Saturday, April 30, 2011

Avocado-Smoked Salmon Crostini

This is an easy brunch recipe, and a favorite with us. Who doesn't love smoked salmon on toasted bread or a bagel? Ah, but, this one comes without the heaviness of the conventional cream cheese combination, and, instead has the heart-healthy delights of avocado and olive oil. Do try it!

Avocado-Smoked Salmon Crostini

Serves 2

1 avocado, diced
4 oz. smoked salmon, cut into 1" or 2" strips
2 teaspoons olive oil
a pinch of kosher salt
2 tablespoons chopped red onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
4 slices of any bread, crisply toasted
lemon wedge - optional

Mix the smoked salmon, oil, salt, onions, parsley and set aside. Divide the diced avocado and lay some on top of each of the four slices of toast. Spoon the smoked salmon mixture evenly on top of toasts. If desired, squirt fresh lemon juice over this. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Curried Crab and memories...

We went out on a date yesterday, to a Malay restaurant, and I ordered Curried Crab. Not only was it a fun date with my husband (they usually are!), but the crab was totally delicious too, in all of its 2lb glory. It brought back so many memories from my childhood of my mom's crab curries. I remember waking up early in the morning and going to the fish market with her, picking out the liveliest, crawliest, and freshest crabs! Caught that morning, and still wet from the sea. Best of all was the smell of mom's crab curry filling up the entire house. Such a treat!

This crab was impressively larger than its counterparts from my childhood....and it tasted pretty good, but I think I really prefer the memories.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Roasted Leeks and Caulifower, Indian Style

Take ordinary vegetables like cauliflower and leeks and add Indian spices to them for zing! This is a super easy side dish, and whips up really well in a big batch for plenty of leftovers during the week. Pair with your choice of carb such as rice, naan, or any other flatbread.

Roasted Leeks and Cauliflower, Indian Style

Makes 10 servings

You will need:
1 head cauliflower, finely chopped up
3 medium stalks of leeks, or 1/2 lb, trimmed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons veg oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger root, minced
2 Serrano peppers, minced
2 teaspoons red Chilli powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon dried mango powder (available at any asian/indian grocery)
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt, or more or less to taste
1 teaspoon lemon juice
large skillet with lid

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add cumin seeds and let them sputter. Then add garlic, ginger, serrano peppers, red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric and fry for about a minute. Add cauliflower and leeks to pan and stir well to combine with all the spices. Add salt, dried mango powder, and stir to combine. Add the water to the pan, adding more if necessary, to cover at least the bottom 1/4 of the skillet. Put the lid on and let the vegetables cook for about 4 or 5 minutes, until softened. Then remove the lid and open fry for about 10 minutes, until all the water has evaporated and the mixture has become fairly dry. Stir in lemon juice, check salt, then remove from heat. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I'm back! And here's a "Welcome to Washington" recipe, too: Seared Sea Scallops with Satsuma Salsa

I am so happy to report that we are settling into life in Washington, and having a whole lot of fun exploring all that the area has to offer. Our new apartment is tiny, and we are very cozy in it with our two pups, but, the positive thing is that the location is terrific and the kitchen is fully equipped with a dishwasher. Yes, a DISHWASHER!!!! I didn't have one in the beautiful gourmet kitchen that I left behind so I will fully relish not having to wash and dry dishes by hand for at least the next ten months.

Now that my kitchen goods are about seventy-five percent unpacked, I decided that I would cook a nice meal for us to enjoy Friday night. It's been several weeks since I've really "cooked" anything and I just haven't felt like myself. So, the dish to inaugurate several things - our move to the Northwest, my new job, our new cozy little abode, new opportunities, and new adventures - Seared Sea Scallops with Satsuma Salsa. (Try saying that five times really fast.) But, really, I couldn't think of anything better to represent our (meaning my) excitement at the thought of having much better access to fresh seafood than we did in our little corner of Wisconsin - since we don't go fishing. And, who wouldn't like the idea of savoring short-lived spring goodies such as the Satsuma variety of mandarin orange? My husband picked me up a few - available aplenty in grocery stores here this week - since I had a bad cold and needed that C. Anyway, we thought it was really delicious. This is a really simple recipe for seared scallops and I urge you to give it a try.

Seared Sea Scallops with Satsuma Salsa

Serves 2

1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon satsuma orange (or tangerine) zest
1 tablespoon fresh satsuma orange (or tangerine) juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, divided
1 satsuma orange (or tangerines) peeled and sectioned
8 fresh sea scallops, patted thoroughly dry.

Whisk together shallots, parsley, orange zest, juice, oil, vinegar, and half the salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add sectioned oranges, and set aside.

Heat a medium sized skillet over medium-heat, and add just enough oil to coat the bottom. Add scallops to skillet and cook until it gets that nice golden brown sear, about 2 minutes on each side, sprinkling with remaining salt and pepper when turning over. Do not overcook - or they will be rubbery and awful! Serve immediately, topped with the satsuma salsa. We ate this as an entree served over watercress and hot cooked jasmine rice, but it would make a terrific appetizer on its own too. Enjoy!