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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Fish/Seafood/Caviar

RECIPE: Olive Oil Poached Salmon

Olive oil-poached salmon. Photo courtesy
Pom Wonderful.

 

Here’s a recipe that tastes and looks great year-round. With brussels sprouts and spiced cider, it’s especially fitting for fall.

The recipe is from Chef Chris Parsons of Catch restaurant in Winchester, Massachusetts, via Pom Wonderful. Prep time is 45 minutes, cook time is 1 hour 15 minutes.

If you can’t find sunchokes, substitute zucchini.

RECIPE: OLIVE OIL POACHED SALMON WITH SPICED CIDER JUS, BABY BRUSSELS SPROUTS & SUNCHOKE PURÉE

Ingredients For 6 Servings

For The Spiced Cider Jus

  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 quart fresh apple cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest (from about 1/2 orange)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt to taste
  • For The Sunchoke Purée

  • 1/2 pound fresh sunchokes, peeled
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraîche (recipe)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  
    For The Brussels Sprouts

  • 1/2 pound baby brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, blanched and cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted until golden brown
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  

     
    Olive Oil Poached Salmon

  • 6 salmon fillets (6 to 8 ounces), boneless and skinless
  • 6 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Fleur de sel (or other high quality sea salt) to taste
  •  
    Garnish

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  •  

    Preparation: Spiced Cider Jus

    1. COMBINE pomegranate juice, apple cider, cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns and orange zest in a medium pot; reduce over medium-low heat to 1/2 cup. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer, discard the spices and zest and return reduced cider to the pot.

    2. ADD the butter and heavy cream, whisking to combine; add salt to taste. Using a hand-held immersion blender, blend until light and foamy. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

     

    We love sunchokes. For a more casual dish, simply scrub, steam and enjoy with plain Greek yogurt and fresh herbs, with an optional sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Photo courtesy Freida’s.

     
    Preparation: Sunchoke Purée

    1. PREHEAT oven to 220°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the sunchokes and cook until fork tender. Drain and transfer to a baking sheet. Place in warm oven and allow to dry. Meanwhile…

    2. BRING butter and heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan, over medium-low heat. Transfer the dried sunchokes and crème fraîche to the bowl of a food processor. With the machine running, add the hot butter and cream mixture; continue mixing until purée is smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
     
    Preparation: Brussels Sprouts

    1. COOK butter over medium heat until it begins to brown. Add brussels sprouts and almonds. Cook until heated through; season with salt and pepper.
     
    Preparation: Olive Oil Poached Salmon

    1. BRING bring olive oil up to 160°F in a large Dutch oven or stockpot, over low heat. Add the rosemary, thyme and kosher salt.

    2. PLACE place the fillets into the hot oil carefully. Make sure the oil completely covers the fillets; add more oil if needed. Slowly poach until the center of each salmon fillet reaches 115°F, about 12 to 15 minutes.

    3. REMOVE the fillets gently and season each portion with fleur de sel. Place a portion of the sunchoke purée in the center of each plate. Making a well with the back of a spoon, spoon the brussels sprouts mixture into the well. Place a salmon fillet on top.

    4. RE-FROTH the spiced cider jus and skim the foam from the top. Spoon around the plate, garnish with fresh pomegranate arils and serve.
     
    WHAT ARE SUNCHOKES?

    Sunchokes, a modern term for Jerusalem artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus) are edible tubers that grow underground, similar to potatoes. They taste like a cross between potatoes and artichoke hearts, with a slightly nuttiness. Although many people peel them, we like the earthy flavor of the skins.

    Native to North America and related to the sunflower, when in bloom, the sunchoke resembles a miniature sunflower. It is related to the aster and usually has bright yellow flowers. the origin of the name “Jerusalem artichoke” is unknown. Sunchokes can be cooked like potatoes: boiled, fried, grilled, mashed, microwaved or steamed. Raw, it is reminiscent of jicama, and can be added raw to salads.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Coconut Shrimp

    A match made in heaven: coconut and fried
    shrimp. Photo courtesy Chef Johnny Prep.

