Posts Tagged ‘Herbs’

Want something different to do with salmon? Well, the other day while perusing one of my Mother’s old cookbooks, I came across her recipe for salmon croquettes tucked away between the well worn pages. Start this one earlier in the day so that you have time to let this sit and the flavors to permeate through the mixture before making the croquettes.

1 lb. fresh salmon, I am using Coho
4 cups of water
1 cup of Chardonnay
2 TBS Old Bay Seasoning
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups of Progresso garlic bread crumbs
1/2 onion chopped finely
3 green onions finely chopped
1 tsp dill weed
Dash of salt and a few grinds of pepper
1 1/2 TBS butter and extra virgin olive oil

Place the water, Chardonnay and the Old Bay Seasoning into a skillet. Heat this up to boiling.

Water, wine and Old Bay

While waiting for this to boil, wash off the fish and remove any fish scales that might be apparent. When the mixture boils, turn the heat down to low then add the fish with the pan, skin side down.

Add the salmon

Let the fish cook in the liquid for approximately 10 minutes.  Carefully remove this from the pan and place skin side up on a plate and let this cool. When cooled, slide off the skin and discard. On the salmon, you will notice a brown coloration under the skin.  I took most of that off too!  After this is done, flake the fish in a large mixing bowl. Then add the eggs, bread crumbs, the onion and green onion, dill weed and salt and pepper. Using your hands combine and then cover and let this sit in the refrigerator for an hour or more, so that the flavors meld together. Then using a 1/2 cup measuring cup, scoop into the mixture and form into patties, or the croquettes.

Croquettes are ready to cook

Lay each of these on a plate until ready to cook. While this recipe always served our family of five, if there are only two of you, allow two per person and freeze the rest. Next we will fry these up in butter and olive oil. Use about 1 1/2 TBS of butter and an equal amount of olive oil.

Croquettes starting to cook

Turn them over

When done drain on paper towel

Serve these with jasmine rice and a couple of slices of lemon! Don’t forget your green vegetable!

Dinner is served!


Read Full Post »

I really love fried chicken, but I do not like the mess on the stove, and that I have to do it in batches. So, when I want a good and easy fried chicken I do it in the oven. Here is a recipe I adapted from the Betty Crocker cookbook.

Fryer, cut up an washed
1 1/2 cups of flour
Four shakes of garlic powder
Two shakes of onion powder
1/2 tsp. of cayenne pepper
Healthy shake of black pepper
Two shakes of old bay seasoning
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup butter

Take the washed chicken and pat it dry.

Chicken is washed and ready

Mix the flour, garlic and onion powder, cayenne pepper, pepper and salt in a gallon size plastic bag. Take the excess fat from the back and wrap this up in foil with the neck, the gizzard, the heart and the liver.

Liver, Heart and Neck packed for a dog treat

I use this as an added treat for the dog. Set this aside.

Next take the butter and shortening and add to a 9×12 baking pan.

Shortening and Butter ready for the oven

Set the oven temperature to 425 degrees. When the oven is hot, place the pan in the oven and let the ingredients melt.

Shortening and Butter Melting in the Oven

When this is done, remove from the oven. Put pieces of the chicken into the bag a few at a time and shake it to coat the chicken well. Add the pieces to the pan, skin side down.

Chicken coated in flour and added to the pan

Place the pan back into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Then turn the chicken.

Turn the chicken

.Pull the foil packet out of the oven and cool. When cool pull the meat from the chicken neck and chop the remaining items and use for dog treats.

The Dogs treats

For the chicken, cook an additional 25 minutes and remove from the oven. Remove the chicken from the pan and drain on paper towel. Let this sit for 5-10 minutes then serve!

The chicken is ready!

I find the chicken is juicy and the skin crispy! And, I love the heat the cayenne pepper adds to it! Try this one out and let me know what you think!

Read Full Post »

I love a dinner that is easy to make, tastes good, and that makes the house smell so good that you just can’t wait to eat it! This is one of those dishes!

3 pound pork shoulder roast, boned and wrapped in a sleeve
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Parsley flakes
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 cup of chicken broth
14 Baby carrots, halved
2 good sized yukon gold potatoes, cut into good size chunks
1/2 pound of crimini mushrooms, sliced thickly
12 ounces of quartered artichoke hearts
1/2 cup frozen baby peas
Sonoma Gourmet roasted garlic rosemary oil
Parsley flakes

Take the roast out of the refrigerator about an hour before cooking and rub with thyme, the onion and garlic powders, parsley flakes and some salt and pepper.

Rub the herbs and spices into the meat

After an hour,preheat the oven to 350, and heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the meat on all sides.

Brown the roast on all sides

In the same pan, add the onions and garlic and caramelize.

Caramelize the onions and garlic

Then add the broth to the pan. Make sure to scrape up the browned bits!

