Friday, October 29, 2010

Asian Sesame Salmon

Another McCormick Recipe Inspiration

Asian Sesame Salmon
Makes 8 servings

2 tsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 tsp Minced Garlic
1 tsp Minced Onions
3/4 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper (optional)

1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 lbs salmon fillets

MIX honey, green onions, soy sauce and all of the Spices except Red Pepper in small bowl until well blended.  Stir in Red Pepper to taste, if desired.  Place salmon in 13x9-inch baking dish. Spoon honey mixture evenly over salmon.
ROAST salmon in preheated 375*F oven 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork, basting occasionally with honey mixture.

Note: to make sure that the recipe is gluten free make sure that you use gluten free soy sauce

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Red Velvet Cake

For Birthdays in my family we often skip the cake (unless we're having a party) and just make cup cakes instead.  For my husbands birthday he requested Red Velvet, his favorite.  Now comes the debate in my house... is a Red Velvet Cake merely just a Devils Food Cake with red food coloring? well... yes, and no... while both of them are in essence a chocolate cake, a Red Velvet Cake usually has either buttermilk (southern choice) or sour cream (northern choice), and recipes differ between adding vinegar or not and to use dutch processed cocoa or not.  While dutch processed cocoa will not have the sharp dark chocolate taste, it also wont lend well to the traditional dark red crumb that comes from using natural cocoa and baking .  So, of course, I prefer using natural cocoa.  After scouring all sorts of books and the internet I decided I'd try Paula Deen's "Grandmother Paula's Red Velvet Cake", being that she almost embodies southern cooking, and when I think of every time I've had a good Red Velvet Cake, I think of when I lived in the south.

Red Velvet Cake
2 cups sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces red food coloring
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, beat until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition.

Mix cocoa and food coloring together and then add to sugar mixture; mix well.

Sift together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Blend in vanilla. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar and add to mixture.

Pour batter into 3 (8-inch) round greased and floured pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from heat and cool completely before frosting.

The cake is DELICIOUS... I did have a problem with them falling and deforming during cooling though, not sure why.  This is a very moist, rich and creamy cake, that I would probably make again... maybe not as cupcakes since the one pictured above is literally one of about 5 out of 24 that actually looked good and the paper didn't separate away from it.

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Chicken Marsala

This is once again another one of McCormick's Recipe Inspirations that you buy the recipe card and pre-measured spices for about $2.  If you wonder why I keep buying these things its because they generally have one or more spices that I dont already have in my over packed spice cabinet and I want to try a recipe with it in it before I commit to buying a bunch of it just for it to waste away in the over full black hole of my spice drawer.
My husband dislikes mushrooms, so since this is his requested birthday meal, I will be leaving them out... I had a hard time finding Marsala Wine, which in all reality is a sweet wine that's infused with hard alcohol, generally a brandy, but to have Marsala chicken, you must have Marsala wine or you will have a Brandy chicken or what have you...  I did find the wine after searching through a few stores, I was offered the choice of either getting Marsala cooking wine, which has a high sodium content or an actual bottle of Marsala wine.  I for one, HATE cooking with any "cooking wine" the sodium content almost always comes into play changing the taste from the real thing, but for some (like those under 21) its your only choice, if you use the cooking wine I would suggest salting the rest of the sauce to taste (I'd add half the salt then add salt to taste later... but thats me).

Chicken Marsala

1 tsp. Minced Garlic
1 tsp Marjoram Leaves
1 tsp Minced Onions

1/2 tsp Coarse Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Basil Leaves
3/4 tsp Parsley Flakes

1/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
6 thinly sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lbs)
3 tbsp butter, divided
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pkg (8oz) sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup Marsala wine


MIX flour, Minced Garlic, Marjoram, Minced Onions, salt and Pepper in a shallow dish. Reserve 1 tbsp four mixture. Coat chicken with remaining flour mixture.

HEAT 2 tbsp of the butter and oil in large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Cook several of the chicken pieces 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove from skillet. Keep warm. Repeat with remaining chicken.  Add mushrooms to skillet; cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender.

MIX broth and reserved flour mixture. Add to skillet along with wine.  Bring to boil, stirring to release browned bits in bottom of skillet. Stir in remaining 1 tbsp butter and Basil; cook 2 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Spoon sauce over chicken to serve. Sprinkle with Parsley.

Review: My kids and husband LOVED it! My super picky girls were done with their chicken before my husband and I even got to the table! They asked for seconds, which I didnt have as I didnt expect them to eat as much as they had.  We will definitely be making this again, but I'll probably have to double the recipe!

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