Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Green Beans with Bacon and Toasted Pecans

I made this side dish for our dinner Saturday night. We, and the guests, loved it. Something a little different, but still a classic pairing of green beans and bacon. The recipe was in the November issue of Food Network magazine. I don't adhere to the rule of never trying new recipes on guests.  If they're your friends and they're willing to give new recipes a whirl, go for it!

Instead of blanching the beans, I steamed them until tender/crisp.

2 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and washed
Kosher salt
1/2 pound bacon, roughly chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper

Toss the green beans into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until bright green in color and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain the beans and shock in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.  Drain the beans again and pat dry.

Cook the bacon in a large, heavy saute' pan until crisp, about 5 minutes.  Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Spoon off the excess grease, leaving 2 T in the pan.  Add the onion to the pan and saute' until soft and very tender, 4 - 5 minutes.  Sprinkle in the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute' until just fragrant, about 1 more minute. 

Add the reserved green beans and the pecans and cook until heated through, 5 - 6 minutes more.  Return the bacon to the pan, pour in the lemon juice and toss.  Season with salt and pepper.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Asian Grilled Pork Chops (or pork tenderloin)

Super fast meal for a hectic week night.  You can either use a prepackaged teriyaki noodle packet or prepared some soba noodles and drizzle with a little sesame oil and teriyaki sauce.

1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 T. vegetable oil
2 T. brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t. ground ginger
1 t. dark sesame oil
4 (5 oz.) boneless pork chops, about 1 inch thick

In a large, resealable plastic bag, place oils, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and garlic.  Mix well.  Add pork chops.  Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes - 2 hours.

Remove from marinade.  Grill in a grill pan until cooked through.  Alternatively, you can grill these over medium coals, 6 - 7 minutes per side. 

Heat remaining marinade to boiling.  Boil for at least 3 minutes.  Serve over pork chops, if desired.

Adapted from http://www.food.com/

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

As soon as I saw this on the cover of November's Southern Living magazine, I knew it would be on our Thanksgiving dessert table. If you're not a fan of pumpkin, you may substitute sweet potatoes instead. Awesome!

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
5 T. butter, melted
3 T. light brown sugar
4 (8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened)
1 cup granuated sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
Praline Topping

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Press mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides up a 9 inch springform pan. Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Beat cream cheese and next two ingredients at medium speed with heavy-duty mixer until blended and smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, beating until blended. Pour batter into prepared crust. Pan will be very full.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 15 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. DO NOT remove sides of pan. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 8 - 24 hours. 

Remove sides and bottom of pan and transfer to a serving plate. Prepare praline topping. Immediately pour slowly over top of cheesecake, spreading to 1/4 inch of edge.

Praline Topping:
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 t. vanilla extract

Bring first three ingredients to a boil in a 1 quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Boil, stirring occasionally, 1 minute, remove from heat. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Use immediately.

French Onion Soup

It always amazes me how just a few simple ingredients can be transformed into a dish that is so decadent and satisfying.  The secret to a great French Onion Soup is to let the onions slowly caramelize until they are soft, golden and sweet.  I adapted this recipe from a Williams Sonoma version and it received great reviews at last night's dinner party. 

2 1⁄2 lb. yellow onions
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. canola oil
Pinch of sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups light red or dry white wine
6 cups beef stock
1 can beef consomme'
1 bay leaf
2 t. dried thyme
6 slices coarse country bread, each 1 1⁄2 inches thick
3 cups shredded Gruy√®re cheese (Please don't use Swiss!)
Using a mandoline or sharp knife, thinly slice the onions lengthwise. Set aside.

In a large, heavy pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the oil. Add the onions, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, adding the sugar and seasoning with salt and pepper, until the onions are meltingly soft, golden and lightly caramelized, 25 to 30 minutes.

Add the wine, increase the heat to high and cook until the liquid is reduced by about half, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the stock, consomme, bay leaf and thyme, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the soup simmer, uncovered, until it is dark and fully flavored, about 45 minutes. If the liquid is evaporating too quickly and the soup seems to taste too strong, add a little water, then cover the pot and continue cooking.

