Welcome to HowDoYouCook.com

By learning about basic ingredients and how to use them, you can create simple, quick and delicious meals your family will love!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Broiled Salmon with Fresh Rosemary, Lemon and Garlic

Salmon is one of my favorite types of fish to cook.  It has such a wonderful flavor on its own and it can be seasoned in so many ways.  I'm a bit partial to blackened salmon but I'm always looking for new ways to serve this delicate fish and this dish was a pleasant surprise.

Today's recipe was inspired by this beautiful rosemary plant I have growing in my yard.  I could smell the aroma of this little plant even before I spotted it at Home Depot.  The smell was so fresh and crisp I immediately started to think of all the dishes I could cook with rosemary.  Of course you can't have summer without fresh basil, then I spotted Greek oregano and it looked great, too.  I went to Home Depot for a light bulb and came home with an assortment of herbs...and I forgot the light bulb.  Oh well, time to cook with some herbs!!

This recipe is super simple and only uses a handful of ingredients.  I wasn't sure if the rosemary flavor would absorb into the fish, but with just a few minutes in the marinade the rosemary taste was there without overpowering the fish. The end result, a most tasty summer night meal.  Enjoy!!

2 TB  Lemon Juice
2 tsp  Fresh Rosemary, coarsely chopped
1 tsp  Fresh Minced Garlic
1/8 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1/8 tsp  Kosher Salt

2  6 oz Salmon Fillets, skin removed

Combine all ingredients except salmon in a small dish.  Place salmon fillets into the lemon juice mixture and let marinate for about 5 minutes, turning once.

Place a piece of foil on a baking sheet and place a wire rack on top of the foil.  Place the fillets on the rack, press some of the rosemary and garlic onto the top of the fish and broil on HIGH for 5 minutes.  Lower broiler heat to LOW and heat and additional 4-5 minutes or until the fish is cooked thru.  

The fillets I used were about 1" thick, so add a few more minutes if your fillets are thicker.  (By broiling on high heat during the first stage of cooking, the salmon will sear on the outside. Then lowering the temp will finish the cooking process.)

Monday, June 18, 2012

NuWave Oven Roast Beef

For his Father's Day dinner this year my husband requested French Dip Sandwiches.  This is a delicious sandwich, but heating the house up in the summertime just to cook a roast is not my favorite thing to do. So I decided to try Plan B.

I pulled out my NuWave Oven and decided to use it to make the roast beef.  I've only used the oven for whole chickens and chicken drumsticks, and I've been wanting to try it for other foods, so today was the day.

I bought a bottom round roast that weighed in at 3-1/2 pounds and seasoned it generously with seasoned salt, lots of ground black pepper and a little mist of olive oil from a spray bottle, just to keep it from sticking to the roasting grid.  I gave the grid itself a quick spray too and lined the bottom drip pan with heavy duty foil. (Zero cleanup on the pan..yay!!)

I placed the roast on the 1-inch rack with the fat side up, inserted an oven-proof thermometer in the side of the roast and set the timer for 20 minutes on HI.  **Make sure the thermometer does not touch the metal edges of the oven.

After 20 minutes the timer beeped and I flipped the roast over.  (It was already smelling amazing!!)  I set the timer for another 20 minutes and started the oven again.  I kept a close eye on the roast for this second half of cook time.  The roast was browning nicely but the thermometer was not quite high enough, reaching about 115 degrees.  I wanted to get to the 120-125 range before turning off the heat, so I added another 10 minutes to the timer.  This extra cook time brought the temp up to 123 degrees, which was good with me.  I turned the oven off and let the roast rest in the oven for 10 minutes longer, which brought the internal temp up to a juicy 133 degrees.  By the time I was slicing the meat it had a nice crust of salt and pepper on the outside and the inside was a perfect medium-rare.  So yummy.

Here are some pictures of the whole process.  For those of you who own a NuWave, drag that thing out and give it a try this summer and you might find you can save yourself some money.  By cooking the beef in the NuWave I had the chance to season the meat the way we liked and since the roast was on sale ($3.99 per pound) I saved about $18 over the price of roast beef from the deli ($9.99 per pound).  A delicious money-saving meal and I didn't even have to heat up the house.

