Showing posts with label fish and seafood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fish and seafood. Show all posts

25 November 2015

Easy Baked Lemon & Parsley Barramundi

This is any easy baked fish recipe made just a little fancy with a lemon and garlic butter sauce. I used fresh parsley, because I'd bought a bunch of it for something ... but I can't remember what that something was and have no notes to guide me. It's also possible I wasn't supposed to buy parsley at all, but thyme. Anyway, feel free to use dried parsley, but the flavor may not be the same.

I know. Everyone's "Parsley is there for garnish, right? It doesn't have a flavor?" but I beg to differ. Parsley tastes fresh and green (like spring) with a little hint of bitterness and can brighten up a dish. I only used the leaves in this recipe, saving the stems to flavor the stock I'll make from the Thanksgiving turkey carcass.

Even though I baked the fish at a high temperature, I didn't cover the barramundi, because I knew the sauce would keep it moist. As expected, the fish came out flaky and moist. Quite lemony and garlicky, obviously, but both flavors compliment rather than overwhelm the flavor of fish.

Baked Lemon & Parsley Barramundi

Yield: 2


  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • 8 oz barramundi fillets
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Melt butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove. Whisk in lemon juice, garlic, parsley, and black pepper. Set aside.
  3. Blot fillets dry and place in a baking dish or glass pie plate. Pour butter mixture over fish. Bake for 10 minutes at 425°F or until fish flakes easily with a fork and has reached 145°F.
  4. Season with salt to taste, if desired, and serve.

28 October 2015

Sorta Fancy Lemon-Garlic Salmon

Picked up a piece of absolutely beautiful wild-caught sockeye salmon at the fish counter yesterday, splurging a little on the price because it's been yonks since I made salmon for supper and the neighboring tuna steaks just didn't "speak" to me.

Who's the prettiest piece of salmon? You are! Yes, you are. So pretty!

I wanted to do something "fancy" with the salmon, but at the same time knew I'd be running on fumes after work and completely incapable of anything too grand. I need faux fancy. I needed butter. And herbs.

All dressed up and ready to visit the oven.

My initial idea was to soften the butter, not melt it, but I wasn't paying enough attention (don't unpack a very exciting Zazzle delivery while trying to cook after a tiring day in the library mines) and so melted butter is what I ended up with. I threw in all the usual flavors -- garlic, lemon, salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary -- and then decided to add some marjoram for that extra bit of something. A dash of je ne sais quoi, if you will.

The finished dish turned out quite deliciously. The salmon was, at ten minutes, perfectly cooked to our tastes and the lemon-garlic-herb butter was bright and flavorful in a completely complimentary-not-overwhelming way. I'd worried I'd gone too heavy on the lemon for The Husband, but he was perfectly happy and left nothing behind.

Lemon-Garlic Roasted Salmon

Yield: 2-4, depending on greed


  • 1 lb salmon fillet
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp dried marjoram
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Brush a pie plate or baking dish with olive oil.
  3. Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel. Cut the salmon into two to four (I did two, because I'm a greedy so-and-so) similarly-sized portions. Place them, skin-side down, in the pie plate.
  4. Melt the butter in a saucepan or microwave. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Spread butter mixture over salmon pieces, trying to distribute it evenly across all pieces.
  5. Roast salmon, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily and has reached 145°F.


18 June 2015

Improv Challenge: Fish & Avocado

For June's Improv Challenge, I made a quick and easy canapé using shrimp and avocados. It's reminiscent of ceviche, but uses canned shrimp so no worries about bacteria or parasites. It makes twelve toasts, but if you prefer to eat these for lunch, figure three toasts per person, plus a light salad and fruit.

Shrimp & Avocado Toasts

Yield:12ish toasts


  • 6 oz can tiny shrimp, rinsed and well drained
  • 2 Campari tomatoes, seeded and diced small
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1½ Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 avocado, stoned and diced small
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sriracha or preferred hot sauce, as desired
  • Melba or toasted thin-sliced sliced baguette


  1. Gently combine shrimp, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, avocado, and lime juice so that the ingredients are well mixed, but the avocado remains chunky.
  2. Season with salt, pepper, and sriracha to taste.
  3. Serve on melba toasts.

