Some days are just fun for me. I get my work done, get home and suddenly get struck by Idea Lightening. That is how it feels when the moment strikes. Recently I picked up some incredible corn meal from Shady Side Farm. You might wonder why that jumped into my head as something to fix today but I will point above at the picture and the fact that I was struck by Idea Lightening! What follows is a recipe that even my 8 year old liked. He is my harshest critic so I think you will enjoy this.
Cut a heaping 1/2 cup of cauliflower into small florets. Saute in 1 TB of olive oil and cook on Med High heat until browned.
Once Polenta is soft, no crunch, fold in the cooked cauliflower plus 1/3 cup Parmesan, and 2 TB Roasted Garlic Herb Butter. Trust me...this better makes this dish. Once melted, remove from heat and fold in 1/4 cup chopped chives.
Recipe: 1 Clove Garlic, chopped 1/3 cup diced onion 1/3 cup diced bell peppers 2 TB Olive oil
As you see to the left, place all 4 ingredients into the pan and set stove to medium heat. Stir often and let soften. Once Softened add: 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock 2 cups whole milk 1 1/2 cups Corn Meal 1 Tsp Salt 1 Tsp Black Pepper Stir with a whisk to begin to ensure nothing clumps. Stir often so it does not stick to bottom of pan. Turn heat just below medium. Will take about 20 minutes to cook. Taste to see if corn meal is soft enough. If not and mixture is very thick, add more milk, 1/4 cup at a time.
Spray a casserole dish with non stick spray and spread polenta into it OR serve as is with favorite protein and enjoy. If making the cakes, smooth with a spatula sprayed with non stick. Let cook for 2 hours. When ready to make the cakes, either use a round/square cookie cutter or cut out desired shapes.
Heat a pan with vegetable oil(oil should be approx 1/4 inch up the sides) on medium high. Coat the pieces with flour (shake off excess) and place into hot oil. Once browned on one side (approx 5 minutes) flip and cook for 5 to 6 minutes more, remove and set on paper towel to soak up oil. Then....
Did you know that a simple dish can be complex at the same time? Can we all say "Oxymoron?" The steak to the left was extremely simple to prepare. 8 ingredients is all it took. You might be saying: "Really? That's it for ingredients? Must mean it is really hard to prepare..." Do not fret my Kitchen Ninjas. What makes this dish so complex is the flavor!
Directions: Liberally salt and pepper both sides of steak. I used high flame to char the steak but cook as you prefer. In a saute pan, heat olive oil on medium high, add onions and begin cooking. Stir often and allow to brown. Once the onions have a deep browning, add garlic, stir for 1 minute. Add beer and butter. Mix until a sauce forms. Serve over steak.
Fill crepe in center with Asparagus, Salmon and Green Onions
Place crepes in a casserole Pan, cover with Orange Beurre Blanc and broil for 4 minutes
Place sauce on plate, place crepe on top, finish with a touch of sauce on top of crepe with fried asparagus and scallions
What the crepe is going on here? One that will blow you away! The finished product was so tasty, my neighbor said she licked the plate clean. Literally! Now that is a sauce I can be proud of. This recipe that I will be sharing is a bit more complex and time consuming. But......I have faith in everyone's abilities in cooking. Besides, if you love pancakes, you make pancakes etc....then you WILL be able to make a crepe. Now, what tasty morsel did I concoct? A Salmon Asparagus Crepe with Orange Beurre Blanc. What follows is one heck of a recipe with the full on WOW factor.
Salmon 2 4oz Salmon Filets, skin removed Salt and Pepper Vegetable oil in saute pan
Directions: Heat oil on high heat in pan. Salt and Pepper filets. Once hot, pan fry top side of salmon for 3 minutes, flip, cook for 2 minutes, remove from pan and set aside.
Asparagus 20 stalks of Asparagus. Peel the woody spots Vegetable Oil
Directions: Heat a pan of water, bring to a boil. Add Asparagus stalks and cook for 1 minute. Empty into a colander and run cold water over the stalks.
Meanwhile, heat a small saute pan filled with 1/8 inch of oil on medium high. Once hot, add asparagus skins and cook till crisp. Take out with tongs and place on a paper towel. Set aside
Crepe 2/3 cup all purpose flour 1/4 tsp salt 2 eggs 2 TB butter melted 6oz whole milk
Directions: Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Mixture will be smoother than pancakes. Heat non stick pan on medium. Add 1/3 cup of batter into pan. Move pan to ensure batter is even. Cook for 2 minutes, using a rubber spatula, pick up edge of crepe, flip and cook for 1 minute, remove from pan and set aside. Continue until 4 crepes are made.
Orange Buerre Blanc 1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice 1/3 cup white wine 1 shallot sliced 1 clove garlic cut into 4 pieces 1 TB butter Zest of 1 large orange 1/3 cup heavy cream 3.5 oz Orange Honey Butter Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Heat TB of butter in a small sauce pan, add garlic and shallots. Cook for 3 minutes. Add wine and orange juice and cook until 2 TB remain. Add zest and cream and reduce until 1/4 cup remains. Add Salt and Pepper. Slowly add Orange Honey Butter. and whisk into liquid. Once all incorporated, use immediately. Taste, add more salt if necessary
Assembly: Turn on boiler. Take each crepe, place half the salmon in each one in the center. Add 5 asparagus spears. Add 1 TB of sliced green onion. Roll up crepe and place in a casserole. Once all 4 are made, pour sauce over crepes lightly so the tops are covered. Place under boiler and cook for 4 minutes. Once it is browned, remove from oven.
On each plate, pour some sauce in the center. Place crepe in middle of plate and sauce. Pour remaining sauce over each crepe. Top with fried asparagus skins and a few scallions. Serve immediately.
I often get asked what type of beer pairs well with different types of food. I usually tell people to pick what they love to drink. If the food is heavy, I do urge a crisper beer but it all depends on each palate and what that palate likes. What I never get asked but feel is in need of discussion is: What do I drink if I'm smoking meats all day?
Now there is a question I can get my brain wrapped around. All Day IPA from Founders Brewing. Why do I love this one? Because it lives by its name. I sip slowly, enjoying each moment of smoke coming out of the smoker and a beer with huge flavor yet yields a power that entices me to sip it. If someone handed me a nasty macro lite beer, it would be gone in no time and the meat I was watching would be over cooked and dried out from the inebriated mess I created. If you took the time to put some thought and time into a great dish, being too drunk to enjoy it defeats the purpose.
So....take your time, as my wife says "its a marathon, not a sprint." All great things take time. Smoked meats, an elaborate meal, fine wine, great beer....doesn't make sense to just guzzle it down and lose the essence of life!