Add broth to the pan and scrape up all the bits stuck to the pan

Pour over the meat, cover with foil and place this in the oven.

While this is cooking get your vegetables ready. Put them in a bowl with the Sonoma Gourmet Dip and Toss, and add additional thyme and parsley flakes.

Get your vegetables ready

After the roast has cooked 30 minutes, remove it from the oven, remove the foil and toss. Place the vegetables around the roast.

Lay the vegetables around the partially cooked roast

Return the pan to the oven and cook for about an hour or until the temperature of the roast hits 140 degrees. Remove the pan from the oven, and take the roast out of the pan, set aside and cover.

Roast is removed from the oven, and the veges go back in while the roast sits

The roast will still cook for a bit so the temperature will come up to the safe temperature of at least 145 degrees. Return the pan to the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the vegetables from the oven. Slice up the meat,

Slice the pork

and serve it with your roasted veges!

Dinner is served!

Try this with a Mourvedre or a Petite Sirah!

Read Full Post »

Who doesn’t love garlic? My husband laughs at me because this is the most used ingredient in my kitchen! I use it in just about everything, well, there are exceptions. Not only is this puppy a good addition to many dishes but it has medicinal properties as well.

Garlic engraving by William Woodville - 1793

Garlic is in the allium family. Other alliums that you might be familiar with are onions, leeks, chives and shallots. Use of garlic dates back 6,000 years and is a native of central Asia. Ancient Egyptians used this not only in their food but for its medicinal qualities.

Sierra Foothills Wild Garlic

There are two main subspecies of garlic: One is Ophioscorodon, which includes porcelain garlics, rocambole garlic, and purple stripe garlics.

Purple Stripe Garlic - Westerngardeners.com photo

The other, Sativum, artichoke garlic, silverskin garlic, and creole garlic.

Artichoke garlic - GourmetGarlicGardens.com photo

Garlic is an easy plant to grow no matter where you are. Separate the cloves, and plant. In cold regions, you can plant garlic in the fall, about 6 weeks before an anticipated freeze, for harvest in late spring. You can plant in pots on your deck, or just as an addition to your vegetable garden. Garlic is a plant not bothered by rabbits, deer, and moles. When planting, use the large cloves giving enough space for the heads to form. Removing the green tops, known as scapes, actually helps the garlic put more energy into the bulb growth. You can use the scapes as seasoning to any dish.

The world’s largest producer of garlic is China. They produce over 12 million tons per year. Second on this list is India, producing over 600,000 tons, and third is South Korea, producing over 300,000 tons per year. The United States ranks 6th with production of over 220,000 tons per year. Gilroy has been a large producer of garlic in the State of California. But that distinction has now moved to Fresno as reported recently by CBS News.

Raw garlic is very pungent, but with cooking the flavor mellows. It can be used a number of ways in the kitchen. Roasted garlic can be used on bread as a spread, or included with your roasted vegetables as a seasoning. It can be chopped and rubbed on meats. It can be fried up in a pan along with your vegetables. Add it to your homemade ice cream! Get creative when using garlic!

Aside from keeping the vampires away, garlic is said to aide in cancer prevention. It has benefits to the cardiovascular system by aiding in the reduction of cholesterol. It helps too against the common cold. Age old medicine used garlic to sooth sore throats, and coughs. The Cherokee Indians used garlic as an expectorant for coughs and croup. Garlic has been found to regulate blood sugars. Louis Pasteur found that garlic could be used as an antiseptic.

Whether you grow it in your garden, use it in the kitchen or keep it in your medicine cabinet, the many uses of garlic make this an indispensable food!

Garlic - photo by Donovan Govan

Read Full Post »

With cooler temperatures now at night, comfort food starts to rear its head more often. So, last night’s menu was Chicken Fried Steak with Bacon Sausage Gravy, mashed potatoes and steamed peas. Total comfort food! Photos will be inserted as soon as my new computer arrives! Enjoy the recipe!


2 #’s round steak or cube steak, thin sliced and tenderized with a mallet
1 cup of flour
4 shakes of garlic powder
2 shakes of Hungarian paprika
3 shakes of onion powder
2 shakes of Spike
4 twists of fresh ground pepper
2 eggs beaten with a good splash of milk
Vegetable oil for frying

3/4 # New York Style sausage
6 slices of peppered bacon
1/4 cup of flour
2 1/2 cups of hot milk

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the sausage in a baking pan sprayed with non stick spray. Bake for 15 minutes and turn. Bake until cooked through. Cut the sausage into 1/3 inch slices. Set aside. Save the fat drippings.

Fry up the peppered bacon until crispy. When cooled, crumble and add to the sausage. Take the bacon drippings and add to the sausage drippings to make 1/4 cup of drippings.

