Today’s Special: Spring Chicken & Barley Soup, Salmon w/ Piccata Sauce, Peanut Noodles, Cheddar Potato Soup, Grilled Pork Loin, and Spaghetti

10 Apr

Spring Chicken & Barley Soup: New Recipe. This turned out really well. Very fresh tasting and different than your normal chicken soup. The fresh basil, garlic and orange zest garnish was what made this soup stand out, so if you can’t get those things or are tempted to substitute, DON’T. You will be sorry and I can guarantee this will turn out bland and not nearly as good. I would make this again and I think I would add more barley as there wasn’t quite enough of it for my tastes.

Poached Salmon with Creamy Piccata Sauce– New Recipe. I especially liked the sauce in this recipe… creamy but not too heavy and the capers gave it a nice tangy flavor. I substituted onions for the shallots because I’m not paying $2.50 for 3 tiny shallots when I can buy a 3 lb. bag of onions for the same amount. Oh, this was my first time poaching salmon and though it turned out good, I think next time I will just sear it in olive oil in a cast iron pan like usual. I like the crust and extra flavor searing gives the fish. And it looks prettier and more appetizing too. Plus, it saves the cost of the extra wine this recipe used for poaching. Win-win.

Peanut Noodles with Shredded Chicken & Vegetables– New Recipe. This turned out great. For me it had the perfect blend of peanut flavor and spiciness. For the vegetables I used 2 12 oz. bags instead of the one it called for, mainly because I wanted broccoli, carrots and snow peas, but I couldn’t find them all together in one bag. So, I bought 1 bag of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower and 1 with just snow peas. I’m glad I did. I think the ratio of all the ingredients was better this way. Also, I thought the snow peas were really good in this so I’m glad there were more of them than the other veggies.

Creamy Cheddar Potato Soup– Re-evaluation. I made this soup a long time ago and had it in my Recipezaar cookbook. I don’t remember it being anything spectacular, so I decided to make it again to see if it was worthy of keeping. It was a very basic recipe but very good and easy to tweak to our liking. I used extra sharp cheddar for more flavor and garnished with fresh dill and bacon bits. I think next time I’ll add some peas or broccoli for even more depth.
Grilled Mustard-Glazed Pork Loin– New Recipe. Ok, so I actually made this recipe last week and I’m pretty sure I got this recipe off of the America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Country website and for some reason it doesn’t like me anymore and won’t let me on without paying. SO, I don’t have the recipe, but if you want it, that’s where I got it from. I thought this turned out really well. It was really easy and had great flavor. Also, if you’re looking for a good recipe for green beans, try this one: Italian Green Beans.
Jo Mama’s World Famous Spaghetti– One of my staples. I love this spaghetti sauce. It’s got great flavor, it’s easy and it makes a ton! I try to keep some in the freezer at all times for a quick dinner. It also works great in lasagna and manicotti.
Kitchen Staple of the Week:

Though they look a lot like small peas, capers are actually small pickled flower buds. I didn’t start using capers until recently, but they’ve quickly become a favorite ingredient. They give recipes a great tangy boost of flavor. I’ve used them frequently in pasta and fish recipes as well as in dips like tartar sauce. They’re very versatile and great staple ingredient to keep in the fridge. You can find them by the pickles and olives in the grocery store.

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3 Responses to “Today’s Special: Spring Chicken & Barley Soup, Salmon w/ Piccata Sauce, Peanut Noodles, Cheddar Potato Soup, Grilled Pork Loin, and Spaghetti”

  1. Paul April 13, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    Mmmm … I do love salmon. Not a big fan of poaching, but I will give the sauce a shot. I keep trying to make some fish that Heidi will like; so far the best I have managed to get from her is "meh". BTW, I made some last night using the butter/jam/balsamic vinegar trio as a glaze, with orange marmalade as the jam. It's good! Heidi said "meh".

  2. It's Me April 14, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    Hey, I actually bought some capers last week at the store because you'd recommended them last time I'd talked to you. Haven't used them yet, but I'll let you know.

  3. collette April 15, 2010 at 8:00 am #

    Thanks for all the great recipes! I do love capers, AND crusty seared salmon.

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