Lemon Garlic Salmon with Asparagus

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hello there!  Suffice to say its been a while, and we've been really busy around here.  I will post some pictures of my 8 day trip to New Mexico with my Dad and Sister.  It was fabulous.  The scenery was breathtaking.  And the New Mexican Cuisine was inspiring.  I will definitely be looking for ways to incorporate some truly inspired dishes into my lineup.

But last night, I pulled out a beautiful huge salmon filet that we picked up at Costco this week.  I cut it in half, to make two large filets (they filled up an entire cookie sheet...that large).  And I began dressing it with finery...

Lemon Garlic Salmon with Asparagus

Here's what I used:

1-2 large Salmon Filets (about 4-6 oz per person)
juice 1 lemon
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1 lb fresh asparagus

Here's what I did:

Preheat oven to 500/Broil, with oven rack at top level (this should allow for 2-3" space for salmon to sit while broiling).

Line a cookie sheet with foil, to save on cleanup.  Place salmon, skin side down, and then drizzle with lemon juice.  Add garlic and softened butter, evenly distributed.  Finally season with salt and pepper.  Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes at room temperature - this will give the lemon juice a bit of time to marinate the fish.

Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus.  In order to remove the stemmy, tough ends of the asparagus, take each spear between your hands, and snap them in two.  The spear should break at the point where the stemmy/tough part begins.  Discard the tough, stemmy end.  Set medium sized saucepan to boil with asparagus spears and a little salt. Allow them to simmer for 6-8 minutes, or until tender, but still al dente. 

Once salmon is in the oven, allow to broil for 6-10 minutes, depending on thickness of filets.  Mine were only about 1/2 - 1" thick, so I cooked them for 7 minutes.  You're not looking for a crusty brownish finish here, but more of a soft frothy one.  The edges may brown more than the center, but that's fine.

Allow salmon to rest for a few minutes, while removing asparagus from heat.  Blanch the asparagus in the pan by running the pan under cold water for 1 minute.  Then remove asparagus to a serving dish, and dress with 2 small pats of butter, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Serve salmon alongside asparagus.  This would go wonderful with a nice Chardonnay.  :)

Peaches and Cream Sundae

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer's bring warm weather, ice cream socials...and Farmer's Markets!  Fresh ingredients that have never seen the inside of the fridge have such incredible flavors.  While not always possible, its the best opportunity to enjoy summer fruits while they're at their peak!

I was lucky enough to score about a half dozen each of peaches and nectarines, and decided to make a fresh, sweet and refreshing fruit mix out of them, and then dress a sundae in their honor!!

Peaches and Cream Sundae

Here's what I used:

6 fresh peaches, cubed 1/2"
6 fresh nectarines, cubed 1/2"
juice 1/2 lemon

Vanilla Ice Cream
Whipped Cream

Here's what I did:

Toss fruit (skin on) with lemon juice and let sit for 20-30 minutes at room temperature.  This will let the fruit create their own syrup at the bottom of the bowl.

Pile a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream, and top with fruit, and then whipped cream.  Be sure to ladel some of the fruit juices out of the base of the bowl.

Brie wrapped in Phyllo with Jalapeno Jelly

Thursday, August 5, 2010

When I think of my favorite appetizers, this one is right up there.  Talk about a conversation piece, too.  Crispy, light phyllo pastry wrapped around a sweet, spicy, melty brie and jalapeno jelly combination.  Yummmmmmmmm.

Brie wrapped in Phyllo with Jalapeno Jelly

Here's what I used:

1 small wheel (round) of brie
1 small jar jalapeno jelly
3-4 sheets phyllo sheets, thawed
3 tbsp butter

Carr's (or other) water crackers

Here's what I did:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lay phyllo dough sheets flat once the package has had a few minutes to thaw.  If the phyllo starts to crumble or break, it needs more time to thaw.  It should be pliable and not brittle.  On a clean, flat surface lay each sheet of phyllo down flat, brushing lightly with butter between each sheet.  Once 3-4 sheets have been layered, place brie wheel in the center.  Add 4-5 tbsp of jalapeno jelly on top (more if brie wheel is larger), evenly spread.

With both hands, carefully fold the phyllo up the sides and overtop the brie and jelly, working your way around the sides to gather up all the dough.  Use butter to smooth out and get the phyllo to stick to itself, creating a "shell" around the cheese.  If you're feeling creative, trim and twist the corners of phyllo in the center to create a raised point.  You can also get cookie cutters and cut out several shapes, pinching edges of the shapes to create dimension on top of the pastry-wrapped cheese wheel.  Brush the entire top and sides with butter.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until phyllo is golden brown. 

HINT: Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.  If you cut into it too soon, the brie will quickly melt out of the wheel, and be more difficult to heap onto crackers.

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