John and I had a disagreement over how to cook the salmon. I read somewhere that you should cook it in a 400F oven for 10 minutes an inch on a rack that has been sprayed with an oil spray over a sheet pan after bringing the fish to room temperature. John wanted to put salt in the bottom of a cold pan and slowly cook it over medium heat. Since I am not the protein cooker in our house, his method won out.
Unfortunately, the method he used forced out a ton of the white stuff (albumin) that comes out of salmon. I have read that some is going to come out regardless of the way you cook it and the best way to minimize it is to brine the fish for 10 minutes before cooking it. Use 1 tablespoon of salt per cup of water and it will dissolve the surface proteins that cause the albumin to ooze out.
The fish tasted great but looked pretty sad. I tried to cover it up with lemon slices and parsley.
Last week was a fun eating week but now it is back to more sane eating. We will, however, have a special Italian bread, Colomba di Pasqua, for Easter brunch. It is supposed to look like a dove but mostly it looks like a bread blob.
Saturday night we celebrated the first night of Passover with a Seder and a festive meal.
Grilled lamb chops, mashed potatoes, asparagus with sauce gribiche
Since this was a festive occasion we were not counting calories and enjoyed our mashed potatoes with cream and butter and the asparagus topped with sauce gribiche, a vinaigrette enriched with a hard boiled egg.
I enjoyed setting our table using John’s mother’s candlesticks and my grandmother’s china. Our table looked lovely and brought back memories of holiday celebrations gone by.
Our dinner started with matzo ball soup.
And finished up with our daughter’s fabulous almond macaroons.
We had a wonderful time even though it was just the three of us. Next year we are hoping for a celebration that can include all our family members and the virus which has decimated so many families will have been subdued.
This favorite in Thailand is a great low calorie, healthy soup. Here is a link to the recipe I used. https://www.recipetineats.com/tom-yum-soup-thai/. There are two recipes included one for the brothy soup that I made and another for a creamy soup.
First you make the broth which is basically the shells from shrimp, water, and a little stock (we used clam broth that comes in a bottle.) We save our shells from shrimp dinners in the freezer so there is enough when the need arises for a fish stock. You could probably use straight clam juice or chicken stock in a pinch. Steep bashed up, lemongrass, garlic, chiles, and ginger in the simmering water and shells for 10 minutes. You are also supposed to put in Kaffir lime leaves but we could not find any and so used lime zest.
After straining your stock you add tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and lastly shrimp. To give it a Thai flavor you use a combination of sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice. You just need to adjust the ratios until you get the flavor you like.
Thanks to all the people of Thailand for stopping by my site and givng me the impetus to try something new!
Our chicken dinner this week was very similar to last week’s. Instead of a piccata sauce we made a Marsala sauce, Marsala wine instead of white wine, no capers but both have lemon, mushrooms, and shallots. I got my recipe from NYTimes Cooking so I cannot copy and paste it into my post but no doubt there are hundreds of iterations of Chicken Marsala on the internet.
I boiled and mashed a couple of russet potatoes. Mashed potatoes are a great accompaniment to the sauce. I used some low fat milk and low fat butter substitute to get them creamy. It is not as great as the real thing but still pretty tasty and a lot healthier. The broccoli is simply steamed.
As a continuing part of our daughter’s birthday celebration we got take-out from another one of her and our favorite restaurants, Zeni’s in San Jose, CA. They serves authentic Ethiopian food and it is so delicious. When you dine in the restaurant which is not possible yet due to the pandemic restrictions here, you get a large platter lined with injera, the Ethiopian bread. On top of that you get whatever you ordered plus more injera to use as your utensil scooping up all the tasty treats on the platter.
Our family always gets the veggie combo which comes with lentils, split peas, injera salad, sauteed greens, and cabbage with potatoes and carrots. In addition we added a sizzling lamb component, a chicken and cheese component, and spicy lentils and cheese. After bringing all our goodies home we prepared a platter to look very much like the one at Zeni’s except a little smaller. We discovered that we had ordered enough food for the three of us to feed at least twice as many Ethiopians! But Zeni’s is a good 45 minutes away if there is no traffic so we are all glad that we got extra!
If you have an Ethiopian restaurant near you, I would suggest that you give it a try. The food is deliciously spiced and fun to eat.
Our daughter was born on my father’s half birthday. So when her birthday rolls around I am thinking not only of her birthday but also of my father’s as well. It is sweet and bitter-sweet. After having take-out (pandemic-safe) from her favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch we moved on to a delicious home-cooked, shrimp in Pernod cream sauce over rice with sautéed Brussels sprouts. Accompanying this with a 2012 Chardonnay from Sonoma County. It was a spectacular dinner. Happy Birthday!
I admit to being lazy when it comes to salad. If I can get an assortment of salad greens already washed I am all for it. For Monday’s salad I used a bagged chopped salad that included some bitter greens. I added slivered snow peas and cherry tomatoes. For dressing I used my homemade low calorie Italian dressing.
Mixed greens salad
For the dressing I use a packet of Good Seasons Italian dressing. I follow the instructions for the amounts of water and vinegar but instead of using oil I replace it with the same volume of water. If I am making one packet I then add 1 teaspoon of oil. I put all this in a container that I can use a plunge blender in to whiz it up. As I am whizzing it up, I add 1/8 teaspoon of xanthan gum powder. It is important to use the plunge blender because otherwise the xanthan gum powder tends to clump up. Refrigerator your dressing overnight and you will find that the dressing has a nice viscosity and will not split. The teaspoon of oil is just enough to make the dressing taste almost like a full fat dressing. I usually make two packets at once so all the bother seems worth it. The amount of xanthan gum increases to 1/4 teaspoon and the oil to 2 teaspoons.
The main course of our dinner was orecchiette with broccoli, onions, mushrooms and garlic. Cook the vegetables in olive oil spray while the pasta cooks and then dump the strained pasta into the vegetables. Add some reserved pasta water and a teaspoon of olive oil and you have made a sauce. Really simple, really good.
Tonight’s Breakfast For Dinner was simply chop up all the vegetables that seemed good with eggs, stir fry them, add 2 eggs, and serve it over some couscous because we did not have any leftover rice and I was in a hurry. The dish is seasoned with rogan josh and finished with sriracha. Tasty and filling.
This week we are celebrating our daughter’s birthday with a fancy dinner plus some take-out from her favorite restaurant. Friday we will make a Thai inspired soup for our weekly country winner. Saturday is the first Seder of Passover and we will have our traditional springtime festive dinner.