Category: Andrew

Simple Cornbread Muffins

Oh the Grist Mill. That was such a fun day. We picked up the corn meal and flour from there for a donation and then promptly made these corn bread muffins. The recipe was in a stack on the wall. They are not a sweet cornbread despite having some sugar in them. I’m not sure if it was the freshly ground flours, but after about a day or two in airtight containment, they do get a little crumbly. I suggest eating them over the sink or near a scavenging cattle dog who loves to eat your crumbs.

Inspiration: The Grist Mill

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole grain cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8″ square baking pan or 12 muffin tins. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk well to combine. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir until just combined. Spoon into the baking vessel you chose.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the top starts to turn light brown.

Chimichurri and a Charred Broccoli Salad

This is unbelievably easy. I’ve always wanted to make chimichurri. I don’t eat it that often, but I love it every time I do, and I’ve heard it’s easy. It is easy. It is delicious. It’s hard not to always have some on hand.

Charred broccoli is ridiculously good too. I added more red pepper flakes to the dressing because you know that’s how I do, but you could back off. The original recipe had arugula, but I didn’t want to buy an entire container just for a cup of arugula. Bulk mixed greens were a fine substitute. For some reason, the vegetable peeler was making gigantic pieces of cheese. I think I’d shred it next time for better distribution. I’ll take cheese with every bite, thankyouverymuch.

The steak method is pretty much the go-to. It yields such a juicy steak. I live and die by my thermometer now. Consistent results every time. I ended up with a smaller steak just because a) New Seasons ran out and b) I really don’t need to eat more than a half pound of steak in a sitting, do I? If you put it in front of me, you know I’ll eat it. It meant that the meat to chimichurri recipe was a little off, but that’s ok. You’ll want to eat this stuff by the spoonful.

Inspiration: The Splendid Table

Ingredients

  • 1lb flank steak
  • 1lb broccoli florets, cut into even pieces
  • 1 cup mixed greens
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup of pecorino romano cheese, peeled with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 1/2 cups parsley
  • 3/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Season both sides of the steak with salt. Set aside until needed, allowing it to come up to room temperature.

Heat a 12″ skillet on high heat. Add the broccoli florets and cook them, stirring occasionally, until they start to char on all sides. This will take 8-10 minutes. Toss the broccoli in a large bowl with the mixed greens, olive oil, 2 teaspoons of honey, lemon juice, and a teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the pecorino romano cheese, and cover the bowl. Set aside until ready.

In the bowl of a food processor, add the parsley, cilantro, shallot, vinegar, garlic, remaining teaspoon of honey, remaining teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt. Process until the mixture is finely chopped and incorporated. Keep the processor on as you drizzle in the vegetable oil until the mixture is well blended. Transfer the chimichurri to a bowl.

Heat the remaining two tablespoons of vegetable oil in the skillet until nearly smoking. Pat the steak dry with paper towels. Season both sides with pepper. Add the steak to the hot skillet and turn the heat down to medium-high. Brown the first side, it will take 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Flip the steak and brown that side. Continue to flip cook and flip the steak in this manner until the internal temperature of the steak is 120 degrees.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board, spread 1/3 cup of the chimichurri on top, cover with aluminum foil, and let the steak rest for about 10 minutes. Thinly slice the steak against the grain before serving with the broccoli salad and the remaining chimichurri.

Slow Roasted Citrus Salmon

This salmon was a nice change from the usual grilled salmon with salt and pepper I usually make. New Seasons had 283,920,382 types of citrus at the time, and I ended up picking one that had a very grapefruit-y essence that was fine for me, but not for someone else in the house. I should have definitely should have gone with the tried and true blood orange, but I wanted to try something new.

Going low and slow with all that oil and citrus made for a very, very, very moist salmon. Not a chance that this sucker is drying out unless you try to overcook it. A mandoline is going to be your friend. I had everything in the oven in probably 10 minutes.

Don’t be scared by the jalapeno. I really thought it’d be spicier based on how spicy it was pre-roast, but it was really mild when all was said and done. It added a little more depth to a bright, yet rich, piece of salmon.

And now I’m out of salmon in the freezer. I have to back to buying it at the store like a normal human. What’s the world coming to?

