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Here are the tastingspoons players. I’m in the middle (Carolyn). Daughter Sara on the right, and daughter-in-law Karen on the left. I started the blog in 2007, as a way to share recipes with my family. Now in 2021, I’ll still participate, but the two daughters are going to do more posting from here on out – well, I hope that’s not wishful thinking. They both lead very busy lives, so we’ll see.

We participate in an amazon program that rewards a little tiny $ something (pennies, really) if you purchase any books recommended (below), or buy products occasionally mentioned on the blog with an amazon link. 

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BOOK READING (from Carolyn):

I wrote up a post about this book: Most Spectacular Restaurant in the World: The Twin Towers, Windows on the World, and the Rebirth of New York by Tom Roston. Go read the full write-up if you’re interested. The book is a complete history of the famous restaurant on the 107th floor of one of the Twin Towers. It tells a detailed chronology of its inception, and all the various  parts that had to come together every day, three meals a day, plus some, to make a mammoth food machine run. I have no background in the restaurant biz, but found the story very interesting. Would make a great gift.

Also recently finished The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish. The book goes backwards and forwards in time, from the 1600s in London with the day-to-day lives of a group of Jews (who had to be very careful about how they worshiped) to current day as an old house is discovered to hold a treasure-trove of historical papers. The story is mostly about a young woman, educated, a Jew, who is the scribe (in secret) to an aging religious leader (in a time when women would have been verboten to hold such a position). And about her own curiosity about her religion and how she eventually begins writing letters (using a male pseudonym) to various Jewish leaders abroad, questioning their religious beliefs. The book is extraordinarily long – not that that kept me from turning a single page! – and complex with the cast of characters from the 1600s and the cast in today’s world of highly competitive experts analyzing the ancient papers. Altogether riveting book. Loved it from beginning to end.

I’m forever reading historical novels. The Lost Jewels: A Novel by Kirsty Manning is a mystery of sorts, going back in time in London in the time of aristocrats and their jewels (pearls, diamonds, gems of all kinds) sometimes made it into the hands of the digger or a maid. Then to current time as a young woman tries to ferret her family history and particularly about some old-old jewelry that they can’t quite figure out – how the grandmother came to have them. Fascinating tale.

Not for the faint of heart, Boat of Stone: A Novel by Maureen Earl tells the true tale of some misplaced Jews at the tale-end of WWII who ended up on Mauritius, held captive in a woe begotten prison. It’s about Jewish history, about relationships, and certainly a lot about the starvation and mistreatment (and many died there) of this boat load of people who never should have been sent there. So very sad, but it has bright and hopeful moments toward the end when many of them finally made it to Tel Aviv, their original destination.

Colleen Hoover has written quite a book, It Ends with Us: A Novel, with a love story being the central theme, but again, this book is not for everyone – it can be an awakening for any reader not acquainted with domestic violence and how such injury can emerge as innocent (sort of) but then become something else. There is graphic detail here (was it really necessary? not sure of the answer) so if you don’t like that sort of thing, you might want to pass on this – or else skip by those details when you read it. Women have been victims in so many ways for so many centuries, and it’s hard to read that it’s still a common thing in today’s society.

Barbara Delinsky writes current day fiction. Coast Road is really sweet story. Jack (ex-husband) is called away from his career to care for his two daughters when his ex (Rachel) has an accident and is in a coma. Over the course of weeks, he spends time with his daughters (he was an occasional dad). He also spends a lot of time at his ex’s bedside, getting to know her friends. Through them he learns what went wrong in their marriage. I don’t want to spoil the story. I liked it a lot.

Christina Baker Kline has written quite a story about Tasmania. You may, or may not, remember that my DH and I visited Tasmania about 10 years ago (loved it) and having read a lot about Botany Bay and the thousands of criminal exiles from Britain who were shipped there as slave labor in the 1800s. This book tells a different story. The Exiles: A Novel. This one mostly from a few women who were sentenced to Tasmania. There is plenty of cruelty on several fronts, but there is also kindness and salvation for some. Really good read.

Erin Bartels wrote quite a complex story in The Words between Us: A Novel. We go alongside a young girl as she goes to high school, trying (somewhat unsuccessfully) to be anonymous (because her mother and father are both in prison), taking on a fake name. She meets a guy and they share a bond of reading and some romance. Years go by and she’s now owner of a failing independent bookstore (and married, or separated) and suddenly begins receiving a used book (that she recognizes) every day from a different place in the country. A message for sure, but where will it lead? Yes, it’s a romance. Lots of introspection going on. Enjoyed it.

Marion Kummerow wrote an amazing WWII novel. Not Without My Sister. If you don’t like concentration camp stories, pass on this one, but it’s very riveting, much of it at Bergen-Belsen. Two sisters (17 and 4) are separated at the camp. The story switches back and forth between the two sisters’ situations, and yes, the horror of the camp(s), the starvation, the cruelty. But, even though I’m giving away the ending . . . they do get back together again. The story is all about the in between times. Excellent book.

Nicolas Barreau’s novel Love Letters from Montmartre: A Novel  is very poignant, very sweet book. Seems like I’ve read several books lately about grieving; this one has a charming ending, but as anyone who has gone through a grave loss of someone dear knows, you can’t predict day to day, week to week. “Snap out of it,” people say, thinking they’re helping. This book is about a young man, who is a young father also, loses his beloved wife. He’s barely functioning, trying to get through a day, taking care of his young son. And visiting the cemetery (the one in Montmartre, Paris). There are several peripheral characters (his son, a neighbor and best friend of his departed wife, a good fellow friend too, plus a young woman he befriends at the cemetery). Before his wife’s death she asks him to write 33 letters to her after she’s gone, and to put them in a special box hidden in the cemetery monument. And that begins the story.

Another very quirky book, that happens to contain a lot of historical truth is The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World: A Novel by Harry N. Abrams. Set in Japan just after the tsunami 10 years ago when 18,000 people died. At a private park miles away, some very special people installed a phone booth, with a phone (that didn’t work) at the edge of the park, and the survivors of the tsunami began wending their way there to “talk” to their deceased loved ones. Very poignant story.

