Honey Cilantro Lime Salmon

Hi friends– End of the weekend here.  How was yours??   Friday night the young moms from our table at MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) came over and we cooked dinner together.  So fun!!  And we sat and talked til after 11:00.  Love those girls.

Besides that we had a couple quiet days–lots of reading and long walks.  And here is a good dinner idea for a lazy Saturday supper.  With a big salad and some rice, it’s ready in less than 30 minutes.

HONEY CILANTRO LIME SALMON
1 pound filet of salmon
salt
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup butter, melted
juice of 1 lime
3 tab. honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Line a baking dish with foil and spray it with cooking spray.  then set your salmon filet in the center of the foil, liberally sprinkling on salt and pepper.

In a bowl, mix the melted butter, lime juice, honey and minced garlic.  Spoon it over the salmon and fold the sides of the foil up over the salmon.

Bake it up at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the thickness of the salmon).  Then turn on the broiler and cook 2 or 3 minutes more to crisp the stop.

Put it on a pretty plate and sprinkle the cilantro on top to serve it up nice and hot.

Garlic & Brown Sugar Roast Pork Loin

Hello everyone–  Had our parents in for lunch last week.  They are amazing.  At 86, 88 and 90, they are still so fun to hang out with.  And it’s lovely to cook for them– they always rave over the food no matter how it comes out…

So we dug into this tasty pork loin, simply sweetened with brown sugar and spiced with garlic.  So easy. Just spread on the flavoring and roast it for less than an hour.

We ate it with roasted butternut squash, steamed broccoli and a pile of cornbread stuffing.  Just right for a good time around the table.

GARLIC & BROWN SUGAR ROAST PORK LOIN
2 pound pork loin
salt & freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 loves garlic, minced*
1 tab. olive oil
for gravy: 1 tab. cornstarch

Trim any excess fat off of the pork loin.  Then set it into a baking dish that has been spray with cooking spray. Liberally salt & pepper the pork.

In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, garlic and oil until is resembles a thick paste.  Spread the brown sugar mixture over the top of the pork loin to cover it from end to end.

Pop the pork into a 375 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes, until a meat thermometer registers 150 degrees in the center of the roast.

Take it out of the oven and let it rest 5 minutes before you move it to a cutting board for slicing.

If you want gravy to sauce it up, pour the pan juices into the little sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Shake the tablespoon of cornstarch and 1/2 cup water in a container with a tight fitting lid until it is all blended.  Stir it into the boiling juices for a couple minutes until the sauce thickens.  Serve it hot with the pork loin.

Mongolian Beef

Hello all–  We’re nestled in for the night here in Madison Wisconsin.  Loved our Laurel and John’s “Wisconsin wedding weekend in the woods!”  plus a little woodsy hiking and a lot of water-parking with grand-girls since then.  So actually, I haven’t been cooking up much lately!!

But here’s super at our house back in California a couple weeks ago.  Rich brown sauce wrapped around tender chunks of beef –all over brown rice.  Simple and so good.

MONGOLIAN BEEF
1 cup brown rice
2 tab. cornstarch
1 pound flank steak
2 tab. olive oil
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled & minced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped fine
1 cup brown mushroom, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
garnish: green onion, chopped

sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch

Put the rice on to cook according the directions on the package.

Then put the sauce together.  In a container with a tight fitting lid shake together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and 2 tsp. cornstarch until it is thoroughly blended.  Set aside.

Cut the flank steak into 1/4 inch strips.  Toss it in a bowl with the 2 tab. cornstarch.  Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet. And then drop the meat in an even layer int he bottom of the skillet.  Cook on high for just about a minute on each side so it has a nice crisp char.  Remove to a plate.

In the same skillet, drop in the ginger and onion.  Cook 2 or 3 minutes until the onion is translucent.  Then add in the mushroom and garlic and cook a couple minutes more.

Give the sauce ingredients one more good shake and then pour it all into the hot pan over the onion mixture.  Stir until it thickens and then add in the beef.

Layer the cook rice and beef & sauce onto a plate.  Sprinkle the top wit green onion.  Done!

Honey Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Hello all you gardeners (or just plain old tomato eaters!)– I’m pleased to report that Larry’s tomato crop has come in!!  We have piles of tomatoes of all shapes and sizes on the kitchen counter.  That is to say, tomatoes are a mandatory part of every meal around here.

