Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Asparagus, radish, and Butter Lettuce Salad

Yesterday, I noticed that we had two cream puff shells in the freezer. We also had, thanks to a good friend, a bit of fresh king salmon and a little heavy cream in the refrigerator. Somehow asparagus and radishes felt like the right things to add to make a cream puff filled with salmon salad. Got one of those butter lettuces with roots still on at the store. 

  1. Put 2 eggs on to boil. (When they came to the boil, turned off the heat, covered them, and let them sit for 10 minutes. 
  2. The oven was on, because I was baking a pie for the fresh salmon friend. I lined an jelly roll pan with foil, washed and snapped the fresh asparagus and put it at one end of the pan, and put the salmon filet at the other end. Sprayed them with olive oil, squeezed lemon over them, sprinkle of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, and put the pan in the oven. 
  3. Pulled the cream puffs from the freezer and popped them into the over to crisp up. 
  4. Washed the lettuce, and arranged it decoratively on plates. 
  5. Very thinly sliced the radishes, sliced some green onions, and put them in a bowl. Little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper on this too. 
  6. Took the cream puffs out of the oven. 
  7. Sliced up some wonderfully smelling melon (Sadly not as flavorful as the aroma would suggest).
  8. Removed the asparagus from the oven and allowed it to cool. The salmon still needed time. Once the asparagus was cool enough to touch, sliced it into bite sized pieces and added to the radishes. 
  9. Peeled the eggs. Grated one into the vegetable mix. 
  10. Whipped up the cream to soft peak, and folded in some whole grain mustard, Heinz (Heinz was/is a great art supporter. Sorry Best Foods.) mayo, and a little rice wine vinegar. Adjusted the salt and pepper, and folded some into the vegetable mix. Put the rest in a bowl to add as needed. 
  11. About this time, the salmon was done, and John was home and ready for dinner. Removed the pin bones, and flaked about half of the salmon into the vegetable/mousseline mixture. 
  12. Set the cream puffs on the lettuce lined plates, opened them and spooned the vegetable mix over them. Carefully fanned the remaining salmon over the mix. 
  13. It was pretty good. 
So this evening, even though I had only the lettuce, the asparagus, radishes, and an egg, I did it again, with a lemon vinaigrette. Simple, refreshing, and fast.

Apple Pie for the salmon fisherman

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Beet Greens and Beef

Whole Wheat honey buttermilk bread, fresh fruit, Vally of the Moon Sangiovese, Romaine Salad, and Lemon Garlic Beet Greens with sauteed steak, mushrooms, and onions. 

John is away, there was a leftover rib eye in the frig, along with beets with greens attached. We needed bread, and suddenly I realized that i would be home all day and could make bread!So: used up the aged buttermilk to make honey, buttermilk whole wheat (using the King Arthur unbleached White Whole Wheat flour, mixed with some white and some oatmeal) bread.
Steamed the well-washed beet greens with stems in a pot over medium heat until limp and then drained them, chopped them and drained again. Put some butter and olive oil in the pot with chopped garlic and returned the greens to the pot.
Meanwhile, chopped up onions and mushrooms, sauteed them in olive oil and butter until nearly soft, then added the leftover steak, sliced up, and a touch of red wine.
Stirred a little fresh lemon juice into the greens, put them on the plate and topped with the steak. The sturdy earthy flavor of the greens really went well with the steak, and it all went well with the bread and Valley of the Moon Sangiovese.


Our first evening we ate at Luna's. Delicious butternut squash soup garnished with (not fresh) Dungeness crab with a sald of greens candied walnuts and craisins. Very good. John had a tofu and squash curry.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Had the an all yellow meal tonight: Sauvignon Blanc, scrambled eggs with cream-reduced mushrooms (OK there was one stalk of chives chopped up in there) and a nice Vermont cheddar stirred in, corn on the cob with butter. A caramel meringue, which seemed to be added to the options by either the houseguest or my daughter, with a "Help Yourself" note attached.

