dinner is served

I have been slacking on the cooking front!  With Zumba three nights a week, I can barely get anything on the table and the hubs is left to fend for himself.  Tonight, I had a rare night off from horses and Zumba and took to the fridge to figure out dinner only to find we have the bare essentials.

I found a piece of silver salmon (Coho) in the freezer and quickly thawed in some water.  After debating whether to poach it in some soy sauce (nope, too salty for my low sodium diet) I settled on a mint-mustard sauce.  Quick aside, one of my three favorite horsey movies is “Something to Talk About” and after finding out her husband was cheating on her, she took the advice of her crazy aunt and made him salmon with mint-mustard sauce while they talked things out.  A trip to the hospital later outted her intentions to poison him via the dish.  No such intentions here, but have always wanted to make salmon with a mint-mustard sauce.

Since onions sautéed with roasted red pepper sauce is not JB’s idea of a side dish (but that is what I was decidedly having), I quickly boiled some water and added a quarter pound of gemelli I had left over from a previous pesto pasta dish.   In a pan, I made a roux and added some half-and-half and gorgonzola to make a light cream sauce for the squiggly pasta.  I threw in the remainder of some romano I had put the sauce on low until I could cook the fish.

I seared the salmon filets for about 2.5 minutes on each side and finished them with a sauce made of stone ground mustard, Dijon mustard, honey, horseradish and finely chopped fresh mint.

I always make the pasta first, in anticipation of the water taking forever to boil, but I always wish I had done it last.  By the time I plated the fish and red pepper/onion mix, the pasta was a bit cold and the gorgonzola cream sauce had started to settle.  I quickly combined both in a last-ditch effort to reheat.  Success.

Not a bad dish for an impromptu dinner at home.  Can’t wait to get to TJ’s for a grocery run ASAP.  In the meantime, I’m off to get the bulldog a refill of treats and pill-pockets at PetSmart.

oh, and i’m dreaming of…

it’s all greek to me

I’m not sure if it’s because mediterranean food tends to be lighter in fat or if my taste buds are just craving it, but I can’t seem to stop cooking Greek food.  Last night I made my turkey lettuce wraps and they are so refreshing and light.  Just ground turkey (marinated in 2 tbsp of Greek vinaigrette), red and green peppers, red onion, basil and garlic.  Served in a butter lettuce leaf topped with some homemade tzatziki.  Simple and enough for three lunches this week. 

Also been crazy for the gyro salad from our local pizzeria. And they deliver.  Amazebags. 

And have you seen those awesome little packages at Trader Joe’s of frozen cubes of fresh garlic and basil and cilantro?  LOVE those things and they make my life so much simpler especially when my garlic bulb looks a little unsavory (little green sprout at the point…) or the basil I am growing hasnt rebounded from my last picking.

 

5 lb challenge

Nope, not about weight loss, although since you asked, I’m down a whopping 30 lbs!  Which is why this post is going to seem to make no sense… since I’m not supposed to be entertaining cheesesteaks as a viable meal option.

This past weekend we traveled up to Baltimore and Philly for another lap of culinary adventure.  For JB’s 27th birthday a couple of years ago, I had taken him to both cities to try some ‘as seen on TV’ meals.  We hit up Blue Moon Cafe ( from Diners, Drive-ins and Dives) in Baltimore for an amazing breakfast followed by Gino’s and Pat’s in Philly to settle the cheesesteak debate.  [I loved Pat’s, JB loved Gino’s].  We topped that trip off with a tasting menu at Morimoto… never to be forgotten.

This past weekend, we headed back to Blue Moon bright and early for their famous sticky buns and Cap’t Crunch french toast.  If you aren’t seated by 8am, the wait can be anywhere from 1 hour and 45 minutes and beyond!  Luckily, we sat down just about 8am, after a quick 20 minute wait (across from a table of what I can only imagine to be Orioles players and their blinged out wives).  Our group of friends mowed down some french toast, eggs, home fries and sticky buns and we conferred it’s still the best.breakfast.yet. And thank goodness for the english muffins I had, which served as mops for my mimosa-y stomach (started the drinking at 6am).

After that, we made the trek north to Philly by way of traffic and tolls and a few rest stops.  Upon arrival – we weren’t quite hungry yet, so we set off to see the Liberty Bell and downtown Philadelphia.  We got to our destination just before a torrential downpour, where we stood in line at Tony Luke’s for 35 minutes awaiting the challenge.  JB and friends decided to take the 5 lb challenge after watching Adam Richman house a cheesesteak on Man vs. Food.  As we geared up our metal orders and approached the window, JB and George made a game-day decision to split the challenge.

What a bust!  They both slaughtered their 2.5 lb cheesesteaks in record time and vowed to make the trip back up in a month, to conquer the 5 pounder once and for all.  Next time, I assume there will be no stopping at BMC and there will be some serious belly aching in the car afterwards — cuz that thing was HUGE.  They both were far less intimidated once they cruised through their respective halves.  Maybe giving them a false sense of security for the future 🙂

Pictures to follow.

Tuna Tacos

I’ve been having tuna overload lately, but today, I gave it one last college try.  I got some small flour tortillas, red onion and cabbage at the grocery and ran home to start it up.  I seared two small yellow fin steaks for a minute on each side, a perfect ahi resulted.  I sliced them (once cooled) into thin slices along with the red onion and cabbage.  I lightly pan-fried the tortillas (for JB… I’m still dieting) until golden brown in spots.

JB whipped up a quick sriracha mayo (mayo + sriracha) and spread it on his tortilla.  He topped that with the tuna slices, cabbage and onion.  OMG – these things were delightfully refreshing.

I had my normal ahi tuna salad a la Ina Garten but couldn’t resist ONE tuna taco.  I used my tuna salad instead of plain tuna slices – for a Bar Harbor meets San Diego twist.  AMAZEBUCKETS.

Try it.

AWOL

I literally haven’t been writing because I can’t decide on a new name for this blog.  I need to whiteboard it out, actually.  I have so many things to write about, like my kitchen revamp and painting projects; in addition to an awesome dinner and libations at Trummer’s On Main – our trusty date spot.

More soon.  Maybe even a crazy stream of consciousness about blog names.  Who knows!

Chick Pea Salad

One of the local design bloggers that I follow posted this chickpea salad a couple of months ago, and I finally got around to trying it and it’s FABULOUS!  I just wish there was a way to find lower sodium chickpeas! 

I nixed the addition of salt and parm since the canned chickpeas had enough sodium to launch me into full blown stay-puff state.  Thanks to Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home for sharing this recipe!