Monthly Archives: June 2014

Parmesan Crusted Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon

I’m a big fan of seafood, as all Pacific Northwest girls are.  Growing up, we enjoyed freshly caught crab straight out of Puget Sound and steamed clams with drawn butter that we dug up ourselves and ate with very blistered hands!  With Washington being so close to Alaska, the freshest, most delicious fish are widely available, including my very favorite, salmon.  There are so many ways to prepare this amazing fish, but the best way is to keep it simple.  Adam simply adds salt and pepper before grilling the salmon on cedar planks, and then finishes it off with parmesan. Add some yummy sides and you’ve got a dish perfect for pairing with a crisp Pinot Grigio and a warm summer night!

Shopping List

This meal is as healthy as it is delicious!

This meal is as healthy as it is delicious!

  • 2-4 wild caught salmon steaks (we found an incredible wild caught Copper River salmon filet and cut it into steaks)
  • 2 cedar planks (submerged for at least 2 hrs. under water)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic (divided into two ramekins containing 2 cloves each)
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 Cups arborio rice
  • 3/4 Cups of dry white wine
  • 5 Cups chicken stock
  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups grated parmesan
  • 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Lb. fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/4 Cup – 1/2 Cup heavy cream (feel free to use half & half or whole milk)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 3-4 Cups pomodoro sauce heated, and then pulsed in food processor for approximately 5-10 seconds. (See our Chicken Parmesan recipe http://atoasttomirth.com/2014/05/27/chicken-parmesan/ for the ingredients for our pomodoro. This sauce was waiting for us in the freezer).

Preparation

(Serves 2-4)

  • Preheat oven to 355º F
  • Melt butter in a dutch oven on medium heat on the stove. Sauté shallot for 1-2 minutes. Add two cloves minced garlic, and sauté for another minute.
  • Add arborio rice, wine, salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 3-4 minutes. Add 4 cups of chicken stock. Cover the dutch oven, and place on the middle rack in the oven.
This salmon was just beautiful

This salmon was just beautiful

  • Salt and pepper the salmon steaks, and place salmon steaks on the pre-soaked cedar planks  leaving  enough space for air to circulate around each steak while on the grill.
  • Preheat the grill to approximately 400º.
  • Place cedar planks on grill and grill 10 minutes for every inch of thickness on the salmon steaks (measured from the thickest part of the steak). This will give a perfect medium.
  • Remove from grill, and place steaks on cookie sheet covered with foil, and liberally cover  each steak with approximately 1/2 Cup parmesan total.
Salmon steaks grillin' on their cedar planks

Salmon steaks grillin’ on their cedar planks

  • Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Sauté the remaining 2 minced garlic cloves for approximately 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the spinach, salt and pepper,  and sauté until wilted (approximately 5 minutes).
  • Add cream and incorporate into spinach. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, and remove from heat.
Popeye would go gaga over this treat!

Popeye would go gaga over this treat!

  • Remove arborio rice from oven, and add remaining cup of chicken stock, and parmesan.
Easy oven risotto

Easy oven risotto

  • Place salmon steaks in oven until parmesan is melted.
Parmesan crusted salmon steak

Parmesan crusted salmon steak

  • Plate the salmon steaks on top of the risotto. Add a generous portion of the pomodoro and spinach, and ENJOY!!

Finished Product!!

Restaurant quality at home!

Restaurant quality at home!

Summer Berry Salad

I LOVE berries.  So much so that I’ll wolf down a pint of blueberries, get the worst stomach ache ever, and go back for more an hour later.  So when my little brother, Sam, called me and said that he’d read somewhere that the average person can’t name eight kinds of berries, I rattled them off like I’d been preparing for that moment my entire life (if y’all are curious, my choices were blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, marionberry, boysenberry, loganberry and huckleberry).  So one day when I searched for a recipe for a berry salad, I came across a tasty-looking one by Ina Garten.  A few tweaks later, and here is a berry salad that is delicious, refreshing and perfect for summer!

 

 

Summer Berry Salad Shopping List

(Yields 4 servings)

  • 1 cup strawberries, halved
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 teaspoons good balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Preparation

  1. Place the berries in a large mixing bowl and gently mix in the balsamic vinegar and sugar.
  2. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
  3. Serve alone or, for a yummy dessert, top with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

Steak night is the perfect excuse for date night

We are new parents, and even though we try very hard to keep some semblance of our relationship as a couple, it can, admittedly, be a challenge. We find that the challenge becomes more accessible when we begin to think of the times in the kitchen together as our date night (after little Benny goes to bed, of course).

“We pour a glass, take a deep breath, and truly try to enjoy ourselves.” – Adam

Our steak night became an impromptu date night. We shared our large plate, and enjoyed sitting close and nomming on a delicious pan-seared filet, sautéed mushrooms in a red wine sauce, and a cheesy potato gratin that we think can solve most of the world’s problems. We hope that you can find 30 minutes out of your day to enjoy your favorite person…and some steak, wine and the works.

