Sunday, February 19, 2017

Three Delicious Dinners

It's been a rough week for cooking around here! I think being house bound is starting to mess with my head a little bit! Among last week's food failures: Kool-Aid-Nothing-Like-Gumdrops gumdrops, Oh-So-Dry-and-Bitter chocolate heart cookies, Momma-Forgot-to-Spray-the-Sheet-Pan oven fries, Not-Supposed-to-Be-Blackened chicken fingers and Little-Brown-Cubes-That-Used-to-Be home fries. I did manage to make three delicious dinners in between all of the culinary carnage. And a new week is beginning. Here's to hoping that the cooking gods decide to put down their middle fingers. :)

I'm crazy for roasted vegetables and the boys are crazy for salmon. This Cooking Light recipe is a match made in heaven for our family. I elected to roast the salmon separately from the squash and wash an extra dish rather than hope everything finishes at the same time. The sweet and salty marinade keeps the salmon moist while the hot oven crisps the edges of the Brussels sprouts and caramelizes the squash. Delish!

Roasted Salmon and Vegetables (adapted from Cooking Light) - GF, DF
Serves 4
Cooking spray
1 1/2 T. low-sodium soy sauce
3 T. olive oil, divided
1 T. honey
1 T. lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1/8 t. ground ginger
4 (5 oz.) salmon filets (I used Aqua Star salmon portions, thawed)
2 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed (look for pre-cut squash to save time)
12 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 t. paprika
1 t. sesame seeds
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 1 baking sheet and 1 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Place salmon in glass baking dish. Combine soy sauce, 1 T. olive oil, honey, lime juice, 1 garlic clove, and ginger and pour over salmon.
3. Put squash and Brussels sprouts on baking sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Toss to coat and spread out into a single layer. Bake about 25 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring halfway through.
4. Bake salmon for about 15 minutes or until cooked through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with vegetables.

Disclaimer: This recipe begins with an entire stick of butter! (It's so good though!) It actually came to mind mid-sip of the last of a bottle of white wine. As luck would have it, I had exactly 1/3 cup left in my glass! So, if you're in the mood to indulge (and you happen to have 1/3 cup of white wine) this is a fast and easy recipe that the whole family will love. And I can even get my 2 year old to eat the shrimp if I cut it up and call it "fish." :)

Shrimp Scampi (adapted from Southern Living's Our Best Easy Weeknight Favorites)
Serves 4
8 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked
1 stick unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 t. pepper
3/4 grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shrimp and cook 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until shrimp are cooked through. Add wine and pepper and bring to a boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and parsley. Pour over cooked pasta and toss gently.

My picky-eater husband doesn't like soup. I know! It kills me! I could eat soup for every single meal in the fall and winter! At any rate, I can get him to eat this Quiznos-esque recipe without too much protesting - especially if there's lots of sourdough bread for dipping. :)

Serves 4
1 T. + 1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
1/4 c. flour
2 c. half and half
2 c. unsalted chicken broth
1 cup shredded carrots
12 oz. frozen broccoli cuts
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1. Melt 1 T. butter in soup pot over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until golden. Remove from pot and set aside.
2. Melt 1/2 stick butter in now empty soup pot. Sprinkle with 1/4 c. flour and whisk constantly for 3 minutes. Slowly add half and half and chicken broth while whisking. Simmer 20 min.
3. Add cooked onion, carrots, and frozen broccoli to pot. Simmer 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
4. Pour soup into blender in batches and puree until just slightly chunky.
5. Return soup to pot and add nutmeg and cheese, stirring until well blended. Season with salt and pepper.

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