Sunday, October 18, 2009

Easy "en Papillotte" for the Working Set

As I have written about before, my kids - especially my son - love fish. Salmon is a particular favorite, and I think it is a hoot that the fish monger at our local store recognizes my 6 year old. It is his job to select the fish each week.

But, as much as I love roasted fish - it can get a bit boring. So I thought it would be fun to try a riff on fish en papillote. What is this (for those that don't know) - basically fish and cut up veggies with some sort of scant liquid then wrapped in a parchment paper package that is then baked. You open the package at the table and voila! dinner.

Of course I have parchment paper - but what could I do that would be easier than individual packages?

Lunch Bag.

Yes. The plain brown lunch bag makes a great substitute for traditional parchment paper.

Here is the recipe. Feel free to substitute fish/veggies/etc. This is just what I used because I had it on hand - the technique remains the same. Also, I used one bag with a larger piece - you could make "mini" bags with individual portions.

Salmon in a Paper Bag

Brown Paper Bag
Olive Oil
1 lb. center cut salmon - bones removed
4 slices lemon
1 brussel sprout - shredded
1 carrot - thinly sliced
1 zucchini - thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1 tsp dried herbs (I used herbs de provence)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Brush olive oil all over the brown paper bag (on the outside only).
3. Season fish with salt and pepper and herbs.
4. Toss veggies in bag. Place salmon and lemon slices on top of veggies.
5. Close the paper bag and place on baking sheet.
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes depending on thickness of salmon or fish.
7. Bring to the table and slice open the bag!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Sauteed Shredded Brussel Sprouts and Apples

I know.

You are thinking - brussel sprouts? Really? But, when you either take the leaves apart or thinly "shred" the brussel sprouts and then saute them in some olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper - they take on a whole different texture and flavor.

Tonight I got back later than expected from the office. The kids had been home all day with Dad because it is Columbus Day and of course they had off (health care does not close on CD). So as I was driving home I stopped at the local grocer to see what kind of veggies looked good. And honestly, the brussel sprouts were beautiful! Small bright green heads of mini cabbage goodness. So - with a few of those and some apples the kids picked earlier in the Fall, I concocted my plan. Pasta. Easy. Apples and parmesan - always a good combo. And cabbage (I like to think of the brussel sprout as a baby cabbage) and something sweet like an apple - classic.

So - here it is:

Shredded Brussel Sprouts and Apples

I tossed this with enough spaghetti for 2 adults - kids "tried" some (there was plain spaghetti on the side) you can increase the amounts of veggies/etc. to toss with a lot of pasta - or you can serve this as a side dish (if you do this, I would not add in the parmesan - that was more for the spaghetti mix...)

Spaghetti - Cooked/Warm
4-5 brussel sprouts - cut in half through the core and thinly sliced or "shredded"
1 apple, cored and sliced thinly
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan

1. Heat olive oil in pan.
2. Saute brussel sprouts and apples until wilted and slightly browned/carmelized.
3. Add pinch of salt and pepper
4. Toss with spaghetti
5. Add in parmesan cheese and mix together.

Serve it up!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The best noodle kugel

So my favorite food magazine is closing: Gourmet. I can't believe it. Over the years I have collected, clipped, poured over, re-read, etc. etc. so many issues. I have to say that I thought some of the more recent changes to the magazine were not the best. However, the writing was stellar, the photography always beautiful, and so many of the recipes really were adaptable for "real life" - at least in my house.

At least the recipes are on-line at epicurious.


Anyway - as were are well into Sukkot, I thought I would pass along a great recipe I played with a bit over the holidays. I was never a fan of "savory" kugels nor do I particularly like ones with cheese. So, I always make mine "sweet" with more of an egg custard than anything else. It usually includes apples and "plumped" raisins - which are raisins soaked for about 20-30 minutes in either wine or grape juice. This year, I added some extra egg, used butter (the meal I was taking it to was dairy - you could use margarine to make it pareve if you need to) and also added in dried cranberries.

This one - a definite keeper.

Cranberry, Apple and Raisin Kugel

1 bag wide egg noodles
6 eggs
2 peeled, diced and cored apples
1/2 cup "plumped" golden raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
pinch of salt and pepper
1 stick butter (or margarine) cut into pieces
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp (or a bit more) sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 baking pan. (size doesn't really matter - this is what I had on hand).
2. Prepare egg noodles as directed on package and drain (I usually cook mine slightly under since they are cooked again in the oven).
3. While the noodles are cooking, in a large bowl, beat six eggs. Mix together with apples, raisins, cranberries, salt and pepper.
4. When noodles are drained and still warm, toss with egg and fruit mixture. Toss in pieces of butter (or margarine) until they are melted.
5. Place noodle mixture in prepared pan. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon all over the top.
6. Bake for 35-45 minutes until set and golden brown.

YUM! (By the way - this can be served hot, warm, room temperature. I also like it cold. It will keep in the fridge for about 1 week.)