Salmon en papillote

This recipe has a fancy result and is super easy to make. You can decently use it if you want to impress.

I’ll be honest I wasn’t sure how to tream their bottom part so it was a little like eating wood when I reached that part. But I did my reading and they say that if you take the woody end and just snap it with your thump and forefinger, it should be fine (thank you www.thekitchn.com)

Total time: 45 min

I am writing what you need for 1 serving. You will understand why at the instructions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless salmon fillets
  • 1 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 7 cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 10 medium sliced white button mushrooms
  • 4-5 asparagus spears
  • lemon juice (from approximately one half)
  • salt & pepper

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven at 175 ℃.
  • Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
  • I spread a piece of parchment paper or foil wide enough to fold in half when all the ingredients are added.
  • On the paper, spread the garlic at the centre and place the asparagus on top.
  • On top of these place the salmon.
  • Add the tomatoes and mushrooms around the salmon andI season with salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle the dill on top of the fish and drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Close the paper by folding the edges over several times, until it is completely sealed.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until th a salmon is ready.
  • Don’t forget to serve with some rice, quinoa or noodles.

You can find the recipe, with pictures from the assembly at: www.pickledplum.com/salmon-en-papillote

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Midnight omelette

Since today I had only my breakfast and lunch, by night I started getting hungry… But because I met a friend at my dinner time, and not knowing if we were gonna eat together, I ended up starving at midnight. Opening my fridge, I picked up various stuff I had lying around for a wee omelette. Declaration: all my omelettes are something between an actual omelette and scrambled eggs.

Looking at my dish, I think it needs a splash of green (maybe add some spinach next time??)
Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • a few mushroom slices (from a can I had opened)
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • milk

Instructions:

  • In a pan add some olive oil, the mushrooms and the tomatoes cut in half
  • When the start getting cooked (making a sound), disk the eggs with a bit of milk and the mustard
  • When the mixture is homogeneous add some salt and pepper, and then add it in the pan.
  • I keep stirring the eggs around, till they are cooked to my liking, but everybody has its own technique.

Notes:

  1. Eggs are the easiest to experiment with. So, if you have a night craving and a couple of eggs in the fridge just be creative with them with whatever else you have in the fridge and in the cupboards. Next time I’m thinking of using my new spices (paprika, onion granules).
  2. Tomatoes are actually really nice in the omelette, since they break off the dryness of the eggs. If you don’t like the skin on cooked tomatoes (I don’t like it either), one it is easy to peak off wit your fork, since the tomatoes are cooked, two on cherry tomatoes you don’t actually feel it.
  3. To be honest, I couldn’t taste the mustard… I do not know if that is because I added too little or it is just that compared to the eggs it has a much weaker taste…

Today I was despicable. I just ate my breakfast and a few peanut butter and jam sandwiches. The problem is that I am trying to study, with little success because I love the internet, and I refuse to do anything else. Except of sleeping a lot. I should make a programme or something, so at least I do not have to go shopping everyday… Tomorrow I am gonna go to the library, hopefully I’ll manage to read more than a couple of articles, buy something from the university cafeteria for launch and on my way home do grocery shopping for 2 meals. It’s not like I couldn’t do something quick today. Is that I didn’t want to… if tomorrow’s plan works, I’ll built from there… 

Spinach rice (spinach risotto)

Spinach rice, or spanakorizo in greek, is a traditional greek food. This version is more like a risotto. This is a food to which we usually add lemon, so you might find that you would like to add some more lemon or reduce it the next time.

Time in kitchen: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 200 gr spinach
  • 125 gr risotto rice
  • 20 gr olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 75 ml white wine
  • 500 ml water
  • 1/2 vegetable or chicken bouillon cube
  • salt
  • pepper
  • grated zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 40 gr butter (it doesn’t matter if it is salted or not)
  • 1 small spring onion, chopped
  • 2 eggs (optional)

Instructions:

  • Place a pot over high heat and let it get very hot.
  • Add the olive oil, onion and garlic [3].
  • When the onion caramelizes, add the rice.
  • Stir and saute the rice until it turns golden.
  • Add the wine and let it evaporate.
  • Then, add the water and bouillon cube.
  • Lower heat to medium and cook for 15-20 minutes [4], stirring every 2-3 minutes so that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • In a bowl, add the spinach and a generous amounts of salt. Rub the spinach between your hands and squeeze them with your hands or in a towel to release most of their moisture [5,6].
  • Add the spinach to the pot in batches, keeping it over a medium to low heat. Stir thoroughly.
  • Add the lemon zest and juice.
  • Taste it and add the salt, pepper and lemon juice to your liking.
  • Remove from heat and add the butter. Stick until the mixture becomes thick and creamy.
  • Add the spring onion.
  • Now you have to options. Either serve or place the pot back on medium heat and crack inside one or two eggs, cover the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes, till your eggs are poached.

