Fried Shoe-String Onions

Posted on April 20th, 2009 by Danielle.
Categories: onion, side dish, spicy.

I love shoe-string onions. I love them on everything, steaks, hamburgers, salmon and especially in a salad.

I finally decided to give making them a try. How hard could it be, you fry some onions? The good news is that it was just as easy as I thought.

Here they are for you to try!

fried-onions

Fried Shoe-string Onions

Ingredients:
1 medium sized white onion
1 egg
1 cup flour
paprika
cajun seasoning
pepper
garlic powder
salt
Canola Oil

Cooking Supplies:
Asparagus pot
or
small pot to fry in
tongs
colander
and paper towels

Start by shaving the onions super thin.  You can cut them into circles or however you’d like, but really, really thin.  Heat the oil in the pot. In a wide bowl beat the egg until smooth.  In another bowl (or a gallon sized zip-lock bag) combine all the dry ingredients.  Begin by placing sliced onions into the egg.  Hold the onions above the bowl after submersion and let the egg drip off until the onions are only lightly covered.  Place onions in the dry ingredients and coat.  Set coated onions aside for cooking.  Repeat with all of the onions you have cut.  Place onions one handful at a time in the hot oil.  Onions should stay in for a minute or two depending on how thin you cut them and how crispy you like them.  When they are golden, pull them out with tongs and set them on paper towels to drain.

Follow the Recipe Extra:

Lots of extras – First make your knife super sharp. Cut 1/4″ off the bottom of the round onion to make it more stable. Cut the onion so you get rings, they make for longer onions when fried.  Also, don’t be afraid to spice up the dry mix.  Finally for full disclosure while the flour mix is my own I got some technique help from this recipe.

1 comment.

Poached Champagne Salmon over pasta

Posted on April 7th, 2009 by Danielle.
Categories: dinner, lemon, onion, pasta, salmon, sauce.

Sounds decadent doesn’t it?  So one night I was going to make my Nane’s pasta with clam sauce, but I only had salmon.  Then someone came over with a bottle of champagne.  I thought, “mmm…can I find a recipe that fits all three?”  The answer was, “with a little combination-yes”.  So here’s the recipe, taken from a HG-TV recipe, a Food Network Recipe and my Nane’s recipe.

Poached Champagne Salmon over Pasta:

Ingredients (serves 2):

1 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 large shallot minced
8 oz brut champagne
3 Tbs salted butter
1/2 tsp fresh dill
1 pint heavy cream
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tsp lemon juice
1 large fillet of Salmon
1/2 box Angel Hair pasta
parsley
black pepper
Parmesan cheese

Cooking Supplies:

Large high sided skillet w/lid
Pasta pot
Small sauce pot

Heat the large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil.  Add shallots and garlic and sauté until soft and golden.  Add champagne, lemon juice, salt and dill and bring to a boil.

In the meantime remove the scales from the salmon and cut the fillet into two pieces.

Reduce heat on the liquid to just a simmer.  Slide in the two fillet pieces and cover.  Poach 3-4 minutes.  Transfer the finished salmon to a covered plate. Leave liquid simmering in the skillet. In another pot, bring water to a boil and add pasta. Cook pasta 10 minutes or until soft.

In a small sauce pot, add 1 cup of the champagne liquid over medium heat.  Add heavy cream and butter. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and season with pepper and additional salt to taste.

Return salmon to champagne liquid to reheat.  Drain pasta and set on the plate.  Place reheated salmon on the pasta and cover in cream sauce.  Garnish with parsley and Parmesan cheese if you’d like.

Follow the Recipe Extra: The important part of this recipe is to balance the flavor of the champagne liquid and the heavy cream.  Too much cream and it will be a little bland, too much broth and it’ll be too champagne-y.  The key is to taste and taste.  Once you get a handle on the mixture, you’ll be able to make this recipe a million times and always get it right.

0 comments.

Minestrone Soup á la Aunt Teri

Posted on March 16th, 2009 by Danielle.
Categories: cheesey, dinner, onion, recipe, sausage, Stews.

For Christmas this year my family decided to make gifts for one another.  My gift included all of the family soup recipes.  I came across this minestrone soup recipe and though I’ve never really favored this soup, I thought I’d give it a try.  I’m beyond glad that I did!  It was rich, broth-y and filling.  I loved it and you will too!