Just before serving, preheat an oven to 400° F. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast, turning once, until golden on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Remove the bay leaf from the soup and discard. Arrange 6 ovenproof soup bowls on a baking sheet and ladle the hot soup into the bowls. Place a piece of toast on top of each bowl and sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and the toasts are lightly browned around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Four Bean Chili

Our high school homecoming tailgating party is tonight. A big pot of chili was definitely in order. Here's a recipe I've been tweaking for years. Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped onions, etc.

2 T. olive oil
3 small onions, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 medium jalapenos, seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 pounds ground chuck
2 large cans crushed tomatoes
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
3 cans of Rotel tomatoes
1 can petite diced tomatoes
2 - 3 T. ground cumin
2 - 3 T. chili powder
2 t. smoked paprika
salt to taste
1 can chili beans (undrained)
1 can cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can dark red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)

In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions, peppers and jalapenos. Cook until softened, about 7 - 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add ground chuck and increase heat to medium high and cook until meat is completely browned. Drain fat if necessary.

Add remaining ingredients in the order listed. Cook over low heat for several hours to allow flavors to develop. Check seasoning and adjust if desired by adding additional chili powder. 

Add toppings if you'd like and enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pasta e Fagioli

Such a wonderful, comforting soup. This is an Italian classic brightened with fresh herbs. You can also use any small shaped pasta.

4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 large fresh rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
1 T. olive oil
1 T. unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 3/4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 (14 1/2 oz.) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup elbow macaroni
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 T. extra virgin olive oil

Wrap the thyme, rosemary and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, heavy saucepan over a medium flame. Add the onion, pancetta and garlic and saute until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, beans, and sachet of herbs. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes. Discard the sachet.

In a blender, puree 1 cup of the bean mixture until smooth, then return the puree to the saucepan. Cover and return the soup to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni, cover and boil, stirring occasionally, until the macaroni is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Season the soup with pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with parmesan and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

From Giada's Family Dinners

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sizzling Garlic Shrimp

Shrimp served in this spicy, garlic-infused oil are irresistible. Use medium or small shrimp (36-40/pound). The high heat used to cook the shrimp for this recipe would burn the outside of larger shrimp before they cook through. 

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 t. red pepper flakes
1 pound small or medium shrimp, peeled
1 t. salt
chopped fresh flat leaf parsley for garnish

Heat oil in medium skillet over high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cooking stirring for 30 seconds. Add shrimp and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Season with salt. When the shrimp have turned pink and are opaque throughout, remove from heat. The shrimp should be slighty undercooked because the heat will continue to cook them. Divide into individual ramekins and top with parsley and serve sizzling.

From The Cuisines of Spain

Columbus Day

We celebrated Columbus Day by enjoying dishes from Italy in his honor and also Spain in honor of Queen Isabella for funding the trip!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mexican Cheese Grits with Jalapeno

Y'all know how I love to cook on Saturday mornings.  Today we enjoyed sausage, fried potatoes with smoked paprika and thyme, over easy eggs, and Mexican Cheese Grits.  Grits are a blank slate that can be prepared with dozens of ingredients and always be delicious.

2 cups water
1/4 milk or heavy cream
salt to taste
1/2 cup quick cooking grits
1 cup shredded Mexican 4 cheese blend
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 green onions minced, white and some dark green (save dark green to garnish)
1/4 t. granulated garlic
1/4 t. black pepper
1/4 t. smoked paprika

Bring water and milk to a boil.  Add grits and stir to distribute.  Lower heat and cover.  Stir occasionally and cook for 12 minutes.  Turn off heat and add cheese and remaining ingredients.  Stir until well blended and serve.  Garnish with the green onion and additional shredded cheese if desired.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bavarian Apple Torte

Without a doubt, this is probably one of the best desserts I've ever baked. Rich, creamy and delicious. This may be THE perfect Fall dessert. 

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 t. vanilla extract
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 t. vanilla extract
3 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
1/2 cup sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon

Combine the first four ingredients. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-in. springform pan. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Pour over the crust. Combine topping ingredients; spoon over filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes or until the center is set. Cool on a wire rack. Store in the refrigerator. Cut into wedges with a serrated knife.