As you’ve read here many times, I marvel at authors who come up with unusual premises for their books. This one Meet Me in Monaco: A Novel of Grace Kelly’s Royal Wedding. And yes, it IS somewhat about Grace Kelly’s wedding, but most of the novel is about a young woman perfume designer, Sophie, who accidentally rescues Grace Kelly from the relentless photographers who hound her every move.

No question, the most quirky book I’ve read of late, a recommendation from my friend Karen, West with Giraffes: A Novel by Lynda Rutledge. Back in the 1930s a small group of giraffes were brought across the Atlantic from Africa to New York, destined for the then-growing San Diego Zoo. The story is of their journey across the United States in the care of two oh-so-different people, both with a mission.

Also a kind of quirky book by Beth Miller, The Missing Letters of Mrs. Bright. Picture a middle-aged woman, slogging through life with a not-very-attentive husband, grown children, and one day she decides to leave. Completely. Packs up and leaves.

Katherine Center’s book, Things You Save in a Fire: A Novel is certainly vivid. There aren’t very many women firefighters out there in the world – this is about one.

Riveting story of post-WWII- Japan in Ana Johns novel, The Woman in the White Kimono: A Novel. About a young Japanese girl who falls in love with an American serviceman.

Also read Rishi Reddi’s novel, Passage West: A Novel with a very different take on the migration of Indians (East India) to the California agricultural lands east of San Diego during the 1920s and 30s.

Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but the Mary Morris book, A Very Private Diary: A Nurse in Wartime tells the true day to day life of a young Irish girl who becomes a nurse, in England, France and Belgium in the midst of WWII and immediately after the war.

Could hardly put down Krueger’s book, This Tender Land: A Novel. Tells the harrowing story of a young boy, Odie, (and his brother Albert) who became orphans back in the 30s. At first there is a boarding school, part of an Indian (Native American) agreement, though they are not Indian. They escape, and they are “on the run.”

Just finished Kristin Hannah’s latest book, The Four Winds: A Novel. What a story. One I’ve never read about, although I certainly have heard about the “dust bowl” years when there was a steady migration of down-and-out farmers from the Midwest, to California, for what they hoped to be the American Dream. It tells the story of one particular family, the Martinellis, the grandparents, their son, his wife, and their two children.

Brit Bennett has written quite a book, The Vanishing Half: A Novel. It’s a novel, yet I’m sure there are such real-life situations. Twin girls are born to a young black woman in the South. Into a town (that probably doesn’t exist) that prides itself on being light-skinned blacks.

What a book. The Only Woman in the Room: A Novel by Marie Benedict. A novelized biography of Hedy Lamarr, the famous actress.  Very much worth reading.

Also read The Secret of the Chateau: Gripping and heartbreaking historical fiction with a mystery at its heart by Kathleen McGurl. There are two stories here. The historical part is just prior to and up to the French Revolution, and the second in current day as a group of friends purchase a crumbling chateau. Very interesting. I love historical novels like this, and this one in particular does have quite a mystery involved, too.

Also finished reading Sue Monk Kidd’s recent book, The Book of Longings: A Novel. It is a book that might challenge some Christian readers, as it tells the tale of Jesus marrying a woman named Mary. I loved the book from the first word to the last one. The book is believable to me, even though the Bible never says one way or the other that Jesus ever married. It’s been presumed he never did. But maybe he did?

Jeanine Cummins has written an eye-opener, American Dirt. A must read. Oh my goodness. I will never, ever, ever look at Mexican (and further southern) migrants, particularly those who are victims of the vicious cartels, without sympathy. It tells the story of a woman and her young son, who were lucky enough to hide when the cartel murdered every member of her family – her husband, her mother, and many others. It’s about her journey and escape to America.

Also read JoJo Moyes’ book, The Giver of Stars. Oh gosh, what a GREAT book. Alice joins the Horseback Librarians in the rural south.

Frances Liardet has written a blockbuster tale, We Must Be Brave. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Although the scene is WWII England, this book is not really about the war. It’s about the people at home, waiting it out, struggling with enough food, clothing and enough heat.

William Kent Krueger wrote Ordinary Grace. From amazon: a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God. It’s a coming of age story.

Follow the River: A Novel by James Alexander Thom. This one is also based on the history of a woman (married, pregnant) who was captured by the Shawnee, during the early settlement days east of the Ohio River, about 1755. And her eventual escape.

A Column of Fire: A Novel by Ken Follett. It takes place in the 1500s, in England, and has everything to do with the war between the Catholics and the Protestants, that raged throughout Europe during that time, culminating in the Spanish Inquisition.

My Name Is Resolute by Nancy Turner. She’s the author of another book of some renown, These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 (P.S.). Resolute is what I’m discussing here. It’s fiction, but based some on a true story. Resolute, as a young girl from a privileged life on a plantation in Jamaica, was taken captive by slavers, eventually ended up in Colonial America.

The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape by James Rebanks. This is a memoir, so a true story, of a young man growing up in the Lake District of Northern England, who becomes a shepherd. Not just any-old shepherd – actually a well educated one. He knows how to weave a story.

 

Tasting Spoons

My blog's namesake - small, old and some very dented engraved silver plated tea spoons that belonged to my mother-in-law, and I use them to taste my food as I'm cooking.

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Posted in easy, Fish, on October 1st, 2021.

It’s not often that I repeat a recipe, but this one is just too good to forget.

Way back when, I posted this recipe, one that came from a cooking class with Phillis Carey. And as an aside, Phillis still isn’t doing any in-person cooking classes, and I’ve decided that if I can’t attend a class and taste the food, well, I don’t want to go to an online class. Phillis always made me think outside my box, serving ordinary food but with a different twist or ingredients that I might not have matched with one thing or another. Leeks and salmon are one of those combinations, but I’m telling you true, this is a match made in heaven. My friend Linda T, who lives about an hour south of me, is a big fan of my blog (we’ve been friends for over 30 years), and it may not be a stretch to say that this recipe is one of her all-time favorites.

