Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cedar Paper Salmon

I was at the grocery store one day and saw cedar papers on sale. I’ve heard of cedar papers because once in a while I watch cooking shows like Top Chef because I like to pretend. They looked fancy so I decided I was going to try them out with salmon on the grill. Let me tell you they are super easy to use and the presentation is amazing once you’re done. I have done this a few times and it turns out perfect every time. We had this for dinner the other night and my husband joked because the next day he had a bologna sandwich for lunch and he was wondering how he went from cedar paper salmon for dinner to a bologna sandwich the next day. The point being here that this is so good and looks so good that it will make your bologna sandwich look like the Monday special in prison. If I was him I would have tried to trade it for a snack pack. I have the sudden urge to add “cedar paper salmon so good it will make you wanna slap yo mama!” but now I think I have taken this too far…

 Cedar Paper Salmon

4 cedar papers with cooking string
1 large Atlantic salmon filet
2 large tomatoes
2 green onion stalks
1 small red onion
Lemon juice or 2 fresh lemons
Olive Oil
Salmon seasoning
Salt & Pepper

Place cedar papers in a bowl of cold water with a cup over the papers or some kind of weight to push all papers down into the water.

 Let sit in water for 10 minutes.

 Meanwhile using a filet knife cut salmon into 4 equal pieces to fit length of cedar papers.

 Brush olive oil on both sides of each salmon filet, and then season both sides with salt, pepper, and salmon seasoning.

 Take cedar papers out of water and lay flat on a large plate.

 Add a filet into each paper.

 Squeeze about ½ Tbsp. lemon juice onto each.

 Slice tomatoes, red onion and green onion into thin slices.

 Top the salmon with tomatoes, red onion, and green onion.

 Roll cedar papers and tie tightly with cooking string.

 Place on a 400F grill for 10 minutes on each side.

Untie and enjoy!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Steak 'N Cheese Sub

My husband and I love making party subs. We are sandwich lovers so having a party sub for dinner (and lunch for the next few days!) is right up our alley. We have made this sub before for parties and it is always a hit. And the best part is this recipe is super easy and takes little time.

Steak 'N Cheese Sub
2 steaks (we have used sirloins, or flank steaks; both are good)
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup sliced onion
1 loaf Italian bread
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tsp. minced garlic
Dash of salt and pepper and steak seasoning of your choice  

Cut top off of bread

Scoop out part of the bread from the bottom half

Set aside top half

Slice mushrooms and onions

Spray a frying pan with non-stick spray; add mushrooms and onions and then sauté

Season steak with salt, pepper and steak seasoning

Cut steak with a fillet knife into thin slices diagonally, against the grain

Heat oil and garlic in a frying pan until oil starts to sizzle or pan becomes very hot

Flash fry steak slices for 2-3 minutes, continuously mixing until no longer pink

Once the steak slices are done add it to the bottom half of the sub

Top with 6-8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese (I don’t think there’s such a thing as too much cheese so I add a lot. Add as much as your heart desires!).

Then layer the sautéed mushrooms and onions on top of the cheese

Bake in a 350 F oven for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted

Drizzle with Italian dressing or steak sauce; whichever you prefer

Add the top half of the bread; slice and serve!

 (I like mine with Italian dressing but my husband likes steak sauce on his so we just leave it sauce less and add sauce to our own sandwiches)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

How to Make and Can your own Salsa (Without a canner!)

My husband and I grow our own tomatoes, and have for years now. We always get an abundance of tomatoes (thank you Miracle-Gro top soil!); and as much as I try we cannot eat them as fast as they come in. That is why I decided to make my own salsa with our tomatoes. I am not going to lie when I stood in the grocery aisle and looked at all of the canning stuff, including what I have already read online I had this feeling that this was definitely one of those scenarios where I bit off more than I could chew (pun intended). And honestly it was a lot of work. I wouldn't sit here and act like it wasn't. I spent literally an entire day making salsa but I would definitely say it was worth it. Word to the wise here people: If you are going to go through the work make a LOT of salsa. It's not worth it to make a couple of jars. I made 8 with this recipe and now that I know it is good salsa I wish I would have made more. (I definitely wasn't going to be giving out crappy salsa if you know what I mean!). I am not exactly sure how long the shelf life is but I do know it won't make it long enough to go bad.

How to Make and Can your own Salsa (Without a canner!)

9lbs large tomatoes
2 chili peppers (canned)
2 jalapeno peppers
2 ½ Tbsp. fresh cilantro
2 green peppers
2 medium yellow onions
4 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. garlic juice (I used the juice from a can of minced garlic I had)
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. white distilled vinegar
½ container 6.7 oz. Ball salsa seasoning (I know Ball calls for more than this but it seemed like an extreme amount to me so I used half and I think it turned out great!).
Blanch tomatoes; then peel
Cut tomatoes width wise and deseed
Chop tomatoes into ¼ inch cubes
Chop chili peppers, jalapenos (with seeds), onion, green peppers, and cilantro
Press garlic cloves
Add all to a large bowl
Add lime juice, lemon juice, garlic juice, and vinegar
Mix with a large spoon
Try; and add more of any of the above to fit taste preference
(I prefer my salsa thinner but if you prefer a chunkier salsa then skip this step)
Place salsa in a blender and pulse 5-10 seconds to get a thinner texture
Place salsa in a large pot and add Ball seasoning
Simmer 10 minutes
(If you don’t want to can your salsa then you do not need to read any further. Just let the salsa cool for at least 12 hours and then enjoy!)

Meanwhile for canning..

(I don’t have a canner and the idea of me placing jars into boiling water freaked my husband out so this is how I “side-stepped” the boiling part of the process.)
 Add all jars, lids, and seals into the dishwasher on a hot cycle (sanitary, etc.), with a heated dry. Try to time the cycle of the dishwasher to the simmering of the salsa. The goal is to add hot salsa to hot jars.
Once you are almost ready to add the salsa to the jars prepare the “hot bath”. (I used my dish washing tub and added hot water).

Once the salsa has simmered and your jars are done in the dishwasher get them ready to add the salsa.

Use a handheld strainer to add the salsa to the jars leaving a ¼ inch gap at the top.

 (The jars will be hot so make sure to be careful transporting them. I used a canning jar lifter, or you could use tongs. )

 Immediately after adding salsa to the jars wipe the rim, put the lid on and place in the “hot bath” for 15 minutes, with 1-2 inches of water over the top of the jars.

Take out of the hot bath after the 15 minutes and place on a towel and let sit for 24 hours.

If everything goes well you will hear the jars “ting” as they seal.

Just in case you are wondering the salt and lemon juice serve as preservatives for canning.

(Makes 8 pint sized jars)