Sunday, December 9, 2012

Walleye Fingers with Remoulaude Sauce

Walleye Finges with Remoulaude

Today our neighbor brought us some walleye along with her Walleye Skewers with Remoulade Sauce recipe, which was featured in Edible Twin Cities magazine Sept-Oct 12.  Unfortunately, I didn't have all of the ingredients but I was able to substitute and  come up with some fantastic flavor. 

I thought this was a good time to post this since ice fishing is just around the corner : )

Walleye Fingers w/ Remoulade Sauce

1/4 cup chopped green onions or scallions
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 tablespoon mustard powder
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon hot sauce (I used Ray's)
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor EXCEPT the oil, blend until smooth. Slowly add in vegetable oil a couple teaspoons at a time. The point is to emulsify so the oil does not separate, continue doing this until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Marinate strips in buttermilk for 2-4 hours, not longer. Heat two inches of Canola oil. Combine flour, salt & pepper in a shallow dish. Drain buttermilk from fish pieces, then coat in flour mixture. Fry 4-5 minutes each side. Serve with remoulade.

Have fun!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Asian Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Asian Pulled Pork Sandwiches w/ Ramen Salad

It's been a while since we posted a recipe; this is such a busy time of year! Archery season has started, fall semester, pre-school and other fall plans have taken priority. We haven't had much free time on our hands for our projects, but we will post as often as we are able.

I had some Asian pulled pork at a friends house for their daughters 1st birthday party, and it inspired me to make this Asian style pork.

This Asian Pulled Pork is really good, it has more of an Asian spiced flavor with subtle sweetness. The Chinese five-spice gives it a unique spiced flavor, the brown sugar brings balance and just the right amount of sweetness.

Asian Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Makes enough for 10+ servings

4 lbs boneless pork butt, fat trimmed
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice power
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
4 cloves fresh minced garlic
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
10 sesame buns

Add everything besides the meat to a slow cooker & whisk the ingredients.
Cook on low for 8 hours.
Remove from slow cooker, shred, pull and return to slow cooker.
Serve on buns.
Pairs well with a good ramen salad.

Best flavor 2nd day.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cuban Picadillo

Cuban Style Picadillo Over Rice

This past Monday we got to visit with Joe's Grandma Gladys who's in town visiting from Puerto Rico.  We got to talking about some of our favorite delicious Puerto Rican dishes.  I had seen this dish on Diner's, Drive-In's & Dives on Food Network but couldn't remember it's origin or what it was called.  All that talk about Carribbean food got me thinking about Picadillo again and I finally googled what it was called.  This particular recipe is inspired by a recipe I found in  It called for less garlic and olives, so I decided to tweak the recipe a little bit and add a couple flavors I knew we would love.  Joe and I both agree that this is as delicious as we thought it would be and intend to make it again and again!  Enjoy!!

Makes about 6 hearty servings.

2 cups diced onions2 cups green pepper, seeds removed and finely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil for sautéing
4-6 cloves grated, minced or crushed garlic
1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. ground pork
4 large roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, not quite full
1 teaspoon oregano
1 5.75oz. jar green olives, drained
1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper (to taste)

Prepare your rice and begin cooking it (recipe below)
Saute onions and green peppers in olive oil until onions begin to soften.  Add the meats and garlic.  As the meats cook, mash the meat into the pepper and onion mixture to break it up into a fine crumble. 
Once the meat is cooked through, add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, spices and salt & pepper.  Reduce heat to low, and simmer about 15 minutes.  Finally, gently stir in the olives and simmer another 5 minutes.  Serve over hot white rice.

Perfect White Rice
2 cups long grain white rice
3 3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 vegetable oil

Rinse rice thoroughly in wire mesh strainer.  This step is very important. Rinse rice until runoff water is completely clear.  Set rice aside to dry for about 15 minutes.  In medium stockpot heat the oil on medium heat.  Add the dry rice and salt and toast for about 10 minutes, until you smell the nutty aroma of the rice toasting.  Stir throughout toasting process so the rice doesn't burn.
Add the water and stir gently.  Reduce heat to medium/low and place the lid on the pot.  DO NOT OPEN THE LID through the entire cooking process.  Set timer for 20 minutes.  If the rice boils over, or gets close, reduce the heat slightly.  After the 20 minute cooking time turn the heat off, but leave the lid ON for another 30 minutes to steam the rice.  The 30 minute steam makes such a difference on the texture of the finished rice.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pan Fried Lemon Pepper Catfish

Yesterday Raina and I went with the Lindbergs on a fishing excursion to find crappies and blue gill at Lake Pokegama. It was getting dark and most of use had caught fish, except for Raina. Then WHAM! a catfish nails her crappie tube jig almost top water! It was crazy!  She fought hard with her drag set and brought in a nice sized catfish. We were all a little surprised to see a catfish hit that high in the water and on a tube jig!