     

    We reserve coconut shrimp as a special dish to eat once a year. We love it, but gave up the fried group during New Year’s resolutions a few years back.

    Our once-a-year arrived when we received this recipe. This is a festive, make-ahead dish: The shrimp can be breaded up to 24 hours in advance and kept refrigerated. Prep time 30 minutes.

    The recipe is by Johnny Prep. It can be served family style, or individually plated.

     
    RECIPE: COCONUT SHRIMP WITH SPICY
    APRICOT, PLUM & PINEAPPLE DIP

    Ingredients For 5 Servings

  • 1-1/2 pounds (21-25 count) shrimp, peeled (tails can be left on)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ½ loaf high quality white bread
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • ½ inch oil for frying
  • For The Dipping Sauce

  • 1 jar apricot jelly or preserves
  • 1 jar plum jelly or preserves*
  • ½ cup pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  •  
    *Pitted canned prunes can be substituted.

     

    Preparation

    1. PLACE jams or preserves, pineapple and horseradish in food processor and process until ingredients are fully mixed together. Place in a dipping bowl or individual ramekins and set aside.

    2. PLACE bread in food processor along with cayenne pepper; process into coarse bread crumbs. Stir in coconut.

    3. PLACE bread crumbs mixture, flour and eggs into separate dredging bowls. Whisk eggs with fork. Season each with salt.

    4. ARRANGE dredging containers in a row starting with flour, then eggs, then bread crumbs, plus a large plate to hold the breaded shrimp. Shrimp can be breaded up to 24 hours in advanced and kept refrigerated.

    5. DREDGE each shrimp in flour first, then egg wash, then breadcrumbs. Apply pressure during breadcrumb stage to ensure full coating.

     

    For a lighter dip, use mango or pineapple salsa. Photo courtesy Chef Johnny Prep.

     
    TECHNIQUE: Use one hand to pick up raw shrimp and coat eggs, use the other had as a dry hand to coat with flour and breadcrumbs. This limits the buildup of breading on your hands.

    6. FRY shrimp until golden brown in oil, using a deep frying pan or a deep fryer. Drain on paper towels and season lightly with salt.

    7. PLACE on a platter with the dipping bowl in the center; or divide into individually plated portions.

    ABOUT CHEF JOHNNY PREP

    Chef Johnny Prep is an author, entrepreneur, cooking show host, soup expert, and an advocate for children’s health. The author of The Five Star Entertaining Casual Cookbook, simple high-end restaurant-quality recipes. Visit JohnnyPrep.net.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Seafood Soup Garnish

    For entertaining with memorable dishes, serve a chowder, bisque or other seafood soup and garnish it with legs or claws.

    If you need extra claws or legs, you can purchase them from your fishmonger. The legs, removed to sell cooked lobster tails, are inexpensive. This easy recipe is a treat for family and guests.

    CRAB OR LOBSTER BISQUE RECIPE

    You can use fresh cooked, canned or thawed frozen seafood in this recipe.

    Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon chopped onion
  • 1 parsley sprig
  • 1-1/2 cups finely chopped cooked crab or lobster meat
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon tomato purée*
  • 2 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • 2 cups half and half or milk
  • Salt and cayenne pepper
  • Optional: sherry (cream sherry if you have it) or cognac
  •  

    Waiter, there’s a crab in my soup! Photo
    courtesy Genji Sushi.

  • Garnish: bits of crab/lobster meat, croutons, crème fraîche/sour cream, crumbled bacon, fresh parsley, grated gruyère cheese
  •  

    *This is largely to provide a nice color; so if you don’t have tomato paste, you can omit it.

     

    Lobster bisque. Photo courtesy Turner
    Seafood | Foody Direct.

