Salmon Cake Salad

Remember that Not Ketchup I used in my Maize & Blue Chicken Salad for #10DaysofTailgate?

And remember how I said one of the things I had planned for my bottle of Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup was a salad dressing?

Well I did just that!

But I didn’t use it to top just any boring old salad. I used it to top Salmon Cakes (that were placed lovingly onto a salad bed)!

I apologize for the horrendous photograph – I’m still struggling with taking food photography in the new house at night.

Salmon Cake Salad

Ingredients for Salmon Cakes:

  • 3 8 oz salmon fillets
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 1 1/4 C panko, divided use
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 C red onion, diced
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried parsley

Ingredients for Salad Dressing:

Steps for Salmon Cakes:

  1. Place salmon in a large skillet with high sides. Cover with water and add the lemon, sea salt, and peppercorns. Bring the water to a simmer and poach salmon 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, flake the salmon fillets, discarding any skin and bones. Gently mix the salmon with the beaten eggs, 1/4 C panko, onion, dill, paprika, S+P. If the mixture is too wet add a little more panko. If the mixture is too dry add another egg.
  4. Mix together 1 C panko with the parsley in a shallow dish.
  5. Form salmon mixture into 8 equal sized patties. Coat in the panko and parsley and place on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake 15-20 minutes.
  7. Serve on top of your favorite salad mix.

Steps for Salad Dressing:

  1. Whisk together salad dressing ingredients.

*The salmon cake recipe is adapted from Cheryl at http://www.cherylstyle.com/simple-food-recipes/dinner-recipes/panko-breaded-baked-salmon-cakes-recipe/ *

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Disclaimer: I was provided a bottle of Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup through the #10DaysofTailgate event, however all opinions and statements are my own.

Eating the Bible: Fishy Business

May the angel who redeems me from all harm bless the youths, and may they be called by my name and the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac, and may they multiply like fish, in the midst of the land. Genesis 48:16

This passage is confusing. Why would Jacob bless his children to multiply like fish? And better yet, why “in the midst of the land?”

One of the references Rena makes in Eating the Bibleis that fish live their lives away from the influence of humans so by association Jacob’s descendants should live their lives without the influence of those around them. I like this explanation as it can relate to keeping Faith. While Lent is a time to renew your Faith it is prudent to remember that regardless of what is happening around you, your Faith must remain unshaken. Like fish, you must live your life apart from worldly influences.

Arrabbiata Tilapia

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb tilapia filets
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 large onion, choppped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1/4 C chicken stock
  • 1 C crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley

Steps:

  1. Season fish with salt and pepper. Squeeze with lemon and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat saute onion in olive oil for 4 minutes, season with salt. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, saute for 30 seconds. Add chicken stock and tomatoes to the onions. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Stir in sugar and parsley. Put fish in the sauce and cook on low heat for 10 minutes, or until fish is cooked. (Cooking time will vary depending on how thick your filets are.)

*This recipe is modified from Eating the Bible by Rena Rossner* (Rena served her fish atop a bed of rice. I opted for a side of potatoes because I had a bag sitting on my counter.)

Arrabbiata Tilapia

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Eating the Bible: Eternal Dust

Each year during Lent I try to reconnect with my faith. I am not the most religious girl, and I don’t often enter into conversations regarding religion and in no way offer to convert someone. I have an almost all-encompassing view of God. I was raised Catholic and when I do go to church I attend the local Catholic Church – I like the rhythm of mass. And while I don’t always agree with the Catholic viewpoint, I still get something out of each homily.

I see religion as a human’s way to understand life, as a way to provide a purpose to human existence. I do believe that there is a God – I don’t have an image of God, and I definitely don’t provide Him with a human quality – more of a giant ball of light and energy. I believe that every religion is actually one in the same (not I’m not trying to spark a debate here), and that different cultures and peoples choose to understand and believe in their vision of God differently.

