Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

I can't believe it's been 10 days since my last post.  Just yesterday I was bragging that I update my blog at least once a week, and upon looking back at the last several months, it appears as though that is lies, all lies.  I don't even have any good excuses besides that I really like MTV, online shopping, and Pinterest.
Anywho, we're here to talk about meatballs, not about my slacker ways or dreadful taste in television programming.  Usually, when I ask my husband what he wants for dinner, he says, "What are my options?", which I suppose is kind of clever and technically a legitimate question.  Inevitably, when he say that, he ends up with a turkey sandwich or Chipotle.  But sometimes when I ask, he gives me an answer and then I'm required to go to the grocery store and buy all the ingredients for whatever his heart desires.  Because I figure if he actually gives me an idea besides, "what are my options?", then he must REALLY want said option and I should try to oblige.  Plus, I have a feeling that the happier he is with dinner, the more likely he is to do the dishes.  Which leaves me more time for MTV, online shopping, and Pinterest.

So today when I asked, he said, "spaghetti and meatballs", so here we are.  Even though it is TOTALLY mean to say the word "spaghetti" to someone who is cutting carbs from their diet.  Just sayin'.

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
Source: Adapted from Dinner: A Love Story
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 a small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2/3 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
salt to taste
pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup marinara sauce (store bought or homemade)
about 4 ounces fresh mozzarella (I got the medallions and then cut each in half lengthwise to have 8 thin slices)
Preheat oven to 400°F, setting rack to upper third part of oven. In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, onion, parsley, basil, grated cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, and fennel seeds.  Shape into golf ball sized meatballs (I found that it helps to put a little olive oil on your hands makes forming the meatballs easier) and place a few inches from each other on a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Brush a bit of marinara sauce over each meatball.  Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove meatballs from oven, spoon some sauce on top of each meatball, and cover each with a slice of cheese.  Broil another 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden. 
Serve with pasta, or eat plain to save the carbs!  We also had an arugula salad with cherry tomatoes, sliced onions, and a simple vinaigrette.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oven Roasted Salmon with Parmesan-Mayo Crust

You know, I was all ready to make this post about salmon and healthy ways of cooking it an all that jazz and it was going to be relevant and not contain any random tangents about whatever pops into my ADD mind.  But then I realized that this recipe is from a blog called, "She Cooks, He Cleans", and it made me giggle and then I lost track of my thoughts of salmon and started thinking about cleaning in our household.

If I were a mean wife, I would tell you all that I cook every night and also do all the cleaning myself while my husband sits on the recliner drinking beer and watching baseball.  But I'm an honest person and I'll admit that the man of the house certainly pulls his weight when it comes to cleaning.  And by "pulls his weight", I mean, "does all of the cleaning".  I mean.....not ALL of it, mind you, but probably more than the average dude.  You could argue that it's because he adores me and wants me to have time to do the important things in life, like lay on the couch and play on Pinterest and drink wine.  OR, you could argue that he cleans a lot because he thinks I do it wrong.  I'll.....just put that out there and see what you all think.

Hmmm, you think the latter?  Well, you said it, not me.

Anyway!  The "He" in our household does his fair share of cleaning and I love him for it.  As a reward, I cook him dinner every night sometimes.  Even though the poor man can't have carbs in his own house and probably has a stash of bagels at his desk for emergencies.

On to salmon.  It sounded kind of weird at first, to make a mayo/Parmesan "paste" and spread it over fish, but it's delicious, I swear it.  It got all nice and crusty at the top in the oven, and it made the salmon so moist and flavorful.  It reheats nicely, too, but I don't recommend putting it in the microwave...if you're gonna eat leftovers, spring for turning on the oven, it's worth it!

Oven Roasted Salmon with Parmesan-Mayo Crust
Source: Adapted from She Cooks He Cleans

2 large salmon fillet(s), skin on
Kosher salt/ freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
a few dashes of smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lemon

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a shallow roasting pan with foil and place salmon in the pan.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Mix the mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne in a small bowl. Spread completely over the salmon. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese on top.

Roast for 12-14 minutes (depending on thickness of salmon).  Then turn the broiler on high and broil for a couple of minutes until the topping begins to brown.  Watch it carefully so it doesn't burn!

Remove from oven; carefully slide a wide spatula between the skin and meat to separate from the skin.   Squeeze a little bit of lemon juice on the fish, and serve.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The World's Best Flank Steak

Heeeeyyyy friends!  Me again.  I'm here to brag about my weight loss and to share a steak recipe with you.  First, I have lost 13 pounds in 5 weeks and I feel amazing!  Second, this flank steak recipe is the best, most delicious one on earth and there is no way I could ever prepare flank steak in any other way.  A bold statement, yes, but I only speak the truth.

This is my mother in law's recipe, and when my husband and I first started dating, I would dream about going over to his folks' house for dinner on the off chance that she would be making flank steak (and also because they are amazing in-laws and I totally lucked out in that department, but the food doesn't hurt).  Oh, it is so good.  The marinade is super easy and consists of things you probably already have in the fridge.  Flank steak is super tender if you don't overcook it and slice it correctly, and it cooks on the grill in no time.  Ugh, how I wish we had flank steak leftovers in the fridge right now....

Anyway!  I can't believe I haven't shared this before.  Actually, I do.  And that is because we usually gobble it down so fast that I don't get a chance to take a picture of it before it is gone.  This time I remedied that by making two flank steaks.  Genius at work.


The World's Best Flank Steak
Source: My mother-in-law, Mona

1 1/2 cups salad oil (vegetable or canola)
3/4 cup soy sauce (I use low sodium)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. dry mustard
3 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp parsley flakes
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup lemon juice
Garlic Pepper seasoning to taste (we like McCormick brand)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Pour over flank steak in a shallow baking dish and place in fridge for 8 hours or overnight.

Heat grill to medium high.  Grill steak for 8 minutes on the first side and 5 minutes on the second side for medium rare (which is best because you will slice it really thinly)

Let steak rest for 10 minutes before slicing.  Slice very thinly on the diagonal ACROSS the grain.  This is very important or it won't be tender.  Serve with garlic pepper sprinkled on top.