It is possibly true that I should not have started with the Sauvignon Blanc.

But I did also get a vat of ratatouille and a nice bowl of tabouli with herbs from my actual "garden" made for the Alaska State Council on the Arts dinner tomorrow.

So all yellow at 9 pm is just fine.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Epic Fail-French Macarons

We've been invited to a Seder, and I volunteered to make French Macarons, thinking that as long as I didn't use regular powdered sugar, they'd be kosher for Passover. My first effort, when we returned from France a couple of years ago, was pleasantly successful 
but somehow I failed to save that recipe. The recent Fine Cooking had an article on making them, which I tried last month, moderately, but not completely, successfully. 
I read on-line that it is easy to make your own powdered sugar in the blender, so I did. How important could the cornstarch be? 
Did a little research on other recipes for macarons, since the Fine Cooking  one had not worked perfectly for me and I knew there was one out there that is. Found one that used an Italian meringue method, which I vaguely remembered. The batter was lovely. All seemed well. But they totally did not work! Each tray baked out differently, and not well - hard, or the tops slithered off, or they dried out. Taste great, but not Macarons....further reading: the starch in the powdered sugar helps stabilize the liquid in the egg white. Hmmmm. Read further and found that you can make kosher for Passover powdered sugar using potato starch. So I got some potato starch, and decided to give the Fine Cooking  recipe a second go.

This batch was OK, although there are no little "feet", (which I did get with the first rendition of this recipe) but much better than the Italian meringue recipe. I filled some with ganache and some with sour cherry marmalade from American Spoon Foods. We will see what the verdict is tomorrow. "Next year...." perhaps they will be Laduree quality. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines day

Being married for nearly 30 years means not having to buy expensive extravagant gifts to prove you love each other. Instead, a glass (or two) of excellent sparking wine, a rack of lamb with a crust of mustard and herbs, a (heart shaped) galette of matchstick potatoes and celeriac, a green salad, and a fruit salad with a nice red frog's Leap does the trick. Chet Baker (thanks for the suggestion Deanne) and a toasty wood fire made a lovely evening.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Should I just rename this blog "Eating Alone'? II

Very cutely, John expressed concern yesterday that because he'd be in Sitka doing a wine tasting tonight and not here to cook dinner for me, I'd eat poorly. He made a big meatloaf so there would be leftovers. I pointed out that usually when he was gone I made a nice meal for myself, laid it out decoratively, pulled wine from the underwear stash, took a photo of the whole affair, and in fact had a nice dinner.

So it was me and the dog at work early this morning, and through the day to the evening First Friday, a rousing event with a lovely show by a very talented young photographer, and hundreds through the door.

Home about 8 with the CSA box from Mat-Su which contained red chard!

Fed the patient, long-suffering dog. 

Put the "Hello Stranger" Genius mix on. 

Had a glass of the former house favorite, Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc, recently moved to a new distributor, so we will have to develop a new house favorite.

Diced up some little fingerling potatoes and a little red potato, some green onions.

Cleaned and sliced up the chard, a big tomato and minced a big healthy clove of garlic.

Melted a little butter and olive oil in a small saute pan and started the potatoes.

Melted a little butter and olive oil in another larger pan and started the chard stems.

Put some previously washed greens on my plate and sprinkled with olive oil, lemon juice and a bit of Balsamic vinegar, kosher salt and pepper.

Tossed the potatoes, and the stems. Added green onions to the potatoes, and tossed to mix. Added the leaves to the stems and tossed to coat with oils. Covered the chard to steam a bit.

Sliced a couple of slices off the meat loaf, and put a pan on with a bit of butter to saute them.

Added the tomatoes to the chard, and tossed to coat with oil and juices. Covered for a couple of minutes.

Put the chard & tomato melange on the plate, top with the heated meatloaf slices, and add the sauteed potatoes.

Light the candles and pull the Carr's Napa Cabernet Sauvignon from the secret stash.
Sam Cooke - What a wonderful world.