Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Fri, 24 Jul 2015 17:57:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Fried Smelt http://steamykitchen.com/15666-fried-smelt.html http://steamykitchen.com/15666-fried-smelt.html#comments Thu, 26 May 2011 20:35:20 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/15666-fried-smelt.html In a previous life, I used to work for a giant booze company. I used to commute between my home in the San Francisco (which was only 7 miles away from the office but took 40 minutes to drive sometimes) to the office near the Embarcadero or to the winery in Napa Valley in my little beloved 2-seater fancy pantsy ...

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Fried Smelt Recipe - final dish

In a previous life, I used to work for a giant booze company. I used to commute between my home in the San Francisco (which was only 7 miles away from the office but took 40 minutes to drive sometimes) to the office near the Embarcadero or to the winery in Napa Valley in my little beloved 2-seater fancy pantsy convertible. I know, a tough life, huh?

On the days that I’d head to the city office, I would try to take the subway a couple times a week and on the walk after work back to the subway, I’d often meet friends for dinner at a Greek restaurant called Kokkari. Coincidentally, I just found out that my very handsome friend and fellow blogger Michael Procopio (*waving hi, Michael!*) works there.

The must-order item on the menu is Fried Smelt, little fishies fried whole and served with a garlic-potato skordalia (thick potato-based dipping sauce) and wedges of lemon. The finger-length fried smelt is eaten whole – tail, bone and all – and I call them my Greek French Fries as they are just as addictive.

 

My version doesn’t come with a dipping sauce (though I’m sure you’d could whip up a garlic aoili or find a recipe for garlic-potato skordalia, but instead I toss the fried smelt quickly in an aromatic saute of butter, garlic, chilies and fresh herbs. And instead of coating the smelt in a flour batter, I prefer a crisp-crunchy texture that uses matzo meal mixed with garlic powder.

How to Make Fried Smelt

Here are the smelt fish, my fishmonger sells them thawed just like this. They should be no longer than 4 1/2-inches – I find that smelt bigger than that tend to have bones that are a little harder. The smaller, the better as you’ll be eating these fish whole.

The matzo meal is mixed with garlic powder and salt (or you could use garlic salt). Instead of matzo meal, substitute with regular flour, crushed cornflakes or panko. There’s no need to dip the smelt fish in egg – just pat on the matzo meal onto the fish.

About Garlic Powder

I’m part of the McCormick Gourmet team, bringing you in-depth information about everyday spices. From McCormick Gourmet’s Enspicelopedia:

Garlic Powder consists of dried, powdered cloves of the finest California garlic. A member of the lily family, it is one of the oldest cultivated plants. Garlic’s pungent flavor has been used since ancient times.

To maximize flavor, moisten with water before use.
1/8 teaspoon powdered garlic = 1 clove fresh garlic.

In a pan with about a half-inch of hot oil, carefully slide in the smelt fish. Fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.

Let the smelt drain on a wire rack to get rid of excess oil.

They’re quite pretty, aren’t they?!

For the aromatics, use a fistful of any fresh herbs you want. I’ve pulled some fresh parsley, oregano and thyme from the garden.

Half a lemon, minced fresh chili and minced fresh garlic.

In a pan with 2 tablespoons of butter, saute the aromatics and herbs until very fragrant (can you smell the garlic!?) Right before serving, pour this over the fried smelt.

Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

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Fried Smelt Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
Fried Smelt Recipe - final dish

Substitute panko, all-purpose flour or crushed cornflakes for the matzo meal. For a gluten-free version, substitute with your favorite GF cornmeal.

Ingredients:

cooking oil for frying (I like to use olive oil)
1 cup matzo meal
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound smelt
2 tablespoons butter
handful fresh herbs, minced
1 clove garlic
minced fresh chili pepper (I used 1 whole chili)
salt and pepper
1 lemon, halved

Directions:

1. In a large saute pan, add oil to reach 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil until 350F or when you drop a few flakes of matzo meal into the oil it begins to bubble and lightly brown.

2. In a wide, shallow bowl, mix together the matzo meal, garlic powder and the salt. Have the matzo meal, the smelt, a wire rack on top of a baking sheet ready by your stove. Coat a smelt on both sides with the matzo meal then carefully slide into the hot oil to fry. Repeat with a few more smelt fish (just make sure you give the smelt enough room so that they don't touch in the oil). Fry both sides of the smelt fish for 2 minutes each side. They cook very quickly! Let the fried smelt drain its excess oil on the wire rack. Repeat with remaining batches.

