Friday, May 3, 2013

Roasted Salmon with White-Wine Sauce

If you are like me, you are almost always cooking dinner. Sometimes life happens, and before you know it, dinner is upon you and you don't have the time to cook something life changing. On those days I usually cook a great fish. Sometimes, I surprise my Man with gourmet take out instead. It saves my energy for a night with my man, and that brings a smile to his face.

Romantic Tip: On one of those extra busy days, skip the kitchen duties and bring home great take-out, and light some candles for a private picnic in your house, wear something sexy! 

We are fortunate to have a wild caught Alaskan Seafood booth at our local farmer's market. This week I picked up half a sockeye Salmon and quickly got busy making a nice meal for my hubby. I love days I get fresh fish, because I can throw together a fabulous meal in under 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Roasted Salmon with White-Wine Sauce
adapted from

1 large salmon fillet
Coarse sea salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

Place salmon on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast until opaque throughout, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, and cook, whisking, 1 minute. Add wine, and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until liquid is reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in chives; season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with white-wine sauce.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Farro Risotto

Let's be real, life can be hard and over dramatic. Sometimes we all just need some time out to have a great laugh. Recently my husband and I went out to a local comedy club. I came away from there with a sore tummy from laughing. I felt rejuvenated. I would recommend everyone go to a good comedy club once in a while and let your cares drift away for a few hours. 

Romantic Tip: Go to your local comedy club for some laughs.

Now on to today's recipe. My husband and I recently had a tremendous meal at Grant Grill here in San Diego. The chef prepared us his favorite dishes. One dish that came out was Farro Risotto. They explained the dish to us and we dug in. We both loved it. So I had to figure out what Farro was, and figure out a way to reproduce this lovely side dish.

I found out that Farro is rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C and E. It grows best in barren, high-altitude terrain and is almost always grown without chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Because it is so easily digested and so low in gluten, farro can often be eaten by people who are normally gluten-intolerant. 
Making the risotto was easy. Pretty much the same way you make normal risotto, but with one extra step of pre-cooking the Farro. This makes a fabulous side dish to any meal. Enjoy!

Farro Risotto
adapted from Closet Cooking
Serves two

1/2 cup uncooked farro
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 sweet onion (diced)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano

Cover the farro in a lot of water in a pan, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, drain and set aside.
 Heat the oil and melt the better in a pan.
 Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
 Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
 Add the farro and wine and stir until the liquid has been absorbed.
 Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock at a time stirring until the liquid has been absorbed.
 Mix in the butter and cheese.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Crab Ravioli with Saffron Sauce

I am going to recommend a romantic tip that may cause controversy. Mostly with the Women. The reason is, I am going to recommend a video game night with your love. I realize while some Women like video games, the vast majority do not enjoy them. They see it as a guy thing or a distraction away from romance. However the majority of Men do like them. I have found that if you sacrifice some time of yours, to do what your love likes, it actually spices things up. He sees that you find his desires and hobbies important. 
Romantic Tip: Have a video game night with your lover. Show him his likes are just as important as yours.
Now on to today's food! Today I am doing a two step post. My reason? I have never cooked fresh caught crab before. I am slightly terrified. I usually pay the extra money at the seafood shop to have them pull out the lump crab meat for me. It is time to look fear right in the eye, and cook these babies myself.

To back up a bit, I got two beautiful fresh caught crabs at the Farmer's market last weekend. I knew immediately what I wanted to make. A dear friend of mine gave me an old ravioli maker that is an antique. Complete with rolling pin and ravioli runner. I wanted to do a special post using this. This is how great grandma used to make her pasta! Fun!

So first thing I am going to do is cook my crabs. Because I am the way I am, I have read numerous articles by now, all telling me how to do it. I decided to adapt from Fish Cooking. I sucked it up and got busy!

I went with boiling them because it is the easiest way to have juicy crab meat to pull out. It was recommended I season my boiling water. You don't have to, but it is recommended, so I did. I used 1 TBSP old bay seasoning and 6 cups boiling water.

Add your crabs, but don't overcrowd the pot. 
The water will drop below a boil when you put the crabs in, so cover and let it come back to a full boil. When it does, cook for 10-15 minutes. When you see crabs floating on the surface, give it another 2-3 minutes.

Once the crabs are ready, carefully extract them with long tongs and set them aside to cool. You can start picking out the meat in a few minutes, or you can wait until they cool completely. This is the lump crab meat you will use for this recipe! That wasn't too bad! 1 fear down, many many more to go!

For the homemade pasta dough you can view my recipe for it HERE, or just used store bought pasta dough.

Crab Ravioli with Saffron Sauce
adapted from Tide and Thyme

1 batch homemade pasta dough
1 pound lump crab meat
1 cup (8 oz) ricotta cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
3 green onions, chopped
salt and pepper
chives, chopped, for garnish

For the sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
pinch of saffron (5 or 6 threads)
1 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 tsp tomato paste

On floured surface or using a pasta roller, roll dough out to make a few thin sheets (about 1/16″ thick). 
Gently press ravioli stamp or edge of a glass into the pasta dough to make outlines. Fill each ravoli with about 1 tablespoon of filling. 
Roll out another sheet of pasta, and place on top of the other sheet, pressing down around the filling. Cut the ravoli using a stamp or glass – pressing on edges to make sure they are sealed well. 

For the sauce, melt butter in large saucepan. Add the flour, and whisk for a couple minutes to form a light roux. Slowly add in the chicken stock, and heavy cream – whisking constantly until thickened. Add the saffron, and reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add the Parmesan cheese, and tomato paste – stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil. When boiling, drop ravioli in and cook for about 4 minutes. 
Drain pasta and gently toss with the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve.

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