In 4th grade, I changed the word ‘hit’ to ‘shit’ in a large number of school library books. I blame my three delinquent older brothers for this, fully. But that’s not really what I wanted to confess. Although, I do feel like a weight has been lifted. Thanks for being my priest, guys.
Anyway, what I REALLY wanted to confess is that I. Hate. Salmon. Along with most other fish that appears to be delicious and that I really, really WANT to like, but every time I’ve tasted it, I’ve immediately had to spit it into a napkin as soon as that disgusting fishy taste hit my tastebuds. As you can imagine, this has gotten me blacklisted from many a fancy dinner party. That, and the fact I typically end up with a lampshade on my head. Whatever. What the hell are lampshades for anyway? Lamps? Psssh. Why are they so hat-shaped then? It’s very confusing.
Shhhhh… The fish are sleeping.
But I’m getting off on a tangent now, when my real purpose for being here is to report that I’ve experienced a miracle! And not like that one time I found a Jesus-shaped Pringle. NO! This is bigger! You see, in an effort to eat healthier (In between weeks of eating bacon and gravy and French fries and tacos.), I decided to give salmon another shot. I was determined to like it, damn it, and to bask in the healthiness of all those Omega 3s. And BEHOLD! A delicious baked salmon dish was born! And holy shit, it’s delicious. Not to mention simple, and not even remotely fishy-tasting. And when I say that, I really mean it, because I am very fishy-taste sensitive. Girl Scout’s honor. I think I got kicked out of Girl Scouts for stealing Thin Mints, but still. Trust me.
Here’s how you do it!
(That’s sorta fun to say real fast.)
Prep time: Approximately 4.3 minutes.
Cooking time: 20 minutes. That’s it! Super fast and easy. Like your mom. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Sorry. Anyhooo…
Stuff you need (This recipe is for only 2 filets, but you can make more, too, if you’re real hungry. I did. I ain’t ashamed.):
2 large rectangles of parchment paper, at least double the size of each filet
2 – 6 oz fresh salmon filets
1 lemon, sliced
4 – 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
What to do:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Salt, pepper, and garlic salmon filets on each side, and place in center of parchment paper square.
Place rosemary sprigs on top of filets, followed by lemon slices.
Fold up and crimp edges of parchment paper, creating a cozy, sealed salmon packet.
Place packets in a large glass pan, or rimmed cookie sheet, whatever you got, and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, carefully remove filets from packet, get rid of the lemon and rosemary (Or keep ‘em on there for presentation if you wanna be super fancy, but I wouldn’t recommend eating them.), and chow down on the moist flaky, non-fishy fish! You won’t be sorry.
I can’t believe I just used the word ‘moist’. I hate that word. But it really is moist. I can’t think of another word. Steamy? Wet? Neither of those sounds good either. Gotta go.
Happy New Year, loyal readers! Umm… All five of you. It’s so depressing when the holidays are over, isn’t it? But holy shit, I think I gained approximately 42 pounds over the holidays, so it’s good to be back to our regularly scheduled programming, I suppose. So, in light of the fact that all I can currently fit into is stretchy pants, Mr. Ahi Tuna Man and I have decided to cook some healthy stuff for a while. Nothing crazy like tofu or quinoa or anything of a hippie vegetarian nature, don’t worry. Let’s not get nuts here. Although, I will admit that I have eaten both tofu and quinoa in the past, and I suppose they aren’t THAT bad. Especially covered in melted Velveeta and bacon.
After the craziness of the holidays, Mr. Ahi Tuna Man and I, after taking an unavoidable hiatus from our usual biweekly lazy Sundays, finally had a lazy Sunday last weekend! And what goes better with a frigid Midwest winter lazy Sunday than some spicy meat in a crock pot, huh? And margaritas. I suppose, in retrospect, maybe margaritas may have defeated the purpose of a healthy meal, but whatever. They were light. Stop judging us.
Here we go, folks!
Cinco De January-O Crock Pot Carnitas!
Prep time: 15 minutes, give or take
Cooking time: 8 hours in da pot, then a few minutes of post-pot pork shredding
2 – 2-1/2 pound pork shoulder roast (Technically, I think you should probably trim off the fatty parts because they are bad, but I didn’t want to shock my body with lack of fat, so I did not. Trim the fat if you wish, skinny bastards.)
Dry adobo seasoning
1 cup chicken broth
3 – 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (Or more if you want it WAY spicy so your body will go into inferno mode and burn off the margaritas. That’s what I did. I’m pretty sure it worked. Ok, probably not. It was worth a try, though.)
2 bay leaves
Fire up a skillet on the stovetop at about medium-high heat, and give the pork roast a good sear on all sides. If you’re like me, you will place the pork on its side and it will fall over repeatedly before you resign yourself to the fact you will probably have to stand and hold it there with tongs. Once it’s got a pretty brown sear on all sides, remove from heat and let it cool until you can rub it without having to go to the ER with first degree pork burns.