Thanks to Alyson Armstrong via allrecipes.com

Schweinebraten = German Style Roast Pork

This was the perfect choice for the entree of our Oktoberfest meal.  The wonderful aroma of roasting pork with the onions and carrots seasoned with caraway seeds and marjoram will have everyone at the table on time for this meal.  Take a few extra minutes and make the gravy to go along with the pork.  It will send it over the top.  You know you can trust me, right?  : )

4 -6 lbs. pork shoulder or 4 -6 lbs. pork butt
2 T. caraway seeds 
2 T. marjoram
1 tablespoon salt
2 t. ground pepper
2 T. cooking oil
3 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup water or 1/2 cup stock or 1/2 cup white wine or 1/2 cup beer
2-3 T. flour
2-3 T. butter

Rub the entire roast all over with the oil and sprinkle with caraway, marjoram, salt, pepper.  Let stand for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Spray your roasting pan with cooking spray.  Place the vegetables into roasting pan and pour liquid of choice.

Place the roast, fat side down, in the roasting pan on top of the vegetables.

Cover tightly and roast for one hour. Remove from oven, uncover and turn roast fat side up. Cut decorative diamonds into the fat, insert meat thermometer and replace, uncovered, back into the oven for approximately 2 hours or until meat thermometer reads 165° F.

Remove from oven and take out of roaster; cover with foil to preserve temperature, and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and save the vegetables to serve on the side.

Measure pan juices; add enough chosen liquid (water, wine, stock, or beer) to make 2 cups. Make a roux by blending the flour and butter together very well in a saucepan; add the pan juices and bring to a simmer. For additional richness, the gravy may be finished with a little butter, cream or sour cream.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Kroketten (Potato Croquettes)

I wasn't sure about this recipe when I read it and now that I've cooked and eaten these, I'm still not sure.  In extremely simple terms, think breaded and fried mashed potatoes.  They could definitely have used some "zing."  Remember that when you make them.  Adjust seasonings accordingly.

2 large potatoes
2 T. Salted Butter
1 Egg
3 T. flour
Pinch of Nutmeg
Milk, if needed
Oil for frying

For the coating:
Bread Crumbs
1 Egg
Wash and peel potatoes.  Cook them in boiling salt water until they are soft.  Remove them from the heat, drain, and allow to cool.

Mash the potatoes with a potato masher.  Add the flour, butter, egg, and nutmeg, and mix together.  Add only enough milk (if necessary) until dough holds together.  The dough should not be soggy.

On a floured work surface, roll out the dough into a log that is about the thickness of 2 fingers. Cut the log into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

On a plate, mix the egg.  On another plate, add some bread crumbs.  One-by-one, dip a krokette in the egg, coating the entire krokette.  Roll the krokette in the bread crumbs, making sure the entire krokette is coated.

Heat oil in a frying pan or deep frier.  Fry a few kroketten at a time until they are crispy and golden brown.  Allow excess fat to drip off.  Serve immediately.


Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

This was the perfect side dish for our Oktoberfest meal. Perfect use of apples three ways:  cider, cider vinegar and fuji apples.   Thanks Epicurious.com

1 garlic clove, smashed
3 T. unsalted butter
2 lb. red cabbage, cored and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 Gala or Fuji apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup unfiltered apple cider
1/2 t. caraway seeds
2 whole allspice (optional), crushed
1 1/2 T. apple-cider vinegar

Cook garlic in butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, 1 minute. Add cabbage, apple, cider, caraway, allspice (if using), 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

Add vinegar and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Grilled Brats with Spicy Mustard

Easy nibble to put out for the hungry guests while you finish up the main event.  eat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Grill the brats until browned and slice diagonally. Serve with spicy mustard.

Oktoberfest Table Setting

Usually when I plan a meal around a holiday or an event, it comes together fairly smoothly.  This one...eh, not so much.  I thought I had in my mind what I wanted, but it just wouldn't work.  Here's the result for Oktoberfest 2011.  A mixture of place settings from Chef's catalog, a few of Sweet Harold's treasured beer steins and a little bit of Germany thrown in for good measure. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Southwestern Cod Soup

Cod is a mild fish that pairs well with the intense Southwestern flavors.  This soup would be great any time of year, but with the first little bit of Fall teasing us, this was great tonight.  About 30 minutes is all you need for this one, so it's a great week night go to recipe. 

