Here is one of our dinners from this week. A friend was supposed to come over for dinner but didn't make it due to heavy traffic & road closure coming to the Valley from Anchorage (we only have 1 divided highway out of Anchorage - Alaska is kinda lacking on roads), so my husband and I enjoyed a nice meal just the two of us.
I found this tip in a magazine for using phyllo dough (which was a first for me) to make a salad. I thought it looked simple but would make for a nice presentation.
Stack 4 sheets of phyllo, brushing each piece with melted butter. Cut the stack into 8 rectangles and bake for 8-10 minutes at 375°, or until lightly golden brown. Cool completely.
To serve, place one rectangle on a salad plate; top with greens and a drizzle of vinaigrette. Crown with another rectangle & sprinkle with fresh herbs.
To assemble our salads I used organic baby romaine lettuce blend and then sprinkled with crumbled feta & craisins. Once the top piece was on I sprinkled with ribbons of fresh basil from the garden. I let each person use the dressing of their choice once we were at the table. If making for a larger crowd I would have lightly dressed the greens before adding the top phyllo.
I enjoyed the light crunch of the phyllo contrasted against the baby greens. I think next time I will add fresh chopped herbs to each layer as I'm buttering and stacking the phyllo before baking.
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A couple of weeks ago I came up with this recipe when our grocery store was out of pesto. What's up with that?! Yes, I know I could have made my own, but I haven't tried that yet and didn't have time that particular day. So, a new creation was born. The first time I made this we cooked the fish skewers along with some veggies on the charcoal grill. This time I used the indoor (George Foreman) grill to save time. I prefer the flavor of the charcoal grill with this particular dish and the pancetta crisps up nicely with the hotter grill.
3/4 - 1 lb. fresh halibut, cut into 1" cubes
1 pkg pancetta rounds (pre-pkg from the deli, maybe 6-8 oz)
1 6 oz container of artichoke tapenade (I used Meze brand)
1 pkg. Near East Toasted Pine Nut Couscous
Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes if using charcoal or gas grill.
Cook couscous according to pkg directions. Cut halibut into chunks and pancetta into strips long enough to wrap around halibut pieces. Lay down a piece of pancetta and place 1/2 tsp. artichoke tapenade in center. Top with halibut and wrap with pancetta. Thread onto skewer. Repeat until you're out of halibut & pancetta. I usually scoop out some of the tapenade so I don't contaminate the entire container as I'm working. The recipe doesn't take the whole 6 oz. Save to serve on crackers later when you need a snack. :) Grill about 4 minutes each side until halibut is done, being careful not to overcook. Serve over couscous with veggies on the side.
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