Sunday, January 10, 2010

Food I Made, or Am Making, This Weekend

It's been a weekend of good eats! (with the exception of greasy brewpub popcorn that served as dinner on Friday night):

French Onion Soup. I like this recipe not only because it tastes great, but also because doing the onions in the oven keeps hands-on time to a minimum. I took a cue from one of the commenters on this recipe and caramelized the onions in the crockpot -- about 10 hours on high (!), and they were getting to a nice shade of brown, which I finished off with a little bit of time in more heat in the oven and on the stovetop. The only downside of doing the onions this way was that I woke up multiple times Friday night to the extremely strong smell of cooking onions. It's not a bad smell, just not a "sweet dreams" smell ... cook yer onions in the crockpot during the day :)

Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Spread. No link for this -- I made it up. Was trying to think of an appetizer for a Saturday night dinner party and decided to make some extra caramelized onions with the FO soup batch, then I pulled them out, chopped 'em up and mixed them with some fresh goat cheese and a couple of toasted almond slices. We warmed it up slightly (just enough to be easily spreadable) and served it with flatbread. Delicious!

Pioneer Woman/Pamela Anderson's Caesar Salad. This recipe caught my eye a while ago, partly for the aesthetics of serving it with whole romaine leaves (it's pretty dramatic to just put two whole leaves on a salad plate), and also because of the citrus tang. The croutons were good, but I added some garlic salt to them as I didn't think they had enough garlic flavor. I also mixed the olive oil and parmesan cheese into the rest of the dressing since it was really strong on lemon as a stand-alone. I don't know if I'd make this recipe a lot, but it was good, so I'll definitely make it again.

Roasted squash. This was pretty but didn't have quite the flavor that I was hoping for. Last weekend I roasted some zucchini and yellow squash and had drizzled butter over them, with a bit of a red pepper/oregano seasoning mix. Both HH and I preferred the butter version, even though it's obviously not as healthy as an olive oil version.

Roasted Asparagus. This is a great, simple favorite for us. Just arrange asparagus spears on parchment paper, brush them with olive oil, grind some sea salt and dried garlic over them, sprinkle a small amount of parmesan - or other (I used grated Jarlsburg) cheese, and then bake until the cheese is melted and the asparagus is cooked.

Frosted Halibut. I don't know what the real name of this is, but it's one of my mom's favorite halibut recipes and it was the first time I'd done it on my own. Basically, you just mix light mayonnaise with dijon mustard (maybe a tablespoon of mustard per cup of mayo), then spread a thick layer over a halibut steak, sprinkle some parmesan cheese on it and bake until the halibut is done (it should flake easily). Five minutes before it's done, sprinkle slivered almonds over it. Because of the mayo, this recipe is very forgiving -- you could overcook the fish and it would still be moist and delicious. Everybody I know who's tried this has loved it even people (cough, cough, HH) who don't like mayo OR mustard!

Magic Quinoa. Growing as one of our favorites -- I don't even need to look up the recipe anymore!

Moscow Hot Chocolate. Have you tried it yet? Because you should.

Mini Asian Crab Cakes. A recipe I came across earlier this week and happened to have an occasion tonight to try them (Happy Birthday to my mother-in-law! Thanks for letting us celebrate with you!). Except I think I'm going to use our leftover halibut (with the sauce scraped off) instead of crab. So they're not really crab-cakes at all. I think the flavors should be just as good...I hope.

Just one more, no wait, two...

Colorado Cache Shrimp. Actually, I'm not sure where this recipe comes from, but I think it's one of the "Colorado" cookbooks (there's Colorado Cache, Colore, Collage, Creme ... and they're all great). My mom does this a lot so, again, there's no recipe. Combine equal parts olive oil, sherry and soy sauce, along with a generous portion of minced garlic. Marinade raw, peeled shrimp for 30 min-1 hour (it doesn't take long to marinade shrimp). Then grill (I supposed you could also fry them) for just a couple of minutes (don't do it for too long; shrimp get tough quickly). I'm planning to serve them over an Asian spinach salad tonight. (ooh, I just realized I'd already blogged this recipe last summer as "melt in your mouth shrimp." They really do!)

Salted Chocolate Vanilla Bean Cookies. All I'll say is, "these are good." You should try them. And then share them with me.

Happy cooking, and thanks everybody who's given me feedback that my food blogs inspire you. It's so fun to share something that's fun for me!

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