Bacon & Sausage Ready for the Gravy

In a bowl beat the eggs with the splash of milk. Take a cooling rack and a piece of foil. Lay the foil under the rack. In a gallon size plastic bag combine the flour with all the seasonings. Shake the bag and you are now good to go. Take a piece of the steak and shake it in the flour. Next dip it in the egg mixture, then back into the flour bag to coat a second time. Set the coated piece on the rack to dry. Repeat this with all the meat.

Steak is Ready to Fry!

In a frying pan, heat oil over medium high heat enough vegetable to coat the pan. When the oil is hot fry the meat two pieces at a time until browned on both sides.

Steak is Cooking. Can You Smell It?

Drain on paper towel and place in a warmed oven.

With the meat all cooked, in a pan add the sausage/bacon drippings. Heat over medium heat and slowly add the flour. Gradually add the hot milk a bit at a time stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly. Add the sausage and bacon bits. Serve over the steak along with mashed potatoes and steamed peas.

Now Grab a Glass of Wine and Enjoy!

Serve Merlot with this recipe!

Read Full Post »

I wanted to share with you some of the little things I do in the kitchen that make a difference.

Perfect Pasta
Put water into your pot and add a couple of dashes of salt. Bring this to a boil. With the water boiling add your pasta. Set a timer for three minutes, and stir the pasta in the hot water until the buzzer rings. Turn off the heat, cover and set your timer for 10 minutes. Do not remove the cover during this time, just let it sit. When the timer goes off, drain your pasta and cover it with sauce, or use it in a recipe!

Cutting Onions
When you need to chop up an onion, put it in the freezer twenty minutes before using it. This causes the volatile oils to freeze. If you do this when you start working on your onions your eyes will not water.

Keep Your Celery Fresh
To keep your celery fresh, trim the end and add a bit of water to the storage bag. The celery will absorb the water and remain crispy.

Stale Chips or Crackers
Did you know that if you take your stale crackers and bake them in the oven for a few minutes at 350, you can change them from stale to fresh?

Need Softened Butter?
Put a stick of butter into your microwave oven on the defrost setting and run it for 8 seconds. Turn the butter over and repeat. Your butter will be soft enough to butter your toast without tearing it!

Keep Your Ice Cubes from Sticking Together
Whether you do this for your regular everyday ice cubes, or you are having a party, putting ice cubes in a brown paper back will keep them from sticking together!

Need Beans for a Soup?
When I make by famous navy bean soup I put two cups of small white beans into a pot then add water. I set the heat for medium high. When the water just starts to boil I turn the heat off and let them sit for one hour. Do not remove the cover during this time. Turning the heat off when the water just starts to boil prevents the skins on the beans from splitting.

Making Meatballs?
When making meatballs, if you wet your hands, the meat will not stick to your hands and you end up with a perfect meatball!

Keep Your Lettuce Fresh
If you wrap your lettuce in paper towel it will stay fresher longer!

How to Clean Your Blender
After using your blender, rinse the blender in hot water, and then fill it half way with hot water. Add soap, and then run the blender on the liquefy setting. The blades and inside get cleaned quickly and easily. Then wash down the outside with soap and water.

Hotel Shower Caps
I always grab these when we stay in a hotel as the unused shower cap can be used in the kitchen. They make great covers for bowls of food!

Onions and Potatoes
Do not store onions and potatoes together. The onions give off a chemical that causes potatoes to sprout.

Dried vs. Fresh Herbs
If you need to use fresh herbs and do not have them handy, use dried, and use ½ of what the recipe calls for. The flavor in the dried herbs is concentrated.

Remove Onion or Garlic Smells from Your Hands
Using a stainless steel utensil and water, if you rub the utensil between your hands under running water, the smell magically disappears from your hands!

I got this tip from a chef friend of mine. If I burn my finger, or hand in the kitchen, I run the burned area under the hottest water I can stand and then immerse the burned area in flour. The flour seals the pores open which leads to faster healing. Leave the flour on the affected area for at least an hour.

Have tips or tricks? Please feel free to share what you do in the kitchen!

Read Full Post »

I love lamb. My sister however had a stuffed lamb as a baby and cannot handle lamb. What is your favorite recipe? I am sitting in my house right now smelling the fragrance of lamb, thyme, rosemary and garlic.

Here is my Rack of Lamb recipe:

One Rack of Lamb
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp of Rosemary
2 tsp of Thyme
Salt and Pepper

Take the lamb out about two hours before serving your dinner. Let the lamb sit for a bit to warm up, then rub with minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the lamb in a glass baking dish on a rack. The fat side of the lamb should be facing up. Bake the lamb for about 40 minutes for rare in the middle and medium rare on the outer pieces. Take the lamb out of the oven and cover with foil and let it sit for five minutes.

Serve with steamed asparagus and jasmine rice.

Read Full Post »