Tag Archives: Roasted

Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Corn, Blue Cheese & Lemony Creme Fraiche Dressing

roasted fingerling potato salad with creme fraiche

When it comes to entertaining in the summer, I like to keep it casual and relaxed. A fun and refreshing cocktail to get the evening started, and then a meal complete with something off the grill, and some really nice make ahead side salads and gratins that feature the farmer’s market’s best ingredients. For dessert, I like to go with something fresh and fruity with things like cherries, peaches, and berries.

I just finished teaching a week of cooking classes the last before summer break, that featured this menu:

Pickled Shrimp & Tomato Skewers

Grilled Tri Tip Steaks with Smoky Steak Sauce

Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Corn, Blue Cheese, and Lemony Creme Fraiche Dressing

Tomato Gratin with Asiago Bread Crumbs

Individual Bourbon Spiked Cherry Pies

The entire menu was make-ahead friendly,  perfect for serving buffet style, and delicious eaten at room temperature. Exactly what I wanted for my casual no-stess evening.

Having everything ready before  your guests arrive will definitely make you smile. You are sure to have fun, and will feel ready to enjoy that cool refreshing cocktail or two with your guests, instead of running around trying to pull everything together at the last minute.

I posted a picture of the little cherry pies on Instagram before class started…

bourbon spiked cherry pies

but it’s the potato salad that I am featuring today. A spin on traditional potato salad,  I have roasted  the potatoes to bring out their warm, sweet flavor.  Fresh corn & blue cheese also get tossed into the bowl and I used creme fraiche as a base for the dressing, which added a really nice tang.

—–And as long as you have creme fraiche and blue cheese in the mix, why not  really take it over the top and  add in a bit of crispy bacon crumbles too if you like. That combination would go really well alongside some ribs—-and a perfect addition to your Father’s Day grill menu.

Happy summer!

roasted fingerling potato salad with creme fraiche

 

Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Corn, Blue Cheese & Lemony Creme Fraiche Dressing
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds fingerling potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup creme fraiche
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • Kernels from 3 ears of corn
  • 3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss potatoes together with the olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; transfer to a large baking sheet and roast 45 minutes. Cool potatoes to room temperature.
  2. Whisk together the creme fraiche, lemon juice, lemon zest, and garlic in a large bowl. Add potatoes, corn, and blue cheese and toss well to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Mix together the Italian parsley, tarragon, and chives in a small bowl. Sprinkle herb mixture over salad and serve.

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Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos with Roasted Red Pepper SaucePretty poblano peppers, stuffed and lined up all in a row. When I looked down at them  sitting in their vibrant red sauce, I knew I needed to grab a quick picture  before they went into the oven. I wasn’t planning to do a post about them, but after I shared this picture on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter, I had requests for the recipe.

So here we go, with just one picture that will have to do, taken on my iphone.

When we first moved here from California the only place you could find poblano peppers was in the latino market we had in town. Not exactly around the corner from me, but when I wanted to take care of my Mexican craving, I would make a point to drive out and get them. Thankfully a lot has changed since then, and all of our grocery stores carry a wide variety of chile peppers. I still can’t figure out why they don’t seem to know the code when I get up to the register though, or what the pepper is called…?  Even if I have to wait while the checker calls for help, I don’t mind (too much), because I am grateful they have them for me to roast when I get home.

I roast poblano peppers and stuff them with all sorts of things like shrimp & goat cheese, roasted vegetables & Monterey Jack, Corn & Feta…the list goes on. It usually comes down to what I have in the refrigerator at the time, and then it all comes together. They are a favorite in our house regardless of the filling, and they are popular with me too, because on busy days I can prepare them ahead and pop them into the oven just before dinner.

So here you go, Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. I hope you like them!

Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (4 servings)
 
Ingredients
  • 8 large poblano peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 pound chicken Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups cooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • Salt & pepper
  • Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup minced shallots
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 4 red bell peppers (may use jarred roasted red peppers)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Line the top oven rack with aluminum foil. Place peppers on foil under broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in foil 10 minutes. Peel chilies. Using small sharp knife, carefully slit chilies open along 1 side. Remove seeds, leaving stems attached.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, red peppers and sausage. Use a stiff spatula to break the sausage into several pieces. Cook until chicken sausage is cooked through, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir an additional minute. Add cooked quinoa and chicken broth, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  3. Carefully spoon filling into peppers, pulling up sides of peppers to close slightly. Ladle enough Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (recipe follows) to cover the bottom of a 13x9" pan. Place stuffed peppers atop sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20-25 minutes, or until heated through.
  4. For sauce:
  5. Line the top oven rack with aluminum foil. Place peppers on foil under broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in foil 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and coarsely chop bell peppers.
  6. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, and chili; sauté until shallots are tender, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly. Transfer mixture to blender; add bell peppers and chicken broth. Puree until smooth. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)

