Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Poached Salmon Sliders + Curry Aioli

Here is one of those meals that comes to being when the stars align and everything is in it's right place.  Salmon is so quintessentially Northwest that sometimes we take it for granted.  This salmon was given to us by my husband's family, caught in Alaska and immediately frozen to preserve the flavor.  Whether you make this for date night or game day, this will become a classic recipe in your house.  Thanks Hilde and Chi for the salmon!


1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small shallot, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup beer or wine (whatever you are drinking)
2 cups water
1 lb wild caught salmon fillet, cut into four equal pieces
3/4 cup mayonnaise
 3 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 small green onion chopped
1-2 cups arugula or other lettuce
8 rolls (we used Macrena bakery olive rolls)

1. Heat large sauce pan over medium heat, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil.
2. When hot, add the carrot, shallot, cumin, curry, red pepper flakes and saute 5 minutes
3. Add beer and let cook down 1 minute
4. Add water and bring to a boil
5. When boiling add salmon fillets (skin side down) and cook 4-5 minutes
6. Immediately remove from heat and use a slotted spoon to remove the salmon from the hot liquid.  There is nothing worse than overcooked salmon.
7. Meanwhile, prepare aioli.  Mix mayonnaise, curry powder, lime juice and green onion.
8. Carefully peel salmon meat away from the skin
9. Cut the rolls in half add a few leaves of arugula, add salmon and serve with the mayonnaise.

NOTE - You might have to cut the fillet into half again (thus having 8 pieces) depending on the size of your rolls.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pear Rosemary Coffee Cafe

What do you do when someone gives you 10 pounds of fresh pears?  Make a lot of pear recipes!  This cake came together really quickly and hit the spot on a Sunday morning.  This is really adaptable and could be modified for any of your favorite flavors, even lavender instead of rosemary would be amazing!


1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch of salt
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
1 cup all purpose flour
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 small pears (your favorite type), cored and thinly sliced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a spring form pan and set aside.
2. Mix all dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl.  Set aside.
3. Use a mixer or eggbeater to cream together softened butter and sugar.
4. When light and fluffy (or after 4 minutes) add eggs one at a time and incorporate into the sugar and butter mixture.
5. Add vanilla and let mix for 30 more seconds.
6. Slowly add flour mixture to the "wet" butter mixture.  Add about 1/3 cup of ingredients at a time. It should all be incorporated within 2 minutes.
7. Transfer to a pre-greased cake pan and use a spatula to evenly distribute the batter.
8. Top with pear slices
9. Cook about 45 minutes, until tooth pick comes out clean and the cake is golden brown on top.
10. Let cool 15 minutes before removing from spring form.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Roasted Corn and Tomatillo Enchiladas

I've never been so excited for a dinner to come out of the oven on an 80 degree day.  It was totally worth turning the oven on and the meal came together surprisingly fast.  I love enchiladas but rarely make them at home so this recipe was a nice surprise!


3 ears of corn
1 shallot
1 lime, juiced
1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained
6-8 tortillas (these homemade tortillas are the best!)
2 cups tomatillo sauce
2 cups Mexican style cheese
Toppings - Salsa, Sour Cream, Hot Sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Remove corn husks and corn silk.  Take a sturdy butcher knife and remove the corn kernels from the cob.
3. Finely chop shallot
4. Heat skillet over medium high heat.  A a swirl or olive oil.  When hot add the shallot and corn and cook about 10 minutes.
5. Add beans to the veggies and squeeze lime juice over the veggies and remove from heat.
6. Take about 1/3 cup of tomatillo sauce and pour in bottom of 9''x13'' pyrex or other dish you will be using for the enchiladas.
7. Take a tortilla and fill with about a scoop of veggies.  Fold tortilla "burrito" style and lay in the dish.
8. Repeat with remaining tortilla and filling
9. Cover with remaining tomatillo sauce and then sprinkle the cheese over the dish.
10. Cook in the oven until cheese is bubbling, about 20 minutes.
11. Serve with salsa, sour cream, hot sauce and Corona beer!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Basil Lemon Vodka Martini

Here is your cocktail to say farewell to summer.  This is so good, you will be waiting in earnest for the fresh basil to arrive again next year.  I modified a recipe from a fun site called "Tasty Trials", check out their other great recipes.  This makes 2 cocktails served in martini glasses.