I apologize for the quality of my photos -- I took them in a rush and failed to notice the terrible focus issues at the time. Also, I swear my avocado was not that shade of yellow, but a nice (avocado!) green. Ugh.

Anyway, they taste pretty good! Promise.

05 June 2015

Pasta Salad Season Continues

I threw this quick pasta salad together Sunday night so we'd have something quick and cool to eat after a long, hot Monday. It's not particularly fancy -- more of a "garbage" salad than anything else -- but it came out pretty well and I'll definitely be using the mayonnaise-milk-lemon-mustard combination again.

Mom always served pasta salad with pickled beets ... so I do, too. Tradition!

Tuna Macaroni Salad

Yield: 4


  • 6 oz whole grain elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 5 oz can albacore tuna packed in water, drained and flaked
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ¼ cup chopped radishes
  • ¾ cup light mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup 1% milk
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • ¼ tsp black pepper


  1. In a large serving bowl, combine macaroni, tuna, onion, peas, and radishes.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, milk, lemon juice, mustard, dill, and black pepper.
  3. Pour mayonnaise mixture over pasta and toss to coat.
  4. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

I took the leftover pasta salad and pickled beets (not-too-rigorously drained canned beets tossed with garlic vinegar and refrigerated overnight) to work with garlic Triscuits:

03 June 2015

Maple Dijon Glazed Salmon

I also picked up a 3-pound bag of Kirkland Signature frozen Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon fillets at BJ's last week, because salmon is a fish everyone can agree on, and I'm trying very hard to keep the freezer stocked with things that can be easily and quickly made into a meal. Frozen salmon thaws in about ten minutes if you put it in a dish and run very cold water over it -- then it's just a matter of throwing together a couple sides while the salmon cooks.

While I usually season salmon with olive oil and herbs before I bake it, I was craving something a little sweet to go with my savory and threw together an easy maple syrup and dijon mustard glaze. I used a little coconut aminos, too, to give it a bit more depth, but I'm sure soy sauce would work just fine.

Maple Dijon Glazed Salmon

Yield: 2


  • 2 6 oz wild-caught Alaskan salmon fillets
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Whisk together maple syrup, coconut aminos, and mustard. Set aside.
  3. Brush a baking dish with a little olive oil or spritz with cooking spray. Place fillets in dish, skin side down, and liberally brush with the syrup mixture.
  4. Bake, uncovered, 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily and has reached 145°F.
Served the salmon with buttery dilled potatoes and our usual cucumber-and-tomato salad. It was all quite tasty and couldn't have taken more than 20 minutes from freezer to plate.

29 May 2015

"Mediterranean" Tilapia & Tomatoes

Tilapia! I'm trying to get us to eat more fish (twice a week, ideally) and tilapia happens to be both inexpensive and one of the very few fish The Husband eats so ... hurrah for tilapia! It's fine! Really. Kind of like boneless skinless chicken breasts, you can do pretty much anything to it and it comes out fine -- just don't overcook it. Overcooked tilapia is just sad. Anyway, here I've jazzed up with "Mediterranean" ingredients like garlic, tomatoes, olives, and basil.

Tilapia & Tomatoes

Yield: 4


  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
  • ¼ cup black olives, pitted and chopped
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 large basil leaves, rolled and sliced into thin ribbons
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Brush a baking dish with a little olive oil or spritz with cooking spray.
  3. Arrange fillets in dish.
  4. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and spread over fillets.
  5. Bake fillets uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily and has reached 145°F.

