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Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Red Wine Balsamic Cherry Sauce

Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Red Wine Balsamic Cherry Sauce

I saw this recipe on the foodnetwork a few months ago. The ideas of goats cheese with lemon wrapped in pork and balsamic cherry sauce were making my mouth water. I wanted to try it but I could not find any fresh cherries at the time. Now that cherries are in season I finally got to try it. This recipe is a bit more work than some but it is well worth the effort.

I have never cooked a stuffed pork loin before. A lot of the cheese mixture leaked out of the pork but enough was left inside. (The burnt cheese in the pan tasted great!) The melted and burnt cheese in the pan made making the cherry sauce a bit more challenging.

Note: Be absolutely careful to alway use oven mitts when touching the pan after it has come out of the oven. I was momentarily distracted, forgot and grabbed the pan... It was very painful! I have been putting off writing this post for a while now. I actually made this two weeks ago and the blisters on my are still not fully healed. Hopefully I have learned my lesson and will never make this mistake again.

Despite the painful memories this recipe tastes great and I will be making it again.

Ingredients:
1 pork tenderloin
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup soft goat cheese (crumbled)
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon basil (chopped)
1 teaspoon black pepper (ground)
butcher twine (I used unwaxed and unflavoured floss)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup cherries (pits removed and chopped)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Butterfly cut the pork lengthwise. (A butterfly cut is where you cut the pork as if you were going to cut it in half but stop cutting 1/2 inch from the end. This way you can roll up the pork and form a pocket.)
2. Lay the pork out flat with the cut open.
3. Season the inside of the pork with salt and pepper.
4. Mix the cheese, lemon zest, and basil and ground black pepper in a bowl.
5. Spread the cheese mixture on the inside of the pork leaving a 1/2 inch border free.
6. Roll the pork up sealing the cheese mixture inside.
7. Tie the pork roll with butchers twine in one inch intervals.
8. Rub olive oil onto the outside of the pork roll.
9. Season the outside of the pork roll with salt and pepper to taste.
10. Heat the olive oil in an oven proof pan.
11. Cook the pork tenderloin in the pan until the whole outside is golden brown.
12. Place the pan with the pork into a preheated 400F oven and cook for about 12 minutes.
13. Place the pork roll on a plate and let it rest.
14. Place the pan back on the stove. (Use oven mitts as the pan will be very hot.)
15. Pour the red wine into the pan and scrape the bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon.
16. Add the cherries, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
17. Let the liquid reduce for a few minutes.
18. Slice the pork, plate it and drizzle with the cherry sauce.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Similar Recipes:
Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken

Tamagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelet)

Tamagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelet)

Tamagoyaki (たまごやき) is Japanese rolled omelette. The rolled omelet can either be the main part of a breakfast or a side dish in a lunch or a dinner. Tamagoyaki is a classic component of a bento (Japanese boxed lunch) that I have seen in may Japanese dramas, manga and anime.

The omelet can be sweet and salty or really sweet or really salty by varying the amount of sugar and soy that is used. I have seen recipes where there are up to 3 tablespoons of sugar for a 3 egg omelette. Keep in mind that the more soy that you add the darker the eggs will get.

You can get a special rectangular pan for cooking tamagoyaki but I find that a small non-stick circular pan works fine. You can just cut away the ends to make it more rectangular if you wish.

Tamagoyaki is just as good cold as it is warm.

Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon soy
1 tablespoon dashi (optional)

Directions:
1. Mix the eggs, sugar, soy, and dashi in a bowl.
2. Melt the butter in a non-stick pan.
3. Turn the heat down to just below medium.
4. Pour 1/2 of the egg mixture in the pan.
5. Spread the egg evenly over the pan.
6. When the egg is almost cooked, roll the omelet up to one side of the pan. (I find that a pair of forks works well.)
7. Move the omelet to one side of the pan.
8. Pour the remaining egg mixture in the pan and spread it out to cover the pan.
9. Raise rolled omelet and spread the egg mixture under it.
10. When the new layer is almost cooked, roll the omelet up.

