Tag Archive | Asparagus

Broiled Herb Mustard Glazed Salmon with Lemon Balsamic Grilled Asparagus

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Broiled Salmon with Herb Mustard Glaze, Lemon Balsamic Grilled Asparagus and fresh cut corn from the cob. Squeeze a wedge of lemon over the salmon and that’s it.

I like to watch The Food Network and one of my favorite chefs on the network is Giada De Laurentiis.  Giada has a wonderful salmon recipe that we enjoy, so I thought I’d share it with you.  I don’t follow the recipe exactly, but it still comes out delicious.  First, here’s the recipe and then I’ll tell you what I don’t do:

I used dried thyme because I didn't have fresh. For the wine I used a pinot grigio.  Since I was only making 2 pieces of salmon, I halved the recipe.

I used dried thyme because I didn’t have fresh. For the wine I used a pinot grigio. Since I was only making 2 pieces of salmon, I halved the recipe.

Broiled Salmon with Herb Mustard Glaze –  by Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients for 6 Servings
2 garlic cloves
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon dry white wine
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
6 (6 to 8-ounce) salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 lemon wedges

In a mini food processor, combine garlic, rosemary, thyme, wine, oil, Dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon of whole-grain mustard. Grind the mustard sauce until combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of whole-grain mustard to the sauce and stir to combine. Set aside mustard sauce.

Preheat the broiler. Line a heavy rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with nonstick spray. Arrange the salmon fillets on the baking sheet and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Broil for 2 minutes. Spoon the mustard sauce over the fillets. Continue broiling until the fillets are just cooked through and golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.

Transfer the fillets to plates and serve with lemon wedges.

Serves: 6; Calories: 294; Total Fat: 11 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Protein: 45 grams; Total carbohydrates: 3 grams; Sugar:0 grams; Fiber: 0 grams; Cholesterol: 115 milligrams; Sodium: 463 milligrams

Now for what I don’t do…I skip the food processor step to ground down the mustard and herbs.  We don’t mind the texture of the whole-grain mustard and the herbs, so one less step is fine with me.

Whole Grain Mustard is delicious.

Whole Grain Mustard is delicious.

I didn’t have fresh thyme, so I used dried thyme leaves.  You can find food equivalents here for thyme.

I did have fresh rosemary and fresh garlic.

I did have fresh rosemary and fresh garlic.

Instead of using a food processor, I just whisked everything together in a little bowl.

Instead of using a food processor, I just whisked everything together in a little bowl.

I used a foil lined cookie sheet sprayed with oil to cook the fish under the broiler.

Rinse & pat the salmon dry.  Season with fresh ground pepper & salt to taste.

Rinse & pat the salmon dry. Season with fresh ground pepper & salt to taste.

Put the salmon in the pan and broil it for 2 minutes before you add the glaze.

After I spoon the glaze on the salmon, I spread it around with a brush to coat evenly.

After I spoon the glaze on the salmon, I spread it around with a brush to coat evenly.

Pop it under the broiler for about 5 more minutes, or until the glaze gets bubbly and starts to turn a golden brown.  Squeeze some lemon on the fish before eating and you won’t be disappointed.

If you like salmon and you like mustard, you’re going to like this recipe.

Last week I bought a bottle of lemon balsamic vinegar at a local farmer’s market.  I wasn’t actually looking to buy it, but I just happened to be standing near enough to get called over to do some taste testing.  I tried the lemon and the raspberry flavors.  Both were delicious, but I decided on the lemon because I thought it would be more versatile.

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I didn’t have any recipes that called for lemon balsamic vinegar, so I did some snooping around the web and found a recipe at Amee’s Savory Dish blog.  It’s called Lemon Balsamic Grilled Asparagus and just by luck, I had some asparagus.  Here’s the recipe straight from the blog:

My ingredients cut down for 2 servings.

My ingredients cut down for 2 servings.

Lemon Balsamic Grilled Asparagus – Amee’s Savory Dish

2 bunches medium size asparagus (large enough stalks to place on grill without falling through, plus the thicker asparagus hold up better when grilling)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp Lowcountry gourmet’s lemon white balsamic vinegar (or your favorite white balsamic)
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp lime frost sea salt (or regular sea salt)
1 tsp fresh lemon or lime zest
fresh ground pepper to taste

Mix all marinade ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.  Set aside.