27 May 2015

Pasta Salad Season Is Here, Hurrah

Sunday, I prepped a bunch of food for the week including a vegetable soup, egg salad, and this macaroni salad. Like the soup, it helps clear out the crisper of neglected vegetables. Unlike the soup, it's definitely a dish The Husband will eat. Usually I make my creamy pasta salads with light mayonnaise that has been thinned with a little milk or Italian vinaigrette, but this time I decided to be "fancy" and thin the milk the fat-free peppercorn ranch and then jazz it up with shredded parmesan.

Love this speckled lettuce -- makes every salad fancy.

I tried to dice all the vegetables small -- pea-sized, actually -- for a bite-sized delicousness. Who wants to fork up some salad, get a tiny pea and a big chunk of celery? Eh.

Very Veggie Tuna Macaroni Salad

Yield: 4 generous servings


  • 2 cups uncooked whole grain elbow macaroni
  • 5 oz can water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
  • ⅔ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ⅔ cup chopped celery
  • ⅔ cup frozen peas
  • ¼ cup diced radishes
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • ¾ cup light mayonnaise [Hellmann's]
  • ½ cup light peppercorn ranch dressing
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Greek seasoning blend [Penzeys]
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, combine tuna, vegetables, and parsley in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Pour frozen peas into the bottom of a colander. Drain macaroni over peas and rinse in cold water; add to tuna mixture.
  4. Whisk together mayonnaise, dressing, cheese, and seasoning blend in a small mixing bowl. Season to taste with pepper.
  5. Pour mayonnaise mixture into pasta bowl and stir to coat. Refrigerate macaroni salad for a few hours before serving.

21 May 2015

Improv Challenge: Cilantro & Lime

May's Improv Challenge features the cool refreshing flavors of cilantro and lime. Unfortunately, cilantro can be very hit or miss for me -- while I usually find it delicious, sometimes it can be oddly soapy-tasting. Therefore, I did not use a lot of cilantro in this recipe!

I used barramundi in this dish, which the man at the seafood counter recommended as a sweet, mild fish similar to sea bass. I like bass and was happy to try something new as we've been eating a lot of tilapia and tuna lately. He said to cook the barramundi at 400°F for ten minutes or until it was white and flaked easily with a fork, so that's exactly what I did.

Cilantro & Lime Baked Barramundi

Yield: 2


  • 2 6 oz frozen barramundi fillets, thawed
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved or quartered (depending on size)
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Pat fish dry. Place in a baking dish. Rub with 1 tsp olive oil.
  3. Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl, and pour the mixture over the fish.
  4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  5. Garnish with additional cilantro, if desired (I forgot), and serve.

Overall, I was very pleased with this dish and will definitely be making it again (with garden tomatoes, hopefully). The fish, while sweet and mild, was not overwhelmed by the sweetness of the tomatoes or the tartness of the lime. And, happily, the cilantro was not in the least bit soapy-tasting, but added a welcome grassy/summery note. I know "grassy" sounds a bit off-putting, but it was a bright green flavor that made me think of grass or chlorophyll.

15 April 2015

Quick Roasted Salmon Fillet

Since I used Penzey's Sunny Paris salt-free seasoning blend, which is comprised of dehydrated shallots, chives, green peppercorn, dill weed, basil, tarragon, chervil and bay leaf, I'm tempted to call this "Parisian salmon." But that sounds like I'm trying too hard!

Quick Roasted Salmon

Servings: 2


  • 2 6 oz portions skinned boneless salmon fillet
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • Penzey's Sunny Paris salt-free blend


  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
  2. Pour a little olive oil into the bottom of a baking dish or pie plate. Place the salmon fillets in a baking dish and rub around in the oil, flipping to make sure both sides are coated.
  3. Season generously with salt, pepper, and Sunny Paris. Bake 12 minutes or until fish has reached 145°F flakes easily with a fork.
We ate the salmon over Sidemates Tuscan Medley pearl couscous with steamed veggies and it was pretty darn tasty. The salmon was moist and flaky and omnomnom.

