Archive for category Mighty Good Recipe

Mighty Good Recipe: Salmon Tartare

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As many of you know, I REALLY like salmon.

So, when Steve Shuler donated a pound of Wild Copper River King Salmon (from Peninsula Processing and Smokehouse) to my cause, who was I to say no? This particular salmon is some of the best of the best–soft and  flavorful with just a gorgeous shade of orange. And rather than grill or even broil the salmon, I decided to keep things ultra-simple and eat the fish raw.

Looking to add just a few simple ingredients to subtly enhance the fish, I found this tartare recipe from bon appétit.

Feel free to ballpark all of the measurements, erring on the side of a cautious heavy hand. You’ll find the finely diced jalapenos and cucumbers add both a crunchy texture and layer of freshness to the fish, as does the shallots. And like every great recipe, this one calls for a decent amount of fresh cilantro, which is never a bad thing. If your salmon has been in the refrigerator, it is very important to place it inside the freezer for 20 minutes. This will firm-up the fish, allowing you to cut it in chucks with a very sharp knife.

Make no mistake, this salmon is not cheap and is only available at certain times of the year, but if you’re looking to make a big splash with dinner guests or just want to treat yourself to a magnificent dining experience, I highly recommend ordering some of this fish and utilizing a tried and true tartare recipe.

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Mighty Good Recipe: Ashli’s Spicy Crockpot Pork is a Keeper

Crockpot Perfection

Crockpot Perfection

Special thanks to Ashli Ahrens for sending in this wonderful recipe. I promised her that I’d try it out … and I did. And we all win. I’ve probably cooked more than 100 crockpot recipes through the years, and this one sits right at the very top.

Ingredients
–approximately 3 lbs. thick-cut pork chops (bone-in or boneless and butterflied)
–envelope of fajita or taco seasoning (reg or hot)
–1 white onion, cut into rings
–1 (16 oz) jar green salsa
–½ cup fresh cilantro, stems removed but not chopped
–2 cloves garlic (or more) peeled and crushed
–2-4 fresh whole serrano chile peppers

Directions
Rinse and pat dry the chops. Lay them out on a cookie sheet with sides or jelly roll pan (to contain the mess) or use the “shake in bag” method. Sprinkle or coat chops liberally with fajita seasoning, making sure to coat both sides of each chop. (You can mix any remaining seasoning with the rest of ingredients when putting in crock pot.)

In crockpot, begin with a layer of half the onion rings in the bottom, then half the meat, half the garlic, half the salsa, some cilantro and a pepper or two. Then finish by layering the rest of the onions, meat and so forth until you run out of ingredients. The point is to layer and distribute the ingredients so all the seasonings come in contact with the meat.

Cover and cook in the crockpot on low for 8-9 hours until the meat falls off the bone and apart easily. (Note: the concoction won’t necessarily look very “pretty” when you uncover it after 8 hours, but trust me, it will be fine.)

Gently remove the pork with slotted spoon or tongs to a cutting board. Strain and discard about half of the remaining liquid from the crockpot, reserving the rest. Discard the cilantro leaves, the peppers and onions if you desire. (I usually keep the onions in with the meat and trash the other things.)

Shred the meat with two forks, being sure to remove all the bones. There will be some smaller bones so look carefully. When deboned, mix the meat with the reserved juice and keep warm to serve.

We usually serve this on soft corn or flour tortillas with the usual Tex-Mex fixins. Any leftover meat can be frozen as well. Enjoy!

Editor’s Note: I kept the entire remaining liquid and just dumped the shredded pork back in.  I served the mixture on two corn tortillas, topped with sour cream, avocado and cheese. Amazing!

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Mighty Good Recipe: Zara’s Chicken and Dumplings

Comfort food at its finest.

Comfort food at its finest.

Last week, several of us foodies were fortunate enough to partake in Zara’s Chicken and Dumplings. They were magical, and thus, I begged her to share the recipe. And she did!

Zara wanted to let the readers know that this is a quick recipe breakdown … and measurements aren’t so accurate because she often cooks from taste.

Here you go!

Pour 2 quarts of homemade chicken stock ( you can use boxed if necessary, but obviously it impacts taste and depth a lot) in a large pot. Next, boil 5 chicken breasts in the stock until the chicken is just cooked through (don’t overcook or it’ll be chewy). Remove chicken and shred after cooling. Then pinch off little pieces of dough (recipe below) and add to simmering stock. Season with salt, white pepper (only a little because it’s sharp) and dried sage. Taste as you go.. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes and check dumplings for doneness. Cook longer if necessary and stir to make sure it doesn’t stick to bottom. Finally, add chicken the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.

Dumpling Ingredients:
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk (a bit less than a full cup)

Directions: Mix dry ingredients, cut in butter, stir in milk and combine. Make sure there’s flour covering exterior of dough so it’ll thicken stock.

*Note: In a hurry, you can easily use pre-made Pillsbury biscuit dough as opposed to making the whole dough.

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Mighty Good Recipe: Hillcrest Farmers Market Italian Sausage Panini

Fantastic ingredients!

Fantastic ingredients!

It’s time for another Mighty Good Recipe!

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you know how much I enjoy heading to the Hillcrest Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. In fact, it’s one of my favorite social events of the week. I typically run into a handful of friends while milling around the various tables, drinking coffee, and soaking up the gloriousness that is Hillcrest.

I always end up buying way too much, but that’s a good thing. The vendors are wonderful folks and many of their products are of the highest quality.

And while some people head to these markets with focus and purpose, my brain is a clean slate (no jokes, please), and I typically buy what inspires me at that moment. Many of the ingredients for this recipe below were purchased at last Saturday’s market.

Ingredients
-1 loaf of rustic bread (from Mylo Coffee Co.)
-roasted red peppers (from North Pulaski Farms)
-1 package of Italian sausage (from Freckle Face Farm)
-1 cup of Amy B’s garlic sauce
-1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
-2 tablespoons butter

Directions
Cook the Italian sausage in a pan (medium heat) for 10 minutes. Once the casings are brown, add a half cup of water to the pan, cover, and let cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Plug in a sandwich press (if you have one), or place 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet (set on medium heat). Cut the bread into fairly thick slices. Cut sausage links (length-wise) and place on one slice of bread. Top with sliced red peppers, a spoonful of garlic sauce and some cheese. Place the second slice of bread over the top. Add butter to the outside of both slices. Place inside sandwich press until brown and crispy. If you’re using a pan, it should take about 5 minutes per side.

Note: Amy B’s garlic sauce can be purchased in the Little Rock area by contacting Amy directly on her Twitter account. This is my favorite sauce, but if it’s unavailable to you, then any tomato sauce will do.

Support local!

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