     

    Preparation

    1. REMOVE half and half from refrigerator so it will loose its chill prior to use.

    2. COOK butter, onion and parsley slowly in a pan until the onion turns yellow. Add the seafood; cook and stir five minutes.

    3. STIR in the flour and tomato paste, followed by the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes; then remove the parsley.

    4. ADD the half and half; stir. Season with salt, cayenne and sherry/cognac to taste.

    5. HEAT but do not boil prior to serving; garnish and serve.

    TIP: For a smaller soup course, serve in demitasse or espresso cups.

     

    LOVE SOUP?

    Check out the different types of soup—and beautiful soup photos—in our Soup Glossary, along with the history of soup.

    Here are different soup garnishes for 20 favorite soups.

    Soup cooking tips: 10 tips and tricks for better soup-making.

    Have fun with this soup trivia quiz.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Bumble Bee Flavored Tuna

    There’s lots of excitement at Bumble Bee. The iconic canned tuna brand has launched new flavored tunas plus fresh-frozen, ready to heat-and-eat fish and shrimp entrées.

    NEW CANNED TUNA FLAVORS

    Following the growing preference for spicy flavors in everyday foods, Bumble Bee launched new Prime Fillet Gourmet Flavors. The seasoned premium white albacore tuna is ready to go directly onto salad greens, pasta or rice—along with the healthful olive oil they’re canned in. There’s no need for mayonnaise here!

    To add to a burrito, sandwich, wrap or other “holder,” drain the oil—but save it to use with a can of plain tuna.

  • Chipotle Tuna has bold, smoky chipotle taste with mild heat. Drain it to add to a burrito, taco or wrap.
  • Jalapeño Tuna is dotted with minced jalapeños, little nuggets of heat. Drain it to add to pizza, quesadillas and sandwiches. We made toasted crostini, with some diced cherry tomatoes for color and flavor contrast.
  •  

    Bumble Bee’s latest canned tuna offerings. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

  • Sundried Tomatoes Tuna has a burst of tomato flavor that works in any of the above applications. We also enjoyed it in a green salad with mozzarella balls (bocconcini), cherry tomatoes and olives.
  •  

    A new non-flavored variety, Omega-3 Prime Fillet Albacore Tuna, offers amped up levels of Omega-3 EPA and DHA. Each serving contains 500 mg of EPA and DHA—312% of the 160 mg daily value. For consumers who want to add more of these important nutrients to their diets, it is used as any canned tuna, in all your favorite tuna recipes.

     

    Salmon with garden pesto. Photo courtesy
    Bumble Bee.

     

    BUMBLE BEE SUPERFRESH PREMIUM FRESH
    FROZEN

    Bumble Bee fish and shrimp never get to the cannery. Instead, they’re filleted and turned into all-natural, premium frozen fish entrees in parchment paper, ready to heat and enjoy. The flavor-rich, protein-rich gluten-free choices include:

  • Spicy Shrimp Romesco*
  • Lemon Shrimp with Garlic & Herbs
  • Salmon with Garden Pesto
  • Salmon with Garlicky Black Pepper & Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Tilapia with Lemon, Pepper & Herbs
  • Tilapia with Garlic & Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  •  
    We all know we should eat more fish, and research confirmed that consumers are looking for high-quality seafood that tastes fresh and delicious. These new frozen entrées are flavorful and moist and taste freshly made: a restaurant-quality meal.

     

    Each premium fish fillet is wrapped in parchment paper, which seals in flavor and juices. The packets go from freezer to table in 20 minutes or less. The shrimp entrées sauté quickly on the stove top.

    The line launched in the Northeast in June, and is rolling out nationwide. The MSRP ranges between $8.99 and $9.99 for two portions.

    That’s the buzz!

    *Romesco sauce (salsa romesco) is a nut and red pepper-based sauce that originated in Catalonia, Spain. It is typically made from roasted or raw almonds, pine nuts, and/or hazelnuts, roasted garlic, olive oil, bitxo chiles and/or nyora peppers (a small, round, variety of red bell pepper). Other common ingredients can include roasted tomatoes, red wine vinegar and onions. It is a popular sauce with seafood (with fennel or mint leaves added) and anything from poultry and lamb to vegetables.

