Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Delicious Steamy Kitchen

Last night dinner was amazing! Wow... The flavors are still dancing on my tongue. I have Jayden from Steamy Kitchen to thank! I was perusing her website when I saw a recipe for slow cooked salmon, and it sounded really good!! The one thing I can't stand is dry, overcooked Salmon, and this recipe looked foolproof. I made the tropical inspired Slow Cooked Salmon with a mango-pomeranate salsa, Nigellas Vietnamese Shrimp and Glass Noodle Salad and Roasted Asparagus with ginger and garlic. For dessert I made a Mango Mousse from Junglefrog and a Microwave Chocolate Cake from Real Good Taste. Sigh. I can't get over how delicious this meal was! AND to top it all off, it was gorgeous!! Yes, I know two desserts is a bit much, but I had bigger plans for the Mango Mousse that just weren't fulfilled last night. I ate a little bit to taste it and WOW. I topped it with some pomegranate seeds, and it was just delicious. Then about an hour or so later, I was craving warm, chewy, chocolate...hot cocoa or truffles just wouldn't cut it, and I remembered a post on the Daring Bakers Forum about microwaveable chocolate cake. On the post she says it only takes 4 minutes and you only dirty one dish. True statement! It was amazing. It was warm, chocolatey, cake, and it baked up like a real cake, not like a steamed pudding. It is dangerously easy and sinfully delicious! I want to repeat the entire dinner ASAP! You HAVE GOT to try these recipes, especially the salmon if you've never made it this style. It is truly a treat. The fish gets infused with all the citrusy flavor of the fruit (or whatever bed you choose) and it stays moist and tender. Melt-in your mouth good! Oh and the first picture is an old barn on our family farm....I like the way the light comes through the slats... Anyways, here are the recipes:
Pre-oven salmon... pretty!
Salmon after cooking.
Nigella's Vietnamese Shrimp and Glass Noodle salad
Microwave Chocolate Cake
Slow Cooked Salmon courtesy of Jayden of Steamy Kitchen:

1. Preheat to 250F. Season salmon and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. <- important. Otherwise the time in the oven will be devoted to un-chilling your salmon, instead of cooking it. Grab a pan big enough to hold all fillets in single layer. Make bed of whatever ingredients you’ve chosen. 2. Place the salmon fillets on the bed you’ve made. Cook for 30 minutes. [if you're cooking more than 4 fillets, just add another 2 minutes per additional filet] To test for doneness, stick a sharp paring knife in, if it goes in an out very easily, its done. Even if you leave it in the oven for an extra few minutes, don’t worry, it is impossible to overcook the salmon this way….unless you, uh, leave it in the oven for a week. 3. Top with whatever finishing herbs, spices or ingredients you’ve chosen. After cooking, the salmon is going to look almost exactly the same as when you first put it in. Don’t worry, after 30 minutes in the oven it is cooked.

I brushed salmon with honey, salt, pepper. Placed it on a bed of sliced oranges and lemons and served with with a salsa of coconut flakes, diced mango, scallions, cilantro and pomegranate seeds. YUM!

Vietnamese Shrimp and Glass Noodle Salad from Nigella Lawson/Food Network

Vietnamese Dressing: 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed 2 fresh long red chiles, seeded and finely diced or julienned 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger 4 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla) 1 lime, juiced 4 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon sugar 2 teaspoons groundnut oil 1 teaspoon sesame oil
Salad: 8 ounces cooked small shrimp 6 ounces glass noodles 4 ounces sugar snap peas 4 ounces bean sprouts 3 scallions, sliced into thin circles 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, to garnish
To make the Vietnamese Dressing, simply mix all the ingredients together. This will keep very well in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for at least a week.
To make the salad, marinate the shrimp in 1/2 cup of the Vietnamese Dressing. While this is going on, soak the noodles in freshly boiled water according to packet instructions. Once re-hydrated, refresh the noodles in cold water, then drain. Put the sugar snaps and bean sprouts into a colander and pour over freshly boiled water from a kettle. Rinse them with cold water and drain well, just shaking the colander, so they're not actually wet.
In a large bowl, mix the marinated shrimp with the drained noodles, scallions, sugar snaps, and bean sprouts. Dress with 2 tablespoons more of the Vietnamese Dressing; add more dressing, to taste, if desired.
Sprinkle over the chopped cilantro and toss everything together well before arranging onto a large plate.

Mango Mousse from Junglefrog

Serves 8, prep 15 min. two hours chilling. Cook 8 min.
2 large or 3 medium mangoes
1 tsp lime or lemon juice (optional)
6-7 tbsp sugar - depends on wether the mango is sharp
1 large egg white
2 gelatine leaves (optional, I did not use any)
200 ml double cream plus 150 ml to serve
handfull of pistachios, chopped, to garnish
1. Cut the cheeks of the mangoes and remove all the other juicy flesh. Remove the skins and puree the flesh untill smooth. Stir in the lime or lemon juice, if the mangoes are without acidity of their own.
2. Heat the sugar in a small pan with 4 tbsp water untill dissolved, then boil to soft ball stage; 4-5 minutes. Using a sugar thermometer is the easiest way of knowing if you have reached this stage - wait untill the temperature reaches around 116-118 degrees C. This dish is very forgiving, so if you don't have one, don't worry.
Put the egg white in a bowl, beat untill stiff, then add the hot sugar with one hand while whisking with the other (an electric whisk is best) untill thick and glossy.
3. Place the gelatine (if using) in a bowl and cover with cold water. Allow to soften for 5 mins. Remove from the water, squeeze out any excess from the gelatine, then place in a small pan with 2 tbsp of water. Heat untill dissolved, then stir into the mango puree and mix well.
4. Whip 200 ml cream untill soft peaks are formed. Stir 4 tbsp of the cream into the mango, then spoon in the rest, along with the egg whites, and gently fold them both into the mango. Spoon into 8 individual glasses and leave to set in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. To serve, top with the remaining cream, freshly whipped, and a few chopped pistachios for garnish.

Microwave Chocolate Cake Courtesy of Real Good Taste:

Serves 1, or 2 if you're feeling generous

20g (1 and 1/3 T.) butter

30g (2T) milk

7g (1T) cocoa powder

30 g (2T plus 1t.) sugar

10g egg, lightly beaten (about 1/4 of the egg)

splash vanilla or other extract

15g (1T) flour

pinch baking powder

tiny pinch of salt-

Heat butter and milk in mug in microwave until butter is melted. Stir in cocoa powder and microwave on high for 10 seconds.-

Stir sugar, egg and extract into the cocoa mixture than add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. If you've got room in the mug you could beat a little air into the batter it too.-

Now it's time to cook the cake. This part will depend a lot on your microwave oven. Mine is nuclear powered and the cake cooked in only 45 seconds but yours might take longer. I suggest starting with 45 and adding more time if needed. The cake is done when the center is set but the sides haven't pulled away from the mug and are still a bit shiny and moist looking. You could turn the cake out onto a plate... or you could just grab a spoon and enjoy right from the mug.

1 comment:

Veron said...

Such a fabulous meal!! Everything sounds delicious...and I am so curious about the microwave chocolate cake!