Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pan-seared quail with kale, tomatoes, and "faux-tatoes"

I'm back on my low, or "selective" carb regimen.  That sure doesn't mean boring.  For me, it means no bread or pasta, no sugar.  I realize that I am still consuming carbohydrates in my vegetables, but I don't worry about that.  
Tonight's menu is a wonderful and easy-to-prepare dish.

First item:  slice tomato with drizzled lemon olive oil, small dollops of goat cheese, and fresh Italian parsley 

 Next:  Sauteed Kale and onions
To prepare:
wash a large bunch of curly kale
remove thick, woody stems and coarsely chop
Slice one medium onion into coarse segments

Heat nonstick pan or wok medium-high
Place 1-2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil and allow to heat until oil is shimmering
Add onions and cook until transparent.
Season with 1 teaspoon tumeric, a pinch of herbs de provence (optional)
Add Kale and continue sauteing until the kale wilts and becomes deep green in color.
Remove from heat and keep warm until ready to serve.
 Pan-seared quail
4 partially de-boned quail
1 tsp molasses
2-3 tablespoons red wine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

dry rub of choice (I used the ever-present curry rub)

In a shallow bowl mix the molasses, wine, and balsamic vinegar together.
One and a time, immerse quail in liquid, then dust with dry rub and place on a flat surface until ready to cook.
Heat a pan to medium high and add 2-3 tablespoons grapeseed oil.  Be sure that pan and oil are quite warm before adding the quail.
Quickly add the quail to the pan, cooking 2 or 3 minutes per side.  Don't touch the birds until ready to turn.  Turn and cook 2-3 minutes on the opposite side.
You may want to add a bit more red wine to add moisture.
Remove from pan and serve.

Delicious and really easy!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Fastest Dish in the West (or wherever!): seared ahi tuna

serve it rare!

Oh!  How I love seared Ahi tuna!  It is so good and there is simply nothing faster to prepare.

I forgot to take photos of my prep work (sorry).

Here are the basic ingredients
1-2 fresh, wild-caught ahi tuna steaks
olive or grapeseed oil
dry rub of choice (I used a lemon rub, then topped with coarsely ground black pepper)

To prepare:  bring the tuna close to room temperature prior to cooking.  Rub the tuna with a small amount of olive or grapeseed oil, then coat with dry rub and pepper.
Heat pan to medium high.  Add grapeseed oil once pan is very warm.  Heat oil until shimmering in pan.
Place ahi tuna in pan and cook for approximately 1-2 minutes per side.  Don't over cook (remember the tuna will continue to cook a bit after it has been removed from the pan).
Remove from pan onto a cutting surface.  Cut against the grain of the fish into 1/4 inch strips and move to serving platter.

Serve with ponzu, soy, and wasabi to taste.

tuna steaks just before turning.
Note that there is just barely any cooked layer?  
That is how you want it!
Steaks prior to slicing

sliced tuna served with ponzu sauce and roasted vegetables.

Look at these critters!
Don't they look like some sort of sea life?
They are the roots of baby onions.

I sauteed them until they were golden brown. 
Rumor has it that they are really good as a topping for salad or other things.

Stay tuned to see what I do with them, and whether they are actually good to eat!  They smelled great
while they were cooking!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lemon Spice-crusted salmon with savory Dino Kale

Salmon filets, preferably wild-caught, separated into 4-6 oz servings
dry curry rub
thin slices of Meyer (or other) lemon
thin pat butter, one per salmon serving

For Kale:
2 bunches Kale, washed and cut into large pieces, 
one Poblano chili, chopped into segments
one bunch of baby shallots or one or 2 shallot bulbs, sliced
2 pieces of pre-cooked bacon (optional)
juice of one-half lemon
pumpkin seeds (approximately 1/4 cup) or to preference
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Dust curry rub over salmon filets and place in pan.  Place butter pat in center of each filet, then cover butter with one slice of lemon.
Place salmon in oven for approximately 15 minutes.  Do not overcook!
Once salmon is in the oven, heat a non-stick wok or large skillet over stove.  
Add 2 Tblsp oil and heat until oil "shimmers" in the pan.  
Add poblano segments and sautee until lightly browned on edges.
then, add shallots and continue to saute
next, add the kale
begin to turn kale and other ingredients over in the pan.
Kale will begin to deepen in color and look "wilted".
Cook until kale appears tender
Add lemon juice and continue turning in pan
add sliced pieces of bacon
I added raw pumpkin seeds that were previously toasted lightly for additional flavor and texture
This is a very healthy, delicious meal!
As you can see, it is a people-pleaser, at least in the Jenison household!
Dessert:  mixed berries

This meal is very simple and quick to prepare. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Nelson Sisters demonstrate how to cook salsa!

Please take a moment to enjoy this delightful cooking demonstration by two young friends of mine, Sage and Natalie Nelson.  This cooking video was shot and edited by their brother, Noel.  I see a future gig on the Food Network in their future!
How to make Salsa

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Colorful Mexican treats

Here are some images taken just before departing the Cancun airport.  I love the colorful array of items!