      

    Comments

    COCKTAIL: The Petrossian Fleur De Vers

    Petrossian’s magnificent Fleur de Vers:
    suitable for a coronation or a special event
    for us commoners. Photo by Kimberly
    Craven | Petrossian.

     

    Thank goodness the Petrossian brothers, Melkoum and Mouchegh, moved to France from Iran in 1917, when their studies were interrupted by the Russian Revolution.

    Unable to gain entrance to French medical and law schools, the young men, who missed the caviar from home, became caviar importers. It was they who introduced caviar to Paris!

    Had Melkoum and Mouchegh become a doctor and a lawyer, their names would probably not be known by connoisseurs worldwide. Instead, the name Petrossian is sets the world standard in fine caviar and other delicacies.

    We are huge fans of Petrossian and urge anyone passing through Manhattan to treat themselves to a luxurious meal at the company’s Art Deco restaurant at Seventh Avenue and 58th Street, steps away from Carnegie Hall, Columbus Circle and Central Park.

    There is a more casual café next door to the restaurant, where the restaurant’s beautiful pastries and savory delicacies (including caviar and foie gras) in an informal atmosphere.

     
    While caviar might seem like a luxury frozen in time, Petrossian is remarkable in its innovation, with:

  • Caviar Cubes to garnish cocktails;
  • Papierrusse, the caviar version of a sheet of the sushi seaweed wrapper, with numerous creative uses;
  • Caviar Cream, a heavenly garnish or spread;
  • The caviar “powder” that is used in the recipe below.
  •  
    This week we were invited to the restaurant and treated to a cocktail that is so fine (and memorable) that we wish we were getting married. Although most of us are probably not going to create it at home, it’s the perfect recipe to hand to the caterer for a special celebration. The name was inspired by fleur de sel, the finest French sea salt. We like to think of it as a bit of poetry (vers is French for verse or poetry).

     
    RECIPE: THE PETROSSIAN FLEUR DE VERS

    Ingredients For One Cocktail

  • 1-1/2 ounces Tanqueray or other fine gin
  • 3/4 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur*
  • 3/4 ounce green chartreuse†
  • 3.4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 drop rose water
  •  
    For The Garnish

  • 1 lemon boat (instructions below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Petrossian Caviar Powder, unground (whole bead—see below)
  •  
    *St. Germain is one of our favorite liqueurs. Don’t hesitate to buy a bottle. It makes a delicious cocktail with Champagne or any sparkling wine.

    †You can substitute yellow chartreuse if that’s what you have; see the note on chartreuse below.

     

     
    Preparation

    1. HALVE and juice the lemons. Set aside the juice and cut the juiced halves into three or four wedges, 3/8 to 1/2 inch wide. Remove all of the pulp and pith until you have a smooth “boat.”

    2. COMBINE the gin, elderflower liqueur, chartreuse, lemon juice and rose water. Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into a Martini glass or Champagne flute or tulip.

    3. PLACE the caviar beads in the lemon boat and float atop the cocktail.

     
    WHAT IS CAVIAR POWDER?

    Pearls of fine caviar are dried via a proprietary technique that intensifies its flavor. The dried pearls are sold in a grinder that enables you to grind some caviar over your food (eggs, buttered toast, grilled fish or seafood, potatoes and pasta for starters). Or, you can open the grinder and sprinkle full pearls of the caviar on the food.

     

    In the background, the caviar grinders with a choice of colorful tops. In the foreground, the beads of caviar ready to be used whole as a garnish. Photo courtesy Petrossian.

     

    We’re on our fourth refill of Petrossian Caviar Powder, a unique (and more affordable) way to enjoy fine caviar. We gave it our Food Innovation Award of 2011.