One of the things I like about it is how EASY and quick it is. All made in one pan. First it’s the chopped leeks (I buy Trader Joe’s because they’re already cleaned – all I have to do it trim the ends and chop) gently sautéed in butter. Do this over low heat so they don’t burn (like mine did, see photo above). Then the salted and peppered salmon is laid on top of the leek bed, and you add in some dry white wine (I used vermouth), grated orange rind, thyme and some cream. The salmon is very gently simmered (covered) for about 8-10 minutes (depending on the thickness). I used my instant-read thermometer and it was thoroughly cooked in 8 minutes. If using wild salmon, 5-7 minutes probably. Meanwhile I’d cooked some rice with a tad of lime juice and more orange zest, and a pan of sautéed zucchini too. The original recipe called for a little tiny bit of sugar, but I didn’t use any, and I can’t say that it made a difference. I did have to add a little more cream, as most of it boiled away during the gentle simmering. Add water, cream, or a bit more wine if yours dries up. I’d made a half of a recipe and 2 leeks needed a bit more liquid to make it all come together.

Dinner was prepped and done in about 25 minutes total time. My granddaughter Taylor nearly licked the plate. Seriously. I did, too. Fortunately, I made enough for 2 meals, so we’ll have leftovers in a night or two. This is certainly a meal fit for company, and easy enough for a weeknight family meal also. Do make pasta or rice on the side to sop up any sauce remaining on the plate.

What’s GOOD: first off, it’s all about the leeks. Once cooked and simmered, they take on a very mellow flavor, but they add startlingly lovely accents to this sauce. Altogether delicious.

What’s NOT: only that you must have leeks and cream on hand to make this work.

printer-friendly PDF and MasterCook file (click link to open recipe)

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Salmon Fillets with Orange and Leeks

Recipe By: Phillis Carey, cooking instructor
Serving Size: 6

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large leeks — halved, white and pale green parts only, sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
6 pieces salmon fillets
1 teaspoon orange zest
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup dry white wine — or orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh chives — cut in 1-inch lengths, garnish

1. Melt butter in heavy, large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sprinkle with sugar and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté 4 minutes. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until very soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
2. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Arrange atop leeks and sprinkle with orange zest. Add cream and wine. Cover pot again and cook until fish is opaque, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer fish to plates and keep warm. If using thinner (wild) salmon, cook for 4-8 minutes, depending on thickness. Fish is done when the internal temp reaches 135°F.
3. Boil sauce until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over fish. Garnish with chives.
Per Serving: 678 Calories; 32g Fat (43.6% calories from fat); 82g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 342mg Cholesterol; 219mg Sodium; 4g Total Sugars; trace Vitamin D; 103mg Calcium; 4mg Iron; 1849mg Potassium; 1164mg Phosphorus.

Posted in easy, Fish, on June 2nd, 2021.

EASY! Have salmon? Asparagus? Cream? Yogurt, cilantro, ginger and curry powder? Plus some red curry paste (Thai)? You can make this in a jiffy. 

A post from Carolyn. What I had on hand was a nice, big piece of salmon. And I had asparagus. But no recipe. I decided to “wing it,” and I’m so glad I did. I was in the mood for curry, and this was so very easy to make. Of late, I’ve wanted to simmer fish over very low heat on the stovetop rather than baking or grilling it – mainly because I love the smooth silkiness of salmon that’s been poached. And I overcook fish too often when it’s oven baked or grilled. It’s a turn-off to me to eat a piece of overcooked (aka: dry) fish. This way, it’s moist, tender, and just so easy to eat that way.

First I dug out my jar of ghee, and slowly warmed a dollop of it in the pan while I chopped up half an onion and added it. Then I grated some fresh ginger and added that into the mix. Then I minced up some fresh garlic, sprinkled in a bit of salt and pepper. Curry powder and red curry paste were added, along with Greek yogurt (don’t use nonfat) and some cream. I let that simmer for about 5 minutes over very low heat.

The slab of salmon was added, and I spooned the sauce over the top of the salmon, put on a lid and let it heat up, allowing it simmer for about 6 minutes. I checked how it was doing, and when I could still see that the salmon wasn’t quite cooked through, I took it out. I knew the salmon would continue to cook as I continued with the dish.

The asparagus I prepped differently – I left a few spears whole (but trimmed), and the rest of them I cut up into little pieces. Both were added to the sauce still in the pan. Once the pan came up to a simmer again, I put the lid back on and let it bubble away, slowly for about 4 minutes. I tested the asparagus and when a knife would slip easily into the asparagus, it was done. I removed the asparagus to the serving plate(s), then poured the sauce over the salmon and added a few sprigs of cilantro. Done. The whole meal took about 20 minutes. Yeah! Serve with rice on the side too – I didn’t – but it would be great to sop up all the rest of the sauce on the plate.

What’s GOOD: how easy this was – start to finish, about 20 minutes. Really lovely, subtle curry heat and lots of flavor. Asparagus was crisp-tender and went well with the fish. I have leftovers and will do nothing but reheat in the microwave. Because the fish was just slightly under-done, I think the fish will reheat without overcooking it. This recipe is a keeper.

What’s NOT: nothing, unless you don’t have all the ingredients.

printer-friendly PDF and MasterCook file (click link to open recipe)

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Salmon in Creamy Curry Sauce with Asparagus

Recipe By: My own concoction
Serving Size: 2

1 tablespoon ghee
1/2 yellow onion — diced
1 large clove garlic — minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger — finely minced salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon Thai red chili paste
3/4 cup Greek yogurt, full-fat — unflavored, unsweetened
1/2 cup heavy cream
12 ounces salmon
6 ounces asparagus
2 tablespoons cilantro — chopped, for garnish

1. In a large skillet, melt ghee and bring it up to medium heat. Add onion and ginger. Cook for 2-4 minutes until onion is translucent. Add garlic, salt and pepper. Add chili paste, curry powder and stir until combined. Add yogurt and cream and stir until mixture comes to a low simmer.
2. Add salmon (leave whole or cut into serving pieces) and spoon sauce over top of salmon. Bring back to a low simmer; cover and continue cooking for about 6 minutes, until outer edges of salmon are cooked through. Interior of salmon may still be “rare,” but will continue to cook once it’s removed from the pan.
3. Remove salmon and set aside.
4. Cut half of asparagus into small pieces, leaving 4-6 spears whole. Add to simmering cream sauce; cover pan and keep on low heat until asparagus is cooked through, but not soft, about 4-6 minutes (depending on the thickness of the asparagus).
5. Cut the salmon into serving pieces and spoon sauce over the top, along with the spears and chopped up asparagus on the side. Garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.
Per Serving: 594 Calories; 41g Fat (62.1% calories from fat); 42g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 244mg Cholesterol; 194mg Sodium; 5g Total Sugars; 1mcg Vitamin D; 95mg Calcium; 3mg Iron; 1029mg Potassium; 577mg Phosphorus.

