29 November, 2012

Simple Salmon Grilling Marinade

All I want for Christmas is a simple "go to" salmon marinade for grilling.  Every time I decide on salmon for dinner I end up spending too much time looking up my favorite food blogs, browsing Pinterest, and searching Google. What did I do last time? Why can't I remember and why didn't I write it down? Well, no more! I am going to blog about it for all the world (or a handful of readers) to see. Now next time I grill salmon I can search my own blog. And wasn't that the reason I started this blog in the first place? Oh, you thought it was for fame and fortune. Nah, that just happened.

Grilled Salmon Marinade
(marinates about 1.5 pounds salmon)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
Marinade salmon for at least 30 minutes and then put on grill (estimate 350-400 degrees) for 20 minutes. It's the right blend of salt and garlic with a small hint of maple.

I failed to get a picture of the salmon.

So instead I will share a picture of the adult "Elf on The Shelf" that Mr. SP and I call "Wino on The Counter". Last year our nephew gave us a Santa suit to dress up our wine. We are waiting to wake up and find him hanging from the chandelier.

14 November, 2012

Roasted Brussel Sprouts w/ Matchstick Sweet Potatoes and Red Onion

Before I started this blog I was hung up for quite some time on what to use for a name. I came up with Simple Plates very early on and kept tossing it around but didn't completely love it.  In hindsight, there is no other name that would have described how I cook, how I write, and how I live. And sometimes I think I need to remind my readers of why I named my blog as such.  Perhaps I should designate the difference between "Very Simple Plates" and "Simple Plates"; however, that would not be simple and so I will refrain.

I like my roasted veggies when they start getting that brown look to them. The red onion brings a suprise sweetness to this dish and smells amazing. The bit of time it takes to cut the potato into matchsticks is completely worth it and such a fun treat that can be eaten with your fingers right out of the bowl.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts w/ Matchstick Sweet Potatoes and Red Onion
(serves 2 as a side)
1/2 lb brussel sprouts
2 small sweet potatoes (one medium)
1/4 red onion

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and trim the ends off of your sprouts. Pull the outer leaves off and slice in half. Wash and peel your sweet potatoes and cut into very thin long matchsticks. Slice the red onion in thin long slivers. Toss all veggies with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 25-30 minutes. Eat.

02 November, 2012

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

SP Rule: When entertaining others, never serve a recipe that you haven't taste tested previously.

After I nervously committed to making a black bean and sweet potato chili for my guests, that voice in my head kept repeating the SP rule.  I am so thankful that some rules are made to be broken. The original recipe is by Real Simple Magazine adapted by Cookie and Kate and then adapted further by Simple Plates. As skeptical as I was, I am so thankful that I didn't leave out the cinnamon or the cocoa powder the recipe calls for. It was delicious!

I loved this chili almost as much as I love Halloween. I will make this chili every year for anyone who shows up to help hand out candy to adorable ghouls, goblins, skeletons and princesses. Hopefully none of the trick or treater's can identify which house slipped in some boxes of nature's candy (raisins) or they may not return. Mwahhahahahah! I'm so evil!

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
(Serves 12-16)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 purple onion, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
6-7 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 heaping tsp cayenne* (gradually add more if you like it really spicy)
3 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2- 28 oz can diced tomatoes with liquid
2-14 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2-14 oz cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups chicken broth

Add 1-2 tbsp olive oil to a large soup pot on medium heat. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes, add bell pepper and saute for 5 minutes, add sweet potatoes and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir in spices and let saute for one minute. Add diced tomatoes and chicken broth and bring to a low boil. Turn to low and let simmer for one hour. Add beans and let simmer on low for another hour. Sweet potatoes should be cooked through and chili ready to serve.
You can visit Cookie and Kate to get a beautiful picture of the chili.
Trick or Treat!