Patrick’s Venetian Stew

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The dinner spread, complete with a fresh loaf of bread and local caciotta cheese.

My parents’ visit to Seattle just wrapped up today, and I am already feeling nostalgic for adventures and meals that we shared over the past week!  Alex and I re-visited a few of our favorite Seattle restaurants, and I had the chance to show my parents some touristy destinations that wanted to check out.

During our visit, the most noteworthy meal that we cooked at home was a rendition of Patrick’s Venetian Stew recipe.  A list of simple ingredients was brought to full, flavorful life with the help of PCC’s rich produce and seafood selection.  Mom and I prepared the base for the Venetian stew on Monday morning and let it simmer for a full hour before saving it in the fridge over the course of the day (about 7 hours).  In the evening, we took about twenty minutes to prepare the pasta, shrimp and scallops.  Overall, this meal takes just about 45 minutes to put together, but works well as a “make-ahead meal” because the tomatoes soak up the wonderful garlic, wine and butter flavors.  After our meal, we stayed with the local theme and enjoyed Theo’s dark chocolate for dessert.

Thank you to Patrick for sharing his family recipe!  This meal is best enjoyed with great friends and family, so we called for enough ingredients to feed eight or more guests.

Recipe

Patrick’s Venetian Stew – serves 8 to 10

Mom and I substituted gluten-free flour and brown rice pasta to make this recipe gluten-free.  I served my dinner with a side of rustic bread and we both recommend topping the dish with cheese!  I love garlic and hot red pepper flakes in this meal, so I tend to use even more of each ingredient than listed below.  When we cooked this dish, we left the seafood preparation until just before we were ready to serve dinner.  For this blog post, however, I have re-written the steps using Patrick’s directions, to stay true to his recipe.  Most of the words and advice below were written by Patrick, but Mom and I added the red pepper by a happy accident, and are keeping the addition for next time.

You will need: fullsizerender-3

  1. salt and pepper, to taste
  2. 2 T all purpose flour
  3. 2 lb scallops
  4. 2 T butter
  5. 1/4 C olive oil, plus 2 T
  6. 1 C dry white wine
  7. 3/4 C chicken broth
  8. shallots and/or one sweet onion, diced
  9. 3 t hot red pepper flakes (more or less per your tastes)
  10. 1 red pepper, diced
  11. 8 (or more) chopped garlic cloves
  12. 2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes, drained
  13. 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  14. 2 28 oz cans tomato puree
  15. 1/2 C sugar
  16. 2 lb shrimp

Steps:

  1. Begin by chopping your onion/shallots, red pepper and garlic.  Set aside.
  2. Peel and devein shrimp, set aside.
  3. Season and lightly flour scallops.  Heat olive oil in a large pot and lightly brown scallops for about 3-4 minutes per side.  Remove scallops and set aside.
  4. Add a little more olive oil and white wine to your pot, and let reduce at medium-high heat.
  5. Add butter, chicken broth, shallots/onion, red pepper, garlic and hot red pepper flakes.  Cook until shallots/onion are done (5-8 minutes).
  6. Drain off whole tomatoes and crush by hand.
  7. Add all canned tomatoes to your pot, combining with salt and pepper to taste.  Add sugar to reduce the acidity.
  8. Bring to a simmer and add shrimp.  Stir to combine, checking shrimp opacity for doneness.  Just before shrimp are done, add scallops back in.
  9. Let simmer on very low heat for about an hour.

Optional: Serve over pasta and/or with a loaf of Italian bread.  (And of course, red wine!)

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Cod and Halibut Poached in Thai Coconut Curry

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The final product: poached cod over a bed of quinoa and wilted spinach, topped with green onions, baby mushrooms and lime.