Wash asparagus and trim about 1″ off the thick end.  Place into a 9×13 dish and pour marinade on top.  Refrigerate for at least an hour to mingle flavors.

Preheat grill and turn heat to medium.  Place asparagus directly onto the grill rack.  Reserve marinade.

Cook for 4-5 minutes per side, checking frequently so you don’t overcook them.  They should be tender but still have a slight crunch.  Pour leftover marinade through a fine strainer to remove bits of raw garlic and drizzle over asparagus before serving.

I made a few changes in the preparation of this recipe:

I cut the recipe down because I only made a small bunch of asparagus for 2 people.

I didn’t have the lime frost sea salt that the recipe calls for, so I used regular sea salt.

I have a little zesting tool that makes it easy. Remember to only use the rind with color, not the white skin underneath.

I have a little zesting tool that makes it easy. Remember to only use the rind with color, not the white skin underneath.  It’s bitter.

I added the marinade to the asparagus in a glass dish and put it in the refrigerator.

Marinating the asparagus in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes blends the flavors nicely.  I left mine in for 45 minutes.

Marinate the asparagus for at least 1 hour.

I cooked the asparagus on the stove in my grill pan instead of on the outside grill.  Turn the asparagus occasionally to cook evenly.

I cooked the asparagus over med-high heat.  Grill it until tender, but keep your eye on it so it doesn't get overdone.

I cooked the asparagus over med-high heat. Grill it until tender, but keep your eye on it so it doesn’t get overdone.

The last change I made was that I didn’t drizzle the remaining marinade over the asparagus.  I’m sure it would have tasted fine, but  I decided to drizzle a little of the lemon balsamic vinegar over it instead.  I liked the taste of the vinegar, lemony with a little tang.  Tasted great.

I bought some white corn on the cob at the farmer’s market, too.  I cut it off of the cob and cooked it in the microwave on high with a little water for about a minute.  I drained the water, added a little butter, salt & pepper.  It was a great addition to the meal without having to fuss with the cob.

If you happen to try either of these recipes, leave a note to tell me what you think.


Asian-Style Cornish Hen with Fried Rice and Asparagus

Asian-Style Cornish Hen with Fried Rice & Asparagus

Asian-Style Cornish Hen with Fried Rice & Asparagus

My Asian-inspired meal all started at the grocery store yesterday, where I bought fresh-made California rolls on sale.

I had taken a Cornish hen out of the freezer for dinner and wanted to try a new recipe, I just didn’t know which one yet.  I found several different recipes for the hen online, but one stuck out, Oriental Grilled Cornish Hens at Cooks.com.  Perfect, an Asian Cornish hen recipe for dinner to go along with the California rolls appetizer.

I also planned on making brown rice, so once again I headed to the internet for an idea and found a Basic Recipe for Fried Rice.

The veggie I had chosen was asparagus.  I decided to grill it in a pan with an Asian seasoning I had recently purchased.

First, the cornish hen recipe from Cooks.com.

Oriental Grilled Cornish Hens – (Serves 4)

4 Rock Cornish hens (approx. 1 1/2 lbs. each)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
3/4 c. soy sauce
4 tbsp. peanut oil

 Split cornish hens in half using poultry or kitchen knife; set aside.

Combine garlic, soy sauce, peanut oil, ginger and 1/4 cup water in large shallow baking dish. Add hens and marinate at least 1/2 hour, turning occasionally.

Grill hens turning and basting with marinade frequently. Cook about 30 minutes or until tender and juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Reserve remaining marinade for dipping sauce. Serves 4.

Now for the tweaks I made in the recipe…

I cut the recipe in half because I was only cooking 1 hen.  The original recipe called for grilling the hen, but I decided to cook it in the oven.  I did not have fresh garlic (forgot to buy it at the grocery store), so I had to use garlic powder. The good news was that I had fresh ginger (but you can use ground ginger if you don’t have fresh) and I had soy sauce and peanut oil.

Ingredients for the Hen Recipe

Ingredients for the Hen Recipe

I rinsed the hen and patted it dry.  Then I cut the hen down the center.

Since I didn’t have fresh garlic, I had to figure out how much garlic powder was equivalent to a clove of garlic.  Ah-ha, I found the answer on the internet (where else).  An approximate measurement is 1/8 tsp garlic power = 1 fresh small clove, which is what I used in my recipe.  If you don’t have fresh ginger, the conversion for ground ginger is 1/2 tsp ground ginger = 1 tsp fresh chopped.