With my blog I have decided to take a different outlook on my Lenten journey this year. It’s been a long time since I’ve given something up (candy, soda, fast food, etc) and instead I look to adding something to my life – usually it’s going to Church each Sunday (as I don’t do that weekly) or reading the New Testament. But with the blog I thought it’d be great to add a food aspect to my journey. I’ve never failed a Lenten promise and I don’t want to set myself up for failure here, so two times a week (Wednesdays and Sundays) I plan to cook a recipe from Rena Rossner’s Eating the Bible.On those days my posts will be in the evening after supper.

Rena took it upon herself to enrich her bible study through food. These recipes are inspired by the Old Testament. And even though Lent is about the 40 days Jesus spent wandering in the desert, renouncing the Devil and Temptation and ends with Holy Week which marks the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Easter!), I can still find Rena’s cookbook to help me slow down and think about God. While she references many stories from the Old Testament, she provides “food for thought” both in recipes and in questions to ask about God.

The first recipe that I’m trying from Eating the Bible is Eternal Dust which was inspired by Genesis 13:16. 

“And I will make your progeny like the dust of the earth: so that if a man could count the dust of the earth, then your progeny could also be counted.”

I feel this recipe applies greatly to Ash Wednesday. During Ash Wednesday mass, ashes are placed on our forehead in the shape of a cross while the words from Genesis 3:19 “Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.” are said.  Ash Wednesday serves as a reminder of earthly mortality and repentance to God.

Rena decided to make a spice rub, or a spice “dust”, as a compliment to this bible study. She titled her spice blend “Earthly Seasoning”.  I used this “Earthly Seasoning” on roasted shrimp and broccoli which I served over rice.

“Earthly Seasoning” is a mix of 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp dry mustard, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1 tbsp cumin, 2 tsp black pepper, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp cayenne, and 1 tbsp sugar.

Earthly Seasoned Shrimp and Broccoli

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 3/4 lb broccoli florets
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided use
  • 2 1/2 tsp “Earthly Seasoning” (recipe above), divided use

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Toss broccoli in 2 tbsp of olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Season with 1 1/2 tsp “Earthly Seasoning”. Roast for 10 minutes.
  3. Gently toss shrimp in remaining olive oil and seasoning. After broccoli has been roasting for 10 minutes flip broccoli and add the shrimp to the baking sheet. Cook another 8-10 minutes, turning half-way.
  4. Serve over rice with a squeeze of lemon.

*This recipe is modified from Adam at http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2009/02/roasted_shrimp.html*

Roasted Shrimp & Broccoli

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Roasted Shrimp and Avocado Pesto

If you’re still keeping up with your New Year’s resolution, good for you! If you’re not – don’t consider it failure, pick it back up and try again.

On January first I promised you a healthy dish. I’m only 3 weeks late in delivering, but here it is! Brown rice pasta (pad thai noodles) and roasted shrimp tossed in avocado pesto.

I followed Amateur Gourmet‘s method for roasting the shrimp and was inspired by The Gracious Pantry‘s avocado pesto. Because I kept tasting throughout the cooking process, I ended up creating my own version of avocado pesto!

Roasted Shrimp and Avocado Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 8 oz brown rice noodles
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 C fresh basil
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 C shredded asiago cheese
  • salt and white pepper, to taste

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 deg.
  2. Cook brown rice noodles according to package directions.
  3. Place shrimp on a greased baking sheet. Season with salt, pepper, and a little squeeze of lemon. Roast for 10 minutes.
  4. In a food processor combine the remaining ingredients.
  5. Toss noodles and shrimp with as much avocado pesto you want.

Avocado Pesto

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Asian Slow Roasted Salmon

Fish, although easy to cook, isn’t an easy thing for me. I never seem to crave it, and always prefer the fish I get at the local restaurants around here. But I do make an effort to keep a packet of frozen salmon filets in my freezer.

I typically find an Asian inspired flavor when it comes to salmon and this one caught my eye. I served it with quinoa. Quinoa is a great alternative to rice and is gluten free! It can be prepared the same way you prepare rice, using a 2:1 liquid to grain ratio. This go around I tested that method even further by using my rice cooker. I find using small kitchen appliances reduce my likelihood of burning and ruining my grains. The quinoa was a little too al dente so next time I’ll add just a touch more liquid. To give the quinoa a little extra flavor, I like to cook mine in chicken stock instead of water. It is also important to rinse the grain before cooking.

