Emeril Lagasse’s Steen’s Cane Vinaigrette

Steen’s Cane Vinaigrette

One of the ingredients we brought back from our New Orleans trip was Steen’s Cane Vinegar. We’ve used it in a few dishes and it makes a huge flavor difference from any other vinegar. This is the salad dressing that converted me from dry rabbit food to a salad with dressing.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Steen’s cane vinegar
1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canola oil (we used olive oil)

Directions:
In a medium nonreactive mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, honey, shallot, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine. Allow to sit 5 to 10 minutes, then little by little whisk in the canola oil until completely incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

My opinion:
This dressing is just the right amount sweet and tangy. It’s lovely on a chicken breast and a bacon salad. There’s almost always a jar of this in our refrigerator.

Steen’s Cane Vinaigrette

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Toddler Approved: Honey Soy Salmon

Honey-Soy Salmon with Zucchini

This was a surprise win for our family. Even before Miss A’s arrival, we made it a point to eat more fish. Salmon is hard one because done well, it’s amazing. Done poorly, it’s terrible.

On a whim, I tried this Honey-Soy Salmon dish from Parents magazine. It was so easy and even better, Miss A kept asking for more! She wasn’t really a fan of the zucchini, but she also hadn’t had it with the skin still on before.

Ingredients:
4-6 salmon fillets (we get the frozen ones that still have the skin on, the number of fillets depends on the number of people eating)
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (we used regular)
Nonstick cooking spray (or just some of your favorite oil)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or olive)
2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch thick half-moons
1 onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Note: if using frozen fillets, be sure to allow to defrost before you marinate. It makes a difference.

Add honey and soy into a zip top bag, squish to mix. Add the fish and seal the zip top. Turn to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours (we marinated for about an hour). Drain and discard marinade. Preheat broiler. If you have the option of low or high, choose high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat foil with cooking spray or lightly drizzle oil. Place fish on foil. Broil 5 to 7 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness of fish, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. We broiled for about 7 minutes total. While the fish is broiling, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and onions. Cook about 3 minutes or until just tender; season with salt. Serve 4 fish fillets with the zucchini. Reserve 2 fish fillets.

My opinion:
The addition of lightly caramelized onions made the salmon even tastier. We will absolutely be making this dish again. Plus it was so easy, we could make it even on the busiest weeknight!

Toddler Approved: Honey-Soy Salmon with Zucchini
Yum

Toddler approved: Roast Pork Chops With Apples

Roast Pork Chops With Apples
Now that Miss A has started eating more and more table food and declared her toddler independence, we have started looking for recipes that will feed her and us for dinner. Many are just misses, but this one from the Baby Center was a hit with everyone. That said, being a “hit” with a one-year-old A means most of it didn’t get thrown to the floor.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2-3 apples, such as Granny Smith, McIntosh, or your favorite variety, peeled, cored and thickly (the key word is thick!) sliced
4 pork chops, about 1/2-inch thick, boneless or bone-in
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup apple cider without preservative

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. I boiled the apple cider to reduce it a bit. Grease the bottom of a medium-size roasting pan or an ovenproof skillet (like our favorite cast iron skillet!) with the olive oil.

Arrange the apples on the bottom of the pan, layered as needed.

apple layer

Place the pork chops on top.
add Pork
Then sprinkle with the sage, salt and pepper and pour the cider on top.
Add apple cider
Bake for 20 minutes (we baked for 25). Preheat the broiler and place under the broiler for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through and the apples are tender, basting the meat once or twice.

My opinion:
We didn’t actually baste the meat once or twice as the directions indicate and it probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference. Since we were eating this as a family, I didn’t “season with authority” (as J is so fond of saying!), but we were able to add seasoning at the table for our liking. All in all we would eat this again.
Yum

Lamb Tagine with Potatoes and Chickpeas

Lamb with Potatoes and Chickpeas
One of the hardest parts about giving up six main food groups and items for baby A (she has protein digestion issues so I’m not eating dairy, wheat, eggs, fish, soy or peanuts) is finding quick, easy weeknight meals. Through a lot of trial and error, J and I have learned that some meals that look easy aren’t and some that look time-consuming are actually simple. This is a simple one. We’d put off making Lamb Tagine with Potatoes and Chickpeas from Williams Sonoma because it looked complicated. We were throughly surprised to learn it was easy and perfect for a busy weeknight.

Ingredients:
3 teaspoons cumin seeds (we used ground)
3 teaspoons coriander seeds (we used ground)
3/4 teaspoons peppercorns (we used ground black pepper)
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika (we used Hungarian)
1 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons salt, plus more, to taste (we used Kosher)
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 lb. boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes (we just used stew lamb, which was perfectly sized)
1 yellow onion, julienned
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup water
1/2 lb. small Yukon Gold potatoes, halved (we ended up using a pound and it was perfect!)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:
In a small fry pan over medium-low heat, toast the cumin and coriander seeds, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder, add the peppercorns, paprika, ginger and the 2 tsp. salt and grind until well combined. Set aside. If using ground, skip the grinding step and just combine in a small bowl. Mix with a fork.

In a tagine over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until almost smoking. Working in batches, brown the lamb on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. If you don’t have a tagine, we used our most favorite pasta pot.

Add the remaining oil and the onion to the tagine or pot, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and the spice mixture, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is caramelized, about 2 more minutes. Add the lamb, water, potatoes and the 1/4 cup cilantro and bring to a simmer. Cover the tagine or pot and adjust the heat so the mixture gently simmers. Cook for 45 minutes, then add the chickpeas and lemon juice. Continue cooking until the lamb is tender, about 45 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Garnish with cilantro and serve. Accompany with couscous or rice. Serves 4 to 6.

My opinion:
I LOVE this dish. It’s flavorful and warming and just delicious. It’s as good cold as it is right from the stove.

Mexican Black Bean Soup with Sausage Recipe

Mexican Black Bean Soup with Sausage
It’s been a roller coaster of spring-like temperatures and freezing, regular February temperatures around here the last few weeks. That plus the lovely no six diet (no: dairy, wheat,eggs, fish, soy or peanuts) diet I’m on to help baby A’s digestive issues means we’ve had to get very creative with dinners. Luckily for me, J has taken the changes to our culinary repertoire in stride and has come up with a lot of alternatives to our favorite dishes. He found this lovely one from Food and Wine magazine.  Since I was baby A wrangling, I only got a picture of the finished product.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped (we used about 3 tablespoons of minced garlic, but we like garlic a lot)
1 canned chipotle chile, seeded and finely chopped (since we didn’t have this on hand, we used 1 teaspoon ground chipotle)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Two 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
3 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
3/4 pound smoky cooked sausage, such as andouille or kielbasa, thinly sliced (we just went with two andouille)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus wedges for garnish
2 tablespoons very finely chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sour cream for serving (we left this out because it’s dairy)

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and the chipotle or ground chipotle, cumin and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the black beans and chicken stock and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Using a potato masher, coarsely crush some of the beans (we skipped this step).  Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage to the beans. Then add the lime juice and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer the soup for 2 minutes to allow the flavors to blend, or longer if you’d like! Ladle the soup into bowls and serve, passing the sour cream and lime wedges separately.

My opinion:
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this ended up being very filling and just the right amount of heat to warm me from the inside. It’s absolutely a soup we will add to the rotation, even once we (hopefully!) can start adding the no items back to my diet.