30 March 2015

Easy One-Pan Salmon & Asparagus

This is an easy way to cook salmon and frozen asparagus that only takes minimal ingredients and time. And the pan is lined in parchment, so clean up is a breeze! A great lazy day supper that looks like you tried harder than you did.

Roasting frozen vegetables like asparagus and brussels sprouts gives them a much texture than steaming frozen vegetables as they retain some firmness and the oven's heat crisps their edges. I like crispy edges!

One-Pan Roasted Salmon & Asparagus

Servings: 2


  • ½ lb wild-caught Alaskan salmon
  • 10 oz frozen organic asparagus (DO NOT THAW)
  • olive oil, as needed
  • zest of one lemon
  • Herbes de Provence, as desired [Penzeys]
  • salt and pepper, as desired


  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Line a jelly roll pan or baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Place the salmon fillet on the pan with the frozen asparagus stalks. Drizzle everything lightly with olive oil and season with lemon zest and Herbes de Provence.
  3. Bake 12-15 minutes or until fish has reached 145°F and flakes easily with a fork.

My recipe calls for half a pound of salmon, but I cooked a full pound this time so that I would have leftovers to top tossed salads later in the week. Therefore, I roasted the salmon for 10, added the asparagus, and continued roasting for another 10.

27 March 2015

Homemade Spudulike: Tuna & Sweet Corn Stuffed Baked Potatoes

While I've made baked potatoes stuffed with Tuna Sweetcorn Mayonnaise before as a homage to the Spudulike jacket potatoes I can't buy stateside, it's been a while. Happily, while I'm still not 100%, baked potatoes are definitely something I can handle and everything I needed to make them was already in the house.

Tuna & Sweetcorn Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Yield: 2


  • 2 baking potatoes
  • olive oil, as needed
  • sea salt, as needed
  • oz can solid white albacore tuna, well drained
  • 1 oz thawed frozen corn, well drained
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • Dried parsley flakes, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, if desired
  • 1 oz shard cheddar, shredded [Cabot Seriously Sharp]


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Clean potatoes, pat dry, rub with olive oil, sprinkle all over with sea salt, place on a small baking tray and bake for 1 hr.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all remaining ingredients (except cheese!) in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. When potatoes are done, remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes or until the are easily handled.

  4. Split potatoes, spread with butter, stuff with tuna mixture, top with cheese, and pop under the broiler for 5 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.

07 November 2014

Savory Salmon Muffins

Linda's "Tuna Or Salmon Muffins" are a great "in a pinch" recipe. You know, one of those recipes for when you "forgot" to go grocery shopping because you were too busy reading or gardening or whathaveyou and now it's supper time and you're vaguely hungry but don't know what to do. Or does that only happen to me?

These fishy muffins also have the benefit of being low carb, if you're into that. I just liked that they sounded fast, easy, and used things I always have on hand. I used two 6-oz cans of Wild Planet Wild Alaska Pink Salmon, Cabot Seriously Sharp, and a generous amount of Penzeys salt-free Tuscan Sunset in addition to the salt and pepper. When I make these again (quite possibly TOMORROW) I will use even more seasoning as I found the muffins a little bland. The fabulous roasted garlic aïoli I served them with made up for that, but I feel a dish shouldn't be dependent on its sauce for flavor.

Had intended to cook up some steam-in-bag frozen asparagus to go with these muffins, but then I realized the fresh steam-in-bag broccoli florets I'd bought Wednesday night had a best-used-by date of Thursday. Yes. What was I thinking? I distinctly remember looking through all the bags for one dated as far in the future as possible ... and yet that bag is not the one that came home with me.

I microwaved the broccoli for 3 of the 3½ minutes directed by the bag and then tossed the cooked broccoli with olive oil, lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper, and Boxed Goodes' Allium Salt. Currently, this is my favorite way of preparing fresh or frozen steam-in-bag broccoli and, prepared this way, I can easily eat a bag that should serve four in a day!