Update:

The other day I had some eggs that needed to be used and I also had some spinach and I thought that rolling some wilted spinach up in a tamagoyaki would be a good idea and it was. I can't wait to try rolling other things up in tamagoyaki

Spinach Tamagoyaki

Similar Recipes:
Mushroom, Spinach and Feta Omelet

Strawberry Pavlova

Strawberry Pavlova

With strawberries being in season I am looking for tasty strawberry recipes. A strawberry pavlova fits the bill. A pavlova is a meringue based dessert where the meringue is formed into a shell and topped with whipped cream and berries.

Whipping the cream with forks took much less time than whipping the egg whites for the meringue. Another treat that requires a bit of work to enjoy.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup whipping cream (chilled)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 serving of strawberries (cleaned and hulled)
1 meringue formed into a shell

Directions:
1. Whip the cream with a mixer, a whisk or a fork.
2. Slowly add the sugar while whipping.
3. It is done when it forms soft peaks. (Soft peaks means that the peaks will fall slowly.)
4. Place the strawberries and whipped cream in the meringue shell.

Similar Recipes:
Strawberry Cheesecake Crepes
Strawberry Shortcake

Kitsune Udon

Kitsune Udon

Kitsune Udon (きつねうどん) or "Fox Udon", is a Japanese noodle soup with aburaage. It consists of a dashi, soy, and mirin broth with udon noodles and seasoned aburaage. Udon noodles are thick wheat based Japanese noodles. Aburaage is a deep fried thin piece of tofu. It can usually be found frozen in Asian grocery stores. The aburaage should be rinsed with boiling water before use to remove excess oil. The aburaage is simmered in dashi, soy, and mirin to season it. Kitsune udon is also often topped with naruto (a type of kamaboko or fish cake). Togarashi (a chili powder commonly used as a condiment in Japan) can also be used to season.

This is a quick and tasty meal that can be made when you are in a pinch and are lacking in fresh food.

Ingredients:
1 aburaage (cut in half)
1/4 cup dashi
1/2 tablespoon soy
1/2 tablespoon mirin
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups dashi
2 tablespoons soy
2 tablespoons mirin
1 teaspoon sake
1 serving udon noodles (cooked)
1 grean onion (chopped)

Directions:
1. Pour boiling water over aburaage and drain to rinse it.
2. Simmer the aburaage in the dashi, soy, mirin and sugar until the liquid is almost gone.
3. Heat the dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sake in a small pan.
4. Place the cooked udon noodles into a bowl and pour the soup over udon noodles.
5. Place aburaage on the top.
6. Garnish with grean onions and togarashi if desired.

Similar Recipes:
Kare Udon (Curry Udon Soup)
Udon Noodles
Salmon Noodle Soup

Looking for more soup recipes?

Roasted Asparagus Crusted with Parmigiano Reggiano

Roasted Asparagus Crusted  with Parmigiano Reggiano

When I was at the market this weekend I heard that it was almost the end of the asparagus season in Ontario. I have been enjoying the local asparagus for the last few weeks. I tried a few new recipes and a few of my favorites. This new recipe quickly became one of my favorites this year. The golden crusty parmigiano reggiano with the bitter and slightly sweet balsamic vinegar on the oven roasted asparagus is an amazing combination.

Ingredients:
1 bunch asparagus
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (grated)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)

Directions:
1. Place the asparagus in a single layer on a baking dish.
2. Sprinkle the parmigiano reggiano on the asparagus.
3. Place in a preheated 400F oven until cooked. (about 10 minutes)
4. Place the asparagus on a serving plate and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Similar Recipes:
Roasted Asparagus with Poached Egg
Asparagus in Gorgonzola Sauce
Maple Dijon Roasted Asparagus
Asparagus Gratin
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Poached Egg and Hollandaise Sauce

White Chocolate Chunk and Macadamia Nut Cookies

White Chocolate Chunk and Macadamia Nut Cookies

My Favorite dessert/snack/cookie is "White Chocolate Chunk and Macadamia Nut Cookies". I have been chasing this recipe based on a memory that I have from long ago... I have tried many variations and this is my favorite so far. It is not yet perfect and I sometimes wonder if it is possible to compete with a remembered taste...

