Post 115 – Soy-glazed Salmon & Spring Salad with Lemon Mustard Dressing

IMG_1414I’m running out of savory cookbooks to work with for my Cookbook Challenge. Most of the books I have left are dessert-based – yikes! I guess those might have to be spread out over a few months to keep us from indulging too much 🙂 Continue reading

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Post 107 – The Cookbook Challenge

I have a lot of cookbooks. Not as many as some people I’m sure, but I still have a plethora. I have old ones, I have new ones. I have thin and thick, tall and small. I used to collect them simply because family and friends knew that buying me a cookbook was an easy Christmas or birthday gift. Eventually I realized this could get out of control and I said, no more cookbooks! Sometimes I still pine for more when flipping through the glossy pages of a new one at Brookline Booksmith – my favorite bookstore.

IMG_1306So what to do with all these cookbooks? After talking with someone this past week who herself was trying to make better use of her collection, I decided that I need to cook from my cookbooks way more often. These days, I tend to go to the internet when I want a new recipe (or when I want to share a recipe – hello blog!) and my poor cookbooks are just taking up space on my bookshelf.

Oatmeal raisin pancakes for breakfast!

Oatmeal raisin pancakes for breakfast with cinnamon sour cream!

So I decided to do a cookbook challenge. I will make at least one recipe out of every cookbook that I own for the next several weeks (months? years?) until I get through every last one. I am still allowed to use the internet for a few recipes here and there, but the majority of my recipes will be from cookbooks that I own. This way I can still expand my recipe repertoire (as many of them have never been used!) and give my collection of cookbooks a little love.

I started my challenge yesterday, making oatmeal raisin pancakes with cinnamon sour cream for breakfast (pictured above). This recipe comes courtesy of Dorie Greenspan from a small book of pancakes I picked up at a used bookstore in Maine while visiting my aunt and uncle’s summer cabin. I altered the recipe slightly and the pancakes and sour cream topping turned out delicious!

Oatmeal Raisin Pancakes with Cinnamon Sour Cream

adapted from Pancakes: Morning to Midnight by Dorie Greenspan

serves 2-3 people generously

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

2 T. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

2 T. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

1/2 cup raisins

For the sour cream: Mix 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and 2 tsp. brown sugar and set aside.

For the pancakes: mix all of the dry ingredients (flour through baking soda) in one bowl. Mix all of the wet ingredients (butter through egg) in another. Add the wet to the dry and stir just enough so that all of the dry is moistened. Fold in raisins. Allow the batter to sit and absorb the liquid for 10 minutes. Preheat a pan or griddle to medium-low as you would for pancakes. When the pan is hot, add the batter in 1/4 cup ladles and cook for a few minutes until bubbles form. Flip and cook another minute more. Remove to a plate and serve with cinnamon sour cream. Repeat with remaining batter.

Now don’t think I stopped at one recipe for the day. After all, the day had only begun. For dinner I made Salmon in Phyllo (Filo) from the Better Homes and Gardens 75th anniversary cookbook. I had originally planned to make a steak and ale pie using the phyllo in honor of Pi day, but I ended up changing my mind. To use up the already thawed phyllo, I decided a sort of Salmon en croute would be delicious.

IMG_1297These pretty fillets were topped with rosemary, salt, pepper, and don’t forget BUTTER – whoa nelly! Wrapped up in pretty little packages, I tucked them in the oven to brown.

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Atop a colorful pot holder

The salmon and phyllo were flaky and wonderful, flavored nicely with the dried rosemary. Perhaps because of all the butter, the fish was very filling. I served it with roasted potatoes and as always a green salad.

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Salmon in Phyllo

adapted from Better Homes and Gardens 75th anniversary cookbook

2/3-3/4 lb. salmon fillets

4-6 sheets of phyllo dough

rosemary, salt, pepper

3-4 T. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and lightly butter a medium sized oven-safe dish.

Cut your salmon into two equal size pieces if it isn’t already. Pat dry with paper towels and season with salt, pepper, and fresh or dried rosemary.

On a clean surface, lay out your phyllo dough, one layer at a time, brushing each with butter before adding the next layer. When all layers are done, add your salmon pieces on top, spacing them evenly apart. Using a sharp knife, cut the phyllo dough to separate into two pieces for each piece of salmon. Fold two opposite sides over the fish, brushing with more butter as needed and roll or tuck up the ends to make a package. Place in your oven-safe dish and bake for 18-20 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish. If it is an inch thick, 18 minutes is perfect. It is hard to check the doneness of the salmon though since it is wrapped in the pastry. You can cut into it if you are worried about the fish being done. Serve with mustard or a mustard cream sauce (as recommended in the book).

Since we don’t usually like to eat leftover fish, I made one more dish (from yet another cookbook!) for Sam to take for lunch today – Peppered Chicken Stir Fry. This came from a giant cookbook filled with an assortment of recipes from all different cuisines. Chicken is mixed with ketchup and soy sauce and then dredged in crushed peppercorns. It’s pretty peppery, which I knew Sam would love. Serve it with rice for a tasty and well-balanced meal.

IMG_1294(1)I have cooked from three of my cookbooks (out of how many?)

The cookbook challenge has begun!

Peppered Chicken Stir Fry

from 1000 Classic Recipes

1 lb. chicken breast

2 T. ketchup

2 T. soy sauce

2 T. crushed mixed peppercorns (I beat mine contained in a ziploc bag with a meat mallet)

2 bell peppers, your choice of color, sliced

2 handfuls of sugar snap peas

2 T. oyster sauce

Brown rice to serve

Heat up a large skillet or wok over medium heat with a tablespoon of oil.