Posted in Fish, on March 6th, 2021.

moroccan_fish_tomato_mint_sauce

A very quick dinner entrée – make it with any type of white fish or salmon.

Salmon features frequently here in my kitchen and on this blog. I do love it, but was tired of it. So I reached into the freezer for a piece of mahi-mahi. I wish I could buy fresh fish more easily. We do have a lovely (high end) fish market that’s about 10 miles away. It always seems too far to go to buy a single piece of fish. Even though I don’t love eating fish that’s been frozen, I do it anyway, mostly for salmon. I have cod and mahi-mahi in my freezer now, so you may see some new recipes for both in coming months. I’m not willing to buy fish at my local grocery store. I just don’t trust it – that it’s been in the case for too long, and we’ve all read the horror stories of markets rinsing “old” fish in some solution and repacking it for sale. And sometimes when you walk into a grocery store you can smell the fish from 100 feet away. Always a bad sign to me.

Anyway, I’d intended to make this recipe with salmon, the way the original recipe had been written. But it ended up being used with the white fish instead, and it was lovely. The recipe meant the topping to be more of a relish (to me relish means raw, does it to you?) but in this case it was cooked some, so I call that a sauce. A chunky one, though.

The red onion was cooked thoroughly, and then I added the tomatoes and because I cooked things a little out of order (from the recipe, I mean). I just mushed the sauce/relish off on one side of the skillet, pulled the skillet over so only the fish was over the burner. The fish took little time at all, even though it was about an inch thick. I covered the pan so it would steam a bit. The sauce was just great – loved the flavor of it. I served it with pan-seared mushrooms.

What’s GOOD: it was a treat to have something other than salmon. Liked the tender, flaky mahi-mahi, and loved the sauce. The predominant flavor was orange – a good thing. I’m sure the ginger added flavor – so did the capers, the mint and the citrus zests too – all of it contributed to umami flavors in the sauce. I have leftover sauce which I’ll use on something. It would be good on chicken too, I think. It’s also very low carb, and low calorie.

What’s NOT: can’t think of anything, unless you don’t enjoy the smell of fish in your kitchen. I suppose you could grill the fish outside and serve the sauce on top if that’s something you’d prefer to do.

printer-friendly PDF and MasterCook file (click link to open recipe)

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Moroccan Fish with Tomato-Orange-Mint Sauce

Recipe By: Adapted from The Complete Step by Step Low Carb Cookbook, Jan 2005
Serving Size: 4

1/2 teaspoon salt — divided
24 ounces mahi-mahi — fillets (6-ounces each)
2 teaspoons olive oil — divided
1 3/4 cups red onion — chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger — peeled and minced
2 cups tomato — coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro — reserving some for garnish

1. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt evenly over fillets. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add fillets; cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from pan; set aside, and keep warm.
2. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion and ginger; sauté 2 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, tomato, and next 6 ingredients; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning.
3. Return fillets to pan, nestling fillets in tomato mixture; cook 3-4 minutes until fish is medium-rare or to desired degree of doneness. Cover pan for part of this cooking time. Use an instant read thermometer, and remove fish once it reaches 145°F. It will continue to cook when you place fillets on individual plates. Stir chopped mint and cilantro into tomato mixture; spoon mixture on top and around each fillet. Garnish with additional sprigs of cilantro. If using some raw onion and fresh tomato, sprinkle that on top.
Per Serving: 233 Calories; 4g Fat (15.0% calories from fat); 34g Protein; 16g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 124mg Cholesterol; 557mg Sodium; 10g Total Sugars; 0mcg Vitamin D; 78mg Calcium; 3mg Iron; 1188mg Potassium; 308mg Phosphorus.

Posted in Fish, on January 20th, 2021.

salmon_tomato_caper_vinaigrette

What an easy entrée! Easy to make and amazing flavor.

Remember, I’ve mentioned that sometimes after I make something my fingers just can’t wait to get to the keyboard to write up a post? This is one of those times. What looks to be a relatively pedestrian kind of preparation for salmon, turns out to be something quite special. The recipe comes from Ted Allen, one of the founders (I think) of Food Network. The recipe was written up in Food & Wine, and as the story went there, with testers sampling the salmon, what was expected to be something ordinary, everyone agreed was really extra-delicious. There isn’t anything that unusual about what’s in it – fresh tomatoes, capers, shallot, red wine vinegar. A dash of cumin, some EVOO, with parsley and basil as a garnish.

Ideally, get everything ready before you begin as it comes together very quickly. The recipe has you pan-roast the salmon in a hot, 425°F oven. That’s assuming you have a really nice, thick piece of salmon. Mine wasn’t all that thick, probably 5/8” at the thickest point. So I chose to continue cooking the salmon in the pan on the stove, rather than doing the oven roasting part. I’ve included directions for both in the recipe, so you can decide which one to use.

The vinaigrette: minced shallot, chopped cherry/grape tomatoes, a tiny splash of red wine vinegar, some capers. And a dash or two of ground cumin. For some reason the cumin is not added into the vinaigrette. I don’t know why – try it – I can’t imagine adding it to the mixture rather than sprinkling it in the pan would make any difference .. .but I’ll let you be the judge of that. It was surprising to me that the vinaigrette included red wine vinegar, since the capers have some brine action going on, but it certainly enhanced it.

The salmon (salted and peppered) is seared in oil on the stovetop, skin side  up at first. If you make this all on your cooktop, you may use a nonstick skillet. But if going in the oven, you’ll need to use a flat sauté pan that can handle high heat. I didn’t use a nonstick, and yes, the salmon stuck some. Either means the pan wasn’t as hot as it should have been or there wasn’t enough oil in there. Anyway, after browning on that side, you turn it over, skin down. That’s when you would put it into the oven, but I left it on the stove, and used a lid for part of the cooking. I turned down the heat too, as it was way too hot for the kind of gentle heat I thought it should have. Once the fish registered 140° with my instant read thermometer, I removed it to a platter.

tomato_caper_vinaigretteThen you make the vinaigrette. The oil in the pan is drained, then you add the vinaigrette mixture and cook it for about 2 minutes. It’s poured onto the top of the salmon and then garnished with the chopped basil and Italian parsley.

