Monthly Archives: June 2011

God’s Love We Deliver

Today I started volunteering for an organization called God’s Love We Deliver ( http://www.godslovewedeliver.org/ ). It’s a really great organization that makes meals and delivers them to people with HIV/AIDS, cancer, MS, and other terminal illnesses. I am working as a van assistant, which means I go around with a driver and actually deliver the meals to the homes. Other volunteer opportunities include working in the kitchen (which is what I was originally interested in but all the spots are full). I think God’s Love We Deliver is so wonderful because it brings the joy of healthy and yummy meals to people who really need them. I highly encourage everyone to check it out and see if there are any opportunities for you to help out!

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Honey Mustard Salmon

Ingredients

• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

• 2 tablespoons honey

• 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

• 4 (5-ounce) salmon fillets

• Salt and ground black pepper

• Cooking spray

Directions In an oiled shallow baking dish, combine lemon juice, Dijon, honey, and lemon zest. Stir together. Season both sides of salmon fillets with salt and pepper and place in the baking dish. Flip salmon to coat in glaze. Bake immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 hours. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake 10 minutes or until fish is fork-tender. Recipe found at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robin-miller/honey-mustard-glazed-salmon-fillets-recipe/index.html

Comments: The salmon does NOT cook in 10 minutes. I had to cook my fillets for almost 30 minutes. Granted, I like my salmon on the more well down side, however, cook the salmon for at least 20 minutes so it isn’t raw. The salmon turned out to have, in my opinion, a very mild flavor. On the other hand my mother did not really like it. If you do not enjoy mustards than this is not the recipe for you. But if you like mustard than this is a quick and easy recipe to try and spice up your boring salmon.

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Mussels Marinara

Ingredients

·   3 tablespoons light oil or olive oil

·   1 small white onion, finely chopped

·   4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

·   1 cup white wine

·   2 or 3 cans chopped plum tomatoes (32 to 48 ounces total)

·   1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano leaves

·   1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley leaves

·   Salt and pepper

·   4 pounds fresh mussels, de-bearded, scrubbed and rinsed

·   Pasta, as an accompaniment or bruschetta for dipping

·   1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil leaves

Directions

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until cooked. Add the wine and reduce by half, then add the plum tomatoes, oregano and parsley. Add the mussels to the pan and allow to cook for about 10 minutes until all the mussels are open. Transfer mussels to a platter. (Discard any mussels that do not open.)

You can mound some pasta in the center of the plate surrounded by the mussels or have some bruschetta handy for dipping into the sauce.

Adjust the seasoning for the sauce with salt and pepper, as necessary. Coat the mussels with the sauce and sprinkle with fresh chopped basil just before serving.

Recipe found at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robert-irvine/mussels-marinara-recipe/index.html

Comments: Great recipe! My family and I are big lovers of mussels. After returning home from Spain (and eating mussels almost every day in Barcelona) I was inspired to try to make them myself. I found this to be a really simple recipe that, when presented to guests, really looks great and wows everyone. Serving with pasta (I like angel hair) tastes great. The main tip I have is to make sure you wash the mussels thoroughly before starting to cook. I accidently forgot to wash them before I began cooking everything else and had to frantically scrub.

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Balsamic Chicken Cutlet over Spinach Salad with Mushrooms, Bacon, and Warm Shallot Dressing

Found this on the Food Network website. It sounded promising so I tried it. I would suggest trying it but with a few tweaks. When I made it I found the salad to be very heavy. I suggest you make less dressing and only toss the salad RIGHT before serving, so the spinach won’t wilt as much.

Ingredients For 4 servings:

• 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast cutlets (sometimes marked “thin cut”)

• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, enough to just coat the breast slices

• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, just eyeball it

• Grill seasoning blend, or coarse salt and pepper

• 4 stems fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons

Spinach Salad :

• 1 pound center cut bacon , chopped into 1-inch pieces

• 1 pound fresh spinach leaves, trimmed and cleaned

• 8 gourmet white stuffing mushrooms , thinly sliced

• 8 radishes, thinly sliced

• 4 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle Dressing :

• 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball the amount, plus 1 tablespoons

• 1 large shallot, minced

• 3 rounded spoonfuls Dijon mustard

• 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Individual portion:

• 1/2 pound boneless chicken breast cutlets

• 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, 2 splashes • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, eyeball the amount

• Grill seasoning, such as Montreal Seasoning by McCormick, or, coarse salt and black pepper

• 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves stripped from stem and finely chopped