Cheesy Potato Gratin Shopping List

Developed from a recipe found at Williams-Sonoma

Gratin Ingredients

(Makes approximately 6-8 servings)

  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 1 shallot (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flower
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated gruyére cheese (we used a delightful smoked gruyére)
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 3 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut to 1-1/2 inch chunks.
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Cheesy Potato Gratin Preparation

Gratin 'bout ready for some grubbin'

Gratin ’bout ready for some grubbin’

  1. Preheat an oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a nonstick fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  3. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Slowly stir in the stock and cream. Add the Gruyère and thyme and stir until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the potatoes and stir to coat them well. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid and sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.
  8. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake, uncovered, until the top is golden brown and bubbling at the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Gratin ready for some grubbin’

 Steak and Red Wine Mushroom Sauce Shopping List

(Serves 2-4)

Steak and red wine mushroom reduction ingredients

Tip #1: Let the steak come to room temperature before cooking

Steak and red wine mushroom sauce ingredients

Steak and red wine mushroom sauce ingredients

  • 2-4 of your preferred cut steak (we splurged on filets this time!)
  • 10-12 button mushrooms brushed and quartered
  • 1 shallot finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine (We used the Bogle Merlot featured in our blog).
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 4 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste

Steak and Red Wine Mushroom Sauce Preparation

Tip #2: Use a kitchen timer, and flip on the following schedule for a perfect medium rare (4 minutes per side; 2 minutes per side; 1 minute per side)

Tip #2: Use a kitchen timer, and flip on the following schedule for a perfect medium rare (4 minutes per side; 2 minutes per side; 1 minute per side)

  1. Let steak come to room temperature (approximately 30-45 minutes). Season liberally with kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste.
  2. In a large fry pan heat the extra virgin olive oil and thyme sprigs on a medium-high heat until fragrant.
  3. Cook the steaks using the following flipping pattern for a perfect medium rare: 4 minutes per side; 2 minutes per side; 1 minute per side – Total cooking time should be 14 minutes for the steaks (4/4; 2/2; 1/1). Note: remove thyme sprigs during first 4/4 split.
  4. Set steaks aside on a plate. Cover with foil and let rest.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and saute diced shallot and garlic for approximately 2 minutes in the same fry pan.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the wine and stock. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Cook quartered mushrooms for approximately 5-10 minutes until you achieve your desired texture.
  8. Plate your steaks and mushroom sauce and ENJOY!
Tip #3: Let your steak rest at room temperature before you dig in.

Tip #3: Let your steak rest at room temperature before you dig in.

 Finished Product!

This meal was quick, easy, and delicious. The company was equally as delightful!

This meal was quick, easy, and delicious. The company was equally as delightful!

Bogle 2012 Merlot

This bargain merlot carries itself with the gravitas of a $20+ bottle. It's a standard in our bargain wine bin, and we think it should be in yours too!

This bargain merlot carries itself with the gravitas of a $20+ bottle. It’s a standard in our bargain wine bin, and we think it should be in yours too!




Mexican Happy Hour

Denver is a city of happy hours; on any given Sunday afternoon you’ll see restaurant patios filled with people enjoying drinks, appetizers and the beautiful Colorado sun!

Adam makes THE BEST frozen margaritas and guacamole, and we wanted to share these recipes with you so y’all can do some patio sitting and enjoy your own happy hour!

Perfect Frozen Margarita Shopping List

Marg Ingred-001

Limeade, limes, tequila, and orange liquor. Just add ice and blend!

(This will make one pitcher or approximately 3-4 margaritas)

  • One bottle of your favorite tequila (Adam typically recommends going with a gold tequila like Jose Cuervo (which are generally less expensive) for his frozen margaritas, but if you feel like splurging go for a good anejo).
  • One bottle of triple sec or your favorite orange liquor
  • One bottle of blue curaçao (optional)
  • One can frozen limeade concentrate
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • Ice
  • Kosher salt (optional)

Frozen Margarita Preparation

Blend baby, blend!

Blend baby, blend!

  1. Rim the glasses by running a lime wedge around the rim and placing the rim into the kosher salt .
  2. Place the frozen limeade concentrate into the blender.
  3. Place 4-6 parts tequila to 1 1/3 – 2 parts preferred orange liquor into the blender.
  4. Fill blender to just under top. Blend on high until the margaritas are fully blended (you shouldn’t be able to see any large chunks of ice).
  5. Fill to brim (or fill almost to the top and float a splash or two of the blue curaçao and enjoy!
Marg-009

A blue curaçao floater makes this margarita an instant party hit

 

 

Adam’s Famous Perfect Guacamole Shopping List

Guac Ingredients-001

(Serves 4-6 people comfortably)

  • 4 hass avocados
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • Lime
  • 1-2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Your favorite tortilla chip for dipping

Guacamole Preparation

Ready to be stirred and enjoyed!

Ready to be stirred and enjoyed!

  1. Cut the jalapeño in half. Seed and broil the jalapeño on a rack placed on the middle rack in the oven for approximately 6-8 minutes, turning once half way through (be careful, the jalapeño can become fragrant and burn your nose and eyes when you open the oven).
  2. While the jalapeño is broiling, cut the avocados in half. Remove pit. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl.
  3. Mince the garlic; add.
  4. Finely dice the shallot; add.
  5. Seed and dice the tomatoes; add.
  6. Pull the jalapeño from the oven. Wait for the jalapeño to cool and then dice; add to mixing bowl.
  7. Add cumin, sour cream, salt, pepper, lime, and extra virgin olive oil.
  8. Stir the ingredients together with a spoon until they are mixed to your desired consistency.
  9. Serve immediately with your favorite chips. If not serving immediate place avocado pits back in the guacamole, cover and refrigerate. (If guacamole has turned brown in places simply stir. The guacamole will hold in the refrigerator for approximately 2-3 hours).
Guac-009

Guacamole is like gravy…you can never have enough

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