Sunday, May 27, 2007

Better Burger

Inspired by Mark Bittman's recent article in the New York Times, we decided to try to grind our own beef last night for better burgers. Hubby stopped at his new favorite butcher and picked up a five-pound chuck roast. Following Bittman's suggestion, we pulled out the food processor, chopped the roast into one-inch cubes, and pulsed it in batches to the desired consistency. Hubby then formed a few burgers, seasoned them liberally, and blessed them on the grill. The verdict: definitely better than store-bought ground beef. The taste was meatier, and the burger was juicier. Next time, I would use the meat grinder attachment we have for the mixer to do the dirty deed. I'd also season the meat mixture, rather than just the burger exterior, and perhaps sneak a pat of butter into the heart of the burger (a trick I recently learned from Ina Garten).

Saturday, May 19, 2007

What Nick Made for Dinner

Nick made dinner on Thursday night. He wrote the recipe up for a homework project. This is his essay.

On May 17, 2007 I made tilapia fish cakes. first I made tarter sauce. I took 3 scoops of Mayo. Then I put 2 scoops of relish in. then I put in 10 drops of hot sauce. Then I taste tested it. Next I got out the tilapia and got oil on it then I put on salt and pepper on the Tilapia. Then flipped the tilapia over and put salt and pepper on the other side. then we Then we put it in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Then we made mixture for the Tilapia we put in 2 eggs mayo lime juice and lime shavings all in a bowl and mixed it up. Then crumbled up the tilapia in the bowl the other stuff and mixed it up.

Then we crushed some Ritz crackers and rolled the fishcakes in them and fried them. Here is Nick with the finished product:

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Salmon with Angel Hair in Vodka Sauce

I'm trying to cook from the pantry and the freezer as much as possible this week. I found a piece of salmon buried under the ice cream, a few lemons in the fridge, and a can of tomatoes in the pantry, so I cobbled this together, inspired by a fancier recipe I found on Epicurious. The kids devoured it, and hubby smiled, so I think it's a keeper.

Salmon with Angel Hair Pasta in Vodka Sauce

3 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup vodka
1 lemon
1 bag baby spinach
1 onion, chopped
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 pound salmon filet

In a small saucepan, mix the chicken stock, cream, and vodka and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced by 1/3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil and heat the broiler. In a large skillet, saute the chopped onion until it begins to caramelize. Add the spinach and saute until it wilts. Add the chopped tomatoes, and cook down a bit. Pour the stock/cream/vodka mixture into the sauteed vegetables, and continue to cook down. Season the fish and pop it in the broiler; cook until done. After you take the fish out of the oven, cook the pasta. Dump the cooked pasta into the sauce. Serve the pasta, topped with a piece of the salmon.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Easy Macaroni Salad

It feels like summer, and that puts me in the mood for macaroni salad. My Aunt Cal used to make the best macaroni salad ever--cool and creamy, with just enough crunch and bite to be interesting. I put this weeknight salad together last week with the help of some store-bought shortcuts--not my usual method, but pretty tasty nonetheless.

Weeknight Macaroni Salad

1 pound macaroni
1 jar Marzetti slaw dressing
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 bag broccoli slaw
2 tsp curry powder

Cook the macaroni. Rinse in cold water. Toss with the red bell pepper, onion, and broccoli slaw. Add the curry powder and salt and pepper to taste. Chill.