Crispy skin salmon.
Creamy sage cabbage.
Honey roasted fig gastrique.
This one is definitely a tasty meal! AND…easy of course.
Season the salmon with salt & pepper. Simple.
Here’s the trick to cooking salmon (or most fish really) in a pan is that you have to get the pan nice and hot first. Don’t put the fish in while your pan is still heating because then it’ll throw your timing off and you won’t get a good crisp. Wait until the pan reaches temp and then place the fish SKIN DOWN. Not only does this get the skin crispy, it helps lock in the flavor and prevent the fish from drying out. TRICK #2: Once the fish is on the pan, DON’T TOUCH IT! I know folks get antsy and think that you always have to be doing something in order to make great food but in reality…patience…makes the best food.
Patience. Really really.
Keep an eye on it though and determine the “doneness” of the fish by looking at the side of the fillet. Once you see that 2/3 of the fish isn’t pink anymore, then you can flip in over and finish cooking it. All you need is one flip. Done.
Cut the whole cabbage in half. Then take one of the halves and cut it into thin strips.
Heat a medium pot to medium high heat, toss in some olive oil and then throw in the cabbage. We want to wilt the cabbage so that it’s not stiff. Add more oil little by little if you need to. Season it and then throw in a few chopped leaves of sage. Continue to cook it down. If you pick up a piece of cabbage and it doesn’t hold it’s form then you’re good. Throw in about a 1/3 cup of heavy cream and mix it in. Bring it to a boil for about 5 minutes and then let it simmer for another 12-15 making sure to stir it and keep all the cabbage coated.
Here’s the trickiest portion of ‘em all. Gastrique. It’s simple in theory but really tests your patience and eye. A Gastrique is basically an acidic fruit syrup. You can turn just about any fruit into a gastrique.
*Tip: A gastrique is equal parts sugar and apple cider vinegar. You decide on how much to use ie 1cup sugar to 1cup vinegar
Place your sugar in the pan first and then slowly melt it. Turn the heat to medium low to medium and wait for the sugar to melt. Once you see that about 2/3 of it is melting then start to move it around and get all the sugar melted.
*Don’t use a spoon as the sugar will harden immediately when removed from the heat.
Once all the sugar is melted, keep the heat on medium low and wait for the caramalization to start. You want it to have a nice and rich brown color but be careful not too burn it.
Once you reach that point. Throw in your vinegar. Bring the heat back up to medium.
THE SUGAR WILL HARDEN UP! JUST LEAVE IT ALONE AND LET THE HEAT BRING EVERYTHING THING BACK TO A SYRUP.
This will take about 15ish minutes. Keep moving the pan and swashing it around. TRUST ME. It will become a syrup. Once it is then you can go ahead and toss in your fruits. The amount of fruit is up to you.
I roasted the figs at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. I seasoned them with s&p and backyard honey.
'Til the next dish!
If you don’t know by now, I love making fresh pasta and fresh pasta dishes! This is just another one to add to the list.
Simple once again.
For the sauce:
- One 8oz. (roughly) lobster tail
- some cherry tomatoes of various colors
- heavy cream
- salt & pepper
On medium heat, toss all the garlic, scallions, and tomatoes in the pan with a bit of olive oil. Let it cook for a couple of minutes until soft. Be sure to salt and pepper it and then add a tablespoon or two of cream to your sauce. Bring it to a quick boil, add the cooked and chopped lobster and then let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Easy! Once the sauce is done, divide it amongst the pasta and eat! Top with some freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
*Here’s a tip. Cook the lobster in the shell first before you take it out. It helps trap the natural flavor and juices.
'Til the next dish!
This one is an ode to my Lola (grandmother). She used to make this one for me when I was still in grade school when they lived with us for a bit. And she would stack it just like this. She’s pretty awesome.
I’ve actually never made this before and was pretty jazzed to make it on my own. It’s quite simple. I tried to make a small portion just for two but it still turned out to be a lot.
- medium red potato diced
- green pepper
Sautee those ingredients in a medium pan. Once everything has sweated down and the potatoes are tender, toss in about a tablespoon of tomato paste, give it a quick stir and then throw in about a pound of ground beef.
I then fried a couple strips of plantains and then fried an egg.
This one definitely brought me back.
Thanks, Lola! Salamat Po!
'Til the next dish!
one last hurrah before fall takes over and i’m completely captivated by pumpkin, crisp air, light layers, and changing leaves.
blueberry lemon poppy seed minis
yield: 24-26 regular cupcakes
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbsp of fresh lemon zest
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- 2 cups fresh blueberries (tossed in 1 tablespoon of flour)
- heat oven to 325 F.
- in a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- in a standing bowl mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream the butter & sugar until light and fluffy (3-5 mins).
- add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- beat in the lemon zest & vanilla extract.
- with the mixer on low, add the flour and buttermilk, in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
- mix in the lemon juice.
- fold in the poppy seeds and blueberries.
- bake for 20-22 minutes (rotating pans halfway through)
- cool & frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting
recipe source: adapted from the baker chick
ps. if you’re feeling frisky, add a little limoncello to your frosting. punches up the flavor a bit.
pss. bake time for minis was 12 minutes.
