Archive for March, 2008

recipe: 15-minute Braised Salmon with Fennel

Monday, March 24th, 2008

15-minute Braised Salmon with Fennel, originally uploaded by foodietots.

Salmon Recipe #3: This is a terrific low-effort weeknight dinner dish, and may just be my new favorite way to cook salmon. Braising is very quick (only 4 minutes for the fish!) and results in a moist and flavorful slice of fish.

I used Whole Foods’ frozen Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon for this one. It’s cheaper and more convenient than buying fresh if you’re not going to make it right away – and great to keep on hand in the freezer.

I found this recipe thinking I had bought leeks, but I had actually bought fennel. (Duh.) And I had fresh thyme on hand so I used that in place of tarragon. I liked the fennel myself, but the husband was not a fan. Will try it as written next time. Here’s the original recipe, with my modifications in italics.

15-Minute Braised Salmon with Leeks (or Fennel)
adapted from the World’s Healthiest Foods


* 2 medium leeks cut lengthwise – or – 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced and a few leaves reserved for garnish
* 4 medium cloves garlic, pressed
* 1 TBS chicken or vegetable broth + ½ cup – I used vegetable
* 1 TBS fresh lemon juice – juice of 1 Meyer lemon, yum!
* 1 TBS fresh tarragon chopped – or – 8 stems fresh thyme leaves
* 1½ lbs salmon fillet, cut into 8 pieces, skin and bones removed – two 6oz. fillets, didn’t need to cut smaller
* salt and white pepper to taste


1. Cut off green tops of leeks and remove outer tough leaves. Cut off root and cut leeks in half, lengthwise. Fan out the leeks and rinse well under running water, leaving them intact. Cut into 2 inch lengths. Now, holding the leek sections cut side up, cut lengthwise ending up with thin strips, known as chiffonade cut. Make sure slices are cut very thin.
2. Let leeks and garlic sit for 5-10 minutes to bring out their hidden health benefits.
3. Heat 1 TBS broth in 10-12 inch stainless steel skillet. Healthy Sauté leeks over medium heat in broth for about 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add ½ cup broth, lemon juice and simmer for another 5 minutes, covered, stirring once in awhile.
4. Rub salmon with a little fresh lemon juice, salt and white pepper
5. Stir fresh tarragon, salt and pepper into leeks, and place salmon on top of leeks. Simmer for about 3-4 minutes, covered, or until salmon is pink inside. Time may vary a little depending on thickness of salmon. Serve leeks topped with salmon and drizzle with juice.

Serves 4


Friday finds: natural egg dyes

Friday, March 21st, 2008


Now while I generally try to avoid foods with artificial colors, I make exceptions several times a year for holidays and birthdays. I did make “brown velvet” cupcakes for my son’s first birthday, though, when an attempt to use natural red dye turned out unsuccessful. (Apparently natural dyes rarely hold up to baking.) Frankly, I hadn’t even thought of the chemicals in Easter egg dye until seeing this Slashfood mention of an article from Plenty on DIY, non-toxic egg dyes.

I’ll probably still go with convenience this year – especially when the boy isn’t even a big egg eater – but we will use our cage-free, hormone-free, vegetarian-fed eggs, at least. And maybe I’ll try this some year when I have a little more time! Happy Easter!

Salmon Burgers

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

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salmon burger, originally uploaded by foodietots.

Ingredient of the Month: Salmon, Recipe #2

This is a great weeknight dinner that can be prepared in under 30 minutes. Canned Wild Alaskan salmon can be found at most grocery stores, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Whole Foods even carries a store brand Sockeye which I used for this recipe. This is also a great way to use up leftover salmon.

14oz. canned Wild Alaskan salmon
1 egg yolk
½ red pepper, finely chopped (or ¼ ea. red and green pepper – slice the rest to serve on the side)
1 t low-sodium soy sauce (variation: teriyaki sauce)

Flake the salmon with a fork, removing any large bone pieces. Mix in peppers, egg yolk and soy sauce and combine. Shape into 3” patties. Heat skillet over medium heat, add 1 T olive oil and sauté for approximately 4 minutes per side. Serve with mustard or tartar sauce and lettuce on whole wheat buns.

Maple-Roasted Salmon

Monday, March 10th, 2008

roast salmon and risotto

Originally uploaded by foodietots

Recipe # 1: Maple-Roasted Salmon

Our first salmon dish was a success with the toddler – he devoured his serving and a large portion of the husband’s as well.

I used this simple recipe from However, I take offense to the opening comment that alleges farm-raised Atlantic salmon is tasty. (Disclosure: I grew up in the Pacific Northwest.) If you’ve never had Pacific salmon, I implore you to try it. Wild Alaskan King Salmon is available at Whole Foods right now. Farm-raised Atlantic salmon may as well be cod in comparison, and then there are the many environmental issues surrounding farmed fish as well.

But, if you don’t have Pacific salmon handy, marinate the fish as recommended by the recipe. If you’re using the good stuff, just brush the glaze on and roast as directed, then brush a little more on right when you remove it from the oven. I’ve used a maple-mustard glaze before, but the rum really intensified the sweetness. I used a 1 lb piece of salmon, 2 T each maple syrup and rum, and 1 t brown mustard. My salmon piece was pretty thick, so it needed 20 minutes to cook to medium-rare in the center. Atlantic salmon is usually thinner, so 15 minutes is probably sufficient.

Ingredient of the Month: Salmon

Monday, March 10th, 2008


To get through these last, long months until our CSA harvest begins, I thought I would take one item each month and find three new ways to cook it. I tend to fall into a rut with my standby recipes, and experimentation with familiar ingredients is a great way to spice up the routine. For March, I’ll be cooking with salmon. A versatile and popular fish, it’s one of the only types of fish my husband will eat. Salmon is one of the 14 “superfoods” highlighted in Dr. Pratt’s SuperFoods Rx for its heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. We typically grill it in the summer with a simple touch of butter, sea salt and smoked paprika. So, this month I’ll be featuring ways to cook salmon indoors in new and flavorful ways. Enjoy!