Flashback Friday – Miso Hungry

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 12/29/08 at Exit 51.

Miso Hungry

Many years ago I used to subscribe to Cooking Light.  I wanted to cook light, really. Each month I would sit down and tag pages to remind myself to try this or that.  Sometimes I would follow through.  More often than not, the recipes went untried.  There were just too many to sort through and I ultimately began to drown in a sea of Cooking Light.  So I canceled my subscription.  But I held on to those magazines for ages with the hope that one day I would make good on my intentions.

Good intentions will only get you so far, and ultimately you need to cut your losses and move on.  It was in this manner that I broke up with Miso Glazed Salmon.  I think, no I know, that I made this dish and liked it.  But for reasons that I can’t recall, I never moved the recipe from the test pile to the keep pile.  And when the day came to cull the towering stack of pending recipes, Miso Salmon got the boot.

But memory is a fickle thing.  So after a trip to the store that resulted in 2 pounds of salmon and a tub of miso paste coming home with me, I went to dig out that recipe.  It was nowhere to be found.  How could I have let the Mister Right of recipes get away from me?  Clearly, I must not have been thinking rationally.  Why else would I have parted ways with one of the easiest, tastiest, guaranteed not to fail recipes I’ve ever had?

Fortunately, Miso Salmon did not hold a grudge because after one quick Google search, we were reunited.  Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but I’m not going to let this one get away again.  Try it yourself and you’ll see why.

Miso Glazed Salmon

Cooking Light

Notes:  The recipe calls for this to be broiled.  My irrational fear of the broiler will not allow this.  Instead, I cook it at 425 degrees.  Two pounds of salmon needed about twenty minutes in the oven.  Also, I think 2 tablespoons of soy sauce is too much.  So I mix everything else together and then add the soy sauce to taste.  I probably use more like 2 teaspoons, but you add as much as you like.  To make this a truly South Beach Friendly recipe, substitute Splenda Brown Sugar blend for the brown sugar.

  • 1/4  cup  packed brown sugar
  • up to 2  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  hot water
  • 2  tablespoons  miso (soybean paste)
  • 4  (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh chives

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 4 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Arrange fish in a shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon miso mixture evenly over fish.

Broil 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting twice with miso mixture. Sprinkle with chives.

Scallops with Chipotle Orange Sauce

Dear Cooking Light,

Please do not take offense at the fact that it has taken me seven years to finally make your Scallops with Chipotle Orange Sauce.  I do not plan on letting such a ridiculous amount of time go by before I make them again.  Hope you can forgive me.


Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon

While I’ve never seen a single hit in my stat counter identified as being assigned to an Cooking Light IP Address, I figure it can’t hurt to throw this out to The Universe just in case someone is listening.

Scallops with Chipotle Orange Sauce

Adapted from Cooking Light

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds sea scallops
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce

Blot scallops dry and season with the paprika and half of the kosher salt.  Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick frying pan.  Add about half the scallops to the pan or as many as you can fit without crowding them.  Cook for 3 minutes on each side and then transfer the cooked scallops to a plate and tent with foil.  Use a paper towel to wipe out the pan, melt another tablespoon of butter, cook the remaining scallops, and transfer them to the plate.

Add the orange juice and adobo sauce to the pan, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom.  Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half (to 1/4 cup).  Add 1 tablespoon butter and remaining salt and whisk until smooth.  Add any juices from the plate back to the pan and whisk to combine.

Serve the scallops drizzled with the sauce.

{printable recipe}

Cider Glazed Chicken

Since I seem to be all about le poulet why not post another chicken recipe?  I grabbed this one from The Kitchen Witch, who grabbed it from Cooking Light.  Why do I get the feeling that The Universe is trying to get me back together with Cooking Light?

There’s a story about this dish.  It involves Tivo.  I may have mentioned that I fought Tivo for the longest time.  And then once it came into my life, I couldn’t live without it.  I imagine people once felt the same way about electricity, cell phones, and Facebook.  Anyhow, the beauty of Tivo is that The Mistah and I get to keep up with our shows even if they don’t appeal to both tv viewing members of our household (I’m looking at you Wipeout).  And for those shows that we both enjoy, we can watch them together on our schedule, not the network’s.

