Friday, August 20, 2010

Green Tea with Mint

This is such a simple thing, but it's a fabulous treat on a hot day. All you need is your favorite green tea, hot water and some mint. And a little sweetener if you feel so inclined.

Green Tea with Mint
2 green tea bags

bunch of fresh mint, washed

4 c hot water
optional - sweetener of your choice, to taste

Place tea bags and mint in large heat-resistant bowl. Pour water (just under the boiling temp), over the tea and mint and allow to steep for a few minutes. Remove tea bags and allow to cool. When sufficiently cool, place in your favorite container and chill in the fridge. This is a great basic recipe to play with. Try this with lemongrass, lemon, pineapple, whatever your favorite flavor combination. are.

Hot time, summer and Tzadziki

It's been a particularly miserable summer in DC, and the kitchen has sadly, been very lightly used. There are, however, a few summer favorites I keep coming back to that require little if no time around anything hot. Tzadziki, a middle eastern salad (or spread) of yogurt and cucumber is one of my favorite no-heat summer dishes. Whip some up, spread it on your favorite pita and add your favorite protein (grilled chicken is the favorite here) and lettuce and you're good to go for one great summer meal.This is also a great way to use some summer garden bounty (container or otherwise) - like my wee cucumbers here. There is nothing wee about the amount of mint I have in the garden, so I like to use a heavy hand with it.

adapted from Deborah Madison's
Vegetarian Cooking

2 cups Greek yogurt (do 0% if you must, but it will taste so much better with 2% or whole)

2 c cucumber chopped (about 1 large or 2 small or 4 teeny tiny)

salt and white pepper to taste

2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp dried dill (if you have fresh, use 2 tsp, chopped)
1 tbs chopped mint leaves
2 tbs white wine vinegar

1 tbs olive oil

Seed and chop the cucumber. Place in a colander gently toss with a few pinches of salt. Let sit for 30 minutes (trust me, wait the 30 minutes. This will dry your cukes out so you don't get the dreaded slimy cucumbers or an overly-watery sauce). After the 30 min. have passed, wring the cukes out with a clean tea cloth or napkin. Place in bowl.

Crush garlic with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle and add to bowl. Add dill, mint, vinegar and additional salt or white pepper to taste. Mix together and drizzle olive oil on top right before serving.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Baked Salmon with Coconut Rice

I don't often prepare salmon at home as Mr. P has a rather strong aversion to the fish after having it poorly prepared most of the times he's had it. However, when I saw that there was fresh, wild-caught Coho salmon on sale at the grocery store, I couldn't help but get a pound, as it is one of my favorite fishes. Fortunately, I lucked out in finding a fabulous recipe that even the salmon-averse Mr. P enjoyed and suprisingly, brought him back for seconds. It was so in demand in fact, that there was nothing to photograph when all was said and done.

This is definitely one of my favorite ways to have salmon. Lightly flavored but satisfyingly filling with the slight sweet of the marinade and creaminess of the rice. Serve with steamed broccoli and cauliflower like we did, or incorporate your own favorite vege. Save a little of the marinade to pour overtop of your plate. If feeling particularly bold, you can even bake the salmon on a cedar plank as they did in the original recipe. Not willing to wait the 4 hours for the plank to soak, I prepared this without the plank to still delicious results.

Baked Salmon with Coconut Rice
adapted from Cookie via

1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Juice of 1/2 a large lemon
1 pound salmon fillet
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 cup jasmine rice
Salt to taste

1 oil baking dish
2 Preheat oven to 500°F.
3 In a bowl, combine the syrup, mustard, soy sauce, and lime juice. Add the fish; let it marinate for 10 minutes.
4 In a saucepan, bring the broth and coco­nut milk to a boil.
5 Stir in the rice. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, 20 minutes.
6 Lay the fish on the plank, skin side down. Sprinkle it with salt; drizzle it with marinade.
7 Bake until the thickest part is still springy, 12 to 15 minutes.