    The grinder with 30 grams of caviar is $88.00; refills are $74.00. It’s a sure-to-enthrall gift for any caviar lover. Buy it at Petrossian.com.
     
    WHAT IS CHARTREUSE?

    Chartreuse, pronounced shahr-TROOZ, is a pale green or yellow liqueur made from brandy and aromatic herbs (green Chartreuse is aged with 130 different herbal extracts!). We prefer the original green Chartreuse, which has more complexity. Yellow chartreuse is a later recipe, lower in proof and a sweeter mix of herbs.

    The liqueur, first made by Carthusian Monks in the 1740s, is named after the Grande Chartreuse monastery, located in the Chartreuse Mountains in southeastern France (in the general region of Grenoble). The liqueur, in turn, gave its name to the startling greenish-yellow color.

      

    Comments

    HOLIDAY: National Crab Newburg Day

    Newburg or Newberg is very rich sauce of butter, cream, egg yolks, cognac, sherry, cayenne pepper and nutmeg, to which cooked shellfish—crab, lobster, scallops, shrimp—is added, alone or in combination. It can is creamed seafood; in fact, in French, the dish Lobster Newburg is called homard sauté à la crème (lobster sautéed in cream).

    Some sources credit M. Pascal, a chef of the once-famous Delmonico Restaurant* in New York City, with its creation, saying that it was originally named after Mr. Ben Wenburg, a frequent guest at the restaurant.

    According to Wikipedia, however, the dish was invented by Ben Wenberg himself, a sea captain in the fruit trade. In 1876 he demonstrated the dish to Charles Delmonico, the restaurant’s manager. After some tweaking by the chef, Charles Ranhofer, Lobster à la Wenberg was added to the menu and became very popular (it is exquisite!).

    Mr. Wenburg and the manager subsequently quarreled, and Wenburg demanded that his name be removed. The first three letters of his name were reversed to “New” to create the now-famous Newburg sauce.

     

    Lobster Newburg served over puff pastry. Photo courtesy Mackenzie Ltd.

     

    Ah, how short-sighted of you, Mr. Wenburg. How many of us refuse the opportunity to enter culinary history?

    In Chef Ranhofer’s printed recipe of 1894, the lobsters were boiled for twenty-five minutes, then fried in clarified butter, then simmered in cream while it reduced by half, then brought again to the boil after the addition of Madeira. A far simpler recipe is below.

     

    You don’t need to use the most expensive
    crab meat. Backfin or claw meat is just fine.
    Photo courtesy Phillips Crab.

     

    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LOBSTER NEWBURG
    & LOBSTER THERMIDOR

    Lobster Newburg is related to Lobster Thermidor, a similar dish that involves lobster meat cooked with eggs, cognac, and sherry that appeared in the 1890s. The dishes are so similar—seafood in cream sauce—that they are often confused for each other. The principal difference is the sauce.

  • Thermidor sauce is thickened with a béchamel (white sauce, one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine), which made with a flour and butter roux. It is typically flavored with white wine, and with dry mustard instead of nutmeg. The sauce-coated lobster is stuffed back into the lobster shell, and can be topped with a brown crust of shredded Gruyère. The dish was created in 1894 at Marie’s, a Parisian restaurant located near the Comédie Française, to honor the opening of the play “Thermidor” by Victorien Sardou.
  •  

  • Newburg sauce debuted almost 20 years earlier. Made with cream and egg yolks, is not thickened with flour and thus is is somewhat lighter. It is typically flavored with sherry instead of white wine. The seafood and sauce can be served over rice, noodles, toast, puff pastry or pastry shells.
  • There are numerous variations on the theme of seafood Newburg. Mushrooms, onions and tomato paste can be added; paprika can be substituted for nutmeg (we prefer the nutmeg). Here’s the first recipe we made, adapted from Fanny Farmer. Depending on how large you like your portions, it can be a first course for 4 or a main course for 2. Mushrooms can “stretch out” the recipe for additional servings, and lower the cost of the dish.

