Well, it’s official. Our worldwide dilemma has caused the train to jump of the tracks. The Catholic church announced that we can stop abstaining from eating meat on Fridays for the remainder of Lent. At least, that is what one bishop from New Jersey has decreed.
It seems that we have suffered enough. Maybe a delicious hamburger and fries will pick up our spirits.
Lent is one of those old-world traditions that I actually appreciate. Fasting and simplifying our lives through meditation and reverence for 40 days each year seems like a healthy practice.
So, let’s prepare a nice salmon filet, shall we?
2.5 lb fresh salmon filet
3 Tbs Dijon mustard
3 tsp lemon juice
3 tsp mayonnaise
1 ½ tsp chili sauce (spicy ketchup)
¼ cup capers
Set oven to 375°.
Lay the salmon, skin-side down, on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Combine Dijon mustard, lemon juice, mayonnaise and chili sauce in a small bowl.
Spread the mixture across the top of the salmon. Make sure to coat the entire surface to prevent the fish drying while baking.
Sprinkle capers across the top of the fish.
Bake uncovered at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.
The turkey went fast this Thanksgiving. We had enough left over turkey to make a big batch of turkey, biscuits and gravy but that went quickly, too. The leftover green beans, yams, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese have all been eaten. Why is it that dressing is always the last remnant of Thanksgiving at my house? Maybe it’s because we always make too much of it. The dressing was very good this year, mainly because my wife made it. She knows how to balance the flavors. I tend to get heavy handed when adding herbs and spices.
But, the fact remains. I have all of this dressing to deal with. Some types of leftovers make great additions to other future meals. Vegetables and meat can be added to omelets or salads…that’s easy. But dressing, or stuffing, depending on your preference, is pretty much singular, in nature.
I was portioning some extremely large chicken breasts the other day and I decided to use a few of the breast pieces to make stuffed chicken.
Ingredients for the marinade:
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbs dry Italian seasonings
1 tsp cracked black pepper
½ tsp salt
Ingredients for the stuffed chicken:
3 monstrously sized chicken breasts
3 cups prepared and cooked bread stuffing (dressing)
Combine the marinade in a large bowl.
Butterfly slice the chicken breasts, leaving about half an inch of the breast uncut.
Lay the chicken breasts open and put them in the bowl containing the marinade. Allow the chicken to marinate for a half hour, turning occasionally.
Heat a cast iron skillet to high. Once the skillet is hot, sear the cut sided of the chicken. Sear for about 1 minute and turn the chicken over to briefly sear the other side, about 10 or 15 seconds. Remove the chicken to a work surface. Sear the remaining chicken breast in a similar fashion.
Lay the chicken breasts on a work surface with the cut side facing upward.
Compress some stuffing in your hands and lay the stuffing on one side of the chicken. Fold the chicken over along the seam and secure with toothpicks. Repeat the process with the other chicken breasts.
Return the chicken to the skillet and bake at 300° for 30 minutes, uncovered. Turn the heat up to 350° and bake for another 10 minutes.
Serve hot, along with a vegetable or salad. I served this with asparagus…
Skinny Asparagus in Lemon, Garlic Butter Sauce
Maybe it’s just me but I don’t remember seeing pencil-thin asparagus in stores until a few years ago. It’s probably just me… When it comes to asparagus I let the price determine which kind I will use. Naturally, the thicker variety is better suited for grilling and the thinner variety is perfect for pan frying, quickly.
½ lb skinny asparagus
1 Tbs butter
2 garlic cloves, smashed
Juice of ½ lemon
Once the chicken has been removed from the skillet, wipe the skillet with a paper towel to remove most of the residual oil.
Add the butter and garlic and sauté the garlic for about a minute, or until the garlic begins to turn light brown.
Set the heat to low and add the asparagus. Stir briefly and cover. I used a piece of aluminum foil. I like the flexibility I get with foil. Let the asparagus steam for about 4 minutes. Uncover and gently stir the asparagus for another minute.