Sunday, August 23, 2015

Honey Miso Glazed Salmon

(4 servings)

One of the nice things about living in the Pacific Northwest is the availability of fresh wild salmon. It's frequently on sale and I'll often pick up a few pounds to portion and freeze.

Earlier this summer I came across some wild coho salmon steaks which I defrosted this weekend and marinated in a tasty Asian inspired honey miso dressing. The result is pretty amazing when you consider how easy this dish is to prepare.

2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp red miso 
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp water
1 tsp reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp sesame chili oil
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
4 x 6oz salmon steaks, about 1 inch thick
1 green onion, sliced, for garnish

The night before you plan on serving this, whisk together the honey, miso, rice vinegar, water, tamari or soy sauce, sesame chili oil and ginger in a small bowl.

Liberally brush the honey miso mixture onto both sides of the salmon steaks, (reserve about 2 tablespoons for later). Place these onto a plate and cover with plastic wrap, smoothing the wrap across the surface to remove as many air bubbles as possible. Refrigerate overnight or up to one day.

When you are ready to serve, position the rack in the middle of the oven and turn on the broiler. If you have a Hi/Lo function, set it to Hi.

Place the steaks onto a foil lined cookie sheet. Brush the tops with the reserved honey miso mixture.

Broil the steaks for about 8-9 minutes and then watch closely. They will be done when the center of the steaks have just begun to turn opaque; about 10-12 minutes total. Take care not to overcook, otherwise they might be on the dry side.

Sprinkle with the sliced green onion and serve.

If you have any left over, it's great cold and flaked over a green salad with a citrusy sesame type dressing.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Broccoli Crunch Salad with Prosciutto and Feta

(about 4 servings)

I haven't set foot in Whole Foods since I left Texas. The closest one is in Seattle, I think. It's all fine. There's a small country market nearby that has great produce, sustainable fish and seafood, a good butcher and an adequate bulk food and spice section. I don't give WF much thought these days, although I was thinking about their Broccoli Crunch Salad the other day. I used to grab a tub or two whenever I was too lazy or busy to make my own.

This version is less sweet and more savory. It contains prosciutto in place of bacon and I have gotten into the habit of adding feta cheese of late because I love that briny goodness.

3.5oz mildly smoked lean prosciutto, diced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey, or more to taste
6 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces 
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tbsp cashews, toasted
3 tbsp dried currants
salt, if needed

Fry the prosciutto in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until it's browned and crispy. Stir in the red onion slices and cook until they are limp. Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, apple cider vinegar and honey in a large bowl.

Add the broccoli, prosciutto and onion mixture, feta, cashews and currants. Toss until everything is evening coated with the dressing. Taste and add a bit of salt if needed.

Serve. This salad keeps really well, refrigerated.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sweet and Spicy Pecans

Recently a friend introduced me to Trader Joe's, Sweet and Spicy Pecans. They were delicious. I had planned on adding those pecans to my salads, but I managed to polish them off within two days by snacking on them instead.

This week I made several batches of sweet and salty pecans. I tried out various combinations of oils and butter, sugar and honey, cayenne and paprika. The following was my favorite version. Butter, honey, Sucanat, cayenne and a very aromatic sweet Hungarian paprika which my landlord brought back for me from Budapest, a few weeks ago.

If you are looking for a Trader Joe's copycat recipe, then look elsewhere. These pecans are more subtle. They aren't as sugary nor do they pack quite the same punch in the heat department, but I really like how they turned out. This is a good thing because there isn't any pressure for me to return to Silverdale, just to grab another bag or two.

2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp Sucanat
1 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
a "generous" 1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
8-9 oz shelled pecans

Place the honey and butter into a small saucepan over low heat.

Preheat oven to 275°F.

While the honey and butter are heating up, combine the Sucanat, paprika, salt, cayenne and black pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

When the honey and butter mixture is hot and smooth, remove from heat and stir in the pecans.

Sprinkle the spiced Sucanat mixture over the pecans and toss until they are evenly coated.

Spread the pecans onto a cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat) in a single layer. Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until they are evenly toasted.

Remove from oven and cool on the cookie sheet. Store in a sealed container.