This is the first catfish we have ever caught so I had to google how to properly fillet, and with a "little" help from my brother-in-law John, we had cut a couple nice fillets : )

So after a fun night fishing and some much needed time with the Lindberg family we came home and I thought about what I wanted to do with the catfish. I remembered my mom making pan fried catfish with lemon pepper and I immediately had a craving for it. I thought I'd spice it up a bit and make a homemade lemon  pepper rub. The rub turned out great and the kitchen smelled amazing with all the lemon zest in the air.

After cooking this today, we will definitely make it more of a point to catch catfish or at least buy some at the store : )

Homemade Lemon Pepper
Makes enough for approximately 3 fillets.

3-4 medium sized lemons
1.5 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly cracked pepper

Zest lemons, be sure not to zest too far under the lemon skin as the white part is bitter.
Crack pepper and combine all the ingredients, taste and add ingredients to desired flavor. For a more potent lemon flavor add more lemon zest.

Pan Fried Lemon Pepper Catfish

In a cast iron skillet (or an adequate frying pan), add canola oil to fill the pan about 1/4 inch.
Preheat oil and prep fillets.
Wash fillets fillets with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Use a little oil to cover the fillets to help the lemon pepper rub stick.
Coat both sides of the fillet with the lemon pepper rub.
Test oil with the tip of a fillet to make sure the oil is at an adequate temperature. If the oil doesn't start frying the fish, remove immediately until oil is ready.
Fry until fish is golden brown or until fish is just about to flake.
Remove and put on paper towels to remove excess oil.

Serve with lemon slices and parsley, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the fillets and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Grilled Salmon with Dill & Dijon Remoulade

On Monday I arrived at the office and had a big surprise...a cooler full of salmon from my boss! It was a great way to start out the week! The salmon was split up between just a few of us, so now I have plenty of salmon in our freezer. This is definitely our family's favorite fish!

We took a package out on Monday night and put it in the refrigerator to thaw. Today I prepared it grilled with very simple Dill & Dijon Remoulade that I've been making since 2006, tonight was my first night measuring ingredients and writing instructions. I recommend this dish any time of the year!

Today we served this with rice pilaf which paired excellently with the remoulade and salmon. This salmon also pairs well with grilled asparagus with E.V.O.O., fresh minced garlic, salt & pepper.

Grilled Salmon with Dill & Dijon Remoulade
*Sauce makes enough for 4 - 6 servings

Grilled Salmon

4 generous portions of salmon
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse Kosher Salt or Sea Salt
Roughly cracked black pepper
Old Bay seasoning
Garlic granules

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Remove any extra bones from fillet with a needle-nose pliers, feel around the fillet for bones and pull with the grain to avoid tearing the fillet. With a fillet knife, remove the skin from the salmon fillets. On each side, rub fillets with the olive oil and season with the cracked black pepper, Old Bay, Garlic granules and top it off with a little coarse kosher or sea salt. Don't over salt, there is salt in the Old Bay seasoning.

With a tongs take a napkin or paper towel and dip in some oil and rub the grates of the grill to prevent sticking.
Put salmon on the grill for about 2-3 minutes per side, adjust to fit your level of doneness.

Dill & Dijon Remoulade
4-6 servings

2 tbsp White Wine (I used cooking wine)
3 tbsp Mayo
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp finely chopped dill
1.5 tsp fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt, or to taste
Cracked black pepper to taste
Pinch of garlic powder or granules

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth, add more dill for color or to your desired flavor.

Serve with over the grilled salmon fillets and enjoy!

Happy Eating,

Joe & Raina

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mesquite Chicken Sliders with Slaw

Sundays are very busy for us, so when we get home from church we are hungry! We like to have something that is fast and delicious, so today we made some Mesquite Chicken Sliders with a mixed veggie slaw, a recipe inspired by Teenie Cakes food blog.

Today our son Alex got in the mix to help, he cut up veggies for the slaw and had a lot of fun using the meat mallet to pound the chicken! : ) 

We also got a chance to use some veggies from our sample basket from Outstanding In Our Field CSA, we used the kohlrabi, purple cabbage & white cabbage. I love that they just picked this for us yesterday afternoon! We could certainly taste the quality and freshness from this sustainably grown produce. Thanks Erin and John!

Mesquite Chicken Sliders with Slaw
Makes 10 Sliders with left over slaw

Mesquite Chicken

3 Chicken Breasts
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Your favorite mesquite rub

10 dinner or slider rolls (direction follows)
10 thick slices of Monterey Jack Cheese (direction follows)
BBQ sauce (direction follows)

Preheat grill or pan. Place chicken breasts in zipped plastic bag and remove air. With a meat mallet, pound chicken to 1/2-inch thick. Remove chicken from the bag and coat with olive oil and rub your mesquite seasoning on both sides. If your cooking fast and hot, cook chicken for 2 minutes and each side and check for doneness. If using a lower temp, adjust accordingly. Let stand for at least 10 minutes.