Our vegetable during this evening were boiled carrots, but they were such a last minute decision that they didn’t make the presentation plate! I apologize for the photo quality of this dish… I feel my food photography has taken multiple steps backwards with the time change. The windows in my house do not let in a lot of light, and now I have no hope of natural light as it’s dark before I even leave the office!

Asian Slow Roasted Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 4 salmon filets
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1/4 C soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Place salmon skin side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Brush salmon with sesame oil and season with pepper. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.
  3. Over medium heat whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, ginger, and garlic. Bring glaze to a simmer. Whisk in cornstarch until the glaze is smooth and reaches desired thickness.
  4. Drizzle glaze over cooked salmon and serve with grains and vegetables.

*This recipe is adapted from Riley at http://www.mydailymorsel.com/2013/06/17/asian-slow-roasted-salmon/*

Asian Slow Roasted Salmon

Quita’s Shrimp

I have mentioned my mom’s mom, Busia, on my blog before and it is now time to “introduce” you to my dad’s mom, Quita.

You’re probably thinking I have very strange names for my grandparents. Busia (boo-sha) is the Americanized Polish for grandmother and Quita (pronounced kee-ta) is the Lauren-ized Dominican for Abuelita. When I was young, I couldn’t pronounce Abuelita and being the first grandchild on my dad’s side of the family, it stuck! Funnily enough though only my brother and I call her Quita. My cousins use the traditional Abuelita and Abuelito while my youngest cousin calls them Mami and Papi.

So what do I call my grandfather? Taita (tie-ta). This one is my grandfather’s creation and the origin is debatable.

This shrimp recipe is a party favorite. It is a room temperature salad of cocktail shrimp, onions, and peppers in a bright vinaigrette. The recipe I followed didn’t have the amounts of each ingredient, but I used my best judgment. When I pulled it out of the fridge it smelled perfect – just as I remember. Upon tasting it I was a little heavy handed with the olive oil, but with a little more salt and a dash more vinegar and I was back on track.

Quita’s Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb cocktail shrimp
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced (Quita uses green but I had orange on hand)
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 heaping tbsp cocktail sauce
  • 2/3 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1 – 1 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Steps:

  1. Combine all ingredients. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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Red Pepper Pesto Crusted Tilapia

My dream job would be to host my own show on Food Network. I know I have a long way to go and it’s something that will most likely never happen, but hey, that’s why it’s called a dream job.

Every year I watch Next Food Network Star. Spoiler Alert – I am very excited for this summer’s winner, Damaris, and her show this fall but I was drawn to Nikki Dinki from day one. This recipe, is one of hers. It’s very quick and simple to prepare and tastes incredible. I do not like Greek yogurt – I am not on the bandwagon – but I didn’t want to stray from Nikki’s recipe (I did have to switch the fish based on local availability though) so I gave it another shot. The Greek yogurt complimented the red pepper pesto perfectly. Mixing the panko with the pesto also provided a beautiful crust on top of the fish. I promise you this is a new staple in my kitchen.

Pesto Crusted Fish

Red Pepper Pesto Crusted Tilapia

Ingredients:

  • 2 roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 C pine nuts
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 C parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 4 4oz tilapia filets
  • 1 C panko
  • 4 tbsp Greek yogurt

Steps:

  1. Make pesto: combine peppers, nuts, thyme, garlic, shallot, cheese, and olive oil in a food processor.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Season fish with salt and pepper. Spread 1 tbsp of yogurt on each filet.
  4. Mix 1/2 C pesto from step 1 with the bread crumbs. (Or you could use store bought jarred red pepper pesto instead) Press onto each filet. Bake 20 minutes on a foil lined baking sheet.

