For a while after we started isolating, I was not feeling that inspired to cook. I think part of it was I was still feeling the effects of various pregnancy symptoms plus the overwhelm of significant uninterrupted time with my children. Now, in week nine, I finally think we’ve gotten into a groove of cooking fun things as well as easy meals that keep us interested throughout the week. If you’re looking for more, follow me on Pinterest to find most of the recipes we make on a regular basis.
Here’s what we made the first week of May:
We love this salmon recipe! By far my favorite way to eat salmon, since I’m not usually a huge fan. My daughter says she likes this salmon better than ice cream. Nope, I don’t understand her, either.
Recipe by Coastal Living
1 untreated cedar or alder plank
1 (1 1/2-pound) salmon fillet
3 tablespoons Sweet-and-Salty Salmon Rub
Garnish: chopped green onion
Soak cedar plank in water at least 30 minutes.
Remove pin bones from salmon, if necessary, and coat fish evenly with rub. Cover with plastic wrap or foil, and chill until ready to grill.
Drain plank, and grill over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) for 3 minutes or until grill marks appear. Remove from grill. Place salmon, skin side down, on heated side of plank. Top with lemon slices.
Place planked salmon on grill, cover, and grill 20 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. (Check occasionally to make sure edges of plank don't ignite.) Garnish, if desired.
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients, and store in an airtight container.
This was the second time I’ve made this low country boil. I thought it would be a huge fail the first time, but it is actually really good! I use regular kielbasa or a mild sausage instead of the andoiulle because it’s too spicy for us, and I actually use organic frozen peeled and deveined shrimp from Wegman’s instead of shell-on. But I’m sure the flavor would be better if I used the shells, I just prefer not to deal with it. We use our Instant Pot almost daily! We have this one, and I am obsessed.
Recipe by Damn Delicious
1 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes
1 (12.8-ounce) package smoked andouille sausage, thinly sliced (I use kielbasa or mild sausage)
1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning, divided
1 tablespoon hot sauce
3 ears corn, halved
1 (16-ounce) pilsner or lager beer
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, shell-on
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Place potatoes, sausage, onion, 3 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning and hot sauce into a 6-qt Instant Pot®. Stir until well combined. Top with corn and beer.
Select manual setting; adjust pressure to high, and set time for 5 minutes. When finished cooking, quick-release pressure according to manufacturer’s directions.
Add shrimp. Select manual setting; adjust pressure to high, and set time for 1 minute. When finished cooking, quick-release pressure according to manufacturer’s directions.
Melt butter in a small skillet over medium low heat. Stir in garlic and remaining 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
Serve shrimp mixture immediately, drizzled with butter mixture, garnished with parsley and lemon, if desired.
Again, this is the second time we’ve made this recipe. I used a little less sambel oelek than the recipe calls for, but I think I could’ve used it all and the result would’ve been fine. I also added some salt to the broth.
This is a go-to recipe for us. It's super easy, plus it packs a lot of flavor and my kids eat it. This time, we served it with our homemade guacamole and used blue corn tortilla shells because that is what we had. I also made some virgin margaritas to make it festive for Cinco de Mayo!
Recipe by Pinch of Yum
INGREDIENTS Chicken Tinga Tacos: 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 cup roughly chopped sweet onion 2 cloves garlic, minced 1–2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin 3⁄4 cup canned crushed fire-roasted tomatoes - I subbed a can of plain tomato sauce this time. 1⁄4 cup chicken stock 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken works!) - We used rotisserie chicken this time.