    RECIPE: SEAFOOD NEWBURG

    Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked crabmeat, lobster or other seafood
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 1 tablespoon brandy/Cognac
  • 1 cup light or heavy cream
  • Salt, cayenne, nutmeg
  • 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • Toast or puff pastry triangles
  • Optional: 4 ounces sliced mushrooms
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SLICE the cooked seafood as needed. Cook with the butter for 3 minutes in a large non-stick saucepan. If using mushrooms, first sauté in butter; then add seafood and additional butter as needed.

    2. ADD cream, beaten egg yolks, and seasonings to taste. Stir over low heat until slightly thickened. Add sherry and brandy; cook 1 minute more. Serve on toast or puff pastry.
     
    *The original Delmonico’s was operated by the Delmonico family in the Wall Street area of Lower Manhattan, beginning in 1827. Established by Swiss brothers John and Peter Delmonico, the Delmonico presence expanded as other family members opened restaurants using the same name. The original grew into a grand destination, attracting the rich and famous, including visiting royalty. The space still stands at 2 William Street. You can still eat there, although the restaurant is now operated by an unrelated company (here’s the history). The restaurant is credited with Eggs Benedict, Chicken à la King, Delmonico Potatoes, Delmonico steak, Lobster Newburg. Credit is also given for naming Manhattan Clam Chowder, and the name of Baked Alaska.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Hummus Sushi

    Fans of sushi, hummus and vegan cuisine will enjoy this fun fusion food: hummus sushi from Genji Sushi.

    This sushi roll is not part of the regular menu: Different locations of Genji Sushi create their own limited-edition specialties. Here, Genji sushi chefs added hummus to salmon and tuna rolls as well as cucumber rolls, with or without fresh jalapeño slices.

    So here are tips to make your own:

  • Use flavored hummus: chipotle, garlic, red pepper, etc.
  • Take a look at non-chickpea-based hummus. The edamame hummus from Eat Well Enjoy Life (last week’s Top Pick) is perfect here.
  •  

    Photo courtesy Genji Sushi.

  • Yes, add wasabi to the roll. After all, some companies make wasabi hummus.
  • Since this is fusion sushi, feel free to add spices: cilantro, dill, parsley sesame, whatever works.
  • Serve with traditional pickled ginger or other pickled vegetables.
  • Make the sushi with brown rice for extra nutrition.
  •  
    FOR SUSHI FUN, CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SUSHI IN OUR
    SUSHI GLOSSARY.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Salmon Salad With Easy Homemade Ranch Dressing

    Pretty as a picture, and much tastier. Photo
    courtesy Stasty.com.

     

    If you have less-than-great memories of salmon salad made from less-than-stellar canned salmon: Forget them. They have nothing to do with this delicious salmon salad recipe—something you can be assured of just by looking at the tempting photo.

    This salmon salad is the creation of blogger Vicky at Stasty.com. Vicky is hard core: She makes her own butter, and the by-product is buttermilk.

    “So I made some scrumptious buttermilk dressing, otherwise known as ranch dressing.” said Vicky. “To me, store bought ranch dressing is usually too sweet and gloopy, and nothing like the real thing. However, homemade ranch dressing is so divine; you can almost eat it on its own.

    “Fresh buttermilk does make a difference and makes a really light and creamy ranch dressing. The white wine vinegar gives it a bit of bite and the dill makes it taste fresh and tangy.

     

    “There are so many ways to use ranch dressing: on fresh green salads, on baked potatoes or as a dip. It’s a pretty versatile dressing, so I usually make a double batch to keep in my fridge, ready for all eventualities!”

    Here, Vicky pairs ranch dressing with simple but colorful mixed greens and hot smoked salmon (“hot” refers to the smoking process, not the temperature of the fish—types of hot smoked salmon). You can use grilled salmon, poached salmon, and certainly, any leftover salmon. If your fishmonger sells salmon scraps, by all means save the money and grill them for the salad. Serve warm or chilled.