I am back in Seattle and taking full advantage of the seafood options! When I look for new ingredients, I consider the nutrition, sustainability and cost of my options. Lately, my local grocery store, PCC, has featured wild-caught halibut and cod.  The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch is my go-to source for recommendations on sustainable fish options and based on their findings, cod is the way to go. However, I bought both filets from the local PCC, which was just voted Whole Foods Magazine’s 2016 Retailer of the Year.  The article announcing PCC’s accomplishment highlights that my grocer was the “founding partner of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program, selling only seafood that has been fished or farmed in ways that protect sea life and habitats,” and that led me to conclude that the wild halibut at my store was sustainably caught. Finally, cod is typically less expensive than halibut in my area, but for the sake of trying out this recipe, I bought filets of both types of fish.  In the end, I prefer cod for a recipe like this, where you want the fish to take on some of the broth’s flavor.

This dish is all about marrying flavors for a satisfying broth that unites the veggies, protein and carb ingredients. I visited the cooking blog “Alaska from Scratch” for a poached halibut recipe, which was adapted from another blog post from “Simply Scratch.” The main difference between the recipes is our fish preference (barramundi –> halibut –> cod). I also tweaked my broth to add a little depth to the flavor, threw in some local, small mushrooms and substituted quinoa for jasmine rice.

Recipe

Poached Fish in Thai Coconut Curry Sauce – serves 2

I love a rich curry broth, and you can achieve that depth of flavor with a little soy sauce or fish sauce. You can always use more spinach, but this ratio of ingredients worked out well for us.
You will need:IMG_6751

  1. 2 T olive oil
  2. 10 oz fresh spinach
  3. salt and pepper, to taste
  4. 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  5. 1 T Thai red curry paste
  6. 2 t soy sauce or fish sauce
  7. 1 1/2 C chicken broth (I used low sodium)
  8. 14 oz coconut milk
  9. ½ t sugar
  10. 1 lb halibut or cod
  11. ¼ C green onions, sliced
  12. 1 lime

 Optional: serve over quinoa or rice. I cooked my quinoa in equal parts water and chicken broth.

Steps:

  1. If you are serving your fish with quinoa, get that started first. For best results, rinse quinoa in a mesh sieve under running water until water runs clear. Next, toast quinoa in a medium saucepan over low heat until excess rinsing water has evaporated and quinoa starts to smell a little nutty. Then, add liquids and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover to cook for 15 minutes.  When your cooking liquid has been completely absorbed, cover pot and remove from heat to let quinoa sit for 5-10 minutes, fluff with fork before serving.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 T olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sauté for about 5 minutes until just wilted.  Set aside cooked spinach and wipe liquid out of pan.
  3. Add 1 T olive oil to your large saucepan and warm over medium heat.  Add chopped garlic, stirring constantly so garlic does not burn.  Add curry paste, soy sauce, chicken broth, coconut milk and sugar.  Raise heat and bring to a simmer (until the surface just bubbles) and then turn heat to low.
  4. When curry liquid has reduced to about half, add your fish, scooping some poaching liquid over the filets.  Cover the saucepan and poach fish for about 5 minutes, adding an extra minute or two for thicker filets.  When fish is done, it should flake easily when tested with a fork.
  5. Remove fish from poaching liquid and add green onions, mushrooms and juice from half the lime to your broth.  Stir to combine and let the flavors combine for about 2 minutes.
  6. Serve fish filets on a bed of spinach and quinoa or rice.  Pour at least half a cup of the broth over each filet.  Slice the remaining lime into wedges for serving.

Bohemia Lea Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Asparagus and Watermelon Salad

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Our delicious summertime feast, featuring my favorite watermelon salad.