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/8 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup white chocolate (coarsely chopped)
1/2 cup macadamia nuts (coarsely chopped)

Directions:
1. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl.
2. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
3. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl.
4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet.
5. Mix in the chocolate and the macadamia nuts.
6. Place the dough onto a cookie sheet one table spoon at a time.
7. Bake in a 350F preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Peppermint White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pumpkin White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Cookies
Chocolate Chunk and Pecan Cookies
Cranberry, Pistachio and White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Apricot and White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Apricot White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Blondies

Take a look at the Sugar High Fridays roundup at the Domestic Goddess.

Sweet and Sour Zucchini

Sweet and Sour Zucchini

Zucchini or courgettes is one of the vegetables that I did not like when I was a kid. Now I am enjoying zucchini though I find myself short on tasty zucchini recipes. When I came across this recipe I just had to make it. I found the combination of sugar and vinegar add the sweet and sour to the zucchini to be very intriguing. I think that honey might work well in place of the sugar. The mint brightens the dish up and makes it very refreshing.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 zucchini (sliced thinly)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon pine nuts (toasted)
1 tablespoon raisins
1 teaspoon mint (chopped)
1 tablespoon parmigiano reggiano (optional, shaved)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the zucchini and saute until golden on both sides. (about 5-10 minutes)
3. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
4. Add the vinegar, salt and pepper and stir.
5. Sprinkle the sugar into the pan and stir.
6. Add the nuts and raisins and stir.
7. Remove from heat.
8. Add the mint.
9. Place the mixture on a plate and top with the parmigiano reggiano.

Similar Recipes:
Parmesan Crusted Baked Zucchini Sticks with Marinara Sauce

Take a look at the Weekend Herb Blogging roundup at Paulchen's Food Blog.

Meringues

Meringues

Since I am cooking in a closet sized kitchen I do not have room for a lot of utensils and devices. A mixer/blender is one of the things that I live without. I also forgot to pick up a whisk so I ended up whipping the egg whites with a fork. It took quite a bit of time. I was whipping the egg whites for 20-30 minutes. A treat that you have to work for!

It is a pretty simple recipe with only 2 required ingredients and a touch of vanilla for some flavour. You can make them in any shape that you want from a bite sized treat to a pie topping. This time I made them like cookies.

Ingredients:
2 egg whites (room temperature)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
2. Lay parchment paper on a baking sheet.
3. Beat the egg whites until they form peaks that do not fall over when pointed up.
4. Slowly mix in the sugar and vanilla extract.
5. Beat the mixture until it once again forms peaks that do not fall over when pointed up.
6. Place the mixture on the parchment paper in whatever form you desire.
7. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Coconut Macaroons

Use the leftover egg yolks in:
Guinness Chocolate Pudding
Hollandaise Sauce
Avgolemono Sauce
Azuki (Red Bean) Ice Cream
Black Sesame Ice Cream

Taco Rice

Taco Rice


Taco rice (or tako raisu) is a Japanese take on the taco that is pretty much just a taco on a bed of rice. The main ingredients are the rice and the taco seasoned ground beef and from there you can add whatever you would normally add to a taco. The warm rice works surprisingly well in a taco soaking up the flavours of the seasoned meat. Very often when I make tacos I make extras meat so that I can make taco salads with the leftovers.

Taco Rice

(makes 1 serving)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup rice (cooked, Japanese style short grained rice)
1/2 cup lettuce (chopped)
1/4 cup texmex seasoned ground beef
1/4 cup salsa
1/2 tomato (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 green onion (sliced)
1 handful cheese (grated)
1 tablespoon sliced black olives
1 tablespoon sour cream

Directions:
1. Assemble.

Similar Recipes:
Tacos
Taco Salad
Taco Pasta
Burrito Bowls
Taco Pizza
Taco Stuffed Shells
Sweet Chili Chicken Rice Bowl
Taco Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Texmex Seasoned Ground Beef

Texmex Seasoned Ground Beef

One of my favorite go-to meals is tacos and the main component of tacos is the seasoned ground beef. Although the store bought taco seasoning packets are ok it really easy to make great taco seasoned meat at home and using only ingredients that you can pronounce. This is a simple texmex seasoned ground beef that includes onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano and tomato sauce. I like to toast and freshly grind dried chilies for the chili powder though you could easily use pre-ground. I also like to toast and grind the cumin which has an amazing aroma when you toast it. In addition to being used in tacos this texmex spiced ground beef can also be used in burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, etc. To change things up a bit I sometimes add corn for a bit of sweetness or beans for some creaminess.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon oil
1 small onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 cup tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Brown the ground beef, drain the excess fat and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in the same pan.
3. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
4. Add the garlic, chili and cumin and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
5. Add the ground meat, oregano, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Taco Seasoned Ground Beef
Texmex Seasoned Shredded Chicken

