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Friday, March 29, 2013

A Salad for Mom

My mother likes salads, ...truth be known a good iceberg lettuce salad. She is not much for the new greens.... so on a recent visit I put together this version of a large chopped salad. She even told me after that visit she told "everyone" how beautiful and delicious it was. Its pretty special when your mom brags about you so obviously I need to post this one.

So here is "My Mom Salad."

I actually enjoy the process of chopping and arranging the various vegetables on the platter. And it does make for a colorful picture before each diner digs in for thier portion.

There are no unusual ingredients in this one:
Chopped ice berg lettuce is the base, topped with cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced onions, chopped cucumber, chopped red bell pepper, diced celery and carrots, chopped hard boiled egg, sauteed prosciutto, shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled blue cheese, and fresh basil leaves.

The dressing: EVOO, Balsamic vinegar, a small amount of honey dijon, and fresh ground pepper.

Simple, colorful and mom likes it!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pistachio Crusted Salmon

I am always thinking that I blog too much about salmon dishes, but in checking back there has only been one salmon dish posted since the beginning of 2013. So for salmon lovers here is another - and for those who do not like seafood, stay tuned...

We had some lovely poached salmon left over from a weekend party. I did not want to serve it cold but I certainly did not want to over cook it. Aha, use something that was already crisp and would protect the salmon from the hot skillet...

First a little salad: Mini Caprese

This has become a favorite and so simple. Pearl mozzerella, cherry tomatoes, and basil are mixed, splashed with evoo and seasoned with a bit of fresh ground pepper. Tasty and colorful.

The Entree: Pistachio Crusted Salmon

The pistachio nuts are shelled and ground in a small food processor and pressed on to the salmon which has been brushed lightly with evoo. The salmon was quickly fried on a hot skillet - no more than a minute.

The salmon was served on top of a bed of zucchini strips, which has been sauteed with diced garlic and finely sliced onion in evoo.

Wine: 2009 Vidal-Fleury Cotes-du-Rhone


Monday, March 18, 2013

Parm Crusted White Fish and Mac and Cheese

It has been six weeks since Punxantawney Phil predicted we would have an early Spring. I am waiting.

This colorful duo of a "prized" ceramic and bouquet keeps me hopeful that Spring is out there!

In the mean time here is a cold weather dish - mac and cheese. There are so many ways to make this dish - I tend to combine with the obligatory cheddar any and sometimes all the different cheeses I have in the frig. My spouse does not eat mac and cheese of any kind so on this night I added fish and also served him a store prepared cole slaw.

The Mac and Cheese

For the sauce I melted a tablespoon of butter, stirred in shredded very sharp new york cheddar, and 4 other types of cheddar from a store prepared package, a small amount of blue cheese, and a healthy chunk of goat cheese. As it was melting I added 1/4c of chicken broth, a splash of half and half and a splash of cream sherry and stirred to a very creamy texture. I seasoned it with fresh ground black pepper. I added cooked whole grain elbow pasta and topped it with a mixture of the panko, parm and powdered mustard that I had prepared for the fish crust (see below). I baked for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. It was delicious and I had two days of left overs. There are a few things I am glad my guy does not like!

Parm Crusted White Fish

The March issue of bon appetit has a recipe for Parmesan Chicken Cutlets from which this fish is adapted. For the crust I combined panko, parm, powered mustard and fresh ground black pepper. The fish, orange roughy, was dredged in flour, dipped in a beaten egg and then coated with the panko mixture. The fish was browned in the skillet and when almost cooked was placed in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes to ensure that it was thoroughly done.

Enjoy and think SPRING!

Friday, March 8, 2013

St.Patty's Spread

My cousin just posted on Facebook "9 days till the blessed event, you should start training." My family has always in some way celebrated St. Patty's day! In grade school there were the green-dyed shoelaces and my mom's cupcakes with shamrocks for the class.
Not wearing green on March 17 was not acceptable- we may have even had to confess it.

We are getting ready to host our second annual St. Patty's Ceilidh. It was a grand gathering of family, friends and neighbors last year, and we hope for a repeat this year. Guests were greeted with this Irish Blessing card which opened to the menu for the evening.

The Blachlar (menu) included Poached Salmon, Lamb Lollipops, Baked Brie with Raspberry Hot Pepper Preserves, and Roasted Asparagus with Blueberry Vinegarette,
Almost Antipasta Platter with proscuitto, mini salami, roasted red peppers, roasted zucchini strips, fresh mozzarella pearls, cherry tomatoes, olive array, and tortellini.

Three Tapanades, olive with feta, artichoke and sun-dried tomato with parmesan and pecorino-pepper cracker.

Sherried Mushroom Cups, Caramelized Onion Cups and a variety of cheeses with crackers and crostini.

For dessert - fresh berries, my sister in-law made a Bailey's Irish Cream Pie and my mom made cookies.

And of course, Guinness, Harp, Bailey's and lots of wine. I hope these selections give you some ideas for your St. Pat's celebration.

Bain sult,