Friday, August 17, 2018

Ina Garten's Salmon Cakes

Ina Garten's salmon cakes have become a family favorite.

(Also on the plate is Ina's amazingly easy Herbed Basmati Rice and her Tartar Sauce.  And the cheaty part--frozen green beans with french-fried onions on top.) 

But of course, over time I have varied the recipe. I use about a pound of salmon pre-cooked (from leftovers I save in the freezer!), the amount of chopped vegetable depends on what I have on hand, and I use about a cup of ready-made breadcrumbs.

Here's Ina's original recipe, in case the link goes bad. (my changes in italics)

1/2 pound fresh salmon (1 pound pre-cooked)
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion) (1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups small-diced celery (4 stalks) (maybe less)
1/2 cup small-diced red bell pepper (1 small pepper)
1/2 cup small-diced yellow bell pepper (1 small pepper)
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons crab boil seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
3 slices stale bread, crusts removed (1 cup prepared breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the salmon on a sheet pan, skin side down. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until just cooked. Remove from the oven and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and refrigerate until cold. (If using leftovers you can skip this whole part!)

Meanwhile, place 2 tablespoons of the butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil, the onion, celery, red and yellow bell peppers, parsley, capers, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, crab boil seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large saute pan over medium-low heat and cook until the vegetables are soft, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Break the bread slices in pieces and process the bread in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. You should have about 1 cup of bread crumbs. Place the bread crumbs on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 5 minutes until lightly browned, tossing occasionally. (Skip this if you have prepared breadcrumbs.)

Flake the chilled salmon into a large bowl. Add the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and eggs. Add the vegetable mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Shape into 10 (2 1/2 to 3-ounce) cakes.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. In batches, add the salmon cakes and fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until browned. Drain on paper towels; keep them warm in a preheated 250 degree F oven and serve hot.

2008, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved

Your Cousin's Crispy Fried Tofu

Your cousin 's best crispy fried tofu:

Press it.
Slice it.
Season it. 
Cornstarch it. 
Fry it.

Frank’s Beer Battered Fish

So simple.

1 package Trader Joe’s cod tips
Salt and pepper
1 bottle beer
1 cup flour
Oil for frying.

Season the fish. Mix the beer and flour together. Dredge the fish in the batter. Fry in hot oil. Enjoy.

Someday I will have a picture.

Indian-Spiced Cauliflower

I used to collect recipes from magazines. At first I would cut them out, sort by category, and tape them into binders. Eventually, this system degraded into piles. I loved Sunset Magazine's recipes; they were so interesting and fresh. They used to collect a full year's recipes into a hardbound book.

This is one of my favorites, from the Sunset 1992 Recipe Annual.

It's pretty flexible. In this case, I had a variety of cherry tomatoes, and no fresh ginger so I used ground instead. And I probably used more wine!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Carne Asada and Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 white onion, diced
1jalapeƱo, diced
1 handfuls cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime

Mix everything together.

Carne Asada Rub

1 tsp chile powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano, crumbled if the leaves are large
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix together and rub on beef ahead of time.

Grill or fry beef.
Make tacos!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Turkey Meatloaf

When you're craving Thanksgiving flavor, but aren't able cook a turkey.

2 lbs ground turkey
2 eggs
1/4 - 1/2 c. milk
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried sage
1 cup grated carrot (optional)
2/3 cup breadcrumbs
Cranberry sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients together and form into loaf. Or for fun, form into two small loaves vaguely shaped like drumsticks! Drizzle a few spoons of cranberry sauce over the top (in lieu of the usual ketchup). Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour. (Smaller loaves will take less time.)

If possible, serve with one or more of your other favorite Thanksgiving dishes, such as stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, or green beans with fried onions.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is a pantry/leftovers meal.

(all measurements approximate!)

1 small onion, diced
olive oil
2 cups (at least) chicken, preferably leftover
1 can chicken broth
1 can pinto or black beans, drained
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes, or 1-2 cups fresh diced tomatoes
1 can diced green chiles, or fresh diced chiles
1 cup chopped cabbage*
1 cup salsa
chili powder to taste
tortilla chips**
grated cheese
sliced avocado
chopped cilantro

*Usually when I have leftover taco fixings, like cabbage, tomatoes, and onions, I freeze them in a baggie. Then just dump the frozen lump in the soup!

**It's really best to fry your own.  I cut tortillas into narrow strips, and fry them in vegetable oil until they are crispy. Salt them as soon as you take them out of the pan. The salt sticks better to the hot oily chip.

Saute onion in olive oil, when translucent and browning a bit, add the chicken, broth, and vegetables. Stir in the salsa and chili powder.  Simmer until hot and cabbage is cooked through. Ladle into bowls and garnish with tortilla chips, cheese, avocado and cilantro.