Use in:
Tacos
Taco Salad
Taco Rice
Taco Pasta
Burritos

Tofu and Sesame Miso Soup

Tofu and Sesame Miso Soup

This is one of my favorite types of miso soup. It tastes great and it is kind of fun to make. I grind the sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle. I usually crush the tofu in my hands which feels kind of weird. I prefer the tofu to be crushed in this miso soup so that it can be drunk with the soup rather than having to pick it out and then drinking the liquid.

Ingredients:
1 cup dashi
1 handful silken tofu (crushed)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted and ground)
1 tablespoon miso
1 green onion (chopped)

Directions:
1. Bring the dashi, tofu and sesame to a boil in a small sauce pan.
2. Remove from heat.
3. Dissolve the miso with some of the heated dashi in a separate bowl. (We do not want to boil the miso as it will not taste as good.)
4. Add the miso back to the soup.
5. Pour the soup into a bowl and top with green onion.

Similar Recipes:
Kale, Butternut Squash and Mushroom Miso Soup

Looking for more soup recipes? Get the Closet Cooking Soup Cookbook Tasty Soups!

Maccheroni Calabrese alla Arrabiata

Maccheroni Calabrese alla Arrabiata

I saw an interestingly shaped pasta at the grocery store and I of course just had to pick it up. It is called "maccheroni calabrese" and it looks like little hand rolled cigars. It has been a while since I last made arrabiata sauce and I thought that it would go nicely on the maccheroni calabrese. Arrabiata is a quick, simple and tasty tomato and hot pepper sauce.

I eat pasta fairly often and I normally have parmigiano reggiano and pecorino romano in my fridge. My recipe for arrabiata sauce calls for pecorino romano but I was out. I went to the market and the cheese shop was also out! I had almost lost hope but the store clerk said they did have pecorino crotonese. I had never heard of pecorino crotonese but it had pecorino in the name and I like most cheeses. So I walked home with some pecorino crotonese.

It turns out that pecorino means that it is made from sheep's milk and the romano or crotonese indicates the region of Italy where the cheese was made. The pecorino crotonese tastes great. I will have to pick up some pecorino romano and do a side by side comparison with the pecorino crotonese.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 jalapeno pepper (finely chopped)
1 28oz can tomato puree
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup pecorino romano (grated)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a sauce pan.
2. Add onions and saute until soft.
3. Add garlic an jalapeno pepper and saute until fragrent.
4. Add tomato puree, red pepper flakes, oregano and balsamic vinegar.
5. Reduce heat and simmer.
6. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.

Take a look at the Presto Pasta Nights roundup at Once Upon a Feast.

Oyakodon (Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

Oyakodon

Oyakodon (親子丼) short for oyako donburi or parent and child rice bowl, is a Japanese rice bowl dish with chicken, egg and onions. The parent and child comes from the fact that it has both chicken and egg in it. If you have some leftover rice this is a really quick dish that will take no more than 10 minutes to make. The broth is nice and sweet and salty and the onions are tender and sweet. You could easily replace some or all of the dashi with chicken stock. You can also add things like peas, green beans, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, grated carrots, etc.

Ingredients:
1 serving chicken (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 onion (sliced)
1/2 cup dashi
2 tablespoons soy
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1 cup rice (Japanese, cooked)
1 green onion (sliced)

Directions:
1. Simmer the chicken and the onions in the dashi, soy, mirin, and sugar in a small pan until the chicken is cooked and the onions are tender.
2. Pour the eggs over chicken and onions.
3. Turn the heat down, put the lid on and let the egg cook, about 1-2 minutes.
4. Pout the chicken mixture onto the rice in a bowl.
5. Garnish with green onions.

Similar Recipes:
Katsudon (Pork Cutlet Rice Bowl)
Gyudon (Beef Rice Bowl)

Nutella Stuffed French Toast

Nutella Stuffed French Toast

Having seen this recipe for "Nutella Stuffed French Toast", I just had to try it. Two great things (a nutella sandwich and french toast) combined into one! How can you go wrong? It was really good and there was no need for syrup.