3. Just before serving, heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and when hot, add in the garlic and chilies. When garlic becomes fragrant, season with salt and pepper and squeeze in the juice of one of the lemon halves. Turn off the heat and stir in the fresh herbs. Pour this over the plated fried smelt and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

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Cayenne Cinnamon Ribs with Maple Glaze http://steamykitchen.com/15377-cayenne-cinnamon-baby-backribs-with-maple-glaze.html http://steamykitchen.com/15377-cayenne-cinnamon-baby-backribs-with-maple-glaze.html#comments Fri, 06 May 2011 17:48:02 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=15377 Sticky, sweet, salty, spicy ribs that are so crazy simple to make (the only cooking equipment you need is tin foil and an oven!) We normally enjoy our baby backs fall off the bone – they are so tender that when you lift up the bone, the meat really does fall off. But I remember chatting with Dr. BBQ a ...

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Sticky, sweet, salty, spicy ribs that are so crazy simple to make (the only cooking equipment you need is tin foil and an oven!)

We normally enjoy our baby backs fall off the bone – they are so tender that when you lift up the bone, the meat really does fall off. But I remember chatting with Dr. BBQ a couple of years ago when he came over to our house and he said that he likes a little “bite” and “chew” when it comes to ribs.

And yeah, okay, I can see the satisfaction of having to pulling the meat off the rib bones with a slight tug….something about that must be deep deep deeeeeep inside our veins that brings us back to Man. Cave. Hunt. Meat.

Instead of the usual 4 hour low-and-slow roasting of the baby back ribs, these ribs bake at a higher temperature (375F) and for only 1 hour.

Yes, they were BETTER than fall-off-the-bone – it must be the cave-girl inside me.

Cayanne-Cinnamon Baby Back Ribs with Maple Glaze

The ingredients for the rub is simple:

Brown sugar, garlic powder, cayenne, paprika and cinnamon.

One of the most important things you’ll want to do before putting on the rub is to remove the thick, chewy membrane that’s on the underside of the ribs.

Removing the membrane makes for more tender ribs.

 

 

 

Turn the ribs over.

Stick a butter knife right under that membrane. Sometimes, the membrane is really thin, even see-through. Sometimes on a fat pig, it’s thick and fatty like this one.

Wedge the butter knife in between membrane and meat/bone.

Pull membrane off.

Pull!

Okay, now rub the spice rub on both sides of the ribs.

Cover completely and then bake for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove from oven, carefully (hot steam!) open up the foil.

 

Brush the baby back ribs with maple syrup.

Put back into oven (uncovered) to let the sugar caramelize.

Enjoy the baby back ribs!

About Paprika

I’m part of the McCormick Gourmet team, bringing you in-depth information about everyday spices. From McCormick Gourmet’s Enspicelopedia:

BOTANICALLY SPEAKING

From the sweeter, milder branch of the fiery Capsicum annuum family comes paprika, cousin to chili and bell peppers. Prized for its orange red color, it is made from the dried, ground fruits of the plant. Although it is available in several varieties that are very hot, paprika is most often used in its sweet or smoked incarnations. Although most paprika is without heat and is used for its vibrant color and mild sweet flavor, there are several varieties which are hot.

YUM FACTOR

Sweet paprika is mild, and often appears in seasoning blends for barbeque and chili or to dress pale dishes like deviled eggs. Hungarians love to use this spice in recipes like goulash and chicken paprikás, where the color alone is enough to warm the heart. But it is also popular in Indian, Moroccan and Middle Eastern cooking. Smoked paprika brings a toasty hint of the grill, and makes a wonderful rub for pork and chicken when combined with dashes of cinnamon, sugar and salt.

GLOBETROTTER’S GUIDE

Like all Capsicum species, paprika is a New World spice, native to the Caribbean and Central America. It didn’t take hold in Europe until it was introduced there by Bulgarians and Turks in the 1600s. Today, paprika is primarily produced in Spain, Peru, South Africa, Israel, and the United States.

BELIEVE IT…OR NOT

Did you know that, pound for pound, paprika has more vitamin C than citrus fruit? This discovery won, Albert Szent-Györgyi, a Hungarian scientist the Nobel Prize for Research in 1937.