Minestrone Soup:

1 lb. of Italian bulk sausage
2-3 stalks celery diced
2-3 carrots sliced
2 onions chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
1-28oz can of italian diced tomatoes
2-8oz. cans tomato sauce
2 Tbs parsley flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
2 cans beef broth
1  tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
———————

2 small zucchini sliced
2 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 can great northern beans (or cannellini if you prefer)
1 cup uncooked macaroni noodles
Parmesan cheese

Begin by browning and draining the Italian bulk sausage.  Place browned sausage in a large stock pot with 3 cups of water on high heat.  Boil for 8 minutes then add all of the ingredients above the dashed line. Reduce the pot to a simmer and cook for 1 hour (or as much as 6 hours).

After the hour add the rest of the ingredients and the noodles.  Simmer for 1/2 hour more or until macaroni is cooked.  Serve with Parmesan cheese and a good bread.

Follow The Recipe Extra:
This recipe makes a ton of soup and it’s a filling soup at that.  Luckly its a soup that freezes very, very well.  Put any extras in a tuperware in the freezer.  When ready to reheat, put it in a stock pot and add a little water on med heat.  It will defrost nicely and taste wonderful.

0 comments.

EZ Jambalaya

Posted on January 15th, 2008 by Danielle.
Categories: Beef, Cajun, chicken, dinner, onion, rice, shrimp, spicy, Stews.

I love Cajun food! The spicier the better. So one day I was craving red beans and rice, so I went to look up a recipe. That’s when I came across a description of Jambalaya. It sounded way better, plus I like protein and it has 4 different kinds. Since I started making the dish, it has been a huge hit, the presentation is impressive (usually a large tray of rice in a circle with the stew in the middle) and no one guesses that it was one of the easiest dinners to make. Give it a try for a party!

Jambalaya

EZ Jambalaya

1-2 skinless chicken breasts; cubed
1 package of beef sausage or kilbasa, sliced
1/2 lb frozen shrimp
-optional bacon; diced or ham steak cubed, or some type of white fish.
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 bunch of green onions, sliced
1 green bell pepper diced
1 can beef consume
1 can french onion
1 small can tomato sauce
2 tbs. butter
tabasco
Creole seasoning (I use Tony Chachere’s)
3 cups rice

Begin by starting rice on the stove. (For making rice see here.) In a large stock pot combine remaining ingredients except for shrimp, tabasco and creole seasoning. Set pot on the stove and set burner to high or med-high. Allow the pot to boil for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. In the meantime, defrost the shrimp per package instructions. After 10 minutes the chicken should be white and cooked almost all the way through. Reduce heat to medium and add shrimp. Also add tabasco and creole seasoning to taste. Let it simmer until rice is finished. Serve.

Follow the Recipe Extra:
If you’ve got a lot of time on your hands and an iron or high quality stock pot you can also put this in the oven with a lid (@350) for a few hours (stir occasionally, but be careful, the pot will be hot!). The crock pot also works, but not as well I think. You can usually find creole seasoning at your local grocery store. Add a little at a time till you get used to using it. It’s deliciously spicy but it’s also surprisingly salty. Use it sparingly at first; adding a little at a time as you taste.

3 comments.

New England Clam Chowder

Posted on December 31st, 2007 by Danielle.
Categories: bacon, chowder, clam, dinner, Intermediate, onion, potatoes, Stews.

…And We’re Back!

For two years while still in college I used to work for a restaurant that rhymes with Shmearl’s (ok the name of the restaurant was earl’s – and yes the name is not capitalized.) Anyways, over two years of late night bartending, double shifts and having family come in to visit while I was working there were a lot of days when all I had time to eat was a bowl of soup. The soup of choice was Clam Chowder. I never got the recipe; I asked, but it was not given up despite knowing all the chefs and having them over to my house for parties quite often. So finally after I left the restaurant and after I had officially eaten my 1,000th bowl I decided to try and make the recipe up myself. So here it is, and it’s pretty damn close. Not to mention delicious! :)

