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Last night Robin and I hosted three friends from work, all French teachers.  It was great fun to see them and share a dinner together.  Christy and her sister Jamie had heard too much about our remodel and finally had a chance to see it.  Sophie and her husband Igor are diving into a remodel right now.  Kathy is a foodie and is always sharing recipes with me at work.

Sophie brought tastry apps including Igor’s Three-Day Dates.  Kathy made a fabulous Chez Panisse Almond Cake with fresh fruit (not cut too early) and whipped cream.

I spent the day working with Robin to make Fava Bean and Burrata Bruschetta.  They were fabulous with fresh mint flavor and the wonderful creaminess of burrata.

We served these with Grilled Romaine and Citrus Caesar Salads as well as Mark Bittman’s Salmon with Chive-Tarragon Sauce.

Salmon with Chive-Tarragon Sauce

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tblspns minced fresh chives
  • 3 sprigs fresh tarragon (or approx 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 tblspns butter
  • 2 big tomatoes, or about 4-5 Romas seeded, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 lemon (optional)

In a pan, bring wine to boil and let it bubble for about a minute. Add herbs and butter; stir. When butter is melted add tomatoes and cook for 30 seconds or so. If sauce tastes flat after seasoning with salt and pepper, add lemon juice. Spoon sauce over fish.

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Right after I returned from a wonderful Spring break in Colorado and New York, my two uncles, Windle and Dini came to visit us.  It was so fun to catch up with them and make plans for Davis family fun including Thanksgiving with our new baby up at their inn in Hudson, New York.

For their visit I revived a favorite fish dish of ours.  I made this dish for Robin’s whole family on Thursday before our wedding.  That was just about five years ago.

Asian Grilled Salmon served on…

Sesame Peanut Noodle Salad

My colleague and friend, Suzanne, lent me her copy of Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty too many months ago. I was intimidated by the beauty of the food and length of the ingredient list.  The most recent Bon Appetit, on my bedside table in Maine, featured Ottolenghi’s food and inspired me to try a few recipes.  Wow, I should have done this sooner.

Salmon Steaks with Spicy Tomato Sauce: Fantastic salmon preparation that was much easier than expected.  Without steaks available, I used fillets and it was quite tasty.

Mushroom & Herb Polenta: The cheese and mushrooms make this outstanding.

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Robin and I are now in Phoenix for Christmas with the Knowler Family. I am honored to be allowed to cook for the family and love the job. Robin and I sat down with Kathy and set the menu, all knavisknitchen favorites. Tonight we also cooked for Russ and Sharon Ewers, Knowler family friends.

The menu was grilled salmon, Spanish white beans with spinach, green salad. All the recipes are on the recipes page.

Thanks to Russ for a great Sauvignon Blanc and Kathy for her lemon cream pie.

Good times dancing with Isa and Orion after dinner.

Mondays are tough.  Robin stays late to coach Stanford Ultimate practice and often I have not shopped for the week.  We managed to get in and out of Whole Foods with three good dinners worth of groceries and some breakfast food for around $60.

Tonight, a recent favorite, a new salad, and darn good salmon.

Spanish White Beans with Spinach: Incredibly fast, easy and tasty.

Nancy’s Kale Salad: I re-met Nancy last week wine tasting in Napa.  She is a good friend of my parents and, my parents tell me, quite the chef.  She suggested this salad and we LOVED it.  Very similar to Kathy’s Kale Salad

  • Tuscan kale & Ricotta Salata Salad. Take out the rib from the kale, slice very thinly (chiffonade) cross-wise, toss with ricotta salata and dressing of shallot, lemon juice & olive oil.

Pan Seared Salmon.  Salt, pepper, hot olive oil and about 8 minutes.

Robin knows how to keep me happy while cooking…yummy cheese on a cracker.

I kept up Super Natural Week cooking Heidi Swanson’s Kale Salad with Toasted Coconut & Sesame Oil.  While we enjoyed the result, I definitely should have used way more kale than the recipe called for. Could just be my love for kale.  Who knows.

The salmon stole the show tonight, though.  I threw a single piece of Atlantic Salmon on the grill and took off one of the best pieces of fish I have cooked at home.  No special treatment.  I just salted, peppered, and olive oiled before putting it on a well oiled grill.  The fish must have been a fattier piece as there were more flare ups than I am use to coming off a piece of fish.  I pulled it off a few minutes before it was ready and put it back on.  The JV move of pulling it off too early allowed me to get the Varsity move of the crossed grill marks.