Weekly Winner:  Seemingly Stuck on Salmon – Another Winning Salmon Dish

Looking back at the past month or so, it sure seems like we’ve eating a bunch of salmon.  This actually isn’t quite true, but I have tried a bunch of new recipes this month and apparently a good amount have been salmon.  While it’s easily my favorite fish to cook, even I am surprised by the amount of fish that has appeared here in the past few weeks.  Truth be told, I actually tried this recipe for Slow-Roasted Curried Salmon with Corn and Tomatoes before the Asian Pork Salad (my last entry) but thought I needed to take a bit of a break from posting salmon.  Having said that, this could be one of the best yet!

Slow-Roasted Curried Salmon with Corn and Tomatoes comes from Sunset Magazine and is both comforting and exotic at the same time.  It’s got a good bite of heat which is nicely tamed by the sweetness of the corn and tomatoes.  Honestly, I could happily eat this dish once a week without tiring of it. Except for the rice, it is an easy sheet pan dinner which makes clean-up a breeze. And the fact that it’s slow-roasted at a low oven temp means it won’t heat up the house.  Both of those things, added to the amazing taste of the dish makes this a true winner.

Slow-Roasted Curried Salmon with Corn & Tomatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 pounds skinned sockeye salmon fillet

1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. brown mustard seeds

About 1 tsp. salt

1 teaspoon Madras curry powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1 very ripe medium red tomato

1/2 small shallot

2 large ears corn

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

12 to 15 large fresh basil leaves

1/2 lemon (optional)

Hot cooked rice

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 275°. Cut salmon into 3/4-in. cubes and put in a large bowl.

2. Grind mustard seeds in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder. Pour into a small bowl and mix with 1 tsp. salt, the curry powder, and cayenne. Sprinkle over salmon and turn to coat thoroughly.

3. Cut tomato into 1/2-in. dice and mince shallot. Cut kernels off corn cobs. Add vegetables to salmon along with oil.

4. Stack several basil leaves, roll length­wise, and slice very thinly to make a chiffonade; repeat with remaining leaves. Mix 3/4 of leaves into salmon bowl.

5. Spread salmon and vegetables in one layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake just until salmon is firm and barely flakes, 9 to 12 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice if you like, and season with salt.

6. Spoon rice into bowls; add salmon and vegetables. Top with remaining basil.

Weekly Winner:  What’s better than a refreshing cool salad on a summer day? A salad with pork!

Seriously, is there anything in the culinary world that cannot be improved with the addition of some pork product?  If there is, I have not found it yet.  OK, wine. Maybe wine.  But other than that, when in doubt — add some pork! Which is just what happened for lunch this week.  Asian Pork and Cabbage Salad is a great change-up from one of my all-time favorite go-to summer salads Best-Ever Chinese Chicken Salad.

I believe I got this recipe from Better Homes & Gardens.  It is super easy but gives you the satisfaction of feeling like you actually cooked since you do have to sauté the pork and peppers. The only other change I made was to use pre-shredded coleslaw mix in place of the shredded napa cabbage.

Asian Pork and Cabbage Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1/4 cup low-sugar orange marmalade

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 clove garlic, minced

Nonstick cooking spray

12 ounces boneless pork loin chops, cut into bite-size pieces

1 medium red or yellow sweet pepper, cut into thin bite-size strips

6 cups napa cabbage, shredded

1 cup chopped cucumber

4 green onions, bias-sliced into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Procedure:

  • For dressing, in a small bowl stir together orange marmalade, soy sauce, vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and garlic. Set aside.
  • Lightly coat an unheated wok or large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add pork and cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add sweet pepper to the pan and continue to cook for 3 minutes or until pork is no longer pink and sweet pepper is crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Add one-fourth of the dressing to pan; stir until well coated. Remove pan from heat.
  • In a large bowl coat cabbage with remaining dressing. On a serving platter layer cabbage, pork mixture, and cucumber. Sprinkle with green onions and almonds. Serve immediately

Weekly Winner:  Spectacular, Slightly-Spicy, Super Sloppy Salmon Sandwich

I was going to name this blog “Hey look!  I made a Muppet!” Seriously, this picture reminds me of some strange new Muppet character.  Can’t you just imagine it singing?? No? Oh well, maybe it’s just me. But this burger did in fact speak to me….it said “Dang, I’m tasty”.  There are a lot of elements to this Salmon Burger with Harissa Mayonnaise, but nothing is difficult.  The hardest thing was keeping the burger together while eating it.  It is a messy thing.  A very delicious messy thing.

This Muppet of a salmon burger comes from Food & Wine Magazine.  The only change I made to the recipe was that we didn’t grill these.  I couldn’t see the point of putting a skillet on the grill to cook them when I could just as easily cook them in the skillet on the stove top.  So that’s what I did. You do what speaks to you.