Ingredients:
2 slices of bread
* nutella
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon butter
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Spread nutella on one slice of bread and make a sandwich.
2. Mix the egg, milk, vanilla and salt.
3. Dip both sides of the sandwich into the egg mixture.
4. Melt the butter in a pan.
5. Cook the sandwich in the pan until it is golden brown on both sides, about 1-2 minutes per side.
6. Top with powdered sugar.

Similar Recipes:
Nutella and Banana Crepes
Nutella and Banana Sandwich

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Fresh Strawberry Pie

With all of the fresh strawberries that I had picked up at the market on the weekend, I just had to make a fresh strawberry pie.

Since I am cooking for one, I wanted to make it in individual sized servings so that I would be able to finish it before it was sitting in the fridge for too long. I had some small cheesecake pans that I thought would work nicely. Next, I went looking for a recipe for a pie crust. I came across I recipe for a pecan pie crust that looked like it would be really tasty and I decided to go with that.

Everything went well up until the time that I tried to transfer the pie from the pan to the plate. Of course the strawberries filling spilled out when I removed the side of the pan. The crust of course crumbled when I tried to remove it from the bottom of the pan. I ended up with a mess of strawberries and crust on my plate. Despite the fact that it did not look all that great it tasted wonderful!

I guess I could have just left the pie in the pan and served it like that.

I will have to look for a small pie pan and make an actual pie crust the next time I make a pie.

The crust is really tasty and I think that it would go really well underneath a cheese cake.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Ingredients:
* pecan pie crust mixture (see below)
* strawberries (cleaned and hulled)
* strawberry glaze (see below)

Directions:
1. Cover the bottom of the pie plate with the pecan pie crust mixture.
2. Press the crust mixture down.
3. Fill the pie shell with the strawberries.
4. Cover the pie with the strawberry glaze.

Pecan Crust (enough for 2 individual sized pies)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup pecans
1 tablespoon butter (melted)
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions:
1. Mix everything in a food processor.

Strawberry Glaze

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
few grains salt
1/4 cup water
1 cup strawberries (crushed)
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions:
1. Make a paste out of the sugar, starch, salt and water.
2. Place the crushed strawberries in a saucepan.
3. Mix in the paste (1).
4. Heat, stirring until the sauce thickens.
5. Remove from heat.
6. Mix in the lemon juice.

Directions:
1. Mix everything in a food processor.

Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam

Strawberry season is just starting here in Ontario and I got a lot of strawberries on the weekend. My grandmother used to make strawberry jam and I have had a craving for homemade strawberry jam for a while now.

I pretty much just followed the directions in the Certo (pectin crystal) package. It did not work out perfectly as the strawberries floated to the top of the jam. I think the problem was that I did not notice that I was supposed to bring it to a hard boil. A hard boil being a boil that does not stop boiling when stirred. (I learned something new.) It tastes great though! The recipe made a lot (7.5 jars), so I have a supply of strawberry jam to last a while.

Ingredients:
4 + 1/2 cups strawberries (hulled and crushed)
1 box Certo pectin crystals
7 cups sugar

Directions:
1. Bring the strawberries and pectin crystals to a boil with high heat in a large pot.
2. Add the sugar.
3. Bring to a hard boil for 1 minute.
4. Remove from heat.
5. Stir and skim foam for 5 minutes.
6. Pour into sterilized jars.

To sterilize the jars:
1. Wash in hot soapy water.
2. Keep the lids in boiling water until ready to use.
3. Place jars in 225F oven for 10 minutes and keep warm until ready to use.

Strawberry Jam on Toast

Use in:
Balsamic Strawberry and Chicken Pizza with Sweet Onions and Smoked Bacon
Roasted Strawberry BBQ Sauce

Similar Recipes:
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Strawberry Balsamic Jam

Pan Seared Salmon with Dill Sour Cream Sauce

Pan Seared Salmon with Dill Sour Cream Sauce

I keep meaning to eat more fish but I never seem to get around to doing it... Last week I was watching the food network and saw an episode about pan seared salmon. Seeing the amazingly seared salmon was just the nudge that I needed. I picked up some nice looking salmon along with some asparagus when I went to the market on the weekend. The salmon seared up nice and golden and crispy. It was really good. I enjoy salmon and it is easy to cook. I really should have it more often.

