Sunday, May 19, 2013

Happy Birthday, Tatum!

Fun with the pinata...

Enough fun kids...Daddy's turn. 
Of course he knocks it down on the first hit!
Thankfully they continue to attack it on the ground instead. :)

Thanks so much to all who came out to celebrate with us!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Salmon Cakes

1 1/2 pounds store-bought cooked salmon fillet, skinned and chilled
3 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
6 scallions, green and white parts chopped separately
2 small ribs celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup mayonnaise
Salt and black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 large eggs, beaten
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  1. Flake the salmon into a large bowl. Using a fork, mix in 1/2 cup panko, the scallion whites, the celery, the parsley, 2/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a pinch black pepper and the cayenne. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Form the mixture into 8 patties about 1 inch thick. In a bowl, mix the remaining 2 1/2 cups panko with 1 teaspoon salt. Coat the patties with the panko, then the eggs, then the panko again.
  3. In a heavy skillet, heat half of the olive oil over medium heat. Add 4 salmon patties and cook until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining oil and patties.
  4. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup mayonnaise, the vinegar and 1/3 cup scallion greens; season with salt and pepper. Serve 2 cakes per person with the sauce alongside.
Source: Rachael Ray Magazine 

Make Ahead Sunday Roasted Chicken - 2 Ways

I figure if you're going to go to all the trouble to roast a chicken, you might as well make 2 or in my case, 4.  The meat is great to have in the freezer for a last minute casserole or soup.


Chicken #1 - Roasted Chicken Dinner with Potatoes and Artichokes with Roasted Garlic Gravy
  • 2 (4 to 5 pound) chickens, washed and dried
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 2 heads garlic
  • 12 small potatoes, quartered
  • 3 small onions, peeled and quartered, attached at root end
  • 6 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds or fennel pollen
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 (10-ounce) box frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted, well drained and halved
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
Liberally season the chickens, inside and out with thyme, and salt and pepper, to taste. Rub each bird with 1/2 stick of softened butter.

Cut the ends off 2 bulbs of garlic to expose all of the cloves for roasting. Put the potatoes and onions in a roasting pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Dress the whole cut bulbs of garlic with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Press the bulbs into the rosemary leaves so that some adheres to the garlic, then sprinkle the remainder over the potatoes and onions. Put 1 chicken into this pan. Sprinkle with fennel seed or pollen. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the chicken and put the lemon in cavity of bird along with 2 large cloves of crushed garlic. Tie the legs together with string. Add the dressed garlic heads to the pan and roast this bird for 15 minutes at 475 degrees F. Baste the bird with pan juices, then lower the temperature 375 degrees F and roast until the juices run clear, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Add the artichokes to the pan the last 20 to 30 minutes of roast time, mixing them in with the potatoes and the fennel. Remove the chicken to a cutting board. Let rest for 10 minutes and then carve. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter along with the potato mixture. Pour the pan juices into a sauce pan, separate and discard fat that rises to the top, cook over high heat ~5 minutes to concentrate.  Puree using hand blender (if desired) and serve over the chicken/veggies. When ready to serve, divide the roasted garlic among the plates and serve with crusty warm bread for dipping.

Chicken #2 - Cilantro Lime
  • 2 (4 to 5 pound) chickens, washed and dried
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 limes
For the second bird, put it in a roasting pan and douse it with the juice of 2 limes, then stuff the limes into the bird along with 2 large cloves of smashed garlic. Tie the legs and roast for 15 minutes at 475 degrees F, baste, then roast 45 minutes. Remove the chicken from oven to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, remove the chicken from bone and pull the meat into small pieces. Reserve for a enchiladas, quesadillas, soup, etc.  I reserve the pan juice to make black or pinto beans.  Separate and discard fat then combine with 1 lb presoaked dry beans, 1 can of crushed tomatoes and additional water if needed.  Cook until beans are done.

Adapted based on recipe by Rachel Ray