15 basil leaves
Simple syrup (from 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water)
2 1/2 shots vodka
1/3 cup lemon juice

Do ahead - Prepare syrup.  Combine sugar and water in a sauce pan over medium high heat and stir until combined.  Then boil until liquid is clear (about 4-5 minutes).  Let this cool for at least an hour.

Cocktail - Tear basil leaves into a cocktail shaker.  Top with syrup, vodka and lemon juice.  Let sit 5 minutes.  Muddle the basil with the end of a wooden spoon.  Fill the shaker with ice and shake well.  Pour into chilled martini glasses.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Eggplant and Zucchini Parmesan

I didn't know there could be a meal as good as this.  The fresh tomato sauce mixed with dainty zucchini and firm eggplant is the most amazing combination of food I've had in a really long time.  I know eggplant is not a favorite veggie for many people, I am no different.  However, this recipe takes eggplant and transforms it into the most utterly delicious purple food on the planet.  Open a bottle of your favorite Syrah and say "Ahhh".  This is definitely a Sunday or Entertaining dinner, unless you make the tomato sauce in advance and have it on standby.  You could use another tomato sauce, but then we can't be friends anymore.

Tomato Sauce

1 lb mixed heirloom tomato or tomato on the vine, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 carrots peeled and chopped
1 onion cut into half
1 tablespoon oregano

1. Heat a deep pot over medium high heat
2. Swirl a few tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of the pan
3. When hot add chopped tomatoes, garlic, carrots and saute about 5 minutes until tomatoes start to break down.
4. Add onion halves to the tomato mixture, then stir in oregano, salt and pepper
5. Let simmer over medium heat for at least 45 minutes.
6. When finished, remove onions and use an immersion blender to blend the ingredients.
7. Use as your would any other tomato sauce

Eggplant and Zucchini Parmesan

1 medium sized eggplant
1 small zucchini
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
6 oz mozzarella
2 cups tomato sauce (see below)
12 basil leaves

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
2. Slice zucchini and eggplant into 1 inch thick rounds.
3. Whisk two eggs together in a small bowl
4. Combine breadcrumbs, oregano, red pepper flakes and salt in a pie dish or similar sized plate
5. Dip the eggplant and zucchini in the egg mixture and then dredge in the bread crumb mixture and lay on the parchment paper
6. When oven is preheated, drizzle a touch of olive oil on the eggplant and zucchini and then put it in the oven and let cook 15 minutes.
7. After 15 minutes, turn the oven up to broil and broil on each side about 5 minutes until browned and crispy, then remove from the oven.
8. Meanwhile take a 9 by 13 pyrex dish and ladle a small bit of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.
9. Layer the zucchini and the eggplant in the dish, top with remaining tomato sauce and place a piece of mozzarella on each piece of zucchini and eggplant
10. Return to broiler and broil until brown spots appear on the cheese and it is bubbling
11. Remove from the oven and serve with some sauce drizzled around the veggies.  Top with fresh basil and parmesan cheese
12. Serve with crusty bread and salad.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lamb Meatballs + Greek Salad

I love meatballs, and to prove this I have created yet another meatball recipe to join the four other meatball related posts on this blog (and I am proud of them all!).  Serve these meatballs with the cucumber salad (recipe below) and your favorite smashed potato for a complete meal.

Lamb Meatballs

3/4 pound ground lamb
1 garlic clove
1 egg
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoon chopped kalamata olives
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup green onion thinly chopped
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1. Add all ingredients in a mixing bowl and use your hands to combine until well incorporated.
2. Shape meatballs into about 1 1/2 inch think rounds and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
3. Preheat skillet on the stove to medium high heat, add a swirl of olive oil and add the meatballs when hot.
4. Cook until browned and then gently turn to the over side to keep browning all sides of the meatball.
5. These are mostly cooked after 10-15 minutes depending on their size
6. If you happen to be drinking some wine, feel free to pour a bit over the meatballs for the last 2-3 minutes to give them an extra special glaze.

Greek Salad

2 cups cucumber pieces chopped in bite size pieces
1/2 pint tomatoes sliced in half
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt/pepper to taste

1. Combine all ingredients through the feta in a salad bowl.  Stir gently to mix well.
2. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt/pepper to taste.
3. Serve with meatballs or eat as a meal all on it's own!