Monthly Archives: June 2013

Grilled Salmon with Gorgonzola Chive “Butter”

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One of the things I love best about summer is grilling. I love that the kitchen doesn’t get overheated, that clean-up is a breeze, and that the food is about as lean and mean as you can get.

This time of year, salmon is in season. The delicious Copper River salmon comes and goes far too quickly, and right now the Chinook variety is just about on it’s way out. In my not so humble opinion, there is no better way to prepare this delicious, local fish than on the grill.

Grilled Salmon with Gorgonzola Chive Butter

I discovered cedar cooking planks a couple of years ago. I’ve also used alder and maple on various meats, the maple is especially delicious with a pork cut. Salmon grilled on a cedar plank, though, takes on this subtle, sharp smoky flavor that is indescribable. And the delicious aromas wafting from the grill during the cooking process will leave you drooling.

Grilled Salmon with Gorgonzola Chive Butter

For this particular recipe, because the fresh salmon is so flavorful on it’s own, I like to just season the filet with salt and pepper before grilling. It’s simple and allows the flavor of the cedar-smoked salmon to shine.

Grilled Salmon with Gorgonzola Chive Butter

Of course the dollop of gorgonzola chive butter on top of the grilled salmon is like the icing on the cake. It’s creamy, slightly sweet, garlicky tang is the perfect partner to the simple grilled fish. Now I know that you butter purists out there will be criticizing my use of a reduced-fat butter spread instead of real butter, but I am watching my waist-line and just didn’t want the fat, calories and cholesterol that real butter has. I encourage you to give this lightened-up version a try, I bet you will barely notice the difference, if at all.

Grilled Salmon with Gorgonzola Chive "Butter"
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Calories: 182.1
  • Fat: 8.4
  • Saturated fat: 2.7
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.7
  • Carbohydrates: 0.4
  • Sugar: 0.0
  • Sodium: 271.6
  • Fiber: 0.2
  • Protein: 24.0
  • Cholesterol: 89.1
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Seafood
Grilling salmon on a cedar plank imbues a fantastic, smoky flavor to the tender fish. Topped with a simple, lightened up gorgonzola chive butter, it is absolutely to die for.
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread
  • 2 tbsp gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 lb. raw, fresh, wild-caught salmon
Instructions
  1. Cream together the butter spread, gorgonzola cheese and chives.
  2. Form into a log and wrap in plastic wrap then chill until firm (2-4 hours).
  3. Soak a cedar plank grilling board in water for 30 minutes.
  4. Pre-heat your propane grill.
  5. Place the salmon filet on the cedar plank skin side down. Top with a generous pinch of ground sea salt and black pepper.
  6. Place the cedar plank, with the salmon on it, on the grill. Turn the heat to low and cook with the lid closed for about 30 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through. (Stay nearby with a water bottle in case the cedar plank catches on fire.)
  7. Divide the salmon into four servings and top each with 1 tbsp of the gorgonzola chive butter. Serve immediately.

 

Video Instruction for Grilled Salmon with Gorgonzola Chive “Butter”

Grilled Rosemary Tuna Skewers

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 Here’s something you may not know about me… I am not wild about seafood.
 
Weird, right? Well, its about to get even weirder.
 
I like some fish, for example salmon and tuna are some of my favorite meats to cook with. I like some shellfish, especially shrimp and scallops. Lobster is okay, crab is not my thing. I love a good grilled octopus, though, I had some in Greece that was seriously amazing.
 
I’ve tried oysters a couple of times, including Ireland’s famous Galway oysters when I was there recently, and I just don’t like them. Clams, mussels and abalone aren’t on my list either. Other fish I’ve tried and haven’t found appealing: trout, snapper, cod, mahi mahi, dover sole, halibut, and tilapia.
 
I’m not sure why I like some fish and not others, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for it. But there it is. While I am always game to try something new, particularly when it is local and in-season, like most people I tend to gravitate back to what I know I like.
 
Grilled Rosemary Tuna Skewers
 
I love to cook with tuna because it’s such a dense, hearty fish. It takes marinades well and grills up beautifully. I recently took a couple of albacore steaks and cubed them up then marinated them in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and fragrant rosemary.

 

Grilled Rosemary Tuna Skewers


I then skewered the tuna with some sweet cherry tomatoes and grilled them until the fish was firm and the tomatoes were oozing warm juice. Delicious! Now this is a fish I will eat any day of the week!



Grilled Rosemary Tuna Skewers
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Calories: 167.8
  • Fat: 4.7
  • Saturated fat: 0.5
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5
  • Carbohydrates: 4.3
  • Sugar: 0.5
  • Sodium: 101.3
  • Fiber: 0.9
  • Protein: 26.6
  • Cholesterol: 50.0
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Seafood
Thick albacore tuna, marinated in aromatic rosemary and tart lemon, is skewered with sweet cherry tomatoes and grilled to tender deliciousness.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. raw albacore tuna steaks, cut into 16 cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pinch of coarse sea salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 skewers
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, salt and rosemary.
  2. Cover the tuna cubes with the marinade and refrigerate at least 30-60 minutes.
  3. Arrange the tuna cubes and cherry tomatoes on the skewers.
  4. Grill on a preheated propane grill for about 2 minutes per side or until cooked through. Serve immediately.

