Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Delightfully Surprised

This Week's Menu:

The first time I made this soup I was excited and delightfully surprised at how good it was.  It was better than any I had had in a restaurant.  

1. Wonton Soup
Adapted from Simply Soups
makes 6-8 servings (I cut it in half)

8 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 t kosher salt
1/2 t white pepper
2 T sliced scallion

6 oz (about 1/3 lb) ground pork
8 oz (1/2 lb) raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and finely chopped
1/2 t grated ginger
1 T low sodium soy sauce
1 T white wine vinegar
2 t finely chopped scallion
pinch of sugar
pinch of white pepper

wonton wrappers
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Stir together all of the wonton ingredients (up to the white pepper).  Place about one teaspoon of the mixture in the center of a wrapper.  Lightly brush the edges with the egg white and bring the opposite corners to each other, press to seal the tips and all of the edges.  Bring the stock to a boil with the salt and pepper.  Add the wontons and boil for about 5 minutes, until the wrappers begin to wrinkle around the filling when lifted out of the broth.  Spoon the soup into individual bowls and top with the sliced scallions.      

A friend of mine recently gave me a nice bottle of real maple syrup that I was anxious to use.  I decided to try it in something unconventional.  Thanks Elizabeth!     

2. Maple-Glazed Salmon with Pineapple
From Real Simple
makes 4 servings (I cut it in half) 

1/2 cup maple syrup
2 T dijon mustard
4 6-oz salmon fillets
kosher salt
black pepper
1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into 1/2" thick triangles
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 cups cooked rice (I used brown rice)

Heat broiler.  Whisk together the maple syrup and mustard in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile place the salmon in a foil lined baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Scatter the pineapple and jalapeno around the salmon.  Brush the salmon and drizzle the pineapple with the syrup mixture.  Broil for 5 - 7 minutes, or until the salmon flakes easily and is the same color throughout.  Serve atop the rice drizzled with the remaining glaze, if desired.


I was going to have a leafy green salad along with these sandwiches but ended up running late for a meeting and didn't get it made.  I think it would have been a good addition.

3. Sausage and Peppers
makes 2 servings

olive oil
4 hot italian sausages, cut in half lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
kosher salt
black pepper
2 hard rolls, halved and toasted (under the broiler)
dijon mustard

Heat about 1 t olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the sausages and and cook turning until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 7 - 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, in another skillet, heat 1 t olive oil.  Add the peppers and onions and cook until softened and golden.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve the sausage and peppers on the hard rolls topped with mustard.    

A couple of weeks ago my hubby and I spent the weekend in Vermont where we visited King Arthur Flour so I could use a gift card I got for their store for Christmas.  One of the goodies I picked up was a very cool pair of herb scissors.  I knew just the dish to try them out on.

4. Pasta with Garlic and Fresh Herbs
From Cabbagetown Cafe Cookbook by Julie Jordan
makes 4 servings

1 lb pasta
3 T olive oil
8-16 cloves of garlic, cut into thin slices
2 cups finely chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley, basil and oregano, which came conveniently packaged together, labeled "Pasta Mix" at my market)
1/2 t kosher salt
black pepper
1-2 cups milk or heavy cream (I went with it and used the heavy cream, delish!)
fresh lemon juice
parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  In a small skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic until very lightly browned.  Return the pot of drained pasta to medium heat and add the garlic, herbs, salt and pepper.  Add the milk or cream to the pot slowly until a little sauce forms around the pasta.  Taste and reseason if necessary (I found it needed a little more salt). Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and parmesan cheese on top.   

This was my lunch a couple of days this week.  Yum!  I love this salad!

5. Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Walnuts, Red Onion and Feta
baby spinach
thinly sliced red onion
dried cranberries
feta cheese 

olive oil
balsamic vinegar
kosher salt
black pepper

6. Mexican Meatballs with Red Rice
From Real Simple
makes 4 serving (I always make the full recipe because these make great left-overs.)

2 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 lb ground pork
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 large egg
2 t kosher salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 t ground cumin
1 16 oz jar salsa

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat 1 T of the oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook for 1 minute more.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Ina large bowl, combine the pork, bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper, cumin and onion mixture.  Shape into 12 meatballs.  Wipe out the skillet and add the remaining 1 T of oil.  Heat over medium high.  Brown the meatballs on all sides, about 7 minutes total.  Pour the salsa over the top and and bake until cooked through, about 25 minutes.   

Red Rice:
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, including liquid
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t kosher salt
1 cup long-grain white rice

Combine all of the above ingredients (to the salt) in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in the rice, cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.     

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Anonymous said...

Wanton soup may be happening in New Mexico tonight!

- the sisters in law

Anonymous said...

I had the Mexican meatballs that Andrea prepared and they were delicious!


Steve said...

Outstanding - great job Andrea!

Anonymous said...

I freeze half the wontons, then just pop them into the hot broth for an easy future dinner! - Emily