18 September 2014

Improv Challenge: Milk & Honey

Every time I sat down with my notepad to think up interesting combinations of milk and honey for September's Improv Challenge, I ended up with lists of cakes and puddings. Which would be fine ... if I hadn't recklessly decided to stop eating (as many) cakes and puddings. Every autumn and winter, I gain weight. Every spring and summer, I struggle to lose that gain. It's annoying. It's boring. I'm tired of it.

Long story short, I made a salad for September's Improv Challenge. And it is tangy-sweet delicious. And pretty healthy.

Salmon Salad with Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing
Serves 2

For the salmon:
2 6 oz portions skinned boneless salmon fillet
olive oil
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper

For the dressing:
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup sour cream
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard [Maille]
2 Tbsp honey
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried parsley flakes

For the salad:
spring mix with herbs [Nature's Promise Organic]
chopped, peeled, seeded cucumber
small slivers of red onion

Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Place the salmon fillets in a baking dish. Brush the tops lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake 12-15 minutes, depending on how well done you like your salmon.

While the salmon bakes, dump all the dressing ingredients into a bowl and whiz with an immersion blender until smooth and uniformly blended. A regular blender or bowl-and-whisk combo will work, too, obviously. Makes about 6 ounces of dressing.

Toss lettuce blend with cucumber and onion. Divide between two plates.

Gently remove the salmon fillets the tray and place atop the salads. Drizzle with the honey mustard dressing. Serve.

You could also omit the olive oil and brush the salmon with some of the dressing before baking it. Of course, this would mean assembling the dressing first! Also, the recipe makes more dressing than you'll need for two salads, but it will keep in the fridge for a few days (can't exactly say how long since I tend to eat it all within 3 days).

The dressing is a bit runny, but I don't know how to fix that without changing how it tastes and it will thicken up a bit if you refrigerate it (well, the first batch thickened up ... but the second didn't).

I used linden honey in this recipe, but any mild-tasting honey would work just fine.

27 August 2014

Simply Summery Supper

A summery Sunday supper of roasted sweet corn and wild-caught salmon with a simple salad of tomato, onion, and cucumber. Bought the wild-caught salmon at Straight From Maine Seafood, a local fishmonger that opened three years ago and yet I'd never visited before. And why not? Because it's slightly inconvenient to get in and out of the shopping center's lot. Yeah, best reason ever.

Anyway, completely delicious salmon! And, if you're used to Whole Foods' prices for wild-caught salmon, Straight From Maine Seafood's prices are perfectly reasonable. In addition to the pleasing assortment of fish and shellfish, the store also sells lobster ravioli, soups, and Humpty Dumpty chips (in fabulous flavors like ketchup and dill pickle). I'm definitely going to have to add this store to my list of Things To Do On My Fridays Off Instead Of Frittering Them Away On The Internet.

Chop two small cucumbers into a small serving bowl. Add one chopped seeded tomato and half a diced red onion. Toss with one tablespoon olive oil, one tablespoon white wine vinegar, and salt-and-stuff blend of choice (I used Boxed Goodes' Allium Salt). Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim the corn silk and remove any loose leaves. Place corn on rack in preheated oven and roast for twenty minutes.

Pat salmon dry and brush with a little olive oil. Squeeze some lemon oven it and sprinkle with a few grinds of whatever salt blend you used on the cucumbers. Shove corn to the side of the oven. Add tray with salmon and roast ten minutes more.

Remove salmon and corn from oven. Allow corn to cool down for five minutes or until it doesn't burn your fingers, then shuck corn, brush with melted butter, and season with salt and pepper (if that's your thing). Portion out salmon, cucumber salad, and corn. Eat.

I bought and cooked more salmon than two people really "need," but I know the leftovers will be excellent in scrambled eggs and on tossed salad. Or just nommed-up cold while standing in front of the fridge. Don't judge.

29 July 2014

Something From The Cupboards: Crunchy Salmon Cakes

I did a bunch of shopping over the weekend, but all of it was for work, so there wasn't much left in the fridge by the time Sunday night came around. Happily, there was salmon and panko in the cupboards and I threw together a quick batch of crunchy salmon cakes and a rather tasty lemon-dill sauce.

