Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Father Knows Best: Garlic-Cilantro Salmon

My dad makes hands down, the best salmon dinner I have ever had. I hesitate to even order salmon at a restaurant because I'm fairly confident I'd just be disappointed.

I bought him this Quick and Easy Thai cookbook several years ago that I figured he'd like, and he's made several delish recipes from it, all to our family's delight (remember the Khao Soi?). Even if you don't fancy yourself a chef or a seafood maker, please please don't count yourself out on this one. You really would be doing yourself and whoever dines with you a disservice. I think it's smart to make a few more fillets than you need so that you can have leftovers that will be gobbled up the next day and are also excellent for putting in a salad, omelet, etc.

Here's what you'll need: 
3 TBSP coarsely chopped garlic
3 TBSP coarsely chopped fresh cilantro stems and leaves
2 TBSP fish sauce (don't skip in this, it is key - find it in your international aisle)
1 TBSP soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP vegetable oil
6-8 salmon fillets (frozen will turn out excellently)

Here are the easy steps:
In a small food processor, combine garlic, cilantro, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, and oil. Grind to a smooth paste, stopping now and then to scrape down the sides and adding a little water as needed to bring the ingredients together. Give your precious baby a bottle so she won't get in the way of the prep work!

Look at all that garlic! Scrape into medium bowl, add the fish fillets, and toss to coat everything well. Set aside for 20-30 minutes. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Place fish on lightly oiled grill rack (with tin foil on pan underneath to prevent drippings from burning. Cook until slightly browned and done to your liking, carefully turning once, about 5 minutes on each side or longer for thicker fillets.

If you want to keep things simple, just bake them in a 13x9 pan. You don't even have to marinade them...just place the fillets in, best side down and baste on the marinade. Cook for 5 minutes on the first side, then flip, adding the rest of the marinade to the fish. Cook another 5-10 minutes until salmon flakes, but don't overcook.

My dad typically serves the fish with asparagus (sauteed with mushrooms, olive oil, and soy sauce) and a rice dish, so plan accordingly! This salmon is EXCELLENT for leftovers and can be used in a multitude of dishes. I hope you'll try this recipe and love it!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs

There are a handful of go-to recipes that are classics in our family...the ones you always bring out when you know what you're gonna get and you know it's going to be scrumptious. My brother Jakob and my sister-in-law Jessica introduced us to Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs several years ago and we've never been the same since! Anything with rosemary is typically a hit with me, so combine ranch and juicy, tender chicken and we've got a winner.

This chicken is a summer essential for the grill and is absolutely delish, not to mention fool-proof. There's just something about it that always turns out right...I think the white vinegar tenderizes the chicken to perfection. I think it was originally from AllRecipes but we've adopted it as our own and I like to assume it will live on for generations of Ondreys to come. Here's the recipe for six.

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ranch dressing
3 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP minced fresh rosemary
2 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
1 TBSP white sugar, or to taste (optional)
5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, lemon juice, white vinegar, pepper, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Place chicken in the bowl, and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers and discard marinade.
3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill skewers for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear. Serve with roasted vegetables or other preferred sides. Enjoy!