Roasted Salmon Review – Hello Fresh

Review: Roasted Salmon with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

and Green Beans – Hello Fresh

bbd salmon 1

 


The Link:  ROASTED SALMON WITH BURST CHERRY TOMATOES AND GREEN BEANS – HELLO FRESH

Time:  35 Minutes

Ease:  Moderate

Review:  I found this recipe through Hello Fresh, one of the popular subscription meal box services available online.  I have not subscribed to the service, but I like the recipe options they have available.  They seem to be pretty healthy and fresh.

The flavors of this dish were great and overall it was pretty easy to make.  The biggest issue to watch is that there are several steps and it can be a little challenging to feel that everything is running efficiently.  If you subscribe to the service each ingredient is exactly what you need which would help with organization in the kitchen.

Here are few tips:

  1.  Olive is is a great choice for any dish, it is a monounsaturated fatty acid and can lower LDL and have an impact on blood pressure.  It is also anti-inflammatory and can help keep the lining of the arteries smooth.  Watch your temperature as you cook, cooking beyond the smoke point can cause the oil to lose its health benefits and may produce chemicals that could be harmful.  The higher the quality of olive oil the higher the smoke point.
  2. This recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon of butter and new science has found that saturated fat isn’t as bad as we thought, but if you are worried about it, you can replace it with olive oil or lower the amount and mix with olive oil.
  3. When you pull the Salmon out of the oven you may see white goo on the top.  No worries, it is albumin, which is protein that comes to the surface from the muscle fibers.  It is harmless coagulated protein and even the most perfectly cooked fish is prone to it.  Try not to over cook as this will make it worse.  To learn more visit America’s Test Kitchen.
  4. Watch the potatoes.  I had small potatoes, but needed more that 15 minutes for them to become tender.
  5. My biggest struggle with this recipe was the size of my pot.  I used a large pot to blanch the green beans and boil the potatoes then tried to use the same pot to cook the tomatoes and crisp the green beans in.  There was not enough room in my pot to spread things out enough and I suggest using 1 pot and 1 large bottomed pan.
  6. Watching your carbs or fat?  This dish may scare you both away, coming in at 41 grams carbs and 34 grams fats, but keep in mind these are “right” or “good” carbs and fats.  Meaning they are complex carbohydrates and more Omega 3, healthy fats than other fats.  Studies also show that when you combine carbs with fat and protein it slows down the process of converting the carbs into sugars. Plus there is a whopping 41 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber! So enjoy this nice heart, brain, colon, inflammation friendly meal!

bbd salmon2

Roasted Green Pozole with Chicken & Grilled Mexican Corn – Date Night In

date night in

I just got a new cook book!  Date Night In by Ashley Rodriguez, creator of http://notwithoutsalt.com/ .  It is a lovely book about nourishing your relationship through making a special date night in.  I have only tried 2 recipes, and 1 drink recipe, so far and will let you know how the others go, but these two were great.

The book is broken down into Spring, Fall, Summer, and Winter and each section contains subcatagories of menus with a variety of cocktails, salads, soups, main dishes, and desserts as well as introductions and stories.  This would make a great cover to cover read as well as a pick and choose book.

This book doesn’t have to be just for dates, though that is the purpose of the book.  It can be about making dinner a time of connection.  When my 23 year old saw the book she asked “Is this just for dates, or are you going to spread the love?”.  Yes, I’m going to spread the love!

Below are the three recipes we have tried so far:

Roasted Green Pozole with Chicken

pozole

 

Time: 1 1/2 hours

Ease: Simple – Moderate – the moderate side is simply because of some ingredients which may seem unfamiliar to some, but don’t be intimidated, just jump in and enjoy!

Review:  We all thought this was a good dish.  It is listed in the summer section, but would make meal a nice chilly fall night as well.  We used a jalapeno from our garden and this year they were a little hot, but you can adjust the heat by choosing your peppers based on heat.  This dish does take a little while to prepare and does not fall into a quick meal catagory, but it can be made ahead and reheated and the author said the flavor improves after a rest in the fridge.  Ours, didn’t make it for us to know- Gone!

Notes:  If you are not familiar with tomatillos ask your grocer for help.  They can be mildewed and too soft if you are not careful.

Pepitas are pumpkin seeds which are edible and yummy!  You can find them in the Hispanic section of your grocery and in the nuts section at places like Fresh Market.  They are good as a snack and in salads too!

Personally, I got lost in the directions of the recipe a few times, though it was well written and I’m not really sure.  I finally stopped and numbered my steps to help me.