We served the sandwiches with sliced swiss cheese and horseradish-mayo and a little bowl of french onion soup to dip the sandwich into.  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Crispy Swai Sandwich with Chipotle Mayo

Mmm..crispy fish sandwiches on a Friday night.  I know, I know...frying is not the healthiest way to prepare fish, but sometimes you just get in the mood for some delicious fried fish.

Growing up, as far back as I can remember, we would have fish for dinner on Friday nights. There were several reasons for this, the first being Lent. During the 6 weeks or so before Lent, Catholics are not supposed to eat meat, and for us fish was the protein of choice.  The second reason was because my Mom hated fish, and my Dad loved it!

Since my Mom worked most Fridays, my Dad would take my sister and me out for a fish dinner.  Sometimes it was McDonald's (this was back when McD's was a once-in-a-while "treat" not a daily visit like it is for many people today), sometimes it was to Arthur Treacher's Fish-N-Chips (melt in your mouth, lightly beer-battered fish that was just heavenly!!) or even Red Lobster if we were really lucky ("so fancy", we thought!).  There were also the local church Fish Fry events every Friday night during Lent or the Anchor Inn, a favorite local restaurant where I first learned how to eat catfish without getting a forkful of bones!  Lots of fun nights and many great memories.

This recipe uses Swai Fillets, which is a type of catfish.  The fish was golden and crispy-crunchy on the outside while the inside was sweet, moist and delicious.  The spicy chipotle mayo on top added a nice touch of flavor to the fish and any leftover sauce is great on grilled chicken sandwiches, too.

I think my Dad would have loved this sandwich just as much as we did.  Happy Father's Day Dad, we miss you.

3/4 cup  Flour
1/2 cup  Yellow Cornmeal
1/2 cup  White Cornmeal
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp  Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 cup  Flour
2  Large Eggs, beaten
2/3 cup  Milk
4  Large Swai or Catfish Fillets, cut in half (about 1-3/4 lbs)
1 cup  Mayonnaise
2  Canned Chipotle Chilies in Adobo
2 tsp  Adobo Sauce
2 TB  Honey
2 TB  Lemon Juice
1 cup  Oil for Frying
8  Kaiser Rolls or Buns
Boston Lettuce Leaves
Tomatoes, thinly sliced

Make Ahead:  In a small food processor, combine the mayo, chipotles, honey and lemon juice and process until smooth.  Place sauce in a glass bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and set aside.

You will need 3 bowls for this assembly process.  Pour 3/4 cup flour into the first bowl.  In the second bowl combine the eggs with the milk and beat until blended.  In the third bowl, combine the yellow and white cornmeal, salt, pepper, Old Bay and 1/4 cup flour.

Dredge the fillets in the flour, then the egg mixture, followed by the cornmeal mixture, then place on the baking sheet.  Make sure the fillets are well coating the the cornmeal as this will ensure a crispy-crunchy texture.  Let the fillets rest about 15-20 minutes, or you can cover the baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour, if needed.

Pour oil into a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Place 4 fillets into the pan and fry over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes or until crispy and golden.  Carefully turn fillets, reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes longer.  When fillets are golden, remove from pan and place on a paper towel lined platter to drain.  Keep fillets warm while cooking the remaining 4 fillets.

Place the fillets atop the kaiser rolls and spread with a generous dollop of the Chipotle Sauce, a few leaves of lettuce and a juicy slice of tomato.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chipotle Pork Roast

Thanks to a sudden storm, what started out to be a grilled dinner ended up with us cooking indoors.  The last minute change of plans turned out surprisingly well.

We started off with a lean piece of pork tenderloin and coated it with a chipotle pepper and cumin-based dry rub.  Next, we seered the outside until golden brown, but not fully cooked, and followed it up with a quick 20 minutes of roasting time in the oven.  The results were delicious with a nice kick of flavor from the chipotle powder, and the meat was "fork tender", meaning you could cut it easily with a fork.  The next day we sliced up the leftovers for cold pork sandwiches that made a pretty impressive lunch.

