Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blackened Salmon and Cheesy Broccoli Yum Yum!

So I love spicy food, no really, spicy food and I have a love affair of sorts. As I have gotten older it becomes apart of my daily intake. I think it may be a sort of 'You want what you can't/shouldn't have' considering I have acid reflux. 


Anyhoo, tonight I thought I'd go easy on my esophagus by pairing the spiciness of the blackened salmon with a creamy, cheesy, broccoli gratin yum yum of goodness. Hey, one can't ever have too many adjectives! 

Again I was browsing foodgawker (aka crack for the foodies eyes) and I came upon what would go so great with the blackened salmon, Cheesy Broccoli Gratin straight from Cheri over at Kitchen Comments! There's really no need for my to post that wonderful recipe here since I didn't change a thing (except cheat and add tons more panko bread crumbs, yum-tastic!)

Also I used fresh broccoli instead of the frozen stuff. Not because the frozen stuff isn't good, but more so because that is just what I happened to have lying around in my crisper. 

So I just cut that up and followed the recipe as written. Turned out delish!

I also used whole wheat white flour.

The Main Attraction:
Blackened Salmon

For me there really isn't much to the recipe, but kind of more to the technique. If you have a full stock of herbs and spices in your reach than by all means make your own blackened seasoning! There is a great recipe here. Or you can cheat and just buy it premade. 

Especially for those of you out there in blogland that are still getting herbs and spices bit by bit. (Like myself)

Step 1. Defrost your salmon if it's frozen. (preferably ahead of time but if you use the microwave i'll never tell!). Also, set your pan on the eye of the stove and turn it on medium heat (4/5)

Step 2. Melt some butter (hell I don't know, two table spoons? More if you're using a cast iron skillet like myself). Then brush the butter on ONE side of the salmon. Technique people! =)

Step 3. On that same buttered side sprinkle the blackened seasoning to your spice tolerance. I personally coat that sh** on there but I think I was creole in a past life. 

Step 4. Your pan is hot enough when drops of water dance around the pan and disappear. Now, if you're using a cast iron skillet, pour a little of that melted butter into the pan. (or use Pam if you're fealin' figure friendly). If you're using a non stick pan, a little flicker of butter will do. 

Step 5. Set the salmon in the pan. DO NOT MOVE IT! All of those seasonings are forming the most delicious crust. F'in with it will only mess it up! While the salmon is in the pan brush and coat the side facing up.

Step 6. Depending on the thickness of your salmon you should be cooking it up to 6 or 7 minutes on each side. And really, to me, that's pushin' it. If you have an extremely beautiful thick piece of salmon just slap a lid on your pan, and the steam will cook the middle right up. Once one side is cooked, flip it, and DON'T FIDDLE WITH IT! Curiosity killed the cat. 

***And just while we're on the subject. Never pick up your fish with these:

If you do your fish will crumble, and if it doesn't crumble that means it's tough as sh**. 

Always, always, always, always use a spatula, even when plating. 

Step 7. Plate it up and enjoy! 

Happy yum yum!

Bursting my food blog cherry.

Actually, bursting is such a graphic verb to describe that. Popping? Yeah, that'll work.
Popping my food blog cherry! Whoop whoop!

Mainly, I decided to create a food blog because I love to be in the kitchen even more than I love to be on the computer! (teehee). When I was still living at home with my parents I was never allowed to really and truly create anything that I wanted with food. Also, after supper time the kitchen was pretty much closed for business.

But now!!!

But now I no longer live at home and I can cook filet mignon at 2:30 in the a.m. if I so please. (Which sounds terribly yummy at the moment). 

Anyhoo! Onward to business!
Last night I was craving Chinese food, and instead of hauling ass to my favorite little hole in the wall I decided to make my favorite ever, General Tso chicken! Usually, when I go to a new Chinese/American buffet General Tso is my go to to gauge how well a Chinese buffet is. I was browsing Foodgawker when I came across a lovely recipe from For the Love of Food! After seeing the beautiful picture I just had to have it.

So here's the recipe slightly adapted from the original at Slash Food . I doubled the sauce recipe but I still think it should have been a 3 times-er. I also apt for  brown sugar instead of white and low sodium soy sauce instead of the original salty stuff. 

The Main Attraction:
General Tso's Chicken adapted from Slash Food

First I put on my oil for frying to it can get nice and toasty. Next I mixed the batter recipe...

1/3 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten

... then added 1 lb. boneless chicken thighs or breast meat, fat and skin removed, and mixed it well, then fried it nice and crispy!

As those are cooking in small batches (to keep the oil temp nice and toasty) I got out a saucepan and whipped up the sauce (remember to double or triple it if you like lots of sauce!). If you're having rice with it, get that a cookin' to! 

2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar(I used regular rice vinegar)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar (I used brown and recommend it so)
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp crushed red chili pepper(I recommend this to be to taste as well)

Yum rice!

After all of your chicken pieces are done and the sauce has thickened stir the chicken pieces in to coat. **Also if you like it super crunchy stick it in the oven for 5 minuted to let the sauce caramelize on the chicken pieces. 

So there you have it! It was yum yum to the fullest!