Salmon Burgers with Harissa Mayonnaise

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

Cucumber Relish

1 English cucumber—halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped dill

1 shallot, minced

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Harissa Mayo

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons harissa

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt

Pepper

Salmon Burgers

5 scallions, white and light green parts only, coarsely chopped

1 small red bell pepper, coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

1 small green bell pepper, coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

1 1/2 pounds skinless center-cut salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen for 30 minutes

1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 buns, split and toasted

Lettuce and tomato slices, for serving

Procedure:

MAKE THE CUCUMBER RELISH In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

MAKE THE HARISSA MAYO In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.

MAKE THE SALMON BURGERS In a food processor, pulse the scallions and bell peppers until finely chopped; transfer to a medium bowl. Pulse the salmon in the food processor until finely chopped but with some bigger chunks remaining. Add the salmon to the bowl with the scallions and peppers and fold in the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and 1/3 cup of the harissa mayo. Using lightly oiled hands, shape the salmon into six 3/4-inch-thick patties. Transfer to a lightly oiled plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Light a grill. Set a large cast-iron skillet on the grill and melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 2 tablespoons of the olive 
oil. Add 3 of the salmon burgers to the skillet; cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden brown and just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining butter, olive oil and salmon burgers.

Spread some of the harissa mayo on the buns. Top with 
the salmon burgers, cucumber relish, lettuce and tomato slices and serve.

Weekly Winner:  Sumptuous, Citrusy, Cedar Salmon

We’ve been eating out a lot this month.  House guests, restaurant openings, dinner with friends – you name it. If there was an excuse to not eat at home, we used it. However, there comes a time when enough is enough and you just need to have a sensible, homemade dinner.  Generally when I get to that point, my go-to dishes are either pork chops or salmon.  As I wanted to lighten things up a bit, I opted for the salmon and this Mustard-Glazed Planked Salmon has been one of my favorites for quite some time.

The recipe comes from Coastal Living magazine.  It’s easy, keeps the house cool since its grilled and allows you to char up some wood – how fun is that??  The result is truly delectable salmon with a hint of cedar smoke, a mustardy punch and the sweet zing of orange.

Mustard-Glazed Planked Salmon

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 large cedar plank

4 (6- to 8-ounce) skin-on sockeye salmon fillets

1/4 cup whole grain mustard

1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 orange slices, halved

Garnish: chopped chives

Procedure:

1. Soak wood plank in water 1 hour; drain. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (350° to 400°).

2. Remove pin bones from salmon, if necessary. Combine mustard and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl, and brush half of mustard mixture over salmon, reserving remaining mustard mixture.

3. Grill plank 3 minutes or until grill marks appear. Remove from grill. Place salmon, skin sides down, on heated side of plank. Top with orange slices.

4. Grill planked salmon, covered with grill lid, 10 to 15 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. (Check occasionally to make sure edges of plank don’t ignite.) Garnish, if desired. Serve with reserved mustard glaze.

Weekly Winner:  Sometimes the best plan is no plan at all … And bacon cheese!

As my lack of entries indicate, it has been a crazy couple of weeks around here…. Work, house guests, burst pipes, new carpeting, travel….so my recipe experimentation has been relatively nonexistent. Hopefully I’ll be able to remedy that in the coming weeks but for now this is definitely the best thing I’ve made in a while.

Heading to the Green City Market this morning I had no idea what I was looking for.  I found myself in the unusual situation of only having to buy for myself and hubby and today’s lunch was all I had in mind.  But what to make?  I’m sure I have a ton of new salad recipes I’ve been meaning to try, and there’s always my famous (to us anyway) farmer’s market pizza but to be honest, I wasn’t going to have the time.  I needed to find something that could be put together quickly but obviously, it had to be tasty.

If I can just say…I outdid myself!  I thought at first I would just cobble together a salad from all the various fabulous veggies I knew would be waiting for me. But then again, there’s Bennison’s bakery which always has incredible bread.  And cheese…there’s always amazing cheese to be found there as well.  Voila!  A Veggie Sandwich!  This was great, or as hubby said “This is stupidly good”.  I’ll take that any day of the week!  Sometimes you just got to wing it.

So while there’s really no recipe for this, everything on this sandwich came from the market this morning with the exception of a gala apple that I had on hand and some Gulden’s Mustard.  So here it goes:

Donna’s Green City Market Sandwich

Serves 2

Take 2 mini ciabatta loaves and slice in half lengthwise.  Generously spread bottom halves with Bacon Cheddar Cold Pack Cheese from Brunkhow Cheese .  On top of that place gala apple thinly sliced, half a cucumber thinly sliced, one sliced heirloom tomato, red leaf lettuce and thinly sliced red onion.  Salt and pepper each sandwich.  Spread a thin layer of Gulden’s mustard on top half of bread, place on top of the glorious veggies and squish down firmly.  Cut each sandwich in half and enjoy!