I’d made Brussels sprouts to go with this (pan sautéed in halves, with butter, EVOO and dried oregano) which was a good choice.

What’s GOOD: everything about this dish was fabulous. I liked it so much, it’s going to go onto my favs page. It’s also very easy to do. Just have everything ready before you begin. The dish may not look all that exciting, but something about the combo of flavors just works brilliantly.

What’s NOT: nothing whatsoever. It’s a winner.

printer-friendly PDF and MasterCook file (click link to open recipe)

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Pan-Roasted Salmon with Tomato Caper Vinaigrette

Recipe By: Food & Wine, from Ted Allen
Serving Size: 4

VINAIGRETTE:
2 cups tomatoes — grape or cherry type, halved or chopped
1 medium shallot — thinly sliced
1 tablespoon capers — drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
SALMON:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil — divided use
28 ounces salmon fillets — cut into 4 pieces, about 7 ounces each
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 tablespoon chopped basil

1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with the shallot, capers, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
2. In a medium ovenproof skillet (do not use nonstick as it can’t be put into a hot oven), heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and add it to the skillet, skin side up. Cook over moderately high heat until well-browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip the fillets. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the salmon is cooked through, about 7 minutes. Transfer the fish to plates and pour off any fat in the skillet.
NOTE: If the salmon is relatively thin, you might wish to eliminate the oven roasting. Just continue cooking the salmon over low heat on the stovetop with a lid partially covering the pan, until the interior of the thickest part of the salmon reaches 140°F.
3. Place the skillet over moderate heat and add the tomato mixture along with the cumin, canola oil and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook, scraping up any bits stuck to the skillet, until the tomatoes just soften, about 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the salmon, sprinkle with the parsley and basil and serve right away.
Wine: Argentinean rosés, with their emphatic, berry-driven flavors and lively structure, are ideal here.
Per Serving: 414 Calories; 25g Fat (54.4% calories from fat); 41g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 147mg Cholesterol; 447mg Sodium; 3g Total Sugars; 0mcg Vitamin D; 41mg Calcium; 2mg Iron; 1156mg Potassium; 595mg Phosphorus

Posted in Fish, Grilling, on January 14th, 2021.

broiled_bourbon_orange_glazed_salmon

Looking for an easy weeknight salmon? Try it.

This recipe was so easy to prepare – the salmon just needed 30-90 minutes to hang out in a marinade. (Don’t marinate overnight or the acidity in the marinade will “cook” the fish, something you don’t want.) And the marinade was very easy to make too: bourbon, some orange juice, soy sauce, a tad of brown sugar, green onions, chives, garlic and lemon juice. Easy peasy. My file says I put this recipe in my file in 1999, from Cooking Light.

It was a cold night (well, cold is relative; here in California anything under about 50 is cold for us, and it was about that temp. I didn’t want to fire up the grill outside, so I made this in my toaster oven on the broil setting. Very easy.

After draining the fish, I put it on a piece of foil and onto a small baking pan that fits in the toaster oven. I preheated the oven for about 10 minutes and stuck the pan in there. The fillet I had wasn’t all that thick, so first I did 4 minutes, then removed it, turned the salmon fillet over and broiled it another 2 minutes. Done. You can brush the fish with the marinade during the broiling or grilling process. If your salmon is thicker, it might take another minute on each side.

Onto a heated plate it went. The green onions and chives were sprinkled on top and I added some cilantro too as a garnish, although cilantro wasn’t in the original recipe.  I had the cilantro out to go with the green beans you can see in the photo.

What’s GOOD: how easy this was. You do need to marinate the salmon for an hour or so, but am sure it would be fine with less time if you don’t have it. The fish was so moist and flaky. Loved it. Liked the pretty garnish too. I try to keep cilantro in my frig all the time. I had green onions, and I found some chives in my garden. Altogether delicious.

What’s NOT: only that you should marinate it for 30-90 minutes. Otherwise, this salmon is very easy to do. I can’t say that I could taste the bourbon as the other citrus juices seem to be the predominant flavor.

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Grilled or Broiled Orange Bourbon Salmon

Recipe By: Cooking Light June 1999
Serving Size: 4

4 tablespoons bourbon
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
4 tablespoons brown sugar — packed
4 tablespoons chopped green onions
9 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
6 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves — chopped
24 ounces salmon fillets — 4 pieces, 6 ounces each
Cooking spray or foil
Green onions and chives as garnish

1. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag, and add salmon to bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 1/2 hours, turning bag occasionally.
2. Prepare grill or broiler.
3. Remove salmon from bag, reserving marinade. Place salmon on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray or lined with foil. Cook 4-6 minutes on first side (depending on the thickness of the fish), turn fillet over and continue cooking for another 1-3 minutes or JUST until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting frequently with reserved marinade. A thinner piece of salmon took 4 minutes on the first side and 2 on the second side.
4. Serve on heated platter and garnish with green onions and chives.
Per Serving : 294 Calories; 7g Fat (23.3% calories from fat); 36g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 126mg Cholesterol; 600mg Sodium; 11g Total Sugars; 0mcg Vitamin D; 40mg Calcium; 1mg Iron; 850mg Potassium; 514mg Phosphorus.

Posted in Fish, on December 4th, 2020.

peach_ginger_spice_glazed_salmon

Such an easy sheet pan dinner. Start to finish about 15 minutes.

As I write this (about a week or so ago) I was stressed. I’d accidentally dropped my iPhone in the jacuzzi. I wasn’t even IN the jacuzzi; I’d gone to the corner of the jacuzzi to adjust the water auto-filler thingamajig because it was over-filling. As I leaned down, my phone popped out of my pocket and bounced on the edge and splash, it was a goner. Oh my gosh. Tried to use an old pool scoop when the basket was disintegrated. Eventually  had to wade into the cold-cold water and lean down, getting myself wet nearly top to bottom, to retrieve it. Talk about feeling cold. And stupid. Fortunately, I’d purchased extra insurance on this phone (usually I don’t, but the iPhone X was more expensive than previous models). And no, the iPhone X isn’t waterproof. The newer models are, I believe. As I write, the replacement phone will be delivered today.