 

 

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Wood Fired Salmon with Arugula Pesto and Tomato Confit


We recycle, bring our own shopping bags to the grocery store, and have replaced our regular light bulbs with energy saving fluorescent light bulbs.  “Organic”, “local”, and “free range” have become more than just buzz words;  people are starting to have a better understand of the importance of  purchasing chemical free produce and meat from farmers who practice  good animal husbandry. Awareness has grown, and our purchasing practices are changing.
But when it comes to fish; how they are caught, and what is left behind when they are taken from the water, do people really have an understanding of what sustainable means?
What does sustainable fish mean to you?
Here’s what Green Peace has to say: “In simple terms, a sustainable fishery is one whose practices can be maintained indefinitely without reducing the targeted species’ ability to maintain its population at healthy levels, and without adversely impacting on other species within the ecosystem – including humans – by removing their food source, accidentally killing them, or damaging their physical environment.”
I think that pretty much sums it up. As responsible humans on this planet, we have to be care takers, and start making decisions that have a positive impact on our planet. When we open our wallets to pay for the food we purchase, whether in a market, or in a restaurant, what we choose to buy affects the way things will continue. If we give our money to those who pole catch albacore, that’s where our fish will come from. If we say we aren’t going to give our money to those who ravish the oceans, maybe those practices will go away. It’s all about the power of our choice, and the effects those decisions have upon our environment.
What can we do to help save our oceans for generations to come?

Make ocean friendly seafood choices when you go to the market or to a restaurant.
So how do you know what kinds of fish to buy, and which fish to avoid?
There are several excellent resources out there:

Fish To Fork The campaigning restaurant guide for people who want to eat fish – sustainably.

Seafood Watch Pocket Guide providing valuable information on best choices, good alternatives, and fish to avoid.

For this month’s 5 Star Foodie challenge, Sustainable Fish I decided to feature  salmon, one of America’s most popular fishes,  for its flavor and its health benefits; rich in omega 3.

When it comes to purchasing salmon, the sustainable choice is to buy wild Alaskan salmon.  It’s caught from a healthy wild stock with sustainable methods, is free of contaminants, and avoids the problems with farmed salmon, which can not only pollute local waters near the farm but also be polluted themselves because of the fish meal they’re fed.

Wild caught salmon tastes incredible all on its own, but  here is  a recipe that gets you out using your grill, and enjoying the subtle hints of smoke from using cedar planks.

This dish makes an excellent entree for entertaining too. The peppery arugula pesto, and slow roasted tomatoes may be made ahead of time, which means you will have more time with your guests!

Happy cooking~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wood Fired Salmon with Arugula Pesto and Tomato Confit

Tomato Confit

3 pounds large plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed

4 large fresh thyme sprigs

3 garlic cloves, unpeeled

1/2 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

 

Arugula Pesto:

4 cups fresh arugula

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

2 (1 1/2-2  pounds) salmon fillets

2 cedar planks

For tomato confit:

Preheat oven to 300°F. Oil large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange tomatoes on baking sheet. Scatter thyme sprigs and garlic cloves over. Drizzle with 1/2 cup olive oil, then sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake tomatoes 45 minutes. Turn tomatoes over; continue to bake until tomatoes shrink slightly but are still plump and moist, about 1 hour longer. Cool completely. Peel off skins. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)

 

For pesto:

Combine arugula, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Add pine nuts and Parmesan cheese to mixture and blend until incorporated.

Makes 2 cups

For salmon:

Begin soaking cedar planks (fully submerged) in water at least 2 hours before using. Set grill to to medium-high heat. Place salmon on each of the cedar planks. Spoon half of the arugula pesto over each salmon fillet, spreading evenly over fish.

Place the  cedar planks in the center of the hot grate.  Cover the grill and cook until cooked through, around 20 to 30 minutes. The internal temperature should read 135 degrees F.  Cut each salmon fillet into 4 portions. Using a spatula, separate the fish from the skin, lifting onto each plate. Top with tomato confit.

8 servings

 

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