Once cool, cut 6 or 7 small holes into the pork roast using a sharp kitchen knife; Poke minced garlic into holes with your fingers. You can make, “TAKE THAT, PORK ROAST!” sounds as you do this if you wish. I did. Also, make sure your fingers are clean. Nobody likes to be poked with dirty fingers. Season with cumin, adobo seasoning, and garlic powder, and rub that puppy like it’s your new porky boyfriend and you’re giving him a birthday massage.
Pour chicken broth into crock pot, then add the chipotles and bay leaves. Throw the pork in the crock pot and cover with lid. Cook on low for 8 hours, periodically flipping the pork roast so all the yummy chipotle flavor will seep into both sides.
Mmm… More meat.
After about 8 hours (Ok, ok… I couldn’t wait the whole 8 hours. I only cooked mine 7. Or 6-1/2. I blame my growling stomach and the scent of chipotle.), remove the pork roast from the crock pot, and fish out the bay leaves if you can find ‘em. Shred the pork with a couple of forks, then dump all the shredded meat back in the pot to mix with all the spicy shit still in there. Let it cook another 10 – 15, then you’re good to make some tacos! Or a big unhealthy pile of spicy meat covered with avocado and cheese and sour cream. Not that I’d ever do that sort of thing. Nope. Not this girl. All healthy, all 2015. Or at least until Friday. Maybe.
See what I did there with the title? Get it?? I kill me.
Chunks o’ feta make me happy.
Anyway… Mr. Ahi Tuna Man and I decided this week that maybe we should try to do something a little healthy-ish for our bodies, what with all the pizza and cookie eating we’ve been doing, so I decided, “What the hell, let’s stuff some shit inside some chicken and see what happens.”. I also happen to LOVE anything Greek- Feta, spinach, kalamata olives (I also just love saying ‘kalamata’ because it’s fun. Kalamata. Kalamata.), so I thought to myself, “GREEK STUFFED CHICKEN!! OPA!!”. Then I did some sort of dance I think I saw in ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ or something. I dunno. There was some clapping and stomping.
Help us! We need to be baked! We’re NAKED!!
I would also like to note that this recipe was supposed to include lemon, but SOMEONE (I won’t name names.) (It was Mr. Ahi Tuna Man.) forgot to buy a lemon. And I feel the lemon really would’ve added something here, so I included it in my recipe down there. I’m still trying to recover from the trauma of being lemonless. I need a moment.
Ok, I’m done.
I also whipped up a simple tomato sauce thing, just so my breasts wouldn’t be naked. My chicken breasts, I mean. I only put tomato sauce on my breasts on special occasions.
Here we go!
Prep time Fully dependent upon your chopping and breast stuffing expertise. I was a novice. I was stuffing those breasts for a good 12 minutes or so. Ok, some of that was just because it was fun.
Cooking time: 20 – 25 minutes, or until they won’t give you salmonella.
For the chicken:
4 chicken breasts (big fat ones that you can cut a little pocket into)
baby spinach, chopped (I used about half a bag of the fresh stuff. You could probably use frozen, but frankly, I am not a fan of spinach you have to squish water from.)
2 tablespoons capers
Kalamata olives, chopped (However many you want. Whatever tickles your pickle.)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
juice from 1 lemon (Don’t let anyone forget your Goddamn lemon!!)
For the sauce:
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can crushed tomatoes (I could only find the giant-ass can of these, but I only used about half.)
Dry white wine to taste (I used $4 Chardonnay. Which is way better than Chardonnbee. Hahahaha! I’m sorry.)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix together all the ingredients up there, except for the chicken of course (duh), in a bowl.
Cut a little pocket in the side of the chicken breasts and shove that spinach feta stuff right up in there. Stuff it like you mean it. Awwww yeah. Just like that. Secure with toothpicks if you need to, so your breasts won’t leak while baking.
Put ’em in a 9×13 pan, sprinkle with salt & pepper and whatever other various seasonings you wanna, and stick ’em in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, or until they aren’t pink any more. You know how to cook chicken.
While those are baking, prepare the sauce! Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, toss in the garlic, and cook until the garlic starts to smell yummy.
Dump in your crushed tomatoes, stir those around a little, then add a little white wine, because cooking with booze is fun. Cook that over low – medium heat until it gets kinda bubbly and hot. (Side note: You could probably skip the wine part, but I think white wine gives stuff kind of a smoky delicious flavor. Just do it. Also, you will have leftover wine, and that’s always good. )
Remove your chicken from the oven, let it rest a couple minutes (because Alton Brown says you’re supposed to do that), then slap it on a plate, spoon some sauce on it, and OPA!! Eat it like a Greek. I dunno. I just like saying OPA!!! Gotta go.