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Cayenne Cinnamon Baby Back Ribs with Maple Glaze Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cayenne-Cinnamon-Ribs-Maple-Glaze-Recipe-6733.jpg

Adapted from McCormick

You can use other rib cuts if you wish, I like St. Louis rib cut.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne powder (or crushed red pepper flakes)
1 teaspoon sea salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
3 pounds pork baby back ribs
1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F (or prepare your grill). Remove the tough membrane from the underside of the ribs.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika, ground cinnamon, cayenne and salt.. Place ribs on a double layer of tin foil (large enough to wrap around ribs) and season the ribs on both sides with the rub. Fold over foil and completely cover ribs. Place ribs on baking sheet or roasting pan.

3. Bake 1 hour or until meat starts to pull away from bones.

4. Turn broiler on to high and move rack to upper-mid position. Carefully open foil. Brush ribs with maple syrup. Broil ribs 3-4 minutes until browned. Take care not to burn the ribs!

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Roasted Tomato Soup http://steamykitchen.com/14010-roasted-tomato-soup.html http://steamykitchen.com/14010-roasted-tomato-soup.html#comments Fri, 18 Feb 2011 17:49:09 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=14010 Simple recipe for Roasted Tomato Soup.

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Some of my most peaceful moments in my life was when I lived in San Francisco. I had a four-level rickety home that was built in 1929, and as you walked along the floors, the creak of each wooden plank reminded you it was built in 1929. My boyfriend at the time and I gutted the entire house and remodeled, ripping out the dark wooden cabinets from the ’50s; the Astroturf on the floor in part of the kitchen that used to be the foyer to the front door from the late ’70s (yes. for real. Astroturf was in my kitchen); and broke down the suffocating walls to let light in. Underneath the dirty slime-green shag carpeting was hot-pink carpeting (no joke), and underneath that were glorious wood floors, original from when the house was built.

My favorite part of the remodel was when we created a garden in the back. Because the garden was on the ground floor (obviously) and the main living space was 3 floors above that, it was quite a dangerous walk every morning down those wet, slippery, rotting planks that we called “stairway to lawsuit” if any of our guests tried to venture down.

We hadn’t gotten to replacing the deck and stairway yet, something called ‘$20,000′ got in the way.

But every early morning, I’d put on my gardening gloves (to keep my hands warm but more importantly to provide me with a good holding grip as I went down those stairs) and tend to the herbs, vegetables and the most ginormous arugula monster ever seen. That thing was so big that I joked it provided shade for the entire house.

Each morning was my alone time. I did my own garden-meditation thing and all was peaceful.


I want you to meet Margaret Roach, my garden guru, though I bet most of you know her already. She’s the publisher of Away to Garden and former editorial director for Martha Stewart magazines, books and internet.

She knows peace, but it wasn’t until she one day just dropped everything, quit her job and returned to her “home,” the garden.

I’ve been friends with Margaret for the past couple of years, she inspired a yearly Summer Fest and Fall Fest which I was a part of the first year.

Margaret has just come out with her second book, “and I shall have some peace there” where she details her journey from “Marthaville” to just “Margaret”

To celebrate her book launch, I thought I’d make soup. Because reading her book just makes me want to make warm, comforting, peaceful garden soup.

Specifically, Roasted Tomato Soup, loaded with other vegetables from the garden, onion, bell pepper and a bit of jalapeno to give it a nice kick.

The tomatoes are from my friend, Patsy’s garden, another master gardener who lives near me.

Margaret, here’s to you, my friend.

 

Roasted Tomato Soup

The trick to roasted tomato soup is to NOT make it taste like warm marinara. I’d rather have my marinara on pasta than in a bowl!

So there are certain herbs that I don’t use – oregano and basil. Instead, I use smoked paprika to enhance the roasted tomato flavor, giving it a little smoky boost.

I also add half a seeded jalepeno, onions and bell pepper to the roasting pan. All gets blended after roasting.

Absolutely beautiful tomatoes, fresh from Patsy’s garden.

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Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 5 Cook Time: 30
roasted-tomato-soup-recipe final

Some tips: If you are lucky to have very, very ripe tomatoes, you might want to just cut them in half instead of slicing. If your tomatoes aren't quite as sweet, you might want to balance out the flavors of your soup with just a good pinch of sugar to counter the acidity of the tomatoes. Normally, I'd substitute yogurt for the heavy cream, but in this case, because the soup is made of mostly tomatoes, yogurt is almost too sour to use. I'd keep with the heavy cream, creme fraiche or just leave it out.

Ingredients:

5 large tomatoes, cut into 3/4" slices
1 onion, cut into 1/2" slices
1/2 jalapeno, cut in half lengthwise, seeded
2 bell peppers, seeded, cut into 4 pieces
olive oil
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (plus additional cheese for garnishing)
few tablespoons of heavy cream or creme fraiche (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Arrange all vegetables on baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil all over. Roast for 20 minutes.

