As our Chicago chapter came to a close, Alex and I found ourselves traveling all over the city to see friends. We calculated recently that we have been in 15 states over the past 5 weeks! We have spent this exciting transition time staying with many wonderful host friends, and saying goodbye-for-now to our Chicago family. I wrapped up my time as a rehab aide at Athletico, had one last sweep team practice with Lincoln Park Boat Club and witnessed Alex’s graduation from medical school. Looking back on the month of May, I can see that we filled our schedules to the brim, but I would not have it any other way! It was a treat to be reunited with the Taylor family for a week of adventures in Michigan and Chicago. Next, we spent a week on the East Coast with my family, and met my brother’s baby for the first time.
During all of our moving about, we sampled new restaurants and made a variety of recipes in countless kitchens. Most recently, Patrick shared his family recipe for steamed artichokes, and I requested grilled salmon as a pairing. My niece, Kayden, and I tried out a recipe for zucchini boats to round out the family feast menu. Kayden is a skilled baker and loves trying out new recipes in the kitchen. We will definitely be cooking together again soon.
Now I am off on another racing adventure in the double with Jess. I will be cooking and learning new recipes and flavors, but may not be blogging while I am away. Until next time!
Grilled Salmon – serves 6 to 8
I have not tried grilling salmon on my own yet, but I collected the below tips from Patrick. Remember not to move the fish around on the grill until you are ready to flip! If you move the fish, it can break apart on the grill and lose its grill lines.
You will need:
- 2 lb salmon
- 1 t salt
- 1 t pepper
- 1 t garlic powder
- about 1 T olive oil
- Sprinkle salmon on both sides with salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Rub in with a little olive oil.
- Heat your grill to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit (close to high heat on our grill).
- Grill the meat side of salmon first for 3 to 4 minutes with the grill lid closed. The fish should start to become opaque on the meat side where it is starting to cook.
- Flip salmon once to grill the skin side using a grill spatula or tongs. Close the lid again and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes until the whole filet is just opaque.
- When salmon is ready, the skin should easily fall off.
Steamed Artichokes – serves 8
You will need:
- 8 whole artichokes, including stems
- 6 large garlic cloves
- ½ C fresh parsley, chopped
- 3-4 T olive oil to drizzle
- Cut off the bottom of the stems and slice off the dry end of the stem. Dice the remaining stem.
- Chop garlic and parsley and combine with stem pieces, salt and pepper.
- Bang the bottom of the artichoke against the tabletop to open up the flower. If you need to, you can pull apart the leaves by hand instead.
- Stuff diced items between artichoke leaves.
- Stand artichokes up in a large pot and fill with about 2″ of water.
- Pour oil over artichokes. Bring water to steam and cover for 45-60 minutes. Your artichokes are ready when their leaves pull off easily.
Zucchini Boats and Caprese Salad – serves 8
We followed a recipe for “Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Tomato Salad” from Cooking Light and MyRecipes.com (see below). Kayden and I opted to leave out the bread from the original recipe, because we wanted to share the zucchini boats with my mother, who eats gluten-free. Our zucchini were exceptionally fresh, and we did not miss the bread at all! The caprese salad from cherry tomatoes was also a big hit, and we keep making that dish as a side for dinner.
You will need:
- 4 large zucchini
- 4 chicken sausage
- 1 small yellow onion
- 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese
- 2 C cherry tomatoes
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 C thinly sliced fresh basil
- 1 t olive oil
- Wash the outside of your zucchini thoroughly before halving.
- Scoop out and save the insides of the zucchini, leaving about 1/4 inch intact beyond the skin.
- Cover and microwave the zucchini halves in an oven safe container for four minutes.
- Meanwhile, dice the zucchini insides and save about 2 cups of material.
- Remove casings from chicken sausage and break sausage into small pieces.
- Dice onion.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat and add spray with cooking spray. Add onion and sausage and stir to combine for about 4 minutes.
- Combine zucchini insides with your cooked sausage and onion in a mixing bowl. Spoon this mixture into each zucchini boat.
- Chop up about 2 ounces of mozzarella cheese and layer on top of your boats.
- Halve the cherry tomatoes and combine with remaining mozzarella, balsamic, basil and olive oil. Set aside in fridge to chill, if desired.
- Place zucchini boats on the top rack of your oven and broil for two to three minutes, checking to see if mozzarella melts and browns.
Source: Wise, Deb. “Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Tomato Salad Recipe.” MyRecipes.com. Cooking Light, June 2015. Web. 29 May 2016.