    The key here is to contrast the rosy color of the salmon against the greens and white dressing. You can also use Arctic char, shrimp or lobster—or a combination.

    And you can add more color with cherry or grape tomatoes. We had leftover boiled Yukon Gold potatoes and added them, sliced, as well.

     

    STASTY’S RANCH DRESSING

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk (150ml)
  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ clove crushed garlic
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh dill, finely chopped
  • Salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste
  •  
    For The Salad

  • Mixed greens, washed and dried
  • Cooked salmon, cut into bite size pieces
  • Optional: red or yellow cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Garnish: Dill sprigs, lemon or lime wedge
  •  

    Ranch dressing lovers will be very happy with this recipe. Photo courtesy Stasty.com.

    Preparation

    1. MIX the buttermilk with the mayonnaise and white wine vinegar in a medium sized bowl or pitcher. Use a small hand whisk to smooth out any lumps.

    2. ADD the crushed garlic, chopped dill and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well with the whisk and store in an airtight jar in the fridge. I find if you leave the dressing in the fridge for a few hours before serving, the flavours really develop.

    3. ASSEMBLE the salad: Plate the greens and scatter the salmon or other fish on top. Drizzle dressing on top, and provide extra dressing on the side for those who want more. Garnish and serve.

     
    HOW TO MAKE BUTTERMILK

    If you’re not familiar with buttermilk, it’s a delicious beverage, like drinkable yogurt. In earlier times, when butter was churned at home, there was always plenty of buttermilk to drink and cook with. It adds richness to recipes from cake to fried chicken.

    If you don’t have it on hand or don’t want to buy a quart, make what you need by adding white vinegar to regular milk:

    1. ADD a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar (not white wine vinegar) to a one-cup measure.

    2. FILL to the rim with milk. Let stand five minutes.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Grilling On Planks

    Salmon on a cedar plank. Planks available
    from HomeWetBar.com.

     

    Are you a convert to plank grilling yet?

    Grilling on planks of wood boosts the flavor of grilled fish, meats and vegetables by infusing them with subtle, smoky flavors.

    The Haida natives of the Pacific Northwest are the earliest known people to have used plank grilling, using wood planks to cook the plentiful local salmon over fire.

    Untreated wood planks—typically alder, cedar, hickory, maple, mesquite and oak—are are popular and the planks can be reused. The planks can also be used in the oven. (NOTE: be absolutely sure the planks are untreated; otherwise, they are treated with harmful chemical preservatives for non-culinary uses.)

    Prepare the food as you normally wood—marinating it, for example—prior to plank grilling.

    While planks often come with instructions to use only once, that’s just the manufacturer trying to get you to buy more planks. You can actually reuse grilling planks two or three times, or until there’s enough plank left upon which to place food. (Only enough wood left to hold one burger? Use it and compare the flavor to the non-planked burgers.)

    After that, crumble up what’s left of the charred planks and place the “chips” over the coals for another session of grilling.

    Here are plank grilling tips and a planked grilled salmon recipe from Grand Lux Cafe, which has locations in Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Texas.

    TIPS FOR PLANK GRILLING

  • PICK up a grilling plank from your grocer, culinary specialty store (such as Sur La Table or Williams-Sonoma) or online.
  • SOAK the plank for at least one hour prior to using, to add moisture to the wood and prevent it from burning on the grill. Add a tablespoon of salt or a cup of apple juice, citrus juice or white wine, plus optional garlic or onion, to the soaking water. It will accent the wood aromas.
  • SEASON planks that you are using for the first time by placing them on a preheated grill for 2 minutes, turning once. Lightly toasting a plank on both sides will intensify its smoky flavor and prevent warping. When the plank starts crackling, it’s ready for cooking.
  • PLACE marinated or ready-to-cook foods directly on the plank. Keep the grill lid closed as much as possible to maintain temperatures and maximize the smoke infusion.
  • DON’T flip: Planked food does not have to be turned during grilling.
  • KEEP a spray bottle of water handy if the edges of the plank catch fire. Just lightly spray the area.
  • REUSE: After cooking, the edges of the plank will be charred, brittle, and smoldering. Use oven mitts and a spatula to transfer the empty plank onto a cookie sheet, a fireproof serving platter or a container of water. Clean it with soap and water and let it dry for another use.
  • EXPERIMENT next time. While cedar is the fail-safe standard, you can experiment pairing different types of wood and foods. Maple and pork work well together (maple also works with salmon).
  •  

