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Dinner with Jay: Salmon
Sep 5th, 2008



Okay, I'll admit Jay didn't really pick out this recipe as much as I cajoled him into it. Salmon is one of the few types of seafood that Jay enjoys, so when I came across some nice salmon at the store I decided to see if I could find a simple, easy preparation (ideally involving lots of butter) and talk him into helping out.

We actually made this a few months ago when Copper River salmon were in the stores here in Seattle. Despite the fact that I live in Seattle, salmon has actually never been one of my favorite fish, in fact I usually find it kind of boring. I haven't done a lot of taste tasting between types of salmon, and I wasn't entirely sold on the idea of shelling out gold bullion for a few fillets of fish just because it had the title 'Copper River - wild caught' on it. So I bought a smidge of the expensive stuff, and more of your basic farm raised Atlantic salmon, figuring I'd be lucky if I could force this stuff down my kids gullets at all, let alone pause to enjoy the subtle delights of expensive fish.

But you know what, when all was said and done, I would have been better off just buying as much of the Copper River as I could afford and leaving it at that. The difference in color and texture between the two was quite impressive - the Copper River being firm with an actual salmon color while the farmed salmon was an anemic pink and kind of squishy. And the taste - alright I'll admit it - the Copper River was so much better. And I should know because I was the one forced to eat up the rest of the farmed salmon for lunch the next two days. There were no leftovers of the wild-caught fish.

The preparation itself was super easy, and definitely kid-friendly. If you've got some picky eaters who you think might be ready to try seafood, I would recommend buying a small quantity of the best quality salmon out there, and giving this recipe a whirl.


Roasted Salmon with Garlic Butter
Serves 4

2 Garlic Cloves
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
3 Tablespoons Butter
1.5 Pounds Salmon, Cut into 4 Pieces
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Fresh Minced Parsley
Lemon Wedges for Garnish


Preheat Oven to 400 F. Mash the garlic into a paste witht the salt and pepper on a cutting board. Add butter and mash into the garlic paste.

In a baking dish, arrange the salmon in a single layer and top it with the garlic butter. Drizzle with the lemon juice. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve with the lemon wedges.

-http://seafood.betterrecipes.com/salmongarlicbutterroasted.html
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Italian Bread with Roasted Vegetables
Sep 5th, 2008



I'm not sure why this recipe gets all coy and calls itself 'Italian Bread' rather than Focaccia, but it's a nice easy recipe and a good way to introduce some veggies into what is usually a pretty nutrition free dish (white flour, oil, and salt!).

I think you could easily play with the types of vegetables you use in this recipe - just keep an eye on the moisture content. You don't want it to get too high. As it is, the dough gets really slimy and disgusting when the roasted vegetables are kneaded into the dough, but if you perservere and get the mess into the baking dish it still bakes up golden and tasty.

This bread is great with tomato soup and a sprinkling of feta.


Italian Bread with Roasted Vegetables

1 cup water
1 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp fresh basil
1/2 tsp salt
2 to 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 sweet onion, 1-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, peel on
6 sundried tomato halves, in strips
1/16 tsp sea salt, kosher or ground


Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bowl and let set until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the oregano, basil, and salt. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix thoroughly, adding more flour until you have a nice medium-firm dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and spring, at least 5 minutes. Place the dough in aan oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Peel and chop the onion and pepper, and crush the garlic. Toss the onions, pepper, and garlic with 1/2 tsp of oil in a baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp of salt. Bake 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the garlic is soft. Cool before using. Peel the garlic and cut into small pieces.

Spread the dough into a large rectangle. Scatter the vegetable mixture evenly over the top. Add the sun-dried tomato pieces and fold in the sides. Knead the vegetables into the dough until they are well distributed throughout. Pat the dough into a greased 10.5-inch skillet or pie pan. Allow it to rise about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Make deep dimples in the dough with your fingertips. Drizzle the remaining 1/2 tsp oil over the top and sprinkle with the kosher salt. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a rack before cutting.

-Graham Kerr, Day-by-Day Gourmet Cookbook
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