Thinly slice your chicken breast and mix it with the ketchup and soy sauce. Toss in the crushed peppercorns and mix it all together. When the oil is starting to shimmer, add your chicken breast slices and stir fry for a few minutes until no longer pink on the outside. Add your sliced peppers and snap peas and stir. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add the oyster sauce and allow it to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with brown rice.

Post 100 – The Cooking Marathon

I wanted to do something special for Post 100 – make a hundred of something (actually totally do-able at work), post a hundred photos from my blog (too much scrolling), or eat a hundred M&Ms (my father-in-law would be proud), but none of those things seemed quite right. Reaching a hundred posts after about 2 years of blogging feels pretty important, but I don’t need to turn into some kind of holiday. (The first blog I wrote lasted about 3 posts, no photos, and probably never had any readers but me – watch out, it might still be lurking out there in cyberspace…)

Breakfast: Happ parfait, cinnamon bread, cheesy spinach square

Breakfast: Happ parfait, cinnamon bread, cheesy spinach square

Instead I spent my day yesterday in the kitchen cooking and baking to my heart’s content, filling up the fridge with good food and gearing up for a week of good eating.

Here are some photos from the 6 recipes I made yesterday: homemade cinnamon bread, sweet potato salad, chicken cordon bleu, salmon with cilantro pumpkin seed pesto, cheesy spinach squares, and walnut cream for my apple, ginger and nut “porridge” from my new cookbook!IMG_1181

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Thank you to all of you reading and following my blog! I wouldn’t be writing and taking crazy photos of food without you.

Post 78 – The Process of Elimination

When I started this blog, I wanted to write about all the wonderful recipes and foods in the world that I loved to cook and eat. Erin Eating Everything was supposed to mean that nothing was off-limits and that my followers would enjoy reading about a variety of delicious and often healthy recipes. Lately though I have felt restricted in what I eat and therefore in what I cook due to my digestive issues caused by my acid reflux/GERD. In reality I am probably eating much healthier now than I did before by eliminating sugar, which is a major cause of inflammation. It has been frustrating and upsetting, but I have taken my health more seriously lately and decided to do everything I can to feel the best that I can. I thank you all for continuing to follow along with me throughout this journey and I promise to still give you delicious recipes along the way!

Today is day 9 of my Elimination Diet (ED). I know what you’re thinking. I know that diet often has the connotation of crazy fad food regimes where you eat 600 calories a day and starve yourself to lose weight, but that is not the case for me. I have started the ED with the guidance of a doctor and nutritionist in an effort to get off reflux medications, improve my health (since my symptoms have not gone away despite avoiding supposed trigger foods), and feel better. As the name suggests, I have eliminated all potential (most common) allergens and will reintroduce them one at a time to test for which ones may be the culprits. It requires patience, planning, and persistence and of course it helps to have your support.

Rather than focus on the negative (what I can’t eat) I want to focus on the positive and share with you all of the delicious things I CAN eat.

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Like my coconut curry chicken with rice that I shared with you last post – full of flavor and a feast for the eyes as well!

I also enjoyed salmon that I topped with fresh ginger, cilantro, and sesame oil with roasted asparagus and sweet potatoes on the side.

 

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And for few days this week we savored oven-roasted pork chops (recipe follows)photo 3(21)

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First I brined the chops in a salt-water solution for an hour, then I pan-seared them and finished them in the oven. They were moist, flavorful, and delicious. Brining them helps to keep them moist and inject a little bit of flavor with the salt. The recipe is not entirely hands-off, but it is well worth it if you don’t want a dry pork chop. I hope you give it a try!

In other news, spring has sprung here in Boston and I am taking advantage as much as possible of the warmer weather, longer days (notice the wonderful natural lighting for my dinner!) and sunshine. I’ve been biking to work most days and playing frisbee with a spring hat league, which are both great ways to get out. I hope you are enjoying the spring weather as well.

 

Oven-Roasted Pork Chops

inspired by America’s Test Kitchen and The Kitchn

4 center-cut pork chops (I used boneless but bone-in works too)

spice rub mix of your choice

salt

sugar (optional)

olive oil

 

Prepare your brine by dissolving 3 Tablespoons of Kosher salt in 6 cups of cold water in a large bowl (optional to also add 3 Tablespoons of sugar to the brine). Add your pork chops, cover, and refrigerate for an hour.

When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Remove pork chops from the brine and discard liquid. Pat each chop dry and rub on both sides with your favorite spice rub. I used (an unmeasured mixture of) salt, black pepper, and paprika. Heat a large oven-safe skillet (cast iron works well) over medium high heat and add a light coating of olive oil. Swirl to evenly distribute in the pan. When the pan is hot, add your pork chops carefully so as not to splatter yourself with hot oil. You should hear a fairly loud sizzle when they hit the oil. If not, your pan is not hot enough. Sear for 3 minutes on the one side, until the pork chop is well browned on the underside. Flip your pork and immediately transfer the pan to the hot oven (don’t forget to turn off your burner). Cook for 6 to 10 minutes (depending on thickness of the chops) or until a thermometer reads 145 degrees in the thickest part of the meat (or longer if you are worried about under cooking your meat, though see this link for more information). Remove the chops from the pan and put on a plate, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes. This step is very important if you want to keep your pork juicy!

Serve with your favorite sides. Enjoy!