These pictures of my Buddy Boogie may seem like a strange way to start a cooking post but it has a surprising and nice purpose.
I have been working on my new kitchen for the last month. So yesterday when it was finished should have been a joyous day in my life. But last weekend things took a very troubling and unexpected turn.
My pal Boogie lost a LOT of weight and got very listless. I took him to Animal Medical and Surgical Center Monday and the prognosis was not good. They did an ultra sound, a biopsy, and other tests of Boogie’s bad liver. It was either cirrhosis or cancer of the liver.
I finally got to bring Boogie home Friday about noon with a lot of medicine and special dog food. What the vet told me to watch out for was whether Boogie would eat or not. This is where Cheese-it crackers and Parmesan-Crusted Steak with Pink Lemon, Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli Day 2 come in.
I was very upset so to take my mind off the sickness of my best friend I decided to cook a Blue Apron meal. It almost worked for me but then Boogie would not eat that evening. I eventually went to bed but not to sleep.
Saturday he still wouldn’t eat and I couldn’t even give him his medicine. He just turned up his nose at the vet supplied dog food. I even tried warming some of the liver food up in the microwave to a little over room temperature. (You want to smell something that stinks. Try that!) Out of desperation I tried some Cheese-it Crackers. Boogie has always liked them. Surprise, surprise he would eat them as long as I gave them to him one at a time and not too many at once. I could even give him his liquid medicines by putting some of the medicine on the crackers and letting it soak in.
That still left his pills. I warmed up some of the left-over Parmesan-Crusted Steak with Pink Lemon, Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli I had fixed the day before for my lunch. That gave me an idea! It turns out making a little ball from peanut butter along with the pill and a small piece of steak works great for giving solid medicine to a fur baby. They don’t notice the pill if there is a small piece of steak in the peanut butter.
For the last two weeks I haven’t been able to cook because I was remodeling my kitchen to better fit me. (Putting per-prepared food in the microwave is not cooking. I’m also using the word food very loosely.) The kitchen won’t be complete done until tomorrow or Monday. Only cosmetic things need to be done to the hood over the cooktop and the rack I’m having put in to store my pots and pans remains to be done. So, I actually cooked today. Here is a starting tour of my new kitchen.
This is the prep area.
The counter tops are granite and only 25 ¼ inches high with space under them so I can get my wheelchair under them. (BTW the flag in the picture is my father’s who served in World War Two.)
I chose the low work surface height for two reasons. One so I can get as much leverage as possible. I don’t have a lot of upper body strength and it helps to bear down when trying to chop vegetables.
The second is for safety while actually cooking. A couple of months ago I was sautéing some chicken and the grease popped onto my face. The burns took three weeks to heal but I learned my lesson. Keep the cooktop as far away from my face as possible and be careful. So, I lowered the counter tops as much as I could.
Power Power Power
A modern kitchen really needs many power outlets. I was going to put power strips in several places around the counters. They would use a lot of space, didn’t look particularly good, and would have been in the way. My contractor found these popup power strips. If you’ve never seen them before I recommend them.
Simply press on the silver button it pops up then just pull the power strip out of the counter top. Plug your mixer, juicer, or other electrical appliance in. Then when you are finished unplug it and the power strip disappears back into the counter. As a bonus it also includes two USB ports so you can plug your phone in. I’ve found this very useful since I like to listen to podcasts while copping vegetables and I still come away with a fully charged phone.
Since I’ve found I enjoy cooking so much I’m modifying my kitchen to make it both more convenient and safer. The contractor got started on my kitchen mods Tuesday. So far only the lighting has been changed. But even that is amazing.
These two pictures show the change. I hadn’t realized how much this would change my kitchen lighting until I saw this before and after. I can now actually read the recipe when I cook from one.
There are going to be more changes but I was so excited about this one I just had to post about the lighting change.
This dish has lots of ingredients but it can be prepared quickly and is a good summer meal.
