Monday, March 23, 2015

Menu of the Week + Salmon in Lemon Brodetto and Pea Puree

It was another great weekly menu at our house with some repeated favorites and a couple new recipes that will be making a comeback.
The Chicken Tacos are one of those easy meals good for several days of lunches.  I take frozen chicken breasts and put them in a crock pot with a jar of salsa and a package of taco seasoning. Set the slow cooker on low all day (5-8 hours) and then the chicken easily shreds with a fork inside the crockpot. I buy tortillas, a block of cheddar cheese to grate at home and we call that a great dinner. I serve with black beans and sometimes Mexican rice. Super easy, really yummy. I feel like this isn't even a recipe at all which is why I have not featured it on HWM. Maybe I should throw it up on here next time I make it so I at least have a picture to reference when it shows up on our weekly menu.
On Monday we had the usual Salmon but this time I decided to try a Giada recipe from Food Network. This Salmon in Lemon Brodetto and Pea Puree is a perfect dish for spring. I've got the full recipe with pictures below.

The Crispy Shrimp in Cilantro Coconut Curry Sauce was a repeat recipe from a couple of weeks ago, but I substituted shrimp for the tilapia. Also, instead of putting this in the oven, I simmered everything on the stove until the shrimp was cooked through and then served over rice. This is the next recipe to be posted on the blog!
Everyone in our house likes Homemade Pizza night. I buy a frozen ball of pizza dough at the grocery store for under $2. You can thaw it in the fridge during the day or on the counter if you are short on time. I use a jarred pizza sauce, and a package of shredded "pizza" cheese. Everyone in the house gets to dress their own section of the pizza with whatever they want. Pepperoni and kalamata olives are popular choices here. Something extra I do for the crust is mix up a minced garlic clove with a couple tablespoons of butter and salt. I brush this on the crust before baking and also right after it comes out of the oven. I tried a new mozzarella stuffed garlic knot that was a huge hit. I will post that recipe soon.
On Friday, I defrosted Lasagna Roll Ups and threw it in the oven when I got home. Two down, one left in the freezer. These turned out great and I may need to cook these once a month so I always have a pan in the freezer for quick week night meals.
The Chicken Sausage Gumbo that I made on the weekend was a conglomeration of several recipes I found online. After reading what the common ingredients were in this recipe and this recipe, I broke out on my own. My version began onion, garlic, celery, green bell pepper, chopped and sautéed on in my dutch oven with some olive oil. Then I used half a jar of Bootsie's Cajun Creole ROUX for Gumbos & Stews.
This was the first time I've used this product and I think it worked well by providing that deep color and rich flavoring of a thickening agent. It probably saved me 15 minutes right off the bat. To the roux I added 6 cups of chicken broth, 3 cans of kidney beans and a pound of chicken sausage. To flavor the gumbo I used 3 Tablespoons of Slap Ya Mama seasoning from Louisiana.

This spice mixture is no joke. I had a huge pot of gumbo on the stove and thought I would need a lot of seasoning. 3 tablespoons was PLENTY of flavor and spice for us.

Salmon in Lemon Brodetto with Pea Puree 

Ya'll, I have gone gaga over this recipe. It feels (and taste) special, gourmet, fancy - and absolutely perfect for spring. The fact that its a quick recipe is a bonus. I've now made this three times - THREE! I've adjusted the original recipe in a few ways, keep reading for the full explanation. 
There are three parts to this dish: the broth, the puree and the salmon.
Lemon Brodetto:
2 tablespoons olive oil (I like to use a combo of butter and olive oil)
1 shallot, diced
2 lemons, juiced
1 lemon, zested
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
Pea Puree:
2 cups frozen peas, thawed (about 10 ounces)
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil (I don't use because mine goes in the oven)
4 (4 to 6-ounce) pieces salmon
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To make the Lemon Brodetto, warm the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the lemon juice, zest, and broth. Bring to a simmer, and keep warm, covered, over low heat.

Cooks Note: While I really love the shallot here, I think substituting an onion would be just as good. I always have onion on hand, but I only buy shallot for the pantry when I have a recipe that calls for it. I've also experimented with adding a splash of cream at the end and it's a nice addition.

To make the Pea Puree, combine the peas, mint, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor and puree. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a steady drizzle. Transfer the pea puree to a small bowl and stir in the Parmesan. Set aside.
Cooks Note: I like the pea puree in this recipe to have a lot of body so it doesn't dissolve into my broth immediately so I don't add as much olive oil as the recipe calls for. To keep things simple, I add all ingredients to the food processor, including the parmesan.

Unlike the original recipe, I cook my salmon in the oven sprinkled with salt and pepper at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Sometimes I season with a bolder spice, like this Hot Habanero and Green
Chile spice from Baron's. It has big flavor, but just a light sprinkle gives the fish a nice pop.

To assemble the dish, add the tablespoon of chopped mint to the Lemon Brodetto and divide between 4 shallow dishes. Place a large spoonful of Pea Puree into the center of each bowl. Place a salmon piece atop each mound of Pea Puree. Serve immediately.

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