 

Video Demonstration of Grilled Rosemary Tuna Skewers

Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers

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I’ve been feeling spicy lately. Daring really. I am feeling the itch to step outside my proverbial box and try new things, embark on new adventures. This bug that has bitten me extends into the kitchen as well of course. Would you expect anything less?

Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers - Colleen's Kitchen

Quente. That’s what my friends in Brazil would call this dish. And me. Literally translated it means hot, but like the American version of the word hot the slang use of it has a spicier meaning. Quente.

Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers - Colleen's Kitchen

I love this dish because it’s easy to prepare, it’s a great filler on vegetarian nights, and it’s quente. I simply combine some white quinoa, black beans, roasted corn, roasted red peppers, cilantro, jack cheese, and a spicy jalapeno then stuff this delectable mixture inside mild, smoky poblano peppers and bake them for 30 minutes at 375F.

Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers - Colleen's Kitchen

Now for some spicy, delectable shake-ups outside of the kitchen. Bring it on!

Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Calories: 206.9
  • Fat: 5.7
  • Saturated fat: 2.5
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 31.5
  • Sugar: 3.1
  • Sodium: 268.5
  • Fiber: 3.9
  • Protein: 9.3
  • Cholesterol: 12.5
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Vegetarian
A hearty, delicious vegetarian dish of smoky poblano peppers stuffed with fluffy quinoa, veggies and spicy jalapeno.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup dry white quinoa, rinsed
  • ½ cup reduced sodium black beans, rinsed
  • ½ cup frozen roasted corn
  • ½ cup diced roasted red peppers
  • ½ cup shredded jack cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • pinch coarse sea salt
  • 4 whole, raw poblano peppers
Instructions
  1. Bring the water to a boil. Add the quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the water is gone. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the black beans, corn, red peppers, cheese, cilantro, jalapeno, salt and cooked quinoa.
  4. Take each poblano pepper and cut an elongated triangle along the length of the chile -- with the base of the triangle near the stem of the pepper -- to create an opening for your stuffing. Remove all of the seeds from the interior.
  5. Stuff the quinoa mixture into each of the peppers.
  6. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

 

Video Demonstration of Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Grilled Sriracha Lime Shrimp with Fennel Citrus Salad

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Summer has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest and that means the return of our friend the sun and balmy 80+ degree days. The natives have emerged from their hibernation and the streets are filled with happy pedestrians and bicyclists sporting shorts, shades, and smiles.

Last night, I happened to see a stream of bicyclists sporting nothing but smiles. The World Naked Bike Ride made an appearance in Portland yesterday. It was exhilirating to see all of these people, so comfortable in their nudity, whooping and hollering in joy as they streaked down the street.

I am not nearly secure enough with my body to attempt such a public event, so I prefer to celebrate the return of summer with some traditional grilling in the backyard, the company of good friends, and a nice glass (or two) of wine.

 

Grilled Sriracha Lime Shrimp

 

Fennel Citrus Salad

This meal is perfect for those nights. I can marinate the shrimp and prepare the salad in advance, then throw the shrimp on the grill once everyone arrives and dinner is ready in a matter of minutes.

Grilled Sriracha Lime Shrimp

I mostly love the flavor combination of these two dishes together. Like peanut butter and jelly or Lucy and Ethel, they just go together. The spicy Sriracha chili sauce and tart lime give a pleasant zing to the tender shrimp, offset by the contrasting sweet and tart of the crunchy salad.

Grilled Sriracha Lime Shrimp with Fennel Citrus Salad

Grilled Sriracha Lime Shrimp
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Calories: 94.3
  • Fat: 0.0
  • Saturated fat: 0.0
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.0
  • Carbohydrates: 3.5
  • Sugar: 1.8
  • Sodium: 755.2
  • Fiber: 1.1
  • Protein: 18.2
  • Cholesterol: 115.0
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Seafood
Shrimp marinated in spicy Sriracha sauce and tart lime then grilled to tender perfection
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger root, minced
  • 2 large (or 4 small) kefir lime leaves, rib removed and leaf finely minced
  • 1 lb. raw colossal shrimp (about 16 shrimp)
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the fish sauce, lime juice, Sriracha, ginger, garlic and kefir lime leaves.
  2. Pour over the shrimp in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag. Combine so that the shrimp are well covered.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to marinate.
  4. Thread the shrimp onto 4 skewers, 4 shrimp per skewer.
  5. Grill on a propane grill for 2-3 minutes each side or until the shrimp have pinked up and are cooked through. Serve immediately.

