Friday, May 23, 2008

You can't have too much of a good thing! (or...Kudos, Foiled Again!)

I love to cook. Mostly because I love to eat. And I love to eat fabulous food.
I'm also constantly running short on time and low on energy.
So I have these winner short-cuts. Favorite foolproof* recipes.

But wait -- there's more. When doubled, they each make a completely new favorite recipe for the following night (or later in the week). BTW, aren't you baffled by those people who won't share their favorite recipes? Come on, share the love! There's plenty more where that came from.

Added bonus -- they're all very health-conscious -- even diet friendly. So enjoy them without any side-dish helping of indigestible guilt.

Recipe #1. Baked Salmon. Foolproof.* Delicious baked salmon in a quick alternative to cooking en pappillote -- tin foil.
Recipe #1a Use remaining baked (and chilled) salmon in a delectable Salmon Pasta Salad. (The herb dressing is to die for!)

Recipe #2. Grilled Flank Steak. Foolproof.* Absolutely the best marinade you'll ever try, or double your money back. :)
Recipe #2a Use remaining flank steak in a Thai Beef Salad that could put the restaurant across town out of business!

Baked Salmon
2 lb. salmon fillets (this is enough for both nights; no need to double)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil (triple amount if fresh)
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 T fresh parsley, chopped
6 T light olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 T fresh lemon juice

Mix garlic, light olive oil, basil;, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley in glass baking dish. Place salmon fillets in dish and cover with marinade. Marinate in refrigerator about 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 for convection)
Place fillets in aluminum foil, cover with extra marinade, form a loose tent, and seal all edges. Place sealed tin foil tent packets in rinsed glass dish. Bake 30-40 minutes, until flakes easily with a fork.

Salmon Pasta Salad
1 pound salmon, prepared as above, or poached in court bouillon.
8 ounces cooked pasta (Fusilli or Bowtie), cooled. (I use Barilla Plus multi-grain)
1 pound fresh spinach, cut into strips
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup green onions (green tops only) finely sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
grated parmesan cheese

Break salmon into 1-inch chunks in salad bowl.
Add pasta and chill. Toast almonds in skillet with 2 Tbsp. butter (optional). Add to pasta and salmon.
Pour dressing (next recipe) over pasta and salmon. Add green onions, parmesan cheese, spinach and parsley. Toss well and chill until ready to serve.

Herb Dressing for Salmon Pasta Salad
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon sweet basil
2 eggs
1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon dill weed
2 teaspoons crushed rosemary
1 teaspoon lemon peel

Prepare dressing by mincing the garlic and basil in the bowl of a food processor or blender; remove and set aside. Whirl the eggs in the processor and add the vinegar, lemon and sugar. Dribble salad oils SLOWLY into egg mixture with processor running. Then stir in mustard, salt, pepper, dill weed, rosemary, lemon peel, basil and garlic.

Famous Flank Steak Marinade
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tb. lemon juice
2 Tb. soy sauce
1 Tb. chopped green onion
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp celery salt

Stir ingredients together in oblong baking dish. Place flank steak flat in dish and pierce all over with large meat fork. Turn over and repeat. Marinate 2-4 hours or overnight.

Grill to perfection, then slice very thin,
diagonally, across the grain.

Thai Beef Salad
1 flank steak, marinated, grilled, and sliced (see above)
3 C romaine (torn)
3 C baby spinach
1 med. cucumber (quartered, then sliced)
5 green onions, green parts only (chopped)
3 med. tomoatoes (diced)
1/2 C fresh cilantro

3 T fish sauce
3 T red wine vinegar (be generous)
3 T brown sugar
2 T teriyaki sauce
1/2 large lime (juiced)

Combine dressing and stir until sugar is dissolved. Toss salad ingredients in a bowl with the dressing. Top with sliced flank steak. Garnish with extra cilantro.

Variation: can also add paper-thin slices of maui onions, julienned red peppers.

All of the above garnered rave reviews at our table this week.
(Salmon Pasta salad tomorrow night.)
Bon appetit!

(Oh, and try to refrain from making those annoying "What About Bob" moans as you're devouring it!)
*I hesitate to use the word foolproof, because fools are so ingenious! Nevertheless, I have yet to find a way to destroy any of these.


Allison said...

But I LIVE for the What About Bob moans!!!!

I'm proud to admit I have partaken of all of the above and I can vouch for them. Yummers across the board.

gunfighter1 said...


I found myself here via the lovely Brillig's blog (old bloggy pals, we are), and I am so stealing your recipes.

I just thought I should share that with you.

If you look hard enough, you'll find food posts at my blog, too.



Brillig said...

Good heavens, woman. You use "foolproof" very loosely, as I'm CERTAIN I would completely destroy these. Hahaha.

And hey, look! It's Gunfighter! How funny to see him here. You just know all the cool kids already, don't you!

Marie said...

So -- Scott's response to the Baked Salmon was, "You can fix this again." As I have learned that means "Honey, this was absolutely delicious. I loved it. Thank you for being such a good cook" -- or "cooker" as my children say.

We still need to get going on the recipe book -- millions will sell and we can take off to Italy and France for book promotion tours --- that is after we appear on Oprah! he he he:)