Mack's Corner

This Week

Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes - Living Well - Mediterranean Diet:

I love things that have a little bite to them. A little vinegar, a little lemon juice, capers, pickle juice, lemon oil, red chili flakes. Something that makes it pop. All of these recipes are in the Mediterranean Diet.

Roast Salmon and Broccoli with Chile-Caper Vinaigrette


1 bunch broccoli (about 1 1/2 lb.), cut into florets

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

4 6-oz. skinless salmon fillets

1 red Fresno chile or jalapeño, thinly sliced into rings, seeds removed if desired

2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons drained capers


Preheat oven to 400°.

Toss broccoli and 2 Tbsp. oil on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until browned and crisp-tender, 12–15 minutes.

Remove baking sheet from oven and rub salmon with 1 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper. Push broccoli to edges of baking sheet and place salmon in the center. Roast until salmon is opaque throughout, 10–15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine chile, vinegar, and a pinch of salt in small bowl and let sit until chiles are slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Mix in capers and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper.

Serve salmon and broccoli drizzled with chile vinaigrette.


Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon-Parsley Dressing


1 head cauliflower (about 2 lb.), cut into florets, including 
 tender leaves

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 425°. Toss cauliflower and 4 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 25–30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pulse parsley, lemon juice, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a food processor until very finely chopped; season with salt and pepper. Toss cauliflower with lemon-parsley mixture and top with lemon zest.

DO AHEAD: Lemon-parsley mixture can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.


Pan-Roasted Chicken with Carrots and Almonds


1 pound small carrots (about 12), peeled

1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds

1 tablespoon honey

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts (3-4 pounds total)

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 small shallot, finely chopped

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon


Preheat oven to 375°. Toss carrots, almonds, honey, and 2 tablespoons oil on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until carrots are tender, 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken, skin side down, until golden brown, 5-8 minutes. Turn chicken over, transfer skillet to oven, and roast until cooked through, 10-15 minutes longer.

While chicken and carrots are roasting, mix yogurt and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove chicken and carrots from oven; transfer chicken to a large plate. Add carrots, shallot, and tarragon to skillet and toss to coat in pan drippings. Serve with lemon yogurt.


Super Bowl Windows

Several years ago the two front windows of my house have started to rot out. They had lived through 20 years of me not taking care of them, so they were due. My brother in law is a house fixer and he said it would be better to go to a window store and get them to replace the windows. So he and my wife went to the window store and they quoted them $640 per window, but said they would have to come measure to give us an exact quote, the man would be out the next Tuesday.... Ok, I had done this replacement window thing before and I was expecting $500 - $800 per window...  Tuesday, I get a text message from my wife: "The window guy is here. He says $6400, is that OK?". Huh! That's got to be a finger slip, she means $640. I called her: "You mean $640 Right".. "No, $6400" .. "I'll be home in a minute" ..  I wanted to get a look at the guy who could go from $640 to $6400.  Turns out the $6400 was for both windows, still a $3200 window. I was thinking: what kind of window would be worth $3200? Maybe a stained glass window of me making the winning touchdown in Super bowl 27. People would say "I don't remember Super bowl 27, but it must be true .. You know what he paid for those windows?"  .. or maybe a window that changed in to a big screen TV. One minute you're looking out on to the front yard, flick a switch and you're watching a movie. Or if it was reversible, you could sit in the front yard and watch the game from that side... like having a Jumbo-Tron on the front of your house, a few lawn chairs, have all the guys over, you wouldn't have to worry about spilling stuff. After the game was over all you would have to do to clean up is mow the yard. I asked the guy "what happened to the $640 window?" .... "Oh, that was just our basic window. That's not really what you want." .. Then he said something that really got me.. "Of course we'll bring your two windows up to OUR standards. That's included in the $6400."  I was wondering how far these "Standards" would spread over my house. Would that be 2 inches around the windows or a foot or maybe 10 feet? Maybe they would paint my house or put on a new roof? After all you wouldn't want their window in a substandard house!!! Then I started figuring the cost: My original $200 windows were being raised to their standards for $3200.. that's 16 times .. so if my house cost $115,000, then to get to their standards that's $1,840,000 ... That's a little rich for east Memphis .. I could build a whole new house, buy 2 new cars, take a months vacation and still have a million dollars left. I told the guy to leave the quote, at least it would make a good story.

God's like that... really he's not like that. God's standards are so high that we could never get there, so he doesn't even ask us to try. He says "I made you, and I'll take you just like you are." You don't have to pass a test or be rich or be smart or be famous. You just have to be willing and God will take it from there. All he wants you to do is show up.. 

I wonder if I can take that stained glass window to the NFL hall of fame? They probably don't remember Super Bowl 27 either.


Posted by Mack Oates at 12:00 AM