Saturday, January 5, 2013

Pan Fried Salmon Cakes

My friend Stephanie made these for me once a few years ago and I just fell in love with this recipe.  I thought it was a clever idea to use saltines as the breading so that the cakes are light, airy, and pleasantly salty.  It takes an extra step to bake the salmon in advance, but at least it's not a very labor intensive task. 

Salmon Cakes
(adapted from Giada de Laurentis)

:: 1 pound salmon fillet
:: olive oil
:: s & p
:: 1 egg
:: 25 saltines, crushed, divided into 2
:: 1/2 c corn (frozen is fine)
:: 2 tbsp dijon mustard
:: 3 tbsp mayonnaise (or to taste)
:: 1 tbsp capers*
:: 1 tbsp lemon juice
:: 1 tbsp lemon zest

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly oil, then salt and pepper the salmon filet.  Lay flat on baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until it flakes easily with a fork.  Allow to cool or do the day before.  Use a fork to flake the salmon into 1/2 inch pieces, and put into a bowl.

Add the eggs, 1/2 of the crushed crackers, corn, mustard, mayonnaise, capers, lemon juice & zest to the salmon flakes.  If the patties are looking really dry, you can add in some extra mayonnaise a teaspoon at a time.  Form patties with the mixture about 2-3 inches in diameter, about 3/4 in thick.  Coat the formed patties with the crushed saltines.  If you have the patience, let the breaded (er... saltined?) patties sit in the fridge for an hour.  

Otherwise, start heating 2 tablespoons of oil or butter over medium heat.  Pan fry until golden, about 6 minutes on each side.  Drizzle with some lemon juice and serve on toasted buns as a salmon burger, or over some delicious cous cous, as I have here!

Not everyone likes capers.  (Don't ask me why).  It's fine to omit them, but you may need to add some additional salt to compensate for the lack

Sunday, September 16, 2012


'Nuff said.  I confess, I didn't make this.  It was my Dad's birthday this weekend, so my little sister Jackie made this beautiful dessert for a late afternoon picnic.  I'll see if I can snag the recipe from her, but for now I hope you enjoy this feast for the eyes!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Salsa Verde (Roasted Tomatillo Salsa)

Hi everyone! Long time no blog, I'm sorry but will blame it on the beginning of intern year.... and also laziness.  I made it to the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning and found a vendor selling some beautiful looking tomatillos.  Here's a super simple and fresh salsa recipe that you can use on anything from enchiladas, to chips and dip or dumping on top of tacos.

Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa
(adapted from Tyler Florence)
:: 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and halved
:: 1 onion, peeled and quartered
:: 1-2 jalapenos
:: 8 cloves garlic
:: 2 tsp cumin
:: 1 tsp salt
:: 1/2 tsp pepper
:: juice of 1/2 lime
:: 1/2 cup cilantro

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.  Put first 4 ingredients on a large sheet tray or cookie sheet and roast for about 15 minutes.

Using a food processor, combine the roasted ingredients with the remaining ones.  Blend until combined but still chunky.

That's it!

And on a completely unrelated note, here are some accidentally overexposed photos from Veritas Winery from the weekend that I nevertheless still enjoy looking at.  Virginia, you're doin' it rite.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Yogurt Sauce

This stuff is gooood.  You can eat it with naan or any other crusty bread, pita chips, meatballs, whatever you like.

Yogurt Sauce 
(makes a little over 1 cup)

:: 1 cup plain yogurt (I actually prefer regular yogurt over Greek, as the Greek kind is a little bit too thick)
:: 1 clove garlic, finely minced
:: juice of 1 lemon
:: zest of 1 lemon
:: s & p

optional (but recommended)
:: 1 tbsp chopped parsley
:: 1 tbsp chopped mint
:: 2 tbsp finely chopped cucumber

Mix it up! Eat it with everything!!

Lebanese Meatballs

My big sister is a great cook.  I love hanging out at her house because my niece is there, but also because I know she'll feed me delicious things.  Oh yeah, I also enjoy her and her husband's company ;]  The last time I went home, she whipped these babies up, and I just had to make them again a few days later.

I love meatballs because you can really change up the flavor profile.  Classic Italian meatballs are lovely, but you could even do Asian inspired, or in this case, put a Middle Eastern spin on them.  This meatball recipe incorporates tons and tons of herbs, which I love.  I used half beef / half lamb, but these are also really nice with just beef (a bit cheaper, too!).  

Serving suggestions: naan, hummus, yogurt sauce, cucumber and tomato salad

Lebanese Beef and Lamb Meatballs 
adapted from The view from Great Island Lebanese Meatballs
(serves 8; make and freeze half if only serving 4)

:: 1 pound ground beef (I used 85/15)
:: 1 pound ground lamb
:: 2 eggs, beaten
:: 1/2 cup bread crumbs
:: 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
:: 1 cup finely chopped scallions
:: 1/2 cup chopped parsley
:: 1/2 cup chopped mint
:: 2 tsp ground cumin
:: 2 tsp ground cinnamon
:: 1 tsp ground cardamom, optional (if you use cardamom, just use 1 tsp cinnamon)
:: 2 tsp ground allspice
:: s & p 

:: olive oil, for browning meatballs

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients together with as little mixing as possible (a fork is a good utensil for this).  

Form meatballs, I made mine about 1-inch in diameter.  Heat a pan over medium-high heat.

Brown the meatballs in a few batches, rotating each meatball a few times.  Transfer meatballs to a baking dish and let bake for about 10-15 minutes to finish cooking.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Best Buttermilk Pancakes

I'm not a huge breakfast person, but a good fluffy pancake with some bacon and hot coffee can really hit the spot.  I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Since there is so much buttermilk in this recipe, it's best to go with real buttermilk, but if you're desperately short on buttermilk on a Sunday morning, you can always try this.  This recipe is very very barely sweetened, so I'd recommend you have some maple syrup or fruit topping on hand!

Buttermilk Pancakes
(makes 10-12 large pancakes)

:: 2 cups flour
:: 3 tbsp sugar
:: 2 tsp baking powder
:: 1 tsp baking soda
:: 1/3 tsp salt
:: 2 cups buttermilk
:: 2 eggs
:: 1/3 cup milk
:: 3 tbsp melted butter

Heat a non-stick pan or griddle over medium heat.  Mix all dry ingredients together.  Mix all wet ingredients together separately.  Mix wet and dry mixtures when ready to make pancakes.

This batter has butter in it so you don't really need to grease the pan.  I sprayed a bit of cooking spray anyway.  I used a 1/3 c measuring cup to scoop the batter onto the griddle, but you can pour it as well (this can sometimes get messy though). Cook on the first side until bubbles begin to form on top, about 1 minute.  Flip pancake and let the second side brown as well, about 30 seconds. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Beatty's Chocolate Cake by the Barefoot Contessa

Happy belated birthdays to my two big sisters and my mom! Since they all fall so close together, we decided to celebrate the three together.  This is by far my sister Tina's favorite cake recipe, and she requests it every year.  It is a moist chocolate cake, but by no means the most decadent or rich one I've ever tasted.  The coffee component adds a nice touch but isn't overpowering, and the frosting? Just check out the ingredients - how could that combination not be delicious?!  

The one complaint I received was "Sunny, why were you so stingy with the frosting?!!!" Mea culpa.  I'll glop it on next time.

This was a funny picture that happened accidentally when my little sister and I 
tried to eat the cupcake with a fork.  He's not really sad; just delicious.  

I made cupcakes instead of a 2 layer cake just for portability, but either would work!