Anyway, the reason I even mention all that is that I had to use my iPad to take the photo above. I guess it did an okay job, but not quite as clear and crisp as the camera on the iPhone. My iPhone takes better photos than my digital high-quality camera I bought many years ago, purposely to use for photos for this blog. It’s tucked away in a closet now; sadly neglected. The iPhone doesn’t have quite the versatility, but it’s good enough and certainly easier for me.

I’d defrosted a nice little piece of salmon – enough for two meals. I wasn’t into an elaborate meal or preparation, either one! I stirred up a little concoction of coconut aminos (or use soy sauce), freshly grated ginger, some ground cinnamon and some peach jam. The salmon was oiled with EVOO first, then I spread the sauce on top. The asparagus (my favorite vegetable, bar none) that had been oiled, salted and peppered, went on the same pan. Believe it or not, salmon and asparagus take about the same amount of time to broil. Yeah! My dinner was done in a flash. And OH, was it ever delicious. I’ll be making this version again, for sure.

What’s GOOD: well, if you want a really, really quick and easy dinner that comes together so very quickly and tastes wonderful, this is it. I’ll be making this again, for sure. I’m looking forward to the leftovers!

What’s NOT: absolutely nothing. Simple, easy, and very tasty.

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Peach, Ginger and Spice Glazed Salmon

Recipe By: Adapted from an online recipe
Serving Size: 4

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce — or coconut aminos
1 tablespoon grated ginger root
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons peach jam — or apricot jam
1 tablespoon EVOO
24 ounces salmon fillets — patted dry
3 tablespoons sliced almonds

1. Preheat broiler.
2. In a small bowl combine soy sauce, ginger, cinnamon and peach jam. Stir until smooth.
3. Foil line a baking sheet large enough to hold the salmon fillets. Pour EVOO on top of salmon and gently spread to edges. Spoon the sauce on top of the salmon and using the back of a spoon, spread all the way to the edges.
4. Broil salmon for about 7-8 minutes per inch of thickness. Test with an instant read thermometer – it’s done at 135°F. A minute or so before, sprinkle top with sliced almonds and continue broiling until fish reaches correct temp. Remove and serve immediately. An ideal accompaniment to this is asparagus – which takes about 8 minutes also on the same pan. So, a sheet pan dinner, more or less!
Per Serving: 292 Calories; 12g Fat (37.7% calories from fat); 36g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 126mg Cholesterol; 344mg Sodium; 5g Total Sugars; 0mcg Vitamin D; 36mg Calcium; 1mg Iron; 801mg Potassium; 516mg Phosphorus.

Posted in easy, Fish, on October 16th, 2020.

steamed_salmon_butter_sauce_spinach

Such an easy dinner – and so savory. Salmon is super tender.

About a week ago my grandson, Vaughan, age 13, came to stay with me for about 5 days. He lives about an hour or two away and his parents were taking a quick trip to Montana, and he would have had wi-fi difficulty there as he is doing middle school remotely for now. He’s been a joy to have around, and on top of that, he knows how to cook. His parents are foodies, and I’ve posted numerous pictures and recipes from Karen, my daughter-in-law, and of my son Powell’s grilling pursuits. Vaughan’s not like a lot of kids, unwilling to try new things. Nope. He’ll try most everything, and even likes vegetables (most, anyway). He asked if we could have salmon one night – sure, I said. Had some in the freezer, so he told me what he needed. Usually he makes this with watercress, but that I didn’t have, so we used spinach instead.

vaughan_cooking

There he is, stirring the lemon butter sauce, and the salmon is in the closer pan, lidded for steaming.

This recipe is so very easy. You could pull this together in a matter of about 20 minutes with no difficulty at all. It helps if you have everything out and ready, mis en place. The salmon is salted and peppered. You bring about an inch of water to a boil in a pan large enough to hold the salmon, and tall enough so the lid won’t rest on the salmon (like mine did). Use a steamer basket or rack. We used a small metal rack, then I put the salmon on a piece of foil, poked about 20 little holes in the foil and put that in the pan. The lid went on and we started a timer for 5 1/2 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan (the one he’s stirring) he melted butter, then added just a little jot of lemon juice (and add more, he says, if you like a more lemony taste). If you have thicker salmon, it might need an extra minute, or if your salmon is thinner, maybe 30-60 seconds less time. Remove the salmon when it has reached 135°F.

Once the salmon was cooked – we tested it  – we removed the salmon and the rack. If you want, tent the salmon with foil to keep it warm. We poured out the water from the pan, then melted more butter and cooked the spinach. Taste for salt and pepper.

Simple – plate the salmon, place the spinach along side, then gently pour the butter sauce over the salmon. If some of it dribbles over the spinach that’s fine. Thank you, grandson Vaughan, for a delicious dinner!

What’s GOOD: for me, the fact that the dish was SO easy and quick to make, and it was so delicious. The salmon is super tender – just right. And the lemon butter sauce – not only is it hardly a cooked sauce, it was quick and added lovely flavor to the salmon.

What’s NOT: Nothing, really. The next time I make it I won’t have my grandson doing all the cooking!
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Steamed Salmon with Lemon Butter and Spinach

Recipe By: Adapted from Food & Wine
Serving Size: 4

SALMON:
2 pounds salmon fillets — cut into 4 pieces
salt and pepper to taste
LEMON BUTTER SAUCE:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons lemon juice — or more if you like more lemony flavor
SPINACH:
1 pound spinach — tough stems removed
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

NOTE: Select a pan or pot that will hold a steamer rack or similar device and be tall enough that the lid won’t touch the salmon. Or use a steam setting on a rice cooker or instant pot.
1. In a large pot, bring about an inch of water to a boil.
2. Season the salmon fillets with ample salt and pepper. Place them in a large steamer basket, skin-side down. Or improvise with a rack, a piece of foil that you poke about 20-30 holes in, and place that on top of the rack.
3. Place the steamer basket with the fish over (not in) the boiling water and cover the pan. Reduce heat to a full simmer and cook the salmon until it is just barely done (the fish should still be translucent in the center), about 5 1/2 minutes for a 1-inch-thick fillet. Do not over cook. Use an instant read thermometer and it’s done at 135°F.
4. Meanwhile, in a small stainless-steel saucepan, melt the butter. Add the lemon juice plus a dash of salt and pepper. Taste sauce to see if it needs additional lemon juice; if so, add in small increments. Keep warm.
5. Remove salmon, tent with foil, then empty the pan of water. Add butter and melt it, then add the spinach, pressing and nestling the spinach until it’s all in the pan. Stir well and continue cooking until spinach is fully cooked. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
6. Serve the salmon with the lemon butter sauce poured over it and spinach on the side.You may use frozen spinach for this.
Per Serving: 426 Calories; 23g Fat (49.4% calories from fat); 49g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 206mg Cholesterol; 227mg Sodium; 1g Total Sugars; 0mcg Vitamin D; 142mg Calcium; 4mg Iron; 1618mg Potassium; 703mg Phosphorus.