So when Joy and Larry invited us to sit out on their deck in the breeze on Sunday evening, we took along these roasted little cherry tomatoes– with some bread and a little fresh mozzarella to round them out.  Add a glass of wine and convivial friends.  Summer perfect!

HONEY GARLIC TOASTED CHERRY TOMATOES
4 cups assorted cherry tomatoes*
3 cloves garlic finely minced**
1 tab. honey
3 tab. olive oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt***
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Put the cleaned tomatoes in a mixing bowl.  In a smaller bowl stir together the garlic, honey, oil, salt & pepper.  Then pour it over the cherries and mix until the cherries are well coated.

Turn the cherries out onto a baking sheet that has been lined with foil.  Scrape all the extra oil mixture out of the mixing bowl and drizzle it over the tomatoes.

Bake it all up at 400 degrees for 15 minutes– wonderful serve hot or cooled.

* We used red, yellow and slightly larger purple varieties.
**Love Trader Joe’s minced frozen garlic– so easy!!
*** if you use regular salt in place of sea salt, use less!!  (I learned this the hard way on another dish.)

P.S –These paper thin crackers are my new addiction– You can get them at (where else??!) Trader Joe’s.

Chicken with Sun Dried Tomato Sauce

Hello hello–  All I can say is—-the Sauce!!  I poured the extra over my tortellini and sopped up every last drop.  This dish is easy enough for everyday, beautiful enough to share with a table full of friends.

CHICKEN WITH SUN DRIED TOMATO SAUCE|
4 to 6 chicken thighs
2 tab. olive oil
sale & freshly ground pepper
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. fresh thyme*
1 tsp. dried basil*
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped to bits
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup cream or half & half
1/2 cup grated parmesan romano
garnish: thyme sprigs, a sprinkling of parmesan

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and then drop in the chicken thighs.  Salt and pepper them liberally while they cook 5 to 7 minutes on each side (until they are cooked through).  Remove them to a plate and cover to keep warm

In the same skillet add the garlic, thyme, basil and dried tomatoes.  Stir for a minute to blend the flavors.  Then mix in the broth and cream. Let the sauce simmer on low for 3 to 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.  Stir in the parmesan romano.

Pour the sauce over the chicken.  Garnish with a bit of parmesan and sprigs of thyme.

We ate this luscious chicken with tortellini and a hearty salad.  Perfect.

*I just used thyme because it is growing in the side yard, basil, marjoram, mined rosemary, any fresh Italian-ish herb would be fine.
**Of if you have Italian seasoning, oregano…

Lemon Honey Salmon

Hey there– We’ve already hit a couple hot days– feels like a little summer preview.  So on a warm evening this week, we had this simple salmon, back doors wide open to catch the breeze.

Love this dish– fast, easy and the sauce–oh the sauce!  It’s tart, garlicky and honey sweet.

LEMON HONEY SALMON
1 tab. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
2 tab. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tab. butter, cut to small pieces
2 tsp. honey
4 six ounce salmon filets
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
garnish:
tab. parsley, minced*
lemon slices

In a small pan heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Put in the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes until it’s fragrant.  Add in the water & lemon juice.  Simmer for 3 or 4 minutes until it is reduced about half the liquid.  Stir in the butter and honey until it’s all blended and set aside.

Heat a skillet to medium high.  Pour in the 2 tab. olive oil.  Liberally salt & pepper the salmon on both sides.  Then cook it 3 minutes on each side until is crisp and golden.

Set the salmon on a pretty plate and pour over the warm sauce.  Sprinkle with parsley and garnish with lemon slices.  Done!

*I didn’t have any parsley in the fridge, so I used cilantro.

P.S.  Photos are just half a recipe– enough for Larry and me.

Orange Chili Pork Cutlets

IMG_2561Hello there– There’s a couple reasons I love these little pork cutlets.  They have a sweet and spicy coating that just wakes them up.  And they cook up so quickly!  Let them sit in the marinade while you make the rice, a veggie, a bright leafy salad– and they cook up in less than 5 minutes.  Just right for a week night dinner.

ORANGE CHILI PORK CUTLETS
4 thin pork cutlets
2 tab. olive oil
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tab. orange marmalade
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tab. honey

In a baking dish, mix together the oil, chili powder, salt, marmalade, garlic and honey until they are thoroughly blended.  Then marinate the pork in the mixture for about 30 minutes.

Grill the cutlets in a skillet, just 2 minutes on each side over medium heat until they are cooked through–but still tender.

That’s it!  so easy.