 
Fennel Citrus Salad
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Calories: 200.5
  • Fat: 8.1
  • Saturated fat: 1.1
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9
  • Carbohydrates: 32.7
  • Sugar: 22.4
  • Sodium: 48.3
  • Fiber: 7.6
  • Protein: 3.3
  • Cholesterol: 0.0
Recipe type: Salad
Crunchy fennel combines with contrasting sweet and tart citrus flavors for a salad that is not only beautiful but out of this world delicious.
Ingredients
  • 1 bulb of fresh fennel, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
  • 1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup fresh jicama sticks
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 grapefruit
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Toss together the fennel, green cabbage, red cabbage and jicama.
  2. Use a knife to peel and segment the oranges and grapefruit. Set the remaining pulp aside for later use. Cut the segments in half and add to the fennel mixture.
  3. Take each pulp in your hand and, over a small mixing bowl, gently squeeze the juice into the bowl. You should end up with ¼-1/3 cup juice in total.
  4. Whisk the olive oil and honey into the juice until well combined. Toss with the fennel mixture ensuring that all of the fruit and vegetables are evenly coated.
  5. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the salad and toss gently.
  6. Let the salad sit for about 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to combine.

 

Video Demonstration of Grilled Sriracha Lime Shrimp with Fennel Citrus Salad

Roasted Vegetable Stuffed Baguette

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Refrigerator dishes are sometimes the best discoveries ever. What’s a refrigerator dish? These are the meals created on those nights when I don’t know what to make for dinner and I stand in front of the fridge looking at various items on the verge of spoiling. As the cold air slowly flows over me, my mind clicks through the various dinner possibilities until it reaches a satisfactory conclusion and I greedily fill my arms with my bounty and set to work. This is one such creation.

Colleen's Kitchen: Roasted Vegetable Stuffed Baguette
 

A couple of weeks ago, early on a Monday morning, I received an email letting me know that 2 of my recipes were selected for an article on healthy burgers by Girls Gone Sporty. Yippee! The downside is that they needed photos and my external hard drive, which houses all of memory sucking photos and videos, suddenly decided not to cooperate with my computer so I couldn’t access anything on there. They wanted the photos right away so the only solution was to whip up both recipes and take some new photos. Which of course I did.

This left me with a nice chunk of leftover eggplant. Couple that with a handful of other vegetables and some leftover baguette in danger of going stale, and you have the makings of a great refrigerator dish. I should point out that the vegetables are the real star of the show and what I love is that they are so versatile. Instead of stuffing them into a baguette, sometimes I toss them with pasta or rice. I’ve even taken leftovers and scrambled them with eggs for breakfast. It also makes a great topping for flavorful bruschetta when I’m entertaining.

Colleen's Kitchen: Roasted Vegetable Stuffed Baguette


I cut the eggplant in small pieces, about 1/2″ cubes. Then did the same with a baby zucchini, red onion and red bell pepper. I halved a bunch of cherry tomatoes and threw them into the mix for a splash of color and a burst of juicy sweetness. Then I tossed them in a simple combination of olive oil, red wine vinegar and coarse sea salt and roasted my pretty creation in the oven.

 

But I wasn’t done! I had some fresh basil to use as well, so I chopped that up and tossed that with the roasted vegetables along with some salty parmesan cheese. Then I hollowed out a baguette, stuffed it with my creation, and baked it for another 10 minutes.

Colleen's Kitchen: Roasted Vegetable Stuffed Baguette


I think my first words on biting into this crunchy, caramelized masterpiece were “Holy shit! I need to write that down!” And that is how this recipe came into creation. Seriously.


Roasted Vegetable Stuffed Baguette
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Calories: 325.7
  • Fat: 10.7
  • Saturated fat: 2.3
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.0
  • Carbohydrates: 49.6
  • Sugar: 6.0
  • Sodium: 652.3
  • Fiber: 8.5
  • Protein: 12.6
  • Cholesterol: 5.1
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Fresh eggplant, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes are roasted to sweet, caramelized perfection and stuffed into a warm, crusty baguette for an easy, delicious vegetarian meal.
Ingredients
  • 1 small eggplant, trimmed and cut into ½" cubes
  • 1 baby zucchini, trimmed and cut into ½" pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 oz. fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 oz. shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 - 16 oz. whole wheat baguette
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray a baking sheet with a little olive oil and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggplant, zucchini, pepper, tomatoes and onion. Toss with the olive oil, vinegar and salt until well combined.
  3. Spread the vegetable mixture on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through to ensure the vegetables are evenly roasted.
  4. Remove from the oven and set aside to let cool slightly.
  5. Create a "canoe" out of the baguette by cutting an opening down the length of the baguette and removing bread to create space for the stuffing. Using your fingers, pull out a total of 6 oz. of bread.
  6. Combine the roasted vegetables with the basil and parmesan then stuff into the hollowed out baguette.
  7. Bake for 10 more minutes until the bread is crusty and the cheese is melted.
  8. Cut into 4 equal sections and serve immediately.

 

Video Demonstration of Roasted Vegetable Stuffed Baguette