Summer is in full swing and I am loving the produce section!  When I was last in Delaware, Patrick, my Mom and I tried two methods for seasoning pork tenderloin – dry rub and simple, fresh garlic slices.  The tenderloins came from Cal Hurtt’s Bohemia Lea Farm in Cecilton, MD.  In May, Alex and I visited Cal at his farm stand at the Historic Lewes Farmer’s Market.  His sustainable farming operation would thrill any Michael Pollan devotee – Cal even cites Pollan’s “the Omnivore’s Dilemma” as inspiration for his farm.  Cal used his engineering background to design a sustainable farming operation, where cattle, hens and turkey rotate across his land, benefiting from one another and improving the health of the topsoil (read more on Bohemia Lea’s webpage).  We were excited to finally try Bohemia Lea Farm products, and all the meat we have sampled has been fantastic.

In keeping with the sustainability theme of our meal, we opted to use only local, seasonal ingredients for our sides.  Patrick picked up a large, juicy watermelon and fresh New Jersey asparagus on his way down to visit us in Delaware.  We paired our tenderloin with watermelon salad, sweet potatoes and grilled asparagus.

Recipe

 

Bohemia Lea Pork Tenderloin – serves 8-10 

We prepared the pork two ways – with the dry rub and with garlic – and our group was split as to which was our favorite.  We kept the cooking methods simple to allow the flavors of the meat to shine through.  Sweet potatoes bake at about 400-425 degrees for about 40 minutes as well, so we added some sweet potatoes wrapped in foil in the same oven.

You will need: IMG_5938

  1. 2 large pork tenderloins
  2. 3-4 T dry rub (see recipe below)
  3. 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  4. 1-2 T olive oil
  5. black pepper, to taste

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using the tip of your knife, make shallow slits in the surface of one pork tenderloin, and insert garlic into the slit pocket.  Slather on a little olive oil and add a little fresh ground pepper.
  3. With your second pork tenderloin, first, pat dry with paper towel.  Then, dust on an even layer of dry rub, patting the tenderloin as you apply your spices.
  4. Roast tenderloins together on a baking sheet for 40 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Let meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Optional: Mom’s Dry Rub to make ahead and save.  Mix 1/4 C paprika, 2 T brown sugar, 2 T salt, 2 T garlic powder, 1 T pepper, 1/2 t chili powder, 1 T cayenne pepper, 1 T onion powder, 1 1/2 t ground cumin and 1 1/2 t dry mustard.  You will have plenty of dry rub left over if you follow this recipe – save it for next time.

Recipe

Grilled Asparagus – serves 6 – 8

You will need: IMG_5929

  1. 2 bunches asparagus
  2. olive oil to drizzle across asparagus ~ 1-2 T
  3. black pepper, to taste
  4. salt, to taste
  5. about 1 t garlic powder

Steps:

  1. First, snap off the asparagus ends and throw the ends away or save them for compost.
  2. Next, lay the asparagus out on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Too much olive oil, and even after grilled, they will seem a bit too oily.  Add some fresh ground black pepper, a little fine grain salt and some powdered garlic.  Mix.
  3. With the grill on medium heat, lay asparagus on, and after about 5 minutes, “roll” them.  You should see the bottoms with brown grill marks.  After another 5 mins., roll them again.  Then, roll them every couple of minutes until you get nice brow/black grill marks.

Recipe

Watermelon Salad – serves 6

Watermelon salad is the ultimate summer refresher.  We love this salad with mozzarella or feta cheese – you can’t go wrong!

You will need: IMG_5912

  1. 1/2 large watermelon
  2. about 1 C mozzarella balls, halved
  3. 1-2 T olive oil to drizzle
  4. 5 or more large basil leaves
  5. salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. First, cut large watermelon in half and cube melon.  Spread out cubes onto serving dish.
  2. Next, arrange mozzarella across serving dish.  Our ideal ratio of melon to cheese is about 2:1.
  3. Drizzle olive oil across melon and cheese.
  4. Chop basil into thin ribbons or use herb scissors to cut small pieces.  For ribbons, roll the basil leaves together and slice in thin strips from end to end.
  5. Scatter basil pieces and salt and pepper across your salad.
  6. If desired, salad can be chilled before serving.

