Herb-Smoked Salmon

Mon, Jun 30 • 0

I made this one up as I went along, though, now that I think about it, Jamie Oliver probably did something similar on his new series.

I used a prepared spice rub, but you could use your favorite spice mix. I used fresh savory fronds, but fresh rosemary, fennel fronds, or tarragon would probably work well, too.

1 lb salmon fillet
1 t salmon rub
1 bunch summer savory
salt to taste

Heat up a cast iron pan, big enough to hold the filet, and that you can cover with a lid, over high heat. Spray the bottom of the pan with some canola spray. Put in the fresh herbs, and when they start to sizzle, the pan is hot enough. Put the filet on the herbs, skin side up, and cover with the lid. Cook this way for 5 minutes. Lower heat, and remove the filet. Take out the herbs, some of which are probably pretty crisp and smoky by this point. Return the fish to the hot pan, skin side down, and cook to the desired doneness — until the fish just starts flaking.

Onion Topping Better Than Green Beans

Fri, Jun 27 • 0

My wife exclaimed that while the green beans are “good,” the onions are “fab! Just like onion rings!”

I tossed together some green bean casserole last night for dinner. Just some frozen haricot verts, parboiled for 5 minutes, and some pre-made alfredo cheese sauce. I was thinking about topping the whole thing with Parmesan and panko bread crumbs, but then I remembered Alton Brown’s recipe for green bean casserole, where he eschewed all premade badness (the canned crispy onions and the cream of mushroom soup) in favor of homemade. He topped them with fresh made onion crisps. As leftovers, my wife exclaims that while the green beans are “good,” the onions are “fab! Just like onion rings!” So I guess I’ll be making them more often. The recipe isn’t that hard, though it’s a little heat intensive for a hot summer day.

1 or 2 onions, sliced thin
2 T AP flour
2 T panko bread crumbs
Salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 475°. Slice the onions as thin as possible. (I use a slicing gizmo.) Separate into rings, and put in a large bowl. Add flour and bread crumbs and salt. Toss so that all the rings are relatively well coated. Spread on a sheet pan sprayed with cooking spray, and cook in the middle of the hot oven for 30 minutes, tossing every 10.

Pecan Crusted Turkey Cutlets

Thu, Jun 26 • 0

A low-fat, inexpensive alternative to breaded chicken cutlets.

I was originally going to make this with chicken breast cutlets, but the turkey cutlets were half the price in my grocery store, so I went with them instead. The recipe is relatively low fat. If you’d rather not waste the egg yolks and don’t mind the extra cholesterol, substitute the 3 egg whites for another whole egg, but the extra egg whites seem to make the coating stick better after cooking.

¾ c pecans
1 egg
3 egg whites
¼ c flour
4 turkey cutlets
salt and pepper to taste

Take ½ c of the pecans and pulse in a food processor to make a coarse chop. Set aside on a plate. Take the rest of the pecans, plus the flour, salt and pepper, and process until a fine powder, and set aside on another plate. Put the eggs in a bowl and mix.

First, dredge each cutlet in the fine pecan and flour mixture. Then, dip into the eggs. Then dip into the coarse pecans. Let the cutlets set a bit.

In a frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil, and then slip the coated cutlets in, and fry until golden brown, about 3 or 4 minutes a side. Remove to a paper towel to wick off excess oil.

The Night My Chicken Dinner Danced

Fri, Jun 20 • 0

A chicken dance of another sort.

I’ve been having a bunch of fun with the Spore Creature Creator this past week. It’s a game that lets you create all sorts of weird creatures — like an electronic Mr. Potato-head. And since I’ve been doing that instead of posting updates to this site, I thought I’d try and remedy that. So, even though it’s only vaguely food related… here’s a video I created using it, and that I uploaded to Youtube.


Mon, Jun 16 • 0

Ted Sears has won the Cooking Monster Pie Eating Contest. His comment won him a free Cooking Monster Tote Bag! Ted says, “not very picky. like strawberry rubarb, partial also to blueberry, a good one anyway. but really, in general, i like to eat and never turn down a piece of pie, or two or three.”

Thanks again to all that took the time to participate. Look for more Cooking Monster contests in the weeks to come!

White Bean Mash

Sat, Jun 14 • 0

An easy dinner side dish comes together in less than 10 minutes.

1 large clove of garlic, chopped
1 can cannellini
(white kidney) beans, drained

In a sauce pan, heat up some oil, and lightly fry the chopped garlic. Add the beans, and let them heat up. Then, with the back of a wooden spoon, mash the beans to form a paste. Season with some salt and pepper.

Zucchini with Scallions and Mint

Sat, Jun 14 • 0

A tasty recipe to use up all the squash for your garden.

I saw this on Lidia Bastianich’s cooking program on PBS. It’s surprisingly delicious. (You should know, though, that boiling vinegar will leave a lingering, though not completely unpleasant odor.)

½ c white wine vinegar
3 medium green zucchini, sliced
6 scallions, cut into 1″ pieces
fresh mint leaves, chopped

In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil, and reduce by half. In large frying pan, sauté the scallions in a little hot oil. Add the zucchini, and allow it to brown on both sides. Add the reduced vinegar and toss to coat each slice. Remove from heat, and add chopped mint leaves. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

DC Area Best Restaurants, 2008

Mon, Jun 9 • 0

An important resource for locals and DC tourists alike.

Reminiscent of my own Google Maps project, someone took the time to enter all 100 of the best restaurants in the greater DC area, as listed by Washingtonian Magazine, into Google Maps.

In Season Now : Fava Beans

Thu, Jun 5 • 0

Also known as the broad bean, the horse bean, or the field bean, favas need a little more work than other varieties.


After you’ve peeled the outer covering, which have a weird, spongy interior, you have to parboil the beans, and remove their waxy skin covering, to reveal a deep, dark, and satisfyingly meaty green bean.

I used them in a spring vegetable fried rice for dinner tonight, using a bit of sauteed bacon, leftover pork loin, parboiled english peas, and parboiled asparagus, and 2 beaten eggs, all with some brown rice.

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