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Archive for March, 2010

Being from Florida, seafood is in my blood!  I love seafood – any kind – but especially fish.  It’s such a light, healthy meal and can be prepared so many different ways.  Typically when I do my food shopping I just try to buy what’s fresh – but in the back of my mind I’m always wondering, “Is this being over-fished?  Am I making the “right” choice?”  Well, fear not.  I found this great fish guide on Coastal Living’s website.  It lists out some of the common fish choices that have high levels of mercury or are over-fished and what you should purchase instead!  What do you think?  Do you try to make eco-friendly fish choices?

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Looking for a quick healthy way to incorporate Omega 3 and Vitamin D??  This is your recipe.  No sauce, one pan, minimal chopping, and your main dish is ready in 15 minutes!  If you have a choice, wild salmon is much better for you than farm raised salmon and it tastes so much better too.  It has a higher percentage of Omega-3 fats and it has much less contaminants than farm raised salmon.  Some of the studies I’ve read about the contaminants in farm raised salmon are kind of scary.  If you can’t find fresh wild salmon – go for frozen wild.  You might have to let it thaw during the day, but it’s better than farmed.

The combination of the citrus and the sun dried tomatoes in this recipe are surprisingly incredible!  I love that it’s so easy too.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices fresh lemon
  • 4 slices fresh orange
  • 2 (6 to 8-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes in oil, plus 1 tablespoon oil from jar

Directions

1)  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2)  In a large 9 by 13 baking dish layer lemons and oranges on the bottom. Season salmon with salt and pepper and place over the citrus.

3)  In a small bowl mix the parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, onion and tomato oil. Divide mixture on top of the salmon fillet.

4)  Place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until flakes.

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Spring Chicken!

Sunday was the first day of spring and I got the urge to clean out a few boxes that had been piling up since we got married this past October.  The weather was beautiful, so after coming off a long, freezing cold winter the cleaning didn’t last too long.  I did however come across one of my favorite wedding gifts – my first roasting pan!  It was so nice and shiny and new, I just wasn’t ready to break it out yet.  But, with the start of spring, I thought now was the perfect chance.  So, not only was it my first time using my roasting pan, but this was my first roasted chicken too!  I have to admit, roasting a whole chicken has always sounded very intimidating, (which is why I usually buy them!) but I now firmly believe they are well worth the work.  And to be honest, they’re quite easy to make – really!  They just take a long time to cook…but you don’t need to baste it like you do a turkey, so it’s not a lot of work.  You can easily squeeze in a great workout, freshen up, and make a salad – all before the chicken’s done.  How’s that for time management?

Recipe from Ina Garten – for my first roasted chicken, I didn’t really try to make it my own.  Thanks Ina!

Ingredients

  • 1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
  • 4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
  • Olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

1)  Remove the chicken giblets. Good news – these are usually already in a bag -so you won’t have to do too much dirty work. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry.

2)  Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic.

3)  Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.

This is the one step I will add:

4)  Carefully separate the skin from the breast meat.  You might have to use a knife to get it started.  Rub a mixture of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme under the skin.

5)  Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.

6)  Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

7)  Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes.

8)  Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

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I’m very Irish, so I love St. Patty’s Day.   Even though this isn’t “food” related, I couldn’t resist posting this picture from one of my new favorite blogs Mrs. Lilien.  I want the whole outfit!  Stay tuned for my corned beef and cabbage recipe coming later.

Here’s Mrs. O’Lilien:

What’s your favorite piece? I think mine are the shoes, but I would get more use out of the purse.  And the stool is great too.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Are you wearing green??

All images are courtesy of Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, and Heavenly Hostess

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Looking for something light and refreshing?  Then this is your perfect salad!   It’s not something I would typically make during the winter – but the fruits just looked so good at the grocery store.  The flavors of the fennel, citrus, and walnuts all come together – the tartness of the citrus really balances out the licorice taste of the fennel.  And walnuts add the perfect crunch.  Pair this with grilled chicken or seafood or serve on it’s own – it would be a really great and healthy meal for lunch too.

Ingredients:

1 Orange

1 Red Grapefruit

1 Blood Orange

1/2 lemon for juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup Sliced fennel

1/4 cup sliced walnuts

1/2 Tbs. butter

Spoonful of sugar

Arugula or Mixed Greens

Directions:

1)  Segment the oranges and grapefruit and place in bowl.  To do this, cut in between the membranes (white parts).  Reserve the remaining fruit and squeeze juice into separate bowl along with lemon juice.  Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.

2)  Thinly slice fennel and add to bowl with fruit.

3)  To prepare candied walnuts, melt butter and sugar in small saucepan over medium heat.  Add walnuts, coat with butter, and toast for 2-3 minutes.

4) Place fruit/ fennel on top salad and then spoon juices over salad.  Finish with toasted walnuts.

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My husband and I were lucky enough to get tickets to the new Emeril Lagassee Show that will begin airing in April on ION TV.  It was such a fun experience!  Emeril is quite the entertainer – he has as much energy in person as he does on tv.  Emeril’s guest star for this episode was Ali Sweeny – aka Sammy on Days of our Lives and the host of the Biggest Loser.  She was even more beautiful in person!

The theme for this episode was “Romance” and he made a whole pork belly (doesn’t sound romantic to me!) and a bouillabaisse. He paired the pork belly with picked cucumbers – which he claims are an aphrodisiac.  Never would have guessed!  They actually looked really delicious – he pickeled them for 24 hours in a mixture of soy and rice vinegar.  The bouillabaisse smelled incredible too – he used so many different types of fresh seafood.  If only we had a fish monger!  I get excited when I can find fresh, wild caught anything!  So, I probably won’t be trying this recipe anytime soon. 

Look out for us the third week in May – we’re in the front row way on the left!

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