if it was entirely melted.
The thing about buying buttermilk is that usually whatever you are making only requires a little bit for the recipe. Then you end up with this huge carton of non-drinkable milk and you are left wondering, “Okay, so what do I do now?” I’ve used leftover buttermilk to make cake, coffeecake, and muffins (I should add pancakes to this list), but this still only slightly whittled away at what was leftover. THEN I found a recipe for buttermilk panna cotta!!!
With over a cup of buttermilk in the recipe, I was thrilled! I’ve made several different kinds of panna cotta before (matcha, pumpkin, vanilla), but I was intrigued by the use of tangy buttermilk.
I thought it was delicious! This recipe ended up being a bit firmer than some other panna cotta recipes I’ve tried, but I still loved it. I was feeling a bit indecisive about toppings, so I decided to go with a variety. I dropped a small dollop of passion fruit jelly from Hawaii, placed some fresh blueberries, and added some honey drops.
In my opinion, this is the perfect dessert after you’ve had something spicy or garlicky….it’s so refreshing and not too sweet (that’s where the jelly and honey come in). Definitely a successful dessert.
I’ve been slowly trying to go through the process of decreasing the amount of food that I keep stored in my freezer and pantry in anticipation of moving out of my apartment in a month. The other day I came across a frozen filet of Swai that I thought would make for good fish tacos. However, I never can eat enough tortillas to justify buying a whole bag, so the fish tacos ended up as a deconstructed fish taco salad.I season my fish with some salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. My approach to the spices was super laid back, I just sprinkled everything on in a thin layer and then massaged it all in with my fingers. After that, the fish went into a medium-high heat pan for a couple minutes per side.My salad toppings included some red onion, red bell peppers, tomatoes, green onion, black beans and avocado slices. I piled these all on top of a bed of spinach, slaw mix, and a little heaping of quinoa (which all the veggies are hiding in this picture). Then topped it with my spice crusted Swai. To finish it all off, I used salsa instead of salad dressing, and sprinkled some feta cheese on top for a little bit of color and extra flavor. Although maybe not as fun to eat as fish tacos, I definitely appreciate how it’s much harder to make a mess while eating!
On April 14th I woke up to a text from Sara saying that it was the 103rd Anniversary of the last day the Titanic saw daylight. Naturally, we pondered how we might incorporate this into our cooking. I decided to go with an afternoon tea, complete with a simple mug cake and a steaming cup of Earl Grey.I was inspired by this paleo recipe, and used only one egg, almond and coconut flour, frozen raspberries, mini chocolate chips, almond extract, and honey. After two minutes in the microwave I got a dense but moist mini cake that I served alongside some raspberries and strawberries.For such a healthy but decadent recipe, four minutes of combined prep and cook time was well worth it!
So my food was literally smiling at me. Haha, how inspiring.
His brother and sister slices, however, got drizzled with olive oil and toasted in the oven. Then, I made two crostini variations with bright, fresh springtime flavors.
Second, whipped ricotta with fresh basil and lemon, topped with smoked salmon, fresh basil, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.The baguette slices were toasted just right, and combined with the creaminess of the ricotta, each bite was a delicious combination of crunch and cream. The herbs and lemon zest in the ricotta really pop and combine very well with their toppings. I love the differences in flavor and texture – it’s what makes these crostini a real success for me.