16 oz. low salt chicken broth
6 small red potatoes, cubed into 3/4 inch cubes
1 medium carrot, cubed
1 14 oz. diced tomatoes
1 10 oz. can Rotel tomatoes
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. chili powder
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t. salt
8 oz. cod filets
2 T. chipped cilantro
1 t. grated lime zest
1 t. fresh lime juice

In a medium soup pot, stir together the broth, tomatoes, potatoes, carrot, cumin, chili powder, garlic and salt.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.  Reduce the heat to simmer, covered, for 15 mintues, or until the vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels.  Cut the fish into 3/4 inch cubes.  Stir the fish and the remaining ingredients into the broth mixture.  Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Ladle into bowls and top with additional lime zest if desired.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shredded Pork Tacos

Think outside the box and instead of going the same old, same old ground beef tacos, go with shredded pork.  Leftover from the Boston Butt smoking of the weekend, now shredded and heated with a little water, cumin, chili powder and granulated garlic.  Add your favorite taco toppings and voila! you have a brand new meal.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Creole Mustard Slaw

Another recipe from TyFlo which I changed up a little.  I'm very picky about my slaw.  I prefer the shredded version as opposed to the minced up cabbage version.  I used a bag of ready made slaw with cabbage to shorten prep time. Next time I'd up the mustard a tad more, because as you know, blog readers, I adore mustard!

Here's my version:

1 bag slaw mix with carrots
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 green onions, chopped
1 jalapeno, minced
11/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup Creole Mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
Pinch sugar
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
Several dashes hot sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Combine the slaw mix, red onion, green onions and jalapeno in a large bowl.

In another bowl, mix the mayo, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice and sugar.  Stir well.  Pour the dressing over the slaw mixture and toss gently to mix.  Season the slaw with celery salt, hot sauce, salt and pepper.  Chill for two hours.


Catfish Po'boy

I started with a recipe from Tyler Florence and added/changed/deleted some ingredients and here is the result.

2 T. unsalted butter
1 large garlic clove, smashed
2 long soft-crusted French bread baguettes
6 (6-ounce) catfish fillets
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Creole Seasoning (to taste)
1 cup milk
1 cup white corn meal

Sliced pickles
Shredded lettuce
Thinly sliced tomatoes
Creole Mustard

Pour about 3 inches of oil in a deep fryer or large, heavy cast iron skillet and heat to 375 degrees F.  Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the smashed garlic and swirl the pot around to infuse the garlic flavor into the butter.  Slice the French bread in 1/2 lengthwise and brush the top and insides with the garlic butter.   Stick the bread in the oven for 5 minutes to warm it through.

Lightly season both sides of the catfish fillets with a salt and pepper and the Creole/Cajun seasoning.  In a wide bowl, pour the milk.  Whisk together the cornmeal, salt and pepper and seasoning in a pie dish.  Dip the catfish in the wet batter, then dredge in the dry; being sure to cover the fillets completely.  Gently drop the fish in the hot oil in batches so the pan is not overcrowded.  Fry the fillets for 3 minutes and then drain on a platter lined with paper towels; sprinkle with salt while they are still hot.

To assemble the sandwich, put the pickles, lettuce and tomatoes across the bottom 1/2 of the bread, lay the fried catfish on top.  Add mayo/mustard if desired and close up the sandwich with the top 1/2 of the bread. Cut into portions and serve immediately with hot sauce and lemon on the side.

It's all about the houndstooth

Here's a picture of the table and menu for last Saturday's Alabama v. Arkansas game.  A quick trip to Hobby Lobby for a piece of houndstooth material quickly became a great tablecloth.  (Only $10!)  Numerous trips to the Fiestaware vault brought out some great red and white place settings with black plate chargers from Hobby Lobby as well.  They were only $1.99 each. 

Fried Green Tomatoes

To me, FGTs come very close to being the perfect food.  Some people like a little pink to be showing on their tomatoes, but I like the green apple green ones.  Wash and slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick. 

Dip in a bowl of milk and then coat with a mixture of corn meal, salt and pepper (or Cajun/Creole seasoning).  Heat oil to about 375 degrees and then fry until golden brown on both sides.  Drain on paper towels and serve hot!