 

 

Grilled Mexican Corn with Cotija and Lime

corn

 

Time: 15-20 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: This corn is fantastic! I have to admit I was skeptical, but the lime zest really jazzes it up!  I think you will find it to be a fun way to serve corn and wow your guests at the same time!  One response I got was DAAaaaAAA%%$%!  This is a good thing!

 

Cherry Lime Soda

cherry limeade

Time: 10 Minutes plus chilling time

Ease: Simple

Review:  The Cherry Lime Soda was given as a non-alcoholic drink with the suggestion of vodka, gin, or tequila to make it “adult”.   My husband made this while I prepared dinner and we just had a lot of fun in the kitchen!  It was easy and no Beetle Bailey swearing (#^@^&#).  My husband is prone to made up swear words with no real word in it, they sound like the top line of your key board-a.k.a Beetle Bailey!

Notes: Watch the level of lime juice it can overpower the drink, a little taste testing is recommended.

We used tequila, but meh,  we will make it again, but use vodka.

 

All in all I really like this book so far and I love the concept, as my readers know I’m all about bringing people together at the dinner table and this book does that.  It’s goal is for dates and connection, but it easily translates to larger groups.  I’m sure you will see more reviews of these recipes in the future!
Enjoy!

All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach – a Burbachulous Photo.  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.

Well, Goodbye may be a bit Strong!

Ok, so maybe not Goodbye!  I’ve had a lot of traffic to Bringing Back Dinner since saying goodbye and a few requests, so how about a new post?  I will try to post each week, but will feature one main recipe review.

We are trying to eat a little healthier around here and trying new things.  I think you will be surprised at the flavors of the great salad I have for you this week.  Even the guys will like it!

Steak, Pear, and Watercress Salad – Cooking Light

Steak Pear and watercress salad

Time: About 30 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  This was a pretty quick and easy meal to make and a great blend of flavors.  I had to make a few changes though.  Sometimes watercress is difficult to find here in Greensboro, NC and I had to switch it out for lettuce, but watercress has a nice peppery flavor which lends itself well to this salad, so use it if you can find it.  We also had trouble finding the right cut of meat and in the end used a London Broil. lastly, you may switch the Blue Cheese for Feta (we did).  Serve with a nice crusty bread and olive oil.  This dish could be a nice dinner on the deck or a date night dinner and goes from beer to wine very well!  Versatile!

Asparagus

asparagus

Not a fan of asparagus?  Try buying the small bundles of thinner stalks and roasting them.  They are easy to make that way and quite yummy!  Roll in olive oil and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit about 10 minutes.  Make sure they are still a bit firm.

Next week I’ll tell you about an aaaammmaazing Roasted Carrots with Carrot Tip Gremolata recipe with mild curry! mm, mmm, mmm!

I’d love your feedback.  Have you tried anything from Bringing Back Dinner?  What did you think?  Have a recipe you’d like us to test?  If so send us the link at burbachulous@gmail.com and we may check it out.

Enjoy!

I Love it When you get Fresh!

Dinner doesn’t have to be a chore and you don’t have to pull out the boxed mixes and packets to pull it off in time.  I promise, after a while you will embrace fresh, fresh, fresh!  It really doesn’t take much more time, if any, to use fresh ingredients.  The real issue is in our heads-it’s mental.  It seems like it is too hard, too time consuming, too involved etc., but the truth is that with a little practice you will be making fresh meals in minutes for your family and friends and they will love you for it.   Don’t feel like it has to be all or nothing here either; baby steps and start where you are.

Keep it fresh and alive at the table too.  Talk to each other, engage with your family and guests and get to really know each other.  Build trust at the table and remember to make it a safe place.  Here are some ice breakers: Get to Know you Cards, Dinner Conversation Starters, Highs and Lows: ask each other what the best part of the day was and what the worse part was and then talk about it.  Some of you are probably rolling your eyes right now, I admit a part of me does, but try it.  Be creative.  Dinner is not about getting food in their bellies, it is about savoring the moments both with your food and your relationships.  Enjoy!

TIP: Try setting up a Mise en Place to help you with time.  Don’t worry about dirtying more dishes; it cleans up quickly.

  • The Meals:

black bean quesadillasBlack Bean Quesadilla: Eating Well Magazine

Time: 15 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: This is a quick and easy meal.  I pull this out when I’m rushed for time and I’m still able to give my family a fresh meal.  It is a family favorite.