Another dinner that I’ve prepared. I was inspired by my boy Gordon Ramsay and one of his cook books that I bought when we went down to Portland. One of his recipes was a stuffed saddle of lamb. I didn’t really feel like finding a super expensive saddle of lamb so I decided to go with a more affordable pork loin. And from there, my palate took over!
Sage smashed potatoes:
I took about a pound and a half of red potatoes and wrapped them in foil, put them in a baking pan and then put a bit of water in the pan. I cranked the oven up to 450 degrees and softened them up in about 40-45 minutes. Once super soft, I took 3 cloves of freshly chopped garlic and a good bunch of sage leaves, mixed it with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and then cover the potatoes. Still in the foil, wrapped it back up and then slightly smashed them with the back of a pan. I then put them back in the oven for about another 15 on the top rack, took it out and then tossed some butter on them and then on the bottom rack for another 15.
Easy. Pork loin. I took a knife and then cut a cross all the way through the center of the loin to make an opening. I stuffed it with sauteed mushrooms and spinach and then wrapped the loin with prosciutto! Then I wrapped it in foil and baked it for about 30 minutes. Once done, I finished it off in a hot pan and seared all sides in olive oil.
This salad was super simple. One fennel bulb. Solid handful of grape tomatoes. One avocado. I dressed it up with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Simple.
Red wine reduction.
Another one for the books.
'Til the next dish!
just something simple with sprinkles. cause they make everything better, right? spinkles and glitter? sign me up! i would be a walking disco ball if that was acceptable. instead i try to keep things subtle with just a little bit of sparkle all the time.
really, this was just an excuse to try and use the 6” pans that i picked up. next time, i think i’ll add few more layers.
- vanilla bean cake (my baking addiction)
- dark chocolate cream cheese buttercream (bakerella)
- raspberry jam
i’ve been making a lot of snickerdoodles lately. some plain snickerdoodles. some with chocolate chips. and these, with vanilla bean. oh vanilla bean. you know how much i love vanilla bean. evidence=vanilla bean cupcakes and creme brûlée. i also tossed some vanilla bean in carrot cupcakes not too long ago. vanilla bean adds a different dimension of flavor, a little bit more sophisticated and grown up.
i usually don’t eat a lot of the sweets that i bake, i bring them to work for those folks to enjoy. but, school is out and we don’t have a ton of students on campus right now. so, i ate about 12 of these today. maybe not actually 12, but something close to 12 and i have no shame in that, because they are so soft and fluffy.
vanilla bean snickerdoodle cookies (Joy the Baker Cookbook)
- 2 3/4 cup flour
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds
- for dusting: 1 tsp cinnamon & 1/3 cup sugar
- heat oven to 350 F.
- in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
- in an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes).
- add in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the side of the bowl after each addition.
- add in the vanilla extract and vanilla bean.
- slowly add the flour mixture to the bowl.
- beat until the flour is lightly incorporated.
- finishing mixed with a rubber spatula.
- refrigerate the dough for 30 mins.
- roll ice cream scoop sized cookies into the dusting mixture and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden brown.
- remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.
- cookies will last in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
more bananas. and, a cake! an even, pretty, tasty, cake! the last cake i made. well, i already told you it was an uneven cluster*?!@ … the layers weren’t straight and the whole thing weighed like 10 lbs mostly, bc there was 10 lbs of frosting on it.
check out those layers! check out that frosting action. hollllla.
i still have some work to do… baby steps. but i’m making progress.
recipe source: bakers royale
So we have a friend, Kate, she’s awesome. Long story short, she’s teaching at a semester-at-sea program and she moved all of her belongings to Jenn’s while she’s gone. In those belongings she also gave us her food, seasonings, and such.
This dish was inspired by some frozen gyoza that she left as well as a Gordon Ramsay dish.
It’s pretty simple to make and relatively cheap! And the chicken was organic!
Heat some oil into a pot, medium heat, and then throw chicken legs and thighs skin down into the hot oil. Let that crisp up and then flip them over to cook the other side. Once you’ve seared the chicken on all sides, season them with salt and pepper and then toss in about 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce right in.
Let that coat the chicken and then toss in some fresh cloves of smashed garlic. I love garlic so I tossed in about 7 sizable cloves. I also tossed in some fresh cut ginger, about two inches of it. I just sliced the ginger into large pieces because I like the flavor of ginger, I just don’t like biting into it. It’s a bit strong for me.
Once it’s been sitting in there for about 2-3 minutes, I threw in a whole lemon that I sliced up and then about 2 tablespoons of honey. I then turned the heat down to medium low and let it cook for about 7-10 minutes. Right before I took it out I threw in some freshly chopped chives and gave it a good stir before plating.
It turned out pretty awesome actually. I think I’ve been spoiling Franco (Jenn’s little brother) with tasty meals because he didn’t like the gyoza because it was “microwaved” even though I made it in the pan. Apparently we have some upper echelon taste buds…
-‘til the next dish