Quick Pan-Seared Herb-Crusted Salmon

I typically try to post on Mondays, however I came down with the flu on Sunday. The hubs quarantined me in the bedroom and forced me out of the kitchen. He served me snacks, tea and even gave me a little bell to ring if  I needed him to bring me anything else. I’ll admit it, I rang the bell once or twice *hides in shame*. It was my chance to have a  Downton Abbey experience (minus the sprawling estate, fabulous 1920s attire and the artillery of maids).

Now all is back to normal and I’m back in the kitchen, apron and all. Here’s a quick recipe for salmon. If you love salmon and are short on time, this recipe is perfect. It’s packed with flavor and will be on the dinner table within 15 – 20 minutes.

What you need.

  • (Wild) salmon with skin
  • dried pepper, sea salt, red pepper, thyme, dill (or your seasoning of choice)
  • olive oil
  • fresh lemon, to taste

How you make it.

  1. Season both sides of the salmon
  2. Heat about 3 – 4 TBSP (or enough to cover the surface of your fish) of olive oil in pan on medium-high heat.
  3. Carefully place salmon in the pan – skin side down. Cook the salmon for about 4 minutes.
  4. Flip the salmon and cook for about 1 -2 minutes. Pour a small amount of water about 1/8 cup or enough to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan, to create a steam effect. Cook salmon (still on med-hi heat) for about 5 minutes and allow it to absorb the water.  If you have a very thick piece, it might take 8 – 10 minutes.

Serve with a side of rice and salad and you’re good to go!

 

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Confetti Tortilla Salad

The days are growing longer and slightly milder– at least in my neck of the woods. It’ll only be a matter of time until I can sit outside barefoot, with a glass of wine and a nice spring/summer salad. This salad recipe marks my official countdown to spring!

Confetti Salad  is very easy and quick (takes about 20 minutes). You can make it as exotic or traditional as you like. My recipe is vegetarian, but you could add meat (e.g. ground beef, shredded chicken) or fish. The name of it should really be “Whatever is in My Fridge Tortilla Salad”. I added a variety of vegetables as well as rice and lentils. Personally, I enjoy different colored vegetables. It serves as a sort of reminder that I’m diversifying my diet and getting a range of vitamins. Well that, and it looks lovely. Hope you enjoy this recipe! Remember, adapt it to your liking.

What you need:

  • Sliced and diced veggies/fruits: radish, onion, winter lettuce, avocado, carrots, tomato (use what you like)
  • 1-2 TBSP Sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1/4 c grated/crumbled cheese of choice
  • Wild rice
  • Red lentils
  • Tortilla chips
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon or lime juice
  • Salt and red pepper to taste
  • 1 TBSP chopped parsley

How you make it:

  1. Cook rice and lentils/beans and mix together, season with red pepper and salt.
  2. Place rice and lentils on a plate, cover with vegetables, add your fresh lemon juice, scatter your cheese on top and add your scoop of sour cream.
  3. Serve with a serving of tortilla chips if you’d like.
  4. Garnish with parsley

Braised Purple Cabbage and Apples

This weekend, I celebrated my 30th birthday! I had a very fun jump into my new decade of life.

I spent most of my birthday in at a certification course. While I was attending my course, my husband and his sister were busy baking and cooking, in preparation of my party. After my course, I met a dear friend, who lives in another city. We commuted back to my house together to attend the big bash. She had a lovely idea to bring along a bottle of champagne, so we could have a pre-party during our train ride. I had already had a glass of wine with classmates before meeting her, then went on to polish a bottle of champagne on an empty stomach. By the time I made it to my party, let’s just say, I was in an extremely celebratory mood!

Seeing that I didn’t lift a finger this weekend, I thought I’d share an old fall/winter recipe for braised purple cabbage. I confess, while I do love purple cabbage, I often buy it only because of its beautiful color and bold pattern!

This recipe combines savory and sweet goodness, with every bite. It makes about 6-8 servings. I had a lot left over, and froze the rest.

What you need:

  • 1/2 purple cabbage, sliced
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, diced (I prefer tart)
  • 4 TBSP of apple cider vinegar
  • 4 TBSP sugar
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • red pepper, salt, pepper, to taste
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

How to make it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 F/ 230 C
  2. In a large oven-proof skillet or roasting pan, Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil for about 1 minute on medium heat, do not brown.
  3. Throw in the cabbage and toss around on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add in the rest of your ingredients and stir.
  5. Bing the water to a slight boil, remove pan from heat, cover –if your pan doesn’t have a cover use aluminum foil.
  6. Place the dish in the oven and let it roast for 45 min. to 1 hr.

Enjoy!

Homemade Ravioli

Oh how I long for warm weather, weekends in the sun and naps outside. Is it just me or does this winter feel eternal? February is the shortest month and the prelude to spring, however, the promise of spring seems so far away! Okay, I’ll stop being so dramatic!

This weekend, we had blustery and frosty weather, which inspired this week’s dish: homemade ravioli filled with herbs and cheese. Cold weather always leaves me reaching for soups and carbs. This dish is very wholesome and delicious! It helped me chase away my winter blues. Making this reminded me that winter is a time to do more domestic activities, to be calm and reflective.

I also realized how much I’ve evolved! As a kid I loved eating Chef Boyardee! Yep, Ravioli in a can aka preserved pasta! Makes me gag just thinking about it. In college, I matured and moved on to cheap, frozen ravioli. Still loaded with all kinds of preservatives and fake cheese, but it got me through late night study sessions. Finally, as a young professional I started buying fresh pasta from local pasta shops. This was a delicious option, however it was also expensive. Now, I’ve graduated to making my own ravioli. It’s cheaper, healthier and did I mention delicious!

Adapted from How to Cook Everything (Bittman, M.)

Makes 18 – 30 ravioli (depending on size)

What you need

  • 2 c. flour (You can use all-purpose if you’d like. I used half white/half wheat, whole wheat is possible, but  more challenging to handle)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • Filling of choice: meat sauce, cheese, mushrooms, herbs, really whatever strikes your fancy

How you make it.

  1. In a bowl mix flour and salt.
  2. Make a well in the middle of the flour. Mix 1 egg  in the flour. Continue doing this, adding one egg at a time until fully incorporated. You should be able to form a ball with your dough, add few sprinkles of water, if needed.
  3. On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth (about 1 – 2 min).
  4. Cut the dough in 6 equal pieces. Cover  pieces with Saran wrap. On a floured surface knead out one piece of dough as flat as you can (try to make the shape rectangular).
  5. Take another of your piece of dough and roll it out, trying to make it the same shape and size as the first one.
  6. Place about a TBSP of your filling on the dough, leaving about 1/2 – 3/4 in. between each filling. I used ricotta, mozzarella, dried basil, oregano and salt as my filling, you can use whatever you like.
  7. Brush a small amount of water around the filling. This helps create a paste/glue.
  8. Place the second piece of flattened dough over the first, gently press around the filling to seal it.
  9. With a pizza cutter, carefully cut out your ravioli, being careful not to cut too close to your filling.
  10. Cook the ravioli in salted, boiling water for about 2 – 3 minutes or until they start to float to the top. Drain the water and enjoy. I served mine with spicy butternut squash and sage.

Bon appétit!