So there I was, halfway through the latest episode of White Collar when The Mistah came through the door.  He saw that I had started watching it without him and was all sad faced.  In a moment of inspiration, I told him that he could start watching it from the beginning , I would fix dinner, and when he got to where I was in the show, we would finish watching it together.  Who says compromise is hard?

In the time it took him to reach the 29 minute mark, which through the magic of Tivo is less than 29 minutes since we are not held hostage by commercials, Cider Glazed Chicken was prepped, cooked, and plated.

Sadly, there is no photo documentation that this meal ever existed at BAH.  We were too busy finishing that episode of White Collar.  You’ll just have to mosey on over to TKW’s blog for the photo.

Cider Glazed Chicken

Based on The Kitchen Witch’s Adaptation of Cooking Light’s Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 boneless chicken breast cutlets
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard

Pat chicken cutlets dry and season with salt.  Melt butter in a large, nonstick frying pan over medium high heat. Add chicken to pan and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side or until cooked through.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the apple cider and mustard to the pan, scraping up any bits off the bottom, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until reduced and syrupy.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired.

Return the chicken to the pan, coat with the sauce, and serve with rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes.

{printable recipe}

Sweet and Spicy Snack Mix

Long ago there was a football team in Baltimore. And then there wasn’t. For a very long time. And people were bitter and angry. For a very long time.

There is irony in the tale of Baltimore’s football history. When our team was moved to another city, we the people became mightily indignant. How could he (the owner who still shall not be named) take the team, the franchise, the legend and lore and transplant that someplace else?  How could he? How DARE he?

Yes, we were angry for a very long time. Twelve years to be precise.

And then, and here’s where the irony comes in, Baltimore took another city’s team. We the conquered had become the conqueror. However, understanding the vitriol focused on the owner who still shall not be named, and the lawsuit that needed to be settled before he moved the team, Art Modell wisely chose the leave the identity and history of the Browns where it belonged, in Cleveland.

In 1996, the Ravens came to Baltimore. And the people once again had a team to cheer for. We’ve had winning years. We’ve had losing years. And we’ve had years we should have won but didn’t. This year it looked like we had a solid chance at another trip to the Super Bowl to go for a second Lombardy Trophy.

Hopeful optimism spread through the city. Fans donned their purple; the city was lit at night in hues of violet. And in what was to become the Raven’s final game of the season, I sat in front of the Tivo and watched the wheels come off the bus. The saving grace of the evening was the bottle of wine I was using to numb the excruciating pain of the second half in which they threw away their lead, and a enormous bowl of sweet and spicy snack mix I had whipped up to nibble on. Reaching for snack mix, or the bottle of wine, gave me something to do with my hands besides wring them in desperation as the minutes ticked away and the end of the season came into view.

I won’t lie. It was a painful loss. But out of the ashes of the 2010 Ravens season, Sweet and Spicy Snack Mix was born. It’s not quite the same thrill as having another Super Bowl win under our belts, but it’s better than nothing. We’ve had nothing.  And it tasted bitter and angry.

Sweet and Spicy Snack Mix

Inspired by My Morning Chocolate’s Adaptation of Cooking Light’s recipe.

BAH Note: I can’t eat popcorn or nuts so when Jen of MMC suggested substituting cereal, I knew I had to try this.  It’s sweet and salty and spicy…my perfect trifecta of flavors.  I initially thought this would make a great holiday hostess type gift packaged up in a nice big mason jar.  But learn from my experience.  Putting Sweet and Spicy Snack Mix in an airtight container is a sure recipe for soggy SSSM.  It needs to breathe.  Also, don’t be tempted to use the “butter” pretzels because they may be less expensive than plain old salted pretzels.  They will impart a fake, movie theater butter flavor to your mix.  And that’s just wrong.  Please remember that the spices can be used, or  not, in any combination.

  • 2 cups pretzel squares (see note above)
  • 2 cups each wheat, rice, and corn cereal squares (Chex or generic)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili spice mix (preferably Penzey’s Chili 9000)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • wee small dash of cayenne pepper

Line a half sheet pan with parchment or aluminum foil and set aside.  Combine the pretzels and cereal in a large bowl.  Use your hands to mix it well.

In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, salt, and spices.  Cook over a low flame until the butter and brown sugar is melted.  Taste for seasoning and add more sugar, spice, or salt as desired.

Once the flavor of the sauce is to your liking, increase the heat and bring to a boil.  Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly while the mixture bubbles furiously.  Carefully remove the pan from the heat and cool for 1 minute before adding the liquid to the cereal in several additions, stirring between each with a wood spoon or plastic spatula.  Remember, boiling sugar is molten hot.

Once the syrup has been mixed in to the cereal, spread the mixture into your prepared sheet pan and allow to cool for 5 minutes before digging in to the sweet spicy mix.

{printable recipe}


Cooking Light Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

It’s been about a decade since my last breakup.  And it was a doozy.  I found myself in a complete tailspin, totally disconnected from the idea that anything would ever be good again and overwhelmed by everyday life.  It was a long, lonely road; one that I’m glad moves farther behind me each and every day.

But the holidays left me with the nagging feeling that another breakup was coming.  My relationship with baked goods had kind of gotten rocky.  I had allowed myself to be wooed by the butter and sugar and all the promises of good times.  I chose to ignore the red flags that pleaded for my attention – the way the baking supplies took over the pantry, the subtle snugness of my jeans, the sugar crashes that wiped me out in the afternoons.  I told myself that there wasn’t a problem because I dreaded the idea of a breakup more than the newly gained pounds that were registering on the scale.

I’d like to say that I found the courage to do what had to be done and walk away from the relationship.  But I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t break up with baked goods.  It’s the bad boy that keeps asking for one more chance.  And I’m a sucker for it.

But instead of jumping back in head first, I’m trying to set some boundaries in the relationship.  No, I will not see you each and every day.  Some weekends we will hang out, enjoy each others company, and others we won’t.  You will not call me late at night and if you do, I will not respond.

I will want to.  But I won’t.

Cooking Light’s Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

BAH Note:  I am slowly whittling down the number of Cooking Light recipes that have been long neglected in my recipe folders.  According to my calculations, this one has been hounding me since 2006.  The folks at CL say that a serving is one cookie.  I say that’s a boundary that is just begging to be broken.

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cream the butter and granulated sugar in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment about 3 minutes or until well blended.  Add the corn syrup, vanilla, and egg and continue to mix for another 3 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter and mix until just combined.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 375 degrees and combine the turbinado sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator and shape into approximately 48, 1 teaspoon balls.  Roll the dough balls in the cinnamon sugar and place approximately 2 inches apart on a parchment lined sheet pan.

Bake for 12 minutes or until golden on the bottom.  Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

{printable recipe}

Quick Coq au Vin

Quick Coq au Vin

According to Cooking Light, this SHOULD have been a super quick dish.  However, in my kitchen, nothing is what it SHOULD be.  In my kitchen, as in my life, it just is what it is.  Which is usually me making things harder than they really have to be just because I’m stubborn like that.  And what this is, is a pretty easy chicken in wine sauce.  It won’t necessarily knock your socks off.  But it won’t require you to spend hours preparing it either.  It’s a trade off I can live with. Continue reading “Quick Coq au Vin”

Cooking Light Thyme Coated Pork

Pork and Beans

Cooking Light called this a simple recipe, and I agree.  But I can’t quite figure how they based it on a one pound pork tenderloin.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a one pound tenderloin and the packages I buy always have two pieces packaged together.  So instead of cussing out Cooking Light and going hungry, I decided to roll with it and scaled the recipe a bit to work with what I had.

What you see in that photo may not be your grandmother’s breaded pork with green beans, and it certainly isn’t my grandmother’s, but I like the retro vibe that my kitchen is giving off these days.  Sometimes old school simplicity is what it’s all about.

Thyme Coated Pork Tenderloin

Adapted from Cooking Light

BAH Note: I really don’t recommend using bread crumbs from a can for this recipe.  I think their texture is too fine for the coating.  I break up a loaf of sourdough into chunks and blitz them in the food processor until they are coarse crumbs.  These breadcrumbs can be stored in a zip top bag in the freezer.  Just let them warm up to room temperature before using them.  Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your tenderloins.  Mine ran kind of large and took about an hour to reach an internal temperature of 155 degrees.  I recommend that you check yours starting after about 30 minutes or use an oven safe instant thermometer with a temperature alarm.

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 large egg whites, beaten
  • 1 package pork tenderloin, halves tied together with kitchen string
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Heat the oven to 400 degrees, line a sheet pan with aluminum foil, and place an oven safe cooling rack inside the pan.

Combine thyme, onion flakes, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish.  Place egg whites in a second shallow dish and beat lightly, adding about a tablespoon of water if necessary.

Dry pork with paper towels and dip into the egg whites.  When completely coated, dredge the pork in the breadcrumbs, patting them on firmly.

Place the pork on the rack set inside the sheet pan and cook until the pork registers 155 degrees on an instant read thermometer.

{printable recipe}

Ladies Who Lunch

Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp

Four times a year, I am a Lady Who Lunches.  I get together with two friends and we spend hours engaged in chit, chat, and chow. We started out with three dates per year to celebrate our birthdays.  But that left a gaping hole in our calendar from June to January.  So we decided to add a Very Merry Unbirthday Brunch in the fall.  In addition to being an Unbirthday get together, it’s the only one that we don’t go out for.  Birthday Brunch always involves a buffet…how else could we spend hours at a table without getting the evil eye from a server?  But VMUBB is a home cooked affair. Continue reading “Ladies Who Lunch”

Saturday Cooking

Saturday is when I tend to do my big cooking.  By big, I mean recipes that take more time than I have on a weeknight.  Monday through Friday, recipes are of the quick and easy variety.  Sunday usually involves a little more time.  But Saturday, Saturday is when I hunker down and spend an entire day cooking.  Sometimes, I’m focused on just one recipe.  Other times, there are multiple dishes going.

What kinds of things am I likely to be cooking on a Saturday?  Slow roasted beef, short ribs, roast chicken, and oven pulled pork have all come out of my kitchen on a Saturday.  Most recently, I dug into the pile of recipes I haven’t made in a while for Cooking Light’s Beef Bourguignon.

This was one of the first recipes I was successful with when I decided to stop eating from cans and boxes.  It was a huge confidence builder to create a “fancy” meal from my apartment kitchen.  And then, I don’t know why, but I filed it away as a special occasion recipe.

I don’t know about you, but with the exception of birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, I don’t have a ton of special occasions on my calendar.  So what sense is there in holding on to a recipe that you don’t make?  I find that I have to remind myself that it makes absolutely zero sense.  So Beef Bourguignon and I got reacquainted.  And we turned an ordinary Saturday into a special occasion.

Beef Bourguignon

Adapted from Cooking Light

BAH Tip: Although pre-cut stew meat is convenient, it’s not always the best value.  I bought a boneless chuck roast and cut it down myself.  It’s a little messier and a little more work to remove the fat and connective tissue, but I made the beef cubes as big as I wanted and saved a few bucks at the store.

  • 2 1/4 pounds beef stew meat, cubed
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped and divided
  • all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced carrot
  • 1 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
  • 8 cups mushrooms, halved (about 1 1 /2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

Cook half of the bacon in a dutch oven over medium high heat until crisp.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a medium sized bowl.  Add half of the cubed beef to the pan with the bacon drippings, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook until well browned on all sides.  Remove the browned beef from the pan, add it to the bowl with the cooked bacon, and cover to keep warm.

Repeat the process with the remaining bacon and beef cubes, sprinkling two to three teaspoons of flour over the second batch of beef after it is added to the pan.  Remove beef from the pan and cover to keep warm.

Add chopped onion and carrot slices to the pan and cook for approximately 7 minutes until the onion just starts to brown.  Add the tomato paste and cook for two minutes more.  Stir in the red wine and beef broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add bacon, beef, 1 teaspoon salt, mushrooms, thyme, and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.  Uncover and cook 1 hour or until beef is tender.

If your juices have not cooked down, carefully remove beef and vegetables with a slotted spoon, place in a large bowl, and cover to keep warm.  Increase heat to high and cook until the juices reduce.  Taste for seasoning and add one to two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, if desired.  Return beef and vegetables to the pan and serve.

{Printable Recipe}