Makes a perfect side dish or a nice appetizer. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

St. Louis Style Ribs

I mixed up a rub of various herbs and spices to use on some St. Louis style ribs this weekend.  This was a taste and add, taste and add technique.  If there's any of these flavors you particularly like more than the others, go a little heavier with them.  Any you don't like, omit or change to another you like better.  That's the fun thing about grilling and smoking meat.  You decide your flavors.

These will be listed in order of the amount used.  For example, paprika was the predominant ingredient, then as I added, I used less and less of each one.  Just taste as you go.  The amount of rub you need will be based on how much meat you are planning to cook.  For a small rack of ribs you're going to need much less than if you're cooking a 12 pound Boston Butt.  So adjust the amounts accordingly.

Dark Brown Sugar
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
Granulated Garlic
Onion Powder
Chili Powder
Dried Thyme
Ground Coriander
Ground Ginger

Cake Waffles with Ice Cream

A few weeks ago while visiting the Gulf Coast during Tropical Storm Lee, we decided to surprise the grown kids with cake waffles.  I had brought the waffle iron with me and purchased a chocolate cake mix and a Funfetti cake mix.  We bought ice cream and all sorts of toppings and let them build their own creations.    Just prepare the cake mix as directed on the package and add about a 1/4 cup additional water to thin the batter out a bit.  Then just continue to make them as if you were making regular waffles.

Hand Cut Fries with cheese and bacon

We had a great time yesterday watching the Alabama/Arkansas football game.  Along with pulled pork sandwiches and ribs, my daughter requested homemade fries.  I added a few things to make them a little more game day-like.  You could also top with diced tomatoes, chopped jalapenos or green onions.

8 large russet potatoes, washed, peeled and sliced to the thickness you want
Vegetable oil
Sea salt
Shredded mild cheddar and colby cheese
Dried thyme
Crumbled cooked bacon

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or deep fryer to 370 degrees. Add about a fourth of the potatoes and gently stir to separate them. Fry until golden brown and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining potatoes. Begin to layer the fries on a serving platter adding salt, cheese, thyme and bacon to each layer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Orange Glazed Salmon with Pan Fried Potatoes

Another winner from Cuisine at Home.  The rub for the salmon is a mixture of spicy Cajun seasoning and the sweetness of brown sugar.  To finish, a glaze with a touch of citrus takes this one over the top.  The recipe states use fresh fillets, but I used thawed frozen salmon.  Pat dry before you apply the rub.  I adjusted the rub ingredients slightly to add more sweetness.

I started the potatoes a few minutes before the salmon and they finished at the same time.  Less than 30 minutes from start to finish. 

3 T. Cajun or creole seasoning (salt free)
2 T. brown sugar
1/4 t. kosher salt
4 boneless/skinless salmon fillets (6 oz. each)
2 T. vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 T. lime juice
lime wedges

Combine Cajun seasoning, sugar and salt in a small bowl.  Rub over all surfaces of fillets.

Saute fillets in oil over medium high heat for 3 - 4 minutes. Turn and saute an additional 2 - 3 minutes.

Blend marmalade and lime juice; swirl in skillet until melted.  Carefully turn fish to glaze on all sides.  The salmon is done when it begins to flake when tested with a fork.

Serve with lime wedges.

For potatoes:

3 - 4 Russet potatoes, washed, peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 t. dried thyme
salt and black pepper to taste

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook 3 - 4 minutes until cubes begin to brown.  Stir carefully until cubes are uniformly brown.  Remove from skillet and drain on a paper towel lined plate.  Season with salt, pepper and thyme.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bananas Foster French Toast

8 slices cinnamon bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
8 eggs
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups real maple syrup
1 teaspoon rum extract
6 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup chopped pecans

Spray bottom of 13 x 9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.

Arrange bread cubes in baking dish.

In large bowl, beat eggs, milk and 1/2 cup of the maple syrup with wire whisk. 

Pour over bread in baking dish.  Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Here's what it will look like the next morning before baking.

Heat oven to 350°F. Uncover; bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown along edges. Let stand 7 to 10 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, in medium microwavable bowl, microwave remaining 2 cups maple syrup uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until warm.  Stir in rum extract.

Sprinkle banana slices and pecans evenly over bread; drizzle with warmed syrup mixture.  Serve immediately.