    RECIPE: CEDAR PLANKED BBQ SALMON

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 1 cedar plank, any size larger than the fish
  • 10-12 ounces salmon filet, bones and skin removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • Citrus juice, herbs and olive oil for seasoning, or 1/2 cup chipotle-honey BBQ sauce or other flavor
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SOAK the cedar planks in water for a minimum of 30 minutes before using.

     

    Cedar planks. Photo courtesy All-State Forest Products.

     

    2. PREHEAT the grill to medium high heat (approximately 400°F or grey coals if using charcoal). Place the cedar plank onto the grill for 2-3 minutes or until it begins to smoke and becomes slightly darker in color. Remove the plank from the grill.

    3. SPREAD 2 tablespoons of the barbecue sauce on the center of the cedar plank. Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper.

    4. PLACE the salmon onto the cedar plank and set it onto the grill. Place a lid over the fish or close the cover over the grill and allow the fish to cook for 2 minutes.

    5. BASTE the fish three times: Lift the lid and baste the salmon with a little of the sauce; close the lid and cook for 2 more minutes. Repeat two more times. Then continue to cook for another 2 minutes or until the fish is done. When cooked correctly, the fish will be extremely moist, with a deep, rich sheen across the surface.

      

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    RECIPE: Seared Scallop Salad

    Seared scallop salad: a first or main course.
    Photo and recipe courtesy Pom Wonderful.

     

    Every Saturday morning, we head out to our local farmers market, always stopping at the fishmonger’s booth for fresh scallops. We love them cooked or raw. In fact, we have to restrain ourselves from nibbling up the raw scallops for lunch so we’ll have enough for the evening’s recipe.

    Here’s how we’ll be making them tonight, as a first course. The salad has a sprightly soy-ginger dressing.

    RECIPE: SEARED SCALLOP SALAD

    Ingredients For 4 Main Servings

    For The Scallops

  • 1-1/2 pounds large sea scallops
  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • Salt, pepper and paprika to taste
  • Ingredients For The Salad

  • 1/4 cup arils from 1 pomegranate
  • 6-8 cups mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup cucumber slices
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  •  

    Ingredients For The Soy-Ginger Dressing

  • Juice from 2 pomegranates, or 1/2 cup
    pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SCORE 1 fresh pomegranate and place in a bowl of water. Break open the pomegranate under water, to free the arils (seed sacs). The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top. Sieve and place the arils in a separate bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup of the arils for the salad; refrigerate or freeze the remaining arils for another use.

    2. PREPARE soy-ginger dressing: Mix all of the dressing ingredients with a whisk or in a blender.

     

    Soy-ginger salad dressing. Photo courtesy Pom Wonderful.

     

    3. MIX 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic and 1 teaspoon ginger in a bowl; toss with scallops.

    4. HEAT 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil in a large skillet. Place scallops in the skillet in a single layer. Cook without turning until the underside is crispy brown and then turn. Sear in batches if necessary.

    5. COVER scallops, set aside and keep warm while preparing the salad.

    6. ARRANGE greens on 4 dinner plates, top with cucumbers and tomatoes. Divide the scallops onto each plate; garnish with arils. Serve with dressing.
     
    FIND MORE OF OUR FAVORITE SALAD RECIPES.

      

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