Thursday, January 10, 2013

Now We're Cooking

It's been a good week for dinners in our household.  It took a while before the kitchen was clean and set up enough that I felt like I could actually cook here.

Tuesday night, I made this Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze again with a side of salad. Learning from last time, this time I made a little more of the glaze. I cooked 3 filets, thinking we'd have the third for leftovers, but we ended up splitting the third filet, we liked it so much.  The salmon was from the Ballard farmers market. This dish is so easy, fast and delicious, it's a definite weekly go-to meal for us.

Wednesday night, I made a steak "restaurant style" with a side of roasted brussel sprouts.  The steak was basically fried or seared for a few minutes in butter, garlic and herbs, and then I put the steak, still in the cast iron pan, right into the hot oven. It came out great and again, was very quick. I roasted the brussel sprouts while I prepared the steak. The whole thing, including all prep, took maybe a half hour.  The brussel sprouts were from the farmers market. I cut them, I mix them in some olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, spread them out on a cookie sheet and let them roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, just shaking the pan every few minutes. The closer they are to burnt, the better! Both the steak and the brussel sprouts came out great, but this is definitely not the healthiest way to prepare a steak, doused in butter!

Tonight, I made a pizza. I had prepared the dough in the breadmaker last night while dinner was cooking and put in the fridge for a day. I think it is easier to roll out the dough when it is cold and rested. The dough was made with organic triticale flour which we got at the farmers market. This was my first time ever using (or, even seeing, for that matter) triticale flour, but I learned that it is a hybrid of wheat and rye. I ending up adding some all-purpose flour to the mix just to make it a little lighter and more tender.

I roasted mushrooms the same way I roasted the brussel sprouts the night before. I was surprised how much they shrunk down. I did this because I've used raw mushrooms on pizza before and they put off a lot of water as they cooked, making the pizza kind of soggy. I figured by pre-roasting them, I could avoid that problem and add some flavor to the mushrooms. It worked out well, so I would definitely roast mushrooms (or any vegetable) for pizza again.

I put black olive tapenade on half of the pizza (the dark part you see on the left).  We bought this jar of tapenade awhile ago and I thought it would be good because Jon loves black olives on pizza. I'd love to try making my own tapenade next time. I used Mt. Townsend Creamery Off Kilter, a cheese made with Scotch Ale, available at our farmers market and also at Pike Place Market. Then I put the mushrooms on the other half of the pizza and let the olive and mushrooms half overlap in the middle. I baked it at 450 degrees for about 14 minutes. It came out great! My only complaint is that, without tomato sauce, it was a little dry. I'm not sure what the trick to white pizza is, maybe I need a wetter cheese like ricotta or drizzle a little olive oil over the whole thing (never a bad idea).

Jon already asked for pizza leftovers for lunch tomorrow, so I think he liked it!

And, sticking with the theme, tomorrow I'm going to a cooking class. It's free and offered by a local co-op.

Here's our other black Olive, looking out the window for Jon this afternoon. Or she could be watching for pigeons and dogs. It's hard to tell sometimes.

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