For Serving: 10 (6-inch) corn tortillas 2 ripe avocados, sliced 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1/2 cup diced red onion crumbled cotija 1 lime, cut into wedges
INSTRUCTIONS Sauce: Heat a large skillet over medium. Once warm, add the oil and onion. Sauté for 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Stir in the chipotles, oregano, and cumin, and toast for 1 minute. Add in the tomatoes, stock, and salt. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 7 minutes. Blend: Place the tomato mixture in a high-powered or regular blender, and blend until smooth. Chicken: Return the blended sauce to the pan over low heat. Add the chicken, and cook for 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
**After I cooked the chicken here, I spread it out on a baking sheet and threw it under the broiler on HIGH for about 5 minutes to get a nice char. Check it every few minutes and stir so it blackens evenly. Serving: Prepare the garnishes. To assemble, top the tortillas with the chicken and garnish with the avocado slices, cilantro, red onion, and cotija. Serve with a lime wedge for squeezing.
2 ripe avocados
Juice of 2 limes
Kosher salt to taste (more is better in my opinion)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 c red onion, finely chopped
Handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Mash the avocados with the lime juice and salt. Add the garlic, red onion, and cilantro. Stir it up and serve!
Recipe by Pinch of Yum
SPICY MISO PASTE:
1 small yellow onion
1/2 cup red miso
1/2 cup white miso
3 tablespoons sambal oelek
6 cloves garlic
2 inch piece fresh ginger
3 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
12–15 ounces extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon oil
5 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped (but see notes about dried mushrooms!)
3–4 cups chicken stock
2 cups plain unsweetened soy milk
6 ounces ramen noodles
scallions, roasted seaweed, sesame oil for serving
SPICY MISO PASTE: Pulse all miso paste ingredients together in a food processor until a smooth, thick paste forms. You will use about half of it for this recipe and the other half can be frozen or refrigerated for a few days.
TOFU: Press as much moisture as you can out of the tofu using paper towels or a tofu press. Cut into cubes. In a large pot, heat the oil on medium high heat and start frying the tofu. Once the tofu has browned, add 1/4 cup of the spicy miso paste and cook for another minute or two to get a nice golden color. Remove from pan and set aside.
BROTH: (SEE NOTES) To the same pan, add the chopped shiitake and a a tablespoon or so of miso paste and stir fry until golden brown. Add the stock and soy milk and bring to a simmer. Place 1/2 cup spicy miso paste on top of a very fine sieve. Lower the sieve half-way into the simmering soup and use a spoon to slowly dissolve the paste into the soup. Discard the “solids” remaining in the sieve and let the soup simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning – add salt or a little soy sauce until it tastes like a spicy ramen broth.
EGGS and RAMEN: Cook the ramen noodles according to package instructions and drain well. While the ramen is cooking, bring a small pot of water to boil. When it reaches boiling, add 4 eggs and reduce heat to the lowest possible setting. Cook for exactly 7 minutes, remove eggs from water, run under cold water, and let them set for a few minutes. Peel shells off carefully. Yolks will be soft.
SERVING: Divide the noodles into four large bowl and ladle the soup on top (you may have a bit more than needed). For each serving, top with the tofu, 1 soft-boiled egg (cut in half), scallions, and sesame oil.
For the mushrooms, the original recipe said to use dried but they can be hard to find which is why I wrote the recipe to use fresh mushrooms. As written, the recipe will yield a slightly thicker broth because it includes a little bit of the paste stir fried with the fresh mushrooms. **But if you can find dried, then just skip the stir fry step and go straight to simmering the dried mushrooms, broth, and soy milk together. This gives you a much lighter, thinner broth that is very slurpable and delicious.
Along the same lines, for the spicy miso paste in step three – if you dump the whole thing directly into the soup, it will make the soup very thick. Not good.
You cannot use just white miso for this recipe (too sweet) but you could use just red miso. We made a version that used just red miso and it worked out okay.
To make this vegetarian and/or vegan, omit the eggs and/or swap chicken stock for vegetable stock.
And that’s it! Well, almost. We did grill chicken, zucchini, and pineapple last night, but it hardly deserves a spot here considering I used store bought marinade and just cooked it all until it was done. Not every day has to be that exciting, right? My daughter told me that it was delicious, too, so I’ll call that a win.
Are you experimenting in the kitchen during quarantine? What are you making?