Inspiration: Bon Appetit

Ingredients

  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced with seeds removed
  • 1 Meyer lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 2lbs, skinless salmon fillet
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Toss the fennel, orange slices, lemon slices, and jalapeno into a shallow baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.

Season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper before placing on top of the fennel citrus mixture. Pour the olive oil all over.

Roast the salmon, uncovered, until it’s just about cooked through. 30-40 minutes should be plenty of time, but my fillet was really thick. I went to 40 and tested it with my thermometer. Internal temp should be about 145 degrees.

Transfer the salmon to a platter and spoon the fennel citrus mixture on top. Taste for salt and pepper.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

The comfort of tuna noodle casserole. My love for it knows no bounds. This version combines all the things I love so much–pasta, tuna, mushrooms, leeks, a white cheddar sauce, greenery in the form of dill, a crunch from tortilla chip crumbles.

The casserole of my childhood was similar but different. Elbow macaroni. A lot of Velveeta. No crunch. No baking. This felt like the grown-up version and still elicited a lot of the same eyes-rolling-into-the-back-of-your-head goodness. I struggled with my portions as I often do when pasta and cheese are involved.

We managed to save leftovers. I was that person who ate fish in the office. I promise I didn’t reheat it. I’m not that cruel.

Inspiration: Bon Appetit

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 12oz dried egg noodles
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium leek, white and pale green parts, finely chopped
  • 10oz crimini mushroom, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup white wine [I used vermouth because that’s all I had on hand]
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6oz white cheddar, grated
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce [I used tapatio]
  • 12oz tuna, packed in oil, drained and broken into pieces
  • 2 handfuls of tortilla chips, crushed
  • 1/2 cup dill, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 13×9″ baking dish.

Cook the egg noodles in a large pot of boiling, heavily salted water for about 2-3 minutes. The pasta should still be very al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.

Melt 1/2 of the stick of butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the onion and leek and stir often. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until they start to soften but not brown. Increase the heat to medium-high. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for another 4-6 minutes. The moisture from the mushrooms should seep out and cook off. Add the wine and continue stirring occasionally until the moisture is nearly gone. Season with salt and pepper.

In a pot, melt the remaining 1/2 stick of butter on medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook the roux until it’s golden brown, about two minutes. It will be shiny and smooth. Whisk constantly and add the chicken stock. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the cream, cheddar and hot sauce. Stir often until the cheese is melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, mix together the mushrooms, cheese sauce, noodles, and tuna. Everything should be evenly coated. Taste for more salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the top with the chips. Bake for about 20 minutes. The casserole will be bubbly and the chips starting to brown. Remove from heat and let it sit for about five minutes. Sprinkle with dill before serving.

Butterscotch Gingerbread Cookies

I know, I know. Gingerbread in February. I’m linear. I post things in order that I make them 97 percent of the time so I’m sorta sorry about this. Who says you can’t have gingerbread year-round? It’s been cold enough to justify this with a mug of whatever warm thing you’ve been drinking lately.

Using butterscotch pudding is brilliant. You know that’s totally why I picked this right? The flavor melds right into the overall ginger flavor, and I didn’t have to buy a special jar of molasses that will take me forever to get through.

This cold weather is nice for softening butter since I always seem to have our fireplace on, and I can’t ever seem to remember to take the butter out in a reasonable amount of time.

These ended up being perfectly soft and chewy. Ginger snaps these are not, but it’d be easy to make them so. Just bake them longer. They already seem thick enough to make it happen. I went with a simple circle shape with a biscuit cutter because I didn’t have anything else handy, and I don’t really want to store a bunch of cookie cutters. Besides, I’m all about classics [except where I threw pudding mix into a cookie…].

Inspiration: Almost Makes Perfect

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3.4oz box of cook and serve butterscotch pudding
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preparation

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. I like to do this for several minutes until it’s nice and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until fully incorporated. In batches, slowly mix in the dry ingredients until a dough forms. Shape the mixture into two or three balls and cover and chill in the fridge for about an hour.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll each dough ball out until about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat. Leave about 2″ between cookies so they don’t spread.

Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and then to a cooling rack.

The original recipe calls for icing that I didn’t want to use. I’m an icing free kind of girl. You do you.