Ingredients:
1 serving salmon (de-boned)
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon dill (chopped)
1 tablespoon dill pickle (chopped)
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions:
1. Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a pan.
3. Sear the salmon on both sides in the pan (about 5 minutes on the skin side followed by 2 minute on the other side).
4. Mix the sour cream, dill, pickle and lemon juice.
5. Place the salmon on a plate and top with the dill sour cream sauce.

Similar Recipes:
Pan Seared Salmon on Spinach in Tarragon Sauce
Pan Seared Salmon on Thai Curried Spinach
Halibut with Lemon, Butter, Caper and Dill Sauce
Salmon Teriyaki
Misoyaki Salmon

Asparagus Amandine

Asparagus Amandine

A quick and simple asparagus side dish where the asparagus is served in a tasty browned butter, lemon and almond sauce.

Chicken Mole Fettucini

Chicken Mole Fettucini

I am more than half way done the mole sauce now. I thought I would see how it does with pasta. I did a simple chicken with mole sauce on fettucini. I was a bit surprised that the hot, spicy, fruity, nutty and chocolaty sauce worked as a pasta. It was pretty good.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 chicken breast (cut into bite sized pieces)
1/2 cup Mole Sauce
1 serving fettucini (cooked)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Brown the chicken in the pan.
3. Add the mole sauce and bring to a boil.
4. Place the chicken and mole sauce onto the fettucini.

Take a look at Presto Pasta Nights at Once Upon a Feast.

Shiitake and Spinach Miso Soup

Shiitake and Spinach Miso Soup

Shitake mushroom and spinach is another one of my favorite miso soups. When choosing ingredients for miso soup it is good to choose ingredients that have different properties. For example: some that are firm with some that are soft, some that float with some that sink or some that have a dark colour with some that have a light colour.

Ingredients:
1 cup dashi
1 handful shitake mushrooms
1 handful baby spinach
1 tablespoon miso
1 green onion (chopped)

Directions:
1. Bring the dashi and shitake to a boil in a small sauce pan.
2. Remove from heat.
3. Add the spinach. (It will wilt quickly in the still warm liquid.)
4. Dissolve the miso with some of the heated dashi in a separate bowl. (We do not want to boil the miso as it will not taste as good.)
5. Add the miso back to the soup.
6. Pour the soup into a bowl and top with green onion.

Looking for more soup recipes? Get the Closet Cooking Soup Cookbook Tasty Soups!

Gyudon (Beef Rice Bowl)

Gyudon

Gyudon (牛丼), short for gyu donburi or beef rice bowl is a Japanese dish consisting of beef and onions on a bowl of rice. In Japan gyudon is fairly common and might even be considered a type of fast food similar to Mc Donalds, etc. There are several large chains that specialize in gyudon such as Yoshinoya and Sukiya. I made sure that I tried the gyudons at both Yoshinoya and Sukiya when I was in Japan on vacation and I enjoyed both of them.

Although I have not been successful at replicating the Yoshinoya or Sukiya gyudons I have come up with this recipe which is pretty tasty. You could easily replace some or even all of the dashi with beef stock. You can also add things like peas, green beans, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, grated carrots, etc.

Ingredients:
1 serving beef (thinly sliced, or just cut into bite sized pieces)
1 onion (sliced)
1/2 cup dashi
2 tablespoons soy
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup rice (Japanese, cooked)
1 green onion (sliced)

Directions:
1. Simmer the beef and the onions in the dashi, soy, mirin, and sugar in a small pan until the beef is cooked and the onions are tender.
2. Pour the beef mixture onto the rice in a bowl.
3. Garnish with green onions.

Similar Recipes:
Katsudon (Pork Cutlet Rice Bowl)
Oyakodon (Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

Gyudon

Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise Sauce on Asparagus

Hollandaise is a frothy buttery lemony sauce with a smooth texture. This sauce relies on the emulsification (using egg yolks) to combine the lemon and the butter. The recipe sounded difficult but it turned out great. Just keep an eye on it and reduce the heat if it looks like the eggs are cooking.

