Brownifer Bites: August 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

Smoked Salmon Linguine

From the BBQ this evening .... Smoked Salmon Linguine with smoked heirloom tomatoes and a garlic/dill butter sauce.  Butter, smoky amazingness!!!!  Brownie hit it out of the park again!

Grilled Sockeye Salmon

I do love it when we're gifted cuts of fish and meat!  This week, we got some salmon and Brownie has been itching to eat it!  So here is the lovely:  Grilled Sockeye Salmon with Leek Carbonara and Garlic/Tarragon Aioli.

More, please.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tomatoes Four Ways

I love summer!  I especially love the fresh tomatoes!  I love planting them, growing them, canning them, and eating them!  We are blessed with an abundance from our garden right now with not quite enough to can yet, so ... we're playing with them and having a night of tomato appetizers! 

I'll start with my favorite:  Tomatoes and Cottage Cheese.  I ate this simple pairing my entire childhood and it's still one of my favorite summer comfort foods! If you've never had it:  try it!  You'll love it, I'm sure.  Brownie drizzled balsamic on these but .... I like mine plain.  No salt, no pepper, no drizzle. Just creamy cottage cheese and fresh sliced tomatoes!

Caprese salad is also one of our favorites around here.  My daughter as a chocolate cherry tomato plant that is going insane with fruit!  So I picked up some mozzarella and we made a different version of this delicious salad:  Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad! Delicious!  I think I still prefer the classic, but this was a fun creative way to change things up!

We put two of our other favorites on one plate because we were running out of room :-)  I like to buy Willamette Valley Cheese Co. Creamy Havarti and melt it over fresh sliced heirloom tomatoes .... it's divine!  Again, the drizzle made it too sweet for me but Brownie loved it.

And of course, Heirloom Bruschetta!  Brownie likes to melt cheese over his bruschetta, but it looks like I won today and got nice and fresh!  Tomato heaven!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Jen's Indian Chicken

If you've known us long, you've probably tried my Indian Chicken.  It's spicy and rich and filling!  I start with at least 2 lbs of chicken thighs (depending on how much leftovers I want), cut each thigh into about 3 pieces.  I toss it with flour and spices.  Now I'm manic, there is no rhyme or reason to which spices or how much I throw in - I just intuitively do it.  Until you know, it smells right :-) Then I toss it in a pot with some oil in the bottom to brown it and fill it with some water until I have just the right amount that will make the sauce with however much flour I used.  I let that simmer for 15 or 20 minutes and I go back to see how thick my sauce is, it's usually good.  But I always need MORE SAUCE.  After all, the best thing about Indian Cuisine is the sauces!

I have my favorite simmering sauces that I use and I always buy two jars to add to my chicken so it can simmer down. Once those are poured in, I let it simmer for another half hour, sometimes longer if we're cooking other things and waiting on a holiday dinner.  Longer isn't necessarily a bad thing.  I just keep turning the temperature down until it's on warm if I think it's cooked too long.  I taste it to make sure the flavors are right before I serve it, though.  I have an Indian friend who told me once, "If you think your Indian food is missing something, add Cumin."  The woman was right.  Works every time!  Even in my regular cooking I use this rule :-)  Cumin is the answer.

I cut broccoli and cauliflower into small, bite-size pieces and steam it, then dish the chicken over the vegetables.

Make your own version of this, you won't regret it, I promise!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Homemade Bread

Building posts for our new blog!  Starting with:  Jen's Bread.

A lot of our recipes will include 'homemade bread' so we thought we would talk about our bread first.  We use two different recipes, depending on which ingredients we have on hand.  Ultimately, it doesn't matter which recipe you use,  Homemade bread is just always better!  Google recipes, use your family recipe, alter them, make them your own.  You get to choose the ingredients and you know what your family is eating!

My recipes make 2 loaves of bread.  We have five children - bread goes fast!  On weeks when we don't have the kids and there is no way we'll eat two loaves, I make them anyway.  If need be, I will slice one loaf and freeze it in a ziploc bag.  This makes tossing slices into the toaster easy and ...the bread doesn't go bad.

Good point, by the way.  Home made bread won't last as long as store-bought bread.  So make and store accordingly.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Filet Mignon skewered on a rosemary sprig from our garden with roasted veggies!

Our first crop of rosemary was ready to harvest, so we took long sprigs and Brownie used them as skewers for cuts of filet mignon and grilled them!  I can't even tell you how delicious that fresh rosemary was with those tender cuts of meat!  A few bits of grilled onion and .... YOWZA!  Juicy and fragrant!   I highly recommend trying this!!!

Gnocchi - First Try

Our first attempt at making gnocchi!  We used white and purple potatoes ... I'm not sure this was 100% a success but they did taste good!  If anything, the texture was ALL wrong.  Brownie sauteed them with sage butter and herbs so ... the flavor was seriously awesome.  But I think we need to try this again and see where we went wrong :-)  Or maybe I should just leave this challenge to Brownie instead of getting my clumsy hands in the way!  HAHAHAHA