For immersion blender:
Roughly chop all vegetables. Add all vegetables, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, vegetable broth and grated cheese to pot large enough so that when you use your immersion blender, it doesn't splatter all over the place. Blend in pot until you get a nice puree. Bring to simmer, taste and adjust seasoning.

For Vitamix or Blendtec:
Add all ingredients to blender and set on your "Soup" setting. Taste and adjust seasoning.

For standard blender:
Add all ingredients to blender, blend until smooth puree. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour into pot and heat to serve.

Garnish with additional parmesan cheese, a turn of the pepper mill and serve with crusty bread.

More Roasted Tomato Soup Recipes

Roasted Tomato Soup – 101 Cookbooks
Roasted Tomato Soup
– Gluten Free Goddess
Roasted Tomato Soup – Healthy Green Kitchen
Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Soup – Simply Recipes
Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons – Cafe Chocolada

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BBQ Central Smoky Sweet Wings http://steamykitchen.com/7217-bbq-central-smokey-sweet-chicken-wings.html http://steamykitchen.com/7217-bbq-central-smokey-sweet-chicken-wings.html#comments Mon, 25 Jan 2010 03:59:18 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=7217 The owner of the wing joint down the street told me that their biggest day for wing sales each year is always Superbowl. People order dozens of wings, bring them to their party, but by the time they get eaten, the wings are a sad, lukewarm pile of skin, fat and bones. I tapped Twitter last week for some wing ...

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BBQ Central Smoky Sweet Wings

The owner of the wing joint down the street told me that their biggest day for wing sales each year is always Superbowl. People order dozens of wings, bring them to their party, but by the time they get eaten, the wings are a sad, lukewarm pile of skin, fat and bones. I tapped Twitter last week for some wing recipe ideas, and Greg Rempe, host and founder of the BBQ Central internet radio show swooped in with a winning recipe.

This is his prized wing recipe, normally cooked on his charcoal grill. They are smoky, sweet and garlicky with just the right hit of spice. Instead of a marinade, Greg recommends a dry rub. In fact, I’d recommend making extra dry rub and using it to BBQ pork.

I know Greg’s a BBQ pro, but I couldn’t help but test the wings recipe in the oven, as many of you don’t have charcoal grills or are too lazy to start the fire. Either method works perfectly, and I guarantee you that there will be no wings left after the first quarter of the game. Celery and dipping sauces not needed at all – these wings hold up on their own.

If you’re interested in Greg’s show, tune in every Tuesday at 9pm at www.thebbqcentralshow.com. It’s a 2-year old internet radio show, which means it’s available everywhere and it’s free. Each week, Greg chats with different guests, from regular ‘ol backyard guys to pitmasters to manufacturers of BBQ equipment. On Feb 2nd, Scott Roberts, a self-proclaimed “Chilehead” and hot sauce expert, will be on the show.

***

We start with a dry rub of brown sugar, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and pepper. Then you coat the wings! If you have leftover dry rub (that’s been untouched by the raw chicken), keep it in a little jar to use another time.

BBQ Central Smoky Sweet Wings

I got lazy. Ran out of parchment paper. Didn’t want to spend 15 minutes to run to the store.

BBQ Central Smoky Sweet Wings

Instead, I spent 35 minutes scrubbing the pan.

But these wings were sure worth it!

BBQ Central Smoky Sweet Wings

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BBQ Central's Smoky Sweet Wings Recipe

Servings: 6 Prep Time: Cook Time:
NAC-2

recipe from Greg Rempe, host of The BBQ Central Show

Ingredients:

3 pounds chicken wings, joints separated, tips removed (save for stock)Dry Rub
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients of the dry rub in a large bowl or sealable bag. Add the wings and toss to coat evenly.

2. On charcoal grill: Start your kettle grill with a bucket full of coal, wait till they're nice and hot. When ready, dump the bucket on one side of the grill leaving the other side bare. Put the wings on the hot side the grill. Cook the wings until the coating starts to caramelize and you get some black grill marks, flip the wings and and repeat. Move them to the cool side of the grill, cover and cook for 30-35 minutes (less time if you like your wings juicy, Greg likes his drier).

On gas grill: Turn one side of the grill to high heat, the other side on medium-low heat.

In oven: Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil (this is an important step unless you want to spend an hour scrubbing your pan after cooking). Lay a baking rack on top of the baking sheet and place the chicken wings on top of the rack. Bake for 20 minutes, flip the wings and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

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