Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Steamed Salmon and Potatoes


We made this very simple recipe for Oven-Steamed Salmon from the New York Times. The key was having excellent Wild Salmon, which we purchased from McCall's Meat and Fish. We steamed Little Potatoes to go with the salmon. We made a Sauce Gribiche to top the salmon. You can get the recipe for Sauce Gribiche from our blog of: June 4, 2016. Click the date to get the recipe.

Oven-Steamed Salmon
New York Times

This simple way to roast salmon brings spectacular results with hardly any worry on the cook's part. The Mediterranean cookbook author Paula Wolfert learned it from the French chef Michel Bras, and it rises and falls on the thinness of the sheet pan. A pan of water delivers enough moisture to steam the fish briefly at a low temperature, producing a final product that is soft and deliciously juicy. It adapts easily to almost any salmon fillet. Emily Kaiser Thelin, who includes it in her biography of Ms. Wolfert, "Unforgettable," says a center-cut of wild-caught Alaska king works best and suggests pairing it with a salad or cracked green olive relish.

Ingredients

8      ounces cracked green olives, pitted, rinsed and coarsely chopped
2      tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¾     cup walnuts, finely chopped by hand
2      green onions, white and light green parts, minced
¼     cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
     teaspoon mild red pepper flakes, preferably Aleppo or Marash, or more to taste
2      teaspoons pomegranate concentrate or molasses
1      tablespoon fresh lemon juice
 Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½     cup fresh or thawed frozen pomegranate seeds

Preparation

1.   Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and a second rack in the upper third. Heat the oven to between 225 and 275 degrees. Grease a thin sheet pan with olive oil.
2.   Carefully place a frying pan of just-boiled water on the lower oven rack. Arrange the salmon on the prepared sheet pan, season generously with salt and pepper, and place on the upper oven rack. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 110 degrees for rare, 115 degrees for medium-rare, or 125 degrees for medium. This should take 10 to 12 minutes for 5-ounce fillets or 20 to 25 minutes for a 2 1/2-pound fillet. (The color of the salmon will not turn dull, and the texture will be very juicy.)
3.   Transfer the salmon to a platter or one or more individual plates and season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle with chives, if using, and serve.



Monday, May 01, 2017

Asparagus Pasta

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One of the joys of late spring is when Asparagus comes into the market. Every year we make Asparagus Pasta at least once when Asparagus is at its peak. You can get the recipe from our blog of April 17, 2007. Click the date to get the recipe.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Feta Brined Roast Chicken with Potatoes






I love Feta Cheese, and when we saw this recipe for Chicken Brined in Feta in The New York Times, we had to try it. We will definitely make it again. The Feta gives an added tanginess to the chicken. Cathy figured she could place Sliced Potatoes under the chicken while it bakes. They were extremely crispy from the high heat and extra flavorful from the drippings. In addition, we sprinkled Feta on the Potatoes when we served the dish. Try this dish, it is excellent.


Feta-Brined Roast Chicken
New York Times

Brining a chicken before roasting can make for a particularly juicy, tender bird. Using feta in the brine adds a complex and earthy flavor to the mix. Don’t skip the step of taking the chicken out of the brine an hour before cooking. This allows the bird to come to room temperature and dries it out a bit, which helps crisp the skin. This recipe calls for a lot of black pepper, and if you like a spicy bite, don’t afraid to go for the full 2 tablespoons. Or bring the amount down for something milder. In either case, do grind it yourself; the pre-ground stuff is missing all the essential oils that give freshly ground black pepper its woodsy, floral notes. Roasted potatoes make an excellent side dish.

Ingredients

4       ounces feta cheese, crumbled
3-½   teaspoons kosher salt
1       3-½ to 4-pound whole chicken
1 to 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper, to taste
2       tablespoons dried Greek oregano
2       large lemons
¼      cup olive oil, more as needed
1       large bunch arugula or other sturdy salad greens, for serving

Preparation

1.   The day before serving, combine 2 ounces feta, 2 teaspoons salt and 4 cups water in a blender and blend until smooth. Put chicken in an extra-large resealable plastic bag or a container large enough to submerge chicken, and cover with the feta brine. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
2.   Before cooking, remove chicken from brine and transfer to a towel-lined tray. (Discard brine.) Pat chicken dry with paper towels and allow to come to room temperature for 1 hour.
3.   In a small mixing bowl, combine remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the pepper, the oregano and the zest of the lemons (about 1 tablespoon). Liberally cover chicken in herb mix and gently massage entire bird. Halve lemons and place 3 halves in cavity (save remaining half for serving). Using kitchen twine, tie legs together.
4.   Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add oil and heat until it just smokes. Place chicken, breast-side up, in pan. Transfer entire pan to oven. Cook, basting once or twice, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a knife, 50 to 60 minutes.
5.   Remove pan from oven, then stir remaining crumbled feta into juices in pan and stir well. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes in the pan before slicing and serving on a bed of greens, with feta-laced pan juices on top, drizzled with a little lemon juice from the reserved lemon half.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Orecchiette Carbonara with English Peas and Pea Shoots



Orecchiette Carbonara with English Peas and Pea Shoots is another of those spring dishes we make every year when peas come into season. It is easy and delicious. You can get the recipe on our blog of: April 28, 2009. Click the date to get the recipe.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Surf and Turf







What is better to grill then Porterhouse Steak from McCall's Meat and Fish? Tom gave us some Fava Beans from his garden and some Mustard Greens. We threw them on the fire to char them. We also had left over Lobster / Risotto Cakes. This was a great dinner! Chappies (Tom's dog) got the bone.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Scarpata with no fresh Tomatoes


We like the recipe for Scarpata Pasta. By finishing the cooking of the pasta in the pasta sauce the sauce gets directly infused into the pasta. We decided to try the recipe using bottled pasta sauce and not directly from Fresh Tomatoes. It was a mistake. It wasn't as good. We tried. You can get the recipe from our blog of: August 6, 2015. Click the date to get the recipe.