Friday, January 12, 2007

Slow Weekend Cooking

Hopefully everyone has Monday off as it is a Federal holiday, and is looking forward to the long weekend. I know I am :) If you will have some down time, why not take a long, leisurely trip to the market, and allow yourself to be inspired by what looks fresh, and create a fun meal to help you relax and unwind. Here are several recipe ideas inspired by recent trips to the market, and which would be perfect for a healthy and delicious meal during this long weekend.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Zucchini with Balsamic Vinegar
6 zucchini, each about 8 inches long
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
24 thin slices prosciutto
1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of aged balsamic vinegar, or regular balsamic reduced over medium heat by one-half
Trim the ends from the zucchini and cut into quarters lengthwise. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap each piece tightly in prosciutto. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat until hot. Add the zucchini and saute until the prosciutto is crispy but the zucchini is still almost raw, about 5 minutes. Arrange the spears on a large plate or platter and sprinkle with the balsamic and serve with a small bowl of the remaining vinegar in the middle of the zucchini.

Roasted New Potatoes with Bacon
2 pounds red new potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 strips of bacon - maple or sage flavor works nicely
1 bunch of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat a medium non-stick skillet to medium/high heat, and add the bacon. Cook until browned. Remove the bacon and drain on several paper towels. Let cool for a few minutes, and chop the bacon into strips about 1/2 inch in diameter. Discard half of the fat from the bacon, and leave the rest in the skillet. In a large bowl, coat potatoes with oil; sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper, and add back the bacon bits. Add the potatoes to the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat. Transfer to a baking dish and spread out and bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden. Add the chopped parsley just before serving.

Baked Salmon with Corn and Dried Cranberries
4 fillets of salmon
4 cups of yellow corn (use fresh, or frozen is ok but let thaw or microwave until room temperature)
2 cups of dried cranberries
1 bunch of Italian flat-leaf parsley
5 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce
1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable stock (low-sodium if you can find it)
1/2 cup chopped almonds
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Cooking spray
Aluminum foil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. With the foil, make four packets large enough to easily enclose a fillet of salmon and corn while baking. Spray the inside of each packet with cooking spray. In each packet, add a cup of corn, a fillet of salmon, a generous sprinkle of both salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon of barbecue sauce and a quick pour (about 1 tablespoon) of stock. Enclose each foil packet so it is sealed and place in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on your oven and how you prefer your salmon. Carefully open each foil packet and remove the salmon fillet. Plate the corn on a platter and add the cranberries and arrange the salmon fillets on top of this mixture. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and almonds, and drizzle with the remaining barbecue sauce for eye appeal. Enjoy with a light-bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir.


Mel said...

Girl. I wish I had off on Monday. We have off President's Day, but not for Dr. King. Weird.

These recipies look GREAT. I am dying to try the cheese popcorn one from a week ago. Now I just need to find the time to make them...

Sonadora said...

Yum Leah! I'll definetly be trying the potatoes this week and hopefully the salmon if I can get to the store!