Family Dinner in Hillegersberg: Stunning Melon Gazpacho with White Fish and Mixed Vegetables

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I love their soup serving dishes!

After a full weekend of racing at the Holland-Beker, Jess and I enjoyed a Monday off from rowing training.  I dedicated my off-day to exploring the countryside around Hillegersberg, where Uncle Bob and Cathinka live, by running with Cathinka and biking the dikes in nearby Delft with Bob.  At the end of a day spent exploring outside, Bob and Cathinka treated me to a family dinner at home with the three of us and their grown foster-daughter, Michelle, who was visiting from nearby Utrecht.  In the photo gallery, you can see photos from my morning run with Cathinka, where we ran past a working windmill, as well as photos from my bike adventure with Bob, and photos from a visit to the Markthal (market hall) in Rotterdam.

For dinner, we first enjoyed a chilled gazpacho course that Cathinka learned to make during a trip to France.  The gazpacho was made with traditional tomatoes and herbs, with the refreshing addition of honeydew melon.  Next, Cathinka stir-fried mixed vegetables in a large wok while Bob pan-fried fresh white-fish.  The mixed vegetables were pre-chopped, seasonal vegetables available at the nearby grocery store, which had an incredibly varied and colorful produce section!  My Uncle Bob is an avid cook, and attends a monthly gathering of enthusiastic cooks who meet to learn new recipes and prepare a four or five course meal for each other, with wine pairings.   Next time I am in the Netherlands, I will have to see if we can coordinate a visit to that dinner, too!

 

Recipe

Gazpacho with melon – serves 4

A melon baller would be useful for this recipe, but if you do not have one, simply cut your melon into bite-sized cubes.

 

You will need: FullSizeRender (18)

  1. 1 small honeydew melon, balled
  2. 2 pounds whole large ripe tomatoes
  3. 1 large onion
  4. 2 large garlic cloves
  5. 2 T chopped chervil (or French parsley)
  6. 2 T chopped basil
  7. 1 t thyme
  8. salt, pepper to taste
  9. 1 T bouillon paste

 

Steps:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and immerse tomatoes for one minute.
  2. Drain and cool tomatoes under cold water.
  3. Peel off tomato skin and cut tomatoes into quarters, remove and discard the seeds. You can save the tomato water for later if it separates easily.
  4. In a food processor, chop the tomatoes along with sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion.
  5. Pour the food processor mixture into a saucepan with about 3 cups of water and the bouillon paste.
  6. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes.
  7. Turn off heat and allow to cool.
  8. Once cool, stir in the herbs and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Chill soup in the refrigerator.
  10. Halve your honeydew melon and scoop out at least 2 cups of melon balls. Add to soup and continue to chill until serving.

Recipe

White fish and mixed vegetables – serves 4

Use any fresh, thin filet of white fish for this recipe.

You will need: FullSizeRender (19)

  1. 1 T sunflower oil
  2. 2 T soy sauce
  3. packaged chopped mixed vegetables
  4. 1 T butter
  5. 2 T olive oil
  6. 1.5 – 2 lbs of fish
  7. salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add sunflower oil and packaged vegetables, and stir to keep the vegetables moving.
  3. Add half of your soy sauce and stir to coat, adding more if desired.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a cast iron pan over medium heat.  Add butter and olive oil.
  5. Cook two filets of white-fish at a time, flipping after about 3 minutes on each side.  When filet is fully cooked, the edges will crisp and the fish will flake easily with a fork.  The filet will become more opaque while cooking.
  6. Season with a sprinkling of salt and pepper before serving.

 

Salmon Series Part Four: Grilled Salmon and Steamed Artichokes

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Patrick picked up this beautiful salmon filet at Whole Foods before driving to Delaware.