We will surely try this updated version of pork roast on the grill, but the oven cooked method was so yummy, this is definitely on the list of repeat recipes.

1 1/2 - 2 pound Lean Pork Roast, trimmed of all fat and silver
1 TB  Olive Oil

Dry Rub Mix
1 tsp  Cumin
2 tsp  Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Chipotle Powder
1 tsp  Paprika
1 tsp  Onion Powder

In a small bowl combine all of the dry rub ingredients and stir. 

Place the pork on a platter and coat evenly with the dry rub mix, making sure to coat all sides of the meat and into any folds.  Cover the roast with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 - 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers.  Carefully place the roast in the skillet and seer on all sides, turning about 1/4 turn each time.  When the roast is evenly browned on the outside, but not fully cooked inside, (on the ends the center will still be pink) transfer the roast to a baking pan and place in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.  You can use an oven-safe thermometer for this roast and it works great.

We served this with Grilled Polenta Cakes, Sauteed Peas with Mushrooms and a light chardonnay.  I hope you enjoy this dinner as much as we did!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Swai and Couscous Poached in Foil Pouches

This dish is sure to remind many of you of campfire dinners when you were kids.  Cooking a meal in foil packets was popular years ago but the one problem with this method was getting the food cooked without ending up with a burned dinner.  Foil pouches can also be a fun dinner for kids to help prepare and you only have to follow these 3 simple steps.

First you have to have the right protein and Swai Fish Fillets worked great in this dish.  The steam and broth in the packets cook the fish from all sides and the fillets were perfectly done.  (Cooking chicken using this method is difficult because you need to make sure the chicken is fully cooked.  Rare chicken is not good!)

Second, you need a quick cooking base for under the fish, so we tried Golden Couscous.  I'm still new to cooking with couscous and so far I'm loving the results.  Any flavors you use will cook into the grain, so cooking the fish and couscous in the same herb/wine mixture created a perfect balance.

Third, you need the right amount of moisture that will steam/poach the fish while also cooking the couscous. For the broth we combined chicken broth and white wine with a little lemon juice.  By mixing a portion of the liquid with the couscous the flavors are absorbed into the grain.  The remaining liquid will provide the main flavor for the fish and is added just before sealing the packets.

This dinner was very quick and easy with only 10 minutes of prep time and a quick 10 minutes of grill time.  Add a bag or two of steamed edamame as a side and you have a healthy dinner with very easy cleanup!

5  Sheets of Heavy Duty Foil, about 12 x 14 inches
1 cup  Bob's Red Mill Golden Couscous, uncooked
1 tsp  Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
3/4 tsp  Paprika
1 TB  Dried or Fresh Chives or Chopped Green Onions
1 tsp  Old Bay Seasoning
1  10-1/2 oz can  Chicken Broth, divided in half
5 TB Lemon Juice
1 cup  White Wine
5  Swai Fillets, thawed
5 TB  Cold Butter

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Combine couscous, salt, pepper, paprika, chives and old bay and stir in 5 ounces of the chicken broth.  Stir to blend and set aside.  The couscous will absorb most of the liquid.

Divide the couscous mixture between the 5 sheets of foil, placing the mixture in the center of the sheets.  (Drain off any extra liquid as you spoon the mixture onto the foil.) Place one piece of fish atop each portion of couscous and slice 3 very thin slices of butter on top of each of the fillets.

Double fold up both sides of the foil on each packets, leaving the front edge open.  Use a towel to prop up the front edge of the packets.

In a small cup combine the remaining chicken broth, lemon juice and white wine.  Pour 1/5 of the broth mixture into each of the foil pouches, then double fold the edge to form a square sealed packet.

Place the packets onto the grill and close the lid.  Pouches will "poof" slightly while cooking.  Cook the packets undisturbed for 10 minutes, then remove from grill.  Cut the foil open using scissors and fold back the sides.  Serve in the foil (your kids will love this!)  or use a spatula to transfer the fish and couscous to a plate.  Serve with a side of steamed edamame and Enjoy!!