Shmearl’s New England Clam Chowder
2-4 slices of center cut bacon diced
1 large onion cut diced
1/2 tsp. thyme (powdered or leaves)
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup of instant potato flakes or left over mashed potatoes
2 bottles of clam juice
2 cans minced clams (save clam juice for use in chowder)
6-9 new potatoes cubed (about 1/4″)
2 Carrots; sliced
3 roma tomatoes; diced
1/2 cup heavy cream
water
parsley
salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, fry diced bacon over medium heat until half cooked (should be pink not red). There should be about 2 tbs. bacon fat in the pot now, but if there isn’t add a dash of olive oil to the pot. Add onion, carrots and potatoes and saute, stirring constantly, with bacon until fragrant and almost soft (about 5 minutes.) Add thyme and bay leaves and continue to stir for 30-45 seconds. Stir in clam juice from the bottles and clam juice taken from the cans. Add some water (about a cup if there isn’t enough liquid.) Bring liquid to a simmer for about 10 minutes or until potatoes soften. Starch from potatoes should thicken the liquid, but add the potato flakes or mashed potatoes to thicken it up if necessary. Stir in clams, heavy cream, tomatoes and parsley. Then use salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium-low and heat though. Serve.

Follow the Recipe Extra:
It will save you a lot of stress if you cut up and dice everything before even starting the chowder. Also, If you don’t trust yourself not to burn the bacon, pull it out before putting the potatoes, onion and carrots in. Throw it back in when you add the clam juice. I love the taste of clams, but hate the texture. With a food processor or sharp knife go back through the canned clams and finely mince. If you’re the opposite, feel free to use more clams and substitute the clam juice from them for the extra water.

0 comments.

Lamb Chops in Vinaigrette Reduction and Country Potatoes and Onion

Posted on December 10th, 2007 by Danielle.
Categories: breakfast, chops, dinner, Intermediate, lamb, onion, potatoes, reduction, vinegar.

Well hi everyone. So sorry that I haven’t posted in two weeks. To make up for it, I’m posting a double recipe. And it’s a big one! This is one of those “looks-impressive-but-really-isn’t-hard-to-make” recipes. So make it when you need to impress someone.

chops & potatoes

Lamb Chops in Vinaigrette Reduction

4 lamb chops (3/4″ thick)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon of butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-mix the salt, pepper, and thyme in a bowl. Use as a rub on the lamb chops. Season both sides of each chop and then place the chops, covered in the refrigerator for 15 minutes at least so they can absorb the spice (no longer than 20 min.). Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. The stove should be on high to medium high. Place the lamb chops in the skillet and cook for about 3 min on each side (for medium rare to rare). Remove when cooked to your liking and place on a separate plate covered with foil to let the juices redistribute.

In the pan add the shallots and cook until just browned (pan should still have a tbs. or so of oil, if not, add a little before adding the shallots). Stir in the vinegar and scrape up the bits of lamb that were left in the pan as the vinegar loosens it. Stir in the beef broth. Let the sauce reduce by half, about 5 minutes. Take your skillet off the heat and stir in the butter to cut the bitterness of the vinegar. Pour reduction over the chops and serve.

Country Potatoes and Onion (For 2 people)

3-4 Medium to large New Potatoes
1 cup of Onions sliced largely
Salt
Pepper
Parsley
2 tbs Olive Oil

Slice each potato in half and then into wedges. Cut onion into large quarter sized wedges. Put a skillet on the stove on medium high heat. Put oil in the pan and then toss in the potatoes and onions to get them coated in oil. Cook potatoes and onion until onion is fragrant and soft and potatoes are just getting brown (about 10 minutes). Drain excess oil. Place back on the heat and add salt, pepper and parsley to taste. Continue to cook until potatoes are golden brown and onion is almost translucent.

Follow The Recipe Extra:

Lamb: You want to put a nice sear on the chops so the oil needs to be very hot. The oil should be thin and have a glassy sheen, then it will be hot enough. When you drop the chops in, do not be panicked by the immediate cloud of “smoke”. You are not going to light your kitchen on fire! If you sear it just right each side should come out a dark perfect brown. Also, balsamic vinaigrette is bitter so if you’re sensitive to that kind of taste you can do one of two things to cut it: 1) reduce the amount of vinegar to 1/4 cup (this will reduce your reduction time though), 2) add more beef broth or 3) add more butter.

Potatoes: This is a recipe that’s all about personal taste and timing. There aren’t really any spice increments because everyone likes things differently. This is also an awesome addition to breakfast that can be made while preparing eggs or pancakes or whatever. For breakfast though, it’s usually good to cube the potatoes into smaller pieces though.

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