As our Chicago chapter came to a close, Alex and I found ourselves traveling all over the city to see friends.  We calculated recently that we have been in 15 states over the past 5 weeks!  We have spent this exciting transition time staying with many wonderful host friends, and saying goodbye-for-now to our Chicago family.  I wrapped up my time as a rehab aide at Athletico, had one last sweep team practice with Lincoln Park Boat Club and witnessed Alex’s graduation from medical school.  Looking back on the month of May, I can see that we filled our schedules to the brim, but I would not have it any other way!  It was a treat to be reunited with the Taylor family for a week of adventures in Michigan and Chicago.  Next, we spent a week on the East Coast with my family, and met my brother’s baby for the first time.

During all of our moving about, we sampled new restaurants and made a variety of recipes in countless kitchens.  Most recently, Patrick shared his family recipe for steamed artichokes, and I requested grilled salmon as a pairing.  My niece, Kayden, and I tried out a recipe for zucchini boats to round out the family feast menu.  Kayden is a skilled baker and loves trying out new recipes in the kitchen.  We will definitely be cooking together again soon.

Now I am off on another racing adventure in the double with Jess.  I will be cooking and learning new recipes and flavors, but may not be blogging while I am away.  Until next time!

 

 

Recipe

Grilled Salmon – serves 6 to 8

I have not tried grilling salmon on my own yet, but I collected the below tips from Patrick.  Remember not to move the fish around on the grill until you are ready to flip!  If you move the fish, it can break apart on the grill and lose its grill lines.

You will need:IMG_4990

  1. 2 lb salmon
  2. 1 t salt
  3. 1 t pepper
  4. 1 t garlic powder
  5. about 1 T olive oil

Steps:

  1. Sprinkle salmon on both sides with salt, black pepper and garlic powder.  Rub in with a little olive oil.
  2. Heat your grill to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit (close to high heat on our grill).
  3. Grill the meat side of salmon first for 3 to 4 minutes with the grill lid closed.  The fish should start to become opaque on the meat side where it is starting to cook.
  4. Flip salmon once to grill the skin side using a grill spatula or tongs.  Close the lid again and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes until the whole filet is just opaque.
  5. When salmon is ready, the skin should easily fall off.

Recipe

Steamed Artichokes – serves 8

IMG_4987You will need:

  1. 8 whole artichokes, including stems
  2. 6 large garlic cloves
  3. ½ C fresh parsley, chopped
  4. salt
  5. pepper
  6. 3-4 T olive oil to drizzle

Steps:

  1. Cut off the bottom of the stems and slice off the dry end of the stem.  Dice the remaining stem.
  2. Chop garlic and parsley and combine with stem pieces, salt and pepper.
  3. Bang the bottom of the artichoke against the tabletop to open up the flower.  If you need to, you can pull apart the leaves by hand instead.
  4. Stuff diced items between artichoke leaves.
  5. Stand artichokes up in a large pot and fill with about 2″ of water.
  6. Pour oil over artichokes.  Bring water to steam and cover for 45-60 minutes.  Your artichokes are ready when their leaves pull off easily.

Recipe

Zucchini Boats and Caprese Salad – serves 8

We followed a recipe for “Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Tomato Salad” from Cooking Light and MyRecipes.com (see below).  Kayden and I opted to leave out the bread from the original recipe, because we wanted to share the zucchini boats with my mother, who eats gluten-free.  Our zucchini were exceptionally fresh, and we did not miss the bread at all!  The caprese salad from cherry tomatoes was also a big hit, and we keep making that dish as a side for dinner.
You will need:IMG_4985

  1. 4 large zucchini
  2. 4 chicken sausage
  3. 1 small yellow onion
  4. 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese
  5. 2 C cherry tomatoes
  6. 1 T balsamic vinegar
  7. 1/4 C thinly sliced fresh basil
  8. 1 t olive oil

Steps:

  1. Wash the outside of your zucchini thoroughly before halving.
  2. Scoop out and save the insides of the zucchini, leaving about 1/4 inch intact beyond the skin.
  3. Cover and microwave the zucchini halves in an oven safe container for four minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, dice the zucchini insides and save about 2 cups of material.
  5. Remove casings from chicken sausage and break sausage into small pieces.
  6. Dice onion.
  7. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add spray with cooking spray.  Add onion and sausage and stir to combine for about 4 minutes.
  8. Combine zucchini insides with your cooked sausage and onion in a mixing bowl.  Spoon this mixture into each zucchini boat.
  9. Chop up about 2 ounces of mozzarella cheese and layer on top of your boats.
  10. Halve the cherry tomatoes and combine with remaining mozzarella, balsamic, basil and olive oil.  Set aside in fridge to chill, if desired.
  11. Place zucchini boats on the top rack of your oven and broil for two to three minutes, checking to see if mozzarella melts and browns.

Source: Wise, Deb. “Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Tomato Salad Recipe.” MyRecipes.com. Cooking Light, June 2015. Web. 29 May 2016.

 

Salmon Series Part Three: Salmon Burgers with Sriracha Mayo

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Our late-night salmon burger dinner

Now that we have officially moved to our Seattle apartment, Alex and I are staying with friends while we finish up with work and school.  This week, my teammate Fran and her partner, Simon, are our gracious hosts. I made dinner for Alex and Fran this week and had the opportunity to test out another new salmon recipe.  We enjoyed a late dinner and chatted about our recent move to Seattle and what we will miss about living in Chicago – our friends, my rowing team, the proximity to Buchanan, MI and the food scene!  Fran has an impressive collection of cookbooks that I have enjoyed flipping through, and is knowledgeable about a variety of vegetables and plants that I am just getting to know.

For salmon burgers, I consulted Patrick Rider, our long-time family friend and wonderful chef, for advice on what ingredients to use.  Patrick introduced me to a video of Guy Fieri visiting our local Chicago DMK Burger Bar, where he learned about the signature salmon burger with ginger, scallions, Asian slaw and a red Thai curry sauce.  I then checked Food.com for a recipe to use as a reference for cooking times and temperatures.  Based on those two sources, and what was fresh at my local market, I came up with the following new recipe for salmon burgers!

Recipe

Salmon Burgers with Sriracha Mayo – serves 4

We love to have butternut squash or sweet potato when we make burgers at home.  For this meal, we simply purchased pre-cut butternut squash.  The squash roasts in about twenty minutes, and pairs nicely with salmon burgers and fresh greens.  We drizzled olive oil on the squash and sprinkled on black pepper and a little salt before roasting.  If you are making sweet potato fries, plan for an extra ten minutes of baking time before adding salmon patties to the oven.  We added fresh spinach for a simple salad.

You will need:

  1. 1 lb salmon
  2. 2 T Sriracha Mayo
  3. 2 large eggs, beaten
  4. ½ C bread crumbs
  5. 2 T fresh ginger, chopped
  6. ½ C green onions, finely sliced
  7. 1 t garlic salt
  8. 1 t lemon pepper
  9. ½ t black pepper
  10. 1 T dried parsley
  11. cooking spray

Serve with:

  1. Sliced tomato
  2. Slaw topping – about ¼ C per burger
  3. Sriracha mayo or ketchup, to taste
  4. Your favorite bun – we picked Pretzilla pretzel buns

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Start by chopping fresh ginger and slicing green onions.  Set aside.
  3. Remove skin from salmon filet, and cut salmon into small cubes.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine salmon, Sriracha mayo, beaten eggs, bread crumbs, ginger, green onions and your spices.
  5. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  6. Once your oven temperature has reached 425 degrees, divide your salmon mixture into four equal parts and shape patties gently between your palms.  Space four patties evenly across your baking sheet, and set inside oven.
  7. Cook salmon patties for a total of twenty minutes, flipping after about ten minutes.  If you like your burger buns toasted, add buns to the top rack of the oven for about two minutes per side.
  8. Serve patties warm with buns, more Sriracha mayo or ketchup, and top with slaw or lettuce and tomato.