*Both recipes are adapted from Nikki at http://www.nikkidinkicooking.com/home/red-pepper-pesto.html and http://www.nikkidinkicooking.com/home/pesto-crusted-halibut-grape-risotto.html*

Red Pepper Pesto Crusted Tilapia

Pecan Crusted Salmon

Ideally we have seafood once a week and I always have a package of salmon filets in my freezer. If I can’t get to the fish market or forgot to plan our seafood meal of the week this recipe is my easy go-to as I always have the ingredients on hand – and you probably do too!

An Original Recipe

Pecan Crusted Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 2 6oz filets of salmon
  • 2 tbsp Dijon or Honey mustard
  • 1/8 C chopped pecans
  • 1/8 C panko bread crumbs
  • 1/8 C shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil, for drizzling

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. Mix together pecans, panko, and parmesan.
  3. Spread mustard over the flesh of each filet. Crust with pecan mixture, pressing down lightly to stick. (You may have some left over) Drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Bake 15 minutes or until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.

Pecan Crusted Salmon

Update May 2017: While this electronic update is occurring end of February 2018, these updated photos are from May 2017! This salmon recipe is so simple and an easy weeknight dinner it’s on our relatively regular recipe rotation. (It’s hard to really have a set recipe rotation when you’re a food blogger – even a casual food blogger!) This salmon pairs well with any vegetable side dish your heart desires.

Pecan Crusted Salmon | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

CIC: Coconut & Tomato

CIC-header

I interrupt my recount of Hawaiian food to bring you this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge! This month the task was to combine Coconut and Tomato. Upon seeing the ingredient list I thought I was going to sit this one out as I am allergic to coconut. But then I got an idea and decided, why not! Just because I can’t eat it doesn’t mean my friends can’t be my taste buds.

My original idea was to do a play on the Bloody Mary – either make a virgin version substituting vodka for coconut water, or simply adding coconut water to the cocktail, or even making a “creamy” version with coconut milk, garnished of course with toasted coconut.

This idea was altered slightly when I searched Food Network’s website for Bloody Mary recipes. I’d never had one before! I found Rachael Ray’s recipe for Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail and thought, that’s a better idea! And I can serve it with coconut shrimp instead of typical shrimp cocktail. This way also prevents my husband from trying multiple Bloody Marys before I came up with the right recipe. I also bought cocktail shrimp so I could dip in too!

I served this appetizer during last weekend’s football game. We had some friends over and I was given the “this is addicting” nod of approval. I hope this boozy dip makes it to your next tailgate!

Coconut Shrimp with Bloody Mary Dip

Ingredients for Shrimp:

  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 1 lb peeled, deveined shrimp
  • 1 C flour
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 C panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 C shredded sweetened coconut

Ingredients for Dip:

  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp horseradish
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 2-3 shots of vodka, to taste

Steps:

  1. Bring oil to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, garlic powder, and onion powder. In another bowl beat eggs and season with S+P. In a third bowl combine coconut and panko. Season shrimp with S+P and dredge in flour, egg, and panko. Fry shrimp 2 minutes on each side. It’s best to do this in batches so as not to decrease the oil temperature too much.
  3. Combine dip ingredients. Serve with celery sticks!

*The shrimp is adapted from The Neelys and the dip is modified from Rachael Ray*

Coconut Shrimp and Bloody Mary Dip 2Coconut Shrimp and Bloody Mary Dip 1

Click the link below to see other blogs that participated in this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge!

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Tuna Steaks

There were some pretty looking tuna steaks at the fish counter, so we bought two. I know it doesn’t sound crazy adventurous – buying tuna instead of say, squid. But I’d never prepared tuna steaks before. When it comes to fish, I usually stick with salmon or tilapia. I absolutely love grouper and mahi mahi, but I’ve never prepared my own.

Tuna SteaksI seasoned the fish with plenty of pepper, salt, and dried herbs and cooked them in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil. Spritzed with fresh lemon juice and provided pesto (I used my Nut-Free Basil Pesto) for dipping.

An Original Recipe

Tuna Steaks

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tuna steaks
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

Steps

  1. Combine herbs, salt and pepper. Rub onto both sides of the fish.
  2. Sear fish over medium heat in olive oil. Cook to desired done-ness.

Tuna Steaks 1 Tuna Steaks 3Tuna Steaks 2