I do not have a double boiler so I used one sauce pan and a bowl that fit in the pan creating a seal without the bottom of the bowl touching the water.

Ingredients:
1/2 cups butter (melted and hot)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (hot)
4 tablespoons water (hot)
3 egg yolks
1 dash cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Boil some water in the bottom of a double boiler, reduce the heat and let water stop boiling.
2. Place the egg yolks in the top of the double boiler and whisk until they begin to thicken.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of the hot water, whisk until the sauce begins to thicken again. Repeat 3 more times.
4. Whisk in the lemon juice.
5. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the melted butter.
6. Season with the cayenne, salt and pepper serve immediately.

Use in:
Asparagus with a Poached Egg in Hollandaise Sauce
Eggs Benedict

Similar Recipes:
Blender Hollandaise Sauce
Avgolemono Sauce

Use the leftover egg whites in:
Coconut Macaroons
Molten Chocolate Cake
Green Tea and White Chocolate Opera Cake
Green Tea Macarons
Strawberry Souffle
Meringues
Dorie's Perfect Party Cake

Parsley Pesto on Asparagus

Parsley Pesto on Asparagus

I have used parsley in many recipes, but up until now the parley has been a minor player and/or a garnish. I have never used parsley as the star of a dish. The other day I was watching the food network and they had a recipe for parsley pesto. I just had to try a recipe that placed parsley as the main flavour. I used the recipe pretty much as is, but I cut down on the volume. It was surprisingly tasty. If you like parsley you will probably like parsley pesto.

I have made pesto from basil before, but it never occurred to me that other herbs could be used in this way. This opens a few more doors. A dill pesto? A cilantro pesto?

Ingredients:
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons sliced almonds (toasted)
4 tablespoons grated parmigiano-reggiano
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Place everything into a food processor and puree.


Roast Asparagus:

Ingredients:
1 bunch asparagus (trimmed)
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Toss the asparagus with the oil, salt and pepper.
3. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Take a look at the Weekend Herb Blogging roundup at Küchenlatein.

Mayan Orange Brownies

Mayan Orange Brownies

A few months ago I was introduced to the world of chocolate bars. I was really impressed with Green and Black's Maya Gold chocolate bar. I remember thinking, how could I use this in my cooking, it might be nice in brownies... This weekend, spurred on by the BrownieBabe of the Month food blogging event, I finally got around to trying.

Having never made brownies before, I searched the web for a brownie recipe. I found a recipe for what I would call the "standard" brownie with cocoa recipe but I could not find what looked like a standard for a dark chocolate brownie recipe. The recipes for dark chocolate brownies varied wildly in the amount chocolate. They called for anywhere between 3 ounces and 9 ounces of dark chocolate... In the end, I had 2 bars of Maya Gold so that is what I used. I used the standard brownie with cocoa recipe and replaced the cocoa with the Maya Gold chocolate. I also added some orange zest and juice. I melted one of the chocolate bars and chopped up the other and mixed it in as chunks.

The brownies turned out pretty good. I could not resist trying one while they were still cooling and the chunks of chocolate had turned into little pockets of gooey chocolate. Even after they cooled down they were nice and fluffy and literally melted in my mouth. I will be making these again.

One unfortunate side effect is that I am now out of Maya Gold chocolate bars and I will have to go and get some more.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1 Green and Blacks Maya Gold chocolate bar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 Green and Blacks Maya Gold chocolate bar (chopped into chunks)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.
3. Melt the butter and the Maya Gold chocolate bar in a sauce pan and remove from heat and let cool.
4. Stir in the sugar, eggs, vanilla, orange juice and orange zest.
5. Mix in the flour, salt, and baking powder.
6. Stir in the chunked Maya Gold chocolate bar.
7. Spread batter into prepared pan.
8. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

You can use a toothpick to see when they are done. They are done when a toothpick poked in the middle of the brownies comes out clean.

Similar Recipes:
Green Tea White Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies with Chocolate Ganache Frosting
Apricot White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Blondies
Orange Cookies Dipped in Chocolate
Orange Chocolate Cream Cheese Mousse

Take a look at the BrownieBabe of the Month roundup at Once Upon a Tart.

