Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mustard Salmon Packets

Last week we had a good friend come over for dinner.  Unfortunately she was only in town for a brief period of time and had a really packed schedule.  She needed to eat dinner at 6 pm on Monday night!  Wow, when you work until 5 or 5:30 most days and traffic is as unpredictable as it can get, that's a little stressful to think about.  I decided that we would have salmon because it wouldn't take that long to cook.  Plus I've had an idea for a while now about how I wanted to cook some salmon.  This ended up coming together quickly, and dinner was ready at 6:10pm.  That's pretty good considering my past history.  (Just ask my husband, he'll tell you that my cooking has taught him patience...or maybe tested his patience) :)

During our canning adventure we made close to 40 jars of this lovely banana pepper mustard that we have been using on our homemade sandwiches since October Unprocessed started.  I used this mustard to make the salmon packets, but feel free to use whatever mustard you have on hand.  Dijon mustard would be wonderful as well. (It's really easy to make your own mustard for October Unprocessed.  Just get some mustard seeds, soak in some vinegar and white wine, let sit for 24 hrs, then blend until desired consistency is reached.)


4 4-6oz salmon fillets
1/4 cup mustard of choice
1 medium tomato
1/4 cup onion
2 TBS fresh herbs (I used a mix of basil and parsley)
1 TBS good balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste


Pre-heat oven to 400 degree's Fahrenheit. 

Combine the tomato, onion, herbs, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper, and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Tear off four medium size pieces of foil and place each fillet on a piece of foil.  Spread about 1 Tbs of mustard on each fillet and let sit for 5 minutes.

Divide the tomato mixture evenly onto of each salmon fillet. 

Fold up the sides of the foil to create a packet. Don't close the foil onto the salmon, but leave some room for the steam in the packet.

Place the foil packets into an oven safe dish and bake for 15-20 minutes.  Let rest for 5 minutes after removing from oven.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pot Roast (Crock Pot)

So typically my pot roast recipe is a hit and super easy.  I set out to make it one morning...unprocessed.  Typically I use a Lipton onion soup packet as my seasoning mix and I am good to go.  Since we are participating in October Unprocessed I knew that this method would be out of the question, but I decided to looked up the ingredients in the soup packet and was appalled!  There were sooo many more ingredients that I didn't recognize than ones I did.  I first set out to make a version of the seasoning mix but soon realized all the imitation versions used a beef bullion.  I'm currently running really low on stock and I've yet to try make beef stock, so I decided to use some dried porcini mushrooms and a bay leaf as a flavorful substitute. 

1 large beef chuck roast
1 lb Yukon or russet potatoes, washed and cubed
1 lb sweet potatoes, washed and cubed
1 lb carrots, washed, peeled, and cut
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 1/4 cup wine
1 1/4 cup water
1-2 TBS oil
Salt & Pepper

Seasoning Mix:
1 oz dried porccini mushrooms
1/4 cup dried minced onion
2 tbs chives
1/2 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan on medium to high heat.

Grind the porcini mushrooms into a powder and mix with the rest of the spices.

Cube the potatoes and carrots and place in the bottom of your slow cooker. 

Sprinkle half of the spice mix on top of the potatoes and carrots

Generously salt and pepper the chuck roast and then brown on all sides in the oil.

Place the chuck roast in the slow cooker on top of the veggies.

Spread the sliced garlic over the top of the chuck roast.

Sprinkle the rest of the seasoning mix on top of the chuck roast.

Top with the onion and bay leaf.

Pour in the wine and water.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until done.

Lesson Learned - Hammers do NOT belong in the kitchen.  Notice the wrench underneath the crockpot in the above picture?  Well, one day Raymond was having trouble with a rubber piece of the footing that came off of the crockpot, and in his frustration grabbed a hammer to see what he could do.  Fortunately the crockpot still cooks fine, but we have to use the wrench to keep it from falling over.  :)

Come home to a wonderful smelling dinner and enjoy!