Mixed Veggie Slaw:

2 1/2 cups purple cabbage, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups white cabbage, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, grated
1 kohlrabi, grated
1/4 cup red onion, chopped or sliced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste

Using a large bowl, combine yogurt, vinegar, mustard & sugar, season to taste with salt and pepper. Add carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi and red onion and mix in the yogurt mixture well. Taste and season again with salt and pepper to desired flavor. Refrigerate before using.

Build your sliders:

Preheat oven to broil. Line baking stone or pan with foil. Cut buns in half (if they come whole), place buns cut side up and place a slice of cheese on each half (cut cheese to better fit the slider). Put in oven until buns start to brown and cheese melts. Don't Burn!! : )

Cut chicken to fit buns. Place chicken in bun, drizzle with BBQ sauce and top the chicken with a generous amount of slaw.
Best served hot 

Have fun & enjoy!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos

My friend Matt @ Thyme In Our Kitchen had the house to himself a couple of weeks ago, so I politely invited myself over to cook : )  I suggested that we make fish tacos and Matt's first thought was Mahi Mahi. We teamed up and combined some fresh ingredients to make these delicious tacos. I was in charge of the toppings so I made a zesty red cabbage slaw with some lime sauce while Matt prepared the fish. I must say that I'm proud of those toppings! I found a few fish taco recipes on the web and used ideas from a few of them to create my own.

I love to cook with other people and I look forward to doing this more often. I miss the days of cooking with my good friend Peter; I may have to get him in the mix next time, he has fantastic flavors to contribute!

Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos

3-4 Mahi Mahi filets
5-6 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 head of red cabbage
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1.5 tablespoons sugar
1 small carrot (julienne)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
a squeeze of fresh lime
salt and pepper to taste

Lime Sauce
7 tablespoons mayo
1/4 cup cilantro
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 clove fresh garlic, crushed and minced
2 teaspoon lime juice
2-3 tablespoons milk
salt to taste

Pat the filets dry and slice each one into long sections, about 3/4-1 inch wide. Season generously on all sides with cajun seasoning.

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the fish and cook on each side 1-2 minutes or until just barely cooked through and fish starts to flake. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

Combine all ingredients and toss to combine

Lime Sauce
Combine all the ingredients except milk and stir to combine. Add the milk to thin to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Angel Hair Carbonara

Our first blog post is a family favorite. This Angel Hair Carbonara is one of those staple dishes that we have at least once a month. We love simple, fresh & sustainable meals that we can prepare quickly.

I work regular business hours and Raina is at home with the kids. By the time I get home I am starving so Raina will have the angel hair in a pot of boiling salt water. She seasons pasta like an Iron Chef : )

When I got home today all of the ingredients were prepared so we could toss them in together. We love using fresh and organic cherry tomatoes, green onion, mushrooms, garlic, free-range eggs, and our killer organic bacon that we got when we purchased a quarter pig a few months ago.

Angel Hair Carbonara

1 lb Angel Hair Pasta
1/2 lb Bacon, sliced
5-7 Green Onions, sliced & divided
Approx. 2 Cups sliced button mushrooms
1 Cup Grape or Cherry Tomatos, halved
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic (or more if you are a garlic fanatic)
1/3 Cup White wine for deglazing
2 Eggs, beaten
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese, to taste.

Start a large pot of generously salted water to boil for pasta.  I use a large palm full of kosher salt in a full stock-pot.
Slice bacon strips into lardon sized slices.  Place in cold pan (I use an ungreased cast-iron skillet) and render til bacon is crispy.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and drain on paper towels.  Pour out bacon grease, but reserve to saute mushrooms, onions and garlic. 
Over medium heat saute the mushrooms and 2/3 of the green onions, adding only enough bacon fat to keep veggies from sticking to pan.  When veggies have softened add the minced garlic and deglaze with the white wine.  Saute just until garlic begins to soften but not brown.
Cook angel hair (or whetever pasta you choose) according to "al dente" package instructions.
Place sauteed veggie mixture in the bottom of a large serving bowl.  Use pasta spoon to transfer cooked pasta to the serving bowl, to reserve the hot, starchy pasta water in case you need to thin your carbonara. 
Allow the pasta to cool only slightly(as not to scramble your eggs).  Next, pour the beaten eggs over the hot pasta and veggies and quicky toss to coat everything evenly.  If it is tough to toss or becomes heavy and dense add a small ladle full of hot pasta water until it loosens and becomes easier to mix. 
Add in the raw tomatoes, remaining 1/3 green onions and the crisped bacon and gently toss the whole affair to incorporate all the ingredients.  Add as much parmesan as you like and enjoy!

This is a great recipe to change up each time you make it.  I often will make it with frozen peas or fresh spinach.  It's also delicious if you grill red onions, asparagus and tomatoes and toss those in!