To make the patties, I combined two six-ounce cans Wild Alaska pink salmon, well drained and flaked, with two eggs, two pressed cloves of garlic, black pepper, salt, dill, parsley, and a scant half cup crushed garlic-and-herb croutons. I molded the salmon mixture into palm-sized patties and then coated them with panko before cooking them in hot olive oil for about 5 minutes per side.

The sauce was a simple combination of a half cup of Hellmann's light mayonnaise, lemon juice, pressed garlic, dill, and black pepper. The sauce was decidedly garlicky and I worried The Husband would find it a bit too zesty for his delicate palate, but he really liked it!

23 July 2014

More Beanz!

My bush green beans are quite ... prolific ... this year and I'm having a little trouble keeping up! Usually, by the middle of July, the plants have fallen prey to some hungry critter or been crispified by drought and bean production is over. This summer ... well, I'm pretty sure my cats have zeroed out my neighborhood's rabbit population and, thanks to cooler than normal temps and some decent rain, my bean and chard bed is a dense jungle! I'm not bothered that the chard is getting monstrous (it will be good whenever I harvest it) but leave beans too long and they go all woody and "untasty."

Over the weekend, I made a bean and tuna salad using one of Plated's recipes but subbed with my own green beans instead of their haricot vert as those were brownish and unappetizing looking. Anyway, the salad was dead easy to throw together -- just blanched beans, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, parsley, dill, shallot, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, dijon, sea salt, and black pepper -- and I'll definitely make it again with more garden beans and cherry tomatoes (if, by happy coincidence the beans are still bearing when the tomatoes ripen).

The bean salad was meant to be served with oil-poached tuna, but I chose to poach my tuna in low-sodium fat-free chicken broth because the Plated recipe called for poaching the tuna in 1½ cup extra virgin olive oil and my parsimonious brain was like "Dude! That's $7 worth of oil! Duuuude! And you only keep two tablespoons! The rest gets thrown away?! WTF?" Anyway, the salad was fine served with broth-poached tuna as I ended up flaking the tuna and tossing everything together to make two meals for work.

I also made an easy minestrone with green beans, garden basil, canned tomatoes, and a farmers' market zucchini I had kind-of forgotten about in the back of the crisper. It came out pretty well for something that was just "Well, I'll saute some onion and garlic and carrots and celery and then add some chopped green beans and broth and herbs and zucchini and tomatoes and salt and pepper and just keep fiddling until it tastes right."

30 May 2014

Plated: Seared Salmon Salad w/ Tomato Sherry Vinaigrette

I came home to my first Plated box last Friday after a long, crazy work week. I was low on energy and pretty much regretting my impulsive subscription ... until I opened the box and saw the recipe card for "Seared Salmon Salad with Tomato Sherry Vinaigrette" peaking out at me. Surely, I thought, I can sear some salmon and toss a salad. I am a capable human being, after all.

How it looks just out of the box.
Salad ingredients, unpacked.
The salad went together easily ... there was just a surprisingly large amount of it considering it was meant to serve two people! And I actually forgot to include the small head of butter lettuce! It was easily salad for three with just the arugula, frisee, and radicchio. Adding the butter lettuce would have made salad for five or six! Not that would have been terrible -- "free" meals -- but there really wasn't enough salmon to go with all that salad. Even I, who love big ass salads, ended up leaving a small pile behind because I was out of salmon and simply couldn't tolerate more bitter radicchio. The Husband, who likes his salads heavy on protein and light on greens, left a lot behind.

The tomato sherry vinaigrette was surprisingly zippy and might have benefited from cutting back on the acids or upping the amount of honey (I thought about whisking in some of my own honey, but decided I should try the recipe as provided). Also, a bigger tomato wouldn't have gone amiss as my shallot and tomato were about the same size and the shallot overwhelmed the tomato when they were mixed into the dressing. (I did think about using one of the tomatoes meant for the "Cheesy Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes," but figured I'd regret trying to stuff a tiny tomato later).