You might like to bookmark the site, Ingredient Equivalents.  It may come in handy someday.

I used low sodium soy sauce because that’s what I had on hand.

In order to remove the skin from fresh ginger, use a spoon and scrape it away.  It comes off very easily.

In order to remove the skin from fresh ginger, use a spoon and scrape it away. It comes off very easily. Click photo to enlarge.

I used my Ulu Knife to mince the ginger.

I used my Ulu Knife to mince the ginger.  Click photo to enlarge.

I poured all of the ingredients into a shallow baking dish and marinated the chicken halves for approximately 45 minutes in the refrigerator, turning them several times every so often.

Marinate in refrigerator.  Turn occasionally.

Marinate in refrigerator. Turn occasionally.  Click photo to enlarge.

I lined my pan with foil and placed the hen on a rack.

I lined my pan with foil and placed the hen on a rack.  Click photo to enlarge.

Instead of grilling the hen, I roasted it in the oven.  In a conventional  oven, I would say to cook the hen for 45 minutes to 1 hour on 350 degrees F, basting occasionally.  Just make sure it’s cooked through and the skin is crispy.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  The recipe says to use the left over marinade for dipping.  Well, that marinade had raw poultry sitting in it for 45 minutes, so there was no way I was going to use it for dipping.   To remedy that, I put the left over marinade in a small pot and boiled it (about 5 mins).  It cooked down a little and made a perfect dipping sauce, minus the bacteria.

Now for the rice from About.com:

Ingredients for fried rice.

Ingredients for fried rice.  Click photo to enlarge.

Basic Fried Rice Ingredients – (Serves 4-6)

2 green onions, finely chopped

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

4 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, or as needed

4 cups previously cooked rice, at least 1 day old 

1 – 2 tablespoons light soy sauce or oyster sauce as desired


Wash and finely chop the green onion. Lightly beat the eggs with the salt and pepper.

Heat a wok or frying pan and add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the eggs. Cook, stirring, until they are lightly scrambled but not too dry. Remove the eggs and clean out the pan.

Add 2 tablespoons oil. Add the rice. Stir-fry for a few minutes, using chopsticks or a wooden spoon to break it apart. Stir in the soy sauce or oyster sauce as desired.

When the rice is heated through, add the scrambled egg back into the pan. Mix thoroughly. Stir in the green onion. Serve hot.

After cooking the eggs, remember to remove them from the pan.  Click photo to enlarge.

Add the rice, cook until heated.  Then add the soy sauce.  Stir to distribute and then add the green onion.

After the rice is heated through, the rest of the ingredients are added to the pan.

I used only 3 cups of cooked brown rice.  The recipe calls for 1-day old rice.  I cooked my rice on the same day I made the recipe and it was fine.

The recipe says you can use either soy sauce or oyster sauce.  I used low sodium soy sauce.   I also used peanut  oil.  There are lots of rice leftovers for another meal.

Finally, my asparagus recipe:

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Rinse the asparagus (I used 8 large stalks), pat dry and break off the woody ends.  

Lay the asparagus in a dish and generously drizzle oil (I used peanut) over the asparagus.  

Sprinkle with as much seasoning as you like (I used Simply Asian, Sweet Asian Garlic) over the top and toss asparagus to coat.

Heat a pan over medium heat and cook asparagus until tender.  

Toss asparagus occasionally in the pan and check it with a fork for tenderness.  Do not overcook or it will get mushy.

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The seasoning I used on the asparagus.

The seasoning I used on the asparagus.  Click photo to enlarge.

These were all new recipes for me and we were pleasantly surprised.  The hen was delicious…tender and tasty, and the skin crispy.  Use the dipping sauce for extra flavor.  The fried rice turned out wonderful and you can add extra soy sauce to taste if you like it a little more moist.   The grilled asparagus tasted great with the Asian seasoning, which was a nice change from steamed.  If you don’t have an Asian seasoning, any veggie seasoning would do.  Try one of the McCormick Grill Mates or Weber seasoning mixes.

Hubby told me I can definitely make this meal again, and I certainly will.  If you don’t have a Cornish hen, I wouldn’t hesitate to use chicken pieces or a small whole chicken cut in half.  Of course, you’ll have to adjust the cooking time.

