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Salty Salmon, Poached Egg, Butter Spinach

18 Feb

salmon

A quick, satisfying dinner during minimal-starch month (and after a weekend of salt-depleting exercise).

I’d shopped with Niçoise salad on the brain, but ended up making: salmon rubbed with salt, white pepper, and sesame seeds, broiled for 8 minutes skin-side-up, on a bed of butter-sauteed lettuce, celery, and black olives, topped with chopped up crispy salmon skin and a poached egg.

Kale, Smoked Salmon, Grilled Haloumi Salad

18 Jan

 

 

salad

A quick salad-as-mostly-healthy-meal for visiting family: kale (salted raw, let sit, then rinsed), celeriac, smoked salmon, broccoli, lemon-garlic-olive oil dressing (using a smokier heirloom garlic with less bite raw), and grilled haloumi cheese. It worked.

(Campari-soda with meyer lemon as apertif, and the still-amazing Dandelion Madagascar chocolate for dessert)

dinner

 

Lentil Soup, Roasted Stonefruit Salad

1 Jul

For dinner: bread, cheese (Humboldt Fog and a Neals Yard cheese that wasn’t their cheddar), mixed greens with roasted peaches and radishes, and a bowl of figs.

Followed by lentil soup based on the version I liked so much earlier this year, involving sweating the lentils, shallots sauteed in bacon fat, nora pepper, and this time a dried ancho pepper for a little extra kick. I did the “add a big bunch of spinach a few minutes before serving” thing again too:

It was a good day for food (and, alas, my first time cooking in a few weeks).

Pancetta, Greens, Garbanzos

8 Mar

Hey, this was a more successful than usual “leftovers hash”, and only 20 minutes.

(cue typical low-light cell phone photo:)

Some good pancetta fried at low heat. A little water added to deglaze the pan and get the crusty bits off the bottom. A minced shallot sauteed in the fat. Then a few brussels sprouts I had (sliced thin), a coarsely chopped head of broccolini, and a few big pinches of white pepper, for variety. With the pan covered, fried/steamed on medium-low heat (stirring occasionally) for about 10 minutes.

I had the dregs of a can of tahini left, so I mixed that with a can of chick peas, olive oil, some raw garlic, and a splash of balsamic vinegar (I was out of citrus). For further acid, some powdered sumac I had left over from the Turkish(ish) dinner.

Quite good (and even better once I mixed them together and the pancetta greens could tame some of the raw garlic).

Salmon & Mushrooms in foil

5 Mar

I splurged a bit on ingredients– some wild-caught (I’d just read Righteous Porkchop) salmon,  between layers of sliced shallots, hedgehog mushrooms (so disturbingly spiny-looking when fresh…), black trumpet mushrooms, and kalamata olives, along with black pepper and Meyer lemon juice. No added salt (letting the olives stand in for that). I wrapped the whole stack in foil, crimped the edges, and baked it at 400 for about 17 minutes. Delicious!

“Served” (to myself, as a solo dinner) with sunflower sprouts and watermelon radish, which I amused myself by cutting into squares and arranging into houses of cards. Just because.

Lentil Soup, Radishes, Anise

21 Feb

Another (busy-at-work, forgot-to-invite-anyone-over) Tuesday CSA, another attempt to cheat time with the pressure cooker. I’d give this one a B+.

Similar to the last lentil soup: I sauteed some home-cured-by-a-friend and deliciously fatty/salty lambcetta, shallots, celery, carrots, and onions. Then I sweated a pound of lentils with it over medium heat for 5 minutes. Plus a few dried Nora peppers, chipotles, cayenne, a pinch of smoked paprika, 8 cups of water, and the lid came on, for 10 minutes at pressure. I opened it, added salt and black pepper to taste, and simmered it another 5 minutes. A whole Meyer lemon squeezed into the bowl for the last-minute acid. Pretty good. Could have used more meat or a meaty stock.

To go along with it, a salad with lettuce, fennel, pea sprouts, watermelon radish (refreshing & fun to look at), balsamic. And some lemon-anise hard candies from Miette.

 

Lentils, Kuri, Spigarello

31 Jan

Okay, too much eating out, back to cooking (mostly from the Tuesday CSA). I meant to invite a few friends over but didn’t plan ahead.

Red Kuri Squash, brushed with peanut oil, black pepper, and salt, baked about 30 minutes at 425F, until soft. No butter or sugar, and it was earthy and good with a dark belgian beer (St Bernardus Abt):

Spigarello greens, which taste uncannily like broccoli, but not bitter (shredded and sauteed with about 8 cloves of crushed garlic until just starting to wilt).

And continuing the attempt to make good quick legumes in a pressure cooker (after one failure, and one non-pressure-cooker, slower, more involved success):

Sauteed four thin-sliced shallots in the open pressure cooker, added half a pound of lentils (no liquid), and sweated them over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring. Then I added some dried peppers (nora, guajillo), two bay leaves, and four cups of water (I didn’t have any stock or pork to add). I closed the lid, brought it up to steam temperature, cooked for 10 minutes, then did a quick release of the pressure by running the pot under cold water. Hey, the lentils were perfectly done this time, with good texture and a little liquid still remaining… but blander than I wanted. Browsing the cupboards, I added a heavy pinch of cayenne powder, a bit more salt, a quarter of the dark beer, a little sauteed garlic from the spigarello, and a dash of cholula. After about 5 more minutes of simmering on low, I tasted it– spicy, and pretty good! I added juice from a meyer lemon and it was even better.

 

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