Tip: Use low sodium canned beans and rinse well and use pepper jack cheese for flavor.

baked RavioliBaked Ravioli: Marthastewart.com

Time: 35-1 Hour; This dish could be a quickie if you use prepared spaghetti sauce instead of making the sauce.  There are many spaghetti sauces on the market that still keep this as a “fresh” dish.  Try organic, low sodium and look for the shortest ingredient list.

Ease: Simple

Review:  I found this recipe to be a nice and easy meal, but did not find the sauce to be especially flavorful and added hot pepper flakes, red wine, and a few more Italian spices to make it a little more full in flavor.  Next time I will probably use prepared spaghetti sauce, which will also cut the time in half.  Play around with this one and see what you get.

lentil soupLentil Soup: The Foodnetwork.com  Chef: Alton Brown

Time: 50 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: A nice hearty soup! Adjust the puree to your personal tastes, we like it in the middle.  This recipe calls from ground grains of paradise.  They can be found in places like Savory Spice or specialty markets.  It is a peppery spice with sort of woodsy flavor.  Very nice.  If you can’t find it just use pepper.

meatonioncomboMeatloaf with Cheddar, Bacon, and Tomato Relish: Wichcraft cookbook    Chef: Tom Colicchio and Sisha Ortuzar(I’m still researching copyright usage of recipes from cookbooks.  Until I’m sure I’ll try to find a link for you, I linked to a blog called crepesofwrath.net.  A fun blog.)

Time: 30 minutes to 2 hours; The time difference depends upon whether you use leftover meatloaf or make it for this purpose.

Ease: Moderate

Review: Wow and yum!! If you don’t like meatloaf this may win you over.  It didn’t win over one of my eaters who didn’t care for the texture, but as for everyone else, people who still had room ate two!  You can try the meatloaf recipe (which is geat) or make your favorite recipe. 

I cut the bacon amounts in half and crumbled the bacon, just to try to make some attempt at cutting the fat. It still gave it a great flavor.  Don’t be scared by the tomato relish, it is simple to make and can be made while the meatloaf is cooking or even a few days ahead of time, but it truly makes the sandwich. This is a great recipe and now a family favorite. Try it, you can do it! Once you make the tomato relish you’ll be excited to try more.

Meal Five:   We had a pretty busy week this week and didn’t get to five meals, but I suggest that for a fifth meal make meatloaf earlier in the week, try making two at one time and serving one as a meal in itself and the other one for your sandwiches.  A great and easy side dish is roasted vegetables! I like to use chunks of squash, zucchini, onion, mushrooms, and bell peppers.  Toss in olive oil and salt and pepper and bake at 425 degrees for about a half an hour or until just tender, but not too soft.

Enjoy! Be creative, have fun, and set the table!

Photos may be used, but please link back to this blog and credit Lisa Burbach, recipes are links to existing recipes and I have no ownership of recipes other than the ones of Have created.  Thank you.

It isn’t Always Perfect, but it Makes it Memorable

For all of my perfectionist friends out there, a word of advice: Relax, it doesn’t always have to be perfect!  No, really! But, I do understand.  I like it perfect too.  Years of cooking with friends and family have taught me that the community built in the kitchen that spills over to the table is what it’s all about.  If the dish isn’t “just so”, or the fork is the wrong side- um, ok well, actually I do switch them…. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that it’s OK.  Life isn’t ruined because the dish looked ugly, was burned or the dog ate it, it is just something to laugh about later.  Julia Child is a great example of this, she could drop a chicken or an egg and just laugh and keep on going, you can too.  You may be surprised by the results and you will love what is made through it- Relationships!

What I want to give you in this blog is not just recipes and ideas for dinner, but the joy of dinner; not just dinner, but of every meal.  I want you learn about each other, laugh, cry, talk, share, build, and grow together. I want you to grow memories.  I want people to talk about the joy of sitting at your table.  You can do this whether you’re using a cardboard moving box for a dinning room table or you have a huge formal table in a massive dinning room.  It is about the atmosphere that is set and the comradery.  Be creative, have fun, and set the table.

The Process:  Each week I sit down with a nice cup of coffee and pour over magazines, cookbooks, and the internet and find 5 meals I’d like to make that week.  I base these meals on items that I have in my pantry and fridge so that I can be the most economical in my shopping.  I make 5 because life is busy and I may be away from home a night or we may eat leftovers.  Adapt it to fit your lifestyle.  Then from these meals I make my grocery list and try to stick to it.  I find the list helps me be frugal.  This process takes about a half an hour to an hour.

