Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Andronico is bankrupt?!

I knew the Stanford location closed down, but didn't know their entire franchise was in trouble!

Read the SFGate article here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Grilled salmon with Asian inspired marinade

This was a quick and easy recipe that turned out great. Bf commented profusely on how flavorful the marinade was and I really enjoyed it too.

Serves 4-5 people

1 1/2 lbs salmon
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup agave syrup
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic
Salt and pepper
1 lemon, sliced

Whisk soy sauce, water, agave syrup, and olive oil together in a bowl until well blended. Sprinkle salt and pepper over salmon fillets. Place salmon in a large Ziploc bag and pour the liquid mixture in. Top with lemon slices. 

Refrigerate for at least two hours and grill. I like using cedar planks because it keeps fish moist. You could also wrap it in foil. Don't ask me any questions on the grilling process because all the credit goes to the bf! 

Dinner is served!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ravioli with arugula

This recipe is adopted from Giada - she made this one time on her Food Network show and it stuck with me because I've never had sauteed arugula before. I didn't even know you could saute arugula. Thought never crossed my mind.

One night while rummaging through my fridge I came across some packaged ravioli and a bag of arugula I intended on using for salad. This was the night to try out Giada's recipe. My version is not exactly the same as hers, I didn't use any pancetta (hey, you gotta work with what you have!). It turned out fabulous - reading the comments on foodnetwork.com, 90% of users substituted spinach for the arugula. Big mistake in my opinion. The arugula lends a slightly bitter, tough and spiny texture again the soft ravioli. Sauteed spinach is just as soft as the ravioli, whereas the arugula provides a nice contrast. Also, it doesn't get any easier than this folks, I mean, we're talking 20 minute meal here... (beat that Rachael Ray!) :)

Serves 2

1 package ravioli (any kind you like)
1 small onion
1 tomato (I used heirloom)
Julienned basil (~5 leaves)
4 cups arugula
Tomato sauce (your fave brand, use as much or little as you like)
Grated parmesan cheese

Cook ravioli according to directions. Add tomato sauce. 

Heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Dice the onion and tomato up and combine with olive oil. Saute for a few minutes onion is browned. 

Add caption
Add arugula and basil and continue to saute over low heat until the leaves are wilted. Salt and pepper lightly.

Spoon yourself up a serving of ravioli, place the arugula mixture on top, and sprinkle some grated parmesan over the whole she-bang. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Happiness lately 8-10-11

I've been a very naughty girl....

In my defense, it's not everyday that Andronico's in the Stanford Shopping Mall goes out of business and has a crazy sale on kitchen items. Andronico's is a small local market with a great deli and local wine selection, but their prices are higher than your average supermarket. A co-worker told me about the blow-out sale so I went after work to scout out what was left. Scored two molten cupcake pans and a garlic press. I hesitated over the garlic press.... I kind of enjoy chopping.... did I really need one? N.O. But at 50% off, why the heck not?

Exhilarated with those purchases, some days later I made my way to Bed Bath & Beyond, where I picked up a mandoline, rolling pin, cast iron skillet, and cooling racks. I think the cooling racks are going to be a good purchase because I like to eat my baked goodies right out of the oven and this will considerably cut down on the cooling time. I've also been musing over the idea of making a vegetable tian and figured a mandoline will come in handy. Will let you know how that one goes!

From left to right: mandoline, garlic press, cupcake pan,
rolling pin, cast iron skillet, and folding cooling racks
If you like housewares and decorating, check out One King's Lane. It's basically a Gilt Groupe for furniture, decorations, and kitchen items. I have purchased 3 things and received two of them in a timely fashion. Which reminds me.... I need to call them and inquire about the Alice Waters cookbook I ordered a while ago....

So while I'm not thrilled with their service department, it is very fun to peruse the sales. I bought a mortar and pestle which I honestly have yet to utilize, but imagine I will make pesto in the near future. Got a basil plant from TJ's which is still living so if all goes well I'll have a lot of basil to play with!
Mortar & pestle
Now to fantasize about my dream kitchen where I would store all these goodies! 

Gorgeous spacious white kitchen

Not sure about the glass cabinets but love the chandelier!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Asparagus and mushroom frittata

This is the first frittata I've ever made, so I'm probably in no place to be giving tips. But, this turned out to be a pretty bomb-@ss frittata. Either way, in my amateur opinion, the key to making a good frittata is the right pan. It has to be oven-proof and has to heat up evenly. I used a cast iron skillet and it worked really well. 

Makes 1 frittata

7 eggs
1 lb asparagus
3 mushrooms
1 tomato
1/2 cup grated cheese (I used smoked cheddar)
Several basil leaves, julienned
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven broiler to 350 degrees.

Chop up asparagus diagonally
Dice tomatoes and mushrooms
Whip eggs, add chopped basil, and shredded cheese
Throw veggies into pan and saute  until soft
Add egg mixture to pan and turn heat to low. Cook until edges are formed.
Place entire pan in the broiler for 5 minutes, or until the top is cooked through. Take out and let cool. Slice and enjoy for a quick snack or breakfast. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hawaiian pizza

I got the idea to make this from a Hawaiian pizza the bf ordered at 21st Amendment one night before a Giants game.  I tasted some of his pizza and they really did a nice job here. Small pieces of jalapeno give it some heat. At once I wanted to re-create it at home and finally got around to it this week. Off topic, this place is famous for it's watermelon beer, which I highly and enthusiastically recommend. It's really refreshing. They have a beer garden before every game and it's p-a-c-k-e-d.

Makes 1 pizza (serves 4-5)

Raw pizza dough (you can get this at TJ's)
Handful of cornmeal
Pizza sauce
1/2 thinly sliced onion
Ham (I used thin deli slices which I like better than thick Canadian bacon)
Pineapple chunks
1 diced jalapeno

**Disclaimer: I didn't measure anything.... just went with the flow....

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Get out a cookie sheet and spray it down with Pam. Sprinkle generously with cornmeal.

Dump the pizza dough on the cookie sheet and use your fingers to flatten it into a square-ish shape. The cornmeal really helps to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers. And, it leaves a nice crunchy texture on the  crust. AND it's not as messy as flour :)

Once you are happy with the dough, ladle generous amounts of pizza sauce on top. Spread evenly. Add the sliced mozzarella cheese, onions, ham, pineapple, and oregano on top.
Looks delish already!
Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove and let cool before slicing. It was utter perfection, if I do say so myself.