Thursday, May 27, 2010

Farfalle with Salmon & Mint

I've been cooking with leeks more and more lately.  They have a light taste, are less pungent than an onion, and sometimes give off a hint of cucumber.  I've always heard they are a pain to clean, but it is quite simple if you prep them first (in this recipe, they are sliced), then agitate in a bowl of water to release the sand.  One final rinse and they're ready for use.

Farfalle with Salmon & Mint - salmon, leeks, sour cream, mint, and pasta.  Mint and salmon...with sour cream?  This recipe definitely sounded different, which means I had to try it!  One great aspect of this dish is that everything (minus the pasta) is cooked in the same pot.  Easy clean up!
First the leeks are sauteed in butter, salt & pepper, and a portion of the chicken broth.  Once they simmer for a minute, you lay the salmon on top the leeks and cover the pot, to allow the salmon to steam and the leeks to become tender.  After removing the salmon, the rest of the broth and lemon zest is added to the leeks.  The salmon is broken up into pieces.  Lastly, everything is tossed together; the pasta, salmon, leek mixture, sour cream, and mint.  The result is a healthy and comforting salmon pasta dish, with freshness of the mint, brightness of the lemon zest, and a touch of creaminess from the sour cream. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

How to Cook Real Food - An Online Cooking Class

I want to share this great concept from Nourished Kitchen - an online cooking class on how to eat real food and cook from scratch!   I know for myself, the ability to take an online class at the time that best suits my schedule, is a huge advantage.  I'm going to be signing up myself, so feel free to join me on this adventure!  The video below explains the goal of the classes and for additional information on the course, please click here.

This series of 12 online classes is all about real food, shopping locally, and targeting what's in season, all while on a budget.  Here are the specifics:
Classes start June 1st
12-week long course
Only $120
Less than $10 a class!
Hurry! Enrollment ends Memorial Day, May 31st
 Click here to sign up:  REGISTER HERE

Here is additional detail on what will be covered:

Lesson #1 - What is Real Food & Where to Find It
Lesson #2 - Eat Whole Grain
Lesson #3 - Homemade Sourdough Bread
Lesson #4 - Homemade Salad Dressings
Lesson #5 - Prepare Seasonal Vegetables
Lesson #6 - Make Real Pickles
Lesson #7 - Roasted & Slow-cooked Meats
Lesson #8 - Stocks, Broths & Soups
Lesson #9 - Easy Homemade Yogurt & Cheese
Lesson #10 - Soda & Soft Drink Alternatives
Lesson #11 - Naturally Sweet Desserts
Lesson #12 - Menus & Meal Planning

Also, you'll receive various tools, tips, menu planners, chart of seasonal vegetables, etc.  The classes will be conducted (posted) on a schedule, but it doesn't mean you have to attend on a schedule.  The flexibility is there to watch the tutorials, download the printable materials, all on your own schedule.  

If you want to sign up, enrollment ends on May 31st, so time is short.  Happy, healthy eating!

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Nourished Kitchen’s online eCourse, so I will be earning a commission from any sales made after clicking a link in this post.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pineapple Chorizo Burgers

Along with some of my fellow food bloggers, I will soon be embarking on an adventure to find San Diego's best burger.  With all of this talk about burgers, I thought I should share one of my personal favorites, this Pineapple Chorizo Burger from A Spicy Perspective.   It is a simple, yet highly flavorful burger, made with ground pork, chorizo, Worcestershire sauce, dried thyme and oregano, then topped with avocado and grilled pineapple. 

My favorite way to eat an avocado is straight from the skin with a little salt.  I was going to say I don't think I've ever had an avocado that I didn't like, but that isn't true.  Last year at the San Diego Fair, I tried deep fried avocado.  It just wasn't right.  They say everything can be deep fried, but that doesn't mean that it will be good!  Ironically, the deep fried avocado tasted richer to me than the deep fried Oreo that we ended the night with. The healthy fats in this bright green fruit are best left to themselves and possibly a little olive oil, but deep frying is a no no in my book.

The pineapple is a difficult fruit to tackle, but since fresh pineapple is always best, I decided to try the Vacu Vin Pineapple Slicer.  I know some of you may be laughing, because seriously, this could definitely be done with a knife, but it truly makes the job easier.  After slicing off the top and bottom of the pineapple, you center the middle over the core and begin turning and pushing down at the same time. 
What you're left with is a shell of the skin and perfect rings that hug the slicer.  After removing the handle, the rings slide off and voila!  Pineapple rings with the core removed!
True, not all pineapples are the same size, but each time I've done this, I haven't had any problems with the core being too big.  The only thing I do is tidy up the edges of the rings by slicing off any excess skin, which is normally not much.
Everything used to make this burger is grilled, minus the avocado, of course.  The recipe calls for assembling and topping with pico de gallo or chunky salsa.  We used just a little bit of mayonnaise as to not take away from the 3 layers of flavor.  The tropical taste of the pineapple and avocado balance out the slight spice of the chorizo, all in all, making it a great summer burger!