Chimichurri Sauce

With the nicer weather upon us I’m sure we will all be doing more grilling.  At least I know I will be.  This sauce is perfect.  Chimichurri can be used when cooking or as a condiment for meats.  That’s typically the way I use a chimichurri!

The flavors in the chimichurri really bring out the flavors in the meat!  The good thing about this sauce is that it can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.  So cook up lots of grilled meats and serve with this yummy sauce!

Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 C & 1T olive oil
2 bunches cilantro, stems removed
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems removed
3 garlic cloves
1 small red onion
2 limes, juiced
1 1/2 T red wine vinegar
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
Sprinkle: Red Pepper Flakes

Directions: Add all ingredients to a food processor.  Pulse several times until all is minced up.  Add more oil as needed. Once completed you can add to a mason jar or container and put in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Note: If you have a lime that seems a little to firm it may not produce a lot of juice.  You can place in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds which will help get as much juice as possible. Also, watch the amount of garlic. It can become overpowering in the sauce.  If this happens you can add a small, I mean small amount of sugar. Like no more than a half of teaspoon.  This will help mellow out the flavor of the garlic.

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Crispy Skin Pan Seared Alaskan Salmon

Funny story about salmon is I just started eating it probably 2 months ago. I got some from an organic meats monthly membership and ever since then I’ve made it probably 8 times. I’ve been buying it when it’s on sale and just vacuum sealing it to freeze it. It thaws really quickly so you can take it out in the morning and have a healthy protein to cook up after work. I never liked salmon at all. To me it was always so fishy tasting and SMELLING. I completely stayed away from it. I’m loving it now. Maybe it’s just that my taste has changed, maybe I realized how good it was for me, maybe the way I prepare it just takes away the fish flavor…..I don’t know what it is, but I’m SO happy I tried it. It’s a much meater fish and I think that’s why I enjoy it.

Here’s what I do to make my Alaskan salmon with the crispy skin. I’ve yet to make skinless salmon. I’m not really sure I ever will. I want those nutrients and the flavor of a crispy salmon skin, is delicious. Wow, I never thought in a million years I’d be saying that.

So, if you like salmon, this is probably a simple recipe for you. If you don’t like salmon or are on the fence about the flavor just TRY it. The simplicity of this recipe just makes the taste that much better. I know that doesn’t mike sense. Haha!! But just give it a try!

Crispy Skin Alaskan Salmon

Ingredients:
4- 5-6 oz Alaskan Salmon portions, skin on
1/2 T dried parsley
2 t salt
2 t pepper
2 t garlic powder
4 T salted butter, cut in slices
1 lemon, juiced
3 T olive oil

Directions: Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel on both sides. Especially the skin side. (Note: A wet skin will not get crispy) Season both sides of the salmon with parsley, garlic powder and salt and pepper. (Add more seasonings to taste) Once pan is hot enough, add in olive oil and let heat 1-2 minutes.

Add salmon to the hot pan skin side down. I like to give it a little push to make sure the skin fully makes contact with the pan. Complete with all pieces of salmon. The cooking time is always going to depend on the thickness of your salmon. You are looking for an internal temperature of 145. You want the inside of the salmon to look translucent and pink at the same time. Lower the heat to medium.

I cook mine for about 10-12 minutes on skin side and about 7-8 minutes on the other side. The side with the skin should be cooked a little longer to make sure it’s done. You can use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature.

After you flip the salmon and have skin side up and after cooking for about 7 minutes you will want to add the butter and the juice from the lemon right into the pan. Make sure to not flip the salmon again or you’ll lose that crispy skin. Move the butter and lemon juice around to make sure it’s evenly coated on the bottom of the pan. Cook another 3-4 minutes. I like to brown the butter personally it give is a nice flavor. Watch to not burn it.

Once salmon is done, move to plates and drizzle a little lemon juice and any butter left from the pan over the salmon. Make sure it’s the side with no skin. Serve and enjoy! Let me know how you like this recipe!

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Polenta Bites with Pulled Pork & Ricotta

I’m always looking to try new food creations and that’s exactly how this came to be.  Yes, it’s another pulled pork recipe.  Who doesn’t like pulled pork?  This can very easily be made with bbq chicken as well.

While I was in culinary school we made polenta often.  I will tell you right now, I haven’t made it in years.  I cheated in this recipe and actually bought an organic polenta I found in a roll at the store.  When I was shopping and came across it, I just had to buy it and give it a try.  Hey, it is organic.  I’m sure it’s not the greatest since it’s in a roll, duh! However, sometimes you just need to give something a try.  It worked out perfectly for what I was wanting to use it for.

This recipe is pretty simple and would be PERFECT for a small dinner party.  I’m not adding my pulled pork recipe but if you need it, check it out in my previous blogs.  This is simply going to be giving directions on how to crisp up this rolled polenta  and assembling.  The flavors in this recipe are amazing. From the creamy ricotta to the heat from the pulled pork and the jalapeño this is one delicious bite of food.

Polenta Bites with Pulled Pork & Ricotta

Ingredients:
Polenta roll, sliced 1/2 inch slices
4 T butter
1 T Olive Oil
3/4 cup ricotta
2 jalapeños, sliced
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cups cooked pulled pork

Directions:  Heat a medium sauté pan over high heat. Add in half the butter and olive oil and heat 2 minutes.  Add in sliced polenta and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.  Next add in the remainder of the butter and oil and flip the polenta and cook for another 4-5 minutes.  You can cook longer to your preferred the polenta cake crispier.  Remove the polenta cake and place on paper towel.

