Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer cooking

Honey-Teriyaki Salmon

I found this delicious dish on the web at Eat, Live Run while surfing for enticing looking recipes for summer. This dish can be cooked on the grill or seared in the frying pan. I think it would make a great light summer meal served with a fresh green salad and a rice of your choice. Yum

1 lb fresh salmon fillet
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
3 tbsp sake
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp cooking oil
Combine the soy sauce, mirin, honey, and sake in a resealable plastic bag. Add the salmon and mix well to coat. Place in the fridge to let marinate for 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
After salmon has marinated, remove from fridge and bag, reserving the marinade. Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the salmon and sear for about 2 minutes per side. Turn the heat to low and add the remaining marinade. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes, until cooked through.

* If grilling, marinade the salmon, grill it and pour hot, reduced marinade over just before serving.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kitchen upgrade

Well, I finally did it. It was a harrowing experience...five days of mud, grout, and wet paint., not to mention no access to the stove, the refrigerator, the freezer, and the laundry room. But it was worth it. My dingy yellow kitchen is now a creamy beige color with a kickass wall of rusty red. 

My favorite contractor and friend, Richard, had his crew install a beautiful terrazzo tile floor in addition to painting the walls and repairing the ceiling. He will help with the installation of a new stove and sink next week. I am ecstatic with the results. Have included a picture of it below.

You probably have noticed there are no chairs around the table. That's because it's a baker's table and we use it for food prep, etc at the bed and breakfast. If I have people over to dinner, we eat in the dining room.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spinach and Cheese Strata

I found this savory bread surfing around the internet for food sites. It was posted in 2010 on Annies Eats.  I thought I’d try it at my bed and breakfast next time I had a large crowd. Not only does it look scrumptious, but it seems pretty easy and can prepped the night before, which is great if you have a large crowd.

“It is incredibly convenient in that all the prep work is done the night before, and in the morning all you have to do is bake and serve.  I thought the overall flavors of the dish were great, but there are a couple of changes I will make next time.  First, I will double the amount of spinach.  If an ingredient makes it into the title of a recipe, you should get more than the occasional bite of it.  Plus, spinach is tastes good, and is good for us.  Also, I will omit the mustard called for in the original recipe.  I found it unnecessary, and it seemed to overpower a lot of the other flavors.  I’ve included these changes in the version below.  Enjoy! (Annie)”

 Yield: about 6-8 servings

3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1½ cups onion, finely chopped
2 (10 oz.) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 tsp. salt, divided
½ tsp. pepper, divided
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 oz. coarsely grated Gruyere (about 2 cups)
2 oz. finely grated Parmesan (about 2/3 cup)
9 large eggs
2¾ cup milk

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions to the pan and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add ½ teaspoon of the salt, ¼ teaspoon of the pepper, and the nutmeg, and continue to cook for 1 minute more.  Stir in the spinach, remove from the heat and set aside.
Butter the inside of a 2½-3 quart baking dish.  Layer the bottom of the dish with one third of the bread cubes.  Top with one third of the spinach mixture and one third of each of the cheeses.  Repeat these layers twice more with the bread, spinach and cheese.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, the remaining ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper.  Whisk together until blended.  Pour the mixture evenly over the bread and spinach layered in the baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours or up to 1 day.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Bake uncovered until puffed, golden brown and cooked through, 45-55 minutes.  Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

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