Posted in Fish, on August 14th, 2020.

orange_mustard_glazed_salmon_AF

The first recipe I’m sharing from my air fryer.

I’ve owned a 6-quart Instant Pot for a couple of years, and use it all the time. Most frequently for hard boiling eggs (once a week I do about 9 of them) because they are just so amazingly easy to peel done in the instant pot. And I’d contemplated buying an air fryer. I’d looked at all the various brands – gosh there are a lot of them – different sizes, configurations and prices galore. And thought about where I’d store it. Then I discovered that my 6-quart Instant Pot could have an air fryer LID put on it. Once I’d decided to go that route, I narrowed it down to the lid that is made by Instant Pot or the SousVide Art one – the Air Fryer Lid for Instant Pot 6 Qt Pressure Cooker one. Both had good reviews. The latter was cheaper by about $10, and all the reviews were stellar.

A few days later it arrived at my door. It’s a kind of a conical shaped black lid that merely sits on top of the Instant Pot, nesting on the rim just like the real lid does. It doesn’t get locked in. It just sits there. It has a dial for time, and a dial for temp. It’s not digital. That’s it. Very simple technology. First I made air fryer (AF) zucchini fries. They were so good I ate them all in one go. I used a lot less breading (bread crumbs and Parm) on them. They weren’t exactly crispy. And I’ve since learned that not a lot you make in the AF is actually crispy. Then I made AF sweet potato fries, using much the same breading. They weren’t crispy either, but I liked them a lot. The variable is temperature and the watts of your air fryer – so I’m going to try these two things again to see if I can make them more crispy. More breading would help, but since I’m trying to keep the carb count down, I don’t want to do that.

Then a week later I decided I’d try doing salmon in the AF. I had a fresh orange languishing on my kitchen counter so had to find a recipe that used that. Found one from America’s Test Kitchen. I followed the recipe to the letter except for the amount of orange zest, and added the orange sections to garnish the salmon when serving.

orange_mustard_glazed_salmon_AF_foil_basketThey recommend you prepare a foil sling that rests in the AF basket, which makes it easy to remove it when it’s done, and also makes for zero cleanup required. The foil is lightly sprayed with oil spray. The salmon was blotted dry with paper towels, then I brushed on the glaze (orange marmalade, the zest, orange juice and mustard). The salmon gets placed on the foil. If you’re doing two, space them a little apart if possible. Into the air fryer it went, at 400°F for about 11 minutes, until the middle of the salmon registered 125°F. The time variable was 10-14 minutes. My AF is 1300 watts, so I chose the lower end of the time. I was a bit concerned about removing the lid to check the temp – just the safety and heat radiating. But I needn’t have worried, the lid handle is easy to grab, it’s not hot, and I merely held it off with one hand (and the heat coils and fan turn off when you lift the lid anyway), and stuck the thermometer in the salmon with the other. Just remember that with almost all meat, poultry or fish, the temp can zoom up once it reaches close to the finished temp. Watch closely.

I had the rest of my dinner all ready to go, so onto a plate it went with the orange sections on top and a sprinkle of chopped Italian parsley.

What’s GOOD: Not only was this a delicious way to fix salmon (the glaze part) but it was so easy to make, and to clean up. The foil went into the trash can and that was all it took! The tricky part is not overcooking the salmon, so do watch that carefully if you try this. Mine reached 132° so it was not quite as moist but it was perfect in every other way. I’ll definitely be making this again. So easy.

What’s NOT: nothing, really. Watch the temp carefully so it doesn’t overcook.

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AF Orange-Mustard Glazed Salmon

Recipe By: Adapted slightly from America’s Test Kitchen
Serving Size: 2

1 tablespoon orange marmalade
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
12 ounces salmon fillets — 1 1/2 inches thick, skin on
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup orange sections — for garnish
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley — minced, for garnish

1. Make a foil sling for air fryer basket by folding one long sheet of foil so it is 4 inches side. Lay foil across basket, pressing foil into and up sides of basket. Fold excess foil as needed so edges are flush with top of basket. Lightly spray foil with vegetable oil spray.
2. In a small bowl combine the marmalade, orange zest, orange juice and mustard.
3. Pat salmon dry with paper towel; season with salt and pepper. Brush the tops and sides of salmon with the marmalade mixture. Place salmon in the foil sling, skin side down, spacing pieces slightly apart.
4. Place basket in air fryer and set temperature to 400° and cook until the center of the salmon is translucent and when the inside temperature of the salmon reaches 125°, about 10-14 minutes. Rotate sling (or the basket) halfway through cooking time, for even cooking.
5. Using sling, carefully remove salmon from air fryer and transfer to serving plates, leaving skin behind if you can. Garnish with orange sections and parsley.
Per Serving: 248 Calories; 6g Fat (24.1% calories from fat); 35g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 126mg Cholesterol; 94mg Sodium; 9g Total Sugars; 0mcg Vitamin D; 38mg Calcium; 1mg Iron; 814mg Potassium; 488mg Phosphorus.

Posted in Fish, on April 27th, 2020.

salmon_simmered_orange_sauce

Luscious, moist salmon in a simple creamy orange sauce

Salmon is one of my favorite fish. And I didn’t have any in my freezer arsenal, so I asked my neighbor to buy me a chunk. Sometimes I buy wild caught, but more and more the fillets are thinner and I truly do enjoy a thicker piece of fish. Plus, the wild is so very expensive! But thick pieces cook better, more evenly. So this one  was farm-raised. As I write this we’re still in the midst of the lockdown – maybe by the time this posts we’ll be somewhat out the other end (gosh, I hope so). I cut the chunk into 3 pieces, froze one that I vacuum sealed, cooked the two with this recipe, ate one and will have the left overs of this (above) for my dinner. And you can see I had it with asparagus (recipe up soon) with a maple pecan vinaigrette on top. Just a lovely dinner.