The Meals:

Spinach Gnocchi

Spinach Gnocchi with Shaved Ricotta Salata:  Food and Wine Magazine, Chef Marc Vetri

Time: 1 Hour

Ease: Intermediate Skill

Results: This was a nice dish, but a little intimidating. The recipe says “to form a soft dough”, but I would have liked a little more description.  My dough was probably a little too wet, and my end result was not like their picture, but it cooked well with a nice texture.

You may not be able to find Grana Padana and may use Parmigiano Reggiano instead.

I found the Ricotta Salata at the grocery in the specialty cheese area. It is a pressed, aged, salted and dried version of Ricotta.  My cheese loving husband liked this very much.  Remember, you are trying new things.  Embrace it!  This is nice with a salad and a fairly acidic dressing as a balance to the rich gnocchi.  I also served bread rounds with bruschetta on the side.

potatoesSoup a Week!!!  In our family we have a soup a week during autumn and winter (most weeks).  My family loves this so much so that when my daughter went away to college she said that when she realized she was missing soup-a-week she was even more homesick.  Food speaks!  This weeks Soup is Potato Soup

There are as many potato soup recipes as there are people.  Personally I make mine a little bit different every time, depending on my mood.  Spicy or baked potato like or pesto, cheesy, lumpy, smooth….  This only takes about an hour or less to make.

Saute onion (about 1/2 cup-2 cups) in 1 tablespoon butter and a little olive oil.  Once the onions are translucent I add a few cloves of garlic (if using this time) and I add whatever spices I may want to use, a pinch of cayenne pepper and stir them until fragrant.   I boil my potatoes (about 1 small potato per person) in vegetable or chicken broth (vegetable is nice if you are doing meatless Mondays). Once the onion mixture is ready add broth and potatoes (about 8 cups of broth).  Simmer until potatoes are tender and remove from heat.

Smooth and creamy or lumpy? This is where my family and friends disagree so here is the compromise: Pull out some of the potatoes and set aside then puree the remaining soup with a hand-held immersion blender or in a regular blender (a little at a time). Slowly add heavy cream to the pureed soup and stir well. I use around 1/4 -1/2 cup cream adjusted for consistency, then add the potatoes you pulled out back to the soup.  This makes the lumpy potato soup people happy while also satisfying the smooth potato soup people.  If they truly insist on no lumps, divide the lumps between the lumpy eaters bowls and ladle the smooth soup over the top.   Serve with a nice bread.

photo by L.W. Burbach

Hot and Sticky Lemon-Pepper Chicken: Food and Wine Magazine, Chef Richard Blaise

Time: 1 Hour

Ease: umm, this is iffy. See below

Results: I left this recipe for my husband to make when I wasn’t planning to be home. ( I told him to use chicken cut into pieces because I had found a great deal on chicken breasts and had a lot in the freezer.)  My husband struggled with the oil temperature and the batter all slid off the chicken and made sort of a glue in the bottom of the pot.  Ok, try again.  Second time around it worked well and in the end it tasted fine.  So results may vary by cook (tongue in cheek). Note: If you do not like sweet and savory combos, this may not be for you.  Serve this with steamed green beans and roasted potatoes.

photo by L.W. Burbach

Fondue Night!!!!

My family loves fondue.  Long live fondue.  As you see from my photo, fondue has been around for a while-ya diggin’ my groovy Avacado Green fondue pot.  We love to do this with friends and do use china!  We usually have a pot of broth, a pot of oil, a pot of cheese, and one of caramel or chocolate.  Just have fun with this one.

Time: several hours of fun and laughter

Ease: piece of cake (dipped in chocolate)

Results: Memory maker, laughter, some oops, silliness, just plain fun.

Suggestions: raw chicken (keep this separated from everything else!), broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini, apples, cake, bread, squash, onion petals, sweet potato slices, potato slices, anything else you’d like to try.  We served this with tempura batter, Crab dip for mushroom caps, dipping sauces of: Ranch, Teriyaki, Thai chili paste, chutney, tahini, and a remoulade sauce. Long live fondue!

Margarita Pizza

Margarita PizzaClassic Margherita Pizza – New York Style: Food network, Chef Emeril Lagasse

Time: 1 Hour 13 Minutes

Ease:  Easy

Results:  This is just a great pizza all the way around!  If you are intimidated by making crust try looking in the deli or freezer section of your grocery.  Sometimes they stock dough from the pizzas made in store.  Fresh mozzarella is in the specialty cheese section of most stores.

Well, this week’s meals were not perfect.  We had fun, we still ate well and we made memories.  I’d say it was a successful week!

Photos may be used, but please link back to this blog and credit Lisa Burbach, recipes are links to existing recipes and I have no ownership of recipes other than the ones of Have created.  Thank you.