Monday, March 12, 2007

Chicken Enchilada

Enchiladas are true South of the border comfort food, a rich stuffed rolled corn tortilla covered in red or green sauce with a layer of cheese melted on top. These were made with cooked shredded chicken from a roast I made the night before, then its just a five second fry in oil for the corn tortillas so they are soft for stuffing and rolling, next the chicken goes on top of a tortilla with grated cheese, roll it up and place in pan, cover with red or green sauce, grate more cheese on top and put in a 350F oven for about 20-30 minutes till hot and bubbly. Try it with spicy red chili sauce or the tart green tomatillo based sauce then break out the hot sauce and chopped cilantro!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Salmon, wild or farmed?

Fresh Salmon is one of the most popular fish eaten today, but there is a cloud of controversy surrounding Salmon now. Most Salmon available is farm raised from Northern countries like Canada and Norway. I was surprised to learn that the feed for the fish gives the farmed Salmon its trademark red-orange color, normally what the Salmon feeds on gives the fish its color naturally. Wild Salmon is only available for a short season and that changes every year depending on the fish population and the price is high. Every once in a while I get a craving for Salmon and I will get a New Zealand organic farmed fish fillet, its not the same as Wild but its a change from Halibut or Snapper. To cook all it needs is a dash of kosher salt and fresh pepper place into a hot cast iron pan then into a 375F oven for about ten minutes, it will develop a golden crisp crust that just needs a squeeze of lemon.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Chicken and dumplings

My youngest daughter is now helping dreaming up ideas of dishes to try to make and she wanted to do the classic chicken and dumplings. She had the idea to make it a few days ago when it was cold and rainy. Today its warm like the first day of spring, but the chicken went into the pot as planned. First I started by deboning chicken legs and making a stock with the bones, as the stock was simmering I diced onion, carrot and celery and sauteed the vegetables with a little olive oil, then I added the chicken meat and the stock which was strained, then bring the soup to a simmer and cook till the meat and vegetables are tender. The dumpling dough is made with flour, water, baking powder, salt, chopped parsley and believe it or not a little dollop of mayonnaise. Spoon small teaspoon size dollops of dough into the simmering soup. after 15 minutes its done, check for seasonings and serve in bowls with crusty rustic bread.