Zha Jiang Mian on Spaghetti

Zha Jiang Mian on Spaghetti

I was intrigued by this recipe for Zha Jiang Mian. I searched the internet and took a look at a few other recipes for the dish and came up with a this one. This recipe seems to be fairly similar to Mabo Tofu. (Which I will have to make again sometime soon.) The sauce was a nice mixture of sweet, hot and spicy. I used spaghetti noodles this time but next time I might try udon noodles.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
1 tablespoon ginger (minced)
1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons hoisen sauce
1 teaspoon chili and garlic sauce
1 tablespoon black bean sauce
1 tablespoons hsiao xing
1 teaspoon honey
2 green onions (chopped)
1 serving noodles (cooked)

Possible Toppings:
1 cucumber (julienned)
1 handful beansprouts (blanched)
1 carrot (julienned and blanched)

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
3. Add ginger and saute for 30 seconds.
4. Add pork and break it up.
5. Add hoisen sauce, hsiao xing, black bean sauce, chili sauce and honey.
6. Finish browning the pork.
7. Add the green onions and remove from heat.
8. Place the sauce on the noodles and add toppings.

Take a look at the Presto Pasta Nights roundup at Once Upon a Feast.

Beef Ramen

Beef Ramen

Ramen (ラーメン) is a Japanese noodle dish served in broth. There are many variations of ramen. The broth is often meat based and meat and vegetables are commonly added. I got to try ramen a few times when I vacationed in Japan and I have ordered it from several local Japanese restaurants. Ramen can be very labour intensive to make. You can make your own noodles and you can make your own broth. Or it can also be as simple as adding some boiling water to a cup of instant ramen.

You can make a tasty and healthy ramen at home fairly easily. You can use a store bought stock but it is better to make your own. I almost always make ramen soon after making some fresh stock. I have tried adding soy and sake for a soy based broth and I have tried adding miso for a miso based broth. One good thing about making your own stock is that you probably have some leftover meat to add to the ramen as well. For example, if you made roast beef you could use the bones to make some beef broth and then add slices of leftover roast beef to the ramen. I also tend to throw in whatever vegetables that I have on hand. Some of my favorites are spinach, bean sprouts, corn, shiitake mushrooms, baby bok choy, etc. I like to blanch the vegetables in the stock to add a bit more flavour to the stock.

Ingredients:
1 serving ramen noodles
2 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sake
* vegetables
1 serving beef (thinly sliced)
1 green onion (chopped)
* togarashi to taste (optional, a Japanese chili powder condiment)

Directions:
1. Cook the ramen noodles as directed on the package, drain and place in the serving bowl.
2. Heat the stock, soy and sake in a pan.
3. Blanch the vegetables in the stock one at a time removing them and setting them aside.
4. Add the beef to the broth to warm it (or simmer it until cooked if it was raw).
5. Pour the beef broth over the noodles and add the beef and vegetables.
7. Garnish with green onions and togarashi.

Beef Ramen

Similar Recipes:
Turkey Ramen
Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

Does this soup look tasty? Check out the Closet Cooking Soup Cookbook Tasty Soups!

Strawberries in Balsamic Vinegar

Strawberries in Balsamic Vinegar

There were early season local strawberries at the market this weekend. They were a bit more expensive than they will be but I picked some up anyways. They were pretty good though a little bit under ripe. I am looking forward to a few weeks worth of ripe local strawberries and I will be eating a lot of them! A nice way to enjoy strawberries is with a bit of balsamic vinegar. You don't want to drown the strawberries in the vinegar or even really taste the vinegar. A light coating of balsamic vinegar on strawberries enhances their natural flavour.

Similar Recipes:
Strawberries in Sweetened Condensed Milk
Strawberries Dipped in Sour Cream and Brown Sugar
Strawberry Balsamic Jam
Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

Seasoned Spinach

Seasoned Spinach

A simple and tasty spinach dish.

Ingredients:
1 package (6 ounces) baby spinach
2 green onions (chopped)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (toasted)
2 teaspoons soy
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 cloves garlic (chopped)

Directions:
1. Steam the spinach until just wilted.
2. Cool slightly, and squeeze as much liquid out as possible.
3. Mix everything.

Similar Recipes:
Spinach with Feta Dressing
Miso and Mustard Sauce
Black Sesame Paste

Use in:
Spicy BBQ Chicken Bibimbap