If you decide to give it a go, drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Fish Tray Bake Recipe

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Fish Tray Bake – Finished Product

First, I would like to state the obvious, I am not a professional photographer.  The photos in this post were taken by me and I hope they don’t make you lose your appetite because this recipe is really good and very easy.

Second, the original recipe is by Jamie Oliver, but I cannot access his recipe online.  I also Googled it and got many links that you can check out.  At the end of this post, I reprinted what is supposed to be the original recipe, so check that out, too.   My good friend (and terrific cook and baker) Anni, made this dish for us and gave me her version of the recipe.  Bottom line, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you try it.  You can put your own twist to it and adjust the amount of ingredients to suit.

Third, let’s get started.  I am going to share it with you the way I made it along with a few helpful hints.  Not all of the ingredients have specific amounts listed because this recipe can be adjusted however you desire, according to how many folks you’re cooking for and how much they like to eat.  I made it for 2 people.

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  (I was told 350 to 400, so I settled on 375)


2 Salmon Filets (rinsed and patted dry – if the skin is on, leave the skin side up in the pan – check for bones)

12 large Shrimp (rinsed, shelled and deveined – you can leave the tails on)

Fresh Asparagus (rinsed and woody ends broken off) – *See Hint

Fresh tomatoes (cut into large chunks)

Lemons – 2 at least (quartered)

1 Red Chili Pepper (seeds removed and chopped into small pieces)

1 Garlic Clove (minced)

Fresh Basil Leaves (roughly chopped)

Anchovies (optional, but I recommend them – cut them up – use as many as you like) *See Hint

Bacon (3-4 pieces – cut up into smaller pieces) – *See Hint

Olive Oil

Baking Dish (I used a 8 x 13 Pyrex dish)

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All prepped and ready to go. That little curved knife on the stand is called an Ulu Knife.
I bought it in Alaska. It’s great for chopping and mincing garlic and fresh herbs.

Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of the baking dish.

Add the tomatoes, lemon, garlic, chilis, basil, anchovies.  Drizzle more olive oil and mix everything around in it.

Place the salmon (skin up), shrimp and asparagus on top.  Drizzle more olive oil on the seafood.  Add the bacon.

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All set to go in the oven.

Place dish in the preheated oven and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes until the fish is done and bacon is crispy.  Keep your eye on it and watch the shrimp do not get overdone.

Before eating, squeeze those tasty, cooked lemons all over everything in your dish.  They are delicious!

* Hints:

If the asparagus is on the thick side, you may want to partially cook it a little before adding it to the recipe – don’t overcook.  It will be more tender.

I partially cooked the bacon before adding it because we like it crispy.

If you want to give the dish a little more zing, add some lemon pepper before eating, or maybe some salt and pepper to taste.  I added some ground lemon pepper, yum.

Anchovies – Don’t let them scare you, they melt into the oil and have a wonderful flavor (not fishy).

If you want to finish it off quick, you can give it a little zap under the broiler at the end, just watch those shrimp.

I served it with sweet corn on the cob and a nice pinot grigio.

This is a light, casual dish that’s easy.  Enjoy!

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.

Don’t forget to squeeze those cooked lemons on everything before you dig in.  Delish.

I found this link to what is claimed to be the original recipe.  Let me know if you try either version of the recipe and whether or not you liked it.

Fish Tray-Bake

4x 150g Salmon fillets, skin on, scaled and pin boned
8 Large unpeeled raw tiger prawns 
Bunch of asparagus
1 Lemon
1 Fresh red chilli
Small bunch of fresh basil
1x 30g tin of anchovies in oil
4 Cloves of garlic
3-4 Tomatoes
4 Slices of pancetta

Lay the Salmon fillets and prawns in large roasting tray. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus, then add the spears to the tray with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Quarter a lemon and add it to tray. Finely chop the chilli and add to tray with basil leaves. Drizzle over the oil from the anchovies and tear in 4 of the fillets. Crush in 4 unpeeled cloves of garlic and drizzle over some olive oil. Roughly chop tomatoes and add.

Arrange everything nicely in tray, so the lemons are facing up and the salmon is skin side up. Drape 4 slices of pancetta wherever you like in the tray, then whack under the grill on the middle shelf for about 10 minute, or until the pancetta is lovely and crisp and the fish is cooked through.


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