To Assemble:  Add a spoonful of ricotta over the polenta, then top with a spoonful of pulled pork next add the sliced jalapeño and diced onions.  You can add more bbq sauce to the pork if you like it saucier.  Sever and enjoy immediately.

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Oreo Rice Krispie Treats

Happy Monday everyone!  I spent a few days last week taking care of my niece and nephew.  We had a great time.  We drew, we played games, we hung out and we cooked.

We made Oreo Rice Krispie treats, I made some enchiladas and tacos. We had a Mexican dinner on Friday night and we made bacon squares with bagels for breakfast.  It’s really fun to cook with the kids in the kitchen.

Below are some photos from that time and and the recipe for the Oreo Rice Krispies.  Enchilada recipe coming soon.  I will be back to regular posts soon.

Oreo Rice Krispie Treats

Ingredients:
3T- butter
5 -cups mini marshmallows
6 -cups rice cereal
8 -Oreo cookies

Directions: Add cookies to a large zip lock bag and smash with a spoon till crumbled. Melt butter either in a large microwavable bowl in microwave or in a large sauce pan.  Once butter is melted stir in the marshmallows until melted. If your doing in the microwave heat another 1-2 minutes, stirring half way through. Marshmallows should be completely melted! Add in cereal and Oreos. Press into a greased 13×9 pan. Let cool then cut into desired sizes.

Note: Add more or less Oreo cookies to your liking. Use an aluminum disposable pan for easy clean up.

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Bacon Wrapped Dijon Pork Tenderloin

You have to make this awesome bacon wrapped Dijon pork tenderloin.  I like to experiment a lot with pork tenderloin.  They are so easy to make and you can do so many different things.  You can stuff it, wrap it, grill it, roast it and the list goes on and on.

I decided to wrap it with bacon for this recipe.  Bacon is one of the best foods around if you ask me.  I know it’s not healthy but it is delicious.  Everything in moderation right?  Give this dish a try.  It’s delicious.  I can’t wait to make again.  Also, if you’d rather omit the bacon, feel free just add the glaze on the pork and bake in the oven, no need to brown in the sauté pan. It still comes out with an amazing flavor.

Bacon Wrapped Dijon Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:
1 pork tenderloin, 1-3lbs
8-10 bacon slices (good quality)

Glaze:
2 ½ T light brown sugar
2 T Dijon mustard
½ T soy sauce, low sodium
½ T olive oil
2 t onion powder
2 t garlic powder
2 t paprika
2 t chili powder
Sprinkle: salt and pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°.  In a bowl whisk together all ingredients for the glaze.  Set aside.  Open tenderloin and pat dry with paper towel.  Lay out bacon on large surface close together.  Add the tenderloin on top of bacon over to one side.  Brush the glaze all over the pork.  Tightly roll the tenderloin making sure the bacon is staying in place.  Feel free to use toothpicks to keep the bacon on the pork.

Heat a large sauté pan on high heat.  Once the pan is hot, brown the pork tenderloin on all sides 4-5 minutes.  This will help cook the bacon slightly prior to putting in the oven.  Add the meat to a baking dish and cook in the oven 35-45 minutes depending on the size of the pork tenderloin.  Cook till internal temperature is 160°-165°.  Remove from the oven and tent with foil and let rest 7-10 minutes.

Carefully cut the pork and serve with your favorite sides.  Then enjoy!!

 

 

White Chicken Chili

The weather has turned colder the last few weeks and I’m loving it.  I love the fall weather.  This is a perfect time of year for chili.  I’m not a huge fan of chili.  I just never liked all the beans and it never really appealed to me.  Several years back my sister in law made chili and I actually really enjoyed it.  She used smaller beans and since then I’ve only used those beans.

Over the years I’ve grown to really enjoy it and I’ve started to change up the recipe and just try different flavors.  That’s where this Chicken Chili came from.  I love chicken and I really enjoy this chili.

This is perfect for a lazy Sunday of football or relaxing.  Give it a try!

White Chicken Chili

Ingridents:
4 T butter
3 T flour
1 T oil
4 cups chicken broth, no salt
2 15.5 oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed (any kind)
4 ½ cups cooked chicken, chopped (rotisserie or any kind, I used boneless skinless chicken thighs)
1 cup frozen white corn
1 cup half and half
1 cup shredded cheese (I used Colby Jack)
2 jalapeños, seeds removed and diced
1 large onion, diced
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
2 t paprika
2 t chili powder
2 t salt
2 t pepper

Directions:  Heat a medium pot on high heat. Add in olive oil.  Add in the jalapeños and onion and let cook down, about 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add in butter and flour and mix to create a roux.  Let cook 4 minutes.  Add in chicken broth and mix well.  Cook another 2-3 minutes.  Add in frozen corn, white beans and chicken and mix well.  Season with the spices.  Let simmer on medium low heat 20 minutes stirring once.  Once the time is up, slowly mix in shredded cheese and half and half.  Let simmer on low another 10 minutes, stirring once.  Seasoning with the salt and pepper to taste and serve.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese. Enjoy!

Notes:  This is a very quick chili.  You can use any chicken you’d like.  I simply made chicken thighs in the crockpot and then added to the chili.  Feel free to change up the vegetables inside. Add some other bell peppers or even some celery.  This freezes well.  You can freeze with the cream and cheese in the chili or you can remove some of the chili to freeze prior to adding the cheese and cream.  Would even be good with a splash of hot sauce. I just needed it to not be spicy.

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