 

Sources:

“Salmon Burgers With Guy Fieri Video : Food Network.” Salmon Burgers With Guy Fieri Video : Food Network. Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Web. Accessed 10 May 2016.

Sherrycooks2012. “Oven Baked Salmon Patties Recipe – Food.com.” Oven Baked Salmon Patties Recipe – Food.com. Web. Accessed 10 May 2016.

Salmon Series Part Two: Salmon Tartare and Spring Vegetables

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The spread: roasted asparagus, spring salad and salmon tartare

Alex and I spent a rainy Saturday making lunch at Rick’s new house, after he got back from Lincoln Park Boat Club’s rowing practice.  Rick is a big fan of fish, and was happy to be a part of this series of salmon recipes.  He picked his favorite style of salmon preparation – tartare – and we planned a menu.  I offered to pick up whatever vegetable looked great at the Green City Farmers’ Market and Rick elected to prepare a Passover-friendly dessert.

On Saturday morning, I strolled to the market with my friend and teammate, Alli Whitaker, and we enjoyed samples and made our selections.  I bought greens and fresh asparagus; Michigan asparagus just came into season, so now is the time to buy or go to Michigan to pick some!

Recipe

Salmon Tartare and Spring Vegetables – serves 3 to 4

Neither Rick nor I had ever made salmon tartare, so we went online and found a recipe for “Wasabi-Infused Salmon Tartare” from HalfHourMeals.com.  I simplified the marinade used for that recipe, based on my flavor preferences and which ingredients we had on hand.

You will need:IMG_4430

  1. 1 rounded t wasabi paste or powder to make paste
  2. 3 T fresh lemon juice, or about 1/2 lemon
  3. 3 T soy sauce
  4. 2 T rice wine vinegar
  5. 1/2 T finely chopped shallot
  6. 1/2 t ground ginger
  7. 1 to 1 ½ lbs of high-quality salmon
  8. 1 bunch of asparagus
  9. 1 T olive oil
  10. fresh ground black pepper, about 1 t
  11. about 6 C greens
  12. 3 T nuts – we used slivered almonds and shelled pistachios
  13. 1 C blueberries
  14. balsamic vinaigrette to dress salad

Steps:

  1. First, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit for roasting asparagus.
  2. Add 3 t water to 5 t wasabi powder, and stir to combine.  Invert your bowl for one minute to increase the wasabi spiciness.  If you have pre-made wasabi paste, add one t to a small mixing bowl, and save more for serving with your entree.
  3. Mix in lemon juice, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, shallot and ginger with the wasabi paste.
  4. Remove the skin from your salmon, and chop the filet into small cubes (we went with about one cubic centimeter).  Add salmon to a non-metallic mixing bowl, and stir in half of your marinade.  Taste salmon to determine if you want to add more marinade; you want some of the salmon flavor to come through.  Cover salmon bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.
  5. Next, wash asparagus and snap off the dried ends.  Spread out stalks on a cookie sheet, and drizzle with olive oil.  Add fresh pepper and roll to coat.  When your oven has reached 450 degrees, add your asparagus pan and time for about 7 to 10 minutes.  Pencil-thin asparagus should be fully roasted in 7 minutes, whereas really thick stalks could take up to 15 minutes.  Pierce with a fork to check readiness.
  6. While asparagus is cooking, prepare your simple salad of washed greens, nuts and berries.  Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and toss to coat.  We topped our salad with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese before serving.
  7. When asparagus is ready, transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with fresh parmesan.
  8. We served our salmon with a dollop of extra wasabi paste on the side, and with just a touch of Thai ginger salt on top for extra crunch and salty flavor.

Source: “Wasabi-Infused Salmon Tartare by Rachel2 – HalfHourMeals.com.”HalfHourMeals.com. Aug. 2012. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.