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!



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!