As I scanned through recipes I’d use, I was limited with what I had on hand – no running to the grocery store to buy leeks or mushrooms, or fresh ginger, or limes, so I decided to adapt a Phillis Carey recipe that’s already here on my blog (from 2008). Technically, I suppose this recipe doesn’t quite qualify as a “new” recipe, except that I did change it – I used green onions instead of the leeks called for in the other recipe, and I substituted orange juice for the white wine. I also reduced the amount of cream since so much of it rolls off of it, even when serving. You want to lap up that sauce, though!

As I was on the phone that afternoon with my friend Linda T, who lives about an hour south of me (we’ve been friends for 30+ years) she told me the original recipe was/is one of her favorites. She often makes it for guests. I haven’t made this recipe for a long time. I did have a fresh orange on hand, so it seemed destiny that I’d make this recipe with the adaptations.

All of it is made in a saucepan in lickety-split time. Really – you make this in less than 20 minutes if you have everything ready to go. The green onions (both white and lower green parts) are gently sautéed in butter. The asparagus took almost more time to make than the fish, but I did them simultaneously. The fish is added to the green onions, then you add the orange zest, orange juice and the little dash of cream. Bring it to a simmer, cover and let it gently cook until the salmon reaches 135°F. With my handy-dandy instant read thermometer, I checked the temp until it reached about 132°F, then turned off the heat while I finished the asparagus. By the time I plated dinner, the salmon had reached full temp and the sauce was ready.

What’s GOOD: the flavor, first and foremost. So very tender fish, flaking easily with a fork, with the orange sauce (not much – but enough to give it all super flavor).

What’s NOT:  nothing that I can think of.

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Salmon Fillets with Orange Scallion Sauce

Recipe By: Adapted from an old Phillis Carey recipe
Serving Size: 2

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 green onions — halved, white and pale green parts only, sliced
1/3 teaspoon sugar
1/3 teaspoon fresh thyme
8 ounces salmon fillets — cut into serving pieces
1 teaspoon orange zest
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/8 cup orange juice — or white wine
2/3 tablespoon fresh chives — cut in 1-inch lengths

1. Melt butter in heavy, large skillet over medium low heat. Add green onions and sprinkle with sugar and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Saute 2-4 minutes until onions are limp but not browned.
2. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Arrange atop green onions and sprinkle with orange zest. Add cream and orange juice. Spoon some of the sauce over the top of the salmon. Cover pan and cook over low heat until fish is opaque, about 10-12 minutes. Use an instant read thermometer and do not cook the fish past 135°F in thickest part. Transfer fish to plates and keep warm.
3. Boil sauce until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed. Pour sauce over fish. Garnish with chives.
Per Serving: 277 Calories; 18g Fat (58.7% calories from fat); 24g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 105mg Cholesterol; 89mg Sodium.

Posted in Fish, on February 26th, 2020.

halibut_sheetpan_nicoise_tapenade

Super easy dinner with loads of flavor.

I don’t know about you, but I love sheetpan dinners. They just simplify the dinner making. I’ve done dinner for guests using a sheetpan recipe – my favorite is still the  Chicken Thighs with Bacon and Sourdough Croutons. Some recipes roast several items for the same time period – not so with this one – you do have to start the potatoes ahead of time, then add other ingredients. But they’re all still done on the one sheetpan. And if you line the sheetpan with parchment or foil, you’ll have the simplest of cleanup ever.

This recipe uses small red or white (or a combination) potatoes. You want them to BE about 1” square or cut them into something close to that.  First the potatoes are tossed in EVOO, mustard, salt and pepper. Those are put out onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and roasted for about 20 minutes. That gives the potatoes a head start. The baby green beans (haricots verts) are tossed in the remaining oil mixture and go onto the baking sheet next. Those, along with the potatoes roast for 5 minutes, then you add the halibut that’s been topped with some ready-made jarred tapenade (olives). Another 12-15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish) and everything should be roasted-done.

Meanwhile you will have chopped up some baby tomatoes, cut a lemon into wedges and chopped some parsley. Serve the fish with the toasty potatoes, green beans, the lemon wedge and the garnish of chopped parsley. Done. Easy-peasy. You can substitute sweet potato for the white potatoes, and you could easily add a small amount of squash or eggplant to the pan. The recipe came from a class with Susan V, although I changed it just a little bit to make it simpler.

What’s GOOD: how easy this is. Dinner on one pan. The nip of briny olives on the fish – a really tasty touch – and the crispy green beans. Also loved the addition of the fresh tomatoes at the end. Altogether delicious.

What’s NOT: nothing really.

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Roasted Sheetpan Halibut Nicoise with Olive Tapenade

Recipe By: Cooking class with Susan V, Feb. 2020
Serving Size: 4

1 1/2 pounds small potatoes — red, if possible, cut into 1″ chunks
8 ounces haricot verts
3 tablespoons EVOO
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
HALIBUT:
1 1/2 pounds halibut fillets — cut into serving pieces
3 tablespoons olive tapenade — use ready-made
GARNISH:
lemon wedges
1 cup cherry tomatoes — or grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons fresh parsley — chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. In a bowl combine olive oil, salt, pepper and Dijon. Stir until well mixed. Add the potatoes and toss gently. There should be enough of the dressing left to use on the green beans.
3. Place potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast them in the heated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Meanwhile, toss the green beans with the dressing and add them to the sheetpan and bake for 5 more minutes.
3. Spread the tapenade on top of each halibut serving and add to the sheetpan. Roast fish and vegetables for 12-15 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Do NOT overbake the fish – start checking at 12 minutes.
4. Serve fish and vegetables with lemon wedges, fresh halved tomatoes and fresh chopped parsley on top.
Per Serving: 467 Calories; 17g Fat (33.7% calories from fat); 40g Protein; 37g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 54mg Cholesterol; 238mg Sodium.

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