Notes:

  1. The original recipe uses some herbs that I didn’t use, so you might want to check it out.
  2. All the chefs agree that when cooking you should not use “cooking wine”, but a wine you would drink. It is not waste. If you do not want to keep the opened bottle in the refrigerator, you can drink the it with your meal!!
  3. After you add the onion and garlic, if you don’t feel comfortable using the high heat, switch to medium.
  4. I boiled it for 10 minutes more, until most of the water evaporated. It is important to remember that every kitchen is different, so do not be afraid to leave the food to cook for a little more or less.
  5. Really, be generous with the salt. You just use it to get the water out of the leaves but practically none of it will be transferred to the food.
  6. Fan fact, if you don’t do this the food will turn green.
  7. My doctor says that I should eat some protein when eating this food and a slice of bread. Most people would go with something like tuna for their protein choice, but I tried the egg and was not bad at all, although at sound it mind sound a bit disgusting.
  8. I’ll be honest, I cooked the eggs over high heat and my rice burnt a bit. That is why I specified the medium heat. I hope I am right.
  9. Recipe from Akis Petretzikis. Do not worry this page is in English. I should mention that if you visit the greek one there is a YouTube video, which you will not understand the instructions, but you will be able to see how this meal is cooked and that can simplify things a lot. akispetretzikis.com/en/categories/ospria/spanakoryzo

Chicken Alfredo pasta

This is my version of this recipe in which each serving has 1 chicken breast, not half. Because I played around with the portions of the original the pasta might be a lot for some people, but they seemed fine to me…

Also I should mention that this recipe turned out to be more difficult than it seemed at the beginning (sauce part).

Total time in kitchen: 1 hour

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed [2,3]
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the sauce:

  • 1 large garlic clove, diced
  • 1 tablespoon flour (all purpose)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk (whatever kind you have in your fridge)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon (or the tip) pepper
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup penne pasta, cooked 
  • 1/8 cup parmesan, optional

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta. Instructions can be found on the package, although I should mention that I did not add salt in the water I cooked them.
  • We start with the chicken. Heat the olive oil in a skilllet and add chicken [5].
  • Season with the salt and pepper and cook until no longer pink [6,7]. Use a medium heat [8].
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  • And now for the sauce. In the same pan, add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  • This is the difficult step. Sprinkle the flour over the garlic and slowly add in the chicken stock, while stirring to avoid lumps [5,9].
  • Add the milk, stir and let it reach boil to thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  • When the sauce has thickened, add the spinach and stir until wilted.
  • Remove from heat and add in the penne, chicken and parmesan [10]. Stir to coat.

Notes:

  1. If I loved one thing in this recipe was that everything was measured. Olive oil, salt, pepper. Everything!!
  2. It is easy to cut the chicken. It takes just 2 minutes. First cut it vertically (long side!!), then horizontally. I also found out that it is easier to cut the breast by using your whole palm to keep it steady.
  3. IMPORTANT: Try to cut the cubes in approximately the same size. That way they all cook at the same time and you do not end up with some of them being charred and some of them being raw.
  4. Everything will run smoothly if you have all the ingredients ready for use. Not necessarily measured, but certainly cut and washed.
  5. I know that the recipe says to use a skillet but things might work better if you use a pot. Especially for the sauce part.
  6. Guess who forgot to season!! I did remember it when the chicken was ready and did it then, which I believe saved the taste, but it would have been better if I had done that on time.
  7. It is super important that the chicken is not raw inside. Take a few pieces out and open them to check that the meat is cooked all the way.
  8. If you use a high heat, the meat will cook on the outside but not the inside. Plus that way you are not gonna get burnt from flying olive oil!!
  9. My mom says that when adding the stock to the flour you should stir quickly and if possible use a whisk.
  10. If you are not sure that your pan can contain everything, you can add all the ingredients in the pot you used to cook the penne. No reason to make things difficult!!
  11. Recipe from buzzfeed. www.buzzfeed.com/alixtraeger/healthier-chicken-alfredo-pasta

Figuring out portions (chicken)

Here is the thing, according to my doctor, who gives me eating advice for this whole project, when eating chicken, I should eat one chicken breast (my preferred part) and some carbohydrates as a side (approximately half of the plate if I remember correctly) such as pasta or potato. I have found a nice recipe for chicken and pasta, but is practically the other way around. So now I have to play around with the analogies of the ingredients and hope that what I’ll do will work.

 That is a constant problem when you have to make sure that you are eating enough. Most people do not think how much of anything goes into their food, unless they are on a diet. So many recipes or restaurant portions are not really balanced and you have to calculate everything before cooking or ordering, which after a while becomes super annoying.

Baked lemon salmon with rice


For the first time I made a baked lemon salmon with some rice.

Total time in the kitchen: 35 min

For the rice I follow my mom’s instructions. I put some olive oil in the pan, add the rice, mix them a bit and then add 3 times water and some salt and let it boil at the low setting until the water has evaporated.

for the salmon

  • 2 boneless salmon fillets (~100 he each)
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove thinly diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion granules
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

instructions

  • Preheat oven to 200 ℃
  • In a bowl, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, onion granules, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard
  • In a baking pan covered with foil, place the salmon fillets and spread the marinade made above evenly over thepast fillets
  • Bake for 15 minutes

Notes:

  1. For me the easiest way to handle the garlic is to cut the clove first in as thin slices as convenient and the cut them again.
  2. I always wish the recipes said exactly how much salt and pepper to use, but they rarely do. So I just how much I feel is right and hope for the best. That was the case here.
  3. When you go to turn on your oven, there are more than one settings (air, grill etc). And more than one rack heights. Since again this recipe did not specify, I went for air, middle rack.
  4. Skin side of salmon goes down and should stick to the foil when you remove the fillet from the pan.
  5. Using the foil means that the pan is practically when you finish cooking. Less time a scrabbing in the kitchen.
  6. Recipe from buzzfeed. www.buzzfeed.com/hannahwilliams/4-simple-one-pan-dinners-tastyjunior