• 4 slices center cut bacon

• 1/4 pound fresh spinach, trimmed and cleaned

• 2 gourmet white stuffing mushrooms, thinly sliced

• 2 red radishes, thinly sliced

• 1 scallion, thinly sliced on an angle

• 1/2 shallot, chopped

• 1 /4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, just eyeball it

• 1 rounded spoonful Dijon mustard

• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Directions Coat chicken with balsamic, oil, seasoning and rosemary and set aside. In a skillet, add chopped bacon, work in 2 batches if preparing salad for 4. Brown bacon over medium high heat, then transfer the bits to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Using center cut bacon will cut down on the pan drippings that spatter. Coarsely chop spinach leaves and add to salad bowl. Top with mushrooms, radishes, scallions. Season salad with salt and pepper. Wipe out the bacon pan and return to stove turning heat back to medium low. Add 1 tablespoon oil for your dressing and shallots and reduce heat to medium. Saute shallots for 3 minutes. Remove oil and shallots from heat. In a bowl, combine mustard and balsamic vinegar. Stream in 2/3 cup oil slowly while whisking the dressing to emulsify it. Add warm shallots and toss with spinach salad to coat evenly. Add cooked bacon and toss again. Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Cook chicken cutlets, 4 minutes on each side, in a single layer. Slice breasts on an angle on your cutting board once they are all out of the pan. Pile spinach salad on to dinner plate/plates. Top each salad with 2 sliced chicken cutlet pieces. For individual portion follow the above method. Found at:http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/balsamic-chicken-cutlet-spinach-salad-mushrooms-bacon-warm-shallot-dressing-recipe/index.html

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Langoustines & Spinach Pasta

This is  a recipe I came up with when fooling around in the kitchen. It was really easy to make and very yummy.

Ingredients:

Extra Virgin Olive oil

Pasta

Package of frozen Langoustines

One lemon

Minced garlic

Package of frozen spinach

Mrs. Dash Italian blend

Pepper

Directions:

Bring water to a boil to cook the pasta

In a large skillet pour enough olive oil to coat the bottom let simmer on a medium heat

Add two teaspoons of minced garlic

Chop defrosted spinach and add to the skillet

Strain pasta but do not rinse

Add langoustines to the skillet

Squeeze juice from one lemon into skillet

Add pasta to skillet

Toss and serve!

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Chicken Milanese

Or, in less fancy wording, breaded chicken. It is very easy to make. I suggest you get thin cut chicken breasts because they cook quickly.

Ingredients:

·   Thin cut chicken breasts

·   Flour

·   Egg

·   Bread crumbs (I suggest pre-packaged Italian bread crumbs)

·   Extra Virgin Olive Oil

·   Garlic

Directions:

Sauté chopped garlic in EVOO in a large skillet. Pour enough EVOO to coat the bottom of the pan. Dredge chicken in flour, then egg, and then bread crumbs. Place chicken in pan and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve and enjoy!

This recipe is really great because it is easy to make and very delicious. My friend Elyse gave me the recipe after serving it at a dinner party. This dish is great to make for friends because it looks impressive. I highly recommend trying it out!

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Caprese, Garlic Basil Shrimp, & Orzo

On the menu:

Caprese salad (mozzarella, tomato, basil)

Garlic Basil Shrimp

Orzo

Roasted green and yellow zucchini

The recipes:

Caprese Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 large beefsteak tomatoes
  • Large block of fresh mozzarella
  • A few leaves of fresh basil

Directions:

Slice mozzarella and large tomatoes into even pieces. Layer tomato and mozzarella on plate alternating. Rip some fresh basil leaves and place on top. When eating drizzle some EVOO and fresh black pepper.

Garlic Basil Shrimp

Ingredients:

·   2 tablespoons olive oil

·   1 1/4 pounds large shrimp

(20 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined

·   3 garlic cloves, minced

·   1/8 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes, or more to taste

·   3/4 cup dry white wine

·   1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves

·   1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

·   Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté shrimp, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.

Add garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil remaining in skillet and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add wine and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in basil and tomatoes and season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Return the shrimp to pan and cook just until heated through

From the Food Network website athttp://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/garlic-basil-shrimp-recipe/index.html

Orzo

Buy pre-packaged orzo and follow instructions on box

Roasted green and yellow zucchini

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash zucchini. Cut off both ends and half each zucchini width-wise. Quarter each zucchini length-wise and place on a large baking sheet. Lightly drizzle EVOO over zucchini and season with kosher sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Place in oven and let cook until slightly burned looking (check after 20 minutes until done).

Comments:

This makes a really great dinner. The caprese salad is delicious, easy to make, and really impresses guests. If it is too bland in flavor you can add a dash of balsamic vinegar. The shrimp turned out really great and I love the recipe. I will definitely make this again. However, I didn’t love the orzo. It worked with the shrimp, but pasta would probably be better. Lastly, the zucchini is great because they are very simple to make and super flavorful.

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Espana

In May and June of 2009 I went abroad to Spain. My program was based in Madrid. At the end of the program my parents came to visit and we went to Barcelona. In Barcelona there is a famous market called La Boqueria. The market has beautiful displays that are are lined up row after row. The site is truly amazing. Everything is colorful and fresh and the atmosphere in the market is great. Here are pictures of some of the booths in La Boqueria.

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New Site!

Welcome to the brand new CityCooker website! Here you can find recipes, restaurant reviews, and anything else food-related that I feel like sharing. Due to life, I have not had the chance to blog in over 6 months. Having recently graduated from college, I am now dedicated to spending my free time working on this gem. First, I will upload previous posts. Then I plan to catch up on the past few months in blog posts. Lastly, assuming I successfully recount everything that has been missed, I will move forward and share everything new. I am glad to be back and I hope everyone is excited for everything to come!

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