Ingredients for 2 servings
- 2 skin-on Salmond Fillets
- ½ cup Jasmine Rice
- 4 oz. Green Beans
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 1 Green Bell Pepper
- 1 bunch Cilantro and Mint
- 1 stalk Lemongrass
- 2 Tbsp. Golden Mountain
- 1-inch piece of Ginger
- 1 Bird’s Eye Pepper
- 1 Tbs. Rice Vinegar
Mise en place
- Cut off and discard the stem end of the Green Beans.
- Cut off and discard the stem of the Bell Pepper then slice lengthwise.
- Peel and roughly chop the Garlic.
- Pick the Cilantro and Mint leaves off the stems then roughly chop the leaves.
- Chop off the Chile Pepper stem. These can be very spicy if you leave the seeds in. But don’t do like I did and remove all the seeds. Carefully taste before you do that or this won’t be “Spicy Salmon.”
- Cut off and peel the Lemongrass to the flexible white core then finely chop this.
- To a small pot add 1 cup of water, the Rice, and a big pinch of salt. When it boils cover, and reduce the heat to low. After 12 minutes and the water is absorbed fluff the rice and move to a serving dish
- To a large pan heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil until it is hot. Then add the Green Beans, Bell Pepper. Ginger, Lemongrass, and Garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes stirring frequently.
- Add the Golden Mountain Sauce, Vinigar, and as much of the Chile Pepper as you’d like. Season with salt and pepper and move to a serving dish.
- Pat the Salmon Fillets dry the season with salt and pepper. Add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. When it is hot then add the Salmon skin side down and cook for 3 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add half the Mint and Cilantro to the bowl of rice.
Plate your meal.
Top the salmon to some of the sauce from the vegetables then garnish with the remaining Cilantro and Mint. ENJOY!
Years ago, I ate or tried to eat some commercially prepared Tarter Sauce and it spoiled it for me for years.
A couple of weeks ago I made a recipe that included some homemade Tartar Sauce so I choose to try making it. What a difference! Give it a try.
- 1-Tbsp. Dijon Mustard.
- 2-Tbsp. Sweet Pickle Relish.
- 2-Tbsp. Mayonnaise.
- 1 ½ Tbsp. Capers.
- 1-Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar.
I do a lot of cooking and most dishes are for two so often I have leftovers. Saturday’s lunch was two dishes. Chicken Tagine with Cherry Tomatoes, and Dates over Couscous, with Marinated Cucumbers, Cherry Tomatoes, and Nicoise Olives on the side.
I made the Chicken Tagines yesterday.
- 10 oz. Chopped Chicken Breast.
- ¾ Cup Couscous.
- 6 oz. Cherry Tomatoes.
- 1 Yellow Onion.
- 1 bunch Cilantro and Mint.
- 2 cloves Garlic.
- 1 oz. Dried Noor Dates
- 2 Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar.
- 1 1 in piece Ginger.
- 2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste.
- 2 Tsps. Ras El Hanout.
Mise en place
- Peel and roughly chop Garlic.
- Peel and finely chop Ginger.
- Peel and finely dice Onion.
- Rough chop the Dates.
- Half the Tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
- Pick the Mint leaves off the stems and discard the stems.
- Roughly chop the Cilantro.
- In a small pot boil 1 cup of water and the Couscous. Once boiling cover and turn off the heat for 7 minutes.
- In a large pan heat 2-Tsp. Olive Oil and cook for 7 minutes. Set aside on a plate leaving any browned bits (the fond) in the pan.
- Begin the Tagine. Add 2 Tsp. Olive Oil to the pan the chicken was cooked in then add the Garlic, Ginger, and Onion and cook until lightly browned.
- Add the Tomato Paste, and Ras el Hanout and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly.
- Add the seasoned Tomatoes, the dates, and ½ cup of water. Cook 2 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Finish the Tagine. Add the cooked Chicken and Vinegar and cook 1 minute stirring constantly.
Divide the cooked Couscous between to dishes. Top with the Tagine. Garnish with Mint and Cilantro.
The marinated Cucumber, Nicoise Olives, and Cherry Tomatoes were pare of the Summer Vegetable Tartines I made last week. I think the extra week in the refrigerator helped.