The Husband and I both agreed that the seared salmon was totes delicious and I was very pleased to learn a new method for cooking salmon. Previously, I'd always avoided cooking salmon in a skillet (unless I was poaching it) because I couldn't figure out how to do so without overcooking the fish. Obviously, you cook the salmon flesh-side down.

Would I make this seared salmon salad again? Definitely ... but would definitely dial the bitter greens back a bit! And not forget the butter lettuce!

18 May 2014

All the Little (and Big) Fishes

It all started with a salad. I made a delightful salad of chopped romaine, radishes, cucumber, capers, dill, lemon, sieved hard-cooked egg, and mashed sardines that was so delightful I ended up going on something of an oily fishy bender. And why not? Oily fishes like mackerel and sardines are both delicious and wholesome -- a good source of vitamins A and D and omega-3 fatty acids.

Because tinned fishes aren't just for lunch, I mashed a tin of Neptun Mackerel Fillets in Tomato Sauce with spicy horseradish, lemon juice, and black pepper and spread it on slices of buttery, crunchy toast for breakfast. Since that only accounted for about half of the mixture, I ate the rest on top of a toasted mini bagel spread with a little light cream cheese as a nice afternoon snack.

And since that still just wasn't enough fish for me, I also made a cottage cheese and mackerel salad that turned out pretty darn fine. I drained a tin of Season Skinless & Boneless Fillets of Mackerel in Olive Oil, mashed it fine, and mixed it with light cottage cheese, diced seeded cucumber, minced red onion, fresh dill, lemon juice, and black pepper. Everything sat overnight in the fridge so the dill and lemon flavors could spread themselves around and then I ate it for lunch spooned onto pretzel crisps. The salty crunch of the crisps paired with the cool creaminess of the salad was mighty fine.

14 May 2014

Simple Salmon Supper

It was finally warm and, more importantly, dry enough this past Sunday that we were able to eat supper outside on the porch. That would be the first time we've eaten outside in 2014! If I'd been planning ahead, I'd have taken something out to grill, but baked salmon and dilly red potatoes (after a day of buying stuff for the gardens and then doing stuff to the gardens) were celebratory enough.

The salmon: boneless fillet rubbed with a little olive oil and a generous amount of Penzeys Greek seasoning blend, then baked at 425F° for 6 minutes.

The sauce: 0% plain Chobani with finely diced seeded cucumber, minced red onion, lemon juice, fresh dill, and Penzeys Greek seasoning blend to taste.

The potatoes: boiled quartered small red potatoes tossed with unsalted butter and fresh dill.

The verdict: yum!

Since I had leftover salmon and sauce, I decided to use them in a pasta salad for Monday's lunch by stirring them together and adding a serving of cooked whole wheat macaroni.

10 April 2014

Fast Lemony Greek Tilapia

These tilapia fillets kept trying to escape the freezer every time I opened the door, which seemed like a good indicator we should eat them sooner rather than later. I didn't really have a clear idea of what I wanted to do, but I already had olive oil and half a lemon on hand so it was really just a matter of deciding which seasoning blend to use (Greek? Lemon-pepper? Italian?) and how long to bake them in the oven.

Lemony Greek Tilapia

1 lb tilapia fillets
1 Tbsp Greek seasoning blend
1 Tbsp olive oil
Half a lemon

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place tilapia on the parchment, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with Greek seasoning blend. Squeeze lemon half over fish.

Place baking sheet in center of oven and bake for 15 minutes or until fish is opaque white and flakes easily with a fork.
We ate the tilapia with a warm clean-out-the-fridge pasta salad I threw together using orzo, garbanzos/chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, red onion, artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, Greek seasoning, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. It was a surprisingly successful side dish, although I think a little feta wouldn't have gone amiss. But, you know, me and cheese!