Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Dinner - Grilled Salmon, Macaroni & Cheese and Spicy Green Beans w/ Peach Cobbler for Dessert

Well, today was an absolutely gorgeous day here.  It was bright, sunny and breezy and cooler than it has been recently.  This afternoon the wind became pretty gusty too.  Hubby and I did our usual Costco run this morning as well as our Kroger and Publix stops this afternoon, too.  Since the weather was so gorgeous, we decided to grill out for dinner.  Hubby worked out in the yard while I cooked this afternoon.

I purchased a large 2+ pound salmon fillet and cut it into individual portions and marinated it for about 4 hours.  I reviewed many different marinade recipes and decided to make my own concoction that turned out extremely was actually the Best Salmon Marinade Ever, so that is what I'm calling it!  To cook the salmon, I put each individual serving in a tightly sealed foil tent with a tablespoon of the marinade and crimped the foil tents tightly and placed the foil wrapped salmon fillets directly onto the grill and cooked for about 12-15 minutes (keeping the grill at 400 degrees).  This produced a steamed, delicate and extremely flavorful piece of salmon.  An additional bonus was the house didn't smell like fish afterwards.

I served the salmon with home made Extra Cheesy Mac-n-Cheese and Stir Fried Spicy Green Beans.  Costco had some beautiful fresh Haricots Verts (long, thin, tender French green beans) that I thought would be perfect to use for our dinner this evening.  Since youngest son was coming for dinner, I decided to make dessert too.  I made a Quick & Easy Peach Cobbler and served it with a scoop of low fat frozen vanilla yogurt.  It was delicious!  I snapped a few pics of our meal below as well as the recipes for Best Salmon Marinade Ever, Extra Cheesy Mac-n-Cheese and Stir Fried Spicy Green Beans.  I will also post the recipe for Quick & Easy Peach Cobbler too....whew, that's a LOT of recipes for one day...4 recipes to be exact!!!

These are the Haricots Verts French Green Beans
The salmon fillets are marinating in a large Ziploc bag

Mac-n-Cheese is out of the oven
Take a peek inside the Mac-n-Cheese casserole
Here, take a closer look
Peach Cobbler is out of the oven...look how the batter encased the peach slices as it baked

The Best Salmon Marinade Ever

2 pounds salmon fillets, cut into 5 to 6 portions
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup lite soy sauce (or regular if you like a saltier flavor)
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional

Place salmon fillets in a large Ziploc or re-sealable bag.  In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over salmon.  Seal bag, removing as much air as possible.  Refrigerate for approximately 2 to 4 hours, turning over occasionally.

Grill directly on a lightly oiled grill for approximately 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on thickness.  Alternatively, you can place each individual salmon fillet in a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil (large enough to fold and close tightly), spoon on a tablespoon of marinade; fold and seal, crimping tight to make a little tent.  Place your foil packets of salmon on a hot grill (approximately 400 degrees) for about 12-15 minutes.  Cooking them in the foil tents steams the salmon and keeps it extremely moist.  Grilling the salmon directly on the grill or over hot coals produces more of a glazed surface as the sugar in the marinade browns.  

Extra Cheesy Macaroni-n-Cheese

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine (I reduce to approx 6 tablespoons)
3/4 cup finely chopped Vidalia onion
2 tablespoons  all-purpose flour
1 14-oz. can of evaporated milk (I use the low fat version)
1/4 cup of milk (additional to the canned milk above)
8 oz. Velveeta Cheese, cubed
16 oz. (4 cups) shredded sharp cheddar cheese (reserving 1 cup for top)
12 oz. elbow macaroni (approximately 3 cups of uncooked)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Cook macaroni according to package directions (do not overcook).  In large saucepan, melt margarine and cook onion until soft and translucent.  Add flour and stir constantly, cooking 1 minute.  Add all milk and stir over low-medium heat until thickened.  Add black pepper, Velveeta cheese and 3 cups of the shredded cheese (reserving 1 cup for the top) to the mixture.  Stir constantly until cheese sauce is melted and smooth.  Stir in cooked elbow macaroni and pour into a 3-quart lightly greased baking dish.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and spread remaining cup of shredded cheese on top; sprinkle with paprika. Return to oven and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese on top is melted and bubbly.  Let casserole sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.   Serves 8 to 10.

Quick & Easy Peach Cobbler

14-1/2 ounce can sliced peaches in heavy syrup
14-1/2 ounce can sliced peaches in lite syrup  
* (You can substitute 4 cups sliced & peeled fresh peaches, if in season)
1 stick butter, melted
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups milk
Cinnamon Sugar

In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, pour melted butter.   In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and milk; whisking to make a smooth batter. Pour batter over melted butter.  Place peaches on top, including syrup (do not stir batter and fruit).  Sprinkle top with cinnamon sugar before baking.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45-50 minutes or until top begins to lightly brown.  Let sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes before serving.  Makes approximately 10 servings.  Serving Suggestion:  Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

* If using fresh peaches, mix peaches with about 1/2 cup extra sugar

Stir Fried Spicy Green Beans

1 pound Haricot Verts French green beans (or regular fresh green beans)
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (I use about 1/2 teaspoon)
Sea salt, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons peanut oil

Steam the green beans for approximately 4 minutes to soften and cook lightly (par-cook).  Add 1 to 2 tablespoons peanut oil to a hot wok; add minced garlic and stir fry until very lightly browned and cooked; add crushed red pepper flakes and stir another minute or so before adding beans.  Toss lightly steamed green beans into the wok and stir fry for about 5 minutes; season with sea salt and continue cooking to desired tenderness.  They are excellent when slightly crisp-tender. 


Anonymous said...

Yet another recipe I'm adding to my menu plan tonight! So glad I found your blog :) I didn't grow up eating fish (besides smelt--does that even count?!?) So I'm slowly learning to like and cook it as an adult. My favorite way to fix salmon so far has been baked with teriaki sauce and brown sugar sprinkled on top so I bet I'm gonna love this recipe!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Glad you've found some ideas...I love trying new recipes and get tired of the same old thing over and over. Sometimes I get into a rut. About the smelt...I've never had it before! Hope you like the recipe. The best part about doing your own cooking is you get to modify recipes to either add something else you think might make it better or leave something out you don't like.

Rachel said...

I'm baaackk! Haha! SO delicious, thanks again for sharing! I have a new-to-me recipe to share with you, it was in the September Family Circle that just came, "Baked Pumpkin & Sausage Rigatoni" It was a healthified mac-n-cheese that my family actually liked better than traditional mac-n-cheese, probably cause of the sausage ;) Here's my slightly modified version:
1lb turkey sausage
15oz can pumpkin
1 tsp dried sage, rubbed
3/4 cup skim milk
2oz Neufchatel cheese
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/2 cup Asiago cheese, grated
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 lb Heartland Hidden Vegetable Twisted Elbows
1/4 cup panko crumbs
2 Tbsp grated asiago

Cook pasta in salted water until al dente, drain, save 1/2 cup pasta water.
Cook sausage, add sage, drain, set aside.
In sausage pan, whisk pumpkin, milk, pasta water, neufchatel, egg yolk, asiago, salt, and spices over medium heat until combined.
Mix pasta, sausage, and sauce in baking dish. Top with panko & asiago and bake at 350 for 20 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Rachel It sounds really good. Perfect for fall too. I will have to give it a try soon